|Author: Athea (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Building the Future, part 12
Pairing: Legolas/Gimli, Merry/Pip
Summary: A new life comes to Friendly.
Date: 31 August 2002
Pip was panting hard and holding onto my hand so tightly that I'd lost all feeling in it. But that didn't matter. What did matter was that Rhea was taking so long to make the cut. I didn't want to see that but I also didn't want Pip to be in so much pain. It seemed we'd been here for hours while the ripples of contraction moved from side to side of Pip's naked stomach.
"Almost ready, Pip. You're doing very well and it looks like the baby has decided which way is up. Now, let's see whether it's a boy or a girl." Rhea took some of the salve that Miriel was holding and painted an area to the left of Pip's navel. "Close your eyes and stay very still for me, Pip. Merry, you might want to, also."
I didn't think I could watch him cutting my bonded open so I did as he asked, but not before kissing Pip's cheek. He was all sweaty and trembling but that didn't matter. I was praying over and over that it would go quickly. I couldn't hear anything and the moment stretched out forever before I heard a wavering cry.
My eyes popped open and there was a tiny blood-covered baby cradled in Miriel's hands. She was crooning and gently wiping away the fluid that covered it from head to toe before wrapping it in a warm yellow towel. "A little girl, Pip, you have a beautiful little girl. Here, Merry, hold her while I help Father close Pip up."
I cast one quick look at Pip's belly and then away. I definitely didn't want to see a hole in his side. She didn't weigh anything at all. Her little cries were like the chirping of the bluebirds that lived in the tree near our front door. She had all her fingers and toes and a tiny bit of reddish fluff that just might be hair one of these days.
"Oh, Pip, you do good work, love." I had something in my eyes but then Pip did, too.
"Hello, little one, I'm your mama." He said and slowly ran a finger over her soft cheek. Then he grimaced and I chanced a peek at Rhea holding Pip's crystal over the incision. It was still red and angry looking but I couldn't see inside of him anymore so that was good.
Pip's eyes were already trying to close and when Rhea picked him up and settled him into the little white bed where Frodo had recovered from birthing his twins, I followed him with the baby. She was being good as gold for me and while Pip was snoozing, I took a warm damp cloth and finished cleaning her all up. She made the funniest faces when I tickled her that I could already see how much she looked like Pip.
I was so lucky to have both of them in my life. Rocking her a little, I watched her finally fall asleep. Miriel tiptoed over and asked me if I wanted her to go out and ask our parents to come in. Taking a quick look around, everything looked tidy and the baby was too, so I nodded yes.
They came in quietly and I left the chair so my mother could sit down and hold the baby first. Pip's mother sat on the side of the bed and stroked his hand with tears in her eyes. The fathers both stood behind Mother and looked proudly down at their new granddaughter. We were all whispering back and forth when Pip awoke with a start.
"Merry," he said.
"It's all right, Pip. We're all here. How do you feel?" I said anxiously.
"A little sore and achy but so light that I could fly." He said with one of his cheeky grins.
"What are you going to name her, son?" The Thain asked quietly while Mother handed the baby over to Eglantine.
We'd talked a lot about names but hadn't really chosen any. Pip was watching his mother hold the baby with a big smile on his face. She woke up just then and gave that little chirping cry from before while we all chuckled at the surprised look on her face.
"Bluebird, she sings like a bluebird," Pip said suddenly, those beautiful eyes coming to mine.
"Bluebird it is, Pip." I said, kissing him gently. She gave another little cry before stuffing her hand into her mouth and chewing on her fingers.
Pip's mother started chuckling. "That reminds me of Pip when he was a month old."
We'd heard some of these stories before but I settled in next to Pip to listen to them again. A whole new generation was going to be hearing these tales and they might as well start now. I knew that I should go out to see everyone and thank them for all their help over the last few months but I didn't want to leave my sweet Pip and our new daughter just yet.
Dinner time would be soon enough. I slipped an arm around Pip and dropped a kiss on his damp hair. The long pregnancy was finally over and our brand new daughter was well worth the effort. But I thought that one child was enough. I'd never risk Pip again to the dangers of carrying another baby. We were blessed with a beautiful reminder of our love.
And that was all we really needed.
I cradled Glimmer to my shoulder and gave a sigh of relief at Miriel's news. Pip was fine and their daughter was, too. We could all relax. Legolas joined me after having a quiet word with Frodo and Sam. Pharin was staring back over his shoulder at the door of the clinic and making little cooing sounds as if she could see through the door to the new baby.
She gave me that feeling quite a lot some days. Seeing through doors and people seemed to be something she was good at. Maybe it was the Elf in her but she didn't see the world the way her brother did. At six months old, she showed an older soul than my little Glimmer. She was going to leave her father behind if this kept up.
As if she heard my thought, she quit looking at the door and smiled at me. "Da," she said quietly. "Da, Da, Da."
Legolas dropped a kiss on top of my head. "Don't worry, Gimli. They'll be home before you know it."
I sighed. He thought I was worried about Papa and Lorrin. "I wish they were here right now. Rhea and Miriel did a fine job but I still miss them."
"Let's go home and ready our gifts for little Bluebird. I expect Pip and Merry will be home soon." He led us down the path to our house and I followed along with Glimmer patting my cheek.
Our children were very aware of our moods, like little barometers of emotion and they always knew how to cheer us up. I was feeling unsettled for some reason and had no idea why. The last week had seen me jumping at shadows and sticking close to home. I'd never been afraid under ground but now it felt oppressive, like the entire mountain was sitting on my shoulders.
Legolas had let me be silent but I thought I was ready to talk to him. Maybe I wasn't the only one feeling this way. Dinner was festive with a toast to our newest member and her parents. The elder Tooks and Brandybucks were glowing with pride. Eglantine had already done a sketch of her son and his new daughter and it passed around the dining hall with great acclaim.
After we ate and walked them back to the clinic, we had our first look at the newest Hobbit. She had Pip's sweet lips and chin but she had Merry's eyes. Pharin wanted down to see her closer and I sat on the side of the bed, chatting with Pip while my daughter greeted the little one in his arms with soft pats and a babble of baby words.
Then again, it sounded kind of like Elven so maybe she was making sense. Legolas was talking with Frodo about something so I decided to ask him later. We didn't stay long since Pip fell asleep in mid-word. Legolas dropped a kiss on Bluebird's head before gathering Pharin up. Our daughter pouted a little but looked over his shoulder to the baby.
"Bu-bu-bu," she said distinctly and we all laughed. She just smiled smugly at us and waved to Pip and the baby.
Glimmer was waving goodbye from my shoulder and we left for home. The babies murmured to us while we patted their backs and listened intently. Sometimes it seemed like they were almost ready to make sense then they'd slip into babble and we'd chuckle at their earnest looks. Perhaps all parents dealt with that belief at some point? I thought about the tales that Papa had gifted to Legolas and me about my childhood.
Of course, Nanala had shared my love's younger days with us so I wasn't the only embarrassed one. It seemed we'd both been little mischief makers in our youth. Oh well, we were seasoned warriors, that might help when our children got their feet under them and started creating havoc. I snorted to myself, once they started walking, I firmly expected to be constantly on my guard.
Papa said that I took a decade off his life the first week I discovered how to stand upright and move forward. The twins would probably take two off of mine. I looked down into my son's eyes and saw such joy that I could only chuckle. They would lead us a merry chase, these two small imps made of our blood and seed. And I would not change a single terrifying, humorous moment of what was to come.
"My dearest love, you are going to share your thoughts with me after the children go to sleep." Legolas held the door of our home open for me and the look on his and Pharin's faces were identically puzzled.
I chuckled and carried Glimmer inside. Bath time was fun and we were all four squeaky clean when we left the sunken tub for the comfort of our bed. The babies' evening milk was sucked down slowly while I combed out the braids of Legolas' silky long tresses. He liked it when I did that and I must admit that I loved it when he brushed my thick hair. So I kept on brushing while first Glimmer then Pharin succumbed to sleep.
We carried them into the nursery and the cradle that held them both but not for much longer. I'd have to see if Merry would craft some beds for them. They looked so angelic curled around each other, the dark and light of their hair mingled together on the white pillow. They were the most beautiful babies in the whole of Middle-earth. I was still musing on that when I noticed that Legolas was leading me back to our bedroom.
"I shall brush your hair, beloved, while you tell me what is troubling you." He told me sternly, well as sternly as he could ever get while being his graceful naked self. "On the bed, my heart, and unburden yourself."
I climbed in and settled myself cross-legged in the middle of our bed. He slid in behind me, his hands undoing my braid before combing his long fingers through my hair. "I'm not sure what it is, Legolas. I have a sense of foreboding almost as great as the one that filled me in the depths of Moria. The world is changing and we don't know what it will become. I think there is something coming, something new whether for good or ill, I don't know."
"Frodo had a most disquieting dream last night. He said it was as if the Ring wraiths had come back except there was only one." His hands kept up the soothing brushing while the hair on the back of my neck tried to stand up. "When he got close enough to the black shrouded figure that hovered above the ground, under the cowl was a mass of shifting lights swirling together. He woke up and had to dash to the bathroom to be sick."
"Damn, he's the closest of us to that shadow world of Mordor. Could something have been left when Sauron was destroyed?" I rubbed my hands on my knees and fought back a shiver.
"I don't know, my love." His arms came around me, holding tight and rocking me a little like he did one of the children. "I do know that powerful magics protect this new land of ours. Lorrin mentioned something about wards and allies before he left."
"Blast, I wish they were home again." I picked up one of his hands and nestled a kiss in the palm. "I want all the allies I can get to keep our children safe."
He sighed and rested his head on mine. "Someone once said that children are hostages to fortune. I will fight to my life's end to protect them."
This time the shiver shook my whole body and I turned awkwardly in his arms. "As will I, beloved, but Lorrin said something before he left about them having their own protection. Did he say more to you?"
Legolas framed my face with his hands and kissed me sweetly for a long moment before pulling just far enough away to gaze into my eyes. "He said that the children of Friendly would become one of the marvels of Middle-earth. Not just Pharin and Glimmer but Bilbo and Elanor are something new to our world."
I frowned and sighed. This was my fear brought to life. "Pharin is already growing beyond me, Legolas. She looks right through me sometimes, seeing things that I will never see or understand."
He smiled tenderly at me and pushed me back onto the sheets so he could lie on my chest. "She will never grow beyond you, Gimli. You are her beloved father and you will always be there for her. She will try her wings soon enough as all young ones do but you are the rock on which this family is built. You may not understand her always but then neither will I. She is after all, a female and that almost guarantees that we'll have to ask for help for certain things when she gets bigger."
I slid my hands up his arms to his broad shoulders and pulled him a little closer. "Girl things? Feminine items of apparel, questions about menses, funny feelings about boys, those sorts of things?"
He grinned and kissed me hard enough to part my lips so he could surge inside to mate with my tongue. My shaft was rising and so was his. His hair fell in a silken curtain around me, its sweet fragrance filling my nostrils. Surrounded by him everywhere, I pulled him closer and felt our cocks slide together between us. When he moved back a bit, I stroked down to the hard arrow with which he was always armed.
"Take me tonight, Legolas." I slid my hand around it and watched him shudder. "Remind me of how our love created two such beautiful babies."
He chuckled and reached a long arm for the bottle of oil that we always kept by the bed. "Is your crystal far enough away, do you think?"
I blushed at the thought that our crystals might get me pregnant. "It's two rooms away so I think I'm safe. Otherwise, the twins will just have to move over for their little brothers or sisters."
"Dearest beloved Gimli," he kissed me hard once before moving off of me so I could turn over. "I promised to carry all the children of this family so you are indeed safe." His slick hands made me ready for him while I panted at each touch. I was on my hands and knees when he breached me, sliding deep and sparking that spot inside of me. His aim as always was true and I moaned a little at the fire that flashed through me with each direct hit of my sweet spot.
We rocked together slowly until the fire grew too much and I erupted into his hand while he flooded me with heat. He kissed the back of my neck where he'd bitten me earlier and I chuckled. I would wear his mark with pride, the way he so often wore mine. He finally pulled from me and cleaned us both up with the towel we kept near the oil. Snuggling under the sheet, I pillowed my head near his and watched his beautiful face prepare for sleep.
"Beloved, tomorrow we will speak with the others about dreams and portents. For now, sleep and know how much your children and I love you." He kissed me gently and I let go of my fears for the moment.
Perhaps Balin would send me a dream of the future where all of us were safe, happy and loved. That was the only future that I wanted for all of Friendly. And Legolas was right, my father and Lorrin would soon be home with news of the outside world. For now, I was content in my lover's arms. I was gloomy by nature and I knew that I had to fight that tendency.
Holding Legolas was the best way I knew to brighten my mood. He was light and laughter and all that was joy to me. Together we would be able to face anything. Anything at all.