Author: Athea (email@example.com)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Bringing Up Babies, part eight
Summary: The children deliver some answers but more questions arise.
Date: 16 February 2003
We gathered at Gandalf's after dinner, the seven original Fellowship members, my father, Lorrin, Elrond and Glorfindel. All our children were there also. One by one we recounted what we'd seen or felt since the Dwarven healer has arrived. The children played with each other on the hearth rug at our feet until the conversation paused and little Pharin tugged on my leg, wanting up.
Once in my lap, she turned to the others gathered around on a variety of chairs and benches and looked solemnly at us. "There, not there." She said gravely and I saw Glimmer and Bilbo nodding.
Lorrin leaned forward. "The healer is there but also not there, Pharin?"
"Dark 'round him." She struggled to put into her baby vocabulary, a concept that I wasn't sure I'd be able to articulate.
"An aura of darkness and shadow outlines him." Gandalf said pensively and my daughter nodded eagerly.
"Au-aura black." She agreed with the wizard. "Cold and twinkly."
Twinkly? I looked down into those eyes so much like Legolas' and thought about what she was saying. Her little hand delved into my shirt and fished out the crystal that was never far from me. "Cold and twinkly."
"Like a crystal glistens in the morning light?" I said softly and she nodded emphatically.
Lorrin looked devastated. "The shadow mage we fought in the First Age had a crystalline form in the last battle."
My father put an arm around him. "It's not necessarily the same creature."
"Yes, is." My little girl said emphatically to her grandpa.
A little keening sound came from my bonded and Glimmer toddled quickly to his mother. "Up, Mama."
Legolas automatically picked him up and our son snuggled close, kissing the ashen cheek with his best sloppy baby kiss. My love blinked and cuddled him closer. "How do you know it's the same, little one?"
"Mem-mies," Bilbo's little voice came from the silky green rug.
My forehead wrinkled but Sam translated for his son. "Memories, son, you've got memories of the before times?"
He nodded and walked to his father, holding up his arms. "Memmies in wind."
"And fire, Mama," Elanor was already in Frodo's arms.
"Springs, too." Pharin said solemnly.
"Rocks 'ave long memmies." Glimmer smiled at his sister who smiled back.
"I see," Lorrin nodded slowly. "The earth speaks to you, Glimmer."
My son nodded yes. I was making connections and ventured a question. "Pharin, does the water in Friendly speak to you?"
"Yes, Da-Da. Many, many 'tories." She giggled and tucked her head under my chin, holding tight to my tunic.
"Stories in the wind, Bilbo?" Frodo murmured. "Memories in the fires of Friendly, Elanor?"
They nodded with happy smiles and Lorrin spoke again. "Those are the elements to which each child is connected. Bluebird ties all of them together with her gift of spirit."
Pippin clutched Blue to his chest and Merry wrapped his arms around them both. She murmured to them and they both relaxed a little. Merry cleared his throat and spoke up. "She said she loves us. If this healer is a . . . evil shadow from before, the children can't fight him."
"I don't think he's left over from before." Elrond spoke slowly while he stroked the small bulge outlined by his robe. "I think this time the shadows crept in to look us over. Perhaps the fall of Sauron opened a door for them?"
Papa was stroking his short beard. "Or perhaps Sauron invited them in to help him win over Middle-earth, like advance scouts reporting back to their masters."
I shivered. "One of them was destroyed by Gandalf. He was destroyed, right, Lorrin?"
"Yes, nothing remained." The older Elf nodded while Perri hugged his beloved closer. "Gandalf used fire against him. I think this one will be warded against that element. One thing we did learn was that they communicated mind to mind. The first one we destroyed by smothering it." He saw several puzzled looks, among them my own. "Air and wind are the same element. The second one took a combination of all four elements. It's why we lost so many of my kin, it was ready for air, which we didn't expect."
I thought about that and shivered again, holding Pharin a little closer. "Can we use the elements instead, like Gandalf used fire?"
Lorrin sighed. "It takes years to grow such skill, probably centuries."
Gandalf was frowning a bit, his hands copying Elrond's strokes over his own stomach. "I can feel the power of each child like bright lights glowing in this room." His eyes snapped back to here and now, sharing a look with each of us. "I think if we work with the children, we can weave a net to trap him."
"That will not be enough, my friend." Lorrin's hands clutched each other in an almost wringing gesture. Papa laid his callused fingers over his, stilling them. Lavender eyes met black and Lorrin visibly calmed. "We need to destroy it so it can not bring more of its kind to Middle-earth. They are destructive to all living creatures."
"Don' like us, Da-Da." Pharin said matter-of-factly.
"T'inks we 'tupid." Glimmer added from my love's lap. "We' not."
"Not we're not, sweetheart," Legolas hugged him closer. "We'll work together to make sure he doesn't hurt anyone." He had the adamantine look I'd seen before and in a dozen battles.
"Agreed," Sam nodded. "Is he all shadow or is part of Basteal still inside of him?"
I blinked and looked at the small gardener. I hadn't even thought of that. Baby hands clapped softly and we all looked at little Bluebird. She was nodding and smiling at us. Pharin translated for her from under my chin. "'ittle bit of Ba' inside."
Legolas nodded but didn't lose the implacable look. "If there's a way to separate them, we will. However, our first priority is to make sure it doesn't hurt any of us."
We all nodded and I stroked our daughter's soft blond hair while she chewed on one of the leather ties of my shirt. In the back of my mind, I wondered if she was cutting another tooth. We talked for another hour until the children began to fuss a bit and we broke up to continue our bedtime routines.
All the while, I was praying that somehow we'd win through without involving them.
Frodo was real quiet while we took our baths, washing the babies while they played with the bubbles we'd shaken into the hot water. He sang softly to them when we tucked them in, the Elven words flowing over us all, making me relax and sending them right to sleep. Arms around each other, we watched them sleep in the flickering light of the dying fire.
I wished I knew what he was thinking but those blue eyes were a bit far away. Quietly we left their room and went to our own with a little detour to the kitchen for our evening tea. Once we were in bed, I knew I'd be able to get him to talk to me. I was the practical one but he saw things that I couldn't. Knowing the children's elements was kind of interesting.
It's funny but knowing that Bilbo's element was air made sense to me. He was the one who listened to words and tried them out over and over until he got them right. Elanor's bright spirit and quick temper reminded me of fire so that wasn't a surprise either. But their understanding our war council did kind of take me aback. They were too little to have to come to terms with battles and such.
"They're so little, Sam," Frodo clutched his tea cup. "I don't want them anywhere near that creature."
"Aye, they're small to be so understanding of trouble." I agreed and put my cup aside so I could cuddle him close. He came into my arms at once and I just stopped thinking for a moment so I could breathe him in and fill my hands with his warm flesh. Soft and smooth beneath my callused fingers, his skin shivered beneath my touch.
He murmured my name and I slid my lips over his cheek to his pouty lips. He tasted of tea and honey to my questing tongue. We kissed for a long moment then he moved a bit away, his blue eyes shining softly at me.
"I love you, my Sam. I'm afraid for them, so afraid that I can't think straight. I want to wrap them up in silk and never let them near trouble." He sighed. "But that won't solve the problem of this creature of shadow. It's funny but towards the end of our journey, I felt as if I was so stretched that I was growing dark around the edges."
Taking his cup and placing it near mine, I slid us both under the warm blankets. Then holding his chin in my hand so I could look right into his eyes, I answered him. "We were both kind of stretched by the time we got to Mount Doom. But you were never evil. You were never even close to becoming a shadow, not while your old Sam was with you."
"My own Sam," his eyes shone with tears and his smile was a little wobbly but his hands held me close. "You were brave as an Oliphant and I always knew if we were going to win out, it would be because you were with me. I thank Elbereth for you every single day."
I blushed a little. It still felt odd to be called brave. My old Dad would have just called it being practical. I had to kiss Frodo again and pretty soon, I had to touch him, too. His little whimper when I nursed at his nipples made me smile. He was still a little tender there although the babies were eating solids now. Once they started teething, we'd sort of moved them over pretty quick. He'd been real sore for a bit, especially when their uppers and lowers actually met.
My hands smoothed down his waist to his slender hips and the pretty shaft rising up from the dark curls at his groin. He chuckled and soon I had his hands on my chest, dropping down to my ever-ready cock and giving him a good squeeze. That felt great and we were soon teasing each other with all the touches that felt so good. We'd learned how to please each other over the last two years since we'd been in love.
The sunflower lotion that Rhea made up from an old recipe of the Varyans was kept right by the bed and Frodo poured some over my cock while I dipped some out to get him ready. He liked me to come inside of him mostly although now and then I'd slick him up and slide him inside of me instead. Either way, we were like one person when we were connected like this.
I loved him so much that I never wanted anything to ever harm him. I'd have taken more time to stretch him but he rolled me onto my back and sat down on me with one motion. He was tight and hot just like always and when he wiggled on me, I just about lost it. He grinned down at me and began raising and lowering himself while squeezing around me. I let him for a bit until I just had to thrust up while he was coming down.
Frodo made that little squeak that I love to hear. We made love for a long time although it's never long enough when we're together. But all good things come to an end and when he came all over my stomach, I came inside of him like a gusher. He slumped onto my chest and I hugged him close, my hands running over his sweaty back. We'd have to get cleaned up again but at least now he'd sleep.
Making love usually relaxed him enough so he'd sleep the night through without any of those old, bad dreams. He licked my skin a little but in another moment, he was out like a candle. I shifted him slowly off of me so I could get up and get a clean cloth. He curled up into my pillow while I smile down at his tousled curls. He didn't look any older than little Bilbo when his beautiful face was all scrunched up like that.
I slid out of bed and got the bowl of heated water from the hearth. Cleaning us both up, I was soon back in bed, cuddling him as close as I could get him. My last thought before falling asleep was how we would protect each other and our babies from all harm. We'd figure out something to take care of this shadow thing. Somehow we'd protect all of Friendly.
The peoples of Middle-earth had changed since we'd first come to this reality. Sauron had invited us in but after the last fiasco, the Dynast had authorized only two of us to reconnoiter this fair land. The minerals beneath the surface of this world were varied and abundant. Once the creatures were gone, it would be easy to strip mine everything out for our use.
My disguise was perfect. I'd come across the traveler and once I'd learned that he was headed for this valley, I'd waylaid him and assumed his form. He'd resisted a bit but I was slowly ingesting him, soon there'd be nothing left but his image. My brother shadow had disappeared on his way to this place and all I'd had was a picture of flame before contact with him was lost.
These inferior creatures were nothing compared to us and yet the last time we'd come, our advance shadows had been destroyed by the inhabitants. These primitive, barely above subhuman creatures, could never be a match for our race. A natural cataclysm might perhaps explain it or a release of the tremendous energies that I could sense in the very fabric of this valley.
Some of the creatures had that same feeling when I came near them. The children were negligible quantities but their parental units might be the source of the strange energies I could sense. I'd spoken with most of the inhabitants here but I kept coming back to the original settlers, those that they called the Fellowship.
It was time to test them.