Author: Athea (email@example.com)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Bringing Up Babies, part nine
Pairing: Elrond/Glorfindel and Merry/Pip
Summary: They contemplate the darkness.
Date: 1 March 2003
I stretched, pushing back from the octagonal table and felt the baby shift within me. She delighted in kicking my stomach and rolling on my bladder. I had a new appreciation for what my wife had gone through carrying our children. I was awed by her calm ability to handle twins, which sweet Miriel was echoing in her own pregnancy. Not even battles could have prepared me for this feeling of being so out of control.
My body was no longer just mine. Our daughter shared it with me and that intimacy was hard to adjust to. Being pregnant had me thinking new thoughts, feeling new emotions and reacting to the world differently. The rest of the community still didn't know that Gandalf and I were pregnant. We'd asked Rhea to keep it a secret even from his wife so that the dwarf healer wouldn't know either.
If Basteal was still in there we'd do what we could for him but the shadow creature would be dealt with should he try anything. All my protective instincts were engaged and I watched him without seeming to when ever he was near. My beloved 'Del now wore two knives, one in his left boot and one in a sheath under his right sleeve. He was never far from me and as the days passed, I became more and more grateful for that.
"El' . . . El'," Pharin's voice brought me from my reverie and I spotted her running across the room to me. She was light as a feather in my arms and her baby kisses reminded me of my little Arwen.
Glorfindel had scooped up Glimmer, blowing a raspberry on his round cheek while the little boy giggled uncontrollably. Legolas chuckled and sat down across the table from me, picking out an apple from the ever-filled bowl of fruit and biting into it.
"We've come to take you both for a walk down to one of our favorite spots. Pharin likes the river and both spas." His blue eyes twinkled and he winked at us. "Actually, I'll give you directions to the private spa once you've given birth."
Pharin patted my stomach. "Fala like, too."
I looked down into those beautiful blue eyes. "So Faladel already has a nickname, little one?"
She nodded vigorously. "Se'il like water, too."
'Del caught that reference. "Is she a water sprite like you, sweet Pharin?"
She giggled. "Yes."
For some reason, that made our daughter even more real. I swallowed hard and pushed the feeling aside for the moment. I'd already gotten teary over 'Del brushing my hair this morning and I was determined not to give in again. But Pharin patted my cheek then bent down to murmur something to our hidden child. And for just a moment, something I can only call a 'spark' fluttered to my heart.
We were on our way to the river before I got complete control again. Legolas had winked at me and I knew we'd be talking later. Thank Elbereth that I wasn't going through this confusing time alone. Pharin was chattering to her mother while Glimmer was telling Glorfindel something very important and I walked to one side, taking deep breaths of the spring air.
My cloak concealed my burgeoning stomach and the breeze was still a bit brisk so it felt comfortable, too. I breathed in the early scents of snow drops and elanor that poked out from the grassy verge just off the path we trod. Running water sounded louder the closer we got to the river bank. Legolas led us down a narrow path through trees newly budded, the soft green-yellow of new leaves creating a haze of beautiful color over us.
The scent of water came to my nostrils and I hurried to the natural cove revealed at the end of the path. The water sparkled in little white caps beneath the brisk breeze. I knelt and let it flow over my hands in quiet enjoyment. Pharin joined me, her tiny hands cupping it up then letting it fall in a miniature spray while she laughed joyfully. Truly, we were much a like this little one and I.
From within I felt my child spark again and I smiled, wishing that Glorfindel could feel her, too. Looking over at Legolas sitting on the bank with Glimmer between his legs, I saw the little boy digging happily in the golden sand. Just beyond them, I found my lover wandering a little way along the bank, which grew steeper the further from the small cove he got.
Below my feet I felt a slight trembling. Standing, I took a quick glance in all directions to see what might be causing it. Gimli hadn't said anything about blasting in the mines.
"No," Glimmer's voice was suddenly deeper.
"No," Pharin sounded like her mother.
"Loves?" Legolas asked questioningly.
"Mama, move." Glimmer was standing and holding onto Legolas who stood up with him at once.
Not even hesitating, I swept Pharin up in my arms and called out to Glorfindel. When I looked back to the river, I froze in sudden fear. A huge wave of water was racing down towards us, growing larger with every foot traversed. It already towered over the trees we'd just strolled through and I found myself chanting the calming spell that worked on the Ford of Rivendell.
But this was not my river and although the wave began to lessen in height, it still moved towards us. While I started backing away from the river, Glorfindel joined me and we chanted together the charms that normally controlled the waters of Rivendell. Legolas moved with us, Glimmer clasped close to his breast while the ground began to tremble harder beneath our feet.
"Good river," Pharin said sweetly and waved her hand at the giant wave.
"Calm," Glimmer patted the air in front of him.
"Now," they said in unison and we adults watched in awe while the water turned into a patter of rain drops all around us and the earth stopped shaking.
Power shone around them in a halo of golden light that sparkled like a summer sun. I felt it wash through me like a benediction and I kissed Pharin's forehead reverently. She giggled and kissed me back, the same way she'd done before her display of elemental mastery. Looking at Legolas, I surprised tears in his eyes.
"My babies," his whisper wouldn't have been heard by any one farther away.
"Mama," Glimmer patted his face. "Is aw'ight."
"I know, sweetheart." He pressed his lips again the downy head and squeezed his eyes shut to keep the tears from falling. "But you're so young to have to take on such responsibility. We should be taking care of you instead of you taking care of us."
"Love 'ou, Mama." Pharin leaned over and patted his shoulder.
I hugged my young friend and his remarkable son while Glorfindel stretched his arms around all of us. The enemy had made the first move but the children of Friendly had countered him neatly. But it was our turn to protect them by deflecting his attention away from the youngsters and squarely onto us.
"We need to go and explain what Glorfindel and I just did about the abnormal weather patterns." I said calmly and watched my lover nod decisively. "We'd best get back now and start the story to making the rounds of the community. Pharin, Glimmer, please don't say anything about your . . . abilities. The bad . . . creature needs to think we're the ones who foiled his plan."
Bluebird licked the spoon I was holding while I wished it was dinner time. Pip's knowing chuckle told me that we'd been caught tasting dessert again. I smiled at him and the baby murmured pea', pea', pea' while she took hold of the spoon, running her little fingers over the carved silver.
"I hope you made lots because there's going to be a mass rush once they taste your peachy apple crumble." I kissed his cheek and Bluebird nodded her head vigorously before patting his chin.
Sometimes it was as if she could see - her aim was so good.
"It's somebody's nap time," Pip plucked our daughter from my arms. His blue eyes sparkled into mine. "Maybe everybody's nap time?"
I chuckled and hugged them both close. "Naps for everybody!"
Jallico waved us off and we left him still pulling fresh hot loaves of bread from the oven. The afternoon sun was warm and welcome after the gloomy days we'd just suffered. I watched Blue sniffing the air, a look of concentration on her small face. I stopped briefly and plucked a little white flower, then held it to her nose. She quivered like a bunny and ever so gently touched a finger to the blossom.
She was so curious about everything that sometimes our hearts were in our mouths while she investigated the world around her. But except for the occasional bruise or scrape, she lived a charmed life. She reminded me so much of Pip when he was a baby, cheerful and bright with a smile that was infectious. We walked in our front door and she sniffed once then clapped her hands.
"Mama, Mama," she chanted, kissing Pip's chin and patting his chest.
"Hungry, sweetheart?" My love nuzzled her hair while she nodded. "Dinner it is then, little love." He sat down in the rocker and unbuttoned his shirt so she could suckle.
I paused a moment, enjoying the sight of my dearest love nursing our daughter. "I'll run a bath, Pip so we can clean up."
He looked up and nodded. "I think I've got flour in unmentionable places."
"I'll be sure to find all of them and clean them carefully." I winked at him and he chuckled. Bluebird paid no attention to our chatter, sucking hard at the plump nipple over his heart.
By the time the tub was full, I was undressed, throwing my dusty clothes in the hamper. I was building and carving cabinets pretty much full time now. Working on Man-sized doors was sometimes a bit awkward. I was learning little tricks like starting on the top while sitting on the uncarved portion then scooting my way backwards, carving as I went.
Pip joined me without Bluebird. "She was asleep before she finished the second nipple."
"Well, I'll be glad to help you out." I started unbuttoning the rest of his buttons.
"How kind of you, Merry." He batted his eyes at me while pushing his pants down to the tiles. "Perhaps you'd like to wash my back?"
I leered just a bit and pushed off his shirt. He was his normal plump self again and I hugged him close. "I love you, Pip."
"Love you too, my Merry," he hugged me back before slipping out of my arms and into the tub. "You smell like wood shavings, sweetheart." He plucked the soap from the basket on the edge of the tub. "Come here and let me wash you."
Sliding in beside him, I ducked myself before coming up so he could soap me all over. I was willing to let him have first dibs because that meant that I'd have my turn shortly. His slippery hands slid slowly over my skin, dropping further and further until he could glove my cock with white foam. I was already pleasantly hard so when he kissed me, I just got harder.
Then it was my turn and I rubbed the lavender soap between my hands while he leaned against the sloping back, all open to my exploration. It doesn't matter how often we did this, it was still wonderful to be able to touch him everywhere. My touch was gentle on his chest since his nipples were tender. I thought the extra fullness was beautiful but once Blue stopped breastfeeding, they'd probably go back flat.
But for now they rose through the foam like miniature peaks that made me lick my lips. I was suddenly impatient to taste what I'd just soaped so I hastily finished washing him down to his pretty toes. Rinsing him off, I went to my knees while his legs closed around my waist. I leaned in and kissed him softly, his hands combing through my hair while our tongues tangled together.
The peach crumble tasted even better from his mouth. But once we had to breathe, I kissed my way down his throat and over the soft skin to his right nipple. Sucking lightly, I drank down the sweet milk that spurted from him. He moaned that breathy little moan that always turned me to iron. Flicking my tongue back and forth over it, I settled in to drain what Bluebird had left.
"Oh, Merry . . . oh Merry . . . I wish that I could stay milky even after Blue is weaned." He panted and wiggled over my cock, which was already sliding between his cheeks. "In me, now."
I chuckled and very, very gently rolled the nipple between my teeth. He writhed while I palmed his cheeks apart and nudged his small hole. Chanting 'now, now, now', he gripped my shoulders and tried to impale himself on my cock. With a little thrust up, I breached his muscle and slid into the tightest, hottest place in Middle-earth. He sighed and those blue eyes opened to gaze into mine.
"I love you, Merry Brandybuck."
"And I love you, Pippin Took. Maybe if I keep suckling even after Blue is finished, you'll keep producing milk?" I stilled inside of him gently rocking my hips just enough to nudge that sweet spot that gave him such pleasure.
He sighed and tightened around me. "I like it. You'll always be my baby, love."
I chuckled, "Yours, Pip, always and ever yours."
"Mine," he agreed. "Now move, sweetheart. Make me feel all of you."
Settling in for the long strokes that pleased us both, I sought his other nipple and began to see if he might have a little milk left. I'd never get enough of him.
Mama and Papa were making love and I could hear the pretty music that always sang when they were together. There was all kinds of music in the world but their song was special because it included me. Happy and bright, it soared all around me.
But then there were harsh sounds that drowned out the valley song.
Hard notes that hurt my ears and made me feel bad.
Pharin's voice sang over the harsh notes and Glimmer joined in so the bad song went away. Their mama sang sadly but bright El' wove around them all and the new voice inside of him made it better.
The cold one was going to have to go away. His song was out of place.
Soon, we'd have to make him disappear.
But there's a bonus part to this chapter. My wonderful Australian friend, Ian Quest sent me the recipe for peach crumble and it's delicious. He said it was all right to share it with you all so here it is:
Peachy Apple Crumble
This dessert combines a tangy apple and peach filling with a sweet crumble topping. Serves 4-6.
1). Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a mixing bowl, stir together the apples, peaches or nectarines, orange juice and lemon rind. Spoon the mixture into a l.25 litre oval pie dish or shallow baking dish.
2). For the crumble topping, mix together the biscuits, flour and spice in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
3). Spoon the topping mixture evenly over the fruit to cover it.
4). Bake for 35 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and golden. Allow to cool slightly before serving the crumble with Greek-style yoghurt.