Author: Athea (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Bringing Up Babies, part 12
Summary: The end of the threat to Friendly.
Date: 30 March 2003
********* Gimli *********
One moment the shadow creature towered above us, all hard edges and glittering angles. He'd shattered my axe with nothing but a flick of darkness and my beloved's arrows just sailed through him. I scrambled to my feet in time to see Legolas cut through the shadow with his knives but it was like the creature didn't even feel the wounds. Then the great shape swelled even larger.
Only to give a cry that almost shattered my hearing and then disappeared.
Legolas whirled, searching for our foe as did I and the others who'd accompanied us. All the Hobbits were there and I saw the astonishing sight of little Bluebird floating in the air. I immediately looked to our children and caught the smuggest expressions that I have ever seen on their sweet faces.
A piercing cry from behind me had me turning back to the ripped and ruined clothing that I'd thought was all that was left of the Dwarven healer. Legolas knelt and lifted a small shape from the rags. The cries stilled when my bonded cradled the black haired baby against his chest.
"Gimli, it looks like we have another son." He gazed down into the scrunched up face and finally smiled.
"Good Ba', he be all right now," Pharin said while clapping her hands from what we'd hoped would be the safety of Nanala's arms.
"All dat was left, Mama." Bilbo said from Frodo's arms. "We twied to save all of him."
"I'm sure you did, my sweetling." Frodo's blue eyes couldn't have gotten any wider. "What just happened here? Where did the shadow warrior go?"
"Home, Mama, we sent him home." Elanor said from Sam's arms.
"Blue opened door an' we sent him back." Glimmer said quietly in Pfister's arms.
"Bluebird," Pippin looked down at the baby in his arms and she smiled up at him.
"Aw' gone, Mama. Baby Ba ony left." The little one said with a shake of her curls.
Our children were even more amazing than I'd thought.
A little whimper came from Legolas' arms and he patted the back of the naked child. I unwound my scarf and offered it to him but that did little to stop his whimpers. My golden lover rocked him gently. "I think he's hungry. We need to stop by the dining hall to get some goat's milk."
Shouts from the other side of the river reminded us that we had more clean up to do. Crossing the bridge, we split up to take care of the horses and other wild life that had fled the conflagration. Rhea needed to be told what happened to his fellow healer if only so we could try to understand it ourselves. Lunch was a pick-up meal that lasted most of the afternoon as we each found the time to break away to eat.
The foundling didn't approve of goat's milk and Legolas tried a little bit of everything to sweeten it for him. He now wore one of the outfits that Glimmer had outgrown and Rhea had checked him over with Lorrin's help. Ba' was all dwarf and approximately three months old, just four months younger than Bluebird.
My love was at his wit's end in the big kitchen where he sat to one side and tried to get the baby to drink more than a mouthful before he spit up. I gave him my report on the injured horses. Luckily Shadowfax and Arod had escaped completely. I brushed a finger across the pale cheek and thought that I saw a touch of the healer in his features.
"He'll eat something eventually but I fear for him, Gimli. Pharin and Glimmer both tried to get him to drink the honey sweetened milk but so far, he refuses. Nana and Pfister took them home for now." Blue eyes met mine with a note of despair in his voice.
"Legolas," Pippin had finished making bread and he'd approached us with Blue clutched in his arms. He'd only let her go to a corner of the table where he could see her while he was cooking. "Blue has asked me to try something."
"I'll take any suggestions, Pippin." My love said with a sigh.
Pip took a deep breath then held out Blue to me. "I'll try nursing him."
My love blinked then handed Ba' to him and got up to give him the rocker. The Hobbit sat down and unbuttoned his shirt to expose his plump chest. He tickled the soft cheek before placing the rosebud mouth to his nipple. For a moment, Ba' just licked at it then while I held my breath he took a tentative suck before settling in for a voracious feed.
I think we all finally let go and took deep breaths. Bluebird smiled and clapped her hands. "Tank'ou, Mama."
"Well, since all of you have two babies, I guess this is our chance to give Bluebird a little brother." Pippin cradled our unexpected new settler in his arms and gave him a small smile. "Merry and I decided that if this worked, we'd ask you to let us adopt him."
I shot a quick look to my love but Legolas was already speaking. "If the Dwarves have no objection then I think that would be a wonderful solution to this dilemma, Gimli?"
"I think I can speak for the others, my love. None of the rest of us have the proper . . . equipment to take care of him." I would have blushed but my short beard hid most of it, I hoped. "I welcome it if Merry and Pippin and Bluebird agree."
Blue giggled and nodded vigorously. "Ba' good."
"You'll be a wonderful big sister for him, Blue." Legolas dropped a kiss on her auburn curls. "We'll announce it at dinner tonight. Gimli, we need to prepare what we'll say about this eventful day."
Merry joined us then and he sighed a little when he saw Pippin nursing. "I see that it worked, Pip."
"Papa!" Bluebird launched herself from my arms into her father's, "Ba' ours now."
"You wanted to be a big sister, didn't you, sweetheart?" Merry teased her but his eyes sought his bonded's. But Pippin's eyes were clear of any strain and his smile was bright.
They looked good together and I sighed at the happy family in front of me. We'd survived the attack, saved the healer - kind of and the damage was minimal. I thought another celebration was in order and I was pretty sure that my bonded would agree with me. Now that it was safe, the others needed to know about the new pregnancies that were growing among us.
This was going to be a really good party. I was going to roll the beer barrels down from the mountain myself. Papa would help.
********* Merry *********
We packed the dining hall to standing room only while Legolas told everyone what had happened. He downplayed the children's role and instead gave the credit to Lorrin, Gandalf and Elrond. I know why he did it - we all wanted the little ones to have normal childhoods. Their abilities needed to be kept secret for now and we'd all agreed to that. I looked down into Blue's eyes and thought about what she'd done.
Her blindness wasn't the handicap that we'd thought it was. She had a power within her that made me wonder just what she thought about when she tilted her head and patted her cheek. Perhaps she saw more clearly without her eyes than any of us with ours.
And maybe she heard my thoughts because while I was dithering, she looked right at me and smiled. "Papa, love 'ou."
"I love you too, Bluebird." I hugged her closer and dropped a kiss on the curls so much like Pip's.
Loud clapping brought my attention back to the crowd and I realized that everyone was looking at us. Legolas must have told them we were adopting Ba'. Pippin was blushing but the new baby just cooed at all the attention. Gandalf was talking about the sacrifice of the dwarf healer who'd given his life to destroy the last remnant of Sauron. Someone asked if part of him might be left in the baby.
I was afraid someone would ask about that. We couldn't very well tell them that the babies said he was all that was left of the healer and all good now. So Gandalf invoked some magic and cast a spell on Ba'. For just a moment, he glowed golden. The magic must have tickled because he kicked his feet up into the air and giggled all over. I could feel the tension drain away, just like that.
Whew! I exchanged a look with Pip and caught the end of a smug look on our little Blue's face. Now that she had a partner, I had the feeling that she was going to run us ragged. The whole floating thing was something we'd have to talk about soon. But not right now, now was for planning a celebration on the first sunny day. Gandalf had told us that all the magic released would affect the weather adversely for a few days.
That just gave us more time to plan. For now, though it was time for us to take our new son home. Pip and I walked slowly up the familiar path and let ourselves into the quiet front room. I hung up our cloaks while he settled into the rocker to nurse Bluebird. He'd tucked Ba' into the cradle by the fire first and I sat down by it to get a good look at the little boy.
His dark hair was long for a 3 month old but his head had lost that newborn look and his fingers had nails that would need to be clipped soon. He was sucking on his thumb and I tickled his cheek to get him to stop. I rocked the cradle just a little and he yawned up at me.
"I wonder if he'll grow faster than normal." I said idly.
"Lorrin says no. Maybe the children will be able to tell us more about how they put the bits and pieces together of what was left of the healer." Pippin smiled at me and started burping Blue. "Is he asleep yet? If not, he's probably hungry."
I checked and bright brown eyes blinked back at me. "I think he could eat."
The loud burp that came from our daughter always made me laugh. For such a dainty little girl, she had a belch that you could hear two rooms away. I took her from Pip and carried her back to the nursery while my bonded picked up Ba' and started feeding him. Undressing her was still fun even after all these months. She was growing up so fast that I just knew that I was going to miss having a baby to play with.
But now we had Ba' so that would keep us busy a while longer. I tucked her into the cradle that she was soon going to outgrow. I'd already started making her bed like the ones I'd built for both sets of twins. Once that was done, she could move over and leave this cradle for her little brother. For now, I was planning to bring the parlor cradle into our room, in case Ba' woke up confused or hungry.
"Is she asleep?" Pip whispered from the doorway with Ba' in his arms and I nodded, tiptoeing out to the hall and shutting the door behind me.
"I'll move the front cradle into our room." I told him and he smiled before leaning over to kiss me. "Why don't you run us a bath and we'll all three clean up before bed?"
"Good idea, love. Do you need help moving the cradle?"
I looked affronted. "No, my dear Pip, I think I can manage one small piece of furniture."
He chuckled and moved down the hall to the bathroom, throwing a sultry look over his shoulder, "My big strong hero."
Sticking my tongue out at him, I headed for the front room. Actually, the cradle was solid oak and really heavy but I nudged it onto the hallway runner and dragged it easily into our room. Putting it near Pip's side of the bed, I was already shedding my clothing when I put the rug back. Arriving in the bathroom, I saw Pip in the tub, holding the babe between his legs while gently soaping the tiny body.
I slipped in the other end and turned off the water so it wouldn't get too full. Since Pip was busy, I reached for the soap and started washing his feet. He loves that and he was purring by the time he finished cleaning Ba' and lifted him to the towel-lined basket waiting for him by the side of the tub. Then I had my arms full of wet Pip, my very favorite armful.
"Love you, Merry." He nipped little kisses all over my face. "Thank you for coming up with a way for us to adopt him."
"Sweetheart, once we saw him refusing every bit of milk, what else could we do? You're the one who's willing to share your milk with him. I think that's very, very brave of you. You have the biggest heart in Middle-earth, my sweet Pippin." I kissed every bit of skin that I could reach.
He stilled and tucked his head beneath my chin. "I can't carry anymore babies since we don't dare take the risk. But I've always wanted a houseful of children. Is that all right?"
"Oh, love, of course it's all right." I brought his chin up and saw the tears, which almost broke my heart. "There are babies all over Middle-earth that need good homes. We'll write our parents and see if there are any orphans who need a family. We're going to have to write them anyway about Ba'."
His dimple appeared and he kissed me hard. When we came up for air, he was grinning, the tears gone. "They're going to be on their way for a visit before the messenger has a chance to break his fast. It will be nice to have them here again."
"Maybe they'll stay for a nice long visit?" I asked while running soapy hands over his back. He wiggled over my groin and I got hard almost immediately.
"Hm-m-m, that feels good, Merry." His hands smoothed over my chest. "It's a good thing that I was still nursing. Hopefully, I'll keep on producing until it's time to wean Ba'."
My fingers slid over his downy cheeks and tickled his entrance while my teeth gently bit his ear lobe. "I love milky-Pip," sliding my tongue down his throat to the hollow that always made him shiver. "I love cook-Pip, too." A finger slid inside and searched for the hot spot that made him moan. "I love wanton-Pip the best though."
"Oh-h-h, Merry, right there," he panted, both hands on my shoulders and already rising just enough to get my cock where he wanted it. "Wanton-Pip wants you inside right this minute."
So I spread his cheeks and thrust up while he was sitting down. I just had to open my eyes to watch the blissful look on his face when I was all the way inside. He smiled down at me before squeezing his inner muscles around me and pushing up so he could sit back down. We were going to take our time tonight because I had a premonition that baby Ba' was going to be an early morning feeder.
********* Ba' *********
Full tummy. Soft bed.