Author: Athea (email@example.com)|
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Bindings of Love, part 3
Pairing: Sam/Frodo and Gandalf/Perri
Summary: They prepare to leave for the Council meeting.
Date: 23 September 2003
********* Sam *********
Frodo cried with happiness while I sat there shocked as could be at Lorrin's words. Our own babies were so smart that they had figured out how to get their mama pregnant. Suddenly it hit me - why Frodo had been so insatiable lately, I mean. We were going to have more babies.
"Sam, are there questions you want to ask?" Lorrin's voice came to me through a kind of fog.
"Um . . . I guess not just yet." I blinked and found Frodo in my lap, his slight weight not hardly noticeable at all. "How do you feel, Frodo?"
"Blessed, my own Sam, I feel very, very blessed to have such a wonderful bonded and two of the smartest children in Middle-earth." He kissed me and every thing I'd been feeling just went away, leaving behind the joy.
When our lips parted, I was finally able to smile at him. "I'm blessed, too. What about the morning sickness that you had before?"
Lorrin shook his head. "That might still come a little further along or the first pregnancy might have finally cured that nausea. Prince Legolas is not so lucky and there's an herbal tea that Rhea's made up that will help. We'll take some along on our trip in case it strikes without warning."
The Council trip, I'd forgotten about that since we had just started planning it. That was going to be right in the middle of this surprising pregnancy and the last time, Frodo had fooled me about how tired he was. "We'll have to leave sooner so we can take more time on the road. I haven't forgotten how exhausted you were last time, my own Frodo."
He blushed a little. "That was more nerves than anything else, Sam. We didn't know how the Shire was going to take the news of our travels and I was so worried that I might lose you . . . well, I was very nervous."
"Frodo!" I couldn't believe that he'd kept that worry from me. "I'm not ever leaving you. You hold my heart inside of you just like you hold our babies."
"We do need to think about the trip though," Gloin said to Lorrin, stroking his beard. "It's too bad that the wind-drakes couldn't just fly us all there."
I shivered a little thinking about being more than a few feet above the ground.
"Actually, that's a good idea, Gloin." Lorrin nodded and kissed the bearded cheek, making the older dwarf blush. "I'll check with Cloud-Walker to see if there are enough of his brethren to carry all of us. First we'll go to Rivendell to pick up Lord Elrond and his consort then fly on to the site of the council. We could take two weeks instead of two months of constant traveling."
"Flying sounds scary but two weeks of traveling sounds much better than two months." Frodo said with a smile and I resigned myself to learning how to fly. He wasn't going anywhere without me.
The others left and Frodo kissed me again and again until we ended up in bed, rolling this way and that and I was balls deep in him with his legs wrapped around my waist. "My own Frodo, are you really glad about the babies?"
His smile was so bright it lit up our soft bed. "I am so happy that I need you to stay on top of me so I don't float to the ceiling like little Blue."
I chuckled and kissed every patch of skin I could reach while starting the slow thrusting that we liked the best. Pretty soon he'd start showing again and every day he'd get a little plumper until he couldn't see his feet anymore. I could hardly wait. But that reminded me of Pip and Merry.
"Do you think that little Blue did the same thing that our Elanor and Bilbo did?" I paused deep inside of him and watched him shake his head.
"Lorrin told me that Bluebird asked him questions and he explained about their seed being too much alike for safety." He cupped my cheeks with his hands and ran a thumb over my lips. "Our pregnancies are going to hurt Pip dreadfully. He wants to give Merry children so badly and he loved being pregnant, even when he was as big as a house."
"And Merry loves him so much that it hurts him to have to deny Pip another child. Maybe Lorrin will think of some way to make it all right for them." I knew how much it hurt to see someone you love hurting and I just had to kiss him again until we were both smiling all over.
He pushed up a bit and reminded me that I hadn't made him crazy yet. We took our time and made love until we just couldn't stop from coming. Frodo fell asleep before I finished cleaning us up and I settled in to plan how to keep him from doing too much while his body was changing.
The next two weeks were filled with planning, sorting and talking to the wind-drakes. It sure did take some getting used to, I thought since I was still kind of scared of the big drakes. I kept thinking of that Nazgul drake that had almost taken Frodo. I tried not to be scared of them but the sheer size of them made me catch my breath when ever they flew down to the field near the stables.
I might have never gotten over that fear except for my little Bilbo. The baby drake who bonded with him flew down one afternoon and Wind-Walker was so proud of himself for the long flight that he fluffed out all his feathers and puffed out his chest just like the mayor back in the Shire used to do. Bilbo hugged him and they tumbled in the spring grasses, playing some kind of game that had strange rules.
Looking up at Cloud-Walker, the other father, I saw the same proud look on his face that I had on mine. We had a lot in common and I suddenly saw that the drakes were just a different kind of folks, no better or worse than the two legged folks I'd met in our travels. It was kind of weird to hear his voice in my mind but it surely did help to make them feel like more than just animals.
Frodo declared that winged people were just as welcome as any others would be in Friendly. Gloin told us how his trip had been and how cold it was up high. The drakes let themselves be measured for blanket saddles so we'd have a little padding under us. Four hobbits could fit on one drake because we were so small. Sky-Sailor offered to carry Frodo and me and the babies.
I was worried about trying to spend a day on drake back with two little ones. Salurr suggested that we weave light-weight baskets secured to the blanket saddles so the babies could take a nap. I wasn't sure how that would work but Legolas was intrigued and gave her a chance to weave up something that might work. She and her sisters went to work and within a week had the first one ready.
They were kind of long and narrow, mimicking the long back of the wind-drake. But the sides were high enough that I couldn't see over them and that made me feel one heck of a lot better. It didn't feel so scary since I couldn't see the ground far below us. It had cloth sides secured to the inner sides of the basket with pouches to hold food and water for the trip. That blocked the wind more so it would be warmer, too.
The drakes nosed them then Sky-Sailor tried one out, flying up and then down, taking a corner a little sharply before swooping over the field. He called down that it felt all right and he'd be glad to carry one. That helped a lot and Gimli joked that Legolas could just stuff him in a basket for the trip. The pregnant elf just smiled and kissed him. I thought that he'd probably be right behind his elf when the time came to leave.
Gloin and Lorrin were going to take the first drakes with them to Rivendell to prepare them for the arrival of the rest of us. Gimli thought that we should start the supply wagons leaving two weeks before we flew out and that was agreed to at once. It meant that we could take more things with us without overburdening the drakes.
I kind of thought that I might want to take my turn in one of those wagons.
********* Perri *********
We took our time getting ready for the trip. Gandalf had healed quickly from the birth of our son and he rejoiced in each new development of our baby. At six months old, he was rolling over, still vaguely surprised to find himself on his stomach or back. He was such a happy baby, always smiling or singing.
Gandalf said that he had my voice and I thought perhaps he was right. He'd chuckle and kiss me, saying it was a good thing he'd inherited my eyes and nose, too. I would kiss him for that sweet compliment and Jer would laugh at his silly parents. I thought we'd be separated on our flight but the three of us weighed so little that we would be able to stay together.
The wagons set off on March 1st and we began the final preparations for the trip to the council meeting at Helm's Deep. I knew not what to expect at this meeting set two years after the end of the War of the Ring. There would be trouble I feared and also heartache for my prince. At this joyful time when he bore new life within his body, he would have to meet the man who'd disinherited him.
I'd support him however I could but there was bound to be trouble. I held a hope in my secret heart that once King Thranduil met his grandchildren, he would accept that Legolas had followed his heart and created a new family. No one could meet little Pharin and not fall in love with the tiny Elven princess.
But if that proved not to be the case, Legolas would have a host of defenders to watch over him. One morning we were debating what might be the best clothing to wear for riding a wind-drake. Elves don't feel the cold much but our trial flights had shown the extreme cold of the higher altitudes. The lower body weight of the babies would also be a factor.
"Perri, may I ask you a question about . . . Mirkwood?" His voice was hesitant and his quick look to where the children were playing with little Jer told me that he wished to keep this conversation from them.
"Of course, you may, Legolas." I pulled out another tunic of shimmering mithril-like fabric. "King Thranduil has always been . . . austere so it was a shock when news came of the success of the Ring bearer and the crowning of the king. He went berserk." I swallowed hard, remembering that day. "He destroyed the throne room, ripping down all the tapestries and hacking them with his sword. The pillows on the formal chairs didn't survive much longer and his boots reduced the chairs themselves to kindling."
Blue eyes met mine in shock. I'd not wanted to alarm him but if his father still suffered from fits then he needed to be warned. He trembled a little and I nudged him down onto the foot of the bed, handing him another tunic to grasp. The children were still playing with the stuffed frog that was Jer's constant companion. If we kept our voices low then I could continue.
"His temper was always hidden but I knew it was there." Legolas smoothed his hands over the soft cloth, his eyes straight ahead, unseeing of the present. "When I was little, Pfister would seemingly take me from my lessons for no reason. We'd go hunting away from home for a week at a time, returning only when one of the guards found us. Once Nanala sported a bruised arm when we returned and although she made light of her clumsiness, Pfister was angry. I could tell."
I dared to touch his shoulder, bringing that sad gaze to mine. "My father said that sometimes the King was possessed by demons. He said it was so from the moment he reached his majority. He would fly into a rage, striking out at everyone but his old tutor. He matured slowly and the fits seem to taper off. Then he married and she bore him Nestor, your older half-brother. When she died so unexpectedly of the fever, he seemed not to notice, until he met your mother and fell in love with her. Father said that those were the only years he knew when not once did he have an attack of rage."
"They protected me all those years," Legolas' face was ashen and his hands trembled. "Nana and Pfister kept me away from the court. Who was there for my brother? Who protected him?"
"My Prince, I think he protected himself by being absent for many years until he fell in love." I bit my lip. Legolas was not the only one who'd fallen in love with someone not the norm.
"My brother is in love?" His smile was beautiful to see. "Why have none of you told me of this?"
"Your father has forbidden Nestor to . . . to take vows with his love."
Legolas lost his smile and that little wrinkle between his eyes was back. "I don't understand, Perri. Why would the king forbid vows?" His eyes widened. "Oh, Nestor fell in love with another male?"
I nodded. "Yes and no, my Prince. While on his rounds of Mirkwood, he and his troop rescued a band of the Rom from Orcs. He fell in love with one of the singers . . . and her brother."
"My poor Nestor, falling in love with mortals," Legolas didn't seem at all upset by the notion of his brother bedding both a man and a woman. "I can see why the king has forbidden their bonding. But does it mean that his rages have come back?"
"Just before we left for Rivendell, he imprisoned your brother in his rooms. His personal guard stayed to make sure that Prince Nestor didn't leave the kingdom. The Rom were banned from the forests on pain of death." I swallowed. "The young man was badly beaten before the troop was escorted from the woods. Rumor had it that the king flew into one of his rages while interrogating him. I do not know if that tale is true."
His hands were slowly twisting the tunic in his hands into a rag. "I know not what to say to these tidings, Perri. I will not let him hurt my babies. We must be vigilant and keep them from him at all costs. I will speak with Gimli and prepare him . . . dear Haven, how do you prepare someone for madness?"
I gently put my arms around him and he sighed a little before resting his head on my shoulder. "Dalf knows some of this and so does Nana and Pfister. Perhaps we could all meet at your home after the babies are asleep so he and Gloin can hear our tales."
A tremor shook his body and I stroked his hair tenderly, vowing to myself that neither he nor his children would suffer at the king's hands. Little hands joined mine and Legolas turned to gather Pharin into his arms. "What's wrong, sweetheart?"
"Mama sad," her sweet voice was like a beautiful bell chiming. "We be safe, mama. Not'ing bad will happen."
"I am a little sad, Pharin but we will be safe," Legolas kissed the top of her head and hugged her close. "I promise you that we'll all be very safe."
She kissed his cheek and nodded once before squirming down to go back to Glimmer and Jerdal. She was such a remarkable child and for some reason, I felt better than I had before we started this tense conversation. I was not looking forward to the upcoming conversation. Prince Gimli could be quite ferocious when it came to his bonded and their children.
But now that I had a child of my own, I understood completely.
Gimli was at a loss what to do or say when we all presented our portraits of the king. Gloin just nodded once and said that he'd seen the temper while they were imprisoned. He said no more but I wondered if there was more to it than he'd said. Lorrin got that inscrutable look on his face, the one that told absolutely nothing about what he was feeling.
That made me feel better somehow. When they left for their own homes, my beloved swept me into his arms and kissed me tenderly. Jerdal cooed from his cradle and I breathed in the scents of home. Even now, I could feel sorrow for the king to whom my allegiance had been given for so many centuries. He'd thrown away all his relationships for nothing.
"We must be vigilant, my love." Gandalf stroked my hair and I purred for him. His smile was bright when he teased me with his beard. "I always felt Thranduil was a hollow soul . . . lacking the basic emotions that most people feel. He was beautiful, as so many of the Sylvan Wood are." He winked at me and I slid my arms around him to draw him closer. "But he had no strong emotions of any kind, save avarice and the love of power. I've begun to wonder if he's like that Man who stalked Legolas in the beginning of this settlement. Lorrin called it 'the wolf in the lamb' and somehow that sounds most apropos."
I agreed. "I prefer my prince and his gentle soul."
Gandalf chuckled. "Do not forget his warrior side, my love. I've seen him implacably face down thousands of Orc and Uruk-hai. He's quite merciless when it comes to protecting his family and friends."
"But this is his own father," I sighed and left his embrace to go pick up our son. "Could he fight him?" Jerdal's bright blue eyes twinkled at me and his lips made nursing motions. "It's dinner time, beloved."
"And bath time, too," Gandalf followed us into the bathroom and disrobed while I stripped away the flannel sleep shirt from our wiggling son. Once my love was naked, he took Jerdal down into the tub to feed him.
I love watching him nurse our son. He'd trimmed his beard so it didn't get in the way of our voracious little feeder. I undressed leisurely while listening to him sing a Hobbit song to Jerdal. Our son would know all manner of songs by the time he joined in. Hobbit, Dwarf, Elf and Man had all contributed to my musical repertoire and he loved all the songs, no matter to whom they belonged.
Rather like Friendly, songs, food, talents and people were an eclectic mix that all blended together harmoniously. Joining my family in the tub, I reached for the soap and started washing Gandalf's feet. He loves that and I loved making him purr. What ever happened this trip that would not change.
********* Pharin *********
Mama was sad and Papa was angry and sad, all at the same time. It was because of Mama's father, who we'd never met. He didn't like Dwarves or that's what it sounded like to me. So when Mama met and fell in love with Papa, he got mad and said something really bad to him and told him that he couldn't come home - not even for a visit.
Glimmer and I agreed that we'd fix that when we met him. 'Cause Mama needed and deserved to be happy. I fell asleep thinking about how nice it would be to have more family.