Author: Athea (
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Beneath it all, part sixteen
Pairing: Sam/Frodo, Gimli/Legolas
Summary: Bonding gifts are given.
Date: 1 April 2002

I was so happy I was afraid I was going to bust all my buttons.

Frodo was mine and I was his. Every time I looked over and saw the pretty earring flash through his dark curls, I felt like crying or singing or maybe just laughing out loud. Gimli had come up with the idea since we didn't want rings as a bad reminder of Frodo's poor finger. Every little bit, I had to reach up and feel the unfamiliar weight of my own earring. Gandalf had magicked them so they wouldn't hurt and except for a single sharp pain, they didn't hurt at all now.

Looking around, I watched all the party laughing and enjoying themselves. There were Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Men all here to witness our bonding. I made a silent wish that on our first anniversary we'd have the same wonderful mix of races. Only then we'd be in our very own forest with our very own babies to help us celebrate and that would make it even better.

I sighed happily and ate another little chicken tart that Jallico had baked up for us. They were made for smaller fingers so they didn't make such a mess when we ate them. He was going to be a real asset to our settlement and I was glad that he was going along. Frodo was sipping some peach nectar but his tart was gone so I hoped that he'd eaten it all. Worrying about his health seemed to be something that I just couldn't let go of no matter how many times Rheanas assured us that he was fine.

His sweet voice roused me from my contemplation of a piece of cherry torte. "Sam, come back to me so I can feed you some of this decadent dessert."

I grinned at him and took a bite of it from his hand, licking his fingers with a swipe of my tongue. He scolded me in that indulgent voice he has, the one that said 'no matter what you do, I'll always love you'. I love hearing that tone from him and I always will. Swallowing my bite, I picked up a bowl of lemon custard.

"My turn, Frodo. Have a bite of this." I scooped up some and held it to his lips, watching for his little pink tongue to dart out. He licked my finger so slowly that I could feel my pants tighten. I was going to love him right into passing out tonight or my name wasn't Samwise Gamgee.

"Hm-m-m, delicious, Sam. Maybe we should take some back to the room with us?" His eyes looked kind of dreamy and wicked at the same time. He dropped his voice so I was the only one to hear him. "I think I'd like to eat it off of another part of your body ... another great big part of your body."

I blushed all the way down to my hairy toes. "Frodo, my dear, you can eat it where ever you like and off of anything you like."

His smile lit up the whole grove and I savored it like a piece of strawberry-rhubarb crumble. I was the luckiest Hobbit in Middle-earth. Elrond leaned over and spoke real conversationally to the four of us.

"I hear that tomorrow is the day you'll start your next journey?" He waited for our nods then kind of sat back with a real satisfied look on his face. "Well then, I guess I'd better give you my gift now. Although I've heard from my sons that you have several trunks of scrolls and manuscripts, a community can never have too many books. Build your library three times larger than you thought to. Before the first snows fall, I will be sending you copies of every tome in Rivendell's library."

I know my mouth had to be open but Frodo's reaction was to burst into tears and reach over to hug the dark Elf. Legolas almost stuttered his thanks while Gimli nodded approvingly and made a joke about getting advice from Treebeard on which trees would be willing to provide the wood for all those shelves. That hadn't occurred to me, that a tree might not like to die so we could have our bookshelves.

But I'd have to think about that later because Celeborn was clearing his throat so it looked like the gift giving was going to continue.

"Legolas, since you are starting a new clan in an area previously held by our ancestors the Varyans, it is only appropriate that you have the authority to make decisions for that clan. With a majority vote of the Council, I hereby announce your new title, Prince Legolas of Vestella. This also conveys the responsibility of a Council seat." His voice always sounded kind of stern to me but this time he sounded almost kind. "But we'll let you off the first two meetings while you're ... creating your new community."

Now Legolas was weeping while Gimli brushed away his own tears. I know that I was beaming all over and Frodo was, too. Elrohir and Elladan were clapping and the rest of us joined in for a good five minutes. Then Legolas accepted with a simple yes and all eyes went to Galadriel.

She smiled at me and my heart began to beat faster. "Samwise, of all the Fellowship, you are the one that I am most like. We share a love of growing things that amounts to a passion. The gift I gave you earlier will be used elsewhere in a short time. But your new home will need something special, therefore I am gifting you a casket of seeds that will help heal some of the wounds of your new land."

It was my turn to sniff a little. "Thank you, my Lady. Will you come to visit in a year or two so I can show you what we've done?"

"Of course, I will, Sam." She smiled at me and I grinned right back.

King Aragorn cleared his throat next and all of us looked at him. Gimli was the only one not to get anything yet and I hoped that something really good was coming his way. He was the one that I felt I could go to when I was nervous or scared about the quick twists and turns our lives were taking.

"Gimli, son of Gloin, a messenger came earlier today with news of the new King Under the Mountain, Thorin III. He sent you a gift." He gestured with his free hand. Arwen had a good grip on his other one.

And from behind one of the massive oak trunks out stepped a Dwarf who radiated power even to my own untutored eyes. Gimli gasped and sprang to his feet, Legolas right behind him, his hands going to his lover's shoulders. The rest of us followed suit even though we didn't know why or at least I didn't know why.

"Well, Gimli, this was interesting news to find upon my arrival." The stranger walked between the colorful blankets until he was almost nose to nose with Gimli.

"My King," Gimli bowed low but then straightened back up proudly. "It is good of you to come to help me celebrate my bonding. King Thorin, I would like to introduce my bonded, Prince Legolas. Love, this is King Thorin III of the Blue Mountains."

They gravely shook hands while eyeing each other tensely. Then the King cleared his throat. "Well, you never did anything by halves, did you, Cousin? With all the gift giving on this day, I choose to give you a responsibility. The Blue Star Mountains have been long neglected because of their proximity to the cursed lands of Angmar. That must not be allowed to continue. Therefore, I invest you with the title of Prince Gimli of the Blue Stars with all the duties that entails."

From his pocket, he pulled out a pendant that shone of mithril and gold interlaced together in the shape of a mountain. He placed it around Gimli's neck then hugged the stunned dwarf. Legolas and Frodo were both crying again and so was I to tell the truth. Gimli stammered his thanks to his King and Thorin accepted them gracefully before going to sit by King Aragorn.

The volume of sound rose ever louder while everyone discussed the events of the last half hour. I know that I was all worn out with everything that had happened. Even happiness takes a toll when there's no break to take it all in. Frodo was drooping a little and I coaxed him down onto the blanket with his head in my lap. I stroked his hair with one hand while I held his other one and I watched him drop to sleep almost instantly.

It was the most wonderful day of my life.


I felt as if an ax had been battering my head. Part of me had to keep looking over at my King to make sure that he was really here while another part of me just kept saying 'Prince Gimli' over and over. I'd known that the Elven Council had something planned but the relief that crashed through me when I heard them call him Prince Legolas of Vestella almost made me cry.

He deserved no less, but as for myself ...

Prince Gimli ... that had never been part of my plans. But Legolas' soft 'beloved' had smoothed away the disbelief that flooded me when he hung the chain of office around my neck. Looking down, I traced the slender lines of the mountain and realized for the first time what it really meant. I could offer clan status to any Dwarf who wished to join us. Balik would just be the first of many who might want a challenge.

Dwarves breed so slowly that we could ill afford to lose any kin at all. And the past wars had decimated our ranks until we still might become a dying race. Perhaps this would be a new beginning for my people as well. I prayed it would be so and picking up Legolas' hand, I nestled a kiss in his palm.

"Beloved Gimli, what a very nice Dwarf your new king is. I'm so glad that he sees your true worth. You will be a fine clan chieftain and your kin will find marvels in our new home, I know it." He kissed my lips chastely and I had to lick them afterwards to gather his taste.

"I must admit to some surprise at his gift but I'm not going to say him nay." I snorted quietly and watched him chuckle. "It's been a surprising day, my love. I should probably tell him our other news, too."

"Only if I'm with you, my love." Legolas looked as stern as he could, which wasn't very stern by Dwarf standards. "But I agree that he needs to know as do the rest of the Dwarves. It will influence how comfortable they are once it becomes clear that Frodo and I are pregnant."

"Yes, it will. But that is something that I do not wish you to have to witness. I'm a tough Dwarf and I can take some yelling. Of course, Aragorn may have already told King Thorin so he wouldn't face any surprises."

"Ah, the 'you never do anything by halves' comment." Legolas cast a quick look at the Dwarf King so I did, too. The look of fascination on his face told me that our secret was one no more.

"Well, I'll make a space for him later today so he can talk to me the way that Celeborn needs to talk to you." I nestled another kiss in my love's palm. Let Thorin think what he liked, I was the happiest Dwarf in a thousand leagues or more. And it had nothing to do with being made a prince but with the Elf who was feeding me a whipped cream covered strawberry.

I was the luckiest Dwarf in Middle-earth.


Crawling into bed, I sank back with a sigh. "Goodness, my love, I'm all talked out."

He chuckled and laid a gentle hand on my chest, combing through the black curls there. "I had no idea that Dwarves could out talk Elves. Your King Thorin is a very interesting Dwarf. His tales showed me a whole other side of you. I think Pip might not be the only one teaching our children all the best tricks."

I blushed at the childhood tales the king had just had to tell my bond-mate. "He exaggerated, Legolas. Our children will never be the little mischief makers that either of us were."

"Really?" That elegant eyebrow arched up while he slid over me like a blanket of warm flesh. "I think you may have mistaken these babies for someone else's."

"Oh no, I know exactly who they belong to." A sudden fierce sense of possessiveness gripped me and I pulled him down by his hair to my lips. "They are yours and mine, beloved. And if the changes in your body continue so that you can deliver then safely, I plan on keeping you barefoot and pregnant for some time to come."

He kissed me hard, biting my lower lip and hardening my cock in the space of a heartbeat. I reached for the oil we kept by the bed and got some on my fingers to stroke over his entrance. Legolas stretched all over and helped me coat my cock with the spring scented oil. Then with a fierce look, he reached behind him to guide me home within his molten depths.

That moment when we first connect is so precious to me that I always caught my breath at the joy. His eyes half closed and his voice was sultry when he finished sitting down onto my thighs. "My bonded, this is the first time we've made love as bonded."

"Yes," I realized with a thrill of delight. "My beloved bonded, how very kind of you to take me in this way."

"I will always take you in, dearest Gimli." He began the gentle rocking that we usually started with. "And if you wish more children then I will be glad to carry them." His hands came down to meet mine and bring them back to his stomach. "With great good care, we will raise a dozen little ones to bless this new age. Of course, I'll expect constant back-rubs and pampering. Are you sure that you're ..." he rose and fell on my cock a little more quickly, "up for that?"

I thrust up when he came down and watched the flush begin to bloom everywhere. "I will be your willing slave, at your beck and call for the rest of our lives. And our children will know that their mother and father love them more than words could ever say."

His smile was slow but bright and he leaned in just a little so his hair tickled my nipples. That was a new torment and in revenge, I slid my hand up to his pretty pink peaks. His gasp disconcerted me and I immediately let them go. "Beloved?"

"They grow more sensitive, the further this pregnancy continues. Galadriel said that it was so for her and most of the other Elven mothers she knows. I may even be able to nurse the babes at my breast." He looked rather sheepish but I was having none of that.

"You will nurture them in so many ways that this is just one more. I'll be careful."

"Oh, you didn't hurt me, Gimli. They're just so much more sensitive that it felt like being struck by lightning." He shivered a little and I very gently brushed the tips of my fingers over them. "Oh, love."

Smiling, I continued the gentle caresses until he was writhing over me and our pace quickened again. Very slowly, I rolled us so he lay beneath me. Keeping most of my weight off of his stomach, I began the harder thrusts that always gave us the most pleasure.

His groan was part gasp and part moan when the tips of my hair teased his nipples to reddest rose. Loving words were spoken continuously until he flushed all over and I knew it was time for a final volley. My cock was iron-hard but his heat was melting me into molten metal. Three more strokes and he was coming between us. One more thrust and I released deep inside of him.

We were both shaking but I retained enough sense to roll us to our sides. I wasn't sure how much longer we'd be able to make love in this position but for now, I cherished the ability to kiss him while I was still deep within him.

"Beloved bondmate." He whispered to me. "Our journeys begin again."

"Sleep well, my love." I whispered back. "Tomorrow is yet another new beginning."

And I fell asleep to the sound of his chuckle.

The end for now