Author: Athea (
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: New Beginnings, part 13
Pairing: Gimli/Legolas, Merry/Pip
Summary: They hunt for crystals.
Date: 12 May 2002

I'd never been so contented. Father had settled into his own house. He and Legolas were now friends and my lover called him 'Papa', which made me want to cry and laugh all at the same time. Our community was thriving even though we were snowed in completely and had been for a week. Supplies had been laid in so even though no one could get to us, we didn't really need anything.

All in all, I'd never been so happy, except for one thing. We needed to get to White Cap to go crystal hunting. Lorrin's explanation of how the babies would be born had tightened all my muscles. What if the crystal cavern was no more? What if Elves had changed so much during the centuries that none of the crystals would attune to Legolas? And what about Hobbits? Sam was looking rather solemn ever since he'd found out how our babies would be born.

I couldn't blame him since I was feeling the same way.

But Legolas serenely smiled at me when he saw that I was worrying and kissed me gently with an admonition to trust in Lorrin. I wanted to, I really did but this was my love's life we were talking about, not some abstract healing concept. Sam and I had already commiserated over a tankard of ale one evening, letting out the fears that no one else could possibly understand. One drink had led to another and before we knew it, we were on the floor in front of the Hobbits' front room fire, pleasantly soused.

Legolas and Frodo were standing over us, hands on hips with exasperated looks on their faces. It had taken a day or two to live that one down. But I felt better for saying out loud my greatest fear and I think Sam did, too. The gentle scolding we both got was a fair penance for our lapse.

Father had just snorted once and told me privately that he was hurt I hadn't told him first. I still could hardly believe that he was here and all right with the choices I'd made. Sometimes I'd look at him teasing Legolas and I had to pinch myself. He was really here. He still loved me and he loved my Elf, too. I had to be the luckiest Dwarf in all of Middle-earth.

Finally a day dawned clear and cold. Father took a good sniff of the early morning air and told us that today was the day for our trip to White Cap. Neither Frodo nor Legolas could walk so far in their pregnant state so we built a sled that Arod could pull over the spiral paths that led to the mountain. Legolas' horse seemed to understand what we needed him to do and once we'd warmed the sled with hot bricks and even warmer furs to keep them from getting a chill, we set off.

It was a glorious day with the sun shining overhead and a blue sky that matched my lover's eyes. Father, Merry, Pip and I walked just behind the sled while Sam rode with the other two. Lorrin had said that he'd meet us there so we had a full slate of helpers for this expedition.

Conversation was light, mostly what each of us was making for the babies. Merry's cradle for the twin Hobbits was finished and Pip had stuffed a brand new baby-sized feather bed for it. The rest of the feathers had gone into a pretty quilt that Miriel had helped him make. Father had cradles on his mind, too. He'd found some nice seasoned wood in a special cache that Lorrin had shown us.

The caves in the Blue Stars were honeycombed with things left by the Varyans. Lorrin was slowly but surely revealing more and more of their history. The last letter from Rivendell had brought a heart-felt cry for more information from an Elrond who was fairly itching to come and read these new scrolls. Once the weather cleared, I firmly expected visitors.

Father and I were working on the next phase of building. We were going to need guest quarters for those curious about this odd settlement of ours. Scholars from Lothlorien were sure to be on their way when the news of the Varyan scrolls and surviving Varyan got out. Even Aragorn was going to be curious and within a year or two, I knew he'd be on his way for a state visit.

We wanted to keep the building to a minimum, taking advantage of the rolling hills and thick forest. I didn't want everybody on top of each other the way that Minas Tirith had grown. Lorrin had listened approvingly when we'd asked him and he'd told us of their plans for the growth that never came. His eyes were so sad when he spoke of that time that I felt I was intruding on a secret grief.

But he soon cheered up and promised us a plan that they'd drawn that was still hidden in the mountains. He was the first Elf that seemed as comfortable under the ground as upon it. That was a surprise to me and I wondered why the Elves of today were so uncomfortable in what to us was a natural place.

I was so lost in my thoughts that we arrived almost before I knew it. The hour walk hadn't been so bad after all. Lorrin met us at the cave entrance that we used most frequently. Sturdy granite pillars flanked the double wide Man-sized doorway and we each lit a lantern there before following the Elf into the mountain. Legolas stayed very close to me while Father strode ahead to Lorrin's side.

They had an interesting relationship, those two did. They'd both been pretty wary around each other but the last week or so had seemed to settle them into a kind of friendship rather like Legolas' and mine had been, before we added love to it. I didn't think that would happen to them but Legolas teased me that being an Elf-friend might run in my family. That was too odd a notion even for me so I just hushed him with a kiss.

But at the moment they'd pulled ahead of us and all we could see of them was the faint glow of their lantern. Merry and Pip were behind them with Sam and Frodo hard on their heels. Legolas and I followed slowly behind. His hand rested on my shoulder and I kept a sharp eye on the stone path to catch any unevenness that might trip him. The tunnels twisted and turned until I had a feeling that I'd never been this way before.

I wished I had his overwhelming belief that we'd find the crystal we needed. But then, I've always been a bit of a pessimist. Now that everything was so perfect in my world, I couldn't help but think that it would all be taken away because I didn't deserve it. No matter how often he told me he loved me, I could still hardly believe his words. He just shook his head and said he would be very patient.

"Come on, Gimli." I heard Pip's voice far ahead.

We picked up the pace and soon joined the others. Lorrin stood in the low-hanging cavern entrance and looked at us with those strange violet eyes. "We will all go in but I must ask you to not speak or make a sound at first. These crystals are not the quartz shards that you are used to. Once we are within the chamber, I will hum a seeking spell then I will touch each of you in turn. At that touch, I want you to say quietly, 'Elbereth'. We'll be spaced evenly around the cavern and you need to look for a glow on the walls or ceiling."

"How will we see a glow?" Pip asked.

"The lanterns will be out, young Pip." He said quietly and I watched the Hobbits gulp and look at each other. "It is our belief that each person regardless of race has a crystal meant just for him or her. When you speak it will answer you."

"Even Hobbits?" Merry asked quietly.

"Hobbits, too." Lorrin said kindly. "Even though at this moment we only need two crystals, I will ask your indulgence and have each of you speak. Varyan crystals can be used for more than childbirth and it will be six months before we can come again to this place. They must have time to re-grow from this harvest."

We all nodded and followed him through the low opening. Legolas had to duck and Father and I gave him our shoulders to lean upon because his stooping days were well in the past. Once inside, we all straightened and looked around for the first time. There are no words to describe what we saw there. I had thought that the Glittering Caves were the most beautiful in the world.

They were not.

Flashes of light from our swinging lanterns exploded in rainbows of every hue imaginable - serene purples, fiery reds, soothing greens, impossible pinks, glowing oranges, searing blues and aching whites. Crystals encrusted the walls and ceiling of the cave. I couldn't estimate how big the cavern was or how many gems there were. If sight could be noisy then this place was louder than the battle at Helm Deep. There was too much light and I had to close my eyes.

I felt Legolas let go of my hand and barely kept back my exclamation. I knew we had to be parted for this but it hurt to lose his beloved touch. But I kept thinking of the twins, pouring my prayers and hopes into the eerie silence. Behind my eyelids I could sense that one by one the lanterns were extinguished and the blessed dark took their place. I opened my eyes and welcomed the velvet black of the truly deep caves.

A hum arose behind me and the hairs on the back of my neck rose in answer to the strange tone. For a long moment nothing happened, then with a flicker the crystals seemed to glow for a second before dying away. And out of the darkness came my love's rich voice singing the name 'Elbereth'. My eyes swept the cave walls but saw nothing. For a moment despair overwhelmed me then from the corner of my eye, a soft green glow appeared.

The glow grew until I could see Legolas cradling a shard of pure green fire. The relief sent me to my knees while I barely kept in the cry of happiness. But the glow was dying away and in the darkness, I heard Frodo speak Her name. I looked for even the tiniest hint of a glow but none came. When I turned my head, there was nothing for the space of twenty heartbeats. In the midst of my rejoicing, I felt Sam's ever-present fear reach out.

But then, a whisper of breath caught my ear and I whipped around to see a faint glow near where I thought my father was standing. So faint it was almost nonexistent but then Frodo was there and the flash of blue from his cupped hands lit the entire cave. Relief was almost too much to bear and I finally knew peace. Our lovers were one step closer to being safe and so were our children.

Afterwards, I could never tell how much time passed in that magical place. An hour, perhaps two, it was hard to say. I do know that when it was my turn to speak Her name, I was curious, nothing more. I didn't think that one of these crystals was for me. But when an answering glow caught my eye, I was drawn across the cave right to a shard of deepest amethyst.

It seemed to leap from its stone bed right into my hand and the splash of light bathed me in its soothing glow. I felt calmer than I'd been in ages and refreshed in a way that was new. Returning to my spot, I watched eagerly for my father's crystal. He was the last and his deep voice rang out like a bell.

His crystal was pure white and the soft light that seeped into the cavern felt like a soft Spring shower of rain that refreshes rather than soddens. With a whisper, Lorrin stilled the unseen gems and he quietly gathered us together to leave. One lantern was lit and we took a last look at the beauties left behind before leaving the cave behind. For an acquisitive Dwarf, those crystals should have called to me with their great beauty. But looking down at the crystal that was mine, I felt nothing but a deep contentment that out of all the shards growing there, this one belonged to me.

I would never need another.

We retraced our steps at least I thought we did. Something told me that Elven magic was blurring the trail behind us. And I approved of that. The crystal cave was not for mining or looting. In a real sense it was a womb of earth children like my beloved Legolas was of ours. The group was silent all the way out of the mountain but our joy shone brighter than any crystal.

Now all we had to do was wait.


I'd been so afraid of the dark that I thought I'd wet myself when the last lantern was doused. But once my crystal called to me the fear went completely away. I clutched my orange shard and couldn't help but smile. Every time I looked at Pip he was looking back at me with a smoldering look that told me we'd be making love just as soon as we got private.

We didn't need Lorrin to tell us to keep this secret. That magical place was too precious to talk about in front of others. Gimli said that he'd fashion holders for us so we could wear them or set them in a window to absorb the sunlight and moonlight. Lorrin told us that the crystals needed light just the way that we did to grow and flourish. That made sense to me and I could already see mine hanging in a window, soaking up all the light it could.

Lorrin left us just outside of the entrance and the trip down the mountain seemed to take no time at all. They left the sleigh and Arod with Bix at the stables. We waved goodbye to Legolas and his family then walked home rather fast. Sam and Frodo were taking it slow but one look at Pip told me that speed was what he was looking for. That wanton look was back full force and it made me hard, the way it always does.

We flung our coats on the hall hooks, kicked off our boots and raced back to our bedroom, unbuttoning all the way. But we both stopped long enough to put our crystals side by side on the mantle above our cozy fire. I was undressed first so I pulled the covers down and opened the bottle of oil, slicking my hands and watching Pip drop his pants. We were both hard and the gleam in his eye told me that we wouldn't be getting out of bed anytime soon.

And that was fine with me. I'll never get enough of Peregrin Took, no matter how old we get.

"Merry," he rubbed his body over mine then pulled a little bit away. "Merry, I love you."

"Oh, Pip," I kissed him and ran my hands down to those soft white cheeks to the little hole so I could dip inside. "I love you too, sweetheart."

He stretched over me and spread his legs so I had better access. "Now that we have our crystals, Merry, I need you to practice fucking me."

I loved it when he said that. Two fingers were opening him for me and he was beginning to pant. "Why practice, Pip?"

He opened those big, beautiful eyes and gazed down at me with a very determined look. "In me, right now."

Slicking my cock hurriedly, I barely had time to position it before he sat down hard and took me in completely. I was afraid that I'd hurt him but his smile said otherwise. He sat there for a long moment, stroking my nipples with his fingers and flexing his inner muscles around me.

"We need to practice this every chance we get because I asked Lorrin how those conception potions were made." He pinched my nipples suddenly and I thrust up in surprise. "He's going to work on making one for Hobbits."

"What?" I had to have misheard him.

He smiled down at me and started rocking on my cock. "You said once that I could have anything of yours that I wanted." Leaning into me before sitting down hard again, his hands stroked my skin, leaving trails of fire behind. "And I want your babies, Merry. I want you to fill me with your seed until I'm pregnant. I don't care if it hurts. I don't care if I get sick every day for months. I just want our babies to grow inside of me."

I froze in shock. Surely he couldn't mean that? He tightened around me and I had to thrust up again. "Pip, you don't know what you're asking."

"Oh, yes I do." That determined look was one I'd seen before. But it was mixed with so much love that I wanted to cry. "I want you to fuck me hard every chance we get. I want you so deep inside of me that your seed can't escape. I want to feel that little flutter that is our son or daughter saying 'hi, mama'."

And suddenly, that urge was mine. With a little growl, I flipped him onto his back and pushed his legs over my shoulders so I could thrust deeper. "Our children ..." I pulled almost all the way and before slamming back in. "Our children will be the most beautiful babies in all of Middle-earth."

His eyes were bright but his smile was brighter. "Yes! Give me what I need, Merry. Give me all of you."

The next few moments were a blur while I almost savagely took him. His moans were sweet music to my ears and I drank them down with my mouth sealed over his. He'd never felt so tight before and when he came hard between our stomachs he almost took me with him. But I needed more so I pulled out with a 'pop' and used his seed to coat my angry red cock before rolling him over and bringing him up onto all fours.

"Merry, Merry, Merry." He chanted my name until I opened him with my thumbs and thrust back in with all my strength. "Yes!"

I don't think I ever took him so hard before. Just the thought of him swollen with our child made me want to make that vision come true. I wanted to stroke his stomach and feel the little movements of our son. I wanted to rock inside of him gently while caressing his round stomach and talking to our daughter. I wanted to be so deep inside of him that he'd be able to feel me for the nine months that it took to grow our child.

And as if that thought was the fuel for our combined fire, I thrust deep and came. He moaned and came again, his inner muscles milking of every bit of seed I had. I fell forward onto his back and rolled us to one side with the last of my strength. My arms wrapped around him and his hands held mind close to his breast. I don't know who sighed, maybe it was both of us.

Nuzzling his sweaty neck, I licked his salty skin contentedly. "Love you, Pip. If you really want our babies then I'll do my best to give them to you."

"I do, Merry. With all my heart and soul, I want them." He brought our hands to his lips and kissed each of my fingers. "Oh look, the crystals are glowing."

I opened my eyes and sure enough, his yellow and my orange crystal had combined to flood the room with their soft bright light. "They must agree with us. Now all we need is the potion. We'll talk to Lorrin the next time we see him."

"Hm-m-m," he wiggled a little and I could feel him fall asleep with a sigh of my name.

I hugged him close and pulled up the blanket to keep us warm. I was truly blessed with my big-hearted Pip and I loved him all the more for wanting to grow our family ourselves. Our light-hearted plan to marry and have children the normal way just wouldn't work. We were bonded to each other and he was all I needed.

Yawning, I fell asleep and dreamed of holding a pregnant Pip.

The end for now