Author: Athea (
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Building the Future, part 2
Pairing: Merry/Pip
Summary: They move into their new home and new Elves arrive.
Date: 26 May 2002

We finished dinner with the others and said our goodnights quietly. Holding Pip's hand, I could hardly keep my feet from dashing home, because home was now a totally different place. Home was where we were headed and we'd help build it with our own two hands. I wanted to laugh and cry all at the same time.

"Oh, Merry, I can hardly believe it." Pip gripped my hand hard. "It's done, really ... really done."

"Once we close the door behind us, we'll be really alone for the first time in our lives." I'd been thinking about this and that's what had come to me. "We've been in our parents homes, friends homes, enemy camps and who knows where else. But we've never been in a place of our own. And tonight and every night hereafter, we'll be in our own home. Just the two of us."

"And in five months, our son or daughter will join us." Pip said dreamily and leaned against me.

I let go of his hand and put my arm around him instead. "Yes, they will, my darling Pip. How do you want to celebrate tonight?"

He chuckled and rested his head on my shoulder. "I want to close the door behind us, start taking off our clothes in the living room, make sure the fire is lit in our bedroom, then go to the bathroom and take our first bath in our new tub."

"Then that's what we'll do." I hugged him close and fell silent while we turned the corner and finally began to walk up the pretty flagstone path to our very own front door. It was painted a deep blue with a bright shiny knob right in the middle. Sam had woven a rough foot scraper rug that we could wipe our feet on before we stepped inside.

The round windows on either side were clean and bright, the setting sun reflected in the shiny glass panels. Tilly had woven some beautiful blue curtains for them and they were looped back to show the hanging baskets of bright blue and yellow flowers that Sam and Frodo had planted for us. We paused for a long moment just enjoying how well it nestled into the hill. A white plume of smoke rose from the chimney that Gimli had built and I sighed with satisfaction at how beautiful it looked.

Overhead came a short chirp and we watched a bluebird fly from the oak tree that stood near the front of our home to land on the little roof what kept the rain off our front door. He tilted his head at us and then settled in to sing his welcoming notes over and over again. It felt like he was blessing our first real entrance into our brand new home. I pulled Pip close and hugged him tightly.

"I think he's named it for us, Merry." He said dreamily. "Since our favorite color is blue, how about we call it Bluebird Cottage?"

Smiling, I kissed his cheek and watched the bird fly away. "Bluebird Cottage it is, my sweet Pip. Perhaps he's nesting nearby and we'll see him and the missus flying every day until their eggs hatch."

He turned his head and reached up to kiss me. He tasted of dinner and cake and something that was just Pip. I never wanted to stop tasting him for as long as we lived. If I was very lucky, this would last a hundred years or more. But we had to breathe eventually and I opened our door, letting him go in first. Once we were both inside, I shut and locked it behind us.

The fire flickered on the hearth, we'd left one burning all day to help drive out the damp. I hung up my cloak next to Pip's and watched him wander into the front room. Looking around me, I sighed in satisfaction. It really was perfect in every way. The rug on the oak floorboards glowed blue with a fanciful golden design that was like a maze. Lorrin had given it to us and we'd fallen in love with it the moment we saw it.

The ancient Elf seemed to enjoy being part of our community after his years alone. And he seemed to know where anything could be found, anything at all. It was uncanny how he'd find just the very thing that we were looking for almost before we could ask for it. The comfortable settee was sized for big people but the wing chairs that I'd made during the winter were built for Hobbits and stood across from each other on both sides of the marble fireplace that Gloin had carved with vines and birds.

At the moment, we tended to sit together in one or the other but one of these days I knew that we'd separate to have our own chair. But not just yet, I smiled at Pip who was smiling back at me. "I love you, Pip."

"I love you too, Merry. Let's have a hot bath and an early night." He held out his hand and I made haste to join him, taking one last appreciative glance around our front room. We took a moment to put up the fire screen in case the fire popped out some sparks then made our way down the hall to our brand new bathroom.

It was almost identical to Frodo and Sam's. I couldn't argue with perfection but the drying cupboard was really handy and our friends were ready to fit one in themselves. We slowly undressed while the tub filled with hot water but not too hot now that Pip was pregnant. His stomach was beginning to curve out a little at four months along. I loved seeing those changes in him and I finally understood why Sam was always stroking Frodo's stomach. It was as if I had to touch him to make it all real.

One of these days, our child would move under my fingers and I could hardly wait. But for now I needed to soap my hands and lovingly wash every square inch of his beautiful skin. He all but purred when I stroked him from head to toe turning until all of him was squeaky clean. Then it was my turn and he ran his hands over my skin until I was hard and aching for him.

He just smiled and laid himself against the sloping back, trusting me to keep him above water. I licked his nipples over and over until he was groaning beautifully while my fingers stretched his sweet hole. I was hard as a rock by the time I slid inside his heat and we both moaned at that lovely moment.

"My Merry," he sighed and smiled at me.

"My very own Pip," I was all the way in and he pulsed around me in time with his heartbeat. "I will love you forever and ever, sweet Pip."

"Oh, Merry," he burst into tears at the same moment I began to thrust inside him.

But Frodo's mood swings had already prepared me for Pip's so I just smiled and changed to the gentle rocking that fit our mood right then. He soon was down to sniffles and I kissed him gently until he smiled for me. His nipples were changing just a little and I found that sucking them made both of us hotter than hot. He was moaning pretty continuously when I finally gripped his cock in one of my hands and he fountained out of the water like an upside down waterfall between us.

His muscles pulled my seed from me safe within his depths and part of me wondered if the baby could feel it while most of me relaxed completely. I slid to my knees while his legs tightened around my waist. His hands held me safe while I panted into his throat. I almost felt weak but after a few moments, I sighed and felt strength return to my legs.

"Well, we've christened the bathroom very nicely." His fingers brushed through my hair. "Let's do the kitchen next."

I had to laugh at his ingenuous tone. "Let's baptize that room later. Right now, how about we get out of the tub, dry off and christen our comfortable bed? It's your turn to make me tremble."

Pip chuckled and agreed. We played with the soap some more before getting out and dried off. Wrapping our robes around us, we walked hand in hand into our bedroom. This one was really and only ours. It was warm and quiet and ready for us to make love in the comfy feather bed with the flannel sheets. The day seemed to catch up to both of us all at once and we had to hold each other up long enough to crawl into bed. We were asleep almost before I could blow out the candle.


I washed up and contemplated a hot bath before checking in with my sons, not to mention my grandchildren. I smiled at that wondrous thought for about the hundredth time. Every time I held Glimmer or Pharin, I wished my sweet Alanna was here to see them. How she would have loved them. Sometimes I thought I caught a glimpse of her in Glimmer's eyes.

Missing her was an ache to which I'd grown accustomed. We'd had a long and happy life together, Gimli the crowning joy of our hearts. I'd been blessed with more than my share of happiness and it looked like my son was on his way to even greater bliss. I'd grown used to the shock of seeing him cuddle the beautiful Elf with whom he'd bonded. But it was still a bit of a shock to hear the tenor voice call me Papa.

Legolas wasn't at all what I'd been expecting but he made Gimli happy and that would have been enough for me even without the gift of children he'd given us. I still shivered a bit when I thought of what might have happened if his vision hadn't sent us to the healer in time. The sound of my name being called broke into my thoughts and I finished drying my face before going back out to the front room. Lorrin waited for me by the fire and I smiled at the elder Elf.

"What news, Lorrin?" I asked him the same question that I always asked when I'd been in the mountain for the day.

"We have visitors." He said then shook his head. "That's not quite right, it appears we have new settlers. You need to go to our Prince's home. I am in hopes these Elves are here with good intentions but that is not yet clear."

I'd started in alarm when he mentioned Elves. "Are they from Rivendell?"

"No," he said with a solemn nod, "Mirkwood."

My heart clenched. If that bastard had dared to try to harm Legolas, I was going to gather some allies and make sure he never tried again. "Thank you, I'll go now."

He nodded and rose to walk with me. We quickly trod the path between our homes and entered through the back door. The voices from the front room didn't sound angry but that wasn't always a good indication of trouble. I paused in the doorway and spent a moment just cataloging the people there.

A small female Elf held Pharin in her arms with the practiced air of someone who'd held a baby before. The male behind her had a military air about him and I noticed he wore at least three weapons and those were just the ones I could see. I had the feeling that there were more that I couldn't see. Gimli sat beside Legolas with Glimmer in his arms but his expression told me that he was taking a wait and see attitude.

"Papa!" Legolas saw us and rose to greet me with a fond kiss. "I want to introduce you to some old friends of mine."

I followed him further into the room, not surprised that Lorrin had faded away before he could be seen. But I was too busy assessing the male who was busy assessing me.

"Nana, this is Gimli's father, Gloin. Papa, this is Nanala, my nurse when I was little."

I bowed to her and received a wide-eyed glance that told me she was just as unsure of me as I was of her. "It's a pleasure to meet the one who kept our Legolas safe and happy when he was young."

She blinked and looked a bit confused. "I ... it's nice to meet you, Gloin."

"And this is Pfister, the one who taught me how to draw a bow and shoot an arrow." He introduced the dark Elf behind her and we gravely shook hands. My grip was perhaps a trifle firmer than it would ordinarily be but it met an equal strength. His calluses told me that he was a hard worker and I approved of that.

"Pleasure," was all he said but I was distracted by Pharin's demanding coo.

"Hello, little one." I brushed her cheek and she raised her arms to me. Nana looked a little taken aback but reluctantly let her come into my arms. I tickled her a little just to hear her sweet giggle. "How's my big girl?"

"She tried to roll over today, Papa." Gimli informed me with a proud voice.

"Goodness, you're going to be a terror once you start to crawl, aren't you, Pharin?" I told her solemnly but she just laughed at me and pulled my hair. Her grip is just as strong as Glimmer's when she tugs like that. "Ow, little love, just you wait until your hair gets a little longer."

Legolas chuckled and dropped a kiss on my hair. "Sorry, Papa, she seems to think that hair is for pulling."

"You were the same, Legolas." His old nurse said fondly. "You'd latch onto your mother's golden curls and immediately put them in your mouth."

"Hah!" Gimli said triumphantly. "I knew they got that from you, love."

Legolas stuck out his tongue at him before sitting back down at his side. I sat down in the rocker and began to stroke Pharin's tummy. She loved that, waving her arms and singing to herself and us. She had Legolas' voice, thankfully, since neither of us could sing a note. Then again, Alanna often sang Gimli to sleep so perhaps my granddaughter got her voice from both sides of her family.

Looking up, I caught everyone trying not to look too long at anyone else. That wasn't going to get us anywhere so I spoke up. "Are you visiting, Pfister and Nanala? Or are you here to stay?"

Gimli's look of thanks was heartfelt and even Legolas looked relieved. For the first time, I saw determination cross the nurse's face.

"We are here to stay, my Prince. At first, your father simply said that you were staying in Gondor and would not be returning." She spoke up and Pfister laid a hand on her shoulder. "I questioned every returning Elf within an inch of their lives and finally got a straight answer out of one of them." She looked angry and sad at the same time. "The King had exiled you because you fell in love. I was surprised that you'd chosen one of another race but I started laying my plans right then."

Pfister spoke next. "Nanala told me that she was going to find you with or without me so I began to also question those who came through the forest. Traders mostly and once we heard of a new community in the Vestella Forest, we knew where you probably were. Once the winter snows receded far enough from the mountain passes, we packed up and left."

Legolas' eyes shimmered with unshed tears and Gimli hugged him close. Putting Glimmer in his bonded's arms, he effectively distracted him from his sorrow. So, I asked the next question. "And now that you know of the children, does that change your plans?"

"No," she said simply. "It strengthens my resolve to stay. I've waited years to hold Legolas' children in my arms. I hope to be allowed to help take care of them."

"And I will earn my keep with whatever jobs need to be done." The weapon's master said calmly, his gray eyes meeting each of ours. "I expect that I have a few skills that might come in handy."

"Good, we need more workers. You'll have to stay with me until we can build something for you to live in." I said. "Will you need one bedroom or two?"

The nurse blushed to the tips of her ears. "Pfister and I were married at the Yule."

Legolas brightened immediately. "Wonderful! I always hoped that you two would finally come together. Let's get your things moved into Papa's home. Then it will be time for dinner. Why don't we go to eat and we'll show you more of our settlement?"

"Some of the things are for you, Legolas." Nanala said with a sigh. "Pfister and I packed away your clothes, books and treasures before they could be thrown away."

I grimaced and kept my temper with some effort. Legolas merely nodded and kept on talking genially. I sighed silently to myself. He was going to need major cuddling tonight and I would be sure that I sat him down for some after the babies were in bed. Thranduil was such an idiot that I wished I could have him alone for a half an hour. I'd tell him a thing or two about his brave son.

We were in for interesting times. Although with Nanala here to help with the babies, maybe I'd get Gimli to work in the mountain instead of so close to home. Legolas might even be able to get more than two pages translated at a time if he didn't have to constantly check on the babies. And Pfister looked like a worker who could help build his own home. Pharin tugged harder and I went back to patting her stomach.

As long as Nana didn't try to keep either of these two sprites from me, she'd be an excellent addition to our growing family. And from the smell coming from Pharin's diaper, now would be a wonderful time for her to get to work.

The end for now