Author: Athea (
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Building the Future, part eight
Pairing: Merry/Pip and Gloin/Lorrin
Summary: An interlude before the storm.
Date: 14 July 2002

Pip just kept getting bigger in front and even his energetic self began to slow down. Getting out of low chairs became impossible and our picnics had ceased since he felt awkward when I had to help him up. Legolas took me aside and explained a few things about pride to me and Gimli talked to Pip about how much he'd enjoyed helping his bonded when it all grew to be too much.

We got the message and Pippin started letting me help more. I just made sure that I told him how much I loved him and showed him too. Rhea had already told us that the eighth month meant we had to stop making love except for gentle touching and kissing. I watched Pip like a hawk to make sure that he wasn't uncomfortable with what we were doing. So far, we were fine.

But it was late August now and the heat was so oppressive that my poor love could usually be found in the lily pond or the cool waters of the river cove. We'd taken to going there right after dinner to watch Frodo teach Sam how to swim. Pip would hold Elanor while I held Bilbo and tried not to laugh at Sam. By the third lesson, I'd figured out that our devious friend was playing much more helpless than he really was.

He just liked having Frodo keep his arms around him while he floated in the gentle current. Then he'd sneak a kiss or two from his bonded before being dunked while we all laughed. Sometimes Gimli and Legolas would join us with their twins and we'd all get in the water to help teach the babies to swim. Pharin had taken to it at once and with her quiet babbling she seemed to encourage the other three.

Bilbo loved floating but Glimmer kept trying to use his arms to move closer to his sister. I think he was the next one to really understand what he was supposed to do in the water. Elanor didn't like putting her face in so I'd have to say that until she was older, she probably wouldn't be learning how to swim. That was fine for now but with all the water in Friendly, we were determined that everyone in our families would know how to keep themselves safe.

"Merry, may we go down to the cove tonight? This baby is trying to learn that kick that Lorrin taught us." Pip rubbed the spot on the right side of the huge mound he carried in front of him. "Maybe floating will help."

"Of course we can, love. I'd like nothing better right now except maybe holding you close." I smiled at him and he grinned back.

"You can do both once we get there." He batted his long black lashes at me and I chuckled.

"You're always thinking ahead, Pip. I'm so lucky to have you." I kissed him tenderly and watched him burst into tears.

"Oh," he smiled wistfully, "you say the nicest things, Merry."

"That's because I love you, sweetheart and every word is true. What do you want to take to nibble on?"

"Besides you?" His tears were gone and a sunny smile took their place.

I'd watched Frodo and Legolas' mood swings often enough that Pip's didn't disconcert me. "Yes, besides me, love, how about some of those delicious cherry tarts?"

"Hm-m-m, that sounds good. Let's take some of the sun tea that we made today, too. I get thirsty when we swim." He drifted towards the kitchen and I could see his mind turning over the possibilities.

I was so lucky that he had decided on cooking for his trade. The better he got at it, the more I ate. Thank goodness I worked hard on the new houses and the furniture they needed. The guest house was coming along nicely. It had rooms for every kind of guest from Hobbits to Elves, Men and Dwarves. We even planned a space in the grounds surrounding it to accommodate an Ent or two.

Surreptitiously I made sure that when we left, Pip didn't carry anything heavier than our towels. He wasn't supposed to lift anything heavy and we all watched him carefully to make sure he didn't. As the only pregnant person in Friendly at the moment, he had a lot of people watching out for ways to help him, but he was so sweet that he made it easy to do things for him.

"I think I hear Gloin." He said over his shoulder to me.

I listened and agreed. Gimli's father had a deep laugh that resonated even more strongly when he was in the river. That meant Lorrin was here too and I had a couple of questions for him about Pip. Turning the last bend in the path, we saw them playing with each other in the shallows. Gloin wasn't as agile as the elder Elf but his fingers seemed to know just where to tickle to bring out Lorrin's laughter.

It was good to see them enjoying themselves and I could definitely see a difference in how they treated each other. We'd noticed the change almost a month ago and even though they didn't do anything in public that they didn't normally do, Pip had said that they were a couple. Gimli had been a little stiff for a while with the violet-eyed Elf but after a few days, he settled down and accepted the changes in his father's life. Legolas smiled more now and I overheard him ask Lorrin not to give Gimli any little brother or sister.

That was the first time that I heard Lorrin laugh out loud.

"Hello, Pip and Merry, how are you this beautiful summer evening?" Gloin called.

"Hot, very hot," Pip replied with a smile. "I want to sit in the shallows and let the river carry the heat away."

Lorrin nodded, his eyes seeming to look inside my bonded. "That is a good idea, young Pippin. Come join us and I will check the baby's position."

We sat everything down on one of the granite benches and began to peel off our sticky clothes. Once we were naked we crossed over the sandy beach and into the cool water with a sigh of relief. Pip sat down about two feet in and a look of bliss crossed his face. He really did love the river but then I did, too.

I waded on out to Gloin while Lorrin knelt near Pip to gently lay hands on the mound that was our baby. I kept an eye on them while the Dwarf and I talked about the next part of our building. With the walls up and the roof on, it was time to start thinking about the interior fixings. Gimli had designed some beautiful marble fireplaces and he was going to work on them while Gloin created the bathroom fixtures. I wanted to make the doors and Cincall did too so we'd split them in half.

The Hobbit and Dwarf doors would be mine while he did the Elf and Man doors. I'd been sketching some designs for them and Gloin had some questions. The cherry wood inlays for the Hobbit doors in the form of a garden had sparked an idea he had about the marble tub surrounds. He was going to do some carving and maybe a little marble inlay work to match my door.

"That sounds wonderful, Gloin. Maybe we could make all the decorations in each suite the same, from the wooden door to the carved bedposts to the bathroom fixtures." I suddenly saw it all plain as day. "Then each room could have a name, like the Strawberry Rooms or the Mallorn Suite."

He nodded. "I like that idea. We'll get to be creative and nobody will wander into the wrong rooms by mistake. Perhaps Tilly and Matso could weave the fabrics for each room with the same themes?"

I nodded. "That will look wonderful and none of us will get bored carving, weaving or building. It would be nice if we had a pottery maker in Friendly. And someone to paint designs on the pottery."

"Yes, that is something we're missing." He scratched his chin and I thought how much nicer he looked with the close cropped beard.

"Merry," Pip was smiling happily and I waded back to them. "Lorrin thinks seven weeks more and he or she will be ready to be born."

"That soon?" I hugged him close and looked at the elder Elf. "We'll have to send word to the families so they can start making plans to come a little earlier."

"Yes, there is a party heading south in two days." Lorrin said quietly. "Cincall and Reason want to take some of their goods to Rivendell. Elrohir and Elladan are going along for protection."

I nodded somberly. We knew that there was something not right about who got through to us and who didn't. The King's Messenger had said as much and we were all worried about Gandalf's disappearance. I didn't want anything to happen to our families either coming or going. It seemed so unfair that there was still some kind of menace at large in Middle-earth after Sauron had fallen.

"We'll take every precaution to make sure that all of us are safe." Gloin said gruffly. "Even if we have to go hunting for the culprit."

Lorrin and Gloin exchanged a long look and I hid a grin at their changing expressions. I'd seen Sam look at Frodo just like that and I expect he'd seen the same look on my face a time or two. It was the 'I-can't-wait-to-get-you-alone' look and I swear the temperature rose while we were still in the water.

"Ah, we'd better go back and check on," Gloin faltered and from where I sat by Pip I could see through the clear blue water a slender elven foot tickle behind his knee. "Yes, time for a cup of tea. We'll leave you to your soak."

Lorrin looked like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth while he nodded agreement and began to wade to shore. "Tea would be most welcome, Gloin. I left something sweet at your house."

Gloin muttered something that sounded suspiciously like 'your sweet ass' but he followed quickly. Pip was trying hard not to snicker out loud and I dunked my head into the river to hide my own grin. It was great fun watching the two of them slowly find their way in their new relationship. By the time I popped back up, they'd left half-dressed and Pip was giggling into his hand.

I moved to sit behind him so he had a back rest while he leaned against me. I stroked his stomach and felt the baby kick hard against my hand. We both stroked him quiet and he lazily hummed an old lullaby. I kissed his ear and closed my eyes. Seven weeks and I'd have my skinny Pip back - and a little boy or girl to cuddle close and sing to sleep. I could hardly wait.


I lay panting, trying to get enough air into my lungs. Lorrin was entirely too good at melting me into the sheets. Of course, I was learning quickly and I had plans to show him just how much I'd taken to heart. His silky hair was still teasing my inner thighs and I shivered at each brief caress. That wet tongue of his painted some arcane pattern on my deflated cock and if I hadn't just come harder than I'd ever come before I might have begun to lift again.

"Lor', stop that or my skin will fall off." I sighed and stretched a hand down to stroke his hair.

"Nay, Gloin, you are much sturdier than that." He dragged his tongue over my ball sack and my skin rippled around the tender globes that had just spent themselves.

"I'll give you sturdy, my randy Elf." I tugged on a dark lock and he let go of my balls, sliding up into my arms. Reversing our positions so I anchored his body to our bed, I feasted on his thin lips and scoured the taste of me from his warm mouth.

His lips smiled under mine and I felt my own curl up. The happiness we were creating between us just kept getting better. I felt alive in ways I'd never known before. All my senses seemed to have sharpened. My nose had a host of new scents to remember. Love making is messy but the smell of a bed where seed has been spilled was an aphrodisiac to me. Lorrin's scent changed from day to day but underneath it all was a musk that was always stronger when we lay together.

But it was touching that brought me the most pleasure. His skin was like the cool marble that we mined from the mountains. Gimli had warned me that Elves felt the cold most cruelly. I'd taken that to heart ever since Lorrin had returned to me shaking with the chill from his flight. He said that I radiated heat so I took every chance I had to warm him up.

So far, that was working pretty well. Moving my lips from his tempting mouth, I kissed my way across his cheek and down the long neck to the hollow of his throat where I lapped a bead of salty sweat from his cool skin. His sigh was contented and I smiled, looking up to see his slit eyed pleasure. His hair was disordered and a flush bloomed across his cheeks.

I did enjoy gazing at him but especially at times like this when all the masks were gone and he was open to me. He hid a thousand secrets from his long life but he was slowly sharing parts of it and I was patient. I could wait to hear those stories since we were creating new and happier memories with every moment we loved.

"Gloin." His hand stroked my cheek with a questioning touch.

"Just wool-gathering, Lorrin, I'm thinking about how good you smell and how sweet you taste." I licked up another bead of sweat and savored the salty sweet flavor. "But I can feel something else I need to take care of." I moved gently to one side and his cock sprang up to stand above his flat stomach. "Yes, indeed, a treat for all my senses. How kind of you to bring this tasty morsel to our bed."

This time the flush started at his toes and raced up his whole body. Good, I liked surprising him with a compliment or two. It had been a long drought for him and I wanted to make sure that he had all he needed from me. It was my turn to tickle his thighs with my hair while I leisurely gloved the slender arrow that sprang up from the nest of dark curls at his groin.

I'd been afraid that my callused fingers would mar the tender skin of his cock but he'd soon disabused me of that notion, declaring that he'd never felt so strongly a beloved touch. That little statement returned to me now and then, filling me with pride and the desire to replace all his old memories with new ones of our love making. For some reason, I was feeling a touch possessive of my new lover.

That thought always made me smile but this time I hid it in a silent nibbling of his warm flesh, making sure that I didn't nip too hard at the pulsating scrotum. His little whimper of need told me that he'd been hard almost too long and I licked a couple of sweet tears from his flaring crown. That brought me the sound of my name sighed longingly.

I liked that. I liked that a lot. I wanted to hear it in all its variations for the rest of my life. Sucking the tender flesh into my mouth, I held his hips down so he wouldn't choke me when he lost control and thrust up. I was still learning this new skill but each time brought me a little more mastery of how to drive him mad with want, the way that he drove me to ever new heights of joyful surrender.

My tongue found the pulsing vein just under the crown that always sent a tingle through my whole body and I fluttered against it while he keened aloud and clawed the sheets instead of my hair. Chuckling, I did it again then hummed a little. The vibration swelled his cock to bursting and I drank down the sweet elixir that was his alone. Each pulse gave me more of his tasty seed and I gently suckled until he was limp.

"Gloin," the satiated whisper was yet another variation of my name that made me smile and tenderly release him so I could crawl up to pull him into my arms.

"Lorrin," I kissed him gently and cradled his slight weight in my arms. If I was very lucky, I would have many long years with my friend. Thank goodness our line was partial to Elves and they were partial to us. Gimli and I had to be the luckiest two Dwarves in the history of Middle-earth. And we always would be.

The end for now