Author: Athea (
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Building the Future, part 10
Pairing: Sam/Frodo, Gimli/Legolas
Summary: Fall is just around the corner.
Date: 12 August 2002

I finished harvesting the last of the raspberries and rubbed my back hard when I unbent. Frodo had been helping until the babies began to fuss and he'd taken them home. Merry was a few canes over and it looked like he was done, too. Pip was home resting with his mother watching over him. Their parents had arrived three days ago and I know that Merry was relieved to have more Pip-watchers.

Lorrin and Gloin had been gone for three weeks and I could tell that Merry was fretting that they wouldn't get home in time to help Pip deliver their baby safely. Rhea had reassured them both that even if Lorrin wasn't there, he and Miriel could deliver the baby just as well. Still, I knew how they were feeling. The memory of Frodo hurting was one that I would never forget.

But we had a month or so until his due date and the weather was that nice that it was a positive pleasure to work in the garden. Still and all, I was right glad to have the berry picking done for now. Jallico had some wonderful recipes for raspberry jam, raspberry fool and raspberry custard. I could hardly wait to taste his jam on some fresh baked bread.

"Thank goodness that's done." Merry stood up and stretched. "I'm going to need a back rub tonight. I've got aching muscles where I didn't even know I had muscles."

"Yep, me too, Merry." I put the last bucket in the wheelbarrow and started wheeling it down the path. He fell into step beside me, ready to take a turn if need be.

"I think the hot springs would be the perfect end to a perfect day." He reminded me that it had been a while since we'd soaked anywhere but the river and the lily pond.

"That's a good idea. I'll see if I can talk Frodo into it." I smiled when I thought of my love. He was so good with the babies for someone who'd never had much to do with children before. He read to them everyday and sang little songs that Bilbo had taught him when he was a child.

I could see them growing up right before my eyes. They were crawling everywhere and we were almost at wit's end trying to think of a way to keep them out of danger when Gimli came up with a grand idea. He fashioned a metal mesh grate that we could attach to the door of their room so they couldn't get out. Pretty soon, we had one on the front door and another on the kitchen door and even one on the bathroom door.

He'd made some for his house too since Pharin and Glimmer had finally figured out how to crawl. Merry was already making up something like a wooden criss-cross gate for their doors. He was looking ahead already. He whistled while we walked and I hid a smile at his lighthearted air. It was odd but we'd become fast friends and I'd never thought that would happen back when I was just Sam Gamgee, hobbit-of-all-work.

We delivered the raspberries to Jallico and his helper, Suzana. She was Weaver Matso's second oldest daughter and was now his official apprentice since she turned sixteen. That seemed kind of young to me but then Men aged faster than Hobbits so I guess it was all right. Her mother watched out for her and Jallico did, too. She'd come to no harm from working hard and learning a good trade.

Saying goodbye to Merry, I wheeled the cart up to the back door of our home and upended it, in case it rained unexpectedly. Wiping my feet before coming into the back hall, I wiped my forehead with my handkerchief. The day had been hot and not even the shade of the old oak trees had kept me from working up a good sweat.

"Frodo, I'm home." I called out and heard him call back from what sounded like the bathroom. That meant he had a bath ready for me and I hurried to join him. I had my shirt unbuttoned and off by the time I came through the new gate on the door. He and the babies were already in the tub splashing.

"Goodness, Sam, you are dirty. Come in and let me wash you." He said laughingly while keeping an eye on the twins, who were sitting between his legs.

"Da-da-da-da-da," Elanor spotted me and started babbling.

"Hello, sweetheart, are you going to help me take a bath?" I shimmied out of my pants and threw them into the basket by the door.

Splash! She stood up and sat right back down again. Bilbo thought that was pretty funny so he did it, too. Frodo was laughing and so were the twins when I joined them in the hot water. Baths were a lot of fun since the babies had arrived. Although, I did kind of miss the ones where we made love. When they were older, maybe we'd be able to have those baths again.

"Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma," Bilbo patted Frodo's leg and smiled up at him.

"What is it, sweetling?" My bonded asked him and Bilbo climbed up into his lap to latch onto a nipple. Frodo chuckled and picked him up so he could cradle him and nurse him more comfortably.

Elanor saw what her brother was doing and crawled into my lap to nurse on me. That didn't work, of course and she frowned up at me. "Sorry, sweetheart, your Da' doesn't have the right taste, does he? You'll have to wait your turn for dinner."

Frodo laughed out loud. "Wash her now, Sam, and then I'll trade you."

I soaped her all over, tickling her and singing one of the old songs that my mother had sung to me. She clapped her hands in time with the words and kind of sang along with me in baby-talk in between squeals of laughter. Maybe I was prejudiced, but she seemed to be the happiest baby I'd ever known. Bilbo was a quieter baby and I caught him staring at things with a real intent look on his face.

It was the same look that Frodo got when he was translating a new scroll. I thought that maybe we were raising another scholar like him. Maybe our next son would follow me into the garden, I decided before scooting Elanor over to my love and taking Bilbo to wash. Or maybe, our daughter would like gardening? That was a new thought for me and while I washed Bilbo, I wondered for the first time what the future might hold for our children.

They were the only Hobbit children within hundreds of miles. Would they miss out on friends and lovers? We weren't like any other Hobbit family either. I must have been frowning because Bilbo's little hand patted my lips. When I looked down, he was smiling sweetly up at me while murmuring, "Da, Da, Da."

"Sam?" Frodo was looking at me with a real puzzled look.

"Sorry, love, I had an odd thought. What are the twins going to do for friends and lovers when they grow up?"

"Oh Sam, they have friends now in Glimmer and Pharin. The new Hobbit who's born in the next few weeks will be one, too. Salurr and Cincall, once they're married, will have babies to play with ours. The world is changing and we're changing with it. I won't say don't worry since I expect we'll do our fair share of that when the twins get older." He smiled lovingly at me. "But we love them and that will keep them safe until they make up their minds about lovers."

I laughed sheepishly. "You're right, Frodo. I just had a . . . I don't know what to call it. Bilbo is going to be a scholar like you, I think. There's never been a female gardener in the Shire but I wonder if Elanor will be the first one here."

He chuckled and lifted her out of the tub and onto the towel. "Whatever Elanor decides to be, we'll support her choice. I have a feeling that the children of Friendly are going to be something new in Middle-earth, too."

I quick rinsed off Bilbo and set him beside his sister. Then I grabbed the soap first and started washing Frodo with a gleam in my eye. Now it was our turn to get clean.


I missed my father. I'd begun missing him almost immediately once he'd left. From being an adult Dwarf out in the world and making my own way to a son wishing his father would just come home took about a day. Five weeks had gone by and it felt like five years. I finished washing up with a faint air of melancholy that I tried to shake off before going in to see my love and our children.

But one look and Legolas knew exactly what I was feeling. Opening his arms to me, he gathered me in and hugged me close. I hugged him back and took a deep breath of Legolas-scented air. That is a scent that will always make me feel better and today was no exception. His lips were soft on mine and his tongue stroked into my mouth, entwining with my own.

Finally he pulled away and looked at me with satisfaction. "The twins are going to stay with Frodo and Sam this evening while we go to the little hot springs. I have Arod loaded with supplies and we can be there in fifteen minutes."

"Good, let's go." It was just what I needed and I blessed him for his farsightedness.

Hand in hand, we walked to the stables. It felt like old times with Legolas leaping gracefully into the saddle and me mounting from a big rock with a little pull up from him. I'd never be a rider but Arod's gait was comfortable and I got to hug my Elf close. I could still remember what a guilty pleasure that had been when we were on our quest.

When we reached the springs, I slid from Arod and patted him in thanks for bearing me. He sneezed once before moving off to graze on the tender grasses sprinkled between the tall trees. Catching up with Legolas, I took my share of the saddlebags and followed him through the bushes that were beginning to turn golden in reminder of the autumn that was upon us.

We undressed silently and sank into the springs with sighs of relief. Papa had built two benches, one for short folk and one for tall. Legolas sat down and gestured to me to join him. Clasping his hand in mine, he brought it to his lips and nibbled all my fingers while I slowly hardened in the warm mineral water. Reaching up, I pulled off the leather tie that bound his hair in its braid and began combing my fingers through the golden silk.

"Hm-m-m, that feels good, beloved." He sighed before sucking my index finger into his mouth and laving it with his tongue.

Hard as iron was what I suddenly was and I moaned just a little when he nipped my finger. I was hotter than the water and every bubble felt like a caress. "Out, my love, right now."

He chuckled and pulled me to my feet where I kissed the faint scar left by the crystal when he gave birth. It had become a tradition for me since it reminded me of all he'd gone through to bring forth our children. It was a badge of honor, greater than any wound of war and the mark of a true hero, a hero who gave life rather than death. I'd be sure to tell the twins of his bravery the moment they could comprehend the words.

"What has you so solemn, love?" A graceful hand drew me from the bubbles and over to the blanket. "You miss Papa, don't you?"

Nodding, I sat down and opened the nearest saddlebag. "I am too old to miss him and yet I do. I grew used to seeing him everyday, talking to him, asking his advice or just being with him while we worked in the mountain."

"I hope that you are never too old to miss him, Gimli." He gently scolded me and opened a bottle of wine from Rivendell. "He is our beloved Papa and will be with us for a very long time. I only hope that Glimmer and Pharin feel the same way about us when they become adults and leave our home for their own."

I froze at the terrible thought, our babies, grown and off to live their own lives without us. "That will not be for some time, Legolas. Many, many years from now, I may let them out into the world."

He smiled knowingly and handed me the crystalline flute of deep red wine. "Two hundred years from now should be about right? Yes, my love?"

I sipped the sweet wine and pretended to think about it. "That may be rushing it a bit, my heart, perhaps five hundred years."

Laughing, he toasted the future. "May we be as happy then as we are right now, my bonded."

"Even happier, my bonded." Our glasses rang together like the purest of dwarven bells.

We fed each other our dinner, bite by bite until dessert found us on our sides, licking the chocolate mousse from each other's body. The combination of Legolas and chocolate was a heady aphrodisiac that affected me more than the wine. I felt drunk on his sweet taste, the more I had the more I wanted. His arrowlike cock poured forth his essence into my keeping after almost an hour of being kept on the knife's edge of pleasure.

And with a sigh, he took me into his body, laid out beneath me like a nymph of the deep forest. He clasped me tight until I could feel his heart through my cock. It is always the moment when I look at him in wonder that he should want me out of all the peoples of Middle-earth. But his smile told me of his love, that and the fingers that tangled in the dense curls of my chest, searching out my nipples to tweak them.

Our rhythm was slow, almost languid until the need grew within us both. His heat rivaled the springs, the muscles that gloved me more powerful than the earth tremors that shook the valley periodically. My gaze never left his, until my vision shrank to the blanket on which we lay and there was only the two of us to populate the whole world.

With a hoarse cry, I stilled within him and spilled my seed deep. He sighed once and pulsed white pearls onto his stomach and mine. My arms had no more strength and I fell forward into strong arms that held me close. Slowly, the sounds of the forest returned. The haunting call of the whipper-will sounded overhead and the springs bubbled beside us. I sucked on the nipple beneath my cheek and tasted his sweet milk.

His hands lazily combed through my hair and I could have fallen asleep right there. But we had babies to collect and within the hour, we had Arod back in the stables and were walking back to Frodo and Sam's house. However, once there the note on the door sent us hurrying to the clinic.

'Pip's in labor', was all it said.

And Lorrin and Papa had not yet returned.

The end for now