Author: Athea (
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Building the Future, part 14
Pairing: Sam/Frodo, Legolas/Gimli
Summary: The travelers return.
Date: 21 September 2002

"Papa!" I hugged my father so tight that he started complaining. But when I tried to let go with an apology, he held me just as tight. The eight weeks had seemed more like a year and I looked at the five of them with a deep sense of satisfaction. Gandalf looked a little frail to me but Frodo and Sam had him in a bear hug between the two of them.

Lorrin looked surprised at his welcome from Legolas but he was hugging him back with a smile on his face. The twins had been greeted by Rhea and his family while several of the other residents looked on with happy smiles. Maybe we should declare another holiday to welcome them home, I thought happily. The weather continued mild and sunny so another picnic would be easy to arrange.

"My goodness gracious, which set are these little ones?" Gandalf was looking at our children held by Nanala and Pfister.

"Gandalf, this is Pharin and Glimmer." My bonded took them both and held them up to the white haired wizard. Our daughter took one look at him and smiled, reaching for his beard with a cooing sound that usually only the two of us heard. "Oh, my dear, you're going to break hearts right and left when you grow up. And Glimmer is a fine strong lad, Gimli."

I thought that he looked rather hard at the pair of them but then he sighed and seemed to age right before my eyes. My father let go of me and spoke up. "Gandalf, why don't you come over to my house and get settled in? We can all meet for dinner and talk in comfort instead of standing around in the road like this."

"Yes, that would be most welcome, Gloin. Frodo and Sam, I'm anxious to meet your children, too. And Pip and Merry's new baby. Goodness, I have been out of touch." He smiled so tenderly at the Hobbits that I wasn't surprised to find their hug renewed.

"That's all right Mr. Gandalf, we'll bring them over and introduce them to you after dinner. I'm thinking that you'd best have a nice long nap before you take on two sets of twins and our newest member. Bilbo walked three steps today and Elanor was right behind him." Sam told him with a grin and the old wizard patted his back.

"Come along, Gandalf. We'll see you settled in first then we'll go tell everybody that you're home at last." Frodo said decisively and began to lead him after my father.

I meant to follow but Legolas brought me to his side with a gesture. "Gimli, Lorrin wishes to see Bluebird so I thought we'd join him. Pharin is most insistent that we all go."

Looking at our daughter, I caught that far-away look that had so disconcerted me a few weeks ago. Something was going to happen and she knew what it was. I reached up and she came into my arms with a happy "Da-da-da."

"We're going visiting, sweetheart." I followed alongside of the elder Elf who had so entranced my father. We spoke of common things like harvest and weather and how Cincall had come back with enough money from his woodwork to ask the weaver and his wife for Saluur's hand in marriage. In three weeks, we'd have our first wedding in Friendly, after their new house was finished.

Turning in to Pip and Merry's path, we knocked on the door and greeted Pip's mother. The Tooks and the Brandybucks were still here but slowly getting ready to head back to the Shire. Winter would arrive within the month or so my bones told me and they wanted to be home before that happened. But until then, they were storing up lots of memories to take home with them.

We sat on the settee and set Pharin and Glimmer on the floor to crawl happily on the pretty rug before the fire. Pip came out of the nursery with Bluebird in his arms and Merry right behind him. Lorrin looked up from his seat on the hearth and smiled at the happy trio. He asked questions about the delivery while the baby cooed in his arms. Pip proudly told him how long she'd been, how much she weighed and how her hair was growing in.

Pharin crawled over to Lorrin's feet and pulled herself up to pat the baby. "Bu-bu-bu, Lor."

I grinned in delight. "That's her fourth word, Lorrin. You should be honored."

"I am honored indeed, Gimli." He held out a steadying hand to our daughter and she grasped hold of it with one hand while the other reached to pat the little hobbit's face.

"Bu," her smile disappeared and tiny fingers stroked the little girl's temple. "Lor."

"I understand, Pharin. It will be all right, little one." He stroked her beautiful blonde curls and she nodded as if she understood.

"There's something wrong, isn't there, Lorrin?" Pip's voice quavered a little and Merry hugged him tight. "I noticed something this morning. She looks past us as if she can't see us."

"Bluebird will have a long and happy life, my friends." The elder elf's gaze caught theirs and his quiet voice carried powerfully to us all. "She has a sixth sense of spirit that will flower as she grows up. But there was a price for that gift and the cost will be hard for you to bear. She is blind and will remain so."

Tears ran down my face into my shortened beard and when I looked up, I saw Legolas' face also wet. Glimmer crawled to me and tugged hard on my pant leg. I brought him up to my lap where he hugged me hard while patting Legolas' hand. Pip's sobs were loud in the silence while Merry's face was twisted with grief.

"It's all my fault." Pip sobbed. "I shouldn't have wished to have a child . . . not when we're first cousins."

"Not your fault, love." Merry almost shook him. "If anyone's, it's mine. I'm the elder."

"It is no one's fault, Merry and Pippin." Lorrin spoke forcefully. "There is much you need to know about this valley and the elemental powers that once were a part of Middle-earth. These powers needed a shape and form for this new age. The five children born this year have all been blessed with different gifts."

"All of our children?" I asked sharply. Glimmer laughed out loud and I held him tightly as if he'd be taken away from me.

"Each is the embodiment of a different element. Glimmer will be an earth mage of unsurpassed power." Lorrin's gaze met mine unflinchingly. "Pharin will channel the element of water. Bilbo will fly with the air while Elanor will handle fire with ease." His gaze dropped to the little hobbit in his arms. "And this little one will complete the circle with her bright, shining spirit. Merry and Pip, do not despair. Love her as she will love you - with all your hearts and souls."

Pip managed a smile when he took his daughter back into his arms. "We do love her. More than anything."

"Good, that will see you through all the interesting times to come." Lorrin picked up Pharin and stood. "There is no one in Friendly who will not help you guard her during her childhood. These children are the heart of this valley and we shall all take great good care of them. Do not grieve over long, my friends. She needs your love now and in the days to come." Handing our daughter to Legolas, he dropped a kiss on her head. "I will talk with Sam and Frodo after dinner at your home." Then he turned back to the weeping Halflings. "Let us have your parents back in so I can answer all your questions."

We left with quiet goodbyes for our friends. The walk to our home was silent while I held Glimmer close and pondered the elder's words. They would be great mages when they grew up. Bluebird had paid with her sight, would they also have a price to pay? What had we done? Had our love condemned them to suffering?

"Do not despair, my love." Legolas read my thoughts with ease. "We knew that our children were special, Gimli. They will have all the triumphs and heartaches that come with growing up. But they know we love them and we always will." He dropped a kiss on my head before ushering me through our front door. "And that will protect them from a great deal. I think we'll eat in tonight. I find I can not yet face our neighbors."

"Yes," I sighed and managed a smile before setting my son in the gated area near the kitchen. "Glimmer, take care of your sister while I go over and tell your grandfather what has happened."

Legolas set Pharin down beside him before kissing me hard. I savored him although the taste of his earlier tears stained his sweet lips. Pulling away reluctantly, I managed another smile for them before leaving. I would have to think long and hard about the revelations of the last hour.


I felt kind of numb by the time that Lorrin got finished telling us about the babies. Frodo had a lot of questions but I couldn't think of a thing to say. I watched Bilbo walking unsteadily to Glimmer before plopping down to play with one of the brightly painted balls that Cincall had made for them. Elanor and Pharin were building towers with their colorful wooden blocks before knocking them down with glee.

They seemed so normal, playing there that I just couldn't wrap my mind around all this talk of magic and elements and such. Was it our fault for being ring-bearers? Was it the magic potion that Frodo and Legolas had drunk? But Pip hadn't drunk anything at all. The crystals that helped heal, maybe they were a double edged sword?

The room was real quiet after Lorrin answered Frodo's last question. The adults were all watching the children play on the brightly colored rug. Gloin finally sighed and we looked at him.

"Well, the next few years are going to be pretty interesting, aren't they?" He bent down and rolled a wayward ball back to Bilbo. "Since your Elanor is going to be a master of fire, I guess that she's the one who'll learn the Dwarven smith trade while our Glimmer apprentices himself to you, Sam."

A dwarf gardener? My little girl working at a hot forge? I gulped hard and tried to picture that. But Frodo had begun to laugh and I just had to watch him instead.

"Dear Havens, Bilbo will probably apprentice to Master Clothile once he grows older but what will Pharin do with the element of water?" Frodo chuckled and Legolas joined in.

"I do not know, Frodo, but whatever it is, emotions will be involved." Gimli looked a little less stern and his bonded hugged him close. "Perhaps she'll apprentice to Rhea and Lorrin for healing lessons?"

For some reason, all this talk of apprenticeships made me feel better. It would be years before we had to worry about them growing up and into dangerous jobs. For now, we needed to concentrate on loving each and every one of them. My heart ached when I thought about little Bluebird's blindness and how much her parents were hurting right now.

Merry and Pip surely didn't deserve such pain but Frodo and I would help out all we could and both sets of twins would, too. In fact, everybody in Friendly would pitch in to watch out for our youngest member. I sat up a little straighter and finally joined in the speculation about what our children would want to be when they grew up.

Later, I lay in bed waiting for Frodo to come to bed. He'd detoured to check on the babies in the nursery but he'd told me to go ahead. I'd lit the fire earlier to take the chill off and the flames were real pretty to watch. We'd gotten out the heavier quilt the day before and I was glad of it. It wasn't so much the chill in the air as the one in my heart that was giving me the shivers.

But then Frodo came in wearing his pretty blue robe that brought out the blue of his eyes and the temperature in the room went up about twenty degrees. Shutting the door behind him, he smiled at me and unbelted the silky sash. He wasn't wearing anything at all under it and I sat straight up in bed so I could watch him cross the room to me. He's the most beautiful Hobbit in Middle-earth and I was so lucky that he loved me.

"Are you still worried about our children, Sam?" He asked before sliding under the covers towards me.

"A bit, Frodo, I can't seem to help it. They're so little to be having all this talk about magic and destiny and such." I lay back down and cuddled him close.

"We will be right here loving them with all our hearts and souls, my own Sam." He slid his arms up around my neck and pulled me so close that I couldn't tell where I ended and he began. "If their destiny is to be as happy as we are, then they will be the happiest Hobbits in Middle-earth."

Funny, but he was thinking the same thing that I was. "I just don't want all the pain that we had to go through to ever touch them."

"Oh, Sam." He kissed me and started unbuttoning my night shirt. When he pulled away, I blinked hazily. "No one grows up without pain, but when it's leavened with love and caring, nothing can really hurt them permanently."

My Frodo was a very wise Hobbit I decided while trying to touch him everywhere. We slid together easily and he disappeared for a while beneath the covers to suck me into his hot mouth, wetting me to hard iron. A moment later and I was deep inside of him while he rode me slowly. I was panting to catch my breath but he was smiling down at me, his fingers tweaking my nipples to hard peaks.

"I love you, my Sam. And I'd like to thank you for giving me such beautiful babies. I think we should practice making more." He rocked a little harder and I thrust up when he came down. His breathy moan made me even harder if that was possible.

"Maybe more children will help protect all of them." I managed to say although my brain was pretty much fried at this moment.

He smiled tenderly and leaned down to kiss me again. Our tongues took up the thrusting for our bodies until we had to breathe and he could sit up again. "I'm certain that we are going to have many babies, Sam. Each and every one will be welcomed, loved and protected by our whole community. We're something new, my beautiful Sam, and so are our children."

I was about to go off like one of Gandalf's rockets. "Something new, Frodo, thank goodness."

He laughed out loud. "Thank goodness, indeed. Oh there, Sam, right there."

I rolled us over so I could reach 'right there' better. Another few moments and I let go deep inside of him while he squirted between our stomachs. His warm hands pulled me to his lips and we kissed slowly, gently and tenderly. I realized that I held my heart's desire in my arms. May our children grow up to find their hearts desires.

Mages or not, they were our children and we'd watch over them until it was time for them to fly our nest. Maybe Frodo and I would practice making more so our nest wouldn't empty for some time to come. I'd tell him about that later, once I got my lips back. For now, I was content.

The end of part 14