Author: Athea (
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Building the Future, part 16
Pairing: Gandalf/Perri
Summary: A wizard comes to an important conclusion.
Date: 11 October 2002

I sat back and listened to the youngsters good naturedly squabble about what to do after dinner. It was good to be a part of a community again. The last few months of shadowed dreaming had reminded me of one very important thing. Life can be cut off in a heartbeat and should therefore be treasured and lived to the fullest.

But did I dare reach out for what I wanted?

I was a foolish old wizard to think that a bright youth like Perri might want more than friendship. My gaze rested on him for a moment where he leaned against the table, talking earnestly with Legolas. They looked for a moment like a pair of twins and my heart skipped a beat. Gimli was a very lucky dwarf to have such a bonded and I shouldn't be wishing for the moon, I told myself sternly.

What I really needed was a good soak in the communal spa but it looked like half of Friendly was making plans to go there and I was a bit shy about exposing my wrinkled self to the populace. I'd have to settle for a hot bath at my host's and an early night. The sound of bright laughter brought my eyes back to the mischievous Elves who were teasing Gimli.

His growl made both of their children crow with delight and little Glimmer tugged on his father's hair to try and make him do it again. Legolas plucked his son from those strong arms and tickled him while his sister watched with a very satisfied look on her face. They were the most amazing babies I'd ever met; in fact all the children of Friendly were marvels of this Fourth Age.

Most disconcerting but very hopeful. While I mused on the amount of sheer power in this room, a hand fell onto my shoulder. I glanced up into bright blue eyes and felt my heart give that little thump that it had been giving for the last two weeks.

"Gandalf, Legolas has given me clear directions to a hot spring that will be quite private. Would you like to join me for . . . a soak?" The tenor voice had just a tiny little quiver.

Bright Havens, was I being invited to a seduction?

I certainly hoped so. "That sounds most therapeutic, Perri. I'd like that very much."

His smile was blinding and his hands pulled me upright with one swift tug. "Let us go now."

We said our goodnights to the others and I tried to ignore the wink that Gloin gave me. Did everyone know about this seduction? There was a bundle of things just outside the door to the dining hall and Perri picked it up nonchalantly. That meant probably everyone did indeed know. I hoped that the springs were far enough away so no one heard anything.

I felt like making some noise.

It had been a hundred years since my last sexual encounter and that had been Radagast; bless his little shape-shifting self. Perri was giving me the most intriguing looks and I felt that frisson of warmth that I barely recognized as passion. Once we were past the houses and the fields, I decided to make sure that we were feeling the same thing.

"Perri, I don't want to be presumptuous but do you by any chance harbor a desire to make love to me?" I didn't know how else to say it.

He blushed beautifully but more importantly he nodded yes. "I've been in love with you since you came to Mirkwood to give Legolas some of his lessons. I begged my father to allow me to join him and Legolas agreed, too. He's always known that I wanted you."

"And you were never tempted by the bright prince?" I was genuinely curious.

His astonished glance answered quite well. "Havens, no, he's my prince and more like a brother than a lover. I found out what I needed to know about making love to a male from the archives and made sure that I could give you pleasure."

Pleasure indeed, I thought in astonishment. "You've never taken a lover then?"

He shook his head and smiled affectionately at me. "It would be you or no one. My father told me that I was remarkably like the Dwarves in that respect."

"Goodness gracious me," I felt rather faint. "It's been so long since I have lain with anyone that we might as well both be novices."

His hand found mine and clasped it close, tugging me to a halt. Then he stepped close and gently laid his lips on mine. His soft lips nibbled at my lips and I gasped at the tingles that began to spread. Taking my gasp as an invitation, his tongue slid against mine and I tasted his sweetness. He tasted of honey and cinnamon and I was instantly addicted. A moan grew between us and I wasn't sure from whom it came.

Perhaps it was both of us, I thought dazedly. Still holding my hand, he led us towards our hot springs rendezvous.


It was really going to happen, I thought excitedly. He was all right with my brazen invitation and he had the experience to keep us from hurting each other. But it sounded like he'd not been touched with love for quite some time. Our clasped hands between us brought me his warmth and the strength of his grip brought me a thrill that I had hoped would one day be mine.

I smelled the springs before hearing the distinctive sound of bubbling water. I'd seen his wistful look when the communal spa was mentioned but it seemed the crowded spa was not to his liking and I thought I knew why. He was older than most and his wrinkled face might suppose a few wrinkles on his body, too. That would touch on his pride and I could not fault him since I too wished to look good for his pleasure.

"Goodness, what a charming little glade." He sounded astonished and I was pleased that he liked it.

"Legolas said that the water is heavily mineralized." I laid down my bundle of towels and regretfully let go his hand. "Even though there is a nip in the air, he cautioned against staying in more than an hour."

He began to unwind his sash. "The wind says more than a nip is coming our way. We might have a heavy frost or even a slight snow fall before morning."

I stilled his hands with mine and kissed him again, sliding my arms around him and feeling the hardness of his body against me. His hands curled around my shoulders and drew us just a little bit closer. He tasted of the elderberry tart we'd had for dessert and I desired to taste it again and again. But between us, our hands were busy stripping away the clothes that kept us from touching.

Finally, we were skin to skin and shivers raced over us from the chill breeze that penetrated even the beech trees and lilac bushes that surrounded us so thickly. The water beckoned and we sank into it with startled sighs of delight. It bubbled and fizzed around us like the fireworks with which Gandalf had so often delighted us. The astonished look on his face made me laugh and he tried to look affronted but to no avail.

He was enjoying himself and that gave me more happiness than I'd thought possible. My every thought would be for him, I thought with determination. He would know nothing but love and caring for however many years were granted to us. This I vowed most earnestly to myself. It would be a while before I shared it with my love. He was still a bit skittish with me.

But I was busy gazing my fill of his broad shoulders and his scarred torso. I traced one particular scar like a lash that stretched across his entire chest and curled around to his back. "What is this, Gandalf? It looks like the mark of a whip. Who has dared do such a thing to you?"

He looked down sadly and tried to cover it with his hand but not even his long fingers were big enough. "The mark of the Balrog will remain with me for the rest of my life."

I leaned in and kissed the tip of it then slowly made my way along its path, kissing a small brown nipple along the way. He shivered but it was not with cold. I followed it until it slipped beneath the water and I had to stop. For the moment only, once we were out of the water and in a comfortable bed I planned to kiss it from beginning to end.

"Dear Havens, Perri, you will make me come with just that." His dazed voice made me feel quite proud of myself.

"You will come as often as you like, Gandalf for I will always be here to entice you to come again." I kissed him softly and watched his eyes crinkle into a smile.

"I shall be a withered up husk before you are done with me, Perri." His smile was brighter than the stars that shone overhead.

"Untrue, Gandalf, for I shall never be done with you. I will wrap you in my arms this night and all our days to come. I have loved you too long to be satisfied with but a single night." I kissed his cheek then his nose and over to his other cheek.

"You humble me, beloved. I have no experience with such devotion. My small fumblings of love were hurried and more a form of comfort than anything else." He admitted ruefully and stroked back the hair from my face. "Never was my partner as beautiful as you. You are golden through and through, Perri. How can you want someone like me?"

"You are like a giant oak tree that grows in this forest, solid with roots that pierce the earth deeply. I plan to shelter in your shade where ever we may be." I luxuriated in his arms around me and in my ability to touch him. The warmth of the spring was as nothing compared to the warmth I found in his embrace. I found myself sitting in his lap with my legs clasped around his waist while we kissed again and again.

Our shafts dueled for space between us and I shivered when he reached a hand between to gather them together. My blood was hotter than the water that surrounded us and the slight friction of his callused palm against my most tender skin made it boil. I felt my seed rush from me and I couldn't seem to catch my breath when he groaned into my mouth and came.

Never had I felt so loved. His soft murmurs of my name brought me back to the here and now. Soft kisses fluttered over my face and I absorbed them like my skin absorbed the water that surrounded us. I would learn much this night.


I held a miracle in my arms. He was beautiful in his passion and he'd moved with me like he'd done it all his days. His soft cry of completion had drawn my climax from me in a rush. Tasting the softness of his cheek, I feared that I could never get enough. But if his words were true then I would never need to be without him. The pulse in his throat throbbed beneath my lips and I drank in the sound of his life.

"Gandalf," He sighed and I smiled to hear my name so sultrily spoken. "I love you, my wizard."

"Dearest Perri, I have never felt like this before." I drew back just enough so I could look into those beautiful eyes. "Do not ever doubt my love for you."

His look was affectionate and he kissed the tip of my nose. "I do not doubt, Gandalf, for I shall remain by your side no matter where you are. You are used to being alone and should you need silence I will give it to you. But should you be needed elsewhere then I shall go with you."

I blinked and stared at him. "You do not wish to stay here in Friendly?"

This time he kissed my lips slowly and I almost forgot my question. Then he pulled away and placed one hand over my heart. "My home is here in your arms. Where you live, there shall I live. Where you go, I will go. You have responsibilities beyond this place, I understand that. Friendly shall perhaps be our still center where we live when we can and come back to when we are weary."

"Goodness," I said faintly. He was committing to me even though he knew that I might have to leave. I'd never experienced such devotion directed solely at me and I wasn't sure what to say or how to feel.

"I've had many years to think on this, my love, while you've had but a few hours." He nuzzled my cheek with his soft lips while his hands stroked over the scar that he'd so tenderly kissed earlier. "Take your time and tell me if that is all right with you when you are ready."

"Perri," I managed over the frightened beating of my heart. "I have spent my life helping others and it feels selfish to be told to take something for myself." I laid my fingers over his protesting lips. "I am old, sometimes crotchety, set in my ways and not in the best of health. But if you will have me, I will be yours for how ever long the Valar should give us to love."

"Gandalf," he sighed and took my lips with fervor.

Clutching his slim form to mine, I felt myself begin to rise for a second time. That hadn't happened in centuries and just before I lost the ability to think at all, I marveled at the power of love. His love shone about us until I realized that wasn't what was shining. "Perri, look up."

He pulled back just far enough to spot the lazy fall of great white snow flakes. Laughing, he caught one on his tongue and licked his lips while I became almost harder than my iron oak staff. He noticed, of course, and his blue eyes sparkled while his hands smoothed over my chest.

"A most wondrous sight, Gandalf but something much more wonderful seeks my attention" his hands slid lower. "I think that we have time for one more" his clever fingers slid up and down my shaft but his eyes never left mine. "One more bout of love before we must leave this enchanted grove for the night."

His grip was perfect and I let my head fall back against the sturdy stone wall while he slowly frictioned me to steel. I was panting with the need to bring in enough air. I was very close to fainting when he stopped. My eyes popped open in protest but his smile was tender and he kissed me gently. The snow landed on his gleaming golden hair and looked like diamonds bejeweling his crown.

"Come for me, beloved. Come." He bade me and I obeyed that tender command with a shout of sated passion.

I felt my muscles relax completely in the heated bubbling waters of the spring. For the first time since I'd been rescued by Elrond and the others, I let go of the burdens and responsibilities that I'd carried for centuries. Perri's strong young arms were the only thing keeping me upright and not face down in the water.

"Dear Gandalf, I love giving you pleasure. We shall do this often but for now, I believe we should get out, dressed and go home." He lifted from my lap where I'd grown quite used to his slight weight, pulling me up and into the chilly air.

I had little energy left but he dried us both then dressed me in my robe and helped me on with my boots, sliding into his own clothes with a panache that I'd never be able to match. Leading me from the small grove, he whistled and Shadowfax and Lara came from where they'd been grazing nearby. He'd planned ahead, knowing how exhausted I'd be.

If I was very lucky, I'd be this exhausted over and over again. Together we would build a future with the others of Friendly and I could hardly wait to begin.

The end of Building the Future