Author: Athea (
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Bringing Up Babies, part 10
Pairing: Gimli/Legolas and Gloin/Lorrin
Summary: Plans are made.
Date: 16 March 2003

Legolas was so rigid he was like an iron bar. I knew something was seriously wrong when he started growling under his breath like he'd done years back during the War, the feral look in his eyes one that I hadn't seen for long months. I stayed as close to him as I could and still be seen in public. He'd asked Nana and Pfister to take the children while Lord Elrond spoke to those of us who'd gathered in the dining hall. I'd seen the end of the bizarre wave but there was obviously more than met the eye.

The dark Elven Lord was modest about his mastery of the river but I could see that the others in the room were awed. I had an inkling of the truth so I tried very hard not to look at the dwarf healer. My love was practically vibrating at my side and I slipped one of his tightly clenched hands into mine so he had something to hold onto, although I was pretty sure that his grip was going to leave bruises.

"If it's all right with you, Prince Legolas, I will take Glorfindel and investigate the source of the river to see if we can find a cause for this freak of nature." Lord Elrond asked gravely.

My love started a bit and I frowned to keep from smiling. He hadn't had much to do as the ruler of Friendly since our first months when we set about creating our community. But he was nodding now, his upbringing coming to the fore. "I think that an excellent idea, Elrond. I also think that you should take Gandalf with you in case there is some darker magic involved."

Our wizard nodded. "I agree, Prince Legolas. We'll start off first thing in the morning."

"Good," my love said with that princely air that made me want to bow to him or maybe lick him from head to toe. "If anyone knows or saw anything out of the ordinary, please come to me or to my bonded. I'm sure that we all want to keep our loved ones safe."

The others nodded and in a few moments, the crowd had broken up and we'd all gone our separate ways. I strode at Legolas' side while my father and Lorrin followed close behind us. My love was still trembling and his stride was almost a run. I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to like what he had to tell me in the safety of our home.

I was right, I didn't like it at all.

"So, Pharin tamed the river while Glimmer stopped the earth tremors." Legolas finished and curled more closely around the children between us.

"Easy, Dada," Glimmer patted my leather weskit and smiled at me while I dropped my eyes to his. "Earth didn' wan' be bad."

What did I say to that? My little boy was growing up too fast, his powers taking him too far ahead of me. "Did . . . did it take energy away from you, Glimmer? Were you tired when you were done?"

He shook his head from side to side. "No, Dada, feels good. Earth likes me."

Pharin tucked tightly into Legolas' side, her tiny fingers stroking his beautiful long hair. "Water like flying."

Lorrin nodded where he sat across from us, wrapped securely in my father's arms. "Each element has its own exhilaration. Water was made to move in a way that earth was not. I believe that when the children . . . meshed with their chosen element, they were able to tap the great energies embodied within them. They have much to learn about what it was they did but for the moment, they did an almost perfect job of deflecting the creature's attention."

Papa's deep voice was next. "It will probably try fire and wind next to see what happens. Unless it already knows that Gandalf used fire to destroy its kin?"

I found myself nodding. "Lorrin, you said something about mind speech between the creatures when you last met them."

He shivered a little. "Yes, they spoke over vast distances but we deduced that it was of limited duration. It seemed to take great energy, the further they were apart."

Pharin's sweet voice piped into the silence. "He knows 'bout fire and Dalf but no 'bout us or the new ones."

"New ones, sweetheart?" I asked her.

"Fala and baby Jer," she said solemnly, "and the twins and Ceri, far away."

Far away? I blinked and looked at my bonded in consternation.

"The Lady Galadriel's child is a little boy?" Legolas finally smiled and chuckled when our daughter nodded. "You can hear him from across the many leagues between us?"

She nodded and giggled. "Ceri like Blue."

I caught my love's glance and immediately started drafting a letter for the beautiful queen of the Elves. Part of me still thought her the most beautiful woman of my acquaintance but not the most beautiful Elf. That person was cuddling the children he'd born me and sending a heated look my way.

Papa sighed and drew our attention. "I do not like that the creature chose a dwarf body to inhabit. We have so few of our brethren here that when the truth comes out, we stand a good chance of being ostracized."

"That won't happen, Papa." My bonded said empathetically. "The earlier invasion chose Elves to embody, am I right, Lorrin?"

"True, my prince." Lorrin sighed and rubbed his cheek. "We could save none of the poor healer it overtook, only a few fragments of bone that we burned to make sure none of the creature survived."

"Another healer?" Papa asked him incredulously.

"We are trained to help wounded creatures. It took advantage of that tendency on our part." Lorrin smiled into his eyes.

I watched my father lose his train of thought completely at the heat in lavender eyes. When I looked back at Legolas, I found him gathering up a sleepy Pharin. Glimmer was sound asleep with one little hand holding onto me and the other curled against his lips, almost but not quite sucking his thumb.

"We'll go home, sons and be back first thing in the morning." Papa stood up and drew Lorrin up with him. They both kissed the babies before heading for the guesthouse where they were sleeping.

Carrying the children into their room, we undressed and tucked them under the warm green and blue quilts that Tilly had pieced together for them. For a moment, I just stood there, watching them stretch unconsciously before settling into their favorite positions. Glimmer's head was almost under the pillow, his arms and legs every which way. Pharin was curled on her left side, one tiny hand under her pale cheek.

Legolas knelt between the beds and kissed first one, then the other before moving out of the way so I could have my turn. It was a ritual that never failed to amaze me when I looked down at these little bundles of energy that were the result of our love. I was truly blessed by the ancient Dwarven Gods. I breathed deeply of both of them and carried away the scent of sweet violet powder and soap.

My love reached for me when we left the room and tugged me to the bathroom. A nice hot bath would go a long way towards ending this day better than it had begun. Settling into the hot water, I grabbed the soap first so I could wash him with hands lathered and slightly purple. Somehow sweet violet had become our staple scent. Running my hands down one long leg, I realized that all his muscles were twisted into knots of tension.

His gaze was still a little unfocused and he felt like a miniature thunder cloud sitting there with his beautiful hair skewered in a knot on top of his head. He should have looked silly but all I could see was that kingly air that he can summon at a moment's notice. When I began to stroke a particularly bad spot, he winced, his attention coming back to me in a rush.

"Can you talk about it yet, beloved?" I asked while gentling my strokes.

He tried to smile, truly he did but it was a sorry effort. "I fear for them, Gimli. This is something against which I can . . . not . . . fight." He clenched his fists then painfully released his fingers so he could reach for me. I pulled him over me so I could hug him close. "Gimli, they're just babies."

"I know my own. They are growing so fast that I fear they are losing their childhood to this menace." I kissed the little point of his ear and felt him shiver. "All we can do is hold them close, love them with all our hearts and guard their backs."

The little snort from the area of my throat told me that he'd gotten my point. He uncurled just enough to gaze into my eyes. "I love you, Gimli son of Gloin. Do you think all parents go through such troubling thoughts?"

I smiled and raised a hand to trace the sad pout of his lips. "All parents fear for their children, Papa told me that long ago. We are however, unique in the history of Middle-earth so I'm not sure that all these fears can be compared to any other set of parents."

He sighed then darted out a pink tongue to lick my finger. "You are very wise, my love. I will say only that I am very glad that we are together, sharing these fears with each other. And I will also admit that my muscles really . . . really hurt."

Such a precious gift he gave me with those words and his rather sheepish look. My bonded will not usually admit to pain so I chuckled and urged him to take his place at the other end of the tub again. The hot water began to relax his overstrained muscles while I smoothed my way up those long legs of his to his right thigh, which had a tendency to cramp on him.

The little wrinkle between his eyes finally smoothed out while he floated half asleep. I finished soaping and rinsing both of us while his drowsy eyelids drooped, just a tinge of deep blue showing. Moving slowly between his legs, I slowly petted his flat stomach and thought about when he was swollen with our babes. Flat or rounded, I loved touching him . . . watching him . . . just loving him with all my heart and soul.

"Beloved, I think it's time we went to bed so you can fuck me through the mattress." He said sweetly, scissoring his legs around me to hold me in place.

And I had to laugh out loud before pulling him up into my arms for the first of very many kisses that I would gift him with this night.

********* Gloin *********

Lorrin and I lay beneath the star quilt that I'd brought with me over a year ago when I'd come to check out my son's odd behavior. We were curled around each other the way we always slept but for some reason I just couldn't let go of the day and the bizarre events that had overtaken us.

"I'm afraid, Gloin." Lorrin's soft voice came from the hollow at my throat. "I had thought to never have to face such evil again. The children are powerful beyond any circle that ever we raised in the First Age but they are untutored in the ways of magic."

I stroked his dark silky hair in the soothing pattern that he liked best. "I know what you mean. I've never met it before but I felt the earth call out in pain. You said that it killed many of your . . . mages the last time. Yet, Gandalf took out one with only his own magic. Isn't that a good sign?"

Soft lips kissed the tender skin usually hidden by my beard. "Yes and no, my love. Gandalf is Istari and practically fresh from his fight with the Balrog. Yet he was still trapped within the circle until we found him. None of us want to expose the little ones to such horror."

"True," I shivered just a bit at the thought of my little Pharin or Glimmer facing a monster. "But part of me wonders if they know more than we do at this point. As you pointed out, they are small but powerful. How did your talk with Sam and Frodo turn out?"

"Frodo is frightened speechless while Sam . . ." he raised his head and smiled down at me. "Sam is the most sensible Hobbit I believe ever came from the Shire. He's scared for the children but he also sees their abilities. He got Frodo to finally smile before I left. He told him that neither of them were raising any turnips, thank you very much."

I grinned, hearing Sam's voice in my head. "True, we're all raising them to love their family and the land that supports us. They may be young but they know just how much they are loved and protected."

"Very, very true, Gloin," he leaned in and kissed me ever so gently. I loved it when he nipped my lower lip before sliding inside with his tasty tongue.

It appeared that we were through talking for the evening. It was time for reminding ourselves what we loved and were loved. My hands sifted through the dark strands of silk that fell like a curtain on either side of my face. If I live to three hundred, I will never get enough of his sweetness.

********* Basteal *********

The dark lord was powerful indeed. He'd cut the power that I'd nurtured into the giant wave like flipping a switch. It was on his lands that my fellow scout had disintegrated. Whether it was him or the golden one with him mattered little. Here was one who was a worthy adversary.

I would win, of course. He was weak with ties to others that dragged him down to earth-grubber status. He had little stamina and I'd noticed that he often slept late and napped early. How he'd ever functioned as a warrior, I could hardly fathom. In fact, the denizens of this world baffled me sometimes.

Take Prince Legolas for instance, he was a bowman of great renown and faster with his knives than any other I'd seen. Yet he had carried his young to term. No warrior of the Dynast would conceive of such weakness, let alone his continued care of the puling infants. But he did it freely.

Strange beings this world had, I stroked the dark beard of this body and fed a little more on the diminishing life force of the healer I'd caught. Another week or so and he'd be completely gone. If I wasn't finished by then, I'd have to look around and find another to inhabit.

I got the impression sometimes that some of these creatures didn't like dwarves much. Popping a river rock into my mouth, I dissolved it into a tasty treat. The minerals of this world were quite delicious. The sooner that I gathered enough information to destroy the populace, the sooner the Dynast could arrive to harvest this world.

One more test and I'd be ready to call them in.

The end of part ten