Me:  LOL!  Just a little bit of fun here.  This is in response to someone who lamented that "When You Are With Me" is much too long. 

(Proudly do I carry on and on and on.  I ramble on with my tales like a hobbit if given half a chance.  No apologies here.)

This is for those of more dwarvish-spirits who like their romance direct and to the point.  Most of this is lifted straight from "The Return of the King", but I'm altering it and including a few extra lines which I'm SURE Professor Tolkien meant to add.   ; )

Perhaps this is how it began for them….

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(Passages from The Return of the King, Chpt. IX:  "The Last Debate.")

. . . .

With that the servant of the Prince came and led Gimli and Legolas to the Houses of Healing; and there they found their friends in the garden, and their meeting was a merry one.  For a while they walked and talked, rejoicing for a brief space in peace and rest under the morning high up in the windy circles of the City.  Then when Merry became weary, they went and sat upon the wall with the greensward of the Houses of Healing behind them; and away southward before them was the Anduin glittering in the sun, as it flowed away, out of sight even of Legolas, into the wide flats and green haze of Lebennin and South Ithilien.

And now Legolas fell silent, while the others talked, and he looked out against the sun, and as he gazed he saw white sea-birds beating up the River.

"Look!" he cried.  His companions did so, but while the hobbits stared out contemplatively from the high wall down at the water, Gimli only gave a disinterested glance and turned back. 

"Gulls!" Legolas breathed.  "They are flying far inland.  A wonder they are to me and a trouble to my heart.  Never in all my life had I met them, until we came to Pelargir, and there I heard them crying in the air as we rode to the battle of the ships.  Then I stood still, forgetting war and Middle-earth; for their wailing voices spoke to me of the Sea.  The Sea!  Alas!  I have not yet beheld it.  But deep in the hearts of all my kindred lies the sea-longing, which it is perilous to stir.  Alas! for the gulls.  No peace shall I have again under beech or under elm."  The Elf brought his knees up under his chin and his eyes were sad.

Gimli shook his head.  "Say not so!  There are countless things still to see in Middle-earth, and great works to do.  But if all the fair folk take to the Havens, it will be a duller world for those who are doomed to stay."

"Dull and dreary indeed!" said Merry.  "You must not go to the Havens, Legolas.  There will always be some folk, big or little, and even a few wise dwarves like Gimli, who need you.  At least I hope so."

Merry spoke further, but Gimli and Legolas were no longer listening.  One was lost in his sea-longing, the other was lost in sudden thought.  Gimli brought up a hand to rub the rough edge of his cheek and he stared at Legolas, narrowing his eyes as if considering something he hadn't before.

"Don't be so gloomy!"  Pippin's chiding voice broke apart Gimli's concentration.  "The Sun is shining," the hobbit declared, "and here we are together for a day or two at least." 

Gimli nodded in firm agreement.  "At least!" he murmured. 

"I want to hear more about you all," Pippin said.  "Come, Gimli!  You and Legolas have mentioned your strange journey with Strider about a dozen times already this morning.  But you haven't told me anything about it."

Gimli was reluctant to return to the dark memories of the Paths of the Dead, but Legolas obliged the eager hobbits and told the tale, for Elves fear not the shadows of men and the horror had not touched him.

He told them of the tryst at Erech, and described to them the Black Stone; his words took them along the great ride to Pelargir and swept them into the battle for the fords.  "Thus we crossed over Gilrain," Legolas said, "driving the allies of Mordor in rout before us; and then we rested a while.  But soon Aragorn arose, saying:  'Lo! already Minas Tirith is assailed.  I fear that it will fall ere we come to its aid.'  So we mounted again before night had passed and went on with all the speed that our horses could endure over the plains of Lebennin." 

There the Elf paused again and sighed and his eyes were drawn once again away from them and yonder from the wall southward.  Softly he sang:

Silver flow the streams from Celos to Erui

In the green fields of Lebennin!

Tall grows the grass there.  In the wind from the Sea

The white lilies sway,

And the golden bells are shaken of mallow and alfirin

In the green fields of Lebennin,

In the wind from the Sea!

Gimli leaned forward, resting his elbows upon his knees, and he clasped his hands before him.  When Legolas had finished, the Dwarf looked long at him and his face was stern.

"Green are those fields in the songs of my people; but they were dark then, grey wastes in the blackness before us.  And over the wide land, trampling unheeded the grass and the flowers, we hunted our foes through a day and a night, until we came at the bitter end to the Great River at last."  Legolas's voice took on an anguished tone.  "Then I thought in my heart that we drew near to the Sea; for wide was the water in the darkness, and sea-birds innumerable cried on its shores.  Alas for the wailing of the gulls!  Did not the Lady tell me to beware of them?  And now I cannot forget them."

Gimli rose.  He strode over and stood in front of the Elf.  The Dwarf looked boldly at him and ere Legolas could react, Gimli reached down and dipped up the Elf's face in his hands and brought him to his lips.  He kissed Legolas deeply, passionately, stifling the Elf's startled cry with his warm mouth.   

Pippin and Merry watched, surprised, and then bemused, and then with a bit of awkwardness as the kiss went on, and on still longer.

At last, Gimli drew back and let the Elf go.  Legolas lurched forward with a gasp as their lips parted.  His eyes flickered open and he regarded Gimli with wide astonishment.

The Dwarf walked back to where he had been.  He flipped his cloak back over his shoulders and sat down again.  He clasped his hands between his knees and looked calmly at the Elf.

"Oh," Legolas said.

Merry raised an eyebrow and exchanged glances with Pippin.  "You were saying… about the gulls, Legolas?"  The hobbit cleared his throat.

Legolas blinked, and then he looked absently to the River that flowed far down below them.  But his gaze did not linger there now and he paid no heed to the birds.  His eyes strayed back, drawn irresistibly to the Dwarf who sat across from him smiling in satisfaction.  The Elf's mouth opened, but no sound came forth.  He shut it, then opened it, and then shut it again and swallowed.

Gimli smiled, and then he turned nonchalantly from Legolas to address Merry.  "Gulls?"  He scowled dismissively.  "For my part, I heeded them not, for it was then at last that we came upon the battle in earnest!"

Gimli's eyes gleamed brightly as he took up the tale where the Elf had left off.  He leaned back and motioned his hand in the air as if he could grandly conjure his words to life.  "Imagine it, Meriadoc!  There at Pelargir lay the main fleet of Umbar, fifty great ships and smaller vessels beyond count…."

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Me:  What!  You mean that ISN'T how that chapter goes?  Oh, come now.  You know how stories become altered as they are passed down throughout the years.  I am most certain this account is accurate.  Ask Legolas and Gimli, if you don't believe me.  ; )