Title: Up a Tree
Feedback: Please! smiles winningly
Warnings: Vaguely, vaguely, vaguely implied slash--you can probably ignore it if you wish. Also, a great deal of silliness.
A/N: Thanks to the many people who helped get this on its feet--you know who you are. :)
Up A Tree
The wizard looked up from his stack of books to find the recently crowned King of Gondor staring out of his study's window with a vaguely incredulous expression on his face. "Yes, Aragorn?"
"Ah...you wouldn't have any idea why Gimli is standing guard at the base of a tree, would you?"
"By the Valar, is he still there?" Gandalf rose abruptly from the desk, shedding books in all directions, and went to join Aragorn at the window. His mouth quirked when he saw the dwarf, axe in hand, leaning against the base of an elm tree and smoking, occasionally glancing above him. Gandalf thought the smoking was a particularly nice touch.
"Apparently...you know why he's there?"
Gandalf smiled patiently. "Look up aways, Aragorn."
Aragorn followed the wizard's direction and caught sight of a booted foot, approximately four feet above Gimli's head; he narrowed his eyes and gradually, through the gathering dusk, could make out a leg, a torso, and finally one whole wood elf, crouched in the branches of the tree and looking extremely annoyed at the tobacco smoke wafting up to him.
Aragorn couldn't suppress a snort of laughter at the image they presented: it was clear Legolas was not free to leave. The dwarf had him treed like a dog with an unfortunate cat. "Dare I ask how this came about?"
"I don't know whether you dare or not, Estel. It is a rather long and silly story."
"I insist upon hearing it," Aragorn said, delighted.
"Well," began Gandalf, who despite being a wise and respected elder was an insatiable gossip and could be relied upon to spill the beans about anybody, "believe it or not it all began with a discussion of the trip they are planning to visit the Glittering Caves and Fangorn."
"You were present for this discussion?"
Gandalf nodded. "Gimli was grousing about how trees dislike him, as usual, and Legolas was maintaining as he always does that it was not Gimli the trees disliked, merely his axes. So the elf unwisely offered to relieve Gimli of said axes before they entered the forest.
"Ah." It was Aragorn's turn to smirk. "And the dwarf was, let's see, less than amenable to this proposition?"
"Oh, there's more," Gandalf assured him. "Gimli replied that if Legolas laid a single hand on his axes, he would break his bow in twain." Aragorn winced. "And Legolas retorted that the bow was a gift from the Lady of Lorien, and if Gimli saw fit to destroy his gift from the Lady then Legolas would take Gimli's gift to replace it."
Aragorn shuddered. "Does Legolas have a death wish I should know about?"
Gandalf shrugged his shoulders. "Gimli actually responded very civilly, for him--he said that if Legolas dared to steal the Lady's hair from him, Gimli would take a lock of Legolas's own to replace it. And Legolas said that Gimli would have to catch him first--and thus." Gandalf gestured to the scene in Aragorn's gardens. "I think they covered the whole city twice before Legolas took refuge," he commented as an afterthought.
Aragorn laughed. "What was Legolas thinking? He can't expect to outwait a dwarf--elves may be patient, but dwarves are downright stubborn!"
"I think he was expecting there to be another tree within leaping distance he could move to," Gandalf said with a grin. "I imagine he escaped his brothers several times in Mirkwood swinging from tree to tree--as a matter of fact, he escaped a certain wizard trying to install a proper sense of history in him a time or two that way as well." Gandalf gazed out at the tableau with a sigh of satisfaction. "My, this is good for the soul."
Aragorn laughed again--this time loudly enough that Gimli jumped, startled, and moved away from the tree apace, peering towards the window that Aragorn and Gandalf watched him from. Legolas used this moment of inattention to spring from the tree--he landed a full four feet away already running, and with a roar Gimli took after him. The sound of elven giggling floated back to the two watchers, and then the garden was undisturbed.
Aragorn shook his head and turned back towards the desk and the unattended papers on it. "Gimli's mad if he thinks he can outrun an elf who's got his mind bent on escape."
"Oh, I don't think Legolas is terribly bent on escape," Gandalf said with an indulgent smile, following Aragorn back to the desk. "I note he doesn't run so fast that Gimli looses sight of him."
"They're behaving like teenagers, both of them," Aragorn complained, shaking his head.
"Indulge them, Estel. I can remember some exceptionally silly behavior on your part when you were courting Arwen."
Aragorn reddened. "I just hope they don't run over half the people in Minas Tirith while they're getting on with it," he mumbled.
"Oh, don't worry," Gandalf said with a twinkle in his eye. "I expect Legolas will let Gimli catch him soon enough."