Title: Fairy Tale: The Sleeping Beauty
Author: Sivan Shemesh
Disclaimer: The LOTR's characters are not mine; even the fairy tale is not.
Tolkien owns LOTR, The Sleeping Beauty by Grimm Brothers as far as I know.
Warning: AU, angst/humor.
Summary: When the king and the queen are away, Eldarion is curious about how his parents had met for the first time. Legolas is there to answer. And have his revenge.
A/N: Written for Prompt #10: Death of 12 Stories at LJ communities.
A/N: Follows "Fairy Tale: The Elfling Who Cried 'Orcs'"
When the king and the queen left Gondor, taking a vacation for a week, they had no idea what would be waiting for them when they returned.
Eldarion was posing questions non-stop to the dwarf, who was unfortunately present and waiting for the elf to arrive and help him with the boy.
Gimli sighed in relief when he noticed the elf arriving in his calm way, riding his horse.
"It is about time that you came, Legolas," Gimli teased him and continued, "This boy has been asking me the same question over and over, and I have said I do not know the answer. Maybe you can spare me the agony and help with what he wants to know."
Legolas dismounted from his horse, letting the stable boy handle his horse and lead him toward the stables, then the elf turned toward the dwarf, and asked with a smile, "What was the question?"
The sound of laughing saved the dwarf from answering the question, and Legolas at once teased the approaching figure, "Who is that running to us?"
"Me…" Eldarion replied, still giggling.
The elf knelt on the dense ground, anticipating the boy to jump at him, just like he always did.
As Legolas predicted, the boy leapt over and both of them fell onto the welcoming green grass. Legolas smiled, clearly enjoying the companionship of the boy; Eldarion reminded him so much of Aragorn - like father, like son.
"Have you missed me, little one?" Legolas teased the boy again.
"I have," The boy answered and then he asked with those pleading eyes, "Uncle Legolas, how did adar and naneth meet for the first time?"
Legolas sighed heavily, and as a plan built in his mind, he grinned.
"Have you eaten anything?" Legolas asked.
"Not yet," Eldarion replied and in that same pleading tone, the boy asked again, "Will you tell me now, Uncle Legolas?"
"I will, once you eat something, because the tale is very long, and I do not wish you to starve just to hear it, alright?"
Eldarion nodded, and then he rose on his feet, waiting for the elf to do the same before he took Legolas' hand and led him inside the palace, while Gimli followed them with a smile.
They sat in the dining room and the table was soon spread with lots of food and water kept in vessels. Eldarion ate, enjoying the company of his uncles.
"Thank you, my friend." Gimli even made the concession of being grateful, though he was trying to hide his impatience. He, too, wished to know how Aragorn and Arwen met for the first time, and he figured that the young boy was far more impatient than he was.
Legolas saw a look of satisfaction upon Eldarion's face and he assumed that he had finished eating and was waiting as well as he could for the tale.
"Come with me, my boy, and I will tell you what you wanted to know," Legolas said to him, and seeing the way Gimli showed interest, he turned to ask Eldarion, "Would you like Gimli to hear the tale as well?"
And so the three of them left the palace and headed outside, sitting near to the White Tree. Legolas thanked nature for that gift and enjoyed the fresh air, while the other two waited for him to start.
"It all started on the day your mother was born," Legolas said dramatically to Eldarion and then continued the tale, "The feast was celebrated at Lothlórien, where all the elves and men came to celebrate, but they seemed to have forgotten the dwarves knew about this event."
Legolas paused as he could see Eldarion struggle to say something and watched as the boy turned his head toward Gimli, "Have you heard anything about that, Uncle Gimli?"
Gimli found himself lost for words, and looked around trying to think. Of course, his greatest fear was to say something that would make Eldarion see him differently. The dwarf turned to his friend, hoping he could lighten the situation.
"Eldarion, my boy, Gimli could not have known about it as only the kings of the dwarves, who were not invited, knew. If Gimli had been invited, he would come to show his respect to those who respected him in inviting him, don't you think so, young Eldarion?"
Legolas smiled as he noticed the dwarf sighing in relief and then smiling at him in gratefulness for getting him out of that situation.
"Please continue, Uncle Legolas." The boy pleaded softly with Legolas.
"The seven dwarf lords were not invited, but they came near the end of the feast, after Lord Celeborn gave his own blessing, and each of the dwarf lords, started to curse the elfling in their hearts."
"The dwarf lords could hear the blessings for the elfling that was born."
"The gift of beauty." Oropher blessed the child.
"The gift of song." Prince Thranduil blessed the child too.
"Where were you, Uncle Legolas?" Eldarion asked.
"I was with my naneth, who was taking care of me, as I was only an elfling." Legolas replied softly to the boy.
"I love the blessing that your father and grandpa gave to the elfling, but I wonder…" Eldarion said, leaving the question hanging.
"What are you wondering, my boy?" Legolas asked in curiosity.
"I wonder what was the elfling's name, and was the elfling a he or a she?"
"Well, she was Arwen, your mother."
"Oh…" Eldarion smiled.
"Then, the leader of the seven dwarf lords spoke his curse for the elfling - she would die when she reached the age of 16 when she pricked her finger on a blade."
Eldarion glared at Gimli, "How could you, Gimli?"
"Umm… Eldarion, do you remember I mention before that Gimli was not in the story at all?" Legolas asked, and saw Eldarion nodding in reply.
"I'm sorry, Uncle Gimli." Eldarion apologized.
"I understand, son."
"The Princess would not die, but only sleep for a hundred years, until her Prince Charming arrives and kisses her." Galadriel said, as she did all she could to soften the dwarf's curse.
Legolas noticed the frown upon Eldarion's brow, and softly, he continued the tale for the boy, "Arwen's parents tried not to let her near anything that could sting and draw blood while she was growing up, but at the age the curse was to take effect, Arwen got away from her parents' supervision and all she wanted to do was to know anything about swords as she loved the way her twin brothers played with their swords, the very things she had never seen in her life thus far, and she loved the ringing sound when the swords collided together."
"What happened next?" Eldarion asked, hungering for more in his uncle's tale.
"Her parents had not taken into consideration a dwarf who had come to visit their homeland, and one day, the dwarf was left alone with Arwen. This dwarf was amongst the seven dwarf lords who came when the elfling was born, and Arwen, who was already fascinated by shiny and beautiful swords, was amazed to know what the dwarf's weapon was like.
The dwarf showed her his axe and let her touch it, feel it, and when he showed her how sharp it was, her finger felt the blade's sting and in that moment, Arwen collapsed on the floor, in a deep sleep. In addition, while she slept, everyone in the castle, slept too, for 100 years, till her savior came."
"Do you mean that was when daddy arrived?" Eldarion asked.
Legolas nodded before he continued his tale.
"When 100 years were over, one man riding on his white stallion arrived at Imladris, and as he arrived, he was amazed at how the ground was not being cared for at all. All the bushes and trees, seemed like an overgrown wilderness and he could barely see the houses within the forests…"
Legolas was interrupted by Eldarion then. "How could he not see? Was there a… a… heavy wind?" Eldarion asked in wonder.
"There was no heavy wind, just that nature covered it as the branches grew, and do not forget, dear boy, that 100 years had passed and nature was growing throughout that time." Legolas explained.
Eldarion nodded in understanding.
"What had happened next, Legolas?" This time, it was Gimli who asked.
"In an attempt to get inside the house, your father had to cut through all the branches to get there. Once he was inside, he froze in his place as he saw how the elves stood, still rooted to the ground, and not moving. He was getting curious about what had happened to them, and he started to search inside the house, and finally, he stopped at one room, the room where your nana was… lying on the bed, her hands by her side, her face totally calm…"
"And then what happened?" Eldarion asked.
"Then, Eldarion, that was the time when all of them woke up. It was then when your adar kissed your naneth, and all those who had slept all those years started to wake and thanked your father, who was a ranger then, for saving them." Legolas explained.
"What did my father do to save them all?" Eldarion asked seemingly unconvinced.
"You see, Eldarion, to break the spell, your father had to kiss your naneth's lips…"
"So, it was the kiss that saved everyone?"
"Aye, it was." Legolas confirmed.
"Thank you for letting me know, Uncle Legolas," Eldarion smiled gratefully, and then he added, "Now I finally know how they met."
"It is my pleasure, young one," Legolas said and added, "Now, if your father asks about me, you know what to tell him, right?"
Eldarion nodded; after all it was the agreement between him and Legolas.
A week later…
The king and the queen had returned from their vacation and they were glad to see that Gimli was still around.
Aragorn sighed in relief when he did not see any sign of Legolas; whenever that elf was with Eldarion, trouble was always near.
The king, though, stopped in his place when he noticed what his son doing. Eldarion was starting to order some men to do something but he was too far to hear.
"Eldarion, what do you think you are doing?" Elessar asked his son.
"Nothing." Eldarion replied in an innocently sweet voice.
"Who was here beside Gimli?"
"No one." Eldarion replied quickly.
"Your nana missed you, Eldarion, go to her." Elessar told his son while he searched for Gimli.
"Gimli," Aragorn called, and when he caught his attention, he asked, "Was there someone else here beside you?"
"Gimli…" Aragorn warned the dwarf and gave him a pointed look.
"Well… just do not tell him that I said that." Gimli said, and then he added with a heavy sigh, "Legolas."
"What did he do?"
"Gimli, nothing is not the right answer. Now, what did he do?" Aragorn gave him another warning look.
"Just telling a tale." Gimli replied.
"What kind of tale?"
"Of how you and Arwen first met."
"Is there something that I should know?"
"Nope." Gimli replied, and gratefully left the king to wonder what had just happened.