Disclaimer: I own Nothing with a capital n. Tolkien rocks!
Author's Note: This is my first time publishing a LOTR fanfic thought I love to write them. Hope you enjoy this one and be sure to tell me what you think :)
Dwarven Door Stop
Legolas made his way down the stone hallway towards the wing of the castle that held the rooms reserved for himself and Gimli when they were visiting Minas Tirith. The rooms were for their sole use, connected by an adjoining door, and had balconies that overlooked the city. Legolas was just returning to his room, he had spent the night in the palace gardens, enjoying the summer night in the open air as opposed to the slightly warmer and stuffy air the castle provided. He, Gimli, Faramir, and Eomer had spent the evening in a local pub discussing everything from politics to dwarven mating rituals, a topic on which Gimli had to dispel quite a few misconceptions. As the dwarf and the humans began imbibing in spirits at a frightening pace, Legolas choose to excuse himself and sought out the peaceful solitude of the garden.
It was nearing breakfast time as Legolas reached his room; he entered and went straight to the wash basin, cleaning up before changing into a fresh tunic and leggings. He folded his soiled clothes and left them for the chamber maid at the end of the bed. Legolas was about to leave and head down to the dining hall when he decided he should probably check in on Gimli and make sure he made it back to his chambers last night. Legolas swung open the door that led from his room into the dwarf's when its progress was suddenly halted with a loud thud that sent a vibration through the heavy wood and straight up the elf's arm as it connected solidly with something in its path. Legolas cringed as a groan followed the impact and he knew what awaited him on the other side before he even looked down to the floor.
Gimli had apparently made it back to his room but then passed out in front of the door connecting their rooms. Legolas slipped through the narrow opening and shut the door behind him. Gimli lay motionless on the floor at his feet.
'He's either passed out from drinking or I knocked him unconscious with the door.' Legolas surmised.
"Gimli?" He knelt next to the dwarf and called out his name a few times while slender elven fingers were probing and found the large goose egg left by the confrontation between the dwarf's skull and the door. He then gently rolled Gimli onto his back.
"Gimli ..." He called his friend's name and slapped his face lightly in hopes of eliciting a response or rousing the dwarf.
Gimli growled and slapped Legolas' hand away.
"What are you doing?" He demanded in a gruff tone, pushing himself up onto his elbows. He visibly winched at the sharp pain that was shooting through his skull.
Legolas decided not to reveal what had happened for the time being and answered: "I entered your chamber and found you passed out on the floor." He sat back on his heels and regarded his friend carefully. "You must have consumed too much ale last night."
Gimli looked confused. "I do not think that is the case. I left not that long after you last night to draw up a new well system for Eomer. We began discussing it after you left." He put a hand to his head, hissing in pain when it came in contact with the lump. "Last I remember I was bending down to retrieve a scroll that has rolled off my desk." His eyes were scanning for the scroll as he spoke, both he and Legolas locked eyes on the item simultaneously. It lay on the carpet next to the door. Gimli's brow furrowed in thought briefly, noting his own close proximity to the door, before he threw a vicious glare at the elf who had stood and was now backing away quickly.
"You may have found me on the floor but it was not a night of drinking that put me there!" Gimli growled as he staggered to his feet, trying to catch up with the retreating elf on wobbly legs.
"Gimli, my friend, I had no idea you were behind the door." Legolas said from a safe distance.
"I believe that is why they invented knocking! And what of that superior elven hearing you so often brag about?" Gimli had stopped pursuing the elf and was leaning against his desk, hand to his head.
"First of all, elves do not brag. We cannot help if our senses are heightened to levels of which men or dwarves could never hope to achieve. And secondly I did not hear the usual clomping I have come to associate with your footfalls." His gaze travelled sown to the dwarf's feet and was surprised to see that he was in his stocking feet. "That would explain it."
Gimli frowned in bewilderment then followed the elf's line of vision and found it focused on his feet. "I don't always wear my boots, you blasted elf!"
"I am sorry Gimli." Legolas said earnestly, closing the distance between he and his friend. "Does it cause you much pain?" He reached out to touch the dwarf's head.
"Enough." Gimli pulled away. "I am fine." He turned and bent to retrieve the lost scroll when the room began to spin and he felt himself tipping forward.
Legolas rushed to Gimli's side and steadied him before he fell. "I am not so sure you are, my friend." Legolas said, steering the dwarf towards the bed and helping him to sit upon its edge.
"I am fine. I simply should not have bent down so quickly."
"And I should have knocked before I opened the door." The elf added in retrospect. "I did not think you would have been awake yet or even here for that matter."
Gimli shot the elf a funny look. "You were checking up on me after what you assumed had been a night of heavy drinking in other words."
"You were planning on waking me in a rude manner, weren't you elf?" Gimli nearly laughed. It wasn't often he caught the elf in the act.
Legolas looked slightly embarrassed.
Gimli smiled and shrugged, forgiving his friend, knowing he would have been tempted to do the same had their positions been reversed. That and the fact that his head ached so badly that he wasn't feeling up to taking advantage of the situation at the moment. "Let us put this matter behind us and head down to breakfast."
"Let us," Legolas agreed, he found Gimli's boots and placed them by his feet. "But perhaps you should allow Aragorn to have a look at your head."
Gimli shook his head as he pulled on his boots. "No." He stated firmly. "We will not speak of this to him or anyone else for that matter."
Legolas was confused. If anyone should have been embarrassed about the situation it was he. "Why?"
Gimli looked up at him; the look of perplexity on his face showed that he had not been expecting that question. "What do you mean 'why?' ?"
"Why are you not going to lord this over me? Or try to mortify me in front of the others? That is what you would usually do."
Gimli scowled. "Have you thought that perhaps I do not wish for people to know I was rendered unconscious by a door-wielding elf?"
Now it was Legolas turn to be shocked. He stood there for a moment before bursting out with laughter. "A door-wielding elf!"
Gimli's cheeks reddened significantly. "I do not think this is a laughing matter!"
"What is not a laughing matter?"
Both the elf and the dwarf's heads snapped round in the direction of the voice and Legolas laughter died in his throat. Eowyn stood there at the open door, one hand still on the door handle.
"Nothing." Gimli said, quickly standing only to have his knees buckle slightly as a wave of dizziness overcame him.
Legolas caught him by the arm and steadied him again but Eowyn had already rushed into the room and straight to Gimli's side.
"Oh Gimli," She fussed, forcing the dwarf back onto the bed. "I came to give you a tongue lashing for the state in which you sent Faramir home last night but I see if anything you are worse off."
"I am fine." Gimli said, flustered by the woman's attentions. He brushed off her hands and tried, politely, to force his way back off the bed.
"Gimli! What happened to your head?" Eowyn asked suddenly.
Gimli looked up at Legolas and the elf saw the vivid bruise that stood out on the dwarf's temple.
"Nothing." Legolas and Gimli answered in unison, quickly drawing out the woman's suspicions.
"That," She said, pointing to the bruise. "Is certainly not 'nothing'."
"I suppose not." Legolas replied, eyeing the angry looking mark that marred the dwarf's temple.
"Yes it is!" Gimli assured. He stood carefully and began walking towards the door.
"Gimli!" The lady called, chasing after the dwarf. "How did that happen?"
"Do not concern yourself, my lady." He said pausing at the door, not wanting the conversation to continue within earshot of others. "As I just told both you and Legolas I am fine."
"Even if I believed that were true, Master Dwarf, I do not see how you intend to avoid the questions you will undoubtedly receive due to the massive bruise on the side of your head." Eowyn pointed out, hands on her hips. The look on Gimli's face clearly conveyed the fact that that thought had not occurred to him. "Tell me what happened?"
When neither Legolas nor Gimli showed any sign of breaking their stubborn silence on the matter Eowyn threw her hands up. "Fine then, I shall go announce to King Aragorn and the entire hall that you need his attention due to a mysterious head injury that you do not know how you incurred."
Gimli stood there a moment trying to decide if not knowing how he came to be injured was a better option than being knocked out by a door. One look in Legolas direction confirmed to him that the elf was pondering the same thing.
Eowyn could tell they were both contemplating the idea. "I'm sure everyone would be more than willing to help you discover what befell you." With a flip of her hair she strode past the open mouthed dwarf and was out in the hall when Gimli's revelation stopped her in her tracks.
"Legolas hit me with the door."
Eowyn spun around so quickly she startled the dwarf. "Pardon?"
Gimli sighed. "I was bending down to pick up a scroll when Legolas opened the door and-"
"He hit you on the head!?" Eowyn finished for the embarrassed dwarf, re-entering the room. "I fail to see why the two of you feel the need to hide this from others."
Legolas and Gimli exchanged a look. "That is because you are a woman." Gimli said bluntly.
"I fail to see what that has to do with anything!" The woman replied indignantly.
"What Gimli meant to say," Legolas began, resting a hand on the dwarf's shoulder. "Is that where you look at this incident and feel sorry for him, a man would more than likely find humour in the fact that a boastful warrior like Gimli was knocked unconscious by a door."
"Or," Gimli brushed the elf's hand from his shoulder. "That an elf, who claims his hearing is far superior to a mortal's, could not hear a 'heavy footed dwarf' on the other side of a door!" Gimli retorted.
Eowyn rolled her eyes in frustration but reluctantly agreed that she could see their point. "Be that as it may I still think you need to have a healer look at your head."
"I am going down to the dining hall to eat before all the food is gone. If I feel the need I will see a healer after that." Gimli said, turning and walking out the door, leaving Eowyn and Legolas to stare after him.
Eowyn looked to Legolas who simply shrugged and suggested they follow after the dwarf.
"If he needs to see a healer I will see to it." Legolas promised as they reached the dining hall. He could see Gimli seated at the right end of the head table, positioned so no one could see the injury at his temple. He could also see that Aragorn was suspicious of the fact that the dwarf had seated himself so far away from the King. Aragorn caught Legolas eye and nodded in the direction of the dwarf as if to inquire as to what was going on. Legolas smiled; walking down to sit with the King he passed Gimli who was resting his head in his hand in an attempt to hide his bruise. Legolas bumped the dwarf's chair purposefully as he past and laughed when the action drew a growl.
"Why is Gimli sitting by himself? Is he cross with me?" Aragorn asked Legolas as he sat down beside the King.
"No, my friend." Legolas smiled. "It is not you he is cross with."
Aragorn allowed a small smile to grace his lips. "What did you do this time?"
Legolas reached for a bowl of fruit and placed some on his plate. "I'd rather not say."
"And why is that?" Aragorn asked, leaning forward eager to hear what his two friends were doing to torment each other this time.
"Forgive me. I should rephrase that last sentence. I cannot say." Legolas replied and quietly set about eating his breakfast.
Down at the far end of the table Gimli saw Legolas sit down next to Aragorn and the two engaged in conversation but he was not afraid that Legolas would tell Aragorn about what had transpired. It was when he looked past the two that he saw something that concerned him deeply. Eowyn had sat down next to Arwen and they were both looking at him and giggling. Gimli felt his face turning red and he looked down at his plate trying to decide whether to storm out of the hall or not. Before Gimli could decide he found himself flanked by the two women.
"For Aule's sake." He groaned.
"Hush Gimli, we will not tell anyone I just wanted to make sure you were alright." Arwen said as she knelt next to the dwarf and pushed his hair back to get a better look at the injury.
"Would you women please leave me be." Gimli said. His voice was strained as he tried to contain his embarrassment. He would have left but the women had surrounded him and were holding onto him in such a manner that if he had tried to leave it would have made a scene.
"Eowyn told me what happened. You really should see a healer." Arwen told the irate dwarf.
Gimli shot Eowyn a sharp look before Arwen turned his face to look back at her. She looked at his eyes, checking for signs of concussion but the close proximity was making the dwarf squirm. Realizing this the Queen smiled.
"Gimli," She began, holding the dwarf's face tightly between her hands. "If you do not allow me to take you to a healer immediately after breakfast I shall tell Aragorn, who in turn, will undoubtedly tell Faramir and Eomer and you shall have to suffer their barbs for some time to come."
Gimli could tell the woman was quite serious despite the hint of mirth that lurked around the edges of her pointed gaze. He sighed and was about to reply that he would accompany her to see a healer when a deep voice startled both him and the women.
"What is going on here?"
All three turned to see Aragorn standing directly behind them.
"Nothing, my love." Arwen said, hastily dropping her hands from Gimli's face and standing.
"Exactly." Gimli added, trying to hide his face from the King.
"It does not look like nothing." Aragorn fumed, coming to stand over the dwarf. "In fact it looked as though you were kissing Gimli from where I was sitting."
"WHAT!?" Arwen, Gimli, and Eowyn yelled in near harmony. The hall fell silent and all four were suddenly very aware that they had become the centre of attention.
"Perhaps we should discuss this elsewhere." Legolas suggested, laying a calming hand on the King's shoulder.
"Let us retire to our private rooms."Arwen said.
Everyone waited for Aragorn to make the first move and followed him as he marched out of the dining hall, Legolas and Gimli bringing up the rear.
"How did this get so out of hand?"Gimli asked the elf, thoroughly embarrassed and slightly angry.
"I am not entirely sure." Legolas said. He was as surprised as anyone at Aragorn's behaviour. "But it looks as though we are going to have to come clean about this morning or Aragorn may have you put in the dungeon."
Gimli looked up at Legolas and was considerably relieved to see the small smile on his face.
Once they were all in the King's sitting room Aragorn shut the door before slowly turning to face the small crowd, the look on his face was more than stern.
"What is going on between you two?" Aragorn addressed his wife and Gimli.
"Nothing, my love." Arwen repeated her earlier words. "And it speaks volumes of your level of trust for me that you think I would betray my vows to you with one of your closest friends." The Queen did not appear pleased and the hard look in her eyes caused the King to soften.
Gimli cleared his throat and stepped forward. "Before this gets any further out of control let me explain what happened."
"I'd better start, Gimli." Legolas interrupted. "For I was the one that started this chain of events." He squeezed the dwarf's shoulder reassuringly. Gimli redirected his gaze to the floor as he truly had no wish to hear this tale recounted yet again.
"I struck Gimli in the head with a door this morning, rendering him unconscious. We were both embarrassed by what occurred but it was difficult to hide since Gimli's temple is badly bruised. That is why he sat so far away from you at breakfast."
"Let me see." Aragorn told Gimli. The dwarf sighed and looked to the right, allowing the King to see the dark bruising at his temple. Satisfied the King instructed Legolas to continue once he had confirmed that the first part of their story was true.
"Eowyn entered Gimli's room in order to chastise him for the condition in which her husband returned to her last night and, due to much persistence on her part, eventually discovered what had occurred. She in turn revealed the tale to Arwen at breakfast, who went to check on Gimli I assume?" Legolas motioned for the elven Queen to pick up the story from there.
"Aye. I went over to check on Gimli and ensure that he would see a healer after the morning meal. That was when you came over and demanded to know what was passing between us and accused me of cheating on you." Arwen finished, her voice sharp.
Aragorn nodded and glanced around at the mixture of angry and crestfallen faces of the group. "You all swear that this is what happened?"
Everyone replied in the affirmative and Aragorn smiled. "I am glad I am no longer out of the loop."
Jaws dropped and the King laughed and pulled his wife into an embrace. "I am sorry Arwen, I simply wanted in on the amusing joke you all seemed to be keeping amongst yourselves."
Arwen slapped him on the chest. "You had better never accuse me of being unfaithful to you again." She warned albeit playfully.
"I swear it." Aragorn saw that Gimli was looking extremely relieved and smiled. "I apologize Gimli but the look on your face will be relished for some time to come."
"If we are quite through here I have things to attend to elsewhere." The dwarf replied, eager to return to his chambers and drink away the very memory of the morning.
"Not until I have had a closer look at that head of yours." Aragorn said in a tone that was not to be dismissed.
With a quick glance at the King, Gimli bolted for the door. Everyone watched in disbelief as the door swung open and clouted the dwarf firmly in the head, dropping him to the floor in an unconscious heap for second time in as many hours. A shocked looking Faramir poked his head through the half opened door and looked from the comatose dwarf to the group of slack jawed onlookers.
"I swear I didn't hear him."
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