It is not perfect, but I am actually pretending to be doing homework on my familys only computer, so I haven´t got time to edit it further... Enjoy it anyway!

Disgusting elves!

"It will be a long journey", Gimli said.

Aragorn looked surprised. "Well… it is quite a long way to the forest. But really not that long, not for one who is used to travel – "

"I am used to travel", Gimli said darkly. "It will be a long journey anyway."

This time Aragorn looked concerned. "Something wrong?"

"Yes." Gimli nodded at somebody who was walking towards them over the palace yard. Someone tall and slender with hair as floating gold… "That is wrong."

"Legolas is wrong?"

"No. But that stomping, snorting beast he´s got is."

It took Aragorn a while to understand what he meant, but then he saw that Legolas was not alone.

Arod was with him.

"Finished at last?" the elf called as he approached them. Wind blew over the yard – this high in the White City, wind always blew – and the sun had just reached the point where it shone all the way down to the lower parts of Minas Tirith. "I thought we would leave in the morning. But perhaps you count this as the morning."

"I count it the morning", Gimli declared.

"You count everything before three o´clock the morning, I know that. I was talking to Aragorn." Giving the King a very disrespectful smile, he said: "You have gone lazy since you became king!"

"Why do you assume it to be me who delayed all of us?" Aragorn asked. "It wasn´t me. We had to wait for Faramir and Éowyn to get ready. Breakfast takes quite a long time if you keep looking into each other's eyes instead of eating."

"Oh, shut it!" Éowyn burst out, blushing.

"Truth is", Faramir said, "that it was Aragorn who delayed us, because it took such a long time for him to say farewell to lady Arwen."

"She will be bored and alone here! You can't blame her for that."

Éowyn looked annoyed. "I don´t understand why she doesn´t simply go with us."

"That", Faramir said lovingly, "is because the lady is not such a strong and brave and amazing woman as you, my dearest little vanilla cake…"

"If I am the vanilla cake," Éowyn said with a cuddlesome voice that did not really fit her hunting dress, "then you are the topping that completes me…"

"You don´t need topping to be perfect, my beautiful…"

"I need you…"

Éomer, who were the only one in the company who had never been in love (except when he was young – but that was a long time ago) made a face.

They all started laughing, and Gimli felt as if they had never been parted.

Truth was that they had not seen each others for many months now – Legolas had been at his home, probably talking to the trees, Aragorn and Éomer had been busy with their kingdom and all tasks that followed being king, Éowyn and Faramir had been busy with each other, and Gimli had been at home also, in the Lonely Mountain. They all felt lucky for this short moment of peace and calm, and had decided to use it for a hunting trip.

In fact, Gimli had wanted it to be only him, Aragorn and Legolas. He had met the elf only once since the War was over and they parted, for there had been so much to be done. None of their homes had escaped the War unharmed. But now, having met Éowyn, Faramir and Éomer too, he felt happy they were here too.

"Well", he said when they had finally stopped teasing each other. "Shall we go?"

"I will get my horse", Aragorn said, and Gimli shuddered at the thought. Why couldn´t they walk to the forest?

"Yeah, let´s go to the stables", Éomer said, and the others followed, leaving Legolas and Gimli at the yard.

He watched the elf cuddling with Arod, the horse nuzzling his hair, Legolas running slender fingers through Arods mane and talking to it, singing, in his own language.

Arod lowered his head, nudging Legolas waist. He laughed, shoved Arod away, and put a hand in the small leather bag that hung from his belt.

Out of the bag, he pulled an apple.

Arod whinnied happily (at least Gimli thought he was happy, if those beasts had any feelings at all) and Legolas smiled. With another word in sindarin, he offered the apple to the horse and the horse took a big chew of the apple.

And then, Legolas did something that Gimli would never, never, forget.

He tugged the now half apple from the horse's mouth – and ate it.

"That was the most disgusting thing I have ever seen!"

Legolas looked confused. "What?"

"What do you mean 'what'? You should know what I mean!"

"Gimli -"

"You ate that apple!"


"That´s disgusting!"

"Eating an apple?"

"Not an apple! That apple!"

Legolas blinked. "Ah! Those stupid what´s-they-called prepositions! I can never – "

"No! Your getting me wrong – bah!"

Aragorn, Éomer, Éowyn and Faramir looked from elf to dwarf looking just as confused as Legolas was. Legolas held an apple core in his left hand – the cause of Gimlis disgust, probably. But they could not see why an apple would make him so nauseated.

"So", Aragorn said, "is something wrong with you two?"

Legolas looked relieved. Gimli looked – as if he had unexpectedly found allies.

"Aragorn! Come here and explain to me why the dwarf is complaining about my apple!"

"Aragorn! Faramir! You´ve got to agree this! I trust you Men to be more sensible than elves!"

If Éomer noted that he was not included in the term Men, and if Éowyn noted that the dwarf apparently did not consider her to be sensible, they did not point it out.

Aragorn smiled to himself and, tugging Roheryn by his reins, walked over to them.

"Well", he said amusedly, "what is the problem, Gimli?"

Gimli pointed at Legolas. "That elf", he said, his voice shaking, "that elf, that disgusting creature – "

"Who are you calling – "


"That elf", Gimli repeated, "bit in an apple that his horse had already bitten in!"

There was a minute of silence.

Legolas broke it. "Was that all?"

Aragorn hesitated. "Actually, it does sound a bit disgusting."

"Eating an – the – an – "

"An apple, Legolas."

"Yes. Right. Eating an apple?"

"Eating an apple which a horse has bitten."

"How can that be – "

"Well, isn´t that obvious?" Gimli cut off. "You have no idea of what that horse has eaten! And just look at all the drivel!"

"There is no – oh, all right, a little drivel. But honestly, I didn´t think you thought were so prissy, Gimli."

"Legolas", Aragorn said, "if someone here is prissy it´s definitely not Gimli. You just haven´t thought of what horses eat. I mean, otherwise than apples."

"You mean hay and grass?"

"I mean hay that comes from haylofts were rats nest and dogs sleep!"

"If think they are right", Faramir said. "It is more than a little disgusting."

"It´s abhorrent", said Éomer.

Gimli looked pleased. "Even the horse-folks agree!"

Éowyn stroke her own horses head, smiling. "If think it´s cute."

"It is definitely not, sister!"

"And you are of course the one to decide that, dear Éomer? I wouldn´t do it myself, but I still think it´s cute. It is", she said, looking tenderly at Faramir, "an expression of deep love. And expressions of deep love could never be disgusting."

Éomer was confused. This was not the Éowyn he knew. Surely he hadn´t acted like this those many, many years ago when he had just met that girl Derwine…

"So what? You want me to stop?" Legolas run his fingers through Arods mane, tenderly – with a playful look at Gimli. "You want me to stop because you and the Men thinks it´s disgusting?"

He whispered something in the horse´s ear; something in elfish that made Aragorn jerk.

"Valar, Legolas! That was rude!"

The elf just laughed. "Men and dwarves! You have no understanding of horses! Éowyn, you are really the only one who´s sensible here. This is elven custom, and we have agreed not to complain on each other's customs! Now let´s go hunting!"

"You´ve got to visit Eryn Lasgalen soon, my lord", Legolas said as they took farewell of him and the twins. "My father would love it!"

"I am sure he would", said Elrond, waving his hand dismissively. He was not sure at all. King Thranduil and Elrond were the best of friends, but whenever they met, so did their sons – and Legolas, Elrohir and Elladan at Legolas home ground, were Elrond had no idea of where he could hide from their antics? Perhaps without Glorfindel to protect him? The very thought of it made him shudder. King Thranduil, who visited Imladris with his son whenever he could, was without doubt a strong and courageous man.

Gimli shifted his weight impatiently. "We better go now, or we´ll be late."

Elrond looked at the sun. "You are right, Gimli. You should go. Legolas, it was nice to have you here." Because that dwarf somehow prevents you from playing pranks, even without knowing it. "I hope I will see you here soon."

The two companions went out and down the stairs to the yard were Arod stood waiting. Legolas helped Gimli up – it was a long time ago he ceased trying to get up by himself – but didn´t follow at once.

Arod lowered his head, nudging Legolas at the waist. He laughed, shoved Arod away, and put a hand in the small leather bag that hung from his belt.

Out of the bag, he pulled an apple.

And he did it again, the apple-thing.

Gimli still found it most unpleasant, that elves could eat something their horses had chewed, and he had tried to convince Legolas to stop. But Legolas was Legolas. He did not stop. And Gimli had now accepted it was elven custom, and they thought it was normal, and all Gimli could do was to look in another direction.

At least, he thought it was elven custom.

"Legolas!" came Elrond´s voice from above the stair. "I thought you had stop with that disgusting habit!"

"What habit?" Legolas asked defensively.

"You just shared an apple with your horse – without divide it first!"

"Lord Elrond… it´s Arod! He´s my friend! Why wouldn´t I?"

"Because he is an animal!"

Legolas waved his hand.

Sighing, the elf lord went back inside.

Gimli stared at his friend. "You told me it was elven custom!"

"It is elven custom!" Legolas replied. "But the elves in Imladris are – well, they are Noldo. They do not understand horses, as we do in Eryn Lasgalen. It is a custom of my people."

King Thranduil was standing outside his palace, arms akimbo, looking a little worried at his son.

"Are you sure you will be all right?"

"Ada, what could possibly happen? There are no spider, no orcs, no wargs – all that could happen is robbers, and what could they do to me and Gimli?"

"That is right, my lord", Gimli said, "I will let nothing happen to your son."

"Well", Thranduil said smiling, "now I feel safe. But Legolas, I would appreciate if you would return here on the road. That means no shortcuts."

"I can´t take any shortcuts with Arod."

"But you would take shortcuts if you hadn´t got Arod?"

"I never said so!"

Thranduil laughed and shook his head. His son was… as he was.

"Now, let´s go, shall we, Gimli?"

"We´d better, if we want to come to the Lonely Mountain before darkness."

Legolas nodded and turned to his fathers to say goodbye.

Arod lowered his head, nudging Legolas at the waist. He laughed, shoved Arod away, and put a hand in the small leather bag that hung from his belt.

Out of the bag, he pulled an apple.

Gimli did not care so much this time, and he did not expect anyone else to care either. But he was wrong – again.

Not more than a second after Legolas taking the first chew, Thranduil´s voice made him jump.

"Legolas! How many times have I told you to stop with that disgusting habit of yours? If I see you repeating that I will – I will – " The king glanced at Gimli and switched to elfish – but even if he did not understand the words, he got the message, and it was not pleasant.

Legolas answered, also in sindarin, sounding both hurt and angry. Thranduil sighed and surrendered.

"Be off with you now", he said. "I better go back to my work before you give me a headache."

They had ridden for a few minutes when Gimli looked teasingly at his friends.

"A custom of your people, was it?"

"Fathers", Legolas muttered. "They simply doesn´t understand."

"So everyone of your people but your father thinks it´s normal?"

"Perhaps not everyone", he admitted. "Perhaps not… so many of them." He paused and sighed. "All right. It´s a custom of me. Satisfied?"

And that´s all. Is it disgusting to share apples with horses like that? I have been siting on a horse twice in my life and have no idea... but it was fun. Please review!