Legolas' keen eyes scanned over the hall looking for the by now familiar figure of the crimon haired Dwarf, but even with his elf eyes the huge room was packed with people celebrating, and there was a lot to the celebrated. This celebration was for the announcment of the marriage in a weeks time of Lady Arwen to the King Elessar, his ears could just about pick up Merry and Pippin singing some sort of Hobbit love song somewhere in the hall.
And Legolas was enjoying the feel of relaxation and joy in the air, he was enjoying the atmosphere of being able to smile and truly enjoy their hard won celebrations. But he could not fully enjoy it as he was missing his Dwarrow companion. They had come to the feast together and sat together to Elessar's right hand side at the table, but then when the music had moved to a dance tune and the party truly began they had been seperated.
It had happened a lot lately, since the arrival of their kins to Gondor for the corination, they shared a room still, but Gimli could most often be found in the company of his kin. At first Legolas had not worried, for they were both split between their tasks to help Elessar, to help with the rebuilding of the city, Gimli had quickly gather his kin to look to the stone city to repair the damage that had been done in battle and help bring it back to its greatness, just as Legolas had recruited his people to help nurture back the gardens and trees that survived within the city, planting the seeds his people had brought with them to start healing the scars. It was a wedding gift to Elessar as well, but mainly to Arwen who they all knew would now spend the rest of her chosen mortal life within Men's cities, a touch of Elven home for the Evenstar.
But as time passed Legolas found himself growing uneasy, a worry covering his heart as his Dwarrow companion was more oft than not away from his side even during the feasts. He had scolded himself when he realised that he had been looking back on the feasts and parties they had attended during their quest with a fondness, for Gimli had then been at his side. Bidding farewell to those he had not truly been talking to Legolas moved away and started searching through the hall for his friend.
After smiling politely and easing his way through the crowd Legolas finally spotted a flash of red hair that could only belong to one person. Speeding up and ignoring a voice that called out to him somewhere to his right Legolas moved so Gimli was fully in sight, but his words of greeting died on his lips when he took in the sight that greeted him.
There was one Dwarrow that Gimli seemed closest to, one that had barely left his side since the Erebor contingent had arrived in Minas Tirith. The brown haired Dwarrow constantly seemed to be touching Gimli and seeking his attention, always pulling him away with a sudden need to check on something or talk to someone in the moments Legolas did manage to catch with Gimli. And the red haired Dwarf went with him, he allowed himself to be pulled away by the sillies of reasons…'I need you to come and check if this is marble or granite Gimli' even Legolas had been able to say it was granite and he was an elf!…and now, now Gimli was standing with his arm thrown around the Dwarrow, smiling and laughing with him while the brown haired Dwarrow stood pressing closer and closer to Gimli's side. And suddenly a conversation that Gimli and the Lady Èowyn had had while on the road sprang to his mind.
"Master Gimli, do you mind if I ask you something personal?" Èowyn smiled as she settled across from Legolas and Gimli by the fire they had lit, which happened to be right next the Aragorn Legolas noted with a hint of displeasure. The Lady was beautiful and kind, strong and fierce and one of the bravest Legolas had known for all she had faced and yet still stood strong and proud beside her Uncle's side. But her feelings for Aragorn were not hidden and Legolas' loyalty to his kin was unshakable, the Evenstar of his people had given her love to Aragorn and bound herself to him.
"Of course My Lady," Gimli smiled fondly at Èowyn.
"It is about your people," Èowyn said hesitantly making Legolas smile down at the blade of the knife he was sharpening, apparently even the people of Rohan had heard of the secrecy of Dwarves!
"Go ahead My Lady," Gimli prompted.
"Is it true that Dwarves have soul mates? I have heard stories passed through the rangers that stay in your cities that you do," Èowyn asked unsurely but Gimli just laughed, unaware that many ears had perked up in curiosity around them, including Aragorn and Legolas'.
"It is true that we have one that once we meet them in our lives here is no one else for us. We do not call them soul mates for we do not believe that it is fate as Men do that brings us together. We call them The One, and we believe that when we come across The One that for us is our perfect matchm, the one that we would spend the rest of our lives with, that we with love no other and our hearts will seek no others love. Once we have met our One we remain loyal to them for the rest of our lives, no matter the relationship we have with them, be it romantic or merely friendship. If a Dwarf is lucky enough to meet their One, then they are truly blessed, for there are no riches in the deepest places, no jewel that will ever shine as bright, no mithril ever so beautiful as that of your One," Gimli's smile and eyes were far away as he spoke, not seeing the awed expressions of those around him.
"That sounds…amazing," Èowyn sighed . "And you never doubt your feelings?"
"Never, once you know that someone is your One, they become a part of your heart, a part of your fire, and there is never any doubt that you belong at their side," Gimli shook his head.
"You speak as though from experience Master Dwarf, do you have… a One?" Èomer asked giving up all pretence on not listening, pointedly ignoring the smirk his sister shot him.
"Now that is a personal question t ask a Dwarf, and one that I will not answer," Gimli chuckled amused. But there was a twinkle in his eyes when he had turned to offer to show Legolas how to properly sharpen a blade that had made something stir in Legolas' chest.
But Legolas had been a fool! Thinking that Gimli…to believe that he might be Gimli's one, that the Dwarrow had found that with him. He was a complete and utter fool, the One that Gimli had been talking about, the One that had put the twinkle in his eyes and the smile on his lips was not Legolas it was probably this brown haired Dwarrow.
What would Gimli see in him? They were of different races, and even though Legolas had finally been able to see passed the hatred and misconceptions of their people to truly see Gimli, and he reckoned that Gimli had done the same, that did not mean that Gimli would ind him attractive! Gimli was clearly sought after by his own people and handsome. Not in the way that Legolas had looked for in other elves, for Gimli's handsomeness clearly came from a different place to that of an elf. But seeing him standing there in his fine clothes that had been brought by his people, his fine blue tunic emroidered in neat Dwarvish runes with a silver thread, his braids done in intricate and beautiful patterns much different to the war and battle braids that he had worn for their journey. And he was decorated with stunning beads holding his braids in place, a bright blue ear cuff pierced one ear while a diamond stud sat in the other. The other that the brown haired Dwarrow now whispered in.
And it was like a stab through Legolas' heart! What a fool he had been! Gimli happened to look up at that moment and saw Legolas' standing there, a ready smile reached his lips and he opened his mouth to say something to his friend, only to frown when the Elf Prince spun around in a cloud of ebony hair before hurrying away, pushing through the crown in a manner that was quite unlike him. But not before Gimli saw the pain filled bright green eyes.
Legolas finally managed to oush through the crowd and made his way outside, suddenly in desperate need of the frsh air and to get away from the loud noise of the party and the smells filling the hall. His feet led him as his eyes were unseeing, making his way through the city, moving through the streets until he finally stopped. Blinking he looked around and realised that he was in the small courtyard that connected the three houses the Fellowship had been set up in while they were staying in Minas Tirith. Breathing in the clear night air Legolas moved slowly over to the balcony that overlooked the city, brushing his fingers over the bark of the trees planted there and taking the comfort that they offered to him.
He had thought that once their stay was over he and Gimli would leave this house together and set off to do the travelling that they had talked about during their quest, that once they had helped Elessar with the rebuilding of his city and seen him settled on his throne, then they would travel to the Glittering Caves in Helms Deep and Gimli would try to show him the beauty that he found in them there and Gimli would teach the men of Rohan the best way to mine them to bring Rohan some money. And then once they were done there they would move to walk the Forest of Fangorn and for Legolas to try and speak to the Ents. After that he thought perhaps they would make their way back to their homes, see their families again, that he could show Gimli his forest, show him the beauty of it that his father had not gotten to see. And then he had thought Gimli might take him to the Lonely Mountain, to show him his home and introduce him to his father - properly this time.
But none of that was to happen now, none of that was ever going to happen. For Gimli had his One, and now that they were back together they would not be parted, the brown haired Dwarrow had made that more than clear. And Legolas' hopes and dreams, were only imagination.
"What made you leave in such a rush Laddie?" The voice, as deep as the stone from which his people came, spoke from behind him making Legolas close his eyes and bow his head.
"I am in no mood for partying and celebrations this night," Legolas answered.
"Not even the night that Aragorn and Arwen have waited long for?" Gimli asked, his boots marking his footsteps to Legoas' side. He must have sensed Legolas' unease for the elf could mark each step. Gimli was surprisingly light footed and quiet when he needed to be.
"I fear the nature of the party only makes me more unwilling to linger there," Legolas said softly, not looking to his friend, still to ashamed and raw for the mistake he had made.
"I thought you supported Aragorn and Arwen," Gimli asked confused.
"I do, I…ignore me Master Dwarf, I merely need a night off from the celebrations, go back and rejoin your kin, I am fine," Legolas summoned a smile to his face before turning to look at his friend, but Gimli frowned at him looking more concerned than when an Uruk had nearly taken the top of the Elf's head off at Helm's Deep.
"What has happened? Had someone said something to you? One of your Kin?" Gimli asked stepping right beside Legolas now.
"No…no I just…realised what a fool I am," Legolas smiled bitterly looking back out over the city.
"I would call you many things Elf but a fool is not one of them, what has happened to make you think so?" Gimli asked.
"I saw things that did not exist," Legolas sighed bowing his head.
"Things?" Gimli prompted becoming seriously worried or te elf now.
"Take no mind of me my friend, I just misunderstood some things and need some time to regain my footing and recover my pride," and patch up his heart. "Your Dwarf will be waiting or you back in the hall, ignore me," Legolas shook his head.
"My what?" Gimli choked.
"Your One, the brown haired Dwarf, I am sorry I did not catch his name," Legolas felt his heart clench even as he tried to speak casually.
"My…my one, you mean Raggol?! Nay Legolas, he is not my One!" Gimli laughed.
"I am not a fool Master Dwarf, there is no need to hide it from me. I thought we were at least friends enough that you would have introduced me to him!" Legolas spat out, anger easing over the hurt in such a way that he embraced it.
"Legolas, he is not my One!" Gimli protested frowning confused at the elf.
"There is no need to spare my feelings! I…I am happy for you!" Legolas snapped before turning to storm off, only he found his wrist caught in Gimli's strong grip just before he could manage to cross the thresh hold to the house they were sharing.
"Yes, you sure look happy for me!" Gimli snorted.
"So you admit that he is your One!" Legolas said triumphantly.
"No! Raggol is not my One Legolas! I do not kow where you have gotten thi impression from, but it is not the right one," Gimli sighed.
"It has been made abundantly clear to me! You do not spend hardly any time wih me anymore, you are constantly with him, and in the few moments that I manage to snatch with you Raggol calls to you and you go running," Legolas sneered yanking his wrist from Gimli's grip and storming into the house.
"Because we are trying to rebuild the city!" Gimli cried exasperatedly chasing the Elf into the house and slamming the door behind himself.
"It is clear who you want to be with! Why are you even here?! In this house! Why did you agree to stay here! If you had told Elessar he would have set up a room for you with Raggol!" Legolas stormed as he marched up the stairs.
"I did not say anything because I wanted to stay here with you, because I did not want to stay with my Kin, Raggol included in that because all he is to me is kin!" Gimli shouted stomping up the stairs after the Prince.
"Stop lying!" Legolas shouted spinning round to glare at the Dwarf before slamming his bedroom door shut and with a frustrated huff moved across his bedroom.
"I'm not lying!" Gimli growled out throwing the door back open and storming in before slamming the door shut again behind himself.
"Get out!" Legolas spun around to glare at Gimli. "I thought we were at least friends, I thought we were more than that but I am a fool and stupid, but I thought we at least had a friendship there, yet you will not even tell me the truth! Just tell me he is your One!"
"I can not because Raggol is not my One you foolish elf! You are!" Gimli roared.
"What?" Legolas blinked weakly sitting down on the edge of the bed as he stared stunned at the furious Dwarf.
"Is that what you wanted to hear? Did you wish to hear how the foolish Dwarf has bound and given his heart to an Elvish Prince, the most beautiful, strong, brave and fierce of his kind? Is that what you wished to hear?!" Gimli fumed stomping over so that he was standing in front of Legolas, his handsome face in a deep furious scowl.
"No…well yes but…" Legolas would refuse to admit that he squeaked when he found his shoulders gripped and strong lips slammed down onto his own. It was a strange feeling, the slightly bristly feeling of Gimli's beard pressing against the skin of his face, though he would admit it was something he had wondered about, perhaps a little too much over the time of their quest. The feeling of surprisngly gentle hands cupping his face given the fire of their kiss woke Legolas from the shock he had fallen into and he wrapped his arms around Gimli's shoulders and kissed back firmly.
"What are you doing?!" Gimli asked surprised, yanking back from their kiss to look at the Elf shocked.
"Kissing you back, unless things are different with your people that is what you generally do when the person you love kisss you," Legolas said dryly watching as amber eyes blinked at him a few times before he could see the moment his words clicked.
"Love," Legolas nodded a slow smile tilting his lips. Lips that Gimli's eyes locked onto, now that he had had a taste he was hungering for more, and he could not prevent himself from cupping his elf's face again and pressing their lips together. This time the kiss was not tempered with fire, but with hope and love. Legolas slipped his fingers into the soft wavy hair of his dwarf and tugged gently easing Gimli onto the bed and over him as he lay back, a move with which Gimli went eagerly.
His Dwarf's kisses were drugging and set every nerve in the Elf's body alight as their tongues tangled together. Legolas gasped into Gimli's mouth when weapon roughened hands tugged open the fastenings of his tunic and slipped inside to stroke reverantly over the moonlit skin of his elf. The elf that over the course of their quest had gone from being his natural born enemy to being his entire world.
"You are the brightest diamond, your eyes the deepest emerald, your skin more fair than the purest of silver and softer than silk, and your hair deeper than the purest piece of onyx, and I love you, from the deepest caverns to the highest mountain peak," Gimli murmured between pressing kisses down Legolas' chest.
"Gimli…" Legolas' voice was a well of emotions as he reached down and stroked Gimli's whiskered cheek. "There will only ever be one that I love, one that has my heart. And it was given to you many months ago, probably back in Lothlórien. It is in your keeping now, and always will be," Legolas whispered. Gimli closed his eyes and leant into the touch of his elf, his hand coming up to cover Legolas' before he opened his eyes to meet the green ones peering at him with so much love his heart missed a beat.
"I thought…I was content to have your friendship if that was all I could possess, I never truly let myself hope that you would feel for me as I did for you," Gimli smiled shakily.
"And I held the same fear. When you were spending time with Raggol I thought…I was jealous," Legolas admitted softly turning his eyes from Gimli suddenly ashamed with the way he had acted.
"My proud Elvish Prince becoming jealous for me, you are incredibly sexy when you are pouting," Gimli smirked leaning down to kiss Legolas again.
"I was not…pouting!" Legolas protested between kisses but quickly gave up his argument for a loud groan when Gimli's hand stroked over Legolas' growing arousal.
"Well I admit, I am glad to know that we are quite alike where it matters most," Gimli smirked as he squeezed the arousal under his palm drawing a loud groan from his Prince and getting to watch the beautiful body underneath his own arching in pleasure. "Although, I am bigger," He added raising a coky eyebrow when Legolas snorted.
"My love, while I am sure that you are more than…endowed, given the difference in our heights I believe you have to be exager…" Legolas stared stunned up at his smirking Dwarf as said Dwarf's hand pressed his even firmer down onto his arousal. "But…"
"I have been told that I am quite…how did you put it? 'Well endowed' even by my people's standards, which is nothing to be scoffed at," Gimli snickered at the stunned look on the elven face.
"By the Valar Gimli!" Legolas groaned massaging the large Dwarfhood underneath his hand. Gimli's eyes snapped shut and his hips jerked when Legolas' nimble hand quickly had the lacings of his breeches undone and was sliding a hand inside to grip bare flesh. "You are without smalls!" Legolas gasped shocked.
"Never did like wearing official clothing," Gimli grinned before thrusting his hips again in Legolas' grip.
"Is there something that you wanted Master Dwarf?" Legolas smirked back at him, raising one slender eyebrow.
"I have a feeling that this relationship is going to be exceedingly interesting," Gimli snorted before yanking down Legolas' leggings in one smooth move and crushed their lips together once again.
"Gimli! Will you come and help me with this piece of wall," Raggol called out as soon as he saw the Elf and Dwarf making their way down the street. Gimli felt as much as saw his new lover stiffening next to him, but when he looked up the scowl that was on the Elf's face was fiery enough to melt the strongest of metals, Raggol did not stand a chance.
"My deepest apologies Raggol, but I have promised Prince Legolas here that I would go and see the work he has been doing in the gardens this morning. I am sure Begol will be able to assist you though," Gimli called back, nodding to an old Dwarf who snorted and shook his head ruefully as he eyed the unusual pairing. As he turned away Legolas caught something about Gloin and a heart attack, but then he was dragging a gawping Raggol away leaving the two to carry on making their way through the streets.
"So, I was thinking, once we are done here, where is the first place we should go to do you think?" Legolas asked.
"Well I know you have a wish to see Ithilian, and it will be good to stay close to the city and Elessar for a time I think, to put both our hearts at rest," Gimli said nonchalently. Legolas bowed his head and hid his bright smile behind his ebony locks, before smiling at his lover.
"Have you heard what they are calling the three of us?" he asked.
"We have another title?" Gimli chuckled.
"Mm, the three hunters,"
"I quite like that one,"
"I thought you might," Legolas hummed brushing his fingers over his Dwarf's, his One's, cheek. "Come, these gardens are starting to take bloom quicker than we expected," Legolas said excitedly as the first of the gardens came into sight, hurrying inside with Gimli following close behind with a rueful smile on his face.