Lord Of The Rings Fan Fiction ❯ Soulmates ❯ Mining ( Chapter 4 )
Mining was filthy work. Absolutely filthy work. Legolas was sore all over and had dust and small rocks in places he didn't know was possible to have dust and small rocks in. And he was currently glaring at Gimli, his face red.
"Are you saying you don't need a shower?" Gimli asked dryly.
"No. I need one most definitely. But I'm not taking one in front of the other Dwarves."
"You've seen me naked. You tell me."
"Come now. They will only stare for a little while."
"No. I will not do it."
"So you're going to stay dirty?"
Legolas huffed and crossed his arms as he and Gimli tailed the last of the Dwarves in their shift and walked towards the showers. The Elf paused as the door shut behind him. Every eye was on him.
"Just leave him be," Gimli said in Dwarvish. "Don't make him too uncomfortable." He looked at Legolas. "Come on, Master Elf."
The pale skinned Elf narrowed his eyes. He couldn't say no now. He was surrounded by Dwarves. If he said no they would mock him for being a coward. So without another word he disrobed and began bathing. He kept his back to the room, but he could almost see them trying to peek at his naked form. He could completely see Gimli bathing beside him. The Dwarf was trying desperately not to laugh.
"Stupid Dwarf," he groused in Elvish.
"What was that, Master Elf?" Gimli asked, turning to grin at him.
"Go crawl in a ditch and die."
"You do know that Thorin asked you not to speak to us in Elvish."
"I wasn't speaking to you, now was I?" Legolas asked sweetly.
Before Gimli could respond, Legolas' arm was grabbed and he was spun around. The Elf slipped and landed hard on the stone floor facing the roomful of staring Dwarves. His face reddened involuntarily and he hated himself for it. The Dwarf who had grabbed him actually looked apologetic.
"Sorry, Master Elf. I didn't mean to make you fall."
"Why, pray tell, did you mean to do?" Legolas snapped as he carefully stood up.
"I just wanted to see you."
Legolas frowned. "Well fine. Look!"
The Elf spread his arms out and was too upset to really be embarrassed as the Dwarves stared at his hairless form. When the Dwarf opened his mouth to say something, Legolas put his hands on his hips and narrowed his eyes again.
"What, do you want to touch it now?"
Everybody froze. Suddenly Gimli was rolling on the floor, laughing so hard that he was shaking. There was a moment of Gimli's laughter then the rest of the room followed suit. Even Legolas found himself grinning like a fool. That went over quite well, he thought amusedly. Gimli finally heaved himself to his feet.
"That's enough of that, Master Elf," he said, his eyes twinkling.
"As you wish, Master Dwarf," Legolas said and bowed.
They bathed easily after that and soon Legolas and Gimli were back in their room. Legolas hopped onto his bed and let his damp hair fan out on the pillow.
"That wasn't too bad," he admitted.
"Nay, it was actually funny. 'Do you want to touch it now?'" Gimli started laughing again. "I think you scared the poor lad. He just wanted to see the mysterious creature that dared intrude on his shower."
Legolas smiled. "I couldn't help it. If you couldn't tell, I was rather embarrassed. I've never agreed with other Elves' philosophy about seeing each other naked even as strangers. I've always been more private."
"Aye." Gimli sighed as there was a knock at the door.
It turned out to be Glóin. He eyed Legolas as he walked in.
"Greetings, dashat. Is the Elf comfortable?"
"Ask him yourself, a'dud."
"Fine," Glóin turned to Legolas. "Are you comfortable, Elf?"
"Quite. It reminds me of the place I grew up in."
"Home," Glóin said with a nod.
"No. I've only felt at home once, and that was in the forest of Fangorn."
Both Dwarves looked at him. "What do you mean, Legolas?" Gimli asked walking over to where the Elf lay.
"Just what I said. Greenwood was never my home. My friends whispered of a home far away where I was born. They told me I belonged somewhere else. I didn't understand it all, but they never lied to me before. I finally understood when I stepped under the boughs of the first tree in that forest. That is where my heart lies. The sea is dead to me."
"Who were these friends of yours?" Glóin asked curiously, not even bothering to pretend to be uninterested or derisive.
"They're the tr— Never mind. Nobody believes me anyway."
"Come now, we're not stupid Elves. We're wise Dwarves."
"Trees," Gimli said to his father. "He talks to trees. And I daresay they talk back, don't they Legolas?"
The Elf sat up and stared at his friend. "What gives you that idea?"
"You were always mumbling to yourself while sitting under trees when you got the chance on our journey."
"I was not," Legolas snapped.
"Liar," Glóin said immediately. "Besides, talking trees makes as much sense as talking stone."
"You can talk to stone?"
"Gimli can. I am not very strong in that particular art."
"Why did you never tell me?" Legolas asked eagerly.
"As you say, Elves think it's silly. I assumed you would think the same."
"I am no Elf!" Legolas said bitterly.
"You most certainly are!" Glóin said with a nod. "Your eyes and skin are fair, your ears are pointed, and you are most assuredly older than both of us."
Legolas opened his mouth then bit his lip. Both Dwarves looked at him sharply.
"Legolas," Gimli said slowly. "How old are you?"
"Ada says I'm not allowed to tell anybody that," Legolas said evasively.
"Well, your father is not here," Gimli said sternly then softened, placing a hand on the suddenly trembling knee. "What is so painful that you cannot say it?"
"If the other Elves knew, they would certainly…"
"The other Elves are not here."
Legolas took a deep breath and looked at his lap. "I am ninety-two years old."
Both Dwarves did some quick calculations. "You're almost Bilbo's age!" Glóin gasped.
"Nay, I am about forty years his younger."
"You should still be a youth, by our reckoning," Gimli said gravely. "Why?"
"I grew up as fast as a Man. Faster even. Before my ada could announce anything, I was crawling across the floor. He claims that didn't happen and that magic has removed about twenty-five hundred years of my memory, but…"
"Lad, I'm so sorry," Glóin said quietly.
"I just don't know," Legolas sighed, flopping back on the bed. "The trees tell me I'm home in Fangorn. My ada tells me I'm home in Greenwood." He paused then turned to look at the two Dwarves. "The only thing the trees won't tell me is my past. My ada tells me things I know to be lies about my past. I don't have a past apparently. Or at least not one worth sharing."
"We should go investigate!" Gimli said. "You said we would return to Fangorn. Let's do it!"
"No, Gimli. I'm safe here from the trees' murmurings. It is blessedly quiet. Let us stay here for a while."
"Very well. We shall leave when you feel like it."
"Thank you. I bid thee goodnight, Glóin."
"Goodnight, Elf. Dashat."