Day 6

Title: Day 6
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Rating: PG
Pairing: Gimli/Legolas
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: Legolas is possibly one foolish elf.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2013 project for Lady Korana

As a fierce shiver tore through Legolas, the elf glanced toward the woods. After the incident, they had travelled a quarter of an hour until they’d found a clearing large enough for a fire. But now Legolas found himself kneeling by the fire alone. Before leaving, Gimli had given him one strict command: to stop shivering. But, try as he might, he couldn’t manage it. He’d tried tensing up, tried clenching his teeth. But he was still wet and still cold. Gimli was going to be cross with him.

More pressing was the urge to sneeze. He stared into the fire until his eyes went blurry, concentrating on the tickle as it steadily grew. “ihhh…” He closed his eyes, willing the feeling to go away. But his nose tingled like he’d gotten water up it. No matter how much he sneezed, he couldn’t get rid of it. Legolas sat with his mouth dropped open, panting pathetically and desperately one moment and trying to hold back the next. “eh-ih-hihhhh…” He was not sure for how much longer he would be alone; he might as well sneeze while he could. With one eye open, he glanced once more at the woods. Then, with the tip of his tongue pressed to his bottom teeth, he gave in. He swayed back with a deep breath, and then the sneeze threw him forward. “ihhhhhh-HIHShhhhh!” There was nothing to do but sniffle wetly. And wait. And try to warm up.

He heard his dwarf approach with shuffling, uneven footsteps indicating he was weighted down. Sure enough, Gimli appeared at the tree line with arms full of enough firewood to get them through the night. Gimli deposited the wood with the rest of the pile then sat down beside Legolas. “Still shivering?”

Legolas nodded. “S-s-s… s-sorry.”

“No matter. You will not warm up until you get rid of those wet clothes.” He reached over and unclipped the clasp at Legolas’ neck, letting the elf’s cloak fall back. Then he began to peel away the wet clothes that had as good as frozen to the elf’s body during the cold ride from the river.

Legolas glanced at the woods again. Aragorn would be returning at any moment. Still, he let the dwarf undress him. He was not naked for long, as Gimli then wrapped him in both their cloaks and the blanket that had been attached to their pack on Arod. As they contemplated taking Aragorn’s blanket for the same purpose, Legolas shivered violently.

Gimli attached himself to Legolas’ side and they moved a few inches closer to the fire. Legolas coughed as a light breeze directed smoke toward him. He turned his head, burying it against Gimli’s shoulder, his cold nose against Gimli’s warm shirt. A deep breath threatened to bring with it a sneeze. Legolas tried to resist the urge, but the gasp was inevitable. “eee-Ihfschhhhh!

“Galu,” said Gimli, softly. “Not that I mind, of course, but do you still have that hanky I gave you this morning?”

Legolas snuffled against Gimli’s tunic and nodded. “Sniff. Yes. Sniff. I had it on me when I foolishly went into the river, so it is as wet as the rest of me.”

Gimli squeezed his elf in sympathy. “Not foolish,” he said. “Noble. That dwarf would have drowned if you had not spotted him and jumped in to save him after he fell off that boat.”

“Still, I went in knowing I had a cold. The river only made it worse.”

“You will mend,” Gimli soothed, stroking Legolas’ hair, which had dried cold and stiff during the ride, not soft and smooth as usual. “And I will help. Take my warmth.”

Legolas snuggled closer, sniffling. He nuzzled into Gimli’s thick hair, pressing his face into the spot against Gimli’s neck where it fit just right, his runny nose against Gimli’s dry tunic. His arms wrapped around Gimli, hugging his dwarf to keep him close. “ehhh…

“Another already?”

ehh-yes…. Ihhh… ihhHih-hihh…

“Relax, elf. Stop fighting. You are ill. Fighting will get you nowhere this time. Besides, I always win.”

Legolas tried to laugh but, instead, sneezed. “Ihffshuhh! Snfffffff!” And he whimpered, sniffling so wetly and not being able to do anything but rub his nose against Gimli.

“The one I gave you was my only handkerchief. We should ask Aragorn if he has one you could—”

 “No. Sniff! Do not tell Aragorn I am ill.”

“Hm?”

“When he returns from his hunt, do not tell him. I do not want him to think me foolish.”

“How many times do I have to tell you, elf? You were not foolish. Sniffly, red-nosed, and pointy-eared, yes, but you cannot help those things. What you were was heroic. Not foolish. Never that.”

“Promise me?”

“I promise you were as heroic as al—“

“Not that. Sniff! Promise that when Aragorn returns you will not tell him I jumped into a cold river knowing I had a head cold. Promise, Gimli.”

With a resigned sigh, Gimli promised. He rubbed his hand up and down Legolas’ back. Together, they inched a bit closer to the fire.

Aragorn returned nearly half an hour and a dozen sneezes later. Legolas had stopped shivering, but he refused to let go of Gimli. He rubbed his nose dry and lifted his head to see that Aragorn had brought back two birds, a rabbit, and a sack full of berries, mushrooms, and leaves.  “In just a few minutes, I’ll have a nice dinner prepared. Any warmer, Legolas?”

The elf nodded. Gimli was his warmth. And as long as he kept his arms around Gimli, he would be all right. Even if he still felt chilly. Even if his nose were tickling again. He could keep from sneezing in front of Aragorn. He could warm up and make it through the night and wake up feeling better.

ihh!” He pressed his nose hard into Gimli’s shoulder, holding his breath. Miraculously, the tickle backed off. And, even more miraculously, Aragorn had his back turned and had not seen.

Aragorn was fixing something in a pot over the fire. Not hungry, Legolas paid it no attention until Aragorn turned to him with a metal cup in hand. “Here, elf. The herbs will help with your cold.”

Legolas lifted his head immediately. He stared at Gimli, eyes wide. “Gimli! You promised you would not tell!” Aragorn bumped the cup against Legolas’ knuckles. With a swift motion, full of frustration, Legolas grabbed the cup.

Aragorn chuckled. “Did you think I could miss the fact that you were ill? That I would not hear your sniffles or see your ears twitch? I know well enough what that means.” He hesitated, awkwardly, as Gimli moved closer to his elf, trying to calm him.

But Legolas pulled away and stood, taking the cup with him and hugging the blanket tight around himself. “Gimli…” He coughed and shivered and wavered. His breath came in tiny, involuntary gasps as his eyes closed. “eey… ihhhhh…Yihh-Hitchhhh!” He snapped forward, almost spilling the drink and letting the blanket slide off one shoulder, exposing his bare skin to the cold. As Aragorn was already on his feel, quickly he dashed forward, wrapping his arm around, ushering Legolas back to the fireside and into Gimli’s arms.

Stiff with annoyance and shaking from cold, Legolas tried to resist relaxing against Gimli again. “You promised,” he whispered.

“Aye, I did make that promise.” Gimli stroked the back of Legolas’ head. “But I made it after I had already told Aragorn. He suspected since this morning, though.”

Legolas glanced at Aragorn for confirmation, and the man nodded. “That is true.”

Gimli strained his neck to kiss one of Legolas’ pointy ears, drawing his attention back and calming him down, all in the one touch. “Neither of us mind. Now drink up, y’foolish elf.”