Prompt: So, in Desolation of Smaug, Thranduil has this really nifty-looking pool in or near his chambers. I've had so many thoughts in regards to this. In my mind, it's nice and warm water, and a great place to help freezing princelings to feel better. Or maybe it has healing properties? Or slashy version: sniffly Legolas and his dwarven lover take a little illicit dip in daddy's pool. Will they get caught? ;)

 

 

Sniffly Nose, Twitchy Ears

 

Ihtchhehh! Hihshhhh! Hehh-Ihshhhhhhh!

 

Gimli could hardly believe it, but Legolas’ cold was actually getting worse. Exhausted from trying to make the elf comfortable all day, Gimli summoned up the energy to lift his hand and stroke the sleek, blond hair. He saw the elf’s ear twitch again, and he cupped his hand around it, as if by holding it still he might prevent another sneeze.

 

ihhh… ih-ihh… Ihtchihhhh!

 

It did not work.

 

Legolas turned his head, looking up at Gimli from its spot on Gimli’s warm, soft chest. “I did dot bead to wake you.”

 

Gimli smiled despite his fatigue. “I never truly fell asleep.” Legolas had not gone give minutes without sneezing; that did not leave much time for sleep. Gimli reached for a clean handkerchief, dismayed to find that there was only one left in the stack. He pressed it to Legolas’ nose, and the elf instinctively blew. Gimli wiped the elf’s red nose and kept the handkerchief close. “If only I could do something to make you feel better.”

 

Legolas’ ear twitched again, and Gimli quickly pressed the cloth to his face. But no sneeze came. Legolas stretched and sat up, smiling. He threw off the layers of blankets and Gimli saw what was happening to the elf’s naked body. “Legolas, I would never take advantage of you in a weakened state…”

 

“Baybe that would helb be feel better?”

 

Gimli wasn’t so sure about that as a course of treatment for an elf cold.

 

Legolas grabbed their robes from the bedpost and took Gimli’s hand. “I hab ad idea. Let be show you.”

 

They snuck through the corridors, slipping past guards, sticking to the shadows. They wouldn’t have been stopped, but they would have been asked where they were going, and apparently Legolas did not want that. It took a few minutes for Gimli to realize where they were headed, and then all he wanted was to go back to the prince’s chambers, back to the safety of their bed. “Uh, Legolas?”

 

“Albost there,” Legolas whispered back, quickly peering around a corner and then dragging Gimli forward.

 

“Yes, but why are we headed to your father’s throne room in the middle of the night?” Naked. Gimli stopped short of saying it, but when he faced his lover’s father, he liked to be wearing more than a flimsy robe.

 

ihhhh!” Legolas cupped his hand to his nose, pinching. He did not pause or slow, but he did close his eyes. And, in a moment, his ears stopped twitching and his hand lowered. “Because, at this tibe of dight, it will be deserted.”

 

Gimli tightened the tie of his robe nervously, wanting so very much to believe that.

 

They turned one more corner and, finally, were there. The throne room was gloriously empty, but he still felt uncomfortable, unwelcome. Nothing good ever happened to dwarves here. “Legolas…”

 

ihhh-HITChhhhh!

 

The sneeze echoed there, putting Gimli on edge. He was sure, any moment now, someone would walk in and find them. “Galu,” he whispered.

 

Legolas smiled again, ears twitching. “No one will hear us in here. Come…” he directed Gimli down a hall, toward his father’s private chambers. Gimli’s steps were measured with reluctance. This was not a good idea. There was no way this could help Legolas’ cold.

 

But it could. Because the elf dragged him into a side room and closed the door behind. Legolas lit several lanterns around the room, the soft, golden glow making everything close to them come to life as though they were in an underground chamber.

 

Legolas dropped his robe, letting the fabric slither off his shoulders to the floor. He led the way to a beautiful pool level with the floor. As Legolas dipped a foot in, drops were displaced, lapping at the stone surrounding it. The lovely, pale form continued in and sat, leaning against several tree roots that dangled in, providing a nice seat. He sighed deeply and gestured for Gimli to join him.

 

Gimli stood his ground. There was a small room to the side, dark now so he could not see where that lead. There were stairs circling the pool, winding upward and out of sight to a place Gimli knew not. The promise that they would not be seen seemed an impossible one for Legolas to have made. And, yet, the prince sat naked in the water, motioning for Gimli to join him.

 

If an elf came in now, he would not see a compromised Gimli, that was for certain. But he might wonder why Gimli was not joining his lover. Gimli muttered a dwarfish curse, the likes of which probably had never before been heard in the door. Then he shoved off his robe and hopped in.

 

It was deeper than Gimli had anticipated. His head and shoulders cleared the water only when his feet were pointed and his toes met the bottom. Dirt packed solid and tree roots were beneath him, but he managed to join Legolas on the far side. He held onto a branch that jetted out of the stair, holding himself up. This was stressful and miserable, and his nerves made him feel jumpy, on edge.

 

Yet, he could not deny the pool’s warmth. He had expected the water to be cool and refreshing, but it was just the opposite: warm and relaxing. He felt he might be comfortable enough to fall asleep, if not for having to hold on to keep himself from going under.

 

ihhh…” Gimli tensed, worried that the sneeze would be overheard. “ihh-eh-IHTShhhhh!” Legolas sneezed into the water, splashing as his body jerked, the sound wetter than just a usual sneeze. He brought his hand out of the warmth to rub a dripping finger under his equally dripping nose. Gimli had no hanky to give him.

 

But it looked like Legolas did not require one. He was once again relaxed. Gimli wished he could be likewise.

 

IHHTchhhh! ehShuhh!” Each sneeze sounded louder than the one before. Each sneeze made Gimli glance at the doorway. Any second now, he expected the king to come barging in, eyes aflame.

 

“The water has healig broberties,” Legolas explained.

 

“Healing properties that are worth your father finding us naked in his pool?”

 

“He’s away to Riveddell for a few days.”

 

“Ah.” Gimli chuckled, his grip relaxing a little, his body bobbing in the pool. “You might have told me that from the first.”

 

“Sor… sor… ihh-hih-Chihhhh!

 

Gimli heard footsteps. They were soft, but they were there. Legolas heard them too. He might have heard them earlier if his ears hadn’t been stuffed-up from congestion. But he looked at Gimli and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Whed I tell you, take a deeb breath and go udder. Okay?”

 

Gimli shook his head, suddenly panicked. “No. No, not okay.”

 

Legolas tightened his grip on Gimli’s shoulder. “Trust me.” The footsteps stopped and the door began to open. “Now!” Legolas whispered and pushed. Gimli’s grip slipped from the branch and he went under.

 

He heard muffled voices only. He hoped he’d made it under unnoticed. He opened his eyes underwater, seeing Legolas’ pale body in front of him. Legolas’ perfect, hard body, with its especially hard parts reacting favorably to the warm water. Then, sooner than expected, he was pulled up by the underarms. He gasped for breath. Dwarves were not natural-born swimmers.

 

“Everythig is fide.”

 

“I do not want to know what you told the guard, right?”

 

Legolas gave a nod. “We cad stay here all dight if we wadt.”

 

“Good. That should be enough time.” Gimli took a deep breath and noticed the elf’s ears twitch just as he went under again.