Title: Elf Study 1

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Lord of the Rings, post-RotK

Rating: G/PG

Pairing: Legolas/Gimli

Disclaimer: Oh, please! I don't own! I don't get paid! I'm just a fanfic writer!

Summary: Legolas has a little tickle in his nose.

Notes: This was meant to be just a case study. Images of the elf sneezing popped into my head and so I wrote this to play around with the characters and work things out a little.



Elf Study 1

     With a group that large, the pace was slow. The men had walked almost in ranks as they left Minas Tirith but now walked in clumps and groups to better facilitate various conversations. Aragorn and Faramir took the lead. The banner holders traveled behind them. And the rest of the nearly four-score men followed behind them. Somewhere near the end of the procession walked Legolas and Gimli, for there were only a handful of men bringing up the rear behind them.


     The day was slightly overcast, though there was little thought given towards the rain. It seemed sunny enough for their purposes and with weapons against their hips or backs it was simply nice not to find the afternoon bright and hot.


     With his keen hearing, Legolas could make out Aragorn speaking with Faramir about some incident with forest trolls many years ago. He and Gimli were currently speaking about nothing, though walking pleasantly in silence with nearly a half a foot of daylight in-between.


     It was then, halfway into the afternoon, that Legolas' nose began to tickle. It began as a sort of tingling at the back of his nose which Legolas easily shrugged off. When traveling through some parts of Middle Earth, his acute elven senses detected things that did not seem to bother others at all. Sometimes he wondered if that was not one reason why the elves kept to certain areas of the land now.


     Gimli's arm brushed his, and the dwarf looked up at him for a moment. Something registered in his eyes but he said nothing and looked forward again. Legolas gave his nose a swift rub with his finger, not entirely sure Gimli did not know there was something the matter. Gimli was not one to voice his personal concerns about Legolas before Legolas spoke on the matter first. Floating into mind were memories of the last time the elf was sick. Gimli had offered comfort silently until Legolas gave into his cold.


     However, the tickle in his nose this time felt nothing at all like a cold coming on. It simply felt like a tickle, building in the back of his nose and working towards the front. As he breathed in through his nose, the tickle filled his nostrils, making his breath catch and his nostrils flair. He breathed next through his mouth but the tickle was fixed in place now.


     He raised his hand and rubbed two fingers vigorously against the bottoms of his nostrils. Then he looked around briefly. None of the men had seen him, and none were watching him now. Gimli, too, seemed not to have noticed, his stride staying leisurely yet steady. But even unseen, Legolas was having a difficult time with things. The rubbing did nothing to quench the tickle and he could feel something in the back of his nose and throat urging him to sneeze. His nostrils flared. His gentle mouth twitched.


     Legolas swallowed and held his breath. He closed his eyes as though trying to communicate with the urge to tell it to let him alone. Completely unsuccessful, he cupped his hand over his mouth with the side of his finger pressed up against his nose. His other hand squeezed Gimli's shoulder. "May I use your hhh..." His breath was light and wavered unsteadily as he fought back the need to sneeze for a few seconds more. A quick glance around told him the only one watching him now was Gimli.


     Still, he did not want to lose himself to the urge. He took a deep breath and tried again. Speaking very softly, he managed, "Your handkerchief?" Gimli pulled his handkerchief out and handed it over casually, though his face was firm with concern. He inched closer to Legolas.


     After unfolding it with a flick of his wrist, Legolas covered his nose and mouth with it. His breaths were heavy but quick. He closed his eyes, preparing for the sneeze. Through his tingling nose he could smell Gimli on the handkerchief. It made him smile a little before the sneeze struck. "hih'KSHH!" He rubbed at his nose, feeling a second one quickly approaching. "h'Kchhh!" He wrinkled his nose, testing it, then decided the tickle had been sufficiently sneezed out.


     He lowered the handkerchief and folded it back into quarters. Then he blinked repeatedly and tucked it into his pocket. At Gimli's quizzical expression, Legolas nodded. "It has passed." Legolas could see Gimli's relief, and was sure the expression was mirrored in his own face. He could also tell the dwarf wanted to kiss him but would not do so in front of the men. Gimli settled for stroking Legolas' arm. And Legolas made up his mind to thank Gimli properly once they were alone together later.