Title: Overcoming Reservations
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Rating: PG if that
Disclaimer: I am not Tolkien and I have no relation to New Line either. I'm not being paid for this fluff, either.
Summary: Legolas is used to sneezing like an elf while Gimli is used to an unrestrained Legolas.
Notes: Written for Lady Korana because I feel badly she had trouble with the plot bunny submission dealy.
Legolas sat in front of the fire, legs crossed beneath him, hands folded in his lap, eyes closed. Gimli did not wish to disturb his elf, who looked so very peaceful, but neither could he stand there with his arms full forever watching and not doing anything more. So he resigned himself to interfering and draped their thickest, down-filled blanket around Legolas' shoulders.
Startled out of his meditation by the touch, Legolas looked up at his dwarf, who bore a handkerchief in one hand and a steaming hot mug in the other. In truth, Legolas would have preferred to still be meditating, but he could not deny the dwarf's good intentions. "Gimli," he said with a sigh. "I told you I did not need looking after. Were I miserable and dying with discomfort you know I would call you to my side. But this is a simple head cold. I have had many over the years and no doubt I shall have many more. I do not, however, require your constant attention to cope with it."
Gimli took in every word of Legolas' explanation, remembering all the other tasks that needed to be done around the house. Nonetheless, he sat himself down beside Legolas and cheerfully offered, "Tea?"
With a shake of his head, Legolas refused. "As I said, I do not require..." He stopped speaking prematurely, his breath leaving him. His nose twitched in a ticklish sort of way, and he raised his hand to his nose to deal with it. "ihhhhh... ih-hihhhh..." He scrubbed a long finger beneath his nose. "ehhhh!" He froze, as though contemplating what would happen next. It seemed for a moment that he would be fine and could resume his sentence. But then his mouth turned down slightly and his handsome blue eyes closed. He lowered his hand and leaned back a little as his breaths grew fuller. "IHhhh... EHHhhhh... EHHH--" His whole body, face included, tensed and his head bobbed forward but a quiet, nasal squeak was all that could be heard. He let his breath out shakily, but it seemed he was in store for more. "IHHH--" Another squeak. And another. And another. He raised his hand again and rubbed a finger at his nose as his eyes fluttered open. "Please excuse me," he apologized, sounding as though he were out of breath.
Gimli looked less than pleased and dismissed the apology at once. "You should not need to apologize every time you sneeze. I do not expect it and I do not need it. You are sick and sneezy and if you cannot sneeze in front of me without regret there is clearly something wrong in our relationship."
Legolas nearly blushed and looked down to avoid Gimli's eyes. "I apologize for apologizing. At a very young age I was taught always to excuse myself. It would not do to have a young princeling sneezing his head off in the middle of a ceremony and interrupting it, after all." Legolas gave a light sniffle, which was even louder than the squeaked sneezes had been.
"And were you also taught to restrain your sneezes so?" Gimli asked out of concern. For an elf who always seemed so in tune and at ease with everything around him, those sneezes had sounded as far from comfortable and natural as anything could have sounded.
Nodding, "All elves learn to sneeze that way, Gimli. I might not sound like a loud, stuffy horn like you when I sneeze, but they are sneezes nonetheless. Elves are reserved when it comes to displaying emotions. We keep our thoughts to ourselves. And so, too, do we our sneezes."
Gimli was not convinced. "That may very well be, but you share your emotions and your thoughts with me freely. Why, then, can you not do the same for your sneezes?"
Legolas sighed again. "If it means so much to you, then I shall attempt to sneeze unrestrainedly and neglect apologies." As though on cue, his nose twitched again. "But I warn you... ihhhh... it may not be a... a-ahhhhh... a pretty siihhhhhh... oh..." Unable to finish, Legolas closed his eyes as his breath caught. "hehh... HEH-TSChhoooh!" He sneezed loudly, wetly, forcefully. Caught in the swaying then snapping motions of his body, Legolas' hair had been tossed forward. Nothing about the way he moved had been tense or tight; instead, Legolas rode the sneeze gracefully from start to finish, moving with it without a fight. And when it was over, there were no more sneezes right behind, which gave him much relief.
Gimli nodded in approval and handed over the handkerchief he'd brought when Legolas reached for it. The large handkerchief overtook Legolas' hand and engulfed the lower half of his countenance as he snuffled and blew his runny nose into it. Then he sighed and looked timidly down at the dwarf. "I told you it would not be pretty."
"Oh the contrary," Gimli said, his voice soft and low. He reached up and stroked Legolas' head. "You are never so beautiful to me as when you act naturally and truthfully."
Legolas met Gimli's adoring gaze, and could not help melting. He tightened the blanket around his shoulders, drawing the sides to his chest. Then he leaned to the side and lay down with his head in Gimli's lap. He rubbed his cheek against Gimli's thigh. "Then perhaps I would care for a little attention from you."
Gimli smiled as he stroked Legolas' head again, touching the soft, slick blond hair. "Tea?" he offered again. Legolas shook his head, so Gimli leaned forward, over Legolas, and set it down as close to the fire as he could reach to keep it from getting cold.
"Only need..." Legolas said breathlessly, "Need to sn... sneh..." Legolas shook his head. He wouldn't be able to manage more than a few sips of tea at a time, anyway. "ehhh... ihhhhhh..." He closed his eyes. "ihhhh... ihhh-HIH-TSChuh!" He grimaced. "I am not sure I like this natural approach..." he whispered, his eyes still closed. Gimli bent over and kissed Legolas, then rubbed his arm through the blanket all the way down to his hand clutching the handkerchief. Then, with his arm around Legolas, he hugged comfortingly. Legolas opened his eyes, smiling slightly. "Mmmm. But I believe I can give it more of a chance."
"I wish you would," said Gimli, smiling and snuggling his elf.
Legolas nodded, his breathing beyond his control again. "ihhh... hihhhhh... ehhh-Heh-HEHHH-KSChoooh!" With Gimli's hand to help guide his, he rubbed at his nose. Then the side of his face was covered with kisses. The dwarf's beard against his smooth skin was scratchy and tickly in a familiar, soothing way. And each of the many kisses felt likewise. "You are very convincing," Legolas said, smiling. "Do keep it up."