Title: Convenient Wording

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Lord of the Rings

Rating: PG

Pairing: Gimli/Legolas

Disclaimer: The elf and dwarf and all of Middle Earth are not my creations. This is just for fun.

Summary: Legolas doesn't have to sneeze. No, not at all. Certainly not in front of Gimli. Nope.

Notes: I requested boykissing requests. BVB and Lady Korana requested Gimli/Legolas



Convenient Wording


     "And so I thought I might take that chisel along with me when we leave tomorrow. There's really nothing that can compare to working with your own tools." He looked over at Legolas, whose concentration seemed to have gone off on holiday already. This night, the normally pristine and peaceful elf looked anything but. He shifted in his seat, his attention strayed, and he raised a hand to cover a yawn every few minutes. Legolas was pale and looked tired right down to his eyes. Without warning, and without commenting on Gimli's statement, Legolas rose from his seat.


     "Legolas?" Gimli called out concernedly, drawing his lover' attention back.


     "I am sorry," he apologized. "I suddenly find myself feeling tired and the bed looks so pleasant." Legolas gave Gimli a soft smile as he slowly made his way across their sitting room. "So tired. I think I shall go to sleep early tonight," he muttered, more to himself than to Gimli. He stripped off his clothes and collapsed onto their bed with one definite, graceful movement.


     Gimli put down his pipe and headed over. He hopped up onto the bed just as Legolas rolled over on his side, his back to the dwarf. His long, blond hair fell all about, showering down over shoulder, chest, back, pillow, and sheets all at once. Gimli ran a hand against the back of Legolas' head and pulled strands back and out of the elf's face. "Are you all right, my Love?"


     "Just very tired," Legolas replied simply, his body sinking heavily into the feather mattress and his eyes closing.


     "But you are never tired," Gimli observed, petting Legolas' head gently. "In fact, the only time I can recall you feeling tired was the last time you were ill." He continued petting for a while, enjoying the extreme softness of the hair against his rough fingers.


     After a few quiet minutes, he went to extend his petting and his hand brushed against Legolas' bare shoulder. The elf jumped at the cool touch and shivered violently. Concerned, Gimli pressed himself against Legolas' back and pulled the blanket at the foot of the bed up to cover them both.


     "I have only seen you shiver when ill, as well." Gimli paused a moment, waiting for a response that never came. "Is that why you are feeling cold and tired, Legolas?" Silence. "Are you coming down sick, Legolas?" Silence. And stillness, too. Gimli listened carefully, hearing steady, slow, shallow breaths from his elf. He smiled a little bit. "Are you pretending to be asleep to avoid answering my questions, Legolas?"


     The elf's shoulders shook up and down and his soft laughter broke the silence. Gimli grinned and kissed Legolas' head softly. "Ah, I shall take that as a reply to my last question, then."


     Legolas' laughter died away suddenly and his breath was neither forced to be slow nor relaxed and normal. Instead, he was breathing hard in and out through his mouth. Then he took two quick breaths in "ehhh-ehhh-" and he rocked forward with a strong sneeze. "Ktchooo!"


     Gimli leaned back to gain access to his pocket. As he pulled his handkerchief out, he spoke. "Well, I suppose that answers my first two questions."


     Legolas gave a bit of a nod at this, eyes still closed either from fatigue or not wanting to look at Gimli as he admitted he was sick. Or perhaps he simply anticipated the sneezes that were about to seize him. Legolas sucked in a deep breath, then shook. "hehhhhChooo! ehhhSchooo! ehhChuhhhh!"


     Gimli sighed and sat up, back against the wall. He rubbed his hand against Legolas' head with one firm pet, and then eased the handkerchief into Legolas' hand. Genuinely tired, Legolas didn't open his eyes but still rubbed the handkerchief at his nose wearily. "You are doing it no good that way." He pulled it back and rubbed Legolas' nose dry for him. "You might have told me you were coming down sick. When I choose to share my life with someone, I tend to like to know if there's something wrong with that someone."


     Legolas' silence answered for him this time as well. He shivered and whimpered so softly Gimli nearly missed it. The elf was not at all used to feeling less than perfect all the time, and probably felt badly enough already so as not to need a scolding from his lover for trying to keep his illness a secret. No, not a scolding. "At least roll over and cuddle up against me," said Gimli. "You look so cold."


     Feeling cold, Legolas did just that. After some rearranging, Legolas lay sideways across their large bed with his head on a thick pillow in Gimli's lap. Gimli tucked the blanket in all around them, and rubbed his hand up and down his lover's shoulder and upper arm.


     "Sorry..." Legolas said softly, sounding it. "I am sorry I did not tell you."


     "I understand," Gimli replied, placing a kiss on the elf's temple. "I did not mean to make you feel guilty. I only wanted you to know you do not always have to be the perfect elf when you are around me. You are allowed to be weak sometimes. I promise to keep it a secret."


     Still sounding and looking guilty, Legolas shook his head. "It isn't only that. You were so looking forward to leaving for the Glittering Caves tomorrow that I could not stand to give you a reason not to go."


     Gimli chuckled lightly. "And so you decided it would be better to start a three day journey over there with a head cold and you hoped that I would not notice?"


     Legolas gave a weak smile. "Well, you do ride behind me... oh..." His eyes closed more tightly in realization. "Going to sneh..." All traces of the smile faded quickly to make room for a bit of a frown. His nose twitched and bottom lip quivered a moment. Gimli gently pressed the handkerchief over nose and mouth as Legolas began drawing quick breaths. "heh-eh-ihh-heh-yihh-hehhh-" Legolas raised his hand, holding it against Gimli's to press the handkerchief more tightly to his face. He let out a longer, shaky breath "ehhhhh..." and pitched forward with another sneeze "YIHshooooo!" Legolas lost his grip on Gimli, but the dwarf did a thorough job of rubbing his nose afterwards.


     "Yes," Gimli said, stroking the elf's hair back into place again. At the soothing touch, Legolas closed his eyes again. "Yes, I'm certain I would never have noticed you were sick, what with sneezes like that."


     "Well, I would have held back the sneezes. You would not have noticed without them. The sore throat, shivers, and fatigue can be much more easily... hid... hidden. huhh..." Legolas' sneezes never failed to give proper warning.  His body tensed and Gimli held the handkerchief in place again, having folded it to offer a dry section. "hehh-ihhhhh-HEHshhhhhh!" The sneeze was stronger this time, and it was followed by a series of wet sniffles that would not leave until the elf blew his nose a little. When it was over, he sighed and relaxed again in Gimli's lap, his body too tired and heavy for immediate use.


     Gimli shook his head. "I have complete confidence in your many skills, my Love. But even you could not hide your sneezes for the duration of a head cold."


     Legolas shrugged. "I hid them from you well enough tonight."


     "Did you now?" Gimli said, sounding interested. "You felt sick all evening and hid them from me?" Legolas nodded. "And you thought you could do so indefinitely?"


     "For as long as needed. After a few days we would be more than halfway to the caves and it would be easier to keep going rather than turn around and go... go home..." Legolas tensed up again. He spent a few seconds fighting the tickle, but it was strong and he was tired. Legolas sneezed harshly into a dry portion of Gimli's handkerchief. "hehhhh... ehhhhh--EHHShhhh! ihhhKshhhhh! hehhh-Ehhhshhh!"


     Shaking his head at the display, he tried to get Legolas to recognize how crazy he sounded. "You really believe you could have held back these sneezes for so long?" Gimli wiped Legolas' nose dry for him as the elf nodded against the handkerchief. "All right," Gimli said, sitting back with a deep sigh. "I'd like you to prove it, then." Legolas looked up quizzically. "I should not make it anything as long as a few days or even one. In fact, let us make it only an hour." Legolas still stared back, not quite understanding. "Upon your honor as an elf, we shall see if you can indeed hold back your sneezes."


     Legolas raised an eyebrow. "You wish to bet because you do not believe me?" He gave a soft cough to clear his throat. "Very well. But if this is a bet with the usual prizes, my reward will have to wait until I am well again."


     Chuckling, Gimli bent over and kissed Legolas' forehead. "It shall be the same for my reward when I win, then." He noticed Legolas' nose twitching a little. "You may begin any time you wish. Unless, of course, you'd like to sneeze first and get it all out of your system?"


     Shaking his head, Legolas sniffed hard and sat up. "No, I'm fine." He sniffed again and cleared his throat. After a few moments, a slight smile crossed his face. "See? I am perfectly fine."


     "Apart from being tired," Gimli pointed out. The elf certainly looked it.


     "Yes, apart from that. But as I have already given that away and it was not in our bet, I did not think I needed to bother with that portion of my appearance."  


     Gimli nodded. "As it was not in our agreement, I'll give you that much. There are other reasons for looking tired, after all."


     "There are other reasons for sneezing as well," Legolas said with a smile. But almost immediately after, his face twitched. For a human or even a dwarf, an oncoming sneeze might be more noticeable. But for an elf who showed little expression as it was, it was merely a brief moment of realization where the nostrils flared and the eyebrows raised and the mouth turned down into a frown. A split second, maybe less, but it was enough to indicate Legolas' nose was far past the stage of twitching with a small tickle. No, it was a full-blown sneeze that had approached now. And Legolas' battle against it had begun.


     Gimli sat back with a sigh, watching Legolas closely. He wondered, briefly, whether this had might not have been the best idea. The elf looked absolutely exhausted, as though he could pass out immediately and sleep straight through the night. But the look of resolve in Legolas' eyes indicated that even if Gimli tried to take back the bet now for his sake, Legolas would never agree and simply proclaim he was the winner by default. And one thing Gimli refused to do was lose. He was certain Legolas could not possibly hold back his sneezes for long. All he had to do now was be patient and wait for the elf to crack under the pressure and torment.


     The elf, however, was far from cracking. On the contrary in fact, even though his eyes were fixed in concentration he put on a soft smile. Gimli rolled his eyes and decided a change in strategy might be in order. "I thought we might take that book you have been meaning to read along on our journey. We could read a passage every morning and make it last until we made our return trip. But as we are not going-" Legolas shot him a look at this, as though the matter had not been decided yet. Gimli was not swayed. "As we are not going, I do not see any reason we should put off enjoying it. Shall I retrieve it now, perhaps?"


     Legolas repeated the look, but answered slowly and steadily. "I think not right now. I... I feel too tired tonight to read." His breath caught as he finished the words, and he closed his eyes. Gimli noticed the tips of the elf's ears wiggling a little, indicating that the sneeze was actually closer than Legolas was letting on. But nothing came of it. Legolas let out a deep breath and looked as calm and collected as he had just a moment before.


     "Hmmm," mused Gimli, sounding thoughtful but feeling playful. "I would have guessed it's because you feel too sneezy to read."


     Legolas narrowed his eyes. "I am fine. Not sneezy in the...ihhh... least." His breath caught, his eyes closed, his ears wiggled, and this time his nostrils flared. The elf froze in place, waiting for the sneeze to pass just as Gimli waited for it to come. Legolas won the battle this time, too, and relaxed again.


     "Not sneezy in the least?" Gimli echoed, adding a chuckle of his own. "My Love, you have lost already. You've given yourself away."


     Legolas shook his head. "You might not have noticed if you had not been watching so intently." He sniffled slightly. "And even so," he pointed out carefully. "Our bet said nothing of looking ill or sounding it. It only addressed sneezes themselves."


     Gimli grumbled, knowing Legolas was right. He would have to watch his wording the next time he made a bet with the clever elf. "Fine," he said, crossing his arms over his chest. "Fine, I can wait." Though, admittedly, it might be a longer wait than he'd anticipated. Still, he was confident in his eventual victory.


     Though he would not admit it, Legolas was much less confident in his own. Despite outward appearances, his nose was tickling terribly. He clenched his teeth and closed his eyes, trying to deny the urge that he felt filling him. When it came over him, he so very much wanted to sneeze, but his sensibilities would not allow him to give in so easily. The corners of his mouth turned down a little and his face twitched slightly. But as he took an involuntary sharp breath in, he knew he was going to sneeze unless he did more.


     "ahhh..." he gasped, then pinched his nose. His thumb and forefinger squeezed tightly at his nostrils and he held his breath. And, slowly, the tickling sensation backed away from Legolas. He dared not stop pinching his nose, however.


     "Ha!" Gimli laughed. "You cannot get away with that!"


     "We said nothing about..." Legolas loosened his grip and sniffed a few times as his nose was feeling a little runny as well. "We said nothing about how I was allowed to keep from sneezing. You simply said I couldn't sneeze. And I... ahhh... ehhhh..." Legolas pinched his nose again. After a few seconds, the feeling left again and the danger passed. "Sniff! I did't sdeeze," he said nasally. He sniffed again and tried to rub his runny nose while pinching a little further up, just below the bridge. "Ugh... sniffle, sniffle, deed to blow by dose."


     Gimli sighed. The elf was right about that as well. But if Legolas could play like this, so could he. Shaking his head with a smile, "You are so very stubborn." Gimli handed him a fresh, thick handkerchief. "Go on then," he urged. As much as he wanted to win the bet, he had a hard time sitting there and watching while Legolas was in considerable distress.


     Legolas blew his nose thoroughly into the handkerchief and smiled back. "Almost as stubborn as a certain dwarf I know. But thank you." He nodded at the handkerchief.
"See?" the elf said with a smile. "I don't need to sneeze at all."


     The tickle did not return to Legolas' nose in full for quite some time. He had small tickles there, and quite a few coughs and sniffles as well. But his luck could not hold out forever. The need to sneeze returned when only a quarter of an hour remained. Gimli sat forward a little, eager to observe. The tips of Legolas' ears twitched in time with the tip of his nose. He pinched his nose again almost immediately as his breath caught.


     Gimli sat forward, watching closely. Legolas was just on the verge of sneezing. All he needed was just a little push, a little nudge. And Gimli had that. He tilted his head a little but managed to push past Legolas' hand to get at the elf's face, and placed a firm kiss on Legolas' lips. He forced the two gentle lips apart and kissed harder, with just enough movement to make it arousing. He felt Legolas tense against him and pull back, cupping a hand over his nose and mouth. But the damage had most certainly been done.


     Legolas gasped and immediately snapped in half with a strong sneeze. "eh'HIShhhhhh!" He sniffed hard and looked up, wide-eyed, at Gimli. "That was low."


     "Our bet never said I couldn't interfere," Gimli pointed out with a grin. "It was not as though I tickled your nose, either. It was just an innocent kiss. The kind I would have been likely to give you at any moment on our trip anyway." Gimli sat back and crossed his arms. "So it looks like I win."


     Legolas sighed and nodded reluctantly. He blew his nose and rubbed the handkerchief at it. If possible, he looked considerably more tired than he had before, as though it had drained what remaining energy he had right out of him. He lay back down on his side on the bed with a shiver and closed his eyes. "Yes, yes. You win," he said softly.


     Gimli crawled over the elf and lay down in front of him. He let Legolas reach out and hug him for warmth, then snuggled against the elf's chest. Legolas sniffled and shivered. Gimli whispered, "That should teach you to try to keep such things from me. Next time you fall ill, whether it is before a battle or before a trip or whatnot, I want you to tell me."


     Legolas agreed with a nod and another sniffle. "If you promise a kiss like that every time I get sick, I shall be sitting out on the porch in the cold and the rain hoping for a cold."


     Gimli chuckled and pulled the blankets up around them both.