West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
The Mourning After the Night Before
Fifth of the Tol Eressëan Tales. Legolas thinks that he might have done something that he'd rather not live to regret.
There was something wrong... something very wrong.
The first thing that Legolas noticed upon waking was that his eyes were shut. Now, he didn't have to sleep with his eyes open, but he could and it had become a bit of a habit once he had discovered how very much it disconcerted Gimli. It was his small piece of revenge for Gimli's snoring.
That was the second thing... Gimli's snoring was particularly loud this morning. Whilst it had to be admitted that on a bad day a sleeping Gimli could produce decibels that rivalled even a Frodo in the throes of passion, the noise wasn't usually quite so close to his ear as it was at the moment. Legolas tentatively reached out a hand and encountered hair... lots of hair. Very close and covering what felt like a naked dwarven body. His eyes snapped open and he could no longer deny the truth - he was in Gimli's room, in Gimli's bed and a very naked Gimli was snoring into his ear.
What's more, he was very naked too.
Legolas edged carefully out of the bed and made a dash for the door before his incipient hyperventilation could wake Gimli up. He tore into his own room, closing the door and leaning against it as he strove to control his breathing. What had he done? For the life of him, he couldn't remember. They'd spent the previous evening at Elrond's. There had been music and storytelling, and the wine had flowed like, well, wine. He and Gimli had put on their usual show of togetherness for the assembled throng but had stumbled out arm-in-arm more because of the excessive drinking than because of the charade. After that, everything was a blank.
Until this morning, that is...
Suddenly, Legolas heard the sound of movement as Gimli finally awoke and began his morning ablutions and soon the sound of vigorous gargling played a counterpoint to the nervous churning of Legolas' stomach. Sometime later, Legolas sidled into the kitchen, where Gimli was frying breakfast on the range. "Gimli," expostulated Legolas, forgetting his concerns for a moment in the heat of his outrage, "how can you!"
"Nothing like a proper breakfast to cure a hangover," replied Gimli, in the measured tones of one who had had this conversation many times before... which, of course, he had.
Once the breakfast was prepared and the pair were settled in front of their respective plates, Gimli's piled more than twice as high as Legolas', the elf finally plucked up the courage to raise the matter which was preying upon his mind. "Gimli," he said carefully, "about last night..."
"What about last night?" asked Gimli, worriedly. "I don't remember a single thing about it. Did you do something stupid?"
"Why do you assume that I'm the one who's done something stupid?" asked Legolas, somewhat affronted.
"Because you're the one who's been acting so strangely," replied Gimli, cramming a large sausage into his mouth and chewing enthusiastically. Legolas winced - what if Gimli had been doing similar things to bits of him the previous night?
Things didn't improve during the morning, as Gimli didn't seem to be able to open his mouth without mentioning some phallic object or other. First of all he was waxing lyrical about the new sword he'd been commissioned to forge and then he was wittering on about the marrows that Sam had promised him as payment for providing the stone for the Hobbits' marrow bed. To cap it all, when Legolas wandered out into the workroom to call Gimli for his lunch, which he'd made quite sure didn't involve cucumbers, what was to greet him but the disconcerting sight of Gimli lovingly oiling the handle of his axe. It was almost as if he was doing it deliberately.
"You've got linseed all over you," said Legolas, tetchily. "You should wash it off before you track it all over the house."
Gimli harrumphed. "Do you want to run my bath for me?"
"It's what I live for," muttered Legolas and headed into the bathroom, hoping against hope that he could get out again quickly enough that he didn't have to watch Gimli using the loofah.
After a rather tense lunch, he headed outside, hoping that the fresh air would clear his head and the sights and sound of nature would ease his troubled heart. Unfortunately, since it was spring, nature wasn't being particularly co-operative. Everywhere he looked, it seemed that flowers were sending out their first messages to the bees and the birds were billing and cooing.
He didn't even want to think about what the rabbits were up to.
Since it seemed that he was not to be allowed to forget his troubles even for a moment, his thoughts drifted back to his current predicament. Gimli's lack of memory, whilst giving him some welcome breathing space, in no way released him from his obligations. If the pair of them had done the deed, then they were married. Legolas then had another thought - was he the bride or the groom? That brought a whole different question to mind: just how would he know? The whole "sex equals marriage" business did tend to limit one's opportunities for experimentation, though, being an elf and above that sort of thing, Legolas had never had cause to regret it until now. He did rather assume that had he and Gimli done the deed the previous night there would be some sort of physical manifestation - after all, he'd seen the effects of a night of passion on Sam and Frodo enough times.
He rushed back inside to his bedroom and hastily examined himself in his unnecessarily large mirror. There were no bite-marks or beard-rash to be seen and in all the rushing around like a headless chicken that he'd been doing so far that morning he'd not felt a single twinge from his nether regions, much less felt the need to walk like he'd just got off of a horse.
Now that particular metaphor hadn't helped his peace of mind at all.
Of course, the lack of physical evidence wasn't conclusive proof. He might, after all, have been on the top and, even if he wasn't, Elves were known for their rapid healing abilities so it could just be that the marks of last night's fiery passion had disappeared along with his memory of it. He guessed that he had better find out, since all this worrying was probably bad for the complexion and might even give him wrinkles. The problem was how to go about it. He couldn't simply walk up and ask someone, because they all thought that he and Gimli had been an item for a while. He had to admit that the charade they had been putting on since the hobbits' "Celebration of Love" party had worked pretty well and they were on the receiving end of far less interference these days. He and Gimli derived a great deal of pleasure out of fooling their friends and neighbours and often sat up late into the night planning the next stage of their strategy. Also, their home had benefited from a rather nice moat out of the deal, complete with attractive pontoon bridge and, with the reduction in well meaning visitors, Gimli no longer needed to follow up on his threat of stocking it with Piranha fish.
Galdor, of course, was completely out of the question after the trouble he'd caused the last time Legolas had sought his advice. Besides, he really needed someone with a bit more hands-on experience, and this time round he wasn't talking fish. Elrond was certainly qualified, possibly over-qualified, but Legolas couldn't face the idea of being on the receiving end of those eyebrows. Besides, Gimli and Elrond's unlikely friendship had continued to develop, to the extent that Gimli was spending much of his time crafting an iron cradle for the lucky new addition to the peredhil's family, and he couldn't be sure that whatever he said wouldn't get back to the dwarf. If he and Gimli were about to start married life together, he didn't want to start off on the wrong foot by having anything unfortunate get back to him.
He was momentarily arrested by the sight of Frodo striding purposefully in the direction of Shadowfax's paddock, hotly pursued by Sam. For some reason, Frodo was wearing his mithril shirt. Legolas wondered about this until he vaguely remembered a particularly drunken boast that Sam had made about his dexterity, that Gandalf had been running a book on. Admittedly Legolas had insider information, but that hadn't stopped him from putting his money on Sam.
Well, he supposed that he'd been looking for experts.
He watched until Shadowfax and his two 'riders' disappeared into the distance. No, when it came down to it, there was really no choice in the matter; he was going to have to talk to Frodo and Sam...after they'd recovered, of course.
That evening, Legolas escaped from Gimli on the pretext of consulting Sam about what were the best plants to enhance his new water feature and headed over to Frodo and Sam's smial. This conversation was not one he was looking forward to and, by the time he arrived, he was so overwrought that he marched straight into the kitchen without knocking and interrupted what appeared to be Frodo eating his pudding off of Sam. The hobbits, however, did not seem to be even slightly abashed and greeted him warmly - well, Sam did, but Frodo was too busy licking custard off of Sam's nipple to do more than wave vaguely in his direction. Legolas waved back, before sighing and plopping down into one of the spare chairs. If Frodo and Sam hadn't been taken aback by Legolas' sudden appearance, they certainly were by this rather uncharacteristic show of nonchalance in the face of hobbit sex. They disentangled themselves and Sam mopped himself down and did up his shirt out of deference to the obvious gravity of the situation.
"What's wrong, Legolas?" asked Frodo.
Legolas girded his possibly abused loins and plunged straight in. "How do you know if you've had sex?" he asked.
"Surely you must know," said Sam. "Haven't you and Gimli been at it for ages?"
"No," said Legolas.
"No?" said Frodo in surprise. "What have you been waiting for?"
"We're not waiting for anything," said Legolas, "the truth is that we're not really together at all."
"But what about all the holding hands and the matching outfits?" asked Sam.
"That was just to get people to stop matchmaking. Everyone was so convinced we were afraid to show our love that we couldn't do anything at all without starting off all sorts of gossip, so we decided to play up to it so people would leave us alone. I know you only had our best interests at heart, but Gimli and I are just very good friends and want to stay that way... or wanted to, at least. But right at the moment I don't know what we are. I woke up this morning in Gimli's bed and I don't know how I got there or what I did with him when I did."
"You can't remember anything?" asked Frodo.
"Not a thing after drinking Elrond's punch," said Legolas, putting his head down into his hands. "I may have lost my virginity last night and I don't even know what it ought to feel like."
"So," said Sam, "do you want us to do it to you so you can check?"
"What?" said Legolas, sitting bolt upright again. "No! It's bad enough that I might have got myself married to a dwarf without realising it; I'm not going to compound the problem by committing bigamy with a hobbit while we should still be on our honeymoon!"
"Or two hobbits," added Frodo, helpfully.
"Or two hobbits," agreed Legolas.
"Hey," said Sam, bristling slightly, "I wasn't proposing, you know!"
"Remember, Sam - sex is the same as marriage for elves," said Frodo, "and they mate for life."
"Like swans," suggested Sam.
"Yes," said Frodo. "It's rather sweet really."
"It's not sweet, it's practical," said Legolas.
"Practical?" chorused the hobbits.
"It's because we're so gorgeous, other races can't keep their hands off of us," explained Legolas loftily. "As it is, they're practically falling out of the sky into our arms. If Eru hadn't imposed some sort of control on our breeding Arda would be completely over-run with half-elves."
"So, if he doesn't want to do it with us maybe he wants to watch?" suggested Sam.
"Well, it wouldn't be the first time... now would it, Legolas?" said Frodo, archly.
Legolas huffed. "That was research," he said.
"And this?" asked Frodo
"Erm, this is research too. Just...different research."
"So, you do want to watch, then?" asked Sam.
Legolas simply could not begin to fathom how he had come to such a pretty pass. Nevertheless, he took a deep breath and dove in headfirst. "Just get me drunk first, all right," he said, "really, really drunk."
A little later, and many, many pints of beer later - the choice of tipple having been selected over Legolas's objections because the hobbits considered that he had far too high a tolerance for wine and they didn't want to have to force him to drink so much that he passed out during the show - Frodo and Sam led Legolas into the bedroom and pushed him into a chair. Legolas watched, bleary-eyed, as Frodo and Sam removed their clothes and took each other into their arms, kissing and caressing as if discovering the taste and feel of each other for the very first time. They almost seemed to forget about their audience in their growing passion, as they prepared each other for the act of love. Then Frodo crawled onto the bed and waited on all fours, fairly quivering with anticipation. Legolas covered his eyes with his fingers as Sam slowly pushed into Frodo.
"Hoy," said Sam, who was obviously paying more attention than Legolas had thought, "you'd better watch. We're not doing this for you again!"
"I don't mind," said Frodo, earning himself a sharp slap to his rear.
Legolas' fingers parted and he peeped between them, seeing Sam setting up a steady rhythm. He leant forward, tilting his head on one side to get a better view.
"Perhaps... perhaps you should come a little closer," panted Frodo.
"No," said Legolas, "that won't help. Sam's bottom is blocking my view."
"There's nothing wrong with Sam's bottom," said Frodo, "it's lovely just the way it is."
"Very nice of you to say so, Frodo," said Sam, "but he didn't really come here to admire my bum, so we'd best move."
Frodo and Sam briefly disengaged, before Sam lay back on the bed and Frodo straddled him, impaling himself once more upon Sam's length. "There," he asked, "is that better?"
"I'm not enjoying myself, you know. This is purely academic," said Legolas, a trifle petulantly.
"Pull the other one, it's got bells on," muttered Sam, forgetting, not unsurprisingly given the circumstances, just how good elven hearing really was.
"Has it really?" asked Legolas, creeping forward, his curiosity getting the better of him, "is that usual?"
As if controlled by some outside force, Legolas crawled behind Frodo and reached round, enfolding him within his slender, tapering hands. Frodo gasped and leant against Legolas. His head fell back upon the elf's smooth chest and he cried out as Legolas nuzzled at his exposed throat and Sam thrust sturdily upwards.
"What about all that stuff about sex and marriage you were on about earlier?" gasped Sam.
"This," murmured Legolas into Frodo's skin, "doesn't actually count as sex."
"Pleased to hear it," said Sam, as he drove upwards once more.
Legolas released Frodo from his grasp, ignoring his frustrated whimper, and moved his hands up to the hobbit's waist. Sitting back slightly, he tightened his grip and began to raise and lower Frodo's body in time with Sam's rhythm. Soon Frodo was writhing mindlessly in the elf's grasp and before long the hobbits had transformed into two happily sated piles of goo. Legolas, unfortunately, had not. It seemed that the combination of alcohol and the compelling power of hobbit sex had over-ridden his normal reticence and he was patently aroused.
"There must be something we can do to him that won't involve us all in a permanent threesome," observed Frodo.
"Or foursome," added Sam. "I'm very fond of Legolas, but I really don't want to have to share you with him and Gimli on any kind of permanent basis."
"Nor I you, love," said Frodo, leaning forward to rest his lips briefly against Sam's.
Smiling and pulling back, Sam made a suggestion: "How about we tie him up? That way, he can say it weren't his fault."
"No," said Frodo, "if his brain thinks we're forcing him into sex, it'll kill him."
"Seems my Gaffer were right when he said as elves were a bit touched in the head," observed Sam.
"Maybe so," said Frodo, "but there could be a way round it. Perhaps if one of us distracted his brain so it doesn't know what's going on?"
"How are we going to do that?" asked Sam.
"Perhaps I could recite some elvish poetry to him?" suggested Frodo.
"We want him distracted, not asleep," observed Sam, earning himself a disapproving look from Frodo.
They pondered for a moment, while Legolas continued to writhe drunkenly. Suddenly Frodo had an idea: "Sam," he asked, "do you know any really smutty jokes?"
"Aye," said Sam, "that I do. What do you have in mind?"
"Well, if you keep his brain distracted by telling it dirty jokes, maybe it'll think that's what's getting him all excited rather than what I'm up to down below."
"It's certainly worth giving it a try," said Sam. "We can hardly leave him in this state, now can we?"
"No, indeed," agreed Frodo. "It would hardly be polite of us as hosts."
The pair of them wrestled Legolas out of his clothes and Frodo bent enthusiastically to the task of licking and sucking Legolas into submission, while Sam whispered into his ear. After everything the elf had been through that day, it didn't take long before he exploded with an ear-splitting cry.
"My word! That must have been quite some joke," said Frodo. "What was it?"
"I'll tell you later when we're alone and you're naked," said Sam with a wink.
"I'm naked now," pointed out Frodo and Sam was just about to take advantage of the fact when Legolas suddenly rediscovered his voice.
"Can't have had sex with Gimli," he said, happily. "Sure I would have remembered something like that!"
"Great," said Frodo, without taking his eyes off of Sam, "why don't you go and give him the good news?"
"Can't give him the good news," corrected Legolas, "doesn't know about the bad news."
"Now, now Mr Frodo," said Sam, "we ought to make sure that he gets home safely. We can take the rest of the ale and make a bit of a party of it."
It seemed like such a good idea at the time...
Legolas' first thought upon waking was 'oh no, not again!'
Closed eyes - check.
Lack of clothes - check.
Gimli snoring in his ear - check.
This time, however, there was something different. This time there was something warm clinging to his leg. He cautiously cracked open one eye and lifted the covers to see a mop of black ringlets pillowed against his thigh. Pulling them a little higher, he espied some corn-coloured ones tangling with the coarser strands of Gimli's beard. Legolas let the covers fall and fervently wished that he were not an immortal. Except... maybe there was a way out of his excruciatingly embarrassing life after all:
"Hello dad, welcome to Tol Eressëa. These are my husbands."
Yes - that ought to do the job nicely.
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