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Story Notes:
This is a rare time-travel GIME for me, although in fact it is a reverse Girl in Middle Earth. But I digress . . . It was written for the Teitho challenge "Elven Realms", inspired by my desire to squeeze a Legolas and/ or Aragorn story into one of the fabulous lost elven realms. It takes place after Aragorn's death, starting with Legolas' and Gimli's voyage to Valinor.

Warning: This is the next thing to a first draft. It's still lumpy and bumpy, and I may go back and rework it as I add later chapters.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Tol Morwen is the starting point of the story, a high point in the drowned portion of Beleriand, southwest of Gondolin. I imagine it might still project above the water.
For the tenth, or maybe the hundredth time, Gimli scrubbed at his beard, regretting that he’d ever been born, let alone agreed to come on this perilous journey with his elven friend. Yet what was he to do when his best friend decided to give in to the call of the sea at last? None of their other companions on the quest of the Ring remained, and whenever he returned to the lands of his birth, he found himself set aside as a fragile elder, more a part of the histories the younger dwarves memorized in their teaching songs than a working member of the community. He couldn't even convince himself that the dwarves of Aglarond relied on his leadership; all too often his efficient subordinates had chewed anxiously on their beards when he tried to get his hands dirty and suggested that he enjoy some well-earned leisure.

One more adventure, then, trusting his life to Legolas' skills. They had no map, no guide beyond the west wind and Earendil's star.

At least he knew the boat would hold, since he had crafted it himself. After days of salt spray and sea sickness, the little craft's hold smelled worse than orc filth. His stomach had settled for the moment, despite the howling gale. He looked towards the bunk in the cramped cabin, but decided in the end to climb up to the deck and check on Legolas. The elf had been stranded at the tiller ever since the unseasonable storm had blown in from the south, demolishing Gimli’s fragile acclimation to the ship’s motion. Gimli could only hope that his friend still had some idea of where they were on the vast sea.

He pulled himself up through the door and out onto the deck. Legolas still hunched over the tiller in the same posture he'd had hours before. Gimli called his name, but the wind blew salt in his beard and snatched away his words. Legolas did not respond. Gimli spat a curse into the hostile gale. Step by step, he made his way back to the helm. The slippery boards of their ship seemed to stretch endlessly between him and his goal, stranding each of them alone despite their closeness. To think that this blighted craft looked small to me when we first set it out in the harbor! he grimaced, drawing on the memory of his friend’s delight in the little ship to ward off his present discomfort.

At last he reached the elf’s side. Legolas sat with his hands loosely clasped on the tiller, his eyes wide and glazed in reverie. The ship ran briskly before the wind, further into unknown waters. Gimli could not say for sure what their heading was, but if the wind held true to the storm’s onset, then they ran somewhat east of north. They had passed a little speck of rocky green island the evening before by early starlight, then watched as black storm clouds blotted out first the last traces of the sunset, then the whole sky. There was no telling how long they’d sailed since then, how far they’d come off their course, or where on all the miserable depths of the ocean they were.

“Legolas!” The elf did not respond, so Gimli grasped his shoulder and yelled again, “Legolas, you’ll drown us both!” He shook his friend. The elf's head just flopped to the side, his sodden braids smacking Gimli on the face. The dwarf shouted and shook him again, his worry increasing for his friend, but to no avail. Some more than natural sleep held the elf.
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