11: Someone falls asleep... during the Uruk-hai chase!
Gimli could feel himself begin to tire. His legs were growing impossibly heavy, as was his heart. He couldn't see how Merry and Pippin could still be alive, when the Uruk-hai were so far ahead; it surely would be impossible to catch up with them. He couldn't help but feel that all was lost.
He began to fall behind, weighed down as he was by worry. He had done well so far to keep up with Legolas, who as an Elf did not tire easily, and Aragorn, who had trained for most of his life outdoors. While hope burned in their hearts, they ran tirelessly; but Gimli's endurance began to fade as the flame of urgency waned and was nearly extinguished.
They had been running for three days, and the Uruk-hai were steadily drawing further and further ahead of them. Legolas, seeing Gimli lagging behind, motioned to Aragorn that they should rest for a moment; it wouldn't do to tire Gimli out so much that they were left with an unconscious Dwarf to lug across Middle-Earth.
Drawing to a halt, Aragorn fished around in his pack to find the parcels of Elven Lembas bread. Gimli gratefully leaned against a tall boulder, catching his breath. He hadn't been training enough before he came on this Quest… Perhaps he should have spent more time on improving his endurance than perfecting his beard-plaiting skills – his plaits, remarkable as they were, paled in comparison with Legolas intricate hairstyle anyway.
Gimli's lids were heavy; he'd just rest his eyes a little while Aragorn sorted out food…
Aragorn had located the Lembas, and broke one of the wafers into three.
'Legolas,' he called, and threw a pportion tothe Elf, who caught it deftly, and began nibbling daintily.
'Gimli,' Aragorn called the Dwarf's name, and tossed one in Gimli's direction. There was no response other than a grunt and what sounded like a snort.
Startled, Aragorn and Legolas both turned, wondering what had made the noise.They were not expecting to see Gimli leaning back onto a boulder, his mouth open in a snore and completely oblivious to the rest of the world. He didn't respond when Aragorn shouted repeatedly at him to wake up.
Legolas was nearly sniggering. 'What happened to Dwarves being tough and enduring? Ours must be faulty.'
Aragorn laughed. It felt strange, after so long spent in silence and all concentration being on getting that next breath, but it was a good feeling. It felt like he'd almost forgotten how to laugh.
Suddenly Legolas gave a grin, as sly as a cat and unlike his usual neutral expression. It was reminiscent of Pippin's, when he and Merry had been up to mischief. Even Aragorn was a little wary when he saw this rare smile spread across Legolas' face.
'I know what will wake him up…'Aragorn grew more worried.
'Don't worry, it's nothing bad!'
That's not what Aragorn thought, when Legolas had whipped his bow out before he'd even finished the sentence. That looked like something bad, to him.
Legolas walked right up to Gimli quickly and just as fast whacked him in the stomach with the bow.
'Wake up,' he said shortly.
Gimli doubled over and woke with a start at the sudden blow. He looked up to see Legolas standing over him, a smile on his face which was admittedly slightly apologetic but also extremely smug.
'You didn't have to do that!'
'No, I didn't. I could have pulled your plaits instead. The plaits you spent so long perfecting…'
Gimli gave a grunt and stomped past Legolas.
'Don't forget your Lembas!' Legolas cried after him, and Gimli looked back at him with a glower.
He'd show the Elf.
He'd show him how tough Dwarves really were…
Unfortunately Sam and Frodo probably won't feature much; their journey is kind of so depressing it's difficult to inject much humour into it! But who knows, maybe you'll get a nice surprise.
Chapter End Notes:
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