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Nocturne

By Camilla Sandman



Disclaimer: Legolas and Gimli and all who reside in Middle-earth are the creation of J.R.R Tolkien, and I claim no ownership. This is merely written for my own enjoyment (not Tolkien’s, I’m quite sure) and nothing more.


Author’s Notes:

Nocturne – a piece evoking night, a musical ‘night piece’

Thanks to Saphie for help with the summary.



Prologue



*****



Young he was, yet not, Legolas Thranduilion of Mirkwood. Many moons had waned and waxed over the trees of his home in his lifetime, but he had not seen the Ages of the world come and go, each with defeat, each with victory. He was young, yet he was not. There was much he did not know.



He had not known, he could not have known - that something so little could be so fatally alluring.



Just a kiss.



“Legolas?”



Gimli’s voice was low and almost uncertain, like a dying rumble on the mountains.



“I should not have done it,” the Dwarf went on. “I should not, but your eyes… I…”



His voice faltered, or perhaps it just drowned in the wind. It shrieked through the trees now, like a force of fury unleashed. It was a storm come from the West, whipping through Middle-earth with angered passion. Perhaps it was the last will of Sauron, passing with the wind as the Dark Lord had, howling as it went.



The trees shivered in the storm, great claws of branches seeming to try to cling onto anything and everything. Raindrops shimmered in the air like a pale veil before they pounded the grass and trees. Clouds were shielding the moon and stars from sight, and the twilight had almost lost its battle against the emerging darkness of the night.



Such a dark night.



“Legolas? Will you not speak?”



The rain fell all around them and carried with it a promise of autumn to come. Almost like ice it felt on his face, and Legolas closed his eyes for a moment to savour the feel. Autumn would come and autumn would fade into winter once more, as it had always been.



Yet every pass of season was different. Little changes, big changes. Nothing stayed the same. Nothing would last. But the Elves desired the lasting. He desired the lasting.



Mortals did not last.



“Why?” he asked quietly. “Did you not desire Lady Galadriel? Am I to be what you settled for because you cannot have what your heart truly wants?”



“No!” Gimli shot back. He looked almost angry. “Do you think so ill of me that you think I would wish to use you as a consoling embrace because I could not have her? Lady Galadriel is fairest of all living things and brighter than the morning star. But can you touch a star? Love a star? I revel in her light, but she is too distant for me to ever desire her warmth.”



“Warmth? Do not look in me for warmth, Gimli. I cannot give it to you.”



“You cannot,” the Dwarf repeated slowly. He lowered his head. “Forgive me, my friend. I sought something that my heart warned me was denied. But I delved too greedily nevertheless, as ever was my kindred’s curse.”



Legolas barely listened. The rain seemed to thunder in his ears now, echoing his furious heartbeats.



A kiss. Unasked for, unlooked for, unexpected. Yet it had been familiar, like the tales of distant deeds of ages long past that he had never seen, but always felt in his blood like a faint whisper. A longing for the days that had passed, for what had once been. A longing for the passion that Elves had once knew, before the world was dimmed by Morgoth, cursed be his name.



And for a moment – a brief, fleeting moment – the touch of lips had made the whisper a scream and the passion a fever though his veins.



Mortals did not last. Passion did not last. He desired the lasting.



Did he not?



Tinviel had desired something other, Arwen had desired something other. What was greater than life everlasting?



Gimli looked up at him at last, rain streaking his cheeks and lips, glimmering like specs of light in the dark night. He was so breathtakingly beautiful Legolas wondered why he not seen it before. Was this what Galadriel had sensed within Gimli’s mind? This courage, this loyalty, this warmth, this unchecked passion for life?



“Why?” Legolas asked again, sinking down on his knees and facing the Dwarf. “You kissed me like no brother or friend ever would. Why?”



“Your eyes shone,” Gimli replied slowly. “And my heart was filled with joy even in this dark night in Fangorn forest. I felt as if you shone with starlight and moonlight, only living light. You were not distant as the moon, but even more beautiful. I needed only to reach out and touch you and the beauty would be mine.”



“Is that what you desire?”



The Dwarf flinched slightly, but did not lower his eyes. “Yes. I desire you, Legolas of the Elves, to hold and to caress. And now I have shamed my kin and yours by speaking of this, but a Dwarf’s heart is ever foolish. Now you know. Do you despise me?”



“If I did,” Legolas replied, feeling his heart go still, “I would despise myself also.”



Gimli said nothing at first, but a flame seemed to ignite within his eyes, and his hand haltingly sought Legolas’s.



“You said you could not give me warmth,” the Dwarf finally said hesitantly.



“I fear I will give you nothing but pain,” Legolas answered honestly, meeting his friend’s outstretched hand with his own. “My kin will not accept you. My father will be angered. I will forever long for the sea and the Blessed Realm. I am a poor choice, Gimli.”



“Nevertheless you are my choice. Am I yours?”



Legolas hesitated, feeling his heart scream in protest and whisper in delight at the same time. Tinviel must have stood like this when Beren came upon her; the Elf Maiden called by the mortal and torn between fleeing and answering the call.



A mortal’s embrace was doom, but joyous, pained doom.



“Beren came

And doom fell on Tinviel

That in his arms lay glistening,” Legolas whispered softly to himself and lifted his head to meet Gimli’s burning eyes.



Doom would fall on Legolas Thranduilion.
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