Title: Concise Words, Generous Goals
Theme: Short and Sweet
Author's Notes: I took the literal meaning of the phrase as my bouncing off point.
Summary: Before approaching Legolas, Gimli carefully considers his words.
Word Count: 342
Gimli watched them all, assessed each one for strength and resiliency. Gandalf was gone and all were weary from battle, travel and grief. More than ever they must work to find balance, re-form their unit to fill the missing spaces. Through observation he hoped to identify what each needed, lend more than his fighting prowess to their future success.
Yet he watched Legolas more. He was still wary of the elf, untrusting. Past injustices, the slights committed against his family and people, were vivid. But the Lady of the Wood had opened his eyes to new possibilities; not rewrite history but turn a page toward a broader understanding, a less clouded view. And while he was surrounded by elves, Legolas was one of his companions and if an olive branch were to be extended it was only fitting that it should be toward him.
He thought of explaining all of this when he asked to accompany Legolas on his daily outings with the Galadhrim; of expounding at length about the wonders he saw through Galadriel's eyes, of being captivated by her wisdom and kindness. He could acknowledge the opportunity they had to let go of resentment and suspicion and close with the necessity for the Fellowship to fortify its ties.
In the end he chose a more direct route, succinct and to the point with no added frippery or fuss. For while he would endeavor to use all the languages of Middle-earth to describe his great respect and admiration to the Lady Galadriel, he'd yet to sense any reciprocal openness from the bowman and would not waste his words.
So as Legolas rose and excused himself after the Fellowship's morning meal, Gimli strode into his path and declared "I am walking with you today," plainly and with more than a hint of challenge. Surprise and annoyance were evident on the young elf's face, but after a brief pause he merely nodded, his jaw firmly set in a rigid line. And the two proceeded into the woods, the air abuzz with silent curiosity.