Title: In the Company of Hobbits
Elements: Cheerfulness smoothes the road of life.
Summary: Legolas senses he will play a part in fulfilling Gimli's final request.
Word Count: 585
S.R. 1541: In this year on March 1st came at last the passing of King Elessar. It is said that the beds of Meriadoc and Peregrin were set beside the bed of the great king. ‘Appendix B’, The Return of the King
“’This was a fine idea you had, laddie,” Gimli said. The old Dwarf and Legolas stood alone in the House of the Kings, before three ornate crypts – one long and two small. “I doubt that many folks understand why the hobbits were moved here, to rest in honor beside the King, but I’m glad you thought of it, and that the Queen approved.”
“To surround someone with those who loved him... it is a good practice,” Legolas said.
“Aye,” Gimli agreed. “My father spoke of the final resting place of Thorin, with my cousins laid at his side. Is that how you got the idea?”
”Yes,” said Legolas. “I was greatly impressed by the honors shown to Thorin Oakenshield and his nephews.” He sighed. “I have lived through too many battles, my friend.”
“As have I,” Gimli nodded. “I hope to see no others in my lifetime.”
“You will accompany me, then?”
“I will.” Gimli looked around, eyeing the chamber about them with satisfaction “’Tis a peaceful place. Should your mad plan work out, and we arrive at our final destination, perhaps you might do the same for me someday.” Legolas started to speak, but Gimli raised his hand. “No fancy Elvish fripperies, mind. Good solid stone, and lots of it, that’s all a Dwarf needs.”
“And the company of hobbits?” Legolas asked softly, not allowing Gimli to see the pain in his heart.
Gimli chuckled. “Aye. To lie thus, until Mahal gathers me to his realm, would suit me well.” He gently touched the likeness of Peregrin Took that he had personally etched into one of the small crypts.
Legolas went still for a moment, feeling the deck of a ship yet unbuilt roll beneath his feet. A speck of shimmering green and silver came into view on the far horizon, the air suddenly filled with song and sweet mingled fragrances, and then... he was standing amidst ancient boulders on a flower-strewn hilltop, where lovingly-tended plaques bearing the images of three Ring-bearers and one Dwarf had been placed.
“What ails you, lad?” Gimli’s rough, beloved voice broke around Legolas like the Sea in a tempest. Bright sunlight dimmed, and birdsong faded, and Legolas found himself back in the hushed silence -- in the presence of the King’s memory and that of two brave hobbits. Gimli was looking up at him with concern.
“Reflecting on our small friends reminds me that we have not yet broken our fast," Legolas said lightly. "Will you join me, ‘ere we begin our day’s tasks?”
“About time,” Gimli growled.
Time. Once again, a part of Legolas’s consciousness flew apart and away... He was planting saplings on the hilltop, singing quietly to his friends, and feeling at peace. The pain will lessen, he thought gratefully. I had not dared hope for it. I believed it impossible to entwine one’s heart with those of mortal kind, and emerge unshattered, but should this vision be true, I will indeed be healed... with time. A great weight lifted from him, and he smiled.
“Do you remember how Peregrin described breakfast?” he asked.
“Two of the best meals of the day!” Gimli quoted with a grin. He threw back his head and laughed heartily, and Legolas could not help but join him.
** END **