Gift For: pyleanelf
The rays of the sun tickled the King’s bearded cheek insistently, inevitably dragging him from his slumber and bringing him to the waking world once again.
It was a new day under the reign of newly crowned King Elessar. It was long since the good people of Gondor had dared to hope, but after the dark shadow of Mordor had been banished each day held a promise of a brighter tomorrow and brighter future.
The King smiled, the corners of his mouth slowly curling upwards. Truth of it was, it was the Elf Prince who lent Elessar the strength he was renowned for; it was Legolas’ unwavering loyalty and support that had carried him through the darkest of times. Indeed, the Elf had been a beacon of light in the hopelessness that had surrounded them all in Helm’s Deep.
Reaching for the beloved body he expected to find beside him, Aragorn opened his eyes.
The King blinked. No sight of his Elf. Again.
‘Twas not the first time that Aragorn had woken only to find his bed empty and Legolas missing. He knew that Elven ways differed from those of his own kin, and he never questioned Legolas when the Elf grew restless inside the walls of stone and didn’t return to their chambers for the night. He knew that his Elf could very well spend his nights staring at the twinkling stars on the sky, lingering in the twilight and morning mist while he walked the paths of Elven reverie.
The woodland scent of his mate still lingered in the bedcovers, though, and Aragorn frowned thoughtfully as he brought Legolas’ pillow to his face and inhaled. His Consort had come to bed last night, then, only to be gone before the Man awoke.
A frown still lingered on Elessar’s brow as he prepared to face yet another day as the monarch of Gondor. He was a patient man, the long years spent as a Ranger in the North having taught him many a precious lesson about perseverance, but he felt the absence of his Elf keenly and decided that it was time for him to find out why Legolas seemed to be avoiding him as of late.
* * *
Legolas smiled as he felt energy flow through him, spreading from one cell to another until he felt wholly refreshed and renewed from his toes to the tips of his pointed ears; slowly the flow ebbed until just a small spark lingered in his belly. He rose from his prostrate position, cradling his stomach carefully as he did so, and dusting off the knees of his leggings. He had connected with nature on a regular basis ever since his early childhood, and it seemed that he needed the rejuvenating connection now more than ever.
The bump under his hand was small enough for no-one else to yet take notice of it, but Legolas couldn’t help the fierce feelings of protectiveness that the child evoked in him. He had retreated from the daily activities of the court, convinced that a sharp eye would catch his gently rounded middle before he was prepared to reveal his secret, and even went as far as to avoid Aragorn.
Legolas sighed as he rubbed the gentle swelling on his belly. After the initial shock he had come to embrace his strange condition regardless of how it had come into being, but he wasn’t so sure of his husband’s reaction once he heard of the prank to which his Prince had been subjected.
[Two months earlier…]
“Look, Merry!” Pippin whispered. “Look what I found!”
He was holding something in his hand, and Merry had to lean closer to get a proper view.
“Oy,” Merry breathed quietly, watching mesmerized at the small vial containing white liquid that Pippin had somehow retrieved from goodness knew where. “Where did you find it? And what are we going to do with it?”
Pippin’s eyes shone with a mischievous glint. “At the Houses of Healing; I heard people talking about it, saying ‘tis very potent and works like a charm, whatever that means. We are going to see if this gets Legolas drunk!”
“Are you sure?” Merry fingered the small bottle, unscrewing the cap and bringing it to his nose. He made a face and quickly gave it back to Pippin. “Smells really strong,” he said and made up his mind. “Let’s try it.”
The Hobbits turned around to look at the Elf standing beside clearly intoxicated Éomer with a pint in his hand, watching with bemused patience as the Horselord plopped down onto a nearby chair and promptly passed out. A determined look was exchanged between Merry and Pippin, and grabbing two pints of ale from a nearby table they made their way to the Elf. A quiet smile lingered on the corner of his mouth when Merry and Pippin rounded on him with two pints.
”A drinking game,” Merry said. “How does that sound?”
Legolas’ dark eyebrows rose. “Yet another?” he said, surreptitiously glancing around them for Aragorn, but his mate was nowhere in sight. Deciding to humour his friends, he smiled. “Why not, little masters,” he said, and accepted the pint Merry readily handed him.
The taste was weird in his mouth – ”not the usual kind of brew”, he thought – but Legolas swallowed his mouthful nonetheless, blinking in quiet surprise as a warm glow suffused his being and made the tips of his ears tingle. His face flushed and he swallowed again, even if his mouth was empty, and fought the impulse to clear his throat.
“Oh,” he muttered softly, and pushed one braid behind a perfect ear, shivering as his fingertips grazed the delicate tip. The aftertaste lingered in his mouth and he took another mouthful, not having realised how *thirsty* he actually was, and how well this new kind of beer quenched his thirst. It was intoxicating, and for the first time in his life Legolas felt his knees wobble.
Merry and Pippin exchanged another look, this one of triumph, when Legolas put down his pint and spoke in an unsteady tone. “I must find Aragorn,” he said, struggling for an even tone even though heat burned in his veins, spreading liquid fire to his groin. “Excuse me, friends.”
“So… I won?” Pippin asked, watching the rapidly retreating back of Legolas Thranduilion, and grinned widely. “I won! It worked, Merry!”
Legolas’ face flushed again as he remembered how arduously he had attacked Aragorn, prying the Man from his conversation with other nobles with heated, insistent kisses until his husband had deemed it best to deal with his amorous Consort in the privacy of their bedroom. Legolas never lacked in passion in the bedchamber, but being an Elf and immortal, he had learned to restrain himself very well, but that night he had abandoned all his reservations and inspired Aragorn to love him all night long in all conceivable positions until the sun rose again.
How could either of them have known that their nightly activities would have such consequences?
Aragorn had been well pleased for weeks on end after that particular night, but Legolas had begun to notice things as time progressed and it was becoming clearer just what he had drunk with his beer.
The stuttering healer had apologised profusely as soon as he realised what the Prince was questioning him about, and reassured him that it would only affect those who had the ability to bear children to begin with. Legolas had had to confess, to his great dismay, that it was not unheard of for a Mirkwood male to bear young, especially one of the Royal lineage, but an union between Elf and Man had never before born such fruit.
There was no way around it; he was carrying Elessar’s heir.
Legolas never doubted Aragorn’s joy over hearing the news, but he feared for the Hobbits’ safety once the King learned of their folly – for Aragorn could be rather quick-tempered when it came to the wellbeing of his mate – and so he was waiting for the Shirefolk to leave before he spoke with his husband. It hadn’t been easy, sneaking into and out of their bedchamber trying not to wake Aragorn, but it was important that nothing clouded their joy when the time of the revelation came.
For his part, Legolas regarded this baby a miracle, and a welcome one at that. He hadn’t expected to have children of his own, for his love for Aragorn had guaranteed that him mating with another Elf wasn’t an option he would, or could, ever consider.
Closing his eyes, Legolas enjoyed the rays of the sun warming his cheeks and the summer wind gently playing with his hair, and never heard the soft footsteps approaching.
* * *
King Elessar took in the lithe form of his Consort bathing in sunlight, the slender body of the Elf leaning toward the light like a flower searching for the sun. The familiar feelings of love and admiration flooded into Aragorn’s chest, his feet taking him to stand behind Legolas.
“Have you been hiding from me, Elf?” he asked mock-gruffly, wrapping his arms around the slim frame.
The startled Elf’s first reaction was to pull away from the full body contact before he recognised Aragorn’s voice and scent. He relaxed in the familiar embrace, opening his eyes and bringing his own hands atop his mate’s.
“Nay,” he said quietly, and turning around in the circle of the King’s arms brushed their lips together. The delightful rasp of Aragorn’s beard against his own skin never failed to bring a wide smile to his face, or send a delicious little spark down his spine.
“Are you happy?” Aragorn asked, searching Legolas’ eyes with his own. Their close proximity with their chests touching and their arms wrapped around one another made sure that the Elf couldn’t hide from him this time.
“What is it?” A calloused finger brushed a pointed ear, wringing a sigh from the Prince. “I woke to find you gone. No-one seemed to know where to find you. I asked Merry and Pippin – ”
Legolas’ gaze dropped and a telltale blush coloured the pointed ears. Aragorn grew curious. It was uncharacteristic of Legolas to act this bashful with him.
“Tell me, melethron,” the Man persuaded, covering the Elf’s mouth with his own and coaxing the soft lips to open under his assault. “Tell me,” he encouraged before his lips descended to nibble on Legolas’ slender throat, the scent and taste of his beloved nearly undoing him after several weeks of near abstinence.
The Elf was torn. He wanted to tell. Aragorn had the right to know about his child, and Legolas ached to share the joyous news with his husband, but he still remembered the Hobbits who once they had learned what they had inadvertently brought into being begged him not to tell Aragorn until they were well on their way back to Shire. Aragorn was a friend and a kind man at heart, but everyone knew how fiercely he loved Legolas.
The touches Aragorn generously bestowed upon him were quickly crumbling Legolas’ resolve, and he realised that he couldn’t keep this from Aragorn any longer; it was too important.
“Promise me something,” the Elf said quietly, having reached a decision. “Promise me you will not go after Merry and Pippin.”
“Merry and Pippin? Why would I--?” The Man’s eyes narrowed in suspicion. “What have they done this time?”
It was Legolas’ eyes that convinced Aragorn; the look in the azure gaze of his husband was one of quiet elation, tinged with slight nervousness, and the Man sensed nothing that would require further questioning. The look on Legolas’ fair features inspired him to whisk his mate away and love his Elf as well as he deserved, but first he would hear what troubled his mate so.
* * *
“So it was you two.”
Merry and Pippin sprung to their feet at the sudden arrival of their Royal host. The frown marring Aragorn’s brow was a terrible sight to behold, and the Hobbits swallowed in sudden nervousness. Pippin slowly inched his way behind Meriadoc’s back. Brave as Pippin might have been in battle, Orcs and Goblins had nothing on Aragorn when the Man’s temper rose, and now their old friend looked infuriated.
“We didn’t mean it!” Merry spoke first. “I swear we didn’t.”
“We only wanted to best him at something,” Pippin said.
“We’re sorry,” they said in unison.
Aragorn glared at them some more, but finally the hard lines on his face softened.
“You are sorry that Legolas and I are going to have a baby?” he asked, grinning at their dumbstruck faces. “I am not, and neither should you, even if your actions were thoughtless. You deserved the scare, though, for tricking Legolas into drinking something potentially harmful; acting on impulse is a dangerous thing,” he continued, seriously. “But how could I be angry when my mate is giving me the most precious gift imaginable?”
“So… you will not throw us in the dungeons?” Pippin asked carefully.
”I believe I should,” Aragorn said, rubbing his chin thoughtfully, but then grinned again. “But ‘tis Legolas’ belief that we should thank you, and thank you I will.”
* * *
The door closed behind Aragorn, and Meriadoc turned his eyes to Peregrin.
“Honorary citizens of Gondor,” he marvelled. “Pippin, did you hear?”
“I heard, Merry,” Pippin said, bringing his pipe to his mouth and grinning around the mouthpiece. “What would these big folks do without us, hmm?”