"...for if you do not tell me why we have sought this battlement at dead of night, then I may discover it myself by cleaving your stubborn head in two."
"You must forgive me, good Gimli. I am merely grown weary and seek sustenance. And here seems as fair a place as we shall find 'neath the moon or the sun."
"Well, if you are hungry, my dear Legolas, why are we upon this wall instead of within the keep, where good food and good friends await? Although that wafer of lembas you swallowed not three days past should be more than enough to keep you going for several weeks at the least."
"But I speak neither of bread nor meat, my friend. It is food for the soul I crave. And in this place and time, I shall find it as I may. And hope in the future to dine more frequently and in such splendor as my heart can provide."
"Well, and do you dine on stone, then? For there is nothing here but a guard post and a fire and as for sustenance of either body or soul, I see none."
"Give me but a moment, my friend, and I hope to prove you wrong. For see, from this high place we may not be seen, yet observe all who pass, whether friend or foe, whether destined for ax and bow or a song at the table."
"Ha! And I think our count is still matched, is it not, good Legolas? Many have we slain this day and my ax still sings!"
"And so it does, for I hear it. The song is loud and clear and my bow strains to draw an arrow straight and true..."
"Hold, dear Legolas. Your bow is as wondrous a weapon as any made by craftsmen of old. But what of the fine blade you wield, its haft a jewel-bedecked prize even for the most jaded of dwarves?"
"Good Gimli, friend beyond all I had thought possible, is my bow not weapon enough?"
"Why yes, if all that one wishes is to be quick and silent. Know this, my friend, that should one raise such a weapon to me, I should answer with pounding blood, fevered thrust and the shout of victory. Swift and silent is not my way, but dagger to dagger, ax to knife!"
"Then I would know, e're my knife slips its sheath, good Gimli... Should I seek this battle, would these walls echo with the pounding of your blood, would I feel the depth of your fevered thrust? Would I hear the song in your shout of victory?"
"Well now, I would say this, my bravest of Elves. Should you lift your weapon in this place, my own would rise in greeting and neither rest nor pause, 'til truce was called. For the endurance and strength of the race of Durin is far more than legend may tell."
"Alas, tale and song say nothing to the Elves of this, though great is our desire to learn always something new. And as well is nothing said of the armor of dwarves, which though proven in battle and bloodshed, seems yet burdened with straps and buckles enough to try the patience of the cleverest of fingers."
"Fear not, for I shall show you a thing both wondrous and wise, accounted great in the secrets of my race. Look here, in this place where joint and joint meet to hold all together, where one may place a knowing finger below the edge and pull...thusly."
"This wonder gives me pause, when pausing is the last thing I wish to do. You honor me and I would speak more of this at our leisure. But not, I think, now..."
"No, dear Legolas, for now you have come to the last and greatest of secrets, that which only you, among all other races, will be shown. For your nimble fingers alone is this last buckle. For your hand and heart, I would drink air, consume wood and stone, put aside my ax and ride through forests unending, though I arrive at my destination bruised and weary. For what is food and water when one may bestride a steed of such wonder, such beauty, as to take the breath away from this simple, sturdy dwarf."
"Then let us place our cloaks here by the fire, for I would speak of this last buckle. Dearest Gimli, you are shorter than the mightiest of men and your braids hang a length of years still young amongst the ancient race of dwarves, yet I love you with a love surpassing all in this time of brothers ill-met and ememies unknown. Lie with me now and open your heart, so I may sing of love and starlight ere our journey ends."
"Gladly will I do this. For the words which rise in my breast are for none but you alone. And my hands shall find joy in the planes of your body, whose shape and form shall say more to me now than the rarest of gems or the call of silver and gold."
"Then we shall ride this night into dawn, should our enemy give us leave. Shape my skin with your strong fingers and tell me of hidden caverns, where veins of molten rock run hot and deep. And I shall wrap your copper braids round my body and sing a song of the Western-most sea..."
Site InfoWe are the home of 1292 authors from among our 2510 members. There have been 2901 reviews written about our 3820 stories consisting of 10734 chapters and 29395915 words. A special welcome to our newest member, LadyN.
Help us keep one of the oldest running LotR archives available to all. Even the smallest donation helps!
Many thanks to our previous donors!
Many thanks to our previous donors!