The Rose, The Thorn, The Blood, And The Moon

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May 28, 2000

Categories: Lord of the Rings

Rating: R for M/M sexual situations.

Fandom/Spoilers: Lord of the Rings.

Summary: Legolas/Gimli. Sweet friends, sweet words, sweet deeds.

Disclaimer: Tolkien, not me.

Notes: Many thanks to Viridian for the quote.

Melvin: "You know, they have roses without thorns now."

Pfirsich: "If I wanted roses without thorns, I'd never have let you buy me that first drink."

-- The Desert Peach #29: "Out of the East"

The war was over and they rode away.

Having seen many things, Legolas and Gimli Gloin's son took leave of their companions and went off together, the two upon one horse, to such adventures as were fated to them.

Many miles later, they sat together, as the coals of their fire lay dying and the flower of Telperion shone silver down upon them, and did not speak into the silence of the night.

After a time, Legolas reached into his pack and drew forth something wrapped in silk. He took the cloth away and it was a rose, dew-kissed and fragrant in the evening air. "For you," he said and handed it to Gimli. "It is a customary gift of my people between two friends such as we are."

"It is a marvel," Gimli said and turned it between his fingers. "How came you by this here? Such a thing might grow in the gardens of Gondor or else in the blessed wood of Lothlorien, but not upon these lands." For it was fresh and sweet, as though new-plucked.

"From Gondor indeed, friend Gimli, and set about with charms so that it will not fade for many months. I have carried it for days; such a gift is between us alone."

Gimli's heart was touched and and he took Legolas by the hand. "There is a custom of my people too when friends are pledged as true as you and I. We ought to have a knife of stone that never saw the light of day, but here this will suffice." And he took the rose and drove one thorn deep into his comrade's thumb, then likewise into his own. He pressed them together where the blood ran down so that it mingled, Dwarf and Elf, in love and duty. "Now we are one, Legolas, bound by heart's blood."

A smile sat brilliant upon Legolas' face. "One in truth, one in deed. But my gifts to you are not yet done. I have another token, such as fair friends exchange. But you must do as I do, in order to receive it." And he put off his tunic and stood bare-chested to the cool night breeze, a single jewel gleaming at his breast.

"Where you lead, I follow," Gimli said. He stripped to the waist and stood to face his friend. Legolas lifted the silver chain from round his neck and placed it over Gimli's, setting the pendant on his chest. "I thank you," Gimli said, "and more I have for you as well, in the rites of concord."

So Gimli took dust of the earth and mixed it with wine. He daubed a mark on Legolas' brow and painted others on his chest and arms, then bade the Elf do likewise to him. So decorated, they embraced a while, then Legolas drew back.

"In the ministries of love, I have not yet finished. For close as we are, we may yet be closer. We must share bond-food of the forest folk." And he placed into his mouth a wafer and bid Gimli take half from his lips. Gimli took his piece and swallowed it and if it was more sweet than was to his liking, no one could know that from his face.

"Nor am I done, Legolas, for you must join me in the black draught, brewed deep underground and aged in darkness for a score of years, as is the practice of loving friends." Gimli took a long pull from his leathern bottle and passed it to Legolas. The smell caused the Elf to pale, but he drank and swallowed bravely.

"Now, Gimli, we must fashion crowns of leaves for each other, in the manner of the Silvan folk." A small bush to hand lost its coverings and they began to weave them together. Gimli was game, but he had not the knack and soon was swearing under his breath. Legolas also fumbled a little, for a wonder, though he finished both crowns in the end. They placed them on each other's brows and spoke solemn words.

There was silence for a moment. "And another draught, Legolas. As is habitual." Gimli handed him the the bottle. The Elf took a sip, the Dwarf a great swallow. "What be the next Elf custom?"

"It is to sing a song together, friend Dwarf. Know you the song of Nimrodel?"

"I know it not."

"The song of Feanor and the Silmarils?"


"The Lay of Lethian?"


"Know you any song?"

"I know that song of Orcs and oak trees that Merry and Pippin used to sing."

So they joined their voices in the chorus:

Thirty dead Orcs
Hanging up in an oak tree
Strung up by their ankles
With the blood dripping down

"Another drink, friend Legolas!"

"No, dear Gimli, I cannot. I have...mmm...sworn an oath against strong drink."

"Then you must share a pipe with me, dear friend, for it is the custom of Dwarfs between two that love each other." Gimli lit up and the scent of pipeweed wafted through the air.

Legolas drew on the pipe. He coughed and handed it back, dizzy and reeling. "This puts me in mind of another practice of the Elves of MIrkwood, between two who have sworn themselves." He fell to his knees. "And of something I would rather have inside my mouth than that pipe."

After a space, Gimli shuddered and took his hands from Legolas' hair. The Elf rose, and kissed him. Gimli turned his head and spat.

A frown creased Legolas' fair brow. "It is the custom of my people, Gimli, to share the humours of love."

"And it is the custom of my people not to swallow. But, stay, friend, for I would share more with you. An Elf is happy in the open air, to play a tune upon his flute. But we Dwarves delve deeply into dark places, masters of the caves below."

Legolas would not say his comrade nay and so Gimli took what was needful from his pack and they moved together beneath the light of Isil and beneath the stars. In his ardour, Legolas cried out, "Baruk Khazad! Khazad aimenu!" and so sent Gimli laughing into his bliss.

After, they lay together, unsleeping until Earendil Halfelven sailed his ship into the heavens. Idly, Legolas stroked Gimli's chest. "I had always thought the axes of the Dwarves to be nothing but compensation for inadequacy, but I now bear witness that they are nothing but completely fair representation. Gimli, my dear companion, your beard must be shaven. It is more scratchy than a briar bush."

Gimli grunted but did not make an answer. Instead, reaching out, he found the rose and ran its soft petals down the Elf's smooth cheek. "Legolas, my heart, is it the custom of your people to cook breakfast on the morning after?"


Flower of Telperion, Isil -- the moon.

Baruk Khazad! Khazad aimenu! -- Dwarvish battle-cry: Axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you!

Earendil Halfelven -- the morning and evening star -- Earendil, an Elf set to sail his ship across the sky with a Silmaril bound to his brow.


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oh man.............this is a travesty........truly a travesty........please don't write anything like this ever again.....

@ August 20, 2003

oh man.............this is a travesty........truly a travesty........please don't write anything like this ever again.....

@ August 20, 2003

Don't mind the comment above. I liked it!

What am I saying?! I loved it!! It's good to know that there's people with an open mind about this pairing.

Write more!! At least I don't mind ^^

Dharma @ November 11, 2003

Its good,and yet demonstrates why elves and dwarves do not often become lovers. "Is it a custom of your people to make breakfast the day after..." Snerk.

I like

Allison @ November 12, 2003

Its good,and yet demonstrates why elves and dwarves do not often become lovers. "Is it a custom of your people to make breakfast the day after..." Snerk.

I like

Allison @ November 12, 2003

Beautiful! Beautiful! A very witty and creative vignette. I loved how they kept raising the stakes! And Legolas' battle cry at his moment of intimate crisis was wonderful! The Dwarves are upon you indeed!
Keep up the good work!

Theresa Green @ November 14, 2003

re: "please don't write anything like this ever again...."

whomever said that should hush and be quiet. and, if s/he can afford it, buy a sense of humor at wal*mart :D

i liked it. especially:

"In his ardour, Legolas cried out, "Baruk Khazad! Khazad aimenu!""

not only did he send gimli laughing into his bliss he also nearly sent a mouthful of orange juice all over my keyboard :D

whipper @ December 22, 2003

when i got to the song about thirty dead orcs hanging up in an oak tree, i began to laugh out loud. this is really charming.

daisy @ January 19, 2004

This is precious. Funny, and well written. Thanks for sharing!

lantana @ January 20, 2004

I laughed, I chocked, I ate a pudding cup. It was good.

Dani @ January 21, 2004

Are u people all bi or something??? ugh

@ January 24, 2004

that was gorgeous. Im grinning like an idiot now. :)
as above -Leave good feedback or none at all!

violent underscore! Rabbit @ January 29, 2004

You are a true artist. Not many people dare to write about Legolas and Gimli, but you are a master of it. It's truely believable. Kudos and don't stop now ^_-. It's beautiful.

Ashez @ February 03, 2004

It was allright. It's not my favorite though.

Em @ June 23, 2004

This was wonderful! Legolas/Gimli is my favorite pairing, and you've done an amazing job here. It's beautiful and funny at the same time. I loved the battle cry.

And flamers? Go away. Don't you have something better to do (like grow some common sense)?

Zatanna @ September 15, 2004

Well, I can't say I'm sure you're accurate, but I adore the writing and the sentement. <3 Legolas/Gimli is one of my absolute favorites, and you've made me very happy.

San @ November 22, 2004

Oh, love. ^^ Not many people can write Ringslash and pull it off as well as you did. Not to mention L/G is my favourite pairing, but anyway. >3; This story made me giggle like woah. Great job!

Shelti @ June 25, 2005

Oh, my goodness. That started out pretty and went to so gutbustinly hilarious I nearly fell off my chair. *applause*

RubyNye @ July 15, 2005

lol this is just so funny love the pairing

i'll second the note for flamers "buy a sense of humor at wal*mart" that was funny too...

good work

JenIsaks @ August 07, 2005

Thank you, thank you, thank you, cheers up a grey winter day no end! But my cats are looking at me very strangely for laughing so much. :)

Boadicae @ July 14, 2006