Boundaries Crossed

by Sarah

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: Gandalf/Gimli. Gimli/Legolas. Legolas/Gandalf/Gimli.

Summary: Going home.

Disclaimer: Tolkien owns them. I make no money on my story. I claim only the original characters and ideas.

Feedback: Please.

Warnings: Slash. Sex between two males.

Archiving: Meddling in the Affairs of Wizards. Others please ask. Beta work and lovely suggestions: Nefertiti. Thank you very much! Any mistakes left are mine.


Epilogue

Legolas stood at the prow of the docked ship on the wharf of the Pelargir Harbour. The waves lapped gently at the quay, and the morning sun graced his face. He was only dimly aware of the Gondorians in the boats around him or of the men spreading a net not too far from his ship. Sea gulls cried overhead, and the men talked and yelled to each other. He barely heard them for he was lost in his own thoughts. He had been busily reviewing the course that would take them along the Anduin, south to the Sea, and from there to Tol Eressea. His gaze was directed across the water toward the lover he eagerly anticipated joining, but it occasionally flicked back to the one strolling slowly along the beach. He smiled fondly. They had been friends, companions, mates and lovers for many years. No longer was he frequently mystified by Gimli's behaviour. Sometimes now he knew Gimli better than his spouse knew himself.

This, Legolas believed, was one of those times. Gimli had looked to this hour of departure as an event of great sorrow. Legolas was aware that his lover had never really seen this day as one that would bring him to Gandalf. The dwarf had told Legolas a few months ago that he fancied there was an invisible line somewhere in the ocean and once they crossed that point there would be no altering their course and going back to Middle-earth. Legolas knew that Gimli suspected that he could leave the sorrow of parting with Middle-earth behind when he felt they had arrived at that juncture and start rejoicing over the imminent reunion.

This morning Gimli had been silent over breakfast and had eaten little, but Legolas was conscious that it was not grief that was troubling his companion. It was the fact that his sadness was not strong that was puzzling his mate. The elf knew that much of what held Gimli to Middle-earth was gone. King Eomer, Merry and Pippin were deceased. Most of Gimli's elven friends had already departed for Tol Eressea. Many of his dwarven friends were no longer living. Recently King Elessar had succumbed to old age.

Gimli might be confused about not experiencing much unhappiness at this hour, but Legolas was not perplexed about his lover's emotions. He understood that although Gimli loved Aglarond and the places of Middle-earth, it was people that his heart was most drawn to. He recalled that when they had made their plans for the final trips through Middle-earth, Gimli had not wished to visit the Shire, because he said, "Merry and Pippin will not be there, Legolas, and my heart will break anew over their absence." Legolas had felt the same.

Now as the sun rose farther into the sky, Legolas watched as Gimli turned away from the water to look back over the land. The archer smiled as he recalled the last time Gimli had managed to surprise him with his actions.

It had been the one occasion when Gimli had been disgruntled about his increasing years. The archer remembered well when the strands of white in Gimli's hair and beard had become more prominent than the auburn tresses. The dwarf had declared with great despondency that Gandalf would not recognise him, and before this worry could bury itself in the dwarf's heart, Legolas had hastened to attend to it.

Now the elf laughed lightly as he recalled the unexpected consequences of his reassurance. He had said, "Nonsense, meleth! His spirit will know yours. We have the bond, after all! What's more, I am only taking one dwarf with me. I imagine he will have no trouble remembering which of Aule's children I am travelling with! Besides, if you let your beard grow longer and it becomes a bit whiter, it will be very alike to Gandalf's. I deem that..."

Gimli had interrupted with, "Do you really think so, my elf?"

"Yes, I do. In fact..." Legolas had halted again, this time not due to Gimli interjecting questions but from astonishment as the dwarf had began to dance happily around the room. He had known Gimli would appreciate being told that his beard was similar to the Istar's, but he had not expected such a blissful outburst from his friend.

Never again had Legolas needed to comfort Gimli over his age.

Legolas turned back to stare across the water. They had always felt Gandalf's absence, yet the years had been mostly happy ones. He might not be able to count the times they had longed for the wizard, locked in a tight embrace, but neither could he add up the many wonderful nights of lovemaking or the delightful hours of quiet talking. He knew Gimli's laughter as well as his tears.

Gandalf would be proud of them, Legolas concluded. They had done well. His bond to Gimli was stronger than many elven bonds. Their love had grown and matured until they truly seemed part of each other.

Legolas sighed happily. "Not much longer now, my love. I am bringing you our dwarf."


Gimli trudged along the shore, oblivious to the activity of the Men around him, and pondered matters. He had awakened today, knowing that they would leave Middle-earth before noon, and had expected to feel certain ways. He had imagined that parting from Middle-earth would be yet another heart-rending bereavement. Yet the emotion of having another loss added to him had been missing when he had risen from their bed this morning. After breakfast, he had told Legolas that he desired one last walk before departing.

Now he puzzled over his feelings. He was not, Gimli decided, heart-stricken. He did feel unhappy over departing from his people. He knew he would yearn at times to hear another dwarven voice and to see another dwarf. Yet, he reflected, he probably would have chosen to spend his last days among elves anyway. He was sad about leaving Aglarond, friends and family behind, aye. But he was familiar with deep sorrow, and this was not it.

Gimli turned his back to the Anduin to gaze out over the land he was forsaking. Somehow he felt it should hurt far more. The morning light cast golden rays over the sands and suddenly the Lady Galadriel's words spoken to him long ago came vividly to his mind. She had said, "Your hands shall flow with gold, and yet over you gold shall have no dominion."

Gimli considered her declarations now. He was one of the richest dwarves in Middle-earth. He halted this and corrected himself. He had been one of the richest dwarves in Middle-earth. Over the last few years, he had given most of his wealth away. All that was left now were a few trunks stowed safety in the hold of the ship. The Lady had been correct, Gimli mused, for he did not miss what had been bestowed upon others. Almost everything he desired he had.

He touched the pocket in his tunic. Inside it was a case with a small grey stone and a locket with strands of the Lady's hair. Gimli turned to the ship now and waved at Legolas. Aye, he had almost everything that he wanted.

There was only one thing more he required above all else. And that part of his spirit was...Gimli's attention went back across the river. His heart lifted with joy at the thought of once more holding Gandalf close and suddenly he laughed. Here he was concerned because he was not feeling the sorrow that he thought he should experience when the one treasure he did not have was waiting for him.

Smiling now, Gimli headed toward the ship.

Legolas smiled when Gimli joined him and his lover's hand covered his own. The archer said, "Not completely miserable after all, my dwarf?"

Gimli laughed. "You are supposed to ask if I am well, not tell me what I feel! But you are correct."

Legolas studied Gimli for a moment, putting his arm around the dwarf, and then said, "I realise that you are leaving your home and people. Still, I hope you will be able to be content there. You have lived among elves a great deal already. And you will have both of your lovers!"

"I thought it would be quite a wrench! But..." Gimli paused. "Legolas, will you grant me a favour?"

"Whatever you desire, I will give you," Legolas promised.

"When I am in his arms again, wrap me in your embrace, too. And then, Legolas, I will be home!"


Cool golden sand slid like silk under Gandalf's feet. The morning sun was casting pale rose rays across the beach and a soft warm breeze caressed him. To a casual observer, it might appear that an elderly male ambled along a beach in a land unfamiliar with old age. The elves that inhabited the place, however, would have had no difficulty seeing the light that was barely hidden within the figure. Today, though, there were no observers. The shore was deserted, as if some whisper had told the residents that lovers long sundered would soon be reunited.

Gandalf looked across the ocean and thought. Three days ago, he had experienced an odd sensation that his mates were near. A brief moment of puzzlement had brought joyous enlightenment. His lovers were coming home!

He had still been in a state of frozen bliss when Lady Galadriel had arrived from the inland region of Tol Eressea. She had been so ecstatic that she had reminded him of a small lass about to receive a wonderful present. They had laughed in happiness together as they made plans. Galadriel had moved into one of the dwellings set aside for those waiting the arrival of a loved one. From other parts of the island, other elves had come. They were eagerly anticipating the ship docking, too, since Legolas had friends and family in Tol Eressea. What pleased Gandalf greatly, though, was the fact that some of the waiting elves were there out of a desire to see Gimli again. Over the last two days, Gimli's friends had gathered in lodgings nearby.

The Istar smiled. Gimli was going to have a bigger welcome than he was probably expecting. Yet they had all left the beach to him this morning. And for the last hour, Gandalf had searched the horizon in joyful eagerness. His gaze went from left to right once more and then his steps stilled. His spirit felt the soft, gentle caress from his lovers' nearness just before his eyes beheld the sail of a distant ship. His heart danced with great elation. Legolas and Gimli were finally home!