Legolas stood at the wall, his hands resting upon it and his eyes searching the area. Last he stood here, he was dressed in his traveling clothes, the rain drenching him from his hair to his toes, and an army of orcs had been prepared to kill every man, woman, child, and elf within Helm’s Deep. Now, years after the last orc had fallen on the field, it was odd that it was so very quiet. The elf winced as a loud bang assaulted his sensitive ears. Perhaps quiet had been the wrong word.
The noise had been enough to pull him from his musings of war and blood and death. It was sunny and beautiful, a light breeze swaying through the braids placed in his hair by battled roughened hands. His traveling clothes had been exchanged for the fine fabrics of his own people. It was a world of difference from the battle he remembered.
He turned a bit to watch the dwarves that were currently rebuilding the wall that had been destroyed in the attack. They were a flurry of movement, so very different than the elves at Ithilien. There was shouting in their rough voices and, even now, it still struck Legolas at how strange it was that he felt at home here as much as his own colony.
“Enjoying the sunlight?” A voice said from behind him. The sound of it brought a smile to his lips as he turned to face his dwarf. Gimli was just as different from his days of the journey and the War, no armor gracing his stout body. The thought made Legolas reach out to touch the russet hair lightly, his smile widening when Gimli leaned into the touch.
“Reminiscing, actually. Thinking about the dwarf, the friend, which stood by my side in battle, even during his most reckless moments.”
The smile that Gimli gave was warm and completely unrepentant about his recklessness. But then, Legolas did not expect him to be. It was one of those traits that Legolas loved about him.
“I hope that you remember that I won our little contest.”
“Actually, I remember how you could not even see above the wall at the start.”
“And yet, I still felled more orcs than you did.” Gimli’s eyes twinkled like the stars he was named for and the humor was more than enough to completely banish the black thoughts of before.
“That you did, meleth nîn. Though I was more concerned about you than the amount of foes you had defeated.” He could admit that aloud now, his love overcoming his pride. His fingers traced along his brow, where the wound Gimli had sustained during the battle had been. Gimli’s smile softened as his hands came up to take Legolas’ in his own. He laced their fingers together, both calloused and worn, fitting together like a puzzle.
“Aye, I know, just as I was concerned about you. But I knew in my heart that you had not fallen.”
Legolas remembered the fear that had gripped his heart when he could not find Gimli that night. Knowing that Gimli was mortal had made him realize just how easy it was to lose him. It was not the first time he had seen the hardiness of dwarves during the journey, but it was the first time he had been grateful for it.
“I knew after that not to doubt the robustness of dwarves.” Legolas smiled softly. “Especially a dwarf that can keep up with elf.” Gimli smirked, eyes shining.
“And surpasses him sometimes.” Legolas laughed finally, as he knew Gimli wanted him to. Then he leaned down to capture Gimli’s lips with his own. Yes, a war had been fought upon these walls, but they had also protected so many people. It would be that place once again, built by the hands of one who had fought upon it to protect the people inside.