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Suddenly In-Laws

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This was not what he would have predicted. 

Perhaps he should have, though. Gimli had always been an odd one. Now that he knows, he is willing to admit there were warning signs. Gimli was always asking undwarflike things growing up. Did the mountains hurt when Dwarves mine them? Where did the smoke from their fires go? If they made to much of it would it smother the world? 

This still didn't mean he liked the idea of his son sleeping with an Elf wrapped around him. An Elf who's freakishly skinny Elf fingers were tangled in his son's beard!

Wait… Was that one of Gimli's hair clasps the Elf was wearing

Thranduil was a little surprised that what bothered him most about this was not the fact Legolas had found solace in the arms of a Dwarf. What he took issue with was the fact that Legolas thought it was a good idea share a bed with afore mentioned dwarf in the same room where Thranduil read the boy bedtime stories as a child. 

Even that, he might have been able to cope with, given time. As things were, his son had neglected to inform him and he found out when he opened the bedroom door.

As tempting as it was to give them the fright of their lives, the fact Legolas was clearly shirtless led him to believe neither of them were wearing a stitch of clothing under those sheets. With that in mind, Thranduil and Gloin reached a silent agreement. 

They quietly retreated to the hall, carefully shutting the door behind them.

"In light of the current situation, Master Dwarf, might I suggest a tour of our wine cellars?"

"I could certainly do with a drink right now."

The wine cellar afforded enough privacy for them to at least attempt to discus this shocking revelation. Unfortunately, there was no more help to be found. After all, what could possibly help in a situation like this? 

After making certain they were without observers, both Thranduil and Gloin forgot about the wine in favor of having simultaneous minor breakdowns. They both began speaking at once.

"My son goes off to war, an' he comes back married to a knife-ear prince?"
"Legolas will become the laughing stock of the kingdom if anyone finds out!"

The sudden silence that followed was broken by Thranduil, "what did you just say about my son?"

Gloin was suddenly painfully aware of the fact he had just used a particularly nasty slur to refer to the Elvenking's son. "Forgive me, your Majesty. I should not have called-"

"That is not what I meant," Thranduil snapped, "You say they are married. What leads you to this conclusion?"

Gloin observed that the Elvenking was clenching his teeth and had somehow managed to go even more pale than normal. The last thing Gloin needed was for the Elf to faint with no witnesses to vouch for his own innocence in the matter. They were unlikely to believe a Dwarf when their king was lying unconscious on the ground.

"You want to sit down for this, King Thranduil. Durin's Beard! I may want to sit down for this."

Without preamble, Thranduil leaned against the wall and slid down until he was sitting on the dirt strewn floor. "Let us put aside rank and title for the moment. From one father to another I ask you, how do you know this about our sons?"

Gloin sat down on the floor next to Thranduil, "I know, because your son has Dwarven marriage braids in his hair." 

"You are sure?"

"I'm sure, Laddie. The braids were held in place the set of beads my boy made when he came of age." 

Thranduil sighed heavily and removed the crown from his head. The Elf stared at it as if it were something completely foreign to him. When he finally spoke, it was with a voice carefully devoid of emotion, "then my son is doomed."

"I hardly think that marrying a dwarf qualifies as-"

"Do you Dwarves know nothing of history!" Thranduil suddenly leapt to his feet and threw crown at the far wall. "Dwarves, however long lived, are mortal." Thranduil began to pace "Eventually, your son will die. Mine is not supposed to. My son, was going to become king and then eventually journey across the sea." 

Gloin remaind silent.

"And now,"Thranduil whirled suddenly and kicked a nearby wine cask. "Now he will do neither! Instead, Legolas will stay with Gimli. He will stay and watch him die!" The Elvenking took a deep breath and went to retrieve his crown. When he returned he resumed his place on the floor next to Gloin, but made no move to don the crown. 

Gloin waited for the Elvenking to continue. He did not have to wait long.

"It is not only the Peredhil who may forsake immortality. My son has doomed himself to the fate of Luthien. He has always cared with to much strength and to little wisdom. No doubt he will die of grief within a day of Gimli's passing." Thranduil looked upwards in an attempt to banish the unshed tears that were gathering "I doubt Mandos will be moved to intercede a second time."

Thranduil startled to feel a hand rest upon his shoulder. "You have my sympathy," Gloin removed his hand from the Elvenking's shoulder, "but our sons' lives are their own. It's the duty of all parents to watch helplessly as our children take our careful plans for them and do the exact opposite."

Thranduil smiled sadly, "If I did not know better, I would think you had known Legolas from birth."

"No," Gloin smiled, "but I did raise my Gimli."

At this, the Elvenking gave a surprisingly undignified snort of laughter. "As you say, they have made their choice. We can do nothing to stop it, and if they are as similar as it seems, neither can anyone else."

"Between the two of them, Sauron never stood a chance," Gloin agreed.

Standing and replacing his crown, Thranduil offered a hand to the Dwarf who graciously accepted the assistance. "Thank you, friend."

"Perhaps,"Thranduil's voice was thoughtful, "it is for the best."

"That's a rather swift change of tune," Gloin remarked.

"Our son's have seen war. They have been cornered and vastly out numbered by orcs. They have watched friends die." Thraduil spoke with the authority of one who had lived thousands of years, "You and I have seen our fair share of battles. We both know some wars never leave you, and they especially do not let you sleep."

"Indeed, they do not," Gloin knew that no elaboration was needed here.

"They have seen the Balrog of Moria, and fought at the Black Gates themselves. Yet somehow, when we looked in on them, they were able to sleep peacefully. If the comfort they have found in each others arms can banish such darkness from their dreams, who are we to stand in their way?"

Gloin could not have agreed more, "Aye, an Elf for a son-in-law is a small price to pay for Gimli's happiness. It's not like he's going to suddenly start visiting forests or something strange like that."

"Then you have obviously never met Legolas. I give it a month." 

"What do you say we go scare our children?" Gloin sounded positively gleeful at the prospect.

"I say, after you, Master Dwarf" Any lingering animosity between them vanished, replaced by a combined resolve to horribly embarrass their sons.