Aspec Arda Week Day 4 - Worldbuilding
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Event warnings: something that can be read as romantic but isn't intended to be
Characters: Gimli, Legolas, OCs
Relationships: Gimli & Legolas, Fía &/ Erla
Summary: In which Legolas gets to hold a baby and we explore dwarrow family structures. Featuring QPR Legolas & Gimli, our awesome ladies Fía and Erla and their kid Eiri.
A continuation of yesterday's fic, with allo-aro Gimli & aro-ace Legolas. Fía is still demi-romantic, Erla still loves her very much and Eiri is the kid alluded to in the last section of Day 3
In the AspecArda collection called "The Family grows"
“Come, my friend, I would like to introduce you to someone.”
Legolas followed Gimli down the streets of Aglarond. They had left behind the market and had entered the living area. Legolas thought they might have been in the Jeweller guild section, but he was not certain.
The city had grown much since the last time he had visited.
Gimli finally came to a halt in front of one of the many homes. Its bright red door was adorned with carvings and a little hammer used as a doorknocker.
He let the hammer fall gently against the door.
Moments later the door was thrown open and a widely smiling dwarrow appeared in the doorway.
“Gimli! Right on time! Eiri just woke up from a nap!” Her gaze settled on Legolas.
“And you must be Legolas! We have heard much about you. Erla, daughter of Bera, at your service. I welcome you into our home!”
“I thank you for the welcome, Lady Erla. My name is indeed Legolas, and I am pleased to meet you!”, Legolas replied and followed the two dwarrow inside.
Erla led them down a corridor too low for Legolas to stand upright. Finally, she opened a door, and they entered a parlour. Another dwarf sat in one of the chairs, a small bundle wrapped in their arms.
“This is Fía, my wife”, Erla announced proudly, her smile fading into something softer, besotted.
“And this, Legolas, my friend”, Gimli tugged him closer towards Fía, “is our little one, Eiri.”
Legolas stared at the tiny dwarven baby in awe. Blue eyes stared back, and grabby hands reached for his hair.
Fía giggled. “Would you like to hold them?”
Legolas looked up at the dwarrowdam. “They are so small! I would be loath to hurt them!”
“Oh, never you worry about that. Our babes are not so fragile as you seem to believe!”, Fía dismissed his concerns, “Eiri seems to like you well enough, and my braids will be glad for the break from all the tugging!”
She put the tiny being into Legolas’ arms. Immediately Eiri’s fingers tangled in his hair.
Gimli found his friend a little time later in front of the fireplace, a wondrous smile on his lips as he listened intently to Eiri’s babbling, nodding every now and then.
“Hm, little one, have you been catching up the elvish princeling on all the important city gossip?”
Eiri just gurgled and gave a gummy, toothless smile.
“You have created a truly wonderful new life. My sincerest congratulations to you all. A beautiful babe.”
He grimaced at an especially hard tug on his hair.
“And a strong one, too! I understand why your mother was glad for the break if you abuse her thusly all the time!”
The dwarf laughed softly. “Shall I save you from your terrible fate so that you may come and join us for dinner?”
“That may be advisable, my dear friend! I doubt I should prevail for long against such a formidable foe!”, Legolas, too, laughed, trying to regain control over his braids.
Dinner was a joyous affair with Erla recounting a story of a particularly obnoxious client – “No sense of taste, I am telling you! And incapable of making up his mind! Wooden beads to propose marriage! The audacity!”
Here she huffed and Fía took the opportunity to interrupt.
“Erla, of course, chose silver for her engagement beads. Rose quartz and garnet splitters. They were beautiful.”
She smiled and reached out to grasp Erla’s hand.
Eiri was dozing contently in Gimli’s arms.
Legolas cleared his throat. “Forgive me if I am overstepping my bounds, but might I enquire how this all fits together? I understand that the two of you are married, but…”, he trailed off, uncertain as to how to put his questions into words.
The dwarrow exchanged a look, but at last Erla nodded decisively.
“You are Gimli’s partner, so to me it does not seem false to share this knowledge with you.
All dwarrow experience the call to a particular craft, but for some of us it is stronger than for others. Those, who are called loudly, they often take no lovers and build no families. If then some of the few dwarrowdams left marry each other like Fía and I, it puts the continued survival of our people at risk.”
“Nevertheless, we were never forced to marry or bear children should we not wish to do so. The habit established long ago that any dwarrow who were called by their craft, but willing to conceive a child, did so. The child is then raised by the other parent or parents if it is a couple like us”, Fía continued.
“Or sometimes two couples will have children together. We introduced my cousin and his husband to some friends of ours a few years ago. They got on well enough that they now have three children already!”, Erla exclaimed.
Eiri, unhappy to have been so rudely roused from slumber, started wailing at her loud words.
Fía took the squalling bundle from Gimli’s arms.
“It is long past this little one’s bedtime, I should think! No wonder you are upset! Hush now, Mama will tuck you in.”
She gently rocked the baby, humming a lullaby.
“We shall intrude on your hospitality no longer then!”, said Gimli and stood, so Legolas hurried to follow suit.
“Give Fía my regards. I shall see you soon.”
Before they left, Erla put a hand on Legolas’ arm.
“It was a great pleasure to meet you. I can see why Gimli has taken such a liking to you. Should you ever happen this way again, do not hesitate to knock on our door, yes? Even if Gimli is not with you.”
Legolas smiled brightly. “This was indeed a most fortunate meeting! I, too, am glad that Gimli has friends such as you and I hope the stars will shine upon your and your family’s future! Until we meet again!”
Walking down the well-lit paths to Gimli’s home, Legolas’ happiness abated, and a contemplative silence fell over him.
Luckily, Gimli seemed to understand his need to think, for he said no word for the entire walk.
Gimli put down a mug of ale in front of Legolas before settling into his own chair.
Legolas traced a finger over the rim of the mug, glad for the shadowy room that seemed so typical for all dwarrow halls at night when candles where the only source of light, their flames reflected in the veins of precious stones that had given the caves their name.
“You were called by your craft.”
It was more statement than question and Legolas did not dare look at his friend, afraid to find that their friendship did not mean as much to Gimli as it meant to him.
“No. No, I was not. For the longest time I thought I was, but it is not that. My heart simply does not desire the relationship with a spouse. It took a long time, but deep in my heart I know now that I am happy, spouse or not.
This”, Legolas saw up. Gimli was gesturing between the two of them.
“This”, the dwarf repeated, “our friendship, is the most important relationship in my life. I value it above all others.”
Gimli’s eyes seemed to glow in the candlelight and his words warmed Legolas’ heart.
“As do I”, he finally whispered.
They shared a smile.
“I do have one last question, though”, Legolas said.
“How does little Eiri fit into all this?”
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A Close Friend: (2/2)
Warnings: Crying (Roman), Hurt/Comfort, Angst, Talk of suicidal thoughts (Past Logan), and Roman calling Janus ‘Deciet’ instead of his actual name multiple times.
Summary: Roman goes to Logan in order to vent and ramble about everything that had happened about Thomas, Patton, and Janus. But in the process finds Logan dealing with his own bottled emotions, as well as an uncomfortable thought that Logan has been dealing with as of late that leaves Roman scared for Logan’s own safety.
So he decided to help, in whatever way that he can.
Word Count: 3876
Logan woke groggily, with a feeling of warmth surrounding him as his head remained buried under a mound of blankets and his body surrounded by a wall of pillows blocking out the outside world from his cocoon of sleep. For a solid few minutes, he wanted to stay like that, tucked away so that he would never have to bother with anything outside of his little nest ever again. Although logically he knew that eventually, he’d have to. He had duties, and more than that… he had to face just what he had confessed to Roman the previous night.
Just the thought of it made his stomach squirm, as feelings of shame, embarrassment, and guilt writhed around inside of him.
Why had he said that? What on earth had possessed him to drop all of that on Roman right then and there. He was usually so reserved around the other side, and seeing him when the creative side had witnessed him so openly weeping…
It had made everything just spill out of him like a faucet that couldn’t be turned off. But then again…
The memory of being cradled so gently in the other side’s arms made a warmth erupt in his heart and face, the feeling of Roman’s hands gingerly carding through his hair in an effort to soothe his endless sobs made him feel safe.
Opening his eyes was a trial in itself, as they felt so crusty and dry from the endless crying he had done the previous night.
A pang of something slammed into his heart.
That’s right… Roman had caught him crying, Roman had heard him say what he’d said, and Roman had...
Cracking open his eyes Logan found himself staring point-blank at Roman’s chest. Somehow in the middle of the night, they had both wound up curling into each other. Roman’s arms securely wrapped around Logan, keeping him fixed to his chest where Logan’s cheek had remained smushed against him for the entire night. Roman’s expression was peaceful, letting Logan know that he hadn’t yet woken up despite the mid-afternoon light that was pouring through the windows, only halted by the curtains surrounding the bed. The soft little snores that left the creative side sounded like that of a little bear, tucked away from the winter and in the warmth of his own little cave.
All in all, it was… nice.
It was nice to be held like this, and to know that Roman clearly didn’t mind having him so close.
For a moment he fancied the idea of letting his eyes close again, of just sinking back into a lovely slumber that would undoubtedly bring him back to the peaceful dream that he had been having before he had woken up. It would be easy, just one movement, for his eyes to slide shut and not open until Roman chose to wake him up again. His fingers clenched into the fabric of Roman’s shirt, as he unconsciously nestled his face against the other side’s warm chest that was already making him sleepy once again. A yawn tugged at the edge of his lips, teasing him and offering him the very thing he had wanted the night before.
With Roman here, there was no doubt about whether or not he’d sleep well.
Fingers tangled themselves into Logan’s hair, smoothing down his hair. “Don’t go back to sleep just yet,” Logan’s eyes that had been attempting to drift shut, snapped open glancing up at the creative side. Sleep hung onto the other, with the remnants being cleared away as Roman lifted his hand up from Logan’s back to rub at his eyes. “We’ve got so much to do today, so we can’t sleep the whole day away. Right?”
Of course, Roman had mentioned something about doing something.
Honestly, it had just slipped his mind with all of the heightened emotions he had been feeling last night, and really… he had honestly just thought Roman was just saying that to get his mind off of what he had said. Roman had never wanted to spend time with him before after all, so the idea that he actually meant it…
It was rather surprising.
Roman’s fingers raked through Logan’s messy bedhead, attempting to pull the logical side out of whatever had made his eyes look so far away and foggy. The pleased look from the other that this action earned him made Roman want to smile and never stop. He’d made good progress with Logan last night, to the point where now Logan wasn’t even trying to hide the things that made him happy. A part of him would have been content enough to just lay here, with Logan’s head resting so comfortably on his chest, letting the other stew in the comfort of his room.
But he’d already made plans, and these were plans that he wasn’t going to cancel.
“Come on,” Roman grunted lifting himself off of the feathery softness of his own bed, only to find himself fighting a strange sense of disappointment when Logan finally lifted his head up, detaching their limbs from one another. “Let’s get dressed, wear something comfortable for you. I’m going to take you on a trip today.”
“Are you going to tell the others?” There was a bolt of dead silence between them, as Roman’s legs hung over the edge of his bed, his back turned to Logan. “About… what I said?”
A torrent of emotions riled Roman’s insides at the very loaded question that had come so early in the morning for both of them. It was… as much as he disliked it, a very valid question to have about what he’d heard and what he’d seen Logan going through. It wasn’t something that he could just ignore, and it wasn’t something that could just be swept under the rug. Feelings and emotions like that… they didn’t just go away after one good night's rest and one good day spent. It had to be worked on, and… Roman knew that there were going to be slipping days. Where Logan would inevitably fall back into that rabbit hole of dark thoughts, where he missed the feeling of being sad even if he was doing better.
“I don’t know.” He honestly said, and he didn’t. There wasn’t much that sides could do in order to help their own mental issues. “Do you want me to tell them?”
He could feel the other side of the bed shifting as Logan scrunched up where they had just been laying together. He could imagine what the logical side looked like. His legs pulled up to his chest, perhaps hugging a pillow, or maybe just sitting there looking away from Roman with thoughts and emotions that the creative side didn’t really understand yet.
“I don’t think I want them to know,” Logan finally spoke. “I know for certain that I don’t want Thomas to know, and I can’t promise I won’t have those thoughts and feelings again. I’m sure that they will come back, even if it's not now…”
Finally Roman turned to look at Logan, the look on his face speaking volumes as to what he was feeling without words even being needed. Reaching over, he grasped the top of Logan’s hand holding it tight enough to get the other’s attention on him and not the wrinkled blankets in his grasp.
“Logan, I never expected you to not feel those things.” Roman sternly but softly began. “I just don’t want you to deal with them alone. I don’t want you to promise to never try to feel them again, but… maybe to come to someone about them. Be it me, Patton, or Virgil. I don’t want you to have to deal with those kinds of thoughts alone, we…” Roman gave his hand one more squeeze. “We’re stronger together rather than alone, you taught me that remember?”
An absolutely heart-wrenching look of happiness appeared on Logan’s face at Roman’s reminder, he had taught Roman that. That the chimera was best fought with friends, after recuperating and taking time to rest one's wounds rather than continuously trying to go it alone again and again. How had he forgotten his own lesson so easily?
It hadn’t been that long ago either.
“I promise, whoever you decide to go to for help… I’ll be there alongside you should they give you any shit for it.” At that moment Roman felt a little bit of Remus’ wildness, as he grinned sharply back at Logan, a promise of violence somewhere in those words of his that his brother would most definitely be proud of. Had he heard it? But that was to be discussed for a later date, and later arguments should the others decide to not help Logan at all. “Now get dressed dork, I’ve got a lot planned.”
The purely puzzled but equally curious look on Logan’s face ignited a fierce determination and excitement inside of him.
A determination to make this the best day possible for this logical side.
“Why are we out in the real world?” Logan asked almost as soon as they rose up just far from Thomas’ actual house, this wasn’t the mindspace… So Roman wasn’t just going to summon things in the imagination to please Logan and call it a day? “I’m afraid… I don’t quite understand.” He softly admitted, nervously tugging at the strings of the hoodie he had decided to wear. “What if Thomas or one of the others needs us for something?”
Roman didn’t answer, his face gaining a somewhat cloudy look that told Logan easily enough that this wasn’t necessarily a good topic.
Instead, he seized Logan’s hand in his own, holding it tight. “Fuck ‘em.” Roman declared, a rather reckless grin playing on his lips. “They can deal until we come back, and really… this is a day for us to enjoy, so let’s enjoy it. No mindspace, no Thomas, and no… problems. Just a fun day out, with lots of real places to go and enjoy for once.” No having Thomas around to tell them what they could or couldn’t do so that they didn’t raise a ruckus, that was the best part in Roman’s opinion.
But even so, Logan couldn’t help but to nod his head slowly.
How long had it been since he’d had fun with one of the other sides, no… how long had it been since he’d done something fun with Roman that didn’t involve the imagination in some capacity? Or even Patton just strong-arming Roman into making sure that Logan got to come along for the ride, even if he didn’t necessarily enjoy it half of the time.
Roman wanted him here this time, and Roman was smiling at him promising to do things that he’d enjoy as well.
A tentative smile curled on the logical side’s face, “That sounds rather enjoyable,” He gave Roman’s hand an affirming squeeze. “Lead the way then… Princey.”
Roman couldn’t help but to let out a good-natured snort at the sound of his old nickname, it had been so long since he’d heard it after all. But more than that… it felt almost empowering to know that Logan had placed his trust in him, to know that he had Logan’s full support with everything that they were going to do today.
Without so much as another word, he led Logan away and towards the fun that they were both destined to have today; not even looking back once to wonder about the other sides and the human that they were leaving behind for their adventures.
It was a day for them after all, nobody else.
Leading Logan through all of the events he’d planned for him, it honestly kind of shocked Roman as to how much he hadn’t known that he’d been kind of neglecting Logan as a friend. The uncertain responses that he got from Logan, which eventually bridged into full unbridled excitement that had been hiding away for far too long only served as a way to prove Roman’s thoughts correct. Logan had barely let go of his hand in the entire time that they’d started their day trip, not that Roman minded exactly, he’d held him firm as he talked and rambled about the things and places that Roman brought him to.
So much interesting history, history that Roman would have otherwise brushed off on account of it being too “boring” or too… Logan-ish for him.
It certainly didn’t help the guilt that continuously seemed to boil in his stomach ever since seeing Logan’s breakdown from the previous night.
If anything, it only served as a way to make him feel just the slightest bit worse for not listening in the first place.
It was only when settling down with lunch that Logan finally released Roman’s hand and in turn stopped what he was talking about.
Almost immediately Roman looked over at him, after having spread out the picnic blanket and all of their food, he had almost expected Logan to go off about something like the origins of picnics and how they were created, or something like that. But instead, Logan merely just laid on his back staring up at the sky as the clouds lazily inched across casting vague shadows onto the earth where they were laying.
“Roman.” Logan softly began, the tone of his voice marginally different than before. Almost immediately Roman’s attention was focused on him, the food surrounding them nothing more than an afterthought. “Why did you come to my room last night?” Glancing over to him, Logan held an almost sad smile on his face. “It can’t have been for anything good right? Up until last night, I’m sure that you hated me and my face.”
The conversation that Roman really didn’t want to have, and the conversation that Logan intuitively knew to ask about.
A sigh broke through his silence as the creative side rubbed at his face, “Well,” He almost stubbornly began, “First things first, I have not and will never hate you.” Roman started off, pointing his finger in Logan’s direction that sour feeling of guilt bubbling anew. “I don’t think I ever understood you, or how you thought maybe… but never hate. Never.” Knowing what he did now… he could never hate Logan, it was something that he should have realized a long time ago. But in the very least… it was a good thing he was realizing it now and not later when it was too late. “And Second…” Roman grimaced, the memories of Deceit’s… or rather Janus’ reveal tasting like poison on his tongue.
Logan sat up abruptly at the emotions that flew over Roman’s face like a hurricane ripping through the gulf, his stretched-out legs easily tucking under him as he seemed to give Roman his full attention. His eyes hidden as they were behind his glasses, remained firmly fixed to the creative side's face.
There really was no hiding it, was there?
Roman wanted to snort at the irony of it all, try as he may to hide something. Be that Remus, his own emotions, or just how he was trying and failing to deal with his own shortcomings… everything always came out in one way or another. It was better to just get it all out now, rather than to let someone else tell it without taking his side of the story into context first.
Hopefully, Logan wouldn’t judge him too harshly for it…
The side in question almost smiled, it seemed like it was Logan’s turn to be the one confronting the creative side about his own emotions, as well as the consequences of them. But then again… That’s what friends were for right? He’d said so just last night, when he had tucked Logan away from all of his bad thoughts, and given him the best dream he could possibly think of.
Logan was his friend, so of course, he’d want to help and hear out Roman’s grievances about what had happened.
“I…” Roman sighed to himself yet again as he ran his hands over his face, “Messed up.” He lamely explained, grimacing at the terrible explanation that even a toddler could do better than him. “Deceit told us his name… like Virgil did, and I uh… I made fun of it. I didn’t hold back, not like I did with Virgil. After everything that had happened with the wedding, the trial, and… the aftermath I was just so angry for everyone trying to pull me every which way. I was angry at myself for…” Roman stopped, he hadn’t realized when he’d started it, but he’d started to rant. His hands making exaggerated motions as he told Logan about what he’d said about Deceit’s name, and just how far he’d gone when it seemed like Deceit was going to be accepted with no issue. He hadn’t even realized he was ranting until he’d needed to take a breath. “Sorry…”
Instead of just waving him off, however, or even starting to eat like they’d planned on doing Logan merely cocked his head to the side a curiously befuddled expression on his face.
“Sorry for what?” The logical side asked, “I asked what was wrong and you’re explaining it to me. You don’t have to apologize to me for talking, I’m here to listen.”
It was said so simply, but the Roman had the feeling that the words themselves were something that Logan would've wanted to hear months ago when he was airing his own thoughts towards anyone. And as such, it made them so very important to the logical side… it made them true.
Roman knew that for certain, and yet… it didn’t stop the flood of gratitude that filled his heart.
Swallowing thickly he nodded, and carried on his voice carrying out well until the sun started to dip behind the trees. By then his chest felt lighter, and his mind clearer as Logan sat there not once daring to look away from Roman as he talked about everything. From his complicated feelings about Patton and Janus, to how he felt about having to switch it up so often with the both of them that it was just leaving him exhausted to the point where he just wanted to agree to get it all over with and save himself the emotional rollercoaster of dealing with the two other sides. Because at least then, he wouldn’t be criticized so harshly, and at least then he would know what was correct and what was wrong in the eyes of Patton.
Logan understood that notion perfectly well.
“Sometimes I just don’t know what to do, and I’m angry at myself for it. I want to just decide about something and have that be the end of it, I don’t want to have to come back a week or even a month later and have a whole discussion about what I did being morally wrong, “technically morally wrong but kind of right”, I just want that to be it!” Roman’s chest heaved, and by the end of his rant, he felt the frustrated tears he’d been holding back since that day finally flow down his cheeks as warbling croaking sob cracked in his chest like a broken instrument determined to never play again. “I don’t know what to do, I don’t want to be wrong...” He sniffled, bringing his hands up to his eyes desperate to wipe away his tears.
However, almost as soon as he moved to shield his tears from sight, he found himself crushed into a hug. His head pressed solidly against Logan’s collarbone, as the logical side mimicked the motion that Roman himself had done just the other night as he ran his fingers through the creative side’s hair. If anything, the genuine comfort that the other side was attempting to give only made Roman shake harder as he clutched Logan tightly.
It felt so nice to finally be on the receiving end of comfort after so long of just giving it.
“I think…” Logan gently whispered, not daring to make his voice louder. “What I’ve learned is that you can try and try to choose the answer that will always please somebody else. But… it won’t work, if they don’t even know what they want then they will always find some fault with it, and that’s not your fault.” Feeling Roman stilling in his arms Logan didn’t dare to stop. “The best you can do in that situation is to make yourself happy, not for their approval… but your own. If they like it, then that’s perfectly fine. If not…” Logan gave an awkward shrug that the creative side only clung to harder. “Then they can make their own choices, and see just how difficult it is to do. Pleasing everyone all the time is impossible and if you try you’re still going to end up stepping on someone’s toes, I’ve learned that the hard way.”
Plucking up the napkins that they had prepared for the lunch, Logan hastily moved to wipe away Roman’s tears, trying to be gentle the entire time he did.
He’d thought before that Roman was practically his opposite in the past, but seeing the other side breakdown from all the expectations that had been placed on him without the creative side even knowing… Logan felt a strange kind of understanding with him. The same kind that he’d gained when he’d had all the expectations placed on him to make Thomas succeed in school and in college. The kind that had made him want to stop existing in the first place, when Thomas had just up and decided to switch majors and pursue YouTube as a full-time job instead of being a scientist.
He knew what Roman was feeling all too well, so with this kind of emotion, he could at least help instead of being a hindrance to everyone around him.
Roman sniffled once again, taking the napkin from Logan so that he could blow his nose, “Logan,” He flopped back onto the blanket, looking up at the stars that were just barely beginning to show in the night sky. “We should do this more often.” He said, glancing over to the logical side who shot him a concerned and very much confused look.
“Cry about our repressed feelings?”
For the first time in a while, a real laugh erupted out of Roman at the sound of Logan’s genuine confusion and uneasiness about his offer.
“No,” The creative side moved his hand over to the other’s, clenching it softly in his. “Going out like this, just the two of us. Maybe once a week or once a month. Just enjoy each other's company, and talk about whatever we want to talk about. Even if we get on each others’ nerves sometimes…” Roman smiled ruefully. “I like talking with you, and I like listening to you too.”
A look of understanding dawned on Logan’s face, and with it, the logical side finally laid down beside Roman.
Their were hands still clutching one anothers’.
“I’d like that Roman,” Logan smiled up at the starry sky that finally became visible to them both. “I’d like that a lot.”
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