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Mardi Gras

Title: Mardi Gras
Pairing: Legolas/Rumil
Rating: R
Genre: Slash


Legolas and Rúmil wandered happily down Bourbon Street, taking in the kaleidoscope of colors, smells, and music that marked Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The two smiled at the mortal revelers that moved and swayed around them adding the rhythms of their human souls to the pulse of universal forces that surrounded them and of which they were continuously unaware.

The pair of tall Elves, their long blond hair braided down their backs, attracted the attention of all they passed - it was inevitable - but the combination of a party atmosphere, people in masks and costume, and strong drink, allowed them to pass largely unmolested through the crowds that packed the French Quarter.

Decked out in jeans, and a t-shirt that said, "Pinch the tails, suck the heads", Legolas laughed as a tipsy red-headed woman wearing no bra danced up to him, placed a string of gold, green, and purple beads around his neck, kissed him quickly on the cheek, then danced away. Rúmil, in tight leather pants and a fishnet shirt that teased passerby with a glimpse of his luscious torso stared in shock as a short young gay man with a thatch of dark hair, ear and nose piercings, and come-hither eyes did the same to him.

Legolas laughed to see the look on his friend's face and he clapped him on the shoulder as Rúmil blushed and mumbled, "I had forgotten how friendly humans can be."

"That's why it's good for us to leave the forests, to have a little fun from time to time. We need to remind ourselves that the life of ancient trees and streams is not the only life of this world, now that the straight road has been closed to us." Legolas said, with only a hint of melancholy.

"Do you ever regret that you returned?" Rúmil asked, knowing how happy Legolas had been in Valinor for that brief time.

"No, Rúmil, I do not." Legolas said truthfully. "After Gimli spent his mortal life, there was nothing for me in Valinor. I returned for you and have never regretted a single day of it. Do you regret that you did not sail with your brothers?"

"It was my honor and privilege to serve my Lord Celeborn until he faded. I do not regret a day of that time. I know also that my brothers were happier upon the shores of Valinor than I could ever have been. Aman held no pull for me and never did I feel the sea longing or the desire to leave the forests of this world. When you returned..." he broke off and Legolas did not pursue it. Both knew exactly what he meant.

The two had talked this through many times over the years, each still needing to reassure each other after all they had done and seen that their respective decisions had been sound. That they always arrived at the same conclusion strengthened their bond, a bond that had outlasted every age of the earth and that they knew would outlast even the tiny blue planet itself.

"Besides," Legolas laughed, lightening the mood, "you cannot deny that you enjoy Mardi Gras as much as you do Carnivale in Rio or Venice."

"It is not the festivals I dislike, nor is it leaving our forest home, as you well know," Rúmil moaned in mock misery, "it is the flying, most unnatural - and the food... Ai, were my choice between century old lembas and airline food, I would gladly live by lembas alone!"

Legolas laughed merrily and threw his arm around his friend's shoulder. "Then let us get something into us before the parade, eh?"

The two made their way to Ralph and Kackoo's, ordering bowls of gumbo and ettouffe, and platters of crawfish and shrimp, which they covered with extra spicy hot sauce. When they had feasted as only two extremely hungry Elves can, they continued to Canal Street to watch the Rex parade. They stood at the back of the crowd, towering over the humans in front of them and easily catching the beads, cups, and doubloons that the krewe, dressed in their bright costumes and masks, could not help but throw their way. The two Elves then distributed the trinkets to those around them who did not share in the largesse of the many floats.

After the parade, they went again into the Quarter to party the night away, stopping for hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's, and dancing unabashedly in the streets to the music blaring from every doorway. They danced with humans and with each other to pounding rock and roll, they stood together listening and swaying to jazz combos, the music flowing over them like the Entwash, livening and vitalizing their spirits, and they watched everything, their ancient eyes taking in the ever new, ever shifting, never changing world of Men.

At one point a blond man with a fairly short, narrow nose, blue-grey eyes, and a nicely shaped mouth passed by on the opposite side of the street. He wore a red poet's shirt with a ruffled front tucked into tight, black leather pants. His hair was loose and flowing, cut in an 18th century style. He exuded a vibrant, superior attitude, a sneer playing upon his lips as he scanned the crowd, almost like a hunter would scan a herd of deer to choose a target. When he caught Rúmil's eye, his breath seemed to catch in his throat and he paused, staring open-mouthed at the two Elves. The press of people around him magically parted as he stood gaping at Legolas and Rúmil.

When they met his gaze levelly, he seemed flustered and he turned and hurried on his way, slipping into the darkness of an alley ahead. Rúmil nudged Legolas and pointed and the two watched as the man flew from the alley and out over the surrounding buildings, unseen by human eyes.

"A young one, quite arrogant that." Legolas said in disgust. "This city always has these night creatures roaming whenever there is a crowd."

Rúmil shrugged. "As long as Men choose to remain blind to these things, or worse, glorify them in print, they will continue to hunt unchecked."

At the stroke of midnight the festival came to an end and people reluctantly began to leave the streets, going back to their homes and hotels to continue drinking and partying until dawn. Legolas and Rúmil returned to their room at the Hotel St. Marie and showered together, enjoying the heat of the water and the closeness of their bodies. They toweled each other off and fell into bed as the faint strains of "Moonlight Dreams" drifted from a room somewhere below.

Legolas held Rúmil in his arms and looked deeply into his eyes even as Rúmil looked into his.

"My beautiful Galadrim lover," he murmured, his fingers playing a jazz tune up and down Rúmil's arm.

"My wild-spirited Wood Elf," Rúmil smiled, his palms caressing Legolas' chest in a softly syncopated rhythm.

They kissed, their bodies moving closer, twining, shifting, gliding together upon the smooth white sheets in familiar patterns. Slowly they touched, Legolas marveling at how each time with Rúmil brought a new discovery, a fresh perspective on the body he knew so well. Every hair upon his head, every muscle and dimple upon his body was to Legolas like a treasure map, leading to incomparable riches. All he had to do to unlock its secrets was read it with his lips and fingers.

Rúmil gasped and Legolas smiled against his lover's ear before drawing forth another with a slow tracing lick along the edge to the tip. Then it was Legolas who sucked in an excited breath as Rúmil traced the crease upon his body where hip meets groin.

The two took their time, unhurriedly heating their passion, allowing it to simmer, then beginning again until they reached a mutual boil. Legolas took his lover, and was then taken in kind until, their ardor spent, they simply lay together, sharing with each other what time and immortality could not diminish.

As the sun rose high on Ash Wednesday, a much subdued city awoke to resume its routine as two Elves pulled their hair back in twin loose ponytails to cover their pointed ears and began to pack for their return journey home.

"Thank you for a wonderful time. This trip was a most pleasant surprise," Rúmil said, sweeping Legolas into his arms and a rousing kiss.

"Happy anniversary, my love," Legolas said, when he was again able to catch his breath.




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