LOTR fan fiction set just before the battle of Helm's Deep.
| Gimli's Arms
Aragorn looked at Gimli and a frown etched its way across his face.
"What, laddie? Have I got the crumbs of my breakfast stuck in my beard?"
Legolas bent forward to take a look, before Aragorn shook his head. "No, no, it's nothing," he said, but it was clear to both dwarf and elf that something was bothering the man.
"So, what is the plan?" Gimli asked. He tried to peer over the top of the wall and get a glimpse of the land outside Helm's Deep, but the stones were taller than he was and obscured any chance of a view.
"We're going to be vastly outnumbered," Aragorn stated. "Our best chance is in surprise."
"They will not be surprised though, will they, laddie? They know that we're all cooped up inside here like sitting chickens waiting for the axe." At the last word, Gimli's hand moved to the handle of the one he always carried at his side.
"A long range attack from above should at least bring down some of the enemy," Legolas pointed out. "If we line up the archers along here, and here..."
Aragorn walked along the battlements. "Their skin is thick," he said. "Unless they are carefully aimed, the arrows are just going to bounce off without inflicting any damage."
"You doubt our aim?"
"No, Legolas. I know that the elves are the best of archers. But it will be hard to aim for the throat from so high up, and that, as you know, is their weak spot."
The elf moved forward and stood beside his human companion. "Hard, yes. But not impossible. Their numbers can be reduced."
A cough behind them made them both turn around. "Now this is all well and good, but what about me? I'm not going to stand back and miss all of the killing."
"You could throw an axe." Legolas replied. "That might split one head in half."
"Hmmph, making fun of me now, are you, laddie?"
Aragorn moved between elf and dwarf. They had formed a friendship of sorts, but were still liable to exploit each other's weaknesses whenever the opportunity presented itself. The enmity between the two races was one that had existed for many years, but it could not be allowed to surface now. Preparing for the upcoming battle would need all of their concentration.
He beckoned Legolas to the side, and spoke in a low voice. Gimli strained to hear, especially when he saw the skeptical look the elf aimed in his direction. "What? I do not like the way you are looking at me."
Legolas nodded, but his expression said he was not happy with what he was about to do. Reluctantly, he held out his bow to the dwarf. It was easily twice his height.
"I'm not a bow rest, I'll have you know," Gimli growled out.
Legolas ignored him, instead saying: "Try and pull back on the string!"
Gimli pulled the string back easily, until he ran out of reach. Legolas and Aragorn looked at him in despair.
"What now? I do not have the arm length of you, or they would be forever trailing on the ground behind me."
"I have a shorter bow that he could try," Legolas said, then disappeared while he went to fetch it.
"I hope you two are not trying to make a fool out of me." Gimli stamped his feet, a sure sign that he was becoming irritated.
"No, not at all. We are simply trying to find a way to arm you."
"I have all the arms I need." Gimli pointed to the axe at his side.
"Don't take offense, dwarf for we don't have time for squabbling. That is a fine weapon for close combat but you don't have the means to attack at a distance."
Gimli was just about to answer back when the elf reappeared, holding out a smaller bow. "This was mine when I was a child. It was with this that I learned how to shoot arrows with the accuracy..."
"Oh, please!" Gimli interrupted. "You want to arm me with a toy?"
"This is no toy!" Legolas kept his hand on the bow while the dwarf tried to prize it from his grip. "This is very precious to me. Please, be careful," he added, as he relinquished his hold.
The bow was still as tall as Gimli, the string too long for him to pull it back to its full stretch.
Aragorn and Legolas looked at the dwarf as he struggled to make his arm go back that bit further. "Give him an arrow to try," Aragorn finally said.
Dwarfs have short, stubby fingers, made for power but not for deftness. He dropped the arrow, once, twice, then at last managed to keep hold of it long enough to bring it towards the bow before dropping it yet again.
"Allow me." Legolas leaned out to fit the arrow onto the string. "Now pull back and..."
The arrow fell to the ground.
"We have no more time to spend on this," Aragorn said. "We need to prepare for the coming night."
"What about me?" Gimli asked. "What am I to do?"
Legolas stepped back and put a friendly hand on the dwarf's shoulder. "You can watch. I'll find you a box to stand on beside me."