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Tales of Life  by Aelaer

Prompt Eleven: Hair
Ficlet: Soon
Rating: G
Eriador, Late 3006

In a small room a man slept, oblivious to the fact that he was not the only one in the room. At the doorway, a grey-haired woman watched as he quietly breathed in and out, relaxed and unaware of her gaze upon him.

He looks just like him, she thought. She then quietly approached him, and careful to not disturb him, sat on the edge of his bed. She gently lowered her hand upon the top of his head, and as she gently stroked his hair with her thumb, an old, forgotten memory suddenly came upon her...

"Is he asleep?" Arathorn walked over to his young wife, who smiled and nodded.

"He finally calmed down," she whispered, gently stroking his hair. "He looks just like you," she commented. "One could never mistake him for being another's son."

"Mayhap in appearance, but his disposition makes him clearly your child," said Arathorn with a smile. She returned the smile, and then faced her sleeping child again. The two were content to stand in silence as she gently stroked her son's hair.

"I shall leave soon," Arathorn whispered. "There has been news of orcs near the High Pass, and the sons of Elrond have requested the help of the Dúnedain. It shan't take too long, hopefully. However, I plan to leave tomorrow night, at the latest. I just wait for Elrond's sons to arrive."

Gilraen nodded, saddened by this news. She always feared when her husband went riding against orcs, afraid that he would not return. "Be sure to be careful," she said.

"Of course, my love," he replied, gently kissing her on the brow. "Now, I go to sleep. Be sure not to stay up too late." Gilraen nodded, and Arathorn left to their bedroom.

He never did return from that last conquest. She still remembered when Elrond's sons had delivered the news; she remembered the complete grief she had felt, and the fear for her son, the last heir of Isildur. It was for him that she had left her people and had taken refuge in Elrond's house.

Suddenly, she realized that Aragorn's eyes were open, and that he had a gentle smile on his face. He obviously had felt her stroking his head- once he became a warrior, he had always been a light sleeper, unlike the heavy sleeper he had been as a child.

"Good evening, Mother," he said quietly.

"Good evening," she replied. She stroked his hair one last time, and then stood up. "My apologies for waking you. I shall leave you to sleep."

"I do not mind," he said, as if he understood her. She simply shook her head, and turned towards the open door. As she spared one last glance at her grown son, she smiled sadly. How he looked like Arathorn... from his tall, tanned body, to his dark, wavy hair. Oh, how she missed her husband.

But she knew that she would join him soon. Soon enough, she'd see him once more.

Soon.


"This is our last parting, Estel, my son. I am aged by care, even as one of lesser Men... I shall leave it soon.' ... And Aragorn went away heavy of heart. Gilraen died before the next spring." -Appendix A, Tale of Aragorn and Arwen.





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