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Tales of Life  by Aelaer

Yes, I'm still plugging away at these :) Prompt fic, prompt inspired fic, whatever you want to call it.

Yes! Still book Aragorn. Because book Aragorn is love.

I always believed that, despite Aragorn's display of utmost confidence, strength, yada yada, that there was something human inside him, even if in ROTK such human feelings like doubt are not as noticeable as they are in FOTR. He surely had some feelings of doubt, even if almost no one saw them. After all, in the end, he is only human.

Prompt 33: Acceptance
Ficlet: Before the Dawn
Rating: G
Pelennor Fields, Early May 1st, 3019

He woke up from his slumber with a start. He was not sure what woke him, but it was no matter; he could not go back to sleep, as tired as he was. Surrendering to his mind's restlessness, he tossed his covers off the cot, threw on a coat and his boots, and went outside. He bade the two guards outside of his tent to stay; he did not want one of his permanent shadows with him now. That was another thing he would need to get used to as king.

King. He had dreamt it and dared to imagine it, but now that it was here, he could hardly believe it. In but a few hours time he would be crowned King of Gondor and Arnor; a lofty title, to say the least. The question was, of course, how easily would the people of both countries accept this newly found king? He doubted they would all be glad to see him.

"You are awake early."

Aragorn smiled wryly. "As are you."

Gandalf chuckled as he went to stand by the man. "I have been doing nothing but riding, eating, and sleeping the last few days. I believe I can stand to be awake a bit earlier today." He shot Aragorn a look. "You should be asleep. You have much to prepare for later this day."

Aragorn gave a slight nod. "Indeed."

Gandalf frowned, raising an eyebrow. "You are bothered by something." Aragorn began to deny this, but the wizard continued. "You may be able to mask it from everyone else, but I have known you much too long for you to hide it from me." The man closed his mouth, a slight frown coming upon his features. Gandalf simply shook his head. "It would do you well to lift this burden from your heart."

The other shook his head, and sighed in resignation. "I doubt you would let this go, as it were. Very well then; I am worried that I will not be accepted by the people."

Gandalf's eyebrows shot up. "I thought you were long past this doubt, Aragorn."

"So did I," he replied, "but I thought it just as I prepared to die for our cause. I did not hope to live beyond Pelennor and the Black Gate."

"Those are ill thoughts for one who was once named Hope," the wizard pointed out.

"They were ill times," the man rebutted.

"They were," Gandalf nodded in agreement. "Still, you were the hope for many of this country. Why do you believe that they will not accept you?"

Aragorn bit his lip, a habit from his youth that appeared rarely in his prime. "Why would the people of Gondor accept me when they rejected my ancestor?"

Gandalf chuckled. "The average citizen of Gondor would not remember that event."

"Faramir would."

"Yet the heir of the Stewards accepts you."

"What of the other lords of Gondor? And will the people accept such a stranger?"

"Such self doubt does not become you, Aragorn."

"Does it not? I am just a man."

"Yes, a man, but a strong, most formidable man- a man that will soon be the most powerful man on Arda." Gandalf paused. "Do you not want that power? Have you not been working for this for decades?"

"Yes, yes, of course," Aragorn muttered absentmindedly. "You know I would do anything for her, and I have. It is her that I desire; the power came with it. Do I want it? Not necessarily. Would I reject it? No, no. If it be my destiny, I will carry that power. But will Gondor accept it? Will the people of Arnor accept it? Gondor is used to another power, and Arnor has not had a power ruling over them for centuries."

"There will, of course, be those who doubt you," the wizard said after a moment of silence. "But you shall prove their doubts wrong."

"Will I?" he muttered to himself, moving his glance from Gandalf to the White City in the distance. "Or shall I fall like my ancestors?"

Gandalf grunted and shook his head. "As long as you remember their mistakes, you have nothing to fear. Now," he started, giving the man a gentle nudge towards his tent, "you must rest, my lord. You cannot be asleep as the White Crown is placed on your head."

"You spout exaggerations, wizard," Aragorn said good-naturedly, but complied. "Very well, I shall bow to your wisdom. Until the dawn, my friend." He left Gandalf, comforted by his words, and slept well throughout the rest of the night.

"'... and let Mithrandir set [the crown] upon my head, if he will; for he has been the mover of all that has been accomplished, and this is his victory.'" - ROTK, The Steward and the King

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