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Tales of Life  by Aelaer

This takes place a few hours after Prompt 35 (Birthday).

Prompt 48: Food
Ficlet: Second Breakfast
Rating: G
Imladris, March 1 3007 TA

Bilbo was in the middle of his second breakfast when there was a knock on his door. "Come in!" he called cheerfully, but rather then seeing an elf as he expected, in walked a tall dark-haired man. "Oh, goodness!" he said as he stood up from his meal. "Estel! This is a pleasant surprise."

"Good morning, Bilbo. I hope I am not intruding."

"Not at all, not at all. Please join me for second breakfast!" He offered the man a seat across from him, which Aragorn took with a smile.

"I already ate this morning, Bilbo; I am afraid I am quite full."

"Only one breakfast?" Bilbo shook his head as he took a bite from his apple. "I cannot understand how you manage to function with so little food."

"I do not understand how hobbits can eat as much food as they do without bursting," Aragorn jested back. "You eat enough for an army, my friend."

Bilbo shook his head. "I limit myself to six meals a day; quite a few of my relatives never have less than eight. But you Big Folk are odd like that, I suppose." The hobbit buttered another piece of bread before he spoke again. "When did you get back, Estel?"

"Early this morning. I did not expect to come back to Imladris for a few years, but fate often has other plans."

Bilbo glanced at the man, noting the vague answer with suspicion, but said nothing on it. "I was down in the kitchens this morning," he started, "and apparently the cooks are preparing a feast."

"A feast?" Aragorn frowned. "Whatever for?"

"I was wondering that, myself. You know these elves like to celebrate whenever they can, but this feast was ill-prepared and obviously a last minute affair. Quite unlike them. So I asked, and the cooks said that there was to be a birthday celebration tonight." Bilbo eyed the man with amusement. "I have been here long enough to know that elves don't celebrate birthdays. I wonder who this party is planned for. Do you know, Estel?"

Aragorn indeed knew who it was for, and by Bilbo's expression, the hobbit knew as well. "My foster brothers certainly know how to embarrass me."

"Embarrass? Nonsense! Birthdays are a marvelous thing. I used to celebrate mine with my nephew Frodo every year. Strictly speaking he is more of a distant cousin, but we are far enough apart in age for it not to matter too greatly."

Aragorn chuckled. "I shall keep that in mind tonight. You will be there, then?"

"Of course. I may be old, but I would not miss this feast for the world."

"I cannot imagine you missing any sort of feast, Bilbo."

"One of these days they'll be a bit too much," the hobbit said thoughtfully. "But tonight I shall enjoy myself. You should do the same, young man."

The man chuckled again. "I will do as you bid." He stood. "If you will excuse me, Bilbo, but there are other things I must see to. Until tonight."

"Good day, Estel!" Bilbo said, and smiled as he left the room. He was certainly different from any other man the hobbit knew.

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