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Tales of Life  by Aelaer

This is a scene that I want to include, thoroughly fleshed out, in a story that will be a sequel to Hearts of Men (which you can find on my account), but as that is not coming anytime soon I figure I would at least write a little about it.


Prompt 72: Life
Ficlet: Birth
Rating: G
January, 4 FA

This was a moment he had been waiting for for many years.

After the first couple of miscarriages, they had been cautious with their hope. Neither he nor his wife could have ever predicted the troubles they would have had in conceiving a child, and neither of them could have ever predicted the heartache and loss they felt with each life that did not come.

But as the months passed on, and the swell in Arwen's stomach became noticeable, they truly began to hope. Unlike the others, his wife wanted to keep this child's sex a surprise, and refused to tell Aragorn what she knew. "You will be pleased," was her only response to his enquires.

The eighth month turned into the ninth, and as winter continued to pass they both wondered when their child would be born. Elves were borne by the mother for a year as opposed to nine months, and there were no records from history that revealed how long a child of mixed heritage would be in the womb.

It was still some days before the start of the tenth month when Arwen, just finishing breakfast, suddenly grabbed her stomach. "It's happening," was all she said. After Aragorn led her to their bed, he found a servant to fetch midwives from the Houses of Healing. Soon enough, four women and the Warden of the Houses came, laden with supplies, and they swiftly ushered the king out of the room despite his protests.

"We know well your healing skills, my lord," said the Warden. "But it is best if you simply wait."

And so he waited. Friends came and stayed with him in support, but he barely heeded them. His eyes remained fixed on his bedroom door.

It was well into the night when he heard a sound that changed his life forever: a loud cry. However, as the minutes passed on, no one came to get him, and he began to worry; what was taking them so long?

Suddenly the crying seemed to grow louder. Before he could come to any sort of conclusions, a woman opened the door, smiling broadly at him. "Congratulations, my lord. You have a healthy baby boy and girl. You will be able to come in in just a moment."

He looked at her in shock. "Twins?" One of his friends slapped him in hearty congratulations on the back, but he barely registered it. The midwife nodded and closed the door, leaving the king reeling.

When he finally was allowed to enter the room, Arwen was smiling at him. While her hair was askew and her face red and beaded in sweat, the glow in her eyes made her seem more beautiful than ever before— something he did not think possible. In her arms, wrapped in warm blankets, were the children— their children. Both of them had calmed down and now were sleeping.

"Happily surprised, Estel?" she whispered softly in greeting.

"Very, very much so," he replied. He knelt beside the bed and laid his hand on her arm, his eyes not leaving the small figures in his wife's arms. With his other hand he gently stroked the small hand of the infant closest to him.

"Would you like to hold her?" she asked. He nodded, and she shifted her arm slightly so he could pick her up. She wiggled in her blankets, but once Aragorn settled her in his arms she stilled. He smiled down at her and then at the boy in Arwen's arms. They were so small. So beautiful. And they were his, his and Arwen's creations.

"We discussed many names, Estel," she said. "Our children were born with the stars; I should like their names to reflect it."

He smiled. "The name Eldarion was always my favorite." He smiled softly at his sleeping son before turning to the little girl in his arms. "And I can think of no more beautiful of a name than Eleniel." Walking around the bed, he knelt, careful not to wake his daughter, and looked closely at his son. Looking again at his daughter, he whispered, "Welcome to the world, my children."





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