For Fliewatuet for her birthday. Thanks as always to RiverOtter for the beta.
Aragorn wandered to look out the window from his bedroom at the trees that were planted between it and the Steward’s Wing. It was his birthday today, and he felt restless. But then he often felt restless on his birthday, he’d found as the years had passed. He’d so looked forward to this day when he was a child, as each year his adopted family had given him more mature gifts and had offered him more respect. But then there had come the momentous day on which he was judged a Man grown, and had learned at last the name of his father and the future that might—or might not—come to him.
Would he become King of Gondor and Arnor? Would he lead armies against Sauron—the greatest foe of all of the Free Peoples for two ages of Middle Earth? Would he in time be granted the love he’d glimpsed in a glade in Imladris, seeing the beauty of an Elf maiden dancing there?
So many of his birthdays since had been celebrated in trackless wildernesses or sitting unwelcomed in dark corners of the common rooms of various inns. Only rarely had he been able to celebrate his birthday with those he loved most—his beloved naneth or his foster father or brothers—or his beautiful and loving Arwen.
That time was over—his future had been achieved, the darkness dispelled and his bride won—and all was in peace.
Nay, not wholly in peace, he thought, for he knew that in the Shire the one to whom he most owed his own happiness knew continued discomfort of body and spirit.
Oh, Frodo—if I could but give you the birthday gift I so wish I could bestow upon you, Hobbit fashion—a body eased of pain and a heart once more at peace, your spirit renewed and rejoicing once again. But I fear it is my wife who has offered you that gift for the both of us. Please, small brother, accept it.