Written particularly for Mike Kelner on the occasion of the anniversary for the HASA group. Beta by RiverOtter.
He sat, holding his firstborn not as a healer who had assisted in the birth of the child, watching to see that the event did not needlessly endanger his beloved wife; not as the one who’d been born the son of an obscure northern chieftain of a nearly hidden people in the wastes of Eriador; not as the one whose father had died as the result of an ambush by orcs, an arrow lodged in his eye; not as the one raised as if he were the son of an Elf lord of immeasurable power; not as the one who’d won fame and glory fighting in lands not his own, and whose curiosity and need had driven him to spy out the ways of still others; not as the one who’d cobbled together alliances with scattered settlements of Men, Elves, and Dwarves throughout the northern reaches of Middle Earth; not as the one who’d slipped behind the Enemy’s defenses to look closely on Minal Morgul, Dol Guldur, and from a distance even upon Barad-dûr; who had directed the guarding of lands not his own for countless years; who had ridden, walked, and sailed the ways of the world many times over; who had once feared he would never earn the deepest desire of his heart; who had at times struggled to hold the reality of his childhood name in his own heart and life....
Nay, today he was not even the one who’d walked beside the Ringbearer and drawn him back from the Gates of Death, the bearer of the Winged Crown and the Sceptre of Annúminas. No, today he was far, far more than that, for today he was----
----Today he was a daddy!
And in the delight of that new identity he began eagerly marveling at tiny fingers and toes, and admiring how his child’s eyelashes lay against a pale cheek, and how the dark curls of down grew upon the infant’s head, and wondering at the strength in the grip of that small hand about his finger!