NOTE: Set early on in Aragorn and Arwen's relationship, before the Lord of the Rings Saga.
Summary: Aragorn is on his way to Rivendell, mainly to see Arwen and finally tell her that he loves her, but meets an elf on the way also going to Imladris—for the same reason.
The Same Woman
GlirThe fire was crackling, and however small, it gave Aragorn enough warmth to keep him from shivering. He lay back upon the earth, and as he relaxed, his breathing slowed to a slow pace as his mind cleared of all the troubles plaguing him.
He was traveling to Rivendell, the home of Master Elrond and his family. Though of course Aragorn set his path towards Imladris often to rest and enjoy the sense of peace that enveloped his being there, this time he had a specific mission he hoped to accomplish.
He hoped to see Arwen, and finally tell her the three words she had been dreaming to hear since the first time they had met under Rivendell's night sky.
He closed his eyes and let his mind drift as he remembered a conversation they had shared about it on a previous occasion….
"Beloved," he whispered into her ear. "We must retire. The day that will greet us when the sun next rises will need both our strengths. Let us use the opportunity of the night whilst it remains."
Arwen turned around in his arms, her back no longer facing his chest, but now her face next to his. "Oh, Estel. Will there ever come a day when I will welcome the sun in a bed beside you? Or am I destined to awake each morning alone—you in your bed, me in mine?"
Aragorn smiled, but the grin did not reach his eyes, which held a glint of sadness in them at her comment. "Nin-meleth, fear not, for a day will soon come when both our wishes, one in the same, will be granted. I see not the path that will lead to that completed aspiration, but in the time in between we must be content with our time together that begins after the great light in the sky has risen, and ends when night vanquishes over the day."
Arwen pouted, which made Aragorn smile at her adorably. "Will you swear, Estel?" she asked, pleading with him to comfort her.
"You have my word, Arwen, that one day, we will know no obstacles or barriers. Nothing means more than my word."
Arwen's eyes shot up from the collar material that she was fingering to meet his eyes. "You are wrong, Estel. There is something that you could swear by that means more to me, to you, than anything else."
"You could swear by your love for me. Swear by your undying love for Arwen Undomiel that you and I will greet the morning sun together one day soon." Her expression was firm. "Tell me, Estel. Tell me you love me."
Aragorn's face was sad and troubled. "Arwen, please. You know that I have never said those three precious words to anyone before. When I speak these words to you, I want it to be in a special moment. A moment when you and I are more connected than we have ever been before. You understand, don't you dearest?"
Arwen smiled back at him assuredly. "It will be worth the wait to hear the words, Estel. I will control my heart until the day comes."
Suddenly the sharp sound of a twig breaking nearby startled Aragorn out of his daydream. In a second he was up, his sword drawn. It gleamed in the light of the campfire like a mirror catching light.
He spoke loudly and clearly, his voice ringing in the air. "Who is infringing onto the threshold of this area upon the time of the sun's waning?" Silence followed. "Speak quickly!"
"But put down your sword," a male voice replied through the night air, unthreatening and calm. "And I will show thyself as a mere elf making his way to Rivendell. Nay, not a thief, nor robber, nor anyone meaning harm."
The next moment, a tall, well-built elf in muddy travelers robes stepped out of the bushes. His hair was long and blonde, with dark blue eyes. A bow was tied upon his back, along with a case of deadly sharp arrows.
"Greetings, stranger," the tall elf said. "Pardon my intrusion. It seems my feet have wandered into your seclusion on their own accord. Forgive me."
"Mae govannem," Aragorn said, nodding his head in respect, replacing his sword in its sheath. "Im algaro i-nauth (I did not have the thought that
The elf raised an eyebrow, surprised. "You speak the language of the elves as if it were your own, stranger. It rolls off your human tongue as if spoken natively sense birth. Who are you?"
"My name is Aragorn, Arathorn's son, Lord of the Dúnedain."
The elf thought for a moment before asking, "And Isildur's Heir, no doubt?"
Slightly surprised, Aragorn nodded. "I am, yet you have yet to reveal your own name, and so we remain strangers."
"I am Glir, son of Egerlio, a elf traveling towards home after many years away."
Aragorn asked, "And where, do tell, is the home that you speak of? Is it the land of Rivendell, Imladris that you said in a moment past?"
"Indeed," Glir replied. "For a time spanning hundreds of years I have dwelt in Mirkwood, in peace and enjoyment. Though home is where my heart now wishes to return to, in the halls of the city where my childhood was spent in happy days."
Aragorn smiled. "Sit, new friend, for this is a curious meeting indeed! For I too am traveling to Rivendell. Nay, not for business, but also to sooth my heart and mind."
And now with a friendly smile on his face, Glir sat upon the ground on one side of the warm fire, and Aragorn sat across from him on the other side.
"I grew up in the House of Elrond—" Aragorn began to explain.
Aragorn looked keenly at the elf across from him. "How can that be? And how did you know I was Isildur's Heir?"
The elf smiled. "Do not be troubled, for as I said, I grew up in Rivendell myself. Long have the heirs of Isildur grown in the house of the Lord of Rivendell. Though they grew in secret, a few close friends of Lord Elrond knew the truth, one of which was my father, Egerlio. My father has since passed into the Undying Lands, along with my mother, Yrler the Fair. Yet good friends to Lord Elrond they were, and assisted him in the upbringing of many of your fathers."
Aragorn sighed. "That awareness doth sooth many of my suspicions and concerns. And so, your parents, Egerlio and Yrler, they cared for my ancestors?"
"Yes," Glir answered. "For a time."
Aragorn nodded, now understanding, and feeling a strange kinship with this new elf. "It is quite a coincidence that our two paths crossed on the way to Rivendell. Shall we continue this journey together, and be companions?"
Glir smiled and agreed. "It would be nice to have a companion on the road home. At the end of the three days the path will end at Rivendell, and both of our homecomings will be welcomed with smiles and cheers." He sighed, and then his voice became strangely low and almost sad. "And then, hopefully by the next day, I will be engaged to the fairest, loveliest maiden that walks upon this earth."
Aragorn grew interested in Glir's comment, though flames of pride blazed in his chest. For no matter how fair and lovely Glir thought this new she-elf was, Aragorn knew the true loveliest and fairest maiden that walked upon this earth was Arwen, Evenstar of her people. He supposed Glir had never seen Arwen before, which did strike him as odd.
"Tell me about this wonderful maiden," Aragorn asked.
An expression came over Glir that had not grasped hold of his features before in front of Aragorn. "Ahh," he sighed. "She is the fairest, and loveliest maiden that walks upon this earth."
Aragorn refrained from laughing. "Yes, you said that already."
"Alas, I did! Well, I would not dare to not admit that I am so infatuated with this creature, that whenever I think of her, my mind becomes a puddle. She has some unknown strength over my being."
Aragorn asked simply, "And what, pray tell, is the name of this wonderful individual? Seeing how I myself have lived in Rivendell as my home, I may yet know her name."
A large smile crossed Glir's face. "Ah, her name is the sweetest sound ever whispered. The air is blessed to have it pronounced in it. And, Aragorn, I doubt that you know not her name. Every elf or elf-friend knows of the Lady of Imladris. For alas! The wonderful elf-maiden of my desire, the unknown keeper of my heart, is none other than Lord Elrond's only daughter, Arwen Undomiel, the Evenstar of our people."
Aragorn sat wide-eyed at the elf in front of him, momentarily forgetting to breathe.