Superman

Short Story from 'Estel'

Helm's Deep

Based upon the Movie Version

I can't stand to fly

I'm not that naïve

I'm just out to find

The better part of me

                  Aragorn slammed the door to the room he had been given.  He put his hands to his hips, taking in deep breaths to calm his temper.  He had nearly bolted out when they had excused them.  Another minute and Aragorn would have been tempted to deck the king of Rohan, which would have caused even more problems.

*Last I checked, Théoden, not Aragorn was King of Rohan. 

Aragorn finally pounded the wall, sitting on the bed like a dejected child.

*Why am I here?  Why did I join this cause?

He sighed, flinging the blanket back.

                  " I do not know."

                  " I think you do."

                  His head whipped up and he only glared.

                  " You are losing your hearing with old age, Estel," Legolas sat beside him.

                  " You grow far more persistent with old age," Aragorn retorted, picking up his sword to sharpen.

                  " Why did Théoden's words affect you so?  You are the one that does not wish a throne or crown," Legolas asked, keeping a wary eye on the sword.

                  Aragorn let the sword and sharpening block droop in his hands.  He looked at Legolas, his eyes dark and brow puckered.

                  " I feel as if it does not matter what I wish.  My path is taking me to the throne.  It is like it is a story, written.  The readers know my path and the outcome, yet I cannot see it yet."  He glanced up again at Legolas.  " Do you know what I mean?"

Legolas only stretched his long legs.

                  " My path was made for me the day I was born.  I had no choice of whether or not I wanted to be a prince.  I am not the heir, praise Eru, but I cannot put myself in your shoes," Legolas let out a long sigh.  " You should wish Elrond was here.  He could relate for he had to make a choice himself."

Aragorn only shrugged.

                  " I just wanted to find myself." He looked out towards the South; " But now, I am finding destiny; and no less a destiny I have shunned all my life."

                  " Maybe then, you should look inside of you and see if you are willing to continue.  Tomorrow we leave for Helm's Deep.  My spirit tells me that only death awaits of the people of Rohan there, but I dare not speak against the king."  Legolas stood.  " Maybe the problem is that you have found who you are and what you are to be, but you hate it."

Aragorn sighed, hearing the silent steps die away.  He put down his sword and the sharpening block, lying on his back upon the bed.  He clasped his hands on his chest and submitted himself far away into dreams, where nothing existed or mattered.

~*~

I'm more than a bird

More than a plane

I'm more than some pretty

Face beside a train

And its not easy to be me

                  The Wargs rode out against the Riders of Rohan.  Aragorn was busily fighting, his anger finally vented.  He ran up, catching onto one warg, only to note that there was still a rider.  Hand-to-hand fighting ensued.  Aragorn felt strips of leather tighten painfully around his hand.  He glanced at it, and then at the approaching cliff.  The warg rider sent him a grim smile, falling off just before the beast threw itself off the cliff.  Aragorn was falling.  He desperately pulled at the harness as the raging water below approached.  He nearly screamed when he hit the rock hard water.  It felt as if every bone in his body was broken.  He left himself go limp.  With one last conscious thought, he smiled ironically.

*Long lives the King of Gondor.

~*~

                  Legolas closed his hand over the Evenstar.  He bowed his head glancing again over the cliff.  A hand found his shoulder.

                  " Come."

Legolas unwillingly followed Théoden.  He paused, bending on one knee and pressing a hand to his heart in a customary gesture.

*Long live Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Isildur's heir.  May the Valar bless you and return you to our ranks. 

He then turned and joined Gimli, pocketing the precious Evenstar carefully in his quiver.

*I pray I do not have to return this to its owner.

~*~

Wish that I could cry

Fall upon my knees

Find a way to lie

About a home I'll never see

                  Aragorn let the horse help him onto its back.  He groaned at the pain resonating through his tired body.

*Home

The word was so comforting: home, a place where he was just Aragorn, not a king, just a man, just a normal man.  Aragorn sighed, balancing himself upon the horse.

                  " There is no home for the Leader of the Dúnedain."

*You can leave now.  Never return.  Let everyone think you are dead.  Escape to the east.

The offer was tempting.  He could forget his destiny.  Aragorn sighed.

*But will Sauron still overcome?  How many more countless lives would fall?

                  He closed his eyes.  The picture of beautiful Imladris falling into ruin assailed him.  He shook his head.

*There is no home for me, but there is family.

He pushed the horse towards Helm's Deep. 

*I will die before I am known as a coward.

~*~

It may sound absurd

But don't be naïve

Even heroes have the right to bleed

                  Gimli paced.  Finally he sent the Elf an annoyed look.

                  " You know, Elf, the worst thing about your kind is that you appear emotionless.  Do you not care that Aragorn is dead?"

Legolas merely shrugged.

                  " I do not believe he is dead.  Unless you would like to make an assumption that the Evenstar bears his child and there is another heir to take his place, then he is not dead.  The Valar would not save him only to kill him now."

Gimli shrugged.

                  " You and that Valar.  They ain't helped us yet.  Why would they…"

                  Gimli ran out as fast as his short legs would carry him at the sound of hooves.  Legolas stood, seeing Aragorn.  Aragorn pushed by however on another mission.  Legolas stepped out before him.

                  "Le ab-dollen (You're late)."

Aragorn just laughed a little.  Legolas gave him an assessing glance.

                  " You look terrible," he continued.

Aragorn shook his head.

                  " I am sorry if I could not keep an impeccable appearance like you Elves after falling from a cliff."

Legolas shrugged.

                  " I know it is a gift for us Elves." He suddenly fumbled in his pocket for something.  " This is yours."

The Evenstar charm shone brightly in the sun, casting prisms over Aragorn's face.  He took it with a smile, replacing it around his neck.

                  " Hannon le (Thank you)."

                  Aragorn entered the throne room, receiving many stares.  Even Théoden had no voice.

                  " Hail, Aragorn, son of Arathorn.  This is a great surprise.  We all thought you dead."

Aragorn shrugged.

                  " I thought so also, but I was sent to bring you news of the enemy."

Théoden's visage clouded.

                  " Speak then."

                  " A great host comes this way."

                  " A great host you say?" Théoden began to pace, stroking his beard.

                  " All of Isengard is emptied," Aragorn answered with a regretful sigh.

Théoden paused, as if bracing himself for the answer of his next question.

                  " How many?"

Aragorn gave a sigh, shaking his head as he tried to estimate a number.

                  " Ten thousand strong, at least," he finally consented.

Théoden took a step back, his face masking the horror he felt.

                  " Ten thousand?"

Théoden clenched his jaw, pursing his lips.  He strode outside with a passing mumble to Aragorn.

                  " Let them come."

~*~

I may be disturbed

But won't you concede

Even heroes have the right

To dream

And it's not easy to be me

                  Aragorn returned back to his dream of Arwen.  He turned over.

*She is rejoicing with what is left of her people.  She has forsaken these shores.  Forsaken me.  I knew this parting had to come, but not like this.

He sighed, turning over again.

*How I wish I were an Elf.  None of this would have been my problem.  To be Elladan or Elrohir, or even Legolas would be life.  If I were Legolas, I could marry Arwen without any hindrances.  Had only Elros decided to be of Elvin kind also.

He finally submitted his tired thoughts to dreams, knowing tomorrow would break over the horizon far too soon.

~*~

                  Aragorn watched the soldiers, his heart falling at their state.  His head turned at Legolas' near hateful words.

" Look at them.  They are frightened.  I can see it in their eyes," the Elf turned away with disdain before glancing back at Aragorn, " A boer.  Neled dan caer meneg (And they should be.  Three hundred against ten thousand)."

Aragorn did not understand Legolas' sudden disdain for the men of Rohan.

                  "Si beriar hýn amar nâ ned Edoras (They have a better chance defending themselves here then in Edoras)."

Legolas just shook his head, his voice lowering and darkening with a despairing tone.  Aragorn glanced around at the many men now listening intently, though they could not understand the words being said.

                  "Aragorn, men ú-broniar sen maeth.  Men pân gwannathon (Aragorn, they cannot win this fight.  They are all going to die)."

Aragorn almost grabbed Legolas' shirt to pull him close and state the last fact.  Instead he angrily shouted seven words:

                  " Then I shall die as one of them."

~*~

Up, up and away

Away from me

Well it's all right

You can sleep sound tonight

I'm not crazy or anything

                            

                  Aragorn's heart lifted as great Elvin archers entered Helm's Deep under the standards of Elrond.  His eyes immediately fell on Haldir as the Elf bowed before Théoden.

                  " I bring word from Elrond of Rivendell.  An alliance once existed between men and Elves.  Long ago we fought and died together.  We come to honor that allegiance."

Aragorn had never felt so much pride for his foster father in that moment.

*If I live through this, I will call him Ada again.

~*~

                  Gimli looked up at Aragorn, both amusement and irritation shining in his eyes like the mail he wore.

                  " Well lad, by the luck you live by, let's hope it lasts the night."

Aragorn only nodded, his eyes set on the black beings as far as the eye could see.

                  " Your friends are with you," Legolas replied softly.

Gimli just gave a little eyebrow raise.

                  " Let's hope they last the night," he muttered, referring to himself and Legolas.

Aragorn smiled before it faded as he approached the other Elves.  He was their leader.

~*~

                  Aragorn sighed, watching the few men left try to bar the door.  They had retreated into the throne room. 

*So many are dead.  This is all we have now against their ten thousand. 

Aragorn looked up, seeing the sun rising.  Legolas sat beside him.

                  " What will you do?"

Aragorn stood, unsheathing his sword.

                  " I will fight."

                  Three horses remained.  Théoden, Aragorn and Legolas were soon mounted.  Aragorn gave the cry as they rushed out.

*Long live Gondor.

Aragorn paused in his fighting as a bright white light came over the hills. He grinned.

                  " Gandalf."

~*~

                  Aragorn moved about, pushing aside orc bodies until he found the one he sought.  He cleared it of orcs, pulling it up.  Legolas approached, before allowing him to carry it alone. 

                  " Can we send it to Lórien?  Celeborn and Galadriel will wish to know of his death," Aragorn asked softly.

Legolas nodded.

                  " Send his body with the few Elves left.  Also send a letter of your well-being.  Elrond will wish to know."

Aragorn nodded, allowing Legolas to take the body.

~*~

                  Aragorn sighed, staring at the plain piece of parchment.

Elrond-

                  Though we left on bad terms, I write to you from the very steps of a wizard's lair: Orthanc.  I thank you for the forces you sent at Helm's Deep, though few survived.  Haldir is dead.  We send his body to Lórien along with the other Elves.  Legolas pressed me to write and to tell you I am fine.  With what is ahead, I hope Arwen is already safe across the Sundering Seas and far from me.  I move forward now, following the path destiny has set before my feet.  If it leads to the throne, then so be it.  I no longer will shun what is given freely.  I have found where I belong.

He folded up the note, after signing it Estel.  He handed it to the Elves.

                  " Deliver this to Imladris."

The Elf nodded.  Aragorn sighed, sitting on the steps before Orthanc.  Gandalf had already left bearing the young hobbit away with him.  Aragorn leaned back, letting the cool metal rest against his skin.

                  " Estel, get off that lazy bum of yours.  Do you not remember we are in the middle of a war?"

Aragorn jumped up, seeing his foster brothers.  He grinned, running up to meet them.

*Wherever this takes me I shall accept it.  I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, the Elfstone, and the hope of men.  And that is who I am and whom I have accepted myself as.

I'm only a man

Looking for special things

Inside of me

Superman by Five for Fighting