"Have I really now?" he replied and hurled a dagger at Aragorn.
Twisting his upper body, Aragorn avoided the dagger but caught Dervarin as he tackled the elf. The two of them tumbled into the house, knocking over chairs and overturning tables. Aragorn grabbed the human's tunic and planted his feet in Dervarin's stomach and launched him over his head. Jumping to his feet, Aragorn avoided the swinging piece of wood from the chair. Blocking a blow with his arm brace, Aragorn slammed his fist into Dervarin's face as thunder rumbled above. Stumbling back, Dervarin bumped into a table and knocked over a low burning candle that the family must have left. Hitting the floor, the candle immediately ignited the dry kindling of hay. Aragorn jumped forward away from the sudden heat and yelped when Dervarin slammed the piece of wood into his lower back. The fire was quickly consuming the house despite the rain as Aragorn blocked the blow raining down on him. Blocking a few blows, Aragorn returned a few hits before Dervarin slammed his head against Aragorn's and shoved him into the main support column. The strained wood broke and the house started to creak and groan as pieces of burning wood started to fall. Dervarin dove out the window just as a large chunk of burning timber fell to block that exit. Aragorn was trapped as he coughed harshly against the smoke that was filling his lungs. Blood trickled from countless wounds as the fire scorched his clothes.
"Take flight and end this," a voice echoed in his mind and all his pain faded away.
Looking up to the collapsing ceiling, Aragorn crossed his arms above his head and jumped straight up. The wood exploded outward as he was engulfed by the night air above the city. Spreading his arms wide, he fell back to the ground and landed lightly on the ground and into a crouch as burning wood fell around him. The burning building was behind him as he slowly rose and looked to Dervarin. His clothes were steaming but not burnt and his skin was still porcelain white.
"The Valar is neither pleased nor amused, Dervarin," Aragorn growled as a dangerous calm came over him.
Aragorn slowly advanced upon Dervarin with silent steps as the human backed away. Trembling in fear, Dervarin grabbed the only weapon he had and raised it high. Andruil shimmered in the firelight for a moment before he brought it down towards Aragorn's head. Instead of moving away, Aragorn reached up and caught the sharp blade with one bare hand.
"Andruil would never harm its first master," Aragorn growled and shoved Dervarin away with his other hand.
The human flew across the street and struck the wall hard before sliding down into a heap. Aragorn wrapped his hand over the handle of the sword and slowly swung the weapon around him. Looking at his old sword for a moment, Aragorn turned his gaze to Dervarin and slowly approached the human.
"You will be charged with several acts of treason against the royal throne, attempted murder on two members of the royal family, and a whole slew of many other things I have just only started to conjure up."
"Wh-Who are you?"
Aragorn stopped and stood over the broken man as he looked down at Dervarin.
"I am the former King of Gondor, Aragorn Elessar Telcontar, reincarnated as Renatus and you are under arrest."
Aragorn slammed the hilt of the sword against Dervarin's head to instantly sending him into unconsciousness. Aragorn looked over to the last man standing over Eldarion and Legolas. For a moment they stared at each other before the man passed out in a dead faint. It was silent except for the rain and burning building as Legolas and Eldarion stared at the standing elf. Aragorn blinked rapidly and stumbled back a few steps before collapsing to his knees. Andruil rested across his thighs and he watched as rain water slid down the polished steel. Gripping the handle, he slowly stood and walked to where Legolas and Eldarion still knelt. Aragorn's gaze slowly rose to meet the two that watched him in utter confusion. Reaching them, he slowly knelt and reached for Eldarion's shoulder wound. Healing was the only thing he knew would still be there, it was his support.
"It will need to be flushed and stitched to allow it to heal properly. The scar will be minimal," he said and rebound the shoulder.
"Renatus?" Legolas asked shocked as Aragorn gently cut their bonds.
"If you wish to still call me that."
"Is it true? What you say?" Eldarion asked softly as Aragorn gently probed Legolas' shoulder.
"Yes," Aragorn replied before sighing.
Moving to where Legolas could see him, Aragorn waited for Legolas' eyes to focus on him.
"Mellonin, Legolas, I need to set your shoulder and bind it. The dislocation tore some tendons so it will hurt for a few days but it should heal well," he said softly as Legolas slowly nodded.
Aragorn carefully lifted the limp arm and draped it over his shoulder. Pressing his inside hand to the elf's collarbone and holding the shoulder with his other hand, Aragorn jerked his hands quickly and heard the bone pop back into place. Legolas jerked and muffled his cry as the burning pain exploded from his shoulder. Legolas slumped against Aragorn as he carefully lowered the arm and slipped it into a rough sling.
"How?" he murmured softly as Aragorn glanced to Eldarion.
"It happened to Gandalf and Glorfindel; why not me?" he replied and glanced to the smoldering building.
The rain had extinguished the flames and now there was only smoke. Hearing soldiers nearby, Aragorn whistled sharply and turned back to the other two.
"Come, let us get out of the rain," he said quietly and helped them to their feet.
Aragorn quickly told the soldiers what to do before escorting Eldarion and Legolas to the healing ward. Waving away the healers except for the master healer, Aragorn worked on Eldarion and let the master healer tend to Legolas. He could feel Eldarion watching him as he paused next to Alcarohtarë's bed to gaze upon her sleeping face.
"Yes; she sensed the true me when she called me back from the arrow wound. I implored her to keep my secret until the best time," he said and gently unwrapped the bandage covering the wound.
"I can not believe it is really you," Eldarion whispered as Aragorn helped him to remove his tunic and under-tunic.
Aragorn chose to say nothing as he mixed together several liquids. Soaking a cloth, he pressed it hard to the wound and forced the liquid in. Ignoring his son's sharp hiss, Aragorn cleaned the wound before instructing Eldarion to lay back. He poured the remainder of the liquid into the wound and quickly followed with cool water. Reaching for a dry cloth, he patted the area dry before stitching the small wound and spreading a thin layer of paste over it. Bandaging the wound, he helped Eldarion sit up and slip on a clean tunic.
"How is Lord Legolas, Master Healer?" Aragorn asked as he cleaned his hands.
"Some tendons are torn but it is minimal. He should be able to use the arm in a week provided he does not pull an arrow or strain it."
Aragorn nodded and gave Eldarion a mild sleeping draught and helped his son to a bed next to his sister. Waiting until his son was asleep; Aragorn dismissed the healer and slowly approached Legolas. The elf had only said a few words since his enlightenment of Renatus' true identity and it worried Aragorn. Legolas was staring at Gimli's sleeping form where the dwarf lay with a stab wound to the thigh. Legolas' arm was bound to his torso and Aragorn could smell the sweet ointment that the healer had rubbed on to increase blood flow to the area.
"Would you like to get some air, Legolas?" he offered and nodded towards the glass doors that led out to the balcony.
He grabbed a blanket and followed Legolas to the balcony where the air was still cool from the earlier rain. Gently draping the blanket over the elf's shoulders, Aragorn sat on the thick stone railing and crossed his legs in front of him. Resting his forearms on his knees, he gazed out across the city and waited for Legolas to speak.
"I had my suspicions but I kept them to myself," Legolas said and Aragorn turned to look at him. "I actually thought you were a spy from the Corsairs."
"I admit that I never gave you any reason to trust me. I had hoped that I could complete my task and leave without the truth being revealed. I did not want to inflict that sort of pain again when I had to leave," Aragorn replied and shrugged his shoulders.
"Do you have to leave?"
"You know I must, Legolas. My time is over in this world and I am on borrowed time as it is," Aragorn replied softly as Legolas nodded.
"Your son is becoming you. Sometimes it pains me to be around him and around this place. There are so many memories that I hold dear."
Aragorn nodded and dropped his gaze to the stone balcony. He knew well enough that this was his last night in Minas Tirith before the Valar called him back. To spend it with his loved ones, that was what he wanted. He swung his legs off the balcony and stood to walk to the doorway and lean against the frame. His gaze moved between Eldarion and Alcarohtarë as he crossed his arms across his chest. Legolas moved to stand by his shoulder and Aragorn turned his head just enough to look at the elf.
"You are being called back."
Aragorn nodded as he held the other elf's gaze.
"What is it like? On the other side?" Legolas asked softly as Aragorn turned his gaze back to his children.
"Silent…lonely, very lonely. No adventures like we use to have; no love, just emptiness," Aragorn murmured and sighed.
"We had some good times together, you and I," Legolas whispered and Aragorn chuckled.
"Aye, that we did."
"All of them that I treasure."
"As do I, mellonin. As do I," Aragorn replied and quietly stepped into the room.
Walking to Alcarohtarë's bed, Aragorn knelt and gently brushed away a strand of ebony hair. Cupping her cheek, his thumb gently brushed over her cheek bone and she gently nuzzled his hand and sighed.
"My radiant warrior,' he whispered and watched as her eyes fluttered and slowly opened.
"Yes, my daughter, it is I. You need to know that I must be going. You will not see me again."
"But why? Why can you not stay a few more days?" she whispered as tears slowly trailed down her cheeks.
"Oh, my child, please do not cry. I wish I could stay with you forever but I can not. Remember that I will always love you and I am always proud of you. And whenever you miss me, just look up to the stars and I will be there smiling down on you."
Aragorn leaned forward and gently kissed away Alcarohtarë's tears as he stroked her hair and started to hum. Aragorn softly sang a lullaby he once sang to put the children to sleep as Alcarohtarë slowly slipped into sleep.
Silently standing, Aragorn moved to Eldarion's beside and gently woke his son up. Eldarion blinked sleepily at the elf as his memories slowly came back.
"Aye, Eldarion. I wanted to tell you that I am leaving," Aragorn said softly.
"You can not leave now, I just got you back."
"Oh, my son, this would never have been permanent no matter how much I wished it with all the stars in the sky. It is your time to be on the throne and be king, no longer mine. My time is over and now I must leave. Take care of your sister and remember that I love you so very much," Aragorn said and watched as his son's eyelids droop.
"Sleep," he whispered and pulled the blanket up over his son.
Rising to his feet, Aragorn walked to where Legolas stood with tears in his eyes. The two old friends looked at each other for a moment before Aragorn grabbed Legolas into a tight hug. Legolas' good arm wrapped tightly around him before slowly parting.
"In the morning, tell them again that I love them and will always be there for them. And…whenever you see Elrond and the twins again, tell them I love them all and I am staying out of trouble," Aragorn said and squeezed Legolas' good shoulder.
"I will, mellonin."
"You were always such a good friend, Legolas. There were many times I did not know what to do without you. You were always my ally and confidant through the worst of times."
"It worked both ways, my brother," Legolas replied and Aragorn lowered his arm.
Aragorn turned and started to leave the room but stopped in the doorway. Turning his head, he looked over his shoulder to Legolas and smiled sadly.
"Live free, die well, Legolas."
"Live free, die well, Strider."
The next moment he was gone and Legolas allowed a tear to fall gracefully to the ground.
Aragorn rode all night and pushed the horse to her limit as he rode towards Lorien. The Valar knew what his intent was and they lent him their strength as he rode on. The Golden Woods rose up before him from the shadows of the night as he slowed his horse and stopped at the forest's edge. Slipping off the mare, he stroked her neck and spoke softly before taking all her tack off and sending her away. He would no longer need her services. This was his last stop.
The trees greeted him and rejoiced that the elves had returned to the forest. Something pushed him deeper into the forest and he found himself moving towards Cerin Amroth. The sky was just brightening as the sun came closer to peaking over the horizon. The trees were in full bloom and the flowers gently brushed his cheek as he pushed them aside. He emerged into a clearing at the base of a hill and looked up the slope to see a figure reclining on the grass. His heart told him who it was and he didn't need to announce himself.
Arwen sensed another elf nearing her and vaguely thought it might have been Legolas. He was the only elf that still walked these lands. She lifted her head and looked at the approaching figure. A silver haired elf walked towards her with gray eyes that seemed very familiar. The sun chose that moment to peak over the horizon and the sunlight shone over the strange elf and everything sparkled. A gasp escaped her lips as the elven figure slowly morphed another figure. A person that was painfully familiar but that she loved more than anything. Dark brown hair and dark Ranger clothing garbed this figure. She must have been close to death if she was hallucinating her husband.
"Estel?" she whispered, wishing the hallucination was real.
"My beloved," Aragorn murmured as he lowered himself to Arwen's side.
"Is it really you? Does my mind stray before my body?"
"No, a'maelamin (my beloved), it is I. My heart desired to see you one last time so we could both fade together. I lived with you by my side, I ruled with you by my side, and I will die with you by my side so we may travel to Mandos Halls together; side by side," he murmured and wrapped an arm around her waist.
"Oh, my Estel. How I have longed to see and hear you one last time? How my heart aches for your love, your touch, your smile?" she whispered as her fingertips danced across his parted lips.
"You will always have me, Arwen. Till death and beyond, I will always love you," he whispered and laid his head by hers.
The sun rose higher and shone on the two lovers in all its beauty. Two souls rose amid the beams and danced together before rising higher in the sky and disappearing. The first king and queen of the Kingdom of Men faded from the world and faded together.
Am I the only one that is about to cry? Seriously, I had a wad of tissues by my laptop while typing this out and every time I reread it I get teary-eyed. Well, here is the end of this story. I wish there was a way that I could somehow do a sequel but I really can not. I mean, I can not have Aragorn come back as Renatus every time there is a problem. That and I do not think that the Valar would lend out an elf body to Aragorn again seeing how much damage he did to the other one. This story was a really good ride. I had a blast writing it even though it did give me a headache a few times. Well, I have two stories still in the works that I hope to start posting soon but I have no estimate about when it might be up. But, please, review for me and hopefully it will urge me to write faster and post the two new stories or at least one of them.
Linuvial Greenleaf- Yeah, elf Aragorn is freakin hot. He really is yummy. I get teary-eyed every time I reread the chapter and laugh when I read your comments. Thank you for beta reading, mellonin, it meant more to me than anything. I hope the other two stories will stand up to my usual standards and everyone likes them. Have to start writing more on them. Later.
Firniswin- Viola! They found out who Renatus is! Sorry if the chapter was kind of abrupt but I really had not idea how to handle it the day after. I figured it worked out better this way. I wish I could keep Aragorn around as Renatus but I really can not and really should not. It is already enough of an AU. Hope you enjoy!
Deana- Yeah, laptops are a god-send. I will migrate all around my house some days with the laptop in my hands and just surf all day. So much fun. Hope you enjoyed the chapter and story.
Snow-Glory- I like lurkers; I use to be a big lurker. Linuvial Greenleaf use to be a huge lurker. In fact, that is how she and I first met. She did not want to review on line so she sent me an email and we just started talking and a beautiful friendship blossomed. Beautiful but a bit twisted friendship. Oh well, heehee. See, everyone found out.
Beling2- Yup, one more chapter; I know, it is so sad. I love this story. I thought it was better to have him leave quickly because I really did not know how to deal with the day after or how to write it. I was worried that if I did try, then it would really fail in my hopes and I really did not want that. And possibly disappoint any readers.
Sielge- It is the end, sadly. I love this story; it was so unique and different from all the other stories out there. But oh well, onto bigger and better stories.
Wolf Jade- Aragorn said it so softly that Legolas did not hear it while he was walking away so that is why. I really like the final fight scene; I thought it was kick ass when I was writing it. Spades is neutral; I think that was why I chose it.
ThE iNsAnE oNe- Okay, then, I can understand it being fault. It usually is anyway. I have to admit that the review is a bit disjointed but that is probably because it keeps cutting things out of your review. It is okay, I forgive you; even though you have not updated Two Men and a Thorn Bush in forever. I really like that story. Well, anyway, enjoy!
Hiei-Rulez- Yeah, a pissed off Aragorn is fun. Especially when he is a pissed off Father. Well, he kind of told them. In a sense.
Horsiegurl- He found out! Everyone found out! Enjoy!
Dha-Gal- Are you really working on the update or that a fictitious idea? Or fictitious hope? Heehee, a pop tart on the computer? Oh, my father would kick my ass if I did that to the computer or laptop. And the chocolate melts all into the computer…(shudders). Enjoy!
Elven Kitten- It is sad that this is the last chapter but all good things must come to an end. Oh well.
Elvendancer- I am so glad that you could envision everything that I wrote. I always worry that it makes no sense when I write it and readers are just thinking: "What in the hell is she trying to write?" And you lecture me for staying up late? I have actually been pretty good about to going to bed at a reasonable hour. Well, if midnight is a reasonable hour because that is about the time that I get home from work. But then I stay up to about one talking to my roomie about what happened that day and who all I got pissed off at me. So much fun.
Zola- You are seriously making me blush over here. Hope you enjoy the rest of the story.