Unfortunately the characters of Lord Of The Rings belong to Tolkien and not to me.

This is my first attempt of an Aragorn fiction, please read & review.

Thanks to Rosie for doing the beta-writing again.

A Man

They sleep now insouciantly...relying on me to watch over them. I am so tired and I want only to rest. To see no-one, no dangers around me. How long have I lived this way – torn between hope and the threat of a violent death? I can hardly remember a day when my life hasn´t been in danger. I can never sleep at ease – every faint noise startles me. I am but a Man.

I am guilty of hundreds of deaths. There are nights when I see long rows of corpses, and their ghosts haunt me, asking: "Was it really necessary to kill me?" I am tired of fighting, of battles and of slaying numerous foes. My own wounds are outwardly healing fast, but each wound leaves a scar – on my skin and in my heart. Is it really my fate to save the world and to pay the price as well? I am frightened for I am but a Man.

I wasn´t asked if I was prepared to take that sword and that path, from which no-one has yet returned. I dreamt of the mysterious King and of his followers. They broke their oath and since that day are dwelling hidden in the evil mountain - are they proud that they obey no-one or are they ashamed of having betrayed my ancestor? And he - why didn´t he take the opportunity to destroy the Ring and to defeat the evil in the world forever. He failed and found a dreadful end. I fear that I will turn out too weak and fail as well. Like me Isildur was but a Man.

I am given that sword – a heritage of my ancestors – a great honour, they say. It is an ambiguous token. Don´t they see that it is a great burden in the first place? Don´t they see that not everyone is looking forward to the king who wields this weapon? Don´t they see that I have fears and flaws, dreams and hopes? Will I be able to meet everyone´s expectations and do I wish to do so? Do I deserve their faith? I am but a Man.

Will I always be able to resist the Ring´s call? I will never forget the Ringbearers trusting look, when he held out his hand and asked if I would be able to protect him from myself. The Ring spoke to me and that time I could fight its magic attraction but how often can I stand the temptations of the Dark Lord? He knows that am but a Man.

I am supposed to be a healer. Does anyone know how much strength it takes to tend the wounded and those who are sick, and to hold back the passing souls and then to walk around afterwards as if nothing had happened? Who tends my outer and inner injuries? Who is sitting on my bedside when I can´t sleep? Who drives away my nightmares and sorrows? I am but a lonely Man.

I am in love with an Elven princess. She is waiting for me, and gave me her pendant as a pledge of her love. She is even prepared to sacrifice her immortality and stay with me instead of going to the Undying Lands, where I can´t follow. What will become of her, if I fail? She entrusts me with her fate, but unlike her I am but a Man.

And the lovely blonde maid - daughter of kings? Her eyes are beaming at my sight. She offers me her love whenever she looks at me. She only sees the hero and dreams of great deeds. I doubt that she would love me, if she really knew me. I am afraid that I must reject her and leave her hurt and disappointed. She is going to be the first person I will let down and how many will follow? When will people finally realize that I am but a Man?

Mother, I wish you could be here with me. I need someone to listen, to take me as the person I am and not only as a character in a game, which I did not join voluntarily. I need to be a child again and I need to be allowed to be weak. I need loving hands that caress me without grasping greedily. I need ears that listen without judging my deeds. I need arms that hold me tight without suffocating me. I need to find a refuge where I can be but a Man.