Title: And miles to go before I sleep

Rating: K

Disclaimer: Not mine and I make no money with this story.

Summary: Aragorn hides from his ada.

A/N: Written for the MC Challenge "Hiding from Ada" (1000 words only). Aragorn has not yet joined the rangers, therefore I guess him to be in his (very) early twenties.

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Robert Frost)

Aragon's POV

I do not know what you are expecting of me. I cannot walk in the shoes that you want me to wear. They are too large for me and every step I take is another mistake. I cannot walk the way that you showed me. It is hidden from my sight and the darkness that I see seems everlasting.

Am I less because I am afraid? You are so strong and proud. Are you disappointed because I do not wish to follow your lead? How can I ever be half the person you are? I am just…me and I do not feel the strength you might have seen in me. I want to be more like you and less like me, but I think that is just a dream and will never be.

I can feel you watching me, your eyes on my back. And I know I will fail. I just know it. How could I not? The pressure I feel engulfs me every day more and more. It squeezes my lungs and chokes me. I cannot breathe, I cannot think, I cannot…be. I want to be me. And as much as I wish I could be the man you want me to be, I know that that is only a dream, too.

Sometimes, I feel like drowning. The world fades before my eyes, the shadows grow, they call to me, touch me, lift me up and let me reach the depth of darkness. I want to scream, to yell for help…but I know that none will come. I do not want to stay in the shadows, and I have no wish to leave. Take me, but take my memories as well.

The shadows. I never noticed them the way I do now. Have you noticed that they are everywhere? They linger around the corners of the world, they are the companions of light and they are around me. I see them in the darkness and I see them when the sun shines. They are always there and they never leave me. They are my companions for eternity. Somehow, it is a comforting thought.

I am waiting in the shadows until my time has come to walk the road you showed me. The road you want me to go. But I am not ready yet. Not yet. Still, I feel…just like me. Not the person you want me to be. The man you want me to become. Just let me wait in the shadows of myself a bit longer.

The way before me has not been travelled for a long time and the road is dusty and full of holes. It is blocked by logs and there are so many boulders and obstacles that I will surely stumble and fall before I have even walked a league.

Have you never thought that the less travelled road may be so for a reason?(1)

I do not feel safe. The world is big and full of chaos and nightmares. They will haunt me, as they already do. I know I must kill before I will feel safe, but how can I? Am I fighting for the good side? What if not? Perhaps I am not on the right side,…or will not be forever. What if my death would safe arda? A comforting thought as well.

Walking through my life, I feel the cold of it. There is so much missing. So many things that are so normal, natural, but that seem to be denied to me for all eternity. Sometimes, I just want to stay where my feet have brought me, a place that I seem to remember, a place that calls out to me. I never stay. Life drags me on.

I have been searching for the rights things to say to you once we meet again. I want to tell you that I love you. I want to tell you that I missed you and that my heart feels at peace being near you. I know I will have the opportunity to say these things to you…one day. And I know it will not be this day, because this day I cannot meet you again. I want you to be proud of me before we meet.

It has been so many years since I have last seen your face, your eyes that twinkled down on me so merrily, so full of warmth and love, your voice that soothed my troubled dreams and that laughed with me and called my name. I miss you. We will meet again. But there are still miles for me to go before we meet again.

Miles to go before I can sleep.

You were a fighter once, one of the best from what I have heard. Your skill with the sword is legendary. You were well respected by your warriors; they looked upon you in battle and felt the courage and confidence you emanated. Have you ever felt the fear that I feel in battle? Fear is always with me when I took up my sword or bow; it straddles me against the ground. Until now, I have been able to fight my foes and my fear, but…what about the next battle?

It seems to crawl through my skin and I cannot shake it off. Would you still smile at me and laugh with me now? After all these years? After all that I have done? I am not sure and that …kills me deep inside. I feel as if I had betrayed you.

I know that you want me to take up the path that I have inherited. To step up and demand what is mine. To take my place. But, what if I do something wrong? I will be responsible for so many lives. So many. What if I fail them? What if I kill them?

Oh, I wish you were here to guide me. But on the other hand, I do not wish to meet you just yet. There is still time. Time for me to right the wrongs and walk the path before me, the way you want me to see and travel down. Perhaps, then you will be proud of me.

I can feel…something inside of me. It pulls at me, calls for me and touches my consciousness when I am not paying attention. It lingers at the back of my mind, like a dream that vanishes in the morning light. You know it is there but when you try to grab it, it flees before your hand ere your fingers can brush it. I do not know what it is, but it is strong. And I know, someday it will consume me. I can only wait and see, but I hope I will be stronger when it pulls me beneath the surface.

I will do what I feel is right. I want you to be proud of me when we meet again. The way before me is still veiled, but I will travel it nevertheless, and step in your shoes, take your place among men. I will make you proud, and then I will no longer need to hide from you.

There are miles to go before I can sleep.

But when I sleep, when I take back the gift that has been given to me, we will see each other, father. Then we will meet again, Arathorn of the Dunedain, and I will hide no longer.


Surprised? Please, this was very difficult to write, tell me what you think of it.

(1) See: Robert Frost