A/N: I wrote this a year and a half ago, but never posted it. Frankly, that was before I thought that those who don't like Aragorn would not be too interested, and those who like him would be angry. Well, whereas I do think that carrying an unsheathed sword about is dangerous bordering on silly, and that someone who has a grain of common sense would probably not want to do it, and that people like minstrels love poetic exaggeration which can easily make it to the annals of history, I have still marked this story "AU." Just in case!

A Sword and a Song

The bed shook from the bouncing it had to endure.

'…And then you drew Andúril…'

Thud…

'…and held it up glittering in the sun…'

Thud…

'…and said: "You shall not be sheathed again until the last battle is fought!"'

Crash!

Aragorn sighed and went to pick up Eldarion from the floor.

'Tell, me son,' he asked long-sufferingly, 'where did you hear that tale?'

The big round eyes bored into him.

'Why, it says so in that minstrel's song.'

'And do you always believe what minstrels sing?'

'Of course!'

He clambered back onto the bed and resumed his jumping. After a few more thuds, he stopped and looked at his father intently again.

'Didn't it cut the horse?'

'Pardon?'

'The sword.'

Aragorn groaned inwardly. Arwen had had an amusedly puzzled look when the tale was first presented. Éowyn had asked this same question about the horse and grinned broadly every time Andúril was mentioned. And, from the way Faramir would acquire a perfectly innocent expression upon hearing it, Aragorn could wager anything that his loyal Steward was bursting with suppressed mirth, too.

All he could be grateful for was that the hobbits did not know it and were not around. Yet.