Summary: At his coronation, Aragorn comes to peace with everything. My take on the coronation scene, and some of the things PJ did with Arwen and Aragorn's relationship.
Warnings: RotK Spoilers
A/N: This story I had actually written out in my head pretty much word-for-word Friday morning, but since it was my sister's birthday, I couldn't get to the computer to write, so I had to reconstruct it when I got home on Saturday. I don't think it turned out as well as I would have liked, and it is slowly growing on me... not sure it turned out very well still...
A special thank-you to MCross for beta reading!! You're the best! -huggles beta-
Rectify and Remit
"Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta!" (Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place I will abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world...)
Aragorn closed his eyes, letting the words hang in the air, the soft melody lingering, creating a subtle atmosphere. When he opened them, he knew he would have to walk among his people; not as a captain like before, but this time as their leader, their King. He took a deep breath, drawing strength. He knew he could do this; now when destiny had called him, he was strong enough to bear the burden, the quest and all the traumas that had happened during that time had proven that and the sword hanging from his side was testament of that truth; a reminder that through his veins flowed not just the strength of the Great Numanoriean Kings of Old, his forefathers, but also the wisdom and strength of his Elven heritage.
As he opened his eyes, carefully stepped down the stairs, and walked among his people, who bowed to him, Aragorn found that there was just one thing that made his heart ache something fierce. It wasn't the fact that his days as a ranger, days he loved greatly, were over. And it wasn't the fact that he wouldn't have the same freedom he was used to, or the fact that, though he loathed it, he would have people bow to him, place him upon a pedestal.
No, it was something much worse than all these combined; a much bigger matter of the heart.
King Elessar tried to press these problems aside, ignore the ache he felt, so that he could address his people as not just their king, but also one of them. He bowed his head respectfully to Faramir and Eowyn as he passed, and observed with joy the love that blossomed between them. The sight made part of his heart ache, and another part glow with happiness for their joy. Aragorn bowed deeper to Eomer, a deeper bow between king and king, where they were equals and friends.
Then Aragorn's eyes flickered to another royal companion, this one quite dear. Legolas stepped forward to greet Aragorn. It was a silent greeting, created by years of friendship where no words were needed. They reached out and clasped each other's shoulders, a wordless communication passed between them.
"Hannon le," Aragorn whispered, those two words meaning more than anyone else could possibly imagine.
Legolas didn't reply, but smiled slightly – a friendly, secretive smile. He tilted his head ever-so-slightly, easily indicating for Aragorn to look behind him. The prince stepped aside, letting Aragorn look to where Elrond stood.
Aragorn's eyes widened slightly when he saw Arwen step out from behind a banner of the White Tree of the King. Was she really here? Ai, Elbereth… am I seeing things? Aragorn took a step forward as Arwen hesitantly approached him. He easily recalled everything he had said to her before leaving with the Fellowship some many months back. How he had told her to sail, that she would be better off leaving… that everything that they had wanted to have was a dream, nothing more.
Arwen bowed her head, and Aragorn had to swallow reflexively. He had seen a glimpse of his beloved's uncertainty; it pained him to know that she was uncertain of how he would feel. At that moment, he could feel nothing more than love and awe that she was there – no trace of anger. He desperately wished he could make her see that what he had told her was nothing more than just lies. He hadn't meant a word of it, and that deep down he had died inside when telling her to leave… when telling her all of those things… they were lies, pure lies designed to not pain her but help her make the right, at that time, decision. Or so he had thought. He reached out and gently tilted her face upwards; Aragorn saw tears glistening in Arwen's eyes. King Elessar wished he could make her see that he hadn't meant it. He wished with all his might, as he surged forward to capture her lips with his. They were lies...
Arwen was taken off guard for a moment at his abrupt movement, but she quickly returned the passionate gesture. Inside, she felt her uncertainty and fear wash away, cleansed and replaced by love and overwhelming joy. It was then in that moment she knew that what her heart had been telling her was right and her decision the right one.
All of the pain of the past few months vanished. She understood now. She could feel the truth in her beloved's touch. It had been a misunderstanding. He loved her, and had wanted nothing more than to be with her.
There was cheering as the two finally broke their kiss, and hugged each other close. When pausing for a moment to revel in the other's company, Arwen had seen everything Aragorn felt… the pain he had carried, the love he bore for her, and the desperate, seemingly hopeless wish for their troth to be more than just an empty plight.
Despite the uncertainty of the past months there were a few things that were clear:
Aragorn had not meant what he said.
Arwen forgave the misunderstanding, forgot about his lies.
They both loved each other to overcome the odds to be able to hold on another close.