TITLE: "The Unwelcome" **CORRECTED**

DISCLAIMER:Characters and basic premise belong to J.R.R. Tolkien; I don't own 'em, drat it all. I just take 'em out to play…

AUTHOR:Marethiel

RATING:G

CHARACTERS:Aragorn, Arwen, OCs mentioned

WARNING:None

NOTES:Thanks to Nieriel Raina, for providing me with a link to a valid Sindarin and Quenyan name generator. The OCs names are changed.

-~o0o~-

I sit at my dressing table brushing out my hair, torn between amusement and exasperation, as I watch in my mirror my beloved yank his outer robes off the clothes' press and shrug into them angrily, preparing himself for dinner.

For the better part of this day, King Elessar has behaved like a troll to his household, and sent servants scattering in surprised dismay. What ails His Majesty? they all wonder fearfully, for this behavior is so unlike my beloved's normal gentle, righteous and caring demeanor.

For Eregeth's sake, I try once more. "Estel, husband – "

"Arwen, she's too young!" he snaps at me. His expression is angry; his spirit, fearful.

I smile at my beloved, shaking my head. "Dearest one, you of all people should know age means nothing. It is the heart that speaks truly. Caullach is a good and kind young man. Eregeth's heart speaks to him, and his to her."

"Well, her heart can speak to him all it desires..I shall not!" he declares stubbornly, as he all but slams his circlet upon his grey head, resembling more a petulant five-year-old than the grown man that he is.

Shaking my head I come to him, straightening the circlet and smoothing the waves of his hair. "He is our daughter's guest, and therefore our guest! You cannot be so rude," I chide him, fighting to keep laughter out of my voice, for I know that would undo him completely.

Silence. The great Elessar …Aragorn, son of Arathorn… Estel Elrondion… the man of titles gives way and naught but a sad father wearily sinks onto the edge of our bed, his shoulders slumped in defeat and despair.

"Arwen… I am not ready to… to… " His voice nearly breaks my heart, it is so forlorn.

"To step aside and allow another be the 'man in her life'?" I ask tenderly, as I come to sit beside him, gently clasping his hand.

He nods, his grey hair shielding his face filled with a father's sorrow. "I begin to truly understand the pain of my Lord Elrond," he says softly.

I stroke his cheek, and make his sad, grey eyes meet mine. "You are my beloved; yet Elrond shall always be my Ada. It is and will be the same for Eregeth." I kiss him. "You will always be her Ada."

His tired eyes meet mine. "But gone is the look of love and wonder and total trust, Arwen," he murmurs sadly. "That gaze now belongs to Caullach. I have seen it, and been humbled by it. My baby is a baby no longer."

Alas, I cannot counter that. I, too, have seen that these two young people have claimed each other.

My poor beloved. I kiss him again, tenderly. "Come. Let us welcome out daughter's guest," I say gently. He sighs, nods, and rises to his feet. His expression becomes cloaked, and he offers me his arm, leading me from our chamber.

- End