TITLE: PROMPT FIC: #159: Search: "Searching"
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: ThinkingLady/Marethiel
RATING: G
CHARACTERS:Aragorn
UNIVERSE:Book-verse
WARNING:None; references made to other authors' work, cited at the end. A 500-word short piece written in answer to the AragornAngst Group prompt #159: SEARCH.

--~oo0oo~--

He stared into the still pool, the impossibly bright late summer sunshine reflecting over his shoulder as he searched the features before him, slowly turning his face first one way, then the other.

What did he see?

Long, dark hair neatly, efficiently braided, arranged in a well-recognized Noldor warrior pattern. While others in Imladris might possess silky, straight braids, his tendrils waved. However adamantly they were captured in leather thongs, the tips curled riotously despite his best efforts at containing them. He sighed, giving up, and moved his eyes back to his face.

He thought it a good face.

He could find no fault with the thick, strong brows that arched over molten silver eyes. He had no way of knowing that his brows -- and indeed, those intense silver eyes -- belonged to his foster father's brother, now hundreds of years dead. Elros' eyes… indeed, Elwing's eyes.

The jaw was strong, if young; he carefully shaved each day to keep his stubble from disconcerting any Elf he passed, and to keep questions held at bay for those who passed through Imladris. The cheekbones were high and strong, the nose long, and though possessing a break – the result of an unfortunate fall from a tree at eleven – not hooked or unattractive. Had he remembered more, he'd know that the hand than ran tenderly over his nose and cheekbones held more proof than any other of his parentage. The long, deft fingers, the broad palm, the strong wrists... His mother could have told him.

The mouth? He smiled slightly, watching the pronounced scar that ran from his lip to his left nostril curl and move with his smile. He remembered that day long ago, falling down the stairs as a very small boy. Elladan had been forced to stitch it for him, while Elrohir held him close, comforting, as his Ada was away. "A warrior's scar," Elrohir had said. (1)

The young man sighed and slid down onto his side, propping his head up on one hand, staring into the pool. His eyes searched for a memory, any memory, of his father, his adar. But when that word was pondered, only one image came forth.

Elrond Peredhel, Lord of Imladris.

His naneth, Gilraen, insisted he was his sire's image, but the only Adar he could comprehend was Elrond... his only brothers and kin, Elladan and Elrohir.

The silver eyes glassed with tears, squeezing shut in deep pain. The carefree days of believing that his world was settled were gone. Childhood was gone. For a long moment, he considered rising up and running… anywhere but here. But when those stormcloud eyes finally opened once more, a new look shone forth. One of determination, and grim resolve.

Had he looked into the pool at that moment, Aragorn would have indeed seen the visage of his sire, Arathorn, son of Arador, fifteenth Chieftain of the Dúnedain of the North.

But he rose without another look back and headed back toward the Last Homely House.


(1) Note: I have stolen shamelessly from the beautiful storyline of Ithil-Valon's "Elladan's Trials, for Estel." If you've not read this, I urge you to do so. Lovely story. - Marethiel