Title: Bearing the Pain

Author: Sivan Shemesh

Beta: Aranel

Disclaimer: I only playing with my bunny when this plot arrived, I am promising not to hurt Aragorn that much, either way, I am not guarantee for that as well… evil grin…

Rate: K+

Warning: Angst, AU.

Summary: Follows "Alias". While on the road, Aragorn tries to bear with the pain from what he had endured.

A/N: Written for Middle Earth Express, Prompt #163: Scream


While riding the horse that had been given to him, Aragorn could feel how his skin was burning as though he was beside a strong fire; the pain, still searing, forced the tears down his eyes. He wanted to scream, to let go of this horrible pain that gripped him, but he could not as he knew he needed to restrain himself, and not be seen like yet one of the weak men his foster father told him about.

Men are weak.

He had always resisted showing any sign of weakness whenever some illness got him or when the twins beat him yet again in tracking, because he knew that Lord Elrond was always testing him.

But this time, the hotness of his skin burning, along with the jostling from riding in the horse; this all felt overwhelming too much for him to endure and he gritted his teeth, trying to gather his last reserves of strength. He could felt his mind losing control; all he could dimly see was some black and white light, and the world spun around him till his head was so caught up in the fuzzy dizziness, and after that, he could feel nothing.

He could not tell what happened but he fell down onto the rocky ground, not even having heard the horse's growl. The ground might have scratched him but he was too far alone in his world of pain and hurt to feel anymore.

He simply lay on the cold ground, without the security of his weapon with him, lying there, accompanied by the black night and the clouds high above him. Before the darkness took him, he saw the guard, who was once next to him on the other horse, riding swiftly away without a second thought.

--

When he opened his eyes he was amazed that, even with the blur and the black dots that flooded his vision, he could sense someone watching him. And somehow, despite everything he had been through, he felt safe.

"Estel?" A voice called for him.

Aragorn tried to turn his head toward the voice but his neck was hurting too much that he gave up trying to move.

"MOVE!" Someone was yelling at him, and he tried again but then the pain rose and he could do nothing to resist it.

"Move it, or you will make it worse, you filthy ranger!"

But no matter what yelling, warnings or insults he heard, Aragorn could not move a muscle. Not without feeling the pain. He had given up now. Elrond was right all along. Men were weak, the way he was right now. He was weak and he could do nothing about it.

Not even to scream. He wanted to release everything but his jaw still hurt and he knew that even after a long period of healing, he would still be left with the scars from all the beating he suffered.

The last thing that ran through Aragorn's mind was the images of his life, the good and the bad. Once upon a time, he had laughed as a little boy when he had won his brothers at hide-and-seek. Once upon a time. When he was not poised at this point between life and death.

The end, for now…