Title: Hurt

Author: Calenlass Greenleaf

Disclaimer: LOTR belongs to Tolkien

Spoilers: LOTR in general

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Implied violence. Plenty of angst. This piece is probably more prose than anything else.

Character: Aragorn

Summary: For Prompt OAA #233, but is over the word limit and thus counts as a normal fic.

A/N: It's been way too long since I last wrote fanfiction. :/ This is for Jedi Sapphire, for reviving my first love for LOTR.


Hurt

There were many kinds of hurt, he decides.

A sharp, at-the-moment sort that comes from stubbing a toe, or perhaps scraping a knee—that one first comes to mind. It is the one that makes children cry and parents 'tsk' and kiss to make better. A teasing sort of pain that quickly fades and is forgotten easy.

'Did you hurt yourself, Estel? I can make it better.'

The exact contrast of that was the pain that comes from injuries—the snapping of a bone, the stab of a blade, or the jerk of an arrow—a sometimes blinding, breath-stealing, hold-it-in-inside-so-that-others-will-not-see sort of feeling. The kind that you grit your teeth against and firmly try to ignore. It is brutal but direct, and at least it does not lie or mask itself. It is pain that is violently recognisable and meant to seize your attention from all else.

'You are going to stay awake, and you are going to live. Do not. say. otherwise, Aragorn.'

Dull, aching pain that stems from illness…perhaps one of the worst, even though it is hardly the most severe. The exhausting, feverish, numbing tension in the muscles, especially in the forehead, the one that makes breathing hurt and makes you feel weak, useless, and craving for something. A whimpering, pathetic pain that most people are ashamed of because it simply shouts 'I am vulnerable.' It begs for attention, wanting to be soothed…it easily cracks façades and tears down barriers.

'It will be well in time. Never ask me if this is troublesome—it never is.'

Worst of all hurts is the grieving sort of pain. It is like the sort from illness, but far more wearying on the heart. Aching without an end. The tears sometimes cannot come, a burden lies heavily, and the ache grows strong and then weak and then strong, unpredictably and tears at your psyche. It comes by day and night, in thoughts and in nightmares. It tortures sometimes like claws raking in the brain, or dragging nails across a heart and gouging it. It can make a person shed tears or scream. It can either be mild or strong. This one hides itself, until you are being strangled by it. More often than not, it comes with guilty and clings. In terms of speaking, it hardly a bloody pain, but sometimes harder to recover from.

'Shh, it will go away, I promise. I promise it will.'

And there is the pain he does not mind…so much. The bittersweet one. Sharp and gentle at the same time, tight on the heart but loose on the emotions. A pang of missing and longing coupled with acceptance and understanding. It is like a shadow, slipping in with your realisation and covering you. Sadness and joy at the same time. A frank, honest pain that gently cups your face with cold hands and whisper. Candid it might be, it is also a baffling hurt that makes a person wonder without harbouring suspicion. Maybe it is like a teasing lover blowing a farewell kiss, with a wink and a sort smile that leaves a rush of emotions in its wake. The tears slip down, the body feels limp, but the smile is genuine and not embittered. It gently asks for comfort, and it does receive. Probably this one is like medicine, with those bitter doses that are beneficial.

'There is no Elvish word for "good-bye," and with good reason. Our friendship does not end here, or anytime soon.'

So many hurts, so much conflict. Was all the pain worth it? This hurt with its blubbering and failure, can it be good? Yes. It was better to feel than to be unfeeling. Hurt let you know you were human, after all, that you were not drowning in euphoric thoughts. Hurt is a humbling thing that is both hated and wanted. And in the end, he would rather shed tears than to be stoically callous.

Ugly? No. Hurt is simply a broken thing that above else needs someone to comfort. Someone to care. Someone to listen. Someone to reach out.

Hurt was never a weakness, he believes, and it never would be.

I Veth


A/N: I'm not really sure if I'm going to pick up my old, unfinished stories…the spark isn't there, I think. Give me some time, and I'll decide what to do with them.