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Title: "Son of His Father"

Author: Darkover

Rating: K

Disclaimer: The characters of "The Lord of the Rings" were created by J.R.R. Tolkien, not by me. No copyright violation is intended. I believe the good professor would have understood, however, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and would not have wanted anyone to sue me.

Characters: Aragorn and Halbarad. Not slash.

Summary: A young Aragorn re-evaluates who he is, in a one-shot for Father's Day.

~ooo0ooo~

He looked down at his reflection in the pan of water.

Who did he see? Not Estel Elrondion, the person whom he had believed himself to be until his twentieth birthday, when his foster-father told him that his true name was Aragorn. He was a prince, descended from Elendil himself, and Chieftain of the Dunedain.

That was less than a week ago. Today he had come to live among his mother's people—the people it was now his responsibility to lead—and over the course of the day he had been called "son of Arathorn" countless times. But what did that mean? He had no memory of the man who had sired him. By all accounts, Arathorn had been a great warrior and a noble man, a steadfast leader dedicated to the preservation of his people. How could the beardless boy who stared back at him from the pan of water hope to compete with that?

"Aragorn." It was Halbarad who spoke his name, having lifted the tent flap and entered as silently as the experienced Ranger he was. "The sons of Elrond are departing. Do you not wish to say farewell?"

*Sons of Elrond. Son of Arathorn.*A man was ever defined by who his father was. Aragorn lifted his gaze from the pan of water to stare at his kinsman. Upon Aragorn's arrival in the camp, Halbarad had not hesitated a moment to acknowledge the younger man as his liege-lord. Impulsively, Aragorn said, "Halbarad, when first I arrived here, you at once professed your allegiance. Why is that?"

"You are my Chieftain," his kinsman said without hesitation.

"Yes, but how did you know? Neither Elladan nor Elrohir had yet spoken of who I was. Yet you not only greeted me, you acknowledged me as Chieftain. You did not hesitate to bend the knee."

Halbarad seemed amused by the question. "Who else could you be, but the leader of the Dunedain?"

"How did you know that?"

Halbarad smiled. "You are the very image of Arathorn, your father. With his blood in your veins, I need none of the foresight of our people to know that you will make a great Chieftain indeed."

Too full of emotion for words, Aragorn son of Arathorn clasped his kinsman's shoulder. Halbarad returned the gesture, and then they left the tent together, to say goodbye to the sons of Elrond.