Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Halbarad
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse
Disclaimer - These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.
Dedicated to cairistiona7 as a belated birthday gift.
I am aware that vilwarien has written a wonderful ficlet on a similar theme, but as it is canon based,I hope there is room for this interpretation too.
Foresight was a mixed blessing, Aragorn mused. He glanced again at Halbarad who stood leaning against the rail also lost in thought. They would reach land within a few minutes and there would be no further time for speech.
“You should return home,” he said. “I still have need of you.”
“If it be my fate to die, I cannot change it,” Halbarad replied placidly. “Most likely I would fall from my horse or something on the way home and perish in a most ignominious fashion. At least this way, I shall die with honour in your service. Our foresight could be mistaken, though. Maybe I will die in my bed of old age.”
“I do not want to lose you.” Aragorn’s voice was thick with emotion. “We have been through so much together.”
“I would have liked to see you wearing the Silver Crown,” Halbarad mused. “And be present at your wedding to the Evenstar. Then watch you reign justly and wisely for a hundred or so glorious years surrounded by your children.”
“Is that foresight or wishful thinking?” Despite his sorrow there was a hint of humour in Aragorn’s tone.
“Foresight that I know to be true.” Halbarad’s eyes were shining at this vision. “I have seen you best the Dark Lord in the palantír and summon the Army of the Dead. I was blessed to witness such marvels. But the best is yet to come for you, my friend.”
“If you fall, victory will be tinged with sadness,” said Aragorn. “How could I rejoice?”
“By being happy with your lady and remembering the good times we shared. The days when food was sufficient and we feasted, the nights we slept under the stars and dreamed that our people’s glory would be rekindled by the return of the King. I ask only that you see my family are cared for. I fear for my wife and children and their little ones.”
“You have my word,” said Aragorn.
“You will find new friends,” Halbarad said. Again the light of foresight was in his eyes. “You will meet one who will love you like I loved you, as friend, lord and kinsman. As I was mentor to you, so will you be to him.”
“I wish I shared your faith. No other friend could replace you. Please, I beg of you, stay here on the ship and be safe!”
“I promised your lady I would carry her banner into battle and fight at your side. If you are to wed the Lady Arwen, you cannot treat her wishes so lightly. You made your vow to her and I have made mine. One keeps ones word to so peerless a lady!”
“Land ahoy!” Elrohir’s call made them both start.
“Every man must one day accept the Gift and leave the circles of the world behind,” said Halbarad. “What better way to do so than fighting at your side?”
“Cast anchor!” cried Elladan.
The ship shuddered to a halt. Aragorn drew his kinsman into a fierce embrace. He did not want to let go. Halbarad was the first to pull away.
“Go, your hour is come,” he said gruffly. “We will meet again, you have my word.”