B2MeM Challenge: Inner vs Outer Strength
Format: 500 word FLF
Warnings: mention of childbirth
Characters: Aragorn, Arwen, Eldarion, OFC
Summary: Aragorn enlightens his son.
“Tell me a story, ada, please!” begged Eldarion.
“Very well, ion nîn.” Aragorn smiled indulgently and settled himself comfortably on the couch. “What would you like the story to be about?”
“Strong heroes and brave deeds,” said Eldarion.
And what would you like, Farawyn?” Aragorn turned to where his small daughter was preoccupied in playing with her dolls.
“A story with girls in!” said Farawyn and returned to her game.
“That would be boring,” said Eldarion. “Girls are weak and don’t do anything brave!”
“What about Aunt Éowyn?” asked Aragorn. “She fought in the great battle of Pelennor Fields and slew the Witch King whom no man could slay!”
“She was the only lady to do anything like that, and in any case, Master Merry helped her. Girls usually just sit at home and do dull things while men go off and do great deeds. Naneth did not ride off to war like Aunt Éowyn, neither did all the other ladies.”
“And that was one of the hardest things I ever did, ion nîn. Watching your ada go out on his most perilous adventure yet,” said Arwen who had appeared in the doorway. Aragorn beckoned her to come and sit beside him. Farawyn immediately clambered up on her lap.
“Maybe, I had the easier part of it, vanimelda,” said Aragorn, tenderly kissing her cheek. “I know only I could not have triumphed in battle without your loving support and knowing that you were waiting for me.”
Eldarion looked far from convinced. “Men do all the exciting and dangerous things, though,” he said.
Aragorn and Arwen exchanged a look then Aragorn said, “Women do the bravest thing of all when they bring children into the world. That takes great strength. A mother endures as great pain even more than any hero wounded upon the battlefield.”
“And after the pain comes the most exciting adventure, that of meeting your child,” said Arwen, gazing fondly at her offspring.
“I remember seeing my foal born and that was exciting,” Eldarion conceded.
“Women are just as brave as men, but in different ways,” Aragorn said gravely. Your naneth is one of the bravest heroes I know. When you are older, you will understand. Strength is more than wielding a sword and winning battles. You were brave and when you didn’t cry when you hurt your finger yesterday and strong when you didn’t grumble when Farawyn wanted to play with your toys.”
“Dolly is brave,” said Farawyn, wriggling on her mother’s lap. “She never cries!”
“So she is,” said Arwen, laughing. “And you will be strong too when you grow up.”
“You promised me a story,” Eldarion reminded his father.
“So I did, and you shall have one. Once upon a time, there lived a young man who was brought up amongst the Elves. One day he was walking in the woods and he was singing…”
“Does it end happily ever after?” Eldarion interrupted.
“It does indeed,” Aragorn gave Arwen a knowing smile. “Very happily indeed.”