Jump to content
Sneeze Fetish Forum

'In Imladris'


Recommended Posts

Summary: Set pre-The Fellowship of the Ring. Lord Elrond's birth sons and fosterling return from a long mission in the wilds, and he is drawn to give Aragorn's mortality some thought.

I wrote this some time ago but for some reason I never got around to posting it here. It was intended as part of my drabble project but took on a life of its own and became more than sixty times too long. It's gratuitous sick!Aragorn fic, light on the sneezing but heavy on the hurt/comfort. Very, very slightly AU if you are as anal about LoTR book canon as I am. Warning- a little bit of injury and blood. Only a tiny bit. I promise.

Elvish notes-

Adar- Father

Ionnath- My sons

Imladris- Rivendell

'In Imladris'- a The Lord of The Rings story

The wind in the treetops of Rivendell made a sound to vie with the rushing of the falls, uneasy, restless and unceasing as it worried at the branches and strewed the last of the leaves from the branches. They fell from the birches which lined the upper flanks of the valley in slow spirals like so many circling buzzards as they wended their way down from the mountainside and through the cool air to land in delicate handfuls on the grass that made up the gardens of the Last Homely House. Some caught in the carved canopies that sheltered the grove or scattered themselves over the seats of a stone bench, some drifted down to meet their own reflection in the still grey pool, to dawdle there until the current whisked them downstream, and still others lighted on the winding paths where they barely whispered beneath the light feet of an elven woman who walked there, her dark head seemingly bent in thought.

Lord Elrond Halfelven observed all this from the window in his study which commanded a view of his house and the valley which sheltered it, and his brows narrowed with interest. He had been watching the phalanx of horses splashing across the ford before moving single-file along the narrow tracks which lead into the valley itself, their green- and grey-cloaked riders weary with many weeks of travel, their mounts burdened with long bows and spears, and his keen eyes had seen that all those twenty of his house who had set out were returned. It had only been a routine party sent out to quell the goblins in the Misty Mountains, but many rumours had reached Elrond's ears that those who were once servants of Sauron were moving again, and growing in number, and he was not so arrogant as to take for granted a successful mission.

Of course, he had a especial interest in the success of this journey. Elrond's eyes sought among those dismounting in the courtyard for two figures of equal height and build, their hair like rich, new-turned earth flowing over their shoulders as they lead their mounts to water- his twins sons Elladan and Elrohir. He saw also the elven woman in the garden glance up at the sound of hoofbeats striking cobbles and come swiftly to the two, embracing each in turn as a sister should. Arwen Evenstar, his only daughter, moved among the party, assisting where she could and offering words of welcome. This was well.

This was the last rider still on horseback, a little shorter and more muscled than the party of willowy elves, and by the stiffness in his stance as he dismounted, definitely human- his adoptive son Aragorn was also returned. Even from his high window, Lord Elrond could see the way that his daughter's gaze was drawn always to this man in particular, and without understanding why Elrond found himself stricken with a sudden heaviness of heart though the man did not notice Arwen among all the bustle of elves and horses. He was glad to put it out of his mind to focus his intention on his sons, who would doubtless come straight to their father to report.

He allowed himself to pace to one side of the great room, and then to other, so that by the time he received the inevitable knock on the door he was seated in a carved chair, his hands folded expectantly infront of him. His twin sons entered looking travel-stained but no worse for wear, their eyes bright with success and pride. Lord Elrond fought a smile as he looked at them- they were so like himself in his younger days; strength and swiftness well balanced with a steadiness of spirit in their lithe forms.

“Welcome back, Ionnath. I trust the hunting went well.”

Elladan came forward to speak for the two, as he was wont. “Very well, Adar. We routed great gatherings of orcs in the mountains and destroyed their camps, though they were very many. They are breeding again, and in such numbers as we have never seen before.”

“Then it is as I feared. Do not be troubled, come now and rest yourselves. We shall feast tonight to celebrate your safe return.”


This time it was Elrohir who spoke, and something of the cadence in his light voice made Elrond ask “All are returned safely, are they not?”

The two stepped a little closer together as if shoring up against a blow.

“Aragorn took an arrow in his shoulder. We do not know if it was bad- he would not show us the wound.”

“He has not come to me or any of my people for healing.”

Eladan's dark eyes lit briefly with wry amusement at the vagaries of men as he said sadly “But that does not mean that he is well.”

Elrond followed the wend of his son's thoughts with a flicker of concern in his heart for his adopted son, so fierce in body and spirit and yet so delicate when compared to his immortal older brothers. “Your compassion does you credit. I shall go to him, at the very least to welcome him home.”

Dismissing the two young warriors to rest and refresh themselves before the evening's festivities, Elrond rose and closed the book he had been reading with a thoughtful hand, leaving his study to seek out his youngest child, wherever in Rivendell the man might have hidden to lick his wounds.

* * *

Aragorn was not to be found in the chambers reserved to him, nor in any of the wide communal halls of Rivendell where it might be pleasant to sit on such a cold Autumnal evening. Lord Elrond moved intuitively through the winding corridors and balconies of his house, allowing his mind to calm and guide his steps to where a human man might seek solace upon returning home. His path wended gradually down from the treetop towers of the house and down the broad, shallow steps until he found his feet upon the soft loam of the forest floor as he walked among the great trees into which his house was melded.

It was never truly cold in Rivendell, but in the gardens there was a chill edge to the breeze which spoke of snow beginning to settle on the misty mountains to the North. It whispered in branches which were growing barer by the day, strewing leaves and swirling ash keys down to form a golden carpet which did not rustle under the weightless tread of elven feet, though they would tell the tale of any human's passing, no matter how wood wise. Here rushing of the falls and the lighter, higher voice of the Bruinen where it ran in the ford was muffled, and the gently folded hills of the valley created a curious effect so that the tiny trickling of the little stream sounded louder and more potent than those other, greater bodies of water. Elrond allowed the murmur of that stream to draw him towards the grove where the water poured itself into a sculpted pool surrounded by pillows of the smooth green moss which liked to grow at under the deep shade of the trees. With his green Ranger's cloak pulled around his shoulders he was difficult to distinguish from the bark of the great oaks behind him but sure enough, beside the lip of the fountain where the stream poured through in a silver thread, there knelt a figure instantly familiar.

The elf watched as Aragorn unfastened the sword and hunting knives from his belt, took a cloth dampened in the fountain and began systematically to wipe each weapon clean. Distaste rose in his throat as black blood was washed clean from the blades and dripped onto the hallowed ground of Rivendell, staining the moss, but Elrond held his tongue for the moment, content to observe the man in his reverie. However Aragorn's movement's were slow and distracted and after mere minutes they ceased altogether as he stared into the middle distance, wrapping his arms about himself. His cape fluttered fractionally with some tiny movement which drew Elrond's eye- could the man be shivering?

Though Elrond's steps were elven-light he expected his son, of all people, to notice his approach, yet he did not. He actually had to speak Aragorn's name to get a reaction.


Aragorn seemed to come to, and rose immediately to his feet to give a polite bow, shaking his head to clear it.

“Forgive me, I expected you to be indoors, with the rest of the party.” He said, and his soft bass voice crackled huskily over the delicate syllables of elvish words, sounding raspish and painful as though from too much shouting.

“And I expected the same of you. Did the hunting go well?”

“I- Yes. Thank you.” The man said distractedly, kneeling down to make a business of collecting up his weapons, weighing them in his hands and buckling them on once more. A healer's instinct instantly noticed that his movement was restricted along the left side, which he held stiffly, and the dark stain in the cloth of his tunic just below the right collarbone along with many scrapes and grazes on the skin visible around his clothing. Perhaps more worrying was the bruised shadow pooling under his adoptive son's grey eyes. The man looked as though he had barely slept.

Elrond waited for Aragorn to elaborate, but he did not. Though he stood straight as a soldier should before his captain, the man was swaying slightly where he stood and Elrond thought privately that Eladan and Elrohir had been right to come to him. He did wonder exactly how long the man would go without seeing a healer, but it did not do to play betting games with the health of one's children, especially those of the mortal persuasion. Luckily Elrond was not so elfin he was above intervening when it was needed.

“Estel.” He said again, and placed a hand on the man's shoulder. As he expected, he felt Aragorn's body tighten under his fingertips and the slightest flicker of tightness around the eyes betrayed what in another man would have been a grimace. “Your brothers tell me you were injured.”

Aragorn gave a lopsided shrug, too noble to lie when pressed outright.

“Aye. I took an arrow to the shoulder six days ago.” He swallowed, clearly ashamed. “I was careless.”

“You are a Ranger, such things happen. Would you like me to look at the wound?”

Aragorn had to clear his throat twice before he could speak, his words punctuated with a tiny, restrained sniffle. “Thank you, but that is hardly necessary.”


“Yes, I -snf- took the arrowhead out and dressed it. You trained me in herbcraft yourself.”

Elrond took a moment to reply, instead looking curiously into Aragorn's face. It was as though he had not looked at his adopted son properly before. He did so now and came to realise that his own immortal lifespan had lead him to think of Aragorn always as a youth, and this was no longer true. His shoulders were broader than Eladan or Elrohir's would ever be, taught and sinewy with muscle, whilst his jaw had waxed strong, his eyes stern and already a little sorrowful. His skin was that of a mortal man, complete with two-days growth of beard, and that meant the paleness of his cheek was not a natural elven complexion but spoke of fatigue, or perhaps something else amiss in the young man standing before him.

Yes, there was pain from the injured shoulder in his face, but Aragorn son of Arathron was too stoic to let a wound set his features flickering with discomfort the way they were now. Elrond's acute hearing picked up both the uneasy rapidity of the man's breathing, and the soft, damp sound of him sniffing around fluid in his nose. Even as he watched, Aragorn's nostrils fluttered suddenly, irresistibly, and he drew a broad hand up to pinch at them. His eyes were downcast, embarrassed, and then suddenly flickered shut as the man drew a hasty, involuntary breath inwards and sneezed sharply, shielding his face reflexively in the crook of his arm. “ihd-Ngkssch!”

It was a tight, helpless motion that seemed to wring all the energy from the man's body, racking through him though he tried to restrain it.

“... forgive me, please...” He pleaded, utterly mortified at the wet sound as he tried to sniffle his way back into composure. Each breath in merely seemed to make the itching worse, and before Elrond could so much as comment, it overcame him again.

NgkScch! Ngksssch! Ih...Kscch! … ngh...

He looked up afterwards with a low groan, gripping his shoulder where the convulsion had doubtless torn the healing muscles.

“...Bless you.” Elrond said at last, reverting suddenly to the common tongue. It seemed wrong to insist on the elvish when the man had just been overtaken by something so... human.

He placed his own hand on top of Aragorn's where the man pressed his own palm into the damaged flesh at his shoulder. Elrond's fingers showed slender and pale on top of his adoptive son's broad, weapon-wielding ones which were darkened by tan and by dirt worked into the flesh. His knuckles were skinned and dark with blood where the scabs had cracked with the sudden movement. He could sense that if Aragorn did not pull away it was only out of a sense of respect for his guardian's authority and race and he turned his head away, refusing to look at his sire though he submitted to the inspection.

“There may be some orc poison in this, still, or perhaps merely a fragment of your leather jerkin has been driven into the wound. Still, this is a good place to take an injury, if there is such a thing as good place for an orc arrow. It has missed your organs, your head, your heart. But it is a difficult place to keep still, and you must keep it still so that the tissues may knit together well or you will lose some strength in your sheild-arm. Five days on horseback has done you no good at all.”

As Aragorn sniffed again, Elrond's wise fingers moved intuitively across the site of the injury. Where Elrond drew aside the cloak and parted the tunic at the neck to get a better view, the man's body clenched with shudders of cold quite disproportionate to his exposure to the crisp autumn air, yet though Elrond could hear the man's teeth chattering in his head despite his every effort to still the motion, the skin under his fingers radiated an unmistakable, sickening heat. The wound itself has been dressed neatly enough, but under the wrapping of fabric the flesh gaped wide where Aragorn had pulled the arrowhead back through, wide enough to require many stitches he had not had time to provide. The skin around was bruised and swollen, seeping fluid and a fresh, red trickle of blood where it had opened again, perhaps in the last few minutes.

“Why did you not go straight to a healer with this?”

“Please, Adar, it is too small a thing with which to trouble an elven healer. It's merely that I keep... k...keep...” He did not make it through the sentence before his features once again took on a tortured grimace, part exquisite irritation, part knife-keen embarrassment at his loss of composure in front of his elfin sire. “NGKSchh!” He bent again, burying his nose into his elbow and this time Elrond could see for sure that the motion of sneezing was too fierce for the field-dressing to keep the edges of the wound together. “...forgive me.”

“It will not heal if you keep pulling at it this way.” Elrond heard the healer's sternness in his voice and consciously softened it, truly concerned for the health of his adoptive son. He gestured away from the wound and to the general area of Aragorn's face and throat, sensing that drawing more explicit attention to the mortal ailment the man was suffering would cause him to shut down. “How long has this been troubling you?”

Aragorn did not respond to the question, but it was possible this reaction was caused not by defiance but by his distraction as he murmured “forgive me, Adar” again before fishing a used-looking handkerchief that was stiff in places with rust-coloured blood streaks, and touching it shamefacedly to his nose. He blew softly, the sound betraying the thickness of congestion in his head.

“Estel. How long have you been running a fever? Answer me.”

Aragorn still did not speak, and the breath he drew through his nose was an unyielding -sgk- that revealed he was hardly able to get a breath into him, though he coughed again in the attempt.

Instead, his answer was to buckle at the knees, going suddenly limp as his eyes showed white and hazy in his head. Elrond grabbed for him reflexively, but luckily the rangers of the north were not ones for fainting, so that as soon as his knees hit the moss he came back to himself sufficient to balance his weight on one hand rather than fall to the floor. The sharp jarring movement must have been excruciating, and he hissed in a tight, pained breath through his teeth as he levered himself back into a kneeling position, racked again with those tight, juddering coughs.

Instinctively Elrond felt his hands drawn to Aragorn's face and he laid his cool palms against the fire at his son's cheeks, soothing him at the same time with his words. “Estel, you need only walk with me a little way and then you can rest. Come.”

* * *

Tending to Aragorn's wound was an ugly and time-consuming job, and Elrond insisted upon doing it himself. He had to draw a deep breath to steady himself before he could make the cut into his adoptive son's shoulder which was necessary to push the remains of the arrow all the way through. As Aragorn's head lolled limply in his hands under the influence of a hefty dose of pain-numbing herbs, he almost wished that he had entrusted the task to another member of his house. He had been a healer since the world was young, and all the virtue of the elves was in him, but that did not mean that he liked plunging his fingers into the flesh of his nearest and dearest.

Removing an arrow in this way was a routine procedure, but Goblin arrows were evil things, designed especially to be uneven and brittle, the better both to be dipped in poison and to catch and fester in the skin. Like many arrow wounds the damage had been caused not by the blade going in but by Aragorn's haste in taking it out. If only the man had had more patience or the humility to go to another for healing, the damage might not have been so bad. As gentle, stready fingers drew the edges of the wound together and closed it with tiny stitches, Aragorn's fevered form stirred uneasily, his breath a congested rasp. Elrond had to wonder whether Aragorn had become so fevered because he had missed a small fragment of the blade inside his flesh when he dressed his injury, or whether he had made a poor job of tending to himself because he was already coming down with some mortal ailment. Either way it was relief to lay down the needle and ease his adoptive son's form back on the bed. The man looked peaceful, the pain held at bay for a few hours, but Elrond regrettably noted that as soon as he came to his arm would be a burden to him, and the order to keep it still and rest it even more so. Still, the mortal ailment that seemed to be coursing through his limp form like a wildfire would certainly help on that score.

In a parting gesture Elrond laid his hand on Aragorn's forehead as he might have when he was a child, offering him the soothing cool of his hand before stroking slowly into the dark hair. He sought the bowl of cool water placed by the bedside and rang out the cloth from it to place on the burning brow, noting how Aragorn's features relaxed as he did so, even in sleep. He left the man to sleep, his elfin lightness of foot allowing him to leave the room as if he had never been there, although his mind was loud.

* * *

The feet of Arwen Evenstar were also light, so light that neither her father, nor any of the last homely house heard her passing as she moved through the corridors of Rivendell like a bird through the wide sky, leaving no trail behind her. She had been long with her Mother's people in the East, returning to her Imladris only for passing visits, and so the passages of her father's house were strange to her. It was instinct which guided her footsteps along the winding stairways past countless statues and priceless metalwork, relics from another age than even she could remember, as she sought the company of her twin brothers, and it was instinct which brought her instead into a room she had not visited before. In contrast to the light airiness of elven architecture of every room she had passed through thus far, the windows in this chamber were closed and heavy drapes drawn about them so that gloom prevailed although it was only a little past midday. A few slanted bars of sunlight made their way into the space, dancing with motes of dust, and when Arwen leaned her head in and made out the scene which they illuminated she very nearly retreated again immediately for fear of awakening the sleeper there. However, she was very much her father's daughter, and when that sleeping figure let out a low moan of pain she could not make herself walk away.

She entered and gazed long at the man who lay on the bed, his left side well wrapped in bandages through which a stain of blood had steeped, very red next to the white dressings and his pale face. She recognised the mortal man who had been in the hunting party with Elladan and Elrohir. By the dark hair and beard and the nobility of his face, he was one of the Dunedain. She struggled for a name... Arathorn? No, it couldn't be. She remembered that the young man Arathorn was sheltered in Rivendell for a time but that was too many years ago. This must be his son. Her foster brother.

Arwen had no experience of illness, and little experience of pain, but she knew enough to be sure that the man was not just exhausted from the journey. Her alert senses could feel the fever-heat radiating off him in waves, though he shivered and attempted to burrow himself deeper under the covers which had slipped down to reveal some of his chest. The tautly-muscled flesh which rose over his ribcage was mottled with dark bruising and there were other grazes and scrapes quite apart from the wadded cloth concentrated upon the hollow just below the man's collarbone.

If he had been tended by her father than she had no fears for his well-being in the long term, but despite the heavy dose of analgesics and sedatives required to ease his passage through the surgery her father had evidently performed to his wounded shoulder the man was clearly in deep discomfort. He did not lie at ease but twitched and murmured, his body moving like a ship at anchor as though he had a will to toss and turn but was checked at each attempt by the fierce pain of the newly-closed wound, and she wondered at it.

When the sleeper did not stir at her presence, Arwen allowed herself to approach him more closely indulging herself in the chance to examine him in every aspect, and what she saw troubled her heart in ways she could not precisely understand. Although she had taken him for pale in the face, his pallor was broken by two spots of high colour on his cheeks. His lips were cracked and bloody in the centre where he had bitten through the bottom one in pain or frustration.


The explosive sound and corresponding whiplash movement of his head into the mattress startled her so much that she took a step back, withdrawing the hand she had unconsciously extended to draw the blankets over him. She sighed out softly in relief- it was only a sneeze. It had happened without any warning and she fully expected it to have woken him, but to her surprise the man's eyelids remained steadfastly shut. Fascinating...

It overtook him again, but gradually this time, so that she had time to observe the chaotic flickering of his nostrils, the way his eyebrows tented together and his breath formed a questioning “hhuh” as the need to sneeze mounted, consuming him utterly although it failed to rouse him from his sleep.

Ihd'NGGSCH! .. NNGSHH! ...ngh

Again without waking, the man turned to smother his face into the mattress to his left, and Arwen saw a wince of pain pass his features as he wrenched at the bloody bandages at his collarbone.

It was clearly not the first time he had been overtaken with such a release, nor even the tenth, for the man's nostrils and the skin beneath them were chapped and sore-looking. And would soon be worse, judging by the dampness of them. The man felt it too, indeed despite the impressive display his nose still seemed to irritate him, for in his sleep he scrubbed it itchily first against the pillow and then against his bandaged knuckles. She had never in her long life carried a handkerchief, having no need for such a thing, but the thick, damp sound of this stranger's breathing made her wish for one to press into his sleep-slackened hand. He sounded awful, his breathing hoarse and his nose by turns stuffed and running so that no amount of sniffing would give him release from the near-constant need to sneeze.

She stood wondering a moment longer, but the wetness in the man's head seemed to be the final straw and enough to draw him almost to the surface of sleep as he unconsciously swiped the back of wrist at his nose. As his eyelids flickered, threatening to open, Arwen drew a hasty step backwards. She did not wish her unlooked-for presence to startle the man from his rest. Even if he was waking, perhaps if she left the room quietly he could return to his dreaming for a few hours more- she could see her father's healer's case set out beside the bed, it's scalpels and needles sleeping next to each other like miniature weapons of war, and knew that sleep was the greatest mercy the elves could give him at that point in time. Reluctantly she left the fascinating scene of his mortal suffering and turned for the door.

* * *

The afternoon sunlight poured out across Rivendell like slow honey, taking its time to make its way into the deep shadows that were gathering around the gardens of the house. The air held the smell of turning leaves and moist earth, the smell of things moving on and maturing, and Elrond was pleased to breathe it in as he returned to Aragorn's chamber a few hours later. There were servants in his house who would boil and bring a cup of this decoction to his son, but again he had chosen to do it himself, taking pleasure in the bitter, herbal scent of it and the weight of the tray in his hands. There was so much in the world that was changing. The shadows of the world were gathering and growing long and all that the elves had known must eventually come to end. Nothing would be as it once was, and so he took the time to focus on the small tasks which had been his everyday experience as a healer since the world was young. Tending his adoptive son would be a temporary shield against the tides of the unexpected.

Yet the unexpected found him, even as he went to enter the sickroom, for who should be leaving it but his daughter, Arwen, who was so rarely in his house and never in this part of it at all? She smiled him a greeting, turning her head anxiously back over her shoulder so that the long curtain of dark hair shrouded her fair face.

“I was just meaning to seek you, Adar.” She said in a low murmur of elvish which disturbed the air of the sickroom less that the slightest breeze stirring the drapes. “That man, he-”

“-has taken ill, and it is a poor combination with an orc arrow in his flesh. I am aware of this. How is he?”

Elrond was answered not by his daughter but by a low, shivering murmur from the chamber beyond, followed almost immediately by a horribly wrenching “ngh... NGKtscsh!” It sounded as though Aragorn was no better for the time he had spent unconscious, but rather that now he was horizontal whatever had been brewing in his head and lungs had chance to settle and drive him to outbursts of fretful, frustrated sneezing.

The elves glanced at each other. Elrond's eyes were impassive, Arwen's somewhat disconcerted. That was only to be expected; it was rare to hear a raised voice in Rivendell, let alone one raised in unavoidable, undeniable discomfort. Discomfort was clear enough in the man's laboured coughing. Although that first release sounded as though it had ripped at the surface of Aragorn's throat, it was not enough to ease him and he was racked with them again and again.

Ihd'Ngkssch!... …. hh... Ngkssch! Ngkssch! IKTSkssch!”

The unpleasant dampness of the sneezes caused even Elrond to wince, though the long, torturous breaths between each one were worse still on the listener, causing him almost to hold his own breath in sympathy. The sound made Elrond realise that Aragorn had been desperately restraining himself when they had met in the garden of Imladris- then his sneezes had been feirce but tight, swiftly muffled as he denied himself relief from them out of some sense of propriety infront of his elven sire. Now he was simply allowing his body to have its way with him, though Elrond could have wished the man had slept longer.

Elrond opened his mouth to call out, to ask if the man was alright, but he was immediately hushed by Arwen's slender hand.

“He sleeps, despite it all.” She whispered, wry, then added “His fever is very high.”

“Understandably so. The fire will burn the taint of evil from his flesh. I have prepared a decoction which will ease his other symptoms, when he wakes.”

He stepped towards the door ahead of his daughter but she hovered, hand still extended, reluctant to leave.

“You should not be here, Arwen.” Elrond said, though not unkindly. “This man needs to rest if he is to recover his strength. I will tend him.”

“Yes, Adar.”

“Do not trouble yourself. Go now to your brothers and give thanks that this kind of suffering will never be your concern.”

She left then, the hem of her gown fluttering behind her with the briskness of her steps, the cloak of her hair rippling.

Although Arwen was gone, that final thought was etched in Elrond's mind as he went to his son and readied his things to change the dressings on Aragorn's shoulder. This kind of suffering will never be your concern. She would never experience sickness, the discomfort and indignity of burning with fever, or having one's head bristle with pressure and pain. Though she could be wounded she would heal quickly, never needing to watch for the insidious creep of infection which was Elrond's main fear as he washed his hands briefly before touching his son.

When he drew back the covers, Aragorn's eyes first opened a crack then snapped immediately wide as he tried desperately to sit up, right arm groping about him as though seeking his sword. Only Lord Elrond's weight on either forearm prevented the man from sitting and he pushed frantically against his father's grip for a moment before realising where he was. He came to himself and laid back down slowly, blinking.

“Adar, it's you.” His voice was a hoarse, painful rasp. “I thought...”

Elrond hushed him and touched his fingers to the man's cheek to gauge the fire there. Cooler, but his fever had not yet broken.

“You were dreaming.” Elrond made it a statement, not a question. “You are in Imladris.”

“I remember. I was not so far gone as that.” Aragorn said, but the tentative slowness of his speech gave that statement the lie, for he spoke as one who must dredge each word up individually from the murk of fever, before struggling to remember what he intended to do with it. He lay still for a moment, apart from the slight wrinkle at the bridge of his nose as he tried to get a breath through it, snuffling heavily, and failed.

“Indeed?” Although Aragorn did not remember it, Elrond had a clear memory of the man's weight on his arm as they walked up to Rivendell, and of having to call Elladan to lift his brother's limp form when the fever and the walk overwhelmed him. Still, that the man was protesting his wellness was something of a good sign- the injury had taken none of his spirit.

Elrond seated himself on the edge of the bed, blocking the man from rising.

“Do not get up, Estel. Drink this.” He offered the cup and watched Aragorn drink of it, spluttering around the liquid on his raw throat. “Slowly. Now, can you move your fingers?”

Aragorn's forehead narrowed for a moment in concentration but he clenched his left hand into a fist and relaxed it, his other fingers moving instinctively to the arrow-wound at his shoulder. He sniffed again, liquidly, and touched his hand to his nose. His apology came out as a “Please, excuse be” almost too hoarse to be made out.

“That is well.” Elrond said, of Aragorn's compliance, then “I will need you to lie still for some days until the stitches can be removed.”

“Days? But I must-” Though he tried to rub it into submission, his nose twitched again, reddened nostrils flickering with irritation. He turned away from his father in embarrassment, though it was less the eyes-averted denial of earlier then the expression of a man resigned to being confined to bed with a dreadful chill, more eager for the relief now than ashamed. He cast about and found that someone had replaced his bloodstained handkerchief with a fresh one, and not a moment too soon.

NGKTssch! NGSSCHuh! … ah...”

It was clear that he was trying not to move his shoulder and yet the sudden sneezes ripped through his irritated sinuses with a force which made the muscles of his abdomen clench and twitch though he tried to swallow them.

“That,” Lord Elrond said quietly. “Is precisely my point. Lie still.”

Elrond sat with his son for some time after he had changed the dressings, rubbing the man's back to ease him through the fits of painful coughing. At times further fits of sneezing overtook him, but these died down as the sedative Elrond had put in the herbal tea took effect. He had the pleasure of watching the hawk-like keenness fade from his adoptive son's eyes with each slow blink until the man began to snore lightly through his blocked nose. Aragorn lay entirely still, his left arm set awkwardly to one side so as not to put strain through his injured shoulder, but the calloused fingers were relaxed in sleep, cupped loosely like the petals of a flower. On that hand was a ring and the emeralds set there cast a green glow on the white linen coverlet where the sunlight struck them. Elrond looked at it and sighed. He could not, even for a moment, forget that his mortal son who was carried the fate of a people on his shoulders, not even when the man in question lay passed out on a bed, his cheeks carrying high spots of colour from a fever that would not seem to break. Elrond placed his fingers to Aragorn's cheek, confirming, and pulled the blankets up higher over him before taking his leave.

He walked out of Rivendell as the sun was sinking below the rim of the valley. The last rays spread in a glorious smear of light across the sky, catching the rays from the falls in rainbows and gilding the tops of the ash trees where they shivered in the light breeze. Elrond noticed three figures standing together in the gardens, two completely alike, and he went to them, his heart lifting. Although Estel had been fostered at Rivendell, he needed to spend time with those of his offspring who were of his blood, who did not remind him with their every breath that they were to whither and die. He had sheltered many sons of the Dunadain over his long life whilst they lived and died as briefly as mayflies, but something told him that Aragorn, son of Arathorn, had a greater part to play than his adoptive father could understand.

Days were darkening but there were still fragments of light to be found before the gathering storm. Though Aragorn lay in a fever upon his bed, Elladan, Elrohir and Arwen stood on the grass of Imladris as the autumn leaves danced down upon them, and he was glad in the sight.


Link to comment

This is so lovely! I wrote an incredibly similar fic back at the height of the LOTR film craze. Hopefully 'The Hobbit' reignites some JRR Tolkien love around here! :) Thanks for sharing!

Link to comment

i-it's ohmyholdgod it's an Aragorn fic

I had the teeniest crush on him once upon a time and now it's a full-blown teenage passion

your writing is absolutely lovely, and this is very much in character

i must revel in this pleasure

I hope to see more writing coming from you :D

Link to comment

I don't even know what to say. I've never read or seen LoTR, but this is seriously one of my favorite fics I've ever read on this forum. Your writing is fantastic, and even without having read the books, I feel like you've written the style really well. I love the way everything plays out and just...love. So much love, I can't say it enough. I think I read it at least 5 times before I even commented. :heart:

Link to comment

Ok, so, that was...perfect.

Thank you for posting it, it was artfully written and awesometastic.

Link to comment

Speeking as a LotR freak and Aragorn lover...Absolutely Delicious!!!!!!

Link to comment


Thankyou so much for that beautiful fic, I found myself remembering "my Aragorn" in reading it, the one from long before Viggo Mortensen.

Link to comment


Now that is talent....personified.

ahhh Aragorn, if only you knew I exsisted...come to think of it...if only you were real. twitchsmile.gif

Seriously, this is beautifully written. Especially your decriptions.

This has made my day. Perfect accompliment to a cup of tea and an empty flat. THANK YOU!

Link to comment

Squeeeee!!! :boom: Wow, just... wow! Amazing. Gonna have to read that about a million times now. Fits beautifully with the style in the books.

Link to comment

Holy shit!!!! This is unbelievably wonderful. Unbelievably.

You capture the LOTR writing style perfectly. Also, the elven powers of observation and inexperience with mortality work really well with this genre.

OH AND DID I MENTION THAT IT'S REALLY HOT??? I second what fraggle said. lol.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...