1. Jealousy - by Vilwarin
Aragorn kicked a tree and winced as the paint shot through his foot.
Weddings and naming ceremonies were occasions of joy for the all too small population of the Dúnedain.
But every time he said the words of blessing, they left a bitter taste on his tongue, the taste of jealousy. He knew this was an ugly feeling, but he could not help himself.
Each time he envisioned himself as groom or proud father. But how that hurt!
A cry of frustration left his throat and he slid down the tree, its rough bark leaving marks on his best clothing.
Suddenly, he felt a warm hand on his shoulder.
"We wondered where you were," the proud father said, "so I went to look for you. Will you not come in with me?"
Aragorn averted his face. "No, thank you, Halbarad. I am in low spirits today and do not want to spoil your day."
"Now come on, or I am inclined to take it personally." Halbarad smiled, attempting a jest.
"Then do if you must," Aragorn shouted, "but JUST LEAVE ME BE! Understood?" The moment the words left his mouth, Aragorn regretted them. His cousin did not deserve his anger. He looked into Halbarad's face and saw several emotions there, shock, hurt, but also concern for his best friend.
Halbarad ignored him and seated himself next to Aragorn. "No, I will not let you be. You are upset and it will do you no good to brood out here."
He knew that Halbarad was right and did not resist when the other man put an arm around his shoulders and squeezed them gently.
"We are friends for a long time now and you know that I have always an open ear for you. What is it that weights you down so?"
Then it came, Aragorn choked and hid his face in his hands.
"I do not know how many couples I have seen married, how many children blessed, but ever I am alone, never am I granted my desire. It hurts me to see their happy faces even as I wish them luck and happiness with all my heart. I have done all in my power to help other people and gotten nothing in return. Is that just?"
Halbarad only shook his head and held his cousin as he cried. Aragorn did not deserve it, and yet must bear it.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.