Author's Note: Hey, you guys! So, as I adjust to college life, I was suddenly inspired to write this short little fic. It comes from my own experience, but I also think it matches Aragorn pretty well. Be sure to let me know what you think of it! And in regard to the timing (in case you are unfamiliar with the following date), this takes place shortly after Elrond declares to Aragorn his true lineage and gives him the shards of Narsil. So Aragorn here is twenty years old. The lines in between the story are from The Road Goes Ever On as it appears in The Fellowship of the Ring. I hope you enjoy reading this!

Dedicated to other new college students like me. Let us go forward and "take the adventure that comes to us".

. . .

2951 Third Age

. . .

The Road goes ever on and on

Aragorn let out a long, bittersweet sigh as at last his feet trod upon a level path. He was out of the valley, out of Imladris. This trail's beginning marked the edge of the wild lands, and Aragorn felt as though it were a great feat for him to reach it.

There was nothing special about this place, really. He'd been on this same dirt track with Elladan and Elrohir many a time, and he was familiar with the routes both down into the valley and away into the wilderness. The landscape was exactly the same as it had always been.

Yet in a sense, today it was different, for now he was alone.

Down from the door where it began.

Aragorn turned to give Rivendell one last parting glance. It was almost completely hidden from sight, even at such a close distance, but the heir of Isildur could still hear the waterfalls running and the river churning beneath them.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

With another sigh, Aragorn set his face ahead, towards the future and the unknown. He supposed that a part of him really didn't want to leave the household of his childhood at all. Yes, his heart truly longed to always remain within the borders of that blessed realm, always near to his family and dearest companions. But that was not to be, for he knew he was meant to accomplish greater things.

And I must follow, if I can,

His heart was torn between his love for the constant security of homely walls and trusted fellowship and his crystal clear realization that his life must be spent undertaking harder feats. His lineage required of him a higher calling than that which most men hear, and he intended to heed the call, however difficult the path might prove.

Pursuing it with eager feet,

For though the pain of leaving was heavy upon his heart, Aragorn was not hesitant to embrace his destiny. His spirit had been kindled with a new desire and responsibility to fight against the darkness with all his being ever since Elrond had declared to him his true heritage. Now, armed with the shards of Narsil, Aragorn was adamant to make good the vow of the Faithful to fight against the malice of Sauron until the Dark Lord should be defeated.

Until it joins some larger way

Aragorn did not for a moment believe himself to be sufficient for such a task. But his current objective was not to throw down the tower of Barad-dûr itself with his own two hands. He moved forward with the intent of starting the small slide of rocks that begins an avalanche. One man never fought a war, but one man could lead an army, and an army could lead a country, and a country could lead a world.

Where many paths and errands meet.

No matter what his journeys in the wild and struggles against evil would accomplish, Aragorn trusted that he was only one part of a greater tale, and he also trusted that the ending would not be one of darkness. His given name, Estel, was also the motivation for his soul. Hope. Hope in something bigger and better than the current world.

And whither then?

So Aragorn walked on, striding with confident perseverance. A small, rare smile crept onto his grim face as he entered the shade of many trees, his keen, bright eyes following the trail far ahead.

He would not be deterred; he would not be persuaded to remain away from the front lines of this battle. No, he would press on to meet whatever challenges lay in his path, and he would not stop fighting until the night was defeated and the day had dawned. He did not know how that day would come or what route to this end his path would take, but it wasn't necessary for him to know.

I cannot say.

He could not say where his path would lead him, but he had hope. And that was more than sufficient.

. . .

So, what are your thoughts? I would really appreciate the feedback! This short look at Aragorn is sort of a companion piece to my other story, Part of Him, and if you liked this fic, you may want to check that one out as well. Regardless, I thank you for taking the time to read my story!