Fatherhood

By

Jaimie-Erin

Disclaimer:Not mine.

Summary:Aragorn and Arwen feel the pressures of parenting.

A/N: I wrote this while I was feeling very tired as a result of a certain younger sister… (though she is actually 12, she is rather immature).

X X X X

As Aragorn heard, once again, the cries of a four month old boy, he had to ask himself: How did it get to this?

He groaned and remained unmoving.

"Your turn," mumbled Arwen beside him.

"Not fair," grunted Aragorn back at her.

"Yes, it is," snapped his wife. "I got up last time, you get up this time."

"I was still woken up last time!" Aragorn whined. "I only just got back to sleep, too! C'mon, you're an elf, you can handle all these late nights, but I can't, Arwen! Men need their rest."

He pulled the covers up around his head, not knowing that he was taking them away from his wife.

Arwen reached over, grabbed the blankets that were being taken from her, and pulled. Aragorn jerked in response to the sudden rush of cold air, and Arwen raised both her feet and kicked her husband onto the floor.

Aragorn grunted as he hit the rug. He whimpered a little. He was cold.

But he was fully awake now. He might as well comfort his son.

He took a candle from the door frame and went out into the much colder corridor. This was ridiculous. Couldn't that kid just shut up for three seconds? He was exhausted! Orcs he could handle. Trolls were easy. Leading huge battles which would end either with the world being saved or doomed was a walk in the park. But fatherhood? He had never been more cold, exhausted, or cranky.

He was yelling at anyone that dared to cross his path. Even his wife. He had told her she had menopause the other day, which had resulted in him being kicked out of his own room for the whole night. She had gotten a decent night's sleep, and he had had to take care of the stupid little –

No. He would not think of his son that way. No matter how annoying the baby could be, Aragorn loved him.

He opened Eldarion's door. The little boy was still lying in bed, tears pouring down his tiny face, exactly how Aragorn had found him last time he'd been forced to get up.

Aragorn went to the side of the bed and held the baby. He sang softly until he had calmed down, and then decided to have a little talk with him.

"I love you very much, ion-nin (my son)," he said. "But Ada (dad) is very sleepy, and he would like to have a good night's sleep. And he can't, because he keeps having to get up for you! So Ada and Nana (mum) are very sad, because they can't sleep. So would you please, please be quiet? I've asked you nicely."

Aragorn must be even more tired than he thought. There was no way Eldarion could understand him. But it was worth a try, if it gave him even a few hours' sleep.

He gently laid Eldarion back into his bed and pulled the covers up. Then he picked up the candle and made his way, still shivering, back to his room.

Arwen had fallen back to sleep in the short time Aragorn had been away. He climbed into bed beside her and pulled the covers back over to his side.

"Estel?" Arwen muttered.

"Yes, I'm here," he said. "Arwen?"

"Hmm?"

"I'm sorry I said you had menopause. I didn't mean it."

Arwen sat up slightly. "I know. If I thought you did mean it, you would still be out in the corridor." She lay back down. "Listen," she said after a while.

"What is it?" asked Aragorn, listening but not hearing anything.

"It's silence," said Arwen.

And she was right. Aragorn heard what he had not heard since before Eldarion's birth. Complete, impenetrable silence.

He reached over and clasped Arwen's hand in his. They fell asleep like that, hand in hand, and did not wake up until morning.

X X X X

A/N: I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Please review!

Also, I just thought I might point out that this was inspired partially, as I said, by my sister, but I also got the first line "How did it get to this?" from Hamish and Andy, a couple of comedians I really like, who were also sleepless because of a party marathon they attempted. It was rather amusing…