I Hereby Fulfill goldvermilion87's challengeWithin 48 hours I will pick (at least) one person who comments on this fic and challenge them!Title: For the Common GoodAuthor: imbecamielRating: GFandom: Lord of the RingsCharacters: Aragorn, EldarionSummary: Aragorn knows all too well that the sort of thing that seems like an excellent idea to a young boy... rarely strikes others in quite the same way. Word Count: 760Author's Notes: For the Ice Bucket Challenge. Turned out a little longer than expected, because I am apparently incapable of writing short things. :P
“It is very
“It is,” Aragorn agreed warily.
“And it’s put Master Rhinvan in a very
bad temper all week,” Eldarion further elaborated.
“It has,” Aragorn agreed again.
That much was no secret to any who had come into contact with his son’s tutor of late. It did not, however, explain why his son had been lingering on this particular balcony, a bucket of ice water clutched in his hands, eagerly scanning the courtyard below. Or, rather—it brought to mind several possible explanations, none of which were remotely reassuring. His son’s earnest expression only set him further on his guard.
When no further explanation was forthcoming, Aragorn prompted, “And did Master Rhinvan ask you to bring some ice water?”
He did try to put the best possible construction on his son’s behavior until he’d at least heard him out properly. Unfortunately, that seemed to be growing increasingly difficult of late. Gilraen would no doubt have derived a great deal of amusement from the knowledge that her daring and mischievous son had in turn been gifted with a child who seemed determined to exceed even the deeds of his father.
“No…” Eldarion was hesitant, but still scrupulously honest.
“Ion-nin, you do not offer me very much hope that there is a better explanation for your actions than I fear.”
Eldarion wavered only slightly before taking confidence once again. “Ada, you did say that there are times when the morale of the people must be considered of greater importance than practicality, and sometimes sacrifices must be made for the common good.”
Aragorn raised an eyebrow. He had, in fact, said that. He had been speaking to Faramir at the time, and in regard to a very
different set of circumstances. He was rather surprised, and impressed despite himself, that Eldarion had even remembered, much less chosen to employ it as an argument now.
“That is quite true,” he conceded. “However,
I think you are old enough to understand that it is one thing when we are making those sacrifices ourselves, and quite another to decide that someone else
should make those sacrifices—particularly without their prior knowledge or consent. I rather doubt that Master Rhinvan would agree that the benefit to general morale—great though it might be—is sufficient reason for his having a bucket of cold water poured over his head.”
Eldarion sighed, drooping. It was unlikely he had truly expected the argument to hold any real weight, but it had been a valiant effort nonetheless.
Aragorn shook his head, smiling. “Run along now, ion-nin. I believe there is some time yet before you need to wash for lunch.”
With a cheerful, “Yes, Ada,” Eldarion started off. Aragorn hastily caught hold of his shoulder and held out a hand for the bucket.
“I think,” he said mildly, “I’d best take charge of that. To avoid further temptation.”
(He should also, to avoid further temptation,
look into which of the staff had seen fit to indulge his son’s request for the ice and gently suggest a little more forethought in future. Carefully kept as their supply of ice was, Eldarion could not have easily obtained it on his own.)
Eldarion’s second, obedient “Yes, Ada” was slightly less enthusiastic, but Aragorn held no illusions that his spirits would remain dampened for long.
Having watched his son race off with all the energy of youth, Aragorn was just in the act of turning away himself when a voice from the courtyard below caught his attention. Lord Sirion.
He could hardly fail to recognize that particular voice, having heard so much of it of late. The man had been a particular thorn in his side this last month or more. Stubborn, irrational, not only a determined obstructionist himself but stirring up arguments between others who had previously worked together with perfect equanimity.
If ever a man deserved a dousing in the name of the common good… And now he was passing beneath this very balcony.
Tempting. So very tempting.
But even if it might
have been as a Dunedain chieftain, there were some things that were simply not excusable as a king. And as a father… “Do as I say, not as I do” only went so far. All other fallout aside, Arwen would never forgive him for surrendering the moral high ground to such an extent.
With a little sigh of regret, he hefted the bucket and turned away from the balcony. He’d just have to find some more forgivable use for the ice water.
After all, there was no sense in wasting it entirely.