16 December 2010 | 1393 words
Title: Bright Ideas
Summary: Aragorn instigates.
What to do when there’s two and a half feet of snow on the ground and I’m stuck alone in the office again?
In the end, they all agreed that Faramir had started it, even if his attempt at releasing grasshoppers in Boromir’s room hadn’t gone according to plan. Boromir had, of course, intended to retaliate, but his usual method of doing this had always been to drag his younger brother outside to one of the gardens and threaten him with a violent beating while Faramir attempted to look contrite. Considering that Boromir had been threatening Faramir with beatings since they were small boys but had never had the heart to actually inflict any pain on him, this method of retaliation was not tremendously effective as a deterrent to future antics.
Aragorn had some suggestions, but Boromir refused to participate in such childish behavior and scolded Aragorn for contemplating such un-royal stunts. That was the end of the discussion for exactly two days, which was how long it took for Faramir to catch a pair of garter snakes basking on the rock walls in the gardens and sneak them into Boromir’s clothes drawers. At this point Boromir decided that he only had two options, one of which was to do his brother a degree of harm appropriate to the indignity he had suffered as a result of making rather un-manly noises when he discovered the creatures. The other option, of course, was to go along with Aragorn’s idea, although Boromir did make sure to grumble and complain about the immaturity of the whole business just in case anyone might mistakenly think that he approved of it.
So it was that Faramir returned to his rooms one night after an especially rough day patrolling; his men had run into several of the loose bands of orcs that still roamed the area, leaderless now but still dangerous, and the brutes had fled into the rocky forest, requiring the dangerous and exhausting task of tracking them on foot. He knew the water in the bath down the hall from his room would be cold, but at least it would remove some of the grime and orc blood. The windowless bath room was lit only by the torch Faramir had carried with him from his room, and at this time of night no one else was using either of the large baths, so Faramir tossed his clothes aside and slipped into the cool water, enjoying the feeling of the dirt and sweat lifting from his skin.
A small splash rippled the water at the other end of the tub, and Faramir sat up sharply. Before he could think too much about the cause of the disturbance, however, he had a much more urgent distraction to deal with; something was abruptly and busily nibbling at his feet, and another something had begun poking around his most sensitive parts. He scrambled out of the water with a yelp of alarm, dripping wet and naked, only to find that somehow his clothes had vanished while he was bathing. He walked back to the edge of the bath, this time carrying the torch with him, and as the water settled he could see a number of small fish swimming merrily back and forth in their pleasant new pond.
Faramir chuckled to himself. Apparently his brother had decided to rise to the challenge. And the fish had been a clever idea; he wouldn’t have expected Boromir to come up with something that creative. Faramir, though, had been honing his skills at this since childhood, and had no intention of letting this be the end of it.
Boromir had to make excuses for himself the next night at the dinner table when he rather inappropriately spit out the pastry that had just been served to him, but the smirk on his brother’s face told him it was no accident that the dessert had been generously sprinkled with salt instead of sugar. The expressions were reversed the next evening, however, when Faramir sat down to dinner and jumped out of his chair with a surprised curse, having discovered that someone had soaked the seat cushion of his chair with water and that he now had a large wet spot on his posterior.
Faramir retaliated by stringing a rope across the door to Boromir’s room a few inches from the floor, resulting in Boromir in full armor falling flat on the floor in front of several horrified soldiers who’d been walking with him. This, of course, was absolutely intolerable, so somehow in the next few days all of Faramir’s keys on his heavy key ring were replaced with other, less useful ones, so that Faramir spent the next week cursing and shouting ineffectually at locks and door knobs, often while several counselors or ambassadors or other important people waited with increasing confusion to be let into their meeting rooms. This was really only fair, though, since it took Boromir most of the next week to track down and remove the crickets Faramir had let loose in his rooms, having decided that grasshoppers were not sufficiently distracting; every time Boromir began to drift off to sleep, yet another of his brother’s insect minions would begin chirping away in a corner somewhere, requiring Boromir to go searching for it, generally destroying half his room in the process.
Faramir was out on the training fields, walking a group of young archers through the correct stance and posture when drawing a bow, when he noticed rather sharp prickling sensations that began around his ankles and rapidly moved upwards, until shortly he was struggling not to scratch desperately at the fierce jabs inflicted on his torso. Fleeing to the nearby stable, he stripped off his leather vest and tunic and undershirt to discover to his horror that his clothes were crawling with ants. The loose sandy ground of the training fields were often dotted with anthills, but they had never bothered Faramir before. Of course, he’d never unwittingly gone out onto the training fields with the inside surface of his leather vest smeared with honey before, either.
Faramir was still itching badly from the numerous bites he’d suffered when Boromir reached for a jug of water to splash his face one morning before dressing, only to discover that the water had been generously laced with an extremely fragrant floral perfume, which not only caused Boromir to suffer incessant comments from his soldiers about his pleasant aroma, but also to be pursued endlessly by eager honeybees for the remainder of the day, with several stings resulting from his annoyed attempts to swat them.
It was when Boromir nearly injured himself dropping his sword repeatedly during practice, courtesy of someone greasing the palms of his gloves, and when on the same day Faramir alarmed several young recruits when an arrow flew far of course and rather too close to them, understandably so since someone had cut notches out of the feathers, that Arwen finally decided this was more than enough.
“How long do you intend this to go on?” she demanded, as she and Aragorn ate breakfast in their rooms the next morning.
“I have no idea. Far be it from me to interfere with a brotherly quarrel,” Aragorn said innocently, spreading butter on a slice of bread.
“Interfere?” she repeated, amused. “You do remember that Elladan and Elrohir are my brothers.”
“And mine. And?” Aragorn asked, pretending to have no idea what she was getting at as he inspected the jam with rather too much interest.
“Well, the fish in the bath was Elladan’s, wasn’t it?”
Aragorn grinned. “Salting the baked goods was his too. Elrohir always went more along the lines of trip wires and wet chair cushions.”
“What about the crickets?”
“Dreadful, aren’t they? Elladan’s.”
“If I know my brothers at all, the honey must have been Elrohir’s.”
Aragorn smiled. “Of course.”
“You must make them stop, my dear. They’re going to harm themselves.”
“Very well,” Aragorn sighed.
“Are you going to admit to either one of them that you’ve been giving them both ideas this entire time?”“No, and neither are you.”
Continue to Taste of His Own Medicine
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