18 December 2010 | 3171 words
Characters: Aragorn, Boromir, Faramir, Arwen
Warnings: General Deviousness
Disclaimer: Characters do not belong to me. I just use them for my own amusement.
Summary: That’s just about enough of that, isn’t it?
This is quite a bit longer than the other parts, but I did want to wrap it up properly… I do so hope that the ending is worth it for those of you who have taken the time to read the rest! Thank you for all your friendly and hilarious comments, and I hope this lives up to expectations…
“Oh, no,” Faramir said, shaking his head. “No more for me. I’m done.”
Boromir scowled. “Typical of you to quit as soon as things get just the littlest bit dangerous.”
“Typical of you to go barging ahead even when it’s blindingly obvious you’re getting beaten,” Faramir retorted. “I quit. I’m done.”
“If you quit, he wins!” Boromir protested.
“Then he wins,” Faramir said, looking down at his feet, which he was soaking in hot water in front of his fireplace in an attempt to remove the blue ink that didn’t seem to want to go away. “I know when I’ve been defeated. And now he’s gone and called for reinforcements…”
Boromir snorted. “Legolas. He’ll only play till he gets his pretty hair dirty.”
“You,” Faramir said, “are deliberately being dense.”
“I am not!”
“You certainly are, and I want no part of it.”
“Fine,” Boromir said, standing up sharply and heading for the door. “Then I’ll be the only one laughing when all of you are getting what you deserve. If you’re not with me, you’re against me.”
“When did you go back to being twelve years old again?” Faramir asked.
Boromir raised one eyebrow as he glanced over his shoulder. “Oh, I’m terribly sorry. And how old were you acting when you tried to sneak grasshoppers into my bedroom?”
He had a point there, Faramir admitted to himself, and yawned, enjoying the warmth of the fire on a night that had turned unexpectedly cool. He’d had more than enough of constant vigilance, checking and rechecking every plate of food, every article of clothing, every door and chair and pillow and innocuous-looking random object that came anywhere near him. At one point he’d thought himself rather clever in this area, but Aragorn had proved him to be a mere novice, and he didn’t even want to think about how many new tricks Legolas had accumulated in his few thousand years of life. He closed his eyes, pushed the bucket of water away with his bare, blue feet, and leaned his head back comfortably; the chair would make a nice enough place to sleep for the moment, considering that his earlier inspection of the bed had revealed that the sheets were full of what appeared to be horse hair and were guaranteed to be painfully itchy.
More than enough, he thought, dozing off.
Aragorn, Arwen, and their breakfast guest all looked up from their meal when Faramir strode in, his face making it clear that he had something on his mind. Aragorn set down his bread and motioned for the younger man to sit down. Faramir glanced uneasily at the chair.
“It’s safe. On my honor,” Aragorn said.
Faramir sighed and sat down. “That’s what I wanted to speak to you about.”
“Oh?” Aragorn said, as Legolas reached past him to grab a pastry from the tray and Arwen frowned; although a prince, Legolas had never bothered much with proper table manners. Arwen had just returned the evening before from visiting some of the elves who had come to settle in the area around Ithilien, and although she’d always been fond of Thranduil’s youngest, being among other elves had reminded her of just how many uncouth habits he had picked up in his many years as a warrior.
“I surrender,” Faramir said, raising his hands. “I’m done. You win. No more tricks.”
Arwen flashed her husband a sharp look. “Estel! You promised!”
Aragorn raised his hands innocently. “I was provoked! The situation demanded proper retribution.”
“You promised me before I left that you’d put a stop to this foolishness before someone got hurt.”
“Before Boromir gets hurt, she means,” Legolas said to Faramir.
“Before anyone gets hurt,” she corrected him, annoyed.
“Boromir’s a fine man, but this really isn’t his game,” Legolas observed. “It’s rather like chess… requires some creativity and forethought.”
Arwen stood up and straightened her dress. “You could try teaching a bear to play chess, you know, but when it gets tired of playing your way it’s going to play its way, and then it won’t matter how clever you are, will it?”
She spun and disappeared into one of the inner rooms without sparing any of them another glance.
“Well, now you’ve gone and done it,” Legolas said cheerfully.
“Hush,” Aragorn said mildly. “She was going to find out we were still at it eventually… Boromir’s teeth are still a bit green, among other things.”
“I want a truce,” Faramir said.
Aragorn hummed thoughtfully for a moment as he reached for an apple and turned it around and around in his hands. “Ask me this evening. After dinner.”
“Why?” Faramir asked, suddenly very uneasy.
“Because,” the king said easily, “Legolas and I will have to discuss the terms of your surrender.”
Faramir immediately decided that he was going to go to the library and stay far away from everyone and everything for the rest of the day.
Aragorn almost felt some sympathy for Faramir as he watched him during dinner; the young man clearly had the good sense to know when it was time to back down, and Aragorn had decided as soon as Faramir asked that he would allow him to retreat from the game, but he had to admit he was enjoying one last day of watching the poor man stare warily at his food as if it might leap off the plate and slap him. Legolas, on the other hand, made his amusement quite obvious, and made a point of walking behind Faramir and startling him with a sharp tap on the shoulder on his way to his seat.
“Legolas,” Arwen chided him as he sat down beside Aragorn. “Stop tormenting that poor boy.”
Legolas sighed. “But it’s so easy! He’s as jumpy as a squirrel.”
“No idea why,” Aragorn said mildly.
“He came in like a proper gentleman and asked you for a truce, Estel. I will not tolerate you picking on him for one more minute.”
Aragorn recognized the set of his wife’s jaw; Arwen generally tolerated a degree of disobedience, but when she put her foot down, it was unwise to deny her.
“All right, all right. We’ll leave him be.”
She glared at Legolas. “That applies to you, too. Whatever ridiculous behavior you and Boromir choose to get into had better leave Faramir out of it.”
Aragorn nodded thoughtfully. “Well, then, we’ll have to keep him away for the evening, or he’s likely to end up a civilian casualty. Legolas, you’ll just have to take the boy out and keep him busy for a while.”
Legolas cocked his head and raised an eyebrow. “Oh?’
“Not like that,“ Aragorn said, rolling his eyes. “I meant for you to take him off for some drinks or some such thing.”
Legolas sulked. “You’re going to let me babysit while you have all the fun.”
Aragorn shrugged. “Can’t be helped, my friend. Besides, the lad is pleasant company.”
Arwen shook her head and sighed.
Boromir stormed back to his room in a foul mood. Not only had his brother abandoned him in the middle of the game, but after dinner Legolas had come by and dragged Faramir off to go drink ale with him, which as far as Boromir was concerned was simply intolerable; sons of Stewards did not wander around the city getting drunk with elves, even if the elves in question were of supposedly royal standing. Boromir cheered himself up somewhat as he tossed logs in his fireplace by imagining that his brother would probably return with his hair dyed pink or a raccoon glued to his back or some such thing.
Those logs he’d just tossed on the coals seemed to be crackling and flaming in a very unusual fashion, he noticed, frowning. As foul-smelling black smoke began to billow from the fireplace, Boromir jumped away, but not nearly fast enough to avoid getting a face full of the stuff.
Bloody hell, he thought.
Aragorn leaned back contentedly in the bath, thinking absently about how Boromir would respond to the evening’s planned activities. The skunk he and Legolas had trapped the night before had not appreciated being in a box and had given Aragorn a fairly good spray when he opened the lid to check on it after dinner, but after quite a bit of scrubbing he had gotten rid of the stench and was now pleasantly imagining what Boromir’s room would look and smell like after Aragorn let the creature loose in there after Boromir went to bed. He’d intended to do it earlier, before Boromir got there, but the man had been so irritated over his brother’s betrayal that he had gone directly to his rooms after dinner, forcing a postponement. Aragorn didn’t mind; the skunk would just be in an even worse mood by the time it was released.
Satisfied that he had gotten rid of the stink, he climbed out of the bath, grabbed his robe, and tossed it over his shoulders. The motion immediately raised a dense cloud of very fine greenish powder, and before he could react he was covered from head to toe with the stuff. His eyes widened as he realized that the pungent scent was disturbingly familiar.
Legolas and Faramir came strolling back through the halls not too much later, laughing merrily. Faramir was more relaxed than he’d been in some weeks, first of all because Legolas had assured him his request for a truce had been accepted, and second of all because they had sealed the deal with a number of drinks, none of which had affected the elf at all but which had considerably affected his human companion.
“What is that awful racket?” Legolas asked, frowning.
“What racket?” Faramir asked.
“From Aragorn’s rooms. Listen.”
Faramir forced himself to stop laughing and cocked his ear in the direction Legolas was pointing.
“Oh, that? Sounds like my brother. Sounds quite irate about something or other.”
Legolas grinned. “Shall we go look in on things?”
“Oh, yes. Let’s.”
As the two of them walked into the main room, Boromir was definitely shouting about something, but it was nearly impossible to determine what he might be attempting to say, because he could only get out a few words at a time before he was overcome by a fierce attack of violent sneezing. He glared at his brother with watering eyes and hurled what might have been threats if they had not been rendered comical by another burst of sneezes. Behind him, Aragorn was sitting on the sofa in his underclothes, his skin lividly red from head to toe, scratching frantically as if being attacked by biting ants (which Faramir knew all about) while Arwen, apparently oblivious to the chaos, stood at a table by the window, stirring something in a wooden bowl.
Legolas grinned broadly. “What in the world has happened to the two of you?”
“That rotten…” Boromir began, sneezed forcefully, and then continued. “Rotten bastard… something in the fireplace…”
“I didn’t put anything anywhere near your fireplace!” Aragorn said sharply, still desperately scratching. “And you still haven’t explained where you got bloody itching powder from a plant that only grows…”
He fell silent, and Legolas looked at him curiously. “Only grows…”
“Around Rivendell,” Aragorn said, turning slowly to direct an astonished look at the back of his wife’s head.
From where he stood, Legolas could see the quiet smile flicker across Arwen’s face, but she continued stirring whatever she was mixing and said nothing.
“Arwen?” Aragorn asked.
“Yes, my dear Estel?”
“You didn’t have anything to do with this, did you?”
“Don’t be silly,” she said gently, turning around. “And stop scratching or I’ll tie bags over your hands like I threatened to do earlier. You’re going to have scratches all over yourself.”
“This,” Legolas declared, “is beyond perfect. Faramir, this calls for another drink!”
“I agree,” Faramir said heartily, although he had not quite managed to follow the discussion on account of the number of previous drinks.
“Certainly,” Arwen said, moving toward the wine cabinet.
“Oh, no,” Legolas laughed. “No offense, my lovely lady, but I’ll choose my own bottle.”
He motioned for Faramir to sit down in one of the chairs by the fireplace as he retrieved a dusty, untouched bottle from the back of the cabinet and grabbed two wine glasses from the dining table as he made his way back.
“These are very nice, Arwen,” he observed, holding one up to admire the fine silverwork.
“Wedding gift from Gimli,” she said absently. “Estel, stop scratching!”
She went to her room and came back with a small blue bottle, motioning to Boromir, who was still pacing the room and sneezing loudly.
“Boromir, I happen to have something here that will put a stop to that sneezing.”
Boromir attempted to glare at her suspiciously through watering eyes. “Oh?”
“Yes, and I’ll give it to you right now, but only if you swear to me that this ridiculous game is absolutely over and that there will be no more pranks or jokes or tricks of any kind.”
He grumbled something unintelligible.
“That sneezing powder can last for several days,” she said mildly.
“Fine. I swear it.”
“Swear it on your honor and the honor of the kingdom of Gondor.”
“Fine! I swear it! Give me the bottle!”
“You also have to promise that you will do a favor for me later this evening. It won’t be an unpleasant one, I promise.”
“Fine! I promise!”
Arwen laughed and handed the bottle to him, watching as he pulled out the cork and drank, making a face at the foul taste, but when he set the bottle down again he looked tremendously relieved to discover that he had stopped sneezing.
“You could have left him go a little longer. It was quite funny,” Legolas said, chuckling. He glanced at Faramir, and discovered to his alarm that the young man appeared to be rapidly dozing off in his chair, his head slumped to the side. The elf frowned and cocked his head, noticing suddenly that he was having considerable trouble getting his eyes to focus.
“How exactly did you get sleeping powder into that wine when the bottle was sealed?”
“It wasn’t in the wine, silly elf. It was in the glasses.”
“Your brothers,” he mumbled, “would be very proud.”
Boromir watched with surprise as Legolas slumped back in his chair, sound asleep.
“Very good,” Arwen said, smiling. “Now, for the two of you.”
“I already promised I wouldn’t…” Boromir protested.
Arwen held up her hand. “I know.”
She picked up the mixture she’d been stirring, which appeared to be some kind of light oil, smelling slightly of herbs.
“What is that?” the man asked suspiciously.
“You don’t think I would have an antidote for your troubles and not my poor husband’s, did you? That wouldn’t be fair at all.”
“That doesn’t look like it will taste very good,” Boromir noted, grinning at Aragorn.
“It’s not for drinking,” she said. “It’s for applying to the skin. Takes the itch away very quickly.”
She moved to stand behind Aragorn, but set the bowl down and instead pulled the sash from her dress and, working quickly and efficiently, tied Aragorn’s hands securely behind his back.
“What is that for?” he protested, squirming as his voice took on an edge of genuine alarm.
“It appears that if you want that itching to stop any time soon, you’re going to have to find someone to assist you with this oil, aren’t you?”
Aragorn gave her an anxious look, but stopped struggling.
Arwen smiled sweetly, picked up the bowl, and handed it to Boromir.
“You, dear Boromir, owe me a favor.”
Boromir looked at the bowl and his eyes widened slightly. “Err…”
Arwen kissed Aragorn and then Boromir on the cheek. “Perhaps by the time you’re done you’ll have found some way to forgive each other for all this foolishness. You know I can’t stand for you two to be upset with each other.”
She breezed toward the door, stopping to lean over and tug on Legolas’s ear to make sure he was truly as unconscious as he appeared to be.
“Don’t worry about these two. They’ll be out until sometime tomorrow afternoon.”
The door shut behind her. Aragorn closed his eyes and smiled.
“I think we’ve been vanquished, Boromir.”
Boromir sighed, staring at the bowl of oil. “It does appear that way.”
“Are you angry with me?”
Boromir tried not to smile. “I suppose I could get over it.”
“Good,” Aragorn said, allowing Boromir to pull him up by the arm and steer him toward the smaller and more private rooms behind them. “That oil smells rather nice. I hope it works. That itching powder is terrible. Elrond absolutely forbade the twins to play with it.”
“You appear to have gotten it in some… unfortunate places,” Boromir noted, steering him into one of the bedrooms.
“You know, your brother snores terribly,” Aragorn noted, as Boromir shut the door.
“Always has,” Boromir said fondly, as he set the bowl of oil on the stand by the bed and busied himself with the removal of what little clothing Aragorn had on.
“Are you going to untie me?”
Boromir grinned. “No.”
“This is all your brother’s fault, really,” Aragorn said.
“I know it,” Boromir agreed, rubbing oil between his hands to warm it. “Bloody grasshoppers.”
Late morning sun slanted between the curtains, falling across Boromir’s face. He directed some choice curses at the sun and nature in general before rolling back over against the warm body next to him. Then he realized what had woken him up; first of all, someone was tapping gently but insistently at the bedroom door, and second, there was a very distinct and pungent stench accompanying that someone.
“What?” Aragorn muttered sleepily.
“Estel,” came Arwen’s voice from outside, her voice as mild as always, but with a slightly frayed edge to it. “You wouldn’t happen to know, dear, why there happened to be a very unhappy skunk in a box in the closet across the hall when I went to look for the fall clothes this morning?”
“Oh, bloody hell,” Aragorn muttered, eyes widening. “I forgot about the skunk.”
“Skunk?” Boromir asked, raising his eyebrows.
“Hush!” Aragorn whispered. “I don’t know a damn thing about it, and neither do you!”
NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]
Enjoyed this story? Then be sure to let the author know by posting a comment at http://www.faramirfiction.com/Fiction/truce-rubyelf. Positive feedback is what keeps authors writing more stories!
Thank the author
The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: