19 September 2011 | 56124 words | Work in Progress
Title: A Horrible Mistake
Series: Desperate Hours
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Disclaimer: All recognizable elements are Tolkien’s
Summary: Some mistakes are perhaps worth making, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
A/N: Set in the fall of 3019. I’ve given Faramir a November birthday, for purposes of the DH AU.
Aragorn was industriously frowning at a petition alleging price-fixing amongst the quarry-owners, when one of his favorite people interrupted his suffering.
“I’ve made a horrible mistake.” Announced Prince Faramir of Ithilien, the King’s Steward and good friend.
Aragorn suppressed an amused smile, as Faramir did not seem truly worried, more…wild-eyed, as when the twins, Legolas, and Gimli had taken him out drinking. “That sounds unlike you, my dear Faramir, but even the best of us make horrible mistakes, at times.” Aragorn said kindly, although a hint of teasing crept into his tone, “pray, tell me what this horrible mistake is, and perhaps together we can set it right.”
Faramir sat down, his gray eyes filled with hope, “Arwen asked me what type of celebration I would like for my birthday. Not thinking, I told her that no celebration was necessary, and that I really had no idea what I might like, as the last time I had an actual birthday party, I was still young enough that my heart’s desire was a pony of my very own.”
To give himself a moment to absorb that without saying anything unkind about Faramir’s father, who had once been his friend, Aragorn asked lightly, “And did you end up with a pony, dear one?” Aragorn didn’t really have to speak again his disgust over Denethor’s piss-poor parenting. That, and his affection for his young friend, were both clear in his eyes.
Faramir smiled gently, grateful for the words unsaid, “Aye. Uncle Imrahil picked her out, from a merchant who’d won her dicing. I named her Moonbright, and she was a loyal and faithful friend for… years, until I was big enough for a horse. Then Moonbright became my cousin Lothiriel’s primary mount.”
Aragorn nodded, thinking that if Moonbright had gone to Lothiriel, who was only a year younger than Faramir, then Denethor must have mounted his son on a horse, for war training no less, when Faramir was a slip of a boy of no more than eight years old. Sheer idiocy. Aragorn also knew that he hadn’t even a snowball’s chance in the fires of Mount Doom of convincing Arwen not to plan a grand party for Faramir’s upcoming birthday. “Well,” Aragorn comforted kindly, “You have gotten yourself into a pickle, Fara dear. I would do nearly anything for you, but I will not stand in the way of my wife preparing a party for one whom she both esteems and loves.”
Faramir leaned back in his chair and groaned, putting his head in his hands. “I won’t be married to ‘til the spring, and the ladies…it’s going to be worse than the Harvest Ball.”
Aragorn chuckled, and poured poor Faramir a cup of mead. “Here, drink. It won’t be so bad. That worry, at least, Arwen will be sympathetic to. We’ll have you signed up for dances with Arwen’s ladies or ‘safe’ friends all night, that and come up with different birthday duties for you, to keep you busy. ‘Twill be alright. Arwen holds Éowyn in high regard, as well, and neither of them want you to have to deal with maids hopeful that our honorable Steward will break off his engagement.”
Faramir sighed, but he did drink his mead, “Maybe I’ll escape to Ithilien,” the overwhelmed Steward planned half-heartedly.
Shaking his head, Aragorn gently commanded, “You’ll not. You haven’t my leave, and I know you wouldn’t hurt your Queen like that, disappearing when she’d gone to the effort of planning a party just for you. Besides,” Aragorn grinned, “We could always have my twin brothers get you really, really drunk first. Then you’d barely even remember it.”
Faramir whimpered, and Aragorn kept teasing, until even Faramir had to laugh at the ridiculousness of his King’s suggestions. By the time Arwen found Faramir to discuss plans for the grand event with him, he was relaxed enough to express an acceptable level of gratitude.
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