"Do I need to talk about getting Faramir's clothes off instead?"
"I think we could go more subtle than--"
"Because, I mean, we have the same clothes, and I can tell you, they all come off."
"I THINK WE COULD BE MORE SUBTLE." God knows Eowyn doesn't need any help in the fantasy department. "Look, I'm glad you two get along so well, and I'm glad she has someone to talk to, but... I think you're getting in the way of Faramir's game."
"Faramir has no game."
"Yes, I know, but you're getting in the way of what little he's got. Or what little we could teach him. Look, what I'm saying is, I think you need to spend more time with the others. Leave Eowyn on her own a bit. He's never going to be able to cut in if she's always with someone she does get along with."
"... Point taken."
"Go smoke with the boys or something. Take your sword with you, see if Elizabeth wants to take a break or something. And you can always hang out with Lyra, she likes you."
His eyes lingered over The Shelf. "Sure, I think I can handle that."
Fortunately Faramir Two was smooth enough to break this to Eowyn without it coming off as a total slam. They'd been shooting together, since Eowyn has Susan's bow now, and she's been really envious of his longbow, and he said she could borrow it while he went off and hung out with the others. They also had a very secret whisper powwow, and I don't know what he said to her, except that I saw her nod very sympathetically and pat him on the shoulder. So whatever transpired, he finessed it pretty well.
So after dinner, both the Faramirs and I sat down to discuss his next move. (Faramir Two spent the afternoon trading ranger stories with the Aragorns. Faramir One huddled up in his box to write poetry on a wad of Post-It notes; at one point he asked to borrow the computer so he could look up rhymes for "maiden," and since the only viable one was "laden," I advised him to use it in reference to the sorrow in his heart, rather than, let's say, someone's physical characteristics, because there's no way that was going to end well.) Eowyn was safely off practicing her aim on the nightstand, so there was no way she'd be able to hear us. Plus, Lyra and Iorek tumbling around exploring the bedcovers was plenty of diversion.
"See, I think the whole bow thing was kind of genius, because she's not used to using a longbow, and guess who else has a longbow? THIS GUY."
Faramir Two bowed graciously in recognition of his own awesomeness.
"So... what, I'm supposed to...?"
"Offer to practice with her?"
"Discuss fletching technique?"
"Bring her more arrows?"
"Ask her where she learned to shoot?"
"Or just COMPLIMENT HER?"
"But she hates me!"
"Aw, honey, I don't think she hates you--we started things off badly and she had to assert herself in front of all of us to save face. I really wouldn't take it personally--"
This was interrupted by a bedwards roar; one of Eowyn's arrows had, unfortunately, gone astray and hit Iorek in his dignity.
"LOOK THIS IS YOUR CHANCE, GO GO GO!"
"GO TAKE THE ARROW BACK OVER TO HER GODDAMMIT!"
Faramir Two nearly had to shove him off the table before he got moving ("LOOK, I'M GOING, OKAY?"), but, like a man walking to the gallows, he jumped the three inches between the table and the bed and trudged across the comforter, jerked the arrow out of Iorek's flank ("OW!"), and made his way over to his doom.
And Faramir Two and I sat there talking in very cheerful tones about how much we both hate cloudy weather and how later in the week we were supposed to get some rain and wouldn't it be nice if it got a bit cold again; cloaks get hot sometimes, you know; well, I can always turn the AC down a little; yes, that'd be great; because if you're looking out the window, you have a pretty good peripheral view of the nightstand.
I don't know what they said, exactly--there was a lot of head-hanging and foot-shuffling and shoulder-shrugging on Faramir's part; it reminded me a bit of Scout when he's in submissive mode--but she took the arrow back politely enough, and they looked back at Iorek and laughed quietly about something
(Lyra was sitting on a hillock of comforter just openly staring at them. I almost asked her if she wanted some popcorn)
and then I saw her hand the longbow to him. He was holding it out at arm's length, like he was showing her something, some technique, maybe, I don't know, and I'm thinking, COME ON! YOU KNOW! Those scenes in movies where the hero hits on the heroine by showing her how to do something? I think normally you see it with a guy showing a girl how to swing a golf club or whatever--there's almost always a "wiggle your hips" moment, isn't there?--but it's probably been done with archery before, I bet. COME ON, MAKE IT WORK!
"There is no way he's going to make this work," said Faramir Two, staring at the big pine behind the house.
"Way to think positive there."
"Come on, he has no game at all--"
"What the hell is she doing?" Eowyn had taken the bow back from him and was holding it out crooked. "What? She wasn't even handling it that bad when she hit Iorek, what the shit--"
So of course, Faramir is straightening her arm and, as far as I can tell, trying to explain some kind of advanced not-hitting-polar-bears technique to her, when Eowyn steps back so that her arm is inside his arm and her shoulder's against his chest, and I had to leave the room before I burst out laughing. I swear to you, the last thing I saw before I went downstairs for a convenient tea refill was Eowyn winking at me. I'll be damned.
(More from the Secret Life of Dolls.)