only to find Galadriel trying to mediate a big pissing contest as to who was most qualified to treat a partially explushinated polar bear. Because, you see, the hands of a king are the hands of the healer but we have two Aragorns, and they weren't sure if we have any kingsfoil in the yard anyway (but what about trefoil, you know, clover? No? No clover? "Well, dandelion leaves are supposed to be good for healing, there's some of those out front, probably enough to fill--" "You're not seriously thinking of stuffing him with leaves?" "You got a better idea then, Fug?"), and then even if we did which one of them would heal Iorek because neither of them are actually king yet, but Helm's Deep Aragorn is closer to being king than Fugagorn/Strider, but THAT DOESN'T MATTER BECAUSE NEITHER OF US ARE ACTUALLY KING, WELL FINE THEN MAYBE ONE OF US CAN GET CROWNED THEN, WELL WHICH ONE THEN, WELL IT DOESN'T MATTER BECAUSE THE CROWN IS TOO BIG FOR EITHER OF US,
and then Elizabeth piped up that it was just the right size for her, and she is a pirate king, after all, she could give it a shot, NO SHE CAN'T BECAUSE SHE IS NOT A KING OF GONDOR, WHAT IS THIS CRAZY TALK, and then I look over
and there's White Arwen sewing up the little tear in Iorek's neckfur with a needle from my sewing kit. You know, the one I have but don't use because I can't actually sew, but which makes me feel very capable and prepared because I have one just in case. And, as it turns out, you should always have a needle and thread on hand in case your sparklepire gnaws a bit on your panserbjørn. And then Arwen held her hands out over Iorek and said something glowy in Elvish for a few moments and apparently that healed his plush, I guess, because he seemed fine after that.
Well, actually, he regained his stuffing, but I'm not sure about his dignity. "IT SHOULD BE MY DUTY TO PROTECT LYRA," he grumped (we had him "resting comfortably," as they always say, on the pillow shams at the foot of my bed), "NOT HAVE THAT CHILD DEFEND ME FROM THE UNDEAD. IT IS UNBECOMING OF A PANSERBJØRN TO BE CAUGHT IN PERIL WITHOUT HIS ARMOR." (Iorek tends to sleep with his armor off because Lyra likes to use him as a pillow. Which she was doing at that moment, actually. All of this was happening at four in the morning, remember.) "WHAT WOULD THE OTHER ARMORED BEARS SAY IF THEY KNEW?"
"Well, I think they'd say, gee, Iorek, that sure is some nice new armor you've got on, because that's what we're gonna make for you," I said cheerfully. "You wanted to make some improvements, so--well--now's the time. As soon as you feel up to it." I mean, he still had his old armor to wear, and I knew that Edward had only jumped him in the throes of starvation, but... somehow, I would just feel better knowing that he had superior protection technology.
But we were going to have to see about that later, because just then Anna came striding up. The lamplight glinted triumphantly off her tin hat. "I told you. I TOLD YOU. WHERE IS HE?"
"He's not going to bother anyone," I said warily. "I've tucked him away somewhere he can't get you and you can't get him--"
"You're not going to DO anything about this? HE ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE ON THE BEAR and you're just going to--"
"We will deal with that later."
"YOU TELL ME WHERE HE IS--"
"WE WILL DEAL WITH THAT LATER." I looked around at the various Shelfians milling around on my comforter. "Show's over, people, go back to bed."
Elizabeth was helping Arwen pack up the sewing kit, and she gave Anna the strangest look as Anna stormed past. I'd wondered how awkward it would be now that Anna had been proven right (well, I deny that she was right about Edward being dangerous, because the way things added up was my fault. If I'd kept him properly fed, none of it would have happened at all, and he really did hold out as long as he could stand it), or if Elizabeth would run back to her and join Anna in her crazed anti-sparklepire campaign, but the look she threw Anna's way had something more like... despair in it. And I kind of understood the feeling, because... there's no way this isn't going to aggravate Anna's crazy. There's no way.
In fact, she spun around right as she got to The Shelf--"THIS IS NOT OVER!" she shouted (ah, here comes the Fauxmanian accent creeping up again). "I WILL SEE JUSTICE DONE!"
"THAT'S FINE! JUSTICE IS EXACTLY WHAT I'D LIKE TO SEE DONE!"
"WELL! WELL--FINE THEN!"
So you can see why I would put Edward in the Sparkle Protection Program, as it were. Since he was already hiding out in the attic, I locked him in there with a few books and some cotton balls to snack on. He's still pretty morose ("They'll never, ever forgive me for what I've done. Not even the grabby blonde one") and his self-loathing is still going at full blast ("And why should they? A monster like me can't even be trusted around innocent plush"), but I think having a full stomach has cheered him up a good bit ("For synthetic fiber, this is really quite good").
I don't know how I'm going to reintroduce him to society, but I'll think of something, I guess.
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