Meanwhile (according to the intel extracted by the Brown SWAT), it turns out that my theory regarding misdelivery of The Package was correct; The Company has located it in The Warehouse, and I think it'll be back on the road by Monday. At which point I still will not be able to tell you what it is. But I got a ton of good (small) stuff in the mail yesterday (which I'll post about later today, maybe this evening), which means I'll be able to move forward a bit more quickly, and we'll get to The Reveal sooner than we might have otherwise.
So: previously on All My
"What? What did she say?"
"She said she wants Faramir. She chose, and she chose Faramir," I said weakly.
Faramir's eyes got very big and his face went very pale.
"NO," said Eowyn.
"Not him," said Serafina.
"THAT'S RIGHT," said Eowyn.
"I really think you mean him," I said, pointing to Faramir One.
"NO," said Eowyn, clutching at his cloak.
"No, I mean him," she said, pointing to Faramir Two. "Definitely the one with the knotted strap."
"Really? Because... I don't think that's going to work out so well."
"She's right. I mean, no offense."
Serafina turned her long-lived eyes to me (I shrank back a little without really understanding why). "Why not?"
"Because... he... look, he really isn't so much into girls. Really, it's not personal--so there's no need to get offended or, you know... homicidal... "
"Although we Faramirs do tend to prefer blondes--"
"SHUT IT, FARAMIR," I hissed.
Serafina turned those eyes to Faramir Two, and this time they were warm. "You seem like an excellent man. Clearly, because I chose you for my lover. It would be such a waste to kill you."
"This Faramir is identical!" I said, cheerfully dragging Faramir One forward. "Except that he does like girls!"
Eowyn stared at me, frozen with hate. Faramir One looked like a fly trapped in a spiderweb, eyes nervously darting back and forth between Serafina and Eowyn (occasionally flicking back over to me, mutely demanding why I was selling him out like this).
"No, I definitely want him," she said, pointing at Faramir Two.
Now he just looked like a very sad fly. "What's wrong with me?"
"I'm sorry, but I really don't think--"
She rose from her perch on the books to stand at her full height, which was particularly impressive given that everyone else involved was only a foot tall. "Then I'm going to have to kill you."
"NO!" wailed Lyra, popping up from behind the printer (somehow I'm not surprised that she was listening in. Pan, hiding in her hood, started jerking on her hair like he was trying to rein in a horse). "Don't kill Mr. Faramir, he's so much fun!"
Serafina's eyes blazed as she jumped down. "Stay back, Lyra--"
And just when I was really glad that Tonner hadn't made her a bow or a knife, she had Faramir One's sword in her hand before anyone even saw her grab it and suddenly we had a scuffle of everyone trying to throw themselves in front of everyone else--Lyra in front of Faramir Two, Faramir Two in front of Lyra, Eowyn trying to grab Lyra and pull her back (I really don't want to think that she was trying to shield Faramir One with Lyra, I know she's better than that), and Faramir One stupidly trying to figure out why his sheath was suddenly empty.
"OKAY WHOA WHOA WHOA! VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER!" I tried to take the sword from her and SHE POKED ME WITH IT! WTF SERAFINA, FOR REAL? Clearly there was only one response: I grabbed her cloud-juniper. "I'll break it, I swear--"
"Fine! I'll get another one!"
"It's not--special, or anything?"
"No, it's just a branch!"
I have to tell you, I am not proud of what I did next. It was the Nuclear Option, as far as I was concerned, but--she lunged at him with the sword! Everyone shrieked (especially Faramir. Both of him) and leaped back! There was a child involved! YES, I PULLED HER HAIR.
"OW! OW OW OW--"
"OW THAT'S MY FACE PUT THE SWORD DOWN--"
"YOU LET GO FIRST--"
"STOP, STOP! I'LL DO IT, I'LL DO IT!"
"HOW?" I blurted out through a cheekful of plastic sword point. It hurt, I'll have you know.
"We'll work something out somehow, I don't know! It's not worth this!"
We all stood there for a moment (well, I was sitting) in a wary standoff, until finally, slowly, Serafina gave the sword back to Faramir Two (who passed it back to Faramir One, who seemed surprised to see it) and I let her hair go.
So. Faramir Two was going to prostitute himself for peace. Awkward.
He cleared his throat. "I just want you to know--this isn't going to be easy. I'm not easy. If we're going to do this, you're going to have to take me out to dinner first, at the very least. Or what's the witch equivalent...?"
"ARWEN!" I shouted. "GET OUT THE PIE!"
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