So Bella was baking her cranky little heart out in an Edward(s)-free zone, and yet our problems were far from solved. (I did manage to raid our pantry for supplies, and if you were to ask me, "Wait, how do you use real-people ingredients to make plastic doll food?," I would reply, "LOOK! OVER THERE! TEEN HEARTTHROB OF YOUR CHOICE!" just before I ran away.)
There was still the issue of Serafina and her would-be lovah, for one; Faramir's plan to put her off until he could finish crafting a bow for her was... kind of thwarted by Legolas's enthusiasm.
And he couldn't even catch a break on the issue of arrows, either. Having figured out that kebab skewers would be perfect, Legolas set to snapping the them in half and fletching them with... azalea leaves?
"Now... how is that going to work, exactly?" I asked--legitimately wondering, but also trying to slow down the process (if I could) for Faramir's sake. "I mean... shouldn't it be a little more... complicated or... aerodynamic or something?"
"Hello, it's magic. Duh."
"Well, what about a quiver, then? I don't know how Serafina's really going to carry one on her back with all that long hair of hers..."
"Oh. That... that's hot... I guess."
So Legolas was very proud of himself that he'd finished Serafina's bow in record time--and this was just a starter bow he'd whipped up on the spot, he assured us; he could work on something more impressive later. And where Faramir had been desperately dragging his feet and "aging" the bow wood ("OH NO LOOK IT SNAPPED AGAIN WE HAVE TO START OVER"), Legolas had nipped right outside and hacked off a green crape myrtle branch with his knives and called it a day. "You have to bend the wood while it's still fresh," he explained (Serafina cut a suspicious glance Faramir's way). Faramir was getting so bad at hiding his dread that he didn't even go outside with everyone else to watch Serafina try out the new bow--so bad at hiding it that even Legolas, happy clueless Legolas noticed, and came back inside early to see why Faramir seemed so utterly bummed.
So he told him.
"Really? Man, that's... that's heavy. She really said she'd kill you? Man. She seems like such a chill lady. Wow. Didn't see that coming."
"Well... still waters run deep, I guess."
Legolas nodded energetically, seized by this piece of wisdom. Then he sank back into reflection: "Still... that's really uncool, though, you know? Massively uncool. You gotta stand up for your rights, man."
"It just seems like so much trouble--" He stopped, as if he realized how weirdly lazy that sounded. "It seems like trouble that could so easily be averted, I mean. If I say no, I get killed, or she gets killed, or exiled, or I don't even know what, and then Lyra is without a protector--"
"Aw, man, she'll be okay. She's a righteous little babe, she can hack it. I mean, she's taller than we are and she's got a crazy arm."
"But even so--Serafina is all she has."
"Yeah... that is true."
"So it just seems like... the best thing to do for everyone."
"Still, that's harsh, having to do that if you're not cool with it. I mean... wait, why are you not cool with it again?"
"Well..." And he gave an eloquent shrug.
"Oh... aw, man, ladies aren't your thing? Man... irony."
He nodded wistfully to himself. "I just keep thinking... does this make me less of a man?" And Legolas was making some kind of sympathetic "Aw, no" sound when Faramir continued in a direction I hadn't quite expected: "I mean, a real man should be able to face any peril, no matter how awful, and I've been hiding from this like a coward..."
"Okay. See. Dude. This is your problem," he said, seeming to wake up. "This is a stone fox we're talking about here, not, like, a nest of orcs or something. You gotta be open to what the universe brings you, you see what I'm saying? It's a big world out there," (he spread out his hands) "you gotta be open to the new stuff. Whatever life brings you, you gotta keep livin' it. I mean, you might even like it. You never know until you give it a shot."
"So... you're all for trying new things?"
"Exactly," he said, and he even did a happy little finger-point.
I went to get my laundry at that point because I wasn't sure I could keep from laughing much longer (oh, Faramir. Even in the face of doom, you so smoove). I was doing multiple loads of winter stuff to put up for the season--you know, long sleeves, sweaters, a couple of blankets, that kind of thing. I mean, it's June now; I'm pretty sure any and all cold snaps are behind us. So I'm out in the hall sorting the colors from the delicates, and here come the Ellowynes bitching up a storm--it seems that both of them wanted to wear the green hoodie outfit (which Ellowyne Two had already snaffled). Ellowyne One did not want to wear the yellow sweater outfit because Ellowyne Two had just been wearing that, hello, and she just really wasn't in the mood for all black, and Ellowyne Two had already had her change of clothes (from the black to the yellow sweater), and now it was Ellowyne One's turn.
"Well, then let me wear your dress!"
"NO! THAT'S MY DRESS!"
So they had come to me for mediation. The best I could come up with was that Ellowyne One was well within her rights to keep the gold coat dress to herself, since it was what she had come dressed in, but in a similar vein, Ellowyne Two is a basic doll who doesn't come with outfits, and therefore changing clothes is what she does. Ellowyne Two, therefore, should be the one to get the green hoodie. Which she already had on. I guess possession really is nine-tenths of the law.
(It was ungracious of E2, however, to parade around in the accompanying green pimp coat just to prove she could. Eventually, the heat got to her and she just carried it around instead.)
E1, however, was now in a vengeful mood and flounced over to the Sparklerosa to visit the Edwards (and of course E2 followed, unable to bear the thought of E1 somehow managing to catch a sparklepire light show). The Littlest Edward was soothing his fevered, Bella-racked soul with another round of mane-curling over at The Basket for Indigent Flutter Ponies, so E1 skipped over and asked him to touch up her hair.
"After all, not everyone can have perfectly defined curls," she announced sweetly.
("Well, yes, they are very nice, but I have ponies here in far greater need...")
Tonner Edward, deep in one of my paperbacks, gritted his teeth but did not look up.
Ellowyne Two sauntered over a bit closer to him and tossed her hair. "That's all right. Some of us have flowing natural waves that don't need maintenance."
Tonner Edward slammed his book shut and stormed off--out the door, down the hall, and over to one of the laundry baskets, where he climbed in and started trying to read again. He's been poring over my battered, beloved copy of Jane Eyre--you know, a book about a brooding, troubled Edward with a deep dark secret who is searching the world for the one innocent, wholesome girl who can "reform" him. To be honest, I don't think this is very good for him. Not that he was going to get any further on his reread this afternoon, because the Ellowynes were heartbroken by this rebuff, or at least enjoyed swanning and swooning up and down the hall as if they were, putting on a superb show of dueling melancholies. If emo were an Olympic sport, they would both be going for the gold.
Please note that those are clean towels waiting to be folded. Edward Cullen would never ensconce himself in a lady's dirty laundry.
So it was somewhat ironic that a major Shelf Event went down while nobody was looking. I didn't even know anything was happening until Purple Arwen came scurrying into the hall:
"They've gone into the closet!"
"Into the--what? Who?"
Tonner Edward cocked his head, as if listening for a distant radio station. "The witch and one of the rangers." His brow furrowed with concentration, and then a look of disgust flashed over his face: "I'll be downstairs out of signal range if you need me."
Well... at least they had managed to sneak off without any gawking or fanfare. I suppose they had that going for them?
They emerged an hour later. Serafina wore a particularly grim expression (tinged with a bit of regret, I thought). Kaisa (who was waiting on the nightstand) craned his neck to look at her, but Serafina shook her head. Faramir Two just looked despondent.
"BELLA! WHERE YOU AT? THIS MAN NEEDS SOME DESSERT AND HE NEEDS IT NOW!"
"All right, all right, holy crow..."
I set down a tiny plate of pie in front of Faramir Two and settled down to hear the details--and looked over and saw a row of eager faces beside me. "Shoo, shoo! Tell Bella I said to hand out cookies or something. YOU TOO, ARWEN." I settled back down. "So...?"
He chewed on a bit of crust for a while (Bella really does make an excellent pie crust). "We tried," he said finally. "We tried a lot. It just... really was not... happening." He sighed. "And just when I thought we might be getting somewhere, I said the wrong name..."
"Yeah... then I said the other wrong name, and... it was all over then."
Serafina came back by at that point; I guess she'd been putting Lyra to bed. "Well, it was a solid attempt," she said. A sigh: "Kill you tomorrow, I guess."
" 'Night, then," said Faramir, and they went their separate ways.
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