(Previously: Huinesoron's Very Tedious Day -- Huinesoron's Even Tediouser Day)
(Previouslier [and rather smuttier]: Huinesoron's Very Odd Day -- Huinesoron's Even Odder Day -- Huinesoron's Oddest Day Ever)
Huinesoron's Tediousest Day Ever
"I've tried everything," Huinesoron lamented. "I've tried cutting my hair. I've tried changing my clothing choices. I've tried moving house, for Someone's sake, but it does no good. They're still out there."
Leaning back on the sofa, Kaitlyn didn't look up from her book. "I really think you're overreacting."
"I'm not." Huinesoron twitched the curtain aside and glared out at the road. "Iximaz is out there." He gasped and ducked back. "She waved"
"People do that." Kaitlyn craned round and waved back at Ix. "It's a greeting; you could try it."
"Not the way she's doing it," Huinesoron said darkly. "It had connotations."
"Of friendliness." Kaitlyn closed her book and got to her feet. "Come on, you need to get out more."
Huinesoron allowed himself to be pulled by the wrist across the sitting-room. "But they're out there."
"Sure they are, love." Kaitlyn opened the door and checked the temperature. "You won't even need your coat. Got your shoes on?"
Huinesoron slipped his feet into his trainers. "Yes, but-"
"Good." Kaitlyn stepped behind him and shoved. "And out you go…!"
Huinesoron stumbled over the doorstep, hearing his wife lock the door behind him. For a moment he considered just curling up on the floor and waiting for her to let him back in - but no. He must be strong. He was, after all, Huinesoron.
Iximaz was nowhere to be seen when Huinesoron finally crept out of the driveway. He didn't consider this to be a good thing - it was simply proof that her nefarious-slash-lustful scheme was more cunning than he could have imagined.
Huinesoron made his way cautiously down the road. Each wall he passed had to be glanced over, each gate peered behind, because he knew the PPCers would stop at nothing to catch him. As he neared the bottom of the hill, he stooped to look through a hedge - and there was something there!
With trembling hands, he reached in and pulled out what seemed to be the carelessly-discarded and somewhat rain-warped head and shoulders of an old Fellowship of the Ring Legolas standee. "Oh, sure," Huinesoron muttered, turning it over in his hands. "I'm expected to believe that's a coincidence? No - they're trying to distract me with his pointy ears."
He shoved the battered cardboard back under the hedge and jumped to his feet. "But I won't fall for it!" he announced to the street at large. "If this is where you want me to be - then I'm getting out of here!" And off he marched, down onto the main road.
Around the time he passed the old workers' club, Huinesoron's heart sank as he heard a voice behind him: "Morning, hS!" There was only one person that booming, bear-like voice could come from, and sure enough, when he turned round it was to see Phobos' beaming, bearded face.
"So glad I ran into you," Phobos said. "I don't suppose you've seen my wife anywhere?"
"Wh-why would I have seen Neshomeh?" Huinesoron stammered. He knew full well what Phobos was thinking, but nervous as he was, he couldn't think of anything else to say.
Phobos shrugged. "No reason," he said (or 'blatantly lied', as hS would have put it). "I just thought she might have come this way. I don't suppose you could help me look for her?"
Huinesoron flinched back from the innuendo he was sure was there. "Sorry," he said, "got things to do." He glanced quickly to both sides, then hurried across the road and down a side-street.
"No problem!" Phobos called after him. "But if you see her, could you let her know I'm…"
"Sure," Huinesoron muttered, safely out of earshot. "Because I definitely want to have to run away from Neshomeh, too."
"Who's running where?"
Huinesoron stumbled to a halt and stared at Neshomeh. She was standing in a front garden, leaning on the wall. "Um," he said, trying to keep his voice level. "Nobody. You… you don't live here."
"Oh, no, I'm visiting Zingenmir." Neshomeh half-turned and waved at the house. "Come on out, Zing; look who it is."
Zingenmir poked her head round the door. "hS!" she exclaimed, waving. "Lovely to see you. How's Kaitlyn?"
Huinesoron couldn't see anything of Zingenmir besides her head and arm, but felt sure she was scantily-clad back there, if not outright nude. "She's… fine," he said. "Why do you ask?"
Zingenmir shrugged, somehow still not showing any of her surely indecently-garbed body. "I just feel like it's been ages since I saw her," she said. "We should get together sometime."
Huinesoron restrained a snort of disbelief - they'd probably just take it as a come-on. "I'll tell her," he said in his most neutral tone. "Well, it's been… I should get moving."
"Oh! Wait." Neshomeh beckoned at Zingenmir. "Go on, ask him."
Zingenmir didn't move from the doorway, confirming yet again that she was definitely not dressed. "We've got a bit of a Silmarillion book club going," she said, smiling at Huinesoron. "Nesh was wondering if you'd like to-?"
Huinesoron backed away, his hands rising defensively. "I know what you're thinking," he said, "and I'm not interested."
"Oh, go on," Zingenmir said. "Kaitlyn's invited too! We're doing Fëanor and Nerdanel, so there's something for each of you-"
Huinesoron had heard enough. Turning on his heel, he strode off at a speed just shy of headlong flight. He heard Neshomeh's voice fading behind him - "Okay, that was weird; do you think I should…?" - and then he was around the corner, safely out of sight.
Leaning against a street sign, he tried to catch his breath. "This was a mistake," he muttered, staring down at the treacherous street. "I should never have let Kaitlyn send me out for a… walk." He shuddered, remembering all the narrowly-avoided lustful encounters he was sure he had faced. "I'm going home," he added. "I'll sit on the doorstep if I have to, but I'm going-"
Huinesoron practically jumped out of his skin. Neshomeh had crept up behind him! Any moment she was going to grab him and do unspeakable things! He whirled, ready to push her away.
It seemed she had betrayed her presence early: she was still several steps away, too far to catch him unawares. "Are you all right?" she asked, the concern on her face barely masking the uncontrolled lust he knew was there. "You seem a bit skittish."
Huinesoron stared at her, mind whirling. He knew this was a seduction attempt, but how? Instantly he settled on the obvious conclusion: she was about to compare him to a frightened kitten, and then waggle her eyebrows and say 'sex kitten.'
"I'm fine," he said in a level tone. "You just surprised-"
"Oh, hey, hS!"
Huinesoron yelped and span around again. Delta Juliette had also mistimed her greeting; she was almost ten meters away, not close enough to ambush him. But now Neshomeh was behind him, and closer-
He felt a hand on his arm as Neshomeh took advantage. "I know it's been a rough year," she said. "If you're… Delta? You free?"
"Sure," Delta said, grinning, only her stage skills hiding the salaciousness behind it. "We could go get a coffee - hot chocolate, sorry hS - talk about old times…"
Huinesoron wanted to cry out a defiant "NO!" and denounce the pair for their shameless debauchery. Unfortunately, all he managed was a frightened squeak - but it was enough to loosen Neshomeh's grip (which wasn't all that tight anyway). Twisting away, Huinesoron backed out onto the road, stared at the two Oldbies for a moment, and then turned and fled.
As he ran, he found himself stumbling through a labyrinth of streets he didn't recognise. On either side of him, the signs proclaimed unfamiliar names: Ångström Avenue. Bjørn Boulevard. Cachaça Close.
"They're taunting me!" he yelled, hurtling past Dégât Drive. "The diacritics - they're using them to seduce me!"
At last the main road appeared ahead, and Huinesoron put on an extra burst of speed. He was terrified someone would leap out, probably naked, and take shameless advantage of him - but no, he was out of the maze, and his own street lay just ahead.
He slowed down as he climbed the hill, and began to think that perhaps he'd been a little bit silly. Sure, everyone was clearly trying to jump him, but it was possible that they wouldn't actually have clubbed him over the head and chained him to their various beds.
By the time he reached home, Huinesoron was feeling much better. He pushed the door open, kicked his shoes off, strolled into the living room - and stopped dead.
Kaitlyn was there.
So was Iximaz.
And Delta Juliette.
"Oh, hi, hS," said a voice from behind him, and he whirled to find Scapegrace standing in the doorway. "Kaitlyn asked us over - she's got some sourdough starter that needs using up."
She waved a plastic container, but Huinesoron was no longer listening. He crumpled to his knees on the rug, clutching his hands to his chest, and threw his head back in anguish: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
Delta looked over and raised an eyebrow. "Kaitlyn - your husband is strange."
Kaitlyn sighed, pushed off the sofa, and walked over to put her arms around Huinesoron. "Believe me," she muttered, "I know."
Being all the hS and Kaitlyn ships from this year's Shipfest, specifically:
- hS/various Tolkien elves
- Huinesoron / diacritical marks
- Ixilyn-Deltagrace: the New Corset Ship
With many thanks to Kaitlyn, who suggested back in 2015 that for the final installment I should turn 'everyone is after hS's body' into 'hS thinks everyone is after his body'. It's a little late, but was tremendously fun to write.