Fashions of Gondor
by Laura Mason
"Aragorn, are you certain this is the fashion in Minas Tirith?"
"Yes, Frodo. We have clad you and Sam in our very finest, as princes of Gondor."
"Oh, it's very fine and I'm grateful, of course," Frodo began, squirming a little as he tugged on the very short skirt of his tunic, which seemed to display an inordinate amount of his leg. "But... well, the tunic seems... rather short." Because he was penniless in a strange land, and all hobbits knew beggars can't be choosers, Frodo didn't add that the high collar itched, the flowing sleeves would land in any food or drink he partook of, and the hose, cut open to free his feet, had a tendency to -- well, droop.
"You look very elegant, Frodo. Or, you would if you'd stop fidgeting," Gandalf scolded from the window. "That deep blue is very becoming."
"Err. Thank you," he managed, trying to pull up the waistband of the hose. The fitter who'd brought his new clothing to him had advised him to leave off his drawers under the skin tight hose, making him decidedly uncomfortable in these Gondorian togs. If the stretchy material continued to creep down, the tunic would barely keep Frodo's privates decently covered.
He tried to tug unobtrusively at the hose again. He certainly didn't remember Boromir wearing such a short tunic.
"Come here, Frodo, and let me pin this decoration on -- oops."
When the King of the West drops something, then stands sadly staring down at it, even a simple hobbit knows what he should do. But as Frodo started to bend down for the medallion, he realized he'd be baring his barely-covered rear to the King and the Wizard. He straightened up, but Aragorn looked even more forlorn, and Gandalf wasn't moving forward to help, either.
Helpless men, Frodo thought huffily. He carefully bent his knees and reached, but as he did Aragorn took a step forward, as if to help him -- and the pin went flying out of reach, under the long table.
"Oops." Aragorn certainly seemed to say that a lot lately. "I'm terribly sorry to be so clumsy today, Frodo."
The hobbit didn't answer, just heaved a sigh and dropped to his knees in exasperated surrender.
He stretched forward, face red from exertion and the undignified position, his bottom in the air, covered only in thin white hose. But his dignity wasn't as important as Aragorn's, he supposed.
"Mr. Frodo!" Sam's voice made Frodo jump, banging his shoulder on the leg of the table.
"Oof!" There was another impact to the table, evidently Aragorn striking it, as Gandalf dropped his staff with a loud clatter.
"Half a moment, Sam," Frodo called, grabbing the medallion with a triumphant "ah!" and then backing out from under the table.
Aragorn was rubbing his temple, and Frodo wondered if a headache was making him so unusually awkward today. Sam, dressed in his own hobbity clothes, came over and pulled Frodo upright, brushing off his tunic and pulling it downward with hard tugs.
"Thank you, Sam." He looked down to brush off his knees, which now had a decidedly baggy look. "Oh, dear. I'm afraid I've stretched these out."
"Don't worry, Frodo. I'll have another pair prepared before the banquet." Frodo smiled at his generous friend, trying to show how much he appreciated his thoughtfulness, even though he'd appreciate a nice pair of trousers even more.
"Thank you, Aragorn." The King smiled back at him, and Frodo thought once again what a shame it was that Aragorn had never caught on to any of his hinting. Well, as much fun as a tumble could have been, Frodo knew to put it out of his mind. The King just wasn't interested in him.
"Are you ready to go walking, Mr. Frodo?" Sam asked, putting an arm on Frodo's shoulder.
"Yes, Sam, that would be lovely. Please excuse us, Aragorn, Gandalf. I'll see you at dinner tonight."
"Enjoy your walk, Frodo," the wizard said.
"Until tonight," the King called.
As the two hobbits left the room, Aragorn heard Frodo quietly asking if he could stop to change clothing before they left.
"He's going to get suspicious, Aragorn," Gandalf warned.
"Oh, I suppose you're going to claim innocence in all this."
"Not at all. I find Frodo's Gondorian garb quite fetching."
"There must be a thinner fabric for the hose... And perhaps some slits in the skirt of his tunic would be fashionable," Aragorn mused, ringing for the tailor yet again.
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