Disclaimers: Am extremely glad not to own Pippin, who would eat me out of house and home, or Denethor, who would burn me out of house and home. As for Faramir-- (sighs) I would have no objection at all to owning Faramir, but alas, he is not mine either. Nor is Oscar Wilde's fantabulastic play, The Importance of Being Earnest.

A/N: I feel the need to validate the randomness of this fic.

I was watching RoTK the other day, and when it came to the scene where Denethor is eating lunch, I yelled (attracting odd looks from the other people in the room), "How can he sit there calmly eating tomatoes when he's just sent Faramir off to die!" I realized later that I had almost exactly quoted a line in The Importance of Being Earnest, where Jack and Algernon are arguing over muffins, and decided to rewrite that particular scene to fit this situation.

Please excuse a neurotic author's little bit of insanity.


Pippin finished his song, and, feeling a blaze of anger rising within at the thought of the Steward's cold words toward his son, rounded on Denethor and cried, "How you can sit there, calmly eating tomatoes, when you've just sent Faramir out to die, I can't make out. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless!"

Denethor looked over at the hobbit, still munching. "Well, I can't eat tomatoes in an agitated manner. The juice would probably dribble down my chin. One should always eat tomatoes quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them."

Pippin ought to have made a jibe at this point concerning the fact that there was tomato juice dribbling down Denethor's chin, but he was too enraged to care. "I say it's perfectly heartless your eating tomatoes at all, under the circumstances!"

Denethor shoved another tomato in his mouth, and spoke while chewing, sending spurts of crimson liquid shooting across the table. "When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me. Indeed, when I am in really great trouble, as anyone who knows me intimately will tell you, I refuse everything except food and drink. At the present moment, I am eating tomatoes because I am unhappy. Besides, I am particularly fond of tomatoes."

"Well, that is no reason why you should eat them all in that greedy way!" said Pippin, and wrested the tray away from Denethor.

"I wish you would have grapes instead. I don't like grapes," said Denethor, proffering the bowl.

"I suppose a Citadel Guard may eat his own tomatoes in his own Citadel!"

"But you just said it was perfectly heartless to eat tomatoes," said Denethor, attempting to seize the tray back from Pippin.

"I said it was perfectly heartless of you, under the circumstances. That is a very different thing," grunted Pippin, grappling for a better grip on the tray while the Steward tugged determinedly.

"That may be. But the tomatoes are still the same!" snarled Denethor, and managed the snatch the tomatoes back from the hobbit.

Admitting defeat, Pippin slumped back against the chair. "Lord Steward, I wish to goodness you would go out and support your men." He still wondered at the Steward's indifference while, at this very moment, Faramir was galloping to Osgiliath.

"You can't possibly ask me to go to battle without having some lunch. It's absurd. I never go without my lunch. No one ever does, except Haradrim and people like that. Besides, I have just made arrangements with six of my servants to be burned alive at a quarter to six, along with Faramir, who will doubtless have been mortally wounded by then."

"My Lord Steward, the sooner you give up that nonsense the better. I made arrangements with Gandalf to stop your suicide at 5:30, and naturally we will save Faramir too. Boromir would have wished it, I imagine. You can't burn Faramir to death and have us rescue him at the same time. It's absurd. Besides, I have a perfect right to rescue Stewards and their sons if I like. There is no evidence that I have ever rescued anybody before. I should think it extremely probable that I never have, and so does Gandalf. It is entirely different in your case. You have already tried to kill Faramir before."

"Yes, but I haven't tried in ten minutes."

"Yes, but you have tried. That is the important thing."

"Quite so. So I know my constitution can stand it. If you are not quite sure about your ever having rescued anybody before, I must say I think it rather dangerous your venturing on it now. You might accidentally burn yourself."

Pippin picked up the tray of tomatoes. "Oh, that is nonsense; you are always talking nonsense."

"Pippin, you are at the tomatoes again! I wish you wouldn't. There are only two left." Denethor whisked the tray away from the hobbit. "I told you I was particularly fond of tomatoes."

Pippin looked forlornly at the bowl of grapes. "But I hate grapes."

"Why on Arda then did you allow the cook to have grapes served up to me? What ideas you have of being a useful Citadel Guard!"

"Lord Steward! I have already told you that you ought to go out to your men. Why don't you go?"

"I haven't quite finished my lunch yet, and there is still one tomato left." Pippin groaned and sunk into a chair. Denethor continued eating.



A/N: Wow, that was weird. I had only intended to parody the bit at the beginning about the muffins, but I was having trouble tying it off and carried it a bit too far. Oh well. Better to get those plot bunnies out than let them thump around your cranium and damage brain cells.