Envinyata: Religious Dissent

"Wait, so that was your fault?"

Dafydd shifted uncomfortably in the bed. "Well. Sort of."

Constance raised an eyebrow and sat up, leaning against a pillow. "This should be interesting."

"Um. It wasn't exactly my fault," said Dafydd, trying to get out of the conversation. He was tempted to hide under the blankets and wait for her to go away, but as she was his wife and in the same bed as him, that'd probably take a while. Not to mention the fact that she'd probably follow me under and drag me out, the elf thought.

"So whose was it?" asked the dark-haired woman beside him. "I mean, I doubt the Great Goddess was to blame."

"Oh, no," Dafydd said, "it wasn't Bast's fault either. It was… eh."

"'Eh'?" Constance's expression was sceptical. "I don't recall us having an Agent Eh in the PPC."

"Would you know, though?" Dafydd asked, desperate to change the topic. Constance frowned, thinking, and then shook her head.

"Probably not. But you're not getting out of it that easily, Fëanorion. Come on, it can't be that hard. Explain to me why the Great Goddess GreyLadyBast left the PPC."

Dafydd sighed. "Do I really have to? I mean, there's other things we could do that would be far more constructive…"

"Dafydd," said Constance flatly, "you being married to me does not constitute a 'get out of conversation free' card. You ought to know that by now."

The elf nodded in reluctant agreement. "I doubt waving this around and claiming that you can't be so cruel to a cripple would help, would it?" he said, lifting the stump of his right wrist and resting it on the quilt. Constance shook her head slowly, and Dafydd sighed again. "All right. It's all tied up in the Commandments."

"What specific commandments?" asked Constance. "I mean, virtually every religion in every continuum has some, sometimes in excess. And there are non-religious ones, too…"

Dafydd rolled his eyes. "You're not going to make this easy for me, are you?"

"Nope," replied his wife cheerfully. The elf laughed despite himself, and then continued before Constance could interrupt again.

"The Commandments I was referring to, as you well know, were the list of IT IS FORBIDDENs we had up in the Temple. I don't know if you were in there enough to see them…"

Constance nodded. "I remember. I'm surprised you didn't add eating the radioactive mushrooms to them… but no, they were all ridiculous, weren't they?"

"They were not ridiculous," Dafydd replied in his best Holier-Than-Thou tone – modelled, incidentally, on his memories of the Vanyar. "They were Holy Commandments from the Great One Herself, and their fulfilment was essential if we were to achieve enlightenment. As were the mushrooms," he added in something more like his normal tone, "and don't go thinking I don't know it was you who made that Kaitlyn girl eat some of them. Such visions were reserved for the High Priest only."

Constance put on her most innocent expression. "Would I do that?"

"Yes," said Dafydd emphatically. "And to paraphrase a woman I know very well, you being married to me does not constitute a 'get out of blame free' card."

Constance stuck her tongue out at him. "The fact that I'm in bed with you might. But anyway, blame later, explanation now."

The elf nodded. "As you said, the Commandments, to one not knowledgeable in the way of these things, seemed ridiculous. However, there was one that didn't. The Goddess specifically outlawed the playing of Meatloaf songs in her presence."

Constance blinked, and then stared at her husband. "Oh, you didn't."

Dafydd coughed and looked down at the bed. "Sorta."

Constance shook her head in disbelief. "Dafydd, you…"

"I know, I know." He reached up with his left – and only – hand to brush a strand of hair away from his face. "But I had the CD, so…"

"So you played it. Why didn't she just smite you instead of leaving?"

"Smite me? Her own High Priest?" Dafydd looked affronted, prompting a disbelieving look from Constance. After a moment, he laughed. "All right, you got me. She didn't actually know it was me. I sort of linked it up to a motion detector outside her room."

Constance's look this time was frankly admiring. "You are evil, my love," she said. "'course," she added, "I've known that for a long time, but this…"

"Yeah. Well." Dafydd coughed. "I didn't really expect her to up and leave over it, but apparently she was having a bad day at the time – someone stole her hat, I'm told – and that was just the last straw. Next thing I knew, I was ordered to clear everything into a closet and vacate the Temple."

Constance nodded thoughtfully. "There's a moral to that story, I'm sure," she commented, and then looked at Dafydd with a wicked grin. "So, how exactly wasn't it your fault?"

"…" Dafydd shook his head. "You are incorrigible, woman. Tell you what, you drop the subject of my blame in this issue, and I'll drop the blaming you for Kaitlyn's theft thing."

Constance smiled again. "And then we can do some of those 'far more constructive' things you mentioned earlier? I like the way you think, elf-boy. Deal."

"Of course you like it," Dafydd said, and started to add, "You married me, after all," but Constance reached out with one hand and pressed a finger to his lips. When he was silent, she shuffled over in the bed until she was right next to him. Softly, she whispered in his ear.

"You didn't need that card anyway, Dafydd. The conversation is over."

Disclaimer: Middle-earth and everything in it was created by J.R.R. Tolkien. The PPC is the work of Jay and Acacia. Dafydd is mine, and Constance belongs to Kaitlyn. GreyLadyBast belongs to herself.


Author's Note: More than a decade later, here at last is the canonical explanation for the closure of the Official Temple of GreyLadyBast, may her Most Holy Hat be forever revered. Actually, I have a vague feeling there's a canon statement of it elsewhere, too… wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey and all that.