Disclaimer: All made up.
Warning: Spoilers for LotR books and movies, up to and including RotK.
Author's note: Written for starfishchick, who wanted some humorous Dom/Bernard. I hope this fits the bill!
In a Draw
"All right, all right. Sam and Frodo are a moot point, because even though Sam could squash Frodo by sitting on him, he would never actually do anything to hurt him," Elijah says, seeming disappointed. "What a boring matchup." He takes a glum drink of his beer, and Dom figures it's okay to move on.
"So it's pretty much a given that, if you were to pit Merry and Pippin against each other, Merry would kick Pippin's arse without breaking a sweat," Dom says.
"Hey!" Billy protests. "At least I had a better costume," he mumbles, and Dom goes on like Billy hadn't spoken.
"But what about Merry and Pippin's lords?"
"Théoden and Denethor?" Bernard pulls back the chair next to Viggo's and sits down, setting his drink on the table. "What about them?"
"Who would win in a no-holds-barred brawl?" Dom asks.
"Obviously I missed something. Why on earth would they be fighting?" Bernard asks.
"Who cares? Maybe they both want the same sweater at Marks and Spencer's after Christmas sale. It doesn't really matter; the point is that they are fighting." Dom shakes his head. "Really, like there has to be a reason for us to match them up. So who'd win?"
"Théoden. He's at least got all his wits about him. Denethor's crazy," Orlando says, kicking back in his chair and eyeing the girls at the bar.
"Actually, it's a pointless question since by the end of the trilogy, they're both dead," Bernard points out, but all it earns him is a dirty look from Dom.
"Don't ruin my fun, Bernard," he says. "Okay, then before the end."
"But when before the end?" Billy asks. "If you're talking pre-Boromir's death and Faramir's supposed death, then Denethor's a right bastard, but he's still a sane bastard. In which case they'd be on even ground."
"Yeah, and if you're talking after he goes crazy, then it's an entirely different fight," Elijah says.
"I've gotta know which way we're going on this issue before I'm willing to choose a victor," Sean agrees.
"So are we talking before or after Denethor goes insane?" Billy asks.
"After, definitely. It'd make things more interesting." Dom nods thoughtfully.
"I'm putting my money on Denethor, then. Crazy, yes. But crazy like a fox!" Billy says.
Dom rolls his eyes. "Crazy like a flaming marshmallow's more like it. Besides, you're just saying that because he's your master. I say Théoden!"
"Wait a minute," Orlando says. "That still doesn't answer all the questions. Because are we talking about Théoden under Saruman's control, or, like, regular Théoden?"
"Like it's even a question!" Dom practically splutters beer out his nose. "You've gotta go with regular Théoden; otherwise, Denethor wouldn't have to lift a finger to win, and Théoden wouldn't even be able to lift a finger unless Saruman willed him to."
"Then the round's between crazy Denethor and regular Théoden," Elijah says and pauses for a moment before continuing. "I've got Théoden on this one. It takes the freaking Witch King of Agmar to bring him down. All it takes to kill Denethor is his own stupidity and grief."
"That, and a little oil and fire. I second on Théoden," Viggo says.
"Well, I'm certainly not voting against myself," Bernard says when Dom gives him a pointed look.
"And I'm voting for Théoden, too," Dom says smugly.
Billy crosses his arms and scowls. "Lemmings, every one. My vote goes to Denethor, with rights."
"You can't have rights, Billy; this isn't the UN," Sean says. "And I have to say Théoden, too."
"Know-it-all," Billy says, and from the yelp Sean lets out, Dom can only assume Billy's shoe must have just made acquaintance with Sean's leg.
"I'll go with Denethor," Orlando says, and Billy lights up a bit.
"But you said Théoden, earlier!" Dom protests.
"I'm entitled to change my mind." Orlando looks guilty.
"Eh, we shouldn't even let you vote," Dom says, waving a dismissive hand. "You always go with whoever's losing just to make them feel better."
Orlando shrugs. At least he doesn't lie about it.
"So that's settled, five to two. And there's no need to take a vote on the next round since Merry could take Théoden out with his pinky. Properly applied, that is."
"Say what?" Elijah exclaims.
"C'mon," Dom says. "If the Witch King takes down Théoden, and Merry helps take out the Witch King, then that automatically puts Merry above Théoden. With that established, the next real matchup should be between Éowyn and Merry. Now..."
"Just a minute, there," Bernard says. "Using that kind of reasoning, you could say that Éowyn could kill her own father."
"Well, she could!" Dom says. "I'm not saying that she would, necessarily, just that given the opportunity...er, motive, and the right or, um, wrong, circumstances, she could."
"Be that as it may, I'm still not convinced of Merry being able to defeat Théoden. I mean, just a few minutes ago, you were talking about how Théoden could kill Denethor in a snap," Billy says, and it's his turn to adopt a smug grin.
"Shut up, you. You're just being vindictive because you lost," Dom says.
"But he has a point," Viggo says, and Dom redirects his glare to him.
"He really does." Sean nods. "I think we should reconsider the decision to skim over Merry and Théoden's fight like it's a given. What about you, Elijah?"
"I think Sean's got a point about Viggo having a point about Billy's point," Elijah says.
"Wha-- Never mind, I can see when I've lost. But Orlando, surely you agree with me," Dom says, looking at Orlando entreatingly.
Orlando tears his gaze away from the footy match on the television. "What? Oh, no, I actually think Théoden could wipe the shite-eating grin right off of Merry's superior little face."
Dom gasps. "Hey! Whatever happened to sticking up for the minority?"
"I dunno," Orlando says. "I guess when the minority insults you, you don't feel quite so inclined to see things their way."
Billy laughs, and Dom takes the opportunity to kick him in the shin. Except that from the way Viggo's eyes narrow, and from the force of the kick Dom receives back, Dom deduces that he possibly missed his target. "Fucking ouch!" he exclaims.
"Well, I guess we know who would take Merry down if Théoden didn't," Sean laughs, and since Dom's sitting right next to him, there's no missing when his foot strikes out for Sean's leg.
"Ow! That's the same one Billy kicked, damn it!"
"This is certainly degenerating quickly into physical violence," Bernard says. "I've never been so glad to be sitting at the end of the table."
"Oooh, physical violence," Elijah says, and just the eager tone of his voice makes Dom shift uncomfortably. "We should make Dom and Bernard to fight it out to see who'd win!"
"Like ancient Rome!" Billy says, and maybe Dom really shouldn't have pissed him off earlier. "Let's do it!"
Orlando actually looks interested, and trust Viggo to lean forward in anticipation of a fight.
"Are you kidding? That's ridiculous!" Dom looks to Bernard for a reasonable refusal of such a absurd suggestion, but Bernard just lifts one eyebrow and shrugs. Oh, so he's up for it, is he? Well, Dom's not about to be the wimp. "I mean, guys, you don't want me hurting him, do you? Frail old guy like Bernard? Peter'd have a heart attack."
"I think it'd be worth it," Billy says. "Besides, I'm pretty sure Bernard could take you."
Dom scoffs, but he glances speculatively at Bernard's arms. He's in pretty damn good shape for an older man. "I beg to differ, and I'd really love to show you all. But remember what Peter said after Orlando's last bruise, Viggo? He'd have our balls if one of us -- and I won't name names, but let's just say it wouldn't be the hobbit -- were to get all bruised up. So no fighting."
Orlando turns back to the TV, and Elijah sighs. "And I thought things were just about to get interesting."
"What do you mean, 'about to get interesting?' It's already interesting, damn it! Lord of the Rings Death Match is going to be the next big thing," Dom insists.
"Only if there's live action fighting," Elijah says. "Or maybe with those little claymation figures like on MTV. But just talking about it gets borrring, especially with you calling all the shots and refusing to fight, Dom."
"What is with you and this fighting obsession, Elijah?" Dom asks, exasperated. "I mean, you wouldn't fight Sean, now would you?"
"Of course not! What's the point, when I know I'd get my ass kicked? But see, I'm not too proud to admit defeat when I know I'm beaten."
"Admit defeat?" Dom gasps "Never!"
"Might I offer a suggestion?"
Dom turns to Bernard. "By all means," he says.
"Why don't we arm wrestle for it?" Bernard asks. "No threat of bruising involved, but it's something physical, and it should make things sufficiently interesting."
Dom grins. "Bring it on."
Suddenly, Orlando's looking again, and Elijah's laughing. Viggo shifts up and switches seats with Bernard so that Bernard can sit across from Dom.
"I've got twenty on Bernard," Viggo says.
"Same for me, except my money's on Dom," Elijah says.
Sean rolls his eyes and takes their money. "Any other bets?" he asks.
"No, I'm just in this for the pure pleasure of watching Dom get beaten," Billy says, sitting back and crossing his arms while Orlando mumbles something that Dom doesn't quite catch, probably about how he'll be on the loser's side, so long as the loser isn't Dom.
"Got to get properly prepared here," Dom says, picking up his beer mug and lifting it to his mouth. "Ah, there we are. Ready!"
He rests his right elbow on the table, and Bernard mirrors his movements.
"Okay," Viggo says, standing over them like a referee. "Other hand goes under the table."
"To do what?" Billy snickers.
Viggo clasps their hands together, holding them between his own. "And...go!"
He lets go, and Dom is immediately faced with the full force of Bernard's strength. Shit. He can feel his face turning red while he struggles against it, gaining millimeters of space before being forced back. He's satisfied to see that Bernard's face is red, too, his jaw clenched.
Dom pushes harder, and starts making slow, grueling headway. He lets out a little grunt and winks at Bernard.
Then, when he has Bernard's hand halfway down to the table, Bernard leans forward and...licks him. Or licks his forehead, to be more specific.
Dom blinks in surprise, and a second later, his hand meets the table with a thump.
"Hey!" Dom protests belatedly, wiping off his forehead with the back of his free hand. "Unfair!"
"We didn't set any rules," Bernard says calmly, and no one else seems to be particularly sympathetic to Dom's plight. They're laughing at him!
Bernard squeezes his hand, and then lets go. "Good effort, though," he says, reaching for his beer. He finishes it in one gulp. "Well, now that I've put the hobbit in his place, I'm off. Some of us are old and frail and need our sleep."
He starts to push his chair back, but Dom stops him. "I demand a rematch!" he says.
"Dom just wants more tongue action," Elijah says, pocketing Viggo's money.
"Noooo," Dom says. "I just want to prove that under fair conditions, my strength cannot be denied!"
Bernard sighs. "Maybe tomorrow, Dom."
"Not that it'll change anything," Sean mumbles, and Dom kicks him again, satisfied at the predictable startled yelp.
"No bruises, you say," Sean gripes. "But my shins are going to be visible Monday, and they'll be black and blue. You and Billy get to explain this to Peter."
"Fine," Dom says. "But I'm getting my rematch."
"Like I said, Dom. Tomorrow."
"No. Tonight," Dom insists, and the others watch them, heads following their exchange like a ping pong match.
"Tomorrow," Bernard says.
"You can do whatever you please tonight. But I'm going home," Bernard says.
"Then I'm going with you."
"I'm not going to let you have your rematch tonight."
"Whatever you say. But I'm not going to leave you alone until I get to prove my superiority."
"And I'm not going to let you 'prove your superiority' until you leave me in peace."
"Not going to happen," Dom says, crossing his arms stubbornly.
Bernard gives him a considering look. "Have it your way." He turns to leave, and Dom's right on his heels.
He follows Bernard all the way to his apartment, but when they get to the outside door, Bernard turns around abruptly. "You're not coming in," he says, and he blocks Dom's view with his back when he keys in the door code. Dom tries to peek, but Bernard's hunched over it so that Dom can't see.
Bernard smiles at Dom. "Go home," he says, and closes the door behind him.
Dom waits outside for twenty minutes. Two people go in and one comes out while he's standing there, but he doesn't even try to go in. Then, just about the time when Bernard's probably getting in bed, he leans on the buzzer up to Bernard's apartment. For five minutes.
He waits a couple of minutes, then does it again. But about a minute in, Bernard's annoyed voice comes over the speaker. "Stop it, Dominic! I'll open my window and pour water all over you."
"You can't," Dom replies. "There's an overhang protecting me, see?"
Bernard growls. Dom keeps buzzing up to Bernard's room every minute, on the minute, for the next half-hour.
"I'm going to kill you!" Bernard snarls, and Dom's impressed that he made it that long without saying anything.
"But Bernard, I'm cold out here," Dom whines.
"Good! Maybe if you freeze to death, you won't be able to bother me anymore."
"Oh, I doubt it. I bet my ghost would come back to haunt you, to make sure that you feel forever responsible for my untimely death."
Bernard sighs. "Okay, fine. What if I say you win? No rematch, you just win. Will you leave me alone then?"
"Hmmm...I don't know. I'll have to consider it." After a moment, Dom shakes his head. "No, I don't think so. I have to actually beat you. My honor has been impugned. I must prove myself."
"Why don't you prove yourself some other time? Like tomorrow."
"Tomorrow's no good. I want to do this now."
"Well, tough luck. I'm going to bed, and if you don't stop that god damned buzzing, I really will kill you."
"But I'm cold!" Dom repeats.
"Then go home!"
"Can't do that," Dom says, but it doesn't appear that Bernard's listening anymore, because he waits about three minutes without a reply. So he buzzes up again, and when he's been holding the button down for seven minutes, he's getting impatient for Bernard to answer. Maybe he put in earplugs?
But just when Dom's about to give up, the front door swings opens to reveal Bernard, who looks slightly disheveled and mightily pissed off. And for a minute -- just a minute, mind you -- Dom actually fears for his life.
"Stubborn little wanker. Come on, then," Bernard says, and Dom might just let out a sigh of relief.
Bernard's apartment is studio-style, so it's all one big room. "There's the bathroom," Bernard says, "and there's where you'll be sleeping." He points to the couch. He grabs an extra blanket off his bed and tosses it at Dom. "Here, since you're so cold."
"Thank you, Bernard," Dom says, and he lays a big, wet kiss on Bernard's cheek on his way to the bathroom.
When he comes back out, barefoot, but otherwise still dressed, Bernard's already asleep. So Dom turns out the light and settles down on the couch for the night.
The next morning, though, Bernard reneges on their deal.
"But you promised!"
"And after all that fucking racket you made last night, you expected me to keep my word? Maybe if you'd gone away like I'd asked," Bernard says.
"Well then, when are we going to have our rematch if not today?"
"Never's an awfully long time away, Bernard."
"Not long enough," Bernard says, pushing through the door.
Dom follows him. "I'm just going be the bane of your existence until then."
"Never's an awfully long time away, Dom."
Within the next couple of weeks, people get used to seeing them together. Viggo calls them 'BernandDom' like they're one entity, because whenever Dom's not shooting or not in makeup or not on another island, he's trailing along behind Bernard.
"When are we going to rematch?" he always asks.
"Never," comes Bernard's inevitable reply.
And after a while, Dom starts forgetting to ask, but he still spends most of his free time with Bernard when possible. He likes the way Bernard pretends that he's only tolerating Dom, but still won't give him a rematch so that he'll leave Bernard alone.
"Why won't you give me a rematch?" he finally asks one day at lunch.
"Because I don't want you to have your way, and because I like to annoy you," Bernard replies.
"I don't think it's because you like to annoy me," Dom says. "I think it's because you like me."
"Is that what you think?"
"Yeah, it is."
"Well, maybe you're right," Bernard says.
Dom smiles. "Are you ever going to give me my rematch?"
"So who wins, then?"
Bernard smiles back. "I'd like to think we both do."