|Sequel to "Tómas"
Overall rating: PG-13
Category: slash, adventure, humour
Other characters appearing: Lord George Cutler Beckett, Lt. Greitzer, Lt. Groves, Will Turner plus cameos by Prince Frederick of Prussia and Voltaire
Feedback: very welcome. Good or bad.
Author's note: I thought that "Tómas" was the weirdest story I've ever written. Well, I was wrong.
Summary: There is nothing that a leprechaun wouldn't do for his treasure, so all is not lost for James Norrington.
Groves tried to be as tactful as possible. "This might help to ease your - indisposition."
"What hellish brew is it this time? I must have tried everything short of cooked frogs," Voltaire grumbled, and wiped the sweat off his forehead. He had just sacrificed his breakfast to the fishes for the third time that day, and slowly lowered himself onto the deck, giving the tankard in Groves' hand a suspicious glance.
"This ship doesn't carry frogs," Groves said dryly. "We're British. You may drink this without fear; it's tea with rum and ginger."
"Ginger! Leave me alone with ginger! It was ginger which brought me in this predicament in the first place, after all!" Voltaire glared at Gillette, who arched an eyebrow and wrinkled his long nose.
"I think the word you've were looking for was auburn, sir," he said icily.
"Not at all, mon capitain." Despite his previous protests, Voltaire took the offered tankard, frowned and then downed the content in one. He pulled a face. "Disgusting! I dare say I'd preferred the frogs. But thank you anyway, Mr. Groves. At least one compassionate soul aboard this ship."
"You're very welcome, sir."
"In return for your kindness, I'll share a fascinating linguistic detail with you, Mr. Groves," Voltaire said. "'Auburn' actually evolved from 'alborne', a French word used many centuries ago to describe blond hair. With that knowledge, would you consider 'auburn' an appropriate description for our dear captain's hair colour?"
Groves paled and took the empty tankard from Voltaire's hands. "I... well... one could... depending on the light... my apologies, I think somebody just called for me." A quick bow of the head, then Groves hurried to get away and escape further discussions which could only end in trouble for all involved.
Voltaire, despite still feeling sick, couldn't help but chuckle. "There goes my saviour. But now tell me, what on earth is the appeal of this profession? How can anybody enjoy being aboard a ship? The heat. The food. The filth. Orders and rules and regulations. It seems to me that I've never been in a more hellish place. Or a more boring one."
Gillette kept his view on the horizon. "This life is very different from the one that our kind leads, that's true," he admitted. "But it wasn't until the day that I met James Norrington that I had a purpose."
"A porpoise? Couldn't you just have kept a monkey like everybody else?"
"I said purpose! Everybody needs a purpose, after all."
Voltaire shook his head. "Who needs a purpose when you can have fun instead? And anyway, how much longer will this journey take? I'm heartily sick of the sea. Literally."
"We're almost there, dear cousin. Tomorrow, if the wind doesn't change."
"Then we'll see."
* * *
"Five bells. Time to leave."
"There must be a less cruel way to tell the hours," Voltaire groaned, fingers in his ears. "Bells, in the middle of the night! Even the dead would awake! Do the lunatics on this swimming apple barrel never sleep?"
"The ship never sleeps," Gillette explained. "You'll get used to it." The creaking of the planks, the muffled voices and steps of the officers on watch above them, the snoring of the seamen - all those noises had become part of his life. He had missed them, just like the smell of fresh tar, tobacco, rum and the sea. Those noises and smells would forever remind him of James Norrington, just like his mother singing him to sleep and the smell of burning peat would always mean home to him.
"I said, have you finished watching that fly on the wall? Hull? Thingy?"
"Oh? Yes. Of course," Gillette murmured, who hadn't paid any attention to his cousin's words. "We don't have much time. First we have to dress for the occasion, though." He blinked, and gone was his uniform. Instead, he wore a fine suit of green velvet with silver buttons and large silver buckles on his polished shoes. A huge black pot appeared in front of him, filled with gold.
Voltaire sighed. "Can't we, just for once, stay informal and not drag all your otherworldly possessions with us?"
"A leprechaun never leaves anything behind," Gillette said sternly.
"That sounds like a motto humans would come up with. But fine, fine, I won't argue." Voltaire blinked as well and was gone, reappearing seconds later as a small, ghostly light next to Gillette.
"Ready? Then hold fast to my coattails, or you'll get lost."
"Do you see any hands?" Voltaire protested, clearly insulted. "The obvious aside, I certainly won't get lost!"
"You're a will-o'-wisp, cousin. Getting lost is the purpose of your life. Sit on my shoulder then."
Muttering and cursing Voltaire did as he was told. Gillette could feel an icy breeze on his cheek, but whether this was due to the nature of a will-o'-the-wisp or because his cousin was angry, he couldn't tell.
"I can't believe I let you talk me into this, Tómas," Voltaire muttered. "I could be with my Marquise now, and I can assure you that we'd find better and more pleasurable ways to spend our time than hunting for mermaids! Indeed, even sitting over Frederick's manuscript and crying over his grammar would be more entertaining!"
"Quit whinging," Gillette said, unimpressed by the protests. His hand closed around the pot handle, and after a blink, they disappeared and the great cabin was empty.
* * *
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|THE FLYING SCOTSMAN 5/18
by Molly Joyful