Sequel to "Tómas"

Overall rating: PG-13
Category: slash, adventure, humour
Pairing: Norrington/Gillette
Other characters appearing: Lord George Cutler Beckett, Lt. Greitzer, Lt. Groves, Will Turner plus cameos by Prince Frederick of Prussia and Voltaire
Warnings: none
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.

The annual conference of the Westland Banshees singing the anthem of their chapter couldn't have produced a more ghastly wailing than the screaming and moaning of the mermaids rushing into Lord Cutler Beckett's quarters like a swarm of startled mackerels.

"Enough!" they screamed, their webbed hands firmly pressed against their ears. "Stop it!" they cried, cringing in pain upon hearing his lordship's voice, which, at best, could be described as atonal.

Barbel grasped Voltaire, who stood closest to her by the shoulders and shook him hard.

"Make him stop," she cried. "Oh please, Voltaire of the Shining Light, have mercy and make him stop!"

"Is this your wish, fair mermaid?" Voltaire asked. "Are you really certain that you wish him to stop?"

"I do! I do wish it with all my heart!"

"Well then!" Voltaire rubbed his hands. "Seoirse! Did you hear? She wishes you to stop singing! It's indeed her greatest wish!"

Cutler Beckett halted mid-verse, torn between delight that one wish was off his shoulders, and insult that he had to perform in front of such an ignorant audience.

"Oh, silence, blessed silence," Barbel sighed. "I never thought any living being could produce such noise."

"You haven't heard cousin Tómas snoring yet," Voltaire quipped, only to be elbowed in the side by Gillette. "That's a ghastly sound, I assure you!"

"I don't believe that," Barbel said, and if she'd had lashes, she'd batted them at Gillette. "You have a very lovely voice."

"Yes, he's an all-around lovely fellow. Such wit, such spirit!"

"And such lovely hair," Barbel sighed. She swam circles around Gillette, pulling teasingly on his pigtail.

Voltaire perked up his ears.

"Very lovely, I much agree. It's rare to find such a shade, just look how shiny it is!"

"Have you gone mad?" Gillette hissed. "What are you thinking, waxing lyrical about my hair?"

His cousin ignored him.

"So shiny... I wish I had hair like that," Barbel said wistfully.

"Are you certain of that?" Voltaire asked, trying to hide his glee. "Is it really your wish to look like a red lighthouse on fire?"

"Indeed," Barbel confirmed.

"You can be helped. Seoirse?"

Cutler Beckett, who had followed the exchange with increased confusion, finally caught up with the conversation. He blinked and clapped his hands, and within seconds, the seaweed was gone and Barbel's head was graced with auburn locks, reaching down to her waist. Voltaire quickly produced a mirror, and held it in front of the mermaid.

"Oh! Oh! How beautiful!" she exclaimed, shaking her head and laughing. "Look, your highness, my hair is red!"

"Auburn," Gillette muttered.

Cutler Beckett gave his cousin two thumbs up and mouthed "only one to go", then he turned to Barbel and smacked his lips.

"How absolutely stunning! It's red, no doubt," he said, smiling smugly. "It's the reddest hair that ever sprouted on a mermaid's head. I envy your beauty, Barbel."

The mermaid was in love with her reflection in the mirror, and couldn't stop shaking her hair.

"Lovely, so lovely. Oh, how I wish you all could have hair like mine!"

"Oh no, you don't," Cutler Beckett protested, turning very pale all of a sudden. "You can possibly not mean that!"

"But I do!" Barbel giggled. "You and your cousin and Robert the accountant - I wish you'd all have red hair. You'd be very handsome. Yes, that's my wish."

Cutler Beckett sighed.

"Don't even think about it, Seoirse," Voltaire cried, but it was too late. He snatched the mirror from Barbel's hand, and to his great horror, his former dark brown hair was now a shade not unlike the one of chestnuts.

"By all Spirits of the Forest, what have you done? My hair! My beautiful hair!"

"Quit the whinging," Cutler Beckett snapped, tearing his wig off his head and revealing red stubbles. "I can never go without a wig again! But at least I'm free now, and-"

A piercing shriek interrupted any further discussion. Robert stormed in, pushing the mermaids aside, jumping around like a little goat, tearing out his now very red hair with both hands.

"Who was it?" he screamed. "Who did that? I'm disfigured! Disgraced! Dishonoured!"

"And I'm disgusted, but for completely different reasons," Gillette snapped. He blinked, and Robert found himself put in green irons. Gillette grasped him by the scruff of his neck and dragged the screaming and kicking fairy toward the orlop. "Time to face the music!"

"Music?" Barbel looked very confused from Voltaire to Lord Cutler Beckett. "What does the lovely Tómas mean?"

"He means that truth will out," Voltaire explained.

"Oh." The mermaid wrapped a strand of her newly red hair around her finger. "I still don't understand, but I'm glad to know that his Highness won't be singing again."

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Dramatis Personae
The Stories
by Molly Joyful