|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.
The mermaids had made themselves at home in the wreck of the Endeavour. Voltaire was fascinated by the spawn-like constructions attached to the hull; he could see the curled-up bodies of sleeping mermaids behind the gelatinous walls of those bowers, gently rocked by the current.
Their guide had introduced herself as Barbel, and she had obviously taken a shine to Gillette. Voltaire had to be careful not to be swatted by one of her fins while she wrapped them playfully around his cousin.
Gillette also had a good look at the place, but he was more interested in the fastest escape route than in sleeping mermaids. He also couldn't help but feel that they were being watched.
"Your home is very beautiful, Barbel."
The mermaid smiled and showed her horrible teeth, making Voltaire shudder.
"How kind of you, Tómas. Why don't you stay with us? It would make me very happy."
She moved a little closer and put her arm around Gillette's shoulder. Voltaire saved his life by jumping on Gillette's tricorne, sitting there like a shining cockade.
"Your offer is too generous, but I'm only a humble leprechaun," Gillette said gallantly.
"Yes, and he's married! And his wife is a harpy! And they have twelve eggs to look after!" Voltaire snapped.
"Oh, what a pity." Barbel looked disappointed and withdrew her arm. "Why did a dashing leprechaun like you choose a harpy, of all the women? They are ugly!"
"I like her sunny personality," Gillette said smoothly. "Plus I'm hardly at home, anyway."
Barbel pulled a face, but didn't make further inquiries. They had now reached what had once been the upper gun deck of the Endeavour. Gillette's jaw dropped and he looked around in wide-eyed disbelief.
Where once thirty 32 pounders had dominated the picture, there was now a display of lavish luxury. Carpets covered the planks, Greek and Roman statues had taken the place of cannons; heavy velvet curtains hid the hull. Elegant furniture completed the interior, and though they were at the bottom of the sea, there were no mussels clinging to the curtains, no starfish to the statues, and no algae soiled the brightly coloured carpets. There was only one explanation for that.
"It's magic," Voltaire whispered in Gillette's ear.
"Indeed. And there's the reason for this miracle."
He pointed at Lord Cutler Beckett, sprawled on a Chippendale sofa, with a crown askew on his head and dressed in enough yellow silk and gold to make the sun turn pale. A mermaid offered him a plate with sardines, and a man in a brown coat with mustard-coloured stripes was busy writing in a journal.
"Oh Emperor, you have guests," Barbel announced, and bowed her head. "Tómas of the Southern Forest and Voltaire of the Shining Light have come to see you!"
Cutler Beckett jumped up, sending the plate with sardines a-flying.
"Tómas!" he cried. "My dearest, most precious and beloved cousin!"
He ran towards Gillette and hugged him so hard that Voltaire only barely escaped being squeezed to death. "Insufferable git," he grumbled.
"How wonderful," Cutler Beckett exclaimed. Then he lowered his voice. "About bloody time you came to save me. What kept you?"
Gillette was too flabbergasted to reply, and he couldn't take his eyes off the man in Cutler Beckett's company who glared daggers in their direction.
"Seoirse," he hissed. "What on earth is that fairy doing here?"
"Oh, you mean Robert?" Cutler Beckett looked over his shoulder, then he shrugged. "Don't pay any attention to him. He's only my accountant."
* * *
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|THE FLYING SCOTSMAN 7/18
by Molly Joyful