ataratah: (Default)
[personal profile] ataratah
Jeeves often refers to sleep as "nature's sweet restorer," but the trick of it is, you actually have to sleep for the sweet restoring to kick in. Just lying there doesn't work - I know, because I tried it that night, and I arose in the morning with dark circles under my eyes, a bruise on my jaw, and a hollowness of spirit that I hadn't felt since the last time Jeeves went on vacation.

As it was, I rose - if you can call it that - with the lark, several hours earlier than is my custom, and so was able to wash self, don the suit, and sneak downstairs before Jeeves could come in and greet me with my tea as he usually does. He'd note the exception, and no doubt find it strange, but I felt that I couldn't bear another encounter with me in bed, and him not.

But if my kissing him soundly on the lips hadn't wrung comment from him, my sneaking down the stairs at 7 ack emma did, for I was greeted with a raised eyebrow.

"Good morning, Jeeves," I said, with an attempt at nonchalance.

"Good morning, sir, if I may take the liberty of noticing, you are awake somewhat earlier than usual again, sir."

"Oh, well, you know how country air is. Invigorating and whatnot." I stood there staring at him for a bit, and at rather a loss, seated myself at the dining table, more for somewhere to be than any real desire to eat. But Jeeves clearly took it as a signal, for he said he'd fetch me some breakfast and vanished off to the kitchen before I could call a halt.

Typical of Jeeves to be ever alert to the care and feeding of the young master, even in times of crisis. Or so I thought, for when he returned only moments later, and set down a plate of eggs in front of me, they were stone cold, all the way through.

Here now, Wooster, you may be saying to yourself - you assault the man, then confront him at some ungodly hour, demanding eggs, and then complain that they're cold? Ungrateful, you may call it. And if I had turned the eggs away, you would be free to do so. But I sat there and continued to raise laden forkful after laden forkful to the lips as though there were nothing wrong. Inwardly, however, there was turmoil. I was trying to reason out these cold eggs, and the conclusion I was getting at was rather rummy.

1. Jeeves is a genius in the kitchen, and has never ruined a dish of food in his life.
2. If he had, then, ruined a dish of eggs, it must have been on purpose, what?
3. But even Jeeves, genius though he may be, could not create a plate of cold eggs in 30 ticks of the second hand.
4. So he must have had the cold eggs prepared for Wooster before hand.
5. But why would he have them prepared so early?
6. Unless he'd prepared them for himself...
7. But if so, why where they cold?
8. Because he had not eaten them, obviously.
9. I say, was Jeeves starving himself?!

These were not just eggs. They were not even simply cold eggs. These were the eggs of Jeeves's discontent.

I had always known that Jeeves was a creature of delicate sensibilities - a necktie with horseshoes printed on it could send him into a decline. What power, then, would the importune advances of the young master have? Mind you, he'd never had difficulties refusing me something before, but I did not assuming kissing was in the same category as a banjolele. I found myself wishing I had told him about the ghost from the first. Even if he had thought me mad, it couldn't have been nearly as bad as what he must be thinking of me now. No, it is always best to bring in Jeeves early, for the best results. It was what I had told my pals more than once, and I would have done well to listen to my own advice.

As it was, I could not tell him now without looking like the worst sort of craven noodle. A man can't just go around assaulting people and then blame it all on a ghost, especially if she was female. It didn't look right.

I had to solve this problem myself. Mind you, I didn't have any idea of where to begin, having no one to consult, and only an empty sack of salt to show for my efforts thus far.

Still, even I know where to get information when I don't have it, and while my preference is to ask Jeeves, seeing as how that was out of the question, I made my way to the Tumby Woodside lending library.

The library was smallish, only one floor, but filled with enough rows of books to make my head swim. However, there was a helpful looking chappy with graying hair and spectacles sitting by a sign that read "information," so I trotted over, and gave him a friendly, "what ho."

Librarians, as a species, tend not to like Bertram, and this one was no exception, for on sight of me, his lip curled into a little half sneer, and I could see that he was telling himself that here was one of those types who falls asleep on top of the reading desk, drooling on the books, and snoring loudly.

And he was not wrong, either, for that was how he found me a few hours later, after having handed me a stack of books on folklore and superstitions and whatnot, that had proved too much for the old bean.

He ticked me off pretty soundly, then booted me out, and I was left with nothing for my trouble but an inky smudge on my left cheek. Well, I did remember reading that holly could be used to ward off spirits, and while I thought I had seen some in Jeeves's potpourri, I had no idea how to use it, so that was hardly helpful.

I couldn't quite stick going back to the cottage right away after my little errand, picturing as I was Jeeves's stuffiest stuffed frog expression and the cinders of my snappiest togs awaiting me. So I legged it over to the local pub, which was pretty merry, even for early afternoon, if none too clean, and I played a game of darts or twelve, winning more than I lost, and toasting myself with a bit of whiskey.

The whiskey might have explained why it took me so long to get back to the cottage, actually, for I didn't roll back up to the temporary homestead until the stars were dotting the sky.

Jeeves had left me a note, reminding me that since he was still owed a night off, he had taken it, and left me a cold meat pie for supper.

More cold food. Rummy.



I went to sleep that night with a feeling of impending doom, and I was proven right when not more than a few hours later, the villainess Gloria reappeared in my chambers.

"What ho, Gloria," I said, sounding forlorn and broken even to my own ears.

"That was a rather pathetic showing last night, wasn't it? Your poor valet," she said, insubstantial arms crossed over her insubstantial bosom, "You'll need a bit more follow through with Mr. Renault than that, if you want to convince him that yours is a forever love."

"But ours is not a forever love," I pointed out.

"Of course not," she said pointedly, "but he needs to think it will be, or he'll never release Louis from his foul clutches."

"I don't suppose you'd consider relenting, and letting Bertram off the hook? I don't suppose ghosts have a code, but I have mine, and toying with fragile hearts has top billing."

"You will toy with Renault's heart," she said, growing darker, near to blotting out the sun, "Or you will wake up tomorrow to find you have fired your valet. Mr. Wooster, I hope I have made myself clear." And then she disappeared, feeling, I suppose, as though she had had her say, and there was nothing left for it but to leave me to be getting on with things.

Except I wasn't entirely sure I could get on with things. I know I've mentioned the Code of the Woosters from time to time, but I'm not sure if I've laid out, point for point, what this code fully entails. I shall not do so now, either, since the main thrust of the rules will suffice to explain why the situation I was in was particularly sticky.

The code was handed down to me by my great-great-great-great Uncle Ambrose, who was, you will have realized if you counted the number of "greats," quite dead at the time. He being one of the chatty ghosts I referred to earlier. Much of the code was outdated, of course, the code itself falling out of favor with the main familial line sometime during the Renaissance, and included things like how one should hold one's vigil, if one was too be knighted. Uncle Ambrose was, quite literally, the preux chevalier I had aimed to be, ever since he had given me the Code. And while the specifications about sword polishing were out of date, the guidelines he had inscribed for how to treat one's fellow man never would be.

And for fifteen years, I had kept to this code, come hell or high water. Only now, if I did, I would be losing the one thing I valued most.

Jeeves.

On the one hand, I held my honor as man, on the other, I held my paragon of a valet. I wrangled over the decision for several minutes, feeling as though I had come to a crossroads in my life. But I could come to no conclusion, I felt, until I had seen Jeeves once more.

What one wanted, in these situations, was to put the thing to Jeeves, and I was considering whether if, perhaps, I couched my problem as a hypothetical sort of thing, I might be able to do it yet. Thus energized, I leaped out of bed and went in search of the man.




I did not get to ask Jeeves my hypothetical, however, because he spent the whole of the morning ignoring me in the stuffiest and politest way imaginable. I had seen him operate this way before, when we had argued over some trifle and he expected that soon events would bear out to show me the error of my ways. If such had been the case this time, I would have wished heartily for events to be born out and for this mess to be done with. As it was, a morning without a good chat with Jeeves just showed me how bally miserable I would be if he was torn from my side, and all mornings henceforth would be the same as this one, as dry, and as featureless as the Gobi desert.

My path was clear. Or at least, the path to Loopy's study, where he and the chap Alain were working, was clear. How to get the secretary out of the study, and sway him into letting the love of Wooster into his heart... well, that path was hopelessly muddled.

I had shaken off Loopy's butler pretty sharply, and so I was unannounced when I peeked my head into Loopy's study, and found him at the tail end of a frightful row with Alain. We Wooster's have a keen, observant eye, and I could tell it was a row because there were papers fluttering everywhere like large snowflakes, and I could tell it was nearing the end because Loopy was wilting at his desk with his head in his hands, and Alain was looking cold and aloof by the bookshelves, with a weather eye on the nearby whiskey decanter.

There may have been better and safer moments for me to interrupt, but for getting them to agree to part with each other, there could not be, so I gave the inward tally ho and bounded forth.

"What ho, Loopy! What ho, young Renault!"

Loopy looked startled, "You're alive!"

"Yes, it seems that way," I agreed.

"However did you get away from that brute, Henri?"

"My brother is not a brute!" Alain interjecting sharply. Since I was trying to get on his good side, I did not mention that if he wanted people to think of his brother as a kind and gentle soul, he ought not to send him after them like a larger than usual attack dog.

"Oh, you know, Jeeves rather rescued me," was all I replied.

"Reggie always was a soft touch," Alain muttered darkly.

"Now that's all been settled, I expect you'll be heading back to London," Loopy said, hinting rather strongly.

"No, no. Think I'll stick around for a bit, yet. Maybe take a walk in the gardens. You know, that sort of thing."

"What?" Loopy said, "Why?"

I ignored him, "And I was thinking I could perhaps use some company, you know, on my walk-"

"If you think I'm letting you walk in the gardens with Louis again-" Alain began.

"Actually, I was thinking you might walk with me, young Renault. Maybe we could talk about this little misunderstanding we're having," I suggest, using my most winning smile on him.

The sight of said winning smile seemed to set off an alarm in Loopy, "Alain, I really don't think-"

"Oh, so it's come to this, finally, has it? Very well, Mr. Wooster," Alain said, grabbing his suit jacket off the back of a chair and heading purposefully past me out the door, "Let's go walk in the blasted garden!"



It was not the first time I had tried to woo someone who was vexed with me, so even though Alain looked like he would rather biff me one in the eye than speak to me, I felt I was on somewhat familiar ground. Why the whole of my courtship with Florence Craye was full of these sort of moments, where the business of the day was to ease her from scornful wrath to sweeter things. I never actually managed it, but there you are.

"Have you ever thought about love?" I began, sallying forth with a trusted opening line.

"Oh, good lord, you're not using that tired old line to soften him up, are you?" A distinctly feminine voice asked from over my shoulder, and a moment later, Gloria Hart wafted into view. I tried to shoo her away with a wave of my hand, hoping that Alain would assume I was swatting at a gnat.

She was right, however. Alain didn't seem terribly interested in keeping the conversation flowing, but was instead peering suspiciously past me at, I thought, the rosebushes. I don't blame him. As a child, I once bent over to sniff one of my aunt's prize buds, and got stung right on the nose by a bee that had been hiding amidst the petals. You never could tell with roses what might fly out at you. Rum, that.

Meanwhile Gloria was not retiring from the field as I had hoped, but was lingering, an avid, if dead, spectator. It was hard to forge on under such scrutiny, but we Woosters know how to carry on.

"The roses are blooming rather well, what? There's a poet johnny who says something like, 'roses by any other name would be just as spiffing,' but I've always thought it rather fortunate they weren't called something that sounds wretched, like wormwood."

"What on earth are you talking about?" Gloria asked sharply, "Get on with it!"

"Did you hear that?" Alain asked.

"What I mean to say is, your name is quite nice, if French, and it rather suits you-"

"Stow it Wooster, and listen. Do you hear something?"

"No?" I blinked at him, "Possibly a cricket, just now, though."

Alain lowered his voice, "I don't think we're alone."

"Well, I suppose there could be a gardener about-"

"No," Alain said firmly, "I know who it is." And then he raised his voice again, "And you may as well come out and show yourself!"

To my surprise, someone did - there was a frantic leafy sort of rustling, and then Loopy appeared, looking slightly scratched and a little worse for wear for having hidden himself in a rosebush.

"Oh, he gave himself away, the poor dear," Gloria sighed with disappoint, "I was hoping he'd catch you two at something good."

Alain looked baffled, "Louis? What are you doing here?"

"Ah, well, I was worried, and-"

"Fine, fine," Alain sighed, "You weren't who I was talking to anyway. He turned to squint at the largish sort of hedge behind me, "I can hear you quite clearly, so there's no use hiding!"

"Oh, alright," A voice called from behind the hedge, and suddenly Henri was in amongst us as well.

"I say, this garden is not as private a place as I had been lead to believe." I protested.

"Not you too, Henri!" Alain cried, "Oh, bother, it wasn't you I heard either, so you may as well go away again."

"Why would I?" Henri asked, "This is more entertaining than a bloody three act play."

"I am tired of these games," Alain shouted, "Come out now, or... or..." he trailed off for a moment, then glanced at me with a wicked gleam in his eyes, "Or I shall assault Mr. Wooster."

"What kind of incentive is that?" Gloria scoffed.

There came a polite sort of coughing, and Jeeves shimmered into place, looking as near to being sheepish as ever I'd seen him, "Forgive me, Al, I was just walking nearby, I did not intend to-"

"Oh, for-" Alain made a frustrated noise like a over-set hen, "If there's anyone else in the bushes, they can just stay there, I don't care!"

"You don't?" I asked.

"No, I am trying to communicate with that witch, Gloria Hart."

"How dare you call me a witch?" Gloria screamed, and then vanished, as though she could not hold her rage and her form at the same time. It was rather a relief to be rid of her, but no one else seemed to notice her leaving, even Alain, who had started visibly when she'd yelled at him.

"I say, Alain, you aren't going to have much luck there," Loopy pointed out, "She's dead."

"I know she's dead!," Alain cried, "It took me a while, but I finally get this whole ghost business."

"What ghost business?" Henri asked, but was soundly ignored.

"I've never seen her, but I recognize her voice," Alain said, turning to Loopy, "You should have told me she was haunting you!"

Loopy looked startled, and simply gaped.

"I was haunted?" Loopy asked incredulously, "By Gloria? Are you absolutely certain?"

"Oh, don't pretend, sir! You know I caught her speaking to you at nights."

"But - what?" Loopy explained, "I never heard a thing!"

Alain looked pretty skeptical, and I could tell that this "who, me?" bit of Loopy's wasn't getting him anywhere. I was on the verge of stepping in myself, when Jeeves coughed softly and interrupted, "Forgive me, Al, but it is entirely possible that your Mr. Lufton does not have the same level of psychical sensitivity that you possess, and was unaware of Miss Hart's activities."

"It's true," Loopy shrugged, "I never saw any of the things that Bertie was always crying about in school."

"Loopy!" I hissed, "You aren't even supposed to know about that!"

"Oh, honestly, Bertie, the cat's rather out of the bag at this point."

"And you!" Alain said, pointing an accusatory finger at Bertram, "You've been helping her all this time!"

"Not willingly, I suspect. If sir will permit me the observation," Jeeves interjected politely.

"Exactly!" I said, "She kept taking control of my body and having me do terrible things. I'm so sorry Loopy... Jeeves," I hung my head.

"She can do that?" Loopy said, "I say, that's dangerous, what?"

"What sort of terrible thing did you do to Reggie, Wooster?" Henri asked with a smirk, "I bet you enjoyed it."

I stiffened, "It does not concern you," I rebuked him.

"Oh, but I think it does," Alain responded archly, "I heard her talking to you just now, and I know you were about to try it on me."

Henri took a threatening step towards me, and I raised my hands in a pacifying manner to fend him off, "Nothing personal, old thing," I said, "I didn't want to do it. But she was threatening Jeeves."

"I say, why is my dead fiancée threatening Bertie's manservant?"

"Oh, um," I said, risking a glance at Jeeves, and hoping he wouldn't work out exactly why he was my weak spot, "She had rather decided that Bertram was the only person who could assist her in her nefarious ends, and of course I didn't want to, but-"

"I suspect," Jeeves offered, "That the young lady may have viewed me as a threat."

"Really, Jeeves?" I said, blinking.

"Yes, sir, I fear she recognized the potpourri which I had set around the cottage. It is a mixture used to dissuade spirits from congregating in a location, but I regret to say that Miss Hart is stronger than the usual apparition, and it must have had little effect on her."

"Well, she flickered at bit when she got near it, Jeeves," I told him, remembering back.

"Indeed, sir?"

"But if this is all true then - oh, Louis, I thought the most terrible things of you! And I accused you falsely over and over again. Can you ever forgive me?" Alain had started to cry a little, and I must say, the way his eyes looked, all wide and sparkling with tears was rather appealing.

It certainly guaranteed a receptive response from Loopy, for it was a mere matter of seconds before he had Alain folded into his arms.

And if I hadn't made a daring leap at the very last moment, and covered Jeeves's eyes with my hand, my man would have seen the love that dare not speaking it's name bally well attempt to spell itself out in sign language.

Jeeves may be traditional, but I figured he ate enough fish to put 1 and 1 together to get 2 if 1 and 1 were pretty well glued at the lips, and I was taking no chances with his virtue.

"Sir?"

"Yes, Jeeves?"

"Would you be so good as to uncover my eyes, sir?"

"No, Jeeves, I would not," I replied. Of course he could have always removed my hand himself. While I possess a certain willowy strength, Jeeves could probably wrestle a bull or an elephant - possibly a bull elephant - into submission - why, I had once seen him triumph over a more than particularly irate swan - and so Bertram was not likely to give him a real challenge.

But Jeeves seemed to prefer rhetoric over force of arms and was trying another tack, "Sir, I believe you are suffering from a misconception regarding my awareness of the nature of the relationship between Mr. Renault and Mr. Lufton."

"Nonsense, Jeeves," I lied, "I am well aware of your omniscience, and I know that it will have hardly escaped your attention that Loopy and Mr. Renault are good friends."

Henri was, at this point, laughing quite heartily, but I ignored him.

"I am not sure you are understanding me, sir," Jeeves replied, and I suspect that it weren't for the feudal spirit burning in his breast, his tone would have been bitingly sarcastic, "How may I convince you, sir?"

"Ah, well," I said, stalling a little.

"It has often been said, sir, that actions speak louder than words. If you will permit me the liberty, I think you would benefit from the added volume." And with that, he snaked an arm around me, then dipped me over the same and began to kiss me soundly, as though we were some cinematic couple. After what felt like only a moment, he righted us again and gave me a rummy sort of look as if to say, "there now, Wooster!"

"Jeeves!" I cried, for I could come to only one conclusion, "You're possessed, aren't you?" For, just because I could not see Gloria anywhere nearby at present, didn't mean she wasn't nearby - i.e. in Jeeves. I mean to say, as far as kissing went, it was rather her modus operandi, whereas Jeeves was as likely to kiss me as... well, there was no need to go stirring that kettle, what?

"Not the brightest lad, eh?" Said Henri, who was watching us with some interest.

"He makes up for it in other ways," Jeeves said, and the words rather warmed me, as well as the way he had put his arm in mine. I had to remind myself quite forcibly that he was under the influence of a vengeful female, "Come, sir," Jeeves said to me, gently guiding me out of the garden, "Perhaps we can resolve this after we've conducted an exorcism back at the cottage."

I waved my farewells at Loopy and Alain, who missed it, being otherwise occupied, and at Henri, despite his impertinent comments. Then I turned back to Jeeves, "But I don't know how to perform an exorcism, Jeeves. Or should I say Gloria?" I asked, peering at him closely.

"I am not possessed, sir, so 'Jeeves' will suffice for the present."

"Are you quite certain, Jeeves?"

"Yes, sir. And it is myself who I suppose will perform the exorcism, sir, though your assistance would be helpful, if you can spare the time."

"I say, Jeeves," and I looked up at him, "You seem to know a bally awful lot about this sort of thing."

"Indeed, sir?"

"Just the other day, you were telling me that ghosts don't exist, and now I find out you've been setting out dishes of herbs to keep them clear of the place!"

"True, sir."

"And now we're heading off to conduct an exorcism!"

"Indeed, sir."

"Don't say 'indeed, sir,' like this is quite the same thing as ironing the young master's trousers. I mean, I know you're a genius, Jeeves, but this is pretty far outside your usual realm of expertise."

"On the contrary, sir, spirits are quite at the center of my 'realm of expertise,' as you put it."

"Now we're getting somewhere! Continue, Jeeves!"

"As I was saying, sir, my family has a history of producing and training exorcists."

"What? I thought your family rather prided itself on serving the best houses in England, not bunging out the restless spirits."

"Just so, sir. I'm sure you are aware that the reputation most great country houses have of being infested with ghosts is not unfounded?"

"Yes, I bally am aware," I muttered darkly, thinking on all the times during my childhood that I'd roosted in places that were simply crawling with ancestral wraiths.

"Indeed, sir, it was for this reason that my family has been able to add their peculiar talent to the list of services they might offer a family."

"And you too, Jeeves, offer this service? You never mentioned it."

"No, sir," Jeeves coughed apologetically, "My abilities in this line are less than perfect, and so I do not typically-"

I stopped him with a raised hand, "Jeeves!"

"Yes, sir?"

"Did you just say you were less than perfect, Jeeves?"

"Yes, sir," he replied, raising the eyebrow a touch.

"Well, I won't hear of it. Strike this 'less than perfect' from your vocabulary. It's utter rot."

"If you'll pardon me, sir, I have defect which-"

"'Defect!' Strike that, too, Jeeves!"

"-prevents me from seeing spirits," Jeeves continued, loftily ignoring my admonitions, "Therefore, I cannot verify an apparition's existence or target my exorcisms with any efficiency."

"But I can," I said, coming to a halt, and noticing belatedly, that we had nearly arrived at the cottage, "Jeeves, I can see them."

"Yes, sir."

"Did you know, Jeeves?"

"I had heard rumors, sir, before entering your service, but I saw no sign of any such abilities on your part until recently, sir."

"I think they were busy lying dormant. Bit of a disappointment for you, what?" I chuckled weekly.

"No, sir," Jeeves replied calmly, and opened the cottage door for me, "I soon found other compensations in your employment, if you will permit me to say."

I entered, though I did not want to - the cottage had not, so far, housed any happy scenes, and I was a bit wary of it by this point, "And all this time, I was so careful to hide it from you that I was seeing a ghost."

"May I inquire as to why sir believed this to be necessary?"

"Well, Jeeves," I said, throwing myself down on the lounge, "It's rather simple, what? I thought you'd think me loony. And then I hadn't told you, and had lied about it, rather, and it just got harder to say."

"I see, sir. But I would not have thought you 'loony,' as you put it, I can assure you."

"Well, you say that now, but how was I supposed to know it at the time?"

"I would hope you had realized, sir, that I would not think you mentally disturbed for any secret of yours that you might confess to me."

"Awfully white of you," I replied, and then saw that I was again missing something, since his eyebrow had crept up his forehead, and the look he was giving me could only be described as rummy.

"I say, Jeeves, when you say any secret... do you mean any secret?" I asked, my heart pounding a bit.

"Indeed, sir. I would also not blanch at any criminal activity you may have engaged in."

"Jeeves!"

He looked apologetic, "It was simply a hypothetical statement, sir, I am certainly not accusing you of anything."

"Right ho."

"May I assume, sir, that you do, perhaps, have another secret to confess?"

“Oh, well, you see,” I stalled, “...erm.”

“Yes, sir?”

“I say, you already know about that time I stole a policeman's helmet, what?”

“Yes, sir."

"And that time with the absinthe?"

"Yes, sir. I believe there was something else you wanted to tell me about?” He asked gently, staring at me with all the patience of a kindly saint, waiting for me to confess all. My resolve crumpled.

“Well, Jeeves, it's like this...”

“Like what, sir?”

“Well, you already know I'm not much one for the fillies, what?”

“Yes, sir, that had not escaped my notice.”

“Quite, yes. Well, as it happens, it seems that when it comes to matters of – er, love – I tend to prefer chaps. As it were.”

“Indeed, sir?”

“Which is to say, I'm an invert.”

“Excellent, sir,” He said, and stepped a bit closer, till I could practically feel the warmth radiating off of his skin, “If you'll allow me to suggest, sir, I do believe the exorcism can wait.”

“Can it, Jeeves?”

“Yes, sir,” He said, and then scooped me up in his arms, and, in a trice had me up the stairs and deposited on my bed.

“Jeeves!”

“Yes, sir?” He asked, quite correctly, but I could see his attention was not on the young master. Instead he was making rather quick work of his tie, and, as I looked on, his waistcoat.

“Jeeves?”

“Sir,” He said absently, bending over me and sprinkling my neck with kisses till I quite nearly lost all my resolve.

“JEEVES!” I tried once more, and gave a great shove.

Jeeves picked himself off the floor, and scowled at me quite openly, having rather lost the feudal spirit when he'd tumbled from the bed, I gathered. “Sir?”

“Jeeves, I don't think the exorcism can wait!” I explained and pointed at the far corner of the room, where Gloria was hovering, a dark look in her eyes, and calling me all matter of foul names.

Jeeves glanced at the corner, and then turned back to me, “Sir, I have already told you, I cannot see spirits. Is something there?”

“Yes, it's Miss Hart!” I yelped.

“Very good, sir, if you will just reach over to the nightstand, you will find a silver bell-”

“Jeeves, I think this canoodling has injured your great brain. Why on earth would I use the bell to summon you when you're right here on top of me?”

“If sir will simply ring the bell, perhaps matters will become more clear.”

I was a little dubious, but Jeeves generally knew best, so I gave the thing a twirl, sending out a bright silvery peel of sound. The result was the work of an instant. Practically the moment the bell knocker clanged against the side, the shade of Gloria Hart gave a little shriek and winked out of existence.

“Jeeves!” I cried, “She's gone!”

“Not permanently, sir,” Jeeves said, “But the bell has the power to dispel spirits temporarily. I believe we have some time until she will be able to manifest herself again.”

“Enough time for the exorcism, what?”

“And for perhaps one or two other activities, sir, if you will permit the suggestion.”

“Suggest away, Jeeves!”

And he did, to the tune of helping me out of my sweater vest and then ripping my shirt off.

“Jeeves! I think you've ruined my shirt!”

“Terribly sorry, sir,” he said, and kissed me in apparent apology.

“I liked that shirt,” I lamented, when I once again had use of my mouth.

“It didn't suit you, sir.” Jeeves said, and then tugged at my trousers till the button flew off, and bounced out into the hall.

“At least it was only the button this time,”I said, lifting up a bit so he could pull them the rest of the way off, “I suppose they can be repaired.”

“I'm afraid not, sir,” he said and pressed me down into the mattress.

“I say, Jeeves, are you trying to get me naked, or are you just taking this opportunity to destroy some of my clothes?”

“Both, sir,” Jeeves breathed his answer softly into my ear, and then kissed me till I forgot all about trousers and shirt.




What with one thing and another, it was a while before I could think clearly again, but when the the afterglow had ebbed a bit, the old bean started to work.

"I say, Jeeves, you're an invert, too!" I cried in revelation, once capable of intelligible speech.

"Yes, sir, among other things," He replied coolly, giving me a sort of soupy look that meant, usually, that he was thinking less than flattering thoughts about Bertram.

I must have disappointed him, I suppose. I hadn't any complaints before, though on occasion, I had a tendency to be a bit quick off the mark. Perhaps Jeeves had felt I had jumped the gun, so to speak. I chewed my lip a bit, then ventured, "You wouldn't want to try it again sometime, would you, old thing? I'd be willing to try whatever you like."

I was nervous he'd turn me down, and my heart was rather thumping harder than when we'd been in the midst of the hot and heavy, but his soupy expression softened into a warm smile-ish sort of thing, where the corners of his mouth turned up a fraction, and his eyes crinkled a bit at the corners.

"Sir," He said patiently, "I think you have misunderstood me."

"Oh, well," I floundered, because it sounded awfully a lot like a rejection, but I could read his map like an experienced navigator by now, and it looked to me like the topography was telegraphing something like fondness beyond the avuncular.

"I love you, sir."

"What!" I said, shooting up in the bed, "Are you certain?"

"Quite certain, sir," He said dryly, "I have felt this way for some time now, and have had ample time to analyze and diagnose the emotion."

"But, Jeeves," I said, "Are you sure it's me? You could have anyone, you know. I can understand if your tastes don't run to princesses, but there are always princes, what?"

"Yes, sir, but in the old chivalric romances, I had always been most attracted to the knights." He hinted, a little gleam in his eye.

"You don't mean the preux chevalier, by any chance, do you?"

"Rem acu tetigisti, sir."

The thing about living with Jeeves is, you begin to pick up these little bits and pieces of knowledge, and if I had gotten the gist of what he'd said, than that meant I had hit the needle on the nose, and it really was Bertram he was after.

"Oh, well," I said, flushing furiously, "I love you too, you know."

"Yes sir, I already knew," He said smugly.

"How?" I protested, though when he tugged on my arm, I allowed him to reel me back in to nestle at his side, "I never told you."

"That's never stopped me knowing anything before, sir," He said softly, stroking my back and rather lulling me into Morpheus's embrace, as well as his own.

"Right ho," I said sleepily. It was true enough.


THE END
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Profile

ataratah: (Default)
ataratah

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Page generated Jul. 21st, 2017 06:48 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios
September 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 2014