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30 November 2013 @ 09:02 am
Fic: The Pirate King  
Thanks to wrisomifu I wrote something! Well, I've written a respectable amount this month despite RL doing its level best to crush me, but it's all for Yuletide, so I've had nothing to post. But last night I was wanting to write something different, and I was giving Cub a bath and he was doing an excellent pirate impression collecting all the toys in a big heap, and I sang some songs from Pirates of Penzance for him, which he enjoyed, and then I started wondering about characters who might sing anything from Pirates. And this silly little ficlet sort of happened to me. I'm sorry! *runs away*

"For I am the Pirate King," Miles sang, leaning back in a dramatic pose against the heap of gold. He nudged Ivan, who rolled his eyes and chimed in reasonably tunefully considering how much he'd had to drink, "You are! Hurrah for the Pirate King!"

"And it is, it is a glorious thing to be a Pirate King."

Miles looked like he was going to start another verse. Before he could, Ivan said, "Don't you think Gregor will notice his money's missing?"

"They're just symbols," Miles said, flicking a small tower of the coins. They clattered onto the parquet floor, sounding heavy and rich. Ivan winced. "He still got all his taxes. And it will be hours before he can get away from the crowd. We'll put them back before then and he won't notice. Meanwhile--" he sat back on his pile of gold "--I am the Pirate King..."

"I am an orphan boy," sang a voice from the archway, quieter and clearer than Miles's.

Ivan sat up straight and accidentally kicked over another tower of coins. The crash seemed extremely loud. One rolled mesmerisingly across the floor to come to a rest by Gregor's left boot. Miles blinked, swallowed, and sang, "He is! Hurrah for the orphan boy!" Ivan joined in at 'hurrah'. That at least felt right.

"And it is, it is a glorious thing, to be an orphan boy."

Ivan scrambled to his feet, but Miles stayed where he was. "Sire," he said. "I thought you were stuck shaking everyone's hands all evening."

"I escaped," Gregor said. He stared at the coin by his boot, and Ivan reached to pick it up and put it in one of the bags. "No," Gregor said, and Ivan stopped.

"I wasn't allowed to play with these when I was little," Gregor said. "I see you've managed it at last. But all pirates bow before the Crown, do they not?" He nodded to Miles, who relinquished his golden seat. Gregor sat down, to more muffled clinking as the pile of gold rearranged itself under his greater weight.

"I don't think you'll pass as Queen Victoria," said Miles, hunkering down at Gregor's right hand.

"Ivan's Frederick, aren't you," Gregor said. "An unwillingly drafted pirate." He tried to lounge against the gold coins the way Miles had, and there was a much louder clatter. "I think you should share some of your wine."

Ivan passed him the bottle. "It's the good stuff," he said.

"Of course," Gregor responded. "I don't expect pirates take the stuff we serve out there." He grimaced and shook out his hand. "I think Count Vorpatril was trying to crush my fingers."

"Sorry," said Ivan automatically. "He does that to me as well."

"Won't they be looking for you out there?" Miles asked.

"I'm sure they are, but I can have five minutes. I think." Gregor picked up one of the gold coins and tossed it in the air and caught it. "Is it fun, being a pirate?" he asked Miles.

"I'm not a pirate!"

Ivan and Gregor looked at each other, and then at Miles.

"I'm not! It's your fleet."

"As I said. Pirates are loyal to the Crown. Or the Camp-Stool."

"Yes," Miles said, tossing another coin to Gregor, "sometimes it's fun."

"Thought so." Gregor sipped from the bottle and passed it around. "I am the Pirate King," he essayed after a few minutes, and Ivan and Miles joined in again. It wasn't as convincing as Miles singing it, Ivan thought.

When they finished, a short, stocky man standing quietly in the doorway cleared his throat. "I am the very model of a modern Major-General," he sang in a rough bass. "And this looks like a much better party, but I'm afraid I must break it up. Your guests are getting restless, Gregor." He looked at the gold coins and at his son and nephew. "It would be as well for this to be back where it belongs before the Lord Guardian comes to collect it. I don't really want to have to deal with you being arrested again. Especially not for piracy."

Crossposted at http://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/109058.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
dandelion wine: photo by dervish_candelaegelantier on November 30th, 2013 09:27 am (UTC)
i'm pretty sure i just said AWWW out loud :D
philomytha: Beam me upphilomytha on December 1st, 2013 01:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah, me too, writing it.
Trobadora: money - power - sex ... and elephantstrobadora on November 30th, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC)
philomytha: Beam me upphilomytha on December 1st, 2013 01:23 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it!
Her Hamsterness: Vorkosigan -- Cordelia motherhoodhamsterwoman on November 30th, 2013 08:36 pm (UTC)
The story was adorable, and then Aral showed up, singing, and it became five times better still! :D
philomytha: Beam me upphilomytha on December 1st, 2013 01:24 pm (UTC)
Aral singing was just inevitable. It's a pity I couldn't get Illyan and 'a policeman's lot is not a happy one' as well, but I thought the story might buckle under the weight of another song and character.
nnozomi: nodamecellonnozomi on December 1st, 2013 11:18 am (UTC)
Ow. Ow! This is so funny and so sweet, and so...ow. "An orphan boy..." and "I'm not a pirate! It's your fleet," and, oh dear. (Sorry, I don't seem to be coming up with coherent sentences.) And in all the later "I'm just your donkey, Coz" scenes from Memory and so on, I can now imagine Ivan mentally shrugging and saying to himself "A slave to duty... ."
The Vor Game and Mikado next? Maybe?
philomytha: Beam me upphilomytha on December 1st, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! And Ivan is just such an unlucky slave to duty! They fit the parts amusingly well in places.

I wonder who has a little list? And I was contemplating Alys braiding the raven hair this morning. I think this may be some sort of disease...
somebraveapollo: bitchpleasesomebraveapollo on December 1st, 2013 11:06 pm (UTC)

This was the sweetest thing in the world and I approve completely.
philomytha: Beam me upphilomytha on December 13th, 2013 04:18 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! Aral as the model modern major-general was completely irresistible!
shimotsuki: vorkosiganshimotsuki on December 7th, 2013 05:10 am (UTC)
Delightful! Silly -- with an undercurrent of the poignant. But I'm still giggling.
philomytha: Beam me upphilomytha on December 13th, 2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
Silly and slightly poignant was precisely what I was aiming for :-)