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Oh Dainty Duck

Title: Oh Dainty Duck

Author Eglantine_br

Rating G

Word Count 480

This is for the Christmas challenge thing.

Oh Dainty Duck

“He doesn't look like a lion.” Horatio said.

“He's the only cat we've got. All he has to do is cross the stage.”

Archie's remonstrations were a brandy sodden whisper. Archie was a little bit drunk, Horatio realized. Horatio himself had had quite a lot of brandy flip. His head was making a sort of friendly humming noise, on the inside. But Archie had had more flip, and then whiskey, (which he liked when he could get it,) and also wine which he drank while he beat the Captain at billiards. He had done this on Christmas eve, and in the Captain's own home. Somehow, Horatio thought, that had to be bad manners.

Horatio was not at all sure about the idea of amateur theatricals either. But someone had suggested it in within Archie's hearing, and then all hope was lost. Archie had an accomplice in Mr Bracegirdle too. Suddenly everyone was sewing frantically, and making donkey heads out of wet paper. Everyone was muttering Shakespeare in corners, nobody wanted to play whist, and nobody listened to Horatio at all.

“It's crooked, that's why. His mane is coming loose.”

“I did tell you to bend it on securely, Horatio.”

“If I affixed it any more tightly it would strangle him.”

Horatio pulled at the collar. Jeoffrey Mittens glared, and raised a paw in threat

“Ow-- he scratched me! I don't think he wants to go onstage tonight.”

“Well, he has no choice, and neither do you. Lift up your skirt when you walk, -- you are going to step right through it.”

“I am lifting.”

“No, Horatio, on the side, the side! You are not reefing a topsail” Archie's mouth curved up into a sweet curve of laughter, his nose did that wrinkly thing. He was fussing with the skirt. Horatio had to look away a moment.

“Dear God, Horatio, do it gracefully. Have you never watched a woman when she--”

“No, I--”

“No. I suppose you have not.” And with these words the belligerent firmness left Archie's jaw. He drew Horatio close.

“Here, let me fix your bonnet now. You've got it all ahoo.”

The kiss was soft and swift and promising. There was no one to see, the others were already speaking their parts.

“There. there you are, that is your entrance line, go, go! Oh Christ, you forgot Jeoffrey--”


“Take him by the back of the neck, so.” The warbling growl increased in volume.

“I don't think I can--”

“Of course you can. You are going to be splendid. You already are splendid.”

Archie gave him a firm shove, and watched him go.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 12th, 2013 11:57 am (UTC)
Midsummer Night's Dream? Whatever play, it's lovely.

PS Too early for snooker. Billiards fine. :)
Dec. 12th, 2013 12:50 pm (UTC)
Yes. Or maybe only parts of it. Archie is Bottom. Will change to billiards.
Dec. 12th, 2013 12:53 pm (UTC)
Archie as Bottom? Type casting.

Oh Dainty Duck. Oh dear!
Dec. 12th, 2013 04:08 pm (UTC)
That was sweet :)
Dec. 12th, 2013 10:06 pm (UTC)
Theatricals - I think the scene where the play within is performed at the end of the play proper is just spot on
Sir Edward and Lady P are the Theseus and Hippolyta of that little world -for sure

an excellent smile for the season and the challenge = the key phrase well tucked in - hope it will inspire some more people ere long

love it that it features Ned's billiard room -though he did not get one till well on in life
Dec. 12th, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
I am imagining that Archie's dad had a billiard room. It would be all leather and oak-- and somehow it brought to mind the picture of JB and RL playing Serious Cards. Really, actors can poker face like anything-- so that all went into this, along with a tumblr picture of snakes in party hats, which made me think of hats on cats. And also IG looking pretty bad in a bikini, where he could have rocked a frock.

Everything kind of mingled, and this came out. 12th Night would have been more seasonal, but I have a soft spot for Midsummer Night's Dream. It was the first play of his that I loved.
Dec. 12th, 2013 10:43 pm (UTC)
strangely enough I have had a germ of a fic lying low for some long time which is based around a shipboard production of MND
which featured Bracey abd his (supposed) connection with his illustrious forebear Anne Bracegirdle
maybe one day it will revive and have a smile or two attached
Dec. 13th, 2013 03:03 pm (UTC)
Somehow I have Mr B firm in my mind as a theater fanboy.
Dec. 18th, 2013 07:45 am (UTC)
Hee, fuzzy-headed!drunk!Horatio is the best Horatio, especially this bit: </i>Somehow, Horatio thought, that had to be bad manners.</i>

Everyone was muttering Shakespeare in corners, nobody wanted to play whist, and nobody listened to Horatio at all.
For some reason, this line really reminds me of Jane Austen - Mansfield Park, perhaps? Only much more fun and less dreary. ;)

D'awww, this is making me miss my own kitties something fierce. Of course, mine would Firmly Object to being dressed up, but it seems like Jeoffrey Mittens is at least used to being hauled around by besotted and three-sheets-to-the-wind young officers on occasions.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )