darnedsocks: Image: Jeeves and Wooster. Text: I'm Bertie & this is my boyfriend, Jeeves (I'm Bertie & this is my boyfriend Jeeves)
[personal profile] darnedsocks
Title: August
Fandom: Jeeves & Wooster
Characters: Jeeves/Wooster
Word Count: Approx. 3,400 words.
Rating: 15+.
Disclaimer: Jeeves & Wooster belong to PG Wodehouse. I'm just borrowing them.
Authors Notes: Beta'd by [livejournal.com profile] skyblue_reverie Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] summer_flinging and [livejournal.com profile] indeedsir



August.


"Good Lord, it's beastly hot!"

I fanned myself half-heartedly with an ancient copy of Horse and Country - or maybe it was House and Country, or Horse and Hounds. Anyway, it was exactly the sort of rag one would expect to find laying about the place when one was house-sitting for Sir Cyril "Rocky" Hetherington-Stone, a man with a face like granite, fists like boulders, and a way of asking one for favours that sounds like a challenge to pistols at dawn. Man could have had a perfect career as a Sergeant-Major, if he hadn't been born into the officer class by mistake.

Still, the house was nice enough, if a little heavy on the antlers, and the staff were so well-trained as to be invisible. Best of all, Jeeves and I were the only guests. Thank heavens for Lady Hetherington-Stone's compulsive need to go one better than her neighbours, that's all I can say. The cathedral-like conservatory I had taken to spending most of my time in, with its indoor pool, clean lines, and blessed lack of antlers, would never have existed without her relentless one-upwomanship. Now if only it wasn't so hot.

"Is this sort of thing normal for Norfolk, Jeeves?"

Jeeves shimmered into existence next to the Wooster elbow with a tall carafe of iced punch before I'd even finished exclaiming. Those funny Eastern wallahs sitting on their mountain-tops had nothing on the psychic abilities of one Jeeves.

"Well, it is August, sir."

"Well, yes. You don't feel that August is overdoing things a bit, Jeeves? After all, it's an English August. I mean, no need to show off."

An eyebrow quivered, and I knew that Jeeves, that model of restraint, agreed with me whole-heartedly. "Indeed, sir."

I slumped back onto the lounger. "Remind me again why we didn't go to Scotland?"

"There was the issue of an Aunt and several young ladies whom you wished to avoid, sir."

"Oh, yes." The dreaded Aunt Agatha, the battleship of the family fleet, able to destroy a helpless nephew with a single volley. I shuddered at the thought.

Still, Scotland was calling to me. Admittedly, it was doing so in a rather thick accent, and I was having some trouble understanding it, but it was definitely saying tempting things about snow and spring-fed streams babbling merrily down mountains into deep cold lochs. I was beginning to think that braving the odd ex-fiancée or two - or three - might be worth it for the blessed cold, when Jeeves spoke up, just in the nick of time.

"I believe I have a solution, sir." So saying, he floated over to the door and locked it, and then proceeded to make a circuit of the room, closing all the windows and the curtains. The dimness was certainly soothing, but I had to wonder about the reason for shutting out all the draughts. Perhaps Jeeves was, as I had often suspected, over-trained?

He turned to face me, eyes glinting oddly in the blue light from the pool. "Please stand up, sir."

I stood, and Jeeves' nimble fingers began to divest me of my clothing. Now, this is hardly unusual; I mean, the man's my gentleman's personal gentleman, so his fingers often go about vesting and divesting and so forth, but usually only in the privacy of my own chambers, and hardly ever in the middle of the morning. It all seemed a bit thingummy, so I voiced my sternest protest.

"I say!"

I wasn't able to imbue that statement with the gravitas it deserved, since I now lacked a jacket and tie, and was in fact down to half a shirt, but I drew myself up to my full height nonetheless. "I say, Jeeves!"

"Sir?" Jeeves' hands paused at my waistband, where he was undoing my trouser button, and he raised one entire eyebrow at me, a sure sign that he was rattled.

"Perhaps you could explain this plan to me in more detail, Jeeves? I mean to say, drinks, locked door, closed curtains, disappearing clothes ... a chap might begin to wonder."

"It was simply my thought that you might be cooler if you disrobed, sir, in order to take advantage of the pool."

The man was a genius! "Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! You're a marvel, Jeeves!" And I’m dashed if my shirt wasn't already neatly folded on the end of the lounger. I hadn't noticed a thing.

"Thank you, sir. If you would take a seat, sir?"

I sat, and let the marvel go to work on my shoelaces. Not being the sharpest tool in the box, I was still hazy about some of the details of the plan, though, and so I made my confusion known, and Jeeves, wonderful chap that he is, explained all while he dealt with my socks.

"I locked the door to keep out the housemaids and the cook, sir. Since they are of the female persuasion, I felt it wise to take the precaution. We must observe the proprieties at all times, sir."

Now, I was fairly sure that it was the housemaids' day off, and I knew Cook had muttered something about 'shopping' and 'leaving out a cold lunch for us' at breakfast, but you can't be too careful with servants. Jeeves was always appearing when I was in the bath, for example. The man had an absolute mania for cleanliness; I hadn't been so well-scrubbed since Matron first got her hands on me at boarding school.

"And the curtains, Jeeves?"

"This is the countryside, sir. You never know when you may come across young ladies taking the air."

Well, I have to say, I didn't want to doubt Jeeves' word, but I was rather of the opinion that any delicate young ladies of sense would be busy fainting away in darkened rooms, and not, say, lurking about in random flowerbeds on the off-chance that they might catch a glimpse of the Wooster elbows sans shirt.

Besides, anyone gallivanting about the countryside today would undoubtedly have melted by now.

"If you would stand up, please, sir?"

I stood, and as Jeeves started in on my trousers, something occurred to me. "You know, it occurs to me, Jeeves, that you could have simply fetched me my bathing costume."

Jeeves' nostrils flared. "I'm afraid not, sir. The item in question had obviously suffered some unfortunate accident at the hands of the Royal Mail, and I had to send it back."

"An accident?" I hated to press the man for details when this incident had traumatised him so severely that he was flaring both nostrils, but a man expects to be informed about such sartorial disasters promptly. Besides, I was curious about what could rattle the imperturbable Jeeves. "What kind of accident?"

I sat down, holding my breath in anticipation of the horror, and Jeeves stood straighter as he prepared to impart the terrible news. "I'm afraid, sir, that when it arrived, it was ... puce."

"Puce? Isn't that some sort of reddish-pink?"

Jeeves shook out my trousers with unnecessary vigour as he said, "Brownish-purple, sir."

"You mean, like an aubergine-y sort of colour?"

"Possibly, sir; although I believe the Americans refer to it as eggplant." Jeeves folded my trousers positively fiercely, and I eyed him with some trepidation.

"Ah." Now at this point I found myself in somewhat of a quandary. You see, Jeeves was obviously under the impression that the puce-ness of said bathing costume had been some sort of dreadful accident, when in fact I had chosen that shade of aubergine myself, after some deliberation. Thus, the quandary. Learned chaps have a lot to say about honesty and integrity, and unless fiancées or aunts are involved, I generally agree with them, Code of the Woosters and all that; but this was Jeeves.

Jeeves - my loyal servant, trusted cup-bearer, and defender from Aunts - who had raised an entire eyebrow at me not five minutes ago. Jeeves, who was now flaring his nostrils like a thoroughbred racehorse unexpectedly confronted with the traumatic sight of Bingo's latest waistcoat, and who looked just as likely to bolt.

"Ah," I said, wisely, "well." I cleared my throat, and nobly sacrificed my bathing costume to the Cause of Domestic Harmony. "Well, never mind, eh, Jeeves?" I said, and clapped him on the shoulder.

"Sir," he said, and very nearly smiled at me.

I smiled back as innocently as I knew how, and made a mental note never to buy anything puce ever again. It might be a dashed flattering colour on me, but it just wasn't worth it if it was going to cause Jeeves this level of emotional upset. I mean, first the eyebrow, then both nostrils, and now very nearly a smile? The poor man must have been traumatised indeed.

"If you would raise your arms, sir," he said, and I obeyed. He promptly stripped my undershirt off over my head and started to fold it, and I was hit by a wave of nostalgia at the thought of going skinny-dipping in the pool.

"You know, Jeeves, this reminds me of my schooldays. On hot days like these, at the end of the summer term, we used to sneak off down to the river, strip off, and splash about like wild things. I’ve told you about all that, haven’t I?"

Jeeves said, "Yes, sir. Among other things," as he efficiently stripped off the rest of my underthings.

"Yes, well - those were the days."

I stood up straight and took a deep breath, enjoying the cool air across my sweaty skin, feeling decidedly decadent. I looked at Jeeves to compliment him on yet another brilliant plan, and paused. The man’s face was red as a boiled lobster, and I was struck by the unfairness of it all. Here was I, cool as the proverbial cucumber, and there was he, his face flushed and sweaty, hands tugging at the hem of his jacket, looking like he was about to faint from the heat ... or some such.

Now, I feel I should explain one or two things here. Firstly, my admiration for Jeeves goes beyond an admiration for his brain. Said b. is undoubtedly a work of art, but so is the body that supports it. He is, in my eyes, the perfect man: able to give Socrates and Plato a run for their money in the brains department, and more of a dish than Paris to boot. If the Greek gods were still about there'd have been swans and bulls and showers of gold all over the place.

Secondly, I can never tell him of the true depths of my admiration. I refuse to take advantage of my position in that way. The Code of the Woosters is quite clear on the whole Master-servant relationship, and errs rather more on the Christian side of things than the Classical. Also, if I were to - well, express my appreciation for the Classics, say - and Jeeves were not to share said appreciation, then he would feel he had no choice but to leave me, and that possibility is simply intolerable. I shuddered at the thought and took a swig of punch to calm my nerves.

This didn't stop me dreaming of happy endings, however. Horrible, sickly-sweet dreams they were, too; they'd have done Madeline Bassett proud. In fact, I venture to say that my dreams would have out-sapped even La Bassett, overflowing as they were with sunsets and declarations and green fields and good Scotch and sunshine, and a general feeling that it would start raining puppies and kittens at any moment.

Now in the past Bertram had always put such dreams aside, stiff upper lip and all that, until today. Something about the way Jeeves' eyes had glinted in the light of the pool, and as I'd said: drinks, locked door, closed curtains, disappearing clothes ... a chap might begin to get ideas. And now Jeeves was standing right in front of me, doing his best to ignore me, his eyes trained firmly over my shoulder - the perfect gentleman's personal gentleman, except for the way his fingers had trembled slightly and so very unprofessionally as he'd undressed me.

I might be an idiot, but I was not born yesterday, no matter what some people say. In an instant the scales had fallen from my eyes, and in that same instant, I came up with a plan. "I say, you should strip off too, Jeeves."

"Sir?"

I clapped him encouragingly on the shoulder. "This skinny-dipping idea of yours is marvellous. You should strip off and come in with me." Jeeves froze, so I started undoing the buttons on his jacket.

"Really, sir; I must protest-"

He tried to back away, and I followed. "Come, come, Jeeves-"

"-it hardly seems proper-"

"-where’s the harm? Nothing to be ashamed of, just two fellows taking a dip together-"

"Well, I-"

I slipped the last button on his jacket out of its buttonhole, and clinched the argument by saying, "I insist!"

Jeeves stopped backing away and straightened up. He smoothed a hand across his hair, and said, "Very well, sir, if you insist."

"That’s the spirit!" I smiled happily at him, then poured myself another glass of iced punch and sprawled out on the lounger to wait for Jeeves to begin disrobing.

Jeeves stripped off slowly, his movements precise, carefully folding or hanging or setting aside each item: jacket, waistcoat, tie, braces. He made me think of those new-fangled factory production lines, all cool modern efficiency and clean lines. He also rather put me in mind of the old Greek gods and heroes.

That led on to other Classical thoughts... There's nothing like a good public school education for teaching a fellow how to get on famously - or, well, infamously, as the case may be - with other fellows. As that funny writer fellow said, 'You can't expect a boy to be depraved until he has been to a good school,' after all. All I know is, it can be dashed distracting at times, suddenly getting hit by Classical thoughts - especially if there are any members of the fairer sex about. Or Aunts.

Looking on the bright side, though, I was beginning to think that I might have a chance to, ah, 'get on' rather well with my man Jeeves, if the flush at the nape of his neck was anything to go by. I've dreamed about the nape of his neck, you know. I knocked back the punch, and poured myself another.

Since he had his back to me, I let my eyes wander a little: the breadth of his shoulders under the shirt, the flex of his muscles as he took off his cufflinks, the hidden dip in the small of his back that I've dreamed of kissing for ages, the tight curve of his buttocks under the beautifully-tailored trousers as he bent over to deal with his shoes...

I may have moaned at that point. I do know that I blushed when Jeeves looked at me, and had to adjust my position somewhat. Luckily something about the circs. seemed to amuse him, and he simply raised an eyebrow, and very nearly smiled at me as he unbuttoned his shirt and revealed skin like marble.

I tell you now, if Michelangelo had been faced with that phys., he would have cast aside his chisels and - just knocked it on the head and gone home to cry into his linguini. My mouth felt drier and dustier than Tutankhamun's tomb, so I took another jolt of the old iced p. and licked my lips.

I was beginning to think that it might have been a bad idea to close the windows. I was having some trouble breathing, and I was just on the verge of asking Jeeves about the symptoms of that hypoxi-whatsis when I noticed that his chest was also rising and falling rather faster than normal, and then he started to unfasten his trousers and I could no more speak than I could fly to the top of Mount Everest; it was obvious that Jeeves had been having Classical thoughts of his own.

He dropped trou. and laid them aside neatly, then stripped off his unmentionables in one efficient move. I gasped, and shifted position on the lounger again - my Classical thoughts giving me some difficulty at that point - and Jeeves very nearly smiled at me again, his lips curling sweetly at the corners.

"Sir-"

I nearly dropped my glass, and put it down hastily with shaking hands. His voice, when he spoke, sounded different, deeper, and I'm not ashamed to admit that it did things to my innards. 'Sir.' I've heard that word every day for as long as I can recall, so often that I hardly even notice it anymore. It's just one of those words, like 'and' or 'tea' or 'you silly boy', that one ignores. After hearing Jeeves say it to me in that voice, though, I know I shall never be able to ignore it again. One syllable, only three letters, and more emotion in it than you can shake a stick at.

"Jeeves?" I said, or tried to say; my first attempt at speech failed, and I had to clear my throat and try again. "Jeeves?" And I’m dashed if my voice didn't do the same thing as Jeeves' voice had - it came out all deep and thrilling, rather like some matinee idol.

Well, he blinked a couple of times, and swallowed, and then cleared his throat and said, "Shall we?" I hesitated for a moment - Jeeves had a bit of a devilish glint in his eye as he held out his hand to me - but the Woosters have never lacked for courage, and I threw caution to the winds.

"Yes," I said, taking his hand, and he whooped like a Red Indian, scooped me up in his arms and threw us both into the deep end, splash!

Never let it be said that a Wooster can't take it like a man - I came up spitting water and laughing, and Jeeves... He looked at me the way people look at one of Anatole’s finest culinary efforts, and smiled; positively beamed, in fact. I was struck then by the sappiest of sappy thoughts: this is what my lover looks like; this is what my lover looks like when he's happy.

Jeeves tried to reel me in, but I held him off, and took a moment to trace his smile with my fingertips. His eyes darkened until he looked like some kind of disreputable pirate, and he licked at my fingers, pulling them into his mouth and sucking on them delicately. I shook like an aspen.

He kept torturing me until I broke. I grabbed his head and kissed him fiercely, and put as much carnal desire into it as I could. I may not know the rules when it comes to kissing women, but I bally well know how to kiss a man, and I kissed him until we were both breathless. We were so distracted, in fact, that we went under for the second time, and came up spluttering and laughing again.

It lightened the mood a bit, but didn't break it, thank goodness. We kissed and played and splashed about like otters in spring, interspersing the odd caress here and there; I beat him on lengths and widths, and he beat me on depths and dunkings. I don't want to say he cheated, but he certainly fought dirty on the dunkings front, distracting me in the most outrageous ways.

When we were pleasantly tired, he whispered, "I believe I have a plan you'll approve of," in my ear and towed me over to the shallow end of the pool, the edge of which turned out to be just the right height for what he had planned.

On occasion in the past I have doubted the wisdom of his plans, but no more! From this day forward, Bertram has turned over a new leaf - indeed, an entire new forest - and I declare that I shall never doubt again. I have faith; I have been converted; I have found my road to Damascus.

Afterwards, as I lay cradled in his arms, I said, "One for the record books, I think, Jeeves."

He stroked my hair back off my forehead and smiled, a trifle smugly. "Indeed, sir."





1) Stephen Fry, the actor who played Jeeves, lives in Norfolk (which for those of you who don't know Britain, has a reputation for being insular and, well, inbred. [Insert your cousin joke of choice here.] He told an anecdote on QI that went something like this: A new doctor, seeing a note on a medical file that he doesn't recognise, asks the local doctor about it, and he says with a smile, "NFN? Oh, that means 'Normal - for Norfolk.'"

2) Saki (H. H. Munro), (1870-1916) "You can't expect a boy to be depraved until he has been to a good school." A Baker's Dozen.

(no subject)

Date: Tuesday, 22 August 2006 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplesyringes.livejournal.com
*squees* So sweet! I love the thought of a playful Jeeves. X) Corking, love!

(no subject)

Date: Friday, 25 August 2006 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darnedsocks.livejournal.com
Playful!Jeeves is my favourite thing in this whole piece, I think. Thank you!

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