Claimer: Perceval and Algernon are ours in their horny teenage glory. XD
Warnings: Yaoi, possibly language, phallic bananas and flower-talk XD
Beta: yomimashou says, "Yayyy Algernon and Percy ♥"
Major Algernon Mauvais strummed his fingers on his desk absently, unable to keep a slight smirk from his face. At the age of eighteen, he had already climbed to the rank of a major without spending a penny, was a favoured acquaintance of the General Commandant of the military, and was loved by every person of higher rank he had had a moment to talk to. Currently, he was on the verge of another promotion and he had been chosen to be a military representative at a royal ball that evening. Now, he was waiting, for his superior had told him that he was to return in a minute with a few new men to be under Algernon's command. Algernon was to choose one of the men to accompany him to the ball that evening.
Algernon was not particularly looking forward to choosing his new man; all of his subordinates were boring, imperfect, not captivating in the least, but he knew that, in order to climb the ladder, he needed to do as told, and so he waited, strumming his fingers and smirking.
Second Lieutenant Perceval Rousseau stared with disgust at the uniform of the officer in front of him, fixating on a tiny string that had come unraveled from the hem. It was an insult to think that this man was leading him like a dog to where he would be stationed; this…superior officer was thoroughly disgusting. There was always something amiss with his uniform, as though he never took any time at all to look himself over. After all, if he’d only spared a glace to the folds in his coat, he would have surely noticed the offensive string. But as he had failed to observe such an imperfection, Perceval had labeled him as a revoltingly unrefined slob. This wasn’t the man’s first offense either, oh no; on numerous occasions Perceval had spotted misconducts, and each time he felt himself grow more and more infuriated with the imbecile. Still, he always smiled, and always made an effort to engage the man in polite conversation. Perceval remembered everything about him, and never failed to inquire about the health of the man’s aging dog, thus earning him the friendship (Perceval felt sick at the thought) of this particular superior, as with all of the ones he’d had in the two years he’d been enlisted.
Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t only money that had gotten him to his current rank, it was charisma, too, and Perceval was certain it also had something to do with his attention to detail; never had a day gone by when he’d looked anything but perfect, and his manners were always flawless. Surely his superiors were impressed—and hopefully, Perceval thought, they were learning something from him. They needed to be taught, after all, as they were all filthy and wretched. Shuddering at the thought of them, Perceval realized they were nearing his new station. He glanced down at himself and began smoothing his knickers, adjusting his jacket, and straightening his vest. Lastly, he arranged his hair neatly behind his shoulders to show that he meant business; it was likely that his new superior would be equally unrefined, but Perceval still wanted to make a good impression.
As soon as he noticed his superior slowing down in front of an office door, Perceval sped forward to open the door and bowed to the man as he stepped inside, grinning sloppily at Perceval as he passed over the threshold. Out of politeness, and not obligation by rank, Perceval held the door for the remainder of lower ranking officers that had been walking behind him, glaring at each of them as he recounted their many faults silently to himself. He followed the last one inside and shut the door quickly before dropping into a deep and elegant bow before his new superior.
When he straightened up, he was surprised to find that the man was probably about his age and quite attractive. Nevertheless, Perceval had never found anyone to be satisfactory, and he refused to allow himself to be disappointed when he found a flaw in his new superior. Thus, he looked on at the man aloofly, and disguised his appearance with a sweet smile.
Algernon nodded to each of the men brought in, and his attention was immediately drawn to the third officer. The man was absolutely gorgeous, with long, golden-blonde hair, stunning green eyes, and beautiful pale skin, but more than that, he radiated an aura of absolute perfection that Algernon had never experienced before, and he found himself drawn in, enchanted. Even in the first few moments of seeing him, even without speaking to him, knowing his name, Algernon knew that he wanted this man.
It wasn't particularly a new feeling, per se; he had wanted other things before: money, power, control, but this was the first time he found himself desiring a person for his own possession. Still, though slightly surprised, he was not hindered. Algernon always got what he wanted, and he immediately began formulating a plan to add this man to his list of possessions.
However, Algernon was startled out of his thoughts to realize that his superior had begun introducing the officers to him. Lost in his own thoughts, he had missed the names of the first two men, but snapped back to reality just in time to hear the name of the last man: Second Lieutenant Perceval Rousseau. A perfect name, Algernon decided to himself vaguely, to fit such a perfect person.
Standing, Algernon nodded respectfully to his superior, pretending to put some thought into the matter, before smiling as if in decision. "I would like to take Second Lieutenant Rousseau as my escort, sir." His superior nodded, then led the other two men out of the room, reminding Algernon jokingly not to be late to the ball.
When the door shut behind them, Algernon turned to Lt. Rousseau. Nodding and gesturing politely, he smiled charmingly. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Second Lieutenant Rousseau. As you must already know, I am Major Algernon Mauvais, and it's a pleasure to have your company. I assume you have been informed of your assignment for this evening?" As he anticipated his new subordinate's response, he hoped that it would be just as perfect as everything else about him.
Perceval was surprised and yet honored to be selected as an “escort”; Major Mauvais had good taste, and Perceval decided to reward his new superior with a genuine smile. He then found himself thoroughly impressed by the Major’s impeccable command of polite discourse and his smile brightened steadily. Everything Major Mauvais said and each of his movements were quite beyond Perceval’s ability to critique, and he found himself so absorbed in admiring the other man’s decorum and etiquette that he almost missed the inquiry. “The pleasure is all mine, sir.” Perceval bowed extravagantly low to show his newfound respect for the Major and straightened, making a face of mild curiosity. “No sir, I’m afraid I haven’t been informed.”
Algernon fought back a smirk—his plan was working—and instead made a face of apology. "Oh, please forgive me for assuming." He smiled, explaining, "I am to attend a royal banquet and ball this evening at the palace as a representative of the military, and I have chosen you to be my escort." He smiled. "I hope you don't mind, I know some people find parties to be tedious, but I couldn't help but notice your natural grace and exquisite mannerisms... You're the ideal candidate—perfect, if you don't mind me saying." He offered Rousseau a smile and his arm. "We'll be taking my automobile...shall we?"
Perceval stared for a moment, and feared briefly that he’d be unable to regain himself at all. Attending a royal ball was his lifelong dream and childhood aspiration; ever since the royal family neglected to invite his beloved grandfather to one of their most prestigious events, the Rousseau family had grown estranged from the Beaumonts, the reigning family in Galia, and as a result Perceval had never been given the opportunity to attend such an important event. All his life he’d dreamed of the chance to go to a royal ball in place of his grandfather and experience a true party for only the most distinguished of guests, and now at last he’d become important enough to attend on the arm of Major Mauvais, who was, so far, the only tolerable person he’d ever met.
It was all far too good to be true, and as Perceval regained coherent thought, he found that he was in danger of becoming quite giddy and abandoning his composure entirely. He couldn’t stop the unrestrained smile that had overcome his features, and he nearly stumbled as he practically skipped over to his superior and took his arm. “Oh no, not at all,” Perceval said wistfully. “I love parties…” When Perceval registered the complement, he was flooded by an immense feeling of pride and gratitude; never before had anyone even bothered to notice his efforts, and never had he been called “perfect”. It was the paramount of complements, and in that moment Perceval gave up all pretences of trying to protect himself from being disappointed. This man was perfect, of that Perceval was certain; he would find no flaws.
"Excellent," Algernon replied, happier than he probably should have been to be leading Lt. Rousseau out of the room on his arm. Grabbing the parcel of dress uniforms that Algernon had been left by his superior, they made their way out of the building and to Algernon's automobile; upon reaching it, he opened the passenger door politely for Perceval before returning to the driver's side and getting inside and starting the engine. Pulling away from the building, he made his way towards the royal palace of the Beaumont family.
Upon arrival, Algernon readily handed over the keys to the automobile to a valet before once more getting the door for Perceval and leading him towards the grand entrance. "It's impressive, isn't it?" he said to Perceval with a smile, making small talk. "I'm sure someone as lovely and elegant as yourself has been to royal balls before?"
“No,” Perceval spat disdainfully before correcting himself. “No, sir, regrettably, this is my first time attending a royal ball.” He smiled softly, honored that the Major had noticed his elegance and found him lovely, and bowing to slightly to show his gratitude. Then, a worry sprang into his mind and he looked up innocently at Major Mauvais before explaining, “I have, however, heard all about them from my grandfather, sir, and I’m very familiar with procedure.” He wanted to make sure the Major wasn’t worried about his lack of experience; Perceval was in fact, a very accomplished dancer, and he knew the social intricacies of the royal family and the body of aristocrats who surrounded them by heart. Perceval always kept up with the newest trends and fashions, and knew all the happenings of the palace in spite of his family’s excommunication from the Beaumonts. Perceval was determined to prove just how much he knew, and he was desperate to remain perfect in every possible way in the eyes of Major Mauvais.
Algernon was honestly surprised, and let it play across his features. "Never before?" He was shocked that such a lovely creature had somehow been inhibited from displaying his beauty to the world, but, then again, it was better for him. Now the Lieutenant would be introduced to the royal court on his arm, as his subordinate. Giving Lt. Rousseau a sympathetic smile, he assured, "Well, I can hardly see why... I had only assumed that you possessed dancing and conversation skills to match your grace, beauty and comportment... Still, I am honoured to be the first to introduce you to the royal parties." Offering a charming smile, he led the Lieutenant inside, the parcel with their clothes tucked neatly under his other arm.
“Please,” Perceval blushed, “The honor is all mine.” As they entered the building through two enormous double doors, Perceval’s head was swimming with the newest assortment of complements he’d received, and he could barely sort through them all, let alone pay any attention to the grandeur of the Royal Palace. They walked right through the entrance hall, across its mosaic marble floor, under the high vaulted ceiling, which was crowned with a magnificent skylight that allowed the last of the afternoon sun to flood into the room, and followed a servant up one of the elegantly winding staircases to a landing. A gallery facing the Palace grounds and scrupulous garden led passed a billiards room and down another hall at the end of which a second staircase wound up to the third floor. They climbed past the third floor and beyond the fourth to the fifth, where a long hallway lined with doors stretched out before them. They were then shown into a guest room that was so elaborate that the little room in and of itself seemed its own private palace, complete with a sitting room, two bedrooms, and its own private bath, which, even by Perceval’s high standards, seemed more like a luxury spa.
“I haven’t brought a change of clothes,” Perceval admitted, slightly panicked, when he saw the two separate changing areas designated by two screens painted ornately to depict landscapes dotted with exotic animals and realized why they’d be led to the room.
Algernon smiled knowingly, carefully unwrapping the parcel that he held. Inside were two dress uniforms, one for him and one for the Lieutenant, and, finding the one that did not appear to be his, he gingerly handed it to his subordinate. "I brought a dress uniform for you, since we're representing the military."
Having given the Lieutenant's uniform to him, Algernon took his own clothes and made his way behind on of the screens, beginning to remove his everyday clothes and put on the fancier ones. As he dressed, his mind began to wander to how Rousseau looked in his dress uniform...
Perceval accepted the uniform, blinking at Major Mauvais. "Thank you, sir," Perceval said gratefully, feeling truly indebted to the Major for his foresight. He took a moment to look over the new uniform, admiring the extra detail and finer quality before he too moved behind the screen at the opposite end of the room. Carefully, Perceval pulled his long hair back and slipped out of his jacket, hanging it over the back of a chair before starting on the buttons of his vest. Perceval undressed meticulously, folding each garment and setting it aside carefully, undressing fully before unfolding the crisp new blouse, embellished with lace cuffs, satin knickers and silk vest and cravat. He took the time to lay them all out individually, and then dressed slowly with the precision of an actor preparing for his début. As far as Perceval was concerned, this event was equally important. He had to make an impression on everyone he met—he had to make the royal family regret not inviting his grandfather to their party so many years ago. And, above all else, Perceval realized as he smoothed out the new knickers, he had to look perfect for Major Mauvais.
Algernon dressed efficiently, straightening and smoothing everything once he was finished, folding his other clothes and wrapping them back in the parcel. Having finished, he moved from behind the screen and took a seat in a chair, waiting for the Lieutenant.
There were quite a few ornate lamps lighting the room, and Algernon could make out Lt. Rousseau's silhouette from behind his screen. From what Algernon could tell, the Lieutenant was still undressing, and Algernon couldn't help but be captivated by the slender form behind the screen. He could just imagine Lt. Rousseau's perfect body, more pale skin revealed as he took off each item and carefully folded it... Algernon was a little surprised to find himself desperately wanting to ruin that perfect skin, to leave a mark, something to mar the perfection.
After a few minutes of blissful imagination, Algernon forced himself to get back to reality; surely the Lieutenant would be finished changing in the near future, and Algernon was afraid there would be unfortunate consequences if he continued on the same train of thought. Taking a deep breath and clearing his head, he focused on waiting for the Lieutenant to emerge, in suspense of how amazing Algernon was sure he'd look in the new clothes.
Perceval emerged from behind the screen only after he was absolutely certain that he looked as good as he possibly could. He had brushed through his hair a final time and pushed it all back behind his shoulders and made a final inspection of himself and his outfit before at last stepping out into the room. Perceval was a little surprised to find the Major seated and apparently waiting for him, and he hurried to bow his apology. “I’m so sorry to have kept you waiting, sir, I didn’t realize I had taken so long.” Straightening up again, Perceval smoothed his hair and looked almost beseechingly to Major Mauvais. Perceval hated to be late, and he hoped he’d never have to make his superior wait for him again.
A smiled snaked its way onto Algernon's face almost against his will and he stood. "Not at all," he said, his eyes traveling up and down Perceval's body. How badly he wanted to touch that perfect skin, to run his fingers through that beautiful hair. But just looking would have to be enough for now, and he smiled at Perceval. "You look absolutely exquisite, Lieutenant, if I may say so." He offered his arm again. "Shall we?"
“Oh, yes sir, please,” Perceval smiled and bowed again with a slight blush before moving forward and taking the Major’s arm. They returned to the entrance hall the same way they’d come, and they were met on the grand staircase by several other guests also making their way downstairs to the throne room for the Queen’s formal reception. From the entrance hall, a servant led them and a few others through a hall with an impressive fifteen-foot ceiling arching upward and lit elaborately with a dozen chandeliers, to a waiting room furnished with comfortable sofas and plush chairs. It was there that all the guests were being assembled and waiting to present themselves to the Queen and the Princess, one by one. As the names were read from an extensive list, the guests formed a queue by stature, and so when Perceval heard his name, announced as the Major’s guest, in the latter half of the list, he was pleased only to not have been last. Really, thinking about it now, while he was certain that there was something quite special about Algernon Mauvais, Perceval was somewhat curious as to why a Major had been invited to such a prestigious event to represent the military. Nevertheless, that wasn’t what was important, and Perceval pushed the detail aside. He had to prepare for his debut before the Queen, after all, and he wanted to make sure he positively dazzled on the Major’s arm.
Algernon was bored waiting in the receiving line, and found himself smoothing his clothes and fixing his hair as well. Once he decided he was in proper order, he smiled over at the Lieutenant, offering his arm once more. He was pleased, as line formed behind him, not to be the last in line; he was of low rank to have been chosen for this job, but he had begged the General Commandant for the assignment, and the Commandant never denied him anything, especially when he was his most persuasive. Lifting his chin and putting on a confident smile, he took a step forward as the line slowly progressed.
The wait in line seemed to last hours, but when it was finally their turn, Perceval managed to summon up every bit of charm and grace he possessed, and he felt that he was able to radiate perfection to the entire court, even in just the few short minutes they had standing before the Queen. As a footman read “Major Algernon Mauvais, representing General Commandant Jacques Devereux, and his guest, Second Lieutenant Perceval Rousseau,” Perceval and Major Mauvais bowed deeply in unison and rose at the same time to receive a small, curt nod from Queen Evette Nicole Beaumont. They had only a few seconds before another footman arrived to escort them to their place at the dinner table in the dining room, but in those few seconds, Perceval noted the Princess, Cecile Marie seated behind her mother in a slightly smaller throne. The five-year-old squirmed impatiently in her seat, clearly eager to get to dinner, and her long brown sausage curls bounced delicately. Perceval found it hard to imagine that one day she would ascend to the throne, and at the same time found it somewhat disgusting; what right did a spoiled little girl have to rule an entire country? A real ruler, Perceval thought, would work for his position, would struggle to gain power. No one should be born into positions they didn’t deserve. With that scathing thought, Perceval felt his charming smile disintegrating into a grimace of loathing and spite aimed at the royal family, and he was grateful that they were ushered away before his persona fell completely.
Algernon noticed, as they were escorted away, that the Lieutenant seemed rather spiteful and his expression was somewhat venomous. He waited until after they were led to their seats and had settled down before inquiring, "I'm sorry, Lieutenant, is something the matter? You seem upset." He put on an expression of worry and concern.
“No, it’s nothing at all, sir,” Perceval smiled quickly, the Major’s inquiry lifting his sprits considerably. “I think it must have been all that waiting in line, sir. I’ve really built up an appetite.” Perceval explained, not entirely lying. Now that they were seated towards the end of a very long table that stretched from one end of a room the size of a small house to the other, and now that they could see and smell and the delicious foods they were about to eat, it was very difficult not to become hungry. In addition to the mouthwatering smell of all the exotic dishes, the thirty or so bouquets of flowers that ran the length of the table filled the room with a fresh scent that helped Perceval considerably to appreciate the extremely lavish lifestyle the royal family enjoyed. Yes, as much as he loathed the Queen, he could certainly enjoy her hospitality.
As Perceval looked down the length of the table to the large and comfortable chairs where he could only assume the Queen and Princess where to sit, he took in every detail of the arrangement and layout, observing how brightly the candelabras had been lit so as to establish the perfect lighting for a friendly dinner gathering, and admiring the selection of fine porcelain dishes, no doubt imported from the Orient, as well as the pewter goblets, with their intricate designs, and the fine silver cutlery with knives as sharp and ornate as daggers. He was currently in the market for new dishes, as he was planning a very large party, and he had decided to base his purchase entirely on what he saw in the place; after all, the Queen set the trends, and he wanted to get his information straight from the source.
Perceval realized after a few moments that one could not admire the dinner arrangements without also admiring the food; each dish was arranged as carefully and precisely as a work of art in and of itself, and each of the dishes were set in circles around the bouquets so that the presentation as a whole gave the feeling of order, symmetry, and style.
The claws of succulent lobsters gleamed menacingly in the soft light from the platters constructed from seashells on which they sat, and baskets upon baskets padded with lush moss and overflowing with choice fruits, some of Perceval had never even seen before, provided beautiful and entirely edible centerpieces around which the other dishes seemed to be themed by color. There were candies and truffles, and all manner of pastries, as well as long baguettes and trays of butter, beside ornate goblets of olives, and a multitude of other dishes Perceval had never had the pleasure of sampling. The beautiful quail had been left with their feathers, and seemed to give life to the whole arrangement; it was as if they could take off into flight at any given moment, and yet Perceval was certain that the birds had been raised and fattened on the place grounds, and they were surely delicious, without the gamey wild texture the birds’ wild cousins so often had. Fifty servants moved through the guests with large, steaming plates of the highest quality of meat and savories, serving the guests their choice cuts graciously, as well as freely refilling glasses with expensive whine.
Once everything was through being served and settled, everyone began to eat. Algernon smiled at the Lieutenant before picking up his knife and fork and delicately cutting a small slice of his meat and tasting it. The food was indeed exquisite, and, for the first time that evening, he was struck with the thought that, one day, all this would be his. Certainly, he would live a little less lavishly, show the people that he was more concerned with their needs than his own lavish frivolity, but, to some degree, all of the things he saw here would belong to him. He couldn't help but smile to himself at the thought, surveying the room once again, this time as if it were his own already.
After a moment, he snapped himself back to reality; he had to focus on the little things if he ever wanted to get to the top, and so he returned to eating thoughtfully. Glancing to his escort, he smirked again; there was certainly one fine thing in the room he was close to obtaining. "How are you finding the food?" he asked, changing his expression to a smile; he wouldn't want to seem remiss in his care about his subordinate.
“Quite delicious, sir.” Perceval smiled, gingerly dabbing at his lips with his silk napkin. “And you, sir?” Perceval asked brightly; he loved to be spoiled, and so the opportunity to eat such a vast and exciting array of scrumptious food had put him into a positively effervescent mood. “Have you tried this fruit? I have no idea what it is, but it’s very good, sir. I recommend it.” Perceval said, beaming as he reached for the fruit politely and served it to Algernon with all the grace he could summon. “I hope you like it,” he said afterward, somewhat sheepishly, hoping he hadn’t offended his superior by serving him something he didn’t want.
Algernon accepted the fruit, a yellow asian pear, carefully cutting a slice with his knife. The inside was perfectly smooth and even and white, and the texture was perfect, as well as the somewhat sweet taste. After carefully chewing and swallowing, he smiled at the Lt Rousseau. "You're right, Lieutenant, this fruit is superb...smooth, even, perfect...not unlike some other things in this room." He smiled suggestively but said no more; he hoped to bait his hook and catch his fish, but wait for the ideal time to reel in his prize. Instead, he changed the subject entirely. "How do you like the wine? I find it quite fine; it goes with the poultry, don't you think?"
“Yes,” Perceval said quickly through a thick blush, grateful for the abrupt subject change. He wasn’t quite sure what the Major’s last comment had been meant to imply, and he felt silly thinking, perhaps hoping, that Major Mauvais had been referring to him. He struggled for a moment to fight down his blush, then lifted his glass to his lips and sampled the bouquet of the liquid before taking a dainty sip. “Its merlot, isn’t it, sir?” Perceval asked, already knowing what it was, but hoping to impress the Major, who seemed the type to appreciate fine wines.
Algernon put on his charming smile. "Why, yes, it is, Lieutenant. You have excellent taste." He let his eyes linger on his subordinate as he took another sip, licking his lips slightly, and his expression slid into a smirk. Turning back to his own dinner, he couldn't help but think, just a little, about what a prefect possession he would be obtaining in the near future.
Perceval found the Major’s expression to be somewhat terrifying and quite alluring all at once, and felt a shiver run down his spine. He felt completely enraptured by the Major’s every movement, and admired him as he continued to partake in the lavish feast. Perceval had already nearly had his fill; he didn’t like to eat too much, especially before a dance. He therefore kept himself occupied by nibbling on the most exotic fruit he could find while he listened to the various conversations and gossip taking place around the table, and occasionally stealing glances at the Major.
When Algernon finished eating, he glanced over to the Lieutenant to see that he was finished also. Smiling, he rose and offered him a hand, noticing that others were making their way out of the room. "Shall we?"
Perceval nodded and smiled, accepting the offered hand and getting to his feet, eager to be led out to the ballroom, and excited to show Major Mauvais his expertise in the field of dancing. From the dinning room, the ballroom was not far, and it was clearly marked by a scattering of servants strategically standing in front of doors that would lead guests the wrong direction. The servants, who were all as smartly dressed as any gentlemen, though in far plainer clothes than the party guests, bowed to everyone and were extremely polite and cordial in showing the way. Perceval thought spitefully of his own servants in his grandfather’s manor; they could certainly stand to be taught some manners and made to behave like the royal servants.
The ballroom was at the end of a long hall, similar to the one leading to the throne room, but at the end of the hall were three different doors. In the center where two massive double doors that had been left open through which Perceval could see a wide and elegant staircase descending from the second floor down to the marble surface of the dance floor. Looking up from the steps, Perceval noted the gigantic crystal chandelier hanging over the center of the dance floor and came to the realization that it was not lit, as he had assumed, by candles; instead it was fitted with the new electric lighting. The endeavor of wiring such a classic piece and carrying a current up to the high ceiling must have cost a small fortune, but still, upon seeing the piece, Perceval was determined to acquire an electric chandelier of his own. Tearing his eyes away from the lighting, he looked to the two smaller side doors and noted that they led to the galleries that ran parallel to the ballroom with balconies overlooking the dance floor. They were furnished comfortably with plush chairs and sofas for the comfort of the guests disinclined to dance, and Perceval hoped that, for at least a short amount of time, he and the Major would have the opportunity to socialize. Really, Perceval realized, aside from Major Mauvais’s utter perfection, he hardly knew anything about the other man, and he was interested in learning all that he could.
They’d reached the steps and Perceval admired the skill of the woodwork that had gone into the ornate balustrades as they descended the staircase to the dance floor. Perceval immediately recognized the piece the musicians, who were stationed a great distance away at the far end of the vast room, were playing, and knew that it was just coming to its culmination. Perceval looked over to his superior with a bright and somewhat plaintive smile on his lips, hoping the Major would suggest they danced the next movement.
Algernon looked around, absorbing all the fine decorations and architecture before smiling to his subordinate. "Would you like to dance? I'm afraid I may be a bit of a disappointment at it, but I'm sure you're absolutely fantastic, and I'd hate to hold you back." With a smile, he began to lead Lt. Rousseau towards the dance floor; the previous dance would soon be drawing to a close, and he was eager to see his subordinate's dancing, which, he was sure, was just as beautiful as he was. Algernon himself was a fairly good dancer; the General Commandant had taught him and practiced with him many times, but, more than to show off, he was eager to watch.
“Oh no, sir, I’m sure you’re fantastic!” Perceval said quickly, following closely at the Major’s side as they moved to the center of the dance floor where groups of eight couples where forming squares in preparation for the next quadrille. Perceval and Algernon joined a group that was just forming, and one of the more assertive men they were with left briefly to find two young girls for them to partner in the first figure.
Perceval found his partner extremely unattractive; her nose was too long, her eyebrows too thick, and her face was overall very unappealing, with a small, unremarkable little mouth and ears that stuck out too far from her head. She was a poor dancer, and her figure left much to be desired. Overall, Perceval decided he’d much rather be dancing opposite the Major; he had such fine features, and judging by the little glimpses of his form Perceval was able to catch out of the corner of his eye, he was a far better dancer than any of the girls they’d be dancing opposite.
Perceval kept his focus on his own steps and performance, and felt he danced each movement and every figure perfectly; he made no mistakes even during the rotation, and though he was pleased to get a new partner at the start of the next figure, he was much more distracted by Major Mauvais than his new, vaguely attractive partner. He hoped, almost against hope, that his superior noticed his form, even if he only glanced over at him once or twice, it would be worth it to Perceval. Anything, in fact, that would take the Major’s eyes off of his very pretty partner was worth it. Perceval was surprised to be feeling so jealous, but the emotion stung him bitterly, and he almost couldn’t wait until the last figure, when his superior would be stuck with his first, particularly ugly partner. Then, surely, Major Mauvais would grace him with a quick sidelong glance or two.
Algernon tried his hardest to smile at the attractive young woman he was partnering but found it difficult; Algernon found any interaction with women difficult because he simply did not understand them. Unlike the men of the military, women were harder for him to manipulate because they didn't base decisions off of sound logic, but instead strange instincts and emotions. He found himself somewhat frightened of the female subspecies in general, and tried to avoid them for the most part.
Instead, he had to try and keep his attention away from the Lieutenant; he kept finding his eyes wandering to his subordinate every other step. He moved with such beauty and grace...Algernon was captivated, and found himself wishing that he could partner Lt. Rousseau so that he could drink in the elegance of his movement as he was sure a strange female partner could not. But alas, for now, it was not a possibility, and so instead, he focused on managing until the end of the dance.
The violin finished its final solo, and all the instruments came together for the last part of the dance, and Percy was forced once again to look and smile graciously at his initial hideous partner before bowing to her and concluding the dance. As the group broke apart, Perceval turned quickly to Major Mauvais and beamed at him. “I think you’re a lovely dancer, sir. I had a wonderful time dancing next to you.” Perceval paused as they moved off the floor, out of the way for the dancers that were already assembling for the next dance, and noticed the gorgeous champagne fountain of glittering crystal reflecting the light of the chandelier next to him. He returned his gaze to the Major and asked, bowing sweetly, “Are you at all thirsty, sir? Shall I go get us some champagne?”
Algernon chuckled. "I'm so glad you think so, though mine still doesn't even compare to the grace and beauty your dance possesses..." He smiled, nodding to Lt. Rousseau's next offer. "That would be absolutely lovely of you, Lieutenant. Thank you," he replied, happy to be able to sample more of the fine alcohol the royal family had to offer. That was one of the bits, he decided, that he wasn't going to give up when he took over.
Perceval smiled and bowed before gliding over to the champagne fountain and taking his time to select the two nicest looking champagne glasses he could find. Admittedly, he had yet to find any flaws since they’d been inside the palace; everything seemed perfectly in place and expertly groomed. Even all the people present were dressed meticulously, and for once Perceval found he generally approved. Still, no one present could match the perfection of the Major; his every move and every sentence he spoke were appropriate and well timed. Of course, his comportment and dress were faultless, but there was something else about him, too, and Perceval was inexplicably drawn to him. Perceval filled the two glasses he’d selected, then returned back to Major Mauvais and held his champagne out to him with the reverence of a humble and devoted servant.
Algernon accepted his glass, not failing to notice the way the Lt. Rousseau looked at him as he returned. "Why thank you, Lieutenant. Shall we go find somewhere to sit down and enjoy it?" He offered the Lieutenant a hand, leading towards the stairs, then to a secluded balcony area where they could observe the dancing. Sitting and gesturing for the Lieutenant to sit beside him, he smiled. "Well, Lieutenant, are you enjoying yourself? I'd hated to have dragged you along if you're not having a good time."
Perceval sipped his champagne, enjoying the subtleties of the rice flavor that only such high quality alcohol could support as he listened attentively to the sound of Major Mauvais’s voice. “Oh yes,” Perceval answered quickly, setting his glass down and allowing his eyes to be drawn to the Major’s. “I’m so grateful that you chose me, sir.” Perceval said with more sincerity in his voice than he himself had ever heard. He smiled adoringly up at Major Mauvais, and then realized how rude he was being and quickly looked away, reaching for his glass and taking another dainty sip. He’d already drank a considerable amount of wine during dinner, and Perceval was worried that he was quite in danger of becoming rather tipsy. He had to make his champagne last as long as possible so he wouldn’t be tempted to have another glass.
When Algernon felt it was safe and he wouldn't be noticed, he allowed his eyes to roam back to the Lieutenant beside him. Everything about him was so beautiful, so perfect... his now slightly-flushed cheeks, his slender hands, his eyes glittering in the light of the crystal chandeliers as he watched the dancers below. It was almost intoxicating to Algernon, and he couldn't bring himself to look away.
The party went on, but neither Algernon nor Lt. Rousseau seemed to be extremely motivated to leave their secluded area, besides the two times Algernon left to refill their champagne glasses. He himself never got drunk; he had an extremely high tolerance for alcohol that he had developed because of the General Commandant's strong taste for the stuff, but it seemed that his subordinate lacked in the area. Algernon could tell that he was beginning to become tipsy, but it fascinated him just as much as anything else about the Lieutenant, and so he kept refilling his glass.
Perceval was coherent enough to tell his clarity of mind was slipping; he’d stretched out completely on the plush chair on which he was seated in the most undignified way possible, but the amount of alcohol he’d consumed was making it rather difficult for him to care about dignity, for once. He knew he shouldn’t drink anymore, and that he was probably at his limit already, but he simply couldn’t resist an offer from Major Mauvais. In fact, in his current state, and possibly in any condition at all, Perceval didn’t think he could refuse anything from the Major. Perceval realized that he wanted, more than anything, to do all that he could for his superior, no matter what it was that Major Mauvais asked of him.
“Sir,” Perceval slurred, “Thank you ‘fer chosin’ me. To come with you. It means a lot t’me. If I can do ‘nything ‘fer you in return, anything, jus’ you lemme know, sir.” Perceval hated his poor speech for betraying his current quality of mind; he wanted Major Mauvais to know he was serious and not just speaking through the champagne. “I want to be useful to you.” At least he’d said the important part clearly. Blushing at how he feared he must have sounded, Perceval downed the rest of his champagne unceremoniously and smiled shyly at his superior.
Algernon couldn't help but smirk. He longed desperately to forget his plan and just take his subordinate now; he knew he could have him, have him easily. But as much as he wanted, he knew that he needed to wait, work slowly until his hold was completely secure. It was a shame, but he knew he had to, and really, willpower had never been a problem for him, and so he only allowed himself a single touch; he lightly ran a hand along the Lieutenant's cheek, savoring the feeling of his soft skin. "Thank you, Lieutenant... that means a lot to me." He smiled. "I'll keep you in mind."