Chips of Emerald

AN: I promised it would come eventually, and here it is, Chips of Emerald. The first one's just a random, fairly light piece, but some of the other ones will probably get steadily more crackish, with pirates and kittens and everything. I hope you enjoy, and don't hesitate to REVIEW if you like it.


The coach lurched as it ran over a pothole. David didn't move, his eyes still shut as he leaned back into the corner. Philip shot him a quick glance as he picked up the playing cards that had slipped from his hands as he tried to shuffle, dealing them out to him and Katie again.

"Pff, hired coaches," he said softly, with a resigned shrug for their current conveyance.

"Pff, continental roads," Katie suggested instead. "You're just spoiled with all those perfectly sprung carriages."

"Don't speak so disparagingly of the European highways," David chided his sister, opening his eyes at last and smiling wearily at them both. "We might not see any other kind for a while."

"We could go to India," Philip suggested with a flippant smile. "There, at least, the roads couldn't be considered bad, precisely."

"Just non-existent," David finished dryly.

"But Philip," Katie said innocently, smiling sweetly at him. "You might get sunburnt."

The redhead shuddered at this insult to his complexion. "Perish the thought," he declared. "On second thought, it seems we shall simply have to put up with poorly maintained roads, and buy a better chaise at once." He paused a moment, before adding thoughtfully, "Upholstered in green."

David laughed, and reached over to fondly caress his lover's cheek. "Or we could get it in blue," he countered.

"To suit your midnight beauty?" Philip asked him, eyebrow raised interrogatively, his eloquence only half-teasing.

"Well, you'd look just as lovely against any backdrop," David told him affectionately. "So perhaps we should pick the colours to flatter me. Being outshone might be good for your pride."

"You'd more than match me any day," Philip said sincerely, leaning to brush a chaste kiss across one of David's faintly blushing cheeks.

Katie let a discreet beat pass before speaking up again. "Perhaps we should test David's theory that your beauty would remain unaffected, despite your surroundings," she suggested mischievously, "And have the carriage upholstered in pink."

Philip looked immediately appalled. David couldn't help laughing at the horror in his face, even as he waved a hand in dismissal of Katie's notion. "But rose shades would only suit you," he countered quellingly. "Perhaps we should pick a colour that none of us would find objectionable?"

The girl pouted, then smiled. "But my dear brother, you are too hard on yourself," she informed him. "Pink wouldn't suit you, no, but a dark red, for example, would go splendidly with your dark locks." She drawled the words elegantly.

Philip looked stricken at this suggestion. "Promise me, David," he begged. "Promise me that you'll never wear anything that would clash with my hair!"

David smiled at him, a smile tinged only slightly with amusement. "Of course I never would," he said comfortingly. Philip's expression became relieved, and he pressed his lips against David's, tangling his fingers in a lock of long black hair.

Katie was looking at them appraisingly, and Philip turned to raise a sardonic eyebrow at her in return.

"I was just thinking that it's probably a good thing you're both men," she said lightly. "Such affection between a man and a woman would be truly unnatural."

Philip made a face at her teasing, and David blushed, keeping his more pensive sighs purely inward. Katie was right: should a young man presume to so much as touch a young lady's cheek, it would bring about an immediate spate of intrigued whispers, half envying, half scathing, comments of 'Love match,' and 'Too much freedom, these days,' chasing them wherever they went. English repression at its finest and best.

"Someday, perhaps, you will meet a man who will sweep you off your feet with affection," Philip drawled. "And he will buy you a bright pink carriage."