Written as part of the 2005 Yuletide obscure-fandom secret-santa project, for Yochan.
Many thanks to my betas, Therienne, elynross, and Melina

written December 2005, posted January 1, 2006


Jolly Roger

by Arduinna


"I always thought I'd make a good pirate," Denny said idly, stretching his legs out and propping them up on the coffee table.

Alan watched him make himself comfortable, suffused with contentment. The sight of Denny relaxed in sweatpants and a henley shirt, spilling popcorn all over his couch, was strangely... homey. For three straight nights Denny had come over for a "sleepover," and they'd watched movies and drunk root beer floats and eaten popcorn, then slept like babies just a few feet apart. Lulled by the steady sound of Denny's snores, he hadn't had a single night terror. And he hadn't missed Tara at all, awake or in dreams.

And now Denny wanted to be a pirate. Well, and why not? "You know, I can see it. Gold earring, parrot on your shoulder, swooping down on unsuspecting booze cruises in the harbor..."

"Yeah." Denny looked positively smug at the thought. "But no earring. Earrings are for sissies."

Alan smiled. "Naturally. And then what? After the swooping, that is."

Denny glanced at him, startled. "What do you mean, 'then what'? It's obvious, man! Board and conquer! Tie up the men, take all the money, and watch all the women swoon at my manly presence while I pick the best-looking to take back to my ship." He snorted. "'Then what,' he says. Didn't you ever watch pirate movies when you were a kid?"

"Of course I did. Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks, Tyrone Power, swashing their buckles for all they were worth."

"Well, there you go."

"There you go," Alan agreed. "I know, I'll get you a pair of tights, or maybe some leather pants, for Christmas."

Denny glared.

"Well, really, Denny, if you won't wear the earring -- you can't swash without at least a little swish."

The glare went narrow-eyed. "I'm getting another drink," Denny announced, levering himself off the couch with a grunt.

Alan rested his head against the back of the couch, smiling at the ceiling, utterly content. "Be my guest."

"I am your guest," Denny pointed out as he walked to the kitchen. "You should be fetching me drinks."

"Don't be silly, Denny, you're not a guest. All the etiquette books say that after three days, you're the same as family. And family fetches their own drinks, it's a rule."

"Damn convenient rule, if you ask me," Denny said as he returned.

Alan raised his eyebrows. "That's not a drink, Denny. That's a bottle."

Denny waved it dismissively. "Save me the trip later." He put the bottle on the table and dropped back onto the couch. They'd drunk all the root beer the first night, and had run out of ice cream almost as fast. They'd settled on Bailey's as the closest thing to drinkable ice cream in Alan's possession, and ice cubes clinked gently in Denny's tumbler as he poured in a healthy measure.

"A cockadoo," Denny said suddenly.

Alan blinked and sat up again. "I beg your pardon?"

"A whatsis, a cockadoo, not a parrot. The white one, like that cop had on tv. You know, the one who was on trial."

"The... what?" Alan said, staring at him. "Baretta? The, the cockatiel?"

"Cockatiel! That's it. That's what I'd have. Not a parrot. That white bird had class."

"He did indeed," Alan agreed, bemused. The bizarre turns Denny's mind could take never failed to fascinate him. Even with encroaching Alzheimer's -- or mad cow -- Denny was the most intriguing person Alan had ever met. Contrary, stubborn, narrow-minded, unfailingly loyal, and brilliant in court even when he had no earthly right to be. Alan couldn't get enough of him, drawn to his erratic fire as surely as any moth to a flickering candle.

"You can be first mate."

Alan's smile started so deep down he wasn't sure it was even visible, but he felt it to his core. "I'd like that. First mate." He took his time with the words, savoring them. "Sounds very... piratey. But I want an earring. I think I'd look very dashing, don't you?"

"I think you'd look like a sissy, but you do what you want."

"Then I shall have an earring," Alan declared. "Something tasteful and small, nothing too gaudy. Do we get to have swords or pistols?"

Denny considered. "Why not both?"

"Why not, indeed." Alan raised his glass in salute. "So. We're well-armed and appropriately attired. We need a name."

"Denny Crane," Denny said automatically.

"For the ship, Denny. What shall we call our ship?"

"I suppose 'The Really Big Penis' is out of the question."

"Very probably, yes. The people who register these things would likely object." He took a sip of his drink, grimacing at how watered-down it had gotten. He leaned forward and snagged the bottle, pouring in a few more inches. "We could always go for 'The Jolly Roger'." He raised his eyebrows and held the bottle out to Denny.

Denny shook his head, frowning. "Bit obvious, isn't it?"

Alan put the bottle back on the table and settled back, taking a sip of his much-improved drink. "Yes, but since 'roger' is also slang for 'fuck' in some circles, I thought it might be suitable."

Denny beamed at him. "Perfect. The Jolly Roger it is."

"Splendid! To The Jolly Roger," Alan said, glass raised high.

"The Jolly Roger," Denny agreed.

Alan let himself go nearly boneless as he sipped, caught up in the moment of perfect harmony between them and lost in thoughts of swashbuckling derring-do. He really would look dashing in an earring, sword at his hip and a hat cocked jauntily on his head. With a feather. He eyed Denny. No, a feather and a cockatiel would probably be too much. Pity. Denny could carry off a feathered tri-corner if anyone could.

Scrolling text on the tv caught his eye. "We've missed the end of the movie," he realized.

"Doesn't matter," Denny said. "The Duke won. The Duke always wins. Now there was a man."

"Good guys and bad guys and guns all around."

"Yeah," Denny said, sounding pleased. "Life was a hell of a lot simpler in those days."

Alan opened his mouth, stopped, and smiled wryly. "You'd've made a good cowboy, too, Denny."

"Damn straight," Denny agreed. "Denny Crane."

"Denny Crane," Alan said softly. "C'mon, it's getting late and we've both got meetings in the morning. What say we live dangerously and leave the dishes, and just hit the sack?"

"Why not," Denny agreed. "But I don't care if I'm family now or not, I'm still using the bathroom first."

Alan gestured expansively. "Of course. Age before beauty, after all."

Denny shot him a narrow look and stalked off to the bathroom. "Just for that, I'm not opening the window." The door shut behind him with an affronted click.

A soft chuckle escaped Alan as he headed for the bedroom to set up the recliner he'd dragged in there for Denny days ago. A fresh sheet over the upholstery, a quick shake of the comforter to fluff it up again, and it was good to go. He changed into fresh sweats and a t-shirt to sleep in, tossing the clothes he'd been wearing at the hamper in the corner.

At the now-familiar sounds of Denny finishing his ablutions and leaving the bathroom he moved back out into the apartment. "Please tell me you opened a window," he said as they passed each other in the hall.

"I did, yes. But only because I'm a wonderful person, not because you didn't deserve to have it be closed."

"Understood," Alan said gravely. He peed and washed and brushed rapidly, opening the medicine cabinet to put the toothpaste neatly away when he was done. He paused, looking at the pill bottles sitting on the shelf he'd cleared for them when Denny started staying over, then gently closed the cabinet again, depositing his toothbrush in the cup next to Denny's.

Smiling, shut the window and he walked back to the bedroom, turning out lights as he went. He stopped in the bedroom doorway, caught up short at the sight of Denny lying in his bed. "Denny?"

Denny glared at him defiantly. "Damn chair was getting uncomfortable."

"I'm sorry," Alan said, sincerely. "I thought you liked it. Do you want me to sleep there instead?"

Denny waved a hand irritably. "No. It's your bed, you sleep in it."

"But you're in it, Denny," Alan said gently. "You said --"

"Dammit, I know what I said!" Denny was glaring again. "Now shut up, get the rope, and get in here."

Warmth spread through him. "Yes, Denny." He found the rope half under the bed where he must have kicked it that morning and got into the bed, flipping the covers back over Denny. "Ankle," he said crisply.

Denny bent his near leg up and Alan tied one end of the rope around with swift, practiced motions, patting it gently when he was finished.

"There, done," he said cheerfully, glancing up at Denny.

Denny was scowling.


"You know, you're a little too good at this tying people up in bed thing."

Alan opened his mouth, but stopped when Denny held up a hand.

"Don't tell me. I don't want to know. Just... do you, and fix the covers."

Smirking faintly, Alan tied the other end of the rope to his own ankle as Denny grumbled his way into a more comfortable position. "Ready?" he asked.

Denny grunted.

"Right." He pulled the covers over them both and turned out the light, settling in on his pillow. He could feel Denny breathing next to him, just inches away, every breath wrapping Alan in security and comfort. "Thank you, Denny," he said softly.

Denny grunted. "I'm still not having sex with you."

Alan smiled into the darkness and let his eyes drift shut. "Just the same," he murmured.

~ fin ~

Feedback of any sort, from one line to detailed crit, is always welcome, at arduinna at trickster dot org.


No title


Stories home

Alias | Boston Legal | Boy Meets World | CSI | Dead Zone | due South | Forever Knight | Forever Knight/Highlander | HighlanderI Spy | Invisible Man | Kung Fu: TLC | M*A*S*H | Night Court | Peacemakers | The Professionals | Quantum LeapThe Sentinel | Sesame Street | Stargate Atlantis | Stargate SG-1 | Starsky and Hutch | Various/Misc.

Site home