WhiteCollar-Elizabeth colors

White Collar/Fallen London - a little Polythreme snippet

Previous installments in the Fallen London/White Collar AU:

Stories by [personal profile] frith_in_thorns: A Boat Trip | A Game of Croquet | Jack-of-Smiles | The Taste of Lacre
Stories by me: The Search for Sleep | An Unusual Pail of So-Called Snow | An Infernal Contract

When you reach higher levels of the game, you can buy or steal a ship and sail to other parts of the world, including Polythreme, where everything is alive, and I do mean EVERYTHING. I was braced for nightmares when I sailed there, but actually it's just hilarious. While in Polythreme, you can collect the Fascinating quality (whereby you charm the locals and the local inanimate objects) or the Investigating quality, in which you try to solve the island's mysteries and contact local spies. Meanwhile your main challenge is overcoming your own misbehaving clothing.

(All of the titles that [personal profile] frith_in_thorns and I are using for the stories are taken from the names of opportunity cards, storylets, and other game content. The ones for Polythreme are very entertaining.)

Title: Your Overcoat Wishes You Ruin
Word Count: 800
Summary: Peter hates Polythreme, and can't figure out why his wife and Neal like it so much.

Peter was chasing his coffee cup around the table in a small Polythreme cafe when a very large bundle of scarves, hats, gloves, and the odd boot shuffled up and sat down across from him.

"Hi, Neal," Peter said, making an educated guess. He finally managed to corner the cup against a cooperative butter dish and pounced. It made a pathetic squeaking noise, like a mouse caught by a cat.

"Hi," Neal said. Somewhere in the depths of the pile of laundry, Peter caught a glimmer of a bright blue eye. "I made friends with a clothes-colony. It wants to come with us. Can we keep --"

"No," Peter said. The writhing scarves wilted like the leaves of an underwatered houseplant.

"There's no need to be so abrupt about it." One of Neal's hands appeared from the depths -- at least Peter hoped it was Neal's hand; it was wearing a lace glove, so he couldn't tell for certain -- and patted a mat of scarves. "There, there. Everything is so very friendly here," he added cheerfully.

"Only to you." As Peter brought the cup to his mouth, it began to wibble. "Shut up," he told it. The cup wibbled louder.

"Awww, Peter, you're scaring her."


The cup burst into tears.

Peter gave up and poured the coffee onto the ground, then replaced the cup on the table, where it was comforted by a spoon and napkin.

"I really hate this place."

"You just have to relax and enjoy it, Peter. Go with the flow, and you'll like it."

"What's to like?" Peter retorted. "I can't have a decent meal without getting backtalk from the tableware, not to mention the food itself. My shoes aren't speaking to each other, my pocketwatch has a crush on you -- Stop that," he snapped as the fob peeked out of his pocket. It hastily ducked back inside. "I wish El would wrap up whatever she's doing and get back to the ship before the ship itself decides to marry a nice local girl and settle down."

Peter looked around for his wife. While Neal had been charming everything in sight, including the paving stones, El had been much more goal-oriented (notwithstanding a few arguments with a particularly recalcitrant petticoat). Peter knew that whatever she was doing had something to do with delivering a message for Diana, but she had been cheerfully evasive whenever he'd asked. Occasionally he had glimpsed her in the distance, industriously traipsing about to ruins and asking questions of locals, while he had his hands full trying to keep his waistcoat from conspiring to run off with his trousers.

Ah, there she was. The love of his life and apple of his eye appeared out of an alley, scribbling busily in her notebook. Peter couldn't help noticing, by the drape of her skirts, that she'd managed to lose the rebellious petticoat somewhere. He tried not to wonder where it had gone and whether it was currently plotting against them.

"Hi, hon," El said, plunking herself down at the table with them. "Hi, Neal."

Peter's battered gray overcoat attempted to cop a feel of his petticoatless wife with its coattail; he hastily sat on it, and accepted her hello kiss before asking, "Can we leave yet?"

"What, now?" El was breathless with eagerness. Under any other circumstances, Peter would have loved that pink-cheeked, excited look on her. Unfortunately he had a bad feeling that he wasn't going to want to hear what she was excited about, and when she went on, he found that he was right. "Honey, we can't leave now. I've received some very reliable information that there's going to be a new Unfinished Man born tonight -- or created, or however it's done. We must find a place to hide and watch! Oh, I wish I'd brought my camera."

Peter tried to think of something he wanted to do less than observing the natal habits of Clay Men. Various incidents involving sorrow-spiders came to mind, as well as that time he'd accompanied a detachment of Constables to a household that had trapped a Starveling Cat in the basement. But it was a close thing. "Why?" he finally asked.

El looked up from her notes. A dark curl had come loose and bounced over her nose. "What do you mean, why?" she asked in a distracted way.

Somehow his arguments with El always went this way. They'd have a few rounds of mutual confusion, and then he'd end up doing whatever she wanted him to do anyway. "Never mind," he said with a sigh.

His coffee cup appeared to have run off with its spoon. He hoped they'd have a pleasant life together.

This entry is also posted at http://sholio.dreamwidth.org/876714.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Okay, I wasn't reading this series as I don't know the game and it has elements in it I'm not keen on (demons etc) - but this fic looked too much like fun to ignore! So glad I read it, because it's hilarious!! The last two lines totally cracked me up!! Ah, poor Peter! :D
*grin* Sometimes it's incredibly dark, but then parts of it are just hilarious. :D I'm exploring this part of the game right now, and I had to inflict it on them too!
This game can be completely hilarious at times, and I had to inflict it on the characters, too. :D
Ahahahaha, this is utterly adorable. Oh, Peter. I love him being the straight-man to this whole ridiculous world while Neal and El embrace and revel in it :D And OF COURSE all of the clothes-colonies love Neal. I bet they squabbled over which one got him!
I love him being the straight-man to this whole ridiculous world while Neal and El embrace and revel in it :D

Hee, YES, this is pretty much our Fallen London AU in a (completely ridiculous) nutshell. :D

I expect that the point when Neal is ready to leave Polythreme is the point when jealous clothes-colonies start having vicious fights over him, possibly attempting to kidnap him in order to "win". :D This could test even Neal's tolerance for weird life-threatening absurdity. And so, off they go back to the ship, with El's shiny new Unfinished Hat gnawing on Peter's ankle. XD
Heeeeeee! This is awesome. I started giggling at the title and haven't stopped yet! *g* Poor Peter - even the cups are conspiring to keep him from having coffee! And I love that all the clothes want Neal. This is hilariously adorable!
Heeeeeee, this game is so incredibly SILLY sometimes, but in a way that's very fun to write about. :D I think Frith is right that all the clothes-colonies (which are a real thing in the game, by the way) would be fighting over Neal, and want to have him for themselves!
LOL. Poor Peter *snickers* Not surprised Neal and El like it there, though :D
Neal and El are entirely willing to roll with the absurdity of Polythreme. Peter ... isn't. :D
LOL this is hilarious, loved the idea of a cup running of with the spoon.

Edited at 2013-02-15 06:55 am (UTC)
*grins* Me too, I think! Like Frith-in-Thorns pointed out, he is basically the straight man to the whole bizarre world. :D

I can see why Peter wouldn't like it there but the thought that everything is alive and that the coffee cup is running away from you? ♥

Thank you!