"Sink meh, Chambertitin," Sir Percy said, eying Chauvelin as they stood in the little courtyard. Soldiers were arrayed behind Chauvelin, while several members of the League stood ready to support their leader. "I had no idea that you cared so much for fashion as to seek me out for personal advice! You could really use it, you know, my dear fellow. That cravat is simply monstrous!"
Chauvelin resisted the urge to check his cravat, instead favoring his opponent with a thin smile. "I'm afraid your cravat, Sir Percy, will no longer be of much use to you when you are lacking a head."
Sir Percy shook that head sadly. "My dear Choovalinn," he said in the tone that made Chauvelin want to punch him. It was probably why Percy used it. "You've made that very threat before, I'm afraid, in this very courtyard, I believe. What makes you think that this time will turn out any better than the last?" When Chauvelin, choking on his anger, was unable to respond immediately, Percy leaned against a stack of crates and beamed. "Face it, Chuvalin, in a mere moment you will see that you have once again been outwitted by a little scarlet flower."
"Not this time," Chauvelin spat. "This is one flower that I intend to pluck!"
Percy blinked. "'Od's fish, my dear fel…I mean, Monsieur, that sounds rather…dirty, does it not?"
And suddenly, it did. And it is also an unfortunate truth that at the heart of every man, there remains a twelve-year-old boy. Someone behind Chauvelin giggled. He whirled around, but all the soldiers had desperately straight faces. Then one of Percy's men - Lord Tony - giggled too, and Hastings coughed awkwardly, and Sir Andrew, who was trying very hard not to picture anything, began to blush.
Percy did not help. "Sink meh," he said, arching an eyebrow. "I'm flattered, Chambertitian, but I'm married, you know."
Chauvelin's mouth opened and closed for a moment like a fish, unable to conjure anything that would not make the situation worse. It entirely slipped his mind that he could just order the members of the League shot. The only thing he could think of to order was "Seize him," and that simply would not do.
"I had a teacher once who claimed that such slips indicate hidden desires," Hastings piped up.
And that officially made the situation worse.
"Good Lord," Sir Percy said at last, quite in his regular voice. "I do hope not."
Chauvelin found his voice at last. "It was just a slip of the tongue!" he roared. "Nothing more, nothing less! It is your fault, Sir Percy," he added viciously, "for choosing a flower-related nickname."
He was almost relieved when Percy miraculously escaped a few minutes later, taking his band and petty innuendos with him.
Catching the Scarlet Pimpernel under these circumstances would have just felt wrong.