A/N:(I'm insane. I admit it freely. This made me giggle while I was writing it, but then again I'm exhausted, so I guess anything would at this point.)
Le Disclaimer: No, I don't own any recognizable Forgotten Realms characters in this fanfic. Nor do I own the Mighty Boosh. Meh.
It was almost too easy, Jarlaxle thought to himself, grinning as he pocketed yet another golden trinket. This indeed had been a windfall by all standards.
Well, so far, so good. He and Entreri had stumbled upon this opportunity only the other day, after they'd rescued an aspiring musician from a band of irate merchants. The young man had expressed his undying loyalty to the pair and, instead of actually paying the two (to the ire of Entreri), had given them a map that led to "untold wonders and delights galore!"
"Are you done filling your cavernous pockets with gold, or shall I leave you and the gold alone for a moment?" snapped Entreri from the corner of the room, the only visible trinket in his possession a platinum goblet studded with diamonds. Jarlaxle held a handful of gold coins to his chest and fluttered his eyelashes at Entreri.
"I do believe we need a moment, my friend. Do come back when you've discovered the true pleasures of life." Scoffing at the absurd elf, Entreri stalked off into a corridor, the door banging shut on his departure.
"Ah, and now we have time to get to know one another, my lovelies," Jarlaxle crooned, pocketing more gold than seemed physically possible.
"Yes…yes…I know- you're lonely and cold here, but never you fear! Soon you shall be coveted and loved as once you were…though I daresay I've quite the talent for such things…" he sighed, his eyes glazing over as they caught sight of a gigantic ruby in the corner of the room. Upon noticing this gem, Jarlaxle stood and dashed over to the treasure, tripping more than once and almost losing his hat in his glee.
It wasn't until he'd gotten his hands on the thing that he realized his mistake.
As soon as his ebony hands touched the gem, a thick white mist filled the room, effectively obscuring his vision. An expression of annoyance crossed Jarlaxle's face at this new complication, taking off his overlarge hat and waving it in front of his face to combat the fog. It wasn't until he'd cleared most of the fog away from the front of his face that he noticed the figure standing in front of him.
It was emaciated, greenish flesh stretched taut across its face and body. Parts of the figure's arms and legs were speckled with what looked like silvery scales, while scraggly bluish-green hair sprouted from its head. The thing's eyes were completely black and almond shaped, indicating some kind of elven ancestry. Most confusing of all, however, was the fact that the figure was (as far as Jarlaxle could tell) male and yet it donned a hideous pale pink frock, rotten ribbons and droopy ruffles adorning the garment in some kind of macabre mockery of beauty.
The creature raised one clawlike hand.
Jarlaxle twitched. He wasn't used to lichs (for it was indeed a lich- an especially ugly one at that) initiating conversation rather than cackling madly and launching deadly spells. He cleared his throat and offered a small grin.
"Hello, good sir. How do you fare this fine day?" The creature shrugged once, scales dropping to the floor as it did so.
"Been better. "
A brief silence fell upon the two.
"Might I know who I have the honor of addressing?" Jarlaxle began, trying to distract the lich as he edged towards the door.
"I'm Old Greg. Pleased to meet yer." Jarlaxle choked back a laugh. The lich fixed him with a stern glare.
"Whatcha doin' in my castle?"
Jarlaxle felt the beginning pangs of anxiety in his stomach.
"Er…well, taking in the view. Admiring your lovely abode. Definitely not removing your belongings."
"Then how come my cup's in yer hand, fool?" the lich began, pointing a gnarled finger at the incriminating object.
"Oh, that cup! That cup! Uh…just moving it to a table. Off the floor."
It was definitely time to leave.
"It's in yer pocket, yer pansy!"
"I don't suppose I could persuade you to forget about this little incident-"
"I'm gonna hurt you."
Jarlaxle sighed. So much for the diplomatic method.
"I wouldn't try it, if I were you."
The lich's soulless eyes roamed over Jarlaxle's form, causing more than a little concern for the dark elf.
"I like you. What d'you think of me?"
Well, now that was unexpected.
"I do believe you're…a perfectly…reasonable… half-dead wizard."
"Don't lie to me, lilyface!"
Lilyface? Jarlaxle wasn't sure whether to laugh or cringe at this.
"I know what you're thinkin'! 'Here comes Old Greg! He's a scaly corpse-man! He don't know anything about me!'" the lich continued, the pitch of its voice rising suddenly. Jarlaxle raised both hands in a calming gesture.
"Quite the opposite, I assure you. I have great faith in your comprehension of a great many things. For instance…could you, perchance, tell me the way out, since my assassin's shut me in here?"
"You could stay here. In Greg's place. I got all things that're good."
Jarlaxle suppressed a shudder.
"I'm sure you do. However, I'm an immensely busy man, Greg. It is imperative that I go."
"We could play a game of poker before you go. I was best at it always."
"A most beneficial talent, Greg, but I digress-"
"D'you love me?"
It was not often that Jarlaxle found himself surprised. He could even count the instances on his fingers. The number of times that he'd been horrified, however, he could count on one hand.
This, however, would make all other things obsolete in comparison.
"Oh dear," he managed through a rapidly closing throat. The lich shuffled closer, its eyes shining wetly.
"D'you love me?"
Jarlaxle cleared his throat.
"I've, ah, gone temporarily deaf and cannot hear a word you're saying."
"Could you ever love me?"
"Afraid I can't hear you."
"Could you learn to love me?"
Jarlaxle wiped the sweat from his brow. Where in the nine hells was Entreri when you actually needed him?!
"It…ah…is far more complicated than that, Greg," Jarlaxle replied, forgetting his feigned deafness. The lich bobbed its head at Jarlaxle quizzically.
"How does it work, then? Tell me how it works."
"Well…what usually happens is one meets another in a bar, remarks are exchanged, and (if one meets with the second party's standards) they end up going upstairs and doing whatever strikes their fancy," Jarlaxle stammered, wondering if he should have given the typical definition of love rather than his own practices.
"What about this? This is a time!"
"This…really isn't a time, now is it, Greg? This is more of…a glimpse into the eyes of insanity."
"D'you like my eyes?"
"I- this is not-"
"I like yours. They're like bits of fish paste with a side of tomatoes."
In the face of this comment, Jarlaxle found himself a bit speechless.
"Yeah…you got those crazy tomato eyes…makes me wanna get naked with a bottle o' Bailey's."
Jarlaxle gulped once, his so-called tomato eyes darting about frantically, searching for some kind of escape.
"I'm Old Greg!" the lich exclaimed suddenly, almost making Jarlaxle jump in apprehension.
"Greg…I hate to sound rude, but I find that I should leave now. Farewell," Jarlaxle choked out, scratching his eyepatch absentmindedly.
"You can't leave when Old Greg's not gotten his kiss."
Jarlaxle's hands tightened on his hat.
"I do believe that it is time for me to leave-"
"I'm Old Greg!"
"Yes, you are. Now, I have to take my leave…my friend's waiting."
"You give Old Greg a kiss, he'll show you the way out. He'll even let you take a few things with you."
"Greg…I don't usually believe that it's morally right to deny another a simple peck on the cheek, but in this situation, I'm willing to make an exception."
"Oh, Greg don't mean a kiss on the cheek. Old Greg's hungry."
"Surely then you just need to eat something-"
"Oh…I don't think you understand... Old Greg's hungry for some man-tongue."
"I don't say this often, Greg, but…that's utterly horrifying."
The disturbing conversation came to a rather sudden halt when a certain assassin darted from the shadows, hurling a small dart at Greg, catching Jarlaxle about the waist and dashing for a window.
"Hold on," Entreri grunted as he adjusted a ring on his finger. The human dashed straight out the window, levitating slowly to the ground rather than the usual plummet. Jarlaxle sighed explosively as soon as his booted feet touched the ground.
never thought I'd say this, but I'm eternally grateful for your
existence, Artemis Entreri. In fact, I think I could even kiss you at
Entreri's face twitched once.
"If you wish to stay out here, out of the lecherous clutches of," here Entreri lifted up two fingers on both hands, " 'Old Greg', you'll do nothing of the sort."
It was the first and last time that both mercenaries had ridden back to Heliogabalus without Jarlaxle saying a single word.