DISCLAIMER/LAMENESS: First of all, I own nothing to do with Jeeves and Wooster. Nor Beethoven, nor the line I stole from Shakespeare, nor the music of Dowland.
Secondly—the lame part—would it be terribly sad if I told you that I was galvanized into writing this again because I did a Google search of "Jeeves and Wooster fan fiction" and saw that the comments to my story came up eventually, with the statement, "may the resolution of the story appease the audiences of Jeeves and Wooster fanfiction!" beside it? I know, I should care more about my writing as well as the people who subscribed to alerts and so on, but I am just the lamest sort of person, who will, when inspiration has fled, just give up entirely.
In my attempt to be a somewhat better person this year, and because I think I owe it to the people who might like to read it, I'm going to make an attempt at writing and posting a chapter in one evening. Here's hoping that that goes well! EDIT: IT DID! (Well, in that I actually wrote it. Its quality is... questionable.)
I think I'm going to end up using some influences from Beethoven's Symphony Number Nine, because that's what's stuck in my head right now, and, as I'm a music major in college, music and writing to hand-in-hand for me all the time.
ONE MORE THING: This is one of three potential endings I plan to write for this fan-fiction, and is the least-dramatic of all of them. But, as I said above, I just want to post something for you lovely people to read tonight, and hope that you don't think it's overbearingly lame.
Ending I: Sleep
Being drawn back to my place by my master's side after a simple day away from him was torturous. I didn't expect it to be, frankly; when he first came to me, to ensure that I would return to his service and his side, I had been elated—if somewhat exhausted from the entirety of the situation, and the fact that I was not used to such emotional strain. But those weeks with him, all of that time spent together in 'friendship'… it is such a low, base sensation to which to climb down to, especially after one has already realized the exultant feeling of believing one's affections to be returned, and been struck with the boldness to take on those feelings and express them in return.
Allow me to explain, if I may: One has a certain build-up of feeling, and one expects there to be somewhat of a climax; after it occurs, the situation surrounding it may either produce contentment in the completion of the act, or else distress that the act has ended and sadness that that, the moment that was so fleeting and bright, was the highest point to which one would ever come. I feel that the time spent with Mister Wooster immediately after my return was the latter. Not only was I afraid that my love for him—that pathetic thing that still languished, whining, in a corner of my heart—would show itself at inopportune times and bother my master, but, worse still, I was obsessing in a way that I never knew myself to do before.
I do not consider myself an obsessive man, by nature. I find that I am generally able to come to care for things and enjoy them in moderation. I have friends who I enjoy spending time with, but I do not think of them for hours on end, awaiting our next meeting. When I loved Mister Wooster in my quiet way, before I thought I had much of any chance of expressing my feelings, I didn't pine over him; I didn't think of him when I had better things to be doing, for I could see him whenever I wished to, and feel that I was expressing my love enough in my service to get by, from one day to the next. But returning to the flat left a certain hollow space within me, a vacuum that was quickly filled with thoughts of him. Wondering what my master thought of me in these days, and what he had thought of me before I had the fatuous idea that an overture would be successful, and, most pressing, wondering what care he had had for me that had been shattered when I told him of my feelings.
The last was the worst because I could tell that there had been a change, but I could not name it. I was unable to find the source, and, so, there was nothing to be done about it, there were no clever plans that could be woven around it, because I did not see what the change had been. I knew that he was more delicate about me than usual, which, truth be told, augmented my ill-feeling about the situation. As I've already mentioned, service to Mister Wooster is just about the most important thing to me, as it is not only an expression of my assumed place in life and the status that I have, but, more, because it is aiding a man I love, and a man who, it can be frankly said, deserves luxury in his life. Perhaps he does not work, or produce anything of tangible value, but the soul must count for something in the way of deserved pleasures in life.
I found another song that appeals to my state of mind at the time very soon after I arrived back at the flat to live with my master again. I find it a marvel: When one has just begun taking notice of something, one suddenly finds it everywhere in the world; once one has connected a song to life, every piece of music there is begins to relate in some way to the web of existence. I find it an extremely comforting piece of music, because I do not believe that I shall ever find solace with this awful affair with Mister Wooster.
"Come, heavy sleep..."
I have reasons for believing that there shall never be anything beyond what little headway I made; I do not simply speak pessimistically, though that tends to be my wont in matters of the heart. We have had conversations since I've been back, ones that do not seem to have anything like the gay joviality that Mister Wooster used to maintain so well, nor the pleasing references to our favorite literature that my master and I would share in what I might consider something of a playful fashion.
He has treated me, since I returned, like a piece of glass. And that is quite the opposite of what I would like, being denied his love.
It would be better if he were angry with me, if he acknowledged any possible over-stepping of the boundaries between us on my part and informed me of the fact with frustration in his voice. I would at least know, then, that I didn't worry him. He doesn't speak of what happened between us, now, and he prevents me doing certain things that used to be part of my job, such as aiding him in dressing and so on. The most I am allowed is to arrange his tie and his jacket properly when he cannot do so, and to tie his shoes. He goes out to dinner much more often, so I cannot cook for him; he goes to his club in the afternoons, so there is no tea-time. Worse than simply being rejected for his love, I feel that I've become less than a friend to him. I was a confidante before, I am sure—otherwise I would not have had the misplaced courage that led me to speaking as I did. Now I am being treated like and encouraged to feel like a valet should: Working for his master when it is required, but otherwise living the life of a man from the lower orders privileged enough to live in a beautiful city and expensive flat because my master is a man of some great means.
"The image of true death..."
There can be no other word for it than 'torture'. I can't speak to him about the matter. Whenever I've considered the matter, I find myself leaving him, which wouldn't do, not after he specifically requested my presence back with him. I've gone so far as to put to paper the things I would say, and they generally follow a path like the following:
J: Mister Wooster, I would like to speak to you on the matter of my admission of love to you some time ago.
Mr. W: Of course, Jeeves, do carry on. Keeping in mind, of course, that I said, then, that I don't love you, and am currently doing my best to woo the fair Roberta Wickham.
J: Of course, sir. I was mistaken in bringing up the topic, sir; perhaps sir would care for some coffee?
I can't reproduce my master's charming colloquialisms without feeling very self-conscious, but that seems to me an appropriate approximation. There is nowhere to move to when we are both aware of the situation, and stand on opposite ends of the spectrum with regard to how it should end. The subject is closed. As Mister Wooster has stated before, we are both men of strong convictions; no one is going to convince the other that one path is right and the other is wrong. We have to tolerate each other. It is only a shame that being tolerant of another's opinions, in this case, "enriches him none, but makes me poor indeed."
I crave your indulgence, my dear reader, for I have to pen everything I can about this matter, in order to ease the load from my mind: I have, honestly, considered suicide since I've been back. It's been three months now, and Mister Wooster and I have not had a conversation that seems remotely like friendship. It sounds like the most melodramatic, narcissistic consideration, to think of killing oneself that one may have another person by their side, but I've thought of it. The reason is because I am weary. At the end of every day, I am left with a crushing weakness that I never experienced before, not until the day that I was first released from his service. Not speaking is more draining of emotion than speaking to him, for the silence is filled with thoughts; with obsession over his thoughts. I am now no more than a convenience, no more than the man he is hiring to do the domestic chores he cannot
"And close up these, my weary weeping eyes..."
There have been times where I have seen glimmers, shining like gold from the pan of my desires, but it always turns out to be the faint shine of something worthless like a speck of quartz rather than gold. The most prominent and the worst of these came relatively recently, and, as our first encounter did, had something to do with music. Mister Wooster was still looking to attract Miss Wickham, it seemed, and I was again called to perform some linguistic analysis on a piece that he had found. He wanted to impress the young lady in this way, and, so, found out that she had a particular affinity for the works of Ludwig van Beethoven, a composer that I, too, had always enjoyed.
He had called me from where I'd been polishing the silver in the kitchen, and pulled out a handsome leather-bound score of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. It had been reduced to a beguilingly difficult piano part, but the choral line in the final movement remained largely intact. Smiling, he presented the work to me and spoke about it with all of the enthusiasm of a real lover, his cobalt blue eyes shining with real joy. The fact was shaming, but I took the score and looked at it anyway.
"Lovely, isn't it, Jeeves? I think that this is just the thing to have Miss Wickham all of a twitter over me. You know that the young lady enjoys Beethoven? Well, I'm sure that this chorus, of all things, will have her setting the eyes upon young Bertram like nothing else. I wonder if you could give me a bit of a translation again, just to tell me what I shall be singing to her." I couldn't pretend to be an expert on the German language, but, from experience with the work and the little knowledge I did have of the tongue, I began haltingly:
"It begins, sir... with the baritone voice, declaiming, 'oh friends, not these tones,' referring to the fact that pieces from the previous three movements are repeated at the beginning of the fourth, followed by, 'rather, let us raise our voices in more pleasing... and joyful sounds'. It then moves onto the main theme of the piece, sir: In German, 'Freude, schöner Götterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder, Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt...'"
"You said a mouthful there, Jeeves," Mister Wooster interjected with a distinctly dumbfounded look, but waved his hand impatiently for me to go on in short order.
"It translates, if I recall correctly, sir, to approximately this: 'Joy, beautiful spark of the gods, daughter of Elysium, we enter, drunk with fire, Heavenly one, your sanctuary! Your magic reunites what custom strictly divided. All men become brothers where your gentle wing rests.'" Mister Wooster was furrowing his brow at me as I finished the passage, and he moved to take the score back, so I returned it to him without attempting to go on in my reading. I was too wary of our state of relations to begin to be stubborn about such minor things as finishing jobs I'd been told to start, anyway.
"I say, Jeeves, I think I've got quite the wrong thing. This might impress the birds somewhat, yes, but I want something with some real romantic strains in it; this is all about friendship. It'd be more suited for me to sing to..." He paused here, and looked up at me for a moment with tension around his face, before he threw out a name, "Bingo, or one of the lads down at the Drones, rather than a toothsome filly. I'm glad that you were here to inform me, Jeeves."
I dismissed myself soon after hearing such things. I had had the thought that he meant to suggest that he would sing the song to me, but that he couldn't say it, either because he recalled the awful affair that was the last time he'd tried singing something for me, or because he didn't consider me 'friend' enough to be honoured with the lovely poetry of Herr Schiller at his most idealistic. Either way, I was struck down by the conversation, and left to dwell on how sadly it differed from the last time Mister Wooster asked me to translate a piece for him. Our life together was morphed into something perverse by that last conversation, yes, but, for a few moments, it had been nothing but love. It was only that the loves shared were directed differently that had turned our relations to discord.
"Whose spring of tears doth stop my vital breath, and tears my heart with sorrow's sigh-swollen cries..."
I would like to die. I know now that I favour the prospect. But I cannot. Not with my master still relying on me; not when I am meant to think of his safety and comfort more than anything else. I cannot. It is my 'feudal propriety', as he used to say, that is holding me from falling off this precipice. I suppose that I should be thankful for it, but I do find myself cursing the servant's family that I came from that leads me to thinking of my master before myself in this way.
"O, come sweet sleep, come or I die forever..."
At least I have something to look forward to at the end of days, now that I find myself so weary after each. I used to look on sleep as something that stood in the way of my achieving more during the twenty-four hours of the day; now, it is the element of life that is constant, the one that allows me to continue on without going utterly mad. If I did not sleep, I would not make it into another day. It is as simple as that. Each night, I can put my head down, and imagine that this is my deathbed, and that there shall be no more of the rack of unrequited love pulling at my limbs, as I will not wake.
"Come ere my last sleep comes, or come never."
I have no real friends, nor enemies, nor anything to be passionate about in life. My work is reduced to menial labor and my master is a good man who treads around me like one avoiding a land mine. Knowledge, the mere fact of it, used to make me glad; however, with no-one to share it with, I find that it has no purpose, just ast I do not without the prospect of my love returned. I really have nothing to live for now, except to sleep, and to dream of the day that death will release me from my torturous duties.
A/N: Wa-hey! That was sadder than I expected. And pretty short.
Anyway, I hope that this chapter-that-took-an-hour-after-singing-in-a-concert-which-involved-singing-the-choral-movement-of-Beethoven's-ninth-symphony-chapter was okay for you, and that, maybe, if you are one of those freaky people who went so far as to alerting my story, you can enjoy this a bit.
I'm deeply sorry if you don't like it, not only because of you, but because Google will now have to be disappointed as well.
Review? 8D If you review, I'll be far more likely to write again, and, perhaps, have that re-vamped happy version of this chapter that I wrote once- then deleted because I didn't like it, then (because I'm a moron) lost and have to start all over again- up sooner. Am desperately hoping that you want the happy version, and, thus, will review, of course. XP
Thanks very much for reading!