Short Story: I'm (Not) Gonna Write You A Love Song

Sunday, October 13, 2013

No spoilers in here, so I can post this for you all to enjoy! Basil's fallen in love for the first time since the death of his fiancee (via illness), but he doesn't know how to let Miss Annabell Simmons know he's interested in marrying her. Dustin tries to help out in the only way he knows how.


“This is going to sound stupid.”

“Stupid? Naw.” Dustin closed the keyboard and leaned on his piano. “There’s no such fing as a stupid question.”

Basil sighed. “How do I propose to a woman that I think I love but who I…I don’t know. She’s not Emily, and that’s been making this difficult.” He wrung his hands nervously. “See? Stupid question.”

“You wanna propose?” Dustin grinned. “That’s not stupid!”

“No, but I’ve proposed before – to Emily – so I shouldn’t have to ask.”

Dustin shrugged. “Miss Simmons ain’t Emily, though, so it’s owlroit.” He rolled his gaze to the ceiling. “Hmmm.”

“Ms. Simmons enjoys going to the theatre, balls, music – ”

“That’s it!” Dustin snapped his fingers.

Basil blinked. “What’s it?”

“Music! Wroit ‘er a love song, Mister Remington!”

Basil blinked again, stunned. “What?”

Dustin raised an eyebrow in mock confusion. “Don’t tell me you don’t know wot a love song is.”

“Of course I do! I just can’t write one!” Basil felt the blood rushing to his cheeks, but resisted the temptation to raise a hand to check the temperature of his face.

“But yer such a good wroiter…” Dustin frowned, but only briefly. “I know! You wroit the words an’ I’ll set it to music fer you!” he added, his characteristic smile returning almost immediately.

“But…I’ve never written anything like that before.” Basil fidgeted.

“‘Ere, I’ll show you.” Dustin patted the piano bench and slid over, and Basil sat beside him. He opened the keyboard again and cracked his knuckles. “Let’s assume that I’m a pretty lady and I’m in love wif you.”

Basil glared at him.

“Y’know,” Dustin went on, “I’d just ‘ave longer ‘air an’ be better endowed ‘ere.” He waved a hand in front of his chest, and he noticed Basil’s glare visibly soften out of amusement. Oh, you fout that were funny.

Basil exhaled. “Right. So supposing you were a lady in love with me – what is this even supposed to do?”

“Get you in the roit mood er wroit, Mister Remington. ‘S called ‘acting.’” Dustin’s innocent face gave absolutely no indication of the words he was about to sing.

“We’re turning this into theatre now?” Basil rolled his eyes. “Come on, Thatcher, be serious!”

Instead of being serious, Dustin began to play the piano, quickly feeling out the opening bars of the introduction. Before Basil could lodge a protest, he began to sing.

“There is a man, an ‘andsome man, wif eyes as blue as the sea…That ‘andsome man, that very man, belongs at last to meeee…” Here the tempo picked up, becoming jaunty. “Marry me, woncha just marry me, woncha just please, oh, please just propose to me, I would ‘appily, say yes if yer askin’ me, so woncha just please, oh, please just take a knee?”

Basil’s jaw dropped.

“I love youuu Mister Remingdon – da da, da da – I love you wif all of my ‘eart, won’t you please say you’ll marry me so we can get a ‘ole new staaaart!” Dustin finally stopped as he choked up with laughter. “See ‘ow easy that were?”

Basil said nothing. He continued to stare, his mouth agape and his cheeks flushed. Dustin turned to face him and the sight of Basil’s face made him laugh even harder.

“Thatcher!” Basil snapped, then caught himself before saying anything more. He thought for a moment, and without realizing it he smiled. For that one moment in time, he was relaxed. It hit him then that he’d lost touch with a huge part of himself – that tie he’d had with Emily was based on their shared senses of humor. And when he really thought about it, he bantered back and forth with Dustin far more than he did with Annabell. She always seemed like she was keeping her distance, come to think of it.

Dustin smiled genuinely at him in return, and in that moment he was definitely sure that something was up because Annabell never smiled at him like that. She was guarded somehow.

“Thatcher,” Basil said again.

Dustin cocked his head to the right. “Mmm?”

Basil stuck out his hand. “Thank you.”

Even more confused now, Dustin nevertheless shook Basil’s hand. “Yer welcome?”

Basil stood up. “I’ll explain later. I have business to attend to now – as soon as I return, I’ll explain.”

Dustin nodded at him. “Owlroit.” He grinned. “Good luck, Mister Remington. You shook me ‘and, so you’ll be foine.”

Basil smiled earnestly back. “I’ll need it,” he replied, then walked off through the main hall of the bank, one hand raised in a ‘see you later’ wave.

He still wasn’t quite sure what he made Basil realize, but Dustin felt immensely satisfied.


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