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Cross-posted from Madrona Project

Title: Fun in the Sun
Prompt: Sun kissed
Fandom: Original
Characters: Pashmina, Bastian Quinton Castille
Word count: 1287
Rating: PG 13 for Pashmina’s profession
Can Borrow: No
Summary: Pashmina and Bastian enjoy the Sovereignty Days celebrations…
Author’s notes: Special thanks to my beta Kat for pinking this for me. Please also note that this was written for Froday Flash Fiction Challenge’s March Special Bingo Challenge as well as Madrona Project’s Sovereignty Days.

For Jen, who’s sorely missed…



Pashmina clung to his friend Lieutenant Commander Bastian Quinton Castille’s arm as they made their way around the various pavilions and stalls hawking different kinds of food and drink. There were also stalls with many items for sale from all over the land. The kitten and his friend were on their way to see a reenactment of a battle fought long ago in Madrona’s history. Bastian, no stranger to war, was sure it would be full of inaccuracies as it staged by a group of nuns from one of the local schools, and crying kids, if his commanding officer’s young children were anything to go by. Besides, he found the idea of glamorizing war abhorrent. Pashmina, however, thought it would be fun to watch. Unable to disappoint his friend, Bastian soon found himself standing with him and watching a bunch of nine year old boys, whacking each other with wooden swords to the delight of their families and dismay of their teachers.

Pashmina let go of Bastian’s arm just long enough to applaud the children’s “performance.” Smiling coyly up at his friend, the kitten said, “I bet you wish war was that much fun, eh?”

Bastian snorted. “I think you’ve been out in the sun too long,” he said, offering his arm to his friend, who took it. Bastian led the way through the throng of spectators. He was feeling a bit thirsty and had heard in passing that the biergarten that had opened near the Queen’s pavilion had beer that had come all the way from Germania.

“Why? Am I getting all red?” Pashmina asked as he felt his cheek with his free hand.

“No, just…” Bastian shrugged.

“Quinton!” Pashmina frowned. The kitten worked hard at keeping his skin properly pale as befitted a kitten as he had a tendency to burn, followed by a rich tan, if he got too much sun. Common street walkers and rent boys were often tan, despite plying their trade at night, and Pashmina had no desire to be mistaken for one of them.

“Calm down, Candy.” Bastian said with a smile, calling his friend by his pet name for him. “You’re just sun kissed, that’s all. Just a bit of pink on your cheeks and it helps sell the illusion you’re a… a girl.”

Pashmina made a face. He always felt trapped between the sexes, being neither male nor female, but rather both. Madam du Pris, the owner of the brothel his worked in, treated him like a curiosity, as well as some of his clients. “But I’m not a girl…” He sighed.

“I know and I’m glad you’re not one,” Bastian said as they made their way to the biergarten.

“Yeah?” Pashmina brightened. Even though he had a sneaking suspicion Bastian had a crush on his commanding officer, it still gave him hope that maybe one day he could talk Bastian into rescuing him from the brothel by becoming his patron.

“And if you’re good, I will not only get you some more candy, but I’ll also buy you one of those big floppy hats we saw.”

Pashmina giggled. “You mean one of those farmer hats?!” His giggles quickly turned into laughter.

“Yeah… What’s so funny?”

“Me… I was just imagining me having a gentleman farmer as a patron.”

Bastian laughed as well. “I can just picture you in some big chateau in the middle of nowhere, playing at being the lady of the castle.”

Pashmina’s laughter died down into a rueful chuckle. “You can hunh? And are you the lord of this castle? Or am I stuck with some decrepit old man?”

“I thought you liked antiques.”

“I do, but I was hoping to spend my days with someone younger…” Pashmina said, his voice low and husky.

Bastian paused. “Candy, I… I’m sorry, but I can’t afford to be your patron and keep you in style on my officer’s salary.” He felt bad, while he did enjoy his friend’s company on the rare nights when he visited the brothel, his heart belonged to Christophe Babtiste, his commanding officer.

“I know, but a girl or maybe boy? Or whatever I am…” Pashmina laughed, “can dream, right?”

“Yeah…” Bastian led him over to a milliner’s stall.”I promised you a hat, so let me know if you see one you like.”

“Thanks!”

They were greeted by the woman, who owned the stall and she was quick to show Pashmina the latest fashions in the capitol. He loved the attention and had a grand old time, trying on what Bastian called “little bits of lace and feathers,” before settling on a wide brimmed straw shepherdess hat.

“Well?” Pashmina primped for his friend.

Bastian smiled. “You look like we need to go over to the livestock area so I can get you a pet lamb.”

“But I’m not allowed to have a… Oh.” Pashmina blushed. “Let’s go to the biergarten and then to the candy stalls!”

“ Okay,” Bastian said as he paid the milliner for the hat. He found his friend, waiting for him outside the stall, and together, they made their way to the biergarten. Besides sampling the imported beer, they also tried a few of the local ones. Along with the beer, they ate a hearty peasant’s lunch of grilled sausages, boiled potatoes, and black bread. And when they were finished eating, they headed towards the large market square to join in the dancing that was going on.

As they wound their way through the throngs of people, they stopped at various stalls. Pashmina helped his friend pick out gifts for Bastian’s commanding officer and his family. The man and his wife had just welcomed their first child into the world and Pashmina thought it would be nice to get them a gift to celebrate.

“What about this pretty lace bonnet?” Pashmina said as he pointed to a row of bonnets and other items of clothing for babies and small children. “And it’s a girl, right? Maybe she’d like this doll too.” He picked up a pretty porcelain version of the Queen.

“The lace bonnet is good, Candy, but I think she’s too young for the doll.”

“Hmmm… Maybe you’re right.”

Bastian nodded as he paid the woman running the stall. “Come, I know you like dancing, so let’s see if we can get in a dance or two before you need to go back.”

Pashmina sighed. “Don’t remind me. Are you sure you don’t want to be my patron?”

“Very sure,” Bastian said as they took their place on the dance floor. “You’ll find someone eventually.”

The band started playing a lively reel and Pashmina soon forgot his troubles as they danced. He managed to get in two more dances, the last one being a waltz, before he looked up at Bastian and said, “Goodbye, Quinton. Will I see you on the last day?”

“You don’t have to work?”

Pashmina shook his head. “I’m asking, ‘cause I want to watch the Queen’s fireworks with you and if we meet early enough, do you think we can head over to the docks and catch the water parade? One of the girls saw it last year and said it was a lot of fun.” He smiled.

“I can’t make any promises, but if I’m around, I’ll come get you at the brothel. If I’m not there by lunch time, go by yourself.” At the look of disappointment on Pashmina’s face, Bastian added, “I want to hear all about it the next time I’m in the capitol, okay?”

“Okay.” Pashmina kissed his cheek. “Bye, Quinton! See you around!” He waved and turned on his heel, before disappearing into the crowd.

Bastian watch his friend go, before he, too, headed for home.

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