“Alright, Sebastian!” the Prime Minister relented, trying not to allow his annoyance to to show as he brushed down his own lapels and brushed away the hands that were trying to brush them for him. “If you honestly feel the people want to see me do this sort of thing in public, I'll oblige you.”
“Oh!” Sebastian laughed in a high, nervous falsetto, making one of his impenetrable hand gestures, the sort that the Prime Minister could not help imagining might be more meaningful than they appeared. “Oh my! How wonderful!” the giddy aide clasped his hands and leveled a keen, almost hungry look of devotion at his superior, giggling all the more.
The Prime Minister kept his expression even, calm, professional, not allowing himself a sigh. When one was in such a high-profile position of public trust within a democracy, these sorts of rituals simply had to be endured. “They're expecting me to come straight away then?” he asked for clarification.
More giggling, which stopped abruptly at the Prime Minister's faintly puzzled look. Sebastian seemed quite as stricken as if he had been slapped in the face. The Prime Minister felt almost as if he'd actually committed some breach of courtesy, but if so, he couldn't imagine what it was. He ignored the feeling, as he'd gotten used to doing with so many sight incongruities where Sebastian was concerned. “Yes,” Sebastian agreed with uncharacteristic gravity, chastened, almost sulking. “Straight away.”
Sebastian pouted the whole way to the Albert Hall, even reverting to full pout after a quick snark-off with the lady chauffeur about which door they should be let out at. But he brightened as they were rushed immediately from the entrance to the stage, recovering his customary giddiness. The Prime Minister wished he could say the same. But as he walked out on stage to find the house lights up and the auditorium filled to no more than ten percent capacity, he began to feel uneasy. His unease only deepened as he realized that nearly one in five of those seated before him had something very strange in common. They all looked uncommonly like the Prime Minister.
Worse still, lining the back wall and positioned along the upper balconies, easily outnumbering the small cluster of well dressed attendees, were an exceedingly strange collection of what the Prime Minister could only assume were security personnel. No other explanations could come near to justifying the fact that they were all, in various fashions, armed to the teeth. The most frightful looking contingent had a fresh from the desert air, on their guard, massive firearms at the ready. It was only by the lion's head emblems on their impressive body armor that he knew them to be British rather than American, though he could not recall ever having seen that particular use of the national symbol before. The largest number of men were in very realistic looking chainmail, together with scarlet robes emblazoned with dragons. They bore their heavy swords with a military attitude that suggested the weapons were far from ceremonial. But strangest (and in their strange way most frightening) of all were the dozens of scantily clad teenaged girls armed with swords, crossbows, and (unless he was mercifully mistaken) wooden stakes.
From the look of things, the Prime Minister wasn't the only one less than pleased with the situation. One of his doppelgangers (the one dressed as the king of whoever the largest group of sword wielders were evidently supposed to be, weather beaten crown and all) was snarling quietly but contemptuously at a suspiciously clean looking peasant who resembled Collin Morgan. The 'king' was eying nearly everyone in the room with scorn and enmity, most especially his servant. His expression softened; however, when the beautiful young brunette seated beside him squeezed his hand and made some little joke, laughter and affection in her eyes. Even the constipated looking young beefsteak seated immediately to the other side of her laughed and seemed to relax a little.
To the right of the 'royal' party sat a tweed clad, bespectacled academic almost but not quite young enough to be the king's son. That one was sandwiched between two beautiful young women, a petite perky blonde and a striking swan-necked redhead. He looked strangely annoyed with both of them, folding his arms with the air of someone waiting for a child's ridiculous shenanigans to be over. The blonde was obviously teasing him, trying unsuccessfully to raise a smile, but the redhead had one hundred present of her attention focused on the King of Wherever-the-Hell as if she were waiting for him to detonate... or possibly trying to kill him with her brain.
In fact, nearly every single one of the not-quite-Prime-Ministers looked angry, bored, distracted, or ill. The only entirely comfortable looking person in auditorium was a slick-haired look-a-like in a nice silk suit who was kicked back in his seat sipping whiskey from a glass so expensive looking that it's contents could only be a fine single-malt Scotch. His smile was friendly, polite and amused; somehow without being the least bit warm. The glint in his eye was at once jovial and predatory, like a cat in a room full of canaries. “They don't truss eachover wiff the lights down,” explained a stage hand who looked strangely like Matt Lucas in drag as an enormous adolescent girl.
“Sebastian,” the prime Minister said quietly, aside, smiling tightly. “Tell me again what I'm meant to be doing here.”
“Oh you're going to be giving Head,” Sebastian explained. More blasted giggling. “Oh, I mean—that is— the Head Award! You're going to give out the Head Award for Father of the Year.”
[Tom Baker, voice-over] “Well... jolly good we cleared that up. Otherwise the Prime Minister might have thought he'd been asked to judge the Headline Awards for Anthony Stewart Head related fanart and fanfiction for them what writes and draws and stuff. If you're interested in participating in the Headline Awards, you might want to click on http://tonyhead-awards.livejournal.com/ . If you'd like to be considered for the Giving Head Award, pop round my flat at half past Tuesday. Until then (or until chapter two) Good Bile!”