Sometimes, after a long day, when all Droog wants to do is sit down and smoke and drink his troubles away, Deuce comes in and makes it worse. It doesn't matter to the runt that it's a bad time to blabber on and on about some magical shiny treasure (a piece of flashy junk) or about the scrumptiddlyumptiousness of licorice (only sweets he cares for are Swedish Fish) or about Slick's weird magazine of suggestively posed terriers (what.) And Droog, sitting on the couch with a cigarette between his fingers, Grey Ladies tucked between an issue of the Gazette, grunts now and then while Deuce runs his motormouth, hoping that the little Dersite will get the message to go away, please, before I stick a cuestick through your head.

But Deuce doesn't get the message, he rarely does, not unless you tell it to him nice and simple and slow, and even then that isn't a guarantee. So Droog sighs and presses his hand against his face, says, "Deuce--"

And that's when the little bastard squeals in delight and grabs him by the hand and chirps, "The sax! Play the saxophone, Droog!"

Hell, he doesn't want to play the saxophone but Deuce is already rushing out of the room and rushing back in with his oboe and mismatched sheet music, shoving the mixed-up songs toward him all fake serious before bursting into giggles. And Droog, like the wuss he is, doesn't say no, doesn't throw it all back in Deuce's face, but instead takes the sheets and shuffles them back in order. "Don't you ever pay attention?" he says, but he brings out his saxophone anyway, making Deuce so giddy that he almost falls over.

So Droog plays. He tells himself that it's because he needs the practice, not because it's for the little, childish Dersite before him, but when that oboe's mournful note mixes with his sax's he almost smiles. Almost.

And so, like they always do, they wind up playing a little strange duet together, on to and past midnight, until Slick shouts at them to shut the **** up it's ****ing late, to which Droog will hold out a long note out of pure spite. By then Deuce's dead tired, his head bobbing, and Droog has to carry the annoying Dersite to bed. He thinks to himself that he shouldn't have to do this childish crap, but for some reason he doesn't mind it as much as he should.

When Droog is about to head back down, to light another cigarette, to pour another drink, Deuce pipes up, "Was that fun, Droog? Did you have fun?"

And Droog will shrug like he always does, hiding the almost-smile creeping in as he turns away.