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**Reposted from Imzy ... and awaiting images**

It’s spring, and it’s conference season.

At North Downs, Dorian is preparing to host the annual international conference for his fellow elite criminals. This brings him into conflict (again) with James, who would rather save money than spend it on the repairs and refurbishments needed to get ready for the event.

At the estate next door, another group of people is preparing for an international peace summit, and Klaus is going to be there as part of the security team. Diplomacy isn’t Klaus’s greatest strength, and before long he has upset both US and Soviet representatives, and annoyed the host’s wife.

It’s just as well the Peace Summit has good security in place because a terrorist threat is discovered, and Klaus springs into action to thwart the Neo-Nazis who are plotting mayhem.

Meanwhile, we discover that James has a personal scheme going to get Dorian to give him his used underwear. Why Dorian takes his ordering-around, I don’t know: but he obliges James by wearing the new underwear James gives him and leaves him to do what he will with the old ones.

It turns out that the very underpants James haggled for in the shop and gave to Dorian are the ones with a coded message attached, which Klaus and his men are trying to retrieve. Klaus immediately recognises who purchased the underwear from the sales assistant’s description, and heads off on a long and complicated pursuit of the garment. He finally corners Dorian in his bedroom, and demands that he take off his trousers. Dorian initially draws the wrong conclusion, and is disappointed when it turns out that Klaus wants his underpants but not what is inside them.

Decoding the information obtained in the underpants, Klaus learns that a bomb has been placed to go off in the Peace Summit. While the security teams squabble, Dorian takes action – he removes the bomb and Klaus hurls it away into the grounds where it explodes, injuring no-one.

The story ends with the two unlikely allies taking time out – Klaus sleeping ("Wake me in 30 minutes") while Dorian watches over him.

Dramatic Spring continues the fast-paced style of story-telling, with the action shifting quickly from country to country and location to location. We see Klaus's character unfolding further as uncompromising and mission-focused, but at the end of the story he seems to have granted a short truce between himself and Dorian. Perhaps he's been suitably impressed by Dorian's willingness to take action where others would only dither, or by Dorian's faith in his own abilities. These are qualities Klaus has himself, and no doubt he admires them in others. Even in foppish thieves.

*

Fan-fic to explore:

Anne-Li has used the "thieves' conference" idea in two stories: Iron Klaus and Lightning and Passing the Torch. Neither of these relates directly to Dramatic Spring but we get similar insights into Dorian's place in the wider world of international roguery. Both stories with a light, amusing touch. Iron Klaus and Lightning - crossover with Eastern Promises, and
Passing the Torch - crossover with Artemis Fowl, The Usual Suspects, Highlander

Musamihi's snippet Teammates is set right at the end of Dramatic Spring. Klaus goes to sleep for his thirty minutes, and dreams. A lovely, angsty insight into the things Klaus has been repressing with an iron will for years.
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