(1938-10-15) Getting Dolled Up
Details for Getting Dolled Up
Summary: Corina and Fabia get ready for their night on the town. (WARNING: Some adult content.)
Date: 15 October, 1938
Location: House Lorelei, London
Related: Fast Friends

The sounds of London at night drift in through the open window of Corina Silver's private suite. Far more than the sort of hole-in-the-wall many ladies of the night make use of, her room is a lavish affair with a large, four-poster bed, window seat, and thick, plush rugs. Corina, clad in little but her undergarments, sits at her vanity, peering into the large, oval mirror as she primps her hair. Near the window, chirping can be heard from a gilded cage containing a pair of white canaries.

A knock at the door; and at her word of permission (for this visitor is expected) there enters a spectacular sable coat, to which is attached a large hatbox.

"Sweetie!" sighs Fabia Fairfax, or possibly Fabia Travers. With a nod over her shoulder to the gentleman who has escorted her this far, and who closes the door without a sound behind her, she lets the string of the hatbox fall from her wrist and approaches Corina's dressing-table; she walks with the particular paws-extended deportment of a lady who has just had a manicure and is still nervous of touching anything. "You don't disappoint."

Corina watches Fabia's reflection, beaming a smile at her. "I'm glad you like it. Some of those that come in here get a bit intimidated. I can't imagine why. My bedroom is absolutely trash compared to some of theirs." She rises, drifting over to her wardrobe, completely unabashed about her state of dress. "Can I offer you something to start off the evening with?" Opening a small door within, she reveals a liquor cabinet cleverly built into the wardrobe.

"Oh, anything at all would be delicious," Fabia answers promptly, "but just the one… I had much rather dance than drink." Her glorious coat slides from her shoulders and hits the bed, rather than the floor — she has a degree of care for *this* garment, at least, given how pleasant and cuddly she finds it.

Underneath she's wearing a Linton tweed suit in sage green with a cerise overcheck, recognisable to those in the know as another Lachasse, the 'Panic' tweed with which Hardy Amies had his first and greatest success. A small ivory felt hat set at a rakish angle, with its veil shading half of her face; an ivory satin blouse; low-heeled shoes made of silkworm cocoon skins, which she simply steps out of, whilst beginning to divest herself of the rest with cautious fingers. Her French manicure is still so very very fresh…

Corina produces two small snifters, filling them halfway with something amber. She glides over to Fabia, offering one up to her. "So, if we're to be partners in crime, I must ask something terribly impertinent. Do you still enjoy the company of men? I don't mind brushing them off if that isn't an interest for you on such evenings."

With her hat and her jacket on the bed next to her coat, and her lately-unfastened skirt sliding to the floor, Fabia accepts the glass she's offered — holding it so delicately between her fingertips, not allowing her nails to brush its surface — and then almost chokes upon its former contents. "Sweetie," she gasps, when she's managed to swallow, in between peals of incredulous laughter, "You might as well ask whether I still enjoy breathing…"

Corina lights up in giggles. "Well, in that case, tonight should be a delightful scandal." She lifts her glass to clink against Fabia's, and takes a sip. "Now then…" she flits over her to closet, throwing it open. Apparently the wardrobe is only for coats, and not nearly large enough for her actually wardrobe. She sifts through various gowns and outfits. "I was considering the lavender tonight. The colour is a bit tame, but my bosom looks incredible in it." She holds up the dress to show it off.

Of course Fabia's glass was emptied at a gulp — that single, difficult gulp — she abandons it somewhere or another, on the way to collect her discarded hatbox and set it upon the bed, amongst the garments she's shed.

"Hue is much less vital than cut… Though I'm pleased enough with my green and gold," she declares, opening the box and drawing out the frock in question, holding it up for Corina's inspection. "Forgive me, won't you, but I'm rather looking forward to seeing what you'll attract without even trying — and to borrowing one or two. The ones who enjoy dancing the most. They'll want to dance with me," she says frankly, "even if they don't know it at first." She lets the green and gold confection fall; and commences undoing the buttons of her blouse. The camisole beneath it matches her petticoat: a darker green silk, trimmed with apricot lace.

"Oh, how lovely. The gold is absolutely divine," Corina admires the frock jealously. "So what were those telegrams about? Getting caught in lies? And who in the world is John? You must be so enigmatic with me. I'll surely go mad with curiosity." With expert efficiency and speed that she would never use with a client, her lacy bodice comes off, soon to be replaced with a more modern brassiere that will be invisible under the gown.

The ivory blouse flutters to the floor; and after it, seconds later, the camisole, and the petticoat. In her most intimate garments and silkiest stockings, in a body unreasonably lean and muscular for a woman of her supposed years, Fabia perches on the end of Corina's bed of sin and slips into — a pair of harem pants, of gathered golden silk. She can just see Corina from where she's sitting, and, all right, yes, she looks a little. Who wouldn't be curious?

"Oh, John!" she sighs, extravagantly. "John is my son-in-law."

Corina isn't especially shy about appreciating Fabia's body, as well. "Merlin, I hope I look as good as you when I reach your age. Thirty-five, isn't it?" She gives Fabia a wink. "So, John. Son-in-law?" There is a brief moment, a flicker of something…what? Recognition? Curiosity? It's difficult to say. "The son of the late Mr. Bertram Travers, then."

"Thirty-five and some months," Fabia giggles. "Really, I don't know that I ought to satisfy *your* curiosity, given how little you've been willing to do for mine… When you call *me* enigmatic I should like nothing more than to set a looking-glass in front of you, and *wait*." She slips the green and gold frock over her head and once it has settled about her, it is revealed to consist of a bodice, without much of a back, and a gauzy asymmetrical overskirt, which floats about the golden harem pants, to just below the knee on one side, and rather above it on the other. "But no," she adds, chattily, because she can't resist, and because she's admiring herself in Corina's mirrors as she twists her peculiarly flexible arms behind herself to attend to buttons, "he's no relation of Bertie's, he probably wouldn't be such a crashing bore if he were. He's the solicitor with whom my daughter insisted upon walking down a certain aisle."

Corina nods, putting it all together. "Son-in-law. Yes, of course…I was thinking of 'stepson'." She nods to her drink, sitting nearby on the vanity, "I may have had too many of these tonight. Alright, so, you have a daughter…with Bertie? Or is there an even more interesting story there?" She grins eagerly as she slips into the impossibly narrow lavender gown. "Maybe if you tell me yours, I'll tell you mine."

A peal of appreciative laughter from Fabia. "Oh, if only, if only…" Drawing away, with a small sigh, from the fascinating spectacle of her own reflexion, she tips out the contents of her tiny turquoise handbag onto the bed; having forgotten or decided to ignore the potentially perilous state of her nails, she commences to transfer these assorted bits and pieces into an even smaller gold lame evening bag. "She's called Emma; and I regret to say she must be about *your* age. Oh, heavens, you were right about your bosom in the lavender. Teddy Fairfax's daughter. After all these years," a vague smile, as a glittering diamond necklace set aside from the mess dumped out of her handbag is fastened about her throat, "I'm used to saying I'm Mrs Fairfax, rather than Mrs Travers."

Corina straightens up in appreciation of the compliment, adjusting her bust for maximum vamp-action. "Yes, especially when you're trying to spy on your future clientele. So…a lover after Bertie? Or lovers? Did he know?" For obvious reasons, she takes the notion in stride.

Some things are shoved haphazardly into the hatbox; and a pair of simple golden slippers are withdrawn and dropped onto the floor, where Fabia can shuffle her feet into them as she attends to other matters. Such as looking across at Corina, lifting an eyebrow, and murmuring, ironically, "*A* lover?" Her lips twitch; she adds, "Perhaps he knew; perhaps he didn't." Suddenly, in her hand, an ornate golden pill-box, engraved with a bold 'F'; when she pops the lid, it proves to contain not pills, but a white powder. She opens a mirrored compact and shakes a little onto the glass, then — why not? — a little more. "I can't imagine he thought I'd be married to him for five minutes and then live like a nun for the rest of my life; or that *you*," she eyes Corina, "would think so either."

Corina shrugs, putting on the final accoutrements for her evening attire. "Knowing what I do of you, I would hardly imagine so. But sometimes people are surprising. Besides, asking means a chance at hearing the story. But we'll have time enough for that. There is trouble to be made tonight."

Fabia sets down the compact long enough to roll up, expertly, a pound note. "Oh," she breathes, "I do hope so."

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