(1939-01-06) A Pair That Fits
Details for A Pair That Fits
Summary: Post-Christmas, Cooper is in need of her dear friend Fabia's shopping expertise. (Warning: Mostly about knickers, et cetera. Is this mature content? You decide.)
Date: January 6th, 1939
Location: That legendary London department store, Selfridges.

A trip such as this calls for some moral support, which Cooper made sure to ask for a day in advance. Selfridges. You and I. One p.m. She kept it short and simple. So why has she waiting over an hour for Fabia Fairfax to arrive? Wasn't this her ideal environment? An environment where the perfume counters attack you with a nauseating cloud of mixed vapors the second you stepped in. Or where the dandy-looking men tried to convince you to buy extravagant looking shoes that would be perfect if you preferred never to walk again. To Cooper, this was a nightmare complete with young children and the judgmental look in their mothers' eyes when they took a glance at the blonde witch. Who could blame them? Her trouser suit was appalling after all, second only to the horrible material of her oversized winter jacket.

Nervously, Cooper has retreated to some where safe - the ball gowns. The tall, long dresses should keep her well hidden as she stands there fiddling around with her Selfridges bag in waiting. And then strikes! "Is there anything I can help you with ma'am?" says a cheery and quite glowing young woman. The sudden greeting makes Cooper EEP with fright!

And on that note — salvation.

"SWEETIE!" squeals Fabia Fairfax, in tones which deafen many a passing shopper. She is clad in her sable coat open over virulently colourful tweeds and three rows of pearls; clasped in her left hand is the loop at one end of a leash which terminates in the bouncily joyous presence of a very young pug puppy clad for this wintry afternoon in a pale pink sweater and a matching hat with a bobble. The latter is rushing, well, doggedly across the pale and expensive carpet at her mistress's side, though her occasional feints at the trailing skirts of mannequins provide at least a partial explanation of their tardiness…

"I'm so awfully sorry I'm late," she gasps, dropping her handbag and a couple of small parcels into a chair, and reaching out for Cooper to bestow the ritual air-kisses. "I couldn't wake up, and I couldn't get a taxi, and my beautiful Honey here," she gestures, with one suede-gloved hand, to the puppy, "wouldn't do her business, she was so chilly, and, oh, here we are. You didn't tell me you wanted an evening frock. Sweetie, how thrilling! I rather suspect forget-me-not blue would be your colour, how about—" She has hardly finished pointing at the dog when she starts pointing at frocks. "THAT ONE?"

The exclamation that comes soon after, through shrill, is much more soothing to hear. Cooper looks immediately relieved upon seeing her sable-clad savior in all her wonderful glory. Like an angel from heaven sent down to accompany her. "Fabia!" she grins brightly waving her hands like a maniac landing a plane. "It only took you a century. I'm absolutely suffocating here! I mean look at me, I smell like Quartier Pigalle!" She does a quick lap around Fabia so that she can catch a waft of her various strong scents. Bless her stars though! Cooper can't help but pick up the sweet animal in her pink sweater, cuddling and caressing the creature in her arms. "Honey, is it? How'd you come up with a name like that?"

But before she could continue the conversation, her companion is already deep into evening gowns and consulting the sales girl. "Oh yes, that's a lovely one. Just got that in yesterday," she young belle tweets to Fabia. "We are not here for evening gowns!" Cooper steps, quite rudely, in between two women. Each get their own glare from the Auror. "I have to return something and you're here to help me. Come," Cooper says and immediately takes Fabia's free hand in her own to begin leading her to another section.

Fabia gasps. "We're not here for evening-gowns?" The concept is an alien one to her. "But you'd look awfully pretty in— I'm sure it's just your— size— and would do wonders to— accentuate your bosom—" she emits as Cooper hauls her away by the hand and by the puppy, the latter being these days a most effective means of getting her attention. "Cooper!" she complains, futilely, in a softer voice which betokens her resignation to the inevitable. "We don't return things, sweetie, we only exchange them… And if we can," she whispers, catching up to her friend and confiding this remark closely into her ear, "we persuade the salesgirls to credit our accounts with the full price instead of the sale price, or to knock a percentage off whatever we want instead so they'll at least keep the money instead of having to pay it out again. Really, sweetie, don't you — oh," it dawns, it dawns! "That's why you asked me, isn't it? And not to help you try on frocks? What a bloody shame, I'd much rather have helped you try on frocks…" She's still whispering, thank God. And she has taken charge of the puppy again and tucked the poor creature under her arm. Her sables are interwoven these days with a sizeable percentage of dog.

"I don't need to accentuate my bosom! I hardly have one!" Cooper yells as she continues to drag Fabia with her like a pug through the store. The volume garners attention. The subject matter garners looks. The pair stomp down wide aisles past the hand bags, the jewelry, and the everyday wear. She's only half-listening to what her tweeded and pearled friend tells her. All this mess about exchanges and sale prices go over her head. That is until the woman hits the hammer right on the proverbial nail. Cooper stops them in their tracks.

"I would prefer to get money back somehow, but honestly. I'd much rather just get rid of this thing," she says it with such disdain as she opens her bag to reveal a rather salacious set of silk undergarments - black and complete with brassiere and tap pants. She's so embarrassed she shuts it almost as soon as she opens it, and then shoves the bag into Fabia's hand. "I want you to return it." Behind Cooper is their destination, the undergarment second. The displays alone make her want to just die. The greater question is, why on earth did she have her hands on such a pair?

The displays of lingerie in every style, every colour, and every possible degree of sensual fascination, do not make Fabia wish to die. They make her wish to see what's in her size — and gather up handfuls of it (small handfuls, necessarily) and rush into the nearest dressing-room whilst shedding her sables.

But she stops peering interestedly ahead and peers interestedly into Cooper's anonymous shopping-bag instead. "Oh," she murmurs, stroking Honey's ears with a gloved fingertip. "Why'd you want to— do they not fit?" she asks anxiously, looking up into her friend's face. "Christmas present? Did someone overestimate your bosom, sweetie, despite your regrettable lack of accentuating frocks? That's happened to me once or twice," she sighs, "I suppose it depends upon the angle from which one generally sees it, doesn't it… You're what, a—" And Fabia, at least, guesses Cooper's size with exquisite precision.

Usually, Cooper wouldn't think twice about Fabia sizing her body up with her eyes. It is certainly one of the less racy things they've done together. Only this time they're in public, and when someone speaks of her body in the open she feels as if everyone is looking. The demure slouch in her back as she crosses her arm indicates so. "So what if I'm an A," she mutters, pushing the brim of her cloche had further down onto her face as she peers over her shoulder. "And I wouldn't know if it fit. I barely touched the thing. It was prank gift given to me by someone or perhaps some people in my office." Cooper steps a little close to Fabia hoping the sable would hide her better, "Likely to subject me to some embarrassment. I'll find out who though and they'll be as good as dead." A glimmer of rage burns in those blue eyes of hers, only she grows more timid again as she sees another young perky Selfridges girl head their way. "Just … return it for me, and you can exchange it for whatever you like."

When Cooper steps closer Fabia does the same, obligingly, every particle of her indicating a willingness to receive confidences. The stiff spotted dark red veil of her hat brushes Cooper's cheek as she murmurs, doubtfully, "A… prank gift?" It's her idea of a jolly nice gift, thoughtful, taking into account the tastes of the recipient. But, of course, Cooper's tastes… Looking into her eyes through the gaps in the veil, she can see that the poor young Auror means it. Well. Perhaps not so poor. Perhaps other people will soon find themselves on the poor side. "Of course I will, sweetie, you just wait here. And hold Honey, sweetie, if she had a go at some of those delightful little knickers on the lower racks we mightn't get anything back." She disentangles the leash from her hand and passes her squirming, snuffling bundle of cream-coloured fur across to Cooper in exchange for the shopping bag. Honey's face has darkened further in the scant week since Cooper has seen her last; but she remembers her old friend, oh yes she does. "Receipt's in here?" Fabia asks, for form's sake, hefting the bag; but she's already on her way. Trust Fabia Fairfax to be completely confident in possession of unfamiliar naughty undergarments.

Twenty minutes later, and to the despair of several salesgirls who have tried alternately to sell her things or just to get rid of her, Cooper is still sitting on the floor playing with Honey. Outside the lingerie department.

Fabia sparkles into view, sables swaying, her suit and blouse and hat and pearls perfectly neat upon her — she can't have been trying things on, not a woman like her, not in so short a time, whatever Cooper may have said about getting anything she liked in exchange for the unmentionable unmentionables. She has taken off her gloves, though, and is clasping them in one hand, with a different, more pristine Selfridges bag slung over the opposite wrist, in front of her dark red leather handbag (it matches her hat). "Your troubles are quite at an end, sweetie," she declares brightly, "may I offer you a cup of tea? Or you might offer me one," she says, considering, "or why don't we just take a bite of luncheon? I know a darling place round the corner, they allow dogs."

Cooper more than happily lets Fabia do her best work. Dog-sitting Honey for the time being is an added bonus. Customers young and old continue to look down at her with disdain, for what grown woman in her right mind would sit so unabashedly on the floor. She's almost laying down! Someone put her in the loonie bin! "I know darling, your mumma will be right back," she coos not knowing her words would literally bring Fabia Fairfax back to her. "Oh thank god Fabia. I knew asking you to come would be a brilliant idea." After rising to her feet, Cooper can't help but pull the woman into a big hug. "Yes, yes! I'll treat you to lunch. What did you exchange that dreaded thing for?" She holds the crook of her arm out for Fabia to take before they walk off, offering like a true gentleman.

"Mmm, bless you, sweetie," and Fabia returns Cooper's hug in full measure, squishing Honey briefly between them (the puppy is used to it by now) before kissing her (lipstick in her fur, a daily hazard). "Well," she breathes, very confidentially, tucking her hand into the crook of Cooper's elbow, letting her continue to manage the pug, who is after all in a sense their little girl, "I chose some other things for you, sweetie. Things I think you'd be much more likely to wear… Much more suitable underneath your usual clothes. They had rather to run around to find what I had in mind, which was why it took so long. Still," and for an instant she wears a smirk Cooper is accustomed to seeing in rather more secluded locations, "still a present for me, though, one day, I hope…"

Pause. They're stopped a few steps away from the lingerie department, the sable coated cougar and her young foolish lover. "Fabia! Didn't I tell you to get something for yourself!" Honey wiggles in Cooper's other arm, sensing the sudden shock her carrier received. "You already know I have perfectly good pairs of knickers." They're set of dull, cotton off white ones. Though one has the sense that they're not supposed to be off white. That familiar smirk though is met with Cooper's own, and her eyes glance down briefly at Fabia's lips. "Besides anything you get for yourself ends up being a benefit for me too, no?" And with her pinky, she briefly wipes at the corner of the woman's mouth, as if there were a smudge of lipstick there.

"Perfectly good," and Fabia rolls her eyes, sure they must both be drawing the inevitable comparison between her complex and elegant underpinnings, and Cooper's… ah, yes, they are. Her lips curve into a carmine smile at Cooper's covert caress; anywhere else, she'd nibble at that fingertip. Alas, they're still in the middle of Selfridges. Why are they still in the middle of Selfridges? "Now, now, sweetie," she murmurs, "if that's the way you feel, have you the heart to deny me a little of the same entertainment? Besides. You'll like them," she asserts confidently. "What you want, Cooper, is a little advice and encouragement." As though she hadn't already provided such a lot of that. "Altogether it's very fortunate you wrote to me."

That simper of hers with its teasing mole just above the right corner. Cooper could ravenously do things to it. In fact, almost does with the subtle way she's leaning into her companion. The auror hardly even notices she's drawn a bit closer. "Well … if it makes you happy then …," Cooper gives Fabia a reluctant half frown, resolving instead to let the pinky trace down to under her chin before retracting it. "What on earth did you get anyway?" She makes a grab for the shopping bag to open it and have a look for herself.

All wrapped up in tissue-paper, unfortunately, as was the original 'gift' before Cooper innocently, unthinkingly ripped into it. "If you really can't wait…" Fabia breathes, amused — it's just remotely possible that she might mean something else by the remark. The idea floats in the air for a second or two, while she looks into Cooper's eyes. But unlike Cooper she remains unhampered by Honey's curious, snuffling presence; she tucks her gloves into her pocket and, while the two women lean together over the shopping bag, peering down within it, she loosens assorted folds of tissue-paper. Forget-me-not blue silk (which hue she recommended to Cooper earlier, in the form of an evening frock) becomes apparent. Her quick, French-manicured fingers unfold — not any lacy ladies' knickers, but gentlemen's boxer shorts, rather short ones, in the smallest possible size. Three pairs alike. And something white beneath them.

Cooper narrows her eyes as she smirks at Fabia's double entendre, and down into the bag she peers. Oh! What a pleasant surprise. She blinks, pushing her glasses up the slope of her nose, before reaching in to feel the smooth material between her fingers tips. "These aren't for…," she looks confused and then asks, "But will they fit? And what's this down here?" She slips the boxer shorts away to get a closer look at the white item.

"I think they'll more or less fit you," Fabia murmurs, smiling as she sees Cooper's instinctive pleasure, and belated uncertainty; "a little roomy, perhaps, but you do like to be comfortable, sweetie…"

That final treat, deep down amongst all that tissue-paper, is a white silk camisole, bereft of lace, bordered with a pattern of embroidered sunflowers. Fabia shows Cooper the border, running a fingertip lightly across it as her eyes flick up to her friend's face, wondering whether — as she suspects — this is right too. So practical, so easy to relax and flop about in, boxers and a camisole. And yet, in these incarnations, so pretty on a girl like Cooper…

"Oh!" This time soft exclamation is audible. Cooper takes a strap in one finger to lip the camisole up to the light. "How lovely! I actually really adore this…" The sunflowers! How very Cooper indeed! "In fact, I might not need you as an excuse to wear these," she snickers, quite enamored with them indeed. It's apparent all over her face. "But box shorts with a camisole? I've never seen quite an unusual pairing. Camisoles are to be worn alone aren't they? Is this something you've come up with?"

"Well, I usually wear—" But Cooper ought, by now, to have a clear enough notion of what Fabia usually wears beneath her frocks and her suits. "Come on, sweetie, let's go to luncheon. And I'll tell you everything you've //ever," she promises, big green eyes sparkling, reflecting Cooper's palpable pleasure in her choices, "wanted to know about ladies' undergarments… and gentlemen's."

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