Title: Playing Dress Up
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 23 June 2016
Pairing: Carol Aird/Therese Belivet
Word Count: 1494
Summary: With comfort comes playfulness and ease. Never underestimate the power of play. Carol gets taken on a playdate the likes of which she's never been allowed before.
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Disclaimer: "Carol," the characters and situations depicted are the property of Phyllis Nagy, Patricia Highsmith, Number 9 Films, and StudioCanal. They are borrowed without permission, but without the intent of infringement. This story is in no way affiliated with "Carol," Phyllis Nagy, Patricia Highsmith, the production companies, or any representatives of the actors.
Note: I find myself writing playful, even bossy Therese a lot. One of the things I adored about the movie was watching the shift in psychological power, as it were, between Carol and Therese. That evening out of confidence and hesitation until it reversed towards the end. I believe that once they are comfortable with one another in the day to day, a great many facets only hinted at in the film would come flooding out, even as they must maintain their social masks while out in public.
My self-chosen prompt was 'crossdressing'
"How did you get mixed in with this?"
The slightly trepidatious comment earned Carol a dimply grin.
"Mixed in with what, Carol?"
The playfulness had been both a blessing and a surprise to Carol. The quiet, shy girl she'd fallen for so hard still made appearances, particularly under social stresses, but this playful minx, this facet of Therese seemed to be for her alone. Even if it meant she found herself doing the most insane and audacious things sometimes.
Like fumbling around the cramped and slightly filthy rat warren that was the backstage areas of this theater she'd been coaxed to.
"This is merely a bold romp through an unfamiliar place. And adventure, if you will!"
"Did you really just call this a romp?"
Therese's laugh was swallowed up by the cramped quarters, but Carol reveled in the happy sound. She had glimpses of this side of her lover even as they grew to know one another, was drawn in by her. Given just a little wiggle room from the pressures of the real world and Therese became quite the free spirit.
"Is this strictly a live theater, or does it show movies?"
"Both, actually. Though I think the latter will win out in the end. Ah, right where it's supposed to be. I owe you one, Danny."
It was a ladder, a clanging metal contraption with a long, tubular safety cage that stretched up into darkness.
"Therese, you cannot be serious."
But again, that smile drew her to madness.
"There's a reason I told you to wear pants."
Up the ladder was a small door that lead to a large room cluttered with old props and crates and trunks. It was still and faintly dusty, but not intolerable and Carol gave her lover a wry look.
"You dragged me all this way for a storeroom?"
"Oh stop it, you. There's supposed to be… Oh! There it is." Squeezing past a pair of crates big enough for a family of giraffe, Therese swept into a grand bow and threw open the door hidden there. "Your parlor, Madame."
Playing along with the theatricality of the evening, Carol drew herself up haughtily and swept into the room, soaking up Therese's giggle. It was a parlor indeed, full of luxurious fabrics and an enormous couch that was more of an elaborate bed. There was an open door leading to a tiny watercloset and a set of shutters that Carol would bet overlooked the theater below.
"Ah, I see the appeal now," Carol chuckled and decided to set aside her snooty instincts-- she rarely cared for the things anyway-- and draped herself onto the couch. "Privacy and drama. How enticing."
That dimpled smile was all mischief and bashful lust. Sitting beside Carol on the couch, Therese stretched her legs out and draped herself against her lover's larger body. "Well, I do enjoy you in a variety of settings."
Ducking down for a kiss turned into gales of laughter and Carol hugged her tight, burying her face in the fragrant, dark hair. "You are an endless delight, my love. So, what were your plans for this evening?"
"Playing dress up."
Once again, Carol was stymied in ducking down for a kiss; only this time in confusion. "Pardon?"
"You told Rindy that you'd never really had the chance to play dress up before."
For a moment all Carol could do was wrack her memories until she remembered a visit where her darling girl had raided her closet to strut about like a fairytale princess. Still getting to know one another, she and Therese had used the game as a bonding point, providing both knight and dragon. The game had ended with Rindy needing no knight to save her, for she was quite capable of slaying her own dragon, thank you very much. After the ridiculous 'death throes' and hysterical giggling, Carol had laughed and clapped until hands and ribs ached with it.
It was a good memory, one she treasured and hoarded as a dragon would gold or fair maidens. And it earned Therese a long, slow, adoring kiss that had both of them breathing hard before Carol leaned back only far enough to trace her sweet face. "That was a good day."
"It was. Care to add to it?"
While part of Carol-- one still too powerful by half-- was aghast at the idea of such childish frivolity, she adored the bright spots that were child, lover, best friend. They would all approve of her playfulness, relish it even. So she pushed aside propriety and gave Therese a last kiss before scrambling up from the couch, stripping her coat and scarf as she went. Therese for her part did not even bother to sit up, merely falling back into the warm spot to watch the proceedings sideways. Carol perused the trio of wheeled clothing racks thoughtfully, passing over the familiar, elegant female things, lingering over the outrageous frippery and the men's bits and bobs.
"Do whatever you like," Therese encouraged. "There are no rules here."
She was right, of course, and Carol defiantly yanked out a handsome tweed jacket meant for someone significantly more imposing in scale than she. She shrugged into it, surprised by the weight of the thing, the thickness of the fabric. Then she spotted a battered felt fedora in an ugly gray, reaching out from the voluminous sleeves to grab it. Raking back her every-wayward hair, she plunked the hat on, nearly as lost in the thing as the great coat, and whirled to face a grinning Therese. With hand held like a pistol, she dredged up the cocky sass never truly far from her and drawled, "hold it right there, copper."
It was too much for Therese, who dissolved into squealing laughter, holding her sides. It was too delightful for offense and Carol found herself grinning wildly before turning back to the racks.
"It was a good bank robber, but I'm afraid even your beauty cannot improve that hat."
"Flattery will get you everywhere, baby."
With the heavy tweed jacket and ugly hat returned to their place, Carol took a stab at a period blue coat, yelling about the redcoats coming, and an outrageous three-point sea captain's hat that bespoke of pirates. She managed to find a bit of string to tie back her hair, further egged away from propriety by the daring sensation of her bare neck and ears. Therese loved it all, clapping and laughing encouragement as Carol got lost in the game. Part of her wanted to jump in, but she remained adoring audience rather than accidently end the fun. A silly pith helmet and Carol snapping an invisible whip at the wild animals in her mind paralyzed Therese with laughter, rubbing away tears of joy. When she finally sat up and paid attention for more carnal reasons, it was for completely different reasons.
Somehow Carol had found an elegantly cut tuxedo jacket that fit her surprisingly well and was checking over a top hat for dust before wearing it at a slightly jaunty angle. Her plain black slacks and plain cream blouse complimented the dressy garb.
"That… that is surprisingly sexy sight."
The husky thrum of her voice froze Carol, the blue eyes wide in startled lust. That feline smile was pure suggestiveness, Therese's body loose and open where she leaned back into the couch, arms draped along the back of it.
"Well hi there, handsome. Are you my date this evening. I sure hope so."
Where had that smoky drawl come from? For a long moment, Carol was frozen in confused hunger, conflicting signals shorting out her synapses. She had only ever been the recipient of this male regard, never wielding it herself, and she had never liked it, but Therese continued to smile in coy encouragement. So Carol took strength from her again, just as she had done from that very first meeting in Frankenberger's, speaking of dollies and electric train sets.
"Well, yes. Yes I am."
From tentative to self-assured in the few words, Carol let the hat do the work and grabbed it to sweep into a low bow before returning the thing to her head.
"Well lucky me, then."
"You look like a lady who needs a dance."
"Oh do I? Well, then I had best oblige."
Imperiously holding out a hand, Therese waited until Carol stepped over and helped her up. There was a distracting moment of where to put hands before Therese choked down a giggle and draped her arms over Carol's tuxedo-clad shoulders. Carol was quite happy to hold the narrow waist and hum their song under her breath, their bodies swaying together with an ease that still left her breathless.
"You cut a very handsome figure. I'm a lucky girl."
"Funny, I was thinking exactly the same thing."
Neither of them minded having no music as they were lost in kisses once more, swaying to a tune only they could hear.