figuring out costumes was hard man

Okay, Someone spawned a Headcanon

So the very first day I was scrolling through the Phantom tags on Tumblr, I saw a post made by someone (I’m sorry, I forgot their name and can’t seem to find the post in my likes) that talked about Erik’s happiness. At the end of the post, they very quickly glanced over the idea of Erik, if he had played his cards right, becoming a manager at the opera, AND MY BRAIN WENT WILD!

Think about it, Erik as a manager/director (we all know Hell would freeze over before he resigned himself to working in an office when an opera was being readied several rooms away) at the Opera.

I feel like he would start off harsh and mean and serious, because that’s just him and how he leads his life, but would eventually start to wear down to better things as he learns how to interact with the people there.

For Example:

He helps set up staging, especially when staffing is limited, because it needs to be done, but never lets the stagehands and sceneshifters slack off (no matter how hard they try).

He goes over costume designs with the seamstresses and costumers, helping them figure out ways to make changes more efficient while still keeping the grand appearances they want. They like how open he is to their ideas, even though he can sometimes be very strict in the way he wants things done.

He watches the corps de ballet practice, first giving harsh input, then becoming calmer as he watches the girls work hard to impress the man who makes them feel so frustrated at times. Madame Giry tells him to butt out, since he has little experience with ballet, but can’t help but notice the determined looks the corps (especially Meg) get when he even opens his mouth.

He starts giving all the chorus girls lessons, first because nothing will be less than perfect in his Opera house, but then because they keep begging him to.

He helps with the orchestra sometimes, getting so frustrated with certain players at times that he plans on replacing them, but then deciding to get them more proper training as taking the music away from ANYONE is a capitol offense in his eyes (if there are any such offenses at all).

When he gets restless, he still plays little pranks around the Opera house, and no one tells him they know it’s him because they find it almost endearing and extremely hilarious every time someone falls down a trap door or comes home with their hair dyed the wrong color or something.

People can still be terrified by him at times, but many of the people admire his passion for his work, some eventually going out of their way to make themselves his acquaintances at the very least.

I think it would be cute, and he would be extremely happy, and would probably learn a lot more about people as time went on. I also like to think that many people start to look passed his face and attitude, because his talent, intelligence, and passion are ten times more wonderful to see.

I don’t know about you guys, but that’s what I thought

“Ah, you must be Miss Mizoguchi.”  The man who enters the room is tall and old, dressed in hospital scrubs with little puppies on them.  He wears an easy smile across his face.  “No one made me aware that Robin was in the habit of giving out his secret identity to every attractive girl he meets on patrol.”

Damian’s boots smack the linoleum floor across the room when he leaps off the counter and points an accusatory finger at the man.  “Shut your filthy mouth, Pennyworth, I did no such thing!”  Pennyworth raises a single grey eyebrow and Damian says, “She figured it out on her own!”

“You didn’t really make it hard,” Maps says.  “I mean when you saved me from that owl you were literally just wearing a sweatshirt over your costume.”

“What would you have had me do?  You called Damian.  I was on patrol and had a limited window of time to reach you.  Should I have just arrived as Robin?”

“You might as well have,” Maps says, and even as she does it’s still beyond surreal to have this conversation with him in the Robin costume in the Batcave.  As soon as she gets back to school Maps is marking this day on her calendar as the official best day of her entire life, horrific fear toxin induced hallucinations not-withstanding.

Damian snorts and Pennyworth rubs his forehead with his thumb and forefinger, muttering to himself.

“I believe you and your father are going to have a chat when he arrives home about the etiquette involved in preserving one’s secret identity,” Pennyworth says.

Costume Party

It’s New Year’s Eve and Tony is hosting a party for just the team. The catch is, it’s a costume party and you have to dress as a fellow team member. When you and Bucky take a risk with your costumes will it pay off or will it end in embarrassment?

BuckyxReader

Warnings: Swearing but mostly just fluff!

Word Count: 2006 now you see why it’s in two parts

Title: Costume Party Part 1

Note: Happy New Year everyone! Thank you so much for reading all my stuff. I’ve had this idea in my head for so long, I’m so glad I was able to write it. I’m supposed to be helping my family with dinner but I’ve hid and am writing this instead, oops

I’ll post part 2 tomorrow on New Years Day (in my time zone at least)


Originally posted by papigotpaid

Bucky took a deep breath and straightened his waistcoat for what seemed like the 100th time. It was New Year’s Eve and as usual Stark was throwing a party. This one was different though. It was a costume party just for the team and close friends. A party just for them to celebrate their friendship and overcoming the events of …….. and Siberia. To make it more interesting the dress up theme was the Avengers. The only rule was that you couldn’t go as yourself so here Bucky was, dressed as you.

You initially started working with the Avengers through SHIELD. Coulson had sent you along on a mission as a second sniper was needed. Long story short you saved a couple of lives, out sassed Sam and impressed everyone. That was two years ago and Bucky had been smitten with you ever since. Not that he’d told you. With all his time at HYDRA he’d been without emotion and so he found it hard to come to terms with how he felt let alone express them to you. It was Steve and Sam, his two closest friends, that had persuaded him to come as you and right now Bucky was regretting giving in to them.

It took a while for them to decide what Bucky should wear. Your stealth suit perhaps? Or your official ‘uniform’? In the end they decided on the gear you wear when you’re with SHIELD so that was what Bucky was wearing now. In homage to your mentor and father figure Coulson you wear suit pant with a fitted white shirt. Your shoes are black but specially made so that they make no sound. Strapped to your thighs are your two favourite knives and instead of a suit jacket you wore a black waistcoat instead. Despite his nerves Bucky had to admit he’d done well. Although he didn’t have your exact knives it was clear enough he was you. He hoped you’d like it.

Oh God Bucky thought what if she doesn’t?

What if she thinks I’m a creep

What if she goes as someone else and they go as her?

This was a terrible idea

I need to change

Oh Shit!

Bucky had started panicking just as Steve entered his room.

“Hey Buck, you ready?” he asked casually as he leant on the door frame.

Bucky turned to Steve a look of pure fear plastered on his face.

“Oh come on Buck, you can face down a sea of aggressors but not one girl?” Steve joked walking up to Bucky and wrapping an arm around his shoulders.

“Shut up Punk.” Bucky mumbled his face bright red. Steve pulled Bucky towards the door whilst shaking his head.

“Wait!” Bucky called and pulled out of Steve’s grasp. Thinking he was trying to get out of the party Steve was quick to follow him. Bucky paused for a moment before tying his hair in a low pony tail, just as you always have it, and tucked a pen behind his ear. He turned back to Steve who merely raised an eyebrow at his friend. Bucky ducked his head and shrugged and both men made their way to the party in a comfortable silence.


You stood in your room in front of the mirror unsure if you had made the right decision. Unlike Bucky’s costume it was clear who you were. Everyone would figure it out you were him in seconds. It was far too late for you to go back now. But instead of feeling nervous you felt excited. You were excited to see how he would react when he saw you dressed as the winter soldier. You were excited to reveal your true feelings. It had take you a while to realise how you felt about Bucky but when you realised it you swore that you would be there for him, even if he didn’t want you there. You knew it was hard for him, it was hard for you all, but you hoped that you’d been able to help.

You put the finishing touches on your costume and looked in the full length mirror. You couldn’t help the excited smile that crept up on your face. You were ready and you couldn’t wait to see what everyone else looked like. With one final adjustment of your wig you headed out your door to meet with Nat and Wanda.

It didn’t take long to find the girls, they were both in Nat’s room getting ready. As you walked in they both squealed and wrapped you in a massive hug.

“Oh my god y/n, you look brilliant!” called Wanda as she pulled back from you hug and gave you a once over.

“I told you she would,” said Nat casually as she went back to fixing up her hair. Wanda just rolled her eyes and rushed off to put on her dress. Wanda was going a her brother, Pietro. She wore a light blue, silver and white dress and like you was wearing a wig. To finish it off she put on a pair of silver pumps and a blue lightning bolt shaped mask with white highlights. Naturally Pietro was going as his sister. Following the theme off partner costumes Clint and Nat were going as each other. Nat was wearing Clint’s purple suit and had his quiver and bow on her back. For the mask it was a simple black one with a purple outline. The two had literally swapped gear for the evening, they were taking the whole come as a team member really seriously.

“Wanda, help me out here,” called Nat. Nodding Wanda came over and did the purple eyeliner and lipstick for Nat.

“There” said Wanda her accent as thick as ever, “it’s your turn now y/n.”

You let out a sigh and sat down in the recently vacated chair. Instead of a mask you were wearing some serious eye makeup just like the winter soldier and a small red star just above your left eye. The star was your idea. Once that was all done the three of you made your way out off Nat’s room and down to the party.


In true Natasha Romanoff style you were late. Half an hour late. Nat was all about being fashionably late as it made a better impression and for once you agreed with her.

“Alright,” said Wanda as if she were going over a mission plan, “we’ll go in now and come down 5 minutes after we give you the signal that everyone’s in there.”

You couldn’t help but laugh at how serious the two of them were taking this. “Yes, I get it. I’m fine. Just go.” you said shooing the two of them to the door.

“We’re just trying to help y/n. You’ve had a crush on Barnes for a while now we’re just trying to give you the perfect opportunity.” Retorted Nat with a smirk.

You rolled your eyes at her and stuck out your tongue. “Thank you match-maker,” you mocked, “now shoo. Go have some fun.”

Both girls gave you one last hug before they headed out the door and down the stairs together. As you waited for them to give you the signal you watched the crowd through the one way glass. You were able to spot Steve and Bucky really quickly. You weren’t sure who Bucky was but you could tell that Steve had come as Tony. He was wearing a three piece formal suit and had even painted on a mustache and goatee. To top it off Steve was wearing an Iron Man gauntlet on his left hand. He looked good you had to admit. The same could not be said for Stark. Tony had gone as Steve, and by gone as Steve you meant was only wearing an American flag around his waist and was shouting words such as FREEDOM and CAPTAIN AMERICA at the top of his lungs. Subtle, you thought, but Steve didn’t seem to care he actually found it funny.

Sam and T’Challa had come as mock versions of each other. Sam was in an over exaggerated Cat onesie with claws and the Black Panther collar. His mask had cat ears on it and had the words Black Panther written on it. In return, T was wearing a bird costume fit with red wings and a tail. His mask had a beak and the words Falcon written on it. You laughed at how ridiculous they looked. Pietro and Wanda looked good as the genderbent versions of each other and you thought that they were the most likely to win the best dressed prize. Nat looked like Clint in her outfit, it wasn’t anything fancy, but Clint as Nat was hilarious. You figured he’d wear general tack gear with Nat’s belt but he was in her full skin suit. The black material clung to him and he’d lowered the zip at the front considerably. He had the widow’s bite, belt and zap sticks. You were impressed. He was also pulling over exaggerated feminine poses, sticking his ass out and asking does this make my but look big. You were impressed with the guys balls to wear that out fit and even more impressed with the fact that Nat has not yet killed him for it.

The rest of the costumes were pretty neat too. Thor and Vision had gone as each other due to both being able to lift Mjolnir. Nick and Maria had gone as eachother (Hill was rocking that eye patch and trench coat). You were confused at why there were two Captain America’s until you realised that the one in the vintage suit (shield and all) was actually Coulson. It took you far too long to realise that Fitzsimmons had come as each other (gosh you shipped them so hard.) You spotted Scott as Spidey and you were fairly sure if you looked hard enough you’d find Peter as Ant Man but your search was halted when you received the signal from Natasha.

You took a deep breath and with your heart racing stepped out into the room. To enter the party you had chosen the door at the top of the stairs so no one would miss you entering. The plan worked, the moment you stepped out most eyes were on you, trying to figure out who you were. You were extremely proud of your costume. Being a genderbent Winter Soldier you were wearing black knee high boots and your usual form fitting combat pants. You had two guns strapped to your thighs along with a single stiletto knife. When you reached the middle of the stairs you removed the leather jacket you were wearing to reveal your top. You were wearing a very tight, very good looking leather jacket. Straps reached across the front of the jacket to mimic the soldier’s jacket and the right sleeve reached all the way down to your wrist. You were wearing finger-less gloves on both hands but what you were most proud of was your left arm.

One month ago, when Tony had announced he was planning to do this party, you went straight to him with a request for a metal arm. Tony being Tony pulled through and a few weeks later presented you with an arm identical to Bucky’s. Like a sleeve, the arm was very similar to Tony’s armour just a lot thinner. It had shifting plates just like Bucky’s and allowed you full mobility. A red star was painted on the shoulder and Tony also boasted that it was bullet proof because hey, why not. The arm fitted with the costume perfectly. You were wearing a brown shoulder length wig over your normal y/h/c hair. You weren’t used to the length but it just made the outfit.

By the time you made it to the bottom of the stairs the room was silent. All eyes were on you in your Winter Soldier costume. You just couldn’t wait to see Bucky.


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YGDB - a CS AU


For @ripplestitchskein ‘s Birthday. Better late than never right?

Emma’s latest skip is hiding in plain sight at ComicCon, if only there weren’t more than one of the same costumed character. (3500 Words) 


Deadpool. At least he wasn’t Deadpool she thought to herself as she looked through the sea of characters in the hall. The last thing she needed was to have to sort out which of the red and black spandex masked figures was her skip.

Finding one costumed man in the sea of people would be hard enough.

This whole thing was insanity. The crowd. The costumes. Her costume. If only she hadn’t let Ruby talk her into wearing this ridiculous thing. Emma should have known based on every past Halloween that as soon as her friend heard the word “ComicCon” that she’d do everything in her power to get Emma into character. At least this time Ruby had a point. Her typical “honeytrap” tight, short dress might not be as attractive to this bail jumper as the black leather body suit she was currently sporting.

Not that Emma had anything against the full leather body suit. She knew what it did for her figure, and it might come in handy again in the future. It was the wig that was driving her nuts. Her long blonde tresses were bound tightly to her head to allow for the two-tone brown and shock of white instead.

“Of course you have to go as Rogue, Emma. She’s Gambit’s girlfriend. And get this, people can’t touch her or she’ll drain their life force. It’s like she’s your dream character. Anyone who knows will give you a wide berth. It’s like she’s made for you.”

That might have been what sold her.

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6. Of Overworked Departments and Coffee Breaks

FANDOM: Tom Hiddleston RPF

CHARACTERS: Tom Hiddleston and Faith (Original Female Character)

SUMMARY: Faith has an impossible mission to fulfill: Go through the whole production of Thor: Ragnarok without letting Tom know she is one of his crazy fangirls. A task of Herculean proportions, because she is the set costumer for this fic.

RATING: Explicit

TYPE: Multichapter (Work in Progress, find other chapters here)

Find everything I have written here.

Author’s Note: I pressed ‘Post’ instead of ‘Schedule’, so this week’s chapter is early :)

One of my readers linked me to an interview with the set costumer of Crimson Peak. She mentioned that Tom used to hang out with them, have tea sometimes, and destress. I am going off of that. She also talked about the amount of research that went into thinking up the costume, and how they talked about the ideas and put them together on an idea board.

I had a lot of trouble falling asleep. Every time I closed my eyes, Tom was kissing me again, and that made sleep impossible. I finally dropped off to sleep somewhere around 3 AM. I think my heart finally grew tired of thumping so hard.

I woke up cursing when my phone rang in the middle of the night. I checked the display on the phone, squinting at the too-bright screen. It took me a while, but then I understood, and sat bolt upright. Why was the set decorator calling me at 4 AM on a Sunday?

“The set had better be on fire, Bush.”

I heard John’s sigh on the other end. “Worse. They added a new scene.”

What?

“Yeah,” he said, sounding haggard. “Just got an email from up top. You might want to get started on the work there.”

“I will just pull up the email, okay? Talk to you later.”

“Yeah.”

I opened my mail on the phone, saw the subject line Important Script Change, and opened it. Apparently, they had decided to add another scene with Loki in it, which shouldn’t be that much of a challenge. But then I read what he would be doing, and suddenly it made sense why the art department was going nuts. Loki was going to visit Frigga’s rooms and reminiscence. He was going to open her closet and look at her clothes.

Motherfucker.

 The wardrobe department looked like a war zone.

The tables were strewn with bits of fabric, random pieces of metal and jewellery adorning them. Laptops were everywhere, finding purchase where they could, multiple tabs of research opened and then forgotten. Gloves of different colors and materials were draped on different surfaces like dead soldiers. Ben was in the throes of a heated phone battle with the hair guys, trying to drill into their heads why they needed to help us with ideas for head gear. Coffee cups stood strongly all around–all empty– a momentary oasis of bliss in a world gone mad.

I glared at the idea board we had set up in front of my desk. How much gold and silver was I supposed to put in that bloody buggering shagging motherfucking closet anyway? And couldn’t it be a small closet? Did it have to be so huge? I mean, if I put any more gold in there, it could double up as a light source. I absent-mindedly took a note to tell John I needed shelves for shoes and jewellery and head stuff. Purple, I thought, focused on the crude designs on the board. Purple is royal(ish) and close enough to silver in my mind. We would try it out. Different shades of gold, until it is almost green. It could work. Inspired, I looked turned to my laptop to see if I could get high-definition pictures of all of Mia’s costumes from Crimson Peak.

The door opened and I nearly snarled. If they had changed the script again I was going to cheerfully murder them.

It was Tom, armed to the teeth with a tray of coffee cups.

“Is it safe to come in?” he asked Ben who was standing near the door.

“Nope,” Ben replied truthfully. “Mind your step, and don’t agitate anyone. More than they are, that is.”

Tom nodded. “I brought coffee,” he grinned at the room at large, then yelped when he got mobbed. He laughed as Audrey hugged him. “Okay, well, it’s just coffee.”

I remained seated. About half a day ago, this man had kissed me. It had felt nothing like the sloppy, teeth-jarring aggressive kisses my husband used to give me. It had been sweet and beautiful, and now I was sitting here in my most comfortable jeans and my Sherlock t-shirt. I felt like Cinderella after midnight. I racked my brains, trying to figure out whether or not I had combed my hair before I left.

Tom made his way towards me. “Two sugars, lots of milk. There you go.”

“How did you… the caterer told you.”

“Yes,” he said, sitting in the only other chair as the commotion around us renewed with added coffee jitters. “Good morning, Astha.”

I groaned. “Good morning, Tom. I mean, horrible morning, isn’t it?”

“Sorry,” he said, then smiled, taking in my face. I remembered I hadn’t put on any lipstick today. “For the record, it wasn’t my idea. Have you guys been working long?”

“I came in at 4:30 in the morning. Been working since, so… ” I consulted my watch. “Almost six hours now. All on an hour of sleep. Dammit! Ooooh, I could do some reds and greens in the accessories. Tokens from her children, or like, two-tone gray and silver for the armor-cum-bodice.” I took a healthy swig.

Tom smiled. “I see the coffee is helping. I am sorry you couldn’t get any more sleep. I did drop you off well before midnight.”

“Yeah, well, I couldn’t sleep.”

He grinned. I suddenly realised what I had just admitted. “No, I mean, I was thinking, and I couldn’t sleep because–because… Well, I just couldn’t sleep.”

His grin didn’t wane. “Well, what were you thinking?”

I didn’t answer and he laughed.

“Why are you here, Tom? Today is a Sunday.”

He shrugged. “Chris wanted to come out here and practice in the gym, and I said yes. Besides, I wanted to see you.” His eyes roved my face again. “You look beautiful.”

I snorted. “Yeah, right. Because zero makeup is the new hot look.”

He looked a bit affronted. “I really mean it, Faith. You look all worried and frowny and-and tired, and I happen to think you look cute.” He smiled. “Plus, you have smeared a little bit of Sharpie on your cheek. I think that is adorable.”

I lifted my hand and wiped at my cheek. My hand came away clean. Was he kidding? Tom laughed and leaned over the desk, cupping my chin with his warm fingers and wiping his thumb across the opposite cheek. Oh. He let his thumb linger for a second, his eyes holding mine captive, then leaned back again. “There.”

I could still feel a tingling where his thumb had swiped. Jesus.

“Faith?”

I turned and looked at Ben. “What?”

“The hair guys say they will not research for you, but they will help with the actual conceptualization.”

“I found some samples of Nordic designs,” Audrey said. “The long runic ones you wanted. Men’s belts mostly, but–”

“That’s fine,” I interrupted. “Fuck that shit. We will redesign those. Did anyone send that costume I designed for Loki out to Acquisitions?”

“Yes,” Anna muttered. “The materials should be here. I added some brown leather too. In case we do decide to make that vest in the end.”

“It is fascinating to see you all work your asses off like this,” Tom commented. “Just fascinating. Doesn’t it ever bother you all this effort is only for a few minutes of screen time?”

I laughed. “These costumes are like our babies, Tom. Most of them are hand-crafted right here. Of course it bothers us to see them rolled in dirt, with fake blood all over, torn beyond hope, and then discarded. But we are here to help tell the story via clothing. It’s the job. Don’t you spend months making something with only a hundred minutes of screen time? Toiling in the gym for only a single fight scene? Building muscle memory?”

“Yeah,” Tom muttered. “What time are you guys going to go back home today?”

“It will be dark,” I predicted. “We are stuck here for the day. Maybe seven PM? Why?”

“No reason,” he said.

The door opened again and Chris Hemsworth walked in. He said a few hellos, then just stood there, towering over us all, looking around. His eyes settled on Tom, and he walked over. “Hello, Faith. Good morning.”

“Morning,” I said.

“Tom, the stuntmen have arrived. They are ready for you. You are supposed to be practicing your fight sequence, not bribing the costume department with coffee,” he grinned.

“Well,” Audrey said from where she was bent over a table, embroidering a bodice. “The costume department appreciates the crap out of the bribe. If any other actor wants to top Tom, they could bring us sandwiches.”

There was appreciative laughter all around. Tom and Chris left, off to practice battles.

It was nearly three in the afternoon before I got around to ingesting anything other than coffee. Sighing, I took my plate from catering, the smell and sight of hot food making my stomach growl. Opting out of going back inside to chow down, I decided to take my lunch to the lake. There were benches there, and my humble plate of spaghetti and meatballs begged to be eaten in a relaxing atmosphere.

The place was mostly deserted. Thank God. I had been surrounded by people since before the sun rose today, and the tranquility of the lake was just the perfect refresher needed. That was, of course, before I saw Tom sitting there too. Uh-oh.

I stood there, debating whether to take a few more steps forward and share the bench with him, or to veer off in either direction looking for another bench? Before I could actually decide, Tom had heard my footsteps and turned.

“Hey! Lunch?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “You?”

“I grabbed something from catering earlier. Come on, have a seat.” He patted the bench next to him invitingly. I shuffled forward and sat, placing my tray on my lap. “The meatballs are real good today.”

I nodded, trying hard not to stare at his lap. The man really did sit like a slut. His knees were spread so wide they were touching my thigh, and his arm was slung over the top of the bench. I was very aware of that arm. I began eating.

“So, did you figure out the costume colours you were worried about?”

I smiled. He wanted to talk shop? I could talk shop. “Yeah, I did. I am going with lots of shades of golds and silvers, of course, but I am going to be adding in a little splash of colour–red or green or something–to every piece. Kenneth and I will talk about this in–” I consulted my phone to check the time. “Half an hour.” I devoured a forkful of spaghetti and wished I had a Pepsi.

“I think that is a good idea. She was a beautiful, smart woman, obviously fashionable. Why should she only stick to two colours?”

“Right,” I stabbed my fork at him, then continued eating.

The wind kept blowing wisps of my hair out of their ponytail and into my mouth. I was holding my fork in one hand and keeping the tray together with the other hand, so I shook my head, hoping to get my locks out of my mouth. I was hungry, dammit, and I wanted to eat spaghetti, not hair. Tom laughed, seeing my dilemma. I am sure I looked like a cartoon with hair flying everywhere.

“Wait,” he said, chuckling. “I’ll help, if you don’t mind.”

I shook my head, thinking he was going to take the tray from me and allowing me to do up my hair. He didn’t. Instead, he stood up, went behind the bench, and gently grabbed hold of my ponytail. With one hand grasping the bulk of my hair, he slid the plain scrunchie out, and started to gather the hair whipping wildly around together in his fist.

I gulped and gripped the tray harder. Tom Hiddleston was fixing my ponytail. Damn.

His free hand slid down my temple, and he hooked a finger around the lock of hair I had been trying to blow out of my face. He gather it up, his finger burning a sensation up my face. I was very attuned to what he was currently doing, and I held my breath as he tied all the hair together in a soft, loose ponytail. “There,” he said, stroking the ends of my hair. “All done.”

“Thank you, Tom,” I squeaked, then cleared my throat.

“Why aren’t you eating?”

I looked down at the forgotten spaghetti and realised I had broken the little plastic fork because I had been holding it too tight. I picked up the extra one I had and stuffed my face with it. “No reason. Thanks for your help.”

He was still standing behind me. I wanted to turn, to keep him in my sights, but I didn’t. I was very aware of how close he was–how close his crotch was to my head. I didn’t want to face him this way, it would be more awkward.

“I still have your jacket,” I said instead, trying to break the tension I could feel in the air. “I didn’t know you would be here today, so I didn’t bring it. I will bring it tomorrow.”

He leaned in, his mouth next to my ear. The hairs at the back of my neck stood up, but I resolutely kept my eyes looking forward. When he spoke, his breath was on my face. “Keep it. I like you in it.”

I swallowed. Did he purposely modulate the tone of his voice or did it go that gravelly by itself? “Yeah, okay.”

“We both need to leave now, Faith. But I will see you tomorrow.” I nodded. “Goodnight.”

Before I could gather enough wits to say it back, he was gone.

When I reached my hotel that night, the desk had a message waiting for me. There was a vase of flowers delivered that afternoon for me. I looked at the purple Irises, elegant and cute, and smiled for the first time in hours. Ignoring my tired feet, I insisted I would take them to my room myself, and then gazed at them like a sap in the lift. It was the first time in my life that anyone had gifted me flowers. Once I was in my room, I twirled with them in my arms for a second before realising that I must look utterly ridiculous. I saw the note, squealed, and tugged it out.

Dear Faith,

I just wanted to tell you I had an amazing time last night, and I hope we can do it again soon. You are very witty and entertaining company.

You had a tiring day today, so I hope these flowers made you smile. Now why don’t you take a bath and get to bed? I will see you tomorrow.

Love,

Tom.

Later, I googled and found out that the Iris stands for faith, hope as well as courage and admiration. I danced a bit more.

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