Characters: Theta, Theta's sister, (mention of) Koschei
Genre: Snippet, (pre-slash)
Summary: Theta stood in the bedroom, twirling in front of the mirror...
Notes: Written for Kgal's Come as You're Not party. Inspired by something the Eighth Doctor says in "Seasons of Fear" How would it be [...] If you never got too big for your dresses? If you never got to hand them down to your sister?
Word count: 875
Betas: My saviours donutsweeper and jadesfire, plus a last minute tenses fix by unfeathered
Disclaimer: Not mine - making no money
Why it's a costume:
Not tried my hand at Academy era Whodom before (be aware my Theta sounds rather like Eight - for this we can
All Dressed Up
“Father will go ape if he finds you wearing that.”
“Language, little sister, language!” Watching her pyjama-clad reflection as she climbs onto his bed, Thete grins at her, robbing his words of any rebuke. “Besides, mother’s already given it to me and told me that I might,” he informs her, smoothing a hand over a non existent wrinkle. Red looks good on him, he fancies.
The springs of the bed squeak as she bounces, eyes wide, lips beginning to curve. “Really?”
“Really,” he says, turning this way and that before the mirror, his eyes back on his own reflection. "Besides... it was his you know. Not hers. When she says it was always her favourite? She means on him." He turns, smiling - a secret shared is another chip in his father's armour after all - and she frowns, hesitates, her bottom lip caught between her teeth, patently trying to figure it out.
“So when he says it’s too revealing to be worn in public?”
He snorts, smothering a laugh. “That’s probably what his father told him!”
Her mouth opens, a perfect ‘o’ of almost-understanding before she shakes her head. “Isn’t that hypocritical?”
“Hugely, but that’s adults for you I’m afraid. Do as I say, not do as I do— did.”
Or do one thing and mean another. Because he could have sworn... The way Koschei's been acting toward him lately... And fine, so Koschei isn’t that much older than him but, somehow, whenever Thete’s in his presence he’s reduced to being thirteen all over again, awkward - gauche - totally unable to find the right words for anything. So he’s grateful, really, that Koschei’s asked Ushas to be his date, though it does make him wonder if Koschei has the same effect on her? Somehow Thete suspects he doesn’t, Ushas is always so poised, so elegant. Or even on girls in general? And he’d ask his sister, but it hasn't escaped him that she only really gets tongue-tied whenever Drax is about (and Drax is a buffoon) so he thinks he already has his answer, which means it is just him. But if it is, then why, oh why had Ushas said yes to Koschei in the first place? It wasn't as if she didn't have half their classmates falling over each other for the honour of her company.
“Mother says he was wearing it the night they first met, and she couldn’t take her eyes off him all evening,” he adds, fingering the boning at the waist.
She sighs, wistfully. “I should think not, it’s beautiful. And not revealing all. Not really. Except for the shoulders…” Her nose wrinkles as she tilts her head, “I suppose you could always wear your cloak?”
He raises an eyebrow at her in the mirror. “And ruin the effect?” The shoulders, or rather the lack of them, were what made it. From childhood to old age, everyone is always so… covered up on this planet, it makes him wonder, sometimes, just what it is they are trying to hide. “Do you think,” he asks, not waiting for her answer, “that anyone would ever look at me in this?”
“Anyone? Or ‘Someone’?”
Perceptive little minx. “Maybe someone,” he hedges.
“Someone I know?”
“Koschei will adore you in it!” she hoots, bounding off the bed and throwing her arms around him, careless of her bare feet on the short train; unlike him. He scoops her up, letting her wrap her legs around his waist instead.
“He hasn’t asked me you know. To the ball, I mean.”
“More fool him then,” she asserts, the entire wisdom of all of her eleven years behind it.
“You think so, do you?”
“Yes,” she says, kissing his cheek. “If I were him, I'd ask you.”
“If you were him, he’d be my brother…” he points out. And that wouldn’t do at all, oh no. The feelings he has for Koschei are anything BUT fraternal.
“No, if I were him he’d be your sister and you’d be my boyfriend already,” she retorts. Clinging to him, she pauses, her smooth brow creasing. “Oh, but that wouldn’t be right either, would it?”
He smiles at her consternation, burying it in her hair before she can feel offended - bath damp strands against his mouth, smelling like summer and the golden fleshed fruit that grows on the hillside behind their home. “I know what you mean darling one.” She clings tighter, hands clasped around his neck. “And now, to bed with you, before mother catches you out of it.”
“Thete?” she murmurs, breath tickling his ear, as he carries her to the door.
“You will tell me? If the dress works on Koschei," she clarified.
“Yes darling, I shall tell you all about it.” She’s already heavy in his arms, sleep claiming her fast, like he can‘t remember it ever having claimed him.
Well no, not everything. Not if things go according to plan anyway. Ushas is going to be livid. “Absolutely everything, I swear.”
ETA (18th January)
So I was lurking in best_enemies - as is my wont - and had a realisation. Back at the end of October they had just announced their intention to run an 'audio challenge' which is why Red dress + Eight = me writing Theta/Koschei fic and not, say, Eight/C'rizz.