"I never was able to solve the mystery of why the bustle was fashionable," Methos said, leaning against the doorframe.
Charlotte glanced at him, then back to the lavender silk dress she was steaming with deft strokes. "This was my favourite dress in 1875--" she set the hand steamer down, smoothing the shimmering silk over the dress form "--and I looked very good in a bustle, I'll have you know."
"Of that, I have no doubt," he agreed, walking over, brushing her cheek with his lips. "Though I wasn't aware it was back in fashion."
Rolling her eyes, she said, "It's my costume for the fundraiser. I know I told you about it." Every year, Charlotte and Ezra hosted a charity Halloween party at Standish & Black. It was one of the highlights of Charlotte's year, and she started planning her costume for the next year's on November 1st.
"Oh, you did." He grinned. "But when you said costume, I was thinking more along the lines of a plastic mask and polyester outfit from Target."
"Very funny." She smacked his arm. "So what are you wearing?"
"Clothes," he replied without missing a beat. Before she could respond, he added, "I don't do costumes."
"Then you don't do my party; no costume, no entry," was her just as swift response. "Come on, Methos, don't think of it as a costume. Think of it as an outfit you held on to, just knowing it had to come back into fashion some century." He just snorted. "It doesn't have to be historical. Wear a tux and say you're James Bond, for god's sake. You can drink martinis all night."
"That lacks imagination. Besides, I don't envision you as a Bond girl."
She narrowed her eyes. "Are you saying I'm not good looking enough to be a Bond girl?" she demanded.
"What? No, don't be stup... silly," he amended. "I just think you'd be James Bond, not his obligatory female love interest."
Beaming, she kissed him, before saying, "Excellent answer."
"Though I do have to say that ending the day with a steamy sex scene holds major appeal." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
"I think there's a very good chance of that particular outcome." This time when she kissed him, it held the promise of what was yet to come. Stepping slightly away, she said, "Anyway, it's not like we need to have matching costumes or anything."
"Of course we do," he contradicted. "Those are costume party rules; don't you know anything?"
"Obviously not." Tilting her head, she put her hands on her hips. "Fine, we'll find something to go with my dress."
He shook his head. "No, I don't think so."
"No?" she sputtered. "But you said...."
"What I said was they needed to be from the same time period," he interrupted, "not that I was agreeing to 1875." He sat on the arm of the sofa. "I was thinking something a hundred years earlier. I quite liked that decade."
"What was so special about 1775 in the world of fashion?"
"Fine, 17 bloody 77!" He was winding her up, she knew he was, but he was so infuriatingly.... infuriating!
"You wore ruby velvet and gold silk."
She stopped, casting her mind back. "Paris?"
He nodded. "We'd gone to France to aid the war effort, to try and gather money for medical supplies to care for the wounded."
"I remember. Jack sulked because we'd made the passage with no challenge from the British."
Methos chuckled. "The three of us attended a ball. You were resplendent that night, and I was insanely jealous of Jack's good fortune to have you as his wife."
"Was that why you were drunk?" This was asked with no mockery.
"I wasn't," he protested.
"You challenged the Marquis de Guillard to a duel!"
"I didn't like the way he looked at you."
"Jack took wagers on the outcome, and as I recall, Dr. Franklin was your second -- even though he looked at me very much like the Marquis did," she pointed out.
"Yes, well, him I liked."
She laughed gaily. "Not to mention Dr. Franklin was an admirer of any woman breathing."
She sat down on the sofa next to him. "I seem to recall that you were rather dashing yourself that night; silver brocade and emerald velvet. You cut quite a wide swathe through the ladies present." He tried to look modest, but failed, and Charlotte giggled. Looking up at him, she took his hand. "I can't believe you remember what I wore that night."
"Many memories of you are imprinted upon my mind, dear Charlotte. And besides, you remember what I wore."
"Yes, but I'm a girl," she said with a grin. "Perhaps next year? Such garments take months to create."
"Yes, they do," Methos agreed. He held out his hand. "Come with me."
Complying, she let him lead her up the stairs in silence, entering Methos' study under the eaves. He let go of her hand, walking over to where an old steamer trunk lay up against the wall. "Open it."
Bemused, Charlotte did as she was bid, sinking to her knees, lifting the heavy lid. She covered her mouth with her hands, looking up at Methos. Leaning over her, Methos lifted out a gown of ruby red velvet and golden silk. Underneath, she caught a glimpse of silver brocade.
"Why didn't you just tell me?"
He shrugged, flashing her a mischievous smile. "How boring would that be? Lacks imagination."