This was the request: Generally, I like: ladies, shenanigans, worldbuilding, snappy dialogue & banter, domesticity, porn, teams, found families, smart and competent characters, characters who BECOME smarter and more competent over the course of the story, absurdly codependent bff pairings, outsider POV, pining that gets resolved, bodyswap, telepathy, fucking around with gender, cross-dressing, fake dating / pretending to be married / woke up married, nonsexual intimacy, cuddling (for warmth or otherwise), characters taking care of each other, ladies topping the shit out of people, negotiation of kinks, characters being awkward about their kinks but then finding a partner who validates and supports them, threesomes and moresomes, open relationships negotiated well, shenanigans, pornography. ALL OF THE TROPES, GIVE THEM TO ME.
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: I love everything that Phryne chooses to be, and I love how the show lets her be an adult women who has a lot of sex and doesn't apologize for it...but deep down, I ship her and Jack like burning, and I want them to bang. Weirdo shenanigans are a plus! BUT MAKE THEM KISS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
Ha, so, I guess marveling over Phryne's wardrobe and feeling bad for the rest of the characters for basically having one outfit each led me to consider Phryne dressing up in Jack's clothing. Also adding fuel to the fire was Jack's tendency - he does it at least twice in the 26 eps we've had so far - to insist that what she's wearing "wouldn't work" on him. In any case, the fantastic musesfool not only betaed this eleventh-hour fic but also suggested that I look to Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" for a title, which I did.
"If Bare Limbs You Like"
It was a good thing he was only half a mile from Miss Fisher's house, Jack thought, when thunder cracked across the sky, heralding a downpour. He saw the constables off in the police car and checked his watch, the first fat drop of rain landing squarely on the face. His shift was over, and he could indulge in a hot soak in Miss Fisher's tub, knowing that he wouldn't have to deal with his wet clothes himself; Mr. Butler would be on hand to launder them and make him presentable in the morning. Even if Miss Fisher had other plans, he'd be made welcome, which was a very nice thought to hold on to, particularly on grey and stormy days like this one.
He clapped a hand to his hat and ran for it.
"Sir!" Miss Williams said, apparently surprised by his ability to mimic a waterspout. He tried to hold himself still, but her eyes were keen enough to pick up his minute shivers; he wished he didn't look too much like a half-drowned kitten clawing its way out of a sack, but the expression on her face dashed that faint hope. For all that she was so young, Miss Williams had a very maternal way about her. "Come in, before you catch your death of a cold!" she said, half-scolding and half-affectionate. Hugh was a very lucky man, Jack reflected as he peeled his sodden coat away from the other layers stuck clammily to his skin.
"I'll run -" she started, reaching out a hand to take the wet woollen mess, then reconsidered her words, for which Jack silently blessed her. He might spend most of his nights in Miss Fisher's house - in Miss Fisher's bed - and Dot had seen him in his pyjamas on one never-to-be-repeated morning, but he would not have her waiting on him personally. "Mr. Butler will run you a bath, unless you have to go out again? I believe your spare suit is in Miss Fisher's wardrobe."
He shuddered to think of going back out into the deluge. "Thank you, Miss Williams. A bath sounds wonderful." He held his hat in his hands. "Is Miss Fisher at home?"
"Yes, sir. I believe she's resting before dinner. Would you like to speak with her?"
She must have got in in the wee small hours of the morning after a night of dancing, or perhaps she'd lain abed with a racy novel, too caught up in that world to let her eyes flutter shut. Whatever the case, she evidently needed the rest, and he was loath to disturb her. "No, let her be. I'll just have that bath."
Miss Williams nodded and vanished, taking his heavy coat with her. In a matter of moments, before he'd got his shoes untied, Mr. Butler appeared before him. "Any special requests, Inspector?"
"Just the hottest water you can command, Mr. Butler," he said, shucking his wet shoes and drenched socks, heedless of how cold the floor was against his poor bare toes. He discarded his suit jacket and then stopped, unwilling to strip further without a locked door to hide decently behind. He trailed after Mr. Butler, dripping rainwater like a path of fairy-tale breadcrumbs.
The guest bathroom was small but the tub was large enough to accommodate him comfortably, and before very long, Mr. Butler had steam rising from it, affording Jack a deep satisfaction.
"I'll leave you to it, Inspector," the man said, nodding pleasantly at him, and Jack groaned with relief at the sensation of pulling the wet clothes moulded to his body away from his chilled skin. The water was almost too hot at first, but he quickly grew acclimated to its temperature and ducked his head under.
On his third time surfacing, he caught sight of Phryne, wrapped in her thin dressing-gown, leaning against the sink and smiling drowsily at him; her cheeks were pink with sleep and her hair was an unbrushed cloud of silk. "Hello, Jack," she said.
He returned her greeting with as much dignity as he could muster, reminding himself that she'd often been in a position to examine his bare body far more intimately than she was doing now. "Miss Fisher."
"I'd join you," she said, her hands at the knot in her sash, "but you look so content, and I don't want to spoil the picture."
"A far better sight than the drowned rat Miss Williams took me for," he said, conceding so much, though he was still bewildered by her assertions that he was an object of beauty in her eyes.
"Poor Jack!" she said, laughing. She stooped to gather his wet garments, piled together in an unkempt heap. "Mr. Butler will work his magic on your clothes, we'll turn you out properly in the morning, and I'll be the envy of every woman who sees you."
"I rather doubt that," he said softly as she shut the door behind her, then plunged under the shimmering surface again.
She hadn't brought him dry clothes, which was wicked of her, but the bath sheet Mr. Butler had provided was not only luxurious but large enough to cover a good percentage of his skin. Still, it was a trial to his nerves to make his way from the guest bathroom to her bedroom with only that bit of material to shield him, and he sighed in relief when he covered the distance without encountering anyone else.
One small area of her wardrobe was for his especial use, and he knotted the towel more securely and opened the drawer where he'd placed his pyjamas, undergarments, and socks. It was empty.
His eyes darted up and to the left, where his spare suit should have been hanging, but it was nowhere in evidence.
"Looking for this?" he heard behind him, and he turned to see her dressed in his spare suit. It was too big for her, and she should have looked ridiculous, but he did not find her so. The waking flush had not faded from her cheeks, and their glow was set off by the pale grey wool of the jacket and the wine-coloured length of the tie. His dark grey hat lay like a crown on her sable hair.
"Phryne," he breathed, and she smiled and sauntered toward him. How far down the charade went, he had no idea; the surface was appealing enough, and his mouth watered at the sight of her.
All the advantage couldn't stay with her, he decided, pulling her close by the tie as she so often had with him. He tucked his face beneath the brim of his hat and sought out her mouth.
Her hands skimmed up his bare arms and down his naked back. "Mmm, Jack," she murmured into his mouth, wriggling her hands past his makeshift waistband. That was enough to dislodge the bath sheet altogether, and the sensation of the thin wool of his suit against his bare skin was too much. Abruptly he bit at her lips, revelling in her sharp gasps and the tightening of her grip on his backside. He pushed the suit jacket from her shoulders, nonplussed by the very different shape her contours gave his braces. His hands were shaking again - at least it was lust and not cold this time - as they moved to unbutton his crisp white shirt.
He parted the shirt, still underneath those stubborn braces, like a theatre's velvet curtain, exposing her undulant skin; the placket nudged at a rosy nipple. "Phryne," he groaned again, and she smiled at him and unbuttoned the braces, leaving the trousers to fall in a heap. She wore nothing beneath them, and wound one shapely leg around his thigh in invitation as the unfastened braces slithered down her back.
He lifted her and carried her to the bed without further ado, his shirt spilling open at her sides as he tumbled her down and lay atop her. She plucked the hat off her face and settled it back on her head after rolling them so she was astride him. Her eyes glinted wickedly at him from underneath the brim.
She was a vision and a wonder, his to touch, and he buried himself inside her and drew her down to kiss her soundly.
In the morning, he woke at his accustomed time, ready for his early shift. The space next to him was empty and cool, though Phryne as a rule was as indolent as a well-fed cat. He took care of his ablutions but found not a stitch of his clothing replaced in his drawer. All that lay there was one of the pink feathers she'd teased him with so many months ago. Don't say fan feathers wouldn't work for you said the note underneath, in green ink and her dashing hand.
"Phryne!" he bellowed, and he heard her laughter drift toward him from downstairs.
As always, I'd love to hear what you think.
This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/448742.html.