shopgirljoan: (Malachi Malone Air Mercenary)
[personal profile] shopgirljoan
Imagine Diana looking like River Song when she first appeared in that black dress and you won't be far wrong!

It began with the realisation that Thelma’s birthday was coming up, and that this leave was the last chance Malachi would get to buy her a present. Perfume would do. She liked perfume.

By lunchtime he was standing at the perfume counter of an enormous department store, which made his stepfather’s establishment look like a provincial grocers in comparison, being shown a load of bottles by a salesgirl. He was about to ask her to just pick something herself when a feminine, very English voice behind him asked, “Could I advise, perhaps?”

Malachi turned and came face to face with a stunning woman of around his mother’s age, with carefully set blonde hair. She was dressed in a black suit with beaded accents at the shoulders and a tiny hat, tipped down a little over her face. He found himself growing nervous somehow, and felt incredibly releived he was in one of his Rockwell suits that day.

“It’s very kind of you” He finally managed to say “I’m afraid they all smell the same to me”

“For a young lady friend did you say?” The beautiful woman asked. “What sort of a girl is she? That’s the best starting point.”

“The sort who’s a jolly good friend. Not at all lovey dovey. She works in a pub. She likes going to the movies and watching Tottenham play. She can take care of herself”

His face had broken out into a smile as he talked about Thelma, and the woman’s eyes twinked with amusement. “That changes things then. A debutatante’s perfume would be all wrong. I think I know just the thing.” She called to the salesgirl “Do you have Sweet Dreams by Schiaparelli please?”

Within moments the purchase had been made and he was somehow following her towards the lift. “I daresay it was rude of me to interrupt” she said “The informality here is catching. But I do miss London sometimes, and it was so nice to hear a farmiliar accent Mr..”

“Malone” he said

“You are Irish?” she asked in surprise.

“My father was” Malachi explained “My mother is a Jew, which I suppose makes me a Jew. Actually” he continued “You may have heard of my mother if you read the society pages. Mrs Philip J. Rockwell stole the show as Lilith at Lady Mendl’s costume party, that kind of thing”

“I’ve met her! We have a number of mutual friends. Charming woman. Oh, I quite forgot” she held out her hand “Diana Calvert . Would you care to join me for a spot of lunch? There’s a excellent restaurant upstairs.”

Malachi just nodded, and followed, trasfixed by the elegant figure in front of him.

“So how did you come to be in New York Miss, Mrs Calvert?” He stammered as they waited for their starters.

“Diana please. And it’s Mrs, yes”

“You’re a widow?”

She shook her head “Oh no. Just very estranged. In fact that’s exactly why I’m here. We simply realised we were only living together for show so we decided to stop” He nodded in understanding and she continued “I got engaged to Godfrey fresh from my season and I was very fond of him then actually. Good family, awarded the DSO in the war, all rather romantic. But an older man when you’re 19 is just an old man when you get to 40, which I dare say doesn’t matter at all if you have enough in common, but we have very little really. So he’s settled on the country estate shooting things and I’m here enjoying myself away from out more stuffy aquaintances. But I must be boring you, I am sorry.”

“Not at all” Malachi said, and he meant it.

“You must tell me about yourself… Oh, you haven’t told me your chri- first name yet”

He told her.

“Malachi” Diana repeated. “That’s a beautiful name!” she looked into his eyes and his heart turned over.

And then he began to talk to her, telling her his entire life story. His father’s death, the hat shop, his mother’s remarriage. The Aero Club. Taking part in the riot at White Hart Lane against the Blackshirts. Vivien and her stepfather. How he came to have joined the Flying Legion and the things he had experienced since. And all the time she sat there apparently in rapt attention.

When the meal was over, the wine drunk, Diana said what he was hoping she would. “I have a suite at the Eisenberg. Perhaps you would walk back there with me and we can appreciate the city through Londoner’s eyes together. We can take our coffee there.”

Some hours later, Malachi returned to base with her scent still on him, her phone number tingling in his pocket and the excitement of flying almost eclipsed.


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May 2012

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