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Under Full Sail

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Under Full Sail

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TITLE Under Full Sail
PAIRING, IF ANY Kitty Cobham/Edward Pellew
SPOILER WARNING It's set in 1780, it CAN'T have spoilers.
DISCLAIMER Neither Kitty nor Edward nor the dress belong to me.
SUMMARY A young, unmarried Captain Pellew, set ashore after his first command, pays a visit to Drury Lane.
Notes: inspired by the dress photo, and tumblr users' mumblingsage and buckbeakbabie's encouragement. THIS IS ALL THEIR FAULT.

Apparently I can't even write silly fluff like this without research; I scanned over the real Edward Pellew's career to figure out what he was doing around the given date for the dress (and then fudged it by a month or two to get him home in time for Christmas), and double-checked to see whether the Christmas pantomime tradition had solidified into its current form with the dame and the first boy and all (it hadn't yet, but there was certainly pantomime at Drury Lane).


December, 1780

"Ned! So you came to see the pantomime?" Miss Kitty Cobham, Drury Lane's rising ingenue, beamed at the young naval captain who stood at the door to her dressing-room. Her maid paused in the midst of unlacing her, not sure whether to continue her task, fetch tea, or silently disappear. She'd only started dressing Miss Cobham a month before, and this was an admirer she'd never met until now.

"Wouldn't have missed it, once I heard you were part of it," Captain Edward Pellew said. "Although what's this you're wearing? No Columbine I ever saw wore a ship of the line on her head!"

"What, you didn't care for our rousing tribute to all our brave sailors, and you one of them?" Kitty teased. "Besides, Ned, 'tis only a wig, even if it does seem as heavy as a seventy-four. Do you take it off me, Sally, and then leave us; I won't be needing you more tonight."

"But, mum, your gown..."

"Never you mind about that, I was seeing to my own costumes when I was just another bit in the chorus, I'll see it hung up and not left to wrinkle, so take yourself off."

"Very good, mum." Sally lifted the wig onto a stand, bobbed a quick curtsey, and left. Kitty shut the door behind her, and wrapped her arms around Pellew's neck. He set his hands to her waist, and bent to kiss her. Not that he had to bend far; she was a tall woman, and in her heeled slippers she was very nearly on a level with him.

"And what about your gown, Kitty?" he said, when they'd broken for air.

"I trust you'll unlace me from it, of course; aye, and lace me into another one, better suited to taking me out to supper!" She loosened one hand, and tapped him on the shoulder with the fan she still held.

"Your wish is my command, madam." He kissed her nose.

"I have missed you, Ned," Kitty said, once they'd traded a few more kisses, and he'd unpinned the ribbon corsage at her bosom and eased the outer gown from her shoulders. True to her word, she hung it carefully on a line that stretched across the breadth of the room. "I've not seen you these two years and more!"

"The demands of the service," Pellew said, . "Since you saw me off in the Licorne, I went from there to the Apollo, and the last six months as the commander of the Hazard. Promotion's where you find it, and I'll not scorn a chance at it, even for company as pretty as yours. But the Hazard's paid off now, and I find myself ashore, and at liberty to take a handsome lady out to supper."

"Or to take liberties with a handsome lady!" she teased, unpinning the stomacher that covered her stays.

He raised an eyebrow at her. "Your wish is my command," he repeated, and came up behind her, putting his arms around her, and proceeded to hamper her efforts to divest herself of petticoat and broad panniers by kissing her shoulders and her neck, left temptingly bare by the way her auburn curls had been pinned up to hide beneath the ship-wig. She was not greatly distressed by this, if her laughter was anything to go by. Clad only in her shift and stays now, she turned in his arms.

"So, Ned, do you mean to tumble me here in my dressing room?" She lifted her hands to his face. "Not that I've any objection, you understand; it's only that I don't wish to dress my hair, only to have it to do again before we go out, so if you've a mind to, now would be best."

"Kitty, you tempt me," Pellew said. "Again, I am a slave to your wishes, and if you desire it, I will oblige you; but I'd thought to wait long enough to get you somewhere with a proper bed."

Kitty grinned. "I've waited these two years, Ned," she said, kissing him once more. "I suppose I can wait just that much longer."
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