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Kings and Queens - Christmas Eve 2012

James Winchester

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OOC: Humble apologies to George's player. This has been rattling around in my brain since last season and I have to exorcise it somehow.


"Honey, I'm home!" James called playfully as he pushed open the door, walking from the cold of the hallway to the warmth of the upscale London apartment.


"Darling, where have you been?" A voice called from the living room. "Tell me you haven't been at work." George demanded, leaning backwards from whatever he was doing to peer at James past the door-jamb. "You have, haven't you?"


"I told you I had to go and straighten a few things out." James replied, only slightly sheepish, as he dropped his leather satchel on the side table and migrated to the kitchen. "The NHS only makes ever more paperwork you know!" He called out.


"Mmm hmm." George followed him and flicked the power button on the espresso machine. "I suppose it had nothing to do with that distraught phone call this morning." He said disapprovingly, knowing as well as James that it did. "And James, what are you wearing?"


"What?" James asked, turning from getting the cups out of the cupboard and spreading his arms wide in a 'who me?' gesture.


George's critical gaze took in the slacks, tweed coat with the leather on the elbows and brilliant, rainbow gay-pride tie. Together with his ponytail and goatee it created a distinct look. "You look like a university professor from the 1950s." He drawled. George, on the other hand, looked stylish in a lavender shirt with ruffled collar and sleeves, complete with silk cravat and pin. He was dressed up to go out.


"I am a psychiatrist George, people have certain expectations. It puts them at their ease." James protested. It was hardly the first time they'd had this discussion.


"Ah, so you were seeing a patient!" George declared triumphantly.


"Only briefly. It was an emergency call. I had her admitted." Which was sad but necessary, the woman needed help.


The smell of fresh coffee permeated the air as George poured, then wrinkled his nose as James put large amounts of sugar and milk into his. Their tastes different in almost everything, surely they were evidence of the law that opposites attract. Bored of James's professional doings, George raised a different topic. "What do you think of my hair? I had it done for tonight."


James ran grey eyes over his partner's new forward-flopping fringe tried to find something nice to say. "It makes you look like Justin Beiber." He said dryly.


"It does not!" George protested indignantly. "It's very modern." He insisted, flicking a few errant strands back into place.


"I liked the Mr Darcy look better."


"Not modern." Was George's verdict. Apparently modern was now in and Pride and Prejudice was now out. Not that James paid any attention. "I'm sure you'd look fabulous with something more modern." George teased, tugging on James's ponytail.


"Leave it alone." James warned him, sipping his coffee. His hair, like his beard, were where he drew the line. George could complain about his wardrobe all he liked.


There was silence for a moment before George spoke again. "But you are going to change for tonight, aren't you?" He insisted in a tone that indicated it wasn't really a question.


James sighed. "You know George, I've been thinking. You'll probably have a lot more fun without me there, it's really not my kind of scene." He said, trying to weasel his way out. "I don't want to be an embarrassment to you."


But George was having none of it. "James you promised! It's my big opening and you said you'd be there to support me." The art gallery had been a huge deal and all the glitterati and artistic who's whom were going to be there.


"Of course I'll support you, I just don't want to be a blot on your stylish landscape." James replied soothingly. He hadn't a clue what he was supposed to say or do at such a party. He dealt with such people professionally of course - many celebrities were highly-strung messes - but the idea of trying to have a mundane conversation without making some sort of uncool faux pas was rather daunting.


George seemed to take a little pity on him. "You won't, as long as you leave that jacket behind. Wear the white suit, with the tie that I gave you."


"I am wearing the tie you gave me."


George sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "James, that one was a joke. You weren't actually supposed to wear it." He said, sounding pained. "Wear the grey silk one. And the black shirt." He added, making sure there was no room for misunderstanding or error.


"Alright, if I have to." James sighed in mock resignation.


"Yes, you do. And you have to look nice. Honestly, you have the fashion sense of a stoned pigeon." George complained.


James smirked. "Sometimes I wonder why you put up with me." He said.


"Because, darling, there can only be one Queen in a relationship." George replied with an airy expression.


"Does that make me King?" James teased.


"Puh-lease. Prince Consort at best." George smirked back and finished his coffee. "Now, I have to go down to the gallery and make certain everything's in order, but I want you there before the doors open. On time, please."


"Alright alright, I'll be there. I promise." James said, holding up a hand to forstall any further entreaty. He'd be a complete fish out of water but for George's sake he'd be there.


"Thank you. I'll see you then." George leaned in to steal a quick kiss before collecting up his coat and breezing out the door. Even that motion had style, he was the epitome of vibrantly gay sophistication.


James leaned his leather-covered elbows on the kitchen counter, flicked open a medical magazine and drank his coffee.

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