|Celandine's Chronicle (celandineb) wrote in cels_fic_haven,|
@ 2012-01-05 09:27:00
|Entry tags:||noel streatfeild fic pauline/petrova, yuletide|
Ballet Shoes fic: Growing Up [Pauline/Petrova, adult]
Title: Growing Up
Fandom: Noel Streatfeild's Ballet Shoes
Length: 1714 words
Warnings: (adopted) sibling incest
Summary: Petrova makes some decisions about what she wants to do and be.
Note: Written for Yuletide 2011, for cupcake54.
Sundays saved Petrova. It wasn't that they talked so very much, she and Mr Simpson, but they didn't need to. Working together on the motorcars, or going to see aeroplanes, was enough. She felt he understood her better than anyone, though she saw less of him than anyone else in the house.
Although the flying Sundays were her favourites, Petrova also liked the garage Sundays. She would change into the jeans Mr Simpson had given her and become happily dirty for several hours, absorbed by the work. Things she repaired stayed repaired, and Petrova was proud of that.
One Sunday Mr Simpson looked at her and said, "We'll need to be getting you a new suit of jeans soon. You've nearly outgrown those."
It was true. It was not that they were too short in the leg. She had grown taller but the legs had always been far too long and were rolled up at the ankle. Rather it was around her chest that they were becoming snug, though not yet too tight to button. Petrova blushed. She wasn't yet used to the idea of growing up, not that way.
Mr Simpson seemed to grasp her feelings, for he changed the subject and began talking about the new kind of self-starter he had read about in an automobile trade journal. Petrova listened, and asked several questions, and gradually her embarrassment faded away.
She mentioned it to Pauline that night after they had had their baths and were getting ready to go to bed.
Pauline looked at her with surprise. "Don't you like getting a figure?"
Petrova shook her head. "It seems such a nuisance."
"I suppose it is, a bit," Pauline agreed. She picked up her hairbrush. "I'm thankful mine didn't really start to grow until after I'd played Prince Edward in Richard the Third."
"That would've been awkward." Petrova understood. "I suppose I knew it would happen, but I didn't think about it, if that makes sense?"
Pauline shook back her shining smooth hair. "Yes. There is worse, though." She made a face.
"Worse?" Petrova wasn't sure she wanted to know.
"Yes." Pauline made the face again. Then, to Petrova's horror, she explained what happened to women once a month. "It will probably be at least another year or two before you get your monthly friend," Pauline concluded."You're a bit young still."
"It can wait forever, as far as I'm concerned," said Petrova. "It sounds horribly inconvenient."
"Unfortunately we haven't any choice," said Pauline. "I think the best thing is just to pretend it's not happening. I mean, obviously take care of yourself as you need to, but don't make a fuss or let anyone else know what is going on."
"With my luck I'll get it for the first time when I'm on stage." Petrova sighed.
"Or some Sunday when you're working at the garage," suggested Pauline.
Petrova shook her head. "No, that wouldn't be so bad. Mrs. Simpson must get it, if all women do. Mr Simpson would understand."
Pauline looked at her thoughtfully. "Would you rather be a boy?"
"What makes you say that?" said Petrova, startled.
"You're not like Posy or me or any of the other girls we know like Winifred. You like mechanical things, and you're not so bothered about how people think of you. I do worry about that; since I was Alice, anyway."
Petrova was going to ask what Pauline meant when Nana came in and bustled them both into bed. Posy had been asleep since before the other two had come from their baths. Petrova sometimes envied her younger sister the ability to fall asleep so quickly and easily, but tonight she was glad. When Nana had left again, Petrova and Pauline picked up their conversation in whispers.
"What you mean, since you were Alice?"
Pauline shrugged, her bedclothes shifting with the movement. "I didn't enjoy being scolded, perhaps especially since I knew I deserved it. So I like to behave well, so that it won't happen again. But there's also the question of looks. I looked right for Alice, so I got the part, yet Winifred is at least as good an actress as I, perhaps better. Then there's film. When I was playing Henrietta I didn't enjoy film acting nearly as much, but it does pay so much better. If my face is suited for film, it could help with all of Garnie's expenses for the house."
"I know." Petrova sighed. "It was lovely having pocket money, and to be able to buy books."
"You and your books." Pauline laughed quietly. "Still, I suppose it's no different from Posy going to the ballet or me to the theatre. Each of us spends her money on things she likes."
"Yes," agreed Petrova. "Pauline."
"If I tell you something, would you keep it secret?"
"Of course." Pauline whispered in indignation. "I won't even tell Posy, if you don't like."
"I want to learn to fly," said Petrova. "I've been studying for a ground license. The next time we have pocket money, I'm going to save it so that I can take real flying lessons."
"Goodness." Pauline's voice was awed. "How much do they cost?"
"Pounds." Petrova sighed. "It will take years to save up enough, but once I'm sixteen perhaps I can earn more. I wonder if Mr Simpson would let me work for him at the garage?"
"I don't see why not," said Pauline thoughtfully. "You're as good as any of the men he has, it seems."
Petrova lay awake after Pauline had fallen asleep, her breathing deep and regular, slower than Posy's on the other side. She might or might not really be as good as any of the men, right now, but someday she would be, even though she was a girl. Did she want to be a boy? Pauline's question had startled her.
Reflectively she stroked her budding breasts through her nightgown. She could see that they would be a nuisance if and when they grew much bigger, but touching them like this felt rather nice... it made the place between her legs tingle, too. She reached down to rub it. Touching the bump, as she thought of it, directly was too intense, almost painful. Instead Petrova pulled the folds of skin over, rolled onto her stomach, and rocked her hips against her hand. She had to be careful not to move so much that the bed creaked, but quite soon delicious shudders chased through her, and she was able to relax into sleep.
Never one to waste time, the next Sunday when they were in Mr Simpson's car on the way to a flying field, she asked, "How old would someone have to be to be hired at your garage?"
They stopped to let another car cross in front of them. Mr Simpson glanced at her, his eyes twinkling. "Planning to change careers?"
She smiled back and said, "I might. Goodness knows I'm not cut out to be on the stage for the rest of my life."
"No, I can see that," Mr Simpson agreed. He put the car in gear and they shot ahead. "To answer your question, seventeen, although for you I should want to talk with Miss Brown and the doctors first."
"Education is a good thing, and from what I hear, you're clever enough to go to university and do well there."
"I don't want to go to university." Petrova was definite. "Maths is my favourite subject, that's true, but I like working with my hands better."
"A degree wouldn't keep you from that," he said.
"It might. Besides, it's expensive to go to university. It would be even if I were to win a scholarship somehow, and I don't think that's very likely. I won't be seventeen for years yet, but when I am, would you hire me? If Garnie agrees?"
"If I still own the garage -- and I don't know why I wouldn't -- you would be my first choice," Mr Simpson promised.
"Thank you." A lovely warmth spread all through Petrova at his praise.
She told Pauline that night, whispering in bed again so as not to wake Posy.
"Oh, Petrova, I am so glad." Pauline bounced out of her bed and into Petrova's to hug her. The bed thumped against the wall, and Posy rolled over, muttering what sounded like, "Battement développé, demi-plié, pirouette..."
Pauline giggled into Petrova's ear and whispered, "I'd better stay here for a bit. She might wake up, dancing like that."
Petrova nodded. Pauline's chest was pressed against her own, and Pauline's leg had nudged between Petrova's. It felt good, good enough that Petrova was feeling the familiar throbbing there. She wriggled a little, not sure even in her own mind whether she was trying to draw closer or get free. Pauline's hand slipped along Petrova's back and cupped her backside.
"Petrova?" Pauline's whisper seemed almost frightened, but hearing it gave Petrova the courage to slide her own hand between their bodies and touch Pauline, first on her breast, then lower, the same way she touched herself, until Pauline was shaking, almost crying, and pressing little kisses to Petrova's face.
Afterward Pauline touched Petrova back. It was different from touching herself because Pauline didn't know just what felt best to Petrova, but the surprise and excitement of it more than made up for that, and Petrova had to bite her lips hard to stay quiet as she reached her peak.
They had not woken up Posy, whose soft regular breathing was filled the room.
When Pauline had slipped back to her own bed, Petrova took a deep breath and let it out slowly. It had been nice, but she wasn't sure whether she wanted it to happen again. It wasn't so much that it felt odd to have secrets from Posy, though it did, as that Petrova suspected it would complicate things... and now that she felt certain that she could leave off dancing and theatre work altogether in just a few years, she wanted life until then to run smoothly.
This wasn't something she could talk to Mr Simpson about; Petrova would have to decide for herself, and the more she thought, the more certain she was that she would make the right choice.