Word Count: 711
Summary: “I do wonder,” Adelle says, as soon as Mr. Dominic has shown their latest client out, “how one might acquire that much Jello without attracting suspicion.”
Author's Note: for sunney's prompt: There's Always Room for J-E-L-L-O, Dollhouse, Adelle and whoever happens to be around. Unsurprisingly, Dominic wound up being around. :)
The Dollhouse does not judge or question. It is a haven from the persecuting eyes and whispers of the world. One needn’t be ashamed of their desires, no matter how unorthodox. One needn’t be afraid to yield to the deepest, most secret yearnings of their heart.
And yet, sometimes—
“I do wonder,” Adelle says, as soon as Mr. Dominic has shown their latest client out, “how one might acquire that much Jello without attracting suspicion.”
Mr. Dominic folds his arms in front of his chest, stern-browed and steely as ever. Almost too stern-browed and steely. “Not our concern. We supply the active; in this instance, the rest is the client’s responsibility.”
Adelle knows this already, but nods briskly. “Very good.”
She crosses the room and sits at her desk. He follows, stopping a few feet from her as he always does. It’s all done in silence. This isn’t unusual. What is unusual is just how silent the silence seems.
She picks up a pen. Fiddles with it. Sets it back down again. Looks at her computer screen. Checks her email. Topher has sent her a forward with the subject line ‘SURPRISE KITTY – ADORABLE!!!’ Topher has always been very bad at professional boundaries.
She glances at Mr. Dominic, and feels a pang of sympathy. At least she has some distractions, unhelpful as they all may be. He has nothing to do besides stand there. He clears his throat and furrows his brow.
“Something the matter, Mr. Dominic?”
The client’s voice drifts back into her head. He really was very emphatic about the whole thing. The Jello must be cherry flavored. Cherry. (A rather uninventive choice, if you ask her, but men do tend to gravitate toward the classics.) She makes a mental note to specify as much to Topher. Lord forbid they imprint Sierra with an indecent passion for lime.
The corners of her mouth beg to twitch. She breathes sharply in.
Mr. Dominic coughs. The kind of cough that one could easily hide a laugh in.
“I do hope you aren’t coming down with something,” she says, and bites her lip.
“It’s nothing,” he assures her, the words sounding choked.
“What a relief,” she tells him, her voice going lamentably high.
He looks determinedly at the floor. She opts for the ceiling. They are stalwart professionals. Stalwart professionals.
“Which active,” Mr. Dominic says to the floor, still sounding quite physically pained, “should we assign?”
“Oh, I suspect any would do,” Adelle answers to her new confidant, the ceiling. It appears to be mocking her. “A gender wasn’t specified. Merely a love for jiggling desserts.”
It is, she determines, the profoundly unwise use of the word ‘jiggling’ that does it. She’s not quite sure whether she or Mr. Dominic is the one to break first, but suddenly they’re both laughing and it is a tremendous relief.
“It’s a shame he didn’t thank Jello in his Oscar acceptance speech,” Mr. Dominic reflects a little giddily. “Since it’s obviously so important to him.”
“Perhaps they could put it in the voiceover of his next film’s trailer,” Adelle proposes. “‘Oscar Winner and Jello Fetishist.’”
“That’s got a ring to it.”
“Doesn’t it?” They grin at each other. If either of them were Topher, the moment would no doubt culminate in a high five.
Then there’s a knock on the door. They sober up swiftly, though not without a bit of unattractive choking on laughter. Mr. Dominic (unnecessarily) straightens his tie. Adelle allows herself a small, quick smile at that.
Judith leans her head in.
“Yes?” Adelle asks with such formidable sharpness that she very nearly daunts herself.
“Just checking to make sure everything is all right in here, Ms. DeWitt.”
She does not relent. “Why wouldn’t it be? Do tell.”
“I just heard –” Judith stares at them.
Adelle and Mr. Dominic both stare back. They each have a rather intimidating stare to begin with; with their powers combined, well.
Sure enough, a nervous smile flits across Judith’s face. “Never mind,” she says, and closes the door again.
“Smart girl,” Mr. Dominic declares.
“Indeed,” Adelle agrees. “Now.” She lifts the client’s file from her desk. “Let’s get back to work, shall we?”
“Of course,” Mr. Dominic says. He’s still smirking, just barely.