you (not so) sexy thing - Selfie ; Henry/Eliza ; 1,000 words. Henry and Eliza go shopping for Halloween costumes. It goes about as well as you'd think.
It’s probably a good thing that Henry decided to tag along Halloween shopping. Even if he is acting like a total buzzkill.
After last year’s whole Sexy Despicable Me Minion situation, Eliza has decided she might need some guidance in the Halloween department. And if there’s one thing Henry’s good for, it’s Shutting. It. Down.
“What—what is this? Sexy Witch Wanda...” His jaw drops in horror. “Is that supposed to be Hermione?”
“Sexy Hermione,” Eliza says, all duh. It’s like he’s never actually heard of Halloween before.
“Well, maybe someone should tell them that smart is sexy,” Henry says in that grumpy old man voice of his. “And that Hermione’s appeal comes from her tireless determination to use her intelligence for the greater good, no matter the risk.”
Eliza wrinkles her nose. “Age inappropriate much?”
“Actually, considering the fact that the first book was set in 1991, Hermione would be well into her thirties now, and a perfectly viable candidate for someone of my age bracket were she not already happily settled with Ron—oh, never mind,” he finishes grumpily, finally noticing that Eliza has total wtf-face.
But, like, in kind of a good way.
“You’re such the super nerd,” she declares. “You’re like if Wikipedia escaped the internet.”
“So, like an encyclopedia,” Henry says.
“Hmm?” Eliza says vaguely, considering a Sexy Bee costume.
Henry notices. “Sexy Bee,” he says despairingly.
“Whatevs, don’t judge. Pollination is way sexual. Sexy Bee makes sense.”
“Objectively, yes, I suppose you could make that argument, but I still don’t understand why that would motivate a grown woman to abandon all of her dignity and pretend to be a sexualized insect. Why is it so impossible for a woman to find a Halloween costume that celebrates intelligence and resourcefulness—”
“Sexy Book,” Eliza says, pointing at another costume.
“Oh, God,” Henry says, and pinches the bridge of his nose.
Eliza smirks to herself. Then she spots it. Ooh!
“What do you think?” she asks Henry, pointing at another costume.
He frowns at the package. “Sexy coat rack? What does that even mean?”
“I dunno. But coat racks are way skinny, and it never hurts to drop the word ‘rack’ to get some attention. Oh yeah. I could definitely rock this.”
“Eliza,” Henry says slowly. “You are literally contemplating imitating an object that exists solely for the convenience of others.”
“Isn’t that what you want me to do? Be more hospitable and stuff?”
“Not at the cost of your own humanity. What if somebody hangs a coat on you?”
“They’d better not. Being a good sexy coat rack is all about showing some skin.”
Henry sighs. “Of course it is.”
Eliza frowns at the costume package in her hands. She guesses it is kind of a stretch.
She never used to think twice about this kind of stuff.
Or maybe it’s more like: she used to think twice sometimes, sure, but there was never someone standing next to her to do the whole Bad idea, girl thing.
Not that Henry would ever actually say ‘Bad idea, girl.’ Like, Eliza wishes.
“Sexy Keurig?” Eliza suggests, pulling another costume off the rack at random.
“What? Eliza, no.” Henry takes the costume, his fingers brushing hers, and hangs it back up. Then he clasps her hands in his, which is such weird old timey gentleman behavior, but kind of nice too. “Haven’t you ever just wanted a Halloween costume that was all about ... about fun, and wonder, and being whoever you want to be?”
“Well ...” Eliza considers despite herself.
On the night before Halloween, Henry invites Eliza over for a non-sexy costume party. The guest list goes:
And that’s it.
It’s basically the most boring e-vite she’s ever gotten. She deletes it right away, just in case her email ever gets hacked. It would be way too embarrassing to have that get out. But she’s still kind of looking forward to it. Even though he’s like the grumpiest dude on earth, Henry is easy to hang out with in a way that no one else is. It’s like he’s so boring that it’s okay for her to just be boring when she’s with him.
Eliza dresses up like a kangaroo. When she was a kid, she always thought they were awesome. In fact, she still thinks they’re pretty fab. Like, good luck misplacing your phone when you have a pouch built into your body. It’s a shame kangaroos aren’t into cell phones. They are basically living the dream without even knowing it.
Henry is dressed as Professor Dumbledore. He has robes and a pointy hat and a beard and everything.
“Kangaroo,” he says, bowing gallantly at her after he opens the front door. “Very nice.”
“Gandalf,” Eliza says, to bug him, and tugs on his beard. “Weird.”
“You know I’m Dumbledore,” Henry says.
“Yeah, I know,” Eliza surrenders.
They settle down on the couch with popcorn and candy and flip through channels until they find Hocus Pocus.
“I’m being Sexy Witch Wanda when I go out, though,” Eliza says during a commercial break. She doesn’t want Henry to get too smug over his victory. She casually rests her feet on the coffee table.
Henry gently knocks his ankle against hers until she gets her feet off the table. “Don’t do that to Hermione. Please at least be Sexy Tree.”
“Deal,” Eliza says after a moment’s contemplation.
“Or, hey,” Henry says slyly, “what about ... Sexy Hashtag.”
Eliza frowns. “How would you even do that?”
“I don’t know! I thought you would like it.”
“Because you harbor a fondness for hashtags. Some might call you addicted. You say the word ‘hashtag’ aloud at least five times a day. Yesterday you actually said ‘hashtag hashtag.’ It was insane. Hashtagception.”
“Okay, that’s fair,” Eliza huffs. “But how do you wear a hashtag?”
“Says the girl who didn’t for a moment question ‘sexy coat rack.’”
“I suppose it could be kind of cute,” Eliza says generously.
Henry grins, pleased with himself.
It makes him look a little bit Sexy Henry. Even with the Dumbledore beard.
Not that she would ever, like, let that thought out of her brain.
There are some things, Eliza’s learning, that a girl should just keep to herself.