“Well what do you think?” Cosette asked as she ushered her younger sister into their new flat. Ada was quickly discovering that the emphasis in Cosette’s mind was on younger.
“It’s nice.” A two room flat with a proper sitting room, a little kitchen, and even a tub and linen closet. Of course the furniture was a little sparse but that was to be expected for a rental.
“What a magnifique day, meeting you, getting a new flat together, getting to know all of our new friends, that crazy with ze shadows. My heavens the drinking after all that. By Jove you really put it away. I had barely trois cups and you had vingt bottles and not even a petit wobble in your step.” Cosette twirled about the house, a perfectly under control cyclone, she deftly patted each of the arm chairs and maneuvered the candles on the small end table before making in to the tiny kitchen and starting a pot of tea before Ada had a time to get in and pick her chair.
“Yeah, I can drink a lot.” Ada muttered as she slouched in her armchair and marveled at the view from their only window. It overlooked a crossroad along a long winding street, giving an almost panoramic piece of sky and city scape.
“Voilà ma petite sœur. De mauvaises nouvelles, wine is all well and good but you need to eat real food too. I have not seen you touch so much as a bite of bread all day.” Cosette whiffed about the kitchen fiddling with plates and cups, and half unloading a small box of other kitchen things.
“Foods overrated.” Ada mumbled as Cosette put a cup of tea next to her, “you know I think I’ll just pass out in the chair tonight.”
“Non! You cannot go to sleep yet, you need a bath first.”
“You go ahead,” Ada waved, “I’m good. I sponged off the other day.”
“Non Non.” Her self-proclaimed elder sister called moving over to pull Ada out of the chair and all but pushing toward the bathroom. “A clean body is a clean soul, and everything will feel tres magnifique once we get you scrubbed.”
“You should go first.” Ada said as she slowly started disrobing.
“Non I am your sœur aînée.” Cosette said discarding her own clothes on a hamper. “You go first, and I shall wash your hair, then we can revirement.”
Ada took a moment to study her sister. It was painful to admit the unfairness of their differences. Ada had never thought of herself as ugly. Plain to be sure. Dull even. But standing next to Cosette was like a slap in the face made worse by their few similarities. They were of a height and build. Ada doubted there were more than a few centimeters of height difference between them. Their cheekbones, chins, noses, pretty much their entire facial structure was all but identical.
Yet the differences were like a storm next to a clear sky. Cosette’s hair was light, curly, and gentle, and seemed to float on some invisible breeze. Her eyes were a bright sky grey. Her body was curvier than a cloud and she had a walk like a summer breeze. In comparison Ada’s own dark hair hung as if drenched by a passing storm. Her eyes were dark blue pits of stagnant water. Ada had the body of a wet rag and a walk that was the erratic pitter patter of a rainy day. Fucking unfair.
She slid into the tub. Before her ascension it would have scalded, but now she was durable enough it only tingled.
“I approve of the private bath.” Ada said as Cosette began to wash her hair.
“Now mon petit, you don’t worry about a thing. I’ll clean you up, we’ll get some food in you and a good night of sleep. Tomorrow we can begin your job hunt?”
“I have a job. I’m an actress.” Ada said as she relaxed.
“… You’re a prostitute.” Cosette said tentatively.
“They’re the same thing in London. A while ago they tried to ban women actors to stop it from happening and it kind of backfired. Now days there aren’t many men acting any more… well except the queers. Got a spanish queer in our troupe you wouldn’t believe how many cocks he gets a night. You’re a singer right? Unless you get a job at a posh hotel you’re going to be working poles too. Well unless it’s a Gentleman’s hotel and then you’ll be sucking lordlings pricks. Good pounds in that.”
“I…don’t think I’d like that. I’ll find a place with a piano. A nice little lounge to sing in.”
“Hell’s bells you’re a virgin aren’t you?” Ada asked rolling in the tub to look at her sister.
“I am.” Cosette blushed, her gaze drifting from her smirking face. “As well you should be!”
“I don’t think I’ve ever met one your age. Well, cept highborn ladies. But never a real woman.” Ada chuckled. “You never met a man who tickled your fancy?”
“…I did.” Corsette said. “Monsieur Marius Pontmercy. He was very kind to me.”
“Monsieur… that’s like a gentleman right?” Ada asked climbing out of the tub and switching with her sister.
“Oui.” Corsette said, shivering slightly as she climbed into the cold water. “A fine gentleman.”
“So why didn’t you let him bruise the beef curtains?”
“You know?” Ada insisted taking a seat behind the tub her fingers sewing her sisters hair, “Buttering the biscuit, caulking the tub, roasting the broomstick, frigging Odin, thumping thighs, going heels to Jesus, gland to gland combat, hiding the bishop…”
“I get the idea.” Corsette said, her voice blushing enough that Ada didn’t need to see her face. “We, were going to get married. Before my step father died, and Jove spoke to me. After, I felt it would have been wrong. I’ll live forever and he… it wouldn’t have worked out.”
Ada didn’t have much to say to that depressing bit of news. “Lifechanging,” she mumbled, “our lord father is good at that. C’mon, get out of that water, let’s go to bed.”
There was only the one bed but that presented no problem to Cosette or Ada. Orphans both, they understood that Good Beds were valuable. Why waste it on one person when two or three, or even more would fit? Their bed was easily big enough for two broad shouldered men to lay and never touch each other. Ada and Cosette could have sprawled to their hearts content with no worry of actually touching each other. Except Corsette was apparently a cuddler. So Ada lay there rigid as a stick bug inches from falling from the bed with her sister snuggled in. Well, she'd slept with worse.