The More Things Change

Some things would never change - there were some parts of people that were fated to remain exactly the same however much time may pass. The ability of the person to deny or to mask certain unchangeable aspects of their character or personality may fade or erode over time, but this only reveals the aspects - it does not create them.

She tilted her head slightly both ways, scrutinising her appearance in the mirror before her. Setting aside her musings on the permanance and changeability of a person's character, she lifted her hands and straightened a golden earring.

Strange, that the aspects of her own character that once appalled her - indeed, those aspects that she refused to acknowledge - now seemed commonplace, and were those she stood strongest by. And also, that those aspects in other people that she had shunned and abhorred were now but a welcome familiarity.

She lifted a comb and gently shaped the curls in her hair. A hand momentarily drifted away from her hair, straightening the black fabric of her collar. Her lips quirked in a momentary smile, and she quickly brushed back the curls at the back of her head. Quickly grabbing up a gold pin, she secured half of her hair back.

" odd that that we cannot admit it."

"Admit what, Schatze?" The door shut behind her.

She smirked, looking first into the mirror and then twisting around to look at the intruder. "That which we do not."

He smiled and shook his head. "That old game again... Are you nearly ready?"

She stood up and then turned back to the mirror, smoothing the bodice of the green gown she wore. "Yes - but mind you, I thought I told you I never wanted to see you again within this room."

"Yes, I know." There was no apology within his countenance.

She sighed and pulled her gloves on as she stepped towards him. "Well, Tom, as you've disregarded my words again, shall you be so kind as to escort me downstairs?"

He held his arm out, and she gracefully took it.

The couple left the room, descending the stairs to the hall where many people were entering. Reaching the foot of the stairs, she disengaged from his arm and they parted, mingling into the guests.

The party was a gay affair, and the guests were notable. There were a few newcomers - guests of known aquaintances - and the hostess noticed that several whispered amongst themselves. Curious, she made her way towards a women and was brought into the conversation.

"...get in here?"

"The nerve of the man to come in here in such an underdressed manner..."

"And to a formal affair no less! How did he even get past the doormen?"

The smirk reappeared on Schatze's face, and she tilted her head downward, following the women's glances towards the underdressed man standing near the edge of the room sipping from his glass.

"Oh, that man?" The wave of her hand was dismissive. "That man obviously has the character of some gas pump jockey."

The women closest to her gasped in indignation. "Such a man as that within here?"

She drew back slightly a smile peeking out of her eyes. "But of course! It does seem to be a free country - and why should we trouble ourselves with such as him?"

The lady sniffed. "One can not blame one such as you, I suppose."

The smile faded. "One such as I, Madame?"

"Well, you may be a lady by marriage, Mrs. Brookman - but well born, you are not."

"Ah, I see."

She pursed her lips, apprising the distinguished lady before her. As the woman's appearance grew colder, Schatze turned to see the 'underdressed' man approaching them.

"You look lovely tonight." He glanced over the ladies Schatze stood with. "As do you, too."

"...At least we are properly attired."

"I'm sorry?"

"No tie, no waistcoat, such dull cloth..." The older lady gestured towards the clothes he wore. "You ought to be ashamed of your brashness at coming here."

"Ah, I see." He glanced down at his simple black jacket and trousers, and then at Schatze. "And I even dressed up."

She drew back in seeming affront. "With no tie? Mr. Tom - don't you know that there are no gentlemen callers without a tie?"

"Really?" He heard the amusement and Then it's quite a good thing that I've not come to call."

"Perhaps you should go before you've worn out your welcome more - really, you needn't let him stay simply because you were once on his level."

She smiled and answered the lady: "Wise advice - I shall heed it." She turned back to him with a haughty smile. "I'm afraid that without a better reason you cannot be allowed to remain."

"...You know I'd just call again."

"I'm sure I may outlast you."

"Hm." He set his glass down on a passing waiter's tray. "Well, in that case, I'll simply have to make you change your mind." He grabbed her hand and pulled her away to the nearby room that had been set aside for dancing.

The ladies stared after them, shocked at the man's impertinent behaviour. The oldest women, who had spoken strongest against the interloper made her way over to another guest.

"Pardon me, but would you be so kind as to direct me to Mr. Brookman?"

The man bowed slightly, offerring her his arm. "Of course."

He led her through the guests to the dance room, and paused for a moment looking over the dancers. When he saw a flash of green and black, he pointed out the hostess and her partner to the older lady.

"No, I asked for Mr. Brookman - he really should be told of the insult being paid to his wife but that young man dancing with her."

The man looked at her in some confusion, but then understanding came. When the dancing couple moved close to them, he called out: "Mr. Brookman!"

The man looked up, and Schatze and he stepped out of the way of the dancers. "Yes?"

"This lady was looking for you - apparently, someone insulted your wife."

Tom's smile was knowing and rather amused. "Oh? Schatze, are you insulted?"

Her answering smile was bright as she leaned slightly on his arm. "You didn't wear that patched jacket - it is enough for me."

"Good. The possibility of having to challenge your partner would have been quite awkward."

The lady shut her mouth. "I am very sorry, Mr. Brookman - I didn't know..."

He waved her off. "It's fine. Now, I must steal your hostess away for a while - we were busy with some important business..."

AN: And there isn't even a category for this. Why did I write it? I don't really know - perhaps because I hate that there shan't be any more of the films I truly like - that all that could bring them into being are gone. But such is my lot, it seems. But, this is inspired by the relationship between Schatze and Tom Brookman (actually, the only reason I even watched the film to begin with...), and especially the argument at the end about his tie. Sort of a scene from late in their marriage - for I cannot believe that she is the only one to make such a mistake. So...basically pointless. I apologise for my drivel, and thank thee for thine attention and patience. Gramercy, and God bless you! 6-21-2015