Pairing: Pepper/Ma Petite
Genre: Femmeslash, Gen
Warnings: None, except for a little possible OOC-ness (not much I hope), kissing, and a mildly annoying, slightly ableist OFC
Summary: Ficlet. There are many who regard Pepper as being childlike, but Ma Petite is one person who knows that Pepper. like herself, is definitely a grown woman with all a woman's feelings...
Notes: While the other characters are fictional, Minnie "Koo Koo the Bird Girl" Woolsey and Schlitzie Surtees were real famous sideshow performers of the twentieth century.
Dedicated to my fellow Pepper-lover, my dear friend Mii-Mii Ramone, and to PiranhaQuiche from Archive of Our Own whose awesome story "Lipstick" inspired this fic!
The story was also partially inspired by my own beloved Kewpie doll collection. :)
Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me, I'm just borrowing them. I am not making money out of this - suing is futile!
Ma Petite sighed and shook her head. She intensely disliked being treated like a baby, and did not believe anyone else in the freak show should be regarded in such a manner either. Pepper and Salty, too, were fully-grown adults, which in Ma Petite's opinion made the gifts of dolls by an enchanted visitor to the pair wildly inappropriate. The giver of the dolls had been very kind indeed to Ma Petite's friends and sideshow colleagues, but the whole affair still bothered Ma Petite tremendously.
The woman, a rich elderly widow on vacation, had loved the pair's playful antics and seeming childlike innocence on her first visit to the carnival, and had actually made inquiries about adopting them. When she was told that was impossible, the lady had been extremely annoyed, but still had come back to see Salty and Pepper every single day since then. That very afternoon the woman had brought them both massive bags of chocolate candy and Kewpie dolls - the genuine article, not the cheap and shoddy imitations so often found in carnivals - in elaborate costumes. They were colorful, expertly made and definitely things of beauty.
Beautiful or not, however, the dolls were not suitable gifts for a young man and young woman, whatever their mental capacity may have been. They were expensive and gorgeously crafted, but Ma Petite saw their being brought as offerings to her two beloved friends as a patronizing act. The widow had failed to acknowledge the human dignity of the duo at the very same instant she sought to display her love for them.
Salty had already laid aside his doll, a sailor-boy in a smart uniform of blue and white, and had started consuming his candy with obvious relish. Pepper, however, still held her Kewpie with careful hands, turning the doll over and over again and studying her intently. The doll was dressed as some kind of dancer or show-girl with a bodice of sequins and a head-dress and skirt fashioned from multicolored feathers, her lips a brightly painted smile and her fingers splayed out to make the traditional "starfish hands".
"Koo Koo," Pepper said softly, stroking the doll's vivid skirt with one finger. She was obviously referring to one of the many sideshow legends the troupe of carnival performers had come across in their travels - Minnie Woolsey, better known as Koo Koo the Bird Girl, whose feathered attire resembled the doll's slightly. Ma Petite sighed again and nodded.
"Yes - Koo Koo," she replied, and tried to smile for Pepper's sake.
The heyday of freak shows was now past, but still many of their most famous stars lingered on in them - Koo Koo was still a sideshow performer, as was the renowned pinhead Schlitzie, of whom many visitors to Fräulein Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities were reminded by Salty and Pepper. Perhaps they remained in their circuses because, like most of those who worked for Elsa Mars in the freak show she had established, they had nowhere else to go.
Ma Petite stood steadily on a chair next to where Pepper was sitting and stroked her friend's ribbon-bound top-knot with gentle, affectionate fingers.
"She's a very pretty doll, Pepper. But you're much prettier than her, and you're a grown-up young lady. You should have perfume, silk stockings, lipstick - not dolls!"
Pepper looked at Ma Petite and grinned. "Lipstick - for making kiss?" She giggled a little, her cheeks a warm shade of pink.
"Yes," Ma Petite whispered, and suddenly wanted to kiss Pepper very much indeed.
So she did, and Pepper seemed to like the kiss far more than her Kewpie doll.