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angrydurf

My Fair Lady

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the mysterious lights on the observation deck had proven to be a short lived if welcome distraction for Ace from his rather dull companion of the evening. When it turned out to be Phantoms alter ego Taylor Chun in some hideous casual take on the pantsuit he knew something had to be done. But that could wait as his companion had become much less dull in his absence.

***

Ace pulled up in front of Ms. Chuns building and strolled jauntily up to the door and made his way to her apartment. Once there he quickly rapped on the door awaiting the young lady while stareing distainfully at the oddly stained carpet of the hall.

When she answered his eyes snapped to her with a look a vague horror for a moment, "Dear god its worse than I thought. Take me to your closet before its too late." the dapper hero said as he rushed past her into the apartment.

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Taylor answered the door, having just returned from class, to stare blankly at the one and only Ace Danger on her door step. She was dressed, as usual, in jeans and a white t-shirt. She hadn't even had time to remove the battered hat from her hair. She had just enough sense to feel vaguely affronted at the look of horror on his face before she quickly moved aside to let him rush past her. The closet was easy to find in her small and spartan apartment. Apparently all she had within was the afore-mentioned pant-suit thing, several more iterations of the jeans and t-shirt look, a very battered bomber jacket and several dresses that were the flowey one-piece affairs suitable to wear to church or to visit her family.

She shut the door behind him and caught up to Ace as he was poking at her clothing, "Ah, Ace? There's nothing in my closet but clothes. Why are you here, anyways?"

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"Thats exactly the problem my dear," Ace said as he began tossing outfits into varying piles on the bed, "I caught your little excursion on the observation deck, its just embarissing so I'm here to help." He looked up and flashed her a winning smile. Ace had needed a new project and aparently it was going to be Ms. Taylor Chun.

He continued his sorting mildly distressed at the sheer volume of ragged denim. "So," He asked as he sorted, "Your friend just going to be taking you to off hours tourist attractions or do we need evening wear as well?" Ace of course had a fairly good idea of who her date had been, however a few 'descrete' inquirys never hurt.

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Her mouth worked soundlessly for a few moments before she glared at him in the sort of way that made it clear that she was considering putting Ace through a wall, security deposit be damned. It was true that she'd struggled to find something to wear the other day. She had needed to go buy a few new things. Taylor couldn't argue that Ace was always well dressed, so the only harm in taking advice would be to her currently bruised and battered ego.

"Evening wear? I have no idea. Can you put that down?" Taylor broke off to plead as she realized he'd moved from the outer clothes to more unmentionables, "That's my bra!"

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"Well thats certainly one name for it I suppose." Ace responded with a grin but he did set it down.

He took the few steps to close the distance to Taylor, "Like a house a good look needs a good foundation, if you're going to get the help you need you'll have to trust that the adolescent glee I once took in ladies unmentionables has long since faded." Not to mention that as Phantom she wandered around showing far more of her assets then the bra would.

With that he returned to her chest of drawers and quickly sorted out her various underthings the majority of which went in the hurting more than helping pile.

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Taylor watched him sort things. It wasn't too difficult to tell which pile was what by the grimaces on his face. She stole her bomber jacket at least and was left to perch on the edge of the bed, clutching that and her had and watching the adventurer tear through her wardrobe like a force of nature. Taylor said, waspishly even to her, "I know what a bra is for, Ace. What, exactly, are you suggesting?"

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Ace surveyed his piles with a calculating look and replied, "Paris. Well for starters, we'll build up from there."

Despite his theatrics a good portion of her clothign actually met with his approval for casual wear, she really just needed a bit of pizazz to bring out for dates.

He flashed Taylor a winning smile and extended a hand, "I could probably arrange to borrow the Danger Jet but your way will be quicker." he said.

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"You want to go to Paris for clothing shopping? I can't afford Paris! I don't even have franks to try and spend there!" Taylor pointed out, staring at his outstretched hand like he had lost his mind completely. "I was thinking the mall. Or maybe if we were going ritzy, the nice little shop down here in Riverside."

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Ace laughed out loud, "Oh thats a good one, ritzy shop in riverside, very droll." He said voice dripping sarcasm. He wasn't even going to deighn to comment on the Mall as a shopping venue, she had plenty of mall clothes already.

"You did me a bit of a favor recently, I always repay my favors." He stuck his hand out expectantly. Truth was she was a friend and needed help, even if she didn't realize it fully, Ace danger did not leave a friend in the lurch. "Besides the cost is mostly in travel expenses and we won't have those will we?" His smile was infectious and his insitance actually started to seem reasonable in an odd kind of way. Perhaps this was the Danger World phenomenon that her uncle had used to explain his continued travels with the Jungle Patrol in his youth.

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Giving into the inevitable, Taylor sighed and took his hand. The last thing he heard was her muttering, "I don't even know what time it is in Paris right now."

Then Ace was treated to the growing ever-more-familiar sensation of the endless void before they were both standing on one of the smaller side-streets in Paris. Taylor was trying to re-orient herself around. Sometimes it got very confusing between similar dimensions. She'd thought she was going to set them in the fashion districts but this didn't look like that at all. Perhaps she miscalculated off of an else-worlds Paris? Where were they anyways?

She looked expectantly to the famed world-adventurer, "I'm going to assume that you speak French?"

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"I speak loud slow english I find that it usually will suffice." Ace said with a grin as he took her arm and began steering her down the boulevard. As they walked he pointed out various sights always with a little personal tidbit.

They came to a well lit shop where Ace turned and said, "Ah here we are."

The window displays held manaquins displaying a variety of lacy and silky underthings.

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Taylor blinked and stared at the window displays as she unwittingly found herself neatly manuevered inside the shop. She left Ace to do the talking while she internally debated fleeing back to Freedom City. Ace would be fine, after all. World adventurer and all that Taylor had a snaking suspicion that once Ace had his mind set on an activity, that was that. How embarrassing would it be to end up dragged here twice.

I've faced demons and despotic overlords. I can handle a bit of shopping with Ace Danger

Squaring her shoulders, she adopted the cooly remote expression that had served her so well in the past.

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Ace left Taylor to take in the assortment of designer undergarments and strode purposefully across the store to an attractive young brunette who was busily stocking one of the racks. He got her attention with a quiet clearing of his throat. The pretty young lady turned with a practiced smile on her lips which upon taking in Ace standing before her quickly fell. "Saundrine, its been too..." Aces greeting was cut short by a loud smack as she slapped him, spinning him half around whilst cursing vehimently in french.

Ace rubbed his jaw and with a shrug and a smile said, "I probably deserbed that." once the young firbrand fell silent Ace nodded to taylor, "She needs help so I brought her to the best." he explained with a winning smile, "Long term relationship just ended she's trying to get back intot he swing of things."

The practiced smile sprung back to the young womans face as she descended upon Taylor measuring tape in hand. "And what size have the hacks back home been telling you you are?" She inquired in perfect english.

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Taylor startled at the sound of palm cracking against the skin. Shooting Ace a drolly amused look, she obidiently stood still for measurements. Being recalcitrant would only make this take longer after all.

She answered the questions fired at her with collected ease that was only slightly flusteres by Ace's omnipresence in the corner.

"Look, I really don't need that much..." Taylor attempted to point out once again.

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"Best not to argue with him, you won't win." Saundrine advised. Then with a dreamy little smile peeking at the edge of her mouth added. "Just go with it and enjoy the ride." It didn't take long for her to get Taylor correctly sized and she began marching about hte small shop pulling aside assorted linggerie for Taylor to try on.

As she did all of this Ace wandered about as well and added a few choice items to the growing collection.

Ace called over the racks, "Just enjoy the trip Taylor, we'll get you all set up and your young beau won't be able to keep his hands off you." He flashed a mischevious smile at her to emphasize his point. To Saundrine he added, "Cool colors, she looks best in deep purples."

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Taylor made a face at the back of Ace's head. It was feeling a little like the first time she'd gone bra-shopping with her mother. Except, of course, Taylor's mothers would have died a thousand times over rather than suggest anything like what the growing pile was made of. Half of them, Taylor wasn't even sure where they went. Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, she vanished into the changing rooms to dutifully try on whatever Saundrine had already in her hands.

"I don't even know what this is," she muttered to herself as she quickly stripped down. Glancing around the changing room, it was certainly not the mall for sure. The room was covered in mirrors with a little pedestal in the center. Presumably to stand on. More and more I'm feeling like 'dress-me-up Barbie'.

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Ace gave Taylor a few minutes while he chatted with Saundrine about this and that before walking in to check on her progress.

He cast an appraising eye over her for a moment before stepping into the large booth to get a look at the other side, "Hmmm straps are going to show on eveningwear but could work for the club scene, or interviews though it would be a waste if no-one got to see." He said with an appreciative air then looked to Saundrine who added "You were right purple is a good look for her."

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It was fortunate that Taylor managed to jerk back on the instinct to turn intangible at the last possible second. Instead she only jumped out of her skin when Ace popped his head through, her arms flying up over her chest automatically. Even if she was better covered in this than she would be in some swimsuits.

"Ace!" She protested, twisting on the pedestal, "You can't just barge in here. Well, you can! But you shouldn't! And I am standing right here."

Although she did agree, she always did look good in purple.

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Ace laughed softly as he countered, "I like to see my work and barring havign to deal with an irrate boyfriend at some ungodly hour this is probably the best situation for that." However there was a certain something in his eyes as he spoke that clearly outlined that other situations could be a great deal better for both of them if one ignored the consequences.

He smiled a wicked smile, "And I was talking to you, you'll have to excuse Saundrine however she's french so she can't help but be rude." He patted the young designer lightly on the rump as she merely rolled her eyes and claimed to need to check some stock or soemthing.

Ace pulled out a couple other pieces from where they hung and presented them to Taylor, "These shoud work better for evening wear." he said and waited expectantly with an almost chalenging expression on his face.

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She blushed despite her best intentions and then with a stubborn lift of her chin gave the undergarments a toss into the air. With a whispered incantation, the clothing was swapped on her body from one outfit to the other. Magic, for all of its little idiosyncracies, was certainly useful. She cocked her hips and struck a pose defiantly.

"Voila!" Old he might be, but Taylor had a few tricks up her sleeve.

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Ace gave a slight mock bow. "Touche." He exclaimed with a smile adding, "Thats a nice trick." He quirked an eyebrow and asked "Can you do that ot others cus that I may want to learn."

He looked over the new look and nodded approvingly, "That'll do well for evening wear I think. So do you know you're mans favorite color yet?" If not they could always just go with black but a personal touch never hurt when it came to specialty outfits. Ace pulled a few variations out on what she was trying on that were hidden in the back or front for backless and low cut pieces.

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Taylor shrugged at Ace in a way that suggested the color didn't matter over much to her and she either didn't know, or simply didn't want to touch the idea of picking things out with someone else's preferences in mind. It was weird enough standing there having a conversation in the changing room but her leotard costume provided the same amount of coverage or near enough.

When the offerings got down to less than that, Taylor accepted them with her hands and said, firmly, "Out, Ace. I've heard enough stories about you to know better than that. Send Saundrine in to report back if you want to know what these look like."

Her will might have been strong but there was no way on earth she was going to wear any of this in front of Ace. Taylor was no fool, after all.

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Ace pulled out several pieces in black handing them to Taylor with a smile. "As you wish Taylor." He said as he backed out of the changing booth and beckoned Saundrine over "She preffers a feminine eye, a bit shy I daresay." He explained.

Saundrine laughed a light airy laugh and stepped into the booth closing the door behind her, "For what its worth I agree with you, much better to keep him guessing." She said conspiritorily having clearly misconstrued the reasons for this shopping trip. She smiled up at Taylor and adjusted some of the straps on the most recent ensemble then called out to Ace, "Deffinately worth the wait." then arching a conspiritorial eye at Taylor presented her with a small colection of specialty pieces that, "He'll appreciate."

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"Oh, I'm not -- we're not!" Taylor's words came out tripping over themselves. I'm not coming back here again for certain. How do I get myself into these things? The Danger phenomenon, of course

She settled for declining the items with a shake of her head and handed the woman her selections along with her credit card. Taylor could afford it. Her food bills, after all, were down to nothing now. It might take a few months to pay down but she was not about to let Ace pay for these purchases. It eould just be too weird. Nor was she interested in losing the arguement with him in front of the shop clerk.

"Can you sneak out and wrap these up for me?"

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Saundrine gave her a sly wink, "Got it, don't want to be indebted." She took a few steps toward the door then turned and whisperd, "It could be alot of fun gettingout of that debt though" While she clearly could understand her paying her own way she obviously thought it patently rediculous that taylor was not romantically involved with Ace, and at least a little jelous.

She passed Ace and took his proffered credit card as she went to the front to wrap up the parcels. She well knew he wouldn't notice the differance if she charged his card or not. "I'll just wrap these up then." she said with a smile.

Ace nodded and waited for Taylor to emerge, "Not so terrible is it?" He enquired with an amused glint in his eye.

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