The Case of the Missing Fedora…

In the Perry Mason novels, especially the early ones, Perry always wears a hat and is forever sailing it toward or perching it on the bust of the famous jurist Blackstone that is prominent in his office. During the first half of the first season of the television show his fedora also figured prominently. But somewhere around mid season it almost completely disappeared. However he did sometimes don a hat in the inclement weather of Denver and Paris in the television movies… Why? This is what I think…

Disclaimer: I don't own them. I am just allowing them to have a little fun.

Fair Warning... there will be spice in a later chapter

Denver, December 24, 1989

Perry Mason's eyebrows furrowed over his coffee cup at the loud knock on the apartment door. A growl sprang from deep in his throat at the offending sound.

"Stop that. It's your fault Ken couldn't stop by last night so be nice." Della Street wrapped her arms around the neck of her lover and partner for over forty years as she nuzzled his temple.

"Don't try to play nice after you rejected my advances this morning!" He let out a harrumph… "Besides, I was on the planning committee for the University faculty party. We couldn't leave until the end."

"And who actually did the planning?" Della arched a perfectly sculpted eyebrow. "You know it wasn't that late…" she replied as she pulled away from him to head toward the door. "But no… you had to go home and go to bed… and announce it to anyone who would listen!"

He grabbed her just before she left his reach and pulled her back in to the circle of his arms. "And who requested that the band play 'that' song, hmmm?" His fingers toyed with the sash of her red satin robe as his nose nuzzled just beneath her breast, his rich baritone humming the opening bars of 'Let's Fall in Love'.

"I plead the fifth," Della responded, her eyes glittering with amusement. "Coming, Ken!" she called as the loud knock sounded again.

"I never said I was going to bed to sleep!" Perry called after her, enjoying the red flush that touched her cheeks as she shushed him before welcoming their young associate in.

"Good morning! Merry Christmas Eve!" Ken called as he sat down the bag he was carrying to shrug out of his heavy winter coat. Perry couldn't help but chuckle at the look on the younger man's face when he realized that his host and hostess were still in their nightwear.

Ken Malansky was more than slightly discomfited. "I'm sorry…" he stammered, dropping his coat over a chair. "I know it's early…" Even though Ken knew that Perry and Della were in fact a couple outside of the office as well he had rarely seen them in as intimate a setting as this.

"Nonsense. You have a plane to catch." Della deftly maneuvered Ken into the kitchen and placed a piping hot cup of coffee on the table in front of him.

"How are you feeling this morning, Perry?" Ken asked solicitously. "You were so anxious to get some rest last night I was afraid you were coming down with something."

"I feel wonderful!" Perry declared with a mischievous smile. "That extra time in bed was just the ticket!" He didn't even flinch when he felt Della's slipper clad foot connect with his shin, just a little too hard to be mistaken for a 'friendly' kick.

After half an hour of general conversation they retired to the more comfortable sitting area. Perry settled into his favorite chair while Della pulled Ken's gift from beneath their tree, and Ken retrieved his bag by the entrance.

The beautiful and extravagant Hermes scarf that was Della's gift from Ken brought tears to her eyes and effusive thanks to her lips. Ken dipped his head in embarrassment from her praise as he opened the expensive monogrammed leather briefcase from the couple who had become like second parents to him.

And then it was Perry's turn.

The attorney surveyed the square box on the table in front of him with undisguised interest, his eyes twinkling like a child's in anticipation.

"I keep telling you he really is just a little boy at heart," Della chuckled to Ken as Perry lifted the top off of the box and gasped, then just stared silently.

"I uh… Della had some old pictures out one day and I was looking at them and… well, I noticed that early on you had one of these on in several pictures and then you didn't anymore and… It looked really cool on you so with the weather here in Denver and all… I hope you like it…" Ken's voice trailed off as he gestured at the box.

Perry pulled the solid black fedora out of the hat box and surveyed it from all sides, surprise showing in his eyes and a broad smile on his face. "It's… great, Ken. Just the perfect thing for Denver winters."

"Try it on." Ken urged.

Perry had yet to look at his lover since opening the gift and resisted doing so now; but he definitely heard her low smoky voice agreeing. "Yes, Counselor… do try it on…"

"Did you know about this?" Finally intense blue met enigmatic hazel.

"To quote a wise man, I admit nothing…" Della stood before him and made a slight adjustment to the hat he had just placed on his head… "Very handsome, Counselor."

"It looks great on you Perry," Ken enthused. "Why did you stop wearing one?"

"Why indeed?" Perry Mason muttered with an arched eyebrow, his gaze firmly locked with Della Street's.