A/N Here they be again. This time in a series of snippets chronicling the progression of their relationship.
I've had a thought about the future, should the sparktastic couple inform me that they're 'gonna elope if I don't wed them properly, dangit'. I'm pretty sure that the anti-miscegenation laws didn't get repealed in Maryland until the federal decree in (I think) 1967. So Penny and Seaweed should be fine, but what about poor Maybelle and Corny? They're not getting any younger. They could get married in Pennsylvania circa 1964ish, I think...hmm.
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The first time they met, Corny Collins was just wrapping up a show. Maybelle recognized his attractive voice from the TV show, and was surprised how puny he was in real life. His pleasure in meeting her seemed genuine, and he smelled of hairspray and male sweat and something vaguely citrusy. She respected him for the lack of a heavy, noxious cloud of cologne almost as much as she did for his total lack of hesitation in shaking her hand.
Corny liked the way her height made him stand up straight, and how white her smile was against her dark skin. Watching her eyes twinkle when she laughed at something he said was almost as pleasant to the eye as her rich, velvety chuckle was to the ear. He wondered what her singing voice was like.
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They saw each other several times over the next few weeks, as preparations were made for the first 'Negro Day'. She was very, very busy with arranging everything, but he somehow found time to get acquainted with something of her tastes; during her first commercial break, when she went off-camera and let the makeup girl powder her, he was standing there bearing that ridiculous face-splitting smile and a glass of sweet tea with just the right amount of sugar. Her mind was stuttering at finding him there, but her hands moved to take the drink without requesting any input from her brain. She took a sip, blinked at finding it exactly right, took a bigger drink and looked at him curiously. "What are you doing here?"
He spread his hands towards the stage. "Watching the show. It's much better in person than on the screen. Your kids are doing great."
"Thank you." She fell silent, sipping her drink and studied him intently as he said something to the cameraman. Then commercial break was ending, and he was there to take the glass from her. He nodded in the direction the makeup girl had gone and winked at her.
"Never let 'em see you sweat, Maybelle." Then he was off somewhere out of the spotlight and they were broadcasting again.
When the show was over he came forward to congratulate them all on a good performance. He clasped Maybelle's hand, and gave high-fives to a few of the more out-going boys.
Afterwards, Maybelle suspected that a few of the more discerning girls were a little sweet on the show host. He didn't notice and she didn't say anything.
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Next time they had to meet for something she tried to return the favor. However he had discovered her preferred beverage, she had to do a little investigative reporting.
It was worth it when he came to meet her in his office and found her with a bottle of cold raspberry lemonade. He was a hard man to surprise, and she enjoyed the challenge.
In later days she discovered that she also enjoyed making him happy. He was one of those people who expressed enthusiasm in fidgeting with small items, bouncing around a bit, and embellishing his words with illustrative gestures. She suspected that if it weren't for societal norms and rules of propriety she would find him to be a tactile and physically affectionate person, and sympathized with him on that score.
Then again, she liked the way he compensated with his voice. It could become caressing at the drop of a hat, and Maybelle was an intimidating woman who didn't get flirted with enough.
Not that he could have articulated that that was why she needed to be flirted with more. If asked, he would have said that there was no such thing as too much appreciation of Maybelle, and he was evening the tally in any way he could.
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NEXT UP: Well, I'm not entirely sure. But I think Maybelle meets Link, Corny meets Inez, the adults bond over music preferences and Velma-hate, and Maybelle gives ol' Rory parenting advice. We'll see if that's how it really goes. .