Synopsis: Tiana gets a new look. One shot.
Fandom: The Princess and the Frog
Pairing: Tiana/Naveen, post-movie.
Author's Note: First off, I haven't seen the film, which won't be released in the UK until 5 February 2010. I fell in love with the film instantly! However, I've enjoyed watching clips, trailers, and YouTube featurettes, as well as reading fan fiction. I wrote this fic several weeks ago and have just decided it ready for posting. I was inspired to write this after seeing a still of how Tiana dressed during Almost There as well as after watching a documentary on Josephine Baker recently. I thought Tiana and Baker would be interesting material for a fic. The title comes from a Cole Porter song written in 1928—a bit later than when the film is set, but at least it's in the same decade. I'm aware that Naveen's ethnicity is purposefully ambiguous. I thought it would be appropriate for Maldonia to be an island nation, as some fans have written. That said, I thought Maldonia might be an island similar to the Canary Islands (specifically Tenerife), which are situated between Spain and Morocco (in Africa). These islands look like gorgeous, sunny paradises, which I imagine Maldonia to be as such.
Disclaimer: I own nothing (except original characters) – Disney does.
One lazy Sunday morning, Tiana padded around the converted loft on the upper level of Tiana's Palace, using her sole day off to clean, add any last-minute changes to the menu, and possibly catch up on some reading. She went in search of a cookbook she had been browsing through the night before in the bedroom she shared with Naveen, who was still sound asleep at quarter past ten. "That man could sleep through a war," she thought. The couple had his and hers night tables on their respective sides of the bed. The cookbook was not on Tiana's table, so she went around to Naveen's side of the bed. The usual mess of jazz sheet music and letters from her Maldonian in-laws (unopened, of course) lay scattered on the small table top.
Just as Tiana was about to go into the living room, a corner of a paper underneath a music sheet caught her eye. She gingerly pulled the paper free and discovered a copy of a photograph, likely torn from a magazine, of a statuesque Black woman. The caption beneath read Josephine Baker – The Black Venus. The woman's head was turned away from the camera to reveal—Good Lord, was she naked? She was! In the upper hand corner she saw "Tiana's twin?" scrawled in her husband's hand. No wonder Naveen had been so captivated, she thought with a smirk. Aside from the woman's nudity, her hair captured Tiana's attention: the style was cropped close to the scalp and slicked back with pomade, with two pin-points curled under each ear. Tiana had seen women dare to wear these styles before; her mother disdainfully called them "Flappers." She absent mindedly ran a hand through her tangled curls and had an irresistible idea. After replacing the photo in its original location, she quickly scribbled a note to Naveen—something vague like "Out with Lotte," despite it being a Sunday—and left it on the lampshade on his night table. Tiana quietly grabbed her coat and purse and slipped out the door.
"Honey, you sure about this?" Charlotte LaBouff regarded her best friend, who had rushed in fifteen minutes prior with a request for the buxom blonde to "bob" her hair. It was highly unusual for the hard-working and determined young woman to take an interest in fashion.
"I mean, I've never cut hair before. Are you sure this can't wait until tomorrow?" she asked anxiously.
Tiana smiled. "I trust you completely. After all, how hard can it be to cut hair?"
The two sat in Lotte's overly pink bedroom. Tiana sat down at the vanity table and watched Lotte pull a small pair of gleaming silver scissors from one of the table's top drawers. Tiana took a wet rag sitting in a bowl of water and doused her hair as thoroughly as possible.
"Oh, I almost forgot," exclaimed Lotte and grabbed a pink satin ribbon from her jewellery box.
Lotte gathered up the mass of dark curls and, tying a knot as around close to the back of Tiana's head as possible, leveled the scissors at a straight angle. She hesitated and caught Tiana's eye in the mirror.
"You're—" she began.
"Yes, let's get to it," replied Tiana, closing her eyes.
Both women took a deep breath simultaneously.
Tiana opened one eye. "Lotte! Open your eyes, girl!"
"Oh, right. Y'all makin' me nervous," she stammered.
"Just do it," Tiana encouraged. "On three…two…one."
At "one," Tiana closed her eyes tight and heard the snip of her friend's scissors. Opening one eye, Tiana grinned, then opened the other.
"You…it's…" began Lotte, nervously eyeing the back of Tiana's head.
"Fantastic!" finished Tiana.
The blonde handed her a mirror and, turning around to reflect the back of her head, Tiana admired her friend's handiwork. Lotte picked up the fallen clump of Tiana's hair and threw it in a waste bin next to the vanity.
"Not bad," she mused. Her curls still stuck out at odd angles.
"Now we need some pomade," said Lotte enthusiastically.
She unscrewed the lid on the jar of hair pomade and dipped two fingers into the opaque goop.
"How much d'you need?" she asked.
"Just enough to keep things smooth," replied Tiana.
A few minutes later, her unruly curls were tamed and looked slick as oil. Two points of hair curled under each ear, just like Josephine Baker wore her hair. Both women smiled at Tiana's new look.
"You look swell!" Lotte cried. "Wait!" she said suddenly and dashed to the armoire across the room.
"You need a cloche. They're all the rage in France!"
The blonde presented Tiana with a cerise bell-shaped hat.
"Go on, try it on!" she said, placing the hat on Tiana's head before she could object. Tiana turned her head left and right—she did look good.
"D'you think I could borrow this?" she asked, turning to her friend.
"Oh, keep it! I insist. I have so many," answered Lotte. "And, well, since you have the hat, you might as well have the dress."
Tiana began to shake her head in protest as Lotte pulled the dress from her armoire. She pulled Tiana to her feet and placed the dress in front of Tiana, the hanger resting under her chin.
"Try it on!" compelled Lotte, pressing the dress into her friends hands and skipping out the door, closing it behind her.
"You have to let me see!" called Lotte through the door.
"Al-alright. Let me just slip this on," Tiana called back.
She gave the dress a once over: a sheer tulle raspberry tunic, beaded with thousands of tiny sequins and beads, with deep pink silk underneath. The dress was meant to be worn loosely, so size was not an issue. She had seen fashionable women wearing this style of dress at the restaurant, but never contemplated wearing one herself. However, the drastic way her life had changed since meeting Naveen made her realise a little change was more than good for her. She gently stepped into the dress and walked over to open the door. Lotte, who had been examining her nails, looked up and squealed with glee.
"Well, look at you, darlin'!" she cooed. Her eyes travelled down to Tiana's shoes, worn and faded from use. "Oh, we can fix that, easy."
She went to wardrobe and pulled out a pair of gold satin dancing shoes. "Daddy bought me these a few years ago and I don't think I've ever worn them," mused Lotte, ushering Tiana back into the room and motioning her to take a seat on the side of the bed. Tiana held the shoes in her hands. She certainly didn't own shoes as nice as this pair. Since marrying Naveen, her wardrobe had increased in size, but she still preferred practical clothing to ornate ball gowns. She sighed and replaced her beat up shoes with the satin pair. Lotte pulled Tiana to her feet and directed her towards the mirror. The two surveyed Tiana in the mirror.
"I really can't thank you enough, Lotte," said Tiana. "Are you sure you really want me to—"
Lotte held up a perfectly manicured hand.
"Say no more," she said. "You look like a bonafide princess! 'Course, you did!"
Tiana pulled on the same coat she had arrived in and hugged her dearest and oldest friend.
"Your prince charming's out there," said Tiana.
"Oh, don't I know it. Now go on, your prince is waitin'!"
Tiana climbed the stairs to the loft and could hear a jazz record blaring through the door.
"Typical," she thought, rolling her eyes.
She turned the doorknob and entered the living room, where she found Naveen—unsurprisingly, still in his pajamas—strumming on his ukulele and dancing along to one of the jazz records he brought from Maldonia, cranked as loud as possible on the Victrola gramophone. She caught him mid-Charleston, beaming at the sight of her.
"Ah, there is my princess!" he cried. He walked over to the gramophone and turned the volume down slightly, then placed the ukulele.
"I found your note and—" Tiana whipped off the hat to reveal her new hair 'do. He stared at her open-mouthed.
"It'll always grow back if you don't like it," she stammered, suddenly feeling extremely foolish and self-conscious.
"And what other surprises do you have for me?" asked Naveen, eyeing the bright fabric peeking out of her coat. She had left her coat unbuttoned and slowly shrugged it off her shoulders.
Naveen grinned. "It is a very nice dress," he said, "But I prefer to see you out of it," he purred. He shut off the gramophone.
"We can dance later. I have a better idea," he said, grabbing the hem of the dress and pulling it over her head.
Tiana giggled as he pulled her to their bedroom. The expensive dress crumpled on the floor next to the old coat, creating an odd contrast, much like the prince and former waitress. Half an hour later, still lost in the thrill and while aftermath of orgasm lingered, the couple languished in bed. Naveen pulled the picture of Josephine Baker from underneath the pile of sheet music and studied the image. Tiana raised her head from his chest and held the picture next to her face.
"What d'you think? Twins?" she asked, smiling.
Naveen tossed the picture aside, where it fell to the floor.
"Incomparable, naturally," he responded.
He glimpsed her naked form again then ran a hand over her hair, still short but decidedly less smooth than earlier.
"Let's misbehave," he whispered.
"Always," she replied.