Having a Ball New Year 1995-1996 by Robansuefarm

Republisher’s Note: I wrote and published this last year, but it’s a fun one to revisit. I’m still really pleased with it. I made a couple small edits, for clairty.

Author’s Note: This isn’t really part of my challenge for writing fanfic that I’m supposed to be working on. It just came to me as I was prepping the New Year’s 1995-1996 post. I had misremembered and thought Michelle’s Madonna costume was from Halloween and here it is at New Year’s, but I think it was such a defining moment of Rebecca Budig’s version of Michelle that I think it was worthy of comment and this story. This is set during the 1995-1996 Masquerade Ball that was held at Springfield’s Lakeland Country Club. I’m also not sure if the costumes for Danny and Pilar really fit, but I wasn’t sure what else would fit better and still work in conjunction of the storyline I had in mind and what other people were wearing. Everyone else’s costumes mentioned were what they wore on screen.

Having a Ball by Robansuefarm

Michelle had temporarily lost Bill. He was wearing a southern Civil War solider’s uniform. It didn’t really fit with her Madonna costume. Most of the other costumes that night were in pairs. Blake and Ross as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Dinah and Roger as Cleopatra and Caesar, Hart and Bridget as Great Gatsby and Daisy, Lucy and Alan-Michael as Zorro and a Spanish senorita and Fletch and Holly as King Henry the 8th and which ever one of his wives whose head he hadn’t chopped off yet. Of course it wasn’t like Bill and her were a REAL couple they were just friends. She was pleased she had so easily won the argument with her father to go as Madonna. Ed had bought her a sweet little Betsy Ross costume to go with his George Washington costume and Rick’s Paul Revere costume. It was a much better match for Abby. After all Abby was still sweet and innocent and Michelle, having spent a couple of months at a boarding school in Switzerland, saw herself as sophisticated and a woman of the world.

Michelle walked along swaying her hips much more than usual and tossing her head to flip the ponytail. Her head was full of images of how other people must be seeing her now, grown up, sexy and so she wasn’t watching where she was going and so came around a corner to quickly and bumped into a tall, dark, handsome stranger. He was dressed in a period suit from the early 1800s with a large stiff collar, a cravat, a cut away coat, vest, and tight trousers. Michelle discovered the problem with wearing her Madonna costume with the large bullet bra was it was particularly embarrassing to literally run into people as the two peaks drove into his chest. The stranger put out his hand to help steady her. She blushed and looked down.Rebecca's Michelle Defining Moment

“Are you OK, Miss…..?” the stranger said, his dark curls encircling his face that was half covered by a Lone Ranger style mask decorated to match his costume.

“Madonna! I knew my father wouldn’t recognize the costume, but someone as young as you ought to recognize her. Don’t you know anything about music?”

A smirk pulled the stranger’s lips. “I know…a little. More than enough to recognize a Material Girl.”

“I know, right? My dad, he’s George Washington over there, had no idea, my brother Rick, he’s Paul Revere, had to tell him. He wanted me to wear that little Miss Betsy Ross my friend Abby is wearing, that’s her beside Rick.” Michelle tossed her ponytail over to the left. “That SO wouldn’t be me. You can see that, can’t you?” Michelle tossed him what she thought of as her seductive look. “Just who are YOU?”

The stranger paused, put all his weight on one leg and tapped the other leg, rising up a couple of inches while doing a stiff half bow with a nod, like in a period movie. “Fitzwilliam Darcy, at your service. I’m here with my sister, Elizabeth Bennett for tonight.” He pointed to her a girl talking animatedly to some girls Michelle didn’t know. She was wearing her hair up in curls and wearing a high waisted dress from a Jane Austen novel or the Colin Firth movie. Michelle was very familiar with both.

“Well, if they make a sequel Colin Firth better look out because you could replace him….and since Mr. Darcy can’t dance with Miss Bennett at the Country… Club Ball, how about you dance with me.” Michelle was pleased with her sophisticated woman, flirtation. Just like someone in a movie would say.

Mr. Darcy slowly ran his eyes over her from head to foot and then came back to her eyes and stared into their depths for what seemed like a long time. “If there wasn’t already an age inappropriate Rhett Butler here, I’d steal one of his lines.”Scarlett and Rhett

Michelle felt something catch in her stomach and she nervously found herself jabbering on. “That’s my cousin Matt and my mom’s best friend Vanessa, is his wife and Scarlett. What do you mean age inappropriate?”

“No offense to your mother or her friend, but Rhett is supposed to be older than Scarlett by quite a deal and he looks half her age. And Scarlett couldn’t have been more than 24 or so when she wore that dress, I think your Vanessa looks about twice that easy.”

Michelle sputtered a response. “That’s…”

“An unfair observation? An unpalatable truth? Isn’t that what proud Mr. Darcy is supposed to say about people? And what do you know about age anyway. I bet you’re about my baby sister’s age about 16. Am I right?”

Michelle feel into silence fed by confusion.Michelle and Bill at the Ball 1995

“As I was saying, IF there wasn’t another Rhett Butler in the room, I’d say ‘No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.’ And I know how.”

Darcy leaned closer as if he was about to kiss her, but instead he moved slightly to whisper in her ear instead. “But it’s just as well, since you aren’t quite ready. You may think you’re ready to be picked off the tree, but you’re not quite ripe yet.” He straightened. “Not that there isn’t a lot of promise there. There is. Lots of promise. If someone looks close they can see the true gold that is there underneath all this unnecessary gilding.” He gestured toward her costume head to foot.  “A few years to grow up and I think you’ll see just how unnecessary all this….effort…is. Anyone worth getting your kisses or your respect won’t need all this gilt to see the gold, it will just make it harder to spot, and anyone who does need the gilt to see you, isn’t worth your time, respect….. or kisses.”

Darcy shot her another smile. “I hope, Miss Madonna, I run into you in another few years and you’ve grown up a little bit more….and that you’re dressing like you respect yourself.”

Darcy favored her with another bow and then strode off towards his sister.

For moment Michelle felt frozen in a bubble in time. His words pulled at her mind, he called to something deep in her soul (maybe to the Michelle she had once been and the Michelle she would be in again in a few years). But then her new attitude pushed it and all her Michelle-ness down inside her, after all she was a sophisticated woman now and she didn’t need this Darcy wannabees approval. She stalked off to see if she could find Bill.

Meanwhile, Danny Santos walked over to his sister Pilar. She was home from boarding school and had begged her college student big brother to bring her. Pilar’s first boarding school had been in Chicago and just last year she had her Quinceañera with a group of girls she knew from Chicago and when they found out that Lakeland Country Club was having a masquerade ball for New Year’s they decided it was worth a limo trip. Mama hadn’t let her come without an in the know escort so if Danny hadn’t come Pilar wouldn’t be able to either.

Danny smiled at Pilar’s friends, but tuned out their chatter as he remembered the Madonna girl. He really hoped she’d be OK. He glanced over to the man in the George Washington costume and hoped he’d be able to keep her safe, he thought she’d have a rough couple of years, but he hadn’t been lying. There was real gold there. He had seen it.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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