shattered_fics: (chris)
[personal profile] shattered_fics
Title: Custom Masques
Rating: PG
Pairing/Character(s): Benedict Cumberbatch/OFC feature Tom Hiddleson
Summary: Tom decides to take Benedict out for an occasion.
Warnings: minimal cursing
Length: Long
Word Count: 4,047
Chapter #: (1/1)
WIP or Complete: Complete
Author's Note: First Benedict Cumberbatch story, kinda decided to add Tom Hiddleson last minute. Mostly just trying to flush out their voices.

Benedict stood in the corner watching the room with indifference. He only came because Tom dragged him, and there Tom was standing in the middle of the room surrounded by women who beat their fans furiously against their flushed faces. He wasn't being too subtle, he was wearing a glaring green Loki mask. Not the traditional one, no Tom had to custom design it, Ben had to sit in on some of those sessions. He got that his friend liked to show off and gain attention but this was a bit much. The green half face mask held the two major Loki styles, a semi elongated nose and the square shape. With the slight twist of the golden horns curling around the mask it wasn't hard to guess what he was supposed to be. It didn't help either that the mask was unnaturally short.

Pulling at his own mask, Ben tried to cover himself more. He didn't want to be recognized, all the more reason for his almost full masque. It concealed everything that he knew would stand out, his cheekbones, long face and his hair. Still mostly black but red peaks through when a certain light hits it. Luckily it's not overly bright in the ballroom, which works in his favor. The Roman Warrior mask isn't all too common, but it was mostly face and the crown was tall. It was perfect for him, the ultimate identity concealer in the ball.

The night was going slow by the time Tom was able to dislodge the flock of women that had gathered around him and sauntered up to Benedict with two champagne glasses in his hand. Handing one to his friend he quickly pulled up his mask to reveal a Loki-like smirk. His face was already flushed with alcohol and his hair mused from the constant removal of his mask.

“Why aren't you enjoying yourself Benny boy?” Tom smiled downing his flute.

“Would you be quiet?” Benedict growled, not that it would do any good—Tom was beyond caring if he wanted to be anti-social today.

“You need to get out in the crowd! Meet some ladies, enjoy yourself. I'm tired of watching you moping here in the corner.” Tom took the bottom of Benedict's flute and brought it up to his friends lips for him to drink. “It's called the ice breaker for a reason mate. Drink up, pick some girl with an interesting mask and she'll never know it's you!”

“I have a recognizable voice Tom,” Benedict flustered.

Tom began to giggle and took Ben's drink from him, quickly tossing it down his own throat. Frowning down at his friend Benedict shrugged “You want to seen, I'd rather not. If you didn't notice from the constant protests I'd rather not be here.”

“Oh I noticed,” Tom gave the two flutes to a passing server and took his friend by the arm and lead him to the balcony doors. “I dragged you out for a reason mate. I'm tried of just seeing you stuck in your apartment, you need to be apart of some social scene even if you are masked.”

“Fine,” Benedict huffed as he started fiddling with his hands.

“Stop being so anxious, it's embarrassing sometimes. You're a bloody celebrity ya know!” Tom snapped, pulling his mask down he walked away.

Normally Benedict wouldn't take that but he knew that Tom was basically three sheets to the wind and would get aggressive and pull those stunts when he was drunk. Slowly he sauntered back towards the dance floor. Maybe one dance, he'd sweep the woman off her feet, waltz her around Tom and his woman of the minute, spin the girl on her way and hide himself on the balcony watching over London the rest of the night. The perfect plan for the amount of anti-social that he was feeling at the moment.

The band started up a new tune, a quick waltz, Ben rushed into the throng of people and grabbed the nearest girl who didn't have a partner. She was a short girl, with blonde curly hair, a small masque so her dull brown eyes showed through the white. Her dress was old fashioned he could feel the whale bone corset under her top and could barely wrap his hand around her waist from the flair of her skirt. It was a dress straight out of a regency fantasy, tight high-cut top, massive skirt in alternating shades of pink. The effect was nauseating and Benedict did everything he could not to look at the dress. He looked to the left of the girl, he could see her trying to grab his attention, but his mind was else where in trying to stop at the right moment and run quickly outside.

He learned throughout his career to see through things and that's what he was doing to this poor girl. The dance moves came natural to him, the fluidity, the quick turns and swirling. He twirled his partner a few times, eliciting a giggle from her. Inwardly he cringed. Her smile showed all her teeth as she tries to drawn him into the fantasy she has no doubt created in her mind. Benedict and his partner were one twirl away from Tom when he faltered in his steps. His partner was suddenly trying to lead and he bumped into the couple next to them. His concentration was broken leading his eyes to wander, he spun around in a sea of pinks and periwinkle blues. He couldn't tell which way he was turning and which way he wanted to go.

The music stopped and he stood still standing beside his partner, both breathing heavily. Her grin running from ear to ear. Benedict pulled down his tux jacket with as much composure as his shaking hands could allow. That was not what he wanted, his mind was still reeling from the sudden turn of the dance. His partner hung on his arm and he could feel her clammy fingers twine with his. She lead him away towards the refreshment table, her grip steel around his hand. The colors are just starting to sort themselves out in his eyes as he looks up seeing a mass of purple in the sea of bright colors. His eyes instantly focus in on the dark colors.

Benedict blinked quickly as the mask comes into focus; a dual purple toned luna mask. Dark leading into light with the outline of the mask in silk. It's a unique version of the mask, it's not a half side mask, but an eye mask. He studied it carefully, contrasting swirls are all over the mask leading into a flower on the side in purple, sprouting feathers. Taking a deep breath he smiled and adjusted. The room around him was back to normal. His random partner was still holding his hand in a vice-like grip, he frowned down at their intertwined hands.

“Drink?” He whipped his head around and stared at the purple girl. “You look like you could use it.”

“Thanks,” Benedict smiled weakly at her taking the cup of punch from her.

“Pleasure,” Her smile showed from beneath the mask.

Slowly he studied her, brownish red hair was piled atop her head as curls fell down on the sides of her mask. Purple eye shadow peaked out from the eye holes and her lips had a small amount of purple on them. He was entranced. Suddenly she was pulled away, and he watched her go spinning off. Her dress was empire waistline and was pure silk. The waist flared out with a petticoat peaking out from the bottom in a lilac color. He heard her laugh in the arms of her partner, it wasn't the airy laugh of the girl beside him it was true.

“Let's go stud!” The girl beside him pulled him back to the floor with a champagne glass still in her hand. He twirled her around to try to catch another glimpse of the Purple Lady. It was like she didn't exist, she simply vanished into the crowd.

The slow music allowed his mind to calm, he wouldn't allow himself to be distracted again. The girl in purple had a strange calming effect on him, and he was sure it just wasn't the color. As he performed the simple teenage back and forth dance with his partner he scanned the crowd. He caught a glimpse of purple reflected off the mirrors in the back of the room but in a fleeting moment is was gone. Closing his eyes he tried to calm his thumping heart, his anxiety was building and he realized he had to get away from his dance partner. The song was monotonous repeating the refrain over and over again, he didn't think it would end. When it did he quickly dislodged himself from the girl, picking her hand off his waist and holding it below his lips like a gentleman.

“Thank you for the dances,” He didn't even feign kissing her hand before dropping it and quickly turning on his heel.

“Wait!” The girl squeaked, but Benedict quickly concealed himself in the crowd and made his way back to his original roosting spot by the balcony doors.

He scanned the room trying to pick out the purple in the mass of pastels. He couldn't see her, his heart jumped into his throat. Was that just something that his mind made up? Part of his anxiety attack, a person that he wanted to see? Someone who could take him away? No, that drink was real, he could feel his partners hand tighten when he started to talk to her—that wasn't it. Ben couldn't
stand it anymore, he had to grab Tom and get out of here if he was gonna start hallucinating. Scanning the crowd he looked for the golden horns of Tom's mask. He was in the back of the room, talking with someone, his next dance partner no doubt. Tom moved slightly, Ben caught a quick flash of a purple cap sleeve. He reeled, willing Tom to move out of the way, she couldn't be the only one wearing purple. Quickly turning around Tom slipped his arm around the Purple Lady, Ben felt like he got hit in the chest. “No” quietly escaped his lips as he closed his eyes. How was Tom to know? Was all he could rationalize, he would dance with any girl around just to be nice. Maybe it was time to just leave himself.

“Not enjoying your date?” A light voice said beside him as he rubbed his eyes through his mask.

“I came here alone actually,” Benedict laughed as he brushed his eyes and looked down at his new companion. He was greeted with the purple luna mask he had to look twice to make sure he wasn't projecting. “What about you? No dance partners?” He flippantly waved his hand in the general direction that his friend was in.

“My card is clear for the night,” She shrugged.

“But I --” He made a weak gesture towards Tom again, but his hand fell to his side. Cocking his head he frowned down at her.

“What's that look for?” She was taken aback but his scrutinizing gaze, like he could see through her for what she was and what she was doing.

“I saw you--”

“Yes, I saw you too,” Shaking her head she started to turn away “Obviously, this isn't going to go anywhere but circles.”

“No,” Ben shot out his hand and grabbed her arm gently “I'm just, a little flustered. Please,”

“Okay,” Cracking a smile she reached for Benedict's hand that rested uselessly at his side “Do you want to get some fresh air?”

“More than anything,” As it left his mouth he realized it was a stupid thing to say, but her grin got bigger as she pulled him along towards the balcony. Sliding between the curtains they escaped into the London night air. Slowly she dropped his hand as she walked toward the stone railing. He watched her, he could see that part of her dress consisted of whale bone as her body wanted to move the opposite direction that she wanted. Her shoulders twitched with the sudden breeze, she was relaxing before his eyes and he couldn't help but smile.

“What's your name?” He called out to her as he took a few steps forward. She laughed.

“I suppose it's fitting since I know yours,” Turning around she leaned against the stone.

Benedict froze, fuck, was running through his head over and over again. He knew it--he would stand out too much. Why else would his first partner want to stick with him the right of the night? She knew, the Purple Lady also knew. He couldn't hide from anything, swallowing became hard as his throat was drying up. The anxiety was building up again as he walked towards her, he tried to casually lean next to her but he couldn't stop jiggling his hands.

“It's Waverly,” She answered leaning towards him, he could see her hazel eyes clearly even with the minimal light. “And yours,” Reaching out to still his hands she smiled at him “is Ben,”

Benedict closed his eyes slowly, dammit. It was bound to happen really, especially if she was close to Tom. The little shit loved to put him in awkward situations. Just because he knew how to handle all of them didn't mean that Ben was in the same boat. Swallowing “And how do you know that?”

“Why your friend told me,”


“Tom—yeah Tom he kinda cornered me and wanted me to come seek you out,” Waverly turned around and braced her arms on the wall and tried to push herself up. Struggling with her tight skirt she laughed “Blast, help me up will you?" Benedict lifted her effortlessly and placed her on the rail. “He said something along the lines of: I saw you interact with him, he could use that. Thanks.”

“That's not embarrassing at all,” Ben muttered as his hands lingered around her waist. “You didn't have to do what he asked.”

“Oh I didn't mind,” She grabbed one of his hands and held is lightly in hers. “I saw how nervous you were at the refreshment table. I was worried, you looked like you were about to pass out.”

“Was about two second from it actually,” Leaning more comfortably against the rail he laughed quietly. “If you hadn't caught my attention I would've face planted into the table.”

“Well I'm glad I could help,” Grinning she looked back towards the ballroom. “Did you get much dancing in before I rescued you?”

“Barely any,” He shrugged “Once you've had to do it over and over again it loses it's luster and appeal.”

“Oh classically trained?”

“In a way,” Ben worried his lip turning away from her slightly.

“Care to show me your moves?” Waverly held out her hand. “I can assure you I'm fairly adept at a standard waltz.”

“Classically trained?” Benedict pulled her down, she stumbled and he caught her quickly. He could feel her shallow breaths on his throat. Pulling her up he held her close.

“No,” She breathed “Too many Fred Astaire movies when I was growing up actually.”

They could just make out the music from the band through the thick curtains and the London nightlife. Benedict took the lead, humming the tune in her hear. He could feel her shiver, but he couldn't tell if it was from the chilled night air or from being close to him. He hoped it was the later. He dipped her, his face hung over hers. Waverly lowered her hand to grip at his lapels, they couldn't break eye contact with either other. All he had to do was lower his head a little more and he could ghost his lips over hers. Her eyes were relaxing as she pulled her self up a little. Pulling her into a standing position he waltzed her around the balcony.

“Show me who you are,” He whispered in her ear.

“That would ruin the masquerade,” Waverly could feel Ben talking she could just stand there all night leaning against his chest.

“I don't care,” Benedict cupped her face bringing her up to his eye level. “Please.”

“It won't change anything,” Her face flushed as her heart started to race.

“I just want to see the lovely lady who was able to ground me,” He rumbled.

“Smooth,” Giggling she hid her face in his chest. “One condition: I get to see your face.”

Throat constricting all Benedict would do was nod. It was to be expected, that was what a masquerade dance was all about. If you wanted to find out who someone was, you had to do the same. Holding her lightly she began to remove pins from her hair that held her mask ribbons in place. Waverly was moving painstakingly slow, it took all of Ben's energy not to reach up and help her remove her masque. The purple ribbons fell to the side, only Waverly's hand held it in place. Running his hands down her arms he gripped the hand that hung loosely at her side.

Waverly removed it so quickly that Benedict had to take a moment to step back from her. Her eyes were downcast as her red-brown hair cascaded down around her. He could see the purple eye shadow took over most of her eyes, and there was a bare hint of eyeliner. Her hair still framed her face as she tried to look up at him. He smiled, he lightly gripped her chin and brought her face up. She smiled and blushed.

“Hello,” She shrugged tucking her hair behind her ear.

“Hello. I suppose it's my turn.” Biting her lip she nodded this time. “Here it goes,” Reaching up to his masque ties, Big Ben started to strike one o'clock. He noticed Waverly flinched as she ran toward the balcony her masque dangling from her hand. The chime was loud echoing in his ears, he couldn't hear himself think. Running up to him she shook her head quickly.

“I have to leave,” She pressed her hand to his chest, turning on her heel she ran from the balcony and back into the ballroom.

“Waverly wait!” Ben ripped his mask off and ran after her. The last dance was taking place as couples danced in fours and groups. Multiple people had their masques off already. “WAVERLY!” He screamed through the crowd but the celebrating drowned out his voice.

Tom frowned over his menu, Benedict's head was laying on the table. He was really just acting like a child and it was getting on his last nerve. It had been almost a week since the masquerade ball and it took all of his convincing just to get him out. How else was he going to find this mysterious lady if he didn't actually venture out of his house?

“You're embarrassing me,” Tom sighed.

“And I'm not caring,” Ben mumbled into the table. “I didn't want to come out anyways.”

“How else are you going to find her?” Came his sing-song answer.

“I've resigned myself that I won't.”

“Then get your bloody head off the table.”

“Is your friend alright?” The waitress walked up to the table and poured them water.

Benedict could see the legs of their waitress. It really was a futile attempt by Tom to cheer him up. He knew it was stupid to be this depressed over a little blip in his life, but apart of him just didn't want to let it go. He couldn't. Nor could he really bother to raise his head off of his menu. Tom could order for him.

“Don't mind him, he's just wallowing in self sorrow,” Tom kicked Ben under the table who didn't even flinch.

“Wouldn't be the first in here,” She laughed shallowly. Benedict twitched, his mind was working over time. “Well, you've been sitting here a while. I'm your waitress Waverly--”

Benedict sat up suddenly, his arms flailing as he tries to look at their waitress. In the process, before even getting a good look at her, he backhanded the water pitcher dumping it on the waitress as the glass shatters on the floor. Before he says anything he looks up quickly, her hair is curtaining her face but he knows it's her. The same hair color and her nails still have purple polish on them.

“Benedict!” Tom says exasperates. Ben sends a fleeting glance at his friend as he gets up with a napkin in hand.

“Waverly,” He all but groans out.

Awoken from the shock, Waverly looks up at the customer. She couldn't believe her luck her first table of the day and it's a nutter with his friend. Uselessly she sloshes the water off of her slacks. Trying to hide the look of hatred she glances at the man. His curling black hair is messy like he hasn't bothered to even comb it, but his eyes are wide and alluring. Shaken from her reserve she takes the napkin that's hanging uselessly from his hand.

“Thanks,” She says quietly trying to absorb some of the water from her shirt.

“Waverly,” Benedict say's quietly, he doesn't know how many times he's said that name to himself over the last week.

“Yes Sir,” Waverly couldn't help but let out a sigh, you always had to be nice to the customer but sometimes you couldn't help but be exasperated. Especially when the first thing that happens to you in the day is a shower.

“It's me,” He said weakly.

“I'm sorry?” For the first time she really looked at him, not just a cursory glance. She couldn't place him but he surely was familiar. He knew her, or he thought he did, the way he was acting towards her. She sent a fleeting glance at his friend, but he looked just as confused as she felt.


“I'm sorry I don't---oh the actor?” She added helpfully, of course he was on the telly, but she had never seen him anywhere else.

“Yes—no, I mean—The Masquerade Ball!” He blurted. He watched her closely as a he felt her steady gaze on him. He had her attention, but she never saw him, how could he make her realize? It was quiet his anxiety was swirling around in him. It was her, of course it was her! Her hazel eyes stared into his, he slowly reached his hand up. All he wanted to do was cup her face in his hands he didn't want to scare her away.

“The Roman soldier!” recognition dawned on her face as her smile grew. “I—I never thought I'd see you again.”

“I tried to run after you,” Benedict couldn't help it, he ran his fingers through her hair pushing it back from her face and tucking it behind her ear. “You sprinted so quickly away.”

“Had a little Cinderella moment,” Waverly blushed turning her face away from Ben.

“This is the girl?” Tom interjected pushing himself out of his chair.


“The girl who I've been hearing endlessly about? The one who I basically set you up with?” Tom smirked.

“Tom,” Ben pulled Waverly close to him and glared over her at Tom.

“Did,” Waverly laughed turning to look at Tom “You're the guy in the Loki mask I take it? Yes I do recognize you. Subtle Sir.”

“My specialty” Tom bowed as Ben rolled his eyes. Smiling he bowed again “I'll just be over at the bar shall I?”

Ben watched him go, he was really grateful to have Tom as a friend. He pushed him to do things that he wasn't really comfortable with, it always worked out in his favor which lead to a lot of smug 'I told you so's' from Tom. He didn't care about the one he was gonna get later tonight, or when ever he saw Tom next. He smiled down at Waverly who was still trying to get the water of f of her. Realizing that Benedict was looking at her she grinned back at him as he took her hand. Venturing out of the house wasn't the worst thing he could've done.


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