Author: kalabangsilver PM
Starling's cheating on the FBI.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Words: 3,724 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 30 - Follows: 3 - Published: 09-21-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5392157
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N - I came to the library to upload another chap of 'Paper Trails' and one of 'TMAS' and guess what... after thirty minutes of walking to get there, I had forgotten my memory stick with my chapter files on it. *DAMN* So, anyway, I wrote this and posted it instead. It is just a bit of light fun. Although, I'm considering writing two more parts to it, entitled 'Bravery' and 'Integrity'.
Thanks for looking,
Gotta run. Her body is asking for it, aching for release after an afternoon cooped up inside, huddled behind a desk, pushing paper. Open the door and step out. The air brushes her face like a kiss, a benediction.
Breathe in... and out.
Cut grass - probably the last cut of the season, it is almost winter now. November. The air is cold and in it hangs a hint of damp. Every morning, frost threatens. The Mustang quivers a bit before it starts. She has been saving up to buy a new car. Her next paycheck will put her in the right place.
Breathe in again.
Oil, fallen leaves and gas fumes fill her airways this time; mingling with the cut grass to form an olfactory bouquet of city scents.
She turns her attention to other senses, taking in the scene with three quick sweeps - ever FBI, always vigilant.
The cars along the front of the building are all idling in neutral, engines turning over with gentle purring sound. Inside them, undoubtedly, are Agents, but they are not watching for her. Their eyes pass from a group of nubile first-year Agents, emerging from some seminar, to five suited bureaucrats, travelling in a tight-knit group, talking in soporific undertones. Somehow, between these extremes of new and seasoned, Starling finds herself invisible.
She pulls an old sweater over her Quantico T-. Working in the basement room, she doesn't have much call for shirts and suits. Plus, today is a Saturday, she shouldn't even be working. She told Ardelia Mapp she was heading to the mall, to pick up some new pants. The lie was a necessary one. She needed an afternoon in the office, to catch up on paperwork, but she didn't want Mapp to see how badly she was struggling.
Clarice Starling leaps lightly down the last three steps and takes off down the road at a gentle jog. The stretch of each stride makes her feel liberated. Each kickback, the flick of a heel, propels her further from the FBI and closer to her destination. Her breath hitching up in tempo, she eases herself into a rhythm. Step, step, breath, step, breath, step, step.
As the Hoover building and the cars fade behind her, she speeds up. Path predestined - she knows where she is going. Turn left at the next footpath... now right. Travelling easy now, she ups the pace.
Faster, harder. Feet against asphalt, slap-slap-slap-crunch. Feet on stone, now. Over the sidewalk, up steps. She starts to pant a little, just a little. Her body is still travelling easy. Despite the cool of the air, the first drops of perspiration begin to form across the back of her neck, in the soft down of her hairline. She pushes a little harder, flinging her leg that little bit further out in front.
Another left turn. Along another sidewalk. Down five stairs, left, left, right. Now down to the end of the road.
The street is busier here. People stick to the inside of the sidewalk, however. If she runs near the curb, she can avoid having to slow unless absolutely necessary. A gentle curve around a lamppost, and she sweeps off to her right.
Pause at the traffic lights.
She launches across, before the pedestrian light flashes. Road is hers, for a moment. Then it's a quick swerve off down another side road, and the shoppers around her thin out. She is heading out of the commercial, towards a more residential area of the centre of town. The buildings become slightly further apart. The occasional trees begin to spring up, lining the street. The leaves on their branches are tipped with red and gold, now. It is getting late. The days are getting shorter.
Take a deep breath, savour it.
She closes her eyes for a few paces, absorbed in the scent and the sound of her body moving through the world. A gentle pace once more. Now, away from the hustle of the main streets, she can concentrate again. Her mind drifts, irrepressibly, towards work.
A prick of annoyance rose within her, at the waste of her Saturday afternoon on such a mundane task as paperwork. It was probably all down to Paul. No, Krendler. She would have to call him Krendler from now on. She had made the mistake of using his first name before... that was what had got her into this mess.
Pant, pant, cross the street, slalom between a parked car and a tree.
Fucking Paul Krendler. One more to add to the list of guys she was supposed to be screwing.
Saving Cathrine Martin had proved to be every bit the career starter Ardelia Mapp had voiced to Starling at the time. She was assigned to the Behavioural Analysis Unit, only one day after application. She had moved quickly from being a glorified secretary, to crime scene analysis, to assisting with profiling. Last week, she had presented evidence as an expert witness in court; a trial which resulted in a Life sentence for a convicted rapist. Career-wise, she was going strong. The comments in the office, however, were slightly disheartening.
Starling had always considered Jack Crawford to be a friend. Without his guidance, she would have never got her foot in the BAU door. Without connections inside the Bureau, she would be probably be pulling surveillance shifts in a sweaty jump van, like Ardelia currently was. So, she was damned grateful for Jack, and everything he had done for her. And grateful, in Starling's mind, extended to the occasional coffee, or lunch in his office, as they worked on a profile. It was all very casual and friendly - and Starling had assumed this platonic friendship would be obvious to any outside viewer. But apparently, it was not.
Courtesy of John Brigham and Ardelia Mapp, Starling was privy to the tales of her rampant office sex life.
The list was long and included, but was not limited to Jack Crawford, Paul Krendler from Justice -,
"Hell," Brigham had exclaimed - with more than an altogether appropriate amount of glee - "Even I'm getting a piece!"
"They wonderin' how you gettin' top marks on the shooting range, Poison Oakley. Everyone know' girls can't shoot."
"Fucking take them out on the range - no blanks - real guns - anyday!"
She had laughed at the time, for Brigham's sake, but, truth was, the stories and rumours stung.
Starling was independent. She had grown up without anybody and learned not to need them. But it still hurt to be slandered so publicly. She was ostracised from the rest of the department. The invites from the other young Agents, for christmas dinner or the office party, were perfunctory and fake. No one voluntarily came to her cubicle to talk. No one, besides Jack Crawford, ever invited her to eat lunch with them. She was a loner - singled out by her success.
A car whirs past - a Beemer - engine low and melodic. Starling watches it go, jogging gently. Her breath is now hot enough to make soft 'puff's of condensation in the cold air.
Maybe she'd run out on the FBI. Use her clearance to rob a bank, buy a Beemer and a yacht; float around the world until hunger or sickness forced her to come into port. A little smile plays around her lips. Maybe she'd invite Jack Crawford...
Her laugh sounds loudly in the empty street. The idea of her fucking Jack Crawford was preposterous. There was a time, perhaps - right at the beginning, when they were first setting out the parameters for their relationship - when she might have considered it. Every man and woman, when they first meet, size each other up as suitable mates. It is human nature. Starling quickly established that, though he was older, he was not old enough for the idea to be offensive to her. He was smart, without being intimidatingly intelligent, polite, successful, reasonably decent looking... so wherein lay the problem?
Starling had tentatively asked herself that very question before, tip-toeing around the answer. But she had recently accepted the truth of the situation. She wouldn't run away with Jack Crawford - she wouldn't do anything, in fact, with Jack Crawford - because he was utterly, devastatingly and irreversibly dull.
Starling gathered her muscles, tautening them for her final venture. Down another sidewalk, across the road. Slow for a car to pass. Wave a hand.
Up the sidewalk across the way, dodge an abandoned child's mitten that lay near the gutter, and slow to a walk.
Her heart is pumping fast, but not uncomfortably so. The entire journey from the FBI building, to the house she now stands on front of, has taken no more than thirty minutes. A easy work-out, for the toned Agent. She stretches her neck, craning it to view the upper two floors of the building. The townhouse is built in soft red brick and a lighter stone. It stands with regal, yet understated proportions, in line with its identical twins on either side. The street is affluent without being showy. Starling approves.
Huge stone steps lead to a heavy oak door. The windows are long and lined in pale stone. All of them stand dark. No lights are on inside.
Starling digs in the pocket of her jogging trousers and flips open her phone, checking that she had, indeed, turned it off before she came here. The last thing she needs is the rest of her Saturday ruined by a call from work. Good. She had remembered to remove the battery and sim card. The phone is a ghost. Uncallable - untracable. All is well.
Slipping the phone back inside her pocket, Starling's fingers close instead around a long cast-iron key; the counterpart for the lock on the great door. Then, with the quickest of cursory glance-arounds - more of a habit than a precaution - she takes the stairs, two at a time, and approaches the house. The key slides in, turns and the heavy oak door opens without protest. It's great cast-iron hinges are kept perfectly oiled.
She closes the door behind her and silence consumes the house. The quiet is absolute in here. Every sound of the outside world is swallowed up in the thick stone walls. Even the noise of nearby main streets and their lines of five o' clock traffic are muted.
Starling takes a moment to gather herself, feeling the silence and adjusting her eyes to the dim light of the hall. Apart from two lamps on a side table, it is lit from the two-story long window at the staircase. And, while not dark, it is a sharp contrast from the glaring splendor of the late November afternoon. Slipping the key back into her pocket, she takes another step inside. The floor, a oak parquet, enunciates her every step. Click - pad - echo... up all three floors, to the top of the house. Her arrival, already expected, is now noted.
A step over to the side table, dark oak, like the door, to check for notes or mail. There is nothing there, save an abandoned newspaper - yesterday's date. She turns her head to admire the dark painting hung above the table. It reminded her inexperienced eye of a Rembrandt; dark rich colours, the heavy stain of bitumen in the corners. Despite the inital gloom of it's darkness, she had decided she kind of liked it. Illuminated in the richness of the lamp's orange light, the painting added to the atmosphere of calm within the place.
The house was a place of sanctuary. For her as well as for it's owner.
Pacing lightly across the hall, she takes the stairs.
Up one flight. A quick check over into the first landing; all doors are closed, no lights on. Okay, then. Up to the top floor. As before, all lights are off, but, here, one door is slightly ajar.
Starling paces over and rolls her knuckles over the wooden panelling. It's become a kind of signature knock. Not that he has any illusions to who has come visiting. The security system downstairs was deactivated for the exact ten minute period she arrived at. She holds the only other key to the front door. Besides... his list of visitors was probably rather short to begin with.
Starling smiles and taps the door, one final time. The sound of her fingers against the ancient wood makes a mellow clunk. There is no doubt in the agent's mind that this door alone is worth more than her car, parked back at the FBI building. She is accordingly careful, as - without waiting for a response - she pushes the door a bit further ajar, and slips inside.
The heavy curtains are pulled fully back, for the bed is set too far back inside the room to be seen from either the street outside or the townhouse across the way.
There is a film of perspiration across the back of her neck, across her forehead, down her nose and chin and, following this centre line, into the crevice between her breasts. Her t-shirt clings to her back beneath the sweatshirt. Then it's on through the room. The room is light with sunlit November, pouring in through the window. The air inside is warm, however, in comparison. The occupant of the townhouse takes full advantage of the heating.
Closer to the bed.
A muffled noise is all she gets in response, and she is delighted to find that she has - for the very first time - caught him by surprise. Body and mind delighted, she steps quickly closer. Twisted amongst the white sheets of the bed, he opens one eye to look up at her. The other remains resolutely closed.
He is half dressed. A t-shirt on top - she can't tell what else, he's entwined too intricately in the sheets.
Kicking her shoes off, and pulling the socks free of her feet, she steps the final step over to the bed, then drops down onto it. It's a massive bed - a king size, she can only imagine - and he is spread across almost all of it. Taking great delight in being unconfined, no doubt. Starling licks her lip. In the stillness of the room, she swears she can hear her heartbeat. Can he? Only one way to check. She inches over, white cotton soft on her palms and feet.
One eye follows her, then the lid closes over it and he makes a soft groan in the back of his throat. Starling chuckles.
Off with her sweater, wiping the layer of sweat off her neck as she goes. And the same with her jogging pants; both thrown to the side of the bed. She can clean them up later. Then closer, one hand on his belly. Scratch.
"Hm.." his muscles twitched under her fingers and he half-opened his eyes again, fixing them on her face.
Without preamble, she lifted one leg and slid it over him, to straddle his hips and then, balancing so her entire weight was supported on her knees. Then, she leans forwards to kiss him. Softly.
The kiss is barely a touch, and she lifts away again once he moves to mirror her actions, satisfied that their greeting has been carried out.
"Hey," she repeats again. "Bit early to be in bed, huh?"
"Or late," he suggests.
His voice is gravelly with sleep and, as she watches him, he yawns widely from beneath. A hand slides up to capture her on either side, encouraging her to lean her weight on him. She complies, shifting to get comfortable. Her movements cause him to smile, and his eyes to spark with pleasure.
"I was having a fairly graphic dream, before your untimely arrival." he informs her, smiling at this shameless implication.
"Oh yeah?" trying not to smirk.
About me? She thinks, but doesn't say. His eyes flicker. He wants her to ask. Determined not to give in, Clarice Starling decides to run distraction. Diversion tactic 101: reaching behind, she unhooks the clasp on her bra and slips it off. It probably has the opposite effect, however. Her nipples are already erect with anticipation and they show through the Quantico T-. She wants him. He knows.
Chuckling, her lover's fingers tighten their hold on her hips, sliding her against him playfully.
"It was about you, Clarice."
"Oh yeah? Well, -Ah!"
Starling tilts forwards, placing a hand either side of his head to stop herself from falling over as he, rather gracelessly, thrusts up into her.
They hold the gaze for a few seconds, then she rolls her hips back. And forwards. He nudged up into her again, regions of his anatomy more flushed with blood than they had been before.
"You want to finish your nap?"
He flashes a canine tooth in a mock snarl.
"Jus' askin. You know, you're gettin' old, now, you m-might need to, -ah, have an afternoon nap."The end of her sentence is punctuated a series of giggles as he rocks her hips over his again, a gentle reminder of his virility.
"You should feel sorry for me, actually, Agent Starling. After a busy afternoon, moving furniture-"
"-Don't you pay people to do that sorta thing for you?"
He chooses to ignore her.
"-I retire, for a twenty minute rest, whence upon, I was beset by a crazed sex fiend."
Starling chuckles and rolls half off her lover, freeing one leg from her underwear, before she settles back to straddle him again.
Another mind-numbing stab of pleasure as he pulls her hips over him again.
"Well I'll try make up for it, how 'bout that?"
"And how do you propose you are going to make up for my so-rudely disturbed sleep?"
Starling leans forwards, her lips brushing first his neck then cheek, before resting at the skin on front of his ear, to whisper softly. Her words are too quiet for any, but him, to hear, and his eyes spark to hear them in her voice. A smile tugs the left corner of his mouth upwards.
She kneels and he removes the sheet from around him. Skin on skin again, finally.
They settle into a gentle exploration of one anothers bodies - perhaps examining for any changes since they last saw one another. (This is unlikely, as they meet at least thrice a week now... have done ever since fate brought them back together again, two years after his escape in Baltimore).
Clarice Starling whispers something else, this time eliciting a bark of laughter from her companion. She starts to remove her FBI T-shirt, but he gently stops her, and she stores it away to tease him with at another time. For the moment, all she wants is to find pleasure in their coupling, to let him fill her; let him complete her, even if it is for such a limited time.
They extend their foreplay for as long as is proper, before she admits to her need and lets him inside of her. The penetration feels like an act of completion - something that fills her with both joy and terror. A rhythm is settled on. He keeps good time. Their bodies undulate against one another, her sticking to the top for as long as she can hold out before bidding him to finish her - her actual words, perhaps a little less articulate, but she can be forgiven for them, all-consumed by their cumulative passion.
She whimpers, whines, strains; he is restrained, in comparison. In fact, he only breaks his control as she climaxes around him.
He calls her name.
It sounds so much more beautiful in his voice. They have not quite perfected a mutual climax, but there is only seconds between them. Once more, Starling is thankful for the thick wall of the townhouse, which muffle the sounds of their afternoon lovemaking.
They release, all strain in their bodies, all tension and passion spent, and collapse into the nest of tangled sheets they have made themselves. She is far more out of breath than before their run. He is panting softly into the hollow of her collarbone. He has kissed her there, mouthing the skin until the blood vessels broke. A lovebite, Starling thinks, amused. It'll bruise by tomorrow. She'll have to explain it to Ardelia Mapp.
For now, however, she closes her eyes and decides to rest a little. A nap doesn't sound like such a bad idea. Her body is tired. The pent-up angers over her troubles at work are dimished by sheer exhaustion. And he is curved against her back, one arm wrapped possessively around her middle. Protected, shielded, utterly fucked-out; yeah, she is ready to rest.
Outside the house, the sun begins to lower in the sky. The days are shortening fast. Almost winter. Almost winter again.
Maybe by spring she will be read to run with him.
He kisses her neck, and lies back down. Against her back, she feels his muscles loosen, relax. He sighs. They are content.
Dimly, as if considering an other life, or perhaps a distant dream, she thinks back to the FBI. Back her office deep in the dark underbelly of the J Edgar Hoover building. A smile twitches her lips. Her colleagues were pissed about Jack Crawford... imagine if they knew who she was really sleeping with.
A satisfied sigh escaped her smiling lips, and she stretched back against her lover.
"Hannibal?" she half turned her head towards him. He kissed her cheek.