|Exploring All Possibilities
Author: pygmymuse PM
Sometimes it's rushing things. Sometimes it isn't. The trouble is knowing which is which. Eva/Proctor.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Eva Zambrano & M. Procter - Chapters: 3 - Words: 10,930 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 04-28-10 - Published: 04-26-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5926193
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Exploring All Possibilities
Word Count: 3,807
Disclaimer: I can't own anything. The pygmies and debt collectors own me.
Summary: Sometimes it's rushing things. Sometimes it isn't. The trouble is knowing which is which.
Spoilers: Up to 1x03.
Author's Note: I couldn't help writing a bit after that twist at the end of episode three. It just wanted something to explain how it got to that point, and so that's how the story started. It also started in an email to snerkyone. And next thing I knew, it was a full fledged, involved story with somewhat of a plot. :) Obviously, with 1x04, a lot of this isn't accurate, but it was all written before seeing it, and I liked it too much to change it.
Ideas and Ground Rules
"Kernel of truth to everything," Eva agreed, tapping her glass against Chris'. She looked over at Proctor and the gossip queen and sighed. She felt sorry for the man, though he seemed somewhat flattered by the other woman's attention, just like earlier that day when he'd signed off on those papers. No, wait, there, behind the smile, in the eyes, was a slight shift that clearly said, get me out of here. Eva had an idea or two about that.
Idea One: she distracted the gossip queen by taking someone up on his offer, allowing Proctor to escape in the confusion, but that had some problems. Someone else was going to get the wrong idea. Actually, more than one someone. Eva didn't want that. She had no problem yanking Chris' chain, but she wasn't interested in more from him.
Idea Two: she wasn't clumsy, and she could hold her liquor, but there were times when you just had to fake it. She could play a drunk easily enough.
Idea Three: a combination of ideas one and two, just a different kind of diversion.
Eva found herself really liking idea three. Must have been the days without sleep and the alcohol. She set her empty glass down, got another, and made her way over to Proctor's table. "You know, I wanted to tell you how I impressed I was with your decision the other day, Dr. Proctor."
"Well, I always like to hear how impressive I am," Proctor told her with a smile, and Eva sat down next to him. She went to put her glass on the table and missed deliberately, sending the liquid rushing across the table at the nurse. Proctor tried to hide a grin as Kathy jumped up, her lower half not quite soaked, but still wet enough to give a very bad impression. Eva smiled in satisfaction. Not bad, if she did say so herself.
At the bar, people—mostly Chris—were cheering as Chatty Kathy made her way to the nearest bathroom, sputtering in indignation, her face red. Eva should feel sorry for the woman, but she figured it was good for her to be the one being talked about for a change. She looked over at Proctor. "You owe me three dollars."
He frowned at her. "Excuse me?"
"For the drink."
"Ah, yes. Of course," he nodded, looking over at the bar. Chris raised his glass in a salute to them both. "Would you like another drink now or would you prefer that in cash?"
Eva shook her head. She no longer felt like staying. She had come to unwind, but she was still wound too tight, and she couldn't relax here. "Right now, I think it's best I'm not here when she gets out of the bathroom."
Proctor looked at her, amused disbelief on his face. "You're not scared."
"Of course not," Eva corrected herself quickly. It wasn't that she was scared of the gossip queen, not for a moment. She could more than hold her own in any fight. "What I meant was... you shouldn't be out here when she gets back, not if you want to escape."
"Me? Leave now? That would seem a bit rude, don't you think?" he paused for a moment. "Unless I was to take an inebriated colleague back home safely..."
"I'm not drunk," Eva protested. What was with everyone thinking that she couldn't hold her liquor? She could. She was Cuban.
"But it's a good excuse. Shall we walk?" he offered. "It does look nice on the beach, after all."
Eva looked out at the sand and the sunset. She had been in Miami so long she tended to forget about the beaches, forgot what it was like to enjoy them in nice weather, especially the cool of the evening. She shrugged, getting to her feet and walking out with him. She stopped on the edge of the sand and took off her shoes.
"So, I didn't get to hear how impressive I was yet."
She laughed. "I just said that to be able to sit down."
"Did you?" he asked, his lips curving into a smile. He had a nice smile, she noticed, vaguely aware that she should be putting that away as one of those things not to think about. "Well... Tell me anyway."
"You know, it's more like everyone thinks you're crazy."
"Ah, yes, I suppose they might," he agreed. He shrugged. He wasn't bothered by that at all. She liked that about him. He didn't care what they thought. "You have more experience than the others. Any doubts about my ability to do my job?"
"No, it's just that we're playing catch up with you. We were used to Raynor; we knew how he thought. You were different, from the beginning. It's an adjustment," she admitted with a shrug. "I think I've learned to predict you, to a degree."
He smiled at her again. This time it was more devastating than the first. "Have you indeed?"
She was about to answer that one when she realized she was completely wrong. She hadn't predicted him at all. It was her last coherent thought before his mouth closed over hers. He was different, experienced, and good with his hands at more than surgery, she thought as his fingers went through her hair, the other hand snaking down her back. She shivered a little. The night was still warm, and so was she. Damn, this was definitely a mistake.
"Well?" he asked, and she was reminded of earlier, the way his breath had tickled her neck, so warm, so tantalizing, when he asked if they found a match. Oh, yes, there was a match.
"Surprise me again."
"Happy to," he told her with a smile, playing with the strap on her shoulder. "Only it's no longer a surprise, is it?"
She reached up and pulled his lips down to hers this time. She wasn't really in the mood to joke about it. He'd started something, and she wanted to finish it. She didn't care if it was a mistake, if they both should know better. She could still be yanking Chris' chain, but there was something about Proctor, a puzzle, and he was attractive. She could hear Warren's voice in her head, talking about how Eva was always professional, how she'd never gotten stupid about a guy. That wasn't true. It wasn't a good reason to jump into bed with the nearest man, either, but that wasn't really what she was doing.
"Might I suggest that we take this indoors?"
She nodded, knowing that she wasn't really up to words right now. She was a mess of nerves—on fire and asleep all at the same time. He stopped and reached down to the sand. Huh. She'd dropped her shoes. He held them out to her, and she took them, making no move to put them on. Instead, she pointed to her building. It wasn't far from the hospital, also close to the bar where they went to unwind.
"Convenient location," Proctor observed, and she shrugged. It was, for many reasons. She had always liked it, even if she didn't spend a lot of time there. She supposed if Kathy knew how far out of Eva's way it had been to give Chris a ride, she'd really think there was something there. "There a reason no one else knows you live this close?"
She just looked at him. "Does anyone know where you live?"
He smiled. "Not at present, though that may change."
She blinked a little. Was he talking about her? About taking her back to his place? Was it possible that he was considering more than one night? He offered a hand to her, and she took it, leaving the beach and walking down the sidewalk toward her building. Did she want to know where Proctor lived? Did she want something more from him? She was too tired to be thinking all of this through.
"Where do you live?" she found herself asking. "In a hotel somewhere? South beach?"
"Oh, now, that would be telling," he said, opening the door for her and waiting until she was inside. "I said that might change, not that it was going to tonight."
"And what if your place had been closer?"
"Then I suspect we'd already be otherwise occupied."
She laughed as the elevator in front of them opened, and they went inside. "You in some kind of hurry?"
"I'm not one to wait, not any more."
"The one on your chest?"
"Oh, you want to examine it, do you?" he asked, ignoring her point as he pushed her back against the elevator wall, kissing her again. Yeah, whatever lingering doubts she might have had went out of her mind with that kiss. She wanted him in her bed, right now.
The elevator stopped on her floor, and they stumbled out and down the hall to her door. She fumbled with her key while he kissed her neck, sliding the strap down her shoulder. If she didn't hurry, he'd have her out of her dress before they got inside. The scary part was, she didn't think she cared. The door swung open, and she turned around, pulling him inside with her, shutting the door behind them. She tugged his shirts over his head, and he went for the zipper on the back of her dress. He slid the straps completely off, and the dress fell to the floor. She stepped out of it and ran her hand over the scar on his chest before he kissed her again. Eighty-eight seconds, and she almost never met him. It was crazy.
"Too many clothes," she told him when he let her up to breathe, and he nodded, ditching his shoes as they headed back to the bedroom.
They fell together on the bed, both finally naked, and he went back to kissing her, all over, and she ran her hands over him, exploring everything. The scar kept coming back to her, that line down his chest, and it fascinated her even as it scared her. It was a reminder that he was very human, that he'd almost died, and what was she getting into? What if she got stupid over him? What if she hesitated again, and there wasn't a second chance this time?
"Stop thinking so much," he advised her, and she laughed, but as his lips moved lower, she quickly became incapable of any thought at all other than that he was very, very good.
Eva came around slowly. Her eyes kind of opened and then shut again. She was exhausted, completely worn out, though she should have been somewhat refreshed from sleep, right? Then again, she'd been on call for two days, so she hadn't gotten a lot of sleep, now had she? Add the drinks, and she was bound to be a little fuzzy...
Naked, even. Naked and a little fuzzy. She had to think. She remembered going to the bar after work, remembering the one who got away, talking to Warren, Chris...Oh, no, she hadn't. She had said something about a kernel of truth, but...
Her eyes focused on the doorway, to the blurry outline of a man. Her vision started to clear as she heard an unmistakable voice ask her if she wanted coffee.
She stared at his offering and then fell back down on the bed. Proctor. She had slept with Proctor. Holy crap.
She kind of remembered the night before, rescuing him from Kathy, the beach... It had seemed all a bit... dreamlike. She'd had plenty of naughty dreams in her time, and Proctor was too good looking not to have some stray thoughts about. She wouldn't deny that. Dreaming was one thing, though. She'd actually done it.
"I haven't met a doctor yet who isn't a fan of coffee,"Proctor went on, sitting down on the edge of her bed. "We all know it's not necessarily good for us, but we all feel the need for the caffeine."
"Yeah," Eva muttered, sitting up again and taking one of the cups from him. She ran a hand through her hair, trying to think of something to say at this point. What was she supposed to do? He was... He was her boss, and she'd slept with him, and it had been good, and so it was disappointing that he was dressed again, especially since he brought her coffee, and she could jump him for the coffee alone. What was she going to do?
He leaned over and kissed her. "I have been known, on occasion, to do breakfast in bed, but unfortunately, we both have to be at work early today. We're even running a little late."
Her eyes widened. Breakfast in bed? Not fair. This man did not play fair at all. "We're late?"
"But you're the boss, right?" she asked. "Neither of us is going to get fired."
"You are a very smart woman," he said, setting the coffee down and moving onto the bed with her. "How late are you wanting to be?"
"Is that a trick question?"
"Shower?" he suggested, giving her another kiss. Hot, steamy shower sex? She was supposed to turn that down? Hell, no.
"Promise to wash my back?" she asked, and he nodded, giving her another kiss before helping her to her feet. She knew she didn't have a very big shower, but that didn't matter, right?
She turned on the water, heating it up as he stripped again, and once more, she was reminded of how gorgeous a man he really was. Fit, healthy, and the scar was actually kind of sexy, in a way. He had such a changed outlook on things, one that was different, but she liked it all the same.
"Don't waste the hot water," he said, pulling her into the stall.
Now came the tricky part. How did you work with someone with the constant distraction of wanting to find the nearest storage closet? Eva seemed to be aware of every time he came in the room, and she found herself flustered when he did. She'd had this kind of stupidity before—and Warren thought she was incapable of it—and now was really not a good time for it. They had major traumas come in, surgery after surgery, and though she found herself predicting Proctor's movements even better now, she was still worried. Her mind wasn't fully focused. She could smell him despite the disinfectants. He still smelled good.
She found herself out on the balcony, taking a moment to breathe, to ease the ache in her muscles, and next thing she knew, there was another coffee in her face.
She took the cup from him, sipping slowly. "You always this nice to the women you work with?"
"No," he replied calmly, leaning into her ear. His breath on her skin made her shiver again. "Only to the ones I've spent the night with."
"So if I see you give coffee to another doctor or nurse, I know I've got competition."
"Perhaps," he said, looking out at the sky. The beauty of Miami. He reminded her of that. She was always forgetting. "How am I supposed to know?"
"Well, according to Kathy, you have quite the romance going on with a certain—"
"Nothing there," Eva told Proctor. She might have been willing to joke with Chris, but that was all it was. There was nothing more to Kathy's rumors. "He's interested, or I'm pretty sure he is, but..."
"Time? Professionalism?" Proctor's tone was curious. Eva wondered if these questions were leading where she thought they were. Towards... something more than one night and hot shower sex. "Any particular reason holding you back?"
Chris was a decent guy; she knew that. He'd always had this air about him, though, this sense that he could get anything he wanted from anyone. She wasn't going to be one of those things. "Not my type."
"What?" she asked, frowning. "You think I'm easy?"
"Most assuredly not," he said, taking a long sip of his coffee. She had figured he'd be on the roof right now. Instead, he was with her. What did that mean? Something? Anything? Nothing? She didn't know. It would have been different if they'd started with the whole dating thing. Dating had rules. This was making it up as they went along. "I just have to wonder where it leaves things."
"This the part where we say 'I do' or something?"
"I wouldn't go that far. But we have certain... issues to consider, don't we?" he asked. He leaned against the railing.
"It's a bit early for the relationship talk, isn't it?"
"That your way of saying there is no relationship?"
She sighed. It wasn't really a relationship yet, but she wasn't so sure she wanted to end it at one night. One night and a shower. No, she was pretty sure she wanted more. How much more she wasn't as sure about. "Fine. We'll start over. Ground rules, right?"
"If you like."
"Not at work."
"Does that mean no discussion of anything personal at work or no signs of affection?"
"You're driving me crazy," she exclaimed in frustration. She wasn't sure what to do with him. A part of her wanted to drag him into the storage closet, and the rest of her wanted to strangle him for being so annoying. She understood the need for some discretion in what they were saying, since they weren't without observers, and they didn't know what this was, not yet. "How about we're both clear about this?"
"I'll be very clear, then," he said, moving towards her again, bending to her ear. "I want to be alone with you again. There are places I didn't get to spend enough time on last night, and that shower was too short."
She stared after him as he walked back inside. She cursed under her breath. She rushed back in after him. "Dr. Proctor. Eight?"
He stopped, and for a moment, she thought he was going to ask her what she meant. In front of everyone, including Chatty Kathy. Not that Eva cared, not really, but she knew they had a lot more to discuss about what this was. He nodded. "Very good."
About eight-fifteen that night, she had given up on the take out that usually made her night after a rough day, looking at her empty apartment and wondering if she was an idiot. She thought he'd been clear, and she thought she'd been clear. She gathered up the leftovers, including his untouched portion, and put them away in the fridge. She was about to take a wine cooler out of the fridge when the buzzer rang.
She shut the fridge and walked over to the door. "You're late."
"My apologies. Follow up with a patient. It took longer than I expected."
A doctor who cared about his patients. Again, he was not playing fair. "Food got cold. And, no, I didn't cook."
He smiled with amusement. "As long as today was, I should consider warming it up, but..."
"I do believe I'd have more of an appetite later," he agreed. "As would you."
"Prove it," she said, and before she could say anything else, he was kissing her again. She was curious just which of the spots he was going to find that he hadn't touched last night because she was pretty sure he'd been everywhere. Then again, things got a little incoherent after the first orgasm.
"I will," he said. "Consider that a teaser, meant to whet your appetite for what is to come. First, though, I don't think we spent enough time on those ground rules."
"I thought you were all about living these days."
"I am. But living life to its full potential is not about ignoring rules," he said, his fingers sliding down her arm. "Have you ever been in love? I'm not talking about puppy love or infatuation, but that deep, soul-consuming type of love. That, my dear, is living life to its full potential."
"And what is this?"
"This," he said gently, "is exploring all the possibilities."
"Well, that's what ground rules are for, right?" he looked at her, and there was a hunger in his eyes that she knew had to be in hers as well. "Exclusive?"
She nodded. "I don't like to share."
The thought of having this very skilled lover as her own did things to her that she did not like to admit. What was it about him that made her want so much from him? From herself? "Are we doing the whole thing, dinners, movies, all those things that people do, or is this just... a bedroom deal?"
"Oh, my dear, I assure you, I want the whole deal. Besides, the only way to know if something is more than a possibility is to explore it to its full potential. That means everything. Dinners. Movies. Social events. It's not soul-consuming if we can't talk outside the bedroom, is it?"
"What else should we discuss?" he asked, pausing to think. "Oh, yes, the matter of work. You don't want people there to know?"
"I don't see that it's any of their business," she corrected. She knew she didn't exactly want it going around that she was sleeping with her boss, but the main reason she didn't want it at work was just because it was between them, this... exploration of possibilities. "I'm not afraid of anyone knowing, if that's what you're asking."
"That's good to know." He kissed her again, teasing her, really, because he stopped too soon and they were still in her kitchen. "Nevertheless, I believe discretion is in your best interest."
"I'm not sleeping my way to the top."
He nodded. He knew that. "You could handle the team on your own."
"Flattery gets you anywhere."
"I think it's the accent, actually," he said, and she laughed. Flattery and the accent, probably. It was a dangerous combination. "How does tomorrow sound for an out of bedroom date?"
"Sounds fine. As long as we're getting back to the in bedroom date right now."