Striptease

Author's Notes: Well. This was a challenge from Sarah (aka crazedenergizerbunny) and can I just say one thing – thank you! This was a really cool story to write – the lyrics were so reflective of Carter and Abby's relationship that the story practically wrote itself.

Here's a quick outline of the challenge: I was given the lyrics to the song "Striptease" (by hawksley workman) and two rules – a/ it had to be carby, and b/ it couldn't include a striptease. Now, I will admit that when I first thought about this, I was dubious as to whether I could pull it off – and I know it's sort of tradition to hate the person who set you the challenge – but I think Sarah's great!!

So obviously thanks go to Sarah – for the inspiration, and the fuel behind this writing – I'm not one to turn down a challenge! Umm…both Sarah and Brooke who beta-read it – you two are really lovely, y'know that?

Disclaimer: Don't own them. Don't even really own the original idea – credit for that goes to Sarah! But all the little ideas are my very own!

Rating: I'm going to go PG-13, purely for the final scene – which isn't pushing it or anything, it's just…well, wait and see.

Summary: (JC/AL) Abby takes the incentive to give their relationship a push in the right direction and get them back on track…which results in an interesting evening for both!

Enjoy!

***

In a house by the tracks

I want, I want you back

In a dress that's faded black

I want you back, I want you back

All the ways my mother taught me how

I want, I want you now

In any place you'll allow

I want you now, I want you now

***

Next time he even considers the idea that I'm going to let him leave, especially if it has anything to do with his family… ooh let me tell you its not going to go down well.

And if there's any way to convince him that I'm right… I'll be damned if this isn't it. There are countless people who would vouch for the fact that I'm not really a girlie girl, right? None more than John.

Oh he's going to feel so very small when I'm finished with him… actually no, that wasn't the description I was looking for. Emotionally small, maybe. Physically, it's a whole other kettle of fish.

We hope.

So, we've got the candles. We've got the soft, jazzy music I know he has a particular liking for, playing just loud enough to begin to hide the rattling of the tracks as the El races past. And then there's the dress…

That's proof enough of how much I want this to work, surely. Just the mention of the word dress should send me running into a room with a good, strong lock on the door. And let me tell you, it's not just any dress. This is a dress that takes the idea of seduction to a whole new level… when it's a certain John Carter you're attempting to seduce.

Not that it takes a lot.

Anyway, the dress. It's a sort of faded black silk that just skims my knees, with a halterneck top leaving my back unusually exposed and ending in a floaty point over my chest that just gives a tiny hint of what's to come.

You could even say the setting is perfect. The couch pushed against the wall, table moved out of the way, pillows and blankets covering the floor just waiting to be put to good use.

Just one thing missing.

But you could set your watch to John Carter. If he says he'll be here around seven-ish, you can guarantee he'll come waltzing through the door at 7:05 on the dot.

So… about three minutes to go.

It's almost ironic really – Maggie and I have had our dark moments, and those are generally the ones that I seem to remember. However, there are times when I'm incredibly glad she's my mother – this being one of them. I remember her sitting me down when I was about thirteen, during a period when she was on her meds, and deciding to teach me the art of seduction.

Just in case I should need it when I was older, you understand. This wasn't my mom encouraging me to be a… well, best leave that unsaid.

Of course I found it absolutely hilarious – no one really wants to be taught such things by their mom, do they? In hindsight… I suppose the answer would be yes. She may have had her flaws, but I'd say this is a recipe for a guaranteed success!

It's almost as if she'd tailored it specifically to John's taste. Not that I'm suggesting for one moment that Maggie's got some psychic powers…

It's just a little scary that it all seems so right.

Who would've guessed it? Me using all his little weaknesses against him? Mind you, he'll thank me later surely? After all, all I'm trying to do is ensure that we spend more time together. Our days off are precious as it is…

Especially considering that we'd arranged this week off in advance to spend some quality time together… well, until his mother intervened that is.

I know I said I'd be nice to the woman, but sometimes she makes it so very hard for me. It's not much to ask – a week to spend with my boyfriend. I'm not being overly selfish am I? One week out of fifty-two in the year, and Eleanor had to pick this one to require his undivided attention.

I know I've put my own family first on more than one occasion… but we've had that argument already, and that emotional confrontation has resulted in me making some changes. Eric is old enough to look after himself and I do love the extra time I get to spend with John.

Actually, how about we go for I just love him full stop?

I don't like asking him to make sacrifices for me… I just want to be with him when we're not the chief resident and the head nurse… to be with him when we're simply John and Abby.

Oooh and here we go – prompt as ever. The ever-familiar creak of the door and the heavy thud of his bag hitting the floor. His gentle, even footsteps…and the sudden absence of noise as he stops in his tracks, taking in his surroundings.

That would be my cue.

'Surprise' I offer, my voice sounding surprisingly low and almost sultry, even to me.

***

It's never very hard staying true

when I'm staying true to you,

and your kiss is all I think about.

The proof is in your moves and your grooves

and the little things you do,

and the silly things you laugh about

***

'You look… Abby you look stunning' he murmurs, extending a hand to me. Ah, he thinks we're playing by his rules, does he? He clearly assumes that he's the one who should be getting the reward, seeing as he's spent his week off with his mother…

Now much as I pity him… I did feel like asking "what about me?"

Tonight we're playing by my rules. Tonight I'm getting what I want… and tonight we're getting this relationship back on track.

I laugh, giving him a little twirl, spinning around just in time to catch the look on his face as the skirt flares out way above my knees. I walk over, placing a very gentle kiss on the side of his throat, glancing up at him.

'Can I have you back now? We're not going to get another midnight call requesting you be at Eleanor's beck and call for another seven days?' I ask softly, looping my arms round his waist.

Okay, maybe it's a little bit harder than I expected, this whole being cross with him idea. Of course, the seduction bit… I won't be having a problem with that. He's the only one I'd ever be this… unlike myself with, and the only one I ever plan on doing so with.

Doesn't mean I'm not going to enjoy it, though.

'I'm all yours. This is… perfect.' Oh it's working already and I've barely done a thing. If it keeps up like this I won't even have the chance to do half the things I've planned!

I give him a coy smile, trailing the very tip of my finger right down the centre of his chest, just to hear that low chuckle I get every time I do that… you wouldn't have John Carter down as a ticklish guy would you? It's actually quite sweet… then again; I'm a bit of a pushover where he's concerned.

'Sit down… there's some stuff I want to say first' I murmur, watching as he takes a seat among the various pillows.

Oops. Forgot to consider the difficulties of sitting down in a dress like this and still managing to look remotely composed. I think it might have to be the whole kneeling before sitting routine.

'So what's up?' he asks gently as I swing my legs over his lap, snaking my fingers in-between his.

'I just… I know it's selfish, but I kinda wanted this week for us. I wanted to be able to sleep late, wake up next to you… do something pointless during the day and then spend the evening together. I wanted us to be able to get that closeness back – to make love when it wasn't after a long stressful shift.'

'It's not selfish baby, not in the slightest,' he murmurs, opening his arms. I willingly move into them – this isn't my plan going down the drain, this is just an incredibly welcome detour.

I suppose this is his plan… and there's no reason why his moves and mine can't intermingle.

'I missed you… I really did miss you John. I know it was only a week but…' damn. I wasn't meant to go all emotional. It was meant to be me asserting what I felt, and how I wanted things to be…

And instead I find myself with tears burning my eyes.

'You know what I said to my mother before I left New York?' he asks. I shake my head mutely… a response now would, I fear, be fatal. 'I told her that I came because she was my family… and that I did understand I had some sort of a responsibility because of that. But I also told her that there was someone else who I wanted to put first in my life because she'd already done the same for me… and because I loved her. So… there'll be no more midnight phone calls, no more impromptu family functions, trips or meetings. It's time for us to come first Abby'

Oh… my god. He just… floors me every single time. I convince myself that he couldn't be any more self-sacrificing… and I don't mean that in a derogatory way. I just find it hard to believe that someone could love me that much…

The tears finally leaving my eyes are surely proof enough of that? He chuckles very softly, wiping them away with the tips of his fingers.

'Don't cry baby… hey, don't cry' he murmurs, placing a very soft kiss on my lips before holding me close…

And if I could get any closer to him at this point, trust me I'd be doing everything I could to achieve that. There's just this warmth… and a security that I've never really had the chance to feel.

But… the show will go on. It's not really needed anymore… but he deserves it all after that. So…

I pull away, giving my eyes one last wipe.

'Hey… now it's my turn to surprise you.'

***

I called you came

I called you came

It seems to be our only way

I'll be dreaming of the kissing that I'm missing.

Truly wishing that you'd listen when I sweetly ask you to…

Striptease for me baby

Striptease for me baby

Striptease for me baby

***

I smile lazily; giving his hand a gentle tug as we sink further into the tangle of blankets and pillows that has crept up around us. I stretch an arm out, finding the cleverly hidden bowl of strawberries… another of his little weaknesses, I might add.

'What is this, all part of your master plan?' he murmurs, watching animatedly as I lift a strawberry, holding it mere inches above his lips. 'Abbbby…' he moans, giving me that adorably irritating puppy-dog look of his…

And what can I say, I'm a sucker for it.

I watch as he bites off half of the strawberry and laugh softly, eating the last bit myself. I lean over and kiss him properly, the taste of strawberry lingering on both our lips… somewhat of a turn-on, I must admit.

However I'm not finished with the whole strawberry thing.

I take a second one, placing it between his lips and moving quickly to replace my fingers with my lips, meeting his very teasingly as I bite off half of the strawberry… pulling away from him immediately.

You see this is the good version of the dance we've perfected.

I called and he came running… however, in this game that's surely a good thing. In real life… well, we're trying to leave that routine behind us. Trying to get ourselves onto a more equal footing, because that's the only way either of us can see this relationship continuing in a positive way.

It's a different… damn. He picked up on the fact that my little hiding place is just to the left of the sofa, and he found the cream. He laughs, squirting a tiny bit on my nose and kissing it off, a low chuckle escaping his lips as I smile, easing the can from his hand, waving it teasingly at him.

'Do your worst' he murmurs with a slight raise of one eyebrow. I raise mine right back at him, daring him to take that request back. He doesn't so… I squirt a rough question mark on his cheek, watching as he deciphers what I've drawn before leaning down and whispering mere centimetres from his ear

'You are gonna… make love to me right?'

'You have no idea how long I've been waiting to hear you say that' he murmurs, one hand moving to the clasp at the back of my neck. And we're back to his game? I don't think so.

I catch his hand, gently bringing it back down to his side…

'Be patient, John. Good things come to those who do as they're told'

'Never heard that one before' he quips back, flopping back onto the thoroughly rumpled blankets. I pick up another strawberry, eating it slowly as he looks on, before flopping backwards against his chest, my head resting just below his shoulder. I feel his fingertips creep across my body, coming to a resting point on my stomach.

Oh this is going to be a night to remember for a long time to come…

***

All the ways you never ever had

I want, I want you bad.

You know I'll never make you sad

I want you bad, I want you bad.

As if I never said the words

I want, I want you first.

Only thing that can quench my thirst

I want you first, I want you first.

***

'We're good together, right?' I ask, eventually shifting position so that I'm sitting on his lap, one leg either side of his. He offers me that grin of his again, his hands coming to rest on my waist.

'I think that we're… nothing short of great together' he replies, rubbing his thumbs in tiny circles just above my hips. 'Why the sudden seriousness?'

'Well I was thinking… I know that neither of us has had very good experiences with regards to actually living with someone – the phrase "ghost families" actually springs to mind. But, I don't know, I'd kinda like to try it with you – I just have this feeling that it might be different this time. And I just… I guess I just want to know that I'm going to go to sleep next to you and wake up beside you every day… because that sounds pretty great to me' I explain, my voice dropping to a whisper on my last statement.

And if the look on his face is anything to go by, he's clearly taken by that idea as well. It was time for me to do something to move this relationship forward – and I'm quite willing to take it to this next level and enjoy the ride for a bit.

'I think… that it's a done deal then. Cause… there's no one else who could ever compare to you Abby, and the little picture you painted actually sounds like perfection'

Not… going… to cry… again.

'So… we're moving in together' I whisper. He nods, smiling. 'So we can do things like tonight more often?' I ask, watching the smile cross his face.

'We can make every night special Abby… every night will be special' he replies, his eyes not leaving mine for a second.

'Every night is special when you're there' I murmur, biting my lip as I watch the tears spring to his eyes. 'I love you, John'

'I… love you' he whispers, his voice breaking slightly as he pulls me gently down towards him – now that's one move I don't plan on resisting. Right now, the whole closeness thing is an issue again – as close as possible is best.

His eyelids flutter shut as I lean slowly towards him, the first contact my lips make with his sending tingles all over my body as he captures my falling hair in his hands, pulling it into a loose ponytail at the nape of my neck. I feel a smile cross his lips as I pull his lower lip between my own gently, pulling away briefly to place a light kiss on the tip of his nose, before returning my attentions to his lips.

And it's only seconds before his tongue begins its own familiarly different exploration, which I tell you is enough to leave me completely under his spell for a long time. Couple that with his fingertips tracing the neckline of my dress down from my neck, over my chest and back up to the clasp at the back… gently untying the strands of material…

And this time I'm not resisting.

The teasing, the seduction, it's all over. Every single last bit…

Because right now all I want to do is make love to this man.

And that's all I plan on doing, as his hands slide the slippery material down to my waist and then over my hips… eliciting a giggle from me as it lands literally centimetres away from one of the candles. I busy myself with the buttons on his shirt and it soon suffers the same fate as my dress, landing unwanted on the floor…

His lips return to mine as we roll over and I find myself looking up at him as he balances his weight on his hands, resting either side of my head. I laugh, pulling his head closer to mine, my fingers beginning their own rhythmic massage of his neck as clothes… no longer become an issue. Forgotten, in a little pile on the floor, shall we say?

I stretch a hand out to pull a blanket lazily around us as his lips trace a path of fire down my neck and onto my chest…

So I guess the whole striptease thing will have to wait till another day.

***

It's never very hard staying true

when I'm staying true to you,

and your kiss is all I think about.

The proof is in your moves and your grooves

and the little things you do,

and the silly things you laugh about

I called you came

I called you came

It seems to be our only way

I'll be dreaming of the kissing that I'm missing.

Truly wishing that you'd listen when I sweetly ask you to

Striptease for me baby

Striptease for me baby

Striptease for me baby

***