24 Hours
by Eskimo Jo

Summary: It's just the two of you with no crutches and no excuses. AlexMarissa.
Notes: This takes place during season 2, most likely between episodes 12 and 13 (The Lonely Hearts Club and The Test). Just a little attempt to explain some the reactions of the two girls in The Test. From Alex's POV, 2nd person. Archived at malexfiction dot com. Oneshot.
M – adult themes
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Just writing them the way Josh should have. The O.C. and such all belong to those rich guys at FOX. Bring back Alex, you guys...


I. Night

Her touch. Warm. Smooth. Slightly needy. Not tight, but still hungry. Almost as if she's afraid that you will just stand up and leave. Drop everything you're doing and walk out. Her soft pants in your ear are laced with the same craving. You could never walk away from that. Her fingertips. Soft. Sliding down the curve of your lower back as you lay over top of her. Her tongue reaches out, first tracing your earlobe and then quickly taking it between her teeth. You have lost all coherent thought at that moment, only able to growl out a soft moan of appreciation. It's her way of resisting the urge to do the exact same. If she did, you would know. You would know that this is something more than two drunken friends involved in a "mistake" come morning. You would know that she wants this, needs this, as much as you do. She doesn't realize that her touch already told you that. You gently tug yourself away from her, if only to gaze into her eyes, as clouded with desire as you imagine yours are. She struggles to keep them focused on your blue ones as your own fingers glide teasingly close to where she silently begs you to go.

But it's not that easy. She bites her lip out of habit and furrows her brow in pleading. You know she wants this more than anything. But you want to hear her. Tracing over the curve of her hip bone, you try not to give yourself away. She squirms, restless now. You are anticipating that, her sneakiness, her unwillingness to play fair, and you move away. Now running your hand along her thigh, she still refuses to make any vocal plea. Eyes glazed with arousal and a raw scent wafting occasionally to your oversensitive nostrils is not enough. She must make this real before you give in.

You wonder how badly your hands are shaking because you're nervous as hell right now. It's not noticeable as you move your fingertips to graze her inner thigh but you know that if you held them in front of your face, they would tremble. You are unsure how far you can push her. She may just give up herself and roll away, making the situation ten times more awkward than if you just got each other off. She sucks in a sharp breath and your eyes lock with hers again. She is curious as to what trick you're playing and you're curious why she won't make a sound. Maybe it's too many years of stifled encounters in a house full of people. But you are pretty sure you know the real reason. If she doesn't respond fully, then this is just a game. For a moment, you think you see anger, frustration. But she looks away before you have the chance to fully analyze it. Again, you move your gaze to her body, naked and sprawled out on your bed. When you first met her, this is the last thing you thought you'd see. You wonder what you look like to her. Just as naked, just as much of a surprise, but is there anything more?

Her touch gets more impatient as she flexes her fingers along your waist, a feeble attempt to pull you closer and tempt your hands into going where she wants them. You resist, still too wary about the entire situation to satisfy her yet. Leaning down, you hope to encourage her by kissing along her neck. She stretches back, allowing you to do as you please with your mouth. An almost imperceptible sigh escapes her lips as your fingers apply a little more pressure against her skin. You can't help the small smile that escapes. It's a small victory.


Her voice catches you off-guard, especially in its tone. Breathy, guttural, and most certainly aroused. Those two syllables contain the lilt of a whine, her begging for more. You didn't expect your name. Now you know you're shaking enough to be noticed. You know there's no way she's leaving tonight but your fear is in yourself now, that somehow you'll fuck this up too. She makes you nervous and excited at once. You look at her face again. When you see her cheeks darken slightly, you are aware that she didn't mean for that word to leave her mouth. You are only afforded a split second to contemplate that before her body arches underneath yours, and once again, you're distracted by her need.

It's a strange realization when you finally understand that it doesn't matter what you do, she will enjoy it. She craves the attention. Your nervousness slips away as she doesn't bother to hide the subsequent moan, a sound that vibrates through your whole body at last.

II. Morning

You think it's sometime around 10 am when you finally open your eyes, squinting at the harsh sunlight streaming in through a gap in the curtains. For a second you consider moving to Seattle where it's grey and damp, allowing you to sleep in more successfully. Then you feel her beside you. She didn't leave last night. It doesn't surprise you considering the fuss she put on for weeks about sleeping on your couch those three times. There was a reason you never offered to take the sofa. Eventually you had let her share your bed seeing as she wasn't going home and you could either deal with the inner turmoil of having her lying next to you or the outer turmoil of a grumpy and pouty Marissa Cooper, bitching at you from under her latest hangover. You obviously opted to go the slightly less painful route. Now it had become a habit.

Your back is to her. This isn't a movie where you both wake up snuggled together, smiling and well groomed. The kind of thing regular couples scoff at when it's on the big screen. You can guess your hair is a rat's nest which is all the better to hide the possibility of smeared mascara. You can feel her pressed against you somehow. Carefully and slowly rolling over, you take a long look at her. Definitely not like a movie.

She's lying on her stomach, one arm taking up as much space as possible, the other, the one that had been touching you, tucked up practically underneath her body. It looks uncomfortable. You wonder if she was serious last night when she teased about being double-jointed. She has the complete collection of sheets tangled between her legs in an impossible knot. Her hair is tousled chaos and you notice a small puddle of drool on your pillow. Your nose scrunches for a second before you fully see what an adorable mess she is. When she realizes that the heat is gone beside her, she lets out a soft, unconscious whimper. You would pull the blankets over her if there was any chance in hell you could unravel them without waking her.

You lie down next to her again, belly-down and face towards her, close enough to feel the light puffs of sleep sliding over your cheek. Her lips are slightly parted making it even harder to resist kissing her awake. Shifting forward as smoothly as possible, you are about to do just that when her eyes flicker open, and almost immediately she has the same reaction to the sunlight as you did. She lets out a sleepy growl and mumbles something under her breath before rolling away from the light and you. Lying back on the pillows, you let out a long sigh, finally taking a glance at the clock. It's well past 11. Not as early as you had hoped. She was supposed to be at school 3 hours ago.

As if she is reading your thoughts, she groans tiredly and stretches, accidentally hitting you in the face. She mumbles something that you can only assume is an apology as she kicks her legs, trying to rid her limbs of their self-imposed bondage. It doesn't seem to bother her that she completely naked, lying on your bed, in the middle of the day. It bothers you and you roll back onto your stomach. There's something about the brightness that makes you incredibly self-conscious.

Then she glances at you, almost with surprise. As if she forgot it was you were there. Immediately she pulls up a sheet, she pauses and then realizes it's too late to be subtle. Draping it loosely over her thin frame, she lies down and watches your reactions. You weren't aware that you were having any but the way her eyes dart back and forth, following the movements of you face signals otherwise.

It's suddenly awkward. You were drunk. She was drunk. After weeks of build up everything just fell down. You both had tried to take it slowly, inching forward into a relationship. It should have been obvious with both of your past records that it wasn't going to happen like that. A tentative kiss on the beach led to yet another night of drinking and pretending to pay attention to a DVD. You both drank a little more than normal but that should be no excuse. That kiss had opened up something more. When she had practically tackled you onto the sofa, you couldn't resist. Not anymore. At that moment, with her body stretched over you, the part of your body making the decisions was not your brain. Now it's time to salvage the situation.

"Hungover?" you ask softly. It's a way out. Answering yes implies that the whole night was just a one-off thing, something that should happen much later, if it ever happens again. Even if she's not really hungover, she can lie. You are allowing her that leeway.

For some reason the question confuses her. She hesitates for a long time before answering. Licking her lips temptingly, she shrugs. "Kind of. I have a bit of a headache." She winces a little in emphasis.

Honesty. You didn't expect that and her answer doesn't fit into the narrow options you had devised analysis for. It's ambiguous. It only answered the literal question. No reading between the lines. It seems impossible to figure out another shrewd way to figure out what's going on in her brain without unleashing all your insecurities.


She wasn't supposed to ask you that and you can tell by the look in her eyes that she has the same plan. She's not a stupid girl. She knows what your answer will mean. You gently bite your lower lip and look away. The nervousness has returned. You clasp your hands together so they won't betray you.

"No, not really." It was your chance to be honest. You can't feel the hangover if there is one. You only feel her hands, her lips, all over your skin in the darkness. You feel that warm glow knowing that you both shared in something last night. She was inexperienced and fumbled around at times but none of that mattered, it would never matter to you. When you glance back at her face, she has the smallest hint of a smirk. She knows. You allow yourself to smile back, small and barely there, but it's enough for now. She scoots closer to you and lifts the blanket she's under.


There is that deliberate smirk again, teasing and she knows it. You try not to stare at the flash of her body that she gives you before you crawl close to her, almost cuddling in the morning light. You weren't really all that cold but it's much warmer now.

III. Afternoon

By the time you drop her off at the Harbor School parking lot, lunchtime is just ending. She protested strongly against going to school but you thought she should show her face at least once a week, even if it was just to receive all the detentions that she wouldn't attend. Consistently skipping class was not looked too highly upon, especially when it's the social chair disobeying all the rules. You had to go to work anyway. You know she likes to hang around with you while you're there but it's honestly more of a distraction now.

Day shifts bore the hell out of you but you need to work the day so that new kid will take your night shift. The truth is, you're kinda bummed about missing the show tonight. It's one of your favourite bands and you've waited to see them for a long time. However, there is a certain girl who did little more than kiss you lightly and you gave into fastfood and snuggling immediately. They'll be back eventually. You watch her practically prance into the school, as if she owns everyone and their fancy cars too. Definitely not your type. And bounciness is usually a dead giveaway of what really happened. Knowing her, she'll make up some elaborate tale, most likely involving something she did to her mother that ruined her day. Hell, half her friends are too immature to even understand a morning-after glow.

Work is no surprise as you go through the motions of putting out glasses and mugs that are going to be promptly stolen or broken that night. It seems like a pointless expense. But they just pay you to work here and if the owner wasn't such a jackass, you might actually care to suggest disposable plastic cups. The kids in the neighbourhood don't give two shits about other people's property. But it's out of your hands. The task is menial and allows you to mull thoughts around, and daydreaming was never something you did in moderation.

You can't stop thinking about fucking her. Part of the visions you see played out in your mind are memories of last night, the other half are totally new fantasies. Well, calling them 'new' might be a lie considering there was much more than one occasion you woke up from a dream involving just the two of you, aching to be touched, hot flashes aside. Each time it is different but the premise is the same: You. Her. Naked. That's all you need. You can't suppress the grumble under your breath, cursing your seventeen-year old hormones as you try to focus on your job.

It doesn't work. Everything is too fresh and you can feel the telltale signs of excitement. Shifting uncomfortably, you try thinking about something else, anything else. You mind wanders to what she's thinking about. Is she even rehashing the night once? Maybe while sitting in an incredibly boring lesson on ancient roman architecture. She'll fidget awkwardly as she remembers how hard you made her come the night before. And how she didn't run away afterwards.

You're not sure how long you were lost daydreaming about her while simultaneously performing your job on auto-pilot, but the next thing you know, a hand grasps your arm. You whirl around, already prepared to yell at whoever it was and possibly knock them to the ground. Eyes blazing, you come face to face with her. She seems thoroughly confused by your reaction and takes a step backward.

"Sorry." It even sounds lame to your ears so you follow it up with the best excuse you can create. "I though you were someone else."

She smiles at you and steps closer again. "Seth?" she laughs, obviously remembering his harrowing tale of his crazy boss.

"Maybe," you intone and give into the temptation to touch her. It's simple. A hand on her waist, sliding around her curves. She lets out a quick breath even at the most basic touch. You resist the urge to tell her how much she just turned you on with that one trivial breath. Instead you take the safe route. "Have fun at school?"

She grins provocatively at you, cocking her head to the side and moving very close into your space. "Depends."

"On?" You wonder if your voice comes out as strangled as it feels.

She moves close to your ear so she can purr into it, her voice low and gravelly. "What you consider fun." She's a professional tease and she knows it, plays it up to her every advantage. Just one of those girls who knows they're gorgeous and walks around dangling it in front of everyone else. It used to put you off, when you weren't friends with her. She was just a stuck-up rich bitch playing faux-punk to be one of the cool kids. Now she's more than that. She's dangerous and she's yours. But if she's going to be this way, two could play at her game. Swallowing hard, you grip her waist tightly. She can't move and you use the advantage to whisper in her ear.

"I think you know. Really, really well."

It works for a moment. She is completely still but your proximity is enough to feel her heart beating fast against her chest. She wants it as much as you. Suddenly she backs away, the moment broken, and she smiles widely. "Getting high and eating peanut butter from the jar? Not really an Ivy League pastime at Harbor." She's taunting you again. And it's an interesting reference considering that had been your exact agenda the first night she shared your bed, platonically, of course. You're not taking the bait and you back away, a similar grin on your face. You know how to win this game.

"Well, I thought about screwing your brains out for most of the day," you say emphatically and loud enough so it's not just between you two anymore. Never mind the fact that the rest of the club is empty, it's still somewhat refreshing to say it out loud. She looks terrified and you are unsure if you've gone too far. She's still on the verge of even accepting you as a girlfriend, let alone actually hearing the words so unexpectedly. A flash of anger passes over her features but it fades quickly. She's seen that no one else is around.

"What a coincidence! So did I." Her voice is well above a whisper. She has managed to surprise you again as she walks away, tossing another stunning smile over her shoulder. You smirk and let out a long sigh. She wins again.

IV. Night

There was no alcohol tonight. It's just the two of you with no crutches and no excuses. You lie in silence on your bed, facing each other, fully clothed and completely clueless. She looks as if she's going to fall asleep soon although it is only 11, early for her. She doesn't appear to be very troubled by the lack of communication, content to just stay in silence, listening to each other breath. You seize the opportunity to study the freckles across her cheeks. She never once looks unworkable under the scrutiny. There is the worry that you won't be together long enough to memorize every freckle on her body. This night could be the turning point, one way or the other. Your own insecurities with her cavalier nature seem to be sticking to you like a plague on your otherwise relaxed state of mind. You feel both impatient with the lack of action and terrified of the possibilities of doing anything else. This time there is no easy way out, not that you would take it, but you still don't know her well enough to be certain she wouldn't. But you also can't just lie here all night just staring.

Making the first move, you gently tuck a lock of hair behind her ear and her lips curve upwards as her hand comes to rest lightly on your hip. It's such slow progress. For a moment, you believe that you will just go back to staring at each other in silence. Her hand glides up and a soft fingertip skims over your cheek, right over the small, barely noticeable scar. She looks concerned as she examines your face. A thumb follows shortly after, smoothing over the indent.

"What happened?" Her voice is genuine with curiosity and mild distress. The softness, the warm purr, tugs at your heart and you couldn't lie to her if you wanted to.

"You know when I told you my parents didn't approve of me, and Jody?" The memory is painful, but not unbearable anymore. There was more to your emancipation that just normal teenage rebellion. You weren't just playing around, regardless of your flippancy in addressing the issue beforehand. Your façade has to fall sometime. She nods slowly, apprehension already showing in her blue eyes.

"Well, my dad really didn't approve."

The words form a vague statement and she takes a moment for their meaning to sink in. When the realization hits her, her eyes lock onto yours. She is upset by the confession, about the reality of your situation, and those blue eyes begin to betray the telltale moisture of threatening tears. You don't want her to cry, to hurt just because you did. You just want her to understand how much it all means now, how her being there is all that matters. You lean forward in an attempt to stall whatever reactions she may have to your admission, catching her lips softly with your own. It's comforting when she grabs securely onto the loose material of you tee shirt and pulls you just slightly closer, never breaking the contact of your lips. It is still necessary to put the issue to rest and as you pull back, a small smile creeps onto your face.

"Don't worry about it. I'm okay." All you can offer is reassurance.

She lets out the faintest of relieved sighs and offers you a smile in return. Then you wonder if she understands how much you went through just to get to this moment with her, with anyone. There's a glint of awareness reflected back at you. This time she moves forward to kiss you, and it's not as soft as your kiss had been but her hand cups your face more tenderly than ever before.

The mood is broken as you grasp her tighter, pressing your lips more insistently against hers, hands sliding under the material of her light pink sequined top. You can feel the goosebumps freckling her skin as you drag your nails along the base of her spine. She doesn't waste time. Swiftly, she has pushed you onto your back and hovers over you, eyes clouded and cheeks flushed with evident arousal. The sparkle in her eyes almost seems to ask you if it was all worth it. Licking you lips, you grip her tightly and ensnare her soft mouth with yours, feeling the hum of her throaty moan mixed with the pounding of her heartbeat. She finally understands how much sound means to you.

Tonight she doesn't stifle her voice.