Author's Note. Written for the backsexy ficathon on livejournal for the prompt And oft, my jealousy shapes faults that are not. William Shakespeare. Thank you to everknowledge for the beta.
And We Dream of Twilight, and Softly Spoken Words
She likes rainy days, kittens, teacups with tacky little flowers painted on the side, and the smell of Sharpie markers. She dislikes tennis, red nail polish, turtles, and regular number two pencils (she prefers the mechanical type).
She is particularly attractive when she's not paying attention, flipping through the pages of some journal from the pile of mail on his desk. Then, the tilt of her head and the play of light across her features always make him forget not only the pain in his leg but his name, her name, and the name of the solar system in which they exist.
She has no idea he knows any of this.
If she did, she would rationalize it to be something of his invasive tendencies - a breech of her privacy that she should have come to expect by now, but can still consider unsettling. She would cross her arms across her chest (he would not look for the small peek of cleavage just above the buttons of her shirt) and walk away from him. He would not watch her walk away, not when there were two more underlings to torture.
He can base this on steady observation only: despite all that he knows about her, he still knows very little and that makes him uneasy with these gross generalizations (never mind the kittens).
"Lunch date," Wilson says between bites of his sandwich. He raises his eyebrows, nods his head obviously in their direction, and waits for a response.
He says nothing in return, spearing the remaining fries from Wilson's plate as a way of retaliation. Body language says it all – the forward tilt of her head, the way that they arch in towards each other, the way their legs are crossed and their ankles hover mere inches from each other. The fries are nothing – retaliation, for the growing ache in his stomach and the lingering ache in his leg.
"You don't have to take out your juvenile frustrations on me," Wilson tells him.
"I was hungry," he responds, which is a lie. He's not hungry anymore.
"You could have – "
Could have would have should have fuck. He stands and turns his back on the happy couple, limping towards the elevator with the feeling of resignation that is almost entirely unfamiliar.
When she returns to the office twenty-seven minutes later, he does not say anything about her lunch date. She looks happy, and oddly that is enough for him but really, he doesn't want to know who the man is that makes her happy when he can only succeed in making everyone miserable.
He does call her out three hours later, bringing her close to tears by insinuating that her desire to save everyone hinders her ability to act as a doctor. It's a cheap shot, and they both know it, and while her cheeks burn red in humiliation in front of her peers, his stomach churns at insulting the something about her that he secretly admired (and envied) but there is nothing he can do about it now.
He likes her far more than he should most days of the week, and questions why he hired her for the remainder. She's far too ethical, far too nice to be on his team, not to mention the fact that she's a distraction.
He'd be lying if he said he'd never noticed her, because he has noticed more and more frequently over the course of these past few years. He notices when she changes her hairstyle or when she wears those pants that make him want to lock them both in an exam room just so he can take a proper anatomical survey.
He has never said he was not a lecherous old bastard – he wouldn't be as interesting if he wasn't – but he can't feel a bit indecent for noticing so much about her and thinking such dirty thoughts about his employee. The pills take the edge off, just slightly, but whenever he thinks she'd condemn him for threatening her lily-white image, he remembers that everybody lies, angels more so than demons.
The Lunch Date returns the next day when she gets off of work. He sees the man waiting for her by the doors to the clinic, and knows that she is almost done with her hours. He stops for a second (three seconds, really) and knows he cannot be accountable for what he is about to do.
He catches her by the wrist as they pass in the clinic. Her skin is warm against his fingers.
"You have a visitor," he says, nodding towards the doorway, where the Soon-to-be-Dinner Date lingers. He does not think he can say anything else, as it is taking all of his energy to not let go.
Her eyes widen, follow his to the door, linger and then return to his face. He feels hot under her gaze.
She does not respond immediately, but instead places the remaining charts (the ones she holds in her free hand) on the desk. "Thank you," she says softly.
He nods and lets go.
As he walks away, he thinks he despises her earnestness more than anything else. He tries not to think about the way her lips looked when she thanked him.
Three days after her mysterious date and she's wearing blouses that would put Cuddy's tits to shame. The Dinner Date was a lucky man, he thinks, as he admires the view across the room. He likes her hair when it's down, loose and flowing, because then he can picture brushing it aside to kiss her neck and that anticipation, the added movement, is something he always likes and would hope she would like too but alas, really, it's not for him.
As she leaves to go to the lab, her coat brushes against his elbow. The close proximity makes him nervous, and he goes to steal money from Wilson. He buys her a cookie in the cafeteria, leaving it next to her coffee at the table for no reason other than it will unnerve her.
He should know better, but he doesn't. She gives it to Chase because she doesn't like macadamia nuts, and glances at him over the top of her glasses but he looks away. It bothers him that this fact escaped his notice.
He hovers near her in the elevator; she starts wearing skirts that rise above the knee, and heels define her calves even more, and Wilson makes a habit of dropping his charts whenever she walks by (the cane in the groin incident was purely accidental, really). He becomes more belligerent; she puts cinnamon in with the coffee grounds, and he doesn't drink it. He makes some comment about change - first comes coffee then she'll want to redecorate his office - all the while wondering how she found out that he loves the smell of cinnamon.
"You could have asked, you know," she mumbles against his lips and he can't think.
This is how it happened:
First, he entered the lab to check her work. Then there were accusation – she accused him of acting worse than normal, he accused her of having a boyfriend. This was followed by the truth: that it was her brother all along and that he jumped to conclusions before observing and he of all people should have noticed and his heart was pounding in his chest when her lips press against his, hips against his, heart beat three-fourths time against his.
And then, his leg gave out in what could possibly be the single most embarrassing moment of his life.
"What'll I tell the other boys when they find out I can't keep it up," he mutters against her shoulder.
She supports him while he fumbles for medicine and his sanity, fingertips brushing against the base of his spin, burning his skin through layers of fabric.
He swallows one, one hand still on her hip, wondering exactly what happens now. He wasn't expecting any of this. He questions who taught her how to flirt like this, though maybe she learned it from him. He wants to say something mean, something derogatory to break the tension but then she might not kiss him again and really, he doesn't want to pass that up.
"Dinner," he says. "Tonight. If you want."
"That could work," she says.
"Do you want it?" he asks, and she kisses him in reply.