Black Coffee

-inspired by All Saints' hit-


Night Swimming
Beach walking
Always silent
Never talking
Then you call my name
And I know inside I love you

Sail away
I miss you more
Until you see the shore
There I will be waiting
Anticipating

Each moment is new
Freeze the moment

Day dreaming
Chain smoking
Always laughing
Always joking
I remain the same
Did I tell you that I love you

Brush your teeth
And pour a cup of black coffee out
I love to watch you do that every day
The little things that you do

Each moment is new
Freeze the moment

I wouldn't wanna be
Anywhere else but here
I wouldn't wanna change
Anything at all

I wouldn't wanna take
Everything out on you
Though I know I do
(Although I know I do)
Everytime I fall

Night swimming
Beach walking
Always silent
Never talking
Then you call my name
And I know inside I love you

Sail away
I miss you more
Until you see the shore
There I will be waiting
Anticipating


Sail away
I miss you more
Until you see the shore
There I will be waiting
Anticipating

She sat up with a start. The sheets fell off with a sad, slightly indignant rustle from where they had been draped over her shoulders.

The sound of running water, thick and muffled, was a gentle trickle in the air- the only sound in the silent bedroom.

So he had already awoken- always a light sleeper, he was.

Her dream had been so real.

She was still, like that, just slightly bent over, her legs in a right angle to her body under the white sheet that were slightly moist with their warmth and scents. She closed her eyes. So intermingled- she could hardly tell which was which.

She peered to see the time, scrawled in firm, stern black lines and numbers on the pale face of the grandfather clock beyond the end of the four-poster.

Five-four-five.

She raised a hand to rub the last clinging remnants of sleep from her eyes and then reopened them just in time to hear the doors of the bathroom sliding open. She could see, through the little line the semi-transparent cloths of the poster's curtains, a pair of legs, clad in dark-freshly-ironed coal material, was advancing forward. He had changed into his pants- he must have forgotten to take his shirt.

In a single second, the legs had paused at the edge of the bed, and the little line she had been peering through widened- a single long, white finger had hooked around its edge and delicately lifted it.

Instinctively, she reached for the sheets, then the hand relaxed, but still did not let go of the cloth. Her knees were, in a flash, pressed to her body, the shape of her legs in acute angles beyond the knees. The sheets were around her ankles.

She stared at him.

His hair was damp, its midnight tendrils clinging here and there to the sides of his handsome face, and the white towel around his neck useless in absorbing the beads of water that traveled languorously down his chest and abdomen, the same hard lines she admired for a moment.

She murmured her 'good morning'. His face revealed a half-smile and she quickly looked away. But her eyes came back to him, irresistibly drawn to him.

He was standing gracefully, favoring his weight on one foot- her eyes traveled slowly, taking in the sight of his arms, his chest, his broad shoulders and his neck, and then his finely-moulded chin, his slightly-parted lips, the aquiline nose, and finally his eyes. And golden met emerald.

With a little jolt, she realized that he had been waiting for her to look at him.

Waiting.

Anticipating.

The finger at the boundary of the poster's fine curtains and the air contained within the cubicle space became two fingers, then three, and his hand pulled the curtain aside with a clinking of the brass rings that secured them to the thick steel bar above their heads.

Immediately, she slipped like a wet fish under the snow of the blankets, her breaths shallow and her cheeks pink.

She waited.

A weight settled on the space she had previously occupied on the bed, and then another.

He had sat, and then swung his legs upon the bed.

The sheets over her head were translucent white, except for the grey where his form was manifested through the thin material. It loomed closer, above her, and suddenly, the white sky was becoming darkness as he pressed the net she had helped put over her own head closer.

Cloth touching skin.

She gasped and was silenced by his crushing mouth, hot and impatient through the material on her lips.

His weight pressed above hers urgently, the sheet still between. She choked and shook, struggling, but not fighting.

She shook violently, and suddenly, he ripped the sheets off ruthlessly, as if he had suddenly understood the suffocation- the way art connoisseurs pulled the blinds off their magnum opus at auctions.

She was still panting.

A faint pleasure was spreading over his impassive face as he watched her draw in desperate breaths with gasps, the sheets useless below the soft curvatures and her waist and her hands splayed out, feverishly, by her sides, defenseless but somehow not helpless.

He watched her.

"Hiding now?" He said gently, almost out of place, except for the subtle force his eyes were exerting as they traveled ravenously on her.

"No." She said, dazed.

"Good."

He slid under the white sheets, into her ready arms. Waiting and anticipating.


Night Swimming
Beach walking
Always silent
Never talking
Then you call my name
And I know inside I love you

She lay in bed, sprawled there, where he'd left her somehow unsatisfied, after he'd gotten up- waiting for him.

Six-two-seven.

The door opened and he came in, bearing two porcelain mugs, filled to their brims with black coffee.

He sat them down gently on the little brown, mahogany table, and the aroma pervaded the bedroom since he'd closed the doors. Warm and slightly bitter. She opened her mouth, breathing deeply. She closed her eyes, then opened them again.

He slid next to her- the material of his pants grazed her soft skin.

He curved one arm over her and she settled near his chest. He began to lift her face to his, his other hand holding and stroking her chin.

Her eyes traveled to the little table- away from his face.

Black coffee in white porcelain, colorless steam rising from the surface, silver wristwatch with black leather strap, pale, sparkling blue topaz earrings he'd taken off her earlobes last night, a polished granite fountain pen, a ring studded with tiny glassy diamonds and a single drop of ruby blood in the center,-

She stared at him.

He looked back at her, watching her watch him.

Never talking, always silent.

They were playing this game again.

The black coffee was warm in their individual white shapes, deliciously warm and inviting in their fragrances. The scent invaded their nostrils, heady, feverish, enticing-

"Cagalli-,"

And she knew inside that she loved him.


Each moment is new
Freeze the moment

He took a sip. Warmth spread from his lips and tongue to his finger tips and to every square inch of his body.

Her head was a heavy, comforting weight on his shoulder. He pulled the sheets up higher to cover their waists.

Six-five-eight.

The pillows, thick with goose-feathers that were sewed in, crushed and rumpled behind their backs, made a soft sound as he leaned back comfortably.

Her hair was a golden mist against his chest, fanned out and soft, misty through the steam that rose in mysterious circles from the white porcelain.

Her fingers played lazily with the edge of the sheet across both their laps.

The clock chimed seven.

"Pass me mine." She murmured somewhere near his chest. He ignored her, his arm still relishing the sensations of being nestled near her torso, her small hands sometimes near his shoulder where she clung like a child.

"Pass me mine." She repeated, thinking he had not heard.

He shook his head. "I'll have to get up."

"Lazy bastard." Her voice was soft and teasing.

"Not that. I want the moment frozen."

"I want what you're drinking. I don't want to share."

She looked at him insistently.

He carefully reached down and set the porcelain on the foot of their bed, careful not to dislodge her from him- and he turned back to her and in one swift movement, had pulled her off and pinned her on the bed, beneath him.

She lay, a little frightened, a little fish darting in her veins, watching him with a growing, gnawing at the pit of her stomach that ached to be fulfilled.

He bent closer and kissed her full on her mouth. As her lips parted, she tasted him and black coffee.


They argued about the stupidest things.

I wouldn't wanna be
Anywhere else but here
I wouldn't wanna change
Anything at all

Little things, stupid, little, stupid, stupid, little, little, stupid-

She got tired of his taunts- she threw a book at him. It hit him squarely in the chest.

He showed no emotion on his face as he picked up the book.

Her face crumbled and she walked away- leaving him standing, looking at the brown cover of "Global Economy in the twenty-fifth year of the Cosmic Era" by T.S. Erstentberg. His expression showed nothing.

She hid away, miserable and huddled in a ball.

Eight-zero-six.

I wouldn't wanna take
Everything out on you
Though I know I do
(Although I know I do)
Every time I fall

They made up with a cup of black coffee.

She knew she'd been in the wrong, she secretly added two teaspoons of sugar in his cup, not the usual one teaspoon.

He regretted being short and curt with her, he quietly added half a cup of milk in hers, not the usual quarter.

They sat and drank, leaning against the hard backs of their chairs- awkwardly smiling at each other, their coffee tasting either too sweet or too thick.

The taste was slightly wistful each time- black coffee.

The steam rose in circles from their cups, like the result of a day's worth of chain smoking.


Brush your teeth
And pour a cup of black coffee out
I love to watch you do that every day
The little things that you do

He got out of bed- stood and dressed in the clothes he'd worn the night before.

Their wrinkled state did not matter- he would take new ones to the bathroom.

She watched him from where he had been, next to her.

He turned around to look at her- his eyes were smiling.

She got up and pulled a shirt over her head, trailing after him as he entered the bathroom.

Seven-one-three.

She watched him brush his teeth, traced his closed eyes by watching the mirror above their heads.

He put the brush down in his glass, he had finished- it made a clinking sound.

He turned to look at her.

She moved in front of him to take her own toothbrush, now she stood directly opposite the cold, white sink.

His arms were closing around her.

She pulled the tap up- water gushed into her glass.

She began to brush her teeth- his hands were exploring.

She set her toothbrush down- it made the same clinking noise in her own glass.

He let go and moved in front of her- she moved aside so he could take a cold, hard, silver blade that glinted.

He splashed cold water over his cheeks- the spicy aftershave was perfuming the air.

She put her arms around him, leaned her head on his back and closed her eyes.

The sound of the blade scrapping paused. She nuzzled against him, her hands tracing the soft flesh, marveling at the firm muscle beneath them.

Then-

"Bloody hell."

She laughed and opened her eyes to look at him in the mirror. There was a faint red line near his chin.

He splashed cold water again. She clung on.

"Let me look."

She peered- then blew some air at the cut, carefully, to cool the red line.

Her fingers were caressing the area around the cut- "Is it deep?"

His face showed nothing.

"No."

Irritation rose in her suddenly.

"Alright."

She took her hand away.

She watched him pour a cup of black coffee out- carefully, not spilling a single drop.

He repeated the procedure- stand away from the kitchen counter, fetch a mug, turn it over to remove water, set it upright, tilt the jug, allow the liquid to slosh in-

He passed it to her- she took it with a murmured thanks.

He unfolded the newspaper- she watched him read, over the rim of her cup.

She watched him put on his coat while he stood on the carpet in his work shoes- straightening out the sleeves and searching the pockets for unwanted things he left on the mantle before he left.

She watched him turn around to her.

She tiptoed slightly and he leant to kiss her.


Day dreaming
Chain smoking
Always laughing
Always joking
I remain the same
Did I tell you that I love you

"Again?"

"I'm thirsty," She said simply. She reached for the warm kettle.

"Black coffee isn't the best agent for quenching thirst," He said in brief amusement.

She ignored him and reached over anyway. She had to extend her arm across his lap- her other arm was folded towards him, one of his arms around her shoulders, half-hugging her, the other idly playing with the blanket across their laps as they sat upright.

"You could have helped." She said pointedly.

"I would have to move my arm." He said simply. His hand around her shoulder stroked her collarbone lazily.

"We should make more." She remarked. The coffee level, sepia-black, was dwindling.

"Alright."

The steam rings rose in the air- buoyed by the warm surface of the liquid.

Six-three-three.

They drank.

Addictive, black coffee.

Addictive like cigarettes.

He told her something funny he'd found out at work- she laughed and they joked for a while.

She remained the same.

She never told him that she loved him.


A/N:

Black Coffee is the last hit single All Saints released.

I never understood the song when I first heard it, although it had an immediate hold on me.

The video provides a better clue with the enigmatic lyrics- an abusive relationship and the woman's reluctance to leave anyway.

The relationship in this short piece isn't abusive- but it depicts the insane, almost destructive need to hold the other person and not let go, yet keep the most obvious feelings an open secret of sorts.