DISCLAIMER: Still don't own them, but man has it been fun.
Haven't We Been Here Before?
A soft, contented sigh escaped Betty's lips as she nestled deeper beneath the down comforter. Daniel's arms were wrapped tightly around her from behind and his cheek, scratchy with morning stubble, rested against her neck. She could faintly feel his heartbeat pressed against her back and it made her smile as she snuggled back closer against him. An unintelligible murmur escaped his lips in response and he buried his face in her hair.
Over the past four months she had grown accustomed to waking up in Daniel's sparsely furnished loft, greeted by that ridiculous mural and Daniel's blue eyes first thing every morning. At first they'd tried to hold back; just on the weekends, they'd vowed. But that had soon expanded to include Thursday nights--after all, Friday was basically the weekend, Daniel had argued--and then Sunday nights, and soon Betty was spending practically every night in Daniel's embrace.
She stretched like a cat, relishing the feel of his arms around her. After fumbling for her glasses on the bedside table, she balanced them lopsidedly on her nose and peered at the clock.
"Oh no!" She bolted upright. Daniel stirred sleepily beside her.
"…wha's wrong?" he mumbled.
"We're late!" She was already half out of bed, wearing nothing but his Harvard tee-shirt.
She scrambled for her overnight bag and, in her mad dash, her foot caught on the leg of the bedside table. With a crash to end all crashes, Betty slammed face-first into the floor, followed shortly thereafter by the table itself.
Daniel sat up, wide awake now.
"Betty?" he asked, staring at her lying sprawled and dazed on the floor, surrounded by the items that had, moments before, been securely atop the bedside table: the clock, her necklace, a cordless phone, Daniel's watch…
"I can fix it!" she cried, awkwardly piling the fallen objects into her arms while simultaneously trying to set the table upright again. Right as she finally got the bedstand back on its feet, the clock slipped from her grasp and everything clattered back onto the floor. Daniel looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself.
"Problems?" he grinned.
"Shut up," she said, gathering up the fallen items and dumping them unceremoniously atop the little table. "Now get dressed, quick! Alexis is gonna kill us."
And she was off like a shot, fumbling with her overnight bag and yanking out fresh clothes. She had already half pulled on a pair of black slacks when she noticed that Daniel hadn't budged. He still lay in bed, propped up on one elbow, grinning at her like a spoiled prince.
"Daniel! Come on," she said as she yanked her pants on the rest of the way and fastened them up. His grin widened. "Do you want Alexis to tell you off? In front of the entire magazine? Again?"
She peeled off the Harvard tee-shirt and tugged on a pink button-down blouse, all the while fumbling frantically through her bag with one hand. Daniel still hadn't moved.
"I don't know, I think Alexis might be lenient," he said. Wait, what? Betty stared at him like he'd just said he thought Wilhelmina actually wasn't so bad after all.
"Um, Daniel? This is Alexis, remember? I don't think she knows what lenient means," Betty pulled a hairbrush from her bag and hurriedly ran it through her long hair. "Seriously, get up."
"I would, Betty. I really would," he said. "But since it's Saturday and all…"
The brush came to an abrupt halt and she stared at him for a good 30 seconds with her mouth hanging open.
She balled up the Harvard tee-shirt and threw it at his head. He caught it deftly.
"You could have said something," she muttered.
"But you're so cute when you're all freaked out."
"Gee, thanks. I think," Betty stuck her tongue out at him.
"Now why don't you come back to bed?" he said, leaning back on the pillows with open arms. His grin had faded to a little half smile that said, quite clearly, that if she got back into bed she would not be leaving it again for some time. As if she could ever resist those pulse-quickening puppy dog eyes he was giving her. But she pretended to consider all the same.
"I don't know. I mean, now I'm all dressed…" she said. Daniel pouted at her.
"Life's not fair."
"But Betty…" he whined.
"No 'buts,' mister," she said. "You asked for it."
"What made you so mean?" he sulked while Betty considered the possibilities.
"Maybe I'm pregnant."
His expression was priceless. For a second, Betty thought she was going to have to call an ambulance, the color drained from his face so quickly.
"I'm kidding!" she said. "Relax."
"God, I saw my life flash before my eyes," Daniel said, collapsing back on the bed with a great expulsion of breath. "Why would you do that?!"
"You're just so cute when you're all freaked out," she said with a grin. Daniel eyed her with a mixture of amusement and exasperation.
"You're evil," he said.
"But you love me."
"Yeah. I go for evil," he said. "Now come here, you."
He jumped out of bed and covered the distance between them in three long strides.
With a playful shriek, Betty turned to flee but Daniel caught her by the waist before she could make her escape. She half-heartedly struggled and flailed, giggling all the while, as he slung her over his shoulder and carried her back to deposit her triumphantly atop the bed.
"How caveman of you," Betty quipped, her cheeks already flushed in anticipation.
"Well, you do bring out the best in me," he replied, already leaning down and trailing hot kisses along her throat. One of Betty's hands slid up behind his neck and through his hair as she tilted her head back to allow him easier access. She let out a soft moan.
He kissed her fiercely. Betty's fingers tangled in his hair as his tongue slipped between her lips and set her entire body tingling. When he came up for air he gazed at her with a surprisingly soft expression, one hand cupping her cheek.
"Hey," he said. "I love you."
She would never tire of hearing those three words.
"Hey," she said. "I love you too."
Daniel's hand slid to the front of her blouse.
"You know what else I love?" he murmured, unfastening the top button. Betty swallowed hard.
He unfastened the next button.
"…teasing me mercilessly?" she offered.
"Close," he said. The third button came undone. As a result, Betty was having trouble thinking clearly. She licked her lips, unable to tear her eyes away from his.
"I give up. Tell me."
Daniel unfastened another button.
"Seeing what kind of sounds I can get you to make," he grinned. Betty laughed and rolled her eyes, but her heart was thumping.
"Awfully sure of yourself, aren't you?" she said.
"Oh yeah," Daniel said, undoing the final button. "Want to try and see?"
Though Betty opened her mouth to deliver some sort of witty response, her brain had deserted her for the time being. All she seemed to be capable of doing was staring into Daniel's blazingly blue eyes, nodding and then kissing him for all she was worth. And as his lips trailed downward, she closed her eyes and clutched at the blanket in anticipation.
Because if there was one thing Daniel Meade knew, it was how to make a woman squeal.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: There, some fun and fluffiness to finish it all off! Hopefully this helped make the last couple of weeks before Betty's return (in the U.S., anyway) a wee bit more bearable. And now I must shamelessly beg you to review one last time. Thank you all for sticking with this story and offering so many awesome, insightful comments. I appreciate it so, so, so much. Thank you!!