Title: A Good Friday
Author: Scribere Est Agere
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me.
Summary: He hated holidays. All of them.
They got the Friday off, which he wasn't expecting and didn't particularly want, truth be told. He could use the break, could always use it, but when it coincided with a holiday then —
He knew Eames was thrilled, with her vaguely religious bent and her family traditions and all, but his heart clenched and sank when Ross told them.
He hated holidays. All of them.
Hallowe'en? He'd never been allowed to participate, for some obscure and most likely illogical reason his mother had never chosen to articulate.
Thanksgiving? He'd tried for years and years to feel thankful for something anything, and usually came up with the fact that the turkey wasn't completely overcooked and his mother was mostly coherent, at least for the day.
Valentine's? Enough said.
Christmas? The worst of the lot with its near-fanatical devotion to family values and family get-togethers and family dinners and happy, happy families—
So he walked, steady, resolute, for almost four hours, head down, hands in pockets, thinking about how much he hated holidays and how they meant nothing, nothing except what society imbued in them.
He thought about how old and bitter he'd become.
And alone. Couldn't forget alone. Old. Bitter. Alone. The ultimate trifecta.
And everything was closed, which depressed him. Movie theatres were open, but seeing a movie alone? Depressing. Convenience stores, all right. He could buy what, mouthwash? Vitamins? Condoms? Depressing. And ludicrous.
Eames had asked him, just before she'd left Thursday evening, what his plans were and he'd just shrugged and smiled and wished her a good time and she'd smiled back. Had she hesitated for a moment before she'd finally walked away? Maybe.
He bought Thai take-out and sat alone in front of the TV, eating and not tasting and not watching and not really thinking about anything except maybe what Eames was doing at that moment.
He drank a beer and then another and stared out his window for awhile.
He had a shower at 10 p.m. and was heading to his bed with a book when he heard the knock.
"Are you busy?" Her eyes, quick and nervous, took in his T-shirt and shorts, his damp hair, tired face.
"What are you…doing here?" he asked.
"I sneaked out," she said, and giggled a bit.
He raised an eyebrow. She was either nervous or drunk and somehow either notion was vaguely appealing.
"Sneaked out of where?"
"Oh, my sister's place. It was just going on and on and on and I'm tired and there was this guy she invited — Andy — and god, I mean, he was sweet and everything, but I just wasn't in the mood—"
"Eames—" He suddenly really, really didn't want to be having this particular conversation.
She stopped, sighed.
"I just…knew you didn't have plans but you didn't take me up on my invitation…and…I don't know."
"Invitation?" Had she really been inviting him earlier? He'd figured she was just being Eames, polite and kind.
"Forget it," she said, and god, she was blushing and he had to do something, quick.
"You can come in, you know," he said and opened the door wider. She hesitated for a second, the slid inside, looking all at once relieved and uncomfortable in her skin.
"So." She looked around, then sat quickly on the couch. "What did you do today?"
"Oh." He sat next to her, close but not touching, laughed a little. "Nothing. Really. Kind of boring. But, relaxing. You know. A nice break."
"How about you?"
"Oh, the usual. Too many people, too much food, too much noise."
"An egg hunt for the kids, outside for a change. Chocolate bunnies…egg painting." She shoved her hand in her coat pocket then and pulled something out. "I…made this for you."
She held it out to him. An egg, dyed a brilliant blue and green and purple. He stared at it.
She nodded. "I mean, all the kids were making them and there was an extra one and…I don't know. I just thought you'd like it."
He could actually hear her swallow in the sudden silence of the room. He reached out and took it from her hand, aware of the skin of his fingers brushing against the skin of her palm. The egg felt smooth and cool and heavy and he imagined her, in the throng of noisy, messy children, making this for him.
"It's…beautiful. Thank you."
She shrugged, one-shoulder. "If you get tired of looking of it, you can always eat it."
He leaned over then, meaning to kiss her cheek but getting her mouth instead, a happy mistake. She kissed him back, without hesitation.
Even more interesting.
"Happy Easter," he said. She pulled away a tiny bit, but not enough to make him think she was done kissing him or anything.
"Easter's on Sunday," she said.
"I'm not a religious person," he murmured against her mouth, her sweet and soft and slightly salty mouth (Almonds, she explained later) and he felt her smile against his lips.
"S'okay," she murmured back.
He kissed her again, and again. Then she did pull away, fought to catch her breath.
"I should go," she said.
"You don't…have to."
"Well, I mean…no." He smiled. "You don't."
She nodded and shrugged off her coat, finally.
"Okay." She leaned back, smiled.
It was a good Friday.