"Shoot."

Florence bent down to pick up her bottle of lemon-scented shampoo from where it had fallen on the tile floor of the shower. She exhaled softly, a wave of exhaustion washing over her. All she had to do was finish washing her hair, and then the soft warm bed one room over in her suite was all hers. Then she could forget about the heinous evening she'd just had. Maybe by morning everyone else in the hotel would have forgotten as well.

With a sigh, she mentally ran through the list of the evening's disasters. First, she'd had to force Freddie into a suit and practically drag him downstairs and away from the comfort of the suite and his personal chessboard to a small hotel ball – some annual thing that would look good to the press. That should have been my warning, she remarked dryly to herself. Things had steadily gotten worse from there. The heel on one of her shoes had broken, and she'd had to limp back upstairs to change. When she'd returned, she'd found Freddie berating a hapless waiter, both of them covered in red wine. After Freddie had returned in a different suit, he'd gotten rather tipsy and started discussing something extremely innapropriate with a naive-looking eighteen-year-old-girl, then nearly gotten into a fight with her boyfriend. It was then that she had dragged him back up to the room, deciding for her sanity and the safety of them both that it was best that they leave.

Finally finished washing, she shut off the water in the shower, tugged aside the curtain, and nearly had a heart attack.

"Freddie!" she shrieked, jumping half a mile at the unexpected appearance of him before her, grinning wolfishly. She shrieked again, feeling her feet slip and slide quite easily on the wet tiles and seeing the ground below her rush upwards alarmingly. Her reflexes – which were normally very quick, but seemed to have been impaired by shock, the wine she'd been drinking earlier, and her exhaustion – didn't kick in time to stop her head from connecting painfully with the nearby counter edge.

For a second, every thing went black, then reappeared. As things slowly went black again, the sharp pain in her head, the warm, sticky feeling on her cheek, and the feeling of strong arms wrapping around her slowly faded into dark silence.


Florence stirred sluggishly, a soft, pained groan escaping her lips. What in the world? she wondered. Slowly, she opened her eyes, blinking several times as her vision and her head cleared.

She slowly realized that she was laying on a soft, warm bed, naked except for a dark, fancy jacket someone had wrapped around her and buttoned up to hide her nudity. There was also a slow, dull ache coming from her right temple, and something very itchy wrapped around her forehead. She reached up and felt a gauze bandage, whimpering just a little when her temple protested at the gentle touch of her fingers.

A soft voice made her glance up. "Flo?" someone asked quietly.

It was Freddie, and he was watching her with his wide blue eyes. He was still wearing his dress pants and his crisp white shirt (she winced upon noticing spots of scarlet on his shoulder), but she realized it was his tuxedo jacket that he had wrapped her in. She forced a smile, but it came out as a grimace.

"Hi," she said softly.

"Jesus," he murmured softly. "You scared the hell out of me, Florence."

"Sorry," she mumbled instinctively, and he smirked. She reached up to touch her temple again, and winced. "How many stitches?"

"Four," he said, wrinkling his nose. She sighed. "But there was enough blood to start up a drive for the Red Cross. The poor maid who cleans that bathroom . . ." He didn't finish his sentence, instead shaking his head and eying her with concern.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

She attempted a nod, but gave up on that. "I'm fine," she said. "It hurts a little. But mostly I feel fuzzy," she continued, her words slurring slightly as sleep attempted to pull her under again.

Freddie smirked. "Probably all the pain pills they loaded you up with."

She grumbled softly and shifted on the bed, struggling to keep her eyes open. "So you called a doctor for me?"

Freddie blinked. "Of course not. What was I supposed to do, let you bleed to death on the bathroom floor? No, I carried you to the front desk and demanded help. After wrapping you in my jacket," he said, nodding sagely.

She smiled weakly, a little impressed. Although the part about his jacket had probably only been to keep the eyes of other men off of her, rather than to preserve her dignity.

"Hey, Freddie?" she mumbled, finally conceding to sleep.

"Hmm."

"Love you," she mumbled.

He chuckled quietly. "I know," he replied, with an air of amusement and smugness, but an underlying tone of relief.

"You bastard," she said, weakly lifting her hand in what was supposed to be a swat at his head. "Say it back."

He sighed, and she knew he was rolling his eyes, but his reply was firm. "I love you, too, Florence."

Despite her terrible evening, Florence fell asleep with a smile on her face.


A/N: FLUFF! 3 Please review.