DISCLAIMER: "Ugly Betty" is copyrighted to ABC Studios. I retain rights to the plot, but not the characters. This story is meant for enjoyment purposes only. No infringement is intended.
TIMELINE: Set after episode, 'Bananas For Betty'.
SYNOPSIS: AU. Gio/Betty. Answer to Alphabet Challenge – A is for Alcohol
THE MORNING AFTER
"Man, I'm never drinking again," groaned Gio as he groggily sat up in bed. Hand to head, he waited a few moments until the room stopped spinning then tried to recall what had happened the night before.
He could remember going dancing with Hilda when Betty and her boyfriend had turned up at the club unexpectedly. There had been some kind of argument between them and then Egg Salad had left in a huff. He could also recollect that Betty had been upset and so he'd ordered some more cocktails for them all, but from then on it all got a little hazy.
Turning his head, he noticed that the drawer of his bedside cabinet was open. Inside, his new pack of condoms was open with a couple of sealed foil packs sat on top of the box ready for use; but he hadn't been with a woman in ages…
A soft moan suddenly came from beside him and he froze momentarily before slowly turning his head towards the sound. His eyes widened and his heart started to thud heavily as he saw a woman lying on her side in bed next to him. A familiar mass of long, unruly black hair covered her face, shielding her identity. A cold dread flooded through his system causing him to suddenly sober up within seconds.
It couldn't be…could it?
Swallowing hard, his gaze travelled along the length of his companion's shapely body. Looking at the low slung sheet, that revealed far more flesh than it actually covered, he could tell that she was every as bit naked as he was, which wasn't really a good thing considering her relationship status.
She moaned softly again then rolled over onto her back with a sigh. Her hair fell back to reveal her face and Gio felt his stomach drop as his suspicions were confirmed.
She moved again, this time raising her arms above her head and stretching out her body with a long groan as she roused from her sleep. The action bowed her back causing her bare chest to be thrust out, drawing Gio's avid gaze.
"Hi Gio," she murmured with a smile as she sleepily opened her eyes before shutting them again.
There was a moment's pause then her eyes flew open once more. "Gio?!" she exclaimed in shock as she sat bolt upright. Looking around the room, her fuzzy brain started to register where she was and, more importantly, what she'd obviously done, not to mention who with…
"Wha'? How? Oh my God!"
Suddenly realising her nakedness, she let out a little scream of panic and grabbed the sheet. With a swift tug, she pulled the cover up to her neck, blocking his view of her body. Unfortunately for her, she'd taken so much of the sheet that she'd pulled it off Gio, who now sat next to her completely uncovered. With a small yelp of embarrassment, she closed her eyes tightly and turned her head away.
"Cover yourself up," she ordered, mortified.
"With what?" Gio replied dryly. "You've got all of the sheet."
"Then get your clothes on and leave," she retorted, still not looking.
Gio chuckled and the sound washed over her like a gentle wave, bringing her body to abrupt, unwelcome awareness. When had his laugh stopped grating on her nerves?
"Uh, this is my place, Suarez, so I'm not going anywhere," he informed her with a smile. "But I will put some pants on…if you really want me to?"
"Yes, I do!" she replied quickly.
She felt the bed move as he laughed again and Betty couldn't resist opening her eyes to have a sneaky look at him. He'd just stood up and she got a good view of his taut derriere and muscular back before she quickly shut her eyes again.
Gio looked down at the floor for his pants but couldn't see them. In fact, he couldn't see any of their clothes in the vicinity of the bed. With a slight frown, he headed out of the bedroom into the lounge where he saw items of clothing strewn everywhere and Betty's glasses laying on the couch. Obviously, this was where everything had started. If only he could remember.
He picked up his creased pants and slipped them on then grabbed her glasses and went around the room gathering up the rest of their clothes. Apparently, they'd had quite a wild time, judging by the state of some of them. His shirt had virtually no buttons left on it at all; he must have been in a real hurry to get it off.
With a sigh, he carried the clothes and glasses back to the bedroom then steeled himself to face the woman within. He wasn't even sure how they'd come to be in this situation. He thought Betty hated him and although he acted like he wasn't that enamoured of her either, deep down, he'd already tacitly acknowledged that he could fall head over heels if he actually let himself.
There was just the little problem of the fact that she had a boyfriend. As a rule, he didn't mess with another man's woman. Ever. It was wrong…and yet, one drink too many and apparently he had…three times if the discarded condoms on the floor by the bed were any indication.
Despite the situation, he couldn't help but mentally preen himself that he'd been able to perform so well while being so drunk. He just had to make sure Betty didn't find out. He had no doubt that she'd begin her guilt trip soon enough and that he would be solely to blame. At least if she thought they'd only made love once, she would probably write it off to an excess of alcohol. Three times…well, three times meant she must have liked it…and that was a little harder to justify. He sure as hell knew that he wasn't going to be able to do it. He just had to face the fact that he was already in far deeper than he really wanted to be.
Taking a deep breath, he entered the bedroom and found Betty still sitting up in bed, clutching at the sheet as if her very life depended on it.
"I found your clothes and glasses," he said, walking over and putting them down on the bed. "Do you want some coffee or anything? I could put it on while you get dressed."
"No thank you," she replied primly as she reached for her spectacles and put them on. "I just want to get my clothes on and leave as soon as possible."
"Don't you want to talk about what happened?" Gio queried incredulously.
"No!" she answered sharply. "I don't remember anything and I want to leave it that way, OK?"
She waved a hand at him to leave but Gio merely turned his back to her and held his ground. She rolled her eyes and hurriedly began to get dressed. She just needed to get away from the whole awful mess.
"You can't just ignore what we did, Betty," he pointed out reasonably.
"Oh yes I can," she retorted quickly as she stood and pulled on her dress. "For all we know, nothing actually happened. I mean, we were both so drunk we probably just went to sleep…"
"Naked together," he interrupted with a husky chuckle. "Yeah, you tell yourself that if it makes you feel better, Suarez."
"Shut up, Gio!" she ordered in an annoyed tone.
He laughed once more and, as before, instead of being annoying, it seemed to draw her to him. Like she wanted to do anything to hear that sound again. Shaking her head to dispel the feeling, she slipped her shoes on then grabbed her jumper and brushed passed him as she hurriedly headed out of the bedroom towards the door of the apartment.
As much as she hated to admit it, even to herself, she knew what he'd said was true. She was only trying to make herself feel better. There could no doubt that they'd spent the night together, the pleasurable ache in her body told her they had. She'd never done anything so rash in her life before and it frightened her that she seemed perfectly happy to do it with Gio of all people. He was such a lothario and she'd ended up as yet another notch on his very large bedpost. What did that say about her?
The certain set of morals she lived by had all flown out of the window the minute she'd had too much alcohol and an experienced womaniser had made a move. She couldn't believe she'd been so weak.
Spying her purse and coat on the floor by the couch, she went over and bent to retrieve them. As she stood up, she found that Gio was standing right beside her with a sober expression on his face.
"I don't think you should leave until we talk this out, Betty," he tried again.
She shook her head and quickly walked around him. "There's nothing to say, Gio," she denied as she reached the door and looked back at him. "Whatever happened last night was a mistake. A horrible mistake that I don't ever want to repeat and it's all your fault!"
She grabbed the door handle and gave it a tug but her big exit was denied her when she realised it was locked.
Even though he'd been waiting for her to heap the blame on him, he hadn't been prepared for how much her words actually hurt him. "Just how is this all my fault?" he snapped, irately.
So desperate to leave, Betty didn't register the angry note in his voice. Leaving the door, she turned to look at him and accused hotly, "You're the one that got me drunk and took advantage! I would never have done anything like this if it wasn't for you!"
Gio took a couple of steps towards her, his emotions reeling from her unfair indictment. "I didn't exactly force those cocktails down your throat, Suarez. And as for taking advantage of you…"
He broke off unable to complete the sentence, his revulsion at the very idea turning his stomach. Is that what she really thought of him? As a man who plied women with drink solely to get them into bed?
"Well it wasn't me…" Betty began indignantly only to stop mid-speech as a sudden memory flashed into her brain. "Oh no!"
She could see herself taking hold of Gio's shirt and ripping it open, sending the buttons flying everywhere. "I want you, Gio, so bad," she heard her own, slurred voice say.
"We're drunk. We shouldn't," he'd replied, his voice equally garbled.
But then she'd launched herself at him and there'd been no more objections.
She pushed the memory aside and felt her breathing start to shallow. "Oh God," she muttered in mortification. It hadn't been Gio after all, it had been her. He'd tried to stop her, even though he was drunk. At least he'd attempted to do the decent thing, which was more than could be said about her own reckless behaviour.
She could feel the rush of heat flooding her cheeks and placed her hands against them so as try and stem the flow of embarrassment.
"What did you remember?" Gio suddenly asked.
Betty looked up at him and automatically shook her head. "Nothing," she lied, trying not to notice his bare chest. She could remember running her tongue down the entire length of his torso, right to his…
"No, I don't remember anything!" she reiterated more to herself than to Gio.
Turning back to the door, she began tugging on it once more as panic set in with a vengeance. She needed to get out of there. She felt as if she couldn't breathe. The memories were flooding her brain thick and fast and she just wanted to go somewhere quiet and sort it all out.
"Why won't this damn door open!" she cried.
"Calm down, Betty, it's just locked," Gio told her as he walked up and looked at her with some concern.
She backed away from him so quickly that she almost fell over. His look of concern changed to a frown and he briskly turned the key then opened the door. He took a step back and gestured to the exit.
"You'd better run away quick before I take advantage of you again," he said bitterly.
His harsh words penetrated her emotional haze and she suddenly felt an irrational need to tell him that he'd tried to do the honourable thing the night before. She moved towards the door and opened her mouth to speak but nothing coherent seemed to come out.
"I know, I know, you don't have to tell me again, I heard you the first time," Gio cut in grimly, effectively stopping her babble. "It was wrong, a big mistake, yada, yada…well, let me tell you, Suarez, we made the same mistake three times last night, so how are you going to rationalise that to yourself, huh?"
She drew in a sharp breath at his words and blinked away sudden tears. Moving to the door again, she stopped short when Gio stepped into her path.
"Don't I even get a kiss goodbye?" he goaded, not wanting her to go but unable to ask her to stay.
"No," she refused, quietly.
She started to walk around him but he reached out and grabbed hold of her arm, pulling her flush against him. Before she realised what was happening, he leant in and kissed her full on the lips. It was hungry and demanding and, after a moment's hesitation, Betty wrapped her arms around his neck and responded in kind.
An involuntary moan escaped her when he eventually pulled back and Gio had to physically push her away before he did something he'd regret even more. Turning away, he didn't even flinch when the door slammed loudly behind him.
With her parting shot of, "I never want to see you again. Ever!" still ringing in his ears, he slumped onto the couch and closed his eyes.
Whatever it was they might have had was never going to happen now.