Disclaimer: not mine, not for profit.

Notes: For Whedonland challenge: a kiss between 2 characters from the same show who have never kissed onscreen.

Summary: Topher tries to console Ivy with praise and, finally, a kiss. There's a doughnut in it for him too.

Ivy was sitting in the staff canteen, sobbing. Dominic was watching through the window in the door, empty coffee mug in hand. Topher came to peer over his shoulder.

"What's going on? I need a juicebox."

Dominic glared at him. "Ivy is upset," he said.


"I don't do upset."

Topher laughed. "You think the dolls are creepy because they have no real emotions and yet you're leery of a weepy female?"

"Think you're so world-weary?"

Topher nodded. "Yes, actually. I have numerous casanovaic exploits to draw upon."

"Then you deal with her."

Topher opened and closed his mouth. He had a horrible feeling he'd been tricked. Determined to make the best of it, he squared his shoulders. "Watch a master at work."

"Make it quick. I need coffee," Dominic said.

Topher swept into the canteen and straight to the refrigerator. He pulled open the door and perused the shelves. Ivy sobbed a little louder, attention seeking. With a sigh, Topher chose an orange juicebox and stood.

"Ivy. You OK?" Topher stabbed the straw into the carton.

Ivy mumbled incoherently. Topher sucked on the juice and waited. When Ivy fell silent, he said, "You're going to have to explain that without the sobbing."

Through her tears she shot him a malicious glance. "Bobby," she said, and took a ragged breath. "We'd been out twice. And he said he wants to break up. That it's not working out. He said…"

Topher came to sit by her. "What did he say?"

"Like you care."

"I like gossip." Topher drew on the straw again. "If you tell me, I'll tell you what I heard about what Boyd was doing in the pool yesterday."

Ivy considered and Topher seized on the moment of interest. "So, Bobby said?"

"That I'm too intellectual! And not pliant enough. And that I kiss like a wet fish!"

Topher nodded and waited a moment, thinking. He put down his juicebox and turned his full attention to Ivy, who was waiting for his response. He began counting off on his fingers.

"First, intellectual? You're not me, but you're pretty damn smart, and if Bobby doesn't like it, screw him. He's a jock, right?" Ivy nodded and Topher continued. "Jocks don't get to judge our smarts. Two, pliant? What are you, bamboo? I doubt he means the programming language given point one. I suppose he means soft, girly, yielding. Like he wants to be the boss all of the time. That's not good. Leaving a jock in charge of a relationship is like leaving Dominic in charge of a fireworks display; it'll be great to watch but over in a matter of moments and you'll be lucky if no-one gets injured in the process."

Ivy tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "Go on," she said.

"Three," Topher said, "um, the kissing. Cold fish. Did you ask Bobby how many fish he'd kissed in order to make a viable comparison? 'Cause, I bet the answer is none. No actual fish kissed, let alone cold ones. Unless he's got a fetish for frozen cod or something."

Ivy actually gave a small laugh at that. "I'm not a cold fish."

"Of course not." Topher impulsively leant over. "Maybe, though, I should be sure."

Ivy frowned but before she could protest, Topher had his hands on her shoulders and was kissing her. She struggled for a moment then relaxed. Bobby had been wrong; Ivy could be very pliant, her warm mouth soft and yielding to Topher's demands. He felt his heart beat faster and while he'd closed his eyes, his others senses flew into sharp relief; he could smell her lavender scented shampoo, taste cranberry juice on her tongue, feel the weave of her jersey beneath his fingers and the heat of her body pressed against his as she leant into him.

He pulled away gently and Ivy, stunned, reached for his juicebox and drank a good portion of the remainder of the juice.

"No fish there," Topher said helpfully.

"Thank you," Ivy said, still clutching the carton.

"And let's never speak of this again," Topher suggested.

Ivy nodded and all but ran from the canteen. A moment later Dominic entered and made a beeline for the coffee pot.

"You owe me," Topher said.

"Oh, I don't think so," Dominic said, pouring coffee. "I think you owe me. That's probably the first kiss you've had in ever."

Topher rolled his eyes. "Geek stereotyping. I'm so hurt. At least leave me the last jelly doughnut."

Truth was, it wasn't Topher's first kiss, but it had been one of the nicest in a very long time. And, doughnut: bonus.