Author's Note: Written for Porn Battle IX (Dressed to the Nines) over on DreamWidth. Prompt was: impulse, photograph


It had just been an impulse. A silly thing that Betty hadn't even given thought to, she'd just done it. And Daniel knew that, right? He had to know it, because she would never… it hadn't even ever crossed her mind to… she and Daniel were just… the kiss had been an accident. Or not an accident, exactly, but it wasn't premeditated either. She had just gotten caught up in the excitement of her very first feature article being nominated for a National Magazine Award. That was HUGE, and clearly it was a very reasonable excuse for the fact that she squealed into her cell phone at the news and wrapped her arms around Daniel's neck and planted a wet one on him. It was only because he was the person closest to her at the time. It's not like she knew there were paparazzi at the benefit dinner (okay, maybe she did know that, but it had slipped her mind at the time), and so it didn't occur to her that this spontaneous kiss would be splashed all over the tabloids. It didn't even occur to her that she was kissing Daniel! But she was, and it had just been a quick, friendly, "Hey buddy, I just got nominated for a National Magazine Award!" kind of kiss, but of course the tabloids made it out to look like some big passionate kiss, like she and Daniel were living in some kind of beautifully romantic fairytale, and it didn't help that they had managed to catch the moment right when Daniel had gotten past his shock and moved his hands to her waist. And of course they missed the part where that was when Betty had realized what they were doing and broke away from him like a shot. And the tabloids certainly didn't mention the bit about her laughing nervously and punching him on the shoulder, trying to act like it had been nothing, and his shell-shocked expression, and the way he couldn't seem to say a word and so she just lamely excused herself and left the party.

The worst part of it all was that she couldn't even look at Daniel anymore without getting red in the face, without remembering the taste of the champagne on his lips, or the way their bodies had seemed to fit together in just the right way, or the little surprised moan that he had emitted against her lips, or the thrill that had shot through her when his hands had wrapped around her waist. It was all so there in her mind that it kind of freaked her out. And although she'd always known what cologne Daniel wore (she had bought it for him several times in the past, actually), she'd never been so aware of his cologne before. It was like she could smell it from a mile away now, or she could smell it long after he'd left a room, and it did silly things to her stomach that it never used to do before, and it brought back all those things about the kiss that she was trying so desperately to forget. And that kiss was damn hard to forget when Amanda and Marc kept taping the photograph to her computer screen every time she left her desk or made kissy noises anytime she and Daniel spoke to each other (they both seemed to make it a point to avoid talking to each other in either of their offices, where they would be alone together, and Betty was afraid to analyze the implications of that little detail). And if Betty had been paying any attention she probably would have noticed that Daniel was just as embarrassed about the whole thing as she was.

"We can't keep doing this, Betty."

"What?" she just about jumped out of her chair at the sound of his voice. There he was, standing in front of her desk, in her office, the one she shared with another editor who annoyingly chose that moment to not be there.

"I miss you," he said softly.

Betty relaxed and felt herself smile at him, that smile that she knew was kind of surprised but not really, and probably full of the affection that was filling her whole body at those words. Now that she was looking at him, and hearing his voice, she realized that he was still Daniel. "I miss you, too."

"So stop avoiding me."

"I'm not avoiding you! You're avoiding me!"

He lifted an eyebrow at her.

"Okay, fine, maybe I was avoiding you," she conceded.

He smiled and looked down as he said, "I was avoiding you, too."

"I knew it!"

He laughed. Betty hadn't realized how much she loved his laugh until that very moment. "So… can we stop avoiding each other now?" he asked in that vulnerable, hopeful way that always gets her to forgive him anything, and it occurred to her then that he felt guilty for something that was clearly her fault.

"I'd like that," she said.

"Good," he replied, and he looked at her awkwardly.

"Good," she repeated.

And then there was a thing. A thing where they were looking into each other's eyes probably longer than was normal for two friends to be looking into each other's eyes, and she felt her heart rushing and the world around them just seemed to blur a little bit, and she could smell his cologne and he was licking his lips and she just… she shot of her chair and grabbed his face and kissed him. She kissed him for real this time, and when his arms pulled her closer, she didn't break away. And when his tongue trailed down her neck, she let out a soft moan. And when he squeezed her breast, his thumb flicking over her nipple through her sweater, she let out a shaky breath and grabbed onto his hair, her other hand moving to his crotch, and when he let out an "Oh god," Betty had burst out laughing, because he was Daniel and the entire situation was just so ridiculous, but somehow it felt like they'd been waiting to do this forever and just never knew it, and if not for her silly impulses, they probably would have gone on for years not knowing it. He silenced her laughter with another kiss and lifted her onto the desk, wrapping one leg around his waist, and then the oth—

"OH MY GOD! MY POOR, POOR EYES!"

Daniel and Betty shot apart. Standing in the doorway was Marc looking completely scandalized and Amanda looking way too turned on and she was… holding up her camera phone. Oh god.