Jenny awoke with a start, her head pounding so hard that it made her eyes water. It was morning, and she was in Sarah's bed, still wearing the clothes she was the previous day, and feeling rougher than she had ever felt in her life.
"Well good morning sunshine!" Sarah said loudly, looking highly amused as she lent back against the door that she had just slammed shut. "How's the head?"
"Killing me," Jenny mumbled, pulling the duvet over her head to try and drown out Sarah's voice; she was speaking unusually loud, and Jenny suspected that it was to playfully annoy her.
Jenny felt the mattress lower slightly, and suspected that Sarah had sat down on the bed next to her.
"What's going on with you?" Sarah's said, her voice sounding softer and laced with concern.
Jenny screwed up her eyes against a particularly nasty twinge in her head. This was not something she wanted to talk about; she knew she was acting oddly, but the reason for it was not something she wanted to feel or examine . . . she just wanted to suppress it.
"What?" Jenny replied lamely, her voice muffled under the blanket.
"You know 'what' . . . you're drinking too much," Sarah accused, pulling the duvet away from her face and fixing her with a look of disapproval.
"What? You drink!" Jenny retorted, looking up at her.
"I drink with my friends, not alone in some seedy bar," Sarah reasoned. "And I don't drink myself into a coma either."
"It was hardly a coma - "
"Cutter had to carry you in here, and I mean literally carry you. You were completely gone."
"Look, if you want me to leave, just say so," Jenny snapped, fighting back the urge to be sick.
Sarah shook her head immediately. "I don't want you to leave! I'm just worried about you. You hardly sleep, unless you've drunk yourself into a stupor of course, and you never eat. And you won't talk about the reason why."
"Talking is not going to fix anything, is it? Jenny pointed out quietly.
"Neither is drinking."
Jenny looked back up at her, sighing inwardly. "When I drink, I can't feel. And when I can't feel, I don't think about Brookes, or the attack, or Cutter, or anything. And I like not having to tear myself apart about everything."
Silence followed her words, Sarah looking down at her with her brow furrowed.
"Brookes isn't coming back, you know," Sarah said eventually, so quietly that Jenny almost missed it.
"You don't know that - "
"Yes I do."
Jenny gave her a questioning look, and Sarah shifted uncomfortably.
"I shouldn't really be the one to tell you this . . ." Sarah began.
Jenny listened with a slightly opened mouth as Sarah explained about her likeness to Brookes's dead fiancee, and the fact that Cutter and Lester had warned him off on pane of life imprisonment.
"But . . . well that doesn't mean he won't come back and risk it anyway," Jenny reasoned after Sarah took a pause in her story.
"Well Cutter seemed pretty confident that he got the message. He said that by the time they left, he was crying and saying sorry, and cradling the picture of his fiancee."
"Wow," Jenny said blankly. "I - I don't really know what to do with that . . ."
And this couldn't be more true. She felt a cocktail of emotions; relief at the fact that it was not her he was interested in after all, anger at the cruel fate that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time to spark his interest, and frustration that she was letting her life slip away from her all because some man had missed his dead partner. But worst of all, she sickeningly felt a wave of sympathy wash over her for the person who had nearly killed her. However, she also felt a spark of pride; yet again, Cutter had rode to her rescue. Not that she relished being the distressing damsel, but she had to admit, it was nice to not feel so alone in this for once.
"I'll tell you what you need to do," Sarah said, reclining on the pillow next to her. "You're going to get up, get a shower, and put some God damn make-up on because you look like hell," she paused as Jenny laughed. "And you're going to go and find Cutter, and do something to make it up to him."
"Have I really been that bad?"
"Oh yeah, you've been treating him like crap," Sarah admitted casually.
Cutter was in his office, buried up to his eyeballs in dreary paperwork that he had been putting off for days. He knew it was important to document each anomaly and the creatures that came through for research purposes, but Lester also had them each writing statements about each occurrence so that an efficient cover story could be concocted when civilians were killed. And that really didn't sit well with him. He knew it was necessary, but he had never believed in censorship, and it took a lot for him to accept that a big part of his job was a cover-up operation. It still made him uncomfortable when he watched Jenny spin the public lies; she was such an expert at it, that even if a T-rex had destroyed Big Ben, he was sure she'd be able to convince the eye witnesses they had seen a plane crash into it. He didn't like watching her work when it came to that area; he had hated the way she engaged in gentle flirtation with any male witnesses to get them to believe her story even when they weren't an item, and he despised it even more now.
He closed his eyes and sighed; thinking about Jenny was just too painful. Any day now, he expected a phone call off her, telling him it was over. She probably would have said it to him last night if she had been in any fit state.
His thoughts were stopped when he heard heels clicking in the corridor outside, steadily getting louder as the person got closer. For a second, Cutter's heart stopped . . . it couldn't be . . . she wasn't supposed to come back until tomorrow . . .
But it was her.
She was dressed rather oddly in a stylish long white coat-mack thing (despite it being boiling outside), which Cutter suspected was because she hadn't been home to collect much of her clothes yet. Her legs were bare, and she wore her standard black heels. The jolt of happiness he had felt upon seeing her dissipated fast as he realised that she was most likely here to dump him. She lent against the doorframe casually and (rather unnecessarily) rapped her knuckles softly on his open door.
"Can I come in?" she asked tentively.
"Of course," Cutter answered shortly, his heart hammering as he tried to focus his eyes on his desk rather than her.
She walked forward, but didn't take a seat, instead she stood a couple of feet in front of his desk, her hands in her pockets.
"Why didn't you tell me?" she said with a frown.
For fleeting moment, Cutter wondered what she was talking about, until he realised that Sarah would have told her about his visit to Brookes by now.
"I couldn't get a hold of you," he mumbled, still trying resolutely not to make eye contact with her.
"If you really wanted to, you could have done," she replied sternly. "You knew were I was."
She took a seat in front of him, crossing her legs as she did so. Cutter gulped and looked away, unwilling to drool over a woman who was about to break up with him; he had more self respect than that. Still, it struck him that neither Helen nor Claudia had had the effect on him that the woman in front of him did; it was like he was under a spell or something.
"Okay," Cutter admitted slowly. "Maybe I didn't want to see you."
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her face contort in a hurt look.
"Why?" she asked, sounding slightly stung.
"Because I was sc - " Cutter began, but he stopped himself. He was about to say 'because I was scared you'd break up with me if I saw you', but it sounded too pathetic. He tried again. "I thought you might . . . that you might have reassessed your feelings for me."
"That's never going to happen," she said in a gently voice; at this, his head snapped up, and hope swelled inside him like a balloon. "Why on earth would you think that?" she asked, sounding disappointed that the thought had even entered his mind.
"Well what did you expect me to think?" he retorted. "You run out in the middle of the night and go and stay with Sarah, and stop answering my calls. It doesn't exactly scream happiness to me."
She sighed heavily and leaned back in her chair, jiggling her leg up and down slightly in a way that he'd come to associate with her being nervous.
"I was very confused," she began quietly. "And I was very unhappy . . ." the hope balloon in Cutter's stomach burst at these words. She was unhappy with him. This must have shown on his face, as she quickly went on to explain. "But it's not you! It's never been about you. I've made my feelings for you perfectly clear in the past. This was just something I had to go through."
"I was trying to help - " Cutter insisted, irritated that she felt like she had to go through all of it alone; did she not trust him enough to let him in?
"I know you were," Jenny said gently. "I'm . . . I'm sorry, I know I've been weak - "
"You're not weak Jenny," he said quietly, fingering the edge of a file on his desk.
"Well, I've been doing a brilliant impression of someone who is," she sighed, her eyes studying his face for a reaction.
Cutter, however, could think of nothing to say. He knew she was by no means weak, but she had been having a hard time adjusting lately, and there was no point in pretending otherwise. He watched her as she bit her bottom lip slightly, and looked down at the floor, as though she wanted to say something, but couldn't quite figure out how to say it. Silence floated between them for a few moments.
"I'm thinking of putting my house up for sale," Jenny spoke eventually.
"Yeah, I'm not comfortable there . . . not anymore anyway. And I can finally give Mark his share of it and get him off my back."
"Right," Cutter nodded, unsure of why she was telling him this now.
"So I'll be looking for another place to live . . ." she continued wistfully. "I can't very well stay cramped in a one-bedroom apartment with Sarah forever."
"Okay . . ."
"So I was thinking . . . that I'm going to move in with you."
Cutter's eyes flew up to meet her's to see if she was joking or not. She looked back at him brazenly, her expression unreadable, although she looked completely serious. Before he could stop himself, Cutter actually laughed aloud; this was Jenny Lewis all over . . . she hadn't fished around for an invite to move in, nor had she asked him what he thought about the situation. She had told him what she was going to do, and that was the end of it. She never ceased to amaze him.
"Did you just invite yourself to live with me?" he asked in amused disbelief.
"Yes," she answered abruptly. "Is that a problem?"
"No," Cutter shook his head, still unable to wipe the smile off his face.
"Good then it's settled," she smirked.
"I guess it is," he agreed.
"How much work have you got to do?" she asked, standing up slowly.
"God, a mound. By the looks of things im going to be here all night," he said, glancing down at his workload.
"Well that's a shame," she sighed dramatically, as she undid the belt of her mack and pulled her coat open. "I'll just go back to your place alone then."
Cutter's jaw nearly dropped to the floor.
Underneath the coat, she was wearing an incredibly short skirt coupled with a black corset, laced with red material. Both were skin tight, both were teasingly revealing, and both were incredibly hot.
"Wow," was all he could manage to say.
She raised her eyebrow at him ruefully. "Am I to take it that you've changed your mind then?"
"Well . . . you do come first . . ." Cutter stuttered, finding it difficult to keep his mind straight.
"I thought you'd say something like that," she smirked.
In a flash, he was on his feet, rounding the desk and pulling her lips onto his. She kissed him back with passion he hadn't felt off her in a long time; her hands were traveling through his hair, and he allowed his to wander over her curves. She pressed her body against his; her kisses needy and full of longing -
The shrill sound of the Anomaly Detector filled the room, making them both jump violently.
"Damn it!" Jenny scowled, placing her forehead on his.
Cutter breathed hard, trying to control his frustration.
"Come on," he breathed eventually, wrenching himself away from her, which was difficult. "You might as well join us now that you're here."
"What?" she asked in disbelief. "Are you joking? Nick, look at me! I'll give poor Conner a heart attack!"
"Just do up you're coat, and no one will know but me," he reasoned, trying and failing to keep the amusement out of his voice.
Jenny scrutinized him for a moment, eyeing him up and down.
"Fine," she said curtly, buttoning up her coat. "But as soon as we get home, it's coming off; don't think you're getting a second viewing," she added, although she wore a reluctant smile.
They both made their way to the main room just as Conner was getting the coordinates.
"It's a local one!" he informed them, turning and smiling as he spotted Jenny. "Hiya! I didn't think we'd be seeing you 'till tomorrow?" he added to her.
"I couldn't stay away from you for that long Conner," Jenny joked, as the three of them walked to the exit.
Conner blushed slightly. "Erm . . . I'll phone Abby and tell her to meet us there," he said, changing the subject, although he looked quite pleased.
They all got in the car; Cutter and Jenny in the front and Conner in the back.
"Aren't you hot in that Jenny?" Conner asked, gesturing at Jenny's coat.
Cutter turned and smiled at her, watching her pull the mack tighter around herself, looking embarrassed.
"No, I - I get cold easily," she stammered, glancing at Cutter and glaring at him for smiling.
"But it's like one of the hottest days in the year today," Conner laughed. "Why don't you just leave it here - ?"
"No!" Cutter and Jenny said in unison.
It's overrrrrrrrrr! Relief lol! I hope everyone who read it enjoyed it, and thank you so much to everyone who reviewed!
I'll most likely be working on a new fic soon due to sheer boredom of the long 4 month summer holiday, so any ideas would be welcome :)