This is probably going to be one of the longest notes I've ever written for a fic, but I swear it's because it's necessary. This is going to be one of my big projects for CA, even if it doesn't seem it at the moment. I decided about a month ago (seriously, this particular oneshot was finished on like July 25) that I wanted to challenge myself because I had so many ideas for this fandom I didn't know what to do.

Enter LiveJournal's 30_Kisses.

I should mention right now that I'm not a LiveJournal kinda girl- NO disrespect to ANY ff writers out there, because I can appreciate anyone that wants to keep their readers updated. I just stick to that tiny little space in my ff profile, because it's easy to remember considering I'm almost always on . I'm never actually on LiveJournal, except when I'm looking for challenges like this one.

I didn't actually expect to get as much inspiration as I did for those 30 prompts, but it's been about 3 weeks and I've completed about 7 and a half prompts. Because so many were finished and I really hate leaving you guys hanging for so long (despite what you guys have seen in this fandom, for the most part I'm usually very, very fickle and it can sometimes take me ages to complete a simple challege) I have decided that every Friday, I will post a new oneshot/drabble thing for this fic. There are so many completed, I'm hoping that even if I DO get behind at some point I'll still have an extra week or two to catch up.

As one last warning, this first fic isn't really rated M- that WILL happen soon (like 2 or 3 weeks from now), just not here- so the whole thing is rated M, but I'll warn everybody at the beginning of each chapter what I would give the rating so if anyone doesn't want to read anything M-rated, they can just skip the chapter for that week. :)

I would say this first oneshot would only be something along the lines of a hard T, like PG-16 or something. I can never remember the difference between limes and lemons, but this is fairly clean. Nothing outright explicit (yet).

(Yup. Officially the longest note ever.)


Theme: #22 – Cradle.

Sun lights up the daytime
Moon lights up the night
I light up when you call my name and
You know I'm gonna treat you right

- "Fever," by A Fine Frenzy

"Here ya go, one pint for me and one for you," Annie said with a carefree grin, setting down the two heavy glass mugs of beer. Her closest friend and somewhat mentor, Auggie Anderson, felt gingerly across the table until his fingers collided with the drink.

She sat down at the small corner table next to him and took a long drink from her beer, leaning back against the chair. Every once in a while, she marveled a little bit at how well Auggie had adapted. She would never tell him this, but sometimes she was pretty sure he had a better grasp on life than she would ever hope to achieve herself.

"You mind passing over some peanuts?" He asked after a few beats of comfortable silence. "As much as I'm not a fan of food that has been touched by an unknown number of people, I missed lunch working on that Israeli cipher."

Annie chuckled but leaned forward, dragging the small bowl of peanuts over to them. "I like bar peanuts, regardless of any health risks," she said, grabbing a handful and popping them in her mouth. "But how was that cipher thingy? It seemed like you were working on it all day."

"I was," he corrected her with a grimace, picking up his beer and taking a sip. "And it was a bitch. I thought we were never going to finish. Thank God Stu and I figured out that reverse algorithm to crack the code. Otherwise I'd still be working."

"I love how you seem to think I understand any of what you just said," she said, laughing to herself. Auggie hadn't eaten any peanuts or made any movement for the bowl, so without thinking she grabbed his free hand and moved it until his fingers touched the bowl's rim.

However, instead of picking up some peanuts, a strange emotion crossed Auggie's face and he shifted, his fingers loosely wrapping around her slender wrist, thumb stroking her palm. "You have soft skin," he commented quietly.

She let out a nervous little laugh, watching his expression closely. "Thanks?" she replied, wondering when her voice had suddenly gotten so shaky. Her smile sort of melted away when his thumb arced up, brushing the sensitive skin of the webbing between her thumb and pointer finger.

Her coffee-colored eyes watched closely as his fingertips travelled up from the thin skin on the inside of her wrist, tracing the lines and indentations on her palm, following all the way to her fingertips and her short, neat fingernails. Her breath caught just the tiniest bit when he dragged his own fingertips down her fingers, his rough calluses catching on her skin.

He was reading her like he read the Braille on his computer, Annie realized distantly in the back of her mind. Auggie was careful, meticulous, taking in every mark on her hand, almost like he was trying to commit it to memory. When her fingers twitched as he brushed over the tiny bone sticking out of her wrist, he paused, repeating the action so she would do it again.

It was wrong, but she suddenly had a very good idea of what he would be like in bed. Auggie didn't have Conrad's old manwhore-ish reputation, but he was a bit of a flirt. She had heard more than her fair share around the water cooler and she knew he could have his fair pick of the women in the CIA, 'disability' or no.

And it was difficult to forget the way he felt when they sparred. He was strong, a solid frame made up with more muscles than she could count.

Annie was trying to not find the whole situation strangely erotic, the way he was cradling her hand, leisurely tracing patterns into her palm, raising involuntary goosebumps along her arms. It took little effort to imagine the way his hands would feel tracing along her sides or pressing into her hips. She was positive there were all kinds of seriously inappropriate uses for his talented fingers.

Abruptly wrapping her hand around Auggie's fingers, she stopped his way too distracting movements and pulled his hand until it was level with her face. "I think you have my hand memorized by now," she said, barely above a whisper. His eyes were unfocused as he looked in her direction, but she could see the much stronger emotion on his face and realized she wasn't the only having a hard time keeping herself in check.

"Maybe I could memorize something else next?" He sounded hopeful, but she heard the gravelly undercurrent in his voice that sent pleasant shocks down her spine.

She grinned, but she knew he couldn't see it, so she tugged his hand a little closer, planting a soft kiss on the inside of his palm. "I think I'd like that."


Like I said, not completely explicit but still not exactly that something I would consider kosher for the kiddies to read. XD I'll continue to give warnings at the beginning of each chapter to say about what rating I would give it. I would rather not scare off such faithful readers.

In case anyone's curious, next Friday's prompt is going to be Red. ;)

Hope you liked it!