Disclaimer: I don't own Ugly Americans.
Please be gentle with me ^^; this is my first UA fic.
He certainly isn't the demon her father would have preferred, but she doesn't mind. She knows that their being together is something that Father resents and it almost makes it better; she has never really had any interest in what her father wanted, anyway.
It's strange… strange that she can be only half human and still feel so completely and utterly… normal when she's with Mark. For a human, he's certainly not like the closed-minded humans who gawk at her horns that she sees on the subway on her way to work. There is something vaguely romantic to her in the fact that he's never really seemed to care whether she was a Succubus or a human or whatever else. She supposes it's simply because as a social worker, he has seen everything, but that doesn't dampen it any.
Granted, being with a human means a lot of adjusting. It has from the beginning and she's always known it deep down. In the past, Callie has only been with demons, who are elegant enough but lack the tender side that drew her to Mark, despite her constant speeches to him about how he needs to grow a backbone. Demon men as a whole are generally gruff, rough, and often uncouth. There are no soft little touches on your hair when you are with a demon, and often there is the irritating reality that you will be woken up on a work night for sloppy, rough, territorial sex. In all reality, it was mostly her growing frustration with demon men that had made Mark seem so appealing at first, and it accounted for her behavior when she had come up to his desk that first time and not-so-discreetly told him to meet her in the staff bathroom in ten minutes.
All in all, office flings rarely work out, and Callie expected to be burying Mark on her lunch break in a matter of days. She had never counted on them becoming official, and she had never counted on getting so serious. But there was something intriguing about Mark. Maybe it was that he talked to her and not at her, maybe it was that he tried to be considerate even when she was having one of her demon mood swings. It could have been the way he made love to her rather than simply screwed her. The first time, she was surprised to find there was a difference. There is something almost ridiculous about the way that sex with him doesn't hurt and doesn't make her bleed and that no part of his anatomy is covered with thorns, but it is ridiculous in a good way. She is surprised to find that even without the pain and the flesh wounds, sex with him is still thrilling, in a way.
So what if she might be falling in love? Life is not a fairy tale and she knows it is unwise to be optimistic about the whole situation, what with their differences and destiny and everything else that threatens to get in the way. They have been off and on too many times for her to count. They are not permanent. Callie likes the thought of marriage but knows, realistically, that it's probably not going to happen with Mark. Callie is not a particularly optimistic woman. Life is too complicated for that. Her mother and father are one such example, and she knows life will be simpler if she simply does what is expected of her and marries Twayne.
Despite all this, it doesn't mean she's having thoughts of giving up her silly man with the egg obsession and with the ridiculous notion of helping people and doing the right thing in a city that breathes the exact opposite.
"Are you coming to bed?" Mark asks sleepily into his bright bedroom, lit by the obnoxious street lamps and neon signs outside the window.
"In a minute," she assures him, staring a little harder out the window.
"Will you at least pull the blinds?" she turns to look at him shielding his eyes and wants to smile a little, knowing he is still trying to be patient after the ordeal he went through today. Not many men would have had the courage to shove his girlfriend's soul back into her body, and she stops to think for a moment about the fact that she really is lucky.
"Sure," she says, yanking the cord and making the plastic slats fall over the glass, blocking most of the light from the room. Mark sighs in relief. From somewhere in the apartment, Randall knocks something over and curses. They ignore him. "Hey, thanks for what you did for me."
"My pleasure," Mark says, sounding a little tired. "But please, next time you feel like tearing out your own soul, try to restrain yourself."
She's not sure if he's joking or not; it can be hard to tell with Mark sometimes. Sincerity and humor are not far from each other. But he makes her feel happy, and he makes her feel just a little more human, so she can ignore what was probably a joke in bad taste.
"I'll try to keep that in mind…" she crawls onto the bed and sits on her haunches in front of him, and for a moment she simply stares. He is wearing nothing but boxers and the blanket does little to conceal his body. Not a phenomenal body, but cute, she muses. He is built almost like a cartoon character. "But I really do appreciate what you did. Not just that but… you showed up. I feel like I can rely on you, and it's nice, for a change."
"Well, I showed up late, but I'm glad it still counted for something."
"But Mark… if you want to keep all of your limbs, please don't ever let me down, okay?" even Callie doesn't know if she is serious or kidding, and she lets the threat sink in. Mark laughs nervously.
"I'll… I'll try not to," he says, sounding vaguely afraid. He has seen her in action and takes her threats seriously. "Especially if my body is at stake."
"I'm glad to hear that…" demon eyes, even if they are only half demon, see much better than human eyes, and while Callie is sure Mark only sees her general features, she sees every line of expression on his face in the dimness. He looks peaceful for the moment and he looks, despite all that has happened in the past few days, happy to be with her. Mark can literally go to hell and back because of her and still seem generally content with being her boyfriend. It seems like a good sign. Callie is not expecting a Disney-style romance or a fairytale wedding or even a three-year anniversary with Mark. Expecting and hoping for are two separate things. However, she is content for the moment to simply straddle him without warning as she has so many times in the past and let the tension of the day drain away in the face of passion.
Somewhere in the course of the night she blearily considers telling him that maybe she loves him, but she decides against it. Somehow the fact that today she realized that he accepts her- soul and all- stops her. She doesn't want to change things just now.
For the moment, things are exactly the way she wants them to be.