We Build Our Own Realities
A Miles & Ilana fanfic
Dedicated to Jac Danvers
It was eight 'o clock.
He had an entire hour until his shift began, and he knew instinctively he was going to be late. Fingers, dainty as a butterfly, and just as light, began trailing across his skin, hovering around the back of his neck – his weak spot. And a faint groan from his lips inevitably gave it away that he was going to end up giving in.
He thought of everything to try and drag himself out of bed, out of the sweet surrender he was desperate to fall into. He could see her smile out of the corner of his eyes, that sly one she always adopted when she knew he was close to giving in.
"Ilana," he groaned, feeling her lips against the side of his neck. "I can't keep making a habit of this."
"A habit of what?" she inquired playfully, a little too innocent for his liking.
"Being late," he mumbled, turning around to face her, as if his pleading puppy dog eyes would persuade her to stop.
Six months into a relationship, you kind of learned the signs when your partner was in that no-nonsense sort of mood. Miles wished he could say he wore the trousers in this relationship but he didn't. What little time he grabbed with Ilana – in between their busy schedules in and around work – was dominated by her. Her surly attitude at first had been a real turn off, something he'd declared to colleague James Ford he'd never take from a woman. He'd been at that foolish sort of period in his life where he'd been mature enough to know he wanted a committed relationship, a monogamous one and all that jazz, but immature in the sense he ended up with a bunch of one night stands against his name.
"My dad busted his ass off to get me an interview for this job many moons ago," he said, managing to push the covers off and actually get his legs out the bed. "I don't need another chorus of you should be more like your father from my mother, thank you very much. She'd relish me getting fired. Nagging is like her favourite job in the entire world, next to an R-rated activity you're trying to get me roped into doing right now."
Her arm was looped around his waist, her grip strong for a woman of her calibre. Everything about Ilana was backwards – she had soft eyes, but a harsh smile. Her personality was dominating at the best of times, and at the worst of times, she could crumble to the floor, every piece of her strength gone. In the bedroom, without being too explicit, she displayed a dominating type of control, yet her kisses were tender. It was very much akin to seeing something like a lion that purred; you just never expected a strong personality like hers to contain a trace of vulnerability. She held her own during arguments, but he'd see her on the stairs, curled up looking miserable rather than defiant.
"Oh come on," she purred now, her voice like velvet. "We can both spare five, ten minutes, no?"
When she started murmuring Spanish in his ear, he froze. She knew just what buttons to push. Some would've argued that displayed signs of manipulative behaviour, but he loved it. Though James often teased him about being whipped, he found he preferred that to watching his aforementioned colleague try and aim scrunched up pieces of paper into the bin, whilst bitching and moaning about his single life.
"No, actually," he said weakly, sensing this was a battle he was going to lose.
Then, all of a sudden, he felt her fingers slide away from him. She was changing tactics. He turned and saw her rise from the bed, her dark hair cascading down her back like a waterfall. Her legs, so beautifully long and toned, were where his eyes seemed to be fixed to, and by her smile he knew she was playing a game with him.
"Fine," she said resignedly. "You win – I guess I'll just shower alone."
As she walked out – in that way women generally did to both irritate and arouse their partners – he felt every piece of logic inside his head shatter into nothing, and he drifted towards her like a hapless school boy with a crush on his teacher. All thoughts of time and work were shot to sunshine, and other dirtier thoughts took their place, a mischievous grin crossing his face as he broke into a run in the direction of the bathroom.
"Late again, Chang?" James noted without even looking up. "Third time this week I've had ta cover for ya."
"Sorry." Miles sat by his desk, looking anything but. "What's going on?"
"Work wise? Nothing but paperwork." James's gaze rose to meet Miles, the stare turning into a scrutiny at the faint colour in his cheeks. "In other news, however, you my friend just got laid."
"Ridiculous," Miles scoffed. "Get your mind out of the gutter, Ford, before I send your ass there."
"You did, though, right?"
Miles grinned, spinning himself around on the office chair before turning to his paperwork, feeling like he was walking on sunshine. His day was off to a brilliant start, so even the thought of tedious paperwork didn't break him.
"Gotta say, Hosse, didn't think of ya as tha' kinda bloke," James said, chewing on the end of his pen in the typical office worker pose.
"What kind of bloke?" Miles asked curiously.
"The kind tha' has a quickie before work," James replied, grinning. "You disgust me."
"The feeling's mutual, James," Miles told him, still grinning. "Least I'm not still wallowing in my bachelor pad alone, constantly switching from re-runs of Dallas to the porn channel."
"I'm not like tha'" James protested. "I'm a gentleman."
"Yeah, right!" Miles snorted. "I've seen drunkards who could pass off as better gentlemen than you. I bet you're writing Boobies on that calculator instead of doing some serious work, am I right?"
Miles snatched the calculator off of him before examining the evidence before him.
"Coincidence?" James suggested, his eyes twinkling with amusement.
Miles tossed the now tainted calculator back at his partner and returned to his desk, stacking his work in a neat pile so he could get through it as quickly as possible. His eyes drifted at the sound of a new voice, curiosity taking control of him for the moment.
He saw an officer standing awkwardly by the reception part of the precinct. From what he could tell, it was a woman. She had dark hair, olive skin, and for a bizarre moment he thought Ilana had joined the force.
"Who's the newbie?" James enquired, wheeling around to stare at the new officer.
"Dunno. You interrupted my observation."
"Is tha' what they're callin' it these days?" James joked.
Miles glared at him.
"Remind me to get ya a sense of humour for Christmas," James muttered, returning to his desk. "An' a better personality to boot."
"Oh, quit moaning you old hag," Miles teased, still gazing at the new recruit.
"Old hag implies I have at leas' ten cats, an' I have not a one," James said, pulling out an imaginary gun and pretending to shoot down his logic. "So there!"
"Ah, 'so there'," Miles said reminiscently. "The amazing comeback of a ten year old."
He concluded their morning banter with a smug smile, before deciding to fetch himself a coffee, in the process hopefully getting a better look at the new arrival. It was curiosity, and nothing more.
As he reached the vending machine, he felt someone's stare on his back before he heard her voice.
"You always stare at women like a gormless idiot?"
He whirled around, half expecting to see an angry woman on the verge of ranting about a society of chauvinistic men. Instead, he saw a dark haired, Latina woman with a half-smile on her face, her eyes a soul piercing shade of an indeterminate colour. He felt something stir inside him, and it shocked him to realize what it actually was.
Attraction – and a deep one at that.
"You new here?" he found himself asking, unable to fathom his own mind.
"Transferred," she responded, staring him up and down, clearly unable to make up her own mind about him.
"Ooh…" he said, looking nervous. "Where from?"
Her lips curled into a sarcastic smile.
"What's got your legs shaking?" she asked, amused. "You intimidated by a woman who speaks her own mind?"
"Um…no. My girlfriend is like that," he told her, unable to control the fact he was literally foaming at the mouth.
Was it always this hot in here?
"Ah, that explains a lot," she responded with a nod. "You do look sad enough to be in a relationship, I'm sorry to say."
The insult should've been a turn off right away, an instant signal for him to walk away, thereby keeping his dignity intact. But he'd been down this road before. And it didn't help she was attractive as hell.
"I'm Miles by the way," Miles found himself saying, his mind unable to come up with any other wittier response.
"Ana Lucia," she said, taking his extended hand. "You look like you're gonna pass out, so I'll let ya get to your coffee."
She shook her head as she walked away, clearly already forming her own (negative) opinion. He should've been indignant, or at least mentally formulating what he liked to call a bitch list, whereby he listed everything he hated about a certain someone to James. They never did anything with the information he accumulated, except fantasizing about seeing whoever they'd been bitching about behind bars.
Instead, he stared after her like an idiot, silently hoping for some kind of reprieve from this hellish nightmare.
He was in love with Ilana but attracted to Ana Lucia, a woman he'd known for like three minutes.
James would have a field day with this new development.
It seemed in a typical fate type move, he saw Ana wherever he went. In the cafeteria, she was always in front of him in line, her always scornful eyes picking him out, an equally scornful laugh escaping her lips. If he went to the bathroom, she always seemed to be coming out, her eyes following him, a move which freaked him out so much he ended up quickening his pace. And they always – always – seemed to cross paths in every corridor.
When he confided in James about this development, he was rather unimpressed with the advice he was given.
"Screw her," was James's big advice. "Your girl's clearly not doin' something for ya in the bedroom department. Play the field, what harm can it do?"
A pencil to the head was how Miles chose to respond, followed by a dosage of self-harm in the form of a typical folder slam to the head.
He was thankful he was always partnered with James on patrol, although the disappointment fizzling inside his stomach was really rather unnecessary, and resulted in the afternoon coffee being replaced with quick hits from the whiskey flash James always brought in for "stress relief". He was pretty sure James would one day get fired for this taboo habit, but for now, it seemed to him a genius idea.
He went to go put some paperwork in his locker when, big surprise, Ana was there. He thought about making a dash for it, but she'd locked eyes with him, and doing a runner would've looked suspicious.
"Hey," she greeted, nodding curtly at him.
"Hey," he squeaked, making a production of putting his paperwork inside the locker, hoping she would disappear and he could relax.
No such luck.
He surface from his locker to find she was staring at him, her expression unreadable.
"Heya, Lulu," James suddenly called cheerfully, popping through.
Never in his entire life had Miles been so glad to see James before.
"Cute," Ana said sarcastically. "He got a name for you too, Dobby?"
"The house elf from Harry Potter?" Miles enquired.
"No, I had a pet rat once. You remind me of him."
"Ha, ha," he said sarcastically."
"Aw, isn't this nice," James announced, grinning meaningfully at Miles.
"Define nice," Ana snorted.
"As in the opposite of you," he countered.
Miles chortled, which caused Ana to glare at him, an action which had him shrinking inside his own uniform.
"Been nice talking to you," she suddenly said, turning to leave.
"Aw, gotta go already?" James teased. "My buddy here likes you!"
"James!" Miles protested.
Ana snickered, her expression indicating she wasn't taking this allegation too seriously.
"I think you guys are cute," she said, smirking. "You go really well together."
And she left, leaving Miles and James staring after her, wearing equal expressions of disgust and shock.
"What a bitch," they said as one, shaking their heads simultaneously as they returned to work.
Later in the week, Miles was early to work (for once; Ilana had stayed over her parent's the previous night). He was halfway through some forms when he saw James approaching, wearing the biggest smirk in the entire world.
Patiently, he let his friend sit down before immediately pouncing on him.
"What time do you call this?" he demanded.
"How 'bout Shut Up O'clock?" James retorted.
"You're never late, Ford. You're annoyingly goodie-two-shoes like that. What gives?"
"None of ya business," James informed him, before switching on the computer at his desk.
"Spill," Miles commanded. "You finally got a bird in bed didn't you?"
"Maybe," James replied mysteriously.
"Oh, God, please don't tell me it was Linda," Miles said in a hushed voice.
"The receptionist," Miles whispered. "The one with the wart on her…"
"No." James shuddered. "I got better standards to be fair."
"Really?" Miles scrutinised him carefully. "Then spill before I start naming more names… And I'll start with the guys," he added cockily, smirking.
James scowled, knowing when he was backed into a corner.
"It was Ana Lulu, if ya must know," he said gruffly.
Miles stared at him.
"What?" he hissed. "When? Why?"
"You weren't gonna screw her, so I did," James replied casually. "Very simple explanation."
"Your sensitivity levels when it comes to women takes my breath away."
"Back at ya, Chow Mein."
Ignoring the racist comment, Miles sighed and supposed he had to be grateful to James. Thanks to him, he'd gotten over his attraction to Ana Lucia. If her snide remarks about him and James being together hadn't done it, then the idea of her….and him…together certainly had cured him.
The rest of the day mostly involved him shuddering at the mental images, as well as making paper balls to hurl at James if he even tried to rub it in his face. But he kept conjuring up images of Ilana, finding that every detail of their life together he might've found inconsequential before suddenly mattered like hell. Moments like seeing her curled up in bed, a book folded against her chest, or both of them curled up on the couch, laughing in disdain at the atrocious movie they were watching, both dubbing over the film causing one to snort with laughter against the other.
It all mattered because a flash of near stupidity had made him realize what he could've given up just for an attractive, yet cold, colleague.
In that moment, Miles felt like he'd grown up a bit, and swelled with self-pride at how mature he'd become.
Self-pride which abruptly vanished when he saw James accidentally spill hot coffee on himself, and the resultant hysteria which took over him now convinced him maybe he had a bit more growing up to do, but, hell, seeing a grown man with a wet patch around his groin brightened up an otherwise uneventful afternoon.
It was nearing nine o'clock when he finally got in. He perused his environment carefully, not sure if she would be here, or at her own flat. Like everything else about her, Ilana's schedule was unpredictable. She worked as a solicitor, specifically handling wills and other boring legal proceedings. She seemed to like helping people though, and more than one occasion she'd told him her favourite part of the job was helping people's lives get back on track.
As he approached his bedroom to remove his uniform, he saw her curled up in his bed, clear exhaustion on her face, her eyes closed shut. And he realized this is exactly what he didn't want to give up on.
After getting undressed, he tentatively slipped in between the sheets, hoping against hope he could just fall asleep and thus end the day on a peaceful note.
No such luck.
The tired charade had been just that – a charade. Her fingers became active the moment his eyes closed, thus stirring that old familiar feeling inside his body of pure arousal. He let out a meaningful groan of exhaustion, hoping she would get the message (how naïve of him), but of course she didn't. She planted a trail of kisses along his back, making her way towards his neck, and in a surprise counter attack, he flipped her over, so he was becoming the dominant one.
"Must we fight like this?" he asked, smirking. "This can only end one way."
"Then let's take our time getting there," she responded, her voice husky which only added to his pleasure.
He closed his eyes in utter surrender, her touch managing to be tender and firm at one and the same time.
And she flipped him over again, taking the breath out of his body.
And he just knew he was never going to be the controlling, dominating one in their relationship. She knew it, he knew it, hell, even James knew it, and made a joke about that fact at least twice a day.
But he felt okay about it, because the way he saw it, he'd been tested and he'd passed. Temptation had fluttered carelessly by him and he'd ignored it as best he could. And afterwards, when she lay curled up inside his arms, her hair brushing against his chin, he realized he wouldn't have traded this life for any other in the entire world.
And yet, despite all that, he couldn't shake the feeling this wasn't supposed to be his life, this wasn't the hand he was meant to have been given.
But screw it – he had a gorgeous woman, a great job, and a partner who, all jokes aside, he trusted more than anyone else in the entire world.
This was his life – and it was a life worth living.