AN: I actually started writing this story months ago, and completely forgot all about it. I seem to have two or three Ugly Betty stories on the go at the moment, but my inspiration for them is fleeting at best, and I seem to be jumping back and forth between them. I'm hoping that by posting this, it will give me the kick up the backside I need to get back into writing. As well as a story for you, this is an exercise for me, and I'm hoping that I've still got 'it', whatever 'it' was. I'd love to hear what you guys think.
Things were the complete opposite. Who knew that by having perfect teeth, your life could change so much? It had seemed like such a small, insignificant matter in the grand scheme of things, but now she was here, it seemed like the whole world was designed for her. Betty sat alone in her office, her own office and not one that she had to share with a bickering Marc. No this space was her own, and tastefully decorated with not a poncho in sight, and it now occurred to her that Marc would have approved. That is if he wasn't manning the reception desk, and cowering in the closet surrounded by his favourite designers whilst moaning about her belittling him, down the phone. She still couldn't get over the fact that she had been Wilhelmina's assistant and not Daniel's, after everything she and he had been through, fighting the wicked witch to maintain his standing as editor in chief, it just seemed like a slap in the face. And where did that leave her and Daniel? Things were so different in this reality, but Wilhelmina was still cruel, surely her and Daniel were still at war, and if that was true Betty doubted that he would want anything to do with her former assistant, based purely on that fact alone. She decided to go in search of Daniel, and found him in his office, the door wide open.
"Daniel?" she asked as she stopped in the doorway, not entirely sure how warm her welcome would be.
"Betty." He nodded courteously, as he stood from his desk and did up the buttons on his jacket. "Close the door." He said in same tone, as he slowly made his way over to her.
Maybe things were better between them than she thought; he hadn't yelled or thrown her out of the office that had to be a good sign. She turned to close the door and as it clicked shut, she turned back to find Daniel inches from her. Was it her or was it getting hotter in here?
"I know it's only been a couple of hours, but I missed you." He said in a low voice, before taking her in his arms and kissing her passionately. At first Betty was shocked, she had no idea what was going on with alt-Daniel, as he was now to be known, or alt-Betty for that matter, but for some reason she didn't stop. She was trapped between his strong body and the door, and suddenly not in any rush to be elsewhere. She wasn't blind Daniel was a very attractive man, and she would have been fooling herself if she denied that for one brief moment, she hadn't thought what it might be like to date him. And seen as this was alt-world she saw no harm in testing a theory or two, besides it's not like this was going to affect her real life right? He pulled away from her as they both breathed heavily, trying to regain their breath. As it turns out Daniel was a very good kisser.
"Sorry, I couldn't help myself." He smiled. "Although, we'd better be careful we don't get caught." Suddenly she remembered, Daniel was married to Amanda and now Betty was feeling guilty. Trust her to even in an alternate reality, but then as she recalled Amanda was far from monogamous, and with Daniel's half-brother of all people. No in the grand scheme of things she was definitely not on the top of the list of liars and cheats. So why not indulge in the culture of alt-Betty for a while, see where it would take her?
The copy room it turns out. Daniel had told her to meet him there in ten minutes, and although she knew that it would most definitely lead to more, she had been curious enough to go. If the session in his office was anything to go by, she would be foolish not to. She wanted to know how it had all started between them, and if she was honest what did they really get up to? She held her breath as the door opened and Daniel slipped in, locking it behind him. Unlike most of the doors at Mode, thankfully this one was not equipped with a window; perhaps forethought to what would really end up happening in this room. Within seconds Daniel had lost the jacket and tie, and was pressing her up against the copier as he kissed her. There was something oddly normal about it that made her question her decisions, both in this reality and the other. As he began trailing kisses down her neck, she thought it best to ask her questions quickly before she found herself speechless.
"So Daniel, ummm how long has this been going on?"
"Not long enough." He replied between kisses.
"No I mean, when did this all start?" She knew she must have sounded like someone with amnesia to him, but if he thought it he didn't let on.
"The moment I saw you, I just couldn't get enough." He replied as he kissed her again. He was making it very difficult for her to keep her train of thought.
"But what about Amanda?" she asked as they came back up for air.
"Betty, are you feeling okay? Usually I can barely get through the door before you start ripping my clothes off." He said with a seductive smirk.
Oh wow, alt-Betty was certainly not one to hold back it would seem. And the thought of herself being that commanding caused a blush to lighten her cheeks, and a look of lust to flash within his eyes.
"I'm, I'm fine. Just thinking about things, you know. How we got to where we are now. How your wife fits into all this. That kind of thing." His hands encircled her waist pulling her closer, if it was at all possible, and he looked her in the eye.
"When two people feel the way we do about each other, it's hard for them to be apart. As for Amanda, things have never been right between us, our marriage was more of a publicity stunt than anything else, besides we've come to an understanding."
"Let's just say that we won't have to hide out in the copy room for much longer. Our lawyers are drawing up the divorce papers as we speak, soon I'll be a free man. And then…" he began as he kissed her. "I can do this…" he paused again for another kiss. "Whenever I want." Betty was suddenly very on board with the life decisions of alt-Betty.
So to get back to the real world she had to thwart Wilhelmina's plan to steal the million dollar bra, and effectively knock herself out. As much as she had enjoyed her time in alt-world, she knew reality was calling, and as the room span she gave a final thought to the copy room.
Her family was so sweet, planning the perfect celebration for the removal of her braces. All her favourite foods she had been unable to eat over the last four years, had covered the dining table. Corn on the cob, popcorn and toffee apples seemed to call to her all at once, and the lipsticks Justin had given her had been the icing on the cake. She had eaten way more than she knew she should have, but as papi had argued it was a special occasion, after all he had gone to so much trouble who was she to refuse? She had thanked them all for their kindness and headed back into the city.
She had barely made it into her apartment when there was a knock at the door. Glancing through the peephole, she smiled as she stepped back and opened the door.
"Daniel." She stepped back allowing him to enter. "What are you doing here?" she asked as she closed the door behind him.
He seemed different somehow, nervous almost. Wait maybe she was the one who was different, ever since she woke up on the floor at the Guggenheim, it was all she could do not to think about the copy room, and what had happened behind closed doors. He stood with his hands in his coat pockets as he shrugged his shoulders, glancing around her apartment.
"I was kinda at a loose end tonight, and thought maybe I could take you out to celebrate."
"That's really sweet Daniel, but I just got back…"
"Oh okay, don't worry about it, it was just a last minute thing." He said turning for the door.
"I was going to say do you mind if we stay in instead?" he gave her a warm smile, as he turned back towards her.
"That sounds great."
"Drink?" she asked, as she headed for the fridge.
"Yeah." He replied, as he removed his coat, and draped it over the kitchen chair.
He had changed his clothes from earlier, and instead of the office trademark suit and tie, he had opted for jeans and a black shirt. Betty couldn't help but notice his more casual look, with the top buttons undone, his sleeves rolled up, and his shirt un-tucked, he looked sexy as hell. It was taking all her concentration not to think back to the copy room, and she quickly buried her head in the fridge to look for the wine, as well as a quick cool off.
"So how did it go with your family?" Daniel asked, as he pushed his sleeves up out of nervous habit.
"Oh, great." She was thankful for a distraction and one she could honestly answer. "They were so sweet, and went to so much trouble, making all my favourite food that I haven't been able to eat." She replied, as she reached into the cupboard for some glasses.
"Let me guess, did it at least involve toffee apples?" he grinned knowingly.
She stopped her actions, and turned to face him. "How did you know that?" she asked quietly surprised. Daniel's hands now rested nervously on the back of the chair, as he shrugged.
"I know how excited you get about Halloween, and a couple of years back I remember you looking wistfully at the ones at the Mode office party. I figured you didn't care what people thought about you, given their food free diets, so it must have been about the braces."
"I can't believe you remembered that." Daniel gave her a half smile.
She was quiet, there was something different about him tonight, and if she really thought about it, it had been happening for a while. Something about this last year had brought them closer together, neither had been in a long term relationship, aside from those few dwindling weeks with Matt that barely had a chance to get off the ground, and Daniel's 'therapy' with Amanda. And now suddenly after her trip to alt-world her eyes had been opened to what had really been happening. She realised she had spaced out, and quickly grabbed two glasses from the cupboard, bringing them and the wine to the table. Finding the corkscrew, she offered it to Daniel.
"Do you mind?" she asked nervously, trying to defuse the tension. It seemed Daniel was also glad for a distraction, and willingly took the corkscrew and opened the bottle. Once their glasses were full, he lifted his to toast her.
"Here's to new beginnings."
It didn't take them long to polish off the bottle or the second one that was hiding in the back of the fridge. And as Betty swallowed the last mouthful in her glass, she realised they were completely out. Daniel came to the same conclusion, as he lifted the now empty bottle to refill her glass.
"Is that it?" Daniel asked.
"I guess so, I've already checked the cupboards." Daniel stood up, a little wobbly at first before he found his bearings.
"Where are you going?"
"To go get some more."
"Do you really think any store would serve us in this state?"
"Probably not." He seemed genuinely disappointed, not so much at the lack of alcohol, but that the night might be over.
Betty smiled at him knowingly, and he returned a curious smile.
"What's that look for?"
"Because we're going to get more alcohol."
"I thought you said no store would serve us?"
"Who said anything about a store?"
Two minutes later, Betty was running her fingers along the top of the door frame, stretching as far as she could before her fingers touched the cold metal.
"Ah ha! I knew they kept it here somewhere." She put the key in the door, and quietly turned it.
"Are you sure about this?" Daniel whispered with a chuckle.
"Shhh someone might hear you." She giggled back.
"You mean like how you whispered Ah ha?" she playfully smacked him.
"Ouch." He laughed.
"Shhh Daniel, you're making me laugh."
"I'm sorry, calm down, just relax." Saying this only made them laugh even harder.
"Okay, okay, we can do this." She quietly pushed the door open, and they quickly snuck in, closing the door behind them. Creeping into the kitchen, they began their search.
"Are you sure Marc and Amanda have any alcohol?" Betty stopped what she was doing, and threw Daniel an incredulous look.
"You're kidding right? Amanda survives on a liquid diet alone, unless she's upset, and then I lock my cupboards."
"Stupid question, got it." Betty opened the fridge.
"I thought we were being quiet." Daniel chuckled again.
"I'm sorry, this is my first burglary attempt…wait a second it isn't is it?" She realised, as she thought back to all the times she had had to steal things to save Daniel and the magazine. Sneaking into Wilhelmina's apartment to get the book back sprang to mind, as well as the dress she and Marc had to steal back from Elle magazine.
"You know, before I met you I didn't use to steal things." She said removing two bottles from the fridge.
"Just think of the fun we had." He smiled at her lifting a bottle of vodka.
They had made it back to the safety of Betty's apartment undetected, despite the odd clinking of bottles. Once they were seated and their glasses were full, they began reminiscing of the old days, not only questioning her fashion mistakes but some of Daniel's too.
"Oh come on, the cheetah tan? Who did you think you were fooling with that?" She questioned, as Daniel laughed.
"Well at least it stopped them talking about the whole engagement disaster for five minutes."
"I felt like such an idiot, I looked up to her, she was like my idol and to think she tempted me away from you." She realised the slip of her tongue. "I mean, away from Mode."
"Betty she offered you your dream job, although the thought of losing you, ah to another magazine was hard to accept at first, I couldn't stand in the way of your happiness. "
"I guess she screwed us both." Betty plonked herself down on a cushion on the floor, as she reached for the bottle, topping her glass. Daniel joined her, as she refilled his, and they each rested an arm on the couch. She took another sip before she spoke.
"I don't understand it though; she had the most amazing guy, why would she throw that away for a story?"
Daniel looked up from his glass, as he held her gaze. Had she really just said that? She needed to cover, and quick.
"Some might say." She took another long sip from her glass.
"Betty, are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine, why wouldn't I be fine?" she suddenly felt hot under the collar, which only served to remind her of the copy room once more.
"It's just ever since you hit your head today, you seem…different." Maybe she shouldn't be drinking after a concussion, but as Daniel continued to question her, she found her glass was quickly becoming empty once more. As she downed what was left, she suddenly felt giddy as the night of drinking finally took effect.
"It's nothing really." She said with a wave of her hand. "I had this weird dream, when I was knocked out. Everything was different, we were different. I guess it's just taking a while to get use to reality."
"A dream huh? What was different?" he asked as he refilled her glass, well seen as she was suddenly in the talking mood.
Obviously the drink was loosening her senses, because telling Daniel what she had been trying to hide all day, suddenly seemed like the best idea in the world. Before she could stop herself, the whole story came tumbling from her lips.
"Oh my god you wouldn't believe it. Firstly, my braces were gone and so were my glasses, and my fashion sense? Well even Wilhelmina would have been proud. Speaking of, I was her assistant and not yours, before I became a managing editor. Marc worked reception, and you were married to Amanda."
"Amanda?" he asked in disbelief. "Are you kidding me? Why did I have to be married to her?" he whined, causing her to giggle, and she placed her glass on the table before she spilt any. "Why couldn't I be married to you instead?" he chuckled. If she had been sober, that comment might have thrown her, but with her Dutch courage she seemed to take it in her stride.
"Well if it makes you feel any better, we were having an affair." She giggled.
"Oh really?" he asked, with a seductive smile.
"Yeah, making out in the copy room."
"And how well did that go?" he asked placing his glass on the coffee table.
"I won't lie; alt-Daniel is one hell of a kisser." Taking her by surprise he leaned forward and slowly kissed her, pulling back slightly he spoke.
"How about this Daniel?" she pulled him back, and kissed him again.
"I definitely prefer this Daniel."
Justin knocked on the door, and waited for an answer, when none came he fished his spare key from his pocket, and opened the door to Betty's apartment. Walking inside, he firstly noticed Daniel's coat on the back of the kitchen chair, then the empty collection of bottles that littered the tables. As he rounded one of the stuffed chairs, a smile crept across his face. Lying on the rug, both fast asleep, Daniel's arm was wrapped around Betty as he held her close. Tip toeing quietly out the room, Justin turned back and whispered.
"Way to go A.B." before closing the door quietly behind him.
Betty opened her sleepy eyes as she looked across at Daniel. "What was that?"
"I think your nephew approves." He said with a smile, as he leaned over and kissed her once more.
She smiled. "Well he did buy me a case full of lipsticks to celebrate my braces coming off."
"We're going to have to test each…" he kissed her. "…and every…" and again. "…one of those." He pulled her on top of him, as he reach up to kiss her again.
"Oh really?" she giggled. "And when do you suggest we start?" He reached his arm out, where the case was in touching distance and pulled it towards them.
"No time like the present." He smiled, as she leaned down and captured his lips again.