A/N: haha another small oneshot.
It was seldom that Domitan of Masbolle was ever seen with a scowl, but on that bright spring morning, all who saw him said he looked like a man possessed. A man possessed, they said, with pure and utter fury.
His scowl filled his whole face; his eyebrows pulling down, his usually mischevious blue eyes narrowed and hard, his mouth, made for smiling, firmly turned down at the corners. And with that face, he stormed down a palace corridor with one destination in mind.
He couldn't believe it. He couldn't believe what he had just heard. It couldn't be true. It shouldn't be true. It was preposterous, absurd, unbelievable... Surely it wasn't true? But it had to be; it had come straight from his cousin Neal's own mouth, the words serious and honest. And after all, Neal was Kel's best friend, he would know. But Dom had thought that he was Kel's friend to, and so, why hadn't she told him herself? Why had it been from Neal's mouth that he had had to hear it? Why had he had to hear it at all? He wouldn't have it, he couldn't have it!
In his rage, he accidentally marched straight past the door he had been headed towards, and ran smack into a just opening door near to the end of the hallway.
"Mithros!" Dom swore loudly, rubbing his now painful nose, and, ignoring the surprised woman whose door he had just crashed into, spun on his heel and stormed back the other way. Reaching the all too familiar door, he, ignoring the widely accepted protocol of knocking, twisted the handle and wrenched the door open. He then proceeded to charge straight into the room, slamming the door shut violently behind himself.
"Dom?" Keladry of Mindelan, her voice disbelieving, froze in the act of stepping out from behind her bathing screen, her muscled form wrapped tightly in a towel. Glancing down at her attire- or rather, her lack of attire- faint horror filled her voice. "What are you doing?"
Dom kept stomping towards her until he was directly in front of her, seeming not to notice that she was wearing only a towel. "Why didn't you tell me?"
Completely and utterly bemused, Kel took in his glare, his folded arms and his furious tone. "What?" Feeling more than a little self-conscious, she took a step back, opening up the distance between them, and tucked the towel's end in more securely at the back. She crossed her arms over her chest, her face heating up at low and short this towel apparel was proving.
"Why didn't you tell me!" Dom repeated again, his tone more wounded this time. Kel sighed internally; Dom would be dramatic. He was so like Neal sometimes.
"I mean," he continued, running a frantic hand through his dark hair. "I thought we were friends... we are friends, aren't we?"
Kel, staring, managed a small nod at this and opened her mouth to ask a question.
She didn't get the chance. Dom kept talking without leaving her space to answer, his words coming out jumbled and confused. "Well, yes, that's what I thought. Then why didn't you...? Anyway, I thought you knew how I felt. I mean, maybe if you did know and you didn't do anything, that means you don't really feel the same way. But I thought you did. When we spent time together... anyway, well, maybe I'm mistaken, maybe I just..."
He trailed off desperately, his vivid blue eyes flicking around the room wildly. Kel once again opened her mouth to speak but he cut her off immediately. "I never thought this would happen. I thought there was lots of time to tell you, but I guess not, I suppose it's a bit late now, isn't it! Oh, hell, you can't do this. Please don't do this, Kel. I really wish you wouldn't. Don't. Just don't."
Her eyes wide, stunned and shocked, Kel wondered if maybe, just maybe, he'd been drinking. Because really, he was talking a lot of nonsense. "Dom," she managed to interject over another round of "please don't"s. "Are you awfully drunk?"
Dom stared at her momentarily, his eyebrows raised and his mouth slightly open. "It's nine in the morning!"
"I know," Kel confirmed uncertainly. "But..."
Her next words were drowned out by another passionate speech. "I know I have that kind of reputation. Drunk, disorderly, a little too friendly with the ladies. But honestly, Kel, none of it's true. Well, maybe it's slightly based on fact, but barely. So I've had my flirtations over the years, but that was before! And then when I met you, I couldn't do anything because you were what, fourteen? And I was over twenty! It would have been scandulous, Raoul would have murdered me and thrown my body off a dark cliff! I would have been forever marked as a creepy old sergeant!"
Kel, making no sense of his words, resisted the urge to tell him that if he'd been thrown off a cliff, he wouldn't really cared if anyone had called him a 'creepy old sergeant'.
"But you were so young and pretty and so damn calm! It took everything not to tell you! And then Kennan came along, damn Kennan! And he followed you around like some pathetic puppy dog, drooling over your heels and yapping at anyone who went too close! I could have punched him! I wanted to. Mithros, did I ever. But you were happy and so I let it go, and then finally he left! But then I missed my chance, I was too scared, I let it go! And now we're back in Corus and this! Now I'm too late! Dammit, Kel, I'm too late!"
At this latest outburst, the words so fast Kel could barely understand them, she began to harbour a sneaking suspicion that Dom was slightly insane.
He took another step towards her, reaching up to touch a strand of her hair gently, and suddenly jerked backwards, staring at her in horror. He looked down at her, at her dripping wet brown-blonde hair, at her hazel eyes framed by dark, wet lashes, and finally seemed to take in her bare shoulders and legs. "Oh Mithros. This isn't proper, this isn't proper at all. Goodness, I must be ruining your reputation already. Oh, my, does this mean now we should have the door open? We're in a room together, alone, with the door shut. I really think the door should be open. Mithros, the door should be open!"
Her mouth open, Kel watched, the part of her scalp where he had touched her hair tingling with odd warmth. He practically sprinted over to the door and jerked it quickly open, so that the hallway was fully visible to her, and therefore so that she, clad in her magnificent towel, was fully able to be seen from the outside. "Um, Dom?" she said weakly. "I really think the door should be shut."
Dom blinked wild eyes at her. "Do you think so? I don't think so. I mean, maybe before this the door could have been shut, but now, I really think everyone will think it's quite improper. We could be up to anything in here! What will they think?"
Her humiliation outweighed any part of her mind trying to decode his odd words. Kel could hear voices, footsteps, and she clutched her towel tightly around herself. "Dammit, Dom, shut the door now! Who cares what they think!"
Slowly and apparently thoughtfully, Dom closed the door gently and walked back over so that he was standing in front of her again. "I thought you would care what they think. After all, shouldn't you be worried now? If they thought you weren't pure, that you..." He began to blush, ever so slightly. "Well that would matter, wouldn't it?"
Kel stared up at him uncomprehendingly. She honestly had no idea what he was ranting about, why he was in such a state of apparent distress. Taking advantage of the silence, she spoke. "Dom," she said softly. "What are you talking about?"
He was so close that she could see the oh-so-faint stubble on his chin, his blue eyes gazing seriously down at her. She swallowed, her throat suddenly tight, her whole body burning at his closeness, now more than ever aware that she was only wrapped in a thin towel.
He stepped back away; she bit back heavy disappointment. "Didn't I say?" he asked her, puzzled. "Your betrothal. I just heard this morning."
"My betrothal?" Kel's voice came out almost as a squeak, her eyes, fixed on him, widened in horror. "Who told you that?"
Dom shrugged, his features now showing thorough discomfort. "I have my sources."
Kel held back a snort. "Dom, just tell me."
Reluctantly, Dom confessed. "Neal. I guess you didn't want to tell me yourself, but I wish-"
Kel cut him off in sudden comprehension. "Neal told you that?"
Dom nodded miserably. "Yeah..."
She shut her eyes for a moment and sighed softly, patting Dom gently on the shoulder and leading him over to sit down on a chair in a corner of her room. "Dom, you've known Neal for longer than me. Surely you would have realised by now that he's not exactly the most reliable source of information?"
His head jerked up and his eyes fixed on hers desperately. "What are you saying?"
"I'm not betrothed," Kel told him calmly. "I don't know why Neal told you that, but it's not true."
The world seemed to stop for a second. His blue eyes bored into hers, his mouth opened slightly, letting out a soft breath of air. His face seemed to calm and relax. Her heart began to pound, his earlier words suddenly making an odd kind of sense.
"I am going," Dom said slowly. "To kill Neal."
Kel laughed softly, her eyes dancing. "Not if I get to him first."
Dom joined in her chuckling, until suddenly his face froze, reddened and he looked away quickly. Much to her surprise, he stood abruptly and headed towards the door, head down, eyes studiously avoiding hers.
"Dom?" Kel followed him, confusion overtaking the previous humour. "Where are you going?"
"I shouldn't be in here," he told her, his voice low and embarrassed. He reached for the doorhandle. "I'm sorry for all those things I said, you should forget them. I was just so-"
Kel cut him off, desperation overtaking her usual self-control. "I don't want to forget them."
He turned, ever so slightly, to glance back at her, his hand still resting on the doorknob.
Kel seized her chance. Later, she wondered if she had been mad, to take such a risk. But at that moment, she took it, and that was what mattered.
Ignoring her lack of clothing and modesty, Kel reached up an arm to wrap it around Dom's neck, pulling his head down smoothly. She lifted her other hand to touch his cheek lightly, and then, forcing herself to before she backed out, pressed her lips against his own softly.
Dom pulled away after a second and she braced herself for the rejection, the inevitable disappointment. But he rested his forehead against hers and stared down at her seriously. "Are you sure?" he whispered, his voice cracking slightly. "You could do so much better. You could..."
Relief encompassed Kel and it felt like rain after a long, hot, dry summer. She didn't wait for him to finish, she simply stood on tiptoe and kissed him again. Her arms wrapped around his neck, his hands pressed tightly against her waist, his fingers scorching her through the towel. He kissed her again and again, his hands shifting lower and lower to finally lift her up neatly and easily by her hips. They stayed like that for a moment- Kel, her feet not touching the ground, her body pressed firmly against Dom's own.
And then she felt her towel start to slip. It started slowly, just sliding a little bit further down, but it was now feeling precariously close to revealing far too much skin. Kel took her arms away from Dom's neck to clutch at it desperately, only to have Dom drop her on the floor at the sudden add to the pressure on his arms. She landed straight down, painfully, on her backside, her legs flat on the ground while her hands still held the towel above her chest.
"Ow," Kel groaned softly.
"Oh dear," Dom, instead of helping her up, much to Kel's bafflement, turned away quickly. "Um, Kel..."
Kel shot upright, letting go one hand to drag the towel's edge quickly back down to cover her thighs. "Good now."
"Alright," Dom rotated around again slowly, grinning down at Kel ridiculously. "Sorry I dropped you."
Kel's face automatically heated up at the memory of his kisses. "Don't worry about it."
There was an awkward silence, until Kel flopped back against the floor, towel tightly held, and began laughing uncontrollably. Dom gazed down at her, speechless for a few seconds, until he too began to laugh.