Title: You and Other Mathy Things
Author: Syn
Rating: PG-13..nothing too much. A little nudity.
Pairing: Fred & Gunn
Archive: Take it, spread the love.
Disclaimer: Relax, I'm just playing with them.
Feedback: Please, I'm a review slut.
Summary: Fred learns the subtle ways of the man she loves.
A/N: Love the F/G dynamic and since I've never written anything about the two of them exclusively, I thought I'd give it a shot. It's a bit fluffy, but F/G usually is. :)

*************

She knew him in subtle ways. The smell of his cologne, the tickle of his breath on the back of her neck, the rough calluse on the thumb of his right hand and the thick path of a sword swipe along his ribs. Subtle ways that told the story of his life.

That was how she knew him.

With him, things were never said, never spoken. He didn't want to speak to her about the things that had happened to him in the past. It was as if it was all too painful to deal with. He didn't want her to know of the horrible things he'd done in the past. But she did, and she was determined to know it all, even if she had to go about it in an unconventional way.

So she focused on the things unsaid, the small, subtle doings and the mind behind the soft brown eyes. That was how she knew him.

Laying side by side on the soft mattress of his bed, she wondered when she'd started to see these little things. Perhaps it had started the first time she'd noticed he always ate with a napkin clenched in his fist. It was never draped in his lap, never tucked in his shirt, never beside his hand. Always crumbled in his strong brown fist, ready to swipe at his thick lips in an effort to keep his breakfast from her view.

She'd smiled that first time, wondering if he felt nervous because she was watching him eat. She'd certainly felt that way, her stomach almost too butterfly-filled to accept the fluffy pancakes she offered it. His eyes on hers, she hadn't felt uncomfortable precisely, just....measured. Like he was testing her out, one toe in her waters.

Was she too cold? Too warm? Could he swim so soon after eating?

So she'd smiled, eyes shifting over that tell-tale napkin in his fist and had invited him in. It wasn't too cold, nor too warm. A soft smile back and it had begun.

And ever since then she'd begun to learn him, learn the careful mathematics of his soul. The little things that added up into one big whole. One sum of a Gunn.

She smiled widely against the mattress and felt him shift his position to sprawl over her, his warm arm draped carelessly across her skin. In the light from the rising sun, she saw a flat, pale scar shine on the crook of his arm, one she hadn't noticed before. It was so small, no wonder she hadn't noticed it before.

Now she took the opportunity to learn something else, something new. Her fingers lifted, graceful and moth-like as it fluttered against his darker skin. She traced the scar, peering at it with wide brown eyes, her mouth drawn up in a tight smile.

The scar was knotted and thick, but yet, it was so small. As if he'd been knicked with the tip of some knife a long time ago and had only pressed a band-aid to the tiny wound. Ignoring it though, had caused the tiny nick to become deep and knotted, the skin around to pucker slightly.

This was how she knew him.

Tiny things like this that mapped out his past and told her things about his future, about the kind of man he was. Too concerned with the bigger picture to care about the little things, no matter what the little things did to him. No matter if they were constantly coming back to him in little ways.

She spared a thought to wonder if she was a little thing to him.

The sudden press of his lips against her neck dispelled that thought. No, not a little thing. He loved her. That was how she knew him.

"Fred..." His voice was thick with sleep and slurred. Slightly morning breath-y, but she liked that. Made her feel special that he wasn't afraid to breathe on her so early in the morning.

"Morning, Charles...." Her voice drifted off into a lazy yawn as she felt his arm clench around her tightly, drawing her back against his muscular chest. His fingers absently brushed a long chestnut strand of hair from his face and he yawned along with her.

"It's early...what are you doing up?" For some reason, he could never understand her sudden wakefulness in the mornings. She didn't spend the long minutes he did between slumber and the morning sun, daring anything to intrude on his peacefulness.

"Nothing. Just...learning something new." Fred smiled slightly as he lifted his head from the pillow and stared down at her, visible from the corner of her eye. His eyes were sleep blurred, one side of his face depressed with lines from the pillow. She liked that look on him, made him seem human despite the hugeness of his soul.

"You're a strange woman, you know that?" Woman. She liked that too, the way he made sure she knew she wasn't just some girl. She was his woman and she filed that away to add to his careful equation.

"Yep." Fred answered, reaching for him and planting a wet kiss on his lips. He smiled against her lips and drew back a moment later, his eyes searching for the clock on his nightstand. When his eyes lighted on it, he squinted, barely visible, but she caught it.

He'd need glasses when he was an old man. She filed that away too.

"Is it okay if I shower? Or you could come in with me...." His voice was teasing, the side of his mouth drawn up with mischief. His fingers crept up the covers and peeled them out of her hands, tugging slightly.

She giggled as the soft cotton slid down her form, blushing as his eyes moved hungrily over every inch of her exposed flesh, from the long legs and the swell of her small breasts under the little tank top she'd slipped into the night before and up to the shining eyes that stared back at him. He smiled widely then, and scooped her up, not even bothering to wait for her response.

He was a man of action, she knew that. It was at the top of her list of things she knew about him. The big formula that she based everything about him on, the one factor she compared all the little formulas to when she worked them into his equation.

Now, ensconced in a nice warm shower, his body sliding against hers, she learned other things. The way the water coursed down his chest, dripped off the flat male nipples and caught in the depression of his navel. The way her eyes went the way of those little rivulets of water and the way he let her look, despite the deep blush on her cheeks. She learned all these new things very quickly, as she learned all things, and then gave herself to the learning of more.

Like the way his hands worshipped her and the way his voice was soft in her ear when he asked if he could wash her hair.

Another smile, because smiling with him came so easily, and she'd said yes. Her eyes closing as his strong fingers, so capable of wielding a sword and dealing death, rubbed across her scalp, kneaded into the flesh and lathered her hair with sweet smelling shampoo. Time seemed to slow as he worked the long brown strands through his hands, his palms sweeping across the top of her shoulders and down to her breasts for one quick moment.

"Hey..." Fred teased, leaning back against his slippery chest, the sudsy top of her head touching his chin.

"Sorry." Gunn said, kissing her softly on the lips before turning her around once more. "Close your eyes."

She did as she was told, feeling water spilling down the top of her head as he rinsed the shampoo out. His fingers went behind the water, wringing and rinsing with gentle hands until all traces of the soap were gone.

He could be so damned gentle sometimes that it made her stop and wonder how he could ever have lent himself to the life he lived. He had the heart of a poet and he hated showing that to people, for fear it would be ripped to pieces.

Never, she vowed, opening one eye and peering at him as he turned her around.

"Thanks." She said, smoothing her fingers over the broad expanse of his chest, sliding down to feel that old slash along his ribs and around to his back. Her stomach connected with his, wet and soapy and slick. She liked the way it felt to touch him like this, liked the way his hands nearly covered her thin shoulders as they held her close to him.

"My pleasure." She knew it was by the little smile he let play over his lips. He was a sensualist. Just another thing she added to the list, even though it wasn't as subtle as the others. She smiled back up at him and he leaned down, crushing his mouth to hers.

She felt his hand reaching around her and then heard the creak of the faucet turning off, followed by the absense of water beating on her back. A chill immediately went up her spine and he smiled against her lips once more.

"Come on beautiful. We gotta get to work." He slid the shower door open and pulled her out into the steam-filled air. She giggled when he lifted her arms and wrapped a towel around her chest, noting the towel was stark white and fluffy, like he'd just bought them. Was he trying to impress her?

She noticed that and then began to watch him as he grabbed his razor and started shaving the shadows from his face. She sat down on the toilet and ran a brush through her hair. They didn't speak, didn't need to really.

This was a quiet moment, one of those moments that she was going to remember and keep with her when things got bad. One of those life-or-death moments that she was slowly getting used to.
She watched with quick eyes, learning the rhythm he used as he shaved. Down his cheeks. Under his chin. His chin, paying careful attention to the lathered dip below his lips. Beneath his nose and one more swipe of his cheeks for good measure.

He was careful when he did it, his hands gentle and sure. He'd been doing it so long now that he didn't have to think about it, just went through the motions because he had to. It was part of who he was, not a big part, but a part he did everyday.

Routine. That's what it was. His routine. Shower, shave and then...

She stopped, her brow furrowed, a wet strand of hair caught in the teeth of the brush as she watched him. What came next? She wondered as she watched him.

He opened his medicine cabinet and grabbed for his toothbrush. Oh that. Yeah, that was next, she remembered now. She watched, noted the amount of toothpaste he squeezed onto the toothbrush with a math-minded eye. Just enough to cover the white bristles, and only enough. He must have hated the taste, even though it was minty fresh.

So he started brushing, small circles, but much quicker and rougher than he needed to. She smirked and wondered why the vigor. Was the plague out to get him? Couldn't he do it slower? Was he saving time? She didn't know, but she liked the way he did it.

Didn't much care for the spit, but she liked that he wiped at his mouth immediately. Reminded her of the napkin when he was eating.

"What are you thinking about?" Gunn suddenly asked her, not looking away from the mirror as he brushed at his tongue, looking like a little kid with a lollipop. She couldn't help but smile.

"You. And other mathy things." She answered immediately, her head tilting as she brushed her hair once again.

"I'm a mathy thing?" He spat again and rinsed his mouth out with water. When he turned to her, he was smiling widely, his teeth nearly gleaming, or maybe that was just her imagination. He was so pretty, though.

"Well...more of an equation really." Off his blank look, she continued, her eyes flitting about in their sockets. "You see, I have this theory that you can learn a person by adding up all the little things about them, like just the small stuff. When you get the small stuff, you can understand the big things they do, what they're thinking and what they're feeling, by looking at the small things you've already calculated. You know?"

She looked back at him and he regarded her with quiet, somber eyes. A beat and then he spoke, his voice soft. "I get that. Surprisingly enough, I get that. So...do you have my equation yet?"

"I'm still learning."

"Good." He smiled wide again and turned, dropping the towel from around his waist and walking back into the bedroom. She watched him go, her heart fluttering in her chest at the raw beauty of him, wondering if even he knew his own equation.

She didn't think so. Maybe she'd work it out for the both of them. Just learn him in the subtle ways until she could figure out the big things. That's how she'd know him.

"You coming baby?" His voice once again tore through her thought process and she jumped up from her perch on the toilet seat.

"Yeah." Fred walked out of his bathroom and into the bedroom where she'd learned so much about him already. Slowly, she got dressed, watching him as he watched her, wondering what the day was going to teach her, what new thing she'd learn and add to his equation.

Maybe it'd be a big thing. Maybe another small thing.

She didn't care, as long as she learned him. Because that's how she knew him.

(End)

***************************