Geez, I haven't written a Black Books fic in ages.
Anyway, have some Frernard fluff on me, set just after the episode Party.
I don't own Black Books, it belongs to Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan and all the folks at C4. Enjoy x

He took a last glance at the couch where she was asleep, smiled to himself, lit a cigarette and smiled.

It wasn't until four in the morning that he was woken up by a monstrous BANG. He rolled his eyes, assuming it to be Manny until he heard another BANG, and somebody who was definitely not Manny whispering "Oh shit!" He shuffled out of bed and stumbled across the room, leaning on the doorframe for support, having regained very little of his sobriety whilst sleeping. In the shop, Fran was staggering around, crashing into piles of books, dropping things all over the floor and slurring drunken curses to herself.

"Fran, what are you doing?"he asked her. She looked up sharply, startled by the unsuspected voice.

"Oh, Bernard, hi. I was just gonna go back to the place, the flat place, the thing with the couch - my couch - and the-"

"Stay here," he mumbed, his words almost overlapping each other in his drunken state. "Don't bother going, just sleep on the couch. What's wrong with the couch? Just sleep. You're pissed." He didn't wait for her response before heading back to his bed.

He threw himself on the bed and closed his eyes, but he didn't sleep. After about fifteen minutes, he felt the bed dip. He turned over to look at the other side of the bed where Fran had lay down next to him.

"What the bloody hell are you doing here?" he growled impatiently.

"Couch was cold and lumpy and smelled funny."

"The bed is cold and lumpy and smells funny."

"Smells funny and it's lumpy, but it's not cold." Bernard couldn't even be bothered rolling his eyes, so he turned over in bed and tried to ignore Fran's snoring as she'd already fallen asleep again. He quickly glanced back at her, and was reminded of New Year's Eve in 1998. When he remembered that he wasn't supposed to remember, he tried to smother the memory thinking about wine, the only other love in his life.

Fran woke up and reached for her watch. It was one o'clock in the afternoon, which was pretty normal for a hangover day. She deliberated over whether or not she should get up, and decided she would. She tried to get up, but found herself held down. Behind her was Bernard Black who was making some strange, groggy sounding noise.

"Bernard!" she whispered gently. "Bernard!"

Bernard promptly woke up, instantly sitting upright, but settling back down when he felt a massive headache coming over him. "Bloody hell, I'm hung over. Did we drink last night?" It took a moment for him to gather his wits, at which point he opened his eyes wide with horror and asked "Did we have sex?"

"I don't know," she answered, holding her throbbing head in her hands. Then she looked up and grinned. "You were cuddling me," she said, almost mockingly.


"You were cuddling me."

"I was huddling. For warmth, y'know. It was cold!"

"No it wasn't. You were cuddling me," she teased light-heartedly. "You were cuddling me." She grinned, climbed out of bed with her clothes badly creased from having slept in them, and dragged her hangover into the shop, asking Manny if he'd make a coffee.

Oh, God, thought Bernard, she'd not going to tell Manny, is she? It wasn't even cuddling, it was huddling for warmth. That's what he told himself anyway.

He followed her into the shop, where he was presented with a cup of coffee and some paracetemol. He threw his head onto his desk, mumbling something to himself about 'need to buy wine' and 'cornershop piss'll do'. Manny assumed Bernard was speaking to him, but ignored him nonetheless.

"Manny," said Fran playfully. Oh Jesus, no, Bernard thought, lifting his head from the desk. Fran continued, despite the warning look on Bernard's face (to which she's always been immune anyway). "Did you know Bernard is a cuddler?"

"We were huddlin for warmth!" He insisted, shouting. A customer jumped in surprise, evidently not expecting the shouting, and turned back to the bookshelf.

Fran smiled and said "I have to go, anyway. Thought I'd let you know though." Manny sniggered to himself, trying to surpress a laugh. The idea of Bernard having a softside was laughable anyway, but the fact that Bernard's face displayed such turmoil at said 'soft side' being revealed was very enjoyable. Fran picked up her bag and Bernard's coat from the couch. She walked around Bernard's desk to where he sat, handed him his coat, and much to Bernard's surprise, leaned down and kissed the top of his head gently. She then stumbled out of the shop, dragging a little less hangover with her, and smiled warmly to herself as she walked away.

Who knew Bernard Black was a cuddler?

I want you to know that if you don't review then I might actually cry. Well, no, I probably won't, but you should just do it anyway.