Disclaimer: It's George's sandbox, I'm simply destroying the sandcastles

Title: A Little Coffee

Author: Jade-Max

Characters: Barriss Offee + Commander Cody = Coffee :p

Genre: Romance, Fluff


Summary: Protocols are made to be broken.

Notes: A little fic gift for Queen who has a birthday today! [Go read her "Rex on the Beach" ficlet in "Smile" - you'll die laughing ;)] Happy birthday, my friend!

A Little Coffee

The best things come in small packages.

Commander Cody leaned his shoulder against the wall as the Commander that had been temporarily assigned to his unit practiced her katas in the early morning on board the Resolute. He and Rex were coordinating again - which meant mass destruction probably.

But that wasn't his focus at the moment.

The Mirialan Jedi before him was.

Tiny, the top of her head probably came up to his chin when she wore her combat boots. And those had lifts. He knew; he'd seen them.

As she was now - barefoot and dressed in a training outfit of tank top and a combination skirt and shorts, her skin glistening with sweat, her hair falling out of a neat bun to stick to the elegant column of her neck - she was smaller. Somehow, though, she didn't seem that way. A serene, almost peaceful presence always accompanied her, though her impish smile could make his breath stop and her laughter make his heart skip a beat.

He watched her from the doorway, a towel about his neck, his hands on either end, and knew he shouldn't. He should leave her be; should come back later when the room was free - or at least occupied by brothers. He should and yet he didn't.


She didn't open her eyes from where she was balancing precariously on the balls of her feet, deliberately pushing her arms out and to the sides, as if stretching an invisible box.


"Barriss," she corrected, her lips twitching. "There's no one here but you and I."

He was reluctant to step into the room. "I should leave you to your morning exercises."

"Should you?"

"I should. I have to..." he cast about for a reason, "to find Rex; to talk strategy."

"He and Ahsoka aren't awake yet," Barriss opened her eyes, the orbs gleaming with amusement. "I do not think they would appreciate you drawing them from their bed."

"From their..." Cody's eyebrows drew together. He'd known Rex and Ahsoka had been... well, he knew there was something but... what? Was she implying what he thought?

"You did not know?" She shifted her position, sliding her foot along the mat with sensuous appeal as she balanced on the base, pressing both feet together as she bent forward, stretching her arms out towards him. "Ahsoka told me Rex had informed you of the relationship."

Which he probably had, Cody reflected, but - knowing Rex - he'd done it when Cody's mind had been it's most susceptible and accepting. Which meant Barriss was involved; which meant it wasn't all that surprising he didn't remember the conversation.

"He may have."

"Join me," her posture shifted again as she dropped one hand, turning the other to stretch her fingers out towards him. "Please."

Their eyes locked and Cody, knowing he should decline, found his feet moving towards her anyway. He stepped onto the mat, tossing the towel towards the bench where her robe lay. Turing back to look at her, he noted the challenge in her gaze.

"Can you match me, Commander?"

Never one to turn down a challenge, he stepped opposite her, mimicking her position in reverse, acting like a mirror image, and slowly stretching his arm out along the same trajectory hers was. Close enough that she could have reached out and touched him, Cody shifted his foot fractionally, to better keep his balance but also to move him towards her.

They held the position, their eyes locked before she began to move again.

Her stance changed, her foot sliding along the mat and, if he wasn't mistaken, a fraction of an inch in his direction. She shifted her weight fluidly and he copied her, balancing carefully on the balls of evenly spaced feet, using the opportunity to edge that much closer to her. She leaned to the left, nearly bending at the waist, and Cody almost forgot to mimic her until she arched one regal brow in question.

"Shall I try something easier?"

He promptly copied her pose, stretching out to his right so that they remained eye to eye. She smiled faintly and his breathing stalled in his lungs, forcing him to have to conscious remind himself to resume the unconscious activity.

Barriss paid it no mind as she shifted again, straightening her torso deliberately before leaning to her right. Cody adjusted to follow her, managing to sneak his toes a couple of millimeters closer.

Position after position had the distance between them shrinking by inches until they were so close that Cody could see the flecks in her eyes; the way her nostrils flared; would have felt her chest against his if she'd so much as inhaled deeply. They shifted as one, almost in a dance, bringing their right arms in, his hand turning to run the length of hers as it stretched over her head.

Her left followed and he did the same, sliding his hands down towards her shoulders as he shifted positions before slipping them back towards her elbows, feeling her shiver as they brushed the flutter of her pulse at her wrists. He lingered, stroking the jumping pulse with a deliberate brush of his thumbs before trailing his fingers over the elaborate tagline of tattoos leading to her fingers. She shuddered, her eyes partially closing as he brushed the sensitive flesh, his fingers slowly twining with hers as she deliberately stretched them out to the sides.

It forced her to step in, chest to chest, her barely covered breasts pressing against his bare one,, her head tilted back as she watched him from under hooded lids. "You," she murmured huskily, "aren't stretching."

"Just our boundaries," he returned with a little half smile. "Are you objecting?"

She straightened her arms again, folding them back behind her neck and drawing his head down with a secretive quirk of her lips. "Perhaps I should lodge a formal complaint," she pressed into him, sliding her chest against his and upwards with agonizing slowness as she shifted to her toes, drawing their lips closer together, "follow established protocols."

Aware that she was mocking him and not caring, Cody held his face away from hers as she reached with her body for that which she craved. "Protocols are there for a reason," he agreed breathlessly, his words little more than a growl.

She smiled then, the one that had the power to make his heart stop. "Then it's a good thing I find most of them overrated, Commander."

And so, he realized with a groan as she pressed her lips to his, his arms sliding free of hers to catch her to him tightly, did he.