Title: Friends with Benefits
Summary: AU Ed heads over to Wordy's not realizing that his best friend was using the opportunity to set him up with their temporary team member. Tag to a scene from eppy 2.03 'Clean Hands'
Disclaimer: If I owned anything to do with FP then I'd send Sophie on a very loooooooooooong holiday and write myself as Ed's wife. *alas* I own only my DVD's that fuel my imaginative muse Alice.
A/N: haha okay so this is not going to be anything like the movie – I just liked the title and found it fitting in this setting and hope it makes sense and you all think it fits also! And yes I know I have an angsty tag to 'Clean Hands' in the Story In His Arms but this is a little more of a fluffier one shot based on that eppy. Fluffy you say from Clean Hands? Okay yes it's possible at least I think so but you'll tell me. Okay time for me to stop and you all to start reading. I hope you all like this!
AND REMEMBER THIS IS AU (so like it says on my profile no Sophie and no Hank = no cheating...I would never do that to my beloved Eddie or my fave female SRU Donna).
~Dedicated to MFA~
Note: "Words in italics and double quotes taken from the eppy."
The day had started out with some amusing banter; the male members of Team One discussing how to officially 'welcome' their temporary team member – Donna Sabine. As much as he had wanted to hold back, Ed couldn't resist jumping into the banter, despite the fact that he wouldn't admit to any of them that he was instantly smitten with the feisty golden locked beauty. However, he tells himself if he doesn't make it seem like he's just part of the guys, they'll bug him or worse inquire as to why he was defending her.
"That is a great idea…what are we in summer camp now? We gonna short sheet her bed next? She's a ten year vet and has been hazed by the best, we gonna come up with something good…something real good," Ed mentions with a smile.
"Come on guys," Wordy half groans.
"Wordy…what all of a sudden you're Mr. Mature here?" Ed quickly retorts.
"It's like you said…we're not dealing with some rookie here. She deserves a chance to settle in…make a good impression and then you get the boots with the…"
And then she had walked in and the conversation instantly died until she had her small talk with Wordy and then left, a round of applause directed at his best friends expense – especially since she walked in on Wordy in only his underwear.
"You're quiet all of a sudden," Wordy notes as it's just him and Ed left in the men's locker room; the rest of the team already gone.
"After that uh…interlude what's to say?" Ed retorts with his back to his best friend. But when he turns around he notices Wordy watching him with his arms folded in front of his chest. "What?"
"Interlude? She had a question…and didn't know what state of dress I'd be in."
"And you were in your underwear," Ed shrugs as he turns back. "Nothin' more to say."
Wordy purses his lips and offers a small frown but refuses to move before he gets the whole truth from Ed.
"What?" Ed asks with a small smirk as he turns round again to see Wordy eyeing him suspiciously. "Come on lets go."
"Something is bothering you."
"Nothing's bothering me…okay, nothing," Ed insists as he pulls away and goes in search of Greg, wanting to get the day started and his mind cleared. Of course he knows that Wordy would never cheat but he couldn't help but feel a small pang of jealousy that it was his best friend, Donna was being paired with instead of him for any non-call related duties today. Oh get a grip, his brain scolds, you're jealous because you wanted her to be talking to be you. I'm too rational to be jealous he tries to argue back. You're also a man who's attracted to her and single…do the math.
"Eddie, morning," Greg greets him with a small smile.
"Boss…what's on the agenda for today?"
Way to go Donna! Her brain scolds her as she finishes putting her hair in a French braid and then goes in search of Wordy. She hadn't intended to walk in on Wordy in only his underwear but was thankful that she only views him as a brother, that made it easier for her to just offer a teasing smirk and walk away clean. You would have had trouble if it was Ed you walked in on half naked, her brain teases as she heads for the supply room, eager to get her day started. Talking to Wordy and being friendly with him wasn't that difficult as his easy going nature reminds him of a brother she wished she had growing up; but his dedication to his family was something she admired and was a clear boundary she wasn't willing to cross. Ed on the other hand…I wouldn't mind crossing his bou…stop it! She scolds herself as she nears Wordy, once again finding it easy and non-threatening to make small talk about what just happened and not feeling anything awkward lingering in its wake.
However, when her and Wordy enter the team one meeting room, she notices Ed slightly stiffen as he glances up and then back down at a map and wonders if it's maybe from her just barging into their changing room unannounced earlier. Maybe he's jealous, her brain ponders. Ha! Doubt that, she muses with a somber note as she plunks down next to Wordy to await instructions. Wordy didn't stir the same feelings inside as her so sitting next to him and finding solace in his friendship was easy; even a small glance from Ed forced her stomach to tighten and small butterflies to escape. The few seconds his eyes would hold hers, she would feel her knees slightly weaken and a shiver run down her spine. Oh knock it off…damn I'm a grown woman and this isn't high school, she inwardly groans. You're also a human female and he's just down right hot oh yeah and…available. Available…she sighs…yeah I doubt he's that available.
Ed casually glances over at Wordy and Donna and feels a small frown develop, why was it so easy for Wordy to talk to her about something other than work and yet each time he would want to try to make even casual small talk about a news headline, his stomach would tie in nervous knots and he'd just stand there with a timid smile and not step up? Maybe she wasn't interested? Maybe she was dating someone? She's beautiful, talented and amazing…I doubt she's single.
But the seemingly routine prisoner escort doesn't go as planned, in fact it goes horribly wrong and the day was threatening to end with catastrophic proportions. She had taken her first kill shot, faced SIU and a tense team debrief all within in such a short time of being there; some of his own team members still spared that emotional nightmare. Unable to gaze upon her tormented expression for much longer, Ed quickly removes himself and heads for the locker room, pausing just before he enters as he hears Donna and Wordy exchange a few more words before Wordy heads toward him and Donna goes to her own dressing room.
"Tough day," Wordy mentions as he enters the locker room, Ed already changing to go home.
"Yeah…it was," Ed simply acknowledges as he grabs his jacket and then turns to leave without saying another word.
"Okay hold it…what's going on?" Wordy takes a hold of his arm and stops Ed from leaving.
"With what? Day's over and it's time to leave," Ed replies with a shrug. "See you tomorrow?"
"You mad at me? Because I haven't felt this cold a vibe in…well a very long time."
"You mentioned something about an interlude this morning and have been acting all weird since Donna came into the locker room first thing today."
"Like I said…you had a nice interlude and I'll see you tomorrow."
Wordy's lips offer a small chuckle, making Ed turn back with a somewhat surprised expression. "You know sometimes Shelly says I'm not that perceptive when it comes to people but I think I got this one figured out. You like her."
"Donna, that's who," Wordy replies with a small smile.
"I think she likes you," Ed resigns as he pulls away.
"Seriously? She's like a sister to me and that's the only vibe I'm getting from her and the only one trust me I'm giving off. There's nothing there so of course she can talk to me without it being a big deal. This morning…was I turned on?"
"No I was not and for good reason. Trust me had that been you…"
"Yeah?" Ed goads.
"Well lest just say it woulda been a whole lot more embarrassing and way more teasing than just a few snickers," Wordy refers to the outward signs of male arousal.
"Why not just ask her out."
"She just took her first kill sho…"
"Not tonight, the weekend…it's only another day away."
"She…you know what…am sure she's seeing someone and…I'm not interested."
"Liar," Wordy playfully teases.
"Goodnight," Ed states firmly as he finally manages to escape.
"You are so interested," Wordy mumbles as he pulls his phone and calls home. "Hey Shel, yeah leaving now. Do we have room for one more for dinner on Saturday? Remember what I told you about Ed and the new girl Donna? Yeah this is what I am thinking…"
Ed reaches home with a heavy heart, Donna looked so lost and broken after she had returned from SIU and it had taken everything in his power not to offer some comforting support in the team one debriefing room. But he tells himself that even though its only temporary she's still with team one, still his subordinate and probably seeing someone; a line better off not crossing. "A great girl like her…she can't be single," Ed muses as glances over at the phone. His mind practically begs him to call; anything to break up the silent monotony gathering in his lonely apartment.
But she did take her first kill shot and you could ask her how she is, his brain reasons. He picks up the phone, pausing before timidly dialing and then holding his breath as it rings…and rings…and rings…no answer and he hangs up; never knowing that she was in the shower, dispelling her fluid emotion instead of in the arms of someone other than him.
"Probably for the best," he huffs as he finishes his luke-warm plate of food and then heads to bed, doing some reading before turning in; his mind still wondering who she was seeing and what he was like. Lucky guy, is the somber thought he finally falls asleep to.
The next morning Ed arrives early, hoping that Wordy would just drop the whole Donna issue and much to his surprise he does. Maybe it was because he was embarrassed that he dropped it, his brain ponders as he watches Wordy getting dressed for the day also.
"So you're coming tomorrow night right?"
"The famous Wordsworth barbeque in the winter…course," Ed smirks as he closes his locker; of course they wouldn't be eating outside – but the barbeque was usually on all year. "Want me to bring some beer?"
"Sure," Wordy shrugs. "Just gonna be low key as you know," he replies as Sam enters; his mind thankful for the distraction and the fact that he could still offer his best friend his best poker face and have him believe it.
Donna looks over at Ed and feels her anxiety start to rise. Just before going to bed last night she had gotten a call from Wordy's wife Shelly, kindly inviting her to a casual dinner at their place on Saturday to just relax and hang out and make some new friends. Ed and Wordy are friends…wonder if he'll be there? She ponders as she glances up at him, catching his eye for a brief second and then looking shyly away in haste. Oh I'm not usually shy, what is wrong with me? But Shelly didn't elaborate and as she found herself talking more and more to the tender voice on the other end, giving in faster than expected, happy to have a listening ear. However, it would be nice to see how the other half lives; cops with real families instead of vice guys hanging at the bar with no home life whatsoever.
The day is broken up by a hot call and by the end of their shift, both Ed and Donna are tired and just wanting to go home and relax – tomorrow looming and a surprise waiting for each of them that they aren't expecting but would welcome.
Donna awakens early Saturday morning and looks at the clock, uttering a small groan as she flips onto her side and tries to get back to sleep. But her mind was now too busy pondering how the evening would play out. Should I bring something? Shelly said I didn't have to but I can't go empty handed. "I can make something?" She discusses with herself. "But I kinda suck at cooking," she frowns as she slowly pushes herself out of bed and wanders toward the kitchen, flipping on the coffee maker she had set up the night before and heading over to the window to see what it would actually be like. "Looks like sun…maybe," she mutters to herself as she turns and pads toward the bathroom. "I wonder what Ed does in the morning," she muses, a small smile starting to play upon her lips. She turns on the hot water and instantly an image of him under the streams starts to form and her face instantly flushes and she looks away; mentally scolding herself. He's probably taken, she miserably ponders as she undresses and then stands under the warm streams. Oh well…tonight am just gonna go and have some fun and relax…that's it.
For the most part Ed's day too was rather uneventful, waking up early because it just wasn't possibly to sleep in anymore. After going for a run, he helped Spike and his father get an old car at their place onto a tow truck and over to the scrap yard; and then headed back home to get a few more domestic things done before heading to Wordy's.
I wonder what Donna's up to tonight…probably a date, he inwardly groans as he stops at the closest cold beer and wine store to pick up a case of beer and head over to Wordy's. At least Wordy wasn't going on about his day at showing Donna the ropes so his mind would be spared the smiles and friendly banter directed toward his best friend instead of him. Without thinking much about who the unidentified car in front of his belongs to, Ed grabs the beer and heads toward the back gate instead of the front door.
"Anyone home?" Ed calls out with a cheery tone, pushing open the latch and then stopping a bit short. "Donna," he utters in a rather surprised tone, a small smile instantly forming as he sees her at the top of the stairs entering the kitchen. She came…she's here? His mind stammers as he continues to stare for a few more seconds as she offers him an inviting smile. Her hair was down, loose golden locks hanging casually around her shoulders; dark jeans and flowy top both teased and tempted his hungry male imagination. Concentrating on anything besides her tonight was going to be tough. Did Wordy set this up?
"Hey you made it!" Wordy greets as he offers a friendly slap on the back. "Just the guy we were waiting for. Come on let's get inside because it's kinda cold out here."
"What, we're not eating out here?" Ed jokes.
She had arrived about ten minutes earlier than the actual time Shelly told her to be there, never wanting to just arrive on time or never allowing herself to be late if she could at all help it. Shelly had told her not to bring anything but Donna had been taught by her mother to always show up with something, even if to just say thanks for taking the effort to include me.
"They are stuffed jalapeño's," Donna hands Shelly the modest sized plate. "Hope that's okay."
"It's great thanks, come on in."
As soon as she had arrived at the Wordsworth home, Donna was greeted with a sense of intense family loyalty and love; Shelly greeted her warmly, the other woman obviously sensing there was nothing going on between the new recruit and her husband to be jealous over or worried about; not realizing of course her new friends were scheming for a new hookup – she really was no threat to them. The three little girls all pulling her in different directions to show her something childishly fascinating while she stood and admired two people still very much in love with each other; their relationship was something to envy – but not in a harmful way.
"Come on in and make yourself at home," Wordy had entreated as soon as she entered, heading right back outside with his youngest in tow to tend to what would be their dinner. It might be too cold to actually eat outside but never too cold to fire up the barbeque and enjoy some char-grilled steaks.
"So as Kevin said…what?" Shelly pauses.
"No it's just…well I guess I'm so used to hearing Ed…I mean the um….the team call him Wordy," Donna stammers with a frown. "Sorry."
"Don't be…it's still odd for me to hear Ed call him that all the time. He and Kevin have been such close friends for about twenty years so I figure they had the Wordy thing going before me so why mess with a good thing."
"Wow twenty years…have they always worked together?"
"Practically grew up together but you know you can always ask him," Shelly answers kindly.
"Yeah I…it's okay," Donna stammers with a small smile.
"Trust me Ed wouldn't mind; he's great that way. In fact he should be here in abou…"
"He's coming here? Tonight?" Donna asks and then stops. Wordy's his best friend…what kind of question is that?
"Is that okay?"
"Sure…hey it's your place," Donna replies trying to sound calm and casual, her brain doing a few happy somersaults. After that remark, it was hard for her to concentrate on what Shelly was telling her; her mind wondering when he'd show up. A few moments later they join Wordy outside by the barbeque with the food to cook and its literally a few minutes later, she hears Ed's voice and feels her stomach tighten instantly.
"Hey," she tries to casually greet Ed, trying not to stare too much and scolding her brain for too eagerly identifying the make of cologne. Him fully dressed in his black and grey SRU uniform did make her weak, but the dark jeans and casual button down shirt under his leather jacket was giving the uniform a run for its money.
"Beer?" Ed offers as her the first one before he takes a few and takes them into the kitchen, putting a few inside to keep cold.
"Uncle Ed…look what I made!" Wordy's middle daughter rushes up to the familiar houseguest with a picture in her hands. Donna can only watch with warm affection starting to grow as Ed scoops the small girl up in his strong arms, paying rapt attention to the silly drawing she was taking the time to describe to him. He briefly looks up to see Donna watching, giving her a small smile before looking back at the picture until she was done.
After the girls had each taken their turn, Ed leaves them with Wordy and slowly wanders over to where Donna was sitting on one of the chairs nearest to the door and sits down in the one beside her.
"Think spot is gonna be okay?" Donna nods to the picture that Wordy was now looking at on the fridge with his daughter.
"Yeah I think he'll be just fine. He was given that fifth leg for a good reason," Ed smiles as he takes a swig of his beer and gives her a small sideways glance. "Are you okay?"
"Am I okay? Sure," Donna repeats with a small frown and Ed slightly shakes his head.
"Sorry," Ed scolds himself, "I mean after the um…the call with Delia and SIU and all that."
"I think Monday might be nightmare free," she answers with a small sigh. "But I'll be okay. So apparently I'm to ask you why…Wordy."
"Well you all call him Wordy and Shelly calls him Kevin but she said it was you that she heard that from first…you made it up."
"Wordy," Ed smirks, making his best friend look over. "Should I tell her?"
"I don't know…I mean it's a pretty big secret," Wordy jokes.
"Guys you know I can keep a secret."
"Well…this is going back to when I first met…Kevin," Ed starts into his story with a soft crinkle now gracing the skin around his electric sapphire orbs. "See our first year of training there was two of them and I…"
"He couldn't keep us straight."
"You looked that much alike?" Donna interjects.
"Oh yeah we could be twins," Wordy deadpans.
"Really?" Donna looks over at Ed.
"Oh yeah especially if I looked like Denzel Washington," Wordy interjects as Ed laughs.
"He was black?" Donna frowns and then laughs. "So not twins."
"Not even close. And yet…our fearless team leader here couldn't keep us straight."
"Hey it wasn't my fault our instructor didn't say last names when he would call…"
"Edward, today you're paired with Kevin," Wordy retorts in a deep gruff voice, mocking their former police academy instructor. "It took only a few times of being mocked in class until Ed marched right up to him in front of everyone…"
"I was not mocked," Ed utters in his weak defense, drawing a small chuckle from Donna.
"He was mocked, mostly by me," Wordy smirks as Shelly and the girls join them at the kitchen table. "So Ed goes up to our hard as…um dictator like instructor and says from now on Kevin Wordsworth will be known as Wordy. And that was it; he's used it ever since and hey I wasn't gonna change it."
"He didn't argue back?" Donna queries in surprise.
"What can I tell ya?" Ed smiles and shrugs at the same time. "I have a way with people."
"More like the guy was a just shy of five feet and was actually terrified of Edward Tucker Lane," Wordy laughs.
"Okay…starting to get more of the picture now," Donna replies as she looks over at Ed with a playful smile. "Good to know."
"What?" Ed retorts with a mocking frown and they all laugh once more. Shelly finally tells them it's time for dinner and Ed and Donna head outside to the barbeque, fill up their plates and head back inside to the kitchen table with Wordy and Shelly, the girls choosing to sit in the living room in front of the TV.
"I really like your back yard area…very homey," Donna mentions with a somewhat nervous tone.
"Well when we first found the place…" Shelly goes on to explain, the rest of the dinner time conversation following suit, friendly and upbeat, nothing about work or work related was brought up. After supper, Donna finds herself still at the table, looking sort of in the distance with a small frown.
"Ready for dessert?" Ed's voice soft voice breaks her thoughts as he places a plate with a homemade brownie fresh from the oven with vanilla ice cream already melting on top.
"Oh thanks…yeah," Donna gently stammers as she offers him a tender smile. "I gotta learn how to make this. Am surprised my stuffed peppers were actually edible."
"You made those?" Ed asks with a smile. "Loved them."
"Really? Glad to know that. You know they really do have a great place. So different from Vice."
"Yeah? How so."
"A get together usually consisted of going to a bar and seeing how many shots would take to put you under."
"And how many did it take?"
"For me?" Donna replies in haste. "No, I know my limit of a few. But it was so…" she pauses as she casts her gaze over to the island in the middle of the kitchen where Wordy was laughing as one of his girls tried to put a small dollop of ice cream onto his nose before his wife came to his defense. "So cold compared to this. Sorry I'm rambling," Donna offers a nervous smile as she starts to eat her dessert.
"Sorry if I made you nervous," Ed frowns.
"Can I hand you the it's not you it's me line and not sound cliché?" She retorts with a smile. "I was kinda surprised when Shelly called but now I'm glad I came," she confesses, looking directly at him.
"Yeah I'm glad you came to. I mean it's been a tense week and stuff."
"It has but Wordy…he's been great. Seriously if I was to have a brother, he'd be it. Maybe I can adopt? I always wanted a brother," she states with an upbeat tone, hoping he'll see that her and Wordy were just friends and nothing more.
"Well I'm sure he'd like that. But yeah Wordy's great. Not like the real drill sergeant."
"Oh you're not that bad."
"Thanks, I meant Greg," Ed deadpans and she lightly laughs; neither of them realizing that they were being watched by two happy adults on the other side of the kitchen.
"Told ya," Wordy whispers as he looks at his wife. "My intuition was right on this one."
"And for that you get to do the dishes."
"Actually all of team one is pretty amazing. I'm just trying to keep up," Donna mentions.
"Trust me you're doing more than that," Ed admits in haste. "So…"
"So…" both of them start at once and then stop, a few nervous vibes starting to be felt. "How's Jules recovery?" Donna quickly interjects. It wasn't a secret that she was there only on a temporary basis but mentioning the fact that Jules was returning might make it a bit easier for them to realize that since they wouldn't be on the same team in the long run they could pursue…more? More? You talk to him five minutes alone and you're already thinking long term? Her brain chides. I can't help it.
"She's doing okay. She's a real trooper. Was a scary situation. I'll bet you faced some scary stuff in Vice huh."
"Yeah there was a few times when I wondered if I'd be walking out in one piece. I did a stint for…" she launches into her story, Ed's attention immediately focused. At first she feels a bit nervous with him looking at her intently, but as his face starts to soften, her agitation starts to subside and the story flow much smoother.
Wordy and Shelly rejoin them after the dishes are done, the girls in the living room watching a movie. The coffee had come out and it was once again just time to relax and talk about normal everyday things adults talk about; both Wordy and Shelly keeping any kind of relationship talk to a minimum so as not to put too much pressure on the would be couple.
After about another hour, it was time to say goodnight, the two youngest girls each vying for their father's attention and a bedtime story; the oldest already in bed. Donna heads into the kitchen to thank shelly for the great night.
"I'm so glad you came."
"I'm so glad you called…I really…I really loved this tonight," Donna tries to explain without sounding overly forward, her brain silently begging for another invitation. "I had a lot of fun," she pauses as she hears Ed laugh in the other room and a small smile is instantly seen. "Thanks again."
"Well you're always welcome and I'm sure I'm right when I say I won't be the only one happy to see you next time."
"So he's not seeing anyone," Donna dares to state more than ask.
"Nope," Shelly replies in truth. "Not yet."
"So, have a good time?" Wordy pats Ed on the back, as they head for the front door, the tail end of the joke now fading.
"I had a great time," Ed looks back at the kitchen, glancing at Donna and then back at Wordy. "You set this up right?"
"What?" Wordy smiles. "What is it Greg is always muttering to us…friends with benefits. Think of me like that."
"Oh that's funny," Ed playfully groans.
"Hey you like her and…"
"So ask her out and go from there. Oh and I was right…she's not seeing anyone."
"Just the all around good friend aren't you?"
"Best friend," Wordy mockingly pouts. "And don't you forget it."
"Doubt you'll let me," Ed smiles as Donna and Shelly finally join them. "Alright thanks again," Ed leans in and gives Shelly a warm hug. "See you guys later."
Ed and Donna head outside into the cooling night air, slowly heading down the walk toward their cars. "Really is a nice neighbourhood."
"Yeah they lucked out finding this place. Needed a bit of work at first but they did a great job," Ed replies, his nervous anxiety starting to grow once more. Just ask her already! They reach her car and she stops and turns to him, her heart beating faster by the second.
"Okay so…I'll um…see you Monday?"
"Sure," Ed nods and then mentally kicks himself for the lame reply.
"Donna," Ed asks in haste, his hand resting on her door just as she opens it.
"Do you like hockey?"
"Is that rhetorical," she replies with a small smile. Oh that was a lame reply, of course you like hockey! I wanted to sound witty not overly eager! "I do," she adds with a small frown.
"Well I have two tickets to the Leafs game tomorrow and wondered if you wanted to um…go with me?"
"I'd love to," she happily replies, her smile genuine; her eagerness unable to be downplayed.
"Okay great," he answers with an inward sigh of relief, part of him still unsure a few seconds earlier if she'd say yes and actually mean it. "I can pick you up…or we can meet there…or?"
"Carpooling is more fun," she tells him in haste. "What time is the game?"
"There's a great bar right beside the ACC…since you have the tickets, dinner's on me. Only seems fair."
"Of course, you'll still hafta pay for parking and beer at the game and so I figure we'll be even," she shrugs and smiles.
"Very true. Okay I'll pick you up at five then."
"See you tomorrow. Goodnight."
"Night," Ed half whispers as he watches her get into the car and pull away before he dares to leave his spot and head for his car.
"Told you so!" Wordy's voice rings out from the upstairs window and Ed can only look up and laugh, shake his head, wave goodnight to his friend and get into his own car. Most nights after Wordy's, he'd head home, wishing that he had a happy situation to actually want to come home to; but tonight he was heading home with a smile and a contented feeling, a feeling he's certain will grow.
A/N: Okay so am still trying to work on the fluffy stuff w/out too much angst (b/c you all know how much I love my angst!) haha but I hope I am getting better at these mostly fluffier pieces and you are all still liking them! Hmmm I think Alice is getting really addicted to these two so please help feed her addiction by reviewing and more of these will come (oh if you want me to attempt another T rated OS – say the hockey date then please let me know in your review) thanks again everyone!