Author's Note: Standard Disclaimer...yada yada.
I'm a bit blocked at the moment on some of my other writing, and this just sort of spilled out. Hopefully you guys enjoy it. I love "Franklin and Bash" but there's an appalling lack of likable strong female leads (other than Carmen, whom I love) in the show so I've written my own.
"Dude, come on – you said you'd be here."
Peter sighed into the phone. "Fine, I'll be there, but it'll be late."
"Man. I thought you said you were over it, that you were fine with seeing her again," Jared said, rolling his eyes even though his gesture couldn't be seen over the phone.
"I am, I'm totally over it. I haven't sung 10cc s in a long time. I've just got stuff to do. I'll see you later." Peter ended his call, stuffed his mobile phone back into his pocket, and rolled the kinks out of his neck. Opening a folder on his desk, he read through only a few lines before he snapped it shut again and left the office with a decisive stride.
"Hey," Jared greeted the short woman at the door. "Lily's in the kitchen."
"Good to see you again, Jared." Kate smiled at her former roommate and her best friend's boyfriend – make that fiancé. She followed Jared into the kitchen and smiled as she watched her friend's face light up when she saw her.
"You made it," Lily blurted.
"Of course I did! I wouldn't miss your engagement party."
"Well, you are a fancy Londoner now, so I wasn't so sure," Lily teased, snapping the dish cloth at her friend. "Sit down. Are you hungry?"
"Not surprising. It's not like you can get decent weird girl food on a plane." Jared grinned at Kate's faux scowl. Lily laughed and turned around to stir something on the stove.
"Look at you, I move out of the country and all the sudden you're Ms Cooking Cathy." Kate laughed at Lily's domesticity. "You can even make my crazy vegan friendly food. I'm impressed. Have you also mastered how to make the perfect pot roast, Mrs Cleaver?"
"Hey, don't go poking too much fun," Jared chided, "I like that she's cooking." He nuzzled Lily's neck, letting his fingers drum against her ribs before Lily pulled away and shooed him with a giggle. "Fine," Jared pouted, "I had other things to do anyway." He grinned when he saw Lily's raise of the brow.
"So...I thought this rager was going to be in full bloom by the time I got here." Kate looked around at the near quiet house. "Where's Pindi and Carmen?"
"Carmen's gone to get a few extra kegs, Pindar's in his room talking to a Trekkie, and –" Jared paused to direct a pointed look at Kate, "Peter's not home yet."
"No?" Kate's disaffected air fell flat.
Jared gave her a little smile before doing a head nod towards the bar. "Come on, I'll make you a drink."
It wasn't long before the three finished dinner and Carmen appeared, kegs and a few extra people in tow. Within twenty more minutes the house was bursting and a party was well under way. Lily and Kate were sitting on the couch, drinking their third tumblers full of whatever Jared had mixed for them, all the while trying to avoid a mishap from a drunken partier accidentally spilling his drink on them whilst he "Wang Chung"ed to the music. Jared slid in next to Lily, moving his hand to squeeze hers.
"I'm gonna use the loo," Kate excused herself, ignoring Jared's heckling of her English slang. There was a line of three people before her but she got in and finished peeing and washing her hands soon enough. She had just swung the door open when she heard an "ow" as the door hit somebody.
"Sorry! It's crowded in here, I didn't realize someone was behind the door," Kate apologized, moving to assess the damage. Her eyes widened when she saw who she had assailed.
"S'okay, not a big dea-" his words stopped. "Kate."
Kate stared up at Peter. "Hey."
They stood in the hallway, staring at each other for a moment before Peter remembered to inhale. "Hey."
"Hi." Kate bit her lip. "I thought you weren't going to be here till later."
"Yeah," he swallowed, she watched his adam's apple rise and fall with the movement, "I wasn't. But, then I decided work could wait."
"You look," Peter cleared his throat, "you look good."
"Thanks," she blushed, "you do too."
"It's been a long time. How's London?"
"Good. Good. I love it there."
"Yeah, that's what I hear. I mean, that's what Lily's told me." Peter rose his brows and let them fall again, blowing out a breath. "This is, uh," he laughed nervously.
She smiled. "I know. It is. Five years of not seeing each other will do that, I guess."
"Listen, Peter, I know things between us were left – well, we just sort of-"
"You just left. You moved." Peter's face hardened. "You didn't even say goodbye."
Kate avoided his gaze. "I know, it's just that I knew if I told you I had decided to take the job and leave, I knew that you'd try to stop me again."
"Damn right I'd've stopped you. What the hell did you leave for?"
She reluctantly met his gaze. "Does it even matter? Now? It's been a long time." She shrugged, growing uncomfortable beneath his scrutiny. "Anyway, I just wanted to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry for just leaving you without, well, I'm sorry."
The hardness left Peter's face as he continued to watch her. "I'm sorry, too."
They looked at each other silently for a few moments before somebody stumbled into the hall and ran into Peter, sending him half-way sprawling against the wall, which caused him to step on Kate's foot. She yelped and he apologized but he didn't bother to distance himself from her again. They were standing a couple of inches from each other now. Kate's gaze moved from his eyes to his lips.
"We should," she began but his nod cut her off.
"Yeah," he murmured with a tilt of his head. He kissed her before she could respond, his arms wrapped round her and pulled her flush against him. She returned the kiss, grasping his shoulders with her hands. A passerby jostled their embrace, prompting Peter to grab her by the hand and sprint to his room. As soon as he opened the door he let out a groan of disgust.
"Hey, beat it," he ordered the necking couple who were occupying his bed.
"Who're you?" The young guy glared at Peter, he still had his arms around the brunette next to him.
"I live here. Get lost." Peter threw one of his foam baseballs at the guy's head.
"Shit, fine. Keep your pants on," the guy muttered, scurrying out the door behind his girlfriend.
Peter slammed his bedroom door shut and locked it before he turned around and smiled at Kate. "So..."
"So," Kate let out an anxious titter. "We really shouldn't – that kiss shouldn't've happened."
"But it did," Peter stalked towards her.
"Do you really think it's a good idea to-" she stopped at the abrupt contact of Peter's lips on hers. All further protestations were silenced when she gave in to the kiss. Peter yanked her top up and off of her, she unbuttoned his shirt and he tossed it aside along with his tie. Walking backwards to the bed, never breaking the kiss, Peter let himself fall back, bringing Kate tumbling down on top of him. His hands thrust her skirt up as her fingers undid his buckle and pulled down his zipper. With a large finger he pushed aside her knickers and she moaned when she felt him fill her...
"Dude, I can't find her anywhere." Lily scanned the mass of faces with a frown.
"She probably hooked up with someone," Jared offered, taking another drink.
"With who? No way, she doesn't know anyone here."
Jared shrugged. "I remember the parties in the old days where you'd look for her and she'd be off fuckin' around with Peter for an hour or two every damn party."
"Yeah, but that was with Peter. There's no way that's going on now. Plus, he's not even here, anyway."
"Maybe she met someone."
Lily scoffed. "You act like you hardly know her. She lived here for six months, you should know her better than that."
"Yeah, but she was living with Peter. I don't know how she is when she's single. She may be livin' 'all the single ladies' life. Holla!"
Lily cocked a brow. "What does that even mean?"
Jared laughed goofily. "I dunno, I'm drunk."
"Lightweight." Lily laughed too before her frown returned. "I'm gonna try her phone again."
"Darling," Jared said mockingly, "she's a big girl. She's fine. This is a big party. I'm sure she didn't take off, you probably just keep missing each other."
"I can't hear shit here, I'm going outside for a minute," she told him, motioning to her phone. He watched her disappear outside before he moved to fill up his red Solo cup.
Peter rolled on his side and leaned his sweaty body half over Kate's, strumming the pads of his fingers over her collar bone. "I've missed you."
She grinned from ear to ear. "I could tell. I kinda missed you, too." She palmed his cheek as he gazed down at her.
He traced his finger lightly over her skin, from her collar bone to the hollow of her neck, down the valley of her breasts, before teasingly circling each of her nipples with his forefinger. He bent down to follow the path his fingers just made with his tongue. A soft moan left her parted lips as he left feather light kisses all over her bare chest. A phone rang in the near distance. He continued to lave her with his tongue, making her eyes flutter shut, but the continuous ringing of the phone interrupted her relaxation. Peter either didn't notice the ringing or else he was steadfastly ignoring it, he didn't miss a beat in his affections.
"Peter," Kate murmured as she softly fingered his hair.
"Peter," she repeated absently, "the phone..."
"Ignore it." His fingers were moving all over her again. The ringing stopped only to begin again a minute later.
"They're calling again, it might be important," Kate asserted, trying to maintain herself despite Peter's distracting ministrations.
"Forget it," Peter mumbled, his mouth still busy.
But the phone kept ringing.
Kate spotted the glowing screen, his phone had fallen out of his discarded pants on the floor. With a shove, she moved a very put-out Peter away from her and reached down to grab his phone. With a panicked look, Peter moved to grab the phone first but it was too late, Kate already had it in her hands. She stared at the caller ID.
"Who's this?" she asked neutrally, gaging his reaction.
"Just, just someone from the office – an associate," Peter said too quickly, reaching for the phone once more.
Kate narrowed her eyes. "Then why did you freak when I grabbed the phone?"
"Because," Peter sputtered, "we were in the middle of – I didn't want to answer the phone right now."
Kate tossed the phone on the bed, disentangled herself from Peter's limbs, and pulled at the comforter, yanking it up so it half covered her nakedness.
"Is she, I mean," she paused, looking away. "Is she your girlfriend?"
"She's just," Peter looked at her hurt face before continuing, "yeah, I've been seeing her."
"Oh," was all Kate said before she left the bed and gathered her clothes from their various positions on the floor.
"Come on, talk to me."
"About what? There's nothing to talk about. You just cheated on your girlfriend with me and you didn't even tell me you were with someone else." Kate didn't look at him as she quickly redressed.
"I didn't think – it's not like I had any idea we'd hook back up tonight. It just happened."
Kate leveled Peter with a glare. "Did you seriously just use the excuse 'it just happened'?"
"You know what I mean. I didn't really have time to tell you I was seeing someone. How was I to know we'd fall back in bed together after only a few minutes?" Peter suddenly smirked. "Well, I guess it really shouldn't be a surprise."
"Oh!" Kate threw her shoe at him which narrowly missed making contact with his left ear. "You're impossible."
"You never could resist me for long," Peter mused with a tilt of the head. "Come back to bed."
"Fuckyou." Kate finished pulling up her skirt and she wrenched her other shoe from his hands. "This shouldn't've happened." She left his room without another word, letting the door slam shut behind her.
"There you are!"
Kate had just rounded the corner when she saw Lily approaching. With a few calming breaths, she managed to look her best friend in the eye. "Hey."
"Where the hell have you been? I've been looking everywhere for you."
"Oh, just – uh, you know, around. Hanging out. What's going on?"
"You've been missing for over an hour. Did you leave," Lily accused, scrutinizing the other woman.
"No. I've been here. Is something wrong?"
"Well, no, I just – are you alright? You're acting, all...weird." Lily crossed her arms as she watched Kate. "You're all jittery or something."
"You look sweaty – are you clammy? Do you have jet-lag?"
"Yes! That's it, I do feel funny. I guess I do have jet-lag." Kate fidgeted as Lily's concern washed over her.
"Well, come on and sit down. I'll get you some water." Lily led the way back to the couch, which was now occupied, so they moved to the craziness of the backyard. The various hued paper lanterns cast pretty colours in the darkness. Kate sat in one of the chairs in the corner and Lily went to grab her water.
"Hey – Kate?"
Kate looked up at the new voice. "Damien?"
"Yeah. I haven't seen you in – well, however long since you moved." Damien sat beside her.
"Five years. Yeah, it's been a long time. How're you doing?"
"Good, good, no complaints. How about you?"
Kate gave what must have been a rather sickly smile. "Good."
"You don't look so good," John told her before blanching. "What I mean is that you look like you don't feel too well."
Kate snorted. "I know what you meant. I do feel a little..." her voice trailed as she spotted Peter heading their way, "sick."
"Hey," Peter greeted Damien stiffly before looking at Kate. "Can we go back in and talk about this?"
"There's nothing to talk about."
"Should I leave?" Damien looked between them, clearly enjoying the way Peter squirmed. Peter answered 'yes' just as Kate answered 'no'.
"Damien and I were just talking."
"I can see that," Peter said tersely.
"Is Mary coming?"
"Is Mary coming? You know, your girlfriend," Kate accentuated the word.
Peter matched her willful stare. "Yeah, I'm gonna call her."
"Good." Kate leaned back in her chair. "I look forward to meeting her."
Damien simply looked back and forth between them before clearing his throat. "Well..."
"What?" Kate turned a particularly winning smile towards Damien.
"Is there something going on here...is there a problem?" Damien locked gazes with Peter.
"No, not at all," Peter replied as casually as he possible, though the clenching of his jaw gave him away.
"You two aren't still – or back – together, are you?"
"No, no, no – Peter's got a girlfriend, didn't you know?" Kate continued to wear a plastered smile.
"And Kate's still the ice queen," Peter commented with a discordant cheerfulness.
"Wow, Bash, still ever the ladie's man. It's no wonder Kate ever let you go," Damien quipped.
"Peter, there you are! Why aren't you answering your phone?" A tall, thin blond woman approached Peter, Kate, and Damien. "Hi," she introduced herself to Kate and Damien, "I'm Mary, Peter's girlfriend."
"Oh, but I thought," Damien faked confusion, "you didn't have a girlfriend, Bash. Weren't you just hitting on Kate here?"
Peter turned a murderous glare towards Damien as Kate and Mary exchanged equally venomous looks.
To be continued if there's any interest...
Please review and thanks for reading :)