A/N: Let me tell you a little story: So...way back in September of 2010 (September 2 to be exact) one of the wonderful writers over at the Bachelor and the Butterfly livejournal community posted some Fic Prompts. Now, fast forward to several months later, and this author is wanting to write some Detty fic, and is looking to be inspired, and is looking through files created on her laptop and lo and behold, she comes across a document entitled "fic prompts" where she had oh-so-industriously copied/pasted the afore-mentioned fic prompts. And what should happen? As I'm sure y'all can imagine by now, The Muse is once again struck with inspiration.
The result, for ill or for good, follows.
Unfortunately, this fic, like a few others, I posted onto the Livejournal community, but forgot to post onto here. So, now you get it with the massive fic dump (that sounds nasty, doesn't it?)
This takes place after Daniel's move to London.
It is a day in November. Truthfully, there is nothing special about the day except that it is the day the first issue of her new magazine has been put to bed and sent to the printers. They had been celebrating with her first official pub crawl, but neither was particularly drunk as they walked down the street toward her apartment.
They're buzzed, though, and have been laughing at something that struck them both as hilarious two blocks back and that neither of them can remember anymore, even if they're still laughing. Maybe they're a little punch drunk - it had been a very long week for both of them -and as they walk arm and arm he can't be sure who's holding up who.
She stops suddenly in front of a 24 hour supermarket and he almost loses his balance at the sudden action.
"You know what I'm craving right this very moment?" she asks, a grin on her face.
"Chocolate?" he guesses, because she has never been immune to the draw of chocolate, and frankly, he could go for a hot chocolate or a piece of cake himself.
She giggled, the light gleaming from the window behind him glinting off the frames of her new glasses (well...they weren't new anymore technically, but they'd always be new to him he thinks - at least, for another year...maybe) and he can't help but smile back.
"Not chocolate?" he asks.
She shakes her head and lets go of his arm, hurrying into the supermarket, the doors opening automatically to allow her entrance and closing again with an electronic chime before he thinks to go after her.
"Hey, Betty, wait!" he calls after her, walking into the market himself.
"I'm over here!" she calls out from somewhere to the left. "And oooh! Look what I found!"
He notices the look the bored clerk at the checkout throws his way and he tries a charming smile on him, but he can't be sure it doesn't come out goofy and lopsided, because even this is funny.
In an effort to appear normal, however, he grabs a cart and starts towards her voice. "Betty?" he calls in a stage whisper.
She doesn't answer him, and he frowns, and turns into aisle 5, pushing the trolley on squeaky wheels -
He stops in front of a display of Treacle Sponge Pudding in a can, wondering idly what something like that might taste like when she jumps him from behind, latching onto his back with wild laughter and grasping hands.
Laughing so hard, he thinks he'll lose his grip and fall onto the floor, calling her monkey and lemur and loving every minute of it, he doesn't realize he's bumped into the empty cart until her laughter dies down and he hears the squeaking wheels rolling down the aisle. Together, they watch it make its slow, noisy way into the rack full of magazines.
Betty is the first to react, an explosion of laughter, hastily stamped down with one hand pressed over her lips as she slides off his back. "Oooh..." she says, looking at him even as several magazines join their brethren on the linoleum floor. "Look what you did!" she exclaims, fighting laughter.
Daniel looks at her in amazement, even as he is fighting laughter himself. "I did?" he questions incredulously.
"Well, I didn't hit the trolley!" she answers.
"And why did I hit it, huh?" he challenges.
She grins impishly. "I don't know..." she tries, turning around to walk the way she had come.
"Oh, no you don't!" he exclaims, starting after her. She looks behind her and smiles, starting in surprise when she notices his intent and with a laugh, hurries out of the aisle and turns to the left. "Come back here, you!" he exclaims as he gives chase.
And if he weren't so buzzed, he would never have thought to run down the aisle of a 24 hour supermarket in the middle of London, but he does and if she weren't so buzzed, she might have actually gotten a little further away from him, but she doesn't and he catches her just before she makes the turn into aisle 9 and wraps his arms around her.
He looks down at her, both of them smiling. "You're not getting out of helping me pick up those magazines," he tells her.
She searches his face, that beautiful, brilliant smile still shining up at him. "Or what?" she questions softly.
"Or..." he trails off as he closes the distance between them, until when their lips are mere inches apart, her eyelids flutter closed and his have just closed, and he could feel the soft warmth of her breath on his lips and just as they're about ready to touch, they hear the sound of someone very loudly clearing their throat.
They pause and their eyes open, but for a moment, they don't move until the person, standing behind Betty, clears their throat again.
Slowly, they turn - in unison, even...almost as if they'd choreographed it - to face the disgruntled night clerk, trying to stifle their laughter.
"What in the bloody 'ell do you barmy yanks think yer doin' cocking up the place?" the man asks belligerently.
Daniel leans close to Betty (considering that he had never let his arms fall away completely from around her waist, he didn't have far to go) and, eyes still on the man with his hands on his waist, stage whispers, "I think he's upset with us."
Betty giggles, despite herself and the Clerk hears it, despite the hand she clamps over her lips in some vain attempt to keep him from realizing it.
"Shite," the clerk responds, obviously disgusted.
Betty steps forward, smoothly extricating herself from within the circle of Daniel's arms. "Don't worry," she tries to soothe him with one of her brilliant smiles. "We'll clean it up," she assured him. She turns to Daniel and nudges him with her elbow. "Right?"
The man tch'es and waves them off. "Bugger off!" the man insists, shooing them toward the door. "You bloomin' nutters," he offended.
And before they know what's happened, they're standing out on the sidewalk, the electronic door chiming as it closes them out of the store and the irate clerk glaring at them warningly from the other side of the glass.
"Well, that's one for the books," Daniel remarks as he watches the clerk stalk off towards the back of aisle 5 and the disheveled magazine rack.
"You mean that with all of your life experience, you've never been kicked out of a 24 hour supermarket?" Betty asks, surprised.
Daniel laughs. "No," he admits. "Can't say that I have." He senses her looking at him so he turns to her and can't help grinning in response to her grin.
She is about to say something witty and amusing, but her expression clouds as a thought occurs to her and she turns back to the doors of the supermarket with the air of someone considering whether it was a good idea to try and step through fire. "Crap!" she exclaims.
"What?" Daniel prompts, worried for a moment.
"I never did find the Cheetos I was craving!" she pouts as she looks at him and for a moment he wonders whether he could ask FedEx to overnight him a bag of Cheetos.
Realizing the ridiculousness of the idea, he discards it and grins at her instead. "I don't think they have Cheetos in the UK, Betty," he muses.(1)
She looks at him in abject shock. "Impossible!" she exclaims, and he can tell she's overreacting a bit on purpose.
"Fraid so," he replies, sinking his hands in the pockets of his overcoat and extending an elbow to her.
"But, they're Deliciously Cheesy!" she argues.
"A crime, I know," he agrees somberly, ruining the effect by wiggling his elbow up and down and motioning comically with his chin in a gesture she can't help but understand, even in her less than astute state of mind. "C'mon, Betty," he urges. "You offered me Irish Coffee at your place and it's friggin' freezing!"
She giggles and threads her arm through the crook of his elbow, leaning in close, step matching his perfectly (whether she lengthens hers to match his or he shortens his to match hers, he'll reserve as a consideration when he wasn't a little buzzed himself) and he leads her down the block.
They've taken a few steps before she leans her head on his shoulder as they walk at a leisurely pace, despite the cold that fogs their breath as they breathe. "I might have exaggerated the amount of whisky actually in my apartment," she admits, laughter in her voice.
"What?" Daniel exclaims, unable to quite keep the amusement from making the word lilt up a little at the edges. He doesn't pause in his step (because it really is cold), but looks at her sideways instead. "You lied to me in order to get me to leave the launch party early?"
She nods, head still against his shoulder so that her cheek rubs against the soft wool of his coat. "Yep," she admits, unrepentantly.
Daniel takes a moment to consider, then plunges on. "So, what are you going to offer me instead?" His eyes, as he asks, never leave the street ahead of them and he can't help but realize they're only a short distance from her apartment.
"What kind of friend are you that asks for payment for walking me home?" she asks, and the fact that she doesn't bother to remove her head from his shoulder still all but ruins what she must have intended to be a sharp rejoinder, and makes it something soft and warm instead (like an invitation).
"Well," Daniel muses. "Walking you home is making me cold." He glances at her out of the corner of his eye. "What kind of friend are you that won't offer me any kind of compensation for that?"
Betty giggles for a moment, then sighs as if she's being greatly put upon. "Well, what would you have, then?"
Daniel shrugs. "I don't know," he pretends. "Something to keep me warm, I'm sure."
Betty snorts and he knows she's trying to keep from giggling even without seeing her. "Well, if warm's all you want, I've got plenty of tea and coffee," she says brightly - too brightly, even, and he knows her well enough to know when she's teasing him, but he plays along.
"Finest kind," she confirms. "Brit gave me a basket as a welcome to London gift."
"And coffee?" he presses, as if she hadn't spoken.
"Papi sent me some dark roast from Starbucks back home!" she explains. "So, you know it's the good kind."
Steps away from the stairs leading up to the front door of the quaint little townhouse divided into flats in the row of quaint little townhouses divided into flats that Betty called home, Daniel stops and turns to face her, forcing her to raise her head, but not letting go of her hand. He stares at her for a few moments before he breaks out into a grin. "You are so cute when you're oblivious."
Her smile grows so bright it lightens her face. "Am I now?" she queries. He nods, and the bright, innocent smile turns mischievous and impish with a twist of her generous lips. "I don't know about that," she reaches into her purse and pulls out her set of keys. "I got one of the western hemisphere's most notorious playboys to come home with me, didn't I?" she asks, laughing as the realization dawns on his face.
By the time he's reached out for her, however, she's already stepped away and was halfway to her door. She turns and sees his purposeful step advance toward her and with a delighted squeal, she runs the last few steps and was fumbling with the lock by the time he caught up with her and dragged her to him for a kiss.
Later, when he thought about what brought them finally to this point, he would be very thankful for stubborn locks, impish smiles, 24 hour supermarkets, and yes...even magazine racks placed at the end of aisles 5.
Mustn't forget the Cheetos.
(1) They apparently have a version of this called "Wotsits" which are said to be the British equivalent. However, I was unable to find a reference to whether they have the actual Cheetos (the crunchy one) as opposed to the "Cheese-Puffs" kind. The "Wotsits" that I found online were all reference the cheese-puffs kind, and I, personally, don't like those, so although I may not say it, let it be known, that Betty was looking for the crunchy Cheetos.
A/N : So, what'd ya think? I kind of hate the ending myself. Also, I want to apologize to any British people who might read this, or any other people who might be offended by my half-assed use of British slang, concocted by looking up British Slang dictionaries online. I mean no harm or disrespect, only, lacking any other source to research this, not knowing any actual British Slang native speakers, I had to go with what I could.
Inspiration: Although you might catch it...the song, "Comfortable" by John Mayer.