Note: Just a little fun I had writing while the power was out tonight.
The middle of the night…
Annie awoke to the sound of the wind howling outside. Her back was pressed up against a cushion—the couch?—and her head against a warm, steadily rising and falling chest. Hmmm. She opened her eyes, but that did nothing to help. The room was pitch black. God, she hated power outages. Where was she? Her brain was fussy in its barely awake state. Involuntarily, she tensed, her hands tracing along the male form in front of her. They were tangled close, legs intertwined.
"Relax," he told her, his deep voice gravelly with sleep.
Auggie. Right. She'd come over so that she didn't have to spend the storm alone.
Annie trudged down the hall to Auggie's apartment. The bottom foot or so of both legs of her jeans were soaked, and her wet hair clung to the sides of her face. She knocked feebly on the door. A moment later, it slid open. Auggie was still in his PJs—flannel pants and a tight t-shirt. Not much need to change in this weather. He looked much cozier than she felt at this moment.
"Is it raining as hard as it sounds? Is the Frankenstorm upon us? " he asked with a hint of amusement in his out a large bath towel
"Frankenstorm?," she chuckled.
"That's what they're calling it. Cause its almost Halloween," Auggie laughed, holding out a large bath towel. "You're okay, right?"
She took it gratefully. "Just wet. I'm kind of glad you can't see how awful I look right now."
"I'll bet," he smirked, and she jabbed him in the side. "Towel off. I'll go get you something dry to put on." He retreated up the stairs to his closet.
The stereo played a jazz album she'd never heard. Nice and mellow. In the background the TV was on, carrying footage of the storm. He still had power, she noted happily. The power in Eyal's apartment had gone out hours ago. It didn't matter much yet, at midday, but she wasn't keen on staying in a still-unfamiliar apartment alone in the dark. It was a little irrational, yes, for a spy who'd spent plenty of time on her own, but if she didn't have to be alone, she didn't want to be. Auggie was glad for her to come over when she called, though concerned for her safety on the drive over.
"Shorts are gonna have to do. None of my pajama pants are will even kind of fit you. There's a blanket on the couch though."
The middle of the night.
Her hand gripped Auggie's side and he pulled her closer. ""Sorry," she sighed. "I forgot where I was when I woke up."
His fingers grazed her back up and down, and she relaxed into his chest. "Power's still out," he noted.
"How can you tell?" she asked, curious.
"No hum," he explained. "I have so many electronics, there's a constant, low hum."
"Of course," she laughed.
"How are you doing?" he asked.
"I have to pee though," she admitted, sad to let go of him.
He chuckled, and untangled himself from her to sit up. "Take a few steps to your left to clear the coffee table. Then you can walk straight across the room to the wall. Turn left and the first door on the right is the bathroom."
It sounded easy enough when he described it, but the moment she stood up and stepped forward, she collided with the coffee table. "Fuck!…" she winced.
"You didn't turn left," he smiled, standing up beside her. "Take my arm."
She did, and he led her through his apartment to the bathroom door. They'd switched roles from their usual. He was leading her.
Annie sat on the couch, curled into her best friend's side. The TV played Hocus Pocus. They always played that over and over at Halloween. "You really don't remember this movie?" she asked, grabbing her beer from where it perched precariously on the cushion beside her. She took a big sip and set it back down.
"I don't think I've ever seen it. I mean, I've heard of it, but never saw it. It sounds cute," he told her. "Want another slice of pizza?"
He sat forward to grab one for himself. The whole city seemed to be shutting down as the storm approached, but the pizza place down the street was open and delivering. On the screen, she watched them light the black flame candle, her head bobbing up and down as Auggie chewed his pizza. With a click, the TV snapped off, along with the lamp, the light on the stereo, and everything else.
"Well, that was just a matter of time," she sighed.
"Yup," Auggie agreed, popping the last of his pizza into his mouth. "I'm surprised it held out this long. Yours was our hours ago."
"That's why I came over," she smiled. "If the power's out, nothing's worse than being alone."
The middle of the night
He took her hand as soon as she stepped out of the bathroom. "Back to the couch, or up to the bed?" he asked.
"Bed," she answered quickly. "If that's okay…the couch is kind of uncomfortable after a while."
"It is," he chuckled. "If it wasn't okay, I wouldn't have asked."
He stopped them in front of the bed, and she crawled on, feeling it dip as he did the same. They'd been pretty tangled up on the couch, but she wasn't sure if it was cool to just melt into him again on the bed, as much as she might want to. They hadn't made a conscious choice on the couch to end up a pretzel, they just kind of woke up that way, after falling asleep sitting up.
"Where'd you go?" he laughed. "Come here."
Well, that answered that. She scooted over into his outstretched arm. He was lying on his back, and she put her head back down on his chest, her hand sliding across to rest on top of his heart. The heel of his hand ran up and down her back. Ahh…
"No power gives me an appreciation for what you have to deal with every day," she told him after a bit.
"I'm used to it now—most of the time at least—but it was hard at first."
She knew the story of his injury now, but he never talked about after it. The adjusting to his new reality part. She only got the barest hint every now and then. "Yeah?" she asked, prompting him to continue. She wanted to hear more.
"It's still tough in new places. I mean, I have my cane, but that can only tell me so much. An obstacle, a step, you know? It can't tell me what it is."
"Hunh." She'd never thought of that. She hadn't really considered the logistics much at all. He was so good at it all by the time she met him. She knew he wasn't generally keen to talk about it, so she'd never pushed . "Was it hard to learn to use the cane?"
"Yeah," he sighed. "I resisted for a while-"
"Yes," he agreed. "Very. But you run into enough things, you get over yourself and learn."
"Braille came easy to me though," he told her. "It was like learning a programming language, and I've learned plenty of those. I picked it up quickly, and then I'd hide out with my reader when I didn't want to deal with relearning everything else."
"You were so good at it all by the time I met you—I mean, you were my guide to the world of Langley—that I never really thought about how you must have struggled at first."
"I try to hide it when I struggle," Auggie admitted. "It makes me so angry, still."
"I know," she told him, patting his chest.
"You saw that in Barcelona."
"Mmmm," she thought back. Their first big fight had been about that. "I was worried about you as a friend. It only had a little to do with-"
"I know. Now, at least." His hand caught hers and squeezed hard.
"Yeah…" Barcelona had been tough for them on so many levels, but things were starting to get set right again. They were catching up and actually talking about things. With all that had been going on, she hadn't realized how much she missed him. He always took care of her, even when she was being selfish and ungrateful. She hugged him tightly. "Thank you for telling me all that. I know you don't like to talk about it, but I find it so interesting."
"Maybe sometime I'll tell you more stories."
"I'd like that."
"But right now it's…" She knew from the silence that he was reading his watch. "3 a.m., and we need to sleep"
"We're going to have to go in tomorrow, aren't we?" she grumbled into his t-shirt.
"Probably," he laughed, kissing the top of her head. "Sleep."
That wasn't a very difficult instruction with such a comfortable pillow. The Frankenstorm may have still been raging outside, but in here, wrapped up in her best friend's arms, Annie was nice and cozy.