Everything That Glitters Part 2
a Dash Companion
They walk home. It's not that far and he needs to expend some energy if he's going to get to sleep anytime soon. Shannon meanders at his side, her arm hooked in his, the night air too crisp in his lungs. Invigorating, when instead he needs to be wearing himself out.
Her apartment building is ten blocks from his parents'. She's been in the same neighborhood, roughly, since she got her job at the hospital; the area is bohemian, a little run down, but it has plenty of light. That was her main criteria, he remembers - was it well-lit at night? Would she feel safe walking home alone?
He smirks to himself as he realizes - she feels safe now, more than she thought possible when she moved to the big city, and it's mostly because of him. He's shown her the New York he loves - the city his mother taught him to love from subway lines to Central Park - and despite the crime, the murders, the poverty she sees at work, Shannon has grown to love it as well.
They walk up the stairs together, eschewing the elevator in favor of more work, and Dash's gaze wanders to the hall window as they approach the front door. The night beyond is painted with licks of yellow lamplight. Dash hears her unlocking the door and she nudges him ahead of her; he stills just inside, his mind spinning with everything that's happened.
His sister is home for the weekend. He hasn't seen her since Christmas.
Dashiell feels Shannon's fingers squeezing hard at his elbow and he grins over at her.
"You're not a bit tired, are you?" she laughs, dropping her keys to the table just inside the entry.
"Nope. Not a bit. I'm gonna study, I guess. Oh wait. Is my stuff here?" He's been living with her for the last year, but he still has so much stuff at his parents' place (and she does too); he has trouble getting it together long enough to remember where things are at.
She shrugs, but she's got that sly look on her face. "Studying is boring."
"Says the pharmacist who was first in her class," he shoots back. Then he gives her a little grin back. "But. What've you got in mind?"
He tilts his head. That's a new one. Shannon's always coming up with these projects late at night - things to wear him out, keep him busy; she knows him so well. "Paint?"
"Our room. I want to paint it."
He laughs. "Okay. Yeah. But there's no paint stores open at like one in the morning."
"I bought paint last week."
"Huh, you did?" He twists in the hallway and moves past her, heading for their bedroom. "Why'd you buy paint?"
"For just such a night as this."
Dash moves quickly, yanks open her closet door - the only hiding space available in her tiny place. He sees the paint cans on the bottom of the floor. "Awesome. You are awesome."
She laughs behind him and he kneels down on the floor, drags a paint can towards himself. "Turquoise?"
"It's not that turquoise. It's blue, a duller shade than that," she explains, squatting down beside him. "Wouldn't do that to you."
"Paint the bedroom. Where you gonna sleep while I'm painting?" Even though he knows better, Dash tries digging his fingers under the lid to pry it up.
"I'm gonna help. I can stay up. It's the weekend."
He flashes her another grin, loops his arm around her neck and draws her in for a smacking kiss on the mouth. She laughs at him, pushing him off, but that's okay because she's standing up to go get supplies.
"We need a sheet for a drop cloth," he calls out after her.
"I know what we need, Dash."
He grins again and starts dragging out the rest of the paint cans. Project number 527 - paint the bedroom almost-turquoise.
She giggles and scoots away from him, a warning hand held out to him. "No, no - Dashiell Hammett, I swear if you do it-"
He does it.
She shrieks as he slaps wet paint across her neck, grinning as it runs down under her shirt.
He laughs at her, can't help the grin at how cute she is, the turquoise stripe down her neck and her hair piled up on top of her head. She's wrinkling her nose at him, so he paints that too.
"Da-ash," she whines, but it's a ruse. He knows it's a ruse but he falls for it anyway, leaning in to console her right when she slaps a thick, wet paintbrush across his cheek.
She laughs and scampers away, heading for the other side of the room where they've had to push the bed back. She waits, cautious and still laughing at him, but he shrugs elaborately at her.
"No retaliation," he promises. "I started it."
"I don't believe you."
"Cross my heart."
She steps a little closer, but she's still watching him warily. To prove his story, he turns back to the wall and begins painting again. It would be faster with rollers, but she didn't buy those - she didn't know. It's okay, gives them something to do.
Dash slowly paints the wall where her dresser normally resides, humming a little to himself as he watches Shannon from the corner of his eye. She takes another slow step for him, hesitant and not trusting his sudden detente.
As well she shouldn't. She slapped him on the face.
He's just waiting for his moment.
It takes some time, but eventually she comes back to his side, the two of them painting in tandem as the hour stretches out. He's close to being tired, worn out enough to sleep, and they've managed to get two walls done. It's only two in the morning, a little past, and they'll go to bed soon.
Maybe camp out in the living room, actually.
He smirks, slowing down his strokes, plotting his next move. She's got these mile-long legs, bare feet with skinny toes, and he loves all that skin. Perfect. The mole on the back of her right thigh is an ideal target.
"Okay, so at the game tomorrow-" she starts, talking mostly to the wall, totally oblivious.
And he paints a long blue streak right up her leg to her butt, getting it in good under her short shorts.
"You punk," she hisses, twisting around.
He laughs and holds up the paint brush, twirling it around, daring her.
Shannon glances around the room, probably surveying her options, how best to get him back, her eyes narrowing as she thinks.
"Give it up. You can't take me," he says, shaking his head at her. "I got six inches on you, pipsqueak."
That's all it takes. She pounces.
In the bathroom, the water runs hot and steam billows before the mirror. Dashiell strips off his shirt and flings it towards her laundry hamper in the corner, narrowly missing Shannon's face as she steps inside.
She laughs and slaps at him, but he snags her by the wrist and hauls her into his chest.
"Mm, warm in here," she murmurs, pressing a kiss to his sternum. His skin buzzes with it, sensation redoubled by the steam and his tiredness, and he scratches his nails at her scalp, dislodging some paint.
"Get undressed," he orders, slipping his hand down her back to catch at the hem of her shirt.
"You're not the boss of me," she snarks back, wriggling against him now. Little tease.
Dash grabs the bottom of her shirt with both hands and pulls it slowly over her head, her hair falling a little, the mess of curls tangling with the straps of her tank top. He throws it towards the hamper, misses by a foot, and goes back for her panties.
Shannon hums and works her fingers under his, helping him out even as the shower runs. "Hurry up," she whispers, dragging her lips against his chest. "Wasting water."
He shivers at the touch of her mouth, forgets what he's doing in the rush of feeling. But she's already stepping out of her underwear, and he gets to watch the pink cotton slip down the back of her paint-streaked leg. And then she comes back for him.
"Shan," he murmurs, eyes slamming shut as she unzips his pants.
"Shower, D. You're covered in paint."
"Whose fault is that?"
"Mine," she chuckles, stroking her fingers over his hipbones as his pants drop. He wants to take his time, find every place on her body that makes her gasp, devote himself to her.
"Let's-" he starts, but she's already pushing him towards the shower stall.
"This first. Shower. Then I wanna wear you out."
He grins and grips her by the waist, lifts her up. She wraps her legs around his hips and kisses him even as he steps them back into the shower. Her hair gets soaked first, the water running down between them, her lashes so long and dark and blinking as she smiles, their kiss interrupted.
"Hey," he says, feeling her body against his and the way she waits for him, helps him, knows him.
"Yeah?" she says, pushing a hand through her hair even as it tumbles down, stripes of brown and turquoise and creamy skin.
"I love you."
She kisses him softly, hair wet as it clings with the shower pouring down around them. "Love you too, D."