A/N: So, this is just a big pile of Sharon/Brenda fluff and laughter, okay? I'm not sure whether if comes from summer or not, but I felt in the mood for it. Also, this is dedicated to the lovely Liz (frakkingblerg on tumblr), who's been so very encouraging with me from the start.
Have a nice reading, and remember that reviews are always very much appreciated.
Lots of kisses,
Always On A Sugar Rush
Three more copies. Sharon gave the pile of stapled papers facing her a weary, slightly desperate look, before letting out a long, deep sigh, ending up in a yawn. Three more copies, and she would finally be done with the paperwork for this bloody case, thanks you very much.
It had been more than five hours straight that the hazel-haired woman had been sitting at that table, immobile but for her wrist, which kept on dancing frantically along the printed pages scattered on her large desk. Her articulations were beginning to feel sore and painful after having so long an immobilisation.
For what felt like the millionth time, she shook her wrist and fingers lazily, trying to reclaim the use of her hand, and winced audibly when she felt the familiar tingle of promised cramps. She rubbed her left hand along the skin of her face, attempting to relieve her growing headache.
And now, her pen was slowly running out of ink. Sharon cursed under her breath, resisting the urge to bang her forehead against the edge of her desk. If only that infuriating, acid-drop of a woman hadn't spent the whole day so stubbornly standing up to her, she would never have been quite so late.
Raising her eyebrows in advance, the woman took a brief glance in her pile of unread mail. She sighed. Of course, her superior officer had not yet handed back the written report Sharon had been begging her for all week. It would only have been a matter of minutes for the Chief, but she seemed determined to make the woman's life as complicated as she could.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Sharon put aside her forms and pens, stretching her arms and neck with a delighted, relieved moan. As she removed her pair of reading glasses and scratched the wings of her nose absentmindedly, she suddenly heard a desperate plea coming from her stomach.
It was already past nine, and Sharon had not eaten anything since breakfast; she was starving. However, she realised as she rose and straightened her jacket, she was far too exhausted to even consider cooking tonight. No, she would probably have to order some cheap take-away after she got home.
The woman sighed loudly. Truth be told, she didn't quite mind the food; the problem was more to do with the wait. Her legs were already slightly shaky, and she felt lightheaded, but she would have to wait at least one more hour for any kind of treat. Unless…
Her mind suddenly wandered towards Chief Johnson's not-so-secret candy stash. She knew for a fact the woman made sure it was kept full at all times, so surely, she could easily find something to nibble on, if she only dared. The Chief's office was only one floor above hers, and at such and indecent time of the night, it was pretty likely the corridors would be utterly deserted.
Brenda Leigh had piled so much in that drawer of hers anyway, that she would probably be unable to notice something was missing even if she tried. What difference could one less candy-wrapper make? On second thought, though, Sharon reconsidered.
That woman was such a sugar-freak, that she would probably notice the disappearance with a single glance; and then Sharon would have to deal with yet another assault of that southern drawl of hers which made her skin crawl. Her stomach whimpered again, and Sharon knew- the mere promise of a sugary treat was too tempting for her to resist.
Eventually managing to put aside her remaining doubts and guilt, Sharon grabbed her purse, phone and car keys, and strut to the elevator doors, the clatter of her pointy heels echoing in the empty hallway. With just a little bit of luck, Brenda wouldn't even notice the missing candy within the seemingly precious mess she kept hidden in her desk drawer. It was definitely worth trying.
As Sharon raided through the empty corridors – she was in a hurry to get back home, after all- she suddenly noticed the glimmer of a forgotten lamp. Obviously enough, she identified the item as being Brenda's. The woman's desk was still covered in papers and pens, and Sharon resisted the urge to roll her eyes. She should have known, Sharon thought; it was already a miracle that the woman managed not to forget that blonde head of hers on her nightstand every morning.
There it was. Sharon smiled as she pulled the infamous drawer open. Underneath the colourful candy wrappers, she quickly located a half bag of chocolate-covered marshmallow bears. Now that would do.
The Captain had developed a weakness for that one particular treat back when she had been a child, and it had lasted ever since. As she stifled a moan at the exquisite texture of the marshmallow, melting against her tongue, she suddenly heard a small cough, coming out from behind her. She jumped.
'My, my, Cap'n Raydor! Who'd have thought you out of all people would be partial to marshmallows?' suddenly said a sing-song voice she would have recognized amongst thousands.
Her shoulders suddenly stiff, Sharon pivoted towards her opponent, swallowing the last bite of candy with much difficulty.
'Chief- Chief Johnson,' Sharon stuttered as professionally as she could, 'what on earth are you still doing here?'
'I could ask you the very same question, Cap'n', Brenda replied with a small, impish smile. 'After all, you are the one who broke into my office in the middle of the night to steal some of my candy.'
Oh, that woman!
'Well, I- I can explain, Chief,' Sharon began, unsure of why she suddenly felt like a guilty, blushing child in front of her superior officer. It was only marshmallow, for crying out loud! 'You see,' she continued sheepishly, 'I only just finished my paperwork, and I was starving-'
'And you thought it'd be okay to simply come here and raid my drawer?' Brenda Leigh questioned her hands on her hips. God, she was enjoying this!
'You weren't even supposed to still be here!' Sharon snapped back at her. 'That's my very point, actually, Chief. Why the hell are you still here?'
'Warned you I'd defend that candy tooth and nail, Cap'n,' Brenda said, with a smirk. After but a moment, she spoke again. 'Actually, I was here because of you.'
'Of me?' Sharon repeated, utterly confused. What on earth was she going on about?
The Chief grabbed a piece of paper from her desk. 'Yes, because of you! I'm still here because I was busy finishing your god-damned report!'
Sharon stood silent for a few seconds, too flabbergasted to speak. 'You… Do you mean, you actually finished it? On time?'
'You bet I did!' Brenda replied, a very unnerving smugness plastered on her face.
'But- we're only Tuesday, Chief? Why would you- where's the catch? What have you been plotting in that tiny head of yours to make my life hell this time 'round?'
Brenda snickered briefly, as she flung that gigantic handbag of hers over her shoulder, walking towards the elevator doors. 'Actually,' she suddenly said, 'not this time, Cap'n Raydor. I just thought that, as you haven't been too much of a bitch to me this week, you deserved a reward of some sort.'
'How very thoughtful of you,' Sharon replied. 'I'm not sure whether I should feel flattered or insulted, but-'
'Coming from me, Captain- flattered, for sure,' Brenda Leigh added with a imperceptible wink, repeatedly slamming the elevator's button. Now that sounded much more like the Chief she knew.
'Thank you, Chief,' Sharon admitted half-heartedly. It annoyed her to bits to admit it, but she was actually pretty pleased by Brenda's unexpected care. It felt nice not to be treated like the plague, for once. Sharon had almost forgotten how it felt.
The elevator ride to the basement was thick with silence, until Brenda suddenly asked, out of the blue, if the Captain had had dinner yet.
'I'm afraid not,' Sharon replied. 'And I'm not quite sure what to grab, so late at night,' she lamented, toying with the lapels of her blazer absentmindedly.
'Well, I know of a lovely place opened all-night-long, about ten blocks from here,' Brenda said tentatively. 'I'm heading there right now, actually, and you're very welcome to join me, if you think we can spend a whole dinner without murdering each other D'you fancy Italian food?'
Sharon Raydor's mouth almost fell wide open at the unexpected proposal, and her pace slowed down despite herself. This night was definitely turning out to be full of surprises.
When Brenda noticed Sharon was no longer behind her, she stopped. 'I knew you wouldn't be up for the challenge anyway,' she said with a haughty tone, but it seemed her chocolate-coloured eyes were glimmering with something else entirely. If she hadn't known better, Sharon would maybe even have ventured to call it disappointment.
Before she could stop herself, the Captain replied. 'Now, when did I say that? Let me just get to my car, over there,' she gestured towards the opposite side of the parking lot, 'and I'll be right behind you.'
The Chief gave her a brief yet sweet smile. 'Now, I'm not quite sure about that, Cap'n,' she teased. 'Mustn't you always go first?' Sharon tried to frown, but all she managed to do was chuckle despite herself.
'Now, Chief Johnson, don't push me! Or you might well run out of marshmallow bears sooner or later.'
'You wouldn't dare.'
'Don't try me,' Sharon replied with a wink. As Brenda reached her car and stopped to unlock its doors, Sharon called after her.
'Oh- and, Chief?'
The fair-haired woman didn't reply, but looked up at her expectantly.
Sharon Raydor followed her superior Officer's car for a dozen minutes, cursing under her breath at how disastrous the other woman's driving skills were –had she never heard of turn signals before, for Goodness' sake?- when Brenda's car came to a rather abrupt stop, as she parked in a dark alley which Sharon thought looked too much like the ones in which Major Crimes usually discovered their victims.
As she reluctantly got out of her car and straightened her skirt, Captain Raydor began to wonder if she had been right to accept the invitation in the first place. What if this was the Chief's way of getting back at her? Would she simply abandon Sharon in the middle of nowhere, lost, tired and starving?
'You comin', Cap'n?' Brenda's voice eventually chirruped from behind her, pointing towards a green, wooden door a few steps to the left. Sharon's eyes scanned for a sign with the restaurant's name, but she found nothing of the sort.
'In there?' Sharon replied, disdain barely concealed from her voice. 'Chief, are you even sure they have food in there?'
'Why d'you always have to be such a pain in the neck, Cap'n Raydor,' Brenda whined, walking back to Sharon and dragging her by the sleeve towards the little door. 'Come on, why don't you just trust me for once?'
'I learned not to the hard way, remember?', Sharon slipped under her breath, and the other woman stopped dead in her tracks, turning on her heels to face Sharon, a murderous flame dancing in her deep, brown eyes. Oh, that woman!
'If you'd rather not eat, Cap'n, that's fine by me!' Brenda Leigh said, letting go of Sharon's arm and pressing her purse against her chest instead. 'I'll see you at work!'
'Chief, wait! I- I apologise!' Sharon blurted out despite herself. 'I was just kidding, so don't you go all bitchy on me.'
Brenda grimaced, then gave Sharon a half-hearted smile. 'Let's blame it on the fact that we're both starving, uh?'
Sharon Raydor nodded briefly, as the Chief suddenly pushed firmly against her shoulders, forcing her inside the restaurant.
'Now, you shut up and get in there, Cap'n.'
As soon as she stepped into the room, Sharon's mouth fell slightly open. A delicious smell of basilisk and tomatoes suddenly began tickling her nostrils, as she encompassed the lovely place around her. The atmosphere of the restaurant felt warm and cosy, and if the dining room was small enough, it also felt like the perfect place to spend a restful evening, along with the promise of a tasty dinner. Perfect.
'So, what d'you think, Cap'n?' Brenda's voice asked behind her, as she pushed Sharon further into the room. 'Does it tickle your fancy?'
'It's- lovely, Chief. Really. Not what I expected at all by the look of it, I must say.'
'Ha!' the younger woman gloated. 'I knew even the infamous Darth Raydor could change her mind sometimes.' She gave the Captain a cheeky smile before turning towards the waiter who was waiting to guide them to their table.
'Is that what your team calls me? Darth Raydor?'
Brenda eyed Sharon for quite a long moment before answering, her tone somewhat tentative. 'Oh, come on Cap'n, it's just a silly joke. Don't you give me that look, I'm pretty sure you say far worse behind my back, don't you?'
The dark-haired woman hesitated for a second, not quite sure whether she ought to be hurt or amused by the nickname. An imperceptible flicker of guilt in Brenda's eyes was enough to convince her of the latter. 'Frankly, Chief, I'm more surprised that you'd know Star Wars in the first place.'
'Cap'n!' Brenda said in faux-outrage, swatting the other woman's hand playfully with her fork. 'Okay, you got me; the boys are the one who came up with the idea. Happy?'
Readjusting her glasses, Sharon chose not to answer but with a soft smile, before disappearing almost entirely behind the wide pages of the menu. Brenda barely heard her mutter 'I prefer 'The Wicked Witch', anyway.' For god knows what reason, the Chief's heart fluttered at those words.
'Would you like to share some wine, Cap'n?' Brenda asked, her eyes shining bright as she read through the different dishes. Sharon barely managed to repress a chuckle at the other woman's endearing expression; she could have sworn Brenda Leigh was close to drooling with anticipation, and yet, she still looked like her usual, charming self. No wonder she was ever so successful when it came to getting confessions.
'Why, Chief, I'd be glad to. If I remember correctly, you're quite partial to Merlot, aren't you?'
'My, my, someone did her homework! You weren't kidding when you said you were doing an enquiry on me, Cap'n, were you?' At these words, Sharon felt her cheeks turn rosy, and she turned her gaze away, brushing away some invisible creases of her skirt.
'In all due respect, Chief, shut up. Now why don't you order, instead of being silly?'
'Spoilsport,' Brenda replied.
'Now tell me, Chief Johnson, how did you come across this place?'
'With a stomach like mine, Cap'n, you're bound to know about all sorts of restaurants after a while. I take it you fancy the place, then?'
'I must admit I do.' At these words, silence settled in between the two women. Against all odds, Sharon found herself instantly missing the conversation of the other woman. 'So, what would you suggest I order, Chief?'
Brenda Leigh scrutinised the other woman's facial features for a moment, forcing her to drop her gaze, before answering in an assured tone: 'You really should go for the mushroom risotto, Cap'n.'
Amused at the obvious seriousness displayed on her superior officer's face –of course, she was Brenda Leigh Johnson; she would take any question regarding food as seriously as a major crime- Sharon mimicked the pout of the other woman. 'Chief Johnson, are you quite sure?'
'Positive,' the blonde woman replied, her eyes unmoving from Raydor's. 'I fear, Cap'n, that you're gonna have to trust me blindly with this one.'
'Oh, well, they say there's a first time for everything, don't they?' Sharon replied lazily, gesturing a waiter to come take their order. 'I'll have the mushroom risotto, please' she declared assuredly, shoving her menu in the waiter's eager hands.
'And an osso bucco for me, please,' Brenda added with one of her trademark, southern smiles. Sharon strongly fought to resist the urge to roll her eyes at her.
'Oh, and a bottle of your finest Merlot to go with it, please,' Sharon added, giving Brenda a half-smirk as the waiter walked away from them, notepad in hand.
'Y'know what, Cap'n?' Brenda said after a few seconds. When the brunette didn't reply, Brenda continued. 'I'd pay to see the face of Will, if he were to see us like this.'
'You mean, sharing dinner without spilling blood?'
'No, I simply meant being nice.'
'Ah; indeed. It could-'
'Would you like a rose for your date, ma'am?' A young man suddenly interrupted, nudging Brenda Leigh's elbow with a straw basket full of flowers.
'My what?' Brenda blurted out, knocking down her knife with her elbow out of shock, whilst the other woman entered a spontaneous coughing fit, which only increased the redness of her face. 'She- She is not my date! She's not my- We're not- Oh, Jesus Christ, we're just colleagues! Go away, go away, go away!'
As the young boy showered the pair of women with endless apologies, Brenda pressed her forehead against the flat of her plate, her face disappearing under a mass of golden locks, while she pressed her palms against her head.
After a lingering silence, a voice rose from the pile of fair hair. 'Well, that was embarrassing.'
'You have no idea,' Sharon replied instantly readjusting her glasses against the tip of her nose, as if it would instantly increase her self-confidence.
'Well, it's your fault, Cap'n', Brenda added matter-of-factly. 'Have you even seen the dress you're wearing?' Brenda gestured confusedly towards the other woman's dark blue, tightly fitting dress. 'You're all- pretty and fancy, as always. No doubt he assumed this was a date.'
Sharon's lips stretched into a wide smirk, and she felt her stomach do some flip-flops that had nothing to do with her increasing hunger. 'Well, in all due respect, Chief, I think it might have to do with that obnoxious candle right here. Or the fact that it's already quite late, and there's just the two of us here. Or the wine. But I'm very flattered, thank you.'
Brenda 's chocolate eyes narrowed at Sharon's smug smile, and she pursed her lips in silence. Oh, that woman! 'Oh, don't give me that, the wine was your idea! And you know that's not what I meant. I was just trying to say you're overdressed, as always.'
'Coming from you, Chief, I'd take that as a compliment also, as your fashion style surely indicates-'
Sharon's speech was cut short by a painful pinch on the skin of her arm.
'Now, don't push it, Captain, or you'll end up dining on your own.'
'That hurt!' Sharon whined, rubbing the reddened skin.
'It was meant to hurt!' Brenda Leigh Johnson snapped back. However, after a few seconds, her expression softened, and her eyes carefully traced the other woman's figure before speaking again. 'Though- and you better enjoy this moment, Cap'n, 'cause I'll only ever say this once. I must say this- dress-thing does not- well, it does not look so bad on you. There.'
'Oh, dear, a compliment from Brenda Leigh Johnson herself!' The other woman replied playfully, hoping to distract the Chief from the new blotches of colour spreading on her cheeks. 'Well, I'll drink to that.'
As if on cue, the waiter suddenly appeared from behind Brenda, and skilfully poured them both a glass of ruby-red Merlot, before promptly walking away.
After a few seconds, Brenda reached for her glass, and held it up to Sharon hesitantly. When the older woman met her gaze along with her own glass, Brenda muttered, almost inaudibly. 'To not having murdered each other yet?'
'To not having murdered each other yet,' Sharon agreed, her glass clinking with her superior officer's, a discrete smile upon her lips, her sea-green eyes never once leaving Brenda's.
'Chief, as much as it hurts me to admit it, you were right; this is beyond delicious.'
'Ha! Told you so,' Brenda replied cheerfully, her mouth watering at the sight of her own dish.
'I should have known to trust you when it came to food,' Sharon added, eagerly digging into her plate. After a few tasty bites, Sharon raised her head, only for her eyes to meet Brenda's darkened ones. When she realised what the other woman was eyeing with such lust, Sharon repressed a snort. 'Chief, you know you can ask me for a bite; there's no need for you to bat your eyelashes at my plate.'
'Shut up, Cap'n', Brenda replied hastily, her cheeks flushing with the shame of having be caught so easily.
Still smiling, Captain Raydor pushed her plate slightly towards Brenda, allowing her to steal a forkful of risotto. The moan the other woman let out as she slowly nibbled on the food was enough to make Sharon blush and look down at her lap. Did the woman really have no idea how inappropriate she sounded?
'Hmm- that's even better than I remembered' Brenda Leigh cooed, stretching out her arm in order to steal a second bite from the Captain's plate. However, as she did, her arm collided with the bottle of Merlot, which came crashing down upon the table, generously spilling upon Sharon's formerly flawless dress. The latter gasped and instantly jumped up on her feet, cursing indistinctively under her breath.
'Oh my god, Cap'n, I'm so, so sorry,' Brenda cried when she realised the extent of the damage. Sharon's dress was beyond ruined, and red drops of wine were now running their way down her legs. With shaky hands, the younger woman put the now half-empty glass bottle aside, reaching over to Sharon in order to help her, sending the salt and pepper shakers flying, as she desperately reached for the remaining dry paper towels. 'Oh, no, and now your lovely dressed is ruined!'
'Chief, calm down, it's fine,' Sharon replied with surprising calm, as she attempted to shake the excess of wine off her forearms. 'It's just wine, I'll give it to dry-cleaning and it'll be just fine.'
However, despite the other woman's soothing words, Brenda seemed to remain as flustered and apologetic as she was before. She kept of fidgeting around Sharon, nervously dabbing the wine stains on her chest without much effect. Suddenly, Brenda felt the Captain's hand closing firmly around her wrist, forcing her to still her arm.
'Chief Johnson, please, stop it! It's okay, really. I'll get it off as soon as I get home, there's no need to worry.'
'But it's ruined! It was so very pretty and I ruined it because I'm so clumsy- I'm so sorry, so sorry, so sorry!'
'Chief, anyone here could tell it was an accident. Weren't you the one who said I was overdressed anyway? Only, next time, if you could maybe try and be a little more subtle, eh?'
At this moment, Brenda's eyes narrowed and darted towards her gigantic handbag, which she roughly snatched off the back of her chair. Without a word, she caught Sharon's wrist in turn, dragging her forcefully towards the restaurant's bathroom.
'Chief, what- let go of me!'
'No, no, no! Come with me Cap'n, I've got spare clothes in my bag!'
Despite the situation, Sharon was unable to repress a smirk. 'Of course you would.'
'And you thought my poor handbag was good for nothing, didn't you, you foolish woman?'
'Don't expect me to apologize, Chief. May I remind you that you are the one who just spilled half a bottle of wine on me?'
'I said I was sorry!' Brenda Leigh whined, pushing Sharon firmly towards the nearest empty cubicle, before entering behind her.
'Chief, in all due respect, what the hell?' Sharon asked as she found herself almost pressed flush against her superior officer. 'You do not seriously expect me to change with you in there! Look, there's barely any space for me to move my arms!'
As she said so, Sharon gestured in order to prove her point, feeling a guilty pang of satisfaction when she accidentally elbowed Brenda in the ribs.
'Okay, okay, okay, no need to make such a fuss about it,' Brenda replied as she promptly exited the cubicle. 'I was just tryin' to help. I'll pass you some clothes over the door, then.'
'You do that,' Sharon answered absentmindedly as she locked the door after Brenda, attempting as she could to free herself of the now sticky and clingy fabric of her dress. Of course, her bra was also stained; Raydor sighed as she removed it promptly, shoving it within her tiny purse.
'I-,' the voice of Brenda Leigh came to her from outside the cubicle. 'I'm not sure it'll suit your taste very much, Cap'n, but this is all I have.' Sighing in advance, Sharon grabbed the items which were now hanging over the door, carefully unfolding them to evaluate the damage to be done.
Brenda had lent her a white tank top along with one of her trademark, flowing skirts. This one, all deep-purple and flowery patterns, may not have been positively hideous, but was still way more ostentatious than something Sharon would normally wear. Nonetheless, it was still much better than getting home drenched in red wine, so she made sure to warmly thank Brenda through the door.
After putting on the skirt and top, Sharon slipped her black jacket back on, hoping it would slightly distract gazes off the fashion disaster she would probably be displaying underneath. For a second, she found herself wishing it would be winter, so she could have wrapped herself into a thick, woollen coat instead of the current tiny –albeit lovely- blazer she had put on that day.
'I'm- not quite sure what I look like,' Sharon said, slowly stepping out of the cubicle to finally face an apparently eager Brenda Leigh Johnson. As she spoke, she met her own gaze in the mirror on the opposite wall, and realised precisely the extension of the damage: she looked dreadful.
Her beloved blazer did very little to hide the plainness of the top she had on underneath, and in the absence of a bra, she dearly hoped the coolness of the outside air would not cause her nipples to harden unexpectedly, for the fabric seemed awfully see-through. Sadly, the flowery skirt was nowhere near better; she looked like a missed attempt at copying Brenda Leigh's unique fashion style, and only served to draw attention to her high, blue velvet heels, whose colour clashed awfully with the rest of the so-called outfit; this surely must have been the final nail into Sharon's coffin.
When she was done mentally cringing over how terribly out-of-fashion she looked, Sharon Raydor looked up to Brenda, whose fist was pressed tightly against her lips, barely concealing a wide smile which seemed to be stretching more and more every minute.
'Cap'n, you sure look very- smart,' Brenda tried to add between two giggles. The other woman longed to bite back with an equally snarky remark, but when she opened her lips to do so, the only thing which spilled out was laughter.
Sharon began irrepressibly giggling, quietly at first, yet more and more wholeheartedly as she met Brenda's merry eyes. The younger woman soon found herself joining Sharon Raydor's unexpected fit of giggles, her eyes watering at each and every hiccup and guffaw she failed to repress. It felt genuinely nice to eventually witness another side of the Wicked Witch, one where the latter was not her usual prim-and-proper, utterly uptight self. This side, Brenda may even grow to like.
Sharon, as far as she was concerned, had not surrendered so completely to laughter in months; she found herself forced to lean against Brenda's arm and to drop her forehead against the latter's inviting shoulder not to collapse altogether. After mere minutes which yet felt like hours, the giggles finally receded, but the worse of the damage was done already: Brenda Leigh's make up was running down her eyes, and Sharon's stomach felt awfully painful.
'So, Cap'n Raydor' Brenda finally said, wiping her eyes carelessly with a paper towel. 'What do we do, now? I suppose you'd like to go home and get some proper clothes on, since mine are most evidently- not quite your style.'
Sharon smiled, both at the sweet euphemism and at the Chief's unexpectedly caring statement. 'Didn't you want to get dessert?' she asked, remembering how the Chief had babbled on about the restaurant's magical Panna Cotta for the first half of dinner.
'Oh, it's fine, I can always get one some other day- I'd much rather have you home safe and sound, Cap'n.'
'You'd like to get rid of me as early as possible, that's what it is,' Sharon joked; and yet, she felt a painful pinch to her heart she did not quite expect when she uttered these words.
'Not at all!' Brenda cried, pressing a hand flat against her chest. 'Believe it or not, I was having a rather enjoyable evening with you, before the whole 'wine' thing happened.'
'So was I, Chief,' Sharon replied with surprising honesty. 'Tell you what; if you help me get home in one piece, and give me ten minutes to slip into something more… appropriate, I'll reward you with some dessert. My place, my treat. I know of a recipe for French pancakes that will have you begging for more.'
At the very mention of the pastry's name, Brenda's chocolate eyes had begun twinkling with eagerness, and Sharon would have sworn she could almost hear her mouth watering in advance.
'Pancakes- French pancakes? Cap'n, why didn't you ever mention that before? As far as I'm concerned, it's a deal!'
Brenda then stretched out her hand for Sharon to shake, which the latter did, all the while deliberately trying to ignore the tingle she felt crawling down her spine at the touch of the other woman's soft skin.
'Oh, and, Chief?' Sharon added as they walked back into the dining room in order to pay, 'Thank you for the clothes, really. That's very thoughtful of you.'
'Don't mention it,' Brenda Leigh replied in a beat. 'I couldn't quite let my Cap'n Raydor out in the streets all drenched in wine, now could I?'
Sharon's green eyes instantly widened at the use of the nickname her superior officer had only ever used once before, in what she thought had been one misfortunate slip of the tongue. Unable to move for a mere second, the Captain felt her cheeks warming up despite hersef, and cursed herself for it. Oh, that woman.
When Brenda eventually realised what she had said, her eyes met Sharon's confused gaze, and she flushed deeply in turn. 'Oh, shut up,' she simply said, looking down at the floor and kicking the foot of her chair absentmindedly. 'I just think it's cute.'
Sharon Raydor remained silent as they both headed outside; however, she was quite unable to repress a genuine smile of pleasure and pride from instantly lighting up her face, as soon as Brenda turned her back to her.
Without rhyme or reason, Brenda Leigh Johnson found herself slightly anxious when they reached Raydor's threshold. Her heart was pounding in her chest in a furious fashion, and she noticed her hands trembled slightly as she parked her car next to the other woman's. She chose to blame the lack of sleep for it, even if, in her heart of hearts, she guessed it wasn't quite the right reason.
'So, um- make yourself a home, Chief,' Sharon said nervously as she pushed the door to her house open, leading her superior officer inside. She dearly hoped she hadn't left anything embarrassing in plain sight; and her eyes quickly darted to every corner of the dimly lit room, as Brenda stepped in after her.
After the light was switched on, Brenda found herself in a tastily furnished living room, which looked so very much like Sharon herself that it could not possibly have belonged to anyone else. Everything was neat and tidy, and it seemed there was not a speck of dust to be seen. Yet, the room felt warm and comfortable, and Brenda felt at ease instantly; she looked around with a half-smile, attempting to see if there were any embarrassing pictures of a younger Captain to be seen.
All of a sudden, as Sharon had begun swaying uncomfortably from one foot to the other, Brenda Leigh remembered the first rules of politeness. 'Cap'n, you have a lovely home,' she exclaimed cheerfully, and Sharon seemed to instantly breathe with more ease at her words. 'I love what you did with the furniture, it's very classy, very… you.'
'Why thank you, Chief Johnson,' the other woman replied, giving Brenda a genuine smile. 'Listen, why don't you make yourself comfortable –you can crash my couch and turn the TV on, if you'd like- while I go quickly slip on something else; I'll be right back.'
'Sure, take your time,' replied Brenda, who kept on walking around the room, eyeing each and everything with much curiosity. She didn't quite seem eager to sit down, Raydor realised with a smile, before running up to her bedroom on the tip of her toes. With one last, amused look at the disastrous outfit she had on, Sharon pulled Brenda's clothes off, choosing to slip into sweatpants and a light, salmon-coloured top she had ruined to cooking long ago.
Pulling her hair up in a ponytail, she pushed her pair of black-rimmed glasses back on her nose- it was much more convenient to do some pastry, after all. When she came back inside the living room, she realised Brenda had found her way to the kitchen- how surprising of her- and was now intensely gazing at the photographs pinned on her fridge.
Turning towards Sharon with a mocking smirk, she pointed at one of the pictures. 'Don't tell me that's you, Cap'n!' Raydor did not even have to step closer to know precisely which picture Brenda Leigh was referring to.
'Afraid it is. Laugh away, I'm used to it.'
Brenda silently raised one eyebrow at her.
'Okay, I admit, dying my hair blonde was probably not the best choice of my youth.'
'You look like that blonde girl in Charlie' Angels- the old movie, not the new one.'
'Chief, shut up, or I might reconsider my offer to bake you pancakes.'
'No, no! That's not what I meant. I think it's sort of- adorable? Definitely weird, but kind of cute, too.'
Sharon, furiously blushing once again, chose to hide behind the massive door of the fridge, pulling out milk, eggs, butter, whipped cream and a few jars of jam.
'My, my, Cap'n, I'm never gonna want to leave after that!'
'Why don't you help me instead, Chief. Could you please grab me some flour and sugar in the closet to your left?'
'Sure,' Brenda replied with, finding it surprisingly rewarding to help Sharon Raydor cook. She'd never have said so even four hours earlier, but she was actually glad for the other woman's company. Now that Fritz had left, Brenda was lonely most of the time, and even her lovely apartment felt cold this late at night.
However, after a few minutes, and as Raydor stirred the dough with much energy, Brenda found herself slightly bored. With the tip of her finger, she drew some intricate patterns on the remaining flour, repressing a yawn. Then, without as much as realising what she was doing, Brenda suddenly reached for the jar of whipped cream and, soundlessly tiptoed behind Sharon, a mischievous smirk plastered on her face.
The other woman seemed deeply focused on stirring her dough, not even noticing that a few strands of hair had escaped her ponytail and were now soaked in the sweet liquid. All of a sudden, looking very much like a cat, Brenda sprang up from behind the brown-haired woman and sprayed a generous amount of cream over the latter's nose.
Sharon shrieked, letting go of her mixing bowl, and disgracefully stumbled backwards, unwillingly crushing Brenda's naked feet in the process. 'Jesus, Chief, what on earth?' she grumbled between two sneezes, wiping her nose with her sleeve.
'Oh come on, Cap'n Raydor, relax! It's just a little bit of fun, don't you scold me.' Grabbing Sharon's cheeks with both her sugar-coated hands and forcing her to still, she wiped the remaining traces of cream off her nose and cheeks with her thumb, before happily licking her finger clean.
When Sharon didn't reply –for she was far too disturbed by Brenda's rather surprisingly intimate gesture to even think straight-, Brenda lowered her head, looking down at her hands with a sheepish look. 'Okay, okay, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to.'
Shaking some sense into herself, the older woman snapped out of her daydream, and gave Brenda a small smile, unable to stay cross at her any longer. 'It's fine, Chief, you just scared me, that's all.' But as the blonde turned back towards the table, Sharon reached for the pack of flour on the counter and, pouncing on Brenda all of a sudden, she retaliated by emptying the remaining flour on the latter's hair, face and shoulders.
Brenda, too stunned to even scream, just stood completely still, her mouth hanging slightly open, as Sharon, all gloat and snickers, winked at her. 'Don't tell me you didn't deserve this, Chief,' she muttered as she walked up to Brenda with her hands on her hips.
'Fine,' Brenda conceded swiping the flour off her face top and shoulders, before running her hand through her hair to shake the remains off. 'Let's say we're even.'
Sharon chuckled behind her palm, helping Brenda clean up and doing her very best to resist the urge she had to run her own fingers through her golden, tangled locks. 'Now, I know exactly what to do next time you forget to fill in your files.'
'You would never,' Brenda said tentatively, nudging Sharon's shoulder with her own, while the latter poured some dough in a wide pan.
'Try me, any day,' the older woman replied cheekily. 'Now go sit down over there,' she said, pointing at the table nearby. 'Pancakes will be ready soon.'
About one hour later, Sharon Raydor and Brenda Leigh Johnson were sat side by side on the couch, shoulders pressed together, discussing sweet nothings, empty plates laid on the table in front of them.
'Well, Cap'n, you weren't joking when you said your pancakes were delicious,' Brenda said seriously. 'I don't think I've ever tasted anything better.' On these words, she grabbed one of the plates, and wiped the remaining sugar and jam left on the plate with her finger, before sucking on it happily.
'Why, thank you, Chief. Coming from you, this sure means a lot.'
'Also, I wanted to say thank you. You really didn't have to go through any of this for me; I could have done without dessert, really.'
'It was my pleasure, Chief. And you helped me do the dishes, so your debt is paid.'
'Still, Cap'n, believe it or not, but it's been a while since someone took such good care of me. It means a lot, thank you.' Without any further ado, Brenda Leigh pressed her wet and sugary lips to Sharon's cheek for a brief moment. The brown-haired woman froze entirely at the gesture, forgetting as much as to breathe, how great the shock she had just received was.
Brenda, unsure what to read if not displeasure in the Captain's reaction, suddenly began shuffling nervously on the edge of the couch, smoothing the creases of her skirt absentmindedly. 'I was thinking, perhaps- I should go, don't you think?' she muttered reluctantly after a while. 'I mean, it's late, and I don't want you exhausted tomorrow.'
At these words, Sharon's brow furrowed despite herself. It pained her to realise it, but she didn't really want Brenda Leigh to leave just yet. She would lie if she said she didn't enjoy the other woman's company thoroughly, and tonight had just proven that, taken they met in a work-free atmosphere, they could go along quite well, almost as if they were… friends.
'Unless…' Sharon found herself saying before she could stop herself, 'Chief, would you like to stay?'
Brenda's eyes suddenly grew wide, and she began coughing with sheer shock.
'I- I mean' Sharon Raydor stuttered, 'I mean, it's late, so maybe it'd be better if you were to-' Sharon sighed; she was obviously going nowhere with this sentence. She took a deep breath before continuing. 'What I mean is, you can sleep here, on my couch- if you'd like to, that is.'
'That's- that's very sweet of you, Cap'n, but I wouldn't like to overstay my welcome.'
'Really, Chief, it'd be my pleasure. I'd much rather have you here than out on the streets by yourself.'
'Would that be concern I hear in your voice, Cap'n Raydor?' Brenda joked, and yet she knew that the warm feeling she felt spreading in within her chest was much more upsetting than she'd ever admit.
The other woman didn't reply, and just gestured towards the couch with one hand, before bending down to pick up the discarded plates. 'So, Chief, why don't you make yourself comfortable while I go put these in the sink? I'll bring you a pillow and some covers in a minute. Unless- would you rather sleep in my bed? It's wider, and I really don't mind sleeping here at all.'
'What? No- no! Cap'n, please, your couch will do perfectly.'
'Are you sure?'
'Captain Raydor, it's lovely,' Brenda replied matter-of-factly, leaning on the sofa to prove her point. 'But, I was thinking- D'you mind if I catch the news for five minutes?'
'Sure, go ahead. The remote's right there.'
Grabbing the last plate off the floor, Sharon disappeared promptly into the kitchen. She would do the dishes tomorrow; she was far too exhausted to face this prospect right now. Once she reached her bedroom, Sharon pulled out a spare pillow and a few, woollen covers from the top shelf of her closet, for Brenda to have.
Then, she realised her superior officer probably didn't go as far as walking around with spare pyjamas, so she threw one almond-coloured nightdress on the pile; hopefully it would fit the other woman. As for herself, Sharon quickly changed into her white silk shorts and top, before stepping into the bathroom to brush her teeth.
As she pulled her hair free with one hand, she noticed she still traces of dry cream and flour on her face; she smiled fondly at the memory. However, she was abruptly pulled out of her reverie by her washing machine's resounding beep. In the midst of the evening, she had completely forgotten that Brenda Leigh's clothes were still in there. She had to tell her not to forget to pick them up before leaving the next morning.
The covers and pillow firmly tucked under her arm, Sharon called out to Brenda, as she walked to the living room. 'Chief, I've brought you a few things for the night. Oh, and, your clothes are in the dryer, don't forget them tomo-'
Sharon's voice died in her throat as she caught sight of Brenda; the latter had fallen asleep already, remote in hand. She was curled up on Sharon's couch, and her whole figure seemed to be shivering slightly. Trying to be as silent as possible, Raydor turned the TV off, before throwing three thick covers over Brenda's seemingly so small body.
Leaning down to tuck her as neatly as she could, Sharon failed to repress a smile. That fury of a woman looked so angelic, lost in the depth of slumber, that it was hard to tell it was the very same woman who could –and would- bring the whole of L.A. to its knees with but two beats of her eyelashes.
Before she realised quite was she was doing, Sharon stroked the Chief's forehead with lazy fingers, brushing her yellow hair off her face softly, before pressing a single kiss to the top of her head, as she used to do to her children, in a time that felt like centuries ago.
As she tiptoed towards the door, Sharon distinctively heard Brenda mumble something into her sleep; something which distinctively sounded like ''Night, night, Sharon.'
The next morning, as Sharon was about to step out of her shower, she was startled by one of the most terrifying noise she had ever heard. It was a shriek, a woman's shriek, but that wasn't quite the worst of it. No, the worst was that Sharon Raydor was entirely positive the voice belonged to no one else but Brenda Leigh Johnson.
Fearing for the worst, Sharon quickly threw a towel around her wet body, and slipped her glasses on with a shaky hand. She ran up to her bedroom and pulled out the gun she kept in her nightstand at all times.
As she all but stumbled her way up to the living room, Sharon couldn't help but scream –despite knowing perfectly how bad an idea it could be. 'Brenda, where are you? Are you okay?'
'Fucking Christ- Kitchen!' the voice of Brenda Leigh answered her, and Sharon's heart seemed to beat with a little more ease already. At least, the Chief was still alive.
Still running, Sharon suddenly burst into the kitchen, kicking the door open with her bare feet, and cursing that decision when she felt some searing pain shoot through her toes.
'What the hell, Brenda Leigh!' Sharon couldn't help but blurt as she caught sight of the scene in front of her. Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson was standing next to the kitchen counter, her hair messed up and a look of pure distress on her face. She was holding her right hand tightly in her left, and looked as if she was fighting to repress a wince of pain.
On the wall next to her was a wide, black stain which looked just like a burn mark, and, just under it, was Sharon's toaster.
'I- I-' Brenda stuttered incoherently, pointing at the toaster with her valid hand. 'I was tryin' to make you some toast, and-your bleepin' toaster just sort of- exploded when I tried to plug it in.'
'Oh, dear,' Sharon said, instantly understanding what had happened. In a swift motion, she wrapped an arm around Brenda's waist and very carefully led her to the sink.
'There, there, calm down. Stick your hand under the tap for a couple minutes; it'll ease the burn.'
Nodding faintly, Brenda Leigh did exactly that. After a few seconds, her stiff shoulders seemed to relax slightly; Sharon took this as her cue to ask further question.
'Oh, Brenda, Brenda, I'm so sorry. I should have told you yesterday my toaster was out of order- I just didn't think you'd actually want to use it!' She used her free hand to rub gently at Brenda's back and neck, tracing soothing patterns with the tip of her fingers. 'It must be quite a nasty shock you got there.'
'N-No, it- it barely hurt, really,' Brenda muttered once the pain had begun receding. 'I was more scared than hurt I guess- it's just that everything sort of- flashed and- I'm so sorry, I must have woken you up.'
Only then did Brenda notice the other woman's outfit- or lack thereof. She swallowed with difficulty, trying her best not to gaze too obviously at the Captain's usually concealed patches of creamy skin. 'Or, maybe I didn't…' she said absently, all the while attempting to ignore the growing tingle in her fingertips.
'I was just out of the shower, actually, as you might have guessed,' Sharon replied with a small smile, when Brenda only nodded. Eventually noticing the gun, the latter bit up her lip.
'I'm so sorry Cap'n; I must have scared you half to death.'
'It's fine, Chief, really. I was just worried you'd hurt yourself.' Sharon said sweetly, turning the tap off and softly dabbing Brenda's injured hand with a cloth.
Looking down at their entwined hands, Brenda suddenly muttered something Sharon didn't quite catch. When she asked her to repeat herself, the other woman blushed slightly.
'I said, that's not what you called me before.'
'What do you mean, Chief?'
'See? Right there- Chief, again. That's not what you called me before.'
Not quite understanding what the other woman was getting at, Sharon was at a loss for words. 'I'm not sure I- What- What did I call you?'
If Brenda Leigh's cheeks had been slightly rosy before, they were now of a very deep crimson.
'You called me Brenda, earlier. When you thought I was hurt.'
'I- Did I really? Chief Johnson, I'm sorry; I didn't mean to disrespect you at all.'
'No, no! That's not what I meant at all- I like it. I think it- sounds nice in your mouth, I suppose.'
Brenda had all but muttered the last sentence, and was now gazing intensely at her fingertips.
'Oh,' Sharon replied, not quite sure what else to say.
'I- Just forget I even mentioned it, alright?'
'No! I mean- I'd be glad to call you Brenda, Chief. As long as you call me Sharon in return, that is.'
At these words, Brenda finally smiled.
'So, why were you trying to use my toaster in the first place, Brenda Leigh?'
'I was trying to cook you breakfast,' Brenda replied. 'You were so very nice to me yesterday, and I just wanted to do something sweet for you, for a change.'
'Ch- Brenda, that's very kind of you.'
'But it didn't really go as I'd planned,' Brenda said, biting her lip. 'I think I ruined a part of your wall, too.'
'Shush, Brenda, don't mention it. There's no way you could have known. But, as far as I'm concerned, I think I'll stick to coffee for breakfast, what do you say? Just to be safe.'
'Oh god, yes. I think I'll stay away from toasters for a little while.'
Sharon laughed, nudging Brenda with her elbow.
'I think that'd be wise indeed, Brenda Leigh.'
Her massive bag tucked under her arm, Brenda was waiting just down the steps of the Captain's threshold, the cool morning wind tangling her blonde locks. Sharon was standing there also, wrapped in a fluffy, white bathrobe, her hair now dry and flawless as ever. It would have been obvious to anyone than none of the two women seemed particularly eager for the other to leave.
'So, um, Sharon? Thank you so much again for everything you did for me yesterday and this morning. I fear I've been a bloody clumsy fool, and I'm still so sorry, and-'
Sharon rolled her eyes, shushing the other woman by clasping her chin and pressing her thumb against her lips.
'That's enough, Chief. I mean- Brenda. I had a wonderful time with you, so why do you seem so determined to make it sound like such a catastrophe?'
Brenda gave Sharon a sheepish, half-smile. 'Well, I had a great time too, Sharon. We should do it again, sometime.'
'Absolutely. As long as you still feel able not to jump at my throat, I'm all for it.'
'I think that won't be a problem,' Brenda lied, though she knew in her heart of hearts, that the reason she'd ever want to jump at Sharon's throat now would probably not quite be the one the latter expected.
'Good. Well, I'll see you later, at the office, Chief Johnson,' Sharon said with a wink. 'Also, I think we should keep on snapping at each other now and then, for the sake of both our teams. They'd never recover if they discovered we actually got along.'
'Obviously! Don't expect me to go all soft on you now that we're friends, Cap'n Raydor. I'm still your superior officer, after all, and I dare hope you're still be the same glorious pain in my neck yourself. Truth is, who would I find to whine about if it weren't you?'
Sharon laughed. 'Ditto, Chief. By the way, I'll be expecting no more late reports from you, hm? You wouldn't want me to get the flour out again, would you?'
Brenda put her hands on her hips and took a step closer to Sharon in defiance. 'Is that a direct threat I hear, Cap'n Raydor?'
'It might well be.'
Sharon suddenly became dangerously aware of how close they were standing; breathing the same air, their toes almost touching. She desperately tried to keep her voice from hitching up in her throat, swallowing painfully, but not daring to remove her eyes from Brenda's either.
Eventually managing to snap some sense back into herself, Sharon shook her head, thus forcefully tearing her gaze away from Brenda's.
'Well, off you go, then,' she said, waving her hand towards the alley.
'Yup. See you later, Cap'n Raydor!' Brenda added cheekily, and Sharon crossed her arms under her chest.
Brenda had only taken a few steps down the alley when she abruptly turned back towards Sharon.
'Oh, you know what? Screw it,' the blonde suddenly said to no one in particular, leaving Sharon perplexed.
'What's the matter, Chief? Did you forget something?' she asked, as Brenda was quickly walking up to her.
'Actually, yes I did,' Brenda replied under her breath. Then, without any further word, she firmly grabbed the collar of Sharon's bathrobe, pulling her in, before roughly crashing her lips against hers.
Sharon let out a stifled gasp as one of Brenda's hands travelled along her neck, stopping briefly to stroke at her cheek, before desperately tangling deep within her thick, hazel hair. The initial wave of shock dissipating, she suddenly became all-too aware of Brenda's lips moving forcefully against hers, and she gave in.
One of her hands sneaked around the younger woman's waist, pulling her flush into the embrace, as she instantly deepened the kiss with urgent strokes of her tongue and lips. She could feel every last bit of sense she had ever had give way to waves of pure electricity and untamed desire she had too longed tried to ignore.
Soft moans travelled in between the molten ballet of their tongues, as they both collapsed against the other in utter abandon, grabbing urgent fistfuls of hair and cloth, as if the whole world was spinning fast around them; and, in the end, perhaps it was.
When Brenda and Sharon eventually entangled their limbs and mouths from one another's, after what seemed like an eternity, none of them spoke a word for a short while; they simply both stood absolutely immobile, revelling in the aftershock of the moment.
Then, Brenda bent to pick up her discarded bag, and turned away to leave. With one last look over her shoulder, she locked her gaze with Sharon's and muttered 'That's what I had forgotten,' before vanishing in the morning fog in a clatter of her heels.
Sharon stood for a while by herself on the threshold, simply brushing her still agape lips with the tip of trembling fingers, her mind utterly unable to make sense of anything. Only once she had gotten back inside her home and locked the door behind her, did she allow herself to smile.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading! You are amazing, each and everyone of you.