Not logged in: Guest

The Complete and Unabridged History of Us

Carrie (carrielh)


Ben Browder/Claudia Black



One evening in the middle of the beginning of the cyclic history of two people together.

Ben is frowning intently at the beige pants he's mending and the bright green thread, currently knotted, with which he's attempting to mend them when a voice that's becoming all too familiar says, "Are you coming or what?"

"Am I coming where?" Ben asks, knowing, without bothering to look up, that Claudia's sitting backwards in a folding chair from which she's removed his neat stack of scripts, her chin resting on the backrest, peering at his notes from the morning's shoot to see if DK said anything mockable about his acting.

"We're going out drinking," Claudia says, in that Are you completely slow? way she has.

"Damn." His thread has finally succumbed to complete snarldom. "I'm guessing I don't have a choice."

"Of course not. If you had a choice, do you think I would have gotten dressed up?"

Ben, startled, abandons his pants to see what she's wearing. She... well. He bites back a low whistle and instead says, "I'll feel underdressed. Especially since my pants are broken."

"I can mend your pants if you pay for the beers."

That's not really a fair exchange. Most Friday nights Ben ends up literally under the table while Gigi and Claudia, still chugging merrily, do embarrassing, semi-permanent things to his body with fine-tip pens, which is a bitch to explain to a makeup artist with a cruel sense of humor.

"I think I'll stay in tonight," Ben says. "Do my own sewing. Get a full night's sleep. Maybe do some rehearsing."

"You can't rehearse by yourself," Claudia reminds him. "It's a... shipper episode."


"What?" She widens her eyes as if that would make her look innocent.

"You've been spending too much time on the messageboards."

"It's really fascinating," she says. "They're completely insane."

"Save a fortune; stay offline. Gigi's dressing room is right next to yours, right? Have you ever seen her doing her warmup routine?"

"Yes, but Gigi isn't convinced that you and I are secretly pining for each other and daily petitioning the writers' room to write our characters into a relationship so... her brand of crazy is clearly inferior. Anyhow." She drops Ben's script on the floor, and he winces. "Are you ready already? Can we go?"

"Pants," Ben says.

"You can wear mine."

"I...." Choke. "I really don't think they'd fit, Claud."

"You could wear John's."

"And that's also a definite no."

"We could go shopping."

"You're wearing a...." He contemplates the red satin concoction that barely and flatteringly covers about half of Claudia's cleavage and a quarter of her legs. "A very nice dress," he concludes. "In which it wouldn't be appropriate to go shopping for men's pants."

"Any attire is the right attire for shopping on a Friday night," she says. "Tell me your size and I'll be back in a tic."

Ben considers, then, with a resigned shrug, takes his billfold out of his wallet, fumbles with the still unfamiliar money, and hands Claudia what he hopes is enough. She rolls her eyes; Ben hands her another bill and watches in admiration as she and her stupendous ass and her very short skirt make their flirtatious exit.

Later, at the pub, he's had two or three drinks when he realizes something. "Hey."

Claudia stares at him over the rim of her mug. "Hey."

"When are the others going to get here?"

"Other who?"

"Gigi. Anthony."

"Just us," she says.

"So when you said, 'We're going out drinking,' you meant...."

"Two people is enough for 'us,' aren't we? Unless it's different in American-English."

"Two people's, um, a different kind of us."

"Maybe. Sometimes."

Ben feels his face grow warm. He doesn't feel like beer anymore. He has a question, but he's not sure how to phrase it.

She answers anyhow. "Would you like to do this again?"

He looks at the beer, the peanuts strewn all over the table, Claudia's hand on the table and that ridiculously gorgeous red dress that is the only spot of color in a dreary, gray pub, possibly on the whole island. She smiles winningly.


"How about next season?"

He has plans with his family for the summer break, traveling, a B&B in Maryland. And now he has plans for after the break too. Next season. Same pub, same peanuts. "Sure."

"What about three years from now?"

No one knows where the show will be from now. He doesn't know if he'll even want to stay in the TV biz. He doesn't know about his wife three years from now. At this moment, he doesn't even know about his wife three minutes from now. "Three years from now, you mail me a pair of pants," he says. "I'll probably need them."

"Do you split a lot of pants?"

"I didn't used to."

"And then?"

"Then I came to Oz."

"That actually explains everything," she says.

"Drinks," Ben says. "Seven years from now."

"I know a place in Melbourne. Drinks and dancing."

"I know a place in L.A."

"I know a place in London."

"Vancouver," Ben says. "Even if it's the coldest, drizzliest day of the year and we're in fucking Canada. Drinks on me."

"Yeah, well, they'd better be." She leans back in the booth, utterly relaxed, and accidentally flashes him some breast. Or maybe on purpose. Either way.

He lifts his mug. "To us."

"To us," Claudia echoes, and finishes her beer.


 Left By:
anr (anr)

2006-12-25 19:05:05

eee! Wonderful story! I really enjoyed the characterisations, and the banter between the two.

 Left By:
Voleuse (Voleuse)

2006-12-26 01:31:55

I second the glee about the banter. Lovely!

 Left By:
Carrie (carrielh)

2006-12-26 12:05:00

"Vancouver," Ben says. "Even if it's the coldest, drizzliest day of the year and we're in fucking Canada. Drinks on me."Oh, EXCELLENT. This is just wonderful. I love the banter between them, and the what-if - next season, three years from now. And your Claudia is hilarious. This is the prompt I was hoping for the most, so I'm thrilled that you wrote it for me. Thank you so much!

 Left By:
llaras (llaras)

2006-12-26 13:24:15

This made me smile so big. Plus, think about Ben's pants a lot... *more smiles*

 Left By:
Guest (Tria)

2006-12-29 20:32:51

"It's really fascinating," she says. "They're completely insane."Oh, YES we are. *giggly* Perfect line.

 Left By:
okelay (okelay)

2007-05-01 01:40:08

hahaha, it's so funny, i loved the bit about the message boards, it was pretty awesome