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Learning the Rules of You and Me

dizzy (dizzy)


Ben Browder/Claudia Black



S - The prompt sort of got away from me, so I hope that isn't too much of a disappointment. :) And thanks to my beta reader Mav for putting up with much head desking and second guessing of myself.

“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” - Dorothy Nevill

Claudia rolls over in bed at half past six in the morning. She's alone, the pillow she presses her face to cool with the absence of body heat, but she can still smell him. She loves that smell, thinking silly schoolgirl thoughts of having a pillow that always smells like someone else.

But down that road madness lies, and Claudia is a lot of things but she's not a masochist. Maybe the other side of the bed is cold, but she can hear that the shower's running and it's more than likely warm enough to chase those thoughts away.

The door to the bathroom isn't completely shut and she can hear him humming. Ben hums in the shower, ridiculous and off-key, always just short of actually singing. She teased him about it once and he turned that adorable shade of red, eyes cast down and making a self-deprecating joke about his lack of vocal skill until she'd kissed him quiet.

Sitting up, awake now, she opts against joining him. In her kitchen the paper is laid out, crossword partially filled in indicating that he's probably been awake for an hour. She tells him every time to wake her up when he gets up, and every time he lets her sleep in. She can't convince him not to, can't bring herself to tell him how greedy she really feels about the time they get together. That might be too much, might cross a line, might drive him away. This is a game she's never played and she's still learning the ropes.

She's always been a very competitive person.

By the time he gets out of the shower, she's got pancakes on the griddle and syrup sitting on the table. She's humming, too, wearing his t-shirt, wrapped up in the feeling of domestication and the giddy, girly kind of glee over having someone to make breakfast for this morning.

"Smells good," is the first thing he says to her. She turns slowly, watching him watch her, knowing where his eyes will be drawn to. It's always the same; legs first, sliding upward as his pupils dilate, as he starts to chew at his bottom lip, and as his fingers dance and fidget. Sometimes he wakes up ready to go, wants her instead of breakfast, and sometimes he tries to be more restrained. He thinks he's being polite, that she might not want him to maul her first thing in the morning. Silly man, such a silly man. How does he not see that she's eating him up the same way he's doing her? Staring at him, hair damp from the shower, clean shirt in his hand, nothing but boxers providing a bit of decency from her eyes.

"Looks good," she counters, saucy and daring. Challenge issued, weighed, accepted. He drops the shirt over the back of the chair and advances on her.

"Looks better from where I'm standin'."


He's right in front of her, hands on the counter on either side of her. In bare feet she's shorter than he is, has to tilt her head up just a little. Her breath catches when he kisses her, wet with tongue and cool from mint toothpaste and tongue. His hands push at the shirt, one going up and under, the other searching between her legs, fingers finding all his favorite places on her body. Her head falls forward, forehead against his shoulder, and her breath comes in quick little pants as she squirms into the touch. He works her up, gets her there in no time flat, slickened pads of his fingertips pressing into her body and then back out to work the moisture around her clit. The heat of the griddle is close and her hand gets a little too close as she comes, arm jerking back and going around Ben's neck to keep her upright while her body clenches around the fingers he's slid back into her.

She turns to tend to the food on shaking legs. He stands close behind her and presses his erection against her ass while she puts the food on plates.

"Eat." She orders, leaning back into him and tilting her face up for another kiss. "We need to eat. Busy day today."

"Right." He lets her go, giving her that sheepish grin. "Sorry."

"Oh, no." She slides into her seat at the little table in her kitchen and then waves her fork at him. "You're not getting out of sex. So just eat quickly."

She loves that she can still make his eyes go wide like that. It's a moment she'll hold onto for the rest of the day, even more so than the sex. In an hour's time they'll walk out of her apartment and get into different cars. He'll drive to the studio and she'll meet him, a little late, because hey, that's Claudia Black, can't make it anywhere on time.

They've got the day planned out for them by other people: commentary recording, press for the next season. They'll be together all day but as actors, as talent, as people who are friends and nothing more. They're careful and they're good and they won't get caught because they won't take any risks that might get them caught. She's not a masochist and she's not an egoist; she knows who he'd pick if he ever had to. Claudia might be able to give him blowjobs that make him shout to deities but Francesca gives him family.

Maybe he does still love his wife. Maybe he's only with her for the children. It's a world of maybes and none of them do Claudia much good, so she tries not to let them crowd her head. They'll show up on set like friends and co-workers, run their lines like professionals. They don't need to be filming an episode to be acting, they prove that every single day.


 Left By:
anr (anr)

2009-12-27 01:28:29

Nicely written! I like this look at them early in the mornings.

 Left By:
2009-12-27 18:41:29

Oh, for me! Thank you so much. I love the atmosphere in this story and the bittersweet turn it takes at the end. There are obviously feelings there, but Claud is realistic and maybe a bit insecure, and I like that you touched upon those details.

 Left By:
dirty diana (dirty_diana)

2010-01-06 15:19:15

This is so pretty with just that sweet little bit of questions and angst. Very nice.

 Left By:
Guest (StailtAlelads)

2011-11-26 11:38:40