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Work For It

Helens (helens78)

skripka (skripka)


Nathan Fillion/Tamala Jones



I've wanted to pair up Nathan and Tamala ever since I started seeing Nathan talking about how awesome she is on Twitter, so I was really excited to see this prompt. :)

Nathan's charming act works on most people, but Tamala wants to see him work for it a little.

Nathan is equal parts sweet, charming, and sassy, just like Castle--it takes less than five minutes for Tamala to see how he got the role. There's a part of him that's about twelve years old--he loves his toys, gets excited about tiny little speedy cars that run on electric, and only half notices that Tamala's watching him, not his latest gadget doing whatever it is it does.

But oh, it drives him nuts that she can keep a straight face through all of his antics. He has a great head for comedy, delivers pitch-perfect one-liners whether they're working or not, but Nathan's got plenty of audience without having Tamala in his laugh track. Seamus and Jon are totally his bros, Stana sometimes rolls her eyes but she's stifling her giggles while she does it, and even Ruben lets out a laugh that can shake the walls once in a while. Tamala doesn't get to see Molly and Susan too often, but she's pretty sure those two are wrapped around his little finger, too.

So there's one person on set who's immune to him, and it just makes him try even harder. He struts like a peacock, texts her knock-knock jokes, even gets Jon in on the thing with the remote control car, and it's cute, it really is. She's going to have to break down and let him know how cute he is one of these days--but first she's going to make him work for it.

Jon's birthday party is great; the cast and some of the crew are here, and Nathan's the life of the party as usual, smiling and joking with everyone and pulling out his iPhone every few minutes to check his email or his Twitter or play that space game he's so excited about.

It's funny that a guy who's so animated can actually settle down at all, but he calls dibs on the chair next to hers, and that's where he is when the cake comes out. He snaps a picture of the cake, too.

"You're such a geek," she says, grinning at him.

"Please. I prefer über-nerd," he says, grinning right back. "Oh! I should mention you on Twitter. I bet they'd explode with jealousy."

"Jealousy? About what?"

But there he goes, tweeting away, tapping out a message that he doesn't even try to hide from her.

Sitting at Jon Huertas' birthday party with sexy sexy Tamala Jones. Yay, me! FTB.

She doesn't have to ask what FTB means, since he's been trying to get everyone to do that silly feeding-the-birds hand gesture with him for weeks now, but sexy? Sexy sexy Tamala Jones?

She's not going to argue the point--she didn't get this far in the business without knowing full well what she's got and how to work it--but it just feels... out of the blue, unexpected, like he's putting something out there he didn't intend to. It's not a joke, it doesn't read like a joke, but his puppy-dog expression says he doesn't mean it like a come-on, either. The man is hard to figure out sometimes.

"Come on," she says, but his screen lights up, and he about does a chair dance. The replies are coming in fast and furious, people calling him a liar and, yes, people expressing jealousy.

She can't help smiling a little; it's good to know she's still got it, and not only that, she's got it with Nathan's fans--people who probably only know her from Castle, but like her anyway.

"You're sweet," she says.

"You should let me take a picture. They'll die."

Figures; tell him he's being sweet, he'll kick it up a notch. "Oh, I'm not in this to kill anybody."

"Are you kidding? In that dress? Please, you probably broke sixteen hearts in the parking lot."

She snickers, but before she knows it, she's letting him lean up close and hold his phone out so he can take their picture. It's a nice picture; she lets him post it.

He spends the rest of the night grinning. It's cute. In fact, he's just about killing her with the cute, but damn if she's going to say so; then he'd never stop.

The things Nathan talks people into. Over the last year, he's gotten everybody to sign up for Twitter, and even though she's one of the last holdouts, Tamala eventually caves. She gets flooded with new followers as soon as Nathan tweets about it, which is pretty flattering. A little overwhelming, but flattering.

"'Love her as I do'?" she asks Nathan, the next time she runs into him.

"Well, everybody should," he fires back, and then he gives her one of those killer smiles. She flutters her eyelashes at him, smiles back, and blows him a kiss as she heads off. It's encouraging him, but damn; a girl can only resist so much for so long.

She and Stana are in the middle of a conversation about modeling shoots--the way you have to hold your breath, the way they use everything from staples to duct tape to hold clothes on at just the right angle, the way they airbrush everything no matter how fine you look on the day of the shoot--when Nathan says, out of nowhere, "I have a tattoo, you know."

"You what?" she asks.

"What do tattoos have to do with modeling shoots?" Stana asks, raising an eyebrow at Nathan.

"Well, things that sometimes get airbrushed. Tattoos get airbrushed out."

"Wait, wait, you have a tattoo?" Tamala asks. She could bite her tongue for asking--Nathan grins at her, and she can't even come up with a snappy remark to knock that grin off his face, she's so busy thinking about him having a tattoo somewhere. She's seen him with his shirt off lots of times--costume changes sometimes happen right in the middle of the set--and she's never seen a hint of any ink on his somewhat absurdly pale skin. "Where do you have a tattoo?"

Nathan looks from Tamala to Stana and back again. "Wanna see?"

Stana grins. "I've seen it. I watched Firefly."

"At least somebody loves me." Nathan sticks his lower lip out, pouting at Tamala.

"Might love you a little more if you pony up with that tat," she tells him, giving him her sweetest smile. She does own the Firefly DVDs--she hasn't had time to watch them, but she owns them. No reason to tell Nathan that, though; how's she going to keep him on his toes if she gives away all her secrets?

He drags her back behind a set piece, and once they're alone he starts--he starts taking off his pants, which makes her hold up both hands and shake her head.

"Nathan! Where is this tattoo of yours?"

"No, no, no, it's fine, it's just on my hip--" He tugs his pants down at the side, and she gets a good up-close look at his tattoo. She can't really make out what it is--some kind of Egyptian glyph or something--but he's looking at her with his tongue pointed and sweeping back and forth on his lower lip.

The man thinks he's so cute. It doesn't matter that he's right; she just wants to pop that ego like a balloon sometimes. She fans herself dramatically with one of her hands, blue medical examiner glove still on, and she tugs at the collar of her scrubs and purses her lips. "Oooh, baby. Watch out, I'm gonna be throwing myself right at you."

And she's expecting him to say something like "Really?" or "Just what I was hoping for!" or even "Awesome", but instead he just looks at her for a long, long second, and then he starts tucking his shirt back in and zipping up his pants.

It is so unlike him to be quiet that she actually frowns and reaches out, putting a hand on his arm. "Nathan?"

"I'm bothering you, aren't I?" he asks quietly. He takes her hand in both of his and takes a deep breath. "I'm sorry. I am really sorry."

"You don't bother me," she says, reaching up with her other hand to brush his hair back off his face. Getting his ego under control might've been her goal, but looking at the results just makes her want to wrap him up in a hug. "You never did, you know? I just--" She sighs and strokes his hair one more time. "I like things to be on my terms."

He keeps a hold of her hand and watches her as she touches his hair--she wishes she weren't wearing these gloves, wishes she could actually feel his hair under her fingers--but eventually, when she realizes how long she's been touching him, she draws her hand back, and he nods.

"Your terms are fine by me," he says, real soft, real gentle.

He's still holding onto her other hand, and she wiggles her hand so she can get enough room to hold onto his. She squeezes it. "You mean that?"

"I know I sound like I'm joking around a lot of the time--okay, I am joking around a lot of the time--but yeah. I mean it."

She nods and looks him over carefully. It's his show, really, his set even if he's not producing, but no one's looking, and he might just be worth the risk.

"Bend your head down," she tells him, and when he does, she comes up on her toes and brushes her lips across his, easy, easy, so light she's not even going to smear her lipstick.

He's still holding her hand, and he slips his fingers between hers, lacing their hands together. She holds on tight, and it's funny, really, how holding hands can be just as intimate as a first kiss, even if she's got latex gloves on. But later, she'll remember the way he held onto her every bit as much as she'll remember the kiss, and every time he takes her hand from now on, she'll be thinking about how he touched her and said I mean it.



 Left By:
ossweeoss (ossweeoss)

2010-12-27 17:16:25

This is sweet, how it turns from Nathan's dorkalicious uber-nerd side to his serious caring side and how he brings it out of Tamala, and how she slowly realizes she actually really does care, and wants to. And it's awesome that you included Nathan's Twitter addition in, like, the plot. I also really liked that a the worst possible moment, Tamala's wearing latex gloves; it just made it seem more real, nice touch. Thanks for sharing!

 Left By:
dirty diana (dirty_diana)

2011-01-01 01:22:38

Oh, *Nathan*. And his comedy routines and his giant ego, but with a real person underneath. And Tamala, *working it out*. This has great characterisation, I love it!

 Left By:
Guest (kellygirl)

2011-01-02 02:42:08

This was amazing! I love the tone of it and Nathan's antics along with Tamala's thoughts on those antics.Really sweet.

 Left By:
Guest (skripka)

2011-01-23 22:42:39

Oh, thank you so much! This is a beautiful little story, and just what I wanted, with wonderful details that made it work perfectly. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

 Left By:
llaras (llaras)

2011-01-26 16:38:47

Oh, maaaaaaaaan. *hearts in my eyes* You sold me on this pairing, hard core. Woo! *fans self* That was a story and a half! Love it!