Fire, Chapter 2
1A/N: I used a few lines from the 8/26 episode.
Just as Iím about to settle down in the couch with a bowl of popcorn, a box of tissues and A Little Princess, the doorbell rings. Iím sorely tempted not answer it, but it might be someone important. The doorbell rings again and I walk towards the door yelling, "Hold your damn horses, Iím coming!" When I do get there, I fling open the door to reveal the last person Iíd expect to see at my house in the middle of the morning. John McBain.
"What are you doing here?"
"Iím hurt. No Ďhi Johní or even a Ďheyí? Just Ďwhat are you doing hereí?"
Well in my defense, he didnít say hi either. I give him a quick peck on the lips and a smile as I pull him inside and give him an exaggerated "hi".
"To answer your previous question, in some weird turn of events there was nothing to do at the station and I had the day off so I called your office to ask you if you were free for lunch, but your secretary said that you were out sick. So I came over to check on you."
Awww. How sweet. Iím about to tell him that when he notices the tape box on the coffee table and starts to tease me about it.
"A Little Princess, Evangeline? What are you, like ten?"
"Iíll have you know that A Little Princess is my all time favourite movie. And you shouldnít be talking seeing as how you have a Gameboy."
He chuckles and holds his hands up in surrender. "Alright, you got me there. So were you planning on watching it when I came?"
"Yup. Care to join me?"
"Let me think about it for a minute. Um....... sure." He flashes me that sexy grin of his that always seems to make my heart skip a beat, and slips off his jacket as he settles down in my couch while I pop the movie in the VCR.
I head back to the couch and sit next to John, resting my head on his shoulder.
"You know youíre sitting in my corner, right?" I ask him jokingly.
He looks taken aback for a minute before he says, "Well I suppose we could share or switch seats."
"I was just joking, but I am curious as to how weíd share a seat."
He wordlessly, but gently pulls me closer to him until we truly are sharing the seat.
"Not quite." I say and shift around until I find a comfortable position which happens to be me stretched out in the chair with my head resting on the armrest and my torso resting in his lap. Not entirely comfortable either, but on the plus side, Iím touching him. I smile to myself and hope he wonít notice and ask me what Iím smiling about. No such luck.
"What are you smiling about?"
Think quick Angie. Weird enough I talk to myself, but I call myself by the same nickname that my dad used to call me. Even when you consider that thatís one of the lasting reminders I have of him, itís still kind of weird. I laugh out loud to myself, causing John to give me an inquisitive look and an amused grin. I shake my head and say, "You donít want to know."
He shrugs his shoulders and turns his attention to the coming attractions. We sit in relative silence until a slight breeze causes me to shiver.
I nod and say, "Yeah, I kinda am. Arenít you?"
"No, but maybe thatís because Iím wearing actual clothes and youíre wearing really thin pyjama shorts and a tank top. Iíll get you a blanket if you want."
"You donít know where they are. I can get them myself."
"I can get them if you tell me where they are. Youíre sick, you should just take it easy."
What do you get when you put two equally stubborn people together? An endless argument. For once Iíll let someone else win an argument.
"Fine. The linen closet is down the hall, second door to the left."
He gets up and retrieves the blanket. When he gets back into the living room, instead of just handing me the blanket, he unfolds it and covers me with it, taking special care to tuck the edges underneath me. What a gentleman.
"No problem. You know you never did tell me what was wrong with you."
"Last night I pigged out on left over Chinese take out and my stomach showed me itís displeasure in the morning. And I really needed a break from all of my cases."
He nods in agreement and we both turn our attention back to the movie.
I canít believe Iím watching A Little Princess. Itís almost an oxymoron. When I do watch a movie, itís normally a movie made for someone older than a ten year old.
I glance down at Evangeline, whoís so absorbed in the movie that she doesnít even notice. I chuckle quietly, but apparently not quietly enough because Evangeline gives me a look and says, "Quit laughing. Itís a great movie. Itís my opinion that everyone should see this movie."
I canít help but notice how pretty she looks when she frowns. Or remember the way her eyes flash dangerously when she getís really annoyed. Luckily for me, I have not been on the receiving end of one of her "looks". Though I came dangerously close to getting one when I told her that she couldnít use herself as bait to find out whatís going on between RJ and Sonia.
She really doesnít understand how dangerous it truly is. But sheís dead set on doing it and so I have to back her up, whether I like it or not. But God help Gannon or Sonia if they even so much as threaten her. Iíll have them locked up so damn fast they wonít know what hit them.
OK. Relax. Youíre supposed to be watching the movie and enjoying your time away from the station, not worrying about work.
I turn my attention back to the movie. By the time the end credits start rolling, Iím actually convinced that itís a good movie. Okay, itís a great movie. A sniffle causes me to look down and notice that Evangeline is crying. I donít do very well with tears. In fact one might say that I suck with them.
"Whoa." I murmur softly and I run my fingers up her shoulder to her cheek, brushing the tears off
with my thumb.
She laughs softly and says, "Iím a sucker for the ending. Itís dumb. Itís dumb, I know."
Itís not dumb. If someone were to perhaps hold me at gunpoint and threaten to stick bamboo in my nails, maybe I might admit that I was pretty close to crying a few times towards the end.
"No, youíre right. Everyone should see that movie."
She turns so that sheís facing me and says, "Youíre only saying that so Iíll stop crying."
"Partially. And partially because I mean it. Itís better than I expected it to be."
She reaches up and kisses me softly. When she pulls away, I give her a surprised, but pleased look and ask, "What was that for?"
"For coming to check on me and for being so sweet. You would have gotten it much sooner if you hadnít made fun of my movie selection."
"Well for what itís worth, I really did like the movie more than I thought I would. And I really had no choice about coming to make sure you were alright. I wouldnít have been able to do anything for the rest of the day if I hadnít."
I think the shocked expression thatís on Evangelineís face right now perfectly describes whatís going through my mind right now. I canít believe I just said that. Iím not upset that I did, just very shocked. Well I guess that working on voicing my emotions really is paying off. Huh.
"Youíre amazing." she says, softly.
I shake my head and smile. "No, Iím not amazing. Just wait until I seriously piss you off, youíll be singing a totally different song."
"Donít try to deny it. You always know the right thing to say to make me feel special."
"I aim to please."
We sit in silence for a few minutes before Evangeline turns to me and asks, "Have you gotten anymore info on Sonia Toledo?"
"No. But I know enough about her to be able to tell you to be careful. Sheís suspicious and if she finds out what youíre up to, sheíll have your head. And the worst thing is that you wonít even see it coming."
"Iím a big girl John. If and only if the situation does come up that Iím in danger, Iíve got you to watch my back. Right?"
"What if I were to say no?"
"I would more than likely still go through with it. It wouldnít do anything but make me mad and disappointed."
I shrug. "It never hurts to try. But since you canít be dissuaded, Iíll keep an eye on you."
She gives me a dazzling smile and says, "Thanks. I knew I could count on you."
I return the smile and she turns her attention back to the television, where thereís a cartoon marathon on. This woman never cease to amaze me.
"So I guess next youíre going to tell me that you still play with dolls."
"You know, the movie and now the cartoons. Are you going to tell me that you still play with dolls?"
"Nooo." she drags out slowly, "but I do have a stuffed animal."
"Really?" He looks at me in surprise.
I just nod. And almost as if there is an invisible hand pushing me, I get out of the couch and head into my bedroom. I pick the toy up off of my bed and bring it back into the living room.
"His name is Puddles. When I was little I used to be afraid of storms. My dad brought him home one day and said that Puddles would always be there to keep me safe even when he couldnít be there. And I have him to this very day."
I look at him expectantly, waiting to hear what heís thinking. I just handed him something out of my memory box, something that I hold sacred. So sacred that not even Nora knows even though sheís my best friend. And I swear if he makes fun of me or Puddles, I just might be tempted to kill him.
"I used to be afraid of storms too. But I didnít have a stuffed dog. I had a lullaby." he says softly, so softly, I almost donít hear him.
"Itís weird how much alike we are isnít it?"
Weíre both silent for a minute until I say, "So... a lullaby."
He smiles. "Yeah. Baby Mine by Bette Midler. My mom used to sing it to me, even after I was a baby. She even sung it when I was sick. It was like a cure all for me."
"Did she sing it after your father died?" I ask him softly.
"No. Thatís when it lost itís effect. You know when I told you that when she cried, I would just sit outside her room waiting for her to stop crying?" I nod, urging him to go on. "Well I tried once to get her to stop crying. I sang the lullaby because I figured if it could make me, big as I was, feel better, then it should make her feel better."
"But it only made it worse." I offer, more of a question than a statement.
He nods. "And afterwards it just stopped making me feel better. I outgrew it."
"You know, for a while after my dad passed away, I couldnít sleep a night without Puddles. It was actually embarrassing. Here I was, this successful lawyer who couldnít go anywhere without her security "blanket". And then one night, I went to sleep without him and I knew that I didnít need him anymore."
"When was this?"
I can feel the colour rising to my cheeks as I answer, "The night we were locked in Mary Barnesí basement."
I grin slightly as I see a blush steadily rising in Johnís cheeks. "I made you blush!" I jokingly say.
"Bet you canít do it again."
"Put your money where your mouth is Detective."
"Iíd much rather keep my money and put my mouth on you."
I think my cheeks just spontaneously combusted as I emit a strangled cough.
John is just sitting there smirking at me. The little bugger.
"Now who made who blush?"
I pantomime strangling someone to death and look at him pointedly. He stops but only after he says, "Iím not stopping because Iím scared of you, but I donít feel like dying today."
I roll my eyes and respond, "Whatever."
And itís back to cartoons for us.
I know I like to play tough and pretend that nothing scares me, but the truth is, Iím scared of lots of things. And I like to feel protected. Even if it means telling myself a lie so that I wonít be scared of something. Showing that Iím scared would be letting someone get the upper hand. Thatís why it means so much to me to reveal a simple fear to someone. Because more than anything, Iím afraid of getting hurt anymore than I already have been. Thatís why up until now Iíd been relying on a stuffed animal to keep me safe. Thereís no way for it to hurt me.
But now Iíve got John and I know that he would do anything to keep me from getting hurt. Because he understands where Iím coming from and heís just a natural sweetheart. And that knowledge alone makes me feel safe. Although the fact that Iím laying in the couch wrapped in his warm embrace does factor in on making me feel safe.
Pretty soon I start to feel drowsy and my eyes start to droop. Iím tearing my eyes open, trying to stay awake, but sleep is stronger than me and I can tell that its winning the battle.....
( a few hours later)main idea- retype in morning
You know that weird feeling you get when you know that someone is looking at you. Well thatís exactly what woke me up. I opened my eyes slowly yawning and stretching at the same time.
I look up to meet Johnís even gaze, my face on fire from his heated perusal.
"You look so peaceful and innocent when youíre asleep."
I yawn again and pull myself into a sitting position, looking around sleepily. Why am I in my bedroom? The last thing I remembered, I was in the living room watching cartoons. I guess my face must be showing my confusion because John sheepishly smiles and says, "When you fell asleep, I put you in your room. I figured youíd be more comfortable in your bed. I hope you donít mind."
"No, I donít, though I was more than comfortable where I was." I say, giving him a small smile and watching as a grin spreads across his face. "How long have I been asleep?"
He looks at his watch and says, "About three hours."
My eyes widen in surprise. "Really? I canít believe I slept that long. I guess I really was tired. What did you do for so long?"
"I was watching that Ren and Stimpy cartoon marathon for a while, but I eventually fell asleep. I woke up ten minutes ago."
"And youíve been watching me sleep for that long?" I ask with a raised eyebrow.
"What can I say? Youíre beautiful."
"Thanks. Youíre not too bad looking yourself."
He just smiles.
"You know what?"
"Iím absolutely starving."
We stare at each other for a few seconds before bursting into peals of laughter. And I have no clue of what weíre laughing about. And frankly I donít care. It feels good to be able to laugh over nothing.
When we finally do stop laughing, John opens his mouth to say something but a loud grumble from his stomach beats him to it. I laugh and say, "I guess you really are starving."
He nods an amused grin still on his face. "I could use a huge burger..."
"...with everything on it." I finish for him.
"And a huge plate of fries."
I shake my head. "A salad would be healthier."
"But you and I both know that youíre going to have fries ."
"You know me all too well."
I nod in agreement. "Give me ten minutes to get ready."
He raises his eyebrows and looks at me.
"Okay, okay. Give me twenty minutes."
He gets up and walks towards the living room, muttering "Ten minute."under his breath and shaking his head.
Iím sorely tempted to throw something at him, but a quick glance around my room informs me that I only have eighteen minutes to get ready. I better get a move on.
After a quick shower, I dance around my room in just my underwear, going through my closet to find something to wear. I finally settle on a blue V-necked top and a pair of form- fitting black jeans and lay them out on my bed until Iím ready to put them on. I kneel and pull a pair of blue sandals out of the closet, holding them up to my blouse to make sure they match. They do, so I head over to my vanity and attempt to put my makeup while dancing and singing along to the song.
I have no idea why Iím in such a super duper good mood. Maybe itís because I just woke up from a nap, so I have an extra amount of energy than I usually do. Thatís probably the reason.
"Thatís a nice look for you." a voice behind me says. I had almost completely forgotten that John was in the house, causing me to jump a few feet into the air and grab the closest thing to my hand, which happened to be my curling iron. I turn towards the voice and note with relief that itís John.
"Oh,"I say, putting my hand to my chest, "itís only you."
"Only me?" he asks, feigning a hurt look.
"I forgot you were in the house. For all I knew, you could have been some demented stalker."
"Oh. I just came in here to point out that you were taking a tad longer than expected. But I stayed to enjoy the dancing."
A fast and steady blush rose in my cheeks. "You saw me dancing in my underwear?"
"And singing. You have a great voice by the way. But itís not like I havenít seen you do it before."
"All the other times Iíve done that when you were with me, you were sleeping."
"Pretending to sleep." he corrects.
I shake my head and resume putting on my makeup. He watches me silently for a moment before saying, "Iím going to go wait in the living room." I nod as he turns and walks away.
I grin to myself and shake my head. Iím not really embarrassed that he saw me dancing in my underwear. Itís a helluva lot better than having your best friend walk in on you doing it. Especially since he wonít tease me about it... I hope, but Nora me teased me mercilessly about it for months.
A growl form my stomach reminds me of how hungry I am and how hungry John must be. I hurriedly pull on my clothes and slip on my sandals, grabbing my purse off of the nightstand as I run out of my bedroom.
"Iím ready!" I announce as I walk back into the living room. John has his back to me, inspecting the pictures that line my mantlepiece.
"Cute kid." He says, holding up a picture.
I move closer to him so that I can get a better view of the picture. "Thank you. Thatís my cousin. We were best friends growing up. Thatís actually me next to her."
He smiles and puts the picture down. "You look nice. Ready to go?"
I nod my assent and hold my hand out towards him. He takes it and we walk hand in hand out the door.
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