quasi: fanfic

TITLE: and you were magnificent
RATING: PG-13
CODES: CJ/Sam
SPOILERS: Small ones for 'Galileo.'
DISCLAIMERS: Standard disclaimers apply.
SUMMARY: A follow up to 'Smooth Like Glass.' "You're making me nervous."

*

Somehow, he has always expected to see her drink something sweet and girly at a time like this, sitting in the tiny booth at the back of his favorite bar. He thought she'd be drinking something with 'mint' written on the bottle, or something frozen or... something that didn't remind him how painfully adult she was.

But instead he watches her look down into her scotch and water, the tinkling of the ice in the glass abnormally loud over the thundering of his blood in his ears. His hands shake, and she is an overtly feminine arrangement of breasts and shoulders and hipbones.

She is able to reduce him to a teenager, but strangely he believes she has never noticed. He remembers his first date with golden-haired Amber Forbes when he was seventeen and lanky, all arms and legs. She was the first girl he had pursued, and he remembers how hard she made him, how his head spun from the loss of blood.

He looks up at CJ now, and she's watching him, and his cock pulses the same way that it did all those years ago as she runs her tongue across her teeth beneath her lips.

After a moment she smiles shyly. "Sam, you're staring." She crosses her legs beneath the table, and a tiny pink votive candle, scented vaguely with cinnamon, flickers off her eyes in the half-light.

"I know." He flushes all the way to his hairline.

Her eyelashes flutter. "You're making me nervous."

"Good."

"I don't _do_ nervous, Sam. I'm CJ Cregg. I am impervious to anxiety. I mean, I--"

"CJ."

She takes a breath from her diaphragm. "Yeah, exactly."

She takes a drink, and then sets down her glass. She splays her fingers against the dark, slick tabletop, and he reaches out and places his hand over hers. He can hear her sharp intake of breath, and he notices that her fingernails are painted the same shade as her flesh.

"Why'd you change out of your, you know, Armani?" Sam asks, gesturing with his free hand towards his own body. She's back in the beige she started the day in, the soft folds collecting in her lap and around her elbows. It's not that she looks any less beautiful, but she no longer sparkles in the showy, outward way she had earlier. Now she sparkles from inside her throat, and somehow that frightens him.

They are not quite holding hands, but the touch is soft and sweet. "Have you ever worn women's eveningwear?" she asks, laughing low.

"No comment," he answers.

"I just, just don't want to know."

"Come on," he says, stroking her knuckles with his index finger. "Don't you think I'd look good in crushed black velvet? Maybe something strapless?"

"See, that was a little too detailed," she says, barely able to find words as her world reduces itself to the interface between his flesh and hers.

"Maybe one day I'll show you the pictures." He touches her wrist.

She draws her hand back quickly with a long gulp of air. "Jesus, Sam."

He grins. "Wow."

"Wow, what?" she asks.

"That was incredible."

"Are you gloating, Sam?"

"Sort of."

"Could you, like, not?"

So he leaves her wrist, taking hold of his beer instead. She looks up at him as if to admonish him, but his eyes are still laughing and so she remains quiet.

A long, thick moment passes in silence that is not exactly meaningful. CJ wonders if she shouldn't have kept on the sequins, but she could not stand to have the dress grabbing her when she could hardly breathe in his presence anyway.

He thinks, somewhere in the recesses of his mind, about the curve of her breasts, but when he opens his mouth to say that, he hears himself instead say, "So, CJ. Did we ever pick a theme? Or, like, find the thing?"

She furrows her brow, wondering what she did wrong, but vocally she takes it in stride. "Yeah, the President and I, you know, talked about it. It's about mistakes, and it's about starting over. And about taking chances." There is no subtext until she says it aloud and her throat is dry and all the words catch.

He smiles. "Yeah."

"And, no," she says, hurrying on, worrying about the sound of her voice and the small, knowing grin on Sam's face, "we never found it. We're looking." She includes them in the effort, as if just the fact that they're living will somehow help NASA locate the errant probe.

"I didn't think so."

"Do you think it's strange that I can close my eyes and imagine reaching out and just touching it?"

"What? Mars?"

"Yeah, Mars. I've spent so much time discussing the damn planet in the last few days that I know more about it than about my own neighborhood."

"I don't know. It's hard to imagine touching the unattainable, I think, no matter how normal, familiar it seems. Something magical about it being so close you can imagine what it would feel like underneath your hands."

He reaches out and touches her cheek and her jaw and when her eyes close, he brushes a finger across her eyelids, and feels the little tickles of her eyelashes across his fingertips. She had led him to this touch, and he had seen it, and it's okay.

Her mouth falls open, and then his fingers are on her lips, and she's closing her mouth around his fingertip and sucking. Suddenly, his mind is empty and his cock is straining against his tux pants. CJ opens her eyes as Sam's close, and she teases the tip of his finger with her tongue.

"CJ."

She releases his finger, and he runs it down her chin and down her throat, leaving a warm, wet trail in its wake. "Sam."

"Are we drunk yet?"

"No, not yet. Why?"

"Because I swore I would never sleep with you unless I was drunk."

"I'm pretty sure that I'm offended, Sam," she says, but her nipples harden in any case.

He notices, and he notices that her pupils are wide and onyx, and he watches the way her throat moves when she swallows. "That's not exactly what I meant. Look, CJ..."

She waits.

"God, CJ. I've only been lusting after you for how many years? Since the first moment I saw you, all wrapped up in wine-red satin."

"Satin?"

"Just once," he looks down into the dregs of his beer, "we happened to be at a banquet together here in Washington. I was young, younger than any man has a right to be. And you were there, and you were magnificent."

"I was there."

"And I saw you, and I thought, 'Wow.' Remember, this was before I found a way with words." He smiles faintly.

"Of course." She brushes her hand against his on the table.

"And then we were working together," he says, looking up and meeting her eyes, "and then I realized that I would never, ever have you."

"Unless we were drunk," she finishes.

"Yeah," he says, dropping his eyes.

"I don't want to be drunk."

"Me, neither," he says, because what she said sounds meaningful.

"I don't want to be drunk when I sleep with you, I mean."

"Yeah, okay," he says. He's not sure what she means.

"I don't want to be drunk now, because I want to sleep with you. Now." She says it on a tiny little breath.

His eyes open wide, and she suddenly she sees him as that seventeen year old, and her hands form into tight fists in her lap because part of her feels so old and part of her feels so young.

"Okay, alright. Well, now I know that I'm asleep dreaming. Because, you know, the CJ Cregg I know in the waking world would never say that. To me. Never say that to me."

"Sam, shut up."

"Yeah, okay. Right."

She leans forward, over the table, pushing her drink out of the way. "Sam."

"Yeah." He leans forward, and their lips touch, and there's none of the awkwardness of their teenage years. There's nothing but the bitter taste of scotch under her tongue and the lower sweetness of urgency murmuring somewhere near her soft palette.

For a woman and a man whose lives are lived frantically, constantly moving and speaking and writing, this kiss is languid and silent. She touches his cheek and he touches her hand. She can taste a low note of coffee on his breath, accented by the sourness of old mint gum.

Their lips do not stop touching when they stop kissing. She is afraid that if he leans away now, that he will explain why this is a bad idea, when honestly she doesn't care. He is afraid that somehow her tongue will not be as hot the next time.

"Sam," she says, her lips brushing his, her breath warm. He can smell her lipstick, like black currants.

"Mm?"

"I don't want to be drunk."

"Will you come home with me?"

"No."

He makes a sound of surprise in his throat.

"But I might, you know, let you sleep on my couch."

He leans away from her, his fingers touching the underside of her chin. "Are you inviting me over to your house for sex, CJ?"

"Well, Sam, if you act like a jackass, I may have to rethink my offer."

"Okay, this is me shutting up."

"Sam?"

"CJ?"

"Would you, you know, kiss me again?"

"Now?"

"Yes, Sam, now."

"Um, yeah. Okay." And then his fingers are in her hair, and his mouth is hard against hers and somewhere far away the world runs without them.

*

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