TITLE: Cuando tú conoces
RATING: R, for sexual situations.
ARCHIVE: Ask, please.
DISCLAIMERS: Consider me disclaimed. Summary & lyric from the Tori Amos song 'Concertina.'
SUMMARY: The truth is in between the first and the fortieth drink.
For Anna, because she wanted him to be a little morose.
i've got a fever above my waist
you got a squeeze box on your knee
i know the truth is in between the
1st and the 40th drink
"An hour," CJ said over her shoulder as she rifled through his cabinets. "And come on, Toby. You're a perfectly dour middle-aged man. Surely, you're hiding the liquor around here somewhere."
"I keep a separate liquor cabinet," Toby said, leaning back into his chair. "And I say an hour and forty-five minutes. Have you ever seen Josh in a grocery store?"
She turned and leaned back against the butcher-block counter. "You know, it's probably sad that we're taking bets on how long they'll be gone. Sounds like we're planning on doing something sordid."
She smiled. "Well, that, my friend, depends on what you're stocking in the fabled liquor cabinet."
His eyebrows rose, but he pointed back over the half-wall towards his living room, and the low cabinet lurking in the corner. "Over there. Knock yourself out, and bring me back a glass."
"Ooh, are we going to get plastered in the middle of the day, Toby? How very daring of us." She laughed as she knelt down in front of the cabinet, one knee against the carpet, jeans pulling tight against her thighs. She returned to the kitchen a minute later carrying two low- ball glasses and an unopened bottle of Chivas Regal. "Should I even ask why you have this?"
"My brother sent it to me last Hanukkah," he shrugged.
"Why would your brother send you tacky liquor for Hanukkah?" she asked as she opened the bottle and filled their glasses.
Toby looked down into his glass, smirking. "It came with a box of condoms and a note that read, 'Get yourself laid.'"
"Well, he certainly knows how to capture the holiday spirit, doesn't he?" CJ grinned, drinking and licking her lips.
"He's a merry fellow, indeed," Toby said.
"I haven't seen him in a dog's age," CJ mused. "You should invite him here this year. And his family."
"Is that just a suggestion, or an order, thinly veiled as a suggestion?"
"I could always invite him for you," she said.
"I'll keep that in mind," he shook his head, a smile tugging at his mouth.
She drained her glass. "You should also invite me to dinner next week."
He considered his own empty glass. "Please tell me that was unrelated. I can't believe I'm that drunk this quickly."
"It was pretty unrelated, but no less true. It's my birthday next week, you know."
"I'd like to say that after a decade, I'd remember things like that, but you know that I didn't. It's written on my calendar, though."
"Well, I suppose that's as much as I can ask." She refilled their glasses, and the liquid was smoky and amber and clichéd. "So, what're you getting me?"
"CJ, I didn't even remember it was your birthday. You think I've given a lot of thought to your gift?"
She considered him for a moment, her throat stinging from the alcohol. "Well, maybe you think about buying me gifts all year. Maybe you've been planning this year's gift since last July."
"If you recall, last year's gift was pretty--"
"Lame? Yes, I do remember that. I was hoping you were deciding on how to make that devastating disappointment a little less painful, Toby." She filled her mouth with scotch and swallowed hard for emphasis.
"You hate when people buy you jewelry," he said, and she nodded. "And I'm not buying you clothes, or special trips to a spa or something."
"Not that I wouldn't enjoy a visit to a day-spa immensely, if anybody asks you."
"Why would they ask me?" He drummed his fingers against the tabletop.
She chuckled. "Well, either they think we're dating, or that we're best friends, or that we're sleeping together."
"Not a bad idea," he said.
"They asked me what to get you for your birthday."
He stopped to consider this. "Last November, Sam gave me a fountain pen."
"Aurora Optima. Forest green, medium nib, fourteen karat." She nodded.
"I wondered how he would know. Expensive pen."
"Almost $350, yeah. I knew he could afford it." She smiled vaguely.
"I didn't exactly say thank you for it. To him."
"You think he couldn't tell you liked it? Come on, Toby, don't be stupid. He ran into my office like a little kid, thanking me for the suggestion." She put her hand over Toby's, on his glass.
"Well, how about that. The gloves from Josh?"
She nodded. "That was me. But your brother's gift kind of takes the cake, doesn't it?"
"The scotch?" Toby asked, his forehead wrinkling. "You have met my brother before, remember."
"The condoms," she laughed. "He certainly has a sense of humor."
"Well, he didn't spend $350 on me," Toby said a little bitterly.
"Oh, don't turn into a morose-drunk on me, here, Toby," she said, refilling his glass again.
"I'm not morose. I am chipper as a... I'm not morose. I'm just pointing out that David, the brother I haven't seen in six months, sent me scotch and condoms, and this was supposed to an apology."
She frowned. "You haven't used either."
"Well, we're using the scotch pretty well, aren't we? But, no." Her hand was still on his, and she was stroking his knuckles.
"David's not the brightest guy in the world, despite appearances, Toby. You're his older brother, and you've got this great job, and a great apartment, and a whole lot of success hanging over your head. And he knows that, and he knows that you and Andi ended pretty badly, and so he thinks that's probably the only thing that's ruining your life. So, he thinks, you go out and get laid, and then you're perfect."
He considered her, looked down to where her fingertips were massaging his wrist. "I remember why we don't let you drink."
"Yeah? Why's that?"
"You talk too much," he half-smiled.
"Hey, just because I'm a hell of a lot more perceptive than you are is no reason to get snippy with me, Toby."
"Point," he shrugged.
"You know, though, this does beg the question of why you aren't out there getting some."
He laughed then, barking and loud. "There is absolutely no way you're that stupid, CJ. I mean, test scores aside."
"I'm sure one day I'll live down the fact that you beat my SAT score by 40 points. Thirty of those were on the math section, you know."
"Yes, I do," he nodded.
Her fingers stilled against his arm, and she sighed. "Do you ever think we're inevitable?"
"We? That's a pretty existential question, CJ, considering you're apparently on your fourth glass of that stuff."
"Cuando tú conoces," she said seriously. "I saw that on a billboard."
"It means, 'when you know.'"
"Yo sé, Toby. I know."
"So, what do you mean?" he asked after a long, quiet moment.
"People think we're married, sometimes, Toby."
"Well, that's strange. We're not, are we?" he joked half-heartedly.
"Not last time I checked, at least. I'd have to be pretty far gone to forget something like that." She looked down at her hand, then held it up for his inspection. "No ring. You're not that cheap."
"No, I'm not." He smiled a little.
"Just... oh, Jesus. This is going to get really vapid now, isn't it?" She sighed. "I'm going to start babbling about, oh, how we should go on dates or fall in love, or something. And you're going to nod, and drink some more scotch. This scotch, by the way? Not so terrible. And I'm going to get sick, and in the end, we're going to end up whining about how much our lives suck."
"And then, and then I'm going to realize that we could've had this discussion over the phone, and then I could've hit the button and dropped the phone over the side of the bed. And I could have turned over and gone to sleep, and saved myself the hangover."
He blinked slowly as she frowned into her scotch. "Well."
"And Toby," she said, her voice rising, "I think that we're going to use the thirty minutes--"
"--an hour, minimum--" he said, checking his watch.
"--whatever. I think that either we're going to kiss or something now, and use this Chivas in the spirit it was intended, or I'm going to..."
"Go into the yard and bond with the squirrels?" he asked, smiling and lifting her hand to press her fingertips to his mouth.
"Exactly. I'm going to go and bond with the squirrels," she said, but her voice was a little shaky.
"Are you at all worried that we're going to be caught in a compromising position by our young friends?" he asked against her palm.
"I think the scandalized look on Sam's face might be worth drawing this out," she laughed, and then he was sucking on her fingers. "You know, this makes me think of--"
"A million years ago, I know," he said after releasing her hand. "That was a long time ago, CJ."
"Not really. I mean, what's fifteen years in the grand scheme of things?"
"A long time," he smiled, and she shook her head.
She blew out air between her teeth. "Don't ruin my arguments, Toby." She paused. "You remember that time, though?"
"Now, I may be old, but I'm not senile."
"Then you understand how this is going to proceed," she said seriously.
"Last time, we made out like teenagers, and then you gave me a surprisingly memorable blow job."
"Was it the blow job itself and the fact that I was administering it that was surprising, or are you remarking on my numerous sexual skills? Enquiring minds need to know, Toby," she said, but she was already standing and moving to straddle his lap.
"I'd have to say all of the above," he answered a little breathlessly. "As I recall, you've got quite a tongue."
"That I do, Toby. That I do." She dipped her tongue into his ear for emphasis.
"So, are you going to do the, ah, thing? With your tongue?" he asked.
"The blow job thing, Toby?"
"Yes, that one," he said as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
"Only if you ask very nicely," she grinned.
"Oh, you are vicious when you drink, CJ. Cruel," he said, and she shifted deliberately in his lap. "And a tease, on top of that. A tease."
"See, you only think that because you've never done this with me sober. You'd be surprised that I'm actually just as cruel," she said, and she lifted one of his hands to her chest. "Touch these, Toby." And he did. "Good boy," she groaned.
"Not quite so inept as you suspected?" he asked. "And what makes you think I haven't made use of David's gift?"
"I would know, Toby. I can tell."
"You can tell when I'm having sex? Should this alarm me?" he asked as he dropped a hand to pull her more firmly into his lap, gasping lightly as she came to rest more firmly against his erection.
"I'm a woman who knows these things, Toby. Let it go," she said as she arched her back into his touch. "Mm, and keep doing that."
She was surprised, then, at how quickly this became kissing, deep and scotch-dark and slick. And then kissing became divesting her of her tank top and her bra, and he of his t-shirt. And then his mouth was on her breasts, and her fingers were at his fly.
She was on her knees, in front of him, and he was looking down at her. "A side of you I see so rarely, CJ."
"The top of my head, you mean?" she grinned. "Or me, about to go down on you?"
"Either, both," he said as he reached to tangle his fingers in her hair. "So do the tongue thing, already."
"I don't know if I like being ordered around," she pouted.
And then her mouth was on him, and his fingernails were digging into her scalp, but she hardly noticed because he was warm and somehow familiar and moaning her name. She kept her hands busy, her mouth busy, and she was humming something inane she'd heard on the radio, just to keep him rocking his hips like that.
And then he came, and she pressed her eyes shut and was clean about the whole thing. She lifted her head as she licked her lips, quirking an eyebrow. "Well, how about that."
"I like you, because all my tricks are new again."
"Oh, that's why you like me?" he asked hoarsely. He pulled up his boxers and his pants and she helped him rebutton his fly before getting back on her feet. She promptly sat right back in his lap.
"You're comfortable. Like a big, comfortable chair."
"Was that a compliment?" he asked. "Because I think I may have missed it."
"Oh, absolutely," she said, and then she kissed him, and it wasn't exactly like being teenagers but it was close.
And then his cell phone chirped. He groaned, "Predictable." He fished the phone from his pocket and flipped it open, his free hand teasing over CJ's nipples. Her breath caught, and she bit her lip hard to keep quiet.
"Oh, Sam. Yeah, CJ's here." He listened for a moment, and her eyes twinkled. He grinned. "She, ah, stepped outside to look at the squirrels-- Yeah, she loves squirrels-- Yes, I know she's got problems." He paused again, and then she saw him fight not to laugh. "Yeah, I see how you might be afraid of that. No, don't worry. We're both fully clothed-- Yeah, okay. Bye."
She laughed. "He thought maybe we were having sex?"
"He seemed pretty sure it was a distinct possibility."
"They'll be back soon, then?" she said disappointedly.
"Yes, and it appears that you won the bet," he said with a nod towards the clock on the wall.
"It appears that I did. You owe me. You owe me big."
"Well, that's okay."
"Yeah?" she asked, eyebrows raised.
"I know a few tongue things myself, CJ. I'll have to show you."
"Yes," she smiled. "Yes, you absolutely will."
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