tagRomanceThanks, That Was Fun...

Thanks, That Was Fun...

byRenegadeBelle©

Dizzy.

That was this feeling. There'd been dozens of feelings in the past three hours – no, thousands – but this one was dizzy. Jane closed her eyes, willing the world to stop spinning, and then opened them again, blinking. The wild black and white designs in front of her eyes caused her to blink several more times, and she groaned, shifting, only to find her head strapped to something... she couldn't move her head...

"Whaa.." she groaned, rolling her eyes forward. Brown... wood. And brass plating. A kickboard.

"..I swear to God, she is so..." a voice drawled into her mind, slowly unraveling, the words being followed far too slowly by comprehension.

"Jane!" the words should have sounded more like panic, not... amusement. Everything was blurry, and slow, and there was something dark and heavy on her forehead. This wasn't funny. This was...

"Oh em gee..." a third voice intoned, and a wild thought crept in to Jane's mind. Aliens. Had to be.

Suddenly, the slow motion sped up as she tried again to lift her head.

The sound of the skin on her forehead separating from the sticky substance on wood suddenly made sense.

Oh.

Lifting, that was the trick.

Sound erupted into her ears as her butt slid off the barstool, her forehead coming up off the varnished, smooth wood of the bar. The lights that had previously played on the floor were now obvious – from a lamp post on the street outside. When the door opened as someone came or went, it reflected off the massive mirror behind the bar and through the various liquids in various glasses in front of her. As soon as the light was explained, the sounds around her began to make sense, and – Lucy was right. This was funny. Really funny.

"I thought you were aliens," she croaked out, laughing, the blur in front of her face that of her three friends making the situation even more hysterical to her. Too late, she realized the bar stool really was moving backwards, and without her – the thwack of the wooden stool upon the tile was nothing compared to the sound of her laugh being cut off abruptly as her ass hit the floor, being quickly followed by a loud groan.

Her friends couldn't breathe, they were laughing so hard, as Matt reached down and tried to help her up. Lucy's hand was beating down on the wooden bar, a sound completely overridden by the noise and music in the bar.

"Oh, for FUCK'S SAKE," she said, then regretted it, as Matt hauled her too quickly to her feet. No, not regret. Again, and just as suddenly, this was funny, too.

"I swear to God," Matt gasped between laughs, "I can hear the whiskey rolling around in her head..."

Lucy still hadn't caught her breathe, tears streaming down her cheeks as she was bent nearly double – though not completely. She had to keep her drink steady in her hand.

Matt latched Jane onto the bar, where she held on for dear life as he went back to retrieve her stool. Suddenly, Carrie's hand reached out and grabbed Jane's.

"Jane," she laughed.

Jane tried to un-blur her eyes, but the end effect was just a confused look on her face as she tried to focus on her friend.

"Jaaaane," Carrie sang.

Jane weaved again, as Lucy laughed harder.

"JANE," she nearly screamed it.

"WHAT" was the reply.

"...I swear," Carrie tried to whisper, just as drunkenly, giggling, "I don't think anybody saw you fall..."

****

Ridiculous. Atrocious, ridiculous, juvenile.

And, of course. Painful.

Lucy stood very still by the coffee pot, looking seriously at the window over the sink. Matt lay stretched out on top of the counter, a coffee mug also in his hand, his arms folded over his chest as if he were lying in state.

Carrie's head was on the kitchen table, sitting with equal stillness, her legs stretched out in front of her, a coffee cup near her right hand.

Jane walked into the room very slowly, the hood on her pull-over yanked down past her eyes.

The swinging door that lead from the kitchen out into the living room creaked as she moved through it. It was a perfectly normal sound in this kitchen, but today, the effect was thunderous. Three bleary, angry, blood-shot pairs of eyes looked at her accusingly.

"Shhhhhh..." Matt said softly, closing his eyes again. It was as if he'd barely moved.

"Oh, you 'shhhhhh'," Jane bit back, though just as quietly.

"Both of you, shut up," Carrie groaned.

"That bird will not be quiet," Lucy said in a whisper, her eyes returning back to the kitchen window. "Do we still have that BB gun?"

Carrie snorted, her head thumping back to the table top, a sound quickly followed by a four letter word.

"I may regret asking this," Jane said, cradling her head in her hands. "But, I have to get it out there..."

"What?" Matt asked. Her three friends broke their separate silent, uncaring, pain-laced vigils to look at her.

"Why, y'know, in the hell, does my ASS hurt so badly?"

All four of them burst out into laughter, but it was short lived, and followed up quickly by curses and winces.

Jane's head slid down the table opposite Carrie, and sighed. She remembered falling off the stool in Weaver's Pub. She remembered yelling over the music with her friends. Jane could vividly recall the first of 5 shots of Jim Beam, and the slamming of four sets of shot glasses back onto the bar at the end of each pull. She remembered walking in, giving Doug, the bar guy, her credit card and the number to call when they needed to be pulled off the floor. She remembered walking in and squeezing onto a stool with her friends at the corner of the bar. The night's events filed into succession, going backwards as if a tape being rewound. The cab that picked her up outside her office, Carrie, Lucy and Matt already crammed into the backseat. Remembered calling them, telling Lucy in no uncertain terms to circle the wagons and line the livers, it was time to drink. And then, she remembered why.

"Oh, God," Jane said, lifting her head slightly. "Luke."

Her friends looked at her again; their faces were still in pain, but it was for her, this time, not their own hangovers.

She remembered then, as the tape in her mind finally queued up and was set to play, circling back around to the elevator, remembering that the file in her hand was meant for her boss to look over. She'd muttered a curse, the work day having been over for two and a half hours already. Not to mention it was Friday. And Rachel, the senior editor, never stayed late on Fridays. Jane had raced down the hallway, hoping to catch the cleaning staff vacuuming in order to get the file onto her desk for Sunday afternoon, when Rachel would come in and start getting organized for Monday morning. It contained Tom Jennings' portfolio, and she'd promised she would get the senior editor to look it over. Jogging through the dark bullpens that lead to the long glass interior hallway, and finally Rachel's office, Jane suddenly slowed, seeing the light in the office still on.

"Thank you heaven," she said, catching her breath.

It wasn't until her hand was on the doorknob, and turning it, that she heard a sound that made her blush from her hair to her toes. As the door swung open, she looked in to see her boss, the unflappable Rachel Jarrett, having an orgasm on her desk. And by the sounds of it, an incredible one.

Jane couldn't help it. A shit eating grin popped up on her face, and was gone just as quickly – Rachel'd called out her lover's name, the man on top of her, as they came together. Jane's stomach plummeted. She knew that sound.

Hell, she'd made that sound, said that name, just this morning.

A number of things then happened at once. Rachel, gasping for breath and red-faced, looked over at the door, the same time as the blonde man on top of her. Rachel screamed, covering herself as she fell from the desk. And Luke, her Luke, stared at her as if she'd just popped into existence, his mouth agape. It was almost like a pantomime. If Jane hadn't just walked in on her boyfriend screwing her boss, she'd of laughed at their faces. As it was, however, she had just walked in on her boss screwing her boyfriend. Her boyfriend, the one she'd been running through hallways in heels trying to hurry up and finish work for. The boyfriend that was supposed to be at her apartment, waiting for her. The tape in her mind seemed to speed up a bit, but Jane had a sinking feeling that her reaction was real-time. Words she hadn't uttered in five years, words she didn't even know she still remembered, flew from her mouth as she walked over to the desk that now held her naked, sweating boyfriend, staring at her like a banshee. She remembered pushing him off the desk, kicking him, cursing Rachel, and hitting him with the soft brown briefcase in her hand as he huddled, half trying to say the stupid things that people say when they're caught like this, half trying to cover his vital parts from her blows.

And just as suddenly, as the tape replaying the events of the previous afternoon whirled on, Jane hadn't been able to breathe, and she'd turned on her heel and stomped out of the office, back through the bullpen, and to her own office, where she slammed and locked the door behind her.

Jane sat at the desk for several long, slow minutes. She'd been so angry she could've vomited. The images flashed back to her, of the cool, powerful Rachel Jarrett, her usually slick, short black hair flung out behind her, the expensive suit she'd worn that day scattered around her office. Luke, her boyfriend of two years, pumping – God, Jane was actually going to vomit.

Tamping down the urge, her anger heightening, she'd picked up the office phone, called Lucy, and then slammed her briefcase down on her desk. The next twenty minutes were spent systematically pulling manuscripts from the two massive filing cabinets in her office, slamming the drawers shut as she dropped them into her briefcase. The sound must have carried through the empty office floor, as by the time she'd reached the last drawer, Luke Sonofabitch Keller was pounding on her office door. It was so... Jane flashed to Dennis Quaid trying to explain to Julia Roberts. Bullshit. Total, utter bullshit.


When Jane did finally open the door of her office, Luke took several steps back as she emerged with that crazy, out-of-her-mind, seven-different-way-of-pissed-off look on her face that he'd seen directed at other people, but never himself. She walked out and past him, clutching a briefcase overflowing with paper to her chest, using her hip to open the door to the stair well and marching down them, Luke following behind her, silent at first, in the face of her rage. As he realized she wasn't going to turn around and wail on him, he sped up, trying to catch her arm, and by the time she was walking through the lobby, he was hot on her heels, saying things that only incensed her further.

"Baby, listen, you don't understand," he said, pleading with her.

Jane stopped walking and stood on the busy sidewalk, and he stepped in front of her. His blue eyes pleaded with her, a lost-little-boy look that made her suddenly want to throw up again. Or hit him in the face.

God, help me. Was there ever a time that that weak-ass look on his face actually worked on me?

The thought was gone as the cab overladen with her troops slid to a stop by her, the door popping open for her.

"Janey, you can't just go, without letting me explain," he whined.

Jane threw the briefcase into the cab, and rounded on him. He took several quick steps back.

"Okay, fine," she said, her voice like ice. Loud ice. People had abandoned the furtive looks at the woman, clearly so angry she was about to scream, being wheedled by a barefoot man in nothing but a wrinkled, open pair of khaki pants. Now, they just stopped and stared openly.

"Go ahead," she continued. "Tell me that I'm overacting. Ooh! I've got it. It's a good one. Ready? Tell me this – Tell me, baby, sweetie, that it wasn't what it looked like," she have a harsh, false laugh. "Yeah. Tell me that. That sounds really good. Yeah, that'll definitely work."

Luke swallowed visibly, his blue eyes swimming, trying to speak, and Jane ogled him for a moment. He wasn't actually that big of an idiot.

She'd had a flashback, the same as she was having now, of all the times he'd pinned her with that whiney look and it'd melted her, she'd taken his hand and gone along with him and whatever he'd done.

The rage returned, then, as her friends watched, slack-jawed. The realization that she was more mad at herself than him caused her anger to burn bright before she quickly tapped down the awkward feeling. She focused in him, glaring.

Luke knew her pretty well. He should have seen it coming, but it wasn't until her fist was beside her face, and mid-route directly into his, that he realized and tried to jump backwards.

"FUCK!" he screamed as she contacted, both the pain in her hand, the sound of her fist against his face and his screams completely, totally satisfying.

Jane'd been having what she could only deem as an out of body experience for the past half hour, watching herself not shed a tear as she packed up her office, yelled at her half-naked EX-boyfriend in the street, and punched him in the face. It felt like a movie, right up to the point when she turned, put one foot on the floor board of the waiting cab, and then looked at Luke again, where he sat on the sidewalk clutching a nose that was spouting blood beautifully.

"Tell that whore you're humping that I quit," she said, and got into the cab, slamming the door behind her and glaring at the cabbie that was gaping at her from the rearview mirror.

She remembered, now, Lucy suddenly yelling at the cabbie, their drive to the bar, during which they'd extracted the story from in between the rather impressive re-awakening of some of her favorite cursewords.

The pain in her butt now the last thing on her mind, Jane zoomed back to the present, to the kitchen table and her friends all looking at her.

"Oh, God," she repeated. "Luke."

"Rat bastard," spat Lucy.

"Dumbass," Matt intoned.

"Prick," Carrie finished.

And, then, a voice, very male and very unfamiliar rumbled from behind Jane, preceded only momentarily by the tell-tale creak of the wooden kitchen door on it's hinges.


"What, something I said?"

****

Sex. God.

That was her first thought as she spun around in her chair, the motion combined with her hangover causing a delay in the room to stop spinning when she did.

"Oh, sweet Mary," Lucy said quietly, though she said it more for the man standing in the doorway than the fact that Matt had fallen off the counter top. Carrie didn't say anything, just stared.

Jane now realized several things at once – chiefly being the reason she'd woken up naked, and the sound that'd awaken her. She thought she'd woken up to the sound of water running in the bathroom but shrugged it off, pulling a hoodie and a pair of undies on and coming to find her friends in the kitchen.

But, it wasn't imaginary. At least, Jane swore, she hoped it wasn't.

Good Lord. He was tall, about six feet, and stood in the door way of the kitchen, a t-shirt slung over his shoulder and a towel over his presumably wet head, his hands slowly buttoning the dark wash jeans around his hips, glimpses of the V carved into his hips evidence that he wasn't wearing boxers or briefs.

"Oh, yummy," Carrie said softly, evidently having found her voice.

It couldn't get any better, Jane thought, feverishly willing herself to remember the rest of her evening, after the tumble from her barstool. Please tell me I took this home, she intoned to herself silently.

The stranger buttoned and zipped his pants and then dragged the towel, her bath towel, off his head. Jane sighed softly. He wasn't just a beautiful body. The tan on his skin fairly glowed on his face, and she watched, they all watched as he moved the towel back and forth over his hair quickly, drying his head, before dropping the towel on the back of the chair Jane was sitting in. He looked at her, his faintly green-silver eyes laughing as he ran a hand through shaggy black hair. The next moment, he pulled his t-shirt on, and the spell was broken. Matt, having spent the time cursing and soaking hot coffee off of himself with a kitchen towel, now looked up at the man standing in the doorway with a scowl.

"Who the hell are you?"

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