Title: Redefining Friendship
Author: Lex 'Spork' Tenou
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 27 November 2007
Fandom: Kim Possible
Summary: They're just friends.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW07
Warnings/Disclaimer: "Kim Possible" and all derivative characters are property of Disney. All original ideas are distributed under the CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. For more information on the Creative Commons License, visit CreativeCommons.org. Archiving: KP Slash Haven Archive and FSAC. All others ask first.
We're just good friends.
That's what everyone sees because that's all there is. If it wasn't for me, she'd have never thought of extorting from Big Business. They've always been bigger crooks than she ever hoped to be. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have had the courage to form my own organization out of the ashes of what came before. Now we can actually make a serious difference instead of constantly playing mop up games. If I'd wanted to do that, I'd have become a janitor.
She always looks good. Always has, even when all she wore was that hideous one piece thing. It really didn't do anything for her. Of course, I may be biased - now we do a lot of clothes shopping together. She introduced me to the secret of shopping Black Friday sales without getting mauled. That only worked until I surprised her with the big screen TV. They only had two at the store at that price, I had to get there the night before. I was second in line and the guy in front of me had the same energy drink I did. It was damn funny. The guy who was six people back tried to cut in front of me - oh, the way he'd been beaten. They actually hauled him off in handcuffs for disturbing the peace. No Xbox for him.
She still fights as well as she ever did. She'd never be able to crack the security she does if she didn't. She's smart, too. Incredibly smart. It freaked me out one day to hear her going on about structural engineering - we'd had a lunch date and I showed up a bit early. Her last meeting before lunch was running long. The security chief from the thinly veiled Mafiya front was arguing that her analysis of the building's vulnerabilities was extortion. The guy looked like his name should be Vanya, with a head that grew directly out of his shoulders. She didn't even blink twice when he called her thief outright. She was leaning back in her chair, smiling slightly, the fingers of her left hand tapping lightly on the desk. He continued to fling insults at her, switching back and forth between English and Russian. I think he tossed in French, too. Finally, she stood, his words cut off at her abrupt movement.
I don't know what she told him. I know it was guttural Russian spoken in sharp, clear tones. Whatever she said, he didn't like it at all. He moved to step toward her. She didn't move, continuing to smile. His foot lifted from the floor and she spoke again, her voice snapping out sharply in words I didn't recognize. He recoiled as though struck and beat a hasty retreat, almost bowling my eavesdropping butt out of my chair.
She didn't watch him leave, her eyes dropping to her desk and flipping through a couple papers. It wasn't until after he was out of sight, on his way down to the lobby in an elevator, that she raised her head and met my blatantly curious gaze. Something I didn't know how to identify lurked in her bright green gaze as she watched me rise from my seat. I shoved aside the oddity and raised an eyebrow at her, silently inviting and challenging her to come with me.
We had a great lunch that day. I don't remember the details of it. I remember flashes, emotions that ran through me. I'd often seen her play with a fork as she ate, and that day was no different. I'd frequently taken note of the shine of her hair beneath different lighting - the soft warmth of the restaurant's lights set off the hidden highlights of her hair magnificently. I'd known for a long while that I adored watching her. That day was no different from innumerable others.
I tell these things to remind myself. To bring them back to my mind and show that, really, it wasn't as unexpected as I thought.
Not like when she told me she'd decided to form her extortion company. I call it extortion, but really, it's a completely legitimate business. They pay her to figure out how to break in and she charges them exorbitant fees. Frequently, she's able to reduce their vulnerability to the point where breaking in is prohibitively expensive, either monetarily or time-wise, or a function of human error. She can't fix stupidity, after all. Especially not with who she used to work with...ugh. It was always impossibly stupid with him.
Not like with her. With her, it's elegant and beautiful and simple.
We're just friends. That's all.
I have to keep reminding myself of that. There's nothing more than friendship there. Nothing. I'd be foolish to think anything else could be. Friends. Just good, good friends.
She came over about a week ago. Slept over, actually. We'd both had a bit too much to drink and made snarky comments about the movies and shows we watched. Mystery Science Theater of two, tearing down ancient reruns of Seinfeld. We'd watched Friends and she'd snatched the remote from me midway through - the Thanksgiving episode where they play football, so I'd given her a bit of a wrestling match before I gave it up - and changed to a British show where a trio of guys were ranting about the Melty Man in a pub. Pouting, I'd gone to get us fresh drinks and on the way back, I'd paused for a breath, just watching her for an interminable moment. She had to know I watched her constantly. I'd seen her keeping an eye on me surreptitiously. I didn't bother to hide my watching - why should I? We're just friends. I'm allowed to watch my friends.
After I'd stopped staring at her and returned to my seat on the couch, she'd adjusted me and flopped her feet on my lap. Her attention was fully on the TV and I wasn't about to make her move or start massaging, so I used her legs as an armrest instead. It was really comfortable.
She bunked in my guest room. She was a major reason why I kept up a two bedroom apartment. I certainly didn't need the extra space. I'd have been fine in a studio.
Of course, if I had a studio, then she'd either have had to sleep on my couch or in my bed.
In the morning, I made eggs. I didn't make them often - I preferred one of the organic fruit and nut bars instead. Those things were addictive, especially that apple pie one. I made eggs for her, though. I kept a coffee maker because of her, too. Just me, I'd have stayed with instant.
Maybe I first started suspecting when she blew on her coffee that morning. Probably not, though. I'm sure I'd had the sneaking suspicion for ages. I do remember how I felt to see her blow on that coffee, though. She was gorgeous. Absolutely magnificent. Her eyes were partially closed, still cloudy with the remnants of a satisfying sleep. Her lips were slightly open to allow her to blow on the scorchingly hot coffee, her agile tongue sweeping out to moisten her full lips. Long fingers curled lovingly around the coffee mug I kept specifically for her - all black, ceramic, sixteen ounces. As the full aroma blasted her right in the face, her eyes closed, her nose twitching as she inhaled the rich scent.
It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.
My heart seized in my chest and I tried desperately to control my breathing as my entire body shook. It was an odd reaction, this, one I was unfamiliar with.
She didn't know. She couldn't know. We both laughed off people who claimed we had to be closer than we appeared. We weren't, we're just good friends.
Just good friends.
Maybe someday I'll believe that.
And maybe, someday, we'll be more.
We're just good friends.
- end -