Code Words, Diva Fits and Unexpected Arrivals: A Date in Three Clichés by Jen

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Title: Code Words, Diva Fits and Unexpected Arrivals: A Date in Three Clichés
For: primrose
Pairing/Characters: Fraser/Thatcher, and a surprise guest
Warnings: None
Vidder's/Author's/Artist's Notes: Many thanks to my fearless betas for listening to me go crazy, and for offering endless cheering and encouragement.  You guys are fabulous! <3



Cliché I: The Interruption

Certain acts have long been considered unbecoming of an RCMP official: falling off your horse during the Musical Ride, truly believing that you can find Prince Albert in a can, and not being able to locate Great Britain on a map were all things that consistently made the list. Most people would add using your office as a private location to engage in flirtatious acts with your subordinate. Meg Thatcher, however, would have to respectfully disagree for a variety of reasons, most notably because her office was used for that exact purpose on any and all days that her lunch break coincided with Constable Fraser's.

Which was, admittedly, every day they worked together.

Most days they were able to go about their business uninterrupted. Meg had a strict do not disturb policy in place for her lunch break, one which Constable Turnbull was usually quite good at following. Still, she and Benton had decided on a set of pre-determined code words, ranked according to potential imminent danger, just in case. But they had yet to need them, and were fairly certain they would not ever have to.

It was with this confidence that they let their lunches sit forgotten on Meg's desk while they made better use of their precious time making out in her office, mere inches away from the framed portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Benton was leaning against the wall, using both it and the strength of his legs to hold both of them upright while Meg, in turn, leaned her weight against him. They were both still fully dressed, unfortunately, though he did have one hand slipped underneath the back of her dress shirt. His tongue tangled in her mouth while his fingers traced complimentary patterns on her skin, and Meg had her legs wrapped around his thighs and her hands tangled in his dark, messy hair, holding herself in position while she writhed against him.

Her Majesty would have been scandalized.

Somehow, despite the delicate genius of Benton's tongue in her mouth, Meg was able to keep enough of her senses to listen out for signs of a disturbance. It was this, her naturally superior hearing that was heightened by extensive RCMP training, that gave her enough forewarning to the fact that the knob on her office door was being opened.

Abruptly, she tore herself out of Benton's arms. "Timbits," she told him seriously, scrambling to seat herself behind her desk before the door finished opening, while Benton made a mad dash for the nearest closet.

He was surprisingly good at hiding himself away in one of those, Meg thought idly. He'd even managed to take his hat with him. She didn't have time to contemplate why, however, as her office door was all the way open now, and Constable Turnbull was cheerfully letting himself into her office.

"Ah, there you are, Inspector!" he greeted her warmly. "I've been looking all over for you-"

"Where else would I be, Turnbull?" Meg cut in irritably. She did her very best to glare threateningly while discreetly wiping her thumb across her bottom lip - just in case her lipstick was smeared.

That was certainly the wrong thing to say. Turnbull paused, tapping one finger against his chin thoughtfully. "Well, sir, that is a most excellent question," he began, and Meg groaned loudly, not bothering to hide her annoyance. It wasn't as if Turnbull would notice. "I suppose you could be at the hair salon, or out wining and dining visiting dignitaries. Oooh, or you could be undercover, with the mob, wouldn't that be exciting? Thrills and espionage and oh, just think of all the high-tech gadgetry you could be in possession of-"

"Constable!" Meg snapped. "Control yourself."

"Yes, sir," he replied meekly, schooling his face into an expression of serious concentration, and Meg was pleased to note that the Constable at least had the decency to look properly admonished for his unnecessary rambling.

"The reason you interrupted my lunch break, Constable?" she prompted.

"Ah! Yes, most exciting news, sir!" Turnbull was back to his exuberant cheerfulness in under two seconds. Naturally. "I've just collected the mail" - Turnbull had taken it upon himself to begin screening all of Meg's mail, in a roped off area of the Consulate while wearing a HAZMAT suit, after taking a required RCMP course about the sudden increase of mail bombings - "and it seems that you have been invited to attend A Good Proof is Proven: Why America is Wrong, a one night only event being held at the Chemically Imbalanced Theater on Irving Park Road next Friday night. The invitation describes the play as an evening dedicated to shattering the American perception of Canada, performed in the style of Jean Chrétien. Doesn't that sound thrilling, Inspector?"

"I can hardly contain myself, Constable," Meg replied dryly. Truth be told, she thought the play sounded like a right bore, but she had learned by now that disagreeing with Turnbull only made him even more passionate. And, considering the fact that he was already in the middle of his dramatic retelling of Jean Chrétien's rise to power, that really was saying a lot.

She managed to interrupt him with a blunt you're excused, Constable somewhere between the Kitchen Accord and Chrétien's original retirement in 1984, though it took another three and a half minutes for him to actually leave her office. It was obvious Turnbull had been fishing for an invitation to attend the show as her escort, but of course that was out of the question. Meg had no intentions of actually attending the play, and even if she were to suddenly decide to go, she would already have a date - the man hiding in her supply closet, waiting for the all clear code word.

"Zamboni."



Cliché II: The Surprise Guest Appearance

Somehow, Benton had convinced her to attend the play.

Meg wasn't entirely sure how he had done it, though she knew Benton could be a damn tease when he put his mind to it, so it was most likely something she had agreed to in the heat of the moment that he was of course holding her to because she had, in fact, agreed. He really was the most frustrating man on the planet.

She had asked him numerous times why he wanted to attend, but the only answer she had received was a vague "I've heard interesting things about the director's work". He wouldn't say anything more than that, so Meg had taken it upon herself to research the man. She hadn't learned much outside of the fact that he was indeed Canadian, and that not only was he directing the play, he was the writer and sole performer of the piece as well. An admirable feat, certainly, but Meg still had her doubts - his credentials were mediocre at best, a few plays in New Burbage that received mostly negative reviews. Reviews that included words like pretentious and illogical and contains flying zoo animals - but in the end she sighed and told Fraser to pick her up at six-thirty the night of the play. ("And for God's sake, Fraser, the dress code is black tie. Leave the flannel at home.")

She still wasn't overly enthused about attending, but Meg was pleased to see that Fraser had indeed worn a proper suit to the event, and their seats were in the front row, slightly off to the right side of the low-rise stage. They had arrived a few minutes early, so she studied the set critically while Benton told the other theatre patrons his life story in one hundred words or less.

The set consisted of one wooden bar stool and a milk crate full of items with no discernible connection that she could think of: hockey stick, yo-yo, Bedazzler, wooden train whistle, a small scale replica of the Mona Lisa, and a feather boa. Before she could even begin to wrap her head around all of that, the house lights fell and a tall, skinny man with thick glasses and erratic hair walked onto the stage. He was dressed in a black catsuit, with a Hawaiian grass skirt around his chest and a pair of red devil horns placed delicately atop his head. On his feet were a pair of jelly shoes.

Despite his haphazard appearance, the play was not all that interesting, and Meg found her attention wandering to the things she was going to have Benton do to her to make up for this monstrosity of a date. She had amassed quite the list (fifty-six items) by mid-way through Act VI of the play, when her interest was finally piqued enough for her to pay attention to the performance. It was at this point that all the lights in the theatre shut off and the man on stage took out a flashlight, then began shining it on unsuspecting members of the front row and theorizing on which King of Kensington character they were most like, proclaiming each and every one of them to be Gladys.

He did this repeatedly until he shone his light on Benton, which was when all hell broke loose. The man took one look at him and let out a high-pitched screech, then launched into a hysterical rant about audience planting and how the fragile state of the human psyche is only capable of so handling much stress. This was followed by five rapid-fire soliloquies from Hamlet and what appeared to be an Irish jig. The man then screamed and stormed off the stage in what could only be described as a snit.

The entire ordeal was met with stunned silence by the audience, most of whom initially thought it was all part of the play itself. Meg was included in that group; she'd been enthralled for the first time all night and hadn't realized the charade wasn't scripted until the man had pointed at Benton and shouted crazed swan fetishist!

"Is there something you forgot to mention?" Meg asked Benton warily as one set of the theatre lights flickered on again. She twisted around in her seat, glancing around the room at the crowd, all whom were now buzzing with theories about that wacky Canadian. ("It's the snow," she heard one old man say knowingly. "Makes them all crazy-like in the head.")

Benton shook his head and opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off by the theatre director taking the stage. The man looked very frazzled, Meg noticed, his thin, wispy hair mussed out of his distinctive comb over. In the background, a very off-key rendition of Corey Hart's "Never Surrender" was being performed, presumably by the director.

"Good evening," the theatre director announced loudly, attempting to be heard over the racket. "I regret to inform you all that Mr Nichols is rather suddenly not feeling well -"

Suddenly, the singing came to an abrupt end. "Not feeling well? Oh, that is rich! I am going through an existential crisis, and you make it sound like the common cold! Blithering American fool."

The theatre director cleared his throat awkwardly. "Right. Well. All tickets will be fully refunded at the box office" - it did look like saying those words hurt the man to the very core - "and my sincere apologies for the... inconvenience. Thank you, and good night."

The man scurried off stage as the house lights came back on in full force. Meg turned to Benton and found him staring at the now-empty stage with a look of utter confusion upon his face. "Did I-?" he started, then abruptly stopped and shook his head. "That was certainly odd. Wasn't it?"

"Very odd," Meg agreed as she got to her feet. "That's what America does to people, Benton. It makes them crazy."



Cliché III: The Happy Ending

When Meg awoke the next morning, it was to find herself alone and the other side of the bed empty and cold. She frowned as she sat up, blinking sleep out of her eyes and pushing off the heavy blankets. The apartment was eerily silent, almost as though she were home alone, but she'd told Benton repeatedly that he didn't have to leave first thing -

Halfway through that thought she noticed his suit was draped carefully over the back of her armchair, something he must have done after he'd woken up because Meg had certainly not been that careful with it the night before. Which meant that he was still here, as even Benton wasn't one to walk around outdoors stark naked unless it was an absolute emergency. Besides that, now that she was beginning to wake up, she could hear two voices outside her bedroom, one of which distinctly belonged to Benton.

Curious now, Meg slipped into her red silk robe, haphazardly tying the band around her middle, then quietly made her way out of the bedroom. The voices got louder the farther down the hallway she walked, but she still couldn't place the second voice. In fact, she was certain she'd never heard it before in her life, so what on Earth was some stranger doing in her apartment?

As she rounded the corner at the end of the hallway, she could see that Benton was standing at the door in his boxer shorts, talking to someone in the hallway, and that he was highly agitated by whomever it was - she was guessing a delivery boy of some sort, as she could see he was waving around a clipboard.

"But it's not even for you, pal," the delivery man was explaining, his voice laden with frustration. Meg could sympathize; Benton did tend to have that affect on a lot of people, herself included. "Look, can you just sign for this? I got a lot of deliveries to make, you know?"

Benton shook his head. "I'm sorry, but I simply cannot-"

"Gentlemen," Meg interrupted smoothly, coming up behind him and settling one hand on his back. "Is there anything I can do for you?"

"Yes, actually, this man-"

"Look, lady, I got a delivery that I'm assuming is for you," the delivery man - his shirt was embroidered with the name Phil - interrupted. "'Cause it's addressed to the gorgeous brunette who attends plays with irrational, overrated hacks, and I'm just guessin', but I think irrational is a fitting name for your boyfriend here." Meg blinked in surprise, and Benton tensed irritably next to her. "Can you just sign for it? Please?"

"Certainly," Meg replied, accepting the clipboard from Phil, who looked so relieved she was almost convinced he might cry tears of joy. She signed her name in the designated area, then traded the clipboard for the package and shut the door behind Phil, who had already made a run for the elevators. The parcel was light, and it was indeed addressed just the way he had said. In the from section, the name Darren Nichols was scrawled in messy penmanship.

She tore the paper off quickly, barely paying any mind to Benton's protests that the gift was inappropriate and potentially dangerous.

"First rule of being a woman, Benton," Meg explained as she tore the lid off of the box. "Never turn down a gift, not even one from a deranged actor-slash-director."

"I thought the first rule of being a woman was we can do whatever men can do," he replied, his brow furrowing in confusion. Whether it was from her statement, the fact that what she pulled out of the box was the feather boa from the play's prop box, or some combination of both, she really wasn't sure.

Meg rolled her eyes in exasperation. The fact that Benton was a noble and honest man was one of the many things that attracted her to him, but it also happened to be the thing that drove her the craziest as well. "Yes, well, that too," she agreed absently. "But all girls like presents. Especially ones that are both pretty and useful."

"Useful, really? Meg, it's a feather boa for crying out loud! I'm quite certain the only time those are useful is when one is performing in Las Vegas."

"Don't be judgmental," she admonished him, then let a devious smile spread across her face. She was pleased to see Benton swallow hard, looking simultaneously aroused and nervous by that. "This boa happens to fit perfectly with item number forty-seven on my list."

His eyes went wide. "List?"

"The one we started on last night," she reminded him, tossing the box aside and wrapping the boa around her neck. "The list of ways you are going to make up for that disastrous theatre performance."

"Ah, yes, that," he replied, stepping closer to her without seeming to notice he was doing it. "As I seem to recall, we got through a number of those things last night..." His voice trailed off and his breathing became shallow as Meg brought her hands down to rest on the tie holding her robe together, deftly untying the knot without taking her eyes off of Benton's face.

He was standing directly in front of her now, and she could feel her own arousal flaring up as his scent and his presence overwhelmed her. Yet somehow she managed to keep her voice calm and steady when she replied, "It's a long list, Benton. Luckily, we have all day." Without another word, she spun around on her heel and started walking back down the hall towards her bedroom, letting her robe fall to the ground about halfway there.

She didn't have to turn around to know that he was following right behind her.

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7 Comments

Oh, this was hysterically funny. I love Benton here, slightly befuddled but game. And of course, the surprise guest star. *snerk* Excellent work!

Becca Author Profile Page said:

Made of win! Thoroughly hilarious, and the surprise guest was awesome, awesome, awesome. "Crazed swan fetishist"! Hee! The gift--and the way it was addressed--also killed me ded.

primrose said:

I've tried and tried to sign on not!anonymously, but to no avail, so I'll do it this way, and start with saying OMG, YOU WROTE ME FRASER/THATCHER! This in itself would be a huge gift, as there isn't nearly enough F/T around. And then it gets even better because Holy Hannah, Darren Nichols. Coolest. Surprise!Guest. Ever. Also,

Abruptly, she tore herself out of Benton's arms. "Timbits," she told him seriously, scrambling to seat herself behind her desk before the door finished opening, while Benton made a mad dash for the nearest closet.

Literal LOL.

and it seems that you have been invited to attend A Good Proof is Proven: Why America is Wrong, a one night only event being held at the Chemically Imbalanced Theater on Irving Park Road next Friday night. The invitation describes the play as an evening dedicated to shattering the American perception of Canada, performed in the style of Jean Chr├ętien. Doesn't that sound thrilling, Inspector?"

I must admit it actually did sound interesting, because I am a dork and also thought it was a lecture, until, well. Darren. And then I thought, HELL YES, WANT TO GO NOW PLZ.

She had asked him numerous times why he wanted to attend, but the only answer she had received was a vague "I've heard interesting things about the director's work".

I wonder exactly what he'd heard.

The man took one look at him and let out a high-pitched screech, then launched into a hysterical rant about audience planting and howthe fragile state of the human psyche is only capable of so handling much stress.

I love the visual of this. Poor Darren and his existential crisis.

Thank you, thank you Santa, for this wonderful present. *many hearts*

He was surprisingly good at hiding himself away in one of those, Meg thought idly. He'd even managed to take his hat with him.

Hee! Great cloak and dagger office romance. And Darren! Imagine his horror, poor fellow! ;D

Luzula Author Profile Page said:

Hee, this was hilarious, and I liked your Thatcher POV.

snoopypez said:

BEST. I just. oh, Darren. Seriously, I basically shrieked with laughter when he saw Fraser. :D :D

Benton made a mad dash for the nearest closet.

He was surprisingly good at hiding himself away in one of those

HEEEE! he has more practise with that than one would think!

Cliche II had me grinning like a loon. Poor Darren! His brain would likely explode if he realised there were two of them in the world =D

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