I decided it was about time there was something more a bit sexy out there for these two. And about time I wrote something other than angst for them.
Beta-ed by fififolle (she's good you know :D)
Characters: Rupert, Mina
Spoilers: General for Rupert and Mina’s back stories.
Summary: Okay, so Galvin had on a couple of occasions thought about kissing her. He hadn’t ever intended it to happen like this though...
“So is this you coming to my rescue, huh?” Rupert grunted as they stumbled back towards the car.
He had an arm thrown around her shoulders but, for once, he wasn’t the one supporting her.
“Better now than waiting until you’d been beaten black and blue by some half-life you’d foolishly decided to pursue,” she retorted.
There was an unmistakable bite to Mina’s voice and she made no attempt to hide her irritation. The fact that his arm was unwittingly pulling her hair did nothing to help her mood either. Drink certainly did turn all men into pigs, she concluded as he stumbled a little, leaning on her too heavily for comfort. She’d always joked that Rupert was surprising chivalrous for a colonial but now was certainly not one of those times.
“I wasn’t going to-“ he began in protest, sounding annoyed by her telling him off for something he hadn’t yet done.
“I know you,” she interrupted though, cross that he’d deny it.
He was instantly silent, probably realising that she was right.
After all, it’d happened every year for the past five and she saw little reason for this one to be any different. As usual, he would spend the anniversary of Maggie’s death drinking himself into a forgetful oblivion and by the end of the night he’d be so fired up that he’d go out looking for something to smite. Nothing too dangerous, he always kept a modicum of commonsense at least. But it did usually end up with her treating a variety of cuts and bruises next morning whilst he grumbled at what he called her fussing like an old woman.
Technically, she always reminded him, she was an old woman.
This year she’d been determined to stop him before it came to that however, concerned that his luck would run out sooner or later and that he’d end up seriously hurt. In part, she didn’t feel like it was her place to intrude; how he chose to mourn his wife was up to him and she understood full well that a mere five years wouldn’t have made the pain of her loss fade to the point where he could just forget.
On the other hand though he was needed too dearly to risk his life in such a reckless manner. By the rest of his kind as well as her. With no Van Helsing currently of age they needed all the competent smiters they could get.
And she needed her friend. The only one who really knew her.
At first he’d been grumpy and irritable at what he probably saw as her interference, but at least he hadn’t resisted her help. In fact, he’d been much more compliant than she ever could have hoped for as she’d walked down the stairs and into the basement bar to seek him out. She’d been a little nervous about going there to be honest, knowing that a young blind woman walking alone into such a place perhaps wasn’t the best idea. She was better equipped than most to deal with any trouble of course, but she certainly didn’t want it to come to that. As it was, she’d received a few unsavoury comments from the other patrons, but they’d stopped as soon as they’d seen that she was with the gruff American. She suspected that Rupert had gained a reputation which told them they’d be better off not messing in his affairs.
Rupert had complained but had agreed to leave with her all the same and they now walked down the alley and back to her waiting car. Her boots splashed in puddles and lord knows what else as they stumbled onwards and she instantly decided that he’d be cleaning them for her the next morning. A little penance was good for the soul after all.
She opened the door by herself, her driver waiting passively in his seat as always. Golems were excellent and faithful workers but they rarely took the initiative.
“Get in,” she instructed, ducking out from under Rupert’s arm but ensuring that he stayed propped up between her and the car in case his balance really had deserted him. She didn’t exactly relish the prospect of having to haul him off the floor if he fell.
“Did anyone ever tell you how goddamn bossy you can be?” he grumbled in return.
“Yes, you,” she replied coolly. “Plenty of times. Now in.”
He mumbled something under his breath that she doubted was complimentary but did as he was asked all the same. As soon as she was inside too and her door was closed, the car glided off. She gritted her teeth as it bumped across potholes, deciding he’d pay for any scratches or damage there too.
There was silence for a long while and she momentarily wondered if he’d fallen asleep before he spoke quietly.
“I don’t need saving Mina.”
It was stubborn but unconvincing.
“I beg to differ.”
“Maybe I don’t want saving.”
She supposed she should feel sadness at that but instead it riled her to hear such self pity. He wasn’t the only one who had lost and he certainly didn’t have the monopoly on pain. Nor was he normally the type to surrender and she wasn’t about to accept it now.
“I don’t care what you want,” she said sharply, knowing it perhaps wasn’t kind but it was best not to let him wallow. “You still have a job to do. This is the life you chose, no turning your back on that now.”
“Don’t start with that,” he grumbled, sounding weary, “I’m not in the mood.”
“Well, fortunately for you,” she returned, tones clipped and irritable at his attitude, “when you’re like this I have no desire to talk to you at all.”
“Shame you didn’t feel like that earlier,” he pointed out, his voice twisted by bitterness. “Then you could have left me the hell alone.”
“What? To go out and get a beating?” she scoffed. “Hardly charitable.”
She knew she should stop now, before this descended into a silly argument but she couldn’t seem to help herself, words coming without her permission.
“And inconvenient,” he reasoned, darkly. “Can’t have the substitute demon smiter getting himself killed before the replacement grows up right?”
It was hard to tell if that was meant to be a slight against her, to suggest that was all she cared about, or if he was simply feeling sorry for himself still. For some reason, in her current mood, she took it as the former.
“No, heaven forbid I should actually care for your wellbeing,” she huffed, coldly. “Perhaps I’m not as dead inside as you think.”
She turned her face to the window and away from him before she said anything too ridiculous, determined now to keep her mouth firmly shut. She knew he didn’t really mean that. He was half drunk and very hurt and both made people lash out and say things only designed to cause others pain. There was no point in them arguing now only to have to make awkward apologies in the morning when all was clearer.
Moments later she felt she seat shift underneath her as he moved closer, and one of his large hands was at her cheek, turning her back to face him with surprisingly gentle dexterity given his current condition.
It was certainly much more co-ordinated than his lips which brushed hers almost haphazardly and entirely without warning. She was fairly sure it wasn’t a very good kiss but she was too stunned to form the thought in more than a vague manner.
“You feel pretty alive to me,” he mumbled as he pulled back a little, forehead pressed against hers, warm breath teasing her lips.
For a moment it was almost as if she’d forgotten to breathe, everything seeming to suddenly still.
“What are you doing?” she asked, voice tight, genuinely shocked for the first time in many years. There had always been a certain chemistry between them, that much was true, but also an unspoken agreement that it would be foolish to do anything about it. That there would only be heartbreak on both sides and friends was the far happier way to be. He shouldn’t be breaking that now. Especially, she supposed, when they’d been arguing. That just made no sense at all.
It seemed that mutual promise was forgotten though as he sighed a little and she could hear a mixture of confusion and something like self-loathing in his voice.
“I don’t know. Apologising, I think.”
She would have told him that it was unnecessary, but was given no opportunity to as his lips pressed against hers again, apparently deciding he needed greater absolution. She honestly would have forgiven him anything right there and then, let alone a petty squabble.
As he continued to kiss her for the second time, his mouth more insistent, she did exactly what she shouldn’t; closed her eyes and indulged in it.
She could hardly blame herself, she reasoned. It had been a long time since she’d last been kissed. Long enough that she’d stopped counting the decades. And this was Rupert and he was special to her. It was barely a surprise that his kiss could make her yield almost against her will.
He was all warmth and life, his hands slid to her hair, fingers entwining gently in the strands as he held her closer. The sigh that she let out as and he shifted his weight, pushing her back in her seat, was a danger sign. It sounded far too much like surrender for safety. But, she told herself, it was okay. She’d stop this in a moment, push him away and tell him that he was drunk and not in control of his faculties. She would just give herself a few more moments to remember this kind of adoration.
Only with one hand now stroking invitingly up and down her thigh, his body pressing against hers and the increasing skill of his kisses, she found the prospect of saying ‘stop’ an increasingly hazy one.
Her arms sliding without bidding around his neck did nothing to help the matter. In fact, they only seemed to encourage him as he gathered her against him, his lips taking on a somewhat hungrier quality. The sound from her throat was part way between a whimper and a gasp at the long forgotten form of contact. He returned it with a moan so low she wasn’t sure if only her exceptional hearing allowed her to pick it up and it made her shiver to the core.
It hadn’t been so long since she’d heard such noises that she didn’t recognise them. They sounded suspiciously like sex and, since she had no intention of taking him to her bed, she needed to regain control of this situation.
Especially when he somehow managed to find the skill to have her lying down on the back seat, the leather creaking beneath her as they moved
It was an extreme test of will power to steady herself when he was pressed on top of her, the weight of him feeling solid and reassuring as his kisses slowed to something long and seductive. She almost lost herself in them again before his hands sliding across her breasts suddenly snapped her back to the reality of the situation.
“Rupert,” she warned, even though she tilted her head in invite as he kissed across her jaw and down her throat. His breath was hot now, gliding across her skin like a caress all of its own. She tried and failed to stop her hands clutching at the back of his coat.
Sweet heaven, she’d never heard her name said with such longing and desire, even from her former husband, and her back arched a little in response as though pulled up by an invisible force.
The sensation shocked her so thoroughly that she lay utterly still for a long moment, barely even aware of the wet press of his mouth against her skin. It certainly took her far too long to realise that he’d finally stopped kissing her.
Frowning, she felt down, finding his head was lying peacefully on her chest, his own ribs softly rising and falling.
He’d fallen asleep.
After a moment of not knowing what to think, she laughed.
Sunlight, Rupert decided, was not good and he threw his arm across his face the very instant his eyes opened, shielding them from the invading brightness as he groaned in protest.
No denying it, he felt like hell; head killing him, stomach churning. It would be the perfect opportunity to declare the fact that he was never going to drink again, but that would be a lie so there was really no point.
After a few moments of wondering if he could fall back into the blissful ignorance of sleep, he began to realise that things weren’t quite right. Even without looking he could tell that it wasn’t his own unforgiving mattress under his back and he risked opening his eyes to see the impressive frame of Mina’s four poster above him.
How the hell did he-?
Casting his mind back, vague memories assaulted him of a bar and Mina and walking through an alley. He could kind of piece the rest together from there. He was pretty sure he’d been obnoxious company after she’d rescued him from himself and he knew he’d have to apologise for that when he saw her. He dimly remembered saying some really stupid stuff in the car and then...
Jesus Christ! Had he really kissed Mina?
He sat up in shock, as though that would somehow clear his head when in fact it only made it spin faster. Ignoring his tumbling stomach, he racked his mind, trying to decipher whether it had really happened or if he’d just dreamt it. The memory of her cool lips and her soft body pressed under his seemed so real and yet it wouldn’t be the first time he’d had a pretty vivid dream about her. She was a beautiful woman after all and the way he felt for her...
But if it had happened, and now he was in her bed, just how far had it gone? Surely he hadn’t been in any fit state to...?
No, he reasoned, he was wearing a t-shirt and boxers and that had to be a good sign as far as that issue was concerned. Besides, no matter how much he’d drunk he was pretty sure he’d remember if they’d had sex. At least he hoped he would.
He had one of those occasional moments when he was glad that Mina couldn’t see anything as she suddenly walked in. He was sure there was a mild blush and a guilty look on his face that he’d rather keep to himself.
“Morning,” she said brightly. “Feeling awful?”
“As a matter of fact...”
“Good. You deserve some penance for turfing me out of my own bed.”
He tried not to let any relief there show. At least things hadn’t got too out of hand. He wasn’t exactly horrified at the idea of being with her like that but a drunken encounter he couldn’t remember was wrong on so many levels.
“You didn’t have to-“ he began in apology.
“Don’t worry,” she interrupted with a dismissive wave, “I had some things to do.”
She opened the curtains fully, taking no account of his sore head and he groaned and lay back once more. He watched for a moment as she busied about the room, retrieving some folded clothes from an otherwise empty cupboard. It seemed like she had stashes of his stuff all over her place. His home away from home.
So, he hadn’t slept with her but still, the kissing... Again, it wasn’t like he didn’t want to kiss Mina. He’d thought about it probably too often, wondering whether he should give in to the urge and to hell with it. Common sense had always held him back though; they had other things to concentrate on. And besides, if he was going to do it, he was supposed to wait until the opportune moment, when it could be right, and that certainly wasn’t a fumble in the back of her car when he was half-slaughtered.
Her face was a mask of unreadable calm but his curiosity wouldn’t let him rest. Like a madman he brought the topic up, even when he probably should leave it well alone.
“I didn’t do anything embarrassing last night, did I?” he asked, trying to make the enquiry sound casual, not wanting to ask her outright in case it hadn’t happened after all. He didn’t need her teasing him about his dreams.
“No,” she said with a smile. “Only your usual charming drunken self.”
Oddly, he felt a little disappointed.
“Don’t be,” she said gently. “Just promise me that next year will be different. You can’t carry on like this.”
She was utterly sincere in that, not hiding her concern.
“I don’t like making promises, Mina,” he said with a shake of his head. “because I hate it when I break them.”
“If you promise me,” she said with a smile, “you can have this.”
She walked over to the bed, holding out a mug of what smelt like the strongest coffee. The cure to all ills.
“Anyone ever tell you you’re an angel and a goddess all rolled into one?” he said with a smile of his own, sitting up and reaching for the mug.
She deftly held it out of his reach. “You haven’t promised.”
“Okay, okay. Deal.”
Good as her word, she handed it over.
She sat on the edge of the bed as he drank it, talking about piano recitals and the problems with the conductor at her forthcoming venue. He half listened, nodding when he thought appropriate but his mind was busy studying her face.
Perfect alabaster skin and inviting ruby lips. He could almost imagine how they felt. In his mind he could get the smallest hint of how she tasted but it was hard to form into coherent thought, like a fleeting memory that kept drifting away.
It must have been just a dream, he told himself. She would have said something otherwise, surely. But the memory of the feel of her, of the little whimpering noise she’d made as his hands ran over her body, was something he wasn’t going to forget in a hurry. It would certainly be one dream he wouldn’t be averse to having again.