Title: "I Wanna Feel the Thunder"
Rating/Classification: adult language, sexual situations, Skye/Coleman, angst, stand alone.
Disclaimer: I don't own Coleman and he's not real, because he'd kill me for using Hilary Duff lyrics for the title.
Summary: Three years is an ungodly long time to keep a dirty little secret. So, it's time to come clean.
Every time she comes to him, he thinks, "Alright, this is gonna be the last time." He lays back against the pillows, watches her get dressed in the dark. He knows the shape of her elbow and her ankle and her head poking through the opening of her shirt. He has it all memorized. He always takes a mental snapshot because, hey, it's probably the last time. She ain't coming back.
And then she does.
The door at Jake's bangs open five minutes after close, when he's counting up the till, and she looks at him. She doesn't even have to give him reasons anymore. Just that look and he's out from behind the bar, pulling her in and digging his hands into her hair and her skin. He presses her back against the jukebox and he knows she's not wearing any panties and she's hot and it's good and over way too fast. That's always the way they start out…and then they somehow make it to his car…where they end up pulling over during the quarter mile drive to his apartment and going hard and fast again right there in the front seat. She's gotten good at maneuvering between him and the steering wheel. They stumble up the 12 steps to his place – and,yeah, he's aware of the beautiful irony of that – and by the time they're in bed, their clothes are over the place and he's been inside her at least once between the door and the cheap cotton sheets.
Every time. That's how it is. No "hello"s, no "goodbye"s. No, "I'll see you next week."
And she's been coming back to him for almost three years.
That's an ungodly long time to keep a dirty little secret. He knows this. He knows that if she were fixing to quit fucking him, she would've done it a year ago or two years ago. What they've got…what they've got now might actually qualify as a relationship. Hell, he was married when he was 23 and that only lasted eight and a half months. This might just be the longest gig he's ever had with a woman. Of course, he ain't ever telling her that. No sense in spooking her, in jinxing things. No sense in letting her think it means something, right?
So, he watches her get her clothes together, watches her finger-comb her hair into some semblance of order. Like the cab driver is going to care if she looks like she got thoroughly fucked? And he thinks, "alright, this is the last time."
But it never is.
She comes to him when Spencer ignores her. She comes to him when Alcazar spends three hours rambling about the color of that crazy bitch Carly's eyes. She comes to him when she can't sleep because she's dreaming of the little girl she'll never have. She comes to him when she wants a drink and needs his cock to be her 13th step.
Most times, she comes to him for no reason at all. Unless you count that he makes her come *for* him. And those are the times where he has a stupider thought than "she ain't coming back." Those are the times he thinks, "Maybe she loves me."
But she doesn't.
She can't possibly, right?
"Do you need cab fare?" he rasps, dragging his hand through his hair, squinting at her in the dim light coming in from the street.
"No," she murmurs, shrugging into her coat. "I've got it."
"Fine. See you around, Princess." He yanks the sheets up to his waist, turning from side to side until he finds the right position for a couple more hours of shut-eye.
When he raises his head, she's still got her hand on the knob of the bedroom door. It's half-open but she hasn't walked through. Leave, Babe, he thinks, so I can start the countdown for when you're gonna walk back in.
The hand that isn't on the door flutters down to her stomach. He knows the slightly rounded expanse of it…he rubbed his cheek back and forth and left beard-burn all the way down to her-- "Coleman!" She says his name again, with a kind of desperation that shakes him out of the flashback to about fourteen minutes ago.
He sits up, feeling his joints creaking and groaning like the bedsprings. He's getting way too old for this shit. "What, Princess? You got something to say, just say it and get on and go."
Sometimes she thanks him. He's surprised she hasn't tried to tip him at Christmas like the doorman or her hairdresser. But, beyond that, Skye never romanticizes anything. The only desperation she shows is in how fast she can get him naked and between her thighs.
He waits for her to say something like "you knocked me up and I'm passing it off as Alcazar's." Or "I think you gave me VD." Or…or…"Good-bye."
The thought of that…the thought of that actually makes him break out in a cold sweat.
Three years is an ungodly long time to keep a dirty little secret.
And an even longer time to *be* one.
"Babe," he whispers. And "Doll." And "Princess." Always the last one. He thinks he might call her that with his last breath...if that ain't a pathetic thought that beats all.
But she still doesn't say anything. She just stares at him, all big brown eyes and tangled hair. Like the six feet from the foot of the bed to the doorway is oceans apart and she can't swim.
He swallows, tasting the ashes of his last cigarette mixed with sex. "If you ain't leavin'…you're staying," he points out, real helpful. Like that ain't obvious.
She shrugs back out of her coat.
He can see her fingers trembling as she undoes all the buttons of her clingy, sweater-y dress.
When she's just standing there in her bra, he cuts her a break. He climbs out of bed and throws her a life preserver. He wraps his arms around her, lowers his head and kisses her sad, pouty mouth as he walks them both backward toward the mattress.
It's one of those times where maybe she loves him. Where he knows he sure as Hell loves her.
And she'll stay the whole night.
Because there's one thing neither of them can let themselves admit out loud: She doesn't have to come back…if she doesn't go in the first place.
January 14, 2006.