Title: "Just This Once"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: SAC, Skye/Coleman, angst, ficlet.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.
Summary: Is it just coyote ugly...or could it be something beautiful?

"You think that, ok, just this once, that it'll be good, no complications, no pain. And then you wake up with this person, this stranger -- and, believe me, everybody looks worse in the morning -- and you close your eyes and you open them and he's still there, and you realize you don't even know how this person likes his coffee. Believe me, it costs you more than you think." --Skye Chandler Quartermaine.

The way he stares at you makes you uncomfortable. But you don't reach for your clothes. That's admitting defeat. Admitting that his gaze is too intense for you.

You never thought a day would come when you didn't care if a man was staring at your chest. When it bugged you more to know that he could see through the mounds of flesh to the ravaged organ beneath. But here it is. So much for Women's Lib.

He looks like Hell when he wakes up. He sprawls out and takes up the entire bed. Eyes all bloodshot, hair sticking up every which way. Not like Jax...who always looked beautiful and angelic and unreal and always brushed his teeth before climbing back into bed to kiss you awake. Or Max Holden...who had that sexy, wicked, smile and managed to look like a little boy as he clutched a pillow and slept on his stomach.

Nothing about Coleman is angelic or beautiful or child-like. He doesn't care about kissing you awake or holding something tight.

Of course, there is the small fact that he's better than Jonathan Kinder. He hasn't ever tried to drug you and lock you in the attic.

You try not to think about that.

Just like you try not to flinch when his tanned hands are too rough. You're a redhead. You bruise easily. He apologizes when he sees the welts that line your hips. Apologizes more than Jax did for leaving you.

That's something, at least.

You used to blush easily, too. But you left that weakness behind somewhere in between Pine Valley and Llanview. It has no place in Port Charles. Or your bedroom.

It's a matter of pride, you suppose, that you can walk around completely nude... that you can pretend you don't care how bare you are in front of him. That you're just that good.

Of course, he knows you're faking it.

He knows you better than you know him.

You try not to think about that either.

"Where're you going?" He drags lazy fingers through his hair and you can't tell if that improves the coiffure or makes it worse. "Your morning pick-me-up's right here."

If it were anyone else, you would think he was talking, unselfconsciously, about himself and his sexual prowess. But, no, Coleman means the flask of Absolut you keep in the nightstand, next to the condoms.

"I'm going to the kitchen," you inform him, irritably, "to put some coffee on."

He makes a grunting noise that could be approval, could be surprise, and he's going to let you figure out which. He rolls back over in the pile of sheets, arms spanning nearly the entire width of the bed. He looks, you think, like Jesus on the cross. All he's missing is the nails. Oh...and the martyr complex.

You're almost at the door, hand on the edge of it, when he asks, quietly, "Aren't you going to ask me how I take mine?"

You twist around to meet those eyes...those incredibly unsettling, mocking, eyes. "Black like your soul?"

"No." He smiles. And maybe he does have a martyr complex after all...because that smile...it's...it's beautiful, angelic, and unreal. "Cream. No sugar. Like yours."

The way he stares at you makes you uncomfortable.

The way he loves you is even worse.


March 5, 2003.

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