Title: Very Serious
Word Count: 1,045
Spoilers: Follow-up to "The Reid Technique" and...uh, the untitled follow-up to "The Reid Technique"
Summary: Juliet's wiles and Lassiter's furrow...
When Juliet opened her eyes, the light through her curtains was weak, a promise of morning rather than an announcement.
Lassiter was wide awake, sitting up against the headboard, arms crossed and held tightly to his chest. There was a dark and serious furrow in his brow.
"Good morning," Juliet proclaimed, stretching lazily and brushing the hair out of her eyes.
He shifted his gaze to her face, but the furrow remained.
Juliet responded by burying her head in her pillow. "Don't you do enough of that at the station?"
"Enough of what?" His tone matched his expression--naturally.
"Frowning and thinking." She let the back of her hand follow the outline of his thigh under the sheet. Lassiter nervously cleared his throat, but Juliet noticed he did not move away or stop her.
"This is Very Serious," he proclaimed.
Juliet pulled out the big guns, looking at him from underneath her lashes. "I know it's a change. But we don't know if it's Very Serious yet."
"I meant the breach of department regulation, not...that." His stare was stern and unhappy. The furrow was threatening to swallow the bridge of his nose into a chasm of broodiness.
"Don't you think we should figure ourselves out before we involve the department? I mean, I'm an adult and you're an adult, and we don't even know if it'll ever happen again..." This she said while moving the back of her hand along the outline of his thigh again, "Much less if it'll affect work."
Lassiter's expression changed, and she knew he was thinking of his first partner, who transferred not because they were fooling around but because Carlton and his wife continued to be not divorced. Then he caught her eagerly awaiting his confession and grumbled.
"I'm sorry, was that an answer or a series of dyspeptic noises that only sort of sound like words?" In answer, Lassiter glowered at her.
Juliet feigned a glower back. Then she said, "Take your shirt off."
"Gobsmacked" was putting it lightly: "What? Why?"
"What do you mean 'why?'"
"I mean why?"
Juliet slipped a hand under the bottom of his tee and felt the brindly layer around his navel. She happily took note of the way he inhaled, sharp and with a dash of whimper at the end.
"You've seen me naked. I think it's only fair."
Juliet peeled the shirt back so that a bare strip of skin was exposed. She brushed the tip of her nose along the place where that skin met the waistband of his boxers.
"Carlton," she murmured, "you have this way of repeating what I've said that makes it sound like you think I'm ridiculous."
He was silent for several seconds, and Juliet looked up to find his features had relaxed into something that appeared to be devilish affection.
It stopped her breath for a moment.
Then he said, "I don't think you're ridiculous all the time."
She rolled her eyes and snapped his waistband.
He let his little finger brush against her shoulder once. Then he said (Quite Seriously, she thought to herself), "What happened to not believing in interoffice romance?"
She smiled. "Since when do you listen to anything I say? Or remember anything I say?"
Lassiter's stare became deadpan. He pushed at her shoulders to give himself elbow room, then peeled off his shirt.
Juliet let herself look in surprise for a moment or two. Over the past year, she had caught a glimpse of promise near the hollow of his throat, but she'd had no idea it was only a narrow preview of the valley of masculinity before her.
She ran a hand over him gently, gently, the way she'd been told to pet Geraldine, her grandmother's ancient sheepdog (though she kept the inspiration for her technique to herself). "Wow. No wonder you have your holster on so tight. How else would you keep all that in?"
Though his heart continued pounding, Carlton squinted at her in irritation.
"I'm serious. It's like being in the phone booth with Clark Kent while he changes."
"And I'm Superman in this scenario. That's flattering."
She rolled onto her back, and he furrowed at her again--a little less irascibly, since the sheet had long since migrated to her own navel, leaving her upper torso bare.
"Come on," she said in her best You Taught Me How to be Commanding tone, stretching her arms above her head.
With a sigh he clearly did not mean, he obliged, pressing into her from above.
She rubbed her thumb between his eyes while using her feet to remove his boxers. "Isn't this better than thinking and worrying, Ol' Blue Eyes?"
She watched him fight a smile off. "It's probably getting me fired faster, so I don't know how to answer that." Despite his pessimistic words, one of his hands was exploring alongside her breast while the other was toying with her hair.
"Carlton, you're not going to get fired." She paused. "Probably."
A tight-lipped smile was his initial response. She watched as it melted into a lidded, ardent one as she repositioned her lower body, placing a knee on either side of his waist.
"What do you want to do?" Juliet asked him, Very Seriously.
The furrow returned, and Carlton's hands stopped journeying and winding. Juliet waited patiently for his answer, and though she was tempted to make further advances, she resisted.
Eventually, the furrow smoothed again. Sliding his fingers into her hair, Carlton Lassiter kissed her of his own accord. With hesitance at first, but after two or three warm-ups, with a rather surprising amount of dexterity and skill. This is what it's going to be like for the first few months, Juliet thought to herself as he moved down her neck, her clavicle, the slow friction of his chest hair making her giddy. He'll worry and grouch and hesitate...but it's foreplay. It's like being at work with him...only I win no matter what happens.
This, she thought, as his wavy hair, free of pomade constraints, brushed against her inner thighs, is going to be awesome.
When he returned to the head of the bed and she shared with him how awesome it was and would be, he repeated "Awesome" in a way that, naturally, made her sound ridiculous.
Yep, she thought, exactly like work.