|Summary||Ciel and Rohan get to know each other better.|
The hour is definitely too early when neither Ciel nor Rohan actually /have/ to be somewhere until midafternoon. The sun has crept over the horizon, but the morning still has that fresh, bright quality that says that it's new, and the temperature is still something like tolerable. The general routine is this: a night out, often somewhere loud, with dancing or drinks or both. A night in, with a different sort of loud, all enthusiastic encouragement and very, very good times. And an early morning silence, broken perhaps by a quick shower or a stolen cup of coffee before one or the other slips away to start the rest of their day.
Today, Ciel ignores the unwritten rule that goes 'let Rohan sleep'. Instead, she stands in the doorway to his bedroom in a tee shirt and underwear with an empty container of coffee grounds in her hand. She wakes him by saying, "Please tell me you have another one of these somewhere."
Rohan is sleeping. Sleep is sacred. Still, he does _eventually_ (letting her wait for an extended period of time that is almost certainly on purpose) roll over, tuck an arm beneath his head and blink at her. "Did you look in the spice cabinet?" he asks. "Coffee's a spice, after all, isn't it?" Only to Rohan.
Ciel doesn't wait. That is, she waits about fifteen seconds, then crosses the room to poke a finger at one of his toes. "/Ro/," she says, impatient, in the same moment that he provides an answer. Their words overlap into a garble, and she gives him a scowl that's not really annoyed at all as she pokes at his knee this time. "What?"
Rohan rolls over again, wrapping himself quite thoroughly in the sheet like a Rohan-burrito. "Not the toes!" he protests in mock indignation. He manages to free himself enough from the sheet to lift himself up, poised on his elbows. "Spice cabinet," he repeats. "Or, I don't know. Behind the mangoes or something." His kitchen is an adventure, cluttered and full of eclectic ingredients in an order that makes sense only to him. "Do you expect me to remember these things when you come into my room half-naked?"
"I don't know where either of those things are," Ciel protests, poking at his knee again. Her brows sweep up, but a faint smirk plays across her lips as she settles one hand on the curve of her hip, which she juts out at an angle that makes her legs seem that much longer. "I'm pretty sure you've seen me /totally/ naked, so I don't know why it's an issue," she answers.
"I can do you a map of the kitchen," says Rohan. "Later. Much later, when it's a civilized hour." His concept of 'civilized hour,' when left to his own devices, skews late. His gaze lingers on those long legs with clear appreciation. "It's distracting," he insists. "Those clothes are in the way."
"When it's a civilized hour, I won't be here needing coffee," Ciel retorts. She leans in to tap a finger under his chin, an 'eyes up here' sort of gesture that she follows with a wiggle of the coffee can. "Are you seriously going to make me deal with getting home without caffiene, Ro?"
"Can't you just...portal there?" suggests Rohan. He eyes the wiggling coffee can, and sighs. "Fine," he replies, rolling over and out of bed to land in a sheet wrapped heap at her feet. He does manage to pick himself up with some sort of grace, the sheet beginning to artistically slip from his hips.
"You know that's not how it works," Ciel says, and as if to prove it, she opens a portal directly behind him in order to give that artistic sheet a firm downward yank. Her expression reaches for innocence, but instead finds pure mischief, bright in green eyes and the irrepressible curve of her smile.
Rohan pauses mid-step, the sheet crumpling to the floor, naked and completely unashamed. "Is it just me?" he asks, with a barely smothered grin, "Or is it a little drafty in here?"
"Feel perfectly balmy to me, tiger," Ciel answers, shifting back a step or two to lean against his doorframe. She folds her arms over her chest, coffee can forgotten on the bed, and meets his grin with a smirk.
Rohan lifts his eyebrows, and pauses. "You know," he points out, "now you're standing between me and the kitchen. I'm beginning to wonder if you really want coffee after all."
Ciel lifts her brows and, silently, steps to one side. She might let her gaze drift downward, though. Just. You know. Since he's sheetless and all.
Rohan steps past, all dignity, and shortly thereafter bangings and clatterings arise from the kitchen. "So, Sky," he calls out, "was having a man make coffee for you in the buff a great fantasy of yours?"
"Wasn't," Ciel answers, turning to follow him into the kitchen. She pauses in a lean against a counter, hip tilted hard into its surface, and watches him for a long moment with a different sort of expression all together. Eventually she adds, "Might be now."
Rohan seems to spend an unaccountably long time investigating cupboards and leaning over the counter to measure coffee, taut rear displayed. He chuckles, and replies, "For your pleasure, Sky, I will risk serious burns," as he fiddles with his espresso machine.
Ciel slides up behind him, letting her arms drift around his waist as she leans into the brace of his back, cheek pressed against the warm skin of his shoulder. "I feel special," she answers him on a smiling murmur.
Rohan stiffens briefly, hesitating a little in the circle of her arms. Then he exhales, back relaxing against her. "That's because you are, Sky," he tells her, soft, as he finishes his task. "Very special. And here, an Americano for my favourite American." He leaves the cup on the counter, however, leaning against her.
Ciel's arms tighten briefly around his waist, and her smile curves wider against his shoulder. She lingers for a moment, her breath warm against his skin, before she pulls back to retrieve her cup. She lifts it to her lips for a sip, careful, before she says, "I'm not actually, you know."
"Not what?" wonders Rohan, voice light now, his eyes half-closed as she lingers against his back. As she pulls away, he begins to poke through the cupboards, still casually unconcerned about his lack of clothing. "Special? I disagree."
Ciel answers with a quiet, breathy laugh that lingers over the edge of her cup. "American," she says. She pauses, sipping, and then corrects, "Well, I am, but not-- I wasn't born there. Didn't live there til I was a teenager."
This, apparently, startles Rohan enough that he deserts his foraging with an abruptness that leads to him banging his head against the top of a cabinet. He blinks at her. "What other long-held conviction of mine about you are you going to shatter next?" he asks. "Maybe you're secretly married with three kids?" He rubs his head and asks, curiously, "Where were you born, then? Please say Canada. I can live with mixing those two up."
Ciel hesitates for a long enough moment that Rohan may actually start wondering about her three children. She inhales the steam of espresso and glances at him, as if she did not expect that sharing this fact might mean sharing the next. Eventually, her gaze drifts away to his kitchen table and she answers, "Niger." And then quickly on its heels, with a fast smile, "My mom was Canadian, though, if it helps."
"Niger," repeats Rohan, slowly, absorbing this. He blinks at her. "Only a little, love." He blinks at her again. Apparently his brain is recalibrating its Ciel information. He then flashes her a dazzling smile. "Yorkshire. But you knew that."
"I did," Ciel agrees. Her smile fades a touch, but what it settles into is softer and more sincere as she watches him. She pauses for a sip and then asks, "What's it like?"
"Yorkshire-like," says Rohan flippantly, and he seems about to leave it there, but he watches her smile, and then answers, slowly, "Dirty old industrial cities, brick and stone. The countryside...in the winter, it's grey and bleak, but in the spring it's so green it'll break your heart. Rolling dales and wild moor. Clouds casting shadow as they roll across. Stone fences and ruins and sheep everywhere."
"I'll have to stay away, then," Ciel answers, her smile drawing back toward a smirk as she watches him in answer. She holds her cup high, letting the steam tickle her nose. "I prefer my heart unbroken."
"Just read Wuthering Heights," says Rohan, flippant again. "You'll only break it virtually. You'll almost make me miss the old place at this rate."
"Oh, well. Wouldn't want that." Ciel grins, quick and bright, and drags her gaze down the length of him before asking, "Are you putting clothes on any time soon, tiger?
"I'm willing to put that to a vote," says Rohan, with a flourish of one hand. "Should Rohan Ainsworth put on clothing? Aye or Nay? Think carefully; this is a serious question."
Ciel's grin breaks toward quick laughter as she tilts her head at him. "What's your vote?" she checks.
Rohan considers. Seriously. "I vote 'nay,'" he decides. He winks. "I like the breeze."
Ciel's grin lingers, her eyes bright despite the early morning out. After a beat, she shifts to slide her Americano to the counter behind her and turns to lift empty hands toward Rohan, fingers wiggling invitation.
Rohan eyes those fingers. His smile brightens. He raises his eyebrows. He lowers them. He raises them again. There's a definite waggle there. "I am going to take that as agreement," he murmurs, reaching out to take her hands and draw her close to him.
"You know me," Ciel answers, dragging a hand up to rest her thumb against his brow. "Easy to please." She pauses there for a moment, pressed against him with her hand framing the curve of his face, and tilts her head back to meet his gaze, quiet and searching.
Rohan's gaze meets hers, still bright, but...quieter now. Softer. He takes her free hand, fingers entwined in hers, and lifts it to his lips, brushing a kiss here, a kiss there, over curve of finger and knuckle and thumb, lips warm against her skin.
Ciel watches him for a moment, holding his gaze as her hand drops to the smooth warmth of his chest, solid beneath her touch. And then she grins, a little self-conscious, as if shaking off an uncomfortable moment. "So," she says, exceedingly casual. "What're you doing today?"
"Well," says Rohan, rolling the word around his mouth, coating it with the gravel of his accent. "There seems to be no work today. I thought of maybe going for a ride. Or to the market. Or--see a movie or something." He lifts a brow. "On the other hand I think maybe I'll actually stay home and relax. Looks like rain."
"That's an awful lot of options," Ciel tells him, drawing her hand free and rocking back to brace both on the counter behind her. "Don't tell me you're being indecisive, Ainsworth."
Rohan only answers this with a lift of his eyebrows and a light "Well, my bed's very cosy."
"Your bike is very fast," Ciel counters with a flick of her own.
"It is, that," agrees Rohan. "But both bike and bed are a bit lonely without good company."
"If you want me to stay, tiger," Ciel says, tilting her head back to meet his gaze with an edge of challenge. "Just ask.
Rohan watches her, dark gaze still on hers. He laughs, soft, and grins, bright. "Stay with me, Sky?"
Ciel's grin breaks bright and fast, and she steps into him to press up into a kiss familiar and lingering and tinged with a banked heat that knows it has all the time in the world. "Bed," she murmurs in suggestion. "Then bike. Market, maybe. We could cook something for dinner." It is a full day's activity more than they have previously managed, and nowhere in it is a bar too loud for anything but drinking and dancing.
"When you say 'we,' Sky," wonders Rohan, "do you mean 'we', or do you mean you watch me cook for you?" It's a light tease, and he follows it with another kiss, slow but firm, a kiss that knows exactly what it wants. "Bed," he agrees.
"I do know how to cook!" Ciel objects before lapsing a forgotten moment into that kiss. Eventually she murmurs an acknowledging, "We can negotiate."
"Mm," murmurs Rohan into said kiss. "Negotiation is very sexy."
Ciel laughs, pressing forward with a step that encourages him backwards as her hands find the line of his spine. "Is it?" she answers, low and warm. "Then let me tell you /exactly/ what I want." And when she lifts her lips to his ear to whisper hot demands in time to another step and another, she isn't shy at all. They make it to the bed, but just barely, and by the time they've settled negotations, they're both breathless and worn and very, very satisfied.
Rohan is almost too satisfied for words, poured over the bed in breathless contentment, arm wrapped about Ciel. "Sky," he breathes, voice warm, face bright, but apparently he cannot find the words to follow it, and simply plays with her hair, fingers pulling through it.
"Hm?" Ciel answers, her murmur one of lazy, happy contentment. She lays with her head against his chest, cheek turned against the warmth of sweat-slicked skin, with the rest of her stretched in ninety degree angle to Rohan.
"Mm," decides Rohan, mustering the energy to lift his head and press a kiss against her hair. "You're incredible," he says, after a long silent struggle with words that were more meaningful and also very unlikely to ever pass his lips.
Ciel answers with a laugh, smug and self-satisfied. "Not the first time I've been told so," she answers. After a beat she rolls, twisting naked in his sheets to settle into a lean against his chest with her arms crossed atop it and her chin coming to rest in their crook. She watches him for a beat before she says, "I got lucky, didn't I? When they sent me to that market looking for you instead of Dodd or Singh or-- hell. Most of them."
"Well, you probably would have met me _eventually_," points out Rohan. "I do show up for missions. Some of them, at least." A smile lingers around his mouth, and he reaches out to gently touch the tip of her nose. Boop. "Although I am a lot easier on the eyes than Dodd, at least."
"You're a lot easier on a lot of things," Ciel tells him, wrinkling her nose under the touch of his boop. Her smile slants quiet and a little wistful, and her gaze slips away as she admits, "I'm not sure I could do this, if it were all--" She breaks off and gives a little shake of her head, her hair shifting in heavy waves against the bare curve of her shoulder.
"Well, I run headlong into doors a lot less than he does," says Rohan lightly. His hand falls away, tangles into her hair again. "If what were all?" He sounds a touch confused.
Ciel is quiet for a moment, tilting her head into the touch of his fingers in silent encouragement. Eventually she drags her gaze back to his and says, "It's not exactly my dream job, Ro. I never thought I'd be here."
"It's not mine, either," admits Rohan, lightly running fingers over her scalp. "But--people like us have only so many options. It pays. We haven't died yet."
"Yeah," Ciel breathes, and for a moment she manages a smile that almost feels sincere. She turns her head, letting her cheek rest against his stomach as she turns away to give him better access for hair stroking. Her breath comes in deep, a rush of air into her chest. Eventually, she asks, "So what would you be doing? If you could.
There is a very long silence. Rohan's fingers never falter in their stroking, gentle pressure against her head. Finally, he says, "I wanted to be a history teacher once, if you can believe it? "
From the exhale of her laughter, warm against his skin, it seems likely that she cannot. "Seriously?" she says. "Did you go to /college/, Ainsworth?"
"Well," says Rohan. "Sort of? I mean...I didn't finish."
Ciel's laughter fades, and she pushes up, the better to turn her head and look down at him. Her expression is quietly tentative when she asks, "Did shit happen?"
Rohan's expression is dark, almost pensive. It is a strange look on him. "Yes," he says, after a long silence. "Shit happened. Shit always does."
Ciel turns, crawling her way up the length of him to find him for a slow kiss, press quiet to the corner of his mouth. "Fuck this world sometimes," she says, harsh and dark. "Just-- /fuck it/. You know?"
Rohan draws a deep breath, deep and a little ragged. He wraps his arms about her. "Fuck it," he says, almost savagely. "Fuck it all. You and me, Sky--that's all we need."
Ciel curls silent against him for a moment, her arm draped across his hip. And then she lightens her voice to say, "And tandoori chicken. And a really fast bike. Rum. Cigarettes. /Showers/."
"Now you're getting downright demanding, Sky," Rohan tells her, but there is a laugh in his voice. He cuddles her close and murmurs, "Now, about that shower..."
"Dibs," Ciel answers, and leans in to place a quick peck on his lips before she slips away, grinning, to grab the shower before he can."That's not fair," protests Rohan, for some definition of fair, but he follows, for some new negotiations, these ones involving some very steamy water.