I own nothing except this prompt. This was always meant as a challenge to myself to see if I could commit to writing a story that could be somewhat consistent. I'm not a fic writer and english isn't my first language; I also didn't have a beta besides my dear good friends letting me know I got a tense wrong and to change this or that, so please forgive any mistakes. On a side note, I've been posting my fics in the reverse writing order in here since they were all previously posted on tumblr but I couldn't find titles.
Last but not least I'd like to thank my friends for challenging, supporting, talking me into doing it and down from the ledge one too many times. And for gently bullying me every step of the way. You guys are the best.
Prompt: "You got my name on 'share a coke with...'"
Running was considered not only an exercise for her body but a reprieve for her mind, which seemed to always be cluttered and working overtime - case after case chasing clue after clue. So she ran, until her muscles burned and breathing was labored, her mind as clear as could be, heart pounding in her ears.
She'd been at it for over an hour now on a rare day off, particularly inspired by the good weather. Winter always made her glum, everything so cold and miserable, bringing back memories of a dark alley on a cold night full of despair. So she cherished the heat. And she ran, enjoying the warm air that came with spring in New York. Only a few others ventured leaving their beds so early, a few people dressed in jogging gear like she was, with their headphones firmly jammed in their ears and a couple of dogs who looked more awake than the owners that lagged behind them.
Finally stopping near a bench, she rotates her knees, stretching her thighs and feet behind herself and making sure no one was behind her, bending over to stretch her calves and toes using the bench as support, her ponytail swaying over her shoulder and against her ear.
She'd spied a street vendor a little while back, that dry feeling in her throat coming at full force demanding notice, so she circles back in search of a drink. She knows it's a bad habit, she should drink water or even juice, but she missed her morning coffee so she's craving the caffeine kick from a coke to quench her thirst.
He'd been coming to this part of the park for the past 3 days, at Alexis' insistence that he develop healthier habits, stating that a man his age should "exercise more and take care of his heart" and being a writer not justifying his need to sleep until noon and lounge around in his underwear eating cereal straight from the box. He tried not to take offense, seeing it for what it truly was: his baby girl was worried about him.
Old habits die hard, which is why he found himself parked at a street vendor's cart enjoying a cold drink after a 15 minute (exhausting) light jog that forced him to take an embarrassingly difficult lungful of air. Looking around the park, he notices the few people around, mainly a couple running in what's already becoming a distance and a woman on the other side of the park, stretching beside a bench.
He couldn't stop watching her, rays of the early morning sun catching her hair and bringing out streaks of honey and gold onto her dark tresses. He swears his heart did a backflip when she bent over to stretch her calf muscles, the material of her shirt clinging to her skin in the most tantalizing ways. He's a male with eyes, and she's wearing yoga pants and a loose top that's clinging to her sweat-soaked skin, so he's noticed her body. She's very tall, all lean curves and fit body. She probably even has a six-pack.
As if sensing his gaze burning a hole through the back of her head, urging her to turn around so he could finally see her face, she does. He takes a sip from his drink to disguise his gaping expression and immediately splutters. She's gorgeous. Even with little wisps of hair framing her face where they had fallen from her ponytail, she's the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. All high angles and strong bone structure, long lashes and perfectly arched eyebrows framing eyes he can't yet see the color of. He silently urged her to turn around, to look his way so he could finally catch a glimpse, and felt a wave of panic as she started towards him; he'd been busted, she'd noticed his staring and was coming over to confront him about it. She'd probably knee him in the groin and call the police.
She was closer now, and he could finally see her eyes: an intriguing mixture of brown and green (hazel, his mind supplied) with a multitude of golden flecks. Eyes that were not at all focused on him as he initially feared, but honed in on her destination, which happened to be the cart he was standing next to. Must be thirsty, he mused. She isn't the only one, he remarked smiling internally at his pun.
"A coke, please" came her slightly breathless voice, as she reached down to the lining at the end of her pants and produced a $5 bill. Straightening up and taking the proffered can, she popped the lid and took a long swig, sighing in satisfaction at the cool liquid hitting her parched throat.
He couldn't help himself, watching the way her throat worked to swallow as she drank, the contentment in her eyes. He had to talk to her. And as he glanced at her hand, spotted the perfect chance.
"It's rude not to share, you know." He declared with a glint in his eye.
"Excuse me?" She turned to him, brows furrowed in confusion.
"Your drink", he motioned to the can in her hand. "That's me."
"Huh," she pursed her lips, turning the can around in her hand to stare at the writing on the side. SHARE A COKE WITH RICK, it said in big bold letters. "I guess it is," she looks up at him, confusion transforming into mischief. "But you're gonna have to buy your own, Rick" she tests out his name, grinning and pushing her tongue between her teeth. Cheeky.
He loves the sound of his name on her tongue; the way she rolls the 'R', the sharpness of the 'K' resonating deliciously in his ears.
"Or maybe I can buy you a drink. The purpose of the campaign is to connect people, after all."
"Connect, huh?" From the way he's looking at her, she'd bet he has all kinds of connecting in mind. She bites her lip, tucking a stray piece of hair behind her ear and lowers her eyes, discreetly giving him a once over. She has to admit, she wouldn't be opposed to the idea.
"Well, seeing as I already have a drink," she lifts an eyebrow teasingly, fingers tracing the rim of the can and driving him to distraction, "just how do you propose we do that?"
His mind goes numb for a beat, conjuring up too many images that could answer her question. He discreetly bites the inside of his cheek to hold them back. "You could start by telling me your name."
They never get drinks. He does get to taste her mouth, and other parts of her, as their attraction towards one another proves strong and they don't even try to fight it. They crash through her front door, her lips to his neck and his hands up her shirt, and she's pretty sure her elderly neighbor from across the hall got an eyeful.
She helps him divest her of her shirt, yanking the sports bra that had been stuck to her sweaty skin over her head while toeing off her sneakers, urging him to do the same and running her fingers through his hair, nipping on the skin under his jaw. He hisses, one hand gripping her hip while the other spans up across her ribs, fingers teasing her hard nipple.
Her moan gets swallowed by his mouth against hers, her hand gripping his bicep as his fingers trace the line of her underwear, slowly slipping down to tease her folds. Trailing his mouth down the column of her throat, he nips at her collarbone, eliciting a gasp as he takes her neglected nipple into his mouth. Her hand abandons his hair to pull at his shirt and he groans at the feeling of her hands running up his back, the vibrations against her skin making her heady with arousal as the wetness pools between her legs.
Her tugs at his shirt become more insistent, and he finally disentangles himself from her skin, giving her ass a playful squeeze and lifts his arms, his shirt quickly discarded behind them. She pulls her yoga pants down her legs with an urgency that accounts for the desperation she feels and, looking over at him, laughs as she notices him doing the same with his running shorts. At least she's not the only one, he feels it too.
The air feels charged with anticipation for their joining, the desire coursing strong through their bodies. His eyes are indigo, pupils blown in arousal just like she's sure hers must be. She steps into his embrace, tilting her head towards the door indicating the way, arms around his shoulders as his hands grip her thighs and hoist her up against him as he walks them towards the bedroom.
He doesn't see her for a week after. They end up trading numbers after agreeing on a repeat of their first encounter. She's been horribly swamped, catching killers (how hot is that?), kicking ass and taking names; by end of shift she's too tired to make any plans, let along follow them through, so they settle for texting throughout the day as their working schedules allow and late-night phone calls. Her voice raspy from exhaustion sparking his memories of her calling out his name in the same breathy tone, her deep moans of encouragement seared into his brain. He enjoys the phone calls the most, her often-sleepy state allowing her to be more open with him, giving him more insight into the marvel that is her mind.
They occasionally make time for more "connecting", as they've started to call it, to relieve the tension. They've been keeping it as casual as possible, never planning their encounters, only making adjustments to times and places (after his daughter's bedtime for him, her place for her privacy and vocal needs). He's managed to stay the night a few times, at her insistence that she'd drop him off bright and early on her way to work, because she sees the worst in people every day and she wants to make sure to bring him back home safe to his daughter (he thinks he sees a shadow cloud her eyes, but it goes away as fast as it came and he dismisses the thought).
And so they develop a routine of sorts; they still don't talk about what they are, don't wanna put a label on it. He briefly toys with the idea of friends with benefits, but doesn't dare voice it out. It feels wrong, and he doesn't understand why. They've been at this for a little over two months, casual sex. There have been no dates, no drinks, no dinner. For all intents and purposes, that's what they are; but it's not what he wants them to be so he hopes that by not saying the words, he'll vanquish the idea altogether.
It's three months later when she tells him about her mother.
They're a mess of tangled limbs, sheets pushed to the foot of the bed as their still cooling bodies come back from the high, the warm evening breeze coming through her bedroom window making the air stifling, a sign of summer officially beginning.
She tells him about that fateful night in January, about sitting in the restaurant with her father, waiting for a mother that never showed. Tells him about crossing the crime scene tape that night, about how she still gets chills every time she does the same thing while on the job; tells him about her father's descent into darkness, the times she had to pick him up from bars and yank bottles from his grasp, the times she had to clean up after him as he lost control of his bodily functions, the times she sat by his bedside into the wee hours to make sure he wouldn't choke on his own vomit so she wouldn't lose another parent. She tells him about Royce, all the good stories and some of the bad, about the hurt when she realized he only saw her as the kid he was supposed to mentor, about how much it hurt when he put in his papers. Tells him about her job, about wanting to catch her mother's killer, about her precinct family: Montgomery who has been like a father ever since she joined Homicide, Lanie, her sassy ME best friend, her boys. Sweet Ryan, always there for her with a quiet support and Esposito, fiercely protective (he cringes at that) and so-very-dependable. She talks until she can't anymore, her voice hoarse and her throat aching as they stay up to watch the sun peak behind the skyscrapers. And he's enraptured by her tales, hanging onto her every word as he holds her close, as he gets the insight into the mystery of Kate Beckett.
He makes her breakfast, and they eat pancakes in bed (the fact that it's their first meal together isn't lost on either of them) while swapping embarrassing stories and funny memories, the heavy topics put away for the time being as they focus on each other; she's wearing his shirt, and he's never seen anything more beautiful. Her hair is wild, the dark waves doubled in volume from his hands running over the strands and from gripping the back of her head for better access to her mouth. He faintly remembers leaving a purple mark on the back of her neck.
She has the day off and they decide to spend it in bed, enjoying it for the gift it is. They attempt to do the dishes at one point, but he's thoroughly distracted by the sight of her bare legs framed by his button down, and it quickly becomes clear they won't get anything done in the kitchen besides a third round on the counter.
It's still early enough in the morning that his daughter won't have left for school yet, so he calls his mother to let her know he'll be home later in the day (he can almost see her grin) and to wish Alexis a good day in school. Kate's sitting across his lap, listening to his end of the conversation and marvels at the change she can feel in him when he talks with his daughter. He's always been so playful with her, sometimes coming across as slightly immature during some of their early conversations and she's amazed to see him as a father.
He's so stupidly enamored by his daughter, his voice becoming soft as he tells her stories about taking young Alexis to the park (she rolls her eyes when he mentions picking up women) and pushing her on the swings, tells her about their laser-tag tradition and how it first started, his eyes misty as he describes holding her tiny fingers around the trigger; tells her about the love when she was first placed into his arms, and about the fear when he found himself solely responsible for that tiny human being. Tells her about his mother, her eccentric ways and fierce personality, about growing up between backstage of theatre productions and boarding schools, about the solitude and about finding an outlet for it. He tells her about his writing, about his characters and some of the people they were based on. He tells her about Kyra, about the hurt he never thought he'd get over; tells her about Meredith, how their relationship started out fast and furious, until Alexis came along and how that shifted something inside of him. Tells her about their marriage, about her cheating and the divorce. He laments her choice to move to LA to pursue bigger roles while becoming a guest star in their daughter's life. He tells her about his father, how he always wondered about the man who helped bring him to life; what he looked like, how it could've been to have been raised by him, to have known him. Tells her about all the stories he came up with to make up for his absence; how he tries his hardest to always be there for his own child, trying to compensate for her mother's flighty nature so she'll never have to wonder.
She listens with rapt attention, captivated by his spoken words as she is by the ones he puts on the page, ever so eager to learn more about who he is at home, laughing at his stories about his mother. He just knows they'd get along, and the image of his mother's wit equaling Kate's makes him smile. He longs to see them interact, and makes a mental note to finally try to include her into his family life. He's told his mother about her, and she's been hinting not so subtly that he should invite Kate for dinner so she can finally meet the woman that's got her son so smitten.
There's no getting around it anymore; they're together. It's a thing. He hasn't asked her to meet his family yet but they know about her (and she knows they know). They'd been having dinner at her place on a Thursday night when she quietly admits that she has told Lanie about them, that her boys know about him. He gulps when she mentions her partners are curious, that they want to meet him and her face pales when he uses her tangent to broach the topic of his mother and daughter whom have both been dying to meet her.
In the end, they compromise. She goes to his place for dinner with his family on the weekend, and he meets her at the bar with her friends after the end of their shift. Her partners are buying, their way of making him feel welcome.
The fact that they've been together for almost 6 months and he has yet to buy her the drink he intended to when they first met isn't lost on either of them. It's in fact become a running gag between them, as it seems that no matter how many drinks (or meals) they share, those always end up coming from outside sources. He ends up buying her coffee, so they both agree to classify the drink debacle as settled.
Two summers later, he finally buys her that drink. A can of coke, with a ring taped to the top and the words "SHARE A LIFE WITH RICK" scrawled across the side.