AN: So, ages ago, I put on my profile that I'd be interested in seeing some Scaramouche/Khashoggi stuff around here. Thessaly, who seems to have disappeared (taking some pretty incredible writing away from us), PM'd me and mentioned that it sounded pretty interesting.

I've been working on this for a little while, and I'd be interested in seeing what people think of it. As of right now it only has 2 chapters, and I'm not the sort of organised person who ever actually manages to finish a multi-chapter fic; but if anyone seems to like it, I'll make it more of a priority.

It's difficult to explain, because it doesn't even make sense to her. Not really. She's a character of reason, he tells her, and it's usually a throwaway comment because he doesn't seem to understand the effect it has on her when he gives compliments. Even when they're not disguised as a snide remark. Especially then.

Most of the time they spent together is in the office –and this is regular time, completely innocuous, time when we're both working and there's no conversation, but the air still hums with the chorus of technology lining the shelves like an aluminium and carbon fibre plated army, ready for the next lot of cyber-goons who take their chance at ruling an entire empire based online. (Or not.) It mirrors the hum that she really hopes she isn't imagining that throbs in the air like the tiny netted capillaries that seem to tighten in her chest every time she sees him; and actually, truth be told she'd rather they didn't, because –

Because it feels really fucking wrong, because he's dating her best friend. The one who helped find her when she was more lost than she'd ever been, with the so-called saviour of the world slumping along behind her and spouting nonsense every few steps, giving her little glares as if he'd expected his first real audience to be somewhat more reverent. Fat chance. Whereas the first time she'd met him –

Well, they didn't talk about that. Covered in scrapes and scars with a broken nose and a black eye, he cut a damn fine imposing silhouette, glancing up at her with grey eyes that she (still) associated with fear, and darkness, and fuckloads of concrete walls, and making her heart skip a little beat. They had barely spoken, after that first brief snipe of a conversation laced so heavily with sarcasm that it had made her brain sing (because after so much time with Gazz, she found herself longing for someone who could take her ratty sarcasm, cut away the ragged edges, and shoot back a reply that could cut glass, leaving her short of breath), and she had spent the night wandering around (after Gazz's efforts at reconciliation had comprised him attempting oral, which in truth had turned her on far less than Khashoggi's snapping tone), and wondering what Meat saw in him. She'd seen them wound together the next morning, passing a mug of coffee between them and looking far too smug with themselves for two people who should, by all rights, have been nursing the queen mother of all hangovers. She grabbed a clean spoon from the drawer, and simultaneously decided, quite firmly, that there was no bloody need for this –

And she hadn't counted on the fact that her heart would do this every time they so much as came into eyeshot of one another. Sitting at opposite sides of the scarred plastic tables in the grungy kitchen, occasionally passing as she left hers and Gazz's room to get something, or go to the loo, and he'd just started to climb the stairs across the balcony, and she felt the rush of hot blood at the pulse in her neck, and had to swallow a little harder than usual. Brushing against him in the corridors was a fucking nightmare, and the time he'd brushed her shoulder to get her attention to ask if she wanted a coffee, she could have sworn she nearly fainted.

Days upon days, stretching tentatively into weeks and then languidly into the hot, almost-wilting months of summer, and nothing had happened. She, never a romantic at the best of times, had almost hoped – certainly anticipated – that perhaps the heat she felt between them when she brushed against him (something she did far more than she'd ever have admitted, and would have blamed anything from hormones to dodgy insoles in the beloved red boots to avoid being caught out for), would have come to some fruition before now. The heat of the summer, even in the dry chill of their (his) underground office made her on edge, and she felt the tug in her upper back that came from sitting, tense, for so many hours, just waiting for him to say or do anything (asking her to call someone to chase figures, stats, material. Telling her to make a coffee. Giving her a quick, tetchy smile when she obliged, that she'd remembered that night with her fingers in her cunt, the mouthful of duvet muffling her whimpers) that would make the day even slightly bearable.

Scaramouche winced at the dull ache between her shoulder blades, glanced over at Khashoggi to see if he was watching (as if. He never was.), and wriggled down in her chair slightly. Nibbling at her lower lip, she began to daydream.