shallowness: Margaret Hale of North and South adaptation sitting at desk writing (Margaret North and South writing)
[personal profile] shallowness
Title: Unlike any other
Fandom: Dark Angel
Rating: PG
Pairing: Alec/OFC
Word count: 836.
First posted: August 2005

Summary: Alec knows exactly how to deploy the killer line.

Notes: Written for savage_midnight as part of the sentence for a pairing meme, who asked for Alec fic and for him to be paired with anybody. This is partly inspired by the film The Island and is set at some point in late s2. Big thanks to izabelevans and lusmeitli for the beta.

Disclaimer: These characters are not mine and I make no profit from this piece of fanfiction.


Unlike any other: shallowness


"I'll get it," he says, and pays for the second pitcher too.

When he gets back to their table, he catches her eye so that he gets a smile as she takes the pitcher of beer from him to refill their glasses. So far, so good. They're thirsty from the conversation, even if it hasn't gone as deeply as she thinks it has, flirting and flattery like ripples of water covering the fact that they've stuck to the shoals. He's asked most of the questions, she thinks that he's answered hers. And so she is still smiling as she passes him the drink, just slow enough to relinquish it that his fingers can feather over her still hand, passing over knuckles covered by soft skin. He watches her face with intent that she can't ignore.

Betty. Her name's Betty. They established that pretty early on, before they moved from the bar to the table.

"Not Betty Blue?" She usually got the Betty Boop line, he could tell from the pleased little smile that began curling on her lips. And some people said he had no finesse.

"No. My mom liked it."

"Okay. And it's pretty unique, I don't know any other Bettys."

A grimace.

"You don't like that? It suits you." The grimace vanished. He had a lot of options, but thought it better to get her smiling again. Properly this time. "Please tell me if I'm reminding you of your mother."

A laugh,

"Oh no, you're really not."

He grinned, then asked,

"And what do I remind you of?" A pause and as she was thinking, he indicated that they moved to a table he’d just seen empty. Her answer was flattering, but dead wrong.

He's still waiting for her to ask him the same question back. He knows it's coming, the opening for the killer line, the one that will clinch the deal and turn their getting on well to getting on better. The timing is important, the delivery too - just sincere enough that they believe he's noticed what they think is special about them. She will believe it and he will get what the other horny guys in Crash won't, with their too obvious lines. Unlike them, Alec knows that you always need to work it so that the girl in question believes that you want her. Her and no other. You won't be exchanging her for a pair of Swedish twins. You're potential boyfriend material.

And so he works it, pushing the conversation with smiles and nods and well-practised words, and she glides along, just as they always do...

Before they dip too deep into the second pitcher, she sits up straighter, wanting to change the easy tempo between them, with no idea that she’s been navigated into a channel that’s been plotted before,

"You asked me. Now it's my turn, what do I remind you of?"

He looks straight at her - Betty, her name is Betty - and says it out loud, sells it just right,

"You? You are one of a kind," he pauses. "Special. The way you see the world, you don't know how rare it is to find someone who's got your insight. It's a gift."

This time, he doesn't smile,

"You're unique."

She lowers her gaze, touched. She believes him enough to take him home with her...

He doesn't need to turn any lights on to find his clothes.

"You could stay." She has rolled over to the middle of the bed to watch him, but her voice is soft, drifting close to sleep, her arms too relaxed to prop her up enough for it to be an accusation. Oh, he’s good.

"I have an early shift – I’d wake you." It's a lie. Even if he were late, Normal would cut him slack, but it'll make her think he didn't plan this, that it was serendipity, not seduction. She'll remember being warm, satisfied and irresistible.

"Well, you have my number, right?" she asks, accepting.

"And you have mine," she nods at him, reassured, as if his cell phone number is some kind of promise. She's been thinking that he's been making promises to her all night.

He steps into his shoes, the point of no return, then looks up - her eyes are lightly closed, and he takes the chance to just watch her breathe. He always does this, it doesn't matter if she's a Betty or Veronica - it's a ritual of a moment. Neither does it matter how intimately he's just got to know the girl in question, he always sees a certain innocence in the prone figure lying on the bed. Oh, they're interchangeable, but they're also unique. There's never been a clone in their life, to threaten them with what they could be.

She's innocent enough to open her eyes to say good night, and though he knows she can't see well enough in the dimness to read his face, he smiles at her anyway.

He may even call this one.

FIN


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