A fic to get things started! This was originally a birthday present for commoncomitatus. Enjoy!
Summary: My take on how Scotty got Kat to agree to the coffee scene in "Wings." Spoilers through that episode. This isn't necessarily shippy, although you're welcome to interpret it as such.
Rating: T; nothing objectionable
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Unfortunately.
Let Me Call You Sweetheartxml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"
“Oh, hell, no,” Kat Miller spat, fixing Scotty Valens with a look of complete and utter disbelief. “Hell no,” she repeated. Her head shook almost violently back and forth, the raven twists of her hair fluttering out around her shoulders.
Scotty rolled his eyes. “C’mon, Miller,” he coaxed with what he hoped was an encouraging smile. “It’s just an act. You know that.”
“I don’t give a rat’s ass what it is,” she griped, slapping the file down on the desk in front of her colleague and glaring at him menacingly. “I ain’t doin’ it.”
“It’s just---“ he began by way of reassurance, but she cut him off.
“Huh-uh,” she refused again, her eyes locked on his. “Not gonna happen. Go ask Lil.”
“Lil?” Scotty asked with a chuckle. “What the hell makes you think Lil would---?”
“What the hell makes you think I would?” she challenged, her eyes shooting sparks.
Scotty sighed. He’d expected Kat to put up a fight; hell, he would’ve had to be completely insane not to. He’d geared himself up for her objections, but he hadn’t expected those objections to be this strenuous.
“All I’m askin’ is---“ he began again.
“No,” she repeated firmly, folding her arms across her chest. “Thousands upon thousands of feminists and civil rights workers didn’t give their lives or rot in jail so I can help your sorry ass solve a case by pretendin’ to be Mammy from Gone With The Wind.”
“For God’s sake, Kat,” Scotty replied in utter exasperation. “It’s a two-second bit. One and done. A cuppa coffee. That’s all I’m askin’. I ain’t tryin’ to undo decades of progress, I’m just tryin’ to solve a case here. Now, for the love of God, get off the soapbox and do your damn job.”
“My job?” Kat repeated incredulously. “My job? You got any idea how damn lucky I am to have this job in the first place? No way in hell am I gonna be all subservient and---just---no!” she sputtered.
A sudden bit of inspiration struck Scotty, and he smiled inwardly while issuing a sigh of mock defeat. “Yeah, you’re right,” he relented, picking up the file and glancing through it.
Kat froze. He was giving in…backing down completely. She hastily scrolled through the last few moments, trying to figure out which of her powerfully convincing arguments had cut him off at the knees.
“Right about what?” she couldn’t help but ask, eyeing her colleague with suspicion.
Scotty’s inward grin widened, though he managed to keep his sense of triumph from touching his face.
“You’re right,” he muttered, turning a page in the file. “You couldn’t do subservient if your life depended on it.”
Kat bristled. “What the hell’s that supposed to mean?” she demanded.
Scotty grinned then, that arrogant, obnoxious grin she’d come to know and hate, his dark eyes twinkling with mischief. “Means you can’t act for shit,” he informed her.
“Wanna bet?” she challenged, the words out of her mouth before her brain had a chance to process whether or not there was even the slightest chance it was a good idea.
Scotty chuckled. This was even easier than he’d expected it to be.
“Nah,” he replied with a shrug, still poring over the notes he held in his hand. “I ain’t gonna take advantage of you like that. I ain’t that guy.”
He was startled by the slap of Kat’s hand on his desk, a crisp twenty-dollar bill beneath it, and he glanced up in surprise. He really hadn’t expected it to be this easy.
“C’mon, Valens,” Kat she urged with a defiant stare. “Afraid of losin’ to a girl?”
“No,” Scotty answered evenly. “Just don’t like takin’ money from people that easy. I like to earn it.”
“Won’t be easy, I can tell you that much,” Kat replied, hands on her hips.
“Thought you didn’t do subservient,” he shot back, grinning mischievously. “Feminists and civil rights and all that.”
“When there’s money on the line,” Kat answered with a grin, “I’ll do all kinds of things.”
Scotty’s lips curved in a wicked smile. “Really?” he asked before he could stop himself, and Kat responded by socking him in the shoulder with a viciousness that stole his breath.
“Owww,” he protested with a barely concealed grimace as he rubbed the newly-tender spot on his bicep. He’d been lucky to escape his last encounter with Kat’s fist without a bruise, but he wasn’t so sure he’d be quite as fortunate this time.
“You in or not?” she demanded, and Scotty, still wincing in pain, reached for his wallet and added his own twenty to the pile.
Kat paused by the coffee maker, carafe at the ready, her eyes on Stillman’s office. She’d show Scotty a thing or two. He said she couldn’t act, she reminded herself, bristling anew at the challenge. She could act, dammit. She could act with the best of ‘em. Especially when forty dollars were on the line.
Scotty had briefed her on this former pilot, this chauvinist pig he needed to interview. Kat briefly wondered why Vera hadn’t been the one chosen for the job. Granted, he and Valens were both jackasses, but she had to hand it to Scotty: he was far more of a gentleman than a chauvinist. Even if he had the same opinions Vera did, he knew better than to voice them. At least around her.
She watched as Scotty strolled into Stillman’s office and made chitchat with Rowland Hughes, the steam from the coffee rising as she began to fill Scotty’s favorite mug. She couldn’t make out all of their conversation, nor could she see Scotty’s face, but his demeanor; the casualness of his steps, the set of his shoulders, told her that Valens was playing the part to the hilt, and Hughes was falling right into his trap. Kat busied herself with pouring the coffee, not wanting to hear any more of the conversation than she had to. She could act, and act damn well, but listening to that conversation definitely wouldn’t help her efforts.
As she topped off Scotty’s mug, she thought briefly about fixing the coffee just the way he liked it. Valens was known for his particular preferences with coffee, incessantly tinkering with the office coffee until he got the ratios just right; one cream, one and a half packets of sugar, stirred for precisely fifteen seconds, then one more dollop of cream just to round things out. She reached for the creamer, but then stopped herself. He wants his coffee his way, he can fix it his own damn self, she mused, retracting her hand from the creamer, turning around, and heading for Stillman’s office.
“I’d hand in my badge any day to have wings back then,” Scotty was saying as she approached, his voice smooth and velvety. Damn, he was good. “I mean, the women you musta had, droppin’ at your feet,” he continued with a chuckle.
So this was the angle he wanted to take. Not just subservient. No. He wanted her to act like a stewardess from the ‘60s. Kat felt her jaw clench, then she forced her lips into a seductive smile. If he wanted that, well…that was what he’d get, she decided, as she unbuttoned another couple buttons on her blouse.
“Times we won’t see repeated,” Hughes responded, almost wistfully. Kat felt her grip on Scotty’s coffee mug tighten, then made her move, stealing almost silently into Stillman’s office.
“Detective Valens,” she said, her voice soft, almost husky.
Scotty turned when he heard the door open, and was startled to hear the tone of his colleague’s voice and the exaggerated sway of her hips as she sauntered toward him holding out his favorite coffee mug.
“Coffee?” she asked delicately, with just a hint of mischief.
“Oh,” he replied softly, with the seductive tone and cocky grin he usually saved for women in the bar, then, after a pause, added an impulsive, “Thanks, Sweetheart.”
If she was the least bit discomfited by his use of the endearment, she didn’t let it show, and as he raised the coffee mug to his lips, Scotty wasn’t sure what startled him more: the fact that she could, indeed, do subservient, the fact that she’d apparently read the situation and added a heavy dose of flirtatiousness to the mix, or the fact that Kat Miller could do flirtatious in the first place. Quite well, he added, as he noticed, to his utter surprise, that she’d undone a couple extra buttons on her blouse and was fixing him with a look of doe-eyed adoration, one that he’d never before seen from her, not even the night he rescued her from her drunken disaster of a blind date, and one that he was damn sure he’d never see again. Ever.
A couple hours later, Kat returned to the squad room and settled at her desk briefly. She felt a pair of dark eyes on her, and when she glanced up, she saw Scotty glancing up at her, his trademark pouty six-year-old expression firmly plastered across his face.
“Coffee left a little to be desired,” he informed her petulantly.
“Yeah, yeah, I know, cream, sugar, more cream, shaken, not stirred,” she scoffed. “You want your coffee your way, fix it yourself.”
Scotty chuckled. She had a point, though he was surprised that she knew his coffee ritual down to that much detail. “Thanks anyway…sweetheart,” he teased, with a grin and a roguish wink.
“You better stop that,” Kat ordered with a glare, though she couldn’t hide her own smile. “Now.”
“It worked, y’know,” he replied lightly. “Got a lot outta Hughes.”
“Yeah?” Kat asked, arching a brow as she perched on Scotty’s desk and started leafing through his notes.
“Yeah,” Scotty answered with another grin. “Said somethin’ about puttin’ a whole buncha women in an aluminum tube…hormones ragin’, claws come out…”
Kat snorted in disgust and glared at Scotty. “I need a shower after that,” she declared with a shudder.
“Times we won’t see repeated, Kat,” Scotty replied, scrawling his signature across the bottom of the interview report. “Least…not anywhere outside this office,” he added with another grin.
“Y’know, I almost feel dirty takin’ your money,” she informed him slyly. “Almost.”
“The hell’s that supposed to mean?” Scotty asked in reply.
“You forgettin’ about our bet, Valens?” Kat demanded. Had that chauvinist pig so warped her colleague’s brain that he’d forgotten he owed her forty dollars, money that she was loath to accept, especially since she could hear those aforementioned feminists and civil rights activists beginning to rotate in their graves? She paused, wondering if perhaps she should let her principles be her guide…but, dammit…a bet was a bet. One that she’d won fair and square.
Crap, Scotty thought as he looked up and saw the expectant twinkle in Kat’s dark eyes. He had, in fact, forgotten completely about the forty dollars that resided in his top drawer.
Kat realized, by the startled expression in her colleague’s eyes, that, yes, he had forgotten, and with that, she pounced. She slid off the desk, turned around, and leaned against it, mere inches away from Scotty.
“You did forget,” she informed him, her voice smooth and velvety. “I was so damn convincing that you completely forgot it was an act,” she continued.
Scotty sighed in defeat. She was right. Completely and totally right.
“You got me, Miller,” he replied, fishing the money out of his desk drawer. “Gotta hand it to you…you flirt with the best of ‘em.”
“Damn straight,” she agreed, reaching for the money, but Scotty was just a bit too quick for her and retracted the cash, leaving her swiping at thin air.
“Still are,” he declared cockily.
“I am not flirting with your sorry ass,” she retorted heatedly, her eyes blazing.
“No?” Scotty answered teasingly.
“No,” she shot back defiantly. “Besides…you called me ‘sweetheart,’ again. Just now. The hell was that?” she demanded.
Scotty shrugged nonchalantly. “Just respondin’ to those buttons on your blouse,” he remarked with a jovial smile.
Buttons? What buttons? Kat glanced down and realized, to her utter and abject horror, that the buttons on her blouse were, in fact, still undone. Completely unintentionally. And she’d been leaning on the desk, right in his line of sight…
Hastily, she buttoned up the blouse, grateful that her dark skin wouldn’t reveal the fiery blush she could feel rising into her cheeks.
“Gotta say, you went all out,” Scotty admitted, his grin growing more and more cocky by the minute. “Played the part to perfection. You really earned this,” he said, gesturing with the pair of twenties he held in his hand.
“Then gimme my cash,” she ordered him, snatching it out of his hand and stuffing it in her pocket before he even had a chance to protest. “And you said I couldn’t act,” she muttered angrily, trying to regain the upper hand, or, failing that, some semblance of dignity.
“Oh, I knew you could act,” Scotty replied. “Knew that all along.”
“So this whole thing was---?” she spat in disbelief, her eyes wide.
“Yep,” he said, leaning back in his chair and grinning at her again.
That cocky, shit-eating bastard. He’d been manipulating her this whole time.
“You suck, Valens,” she informed him angrily, gathering up her files and preparing to leave. “And you’re damn lucky I didn’t poison that coffee of yours.”
Scotty grinned. He hadn’t forgotten that threat of hers from a few weeks ago. Better watch what you drink, she’d said, sort of teasingly, although he had to admit he’d paused thoughtfully before taking the next sip of his coffee.
“You wouldn’t dare,” he called after her with far more confidence than he felt.
Kat stopped and turned back to face him. “Why’s that?” she challenged.
“You’d be out your designated driver,” he shot back with yet another cocky grin.
“You are never gonna let me live that down, are you?” she asked rhetorically, smiling with self-deprecating amusement.
“You kiddin’ me?” he replied cheerfully. “It was your finest hour.”
She held up a hand as she left the office, signaling that she wasn’t going to fight him on this one. But she did have one parting shot, as Scotty had known she would, though he was thoroughly unprepared for what, exactly, it was.
“Oh, and Valens,” she called over her shoulder as she left the office. “Eyes off my ass.”
Dammit. Realizing he’d been caught red-handed, Scotty returned to his paperwork with a rueful chuckle.