ashmusing: (Default)
Ash ([personal profile] ashmusing) wrote2010-11-25 11:16 pm
Entry tags:

FIC: Respect Me In The Morning (Avatar)

TITLE: Respect Me In The Morning
FANDOM: James Cameron's Avatar
CHARACTERS: Max Patel, Trudy Chacon
PAIRINGS: friendship!Max/Trudy
WORDS: 828
SUMMARY: The morning after one of Max and Trudy's Conferences On How To Handle Grace, Max wakes up to a shrieking alarm, a hangover, and a half-naked Trudy.
A/N: Originally this was supposed to be a brief joke in another (and yet to be finished) story, but then it demanded to be written.
For those who are curious, the tattoo on Trudy's back is the motto of the infantry battalion I've assigned her in my personal!canon.

Respect Me In The Morning

Max wakes up to the following; a shrieking alarm, a hangover, and a half-naked woman on his couch. He hits the alarm, rolls over in his bed, and then goes very, very still as the last thing emblazons itself across his brain.

“That's the second time it's gone off, Max,” Trudy says. Her tone even enough that he suspects she's plotting to throw the alarm into the wall next time it dares to go off. Or he dares to let it go off, he hasn't decided.

Which brings him straight back to the fact that Trudy Chacon is sitting on his couch wearing regulation black briefs, a regulation white bra, and nothing else.

Well. That's not quite true: Her hair is wrapped up in a towel. And he has, actually, seen her in less. Without the underwear. Definitely without the towel.

“ much moonshine did we drink?” Max asks at last, once his head has settled down. It's a jackhammer through the skull, slightly more bearable than being spun around on a centrifuge.

“Half the bottle.” The pilot doesn't even look up from where she is writing? sketching? on her notebook. “You had more,” she adds, and her mouth dimples into a smile. Actually dimples.

“Thank you,” he tells her.


“Attempting to preserve my dignity.”

“Men are fragile creatures. I figured I had to try.”

Max decides that, all things considered, it'd be better if he didn't answer that. “How's your memory of last night?”

She lifts a hand and tilts it this way and that. So-so.

“You've got no idea how our Conference On Grace went.”

“...we ended up having drunken sex,” she says, pulling the towel off her head and shaking out her mostly dry curls. “How do you think it went?”

“Not celebratory.” As, you know, a guess. Still, his voice lilts up at the end to form a question.

“Max. It's Grace Augustine. We can never win.

He reflects on that for a moment. As much as he can reflect on anything around just how awful he feels and all that bare skin of hers. “I can't tell if you are joking or not,” he finishes, and she snorts with laughter before she rolls to her feet. He'd noticed the scars last night – mostly on her legs, the worst on her torso where someone had once tried to stab her (he thinks). And he'd noticed the tattoos, both of them; a stylised tiger on her hip, the words 'second to none' scrawled down her spine. He wonders if asking about them would just highlight the fact that he's seen them. Touched them. Ran his hands over them. Best not to ask.

Which...he isn't entirely sure makes sense. This makes sense, though; pulling his pillow across his face. Ah, blessed darkness.

He can hear her rustling about, finding her clothes, trying not to thump her combat-boots too much on the hard floor.

“Remember where I put my gun?”


“Thank you.” There is silence, and then a soft laugh. “You're a big baby, Max Patel.”

It's all right for her. She's a Marine. She's tough-as-nails and could probably down the entire bottle while remaining impossibly glamorous and sexily competent. Not like him. It's been far, far too many years since the days of university and the ability to ace medical exams while still drunk.

Whoa, hang on. Sexily competent. Not a good train of thought to be running down. Friend. Work colleague. Friend. Necessary other half to his operation to keep Augustine on the rails. This whole thing was not happening again, because sex makes things complicated.

So he gives her the finger, just to show that everything is normal. He gets her witch's cackle of a laugh in reply, and around the edges of the pillow, he can see she's turned the lights to the dimmest setting possible while still being on. Without windows, the lights are rarely actually turned off.

“Later, Patel.”

“We need to talk. About. This.”

He knows her well enough that he can see her expression, narrowed eyes and raised eyebrows and lips pressed together. “Don't worry, Max. I still respect you. Recover. Then we'll talk.”

“Okay.” He hears the door shut behind her, and lets out a long breath. He'll give himself another hour. Maybe two. Then he'll be fine. Then he'll track her down and sort out the ramifications for tumbling into bed with the science pilot. The really hot, fantastic in bed science pilot. From what he remembers.

Not that he is going to think about that. Oh, no. No, he is not. That would be awkward, and Max Patel is a man who seeks in all things to smooth out awkwardness.

Well. Maybe he could think about it sometimes. When no one else is around. He is, after all, only human.

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