Disclaimer: We'd probably all like to own the franchise, but we don't. We have to content ourselves with playing nicely with other people's toys.
Author's Notes: Thanks to my beta rysler. Eat, drink, be merry and read lots.
Summary: Jennifer's still in medical school when she has an encounter with Aiden, who's about to join the Marines.
She should never have let Maree and Stacey talk her into going clubbing with them, but the desire to fit in with her peers had overridden her common sense and she'd let them get her a fake ID. It was okay for them, they were legal; she couldn't help being so many years younger. They'd laughed and told her not to worry, that they'd take care of everything, just like they'd taken her shopping and persuaded her to spend a large portion of her allowance on a little black dress that showed off her legs and shoes with heels so high she'd had to practice walking in them for three days to be sure she wouldn't end up in Emergency with a bi-malleolar fracture of her ankle. As a matter of course she'd mentally reviewed the Weber and Lauge Hansen classifications of ankle fractures as she wobbled along the hallway. By the time she'd progressed to basic dance moves, she'd covered the surgical procedures for pinning and plating, while rehab and the rarer unfavorable outcomes took care of some more advanced steps and suddenly she was looking forward to going.
Janice Keeler looked nothing like Jennifer Keller, she'd protested when Stacey handed over her new ID. She'd never make it past the door, she'd wailed, but she did. The bouncer had barely glanced at their cards, exactly as Stacey had promised. They didn't examine things too closely at Farpoint.
Maree bought the first round of drinks. Cherry, thought Jennifer as she squinted at her glass. It was a pretty pink, whatever it was.
"I thought you'd like to start with a Pink Lady," said Maree and grinned.
"Mar-ee," groaned Jennifer. The three of them had talked shop during the taxi ride to Farpoint and Jennifer had commented disbelievingly at the number of 'pink ladies' she'd administered during her last shift. She'd almost suspected her seniors of taking part in a conspiracy to see whether she could speedily differentially diagnose cardiac and gastrointestinal problems. Thankfully this concoction in no way resembled the mixture of xylocaine viscous and liquid antacid she'd handed out and she'd been spot on with her differentials every time.
"Come on, drink up and let's dance!"
Jennifer hesitated and then shrugged. She was here to have fun, and reasoning it was safer to leave an empty glass than come back to a potentially spiked drink, she raised her glass. "Cheers!" she toasted, downed the contents and followed her friends onto the dance floor.
"Are you sure I'm supposed to drink it?" asked Jennifer when Stacey handed her what looked like a cocktail glass of fabric softener.
"It's a Bluetail Fly. Tastes better than it looks."
"Mmm mmm," agreed Maree.
It did. Jennifer had planned to order her favorite Old-fashioned when it was her turn to shout, but an earnest conversation with the bartender saw her bring three Green Oranges back to their table with the layers undisturbed.
"You'll make a brilliant surgeon yet, with those steady hands," prophesied Maree. "To Jennifer, trauma surgeon extraordinaire!"
"To Jennifer," echoed Stacey.
Jennifer blushed. "To the best pediatrician and best rheumatologist," she returned.
With their arms around one another, they returned to the dance floor.
"He's hot," shouted Maree, indicating a tall, blond man who gyrated energetically a dozen feet away.
"Go for it!" encouraged Stacey.
Jennifer nodded and smiled in agreement as she moved uninhibitedly, marveling at her ability to dance in her shoes. Her happiness faded some time later when, abandoned by Stacey who was intent on pursuing a potential conquest of her own, she backed into someone and felt her left ankle give as they pushed her away. She hobbled back to her seat, letting out a soft moan as she eased herself down. The room spun slowly and she closed her eyes.
"You'll be okay, won't you?" Maree appeared suddenly at Jennifer's side and grabbed her jacket and purse with one hand while pointing to the blond who waited for her. "I'm going with Jeremy. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Maree...my ankle...." It was too late. Maree had whirled away, clutching Jeremy's arm. At least Jennifer could rest her foot on Maree's chair. A curse escaped her lips when she knocked her ankle against the leg of the chair.
"That looks painful."
"Um, yes. It is rather." She looked up at the person who'd spoken and blinked rapidly. It was hard to focus. "Ah...."
"Can I get you something?"
"Er...." Damn. She sounded like the somewhat drunk, under-age person she was instead of someone sophisticated, worldly, cool. Cool. That was what she needed. "Ice," she murmured. "ICE." Their drinks had contained ice. She could wrap some cubes in her handkerchief, she thought, her mind partially clearing as her medical instincts kicked in. She gloated at her forethought in reviewing ankle injuries, although she didn't believe she'd fractured hers. The glasses were empty and she remembered the presence of the young man standing next to her. "I don't suppose you could get me an ice-pack?"
She bent forward to examine her ankle. Maree and Stacey had laughed at her for always carrying a man's handkerchief, but the cotton squares were larger than the typical woman's lace-edged thing and often more practical than tissues, although she carried those too. Case in point - she had a ready-made triangular bandage.
"Ouch!" She probed the area with gentle fingers. Where was that man with the ice?
"That's not an icepack!" exclaimed Jennifer when she felt a glass in her hand instead of the flexible pack she'd expected.
"Sorry. This was the best I could do."
"You'd think a place like Farpoint would have icepacks," she grumbled as she fished out enough cubes to wrap in her handkerchief. Now how was she going to secure her makeshift icepack to her ankle, which was discoloring even as she worked?
"Here." A pale blue handkerchief landed on her lap. "Use this. I'm sorry I couldn't get an icepack. Farpoint takes any injuries incurred on its premises seriously."
"And so they should." With her shoe off, she rapidly secured the wrapped ice to her ankle, noted the time on her watch and finally looked up to check out more closely her would-be knight in shining armor. "Thank you for your assistance," she said formally and held out her hand.
"You're welcome. I'm Aiden."
Her hand was shaken vigorously and Aiden took Stacey's seat, which Jennifer realized was bare of Stacey's belongings. He must have been inferno-hot as Stacey hadn't even stopped to say goodbye. It would appear she was here on her own...or maybe not. She had someone to talk to right here.
"Hi, Aiden," she responded. "I hope you told the bartender to add an icepack or two to his next order. Fancy not having some sort of chill pack in the freezer! I'm sure I'm not the only person to have needed an ice pack. Why, I could think of a dozen reasons straight away." Jennifer held up a hand and began checking off on her fingers, "Headache, black eye, blood nose-," even as she gave a mental groan and told herself to stop rambling. This was no way to impress Aiden. "I'm sure you get the picture," she interrupted her spiel and laughed. "I hope their first aid kit is better stocked. I've a good mind to go over and ask. Say, can I buy you a drink? In appreciation of your help."
"How about I get the drinks? You should rest that for a while."
He was gone before she could tell him she'd kill for a coffee. At least her runaway tongue didn't seem to have scared him off.
"My grandmother swears by a cup of tea after a spraining an ankle. Actually, she swears by nice cup of tea for practically everything," said Aiden as Jennifer eyed the steam rising from the cup he placed in front of her. "I hope you don't mind. I'm having one too."
Tea wasn't her preferred beverage, but there was research which backed up Aiden's grandmother's tea theory, so she nodded her agreement and raised the cup to her lips. She blinked at the sweetness; it tasted as though someone had added half the contents of a sugar bowl to it.
"You haven't told be your name."
"Jen-Jan," she corrected hastily, remembering Maree had reminded her several times to call herself Janice on the off chance her ID was checked.
"Jen-jan. That's an unusual name."
"It's Janice, but my friends call me Jen for short," she extemporized, hoping the guilty flush she could feel warming her cheeks wasn't obvious in the club's lighting.
"Then I'll call you Jen too."
Jennifer forgot the pain in her ankle as she found herself laughing with Aiden. Her gaze flickered from his sparkling brown eyes to his lips. She'd come here with Maree and Stacey with the intention of meeting someone and it seemed she had. It was time to put into practice some of the things they'd taught her about flirting. Flipping her hair - check, check and check again. Playing with her jewelry - ditto. Smile. Eye contact. Use his name a lot. Conversation topics to interest him. When he eventually found out she'd been abandoned by her friends and offered to see her home, she congratulated herself on how well she'd learnt her lessons and she hadn't even got to the harder stuff.
"Urgh." She examined the soggy mess at her ankle where the ice cubes had melted as they made preparations to leave. "I'll have to re-bandage this."
"Let me. I did a first aid course last month. My grandparents thought it would be a good thing for a Marine to know."
"You're a Marine? You -," don't look old enough, she finished silently, and gave herself a mental kick. That would explain the lack of an ice pack; no sense risking being found to be under age. He wouldn't have wanted to give his details. "You didn't mention that. Are you on leave?" she asked hastily.
"I'm here visiting family. My uncle manages the More Than A Bang firework company. We make things go off with more than a bang! I'm sure you've heard of them? It's practically the family motto, making things go bang."
"I'm sure you live up to the family motto."
There was something about Aiden's answering smirk that confirmed her belief he was younger than he made out, not that she could talk. It was probably a good thing he'd stuck with the ice. "Here." She shifted her foot. "If you'd do the honors?" He had nice hands, she thought as she watched him. Hands that could potentially make her go off with more than a bang. When his hands wandered up her calf, she didn't rebuke him; instead she turned her leg a little, encouraging his fingers to stroke her knee. A small part of her brain stored the range of emotions she'd felt when she touched of the tip of her tongue to her top lip - tomorrow would be soon enough to analyze the how and whys of her body's automatic response, that she hadn't needed to think about what she should be doing next and whether she was doing it right. Obviously she was, if Aiden's body language was anything to go by. When she started cataloguing his dilated pupils and quickened respiration, she gave a mental slap, told her brain to shut up and leaned forward to kiss him instead.
All Jennifer could do was blink when they finally drew apart. She came to a decision as she waited for her heart rate to slow - there was no way she'd not be taking Aiden home with her. "We should go now."
Aiden nodded. Solemnly he helped fit her shoe back on and gather her things, then with his grin firmly back in place, he offered her his arm.
She barely noticed her ankle as they dodged dancers and staff. Outside, the cool night air raised goose-bumps on her arms. They laughed over the antics of some of the dancers as they walked the three blocks to the car. Sleek, sporty and red, it belonged to his cousin, who was at a pyrotechnic convention in Maryland and had offered Aiden its use for the week.
"I wish my friends could see me now!" Jennifer pretended she was a star arriving at a prestigious awards ceremony. Her careful posturing was spoilt as she tripped and fell into Aiden's arms.
"Got you!" he exclaimed cheerfully. "Here."
It seemed only natural to exchange another kiss as he steadied her. "Wait," she panted eventually. Using one of his arms to steady herself, she bent forward and removed her shoes. "Before there's another accident. Come on in."
Grateful for her ability to make split-second decisions, Jennifer spun around as soon as the door closed. She dispensed with proper manners. Dismissed the polite offer of coffee or something else to drink. Forgot to suggest he have a seat. They both knew why they were here. It was unlikely they'd ever see one another again, so she was going to grab this opportunity with both hands and do the things Maree and Stacey said they did, albeit safely.
She reached up and pulled his face to hers. More kissing was good. His hands running up and down her body was better. She edged him in the direction of the sitting room. When he toppled back onto the divan, she fell on top of him.
"Mmm. Yes, oh, yes," she moaned when he nipped at her collar bone.
Buttons. She had to undo his buttons to get to his skin. The urge to feel skin on skin was something else she'd think about later; she hadn't felt anything quite like it in either of her previous experiences. Her dress hitched around her hips as she wriggled until she knelt astride his thighs. His hands were warm where they cupped her buttocks, settling her more firmly against his erection that strained at his zipper.
Somehow she got his shirt undone without ripping off any buttons. She licked her lips as she surveyed the smooth expanse of dark skin that for now was all hers. With the tip of one index finger, she circled one of Aiden's nipples and then the other. Good, she decided, when he shivered and groaned. Better, she thought, when she bent and took one in her mouth. With Mark, things had been over too quickly, while Franco hadn't even taken his t-shirt off.
Remember, you're the director. Maree's instructions echoed in her mind. Tell him what you like.
She'll say penis and vagina, or possibly vulva, Stephanie had protested. Nothing kills the moment like an anatomical discourse. Just take his hand, put it where you want it and even you should be able to manage 'faster' or 'slower'. Look, like this. Here, Maree, help me show her.
They'd giggled their way through Jennifer's 'adult education classes', as they'd teasingly referred to their plan to get her successfully laid. Nobody, they insisted, referred to anything down there by its proper name. They marveled how she'd managed to get so far through a medical degree, let alone high school and still be too embarrassed to say cock aloud. It had taken several drinks before she could manage even 'dick' and 'pussy' without flushing and stammering.
For now she'd stick with more, yes, faster and slower, all of which she was pleased to discover worked fine, thank you very much. Three times, to her immense satisfaction, as well as twice to Aiden's.
At dawn she'd made toast and coffee for both of them then hustled Aiden out, pleading an early start at work. In reality she had the day off - perfect for a long soak in the bath and a private replay of their encounter. As she waited for the tub to fill she began to plan exactly what she'd share with Stacey and Maree.