amathela: ([farscape] john/aeryn)
Be cool, Gail. Be cool. ([personal profile] amathela) wrote2009-01-03 02:20 am

Fic: Are You Gonna Be My Girl (Farscape RPF, Ben/Claudia)

Title: Are You Gonna Be My Girl
Fandom: Farscape RPF
Pairing(s): Ben Browder/Claudia Black
Word Count: 3500
Rating: R

Summary: It's a good thing, he thinks, that John is supposed to be in love with Aeryn, or people might start asking questions. (aka. Five outfits Ben and Claudia wear, in varying degrees of ridiculousness.)

Notes: Written for [ profile] sugargroupie for [ profile] yuletide. References Crackers Don't Matter, Meltdown, Dog With Two Bones, and John Quixote, but no real spoilers.

Claudia's reaction when he comes on set is to burst out laughing. He'd take offense, except, yeah, he's seen his reflection, and he's pretty sure he has no shame or self-esteem left at this point. It doesn't take long for the others to join her, Anthony's laughter ringing out across the set while Claudia bends almost double, wiping tears - which he's pretty sure are mostly for show - from her eyes.

"You look ridiculous," she finally manages to gasp out, and Ben squares his shoulders. He could point out that the statement is completely unnecessary, because he's pretty sure everyone here can see that for themselves, but he decides to let it go. She'll get her turn, sooner or later.

He steps forward, taking a wide stance on his mark, and fixes her with a look as serious as he can manage. Not an easy task, considering. "Can we have a little professionalism here, please, Claud?"

She straightens, nodding solemnly, her lips pressed together tightly. "You're absolutely right," she says. "You definitely look the part of a hero." To her credit, she even manages to keep a straight face for the better part of a minute before she descends into laughter again, and he tries not to crack a smile as he waits for her to regain her composure. The last thing he wants to do is to have to be sent back to makeup.

By the time they start rolling, she's almost managed to pull herself together, which he supposes is good enough. He steps forward, tossing the cape back as he thrusts the sword triumphantly over his head, and steadfastly avoids meeting her eyes.

The things he does for his job.

It only takes a couple of takes before the scene is done, and when he glances over at Claudia, he can see her still trying to hide a smile. She leaves before he can approach her, which is probably for the best; the outfit he's wearing is hardly comfortable, and the paste lathered on his face is rapidly hardening. He's halfway to his trailer, reaching up to untie the cape, when he comes across her again, and she holds out a hand to stop him.

"Wait a second," she says, grinning in a way he doesn't quite trust. He stops, resisting the urge to rub at his face. "I want to take a picture."

"Oh, no," he says, taking half a step backwards as he glimpses the camera in her hands. "I'm getting this stuff off me."

"Don't you dare," she says, sounding scandalised. "This is definitely an outfit we need to preserve."

"They just captured the whole thing on film," he protests, but it's a half-hearted gesture at best. Even he can't take himself seriously looking like this.

"Then you won't mind a few photos. Now, stand still and stop scratching."

There isn't much point in arguing with her, so he stands obediently still as she raises the camera, wondering if there's any way he can convince her not to share the photos around. Probably not, he concedes, and sighs. "Happy now?"

"Ecstatic," she says, and smiles at him as she steps aside. He returns the smile good-naturedly, and as he moves off towards his trailer in pursuit of a much-needed shower, absently rubbing at his forehead, he can hear her laughter following him.


He can still remember Claudia's appraising glance the first time they put him in a Peacekeeper uniform, her smiling assurances that it would get more comfortable. He hadn't been sure whether he believed her, at the time. Now, with her leather-clad frame pressed tightly against his, it seems much easier to imagine.

She slides down onto him, soft leather creaking as she moves into position, and it's all he can do not to pull her down harder, or maybe push her off him altogether. He settles his hands on her hips, feeling the way his fingers dig into her flesh even through her clothes, and bites back a curse. A smile plays at the corner of her mouth, a glint in her eyes as if she knows what he's thinking - god, he hopes not - and he pulls her towards him, gently, his lips almost brushing hers.

It's a good thing, he thinks, that John is supposed to be in love with Aeryn, or people might start asking questions.

He can hear noises in the background, just out of his line of sight; people shuffling equipment, passing along messages. It's a welcome distraction, the knowledge that they're surrounded by people, reminders that at the end of the day, they're only playing pretend. Keeping anything from getting too out of hand. Not that he needs it, really - he's a professional, and so is she - but sometimes, it's nice to have the safeguard.

Like now, when he can feel her fingers sliding along the edge of his pants, and for once, he's glad of the tightness of the leather. She presses closer against him, her breath hot against his lips, and it would be so easy to do something stupid, throw caution to the wind and to hell with everyone watching them.

He doesn't. His hands trail up her sides as she kisses him, her lips parted, too showy to be real, and anyway, it's tough to get caught up in the moment when there's so much running through his head - his next line, his next scene - and near impossible to let his body do what it wants when it's all he can do to focus on not blocking the cameras.

Somewhere off to the side, the director calls for them to cut, and he stays in position a moment longer before letting her go. Claudia slides easily out his grasp as she stands up, and he follows her a second later, stifling a groan, trading easy smiles as if it's any other day, any other scene.

Given that he's tired, frustrated, and in desperate need of a shower, it probably it.


It's Gigi's suggestion that they go out for drinks, but Claudia's face brightens as if it's the best idea she's heard all week, and when she looks over at him, her excitement fairly palpable, it doesn't take him long to agree.

The place Gigi picks isn't far from the studio, dimly lit and crowded enough that nobody pays them much attention. Claudia takes his hand for a second as she pulls him over towards an empty booth on the far side of the room, and he glances over as Gigi and Anthony go to get drinks. He can't help brushing a stray lock of hair away from her face as they sit, watching the way it falls across her shoulder, strikingly black against the red of her dress.

"You look nice," he says, leaning in closer so he doesn't have to shout, and she tilts her head up towards him.

"I know," she says, and he laughs. The truth is, she looks stunning, but he's not quite sure it's his place to elaborate that far. He's doing the best he can not to stare, as it is.

The others come back with drinks a few minutes later, and Claudia squeezes over, pressing the warmth of her body into his. He drapes an arm across the back of the seat to give her more room, and she scoots a little closer as he reaches for his drink.

As the night goes on, they all start to get progressively louder, the noise of the bar pressing in as it fills with people. Ben's hand intermittently taps out the beat of the ambient music on the back of the booth, sometimes trailing along Claudia's shoulder, almost absently fiddling with the strap of her dress. Her hand is on his knee, squeezing tightly on occasion as she laughs along with Gigi's stories, and if she notices or minds the fact that she's practically sitting in his lap, she doesn't say anything.

As the music stops, changes to something faster, Gigi grins delightedly, pulling Anthony with her as she jumps up and half-stumbles towards the dance floor. Claudia turns to him, her face closer than he realised, and her nose almost bumps his. For a second, she doesn't say anything, and then she starts laughing, the high, aimless amusement of too much alcohol, and he has to struggle not to join in. He takes a deep breath as she leans forward, close enough almost to rest her forehead against his, and he tries to pull himself under control. It's harder than it should be, alcohol dulling his senses, the noise of the bar pounding in his ears, and Claudia, sitting way too close.

"It's getting late," she says after a minute, and he realises she's no longer laughing. He nods, his face still half-threatening to break out in a grin, and traces a hand down her arm.

"You're right," he says, and he's not quite sure what he's agreeing to, any more. "We should probably leave."

Gigi and Anthony are still dancing, and Ben waves to them as he leads Claudia out, his hand low on her back. Gigi waves back, and then Claudia's leaning against him, soft and warm and all too pliable, and it's all he can do to get them both out the door.

They're barely past the exit when she starts laughing again, and this time, it's infectious. He can feel her shiver against him as the wind picks up, and he shrugs off his jacket to offer it to her. She stumbles a little as he lets go of her, and grabs at the collar of his shirt as she falls back against the wall, pulling him down with her.

He barely stops to catch his breath before he kisses her, softly, his lips barely brushing hers. He puts a hand on the wall beside her to steady himself, lingering on the kiss until Claudia pulls back, her hand still resting lightly on his chest.

"Ben," she says, and he waits. When she doesn't say anything else, he kisses her again, and this time, she kisses him back, leaning into him as his hand moves to her waist, her hip, sliding down until it meets the hem of her dress, flicks across her bare skin. She moans a little, a noise in the back of her throat that makes him ache, pinning her against the wall as his hand moves further up her thigh. He barely notices when the breeze picks up, but Claudia shivers again, pulling away from him.

"I think I'm in love with you," he says, so quietly he's not sure if she heard him, not even sure if he said it out loud. For a minute, her face betrays nothing, but then she stiffens in his arms, pushing him away. "Claud," he says, realising his mistake at once, but she's already moving off to the side. "Claud, I didn't mean -"

"I should go," she says, her voice betraying her uncertainty, and he groans, leaning his head against the wall.

"I didn't - I'm sorry," he says, but when he straightens up to look at her, she's already gone.


Claudia isn't avoiding him, exactly - it would be damn near impossible, even if she tried - but things have definitely been off between them ever since the night at the bar. They still chat between scenes, still trade smiles and act as if nothing's wrong, but she doesn't invite him back to her trailer after a hard day's filming, smile in the way that's just for him as they skate the boundaries of harmless flirting or hang around in the mornings so they're in wardrobe or makeup at the same time.

If she did, maybe he'd have seen her already, but as it is, the first time he sees her in costume is when he steps onto the set. He's read the script, of course, and he knows what's coming, but even that doesn't quite prepare him for the way his breath catches, or for the slight sting in his chest when she moves towards him, dressed head to toe in white.

It throws him off balance, and he screws up a couple of times before he starts to pull himself together. Claudia just stares at him, half in censure and half familiar amusement, and all he really wants, he thinks, is to be able to draw her aside for a minute, to tell her she looks pretty, lean in close and smile down at her. But his screw-ups mean they're already running late, and if he's going to get it together, he has to do it on his own. So he takes a deep breath, gets through the scene, and tries not to think too hard that she's standing in front of him in a stark reminder of everything he can't have and shouldn't want.

It isn't until later, when he's stopped thinking about it at all, that she's in his arms, pressed almost nervously against him as they sway in time to music neither of them can hear. She smells good, powdery and soft, and after a couple of awkward takes he can feel her start to relax as she smiles up at him, moving a little closer. It isn't real, maybe, and the taint of things left better unsaid still hangs heavy between them, but it seems like a start; anyway, he can't help thinking that channelling regret is exactly what he's supposed to be doing for this scene.

Which means, once again, he's feeling a lot closer to John Crichton than he's particularly comfortable with.


He can't help cracking a smile every time he sees Claudia, in the powdered wig and frilly dress that are so unlike anything he's ever seen her wear. She'd accused him, when she read the script, of trying to mess with her, and he'd smiled and said nothing. It wasn't necessarily his intention, but he can't say it's an unwelcome side effect.

Besides, they could use the distraction, and he can't think of many better ways to go about it than putting on a silly costume and waving a sword around. She seems to be enjoying herself, anyway, drawling her lines in a slow accent and leaning back on the bed in a way he's pretty sure is mostly designed to get him to screw up. But two can play that game, so when he kisses her, he puts a little more effort into it than he probably needed to, and she responds with a smile and more enthusiasm than he'd expected.

In the end, he isn't sure whether either of them won, doesn't even really know what the game was, but they seem to be back on familiar ground.

He rushes away as soon as they wrap, running as best he can while still in costume. Claudia's just stepping off the set by the time he returns, and he barely gives her time to speak before he whips out the camera, stopping her in her tracks.

"Smile," he says, and takes the picture before she can protest, one hand cocked on her hip as she tilts her head, pouting theatrically.

"Not fair," she says, and he just shrugs.

"Turnabout's fair play, Claud. Besides, this outfit warrants preservation, don't you think?"

Gigi and Anthony come up then, sparing him whatever response she might have come up with. Gigi strikes a pose, and he raises the camera again, taking a few more shots as she gathers the rest of the cast. Claudia's gone by the time they're finished, the sky well on its way to being completely dark, and he almost makes it back to his trailer before he swerves, setting off towards Claudia's instead.

He can hear the shower shutting off as he steps inside, and he turns away instinctively, unsure whether he's intruding.

"Claud!" he calls loudly, enough to be overheard, and a minute later she steps out, wrapped in a thin robe and drying the ends of her hair with a towel. She looks up at him curiously, and he holds out the camera, tossing it down on the bed. "Thought you'd want that back."

After a second, he can see it click, and she rolls her eyes. Rather than chastise him, she reaches up to pull a bottle down off the shelf, her robe riding up almost indecently as he tries not to stare too obviously. She holds the bottle out towards him, grabbing a couple of glasses.

"Want some?" she asks, and it's not really a question. He smiles in response, almost forgetting to be surprised; this is their default setting, after all, and far too important for a single ill-judged confession to hold them back for long. She pours the drinks generously, and he takes a sip, feeling the welcome burn in the back of his throat as he sits down.

Even the alcohol doesn't stop him being conscious of the way she's perched on the bed in a robe that does little to conceal her body, or the fact that he's still wearing his costume. Claudia seems aware of it, too, and he downs the rest of his drink quickly before pulling off the armour, breathing a sigh of relief as he feels its weight disappear.

"These will have to go in the album," she says, startling him for a second before he realises she's talking about the photos. She's turning the camera over in her hands, looking down at it, and he reaches past her to pour himself another drink.

"You have an album?" he asks, and she looks at him as if it's a stupid question.

"Of course I have an album. Where else do you keep photos?"

Before he can ask, she gets up again to fetch it, dropping it gently on his lap. He flicks through the pages, grinning at the memories and the occasional caption scrawled across the bottom.

"You look nice in this," he says, stopping at one of the photos. Claudia leans down towards him, her still-damp hair spilling across his lap, and he automatically brushes it back over her shoulder. He smirks as she looks up at him, his hand still lingering on the back of her neck. "Not that I don't like what you're wearing now."

He lets his hand drop, and she smacks him playfully, but doesn't move away. He reaches for his drink, downing what's left of it, and flips to the next page in the album.

"Just as long as you don't tell me you love it," she says. She's facing away from him so he can't read her expression, but her voice is lighter than he would have expected, and he tries not to stare dazedly back at her as she offers him a refill.

"Wouldn't dream of it," he says, almost truthfully, and if this isn't exactly the conversation he meant to have, it's a lot less uncomfortable than the one he imagined.

As if the barely coded exchange cleared what was left of the awkwardness between them, Claudia slides up closer, her legs stretched out alongside his as she helps him turn the pages. Her head is almost resting on his shoulder, and when he turns towards her to make some remark, whatever he was going to say is quickly forgotten as she blinks back at him, her face close enough to his that he can't quite manage to focus.

Or maybe it's the alcohol that's making it difficult to focus, because his hand sweeps up her thigh almost of its own accord as he shoves the photo album roughly to one side. He can feel Claudia's muscles tense, but she doesn't make a move to stop him, which he figures is probably all the invitation he's going to get.

He kisses her before he can say something stupid, and he's almost surprised when she kisses him back, her tongue sliding languorously against his as she twists to face him. He pulls her over the rest of the way, shifting so she's straddling him, her robe falling partway open to gape enticingly. He reaches up to push it back off her shoulders as she unties the loose knot, feels the way her nipples harden as his hands brush across the tips of her breasts. She smiles wickedly, already teasing his shirt up over his head, and he raises himself up as much as he can to help her, pulling her back down for another kiss as soon as he's free of the material.

"Claudia," he says, reluctantly breaking the kiss, and she looks down at him warily, her eyes widening a little as if to warn him not to say anything that might ruin the moment. He grins, one hand twisting in a lock of her hair, reaching down with the other to intertwine his fingers with hers.

"You looked ridiculous in that dress," he says, and kisses her again before she can finish laughing.

[identity profile] 2009-01-18 10:15 am (UTC)(link)
Ack! Brilliant! Seriously funny and sweet and something I could totally believe happening. I really liked the idea of the wacky costumes they got to wear as a theme to tie the events together. Well done!
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[identity profile] 2009-01-18 11:18 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I love the crackiness of Farscape, so I had to try to include at least a bit of that :)

[identity profile] 2009-03-08 08:28 am (UTC)(link)
guh, i think i just died a little. this was delicious! you wrote them enough "in character" (ahem) that i could hear their voices/accents in my head as i read along. lovely lovely.
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[identity profile] 2009-03-08 08:50 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you!! :D