"Someone who actually wants to talk to you?"
"Har de har, aren't you just hilarious. Try again."
"You're just going to tell me anyway, so what's the point?"
"Fine, spoilsport. Here." She opened her hands so he could stumble out onto the coffee table. He was confronted by a wall about three times as tall as he was and read "Die Hard" at the top.
"I found the box set!" she squealed happily. "It was a great price, so there was no way I could say no. I thought that maybe we could marathon it tonight?"
He had to work hard to hide his own excitement. It had been some time ago that she'd shown him the first one, borrowed from a friend, and he'd loved it. (Not that he'd said so. He loved to bust her chops by acting like he could care less about one of her favorite movies.) She'd been meaning to get the next one for some time, but something always came up or she forgot.
"Oh, I suppose we could, if you absolutely insist," he said, making sure to sound as begrudging as possible.
She pouted and gently poked him in the shoulder. "Aw, don't act like you don't care. I saw your face when he threw that guy out the window, you couldn't tear your eyes from the screen."
He irritatedly waved her hand away. "Yeah, yeah, whatever. Just put 'em in."
They couldn't start immediately, though. Bianca had very specific ideas on how one executed movie marathons. He bounced impatiently on the couch while she went to her room to change into her pajamas, then came back with all the comforters and sheets she had so they could make a nest immediately in front of the decrepit TV. Then, she had to make three bags of popcorn and some hot chocolate, which she put in a washed out mini coffee creamer cup for him.
"Finally," he said loudly, stepping onto her offered hand. "You'd think you were 80 years old with how slow you move."
Surprisingly, she didn't respond with something witty and merely set him down on the sheets, quickly reaching over and hitting play. She settled down on her stomach with her head rested on her arms while he took a similar position next to her, his hands propping his head up and his legs in the air, swinging unconsciously.
The second time around was almost as good as the first, he was satisfied to find. He found himself laughing just as hard and making derogatory comments at the bad guys while Bianca watched silently with a raptured expression. A few times he noticed her looking in his direction with an odd smile on her face, before realizing she had been caught and turning quickly back to the screen.
He chattered excitedly while she changed out DVDs, completely discarding any pretense of apathy. She was more willing to talk and laugh during this one, though she was conscious to not be too loud. Throughout the course of the movie, he somehow found himself periodically scootching closer to her, until he was finally using her forearm as a backrest. He barely noticed it, until he caught himself humming contentedly and realized that she had started gently scratching behind his ears.
"Hey!" he yelped, swatting at her hand, a blush coloring his face. "Knock it off, Bianca. I'm not a frickin' hamster."
She grinned. "Nope, not a hamster. You're my little mousey," she said, leaning forward so she nuzzle the top of his head.
"Meh," he muttered, trying to smooth his now wild light brown hair. After a while she eventually started up again with her scritching, but he didn't bother to object. He just leaned back and watched the movie in quiet contentment... Until the bad guys got blown up, of course. Then he laughed his arse off.
(To be continued...? Read description.)
"Hey, Bianca?" Tony asked sleepily as the credits were beginning to roll for the third movie. She had made no move to get up and put in the last one, and he had noticed in the last ten minutes that her eyes had started drifting close. They were completely closed now, though she was still just barely awake. She grunted to show she was listening.
"Who was that at the door earlier?" He felt her instantly stiffen behind him, the slight movement of the muscle pushing him forward a little. He looked over his shoulder to see her wide awake.
"Oh, it was just the mail man with a package," she said, obviously trying to sound casual and failing miserably. "It's nothing," she added at the look he gave her.
"It doesn't seem like nothing. You've been kinda off all night. What's wrong?"
She refused to answer and turned her head away. He huffed and stood up, then hefted himself onto her arm.
"Bianca," he almost growled, putting one clawed hand on her cheek to try and make her look at him. She sighed, then slowly turned her head, so as not to knock him off balance.
"It was just a package from Uncle Bobby. Not my mom's brother down in Mexico, my dad's friend up in Montana. He had some stuff from when they were in Vietnam together, seemed to think I should have it." Her voice held little emotion as she said this, her expression carefully neutral.
Tony grimaced and leaned against her nose. No wonder she'd been acting off. It'd been more than a year since her dad had died, but she still got upset whenever it was brought up. He tried to think of something to say that didn't sound completely meaningless or hadn't already been said, when his entire world shifted.
"Gah! What th- Oomph!" Without warning, he suddenly found himself being scooped up and pressed against a wall of cloth. His feet kicked a little from where they stuck out from underneath her hand while the rest of him squirmed. He almost started yelling at her- she knew how much he hated it when she picked him up without asking, and so quickly at that- when a large tremor stopped him.
He looked up, and while the majority of his view was blocked by the underside of her chin, he could just see over the fingers that surrounded him to see that the tremor was Bianca's shoulders shaking.
He sighed and stopped struggling, grudgingly allowing himself to be cuddled. Just this once, he promised himself, knowing that he'd probably end up breaking it the next time she got watery eyed. He just couldn't bring himself to be short with her when she got like this.**
Had she tried this with him a year and a half ago, he would have thrown a fit, no matter what her emotional state. While it didn't take him long to realize that she sincere about not wanting to hurt him, it took a lot longer for him to be certain that she actually saw him as a person, and not just some amusing animal.
She sighed and lowered her hands to her lap, where he quickly scrambled to a more dignified position on her knee.
"I'm sorry, I should have asked," she said dolefully, an apologetic frown on her face. She'd committed the crime before and not given it this much thought, but that was always when they were playing or when she was intentionally trying to annoy him. Now, when she was feeling gloomy about everything, she was probably afraid of him running off again, though that had not happened in an extremely long time.
"Eh, don't beat yourself up over it, I'll let it go this time," he said casually, then wagged a finger at her. "Just don't go thinking you'll get away with it again. Try it and I'll... I'll... I'll hide your Mario Party 8 game!" he finally proclaimed.
Her eyes widened slightly, then narrowed. "You don't have any holes big enough," she said calculatingly.
"You don't know what I got!" he retorted loudly. That did the trick. Her whole body shook with laughter as she threw her head back, and he had to clutch the fabric underneath him to keep from falling off. He winced slightly at the noise, but it didn't reduce the bit of pride he felt. Mission Make Moody Human Lighten Up: Complete. Oh crap, he had to stop watching those spy movies with her...
"Hahaha, oh wow, thanks for being here tonight, Tony," she said, smiling and wiping her eyes.
He raised an eyebrow at her. "You make it sound like some fancy dinner party. And you kind of kidnapped me and forced me to be here." He smirked to show he wasn't upset.
She chuckled again, much more quietly. "Yeah, but still."
He tensed when, ever so slowly, she started leaning down, but he didn't run. He ducked a little as her wide lips gently pressed down on top of his head, pinning his ears and once again mussing up his hair. They lingered there for a few seconds before carefully withdrawing a few inches (feet to him).
"Really, Tony, thank you so very much," she whispered, the smell of chocolate and buttered popcorn washing over him with her breath.
He was completely still for a moment, utterly clueless on how to respond. An explosion-also known as the title menu-saved him.
They both jumped, hers sending him rolling down her shin and onto the blankets. The tumble made his head spin, though he was unhurt, and the huge face hovering over him asking if he was alright didn't help. He blinked a few times, shook his head, then pointed behind him towards the TV.
She laughed again, this time in relief, and nodded.
They switched the disks and settled back onto the blankets, taking up their positions from before their little bout of drama. They were asleep before the opening credits were done rolling, but that was okay. Better to make it last.