Escape, for OQArtistWeek
This is a late entry for #OQArtist week, based this sexy manip of @starscythe *fans self* . I realize this is probably a bikini Regina is wearing, and this is probably a beach scene judging from the wet strands of hair, but Regina has this flawless movie star makeup on and she always seemed a bit too refined for beach sex. The facial expressions are so sexy and needy, I pictured something sweaty and intimate between two people desperate for one another. So I always saw this art as something quite different.
Thanks Bea as always. Betaing porn is hard, ya'all, and she betas it like a champ. I guess trigger warnings are in place. This is a hard M rating (shocking I know) and things get…intense.
It’s just coffee.
She repeats that every time they go out in these excursions.
They are coworkers, and it’s just coffee. Or in her case, tea. Just tea.
Coworkers drink coffee and tea together.
There’s nothing scandalous about that.
But coworkers don’t find whatever excuse they can to brush against one another. Coworkers don’t trade intimate details of their lives that they don’t even share with best friends, cry on each other’s shoulders, or spend the majority of the day stealing glances at one another. And coworkers definitely, definitely do not fantasize about one another.
So maybe she’s just a coworker to him, but he is absolutely more than that to her.
“He asked me to marry him,” she says quietly. She hates to bring it up, but Robin should know about the proposal. He’s her friend. Her best friend. The only person in this entire competitive, cutthroat network whom she trusts. Definitely the only person who honestly cares about her. But it’s not that, not just the fact that they are friends that has her feeling obligated to tell him about the proposal. He should know because of the way he looks at her.
The way they look at one another.
She watches his eyes fly to her naked ring finger. “What did you say?” He looks hopeful, as if she finally made the right decision. But he’s wrong.
“We’ve been dating forever, and I think there’s more positive than negative. I said yes.” She covers her left hand with her right. “The, er, ring is being resized.”
“Eight years and he doesn’t know your ring size,” Robin grumbles.
“Do you?” She asks defiantly. “It’s not something men know, unless you are in a habit—”
“A habit of buying jewelry for the woman you love?” he quips. “I assure you if I had proposed to you I’d know your ring size. I’d take one of your rings to the jewelers to match it. Or, Christ, a good jeweler could show you what each width looks like, and, I’ve held your hand enough to know what your fingers feel like from memory, so I'd—”
It’s a bit too honest, has her squirming a bit, because he’s right, absolutely right, he’s held her hand so many times, but also, this is wrong. Absolutely wrong. And what right does he have to criticize her decisions in her love life when he’s never tried to be a part of it?
“Sorry,” he breathes, “I should be congratulating you, I’m just… I don’t think he’s good enough for you.”
That’s… sweet, she supposes. And to be fair she’s shared her problems with Graham many times, so perhaps it’s understandable that Robin would feel this way.
“If there’s someone better, I haven’t found him.” Regina says, staring defiantly at him.
“Any man in his right mind would be over the moon to have you,” he whispers. It’s honest, too honest. But she’s made her choice, and this can never be, anyway. There’s a strict no fraternization policy at work. He’s technically her boss, so that’s an extra layer of forbidden, isn’t it?
“Let’s talk about something else,” Regina says, lifting a hand off the table to smooth her hair. “Something to make me feel… happy.”
He offers her a sad smile, and she knows it’s very telling that talk of a proposal is depressing her, but well, that’s the way it is, damn it.
He shifts the topic to their quirky coworker, and then they are laughing, exchanging jokes and smiles and touches as if nothing had changed.
Things go well until her phone pings. It’s a reminder chime, and she frowns, glancing down at it curiously. There’s nothing on the schedule for today that she can remember.
“Shit,” Regina grumbles, “Robin, there’s a meeting today. In 5 minutes.” She turns her screen to his.
He looks puzzled. “I swear I didn’t know anything about this, Regina.”
He grabs his phone and checks emails frantically. “Looks like it’s an emergency meeting to deal with the Army of God threats again.” He rolls his eyes.
“Anything I should be worried about?” Regina asks, sipping the last of her tea.
“No, no credible threats. But their leader is appearing on Fox today, and we expect him to give us and a few other organizations a bit of a shout out. You know how that goes.”
“Get ready for hate mail and death threats,” Regina says rolling her eyes and rising from her chair. “We are going to be late. We have to hurry.”
The meeting is on the fifth floor. She thinks he realizes what that means at the same time she does — right when they reach the elevator. The fifth floor meeting room is large, with glass walls that face the elevator. Everyone will see them walking in late, together, and that won’t do much for rumors that have already started about the two of them.
And really, with her occupation, it’s sort of assumed she will try to sleep her way to the top at one point or another. Who better than a media director often tasked with assigning high profile interviews to reporters like her?
“You take the elevator,” he says, with a frown. “I’ll use the back stairs.”
The back elevator and stairs are not to be used for anything other than moving in the high profile guests or interviewees that need and added layer of security. Robin is one of only a few with the code. And while he can’t use the back elevator (risk of being seen using a secured area) he can probably sneak up the stairs. No one really even knows that stairwell exists. It’s hidden and secure, designed that way for good reason.
Regina nods. “See you there.”
He smiles at her and rushes off, waving slightly as he goes.
And then she waits for her elevator as impatiently as one can possibly wait.
(She will look back on this day and thank god for the fact the elevator seemed to be stopping at every floor at a treacherously slow pace. Thank god that she figured she could use the exercise. Thank god it all, because she might have been dead had she waited for it. Instead, she’d opted for the stairwell. It was only five flights, after all…)
After what feels like an hour, but is only probably a few minutes, she turns towards the stairwell and decides to make up for lost time. She’s cursing her heels as she rounds the stairs to the third floor when the first explosion hits with a Crack and a Boom!
It’s so much noise, so loud it almost feels as if there’s no sound at all. Debris falls from the ceiling, covers her in dusty plaster and paint chips, and god knows what else, her head is spinning, ears are ringing, eyes burning as there is one thought going through her mind.
The explosion reverberates everywhere in that stairwell, echoed and shimmied from every inch of the walls, and she doesn’t know where it came from, but god let it not have come from that secured stairwell. Not where they keep the high profile guests, where someone who is targeted might be hiding, please let him be alright.
She turns back to the third floor door and opens it. People are panicking, running towards her, a fire alarm is sounding, the emergency lights are flickering, and the crowd is shouting that she turn around, but she’s not listening, her mind is racing with hypothetical scenarios she wishes she could erase from her memory, heart nearly exploding at the thought of losing him.
Robin, please be okay, Robin.
She reaches the secured area in the back, elbowing past frantic people trying to push her away. But it’s mostly clear now. She hears some pop, pop, popping from above, isn’t sure what that is, what’s happening, and the ceiling above feels like it’s moving, giving out… will it collapse?
She reaches the back area, finds that secured back door, and knocks and screams. It’s still locked. She had held out hope that with the electricity going out maybe the electronic lock would fail and she’d be able to get to Robin.
But they must have a different power source. The code button is still there, gleaming red awaiting an electronic badge or code to be punched into the keypad below. And she has neither.
She has nothing but fists and her voice as she punches and screams.
Robin is alive, Robin is okay. He’s resilient and smart and cunning and he’s a survivor and that’s what survivors DO. They survive.
These little pop pop pops sound closer and louder now, she still isn’t sure what it is, but it’s followed by more screams and that can’t be good.
There could be anything on the other side of this door, she very well knows that. There could be men with guns and suicide bomb vests on, Robin could already be dead, they could have used this stairwell to—
It really doesn’t matter to her, she’d gladly risk her life for that wonderful man. He’s everything to her.
“Robin, please!” She screams again. Her hands are bloody now, banging carelessly against an ungiving door.