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ktlsyrtis  asked:

First sentence game: "Um, I can explain..."

‘Um, I can explain…’

The words are out of Bernie’s mouth before Serena has even walked into the room, and it is with an acrobatic skill she’s rather proud of that Bernie leaps across the room to the iPod dock and turns it off (or tries to; in her haste, she misses the button twice before the offending noise finally, blessedly stops). ‘I can explain,’ she says again, meekly.

Serena, leaning against the doorframe with her keys and her bag still in hand, just raises an eyebrow. ‘Are you sure about that?’

She puts the bag down, slowly, and Bernie swallows. Reaches up for a second glass - autopilot, self-defence - and then starts to talk all in a rush. 'I’m so sorry, Serena, I didn’t realise you’d be home so soon, and… God, this is so embarrassing, I just… we used to listen to it on base, you see, me and the lads, and it was a bit of a joke, wasn’t it? Taste of home and all that, nostalgia in hard times, and we didn’t exactly have time to be up on the Top 40, did we? And sometimes you just – what?’ She stops, bottle of Shiraz at a 45-degree angle, and frowns. 'What did I say?’

Because Serena has started laughing. Not just laughing in that light, teasing way she has, or even in the had-a-few-glasses-too-many-and-now-finds-all-jokes-a-few-times-funnier way, but she’s doubled over, clutching her sides, her keys and bag forgotten at her feet. She’s laughing so hard she’s gasping, and when she looks up at Bernie, there are tears in her eyes. 'Oh, Bernie, relax,’ she splutters, and then she is straightening, walking up to Bernie, and taking the bottle from her hand so she can back her into the fridge and brace her there. 'Relax, you daft thing, I was just having you on.’

Bernie blinks. 'You… what?’

Serena cups her face in gentle hands, strokes down over her cheekbones, her eyes full of fondness and her lips full of mirth. 'You ridiculous woman. Do you honestly think I would care what sort of music you listen to on your own?’

Bernie gobs a moment then finally says, half a protest, 'It is your house.’

'It’s our house, actually. And really, it’s not as though it was Phil Collins.’

'Phil Collins?’ she squeaks. She hopes Serena won’t ask her to name one of his songs; she thinks he’s the one who did “Candle in the Wind”, but she isn’t sure enough that she wants to say it aloud.

'Yes,’ Serena says gravely, 'now that would have been true cause for embarrassment. But everyone likes a bit of fluff now and then, including me. Pop it back on, and I’ll change and then give you a hand with dinner. How does that sound?’

'Great,’ Bernie says, smiling. She’s so relieved she doesn’t even remember to hide it. 'There’s wine waiting for you when you come back.’

'I look forward to it.’

Serena winks at her and saunters away, still facing her, undoing the first few buttons on her blouse in a way that makes Bernie briefly forget the potatoes. Once Serena is out of sight, she leans across the counter to switch the iPod back on, and the dulcet tones of the Spice Girls fill the room. Oh good, she thinks, as The Lady is a Vamp comes on. This one’s her favourite.