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28 March 2007 @ 12:00 am
Happy Birthday, Juno!  
This is a birthday fic for juno_chan! Her request was that I write out part of our favorite co-authored story, which I have done, starting it at the beginning for those of you who are neither she nor I and therefore aren't familiar with the timeline. In the tradition of Marc Cherry's choosing Stephen Sondheim songs for his titles, I've decided to call it "I Have a Love," which is from West Side Story. (I love that song! And that play.)

Title: I Have a Love
Author: Me! (for and with much help from juno_chan
Rating: PG-13
Timeline: Alternate Season 2 (don't worry; it explains itself)

Rex Van de Kamp pulled up, uncertainly, into the driveway of his former house. Once, it would have meant only that he had come home. Today, when he had moved out, when he had a very nice apartment of his own, when George Williams’s car was already parked in the driveway, it meant that he was visiting. This was Bree’s house now, and Rex was a guest.

She had always tried to be the perfect wife, and now she was trying to be the perfect ex-wife. Yes, they were divorced, but it was Christmas and he should spend the holiday with his family. Oh, yes, she was still “his family,” not his wife anymore but perhaps a sister or a cousin or…something. It was a subdued Christmas this year; her father and stepmother had elected to spend the week with her half-siblings two states over, and so there would not be the usual mass of Masons. No, she was only having George and her brother and sister-in-law, their children having chosen to go on a skiing trip with some friends. So Rex was perfectly welcome to have dinner with his children, ex-wife, ex-brother-and-sister-in-law, and ex-pharmacist (He really couldn’t have continued to fill his prescriptions with a man who was dating Bree. Plus, after all, he’d never liked George Williams to begin with.) He was even welcome to bring a date, though he’d passed on that one. Rex had dated a girl or two since he’d moved out, but never for more than a handful of dates or for more than a polite goodnight kiss. He certainly wasn’t ready to spend Christmas with any of them.

So, here he was, knocking on the door of the house in which he’d lived for eleven years, the house that now belonged to his ex-wife, filled with memories that sometimes…sometimes…it would be easier to forget. But that was okay. Rex knew perfectly well that there are always regrets in life, but he didn’t regret having married Bree, and after the awful last few years, he didn’t regret having divorced her. They’d reached a nice sort of détente since the divorce; they talked easily about the children and sometimes even about themselves, and if it weren’t for—well, every now and then, he wondered why they hadn’t been able to work it out. But that’s life.

She came to the door and she looked lovely and festive in a V-necked red cashmere sweater and knee-length green skirt. Rex had to laugh, inwardly, at the pleats; he hadn’t seen Bree in a pleated skirt in years. If she even owned a skirt that wasn’t a pencil skirt or a tennis skirt, it was news to him. But she looked pretty and smiled and she gave him a kiss hello, and it was kind of sad that the polite greeting from his ex-wife was the most action he’d gotten in a long time.

“Merry Christmas, Rex,” she said sweetly, tucking the hair that was falling in her face behind her ears. She’d let it grow out a bit, he noticed, and it looked nice.

“Merry Christmas, Bree,” he agreed. “Your hair looks nice.” She smiled in pleased surprise.

“Thanks. Well, come on in, it’s cold outside.” He nodded and followed her into the house.

“I brought gifts for you and the kids,” he told her as she hung up his coat.

“That’s nice. I have something for you, too,” she admitted. “After dinner?”

“Sounds good.”

She led him into the dining room, neatly set for seven, and Rex felt a surprising surge of elation when he saw that his place, opposite Bree at the head of the table, had not gone to George. He might be the new boyfriend, but he was not the new head of the house. In fact, Rex’s old place was left without place settings, the eighth seat at the table which was to be left vacant.

He nodded a polite hello at Arthur and Jennifer Mason, who smiled coolly back at him, and a slightly less polite hello at George Williams. Andrew and Danielle wore slightly sour expressions on their faces; clearly, at seventeen and sixteen, they had thought that they had moved past the Christmas outfits that Bree chose for them every year. Clearly, Rex noted, as he surveyed Andrew’s green shirt, matched perfectly to his plaid tie, and Danielle’s lace trimmed red dress, absurdly young for a girl of her age, Bree had disagreed.

“Hey, Dad,” said Andrew, casting a furtive, annoyed look at his mom. Rex had to hold back a laugh. After twelve years of having worn that tie on Christmas, he had almost expected his son to have become accustomed to it.

“Hi, Andrew. Hi, Danielle.”

“Hi, Daddy,” she said, her voice rather bored. It was on the tip of his tongue to tell her to smile, a Bree-ism that threatened to infiltrate his now Bree-less speech. Bree, luckily, took care of it for him.

“Danielle, dear, it’s Christmas. Don’t spoil your pretty face with such a frown. Smile for your father.” Rex smiled inwardly. If it weren’t for George Williams, it would feel as if he’d never left. He settled into the empty seat next to Andrew and looked across the table at his nemesis. Honestly, Bree was beautiful, classy, intelligent, sweet—she couldn’t find a better boyfriend than George Williams?

Well, it’s her choice. We’re not married anymore; she can date whomever she chooses…but still. George Williams? Really, Bree?

She sat down between the two men, at Rex’s right hand.

“You will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand…coming with the clouds of heaven.”

There was, apparently, something about Christmas that made him miss being married.

Bree had, of course, once again outdone herself with dinner. There was a slight awkward pause when she brought the turkey out—who should carve it, Rex or George?—but the problem was quickly solved when Arthur, noticing the glances his ex-brother-in-law and sister’s boyfriend were exchanging, stepped up to the plate.

Rex even managed to be pleasant to George, though it was hard, mostly by reaching for his wine glass every time the pharmacist opened his mouth. Bree had, of course, chosen an excellent merlot, so it wasn’t anything like a sacrifice. Not long after dinner, George even made his excuses and…went home? Rex was vaguely surprised; he had assumed that after nearly eight months of dating, they would be past the awkward stage of his leaving at ten o’clock, but he was grateful that the other man was leaving, not wanting to give his ex-wife her gift in front of the new boyfriend. Shortly after, Arthur and Jen left for their hotel, too, leaving what had once been a family alone.

A family. They would be a family, if only the father and the mother had managed to make it work.

“So…” said Rex rather awkwardly. “I, uh, I have gifts for you two.” He handed packages to his son and daughter, who took them and looked uncertainly at their mother.

“Go ahead,” she said, rather curiously. She had always chosen gifts for Andrew and Danielle; Rex contributed the price and a signature on the card. What had he chosen for his children now that his wife was no longer his shopper?

“Thanks, Daddy,” said Danielle, smiling, as she unwrapped the Louis Vuitton bag he had bought her. She gave him an obedient hug and began looking through the purse, the Danielle sign that she really did like it. Andrew’s video game consul also met with approval, and the kids excused themselves to do God knows what in their rooms, forbidden as they were to go out on Christmas and unwilling as they were to spend time with their parents.

Bree raised her eyebrows at her ex-husband once their children were upstairs.

“Congratulations. They seemed pleased.” He nodded.

“I did my best.” She smiled and stood up.

“Can I get you another glass of wine?”

“Sure, thanks. That would be nice.” Moments later, Bree returned with a bottle and two glasses.

“You should probably stay over tonight,” she said absently as she poured. “You’ve had a bit much to drink.” As she reached under the Christmas tree and gave him a neatly, beautifully wrapped box, she added, “and besides, it’s getting late. I don’t want you to have to drive home late on Christmas. Here. I, uh—this is for you.” Rex unwrapped it to find a dark green silk tie just the proper shade to bring out the green in his eyes—or so he had been told.

“Thanks,” he told her with a smile. She smiled awkwardly back and took another sip of her drink. He pulled another package out and handed it to her.

“Oh, my God, Rex, you didn’t,” she breathed, inspecting the first-edition copy of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. “I mean, you shouldn’t have…they’re so rare…and so expensive…I…I don’t know what to say.” He shrugged.

“I knew a guy who knew a guy with a used-book store and some luck. And…well…I wanted you to have it. I know how much you like that book.” Bree finished her glass and poured herself another.

“Thank you,” she said honestly, putting the book on the coffee table and coming over to give him a kiss. Rex smiled fondly at her as they both sat in silence, drinking wine and staring at the Christmas tree. After she had finished another glass, Bree stood.

“Stay here,” she ordered, and she went upstairs. Rex curiously watched her go. What was she doing? She returned a few moments later carrying a small paper shopping bag.

“I’m sorry it isn’t wrapped,” she immediately apologized. “I…well, I had bought it for you last year, but with the whole…affair…thing…” Her voice trailed off awkwardly, and she poured herself a third glass of wine. “Well. I think you should—here.” He took the bag and removed a box containing a fountain pen, and his face lit up.

“My lucky pen from med school!” Rex exclaimed, his face full of a boyish smile. Bree smiled and looked down at her lap.

“When I saw it, I…well, I knew how upset you were when the nib finally gave out on the old one, and so I just thought, ‘Rex would love this,’ and…It’s monogrammed,” she pointed out, and he turned the barrel around to find his initials.

“That’s why you didn’t return it,” he noted matter-of-factly. Bree looked down shyly and let another glass go down. Was it her third or her fourth?

“Well, thanks,” he said, putting the pen carefully back in the bag. “It, uh, it means a lot to me that you remembered.”

“Of course,” she said, her voice warm and liquid-y, the way it always got after she’d been drinking red wine. Rex was partial to the effects of red wine on his ex-wife; somehow, it always made her sweet and alluring and somewhat dangerous.

It made him want to kiss her.

If he hadn’t been drinking all evening, he probably would have stopped at “want.”

But he had been drinking, and she had kissed him herself earlier—twice!—and so he touched his lips to hers gently, surprised when she met him eagerly.

“Thanks for having me over tonight,” he told her, pulling away. “It…well, it’s much nicer than being alone.”

“You should be with your family on Christmas,” she said, her words slurring together just a little so that they sounded like music. “We’re your family.” He nodded.

“I’d forgotten while we were married…how lonely it is when there’s no one waiting up for you,” he admitted. Bree smiled bittersweetly.

“I know.” Impulsively, he kissed her again firmly. Her arms came around his back and pulled him against her.

Wait. Wait, should I be…touching her there?

But she didn’t seem to mind as her lips lavished kisses on his neck and her slightly cold hands slid under his shirt, causing him to jump a little in surprise. She was almost sitting in his lap now, he noted.

“Did you…well, do you…want to go upstairs?” he asked her nervously. She mumbled into his collarbone something that was obviously a “yes,” and so they made their way over to the staircase and up into the bedroom.

Bree’s world came fuzzily into focus the next morning. A dull, thumping pain in her head coupled with dizziness made her curse under her breath. She had not intended to drink that much last night…wait.

There was a man’s hand resting heavily on her waist…which she now realized was bare. Bree looked under the down comforter and confirmed her worst fears: She was naked, and she was not alone. Oh, she really, really hadn’t meant to go there with George just yet…oh, this was terrible…she’d better wake him up now and get him out of the house…

She rolled over and received, if it was not the shock of her life, quite a big one.

“Rex?” Bree asked in surprise, glancing at the too-familiar bare arms and chest. “Rex, wake up!” He started stirring and she sighed with relief.

“Mmm…hi, Bree,” he mumbled sleepily. No sooner had her name slipped from his lips than his eyes immediately snapped open.

“Bree? What are you doing…wait…ohhh, that’s right,” he finished, a sleepy grin crossing his face.

“What’s right? Rex…what happened?” she asked desperately.

“You don’t remember?”

“No, I don’t!”

“Oh.” He sat up, contemplating. “We had sex.” Bree rolled her eyes and stood, neatly removing the butter-colored top sheet with her.

“I could’ve figured that out, Rex, considering that neither of us is wearing any clothes!” she pointed out irritably, wrapping the sheet around her breasts and looking cross. Rex chuckled softly.

What?” Bree hissed, in a tone that clearly meant “danger.”

“You look so cute,” he said nicely, eyes scanning her body. “Look at you. How many times have I seen you naked, and yet you feel the need to cover up.”

“Well, I—I…” she sputtered, pushing a long lock of red hair behind her left ear.

“I could walk over to you right now and, without looking, point out every mole on your body.”

“Rex, I—oh, would you just look away so that I can put on my robe?” He laughed and covered his eyes.

“You know, I remember what you look like naked,” he pointed out again. “And you still look the same…I can imagine with 99% accuracy whenever I want.”

“I don’t want to hear that!” she said shrilly, drawing the sheet tighter and clasping her arms over her breasts. Rex smiled a little and then softened. Poor girl; she looked tired.

“You should probably go back to bed,” he told her. “I saw how much wine you drank last night, sweetie. Just tell the kids the truth if they ask why I’m still here…I had too much to drink, and you, responsible woman that you are, wouldn’t let me drive home.”

Bree sighed. The thought of bed was tempting. She sat down on the corner of the bed and sighed.

“You need…not to call me that,” she said, but her voice was no longer angry, just grumbling. “And you need to get out of my bed and to go back to yours.”

“Call you what?” Rex asked, a bit confused. “‘Sweetie’?”

“Yes,” she said coolly. “No more endearments. I’m not…well, we’re not having sex again.”

“I didn’t say we were,” he told her, his eyes starting to twinkle again at the idea that the thought had crossed her mind. “I just…don’t want to leave right now. It’s cold outside.”

“Yes, well, it will be less cold if you put on pants before you leave,” Bree pointed out acidly. Rex frowned as he got out of bed.

“Have you seen my pants, hon—Bree?” he asked, catching himself. She rolled her eyes, looking away from his nakedness.

“You’re the one who remembers last night,” she said tartly. “Where did you put your pants?” Rex shrugged.

“Somewhere in this room. Frankly, hon—Bree—I wasn’t too concerned with where they went after they came off.” Bree held back a laugh as she searched for the pants…and found them…in the bathroom?

“I don’t even want to know,” she said dryly, looking away as she handed him his pants. He laughed as he took them.

“Are you really so mad at me that you can’t even look at me?”

“You’re naked!” she exclaimed. He laughed again.

“Oh, so very modest in the morning. Almost makes you forget what she was like last night.” He shut his eyes and smiled. “Ah, and there it is again.”

“You seduced me!”

“Well, maybe a little. But, I mean, after that pen you bought me…what man wouldn’t have tried? Did you by any chance find my underwear, too?”

“I was drunk and vulnerable, and you took advantage.” She discovered his shorts across the room in her gable seat and gave him a wry look. “Well. It certainly looks as if we traveled.”

“Ah, yes,” he said solemnly, putting on his underwear. “There, I’m not naked; can you please look at me now?” Reluctantly, she did so.

“A shirt would help, too,” she noted, glancing at his bare chest and then quickly back up to his face.

“Did you find my shirt?” Rex asked as Bree began picking up her own clothes from the floor. “Or my undershirt? ‘Cause, hey, I’ll wear them if I have them.”

“You are capable of finding your own clothes, you know. Or at least I should hope you are, or I don’t want to know how you’ve managed since we divorced.”

“Sure, I am, but then I’m not the one who objects to my clothes-less state, hon-Bree.”

“You want to go out in the winter weather without a shirt? Be my guest,” she said lightly, a bit of a smile playing across her face. Rex laughed.

“You know…was it me, or…you’re more flexible than you used to be, aren’t you?” he asked, smiling dreamily. “Yoga?”

“No. Pilates,” she said, completely deadpan, making him laugh again.

“Well, whatever it was, it worked.”

“Glad you found it satisfying,” she said archly.

“Mmm…so did you,” he said, a lascivious grin crossing his face.

“Well, I don’t remember,” she smiled tauntingly. “You could be lying.”

“Trust me, Bree,” he said smoothly, “even you can’t fake it that well.” Her face flushed and there was a sudden tension in the room that caught Rex’s breath.

“Well,” she finally said. “I think that you should go and that we should forget this ever happened.” He nodded.

“Okay.” Bree, searching, managed to pluck his shirt and undershirt from under the bed and handed them to him.

“Sure you don’t want a reprisal before I go?” he teased, taking his clothes. “Might do you some good.”

“Well, now you’re just being cocky,” she said in a would-be casual voice. He put on his clothes and pretended to think about it.

“Nope, I’m just looking out for you, hon-Bree. I mean, I know I always feel better after I have an orgasm. Or…two. You know. Whichever.” He smirked at her, and she flushed brilliantly red again.

“Yes, well, if you’ve forgotten, I’m seeing someone. If I needed help in…ah…that department, I can assure you, my ex-husband would not be at the top of my list of people to call.”

A bit stung, Rex responded lightly. “Yes, I’m sure he’s very good in bed; that’s why he stayed—wait, no, he left at ten o’clock. Huh.”

“Yes, well, some men prefer not to take advantage of women who’ve had too much wine.”

“True proof he’s never slept with you, then,” said Rex, and his voice was almost serious. Bree looked up in surprise.

“Maybe he simply prefers me coherent,” she offered.

“Hey, I understood every word out of your mouth last night,” claimed Rex. “Mind you, they were mostly one-syllable words. ‘Yes.’ ‘Rex.’ ‘More.’ ‘I.’ ‘Want.’ ‘You.’ ‘Hot.’ ‘Please’—you always were polite. Hmm. What about non-word syllables; do they count?” Bree was now flushed as red as her hair.

“Yes, well, now I know not to trust you once I’ve had a few drinks,” she said icily. A hurt expression crossed Rex’s face, and she winced inwardly.

“Aw, come on. You wanted me to. You would’ve been hurt if I hadn’t. How could I do that to you on Christmas?”

“Because we’re divorced,” Bree said earnestly. “That means that we’re not supposed to have sex anymore.”

“Maybe not,” he agreed seriously. “And, yes, maybe I kissed you. But you kissed me, too, and I couldn’t say no. I couldn’t hurt you like that—and you would have been hurt; you know you would have. I just…couldn’t hurt you. Not again.” Her face visibly softened.

“I’m sorry,” said Bree. She did appreciate that, at least. “It’s just…well, and I’m not feeling very well.” Rex looked at her a little sadly.

“Yeah, I know you’re not. Go lie down,” he instructed. “The sheets don’t have cooties. I checked.” She smiled faintly.

“I’m sorry. It’s just…embarrassing.” She walked over to the bed and lay down, snuggling under the covers. Rex watched her and then came over.

“It’s okay, hon-Bree. Hangovers happen. I know.” He bent to give her a very chaste kiss on the forehead. “Feel better.”

“Thank you,” she whispered.

“And don’t worry,” he said cheerfully as he left the room. “About the sex thing, I mean. I won’t tell!”

Shhh!” she cried. “The kids!”

“Sorry,” he apologized, coming back in and shutting the door behind him. “Don’t worry about the sex thing,” he repeated, quietly. “I won’t tell.”

“Promise?” she asked pleadingly. He crossed himself slightly in response.

“Promise.” Bree’s face broke into a sweet smile.

“Thank you,” she said sincerely. “And…well, I’m sorry I got so upset. It was as much my fault as it was yours.” Rex grinned.

“Ah, well, I set you up with that book,” he said roguishly. “You can be innocent.” A brief consideration, and… “Well, not entirely that innocent. But that’s another story.” Bree blushed furiously.

“No more talking about it!”

“Aw, come on, hon-Bree. Talking about it is one of my chief pleasures in life.”

“No! It never happened!” He laughed nicely.

“Okay, okay. I’m leaving.” As he turned to go, Rex paused in the doorframe. “You sure about that non-reprisal? Good cure for your headache.” He smiled in a way that he clearly thought was charming. Bree groaned, covering her head with one of the pillows.

“I try to be nice, but you’re just impossible!”

“Hey, I like to have sex, and I want you to be happy. So. Two birds with one stone, as they say.” He laughed. “Bye.”

Goodbye.” But she couldn’t help chuckling a little bit as he left for the second time.
zimbalist on March 28th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
aww, i love that!!
Junojuno_chan on March 28th, 2007 05:56 am (UTC)
Yay! You are so much better at the whole providing-birthday-fics-actually-on-the-birthday thing than I am!

Oh, the night that started it all. I loved seeing what we had done fleshed out into actual prose. And squee! Seriously, you know I love ANYTHING where Bree and Rex have drunken sex. I mean. C'mon.

Anyway! I liked the choice of the pen for Rex, it definitely had sentimental value, and it showed some extra thought. And yeah...it's monogrammed, can't really return it...

I also really, really liked the bit with the turkey. We didn't have that, so I thought it was a really great touch and it really helped to illustrate the awkwardness. So yes. It was a little thing, but I really liked it.

Another little thing that I loved was the holiday clothes for Andrew and Danielle, and that Danielle's was a lacy dress! Because that's just SO Bree. It was great! And I loved them sulking. Because that's how they are. Sulky.

I totally still love the conversation that Bree and Rex have the next morning. Even though I knew what was coming, I still snickered. Because seriously, "I always feel better after I have an orgasm. Or...two. You know. Whichever." makes me giggle. Because again. I love drunken sex between Bree and Rex.

Anyway! I'm a little babbly, for which I apologize but it is late and I am giddy because divorce fic has actual flesh to it now! And I just love divorce fic! And I like the title for this piece, very appropriate, and divorce fic has a title, now, too! Woohoo!

So, thank you, thank you, thank you muchly for taking the time to write this out! Because it was wonderful! And it made me happy! And they had drunken sex! Yay!

Great job again, and thanks again! :D