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Just Friends
#1
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January 1st, 1891 — Paris
@Nemo Fisk

Waking happened in a series of disjointed moments for Penny, like a mirage of photos that seemingly connected but the link wasn't yet obvious. First was the bright morning light streaming through thw windows, the curtains still wide open from where they'd left them after the fireworks. Then came the realization of how awful her headache was, every minuscule sound within the room causing it to expand until the entirety of her skull felt as though it would explode from the pressure. And, lastly, though it really ought to have been the first given her inexperience in this regard, was the warm, firm body she was pressed up against.

She was on her side, one hand resting on the junction of Nemo's — Nemo's?! — neck and shoulder, her leg thrown haphazardly across his.  They were surrounded by pillows, the wall more akin to an egg shell than the stone she envisioned it to be. And, oh Merlin, she was in her chemise!

Penny's breath hitched, further influencing her worsening headache, as her body tensed in realization. Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no. She began to pull her leg back from his body, the top of her knee brushing against something even firmer than his body. And ... what ... ? What in Merlin's underpants had taken root in Nemo's?!

She withdrew from him fully then, her eyes wide in both embarrassment and fear (for the state of their friendship, not that anything wrong had transpired between them. Surely, if it had, she would feel different, right? ) Pulling the blanket up to her shoulders, Penny laid besides Nemo on the bed, too stunned (and, admittedly a tad still drunk) to speak.
#2
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The Pillow Wall and be constructed and obliterated in the course of the night. Nemo was still pretty much fully dressed, as uncomfortable as it was, between the soft glow of the street lamps, the steady breathing of Penny beside him and the wine still coursing through his veins, Nemo had fallen asleep pretty quickly and rather soundly at the conclusion of the night's excitement. Fortunately Penny didn't seem any worse for the wear before convincing him to share the the bed with her.

Big mistake.

He should have slept on the couch.

At some point he realized that they had demolished the pillows separating them and snuggled, which only pushed him into a deeper level of comfort and truthfully he thought himself dreaming. What a delightful dream it had been.

The sunlight streaming in the windows was his first call to waking, but truthfully it was Penny withdrawing from him and the cold that replaced her body heat that forced him to resign to consciousness and boy did he wish he hadn't. Her slow calculated movements did not go unnoticed, especially when her leg grazed somewhere particularly sensitive and make him flinch. mostly because... oh shit.

Nemo rolled over as slowly as he could away from her and wondered if he could feign sleep for a few more minutes, until things... calmed down. Maybe they could pretend nothing happened? Ugh. This was exactly what he'd been afraid of. Well not that but something that could potentially ruin their friendship!



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#3
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He rolled away, taking that ... creature with him. Was it attached, then? But how? Penny peeked towards him with morbid curiosity, her embarrassment the only reign on her long list of questioms. She really ought to stand and dress before he turned back towards her, save them both from further mortification. However, Penny wouldn't be able to slip from the bed without wrapping the shared blanket around herself and, well, she wasn't quite prepared to face the monster beneath the sheets.

(Was it a creature with its own brain? A parasitic type being that attached to men sometime after birth? Penny had too many questions and not enough answers.)

Realizing there was no escape, Penny kept her focus on the ceiling as she quietly asked, "Nemo? Are you awake?"
#4
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Sheer panic and embarrassment were clearly enough to deflate any remaining blood flow from the source of the problem and Nemo could only hope and pray that Penny hadn't noticed anything amiss.

He should have slept on the couch.

Her question had an obvious answer, but maybe he could feign sleep for a few more minutes, let her get dressed or sneak into the washroom. Anything to avoid adding to the panic he was starting to feel. He needed to figure out how to handle the situation and that needed time, so he gave a little pretend snore and remained absolutely still.

Avoidance at its best.



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#5
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Despite the nagging feeling that Nemo was in fact awake, Penny was determined not to address whatever the creature beneath the sheets was until she was fully dressed — and safe — from it. As softly as she could, Penny rolled towards the edge of the bed, wrapping the blanket around herself as she did, and made to stand. So cocooned was she that when Penny's bare feet touched the ground the sheet pulled taut behind her, toppling her back onto the bed and her knee banging sharply into the bed frame. "Bloody hell," she muttered in quiet frustration.

At least the cocoon hadn't come undone, though behind her Nemo was certainly exposed to the cold air of the room.
#6
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Well, that was clearly the end of his ability to pretend to be asleep. Between her pulling the blanket away, the thump and her cursing, there was no way even he'd sleep through that. Fortunately everything was far less obvious than it had been a few moments ago and he was able to roll over without further embarrassing himself.

He chuckled at the sight of her all wrapped up in the blankets, sitting up to stretch out stiff limbs, instantly regretting the motion as it ignited the throbbing in his head. "You alright?" He asked cautiously, waiting to see what she wanted him to do next. The right choice was duck out, either the washroom or the room altogether to get himself together while she dressed, but he really wasn't going to be moving all that fast until after they found something for breakfast to soak up the remaining wine and some coffee to help with the headache.



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#7
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"Yeah, I'm alright," she answered. Between her head and her knee she wasn't, not really, but she refused to draw more attention to the awkwardness that had enveloped the room. Penny was also too afraid he might mention the creature in his underpants, and she really wasn't prepared for that conversation. Especially not with Nemo.

She struggled to her feet again, wrapping her blanket around her even tighter. "Do you mind, erm .. would you leave my clothes outside the washroom door? I'm sorry, I don't know what I was thinking last night..."


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