Fandom: None (original fic)
Rating: R for safety
Warnings: Het, some sexual imagery, and good things happening to some very bad people. ;)
Summary: What does every aspiring supervillain need, even more than a bitchin' underwater lair? A reliable minion who really gets how his mind works. And Miss Smith is a very good minion.
Word Count: 1,387
Sir never said what he wanted.
Because of that, she’d spent several months dealing with the simultaneous thrill and guilt of thinking it had been her idea. After she realised, that sharp and panicked pleasure dulled. Because, of course, Sir had said what he wanted – in the same way he always did. This was no seduction on her part; it was just another case of her dutifully interpreting those signs, the same way she translated obscure sentences like, “So-and-so has become a nuisance,” and, “It might not be entirely unfortunate if such-and-such were to meet with a little accident,” into clear directives, filed and stamped and sent on to one of the legion of unsavoury characters Sir never had to deal with face-to-face.
It was, however, a choice. There was an out – a real out, not one of those large doors with friendly yellow exit signs that actually opened onto a chute into a tank of piranhas, such as Sir tended to offer to business associates who got cold feet. It was understood quite clearly that she didn’t have to continue. This, alone out of all the orders cloaked in the barest of suggestions, wasn’t an order at all. She was grateful for that. She’d heard of overlords who forced their minions to pleasure them – probably the same ones who’d been known to whip minions who made a mistake, sometimes even in front of the troops. That wasn’t Sir’s style, which was one reason she still worked for him. There was no guarantee that he wouldn’t up and kill her one day, but degrade her, never. Sir appreciated that minion was a skilled position, and that she was a goddamned professional.
Even in bed.
It was always in bed, which surprised her. She’d half expected to be bent over his desk in the office (that gorgeous room panelled in dark wood, with a map stuck with pins on the wall and all the old hidden passages and revolving fireplaces intact – it was almost retro, not all sleek glass and plastic like some of these slicker overlords had now. That had impressed her, when she first came for her interview). But, apparently, there was a ritual to these things, and Sir was big on rituals. They formed yet another protective boundary around him, between him and the thing that he was doing.
So, each time, after she’d made her first move (and she still thought of it as her move, oddly enough – taking the surveillance report out of his hand and running her fingers through his hair, or perching on the corner of his desk and sliding one stiletto-heeled foot up his leg – even though she had to admit that there was always something, a set of the shoulders, a flicker of the hands, a glance, that told her now, that whispered someone should… let us hope… it would not be entirely unfortunate if…), he’d take her hand – actually take her hand – and lead her through the secret doorway, behind the map, into his bedroom. There would be a drink offered, and he’d wait until she actually sat down on the bed before joining her. Once she’d wandered the room for half an hour, brandy glass in hand, commenting on his collection of books, just to see what would happen. He’d courteously kept pace with her and fielded her questions about Huntington and Fanon. She’d realised then that, if she’d turned and said, “Thank you for the drink; I should be going,” he would have held the door for her and replied politely, “Goodnight, Miss Smith,” without a reproachful look or a moment’s static interrupting the transmission of that cool, flawless smile.
So she hadn’t. Instead, she’d set her glass on the bedside table, feeling his eyes on her, and had slipped off her shoes.
From that point, always, there were no more rituals.
She liked him like this: liked the way his shock of pale hair would end up mussed and damp with sweat at the roots. Liked his stomach, white and soft under the grim uniform. She loved watching his languid black eyes quicken and widen, now gazing up at her, now blinking at the ceiling as he bit down hard on his lower lip. Sometimes he would let out a gorgeous, strangled moan and she would lean to kiss the hollow of his throat as she moved above him.
Once, he left a bite mark on her thigh, but never where it would show.
And she loved the way it all went back to normal by the next morning. Ice-white skin smooth and untroubled, not a hair out of place. Eyes sharp under sleepy lids, missing nothing and lingering on nothing. Their hands didn’t even meet when he passed her a document. He was Sir, she was Miss Smith. She didn’t want more than that; in fact, anything more, any crossing of those careful boundaries, would ruin it.
Even in bed, he was Sir, she was Miss Smith.
The only taboo she longed to break was the taboo of place. To have him, even once, in the deep vaults of the archives, up against one of those bookshelves that stretched nearly two storeys high, packed with nuclear secrets. Or perhaps on the private jet, with soldiers – part of the legions of terror, in their black uniforms and clear helmets (Sir was no fool) – stationed just outside both doors. She knew she never would.
There had been once – just once. The plan had been to contaminate the Western world’s water supplies, forcing the wealthiest nations to pay for Sir’s Company’s bottled water, the only supply that by some miracle had remained pure. (Never a terribly strong scheme – she had her suspicions that he’d got it from a Jackie Chan movie.) Everything had gone pear-shaped, and they were on the run, having lost the Mediterranean Underwater Lair (just as she had been starting to get its administrative systems up and running, too). Cairo, Pyramid Street, two-bit hotel, no questions asked. Sharing a bed. Not his bed, for once, just a bed. And he’d cast a look – eyes huge and black under pale lashes – at her, then glanced down.
Sir always asked for what he wanted.
She’d crossed the room and kissed him, then, roughly at first, then gently, drawing back a little from his near-trembling. He’d been so brittle, so close to the edge of breaking. It had made her feel slightly sick. After a moment, they’d pulled away; he’d poured a glass of water, she’d shrugged her disguise back on and gone to the market to hunt down a prepaid mobile. They could have continued, clutching and needy, there, in that airless room with the little blue-sheeted bed, but neither of them had wanted her to see him like that.
When she’d returned, he had squared his shoulders and sketched a vague map on the ground with the ash from a cigarette butt. As she’d sat on the end of the bed, using the phone to tap into the private satellite network, he’d nodded and refined the drawing based on the coordinates she was repeating aloud.
And before long, an air-conditioned black Mercedes was taking them through the streets to the airport, back to the office and its books and brandy and bed
She was an experienced administrator, and she had worked with heroes, too. Heroes, though, didn’t want minions. They wanted sidekicks, which on the face of it was more egalitarian – until you realised what sidekicks did, what they were. The work was the same, but the pay was worse, and you were lucky even to be called by your first name. More likely, you’d be known as “babe” or “little buddy”; all the duties of friendship with none of the protections, because at the end of the day, you were still second-fiddle, still the one expected to die nobly in the fourth act. And heroes wanted sex, as well, but they wanted more than that: they wanted love. Sidekicks pined, sometimes for years, sometimes to death. And no one ever even offered them a brandy.
Well, fuck that, to put it vulgarly. She was no one’s little buddy. She was Miss Smith, professional minion.
And only she ever got to see the curve of Sir’s spine, and the sweat in his hair.