Open to Suggestion

Summary: Gabriel is surprisingly slow to make a move on Katrina, but in the end all it takes is the power of suggestion.

 

Characters: Cornwell, Lorca, Georgiou, A. Paris

Codes: Cornwell/Lorca, Georgiou/A. Paris

 

Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own the rights to the Discovery universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.

Notes: Written to the tumblr prompt meme send me a ship + a number and I'll write you a kiss. This one was for Cornwell/Lorca + 27, 'a kiss as a suggestion'.

Rated T

Philippa perches on the kitchen counter swinging her legs, her metal-heeled boots thudding loudly against the lower cupboards. Katrina has long since given up asking her not to do that. With Pippa, one learns to pick one’s battles.

“So is he staying?” Pippa asks.

“Who, Gabriel?” Kat shrugs. “I don’t know.”

“Almost everyone’s gone home,” Pippa points out. “And I don’t think he’s sticking around for tea and conversation with Affie.”

Kat glances through the open door and into the living room. It’s trashed, littered with empty bottles and glasses, and there’s a blue haze in the air. Only two people remain: Afsaneh, stretched out on the couch draped in a richly coloured silk sarong, and Gabriel, sprawled across the floor rug, jeans riding low on his hips and a half-empty whiskey glass balanced on his stomach.

She shrugs again. “He can stay if he wants to. Probably too drunk to make it home anyway.”

“I only ask,” Pippa twists to reach for a fresh bottle in the cupboard behind her, “because if he’s staying I won’t have to ask Affie to keep the noise down. Since you won’t be sleeping anyway.” She rolls her hips suggestively, smirking.

Kat refuses to blush. “What makes you think he’ll be sleeping with me?”

Philippa leans in and whispers, “Just who exactly do you think you’re fooling, Kat?”

She tips her head back and empties a good three fingers of scotch down her throat, then tucks Katrina’s arm under her elbow.

“Come on, Cornwell. Let’s get you laid.”

“Pip, shut up,” Katrina hisses, but Pippa only laughs.

 

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Katrina’s gaze slides over to Gabriel again. His shirt has ridden up and she can’t stop staring at his quilted abdominal muscles. She wonders how many crunches he does in a day. Does he climb the salmon ladder? Maybe she could sneak into the gym someday and watch –

“Kat, you with us?” Afsaneh’s amused, smoky tones jerk Katrina back from her daydream.

“What?” she defends, hunching her shoulders at the knowing smile Affie and Pippa exchange.

“We were just talking about kicking a bit of life into this party,” Pippa says in a sly tone Katrina does not trust one bit.

“I’m not playing strip poker,” Kat says flatly.

“Killjoy.” Philippa hooks an arm around Afsaneh’s neck and nuzzles into her cheek.

From his supine position, Gabriel chuckles.

“Do you have a suggestion, Cadet Lorca?” Affie drawls.

Gabriel props himself up on his elbows and levels his gaze directly at Katrina. “I have a few,” he smirks. “Depends if you object to the stripping or the poker.”

Kat refuses to look away despite the colour she knows is burning on her cheeks. Gabriel’s grin widens.

From the corner of her eye, Katrina notices Affie and Pip exchanging another look. As one, they get to their feet.

“Tired,” Philippa announces to the room at large. “Off to bed ‘Night.”

“’Night,” replies Gabriel. “Thanks for the party.”

With their departure the living room descends into silence, and Katrina picks nervously at a loose thread on the rug. Then Gabriel’s hand closes over hers, stilling her movements.

“Kat,” he says, “do you want me to go?”

“No,” she says quickly. “I mean, you don’t have to. On my account. Unless you want to.”

Gabriel sits up, propping his back against the couch behind them. His shoulder brushes hers, and he’s still holding her hand, and she can feel his breath on her cheek.

“I’d like to stay.”

Katrina swallows and forces herself to meet his eyes.

“Then stay.”

 

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If he doesn’t kiss her soon, Katrina thinks, she might actually explode.

She thought he was going to make a move when she asked him to stay, but instead he gave her that slow grin and offered her the whiskey bottle. They’ve been passing it between them for ten minutes now, talking about nothing, and she can’t tell if this is his way of prolonging the tension or if – just maybe – he’s nervous, too.

Maybe he’s debating whether giving into this thing between them is such a smart move. She’s had the same argument with herself more than once, after all.

But he still has hold of her hand, and each time she swigs from the bottle’s neck she can feel him watching her, his gaze on the line of her throat, and lower. She wonders if he’s thinking about kissing her there, and shivers involuntarily.

“Are you cold?”

“A little,” she lies, hoping he’ll take the opportunity to put his arm around her.

He does, shifting closer and tugging her against his side. “Better?”

“Mm-hmm,” she answers, turning her face into the hollow of his neck. His pulse leaps under her lips. What would he do, she wonders, if she kissed him there?

“Kat?” Gabriel’s hand shifts from her shoulder to her hip.

“Yeah?” she mumbles into his neck, and it’s his turn to shiver.

“I have a suggestion.”

“About the stripping or the poker?”

His hand slides under her sweater, palm warm on her belly. “What do you think?”

I think to hell with the slow burn already, Katrina decides, and in one move she straddles his lap and pulls his hand higher under her sweater. Gabriel cups her breast and looks up into her face, his thumb rubbing experimentally across her nipple. He’s smiling, but it’s not the sly grin she’s used to. His eyes are soft, his face open.

“You know what I think?” Katrina’s voice is uneven. “I think you talk too much.”

“Then might I suggest,” Gabriel’s gaze drops to her parted lips, “shutting me up?”

So she leans down to kiss him, delighted to discover that Gabriel can communicate his intentions every bit as clearly when he isn’t talking.

© 2021 by Mia Cooper