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Getting to Know You
damien listening guitar
rogoblue
Title: Getting to Know You
Rating: R (language and sexual situations)
Author: rogoblue
Summary: Adelle decides she wants to know Dominic a little better and goes about it in her own inimitable way.
Spoilers: Through the episode after Spy in the House of Love, I suppose.
Words: 2,700
Disclaimers: The toys are Joss Whedon’s. The idea is mine.
Dedication: To everyone who’s still out there reading this sort of thing.



“What on Earth is he doing?” Adelle DeWitt murmured, as she watched Laurence Dominic dive into the pool designated for use by staff, rather than actives. He’d already been for a run and worked with a heavy bag for just under an hour. Dominic took his fitness seriously, but today’s regimen struck Adelle as excessive. She indulged herself for a moment in imagining his reaction if she admitted to monitoring his workouts when she had a few moments to spare.

He’d blink, his jaw would clench ever so slightly, he’d shift his feet, as though he hadn’t been perfectly poised to move in whatever direction might be dictated by events outside of his control, and he’d say something noncommittal. Adelle couldn’t imagine what he’d say exactly, but it would be noncommittal. Dominic always was when anything approached the personal between them. Most of the time, Adelle appreciated the professionalism. Occasionally, though, she longed to see behind the mask, for a window into the man responsible for the security of her House. Suddenly, it occurred to her that she knew neither what Mr. Dominic wanted nor what he needed. For Adelle, who prided herself on determining such things about clients based upon the briefest of meetings, this came as a stunning shock. She’d worked with the man almost three years and had no idea what drove him, what he fantasized about, what sort of imprint would appeal to him.

“This simply will not do,” Adelle murmured, as she buzzed Judith.

“Yes, Ms. DeWitt.”

“Have someone locate Mr. Dominic and tell him I require him at 7:00 pm this evening.”

“Of course, Ms. DeWitt. Shall I have a light meal prepared for the two of you?”

“That won’t be necessary.”

* * *

7:00 pm

“What do you fantasize about, Mr. Dominic?” Adelle DeWitt sat on her couch, shoes off, legs drawn up beneath her, more casual than Dominic had ever seen her in the office. She raised an eyebrow at him and her glass of bourbon to her lips. Not sure what to say, he said nothing. “Come now, what could be a more reasonable question given what we do for a living?”

“Given what you do for a living, maybe,” he said, shrugging, gesturing vaguely with his glass. “Security is basically the same everywhere.”

“I wish to augment your yearly bonus with a weekend with the active and imprint of your choice.”

“No, thank you.”

“Let me make myself perfectly clear,” Adelle said. “I will augment your yearly bonus with such a weekend and, if you fuss, I’ll make it three days, rather than two.”

“I’m not fussing; I’m declining.”

“Declining isn’t an option, Mr. Dominic.” Adelle drained her glass. “You are to select and active and provide a set of imprint parameters by the middle of next week. Is that understood?”

“Perfectly, ma’am.” Knowing she expected it, Dominic put his untouched alcohol on the coffee table and stood. “If that’s all?”

“Do put some thought into it,” Adelle said, smiling in a way demanding retreat. Dominic complied.

* * *

The Middle of Next Week—Very Late in the Day

“Ah, Mr. Dominic,” Adelle DeWitt said. “Did you complete the task I assigned you last week?”

Clutching a light blue manila folder a little tighter, he muttered, “Yes, ma’am.”

“May I?” she asked, trusting him to know it wasn’t a question.

Reluctance likely making his movements a tad stiff, he stepped up to her desk and offered the folder.

“Sierra,” Adelle murmured, nodding, thinking back to the times she’d seen Dominic and Sierra together, recalling some mild flirting during the gray hour debacle, on Sierra’s part, of course.

“I’m not sure about the rest of it,” Dominic said. Adelle’s attention shifted to him at the hint of uncertainty in his tone. He nodded to the folder she held. “That might be too general or incomplete. I just don’t know.”

Adelle glanced down.

Athletic, intelligent, funny but not in a mean spirited way, excellent masseuse, likes Mexican food.

“Have you injured yourself in one of your ridiculously protracted workouts, Mr. Dominic?”

“What?” he said.

“I simply note the requirement of excellence in massage techniques.” Adelle smiled at the needless shift in perfect posture.

“I … yes, my right shoulder’s been sore for a couple of weeks. I’m not sure what I did to it.”

“You specified nothing about sex,” Adelle said. “Why not?”

“Is that unusual?” he asked.

Wondering if she’d just witnessed a clever evasion or something else entirely, Adelle said, “Somewhat.”

“I figured an athletic, smart woman with a sense of humor would at least be decent in bed.”

“Did you really?”

“Would you prefer it, if I added ‘willing to try anything once?’”

“Would you, Mr. Dominic?”

“Not really, no.” Standing even straighter, a feat Adelle would’ve believed impossible, Dominic said, “What’s this really about, Ms. DeWitt?”

“Perhaps, I’m seeking to understand what motivates you,” she ventured, watching him closely.

“Money motivates me.”

“Most men are motivated by sex,” Adelle said.

“Most men can be manipulated using sex,” Dominic said. Smirking slightly, he said, “There is a distinction.”

Adelle frowned, despite his rather apt use of a favorite phrase of hers. “You don’t find the prospect of excellent sex pleasing?”

“Sure. Pleasing isn’t necessarily motivating, though.” Likely picking up on her growing impatience, he said, “Although it can be, under the right circumstances.”

Intrigued, she asked, “What would those circumstances be, Mr. Dominic? The prospect of what sort of sex would motivate you?”

“Not a contrived situation with an imprinted partner, that’s for damn sure.”

“Fine.” Adelle heard the steel in her tone and saw Dominic had as well, although he had no way of knowing he’d just passed judgment on her association with Victor imprinted as Roger. “Your weekend with Sierra won’t motivate you. I ask again, what would.”

“A woman I find attractive and respect on various levels choosing to take me to bed.”

“I see. I’ll add that to your list then. Anything else?”

Adelle couldn’t interpret the expression that flew across Dominic’s face before he said, “No, ma’am,” and turned away. Nor could she help but add a few items to his somewhat sparse list.

* * *

The Next Day

“Imprinting Sierra for Dominic is wrong in every way imaginable,” Topher Brink said.

“And yet,” Ivy said, “Ms. DeWitt has spoken.”

“Let’s put in the full dominatrix package,” Topher said, rubbing his hands together. “I’d sleep better knowing she’ll make Dom beg for it.” Topher smiled beatifically. “Every. Single. Time.”

“That doesn’t fit the imprint parameters,” Ivy said, pointing at the list of ten criteria they’d been given. Nine had been incorporated into the imprint.

“What does “respect on various levels” mean, anyway?” Topher asked, the question obviously rhetorical as he continued without pause. “If we assume he’s heterosexual, Dom finds Sierra attractive. That’s a given. She’ll ‘choose’ to take him to bed, too.”

“How are you guaranteeing she’ll be the aggressor, at least to the point of communicating what she wants?” Ivy asked.

“I’ve hard linked all the other parameters to sex. If they dance, for example.” Brow furrowing, Topher spread his hands out before him. “Do you think there’s the remotest possibility Dom can dance?”

“Assume he does.” Ivy smiled. “I wouldn’t be surprised, actually. He moves very smoothly for a guy.”

“They dance; she’ll jump him. If they debate philosophy, she’ll jump him. If they’re recounting their favorite Monty Python skits; she’ll jump him. Not to mention the easiest one of all—making Margaritas, guacamole and hot peppers aphrodisiacs for her.” Topher shook his head. “But there’s that pesky respect thing. Who on the planet does the man respect? Momar Khadafi?”

“He respects DeWitt,” Ivy said.

Beaming, Topher said, “That’s brilliant! We give Sierra a big old dose of boss lady, without the lovely accent, so it isn’t too obvious, turn her loose on stoic and grumpy and see what happens.”

“Monitor what happens via Sierra’s readings, you mean,” Ivy corrected. “Video will definitely not be available to us. This is a perk for Mr. Dominic, not a ploy to give you anything else to give him a hard time about.”

“A hard time will be had by all,” Topher muttered, grinning as his fingers flew over his keyboard. “I guarantee it.”

“Topher,” Ivy said, tapping the screen with her fingernail. “Change that. Sierra needs to call him Laurence.”

“Oh, yeah. Good catch, grasshopper.”

* * *

Friday Evening

“Hello, Laurence,” Sierra said, smiling slyly up at him, body nicely displayed by curve hugging gray silk. “I brought champagne.”

For about the ten millionth time, Laurence Dominic thought his enhanced bonus to be a monumentally bad idea. He knew DeWitt had cameras placed to record the event, but that didn’t bother him nearly as much as the thought of the woman herself watching. “Come in,” he said, stepping aside.

“Open this, please,” she said. “I’m parched.”

“Sure.” When they both had glasses of champagne, Dominic considered opening gambits as he tried to figure out what Sierra’s smirk meant. “It’s been awhile since I’ve had a woman up here,” he ventured.

“That’s kind of you to say,” Sierra said, kicking off her undoubtedly expensive shoes. “But my ego isn’t fragile enough that I need to believe myself so utterly irresistible to inspire you to make an exception.”

“You have a formal way of speaking.”

“Is that off putting?”

“No, it’s just … unusual.”

Eyes alight with amusement, she asked, “How long has it been since you’ve invited an unusual woman into your home?”

He laughed and said, “I have no idea.” From there, the conversation flowed smoothly, covering a wider variety of topics than Dominic had expected.

Afterward, Dominic couldn’t remember whose idea it had been to spar hand to hand. Re-outfitted in a T-shirt and rolled up sweatpants of his, Sierra shifted fluidly among five martial art styles and gave slightly better than she got until Dominic used his superior size and strength to pin her against the wall. They stared at each other, panting hard for several heartbeats. Sierra smiled an invitation and bit his lower lip. Dominic took her against his living room wall. After that, it seemed stupid to resist playing along.

* * *

Saturday Evening

Adelle DeWitt sipped a glass of white wine and considered the image displayed on her monitor.

Laurence Dominic sat on a large plush leather chair with a bowl of popcorn on his lap. They had made it the old fashioned way— on a stove and topped it with actual melted butter. Sierra curled up next to him, an arm draped across his shoulders, the other hand migrating randomly from his thigh to the popcorn bowl to her mouth, her head resting right next to his on the chair back. He rolled his eyes at something on the screen.

Adelle wasn’t sure what they were watching; she’d missed that part when Boyd Langton had come to her office with a concern about Echo’s latest engagement. She knew it was some sort of action movie from the frequent sounds of gunfire, tires squealing and shouted dialogue.

Sierra defended her choice of film with a slowly developing kiss that left Dominic a bit breathless. He told her he didn’t realize beautiful women liked Dirty Harry movies and seemed to enjoy her very slight blush immensely, if the broad, pleased and utterly genuine smile served as any indication.

Adelle wished she could rewind the video at that juncture and review as unguarded an expression as she’d ever seen on his face. It wasn’t just the smile though. Dominic lounged in the chair with Sierra—his typical picture perfect posture nowhere to be seen. He ran his fingers through her hair, watching Sierra more than the film, and eating popcorn of all things like a typical male, a handful at a time. He looked so unlike himself; he seemed a different person.

Suddenly, Sierra beamed up at him, possibly in response to some positive turn to the movie. Dominic smiled back, but this time Adelle saw something almost wistful in his expression and knew that he wasn’t lost in the fantasy or even simply accepting of it anymore. She shuddered, knowing all too well the pain that attended such moments of wishing for something that didn’t exist.

* * *

Monday—Noon

“How was your weekend, Mr. Dominic?”

“Fine,” he said. Sighing, he met Adelle DeWitt’s eyes. “Thank you. I guess.”

“You … guess?” He nodded. “Not exactly the ringing endorsement I anticipated with as much sex as Topher informs me the two of you had.”

As if she relied on Topher for that information. “Sex isn’t everything.”

She laughed, drawing a slight smile to his lips. “I suppose I should’ve asked how the sex was, then.”

“Fine.”

Adelle regarded him for a long time. Dominic fought the urge to fidget. “You’re angry,” she said. “Why is that?”

“I’m not angry, not really, but I don’t understand why you insisted upon that farce of a weekend.”

“Perhaps I wanted to learn a bit more about you—what you like, dislike, desire, shy away from. What sort of proposition you couldn’t resist, even if you wanted to.”

“Why?”

“I wished to understand a man I’ve come to value a bit better.” Adelle smiled as she handed him a vodka tonic.

“Ms. DeWitt, it’s barely noon.”

“It’s close enough to cocktail hour for Government work, as you say over here.”

Dominic froze for the briefest of instants before tapping the rim of his glass against Adelle’s raised one. He didn’t drink to that, though. He couldn’t.

“Tell me, Mr. Dominic, were there moments when you forgot the charade?”

Looking away, reflecting that the British pronunciation of the word was so much more elegant, Dominic mumbled, “Yes.”

“Would you care to describe them?”

“No.”

“If I said, ‘please?’”

That word on those lips sped Dominic’s heart rate to what had to be an unhealthy level. “Ms. DeWitt, this conversation is rocketing toward inappropriate.”

“So you won’t satisfy … my curiosity.” The challenge in her words was decidedly at odds with her sitting on the couch and patting the cushion next to hers.

Mesmerized by the intensity radiating from Adelle, Dominic sat. After a few moments of tension filled silence, he said, “When she rubbed my back, I lost track of time. My mind drifted—I couldn’t latch onto any subject in particular, but I didn’t care. I felt good. At that moment, feeling good—the absence of pain, I mean—was all that mattered.”

“Go on,” she urged in that ‘you can tell me’ tone she used so effectively on clients.

He chuckled, despite his discomfort. “We argued about some stupid television show we watched—one of the CSIs. I guess she engaged my competitive streak, because I wanted to win so much I forgot she wouldn’t remember I had in 24 hours.”

“You do enjoy a good argument.”

Sipping his drink without really intending to, Dominic nodded grudgingly. “The other time I remember was when we sat on the couch together, listening to jazz—Miles Davis, I think. We both had our feet on the coffee table, legs kind of intertwined. She leaned back against my chest and I had my arms around her. She was soft and warm and I felt content. Satisfied just to exist.” Risking a look at Adelle, he said, “It was nice.”

“I’ve found that physical proximity can be a great comfort,” Adelle said, shifting on the couch to lean against Dominic’s right side. “Something we have in common, evidently.”

Surprised by the urge to hold Adelle and recognizing the danger in acting on it, Dominic slid an arm around her, hand resting lightly on her waist. “What do you want?” he asked.

“What are you offering?” Adelle countered.

Heart slamming in his chest, throat tight, Dominic said, “Whatever you want.”

She lowered her head onto his shoulder. “Comfort and lunch, in that order.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

THE END


  • 1
Yes, I still read D/D fics.

And Yes. Yes to all of these.

She shuddered, knowing all too well the pain that attended such moments of wishing for something that didn’t exist.

*lips wibble*


Basically, all of this comment! I'm still reading as well, and these fics are such a welcome respite from what happened on the show. Just wonderful. &hearts

What happened on the show was a bit wasteful in hindsight, but we have been able to fix it in myriad ways--so that's nice.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

I'm glad folks are still reading. I wrote this because everything that was longer that I was working on had stalled completely. So, I started with the idea of Adelle watching Dominic work out and ended up with something far deeper than I would've ever imagined.

And If Dom had to pick, it would be Priya.

I can only imagine how it would feel to know that the person you are with isn't really a person you can have anything real with--if you let yourself think about it, that is.

And I wanted to let them get a little clearer grip on what/who might be available along the way.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

I'm still reading too (and will continue to until ppl stop writing these two)!!! Love it, love it, love it :D

Thanks. It's good to know that these things still have a home.

I am definitely still reading (and I was so excited to see another piece by you).

I loved the ending, the knowledge that both know what the other is offering and being alright with it. Plus, Topher and Ivt breaking out the Adelle wedge with a few adjustments was awesome, I love when Topher and Ivy collaborate.

I was stuck with the longer things I was working on so I just sat down with very little idea of what I was going to do and this emerged. Hopefully, I can get off the dime on the other stuff soon.

What also interested me at the end was them having something unexpected in common. I think Dominic went out a little bit on a limb here too. Which is fun.

Ivy can sort Topher out when he's doing certain types of imprints. I kind of wish we'd have seen more of that on the show.

What other longer things are you working on?

Another Between the Lines episode based on morgan72uk's universe and a fourth episode of Alpha messing with Dom and Adelle (but it's less Alpha than others this time and that may well be my problem).

I enjoyed it; my favourite part though was the Topher/Ivy exchange, particularly Topher's dialogue :D

Topher/Ivy do seem to come across well. I'm glad you liked that bit and the story. Thanks, as always, for taking the time to comment.

There's no one quite like Adelle for coming up with a scheme or a machination. This particular way of indulging her curiosity was really well thought through. The fic was bitter and sweet - I liked the juxtaposition of what wasn't real between Sierra and Dom and what was real for Dominic and Adelle.

It think I've had in the back of my mind for a long time the idea of Adelle choosing an active for Dominic. I kind of like that she made him do it for himself (more or less) but couldn't resist tinkering with the parameters a little bit.

I think the moral of this story is--if you're going to cuddle, find a real person to do it with. Or maybe if you want to know someone, watch enough video of them.

Thanks for reading!

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