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"Are you single, Miss Leary?"

Wren lifts her eyes and stares at her boss. Ian McGrey in all his monochrome glory - seriously, even the glittery scarf around his neck is as grey as his surname - is giving her a twinkly, mirthful look. What? Wren works in the Classical English Literature department of their library. She knows everything about "mirth in his eyes," as well as "raven ringlets" and "stormy brow." Which, by the way, all can be applied to Wren's - sadly - former paramour.

"Yes, sir, for the last thirty two days, three hours, and..." Wren checks her watch. "Twenty seven minutes."

Oops, that might have been TMI. OK, she clearly isn't over her tragic breakup with John Crispin Thorington a.k.a. Dr. Sexy a.k.a. The Wanker That Shattered Wren's Heart into Pieces.

"Lovely, lovely, my dear." The old man chuckles, and Wren imagines stabbing herself with her letter opener. What's lovely about this in the name of Gallifrey, Wren would like to ask. "Then I have just the gentleman for you." Oh poop. "He's a son of an old friend of mine, and a fine chap. In actuality, there's a lot more to him than appearances suggest. And he's got a great deal more to offer than any of you know, including himself." McGrey rubs his hands, and Wren has this iffy feeling in her stomach.

"Um, sir… I'm not quite… interested. I am not looking for anything, and to be honest..."

"My dearest, there is no better way to find your true love, except not looking for it."

Huh?

The man puts a card on her table. Bill Baggins. Tax preparer. Seriously? Wren is already bored.

"Um..." she starts, but McGrey is already leaving her titsy office, waving his hand in the air.

"Good morning, my dear." He closes the door behind him, and Wren drops her head on the table. Ugh.

***

As an officially single person - it is official, if it's been thirty three days, five hours, and sixteen minutes, right? - Wren gives Mr. Bill Baggins, the tax preparer, a ring. She's met with the robotic greeting from the machine, then some mumbling, something about 'Baggins of Bagend' or 'Baguette' maybe, and then a beep. Wren leaves a message. What? She's progressive enough. She chooses her own men. She offers Mr. Baggins a dinner at the Beorn's, the new hipster vegetarian restaurant, and goes to bed very chuffed.

The next day she receives a call back, and among the sea of muttering, repeating, squeaky noises, and what sounds like sniffles, she finally susses out that Mr. Baggins accepts her invitation. He has nice voice, but Wren is still feeling rather confused at in what universe did McGrey thought it was a good match.

***

{Sunday #1}

On the day of the date, garbed in her most modest green dress - midi, sequin top, but back naked, nonetheless - Wren shows up at the Beorn's. Somehow she thinks that Mr. Baggins, the tax preparer, isn't prepared for her.

And judging by his jaw slowly descending - and in this manner it will probably tunnel right through to Southern Ocean, in the vicinity of New Zealand - and considering how his nose dances on his face, Mr. Baggins thinks he definitely bit more than he can chew, and might need an unhinging jaw like an anaconda. He's pale and is twisting a button on his velvet waistcoat. All and all, Mr. Baggins is clearly thinking he made a giant mistake.

Wren isn't so sure.

***

"So, what do you do, Ms. Leary?" Mr Baggins squeaks from behind his menu. Wren is pondering between honey glazed tofu and quark ravioli.

"I'm a librarian," she answers scanning the choice of appetisers. Hm, kale beetroot salad, or American style coleslaw?

"You don't… don't look like a librarian."

Seriously? Wren slowly lowers her menu. Mr. Baggins is growing increasingly pale under Wren's murderous look. But c'mon, does he bloody think she hasn't heard it before?

"I'm the naughty librarian," Wren deadpans. "One of those from the porn. I take off my glasses, and there is a hidden vixen there. A redhead, see?" She points at her head. Yeah, Mr. Baggins just broke the record of many other dates that Wren's had. He caused a ginger snap in the first ten minutes.

The tax preparer's eyes dart towards the exit. Will he actually run like a rabbit?

He blinks and twitches his nose.

"Fair enough. That was daft," he mutters and nods. "You could say people don't look like their jobs, but I look exactly like an accountant, so..." He sniffles.

"You do. But how's that a bad thing?" Wren puts the menu down and gives him a stern look.

"Well, you see… I know… I know what people think when they look at me. That I'm a homely bachelor, who cares for his sill garden, and bakes. And I do." He emits a little chuckle and twitches his nose again. "So, what does it look like when a woman like you is on a date with me?"

"What does it look like?" Wren asks. This self-deprecating humour of his is actually quite ace.

"Like you were forced into it by your nosy boss?" he offers, and Wren snorts.

They go back to their menus.

"I'm not that fit, you know." Wren decides it's worth noting. "I'm skinny, a ginger, and my mouth is too big. And it's just a fad. Ten years ago I wouldn't be even looked at."

"Indeed." His sarcastic voice comes from behind his menu. "And what was your last date like? Also an unimpressive bachelor, vertically challenged, and fond of documentaries on Netflix?"

Wren's previous date was a six five orthopedic surgeon, with a mane of ebony and silver waves, a sex god, and a wanker. Wren doesn't want to think about it.

"I don't date," Wren chokes out. "I'm done with the whole dating business."

The tax preparer's menu goes down again.

"So, what are you doing here then?" His eyebrows funnily jump up.

"I'm here for their famous veggie burger." He hums agreeing. "And a possible one-off."

Oops. Wren might have just killed a tax preparer. He was sipping his beetroot and carrot juice, and now he's coughing, his face the colour of the said beetroot.

"What can I get you?" A hipster looking waiter manifests in front of their table, and Wren considers asking for an ambulance for the freshly suffocated accountant.

"I'll have the coleslaw and your specialty, the burger," Wren calmly announces, and the tax preparer rasps from the table that his head fell on.

"I'll have the same, please. And thank you."

The waiter throws him a pitiful look and disappears, his ponytail above the undercut swaying in the air.

Mr. Baggins coughs for a few more seconds, and finally takes the first unobstructed breath in.

"Why?" His eyes are tearing up.

"I'm on a rebound." It's not like Wren is trying to finish him off. She's just not in the mood for social dance. "About a month ago my big love story went out with a ka-boom, and I'm only doing one-offs now." Is this her bleeding broken heart talking? Then it should shut its gob, and let the fanny lead.

"Oh… Um..." Mr. Baggins topples the rest of his juice into his throat. "And how is it going?"

Hm, he doesn't sound that judgy. To think of it, he doesn't sound judgy at all.

"I'll tell you after tonight. You're the first one," Wren answers, and the accountant's eyes boggle.

"I… Me… Oh..." He sounds like a chewing toy in the teeth of a very enthusiastic terrier.

Wren decides she's said everything she needed to say, and she takes a sip of her cranberry juice.

***

The voice returns to the tax preparer only after the appetisers. Wren doesn't rush him. If the blokes needs to process, who's she to interfere?

Mr. Baggins is actually making a very good impression on her. He has nice manners and a healthy appetite, and there is some adorable neatness around him. Wren likes the greenish grey eyes, and the button nose.

"I'm sorry about your break up," he says softly; and Wren lifts her eyes from the sweet potato chips at him.

Feels alert, feels alert! Wren bloody doesn't need this, in the name of TARDIS! She shrugs, hoping it's convincing.

"It's been..." Thirty six days, five hours, and twenty one minutes, but who's counting? "It's been over a month. I'm not upset anymore. But thank you."

"And I'm flattered." He smiles to her. It's an unexpectedly charming, very male smile. "And especially, that you didn't run after seeing me. And indeed decided I was worthy to be your first."

Wren burst into laughter. OK, that's a definite 'maybe.'

***

They fall into his flat, jerking off items of clothing, grabbing and groping. Remember that 'maybe' that formed in Wren's mind over a veggie burger? It turned into 'most likely' over a very witty and relaxed conversation all through the dinner and up to the vegan strawberry tart. And then it plunged into 'hell, yeah' in the cab, when it turned out that Mr. Bill Baggins, the tax preparer, was a glorious kisser! Wren is all prepared, like an HMRC self-assessment form!

"God, it's so much easier when a man isn't a Big Ben!" Wren mumbles, and Mr. Baggins' micro checkered shirt executes salto mortale behind her.

"My pants are still on!" the tax preparer squeaks. "You don't know the size yet!"

Wren roars with laughter.

"I meant your height, you clot!" She grabs handful of his - delicious soft - golden curls and pulls him to her lips. In the name of Loki the Silver Tongue, has the man attended some special snogging school?! Wren's toes curl from all this moreishness!

He also has an amazing bed. They plop on the mattress, and Wren is momentarily distracted from a pretty decent bod she found under all these layers. Seriously, a jacket, a waistcoat, a shirt, and a vest? It's like he was trying not to get some!

"Wow, what is this mattress?" she asks and squirms on it underneath Mr. Accountant and God of Kissing.

"Bedmonkey 2000," he answers in a completely sober voice, and Wren emits a shrieky giggle.

"A bed monkey?" The meaning of his words reaches the tax preparer's mind, and he snorts as well.

"Yes, a bed monkey." He leans and kisses Wren. Smart man. Applying his best tactics.

OK, the man - astonishingly - is indeed a bed monkey. Inexperienced, but eager. And open to new and adventurous experiences. And Asgard bless his height. Wren didn't lie. There are plenty of things one can't do with a six five bearman, which work out just great with a nimble small bloke who, judging by the muscles formation, bikes to work.

Also, when Wren says 'small,' she doesn't mean 'small.' He isn't fanfiction worthy of course - like some unmentionable orthopedic surgeons - but Wren doesn't feel like something's missing.

After christening the Bedmonkey in the cowgirl position - Wren can finally enjoy having the reins all to herself and appreciate the awe and gratitude beaming on the tax preparer's face - they move into 'against the wall standing up.' Yes, that is that one thing Wren always wanted to try but she'd need a stepping stool with Dr. Who Shall Not Be Named.

While a very chuffed accountant backs off to the bathroom to clean up - mumbling and literally backing off - Wren presses her palms into the tax preparer's wall and, when he steps back into the bedroom, she wiggles her bum. She hears a terrified squeak behind her; but before she can change her mind, his hands lie on her hips, and hello! After the appropriate amount of enthusiastic efforts, Wren feels great, and Mr. Baggins comes with a very masculine groan, and then his nose presses into the back of her neck.

"Oh my goodness..." he breathes out, and it's so proper and polite that Wren starts laughing, making him squeal and jump away from her. Oh right, she's just choked the poor darling.

He leaves again, and Wren climbs on the Bedmonkey and under a very nice duvet. The sheets are Egyptian cotton, and are very nice. Wren brushes her hand to the yellow rose pattern on them.

"I'm… I'm not sure what's the protocol here..." Mr. Baggins' voice comes from the door, and Wren looks up. He's wrapped into a very colourful quilt robe and is industriously trying to avoid looking at her tits.

"It depends on whether you have another round in you," she answers smiling, and his nose jerks.

"Um… No, I don't think so… I'm surprised there was the second one… I've never..." he clears his throat. "Before, I mean..."

Wren smiles wider and pats the bed near her. He edges towards her and sits, his hands on his lap. He's so adorable Wren can't help but wrap her arms around his neck and snogs all sense out of him.

When she releases him, he's panting and is gawking at her.

"We can meet up next week?" she offers, and he gulps - loudly. Interestingly enough, he doesn't jump at the opportunity right away.

"Um… And a week after that? Would we meet up a week after that?" he asks, and Wren isn't sure where he's going with this.

"Depends on the next week."

He sighs.

"Wren, you're wonderful, but..."

What?! Is he actually going there?! What. The. Sodding. Hell?! The whole 'it's not you' thing?!

"But two weeks from now, you'll just come and shag me, while I'll already..." He's raspy, and Wren's anger dissipates. "I'll have feelings for you, and it'll..."

Awwww, poor ducky. And why - in the name of Rassilon - is this man reasonable, mature, and sweet, while the one she had to fall in love with turned out to be the last sort of tosser and bellend?!

And why, in the name of Aule, is this one single?

"Oh, Bill, it's you who are wonderful!" Wren quickly kisses his cheek. And then the other one. "And yes, you're right. I'm no shape to try to start anything new." Are her eyes prickling?! Certainly not. "So, I'll just get dressed, and go… And thank you, it was amazing!" She pecks his lips, and he suddenly pulls her into a deep kiss.

Seriously, how is he doing this?! Does he have a magic ring, or something?!

It's her turn to feel wobbly and stare at him.

"Well, you have my number..." he mumbles, "For when you are in the right shape… I mean, if you feel like it… When, you know..." She chuckles and kisses the tip of his nose.

"I can very much see how I would be, but you'll have a girlfriend by then." She honestly thinks so.

"I doubt it."

Wren decides to reassure him, and they end up rolling off the bed, and Mr. Bill Baggins is introduced to his first Downward Doggy Style. Neither is disappointed, although Wren, of course, is left without a crisis. Well, she's given up on ever getting one with a man. After all, Dr. Horrible was the only one who's ever managed it. Whatever!

***

Wren comes home and sinks into her favourite lilacs scented bubble bath.

She's humming along with Sam Cook, dangling her foot in the warm water. All and all, the rebound one-off went as ace as it could. Wren isn't sure yet whether it was worth it, but she now has a whole week to process it.

Wren sighs. Yes, a week till Dr. Phil's engagement party where she will have to face Dr. Horrible and potentially his new hot date she's been unfortunate to hear so much about. Maybe, Wren will take Thea with her. And take someone else from the party to go to her room with. Surely, there are some tall, fit, blonde men there, to match the mysterious long-legged blonde Dr. Wanker was seen with around the city?

 

To be continued...

 

Chapter Text

The happy bride in this chapter might be familiar to some of you who read a certain author with nick Wynni ;) Well, I just couldn't torture poor Phil anymore, could I? :D


{Sunday #2}

Wren's revenge upon Dr. Wanker might have to wait. There's only one tall fit blonde bloke at the party; but in an astonishingly shiny suit and with long silky hair - seriously, Wren has more split ends than he does! Wren can see she has nothing to catch here. No stereotyping, by the way! He's just making lovey dovey eyes at Dr. Horrible. And again, Wren's not judging. The bespoke light grey suit Dr. Horrible is wearing makes Wren's fanny shudder in pleasant memories. Shut your gob, Ms Fanny. We are over him! You might be, but I'd have some of that deliciousness, answers the cursed uncooperative organ; and Wren sighs. You've had a slice last week, daft muscle, Wren reminds the fanny, and then feels slightly wobbly on her feet. Why? Because the aforementioned last week's slice is decorously sipping something red from a glass by the bar. What the frack?! Is he stalking her?!

"Thea, that's him!" Wren hisses. "That's the bloke from last week. The tax preparer." Thea prims up like a hound at the sound of a hunting horn.

"Where? Which one? The little one with small hands?"

"How the frack can you see hands from here?!" Wren asks. Thea gives her a pointed look. "Nevermind. Yes, that one, in a brown jacket." Thea's surveying the tax preparer.

"Hm… No, not worth the second round."

"Thea!" Wren squeaks. "I'm not even thinking about second round! It's just awkward."

"Why?" There's sincere confusion in Thea's eyes under her long, fluffy, perfectly mascara-ed eyelashes. "So, you've shagged. You've slept with at least three more men here, and speed dated another thirteen, and by the way your Scotsman is waving to you."

Wren returns the wave from Dr. Horrible's ginger cousin, Dain, with a plastic smile plastered over her face; and then she grabs her friend's hand and drags her in a corner behind a giant vase with some poofy purple flowers.

"I'm not ready to face all of them!" Wren starts pulling at her coiffured curls. "I'm OK with Killian, he's cool. I'm OK with Phil of course; his bride is nice; and we got sloshed together couple times. And the footie team are my mates. And I'm even mentally - sort of - prepared for Dr. Horrible and his Cruella De Ville, but not Bill! That's just too much!"

"God, Wren, you have so much to learn in the world of casual shag, you depress me!" Thea rolls her eyes. "It's called ripping the plaster. Go straight to him now and make it un-awkward. Set the rules of engagement. This way you can enjoy the do and find someone new. Speaking of..."

Thea licks her lips and floats away, her hips moving seductively under a pink lace dress, towards an unsuspecting bloke sipping a martini at the closest table. It's Dwalinson, the footie team forward, and Wren wishes them luck. They both will need it.

Wren lingers behind the vase for a mo - watching Thea on a pull seriously requires David Attenborough's voiceover - and then she inhales sharply and marches towards Bill Baggins, the tax preparer, and the owner of an excellent Bedmonkey mattress.

***

"Hi, Wren!" he cheerfully greets her, and Wren immediately feels better. Phew, bless his non-judgy attitude. And bless the men who remember that one off implies only one instance of - getting - off. Well, they had three, but you get the point!

"Hi!" She smiles to him. "Bride or groom?"

"Sadly, I'm neither." Wren blinks, and he blushes a bit. Oh, right, that's his self-deprecating humour. "I'm the tax preparer of the groom's Uncle's clinic. You?"

The honest answer is 'I shagged the groom, and his brother, then had seven months of monogamous bliss with the Uncle, and then he dumped me cruelly, without any explanation, but with a lot of direct and painful accusations in depravity and dishonesty.'

"I know the groom's family." Here we go, nice and vague.

A slap so loud that its sound carries over the jazz cover of one of the Roxette overused hits makes Wren and Bill turn towards the table, where Dwalinson is sitting pressing his spade like hand over his cheek. Thea is regally moving to the next table, where Bifurson's eyes boggle and he chokes on his drink. Wren returns her attention to the tax preparer.

"So, you know John…" Don't ask, don't ask, don't ask! "How's he doing?" Damn it, Wren!

"John?" The accountant gives her a confused look.

"Nevermind," Wren tries to hastily fix her mistake, but it's too late.

"Dr. Thorington? He's your ex?!" Bill asks, and Wren groans. "The one who broke your heart?"

"Why does everyone automatically assumes I'm the victim here?!" Wren flails her arms. "Maybe, it was I who dumped him! Look! He's clearly on the rebound as well!"

Wren regrets pointing it out because it leads to her and the tax preparer actually looking at Dr. Wanker. Who is currently leaning to the ear of the mind-blowingly sexy blonde in a tight dark green dress - pencil skirt and all - whispering into that said ear! He used to whisper into me! hollers Wren's ear. It was sexy and I enjoyed it, chimes in Wren's fanny, and Wren grabs the nearest unclaimed glass of water and topples it into her throat. She so wishes she could get bladdered right now. A nice drunk and disorderly is exactly what she needs. Alas! After two drinks Wren is pretty much a Dalek without the outside dome - goo like, and pathetic, one eye open but bleary, and no capacity for bipedal locomotion.

"So what happened?" asks Bill Baggins with sincere sympathy in his voice; and Wren graphically imagines drowning herself in a punch bowl.

"He broke it off without giving me any explanation. Just said he didn't want to waste time on… on the likes of me." What is this manky croaking sound? Oh, it's Wren's voice quoting Dr. Prick.

"Oh..." the tax preparer breathes out.

Sadly, she can imitate the intonation quite easily. She hears and sees this scene repeatedly in her nightmares.

Honestly, two flutes of champagne, and she won't remember anything. Here, fizzy poison, kitty kitty kitty! Come to Wren!

"Wren!" the happy voice of the soon to be Mrs. Phil comes from across the room. Saved by the bell. Well, more like a fox hunting horn, because blimey, the chick has lungs!

Future Mrs. Blonde Pediatrician With Noble Intentions is cutting through the room like a purple icebreaker, all curls and curves. She's American and properly stretches her vowels, like the characters in those films who wear wide hats and shoot guns at the dawn under the town clock. And there is no stopping her!

Wren is grabbed, hugged, squeezed, minced, and slightly lifted off the ground, and shaken, and stirred. Mr. Bond wouldn't approve.

"Howdy!" The bride's grinning from ear to ear. "I was hoping you'd come. But didn't know if you'd risk crossing paths with Majestic Grumpus over there." Bri - that's the name of soon to be hitched receptionist who one day just marched into her boss's office and asked him out for ice cream - rolls her eyes and points at Dr. Wanker.

"I wouldn't miss it!" Wren gives back a smile as fake as the crab canapes over there. Everything here is tofu. The groom and his mother are vegetarian.

"Brilliant!" Bri grins even wider. "Glad you ain't rattled by the breakup. And I see your friend's making progress."

Wren looks. Bifruson has been scanned and put aside; and Thea has moved to the table where three more footie team members are currently salivating excessively. Wren agrees with them. Thea is the most moreish pudding here.

"Alrightie, need to go! See ya!" Bri disappears in a cloud of ruffles on her lilac dress and some flowery perfume.

"How did they meet?" Bill asks watching the bride hang on some new unsuspecting relative. "The bride and the groom?"

"She was his receptionist, and was pining over him for three years, and then one day he had… an aggro of personal kind... " Uhem, when a certain ginger and him had a misunderstanding regarding what that one time hanky panky meant. "And she decided to go for the Golden Slam. Just grabbed him, and Bob's your Uncle." Wren throws an envious look at the happy Septic bride. "Don't let them tell you how they realised they were each other's destiny on the first date, and how he proposed on the second. The story might give you diabetes." Wren sits on a chair near Bill and sighs.

It's not like she was imagining herself where Bri is standing right now. OK, maybe she did. Once! OK, more than once... And with another man, and definitely more meat in the menu, and less purple flowers everywhere. But there was this one moment in those seven months with Dr. Sexy, when she sort of thought that maybe he was… it. As in, 'that's it.' End of the line, the Golden Snitch, the Holy Grail to her Dr. Jones, the pie to her Dean. Bugger.

And there he is now, sipping champagne and chatting with other guests, and a sexy blonde's hand is on his sleeve, where Wren's used to be, and Wren knows how the muscles feel, warm and firm, under the jacket and the shirt, and…

"Wren, you're crying..." Bill the Tax Preparer whispers, and she quickly hides her face into the handkerchief he hurriedly pushed into her hand.

"Just something got into my eye… Both of them..." Wren squeaks, jumps on her feet, and rushes away.

***

What is the daftest thing a pale-skinned ginger with multiple allergies can do when wearing makeup? Exactly. That would be crying and rubbing her eyes. Now she looks like a rabbit that overdosed on seafood it's allergic to.

Wren isn't sure what got to her. She seemed to have been handling her break up with Dr. Horrible quite well all month; and she even ran into him once! They ignored each other, and she ate only half a pint of ice cream afterwards, and it was her favourite Cornish clotted cream, so she counts this as success. What's wrong with her now?

It isn't even the other woman. After all, sisterhood of women and such! And it's no surprise, Wren had heard of her before. There are always some 'well-wishers' who are just dying to let one know that a man they thought was the love of their life had moved on in just two weeks after the break up and was seen jogging in the morning with a woman who doesn't need jogging. Seriously, did she order those legs in some perfection catalog?

Wren isn't even angry or jealous. Wren is sad. She doesn't understand. Why did it fall apart? Did she do something wrong? And it's a very unhealthy tude, and an independent self-assured modern woman shouldn't think in these terms, but it just was so brill! And they clicked, and shag was great, and he made her laugh. He had all those cute habits, and they shared paper in the morning, and he would read with his glasses low on his nose, and she adored him at that moment.

Wren realizes the remaining mascara of hers has just travelled down her chin, and she wipes the tears and loudly cleans her nose in the hankie of Bill Baggins, the tax preparer.

"Walk-in coolers are for yelling, not crying." A low rumbly male voice comes from above, and Wren's eyes fly up. "Cooks come here to release rage."

Mr. Beorn, the restaurateur and the caterer on this lovely event is standing in the doors of the walk-in fridge Wren is hiding in, his log like arms folded on his chest, blue eyes sparkling. Wren sniffles.

"I was going to go to the loo, but there are people everywhere..." Her voice is nasal. He beckons her with his finger and disappears outside the fridge. Wren sighs and drags her sorry arse out.

***

"Sit. I'll make you tea."

The man is huge. Wren thought she'd dated huge. She was wrong. What is he, six seven or so? The chef garb really suits him; the haircut on this silverfox is short and stylish; and she fancies the clean shaven jawline.

He puts a kettle on the stove; Wren's still frozen. It's sort of awkward; but on the other hand, she properly doesn't want to go out there. And this is a back-up kitchen, all his staff and all the action is happening in the main one.

He points at the counter, and she realizes there're no chairs or stools.

"Um..." Wren shifts between her feet in front of it; and then two hands the size of a gravy boat lie on her sides - she emits a choked half squeak, half surprised snort - and he places her on the counter.

He's making tea; she's sniffling.

"So, talk." He places a mug in front of her.

"Isn't it usually a bartender's job? To listen to sappy stories?" Wren asks and tastes the tea. It's perfect. Ace leaves, steeped just right, and she detects a tinge of mint, and just the perfect amount of cream.

The restaurateur takes a sip from his cuppa and smirks to her.

"Well, you got me. Tough tits. People normally don't cry in my fridge on weddings. And you don't look the type."

Wren sighs, Loki, the Sexy God of Sass knows which time in the course of this evening. She surely doesn't look the type. She's wearing her sexiest dress. It's champagne coloured lace mini, and it's new. He hasn't seen it before. Damn it, Wren means to say no one has seen it before. Who cares which parts of her wardrobe Dr. Horrible had the privilege to observe, and which he didn't?!

"My ex is here with his new… girlfriend, I reckon. She looks lovely. And smart. And confident." Why is Wren pouring her soul out? She doesn't know, but maybe she's just tired of pretending she's fine. She isn't. It's like she has a Dementor, like a grotty balloon on a string, constantly following her around, and using her for midday snacks.

"That's tough." The man nods pensively, and they enjoy their cuppas in silence for a few minutes. "I'm Mik, by the way."

"Wren." She wonders if she should take one finger and shake it like sprogs do, because she surely can't take this whole hand. Also, she quickly wonders how hands this big would feel on one's posterior. Probably quite yum.

"I've had my share of manky break ups, Wren." He throws pensive long look at the bunches of leek on the opposite wall. "Last boyfriend did quite a number on me." So, none of these big hands on Wren's bum. Dang it. "All we can do is shake it off, and carry on."

"Amen." Wren nods, and they click their mugs.

"And, lady, fix your mascara. You look like a racoon." He points at a chrome pot on a shelf, and Wren peeks. He isn't wrong.

She rummages in her clutch in search of supplies, and starts cleaning the smears under her eyes with the hankie of Bill Baggins. Her mirror is too small, and she twists her neck like a pigeon to see all of the disaster that her face is at the moment.

"Wait, you still have some here." The chef steps closer, between her legs, and picks up her chin with one of the giant hands - seriously, dang it! - and starts carefully wiping her cheekbone, angling her face. His nose is right in front of her.

The door behind them opens sharply, and they both look.

"Mik, Bri was asking about the hummus..."

Dr. Horrible's frozen in the doorframe, mouth half open, eyes wide. Right… Has Wren mentioned that her skirt bunched up mid thigh when she spread her knees for Mr. Mik Beorn in a purely platonic, mascara cleaning way? What? The man is wide!

Interestingly enough, Wren refrains from 'it's not what it looks like!' squeal that is trying to escape her. Why? Because it's none of his fucking business!

Oh look! Dr. Horrible now looks like that red character in Inside Out. The colour is rising; the masculine jaw is set; and the blue eyes are narrowed in - what Wren would smugly call - murderous rage. Yep. Someone is toast.

"For fuck's sake, Wren, at least not at the party..." he snarls through gritted teeth. A. Fuck you, John! B. What a sexy beast!

Mr. Mik Beorn is no clot, that's for sure. One doesn't open the most successful grass eating restaurant in the city for nothing. He put two and two and got just the result Wren needs at the moment.

"An engagement party is a celebration of love, Thorington," the restaurateur booms. "We are celebrating."

Wren wraps her legs around the man's hips and gives Dr. Wanker a wide smile.

The door bangs behind Dr. Horrible's muscular back, and Wren releases the caterer.

"Thank you." She gives his chest a soft pat, and he barks a low laugh.

"I haven't been that close to a fanny for years." They both chuckle. "You're welcome. The man was out of line."

***

They have more tea, and when Wren returns to the party, she finds out two things. The first - not too surprising - is that Dr. Prick left right away, his blonde goddess in tow. The second one is that Thea is gone too, and apparently the catch of the night is none other but Mr. Tax Preparer and Glorious Kisser Baggins. Wren wishes them all the orgasms in the world, and proceeds enjoying the do. She dances with the footie team, enjoys the vegan gelato, and laughs until her side stitches at the game of charades at the end. And doesn't think about her past woes even once. Take that, Dr. What's His Name!

Chapter Text

{Sunday #3}

Wren dreads the next weekend, and she has every bloody reason to. Since Dr. Phil's glorious betrothed eats grits and not porridge for her brekkie, all the King's horses - including very cheesed off Wren; and Thea, whom no one has seen since she floated out of the engagement do with Mr. Bill Baggins in tow - are now to travel to the mystical and terrifying land, known to the humanity as Las Vegas.

But when the Sunday of Horror comes, Wren realises she knew nothing of horrors, pretty much like Jon Snow.

Wren is curled into a ball in her seat. She's physically incapable of flying by plane. Her insides are squirming and twitching like the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana; her ears hurt; and she's said cordial goodbyes to the content of her stomach twice by now. She's one of the last to venture on this journey. Most of the guests to the American side of this 'celebration of love' are already in the Sin City, as well asThea who's texted Wren before the poor ginger loaded her apprehensive self into this torture vessel.

Apparently, Thea has spent the past week in the flat, bed, and arms of the man whom Wren knows as the tax preparer and Thea now calls 'Big B.' Wren knows he isn't big per se, but apparently Thea has never had 'bigger, better, longer, and with an end more glorious!' And no, she doesn't mean his penis. She means the shag and the multiple crisis, and quoting Thea she's 'keeping him.' Thea and Big B. are already in Las Vegas, in a suite of the hotel slash casino rented for the party, and the next three texts are glorifying what Thea has managed to teach Big B. in the last five hours. Wren's first vomiting incident might have been partially triggered by the descriptions. She loves shag, and talking about shag - but that was way too graphic.

Another painful spasm in her stomach makes her moan and squeeze her eyes. Time to next return trip for her breakfast is three, two…

"Wren? Are you OK?"

Bugger. Dr. Horrible's velvet baritone makes her press tighter into the back of her seat. Let's be honest here, he's the last person Wren would want to see, hear, and perceive through tactile contact at the moment.

"Wren?"

She makes a sound reminiscent of a surprised pig snort and shakes her head violently. 'Go away, go away, go away,' she chants inside her head, and then she feels him sit near her. Oh fuck. That daft state of being attuned to his body proximity without opening her eyes hasn't apparently worn out in the month and a half they've been broken up.

"You look awful." Is it concern or gloating? Wren properly can't tell. She's feeling too ill. Wren decides changing position might be a good idea. She needs to press her nose into something of hers, to replace his cologne - effing familiar; and no, she's not sniffing it out, damn it! - with her own perfume. She pulls her legs up and hides her face into her knees.

"Wrennie… Can I get you something?" She shakes her head without lifting it. He actually can get her something. The best option would be his swift departure, together with his worried considerate tone; the mouth-watering, despite her nausea, smell of his skin; and the memories of how warm and wonderful his hands are.

Fuck.

His fingers brush hair off her cheekbone.

"Wren, you look awfully pale. I have some sea sickness drugs, and you need to have some water." Oh, does he have to all of a sudden behave like a decent human being? "And you need to try to sleep. There are still five more hours left."

Wren wonders what's the best way to get rid of him, and then her body provides her with a direct and decisive answer. Wren hisses from the sharp pain that slashes her stomach and throws up on Dr. Horrible's torso. Since her eyes are still squeezed tightly, she isn't sure where the water, Earl Grey, and oatmeal, which she'd so prudently had in the morning, land.

He swears and leaves. Shockingly, it makes Wren feel worse, not better. What's with that? She breathes through gritted teeth, and is trying to gather will and energy to get up. Her legs are al dente spaghetti; and her hands are shaking.

Five minutes later, a pair of warm hands pick her up, and she realizes that Dr. Wanker, in a fresh shirt, and supposedly washed up in the plane bathroom, since she can smell his shower gel on him - damn her precise memory for smells! - is leading her to the said bathroom. He helps her wash her face, brush her teeth; and then he brings her back, tucks her in with a blanket; and she conks out, curled into his side.

Does she regret anything? Fuck no. Even though she's just completely lost her self-respect, especially for grateful murmuring and purring into Dr. Horrible's warm side, Wren doesn't give a fuck. In her dreams they are back in that small B'n'B where they spent their first weekend together; she had her first ever multiple orgasm; and they said the Three Words for the first time. Wren has a short panicked thought whether she might be talking in her sleep as it is her habit, but before she falls into the darkness, she decides once again she just can't care. She's alive, clean, and is sleeping. She'll agonize over it later.

She doesn't get a chance. When the plane lands and a flight attendant wakes her up, the seat near her is empty; and pale and shaky Wren crawls out of the plane, only to be met by beaming Thea and the adequately embarrassed - but secretly proud - tax preparer.

Wren is delivered to the hotel, deposited into her room; and she once again falls into slumber. This time the dreams are all about the week they spent in Bath where Wren needed to do some research for work, and Dr. Horrible went along, and they christened every piece of furniture in their room in the first two days. Sadly, the dreams are not of Wren's usual shagothon kind. They are of waking up in his arms kind - and that's the worst. Damn Wren's acute sense of smell and her lungs that apparently have hoarded enough of his molecules to torture Wren until she finally wakes up with a jerk!

 

***

The party the first evening is a buffet - both meat and vegetarian choices, provided; Bri is respectful towards Phil's convictions - and some sort of a famous circus show as an entertainment.

Five minutes into the show Wren feels very much entertained. Mostly by the tight trousers on a perky bottom of Luke Bard, Master Archer, that is the first number in the program. Wren is sipping water - she wouldn't be able to digest anything else yet - and were she not that dehydrated, she'd salivate.

"He is glorious, isn't he?" A lazy male voice comes from her right, and Wren looks. It's the same tall blonde bloke that she caught ogling Dr. Horrible at the last week's do. The suit on his is once again excessively sparkly. They are of course in the Gambling Capital of the World; and everything here is sparkly and over the top - but seriously?! And Wren woulds still like to know what products he uses on his hair. She needs this level of glossiness and silkiness; although considering the orange springs on her head, tough tits!

"Are you talking of the man or... the act?" Wren asks, and the man smirks.

"Both, hopefully."

At that moment the star of the show pulls the string on his bow, muscles bulge on the arms and on the chest under an obligatorily sparkly vest, and the buttocks tense. Wren gulps and feels rather hot, though she's wearing a mini so small that the fabric used for it could serve as a hankie to a bigger person. They are in the middle of a desert! It's hot! Actually, AC is working properly, and Wren is feeling marginally nippy, with makes her tits make their presence known glaringly.

"So, which one of us will go for it first?" Wren asks cheekily, and the man chuckles low in his chest. He's gorgeous by the way, in a sort of non-human, way too perfect way: striking eyebrows, eyes as blue as TARDIS, skin even, cheekbones Irene Adler would full-heartedly approve of, and voice that some might call hypnotic, but Wren would call 'posh and puffed up.'

"Be my guest," the blonde draws out. "I am patient. I can wait."

Wren giggles.

"I'm Wren."

"Lee." He smiles to her. "I'd ask if you're groom or bride, but last time we were stalking the same prey, so I asked around about you." Wren frowns in confusion.

"I don't recall stalking anyone at the do last week. It felt more like I was being stalked."

"Oh?" he asks, in the same lazy tone, and sips something from a tall glass.

"Yeah, couple of one offs jumped at me from the closet last week. It was odd."

"God, I hate the feeling." The blonde's eyeing the archer again. This time the bowman is shooting into an apple perched on Killian's head. Dr. Sexy's nephew, of course, volunteered. The archer's eyes are tied with a silk scarf.

An arrow whooshes, the crowd gasps, Wren is trying to stop discreetly looking for Dr. Horrible among the guests, Lee is licking his lips… and with a thud the apple is skewered and the arrow is sticking out of the bull's eye on the opposite wall. The crowd cheers, Wren absentmindedly claps with everybody, and then the dark chocolate eyes of the archer meet the blue eyes of the blonde near Wren… and she can clearly see she has nothing to catch here.

It might be for the best. She's feeling utterly confused. She blames it on the time difference and the jet lag. Perhaps, some nosh could help.

***

Wren plods to a table with some cute little appetizers, and ponders which one will make her stomach least cheesed off, when she feels the presence of another person right near her elbow.

She turns her head and stares at a suit button presented to her gaze. The button is attached to an astonishingly white suit, and the man inside it is massive! He's bold, and has ridiculously pointy ears. And very sharp teeth - which he bares in a predatory grin.

Wren suddenly feel very uncomfortable. It's instinctual. She knows she's safe, the room is full of her friends and acquaintances, and twenty years of jiu jitsu made her quite an uncooperative victim, but the man is radiating danger.

And gin. He's clearly as bladdered as a banana flambe.

"Hey!" He makes a step closer to her, and grotty goosebumps run Wren's skin. "How are you liking my casino, baby?"

"It's nice. Have a good evening," she answers in a cold tone, and quickly walks around him, fighting the desire to cover up. And then she reminds herself that her dress has nothing to do with the sicko's tude.

The evening continues. There are more archers, then some jugglers, a couple of acrobats, and Wren forgets about the white creep pretty quickly. Until she's rudely reminded of him when he corners her near the champagne table. By then he's properly crosseyed. Wren assumes he's been topping himself up through the evening.

"Where are you going, babe?" he growls, when she tries to once again maneuver around him. "Don't make a scene, sweetheart. Dance with me."

Wren does not want to make a scene. She vaguely remembers he is indeed the owner of the place, Mr Azoo-something, and everyone is having a great time, and it's toast time soon, and Wren wouldn't want to ruin Bri's romantic moment.

"It's toast time. No dancing yet," she answers in an even tone.

"I have a personal suite in penthouse. You can dance for me there."

He licks his lips, blatantly staring at Wren's tits under the silk of the dress - no bra, of course - and she quickly goes through her options. She can make noise, and of course there will be plenty of people to back her up, but then the party will be ruined, and they might get kicked out of the hotel altogether. She can pretend to agree to walk out with him and try security outside, but they might work for him, and pretend to be deaf and blind.

And then the creep grabs her upper arm. It hurts, and a shudder of disgust runs through her body.

And then a large hand lies on the man's shoulder; he's twirled around; and Thorington's famous right hand cross blow dislocates his jaw with a deafening crunch that rolls through the hall. The white suit flies backwards, like a character in a John Woo film, his arms flailing like bird's wings, and with a boom, and a bang, and a splash he ends up sprawled on the floor, in a puddle of ice water from champagne buckets, and some purple flowers peppering his bloodied face and not so white anymore suit.

Dr. Horrible is breathing heavily, white teeth bared in a snarl, fists clenched, and knuckles bleeding. Wren is ashamed to admit she has never wanted to jump him more. With all her feminist views, he is so deliciously alpha male at the moment, Wren wants his babies!

The door to the hall opens with a bang, and a small group of security with a tall wide-shouldered woman in the head rushes in. She is clearly the white suited prick's relative: same pointy ears, beady eyes, and wide cheekbones. She scans the picture and turns to Dr .Horrible.

"My apologies for my father's behaviour." She beckons couple security guards, they pick up the properly unconscious creep, and start dragging him away. The wet soles of his shoes are making sad squeaking noises on the floor boards. "I'm Bolga Azog. Here's is my card. Your party will be reimbursed for the champagne, and a discount will be provided to your bill. Have a good evening!"

She pushes her card into Dr. Horrible's hand and disappears. A few waiters rush in with a new table, bottles, buckets, and vases. Wren and Dr. Horrible are still standing in the middle of the room. Wren is chewing her lip; Dr. Horrible is examining his hand.

The party goes back to normal, Bri and Phil are preparing for their toasts, and Wren finally turns to Dr. Prick and opens her mouth.

"Don't!" he barks at her, and she closes her mouth with a clank of teeth. "Don't give me your feminist lecture of how you don't need my protection, and other shite. Consider this a favour to me. I needed to release some anger, and that gave me an opportunity." He's so pissed off that he's growling. Wren blinks frantically. "I know you could handle it yourself, and you're just dying to tell me this, but save it. Let's just say you will let this one slide as a compensation for the number you did on me."

The last sentence shakes Wren out of her stupour.

"What?! I did a number on you?!" She steps closer to him, trying to save at least the illusion of decorum. She's pretty certain people are staring.

"Don't start..." If he clenches his teeth any harder, he'll need a visit to an orthodontist. Wren squeezes her fists. It's a very bad moment for this, it's true; but she's just been accosted, and her nerves are a bit in disarray.

"Listen, John..." she hisses, and he suddenly steps towards her and looms over her. Unlike a few minutes ago, she doesn't feel threatened. She's very, very angry, and just a tad aroused. The muscle knots are dancing on his jaw under the black beard; and Wren narrows her eyes at him.

"No, you listen! I'll fucking survive you parading around in as much as knickers and a napkin on you; and shagging men left and right; but have some decency to at least do it elsewhere. I don't need the reminder of what sort of fucking moron I was to trust you!"

OK, Wren isn't that aroused as to not hear what he's saying.

"You trusted me?" At this stage her voice is so hissy that only He Who Shall Not Be Named would be able to interpret her. "You dumped me for no reason!"

"Fucking two men in my flat is no reason?" Dr Horrible has switched to Parseltongue as well. The room is silent, probably trying to catch every word; but Wren is busy picking up her jaw off the floor. What the actual fuck, in the name of the Prime Directive?!

She looks down, and sees his clenched fists. Wren's giant intellect, finally unobstructed by the heartbreak, jealousy, and astonishment, gallops. She also knows he would never raise his hand at her, but that's properly alarming. He is more danger to himself than her at the moment.

"I would never cheat on you," she pronounces slowly, in a dull, lost tone; and that's when he loses it. With a sound, which is a mixture of a wounded bear, and an enraged walrus, he twirls on his heels and rushes out of the room.

On the way he punches an ice statue depicting the happy betrothed, and shards fly in all possible directions. Phil's ice head sadly rolls on the floor, the guests are gawking, and Wren is standing, staring at a wall.

Her whole being is overwhelmed with two emotions - a vast relief, growing bigger and brighter with every second; and... an unadulterated happiness. He thought she cheated on him! Dr. Horrible isn't horrible at all! And immediately her brain switches to 'oh, poor ducky!' attitude. Poor, poor Dr. Unnecessary Heartbroken! Let Wren make it all better!

Chapter Text

{End of Sunday #3}

Wren has listened to the toasts - she might go on no sugar diet after all this 'adorbs verbal cuddles' from the bride, groom, and friends and relatives - and after she's finally squeezed through the crowd of those wishing to congratulate Bri through tactile contact, also known as never ending hugs; and sobs, mostly from middle age female relatives - she finally faces the future Mrs. Phil.

Bri squeezes her in steel shackles of her arms, still surprising in such small, nicely round looking chick, lifts her, and shakes her like a Babycakes Bottle. Couple of very loud Bri's cousins at the background are giving Phil a rib massage. Wren can hardly hear the bride's question through their roar.

"What happened with Grand Grumpus?!" Bri yells in Wren's ear.

"I don't know! But I need to talk to him!" Wren's lungs are no match for Southern exuberance. Bri makes the universal 'I can't hear you' sign, her cute plump hand curled into a trumpet near her ear.

"I need to talk to him!" Wren attempts again. "Where is his room?!" Bri's face is still expressing deafness. Wren gathers full lungs of air, and gives it her best. "I need to find John and kick his sexy arse!"

Of course that was exactly the moment when the noise in the room dropped just enough for everyone to hear her. At this stage of perpetual embarrassment, Wren properly has no energy to care anymore.

Bri gleefully tells Wren directions to Dr. Sexy's room, and Wren flees. Two thumbs up, lifted in a supportive gesture, from Dain, the Drunk and Fisherman, and a benevolent smile from Balinson make her run only faster. Wren properly misses the days when anything happening in her private life was… well… private. Good olden days! Just her, her cat Mr. Thornton, and her Nana! Wren's heart and fanny were at peace, with an occasional one off! And now what? She isn't even dating Dr. Horrible but still somehow her life is full of his family and friends. Maybe she should run away to Brazil and find herself a sexy pilot, like the characters of Inside Out. Only she should make sure he's an orphan!

***

Through the trip in the lift and her walk through the poshly long top floor hall, Wren sobers up. As in her unadulterated happiness from the discovery that Dr. Horrible thought that she'd broken the social contract of their monogamous shagging steps back, and Wren asks herself who the frack does he think he is?! Say, if he assumed, or was told that Wrennie took her fanny for a walk while they were together, why didn't he talk to her, for Phileas Foggs' sake?!

While her Jimmy Choo's are softly pitter-pattering on the overpriced carpet, Wren quickly formulates her attitude on the current situation. She wants to talk to him. She's not sure where it would lead, and what she wants out of this conversation, but she wants to clear the air. She owes it to the Wren of the two months ago - happy, sexually satisfied, and secretly looking at honeymoon destinations on Pinterest. No, of course, she didn't think she would marry Dr. Wanker! And they'd been together for only seven months! But the sheer fact that she even clicked the link to '100 most hipster resorts' does tell us something!

Wren pauses in front of his door, chews at her bottom lip, consuming some of her Chanel Rouge Allure Incandescente 97, and then she knocks.

OK, so she half expected the blonde. You know, the tall, sexy one, probably in the state of half undress, black lace lingerie peeking from under - his - half open white shirt, her wonderful blonde locks - seriously, Wren is full of benevolent envy, the chick's hair is so lush and looks so soft! - scattered on her shoulders, after a triple energetic hanky-panky!

Instead Dr. Horrible himself opens the door, his luscious locks scattered on his shoulders, his masculine, hairy chest - oh Wren's ovaries! - peeking in the collar of the white shirt with three top buttons open, and his reading glasses sitting low on the narrow bridge of his elegant nose. Wren curses under her breath. Two months aren't enough to detox her from the desire to show him why ginger women are habitually portrayed as vixens and sirens! The things she has done - and still would - to him when seeing him in this state! That's Wren's favourite way to cook Dr. Horrible: just out of the suit, but not exactly in pyjamas yet. Medium rare and delish!

He's silent, the jaw set in the obligatory stubborn line, eyes cold.

"We need to talk," she firmly demands. Dr. Horrible is in disadvantage here. He's just too well-mannered to slam the door to her face.

"John, I ordered tea..." the melodic voice of the aforementioned blonde comes from behind him, and Wren peeks.

'Oh my-y-y,' Wren's fully accepted bisexuality loudly quotes George Takei. That dress, on that body, in a perfect elegant vision. Yum!

"Hi, I'm Wren." Here we go, Wren's lost the leftover habdabs. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I need to talk to John." The blonde smiles widely, and invites Wren with a graceful gesture of her hand. Seriously, Michelle Obama's arms have nothing on hers!

Dr. Horrible throws his current paramour a betrayed look and lets Wren in. They all go into the living room of his suite, and the blonde excuses herself. Dr. Horrible hovers over the sofa - again, manners! - and Wren stays on her feet. Among other things, she talks better while pacing, and who cares that it looks ridiculous?! What didn't in her relationship with him?!

"OK… OK… I really should've planned it, but whatever..." she mumbles, and twists her hands.

"What do you want, Wren?" Here we go, that's exactly what she needed - his cantankerous, arrogant tone, and a glare from under the frowned eyebrows, and his overall irritated posture, with hands pushes into the pockets, and tense shoulders.

"I never cheated on you! I don't know where you got this idea, and what the sodding hell happened, but I never did!" That comes out very nicely, decisive and loud. Unlike the next mumble-mumble, "I mean, it's not like I'm trying to fix it now, and I don't even... want you back, but I just… I want you to know… And you really should have… You know..."

He's still standing, looking at her gravely, and she shifts between her stilettos.

"I mean, for the sake of your next relationships, you know..." Really, Wren? Nothing more grown up came to your empty curly head? "You know… next time, you should maybe just talk to your… you know…" Woman? Too pathos filled. Girlfriend? Too middle school. Partner? Paramour? Beloved? Oh frack it. "The person you're with." Oh shut up.

"Are you done?" Macho, macho, John is a macho, unfeeling and reserved. Except she's well aware that he isn't, since he Muhammad Ali-ed an ice statue just couple hours ago.

"No… Yes… I don't know…. I was sort of hoping for a discussion, and resolving the misunderstanding..."

"And after that?" He lifts one eyebrow sarcastically, and then when the ginger - and we all knew it'd happen - snaps.

"Listen, you..." Wren still can't bring herself to call him all the names she's given him in her head. She still remembers Nana's rule that one should absolutely call others names - that's what vast vocabulary is for, and it alleviates stress - but only if one is sure one will never want to take it back. And somewhere deep inside Wren still doesn't think that he's a brainless tosser and a bellend. Let's face it, besides the current aggro with his weird conviction that she allowed someone a tour into her Miss Fanny; and his complete inability to keep his temper in check while driving - Wrem still thinks that he might be… wonderful.

"Wren, I saw you."

"Saw me?" Wait, what?!

"I saw you, and I don't understand why are you still trying to convince me otherwise. Let's not make fools out of both of us. You clearly didn't care for this relationship enough to give up your old habits, and I don't understand your persistence now." Wait, what the actual sodding what?! Oh, Wren's going to arse him up!

"I cared for our relationship! I was happy in our relationship!" Wren's voice is rising exponentially like the global population. "I wish I could say I did give up some habits for it, but I didn't! I had nothing to give up! Haven't we had this exact discussion before?!" Wren is heating up, consequently moving closer to him. "You behaved like a prick, and it looked like you thought I were a slag, and then you swore it was just your insecurity, and you didn't judge! Because I still stand by every person's right to shag anyone at any time, if it's consensual and hurts no one!"

And that's when Wren is reminded why she fell for him in the first place. Not as in why she shagged him - that all was about his shoulders, and hips, and the crow's feet. She's reminded of the fact that there's an actual human being underneath the exterior of Wren's most perfect sex fantasy.

"It hurt me! And you just keep on bloody doing it!" His lips twist, and the whole massive body jolts. "Can't you just leave me alone?!"

Wren has half a mind to actually do it. She's standing in front of him, the area where her tits are supposed to be heaving, her heart drumming in her throat. Maybe, he's right. Maybe, she's torturing him. It's not like they can just talk it through, and go back to what they had before, yeah? Or can they?.. And where did the thought even came from?! That's not what she was coming here for!

"John, for goodness sake's, let the woman talk," the blonde speaks in an exasperated tone from the door leading to the bedroom, leaning elegantly on the doorframe, and both Wren and Dr. Horrible whip their head towards him. "You're heartbroken, and she clearly wants you back. You can just pretend you believe her, or forgive her if she begs forgiveness, and the two will go back to your happy holding hands and sharing ice cream." OK, A. The chick has a very strange idea of what the relationship with Dr. Horrible entitles. B. What the sodding hell, in the name of Shadow Protocol?!

"Cate, stay out of it..." Dr. Horrible growls.

"I won't, John. You just have to accept it. I'm not watching you cry over a woman again. It's bad for our academic collaboration."

"Cate!" roars Dr. Sexy.

"He cried over me?!" Wren yelps at the same time.

"Yes, John, it is still my name. And yes, Wren, he did. He tried to pretend it was because of allergies, but I'm certain there was a sob." There's something properly fishy about her. As if she's sort of not all alright in the noggin. Fit like a Veela she is, but clearly barmy.

"Cate!" Dr. Sexy chokes out.

"Why are you telling me this?!" Wren industriously ignores Dr. Sexy hyperventilating nearby. The blonde gives her a blissful smile.

"Because he's clearly using me to make you jealous, and it's not working." Wren's eyes boggles. Also, the chick is barefoot. Somehow it throws Wren off.

"So you aren't together?" she asks carefully.

"Oh we do have sex, if that's what you're asking about." See?! And they say Wren is too chill about shag matters. "But I can't say he's my thing. Too young." Wren's jaw hits the floor. "I've recently started dating this wonderful gentleman. I actually believe he's your boss. Ian McGrey?"

Thankfully, Wren is saved from an aneurism by a knock at the door. It's a waiter with a tea tray, and Wren has time to gather her marbles that rolled around the room with loud noise.

"So, as I was saying…" the blonde draws out in her low, hypnotic voice while pouring all three of them tea. "The two of you should surely reconcile. I always tell my husband that marriage is no walk in the park, but there is nothing better for the soul than a true loving relationship. It requires work, but I believe the two of you should try."

Wren's left eye is twitching.

"Husband?" she squeaks, and the blonde nods.

"If the two of you marry, you should consider Egypt for the honeymoon," the one called Cate continues. Wren might want a stiff drink now. "Celeb and I went there. It was magical!"

Wren's weak and trembling hands accept a cup on a saucer from the blonde's elegant fingers. And then she remembers that there is one more person in the room. She quickly looks. Dr. Sexy is pale, frantic red spots are burning on his cheekbones.

"I would like both of you to leave my room right now," he rasps out. Wren actually might feel a bit sorry for him. And she sympathises. The blonde is clearly off her trolley.

"Sorry, darling, not going to happen." No one has probably talked to Dr. Sexy like this in years. Wren hopes he has a healthy heart, he's gaining a beetroot colour tinge. "I need you in a good shape. The conference is in two weeks, and you're so distracted that I feel like I'm co-writing a paper with an undergrad. So, let's just finish this discussion." She turns to Wren now. "Alright, cards on the table. I'm Dr. Cate Galadriel, I'm his colleague, we are co-writing a paper on managing distal femur fractures. He's still in love with you, and if you ask very nicely, he'll forgive your cheating." Wren opens her mouth to argue. "And I know, I know, Wren dearest," the woman speaks in a consoling tone. "One man is never enough for me either, and that's why I have an open marriage, but John here is a bit of a prude. Perhaps, this time around you can just set the rules differently."

Wren has had it.

"I didn't cheat! What the frack is wrong with you all?! Why isn't anyone listening to me?!" she yells, sloshing tea in her hand. "I didn't cheat! And one man is more than enough for me! This one!" She point at Dr. Sexy. "This one has always been enough!"

"You were leaving his flat with a man, Wren dearest." The blonde sympathetically pats Wren's shoulder, with a loony kind smile on her face. "John saw you leave his place, and kiss another man goodbye. And then you called your friend and told her that the man was much better than him. Our dear John here was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time, listening to you praise another man's prowess from the lift he was stuck in, while you were walking down stairs."

The cup and the saucer hit the floor, and Wren is gulping air like her childhood pet, a guppy named Mr. Darcy used to do when being transferred to a temporary bowl while the tank was being cleaned.

The revelation has already dawned on her, of course, but first she needs to ask.

"You told your new paramour about why you broke up with me but failed to let me know?!" she roars at Dr. Sexy, who clearly would prefer to be anywhere but here. Judging by the martyr like expression on his patrician face, even Azkaban would do.

"Don't be angry with him, dear. He was very drunk, and had… 'allergies.'" The blonde mimics quotation marks in the air with her fingers, and Dr. Sexy whips his flaming face to her.

"Could you stop talking for me, please?" His tone is murderous.

"Well, you are not talking, darling, and I decided…" the blonde starts, and Wren interrupts.

"I was going to install sex swings in your flat." She speaks quietly, but judging by the sudden silence in the room, everyone heard her. "As a present for your birthday. We'd talked about it, and I was going to surprise you…" Wren has trouble squeezing the words out of her. "The man you saw is my cousin David. He's a construction contractor. I needed him to appraise the ceiling and tell me if it's possible. I had a key to your flat, and I was going to sneak couple construction worker into it… And I don't know what you overheard, because I don't remember what I was saying… But if I praised anyone's prowess, that could only be yours..."

Wren isn't looking at Dr. Sexy. Wren can't look at anyone. She's staring at the floor. Wren would like to fall through the floor. Because she knows that in three seconds Dr. Sexy will understand everything, and it'll all become instantly very much more complicated. Three, two, one…

"Oh god..." He makes a strangled choking sound. Damn Wren's second hand anxiety. She feels very sorry for him right now. She wouldn't want to be in his shoes. "Oh god. What have I done?.."

"Oh lovely!" Cate claps her hands in glee. "That's even better than I assumed. Well, I'll leave you lovebirds to it." She puts her cup down and heads to the door. "John, I'm still hoping for your edits soon, but you will clearly need couple days to celebrate, so let me know. My flight is tomorrow night, I don't think I'll see you before it. Cheers!" She waves. "Wren, pleasure to meet you."

She disappears, softly closing the door behind her.

"The pleasure is all mine..." Wren answers, in the silence of the room. She still hasn't looked at Dr. Sexy once.

***

"You're a complete and utter idiot, you do know that?" she mutters and plops on the sofa, still only making an eye contact with a cow shaped milk jug on the tray.

"Yes," he agrees, in a cautious voice, and she finally lifts her eyes at him. He's watching her attentively.

"I honestly don't know what I'm supposed to do here, John," Wren tells him in a bleak tone. "If you beg me to take you back..."

"Of course, I'll beg you to take me back!" he interrupts. She gives him a glare, and he defensively lifts his hands. Oh the hands… Shut up. "Sorry, do go on."

"If you ask me to take you back, and I agree, what sort of a brainless and spineless clot will it make me?" Wren shakes her head and sighs. "You should've talked to me..."

"Wren, I should have! I'm guilty here all around," he starts and sits down near her on the sofa. He isn't touching her, but he really doesn't have to. If it's less that three feet of air between them, she starts buzzing right away.

"Please, don't apologise right now. You'll start apologising, I'll break down, and we are back to square one." She flails her hands. A small smile curls up his lips, and he's giving her a loved up look. No, no, no! 'Yes, yes, yes,' argues Wren's fanny. And sod it, Wren's heart as well. The brain is the only one resisting at the moment.

"But I want to go to square one with you, Wrennie..." Oh in the name of Bucky Barnes, he didn't just use his velvet baritone! It's like the Death Star - the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.

"Well, I don't!" Wren hisses finally finding her backbone. "I don't want to go back to doubting if you think I'm a slag, and you believing the first possible hint at infidelity from me."

"Wren, it wasn't a hint. Well, at least it didn't look that way to me." She prepares to rebuke him, but he asks in a calm warm tone, "Please, let me explain. I came back from that trip a day early, planning to surprise you. And I see you sneaking out of my flat, kiss and embrace a bloke, and then you keep on talking on our phone about how - as great as your current shag is - this will be so much more fun. And how you already sneaked one prick into my flat, and how hard can it be to sneak another? And then there were compliments to a cock, and the curve, and the hip thrust..." He's fighting an ickle smile, little wrinkles in the corners of his eyes, and Wren blushes. She does like the curve and the thrust, but he surely didn't need this ego boost.

"Wrennie..." He moves a bit closer to her on the sofa. The man has no ethics!

"Stop purring at me," Wren hisses, and he guffaws.

"So, it's working then?" His eyes are shiny, and yeah, Wren's toast.

"No-o-o..." Wren couldn't sound any more unconvincing. He leans closer to her, and something squeaks inside Wren.

"Wrennie, take me back. I miss you. I love you. I've been so miserable." Bugger, bugger, bugger! Sincerity and deep remorse work even better than the fact that she can smell his cologne, and his skin, and the blasted chest of his is peeking in the shirt.

"I miss you too… but you cocked up our relationship..." That might be Wren's last attempt in resistance. Vive la resistance!

"I have." Can he stop agreeing with her in the triple chocolate fudge voice of his?! And leaning. He needs to stop leaning! "And it's all been my fault. But we can start a new one. Tabula rasa." Oh now he's seducing her librarian brain as well, since the fanny and the heart are already energetically waving a white flag. They might be using her knickers for that. "We can go for a first date… A small, unpretentious, cozy restaurant, with your favourite Vietnamese, and then some Doctor Who on your sofa…" Wren gulps like a cornered mouse named Jerry.

"And..." His lips are three and a half inches away from Wren's. "We don't have to tell anyone that we are trying to get back together. I know how you hate all of them sticking their noses into it. So, just you, and me, and Doctor Who..."

That does it. Wren grabs his ears and snogs him with a lustful and relieved moan. She has enough sense to let him go before it turns into a romp with consecutive five times, one on the floor, two on the table - as it surely would with the two of them.

He looks dazed and very, very chuffed. There's a boyish grin on his lips, hair's sticking out, and he's so moreish that Wren should probably go, before she loses her convictions and devours this morsel she'd been dreaming about for two months.

"Thursday night out, then?" he asks, and Wren smiles to him.

"I'll think about it."

THE END

(Maybe...)