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The M Word

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mov· ie

(n.) 1. motion picture

      2. motion picture theater



 Waiting for you outside.

 The message is simple, as it always is. Every time Aurora receives a text from Mal, it has the exact same content; an indication to let her know when it's time for her to go. Even though she knows Mal is a strict workaholic woman, Aurora can't help hoping she'd send her something a little bit more... personal. Just a smiley at the end of a sentence would be enough. She sighs and pushes open the building door - she had been waiting on the first floor, near the forever out of service elevator, so she wouldn't have to run down the stairs again.

 Mal's electric car isn't parked in front of the building as it had been the times before. Aurora starts fidgeting with the hem of her pastel pink shirt, glancing around for any sign of Mal's tall silhouette.

 "Sorry, I had to park further away."

 Aurora turns in a jump to be faced with an all too dangerous looking Mal. She opens her mouth, but it has gone too dry for her to utter a single word. The high-waisted jeans are even tighter than any pantsuits she has ever seen her in. High heels, a not completely buttoned-up white shirt, a leather jacket, perfectly straight hair and make-up that accentuated the atypical color of her eyes. Aurora will probably have to thank Diaval for that.

 "Oh, no! It's fine, really!"

 "Shall we?" Mal asks as she offers her arm to Aurora.

 The walk to the car isn't very long and Aurora couldn't be more grateful; standing so close to someone has never been so perturbing. Aurora had found Mal beautiful since the moment she first saw her, but it is different today. God, Cindy was totally right when she said she was straight as a rainbow. Mal opens the passenger door to let her in.

 "What movie do you want to see?"


 Aurora tips her head down so she can't see Mal's mocking grin. She had blurted out the answer so quickly that she managed to surprise herself. She feels stupid, but Mal is making her really nervous, even more than she normally does. It's because of the small grin formed on her Mal's ruby lips, it's too disturbing. Or maybe it's the fact that her mind just accepted the a woman old enough to be her mother is pretty much the sexiest- no, the most attractive person she has ever met. Aurora's face must be so red now that Mal is probably wondering if she has a fever.

 "And what about this movie could possibly get you so excited?"

 "Scar- I- I've seen many of the movies Luc Besson directed or wrote! And the story seems interesting, even if it's a little weird. And Scarlett Johansson is really... cool..."

 Mal only responds with a nod. Aurora fidgets with her shirt again. Did she get too excited? What if Mal regrets agreeing to go to the movies with her? This can't be good.

 "I think Diaval mentioned this movie some time ago. I guess it could be interesting."

 She doesn't seem very confident in what she just said, but it is enough of a relief for Aurora, whose erratic heartbeat finally calms down. The car comes to a stop. Mal steps out and opens the passenger door. She extends an arm so Aurora could take her hand. Still cold, still soft. It is all Aurora needs to forget about her nervousness and smile brightly again.

 At the theater, there is quite a few people waiting in a not-so-organized line to get their tickets. Aurora doesn't mind; she's always been patient, and holding hands with Mal is enjoyable. Shifting her weight from a foot to the other, Mal doesn't seem to be as comfortable. Is it because of the crowd?

 "What's your favorite movie?" Aurora asks, deciding to distract Mal from whatever is making her nervous.

 Mal looks down at Aurora, remaining completely silent for a moment.

 "I don't really have a favorite movie."

 Aurora only nods at Mal's brief answer. She expected a very thought-out explanation and analysis of a movie she really enjoyed watching, something that would have made her want to watch Mal's favorite movie - or re-watch it if she had already seen it - though Aurora highly doubts they watch the same kind of movies. Aurora just wants to be able to share something with her future wife.

 "Do you have one?" Mal asks in return.

 "A favorite movie?"

 The look Mal gives her is... peculiar. Aurora has never seen such genuine curiosity and interest in her eyes. She can't answer, as it is finally their turn to pay for their tickets. Mal reaches for her wallet but Aurora stops her with a hand on her arm.

 "You've been paying for all our dates, the least I can do is pay for this one."

 "In the end, your father is paying. How could I say no to that?"

 Mal's smirk disappears as soon as Aurora takes her hand again to drag her to the snack counter.

 "It's predictable, but my favorite movie is Sleeping Beauty."

 Mal squeezes Aurora's hand with slightly too much force.

 "Not because of my name, of course! My mom and I used to watch it together every time I got too sick to go school..."




 Aurora takes the bucket of popcorn that was between her and Mal to settle it in her lap - Mal hasn't approached any of the snacks, she even seems disgusted by the unhealthy food. Aurora gives a glance to her right, where Mal is seated, visibly concentrating on the movie. Biting down on her lip, Aurora moves a little closer to Mal. She is used to going to the movies with Phillip and leaning against him, resting her head on his shoulder, but she can't just do that now.

 "Are you okay?" Mal asks in a whisper, bringing her face close to Aurora's.

 "F- Fine. I'm fine."

 Mal looks away from the screen for the first time since the movie started. Aurora's breath catches in her throat. Their faces are too close, way too close, but apparently, she is the only one bothered by that fact.

 "I was thinking that... as your fiancée... I could... rest my head on your shoulder..." Aurora immediately regrets saying the words, but it's too late to take them back.

 "Oh. You can.  It would be troublesome if people were to wonder if we are actually engaged."

 Mal doesn’t say anything further and looks back at the screen, leaving Aurora to her confusion and embarrassment - the red tinting her cheeks becoming deeper with each passing second. She could not be more thankful for the darkness surrounding them. Aurora straightens her back so her head is high enough to rest comfortably on Mal's shoulders. It feels awkward. Aurora is so stiff that her neck hurts, but she doesn't want to let her head weights too much. The gesture just seems so far away from the friendliness it carries when Phillip is the one Aurora leans on.

 Aurora has no idea how it happened, but when the movie ends, both her arms are tightly wrapped around Mal's left one, cuddling it like a stuffed animal.

 "Sorry, Mal! I-"

 "It's okay, Aurora. Diaval always ends up doing the same. Well, at least you don't drool!"



 Aurora feels her cheeks burning once more as she follows Mal's every move through the kitchen; she is preparing dinner for herself because she refuses to eat anything Aurora ordered. It has something to do with the fact she wants to know exactly what she is eating. It really reflects the perfectionism that comes off the decor of her apartment and the way she dresses.

 "You should start eating, Aurora. Your pizza is getting cold."

 "I wanted to wait for you..."

 Mal looks over her shoulder and smiles.

 "You don't have to wait anymore."

 They walk to the living room, Aurora with her pizza box and Mal with her unidentified vegetables and eggs, and sit on the couch, a cushion separating them.

 They stay silent the whole time they eat, neither of them knowing what to say - about their date or anything else. Aurora sighs, kind of disappointed by the lack of conversation, and opens the door to the guest room.

 "Aurora? Come here, please."

 She doesn't wait any second to return to the living room and sit next to Mal again. There is something on her lap, she has both her hands on it. Aurora can see that Mal hesitant - she is playing with whatever it is she is holding, sometimes tapping her nails on it.

 "I actually have a favorite movie."

 Aurora frowns and tilts her head to the side. Mal opens her mouth but closes it without having said a word. She pushes the object she was holding towards Aurora. A DVD case. Stargate. Aurora looks up at Mal then down at DVD and up again. She has no idea what to say. She would have never expected a businesswoman like Mal to be into Sci-Fi. It seems so contradictory.

 "Do you think we could watch it together? Maybe now?" Aurora asks.

 Mal blinks in confusion.

 "I guess we can. Yes."

 Aurora chuckles, amused by Mal's reaction. She finally gets to share something with Mal, something that Mal truly likes. It is the first time this has happened and Aurora could not be any happier about it.