Fuck 4am. Just waay too fuckin' early. Bertram Gilfoyle is sitting at his work station, in the far corner by the livingroom window of Hacker Hostel. He is trying not to bow under the heartbreaking awareness that sleep is not in his future for at least another 24 hours. He's only run half the marathon and he already kinda can't feel his legs.
Where the fuck is Dinesh? If he's napping on the toilet...
He's chosen to stay on the sinking ship that is Pied Piper, attempting to salvage the wreckage into something marketable. But he wasn't gonna be the only one busting his ass. 4am was for imbibing too much Pappy's and gaining root access to another NSA server. Even sparring with the brain damaged denizens of deep web message boards would be preferable to the sleepless code push crushing of his soul.
Code marathons are a young man's game. Gilfoyle takes another gulp of black coffee.
The tension that earlier appeared behind his eyes has spread to the back of his head and it's starting to creep down to his neck and shoulders. He rubs the base of his skull in a futile effort to ease the ache, while contemplating the sources of it, both physical and mental. The obvious is exhaustion, LED screens, being poor, aging, and an already over the hill office chair with flimsy back support.
He was startled out of his tired musings by the front door opening. He wonders at not hearing the lock slide open, and swivels his chair around to look at who's entering the incubator at such an unlikely hour for anyone who lives there. The door hinges quietly whine until the door shuts closed with a muted click. The centre of his brow wrinkles, and his eyes widen a fraction in surprise at seeing Monica standing in the front hall. She's looking at him and smiling like it's not the middle of the night, like she's supposed to be there.
She's wearing her 'bad news' sweater, which he thinks might also have been used as an actual breakup sweater at one time or another. The beige one, with bulky cable knit and a turtle neck she thinks makes her look less attractive.
She could wear a cardboard box and still look beautiful. Gilfoyle mentally snorts.
Where did that come from? His eyed widening a bit further.
Gilfoyle had always taken care to put Monica firmly in the purely platonic so don't even think about it category of people in his life. Not just because he assumed he likely doesn't have a shot with her. Not just because the guys would no doubt hear about said rejection somehow. He was also aware of how hard Monica worked to be respected in the male dominated arena of venture capitalism. He has a feeling she would take offense to another work colleague showing romantic interest in her. He had heard about the Evan Spiridakis awkwardness at the board meeting at Raviga. Classy.
"You're up late." Monica says. If the sound of the door was jarring in the silence of 4am, her voice is like a bell crash landing at the bottom of a tower. It takes Gilfoyle a moment more to process her presence there, but then she's walking over to him. She unhooks the strap of a messenger bag from her shoulder and drops it on the desk of Dinesh's work station. Sitting down in Dinesh's chair and swiveling it so she's facing him, she nonchalantly awaits his reply.
"The more relevant question is 'What in the name of Satan are you doing here?' It's not even sunrise."
"You tell me, Gilfoyle." Monica sits back, crosses her legs, quirks an expectant brow and smirks. Watching him.
She does a slow exaggerated roll of her eyes while uncrossing her legs, and then she stands up. She was closing the distance between them, and then she's suddenly on top of him, straddling his lap.
The weight of her forearms resting on his shoulders brings up an acute awareness of how much they still ache. Gilfoyle sits back in his chair, arms slack with shock, and the rest of him almost seizing up under the pressure of her eyes on his. After this extended moment absent of thought, he embraces the opportunity to indulge in the novelty. He tentatively rests his fingertips just above her slacks clad knees. With a deep breath through his flaring nostrils, he increases the pressure. Then his spread hands are sliding up her thighs, and he's anchoring his thumbs in the creases where her legs joined her hips. He squeezes. Nothing had felt this satisfying in a long time. Then his eyes narrow in understanding.
"This is a dream." he states, no question.
She hums. Smooth, and slow, and contemplative. Then she leans away enough to slide her palms on his shoulders, so she can run her fingers around the back of his neck, and up into his hair.
"Mmmm." Gilfoyle can't help but moan, it feels sooo good. His head immediately feels a million times lighter. Maybe too light.
The real Monica is wherever she lives, probably sleeping peacefully, in an actual bed. Not in the valley, sitting in his lap introducing her pelvis to his.
"Just so you know, this isn't the norm for me." He doesn't really know why he feels the need to explain himself to a figment of his exhausted subconscious.
"I only allowed myself to think of you once while I was... you know."
Sweet Lucifer, why do I feel awkward even when I'm dreaming? He can't help the urge to look down, away, anywhere but her eyes.
"Uh..." he grunts, then mutters, "It was a special occasion."
"Aw, Gilfoyle that's so considerate of you." she says with only a mild amount of sarcasm. She continues, alternating gently curling her fingers through his hair, and using her nails to make him internally purr. When she starts massaging his shoulders, he decides not to care. The real Monica would have scrunched up her whole face and walked away from this whole conversation.
"God damn that feels amazing." he lets out, eyes closing. Monica stays silent and smirking, while sending him to the sweetest Hell he never thought he could imagine. The relief was that spiritual.
Why am I dreaming of Monica? He has Tara and the occasional random to appease his carnal side, so obviously Monica isn't in his dreams from lack of female attention. He's been acquainted with her for over 3 years, so why is his brain choosing now to inundate him with a composite of every feature of hers he'd ever admired? Her striking brown eyes rimmed with dark green, the two lines and that dimple that form above the right side of her mouth when she smirks, her full lips shaped like a bow. All of his memory of her assembling to manifest this vivid apparition. He lolls his head back so he can return her unceasing stare.
Can I kiss her and still look her in the eye tomorrow? Apparently not. Unable to withstand the intimate connection of their eyes, he looks down and away again.
Like a submissive puppy.
"Wait, what's with the bag?" Gilfoyle spots her messenger bag behind her on Dinesh's desk. Definitely not her usual briefcase. Monica twists her shoulders to see what he was looking at, then turns back and shrugs, cocking her head.
"This isn't my dream, you tell me." she explains.
"This is very strange." he states impassively. He starts walking his feet to wheel his chair and the both of them over to the bag, and eyes it like it's Pandora's Box.
Or maybe Meinertzhagen's Haversack. Whatever's in there could be a compendium of detailed lies meant to deceive and distract him.
Or the contents are meaningless, or it's empty... No, something's in there, or else I wouldn't fixate on it.
"Alright, let's murder this cat." He reaches for the bag.
"The truth alone has never made anyone free. It is only doubt which will bring mental emancipation." Monica states matter of fact. Gilfoyle feels her hand on his, and he releases a breath he didn't realize he was holding.
"Now I know for sure I'm dreaming. The real Monica doesn't quote LaVey... That would be pretty hot though."
It seems like it's Monica's turn to get shy, her eyes turning down, but he could still see her smiling. He can feel her breathe in against him, and then she's looking back up at him, a lot closer than before. Her feline eyes narrow and her spine stretches tall. Sinful tingles shoot down his spine as her remaining hand suddenly rakes down his scalp to grab a handful of hair at his nape, forcing him to look at her.
"What's in the bag?" she demands, voice lowered. She's leaning over him now. Her mouth is so close he can feel her warm breath on his parted lips. Then along his jaw, and finally his earlobe, feeling hotter the closer she came to touching her lips to his skin.
"Hmmm?" she questions softly, the vibration hitting him like an explosion. His hand still gripping her hip holds her tighter, then releases and starts to crawl up underneath her bulky beige sweater seeking bare skin.
"Nothing that's good news." Gilfoyle manages to get out through gritted teeth, his whole being rigid with anticipation. He pushes her back enough to lean his forehead to hers, breathing hard against her mouth. "I'd rather open you." She grins and puts her hands to the hem of that offensive woolly garment. A whirl of beige followed by a flash of bright porcelain skin are the last things he sees before he wakes up.