Kris would have to say that his twenty-first birthday was a success. Not that birthdays are really supposed to be measured in successes and failures, but from what he remembers there was a bar—no, two bars, maybe three—and a lot of shots and almost all of his friends were there. The ones who couldn't do the bar portion of the night were at their apartment afterwards, and Kris remembers even less about that.
The day after his twenty-first birthday is less successful. Kris has never been that much of a drinker, and given the way he's feeling right now, he never will be.
He expects the whole yelling-banging-pots-and-pans from his roommates, who would do it with affection but still do it, but apparently there's some kind of reprieve for your twenty-first birthday where you don't have to go through the hangover torture ritual. Instead there's aspirin and water and a full, fresh pot of coffee in the kitchen, and the worst Kris has to deal with is a throbbing headache and itchy, slept-in contacts which he rips out at the earliest opportunity.
Kris is just glad he's at home, given the many other options where he might've given up and spent the night, a few of which he's pretty sure would've been illegal. At the very least unsanitary.
He's the last one up, which isn't unusual at the best of times and is pretty much expected today.
"It's not even noon," says Cale, squeezing his shoulder when Kris finds him in the living room watching Ryland's Robot Chicken DVDs. Kris sits down next to him with a fresh cup of coffee, squinting at the television.
"Do you know where my glasses ended up?"
"They're in Steve's room," says Cale. "I saved them from the flailing arm of death."
"Do I even want to know what that means?" says Kris, sipping his coffee and figuring he'd worry about them after he gets some sweet caffeine into himself. He doesn't need to see right now anyway.
"Probably not," admits Cale. "You want me to get them for you?"
Kris shakes his head and sips his coffee. He can manage, whenever he decides to get up again. If Cale actually does it he's not going to complain, but Cale seems pretty engrossed in the television. His laughter is kind of like torture, but Kris endures it for the sake of his company.
The aspirin is kicking in, and he's pretty sure Cale's the one who left it.
"You got any plans for today?" Cale asks him finally. "Your cake's in the fridge. There's actually a some left."
"There was cake?" says Kris, and vows to never, ever drink like that again. He imposes a two-drink maximum right then and there.
"You even had some," says Cale. "You were pretty enthusiastic about it last night. Matt did a great job."
Kris frowns a little as memories float towards the surface, hazy but actually down there somewhere after all. "Did I kiss him as a thank you?"
"Enthusiastically," Cale says again, then takes the coffee out of Kris's hands and takes a sip. "You should drink more water."
"I did," Kris says, but he's probably not wrong that a little bit more might help. "I'm going to have to pee again soon."
"Like that's anything unusual," says Cale, giving him the coffee back.
'Soon' turns out to be as soon as the DVD runs out of episodes, his headache fading back to a dull ache. He even manages to smile as he listens to the show, and not flinch every time Cale laughs. When he comes out of the bathroom Cale is waiting there for him, and slides his glasses onto his face.
It's almost a surprise when the world jumps into focus again.
"I think I'm going to get out of here," he says, running both hands through his hair. "Just for a little while. Go for a walk or something. Get some air."
"Get some lunch?"
Kris's stomach isn't yet enthused about the idea of lunch. "Maybe more coffee," he suggests instead. "Lunch is a little too advanced for me right now."
"Don't get lost," is all Cale says to that. "Call me if you need anything."
"Thanks, but I think I can handle this mission on my own," says Kris. Even in his current state, which is a mix of hungover and tired and just a little bit bleary.
He actually makes it a whole four blocks before he decides it's about time to stop and sit down. Not in the extremely fragrant bakery, which makes his stomach flip a little bit, but in the little coffeeshop next door, all coffee and nothing but coffee.
He's in line behind an elderly couple holding hands as they pay for their mismatched coffees, large and small, light and dark, a summer student with a backpack that looks like it weighs almost as much as he does, and a young woman who looks like she's on a break from boot camp or something.
He gets a large, black coffee as he stands in line behind her, and pushes his glasses up to rub at his eyes with the heel of his hand. He doesn't realize she's watching him until his glasses are in place again.
"Rough night?" she says, giving him a sympathetic smile. "Fraternity party?"
"Twenty-first birthday," he says, scratching his hair and hoping he at least looks presentable. There's lovably mussed, and there's I'm-going-to-keep-my-distance-thanks. At least he knows his clothes are clean.
"Well, happy birthday," she says, then takes his coffee and adds it to hers and pays for both of them. "It looks like it was a good one."
"You didn't have to do that," he says, but it's not like he's not grateful. He would've been counting the loose change in his pocket to cover it.
"It wouldn’t be much of a birthday present if I felt like I was obligated," is all she says in explanation, and gives him another friendly smile.
"Do you want to join me?" he says, sort of leaning in the direction of a free table with his coffee. "Or do you have to get back to...something?" Whatever it is she does.
"I could sit," she says, "and you look like you need to."
"I'm all right," Kris promises her, because he doesn't want to seem like a charity case or something. That would sort of undermine the flirting. "Just taking my time rejoining the world today. I figured once in a lifetime, I'm allowed."
"If we're only allowed once in a lifetime, then boy am I in trouble," she says. "I'm Cindy."
"Kris," he manages to introduce himself. It's good he's now in a state where he can actually remember his own name, even if some of the events of the previous evening still elude him. He sits down carefully with his coffee and she joins him a moment later, carefully smoothing her uniform as she does.
Kris doesn't recognize the uniform but it's definitely military of some sort, even if her loose hair doesn't suggest she's on duty. "Are you, um," he says, pushing his glasses up his nose. "What is that, army? I'm sorry, I have no idea."
"I'm a model," she says, coming to his rescue. "It's for a shoot."
"That makes so much more sense," he blurts out, and hopes afterwards that it doesn't come off as offensive.
"Would you have been more interested if I was actually military?" she says. "Or is the uniform enough?"
"I think the, um," says Kris, and realizes too late that it's a no-win question. "The uniform's pretty good all on its own."
"If I was actually military, I probably would've taken the hat off when I came in," she says, sipping her steaming coffee. "Instead I'm just being rude."
"That's a good point," he says. "The hat's what makes it, though. It'd be a shame to lose that."
"My thoughts exactly," she says. "Plus, knowing me I'm likely to lose it if I take it off anywhere. And contrary to common belief, most modeling gigs aren't rolling in cash. They don't like it when you lose the wardrobe."
"Or take it off set, I'd imagine."
"Well, it's just coffee, it's not a spaghetti dinner," she says. "It was just easier not to change, though I've been in much worse to get in and out of. There was this one dress that was a lot like bondage gear. Or what I imagine bondage gear to be like."
"It's usually less complicated than you think," says Kris, then instantly wishes his usual filter was in place. "That was probably way too much information."
"Or not quite enough," she says, and she's laughing so Kris figures that was a good thing and that he hasn't crossed some invisible line from cute, slightly-hapless guy to creeper. "But feel free not to elaborate and I'll just use my imagination."
"That's probably more interesting anyway," he says. "Modeling's kind of a cool job, right? Way more interesting than my life."
"Well, it's hard to say when I don't know what you do," she said. "Though I'm guessing...student?"
"For another year, yeah," said Kris. "Though at the moment I'm a lowly marketing intern, which might even be a little lower on the totem pole."
She makes a face, but it's a playful one. "Okay, maybe it's better than that. I'd like to do more acting, but sometimes you just take the kinds of jobs that you can get, you know?"
"And sometimes they involve uniforms," says Kris. He kind of can't keep his eyes off it, the way it's tailored to her body. And especially the hat. "You've probably seen all kinds of weird stuff."
"Like doing a shoot dressed in a red stocking inside a white box?" she says. "That kind of weird?"
"That definitely sounds weird," says Kris as he carefully sips his coffee. His earlier discomfort seems somewhat more distant now, though.
Conversation with Cindy is surprisingly easy, or maybe Kris just doesn't feel any pressure. He stumbled in here feeling like something scraped off the sidewalk, even if he obviously looked a little better than that, so he has no expectations at all. The fact that he suddenly finds himself deep in conversation with a really interesting and funny model is more surprising than intimidating.
"I swear I don't normally do this," she says as she finishes off her coffee and pushes the cup away, "but do you want to come back to the shoot with me? I've got some time left on my break and, um, a dressing room that I'm not sharing with five other people for once."
"Just two other people?" says Kris, smiling and trying to shake her nerves.
"Just me," she says with a little laugh. "Sorry if you're into that."
"I think just you would be great," he says. "I don't do this all the time either. It's just..." He shrugs and doesn't try to explain, because he thinks she already gets it. It would be dishonest to say he never does it, especially not after this past year, but it's still a pretty rare occurrence all things considered. "Yeah."
"It's not far," she says, "just in the warehouse up the block."
Kris knows exactly where she's talking about, a couple of blocks closer to the river from here, not really an industrial area but a few more industrial remnants than the rest of the neighborhood. He scrubs his hands through his hair again and is glad they both have coffee breath because it's only fair that way.
They skirt around the edges of the shoot proper—Kris only sees people and lights and something that looks like it might be a tank?—and he only stumbles over some kind of debris once before they arrive at her dressing room. Well, dressing trailer, actually, since old warehouses tend not to have fully fitted dressing rooms for some reason.
They look at one another awkwardly for only a moment before the clothes are coming off, systematically and efficiently. She hasn't said so explicitly but Kris can tell there's not going to be a lot of time before she has to get back to work so if they want to do this thing they need to do it now.
"Can you, um, leave the hat on?" he says as she goes to set that aside too.
She lifts an eyebrow at him, a repressed smirk on her face, but she leaves the hat on in the end and that's what matters. Actually, Kris is pretty sure she's into it too.
"As long as we don't stain the wardrobe," she says, pushing it more firmly on her head instead. "That's almost as bad as losing it, and twice as embarrassing."
"Got it," says Kris, and eyeballs the rest of it to make sure it's out of reach before he wraps his arms around her waist and dives in and kisses her for the first time. She's no more hesitant than he is, hands all over him, laughing when he accidentally tickles her ribs and smiling at him between kisses.
Even though they're both pretty handsy Kris is still careful to be gentle with her. She's a model, and in the middle of a job, no less. That means no bruises, no marks, and definitely no hickeys. Not anywhere. Kris is even scared of smudging her makeup, though he's pretty sure that's already a lost cause and figures they'd have to touch it up after lunch anyway. He cups her breasts, kisses them and tongues them and even bites gently when she moans at the accidental contact of teeth, then moves his hands downwards, over her hips and then between her legs.
She wraps one leg right around him as he fingers her, letting him in, and keeps one around his shoulders for balance as she reaches down to start stroking his cock, firm and steady.
"I really, really want to have sex with you," he murmurs finally as his legs start to shake a little, not from holding her, he barely even notices the weight, but from being that turned on.
"Hold that thought," she says, unwrapping herself and leaving him standing there as she goes for her purse. Before she gets there, though, she turns back, takes the hat off, and hangs it off his cock. "Just in case someone comes in."
Kris licks his lips and closes his eyes and feels a little too close to coming for comfort right now. He scratches his stomach just for something to do with his hand while he waits, but he also can't help touching the hat, even though it's really ten times sexier when it's on her. He keeps expecting her to give him orders when she's wearing it.
When she comes back she replaces the hat with a condom, taking control and sliding it on smoothly. When she leaves the hat on the countertop Kris picks it up and puts it right back on her head again.
"I see," she says, tipping it forwards a little and looking up at him through her (probably false) eyelashes. "Does that mean I'm calling the shots?"
"Yes," says Kris, and almost tells her that as far as he's concerned, she always was.
She gives him a smile that's almost devious, kisses him on the jaw, and says, "You're taking me up against the wall, then. That one."
She's hardly finished talking before Kris is lifting her by the thighs and she's wrapping her legs around him and he's stumbling forwards until her back is against the wall and he's sliding smoothly inside her.
"Fuck, fuck," she says, and as she tilts her head back against the wall the hat tilts forward even more, almost hiding her eyes. Kris kisses it, then her, then grabs hold of her thighs even tighter and thrusts up into her. "Harder," she says, and, "faster," and Kris obeys every order she gives him.
They're going to have to fix her hair, too, but that thought disappears as quickly as it had come because Kris is very, very close again and he's not sure she is, and he doesn't have a hand free to help her along. So he doesn't mind in the least when she reaches down between her own legs and massages her clit as she rides him, her heels hard against his back.
"I'm gonna," he says, kissing the corner of her mouth sloppily as he thrusts into her as hard and fast as his legs and his willpower will let him. "Cindy...."
"Yes, yes, do it," she says, and he's not sure if that's an order or permission but either way it does it for him. He holds her bodily against the wall as he comes, and she works furiously to follow him as quickly as she can, her muscles contracting around him not long after Kris comes, just long enough that he's already sensitive to it and it leaves him breathless all over again.
It's a few more moments before he even can lower her, and a few more after that before they can do anything other than lean against one another and breathe.
"Well," she says finally, kissing the top of his shoulder, "that's certainly not how I expected to be spending my lunch break."
Kris runs his finger around the rim of the hat still on her head and bites his lip before kissing her temple. "I know exactly what you mean," he says. "Definitely not on the agenda."
Finally she takes the hat off, smoothes her hair back from her face, and they part. Kris takes care of the condom, pulls his clothes on as quickly as they'd come off and tries to make himself look presentable. Or at least as presentable as he had been when he'd arrived. Then he helps her back into the uniform, zipping and buttoning and buckling in all the right places. She looks at herself critically in the mirror, then puts her had back on and shrugs cheerfully as she meets his eyes. Nothing to be done about it now.
"I've got to get back to work," she says, giving him a kiss on the cheek. "It's been...."
Kris laughs at her loss for words, and knows exactly what she means. "Yeah, it has," he says. "Break a leg. Is that the right thing to say to models? I don't know any others."
"Close enough," she says, and lets him kiss her one more time before she smuggles Kris back off the shoot again.
He stops by the bakery for a muffin, feeling a lot better than when he started out today, and has a ridiculous smile on his face when he gets back home. He can tell Cale wants to ask about it, because by rights he should've come shuffling back home again the way he left, maybe a little more caffeinated but not a lot more recovered, but he doesn't say anything and Kris doesn't offer an explanation.
This one's just for him.