DISCLAIMER: I only borrowed them for a while. MGM and whoever can have them back whenever they want. 'The Way you look Tonight' by Dorothy Fields & Jerome Kern, 'They can't take that away from me' by George and Ira Gershwin, 'But Beautiful' by Johnny Burke & James Van Heusen, 'Come Rain or Come Shine' by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For my own beautiful.
SPOILERS: Chimaera.

Chimera the Way it Should Have Been 3: The Way You Look Tonight
By Celievamp

It was something Daniel had got involved with when he was trying to recover his own memories. Reminiscence therapy. The old people's centre he had worked with was holding a Tea Dance. And as friends of Daniel we were all invited. So here we were, hiding in plain sight. If anyone in authority asked I was Daniel's date and she was Jack's but we only had eyes for each other. Once we were at the dance with everyone else largely lost in their own memories inspired by the music of fifty years or more ago no one else cared how we split up.

We were both dressed up to the nines, just for the hell of it. I had managed to put my hair up (pins, hairspray and sheer willpower, I think) and Janet's was loose. It was mid brown at the moment with flashes of gold running through it, framing her face, skirting her bare shoulders. I caressed her cheek and she smiled up at me.

"Did I ever tell you that you look just about edible in that dress?" she reached up to whisper in my ear. I was in black, strappy, just about backless clinging in all the right places. She was in deep purple, the metallic sheen to the material accenting the curves of her body. I wasn't the only one who couldn't keep my eyes off her tonight.

"No, tell me more," I whispered back. The perfume she was wearing tonight was driving me crazy. It was so her. Essence of Janet. My Janet. She told me more. I could feel the blush rising in my cheeks at the things she was telling me, the things she wanted to do to me. No one had done the things to me that she did. It wasn't just that she was my first female lover, she was the first lover to actually take the time to find out what I liked.

And two days earlier I had nearly screwed it up to appease my brother. Going out with Pete even though nothing remotely romantic had happened between us had been one of the biggest mistakes of my life. Firstly because he was a grade A jerk. Secondly because I had really hurt Janet's feelings even though she was an angel and had forgiven me. She was so supportive when I lost it completely after talking to my brother.

A bouquet of flowers and a note arrived this morning from Pete, apologizing for things said in the heat of the moment and promising that I would hear no more about it. I tore up the note and thought about putting the flowers in the trash before reconsidering and taking them over to Mrs Akenford up the street who keeps an eye on the house for us when we aren't around. She never asked for anything in return. They were beautiful flowers and deserved to be appreciated by somebody.

Janet and I had a few dances together before deciding we needed a breather from each other if we were ever going to get through the evening. Even though I was having the best time I'd had for ages I could not wait for it to be over so that we could just go home and be ourselves. Together. Alone.

I danced with Daniel for a while and then with an old army man who had seen action at the end of the Second World War and in Korea and had a lifetime of wonderful memories. He said that dancing with me tonight and the other `little lady' was just going to be the latest.

"Don't you let anyone tell you what's right and what's wrong, you hear," he said. "You take care of each other. Anyone with half a brain can see that's how it's supposed to be. Those army chiefs don't know their asses from their elbows sometimes."

The dance finished and as he escorted me back to my seat he took a moment to introduce me to Alex. They had been together for nearly thirty years. Another old soldier with a chest full of medal ribbons and a lifetime of memories.

I sat down again next to Janet, accepted the wine cooler that she handed me and sipped it gratefully. "He's an old charmer, isn't he?" Janet smiled. "Talks a fair bit of sense though. I did wonder when Daniel suggested this what kind of reception we would get?"

I let my fingers mesh with hers, feeling the heat of her skin, her scent swirling through me.

"Wanna dance, beautiful?"

"With you, always."

Ella's beautiful version of `The way you look tonight', started to play…

"Yes, you're lovely, with your smile so warm
And your cheeks so soft
There is nothing for me but to love you
And the way you look tonight"

Janet had a lovely voice and I lost myself in it as she sang along to the song. She raised her face to mine and we kissed, long and sweet at first and then a series of soft touches, playing with each other's lips. Janet Fraiser has the most kissable lips.

Ella finished and they started to play some Billie Holiday standards. I was in my element now, singing along, sometimes changing the words to fit the circumstances. Hey, a good love song is a good love song…

"The way your smile just beams
The way you sing off key
The way you haunt my dreams
No, no they can't take that away from me
We may never, never meet again
On the bumpy road to love
Still I'll always, always keep the memory of
The way you hold your knife
The way we danced till three
The way you changed my life
No, no they can't take that away from me
No, they can't take that away from me"

Her head is resting on my shoulder. Her fingers are scribing the symbol for eternity on my wrist. In this moment I'm so happy I can't breathe.

"But beautiful
And I'm thinking if you were mine
I'd never let you go
And that would be
But beautiful
I know
Love is beautiful
I know"

She looks up at me, gives me a little squeeze. "Very appropriate," she whispered.

"I'd say it fits perfectly," I replied.

"I'm gonna love you
Like nobody's loved you
Come rain or come shine
High as a mountain
And deep as a river
Come rain or come shine

I guess when you met me
It was just one of those things
But don't ever bet me
Cause I'm gonna be true
If you let me

You're gonna love me
Like nobody's loved me
Come rain or come shine
Happy together, unhappy together
And won't it be fine"

"And you'd better believe it," I whispered, nibbling at her ear. She laughed and mock-swatted me on the arm. The set finished and after giving me a searing kiss, Janet stood back fanning herself. I led her off the floor back to our seats.

"You getting the Doc all hot and bothered, Carter?" the Colonel asked, setting another set of wine coolers down at our table.

"So it seems, Sir," I smiled, my hand resting on the bare skin of Janet's shoulder. I wanted her so badly right now and I could tell by the way that she shifted under my light touch that she felt the same.

"Glad to see you both having a good time. Sometimes the two of you are entirely too serious, you do know that."

"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir." Janet said, her tone contrite, her expression wicked.

The Colonel knew when he was being picked on, but Janet could always get away with it. She had the big needles after all. He mock-glared at her and then grinned. "Okay, which of you two lovelies can I tempt into dancing with me."

"To be honest, Sir, I'm about done," Janet said. "Hours of standing around in the infirmary don't exactly prepare you for this – and Sam is still on Medical Leave. We should really be getting home. Next time."

"Next time. I'll hold you to that, Doc."

No, I'll be the one holding her, I wanted to say. "Good night, Sir," I said.

We got our coats and called a cab. The air was still warm, Janet leant against me as we waited, humming softly under her breath. My arms were around her, my chin resting on the top of my head. I recognized the song she had been singing earlier.

"Lovely ... Never, ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it?
'Cause I love you ... Just the way you look tonight."

I realised that I never wanted to forget this moment. I wanted to store it up for all the bad times – and the good times – ahead. In the years ahead if anyone asked – when were you happiest? – this simple moment, waiting for a cab with the woman I loved in my arms would always come to mind first.

The End

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