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Morning without you is a dwindled dawn
By thegirl20


Chas looks up from the paper when the door opens. Charity glides in, the remnants of a smile on her face. Chas rolls her eyes. That must mean Vanessa stayed over. Again. It's pretty much every other night at the moment. And if Vanessa didn't have a kid, Chas has no doubt that it would be every bloody night.


It takes Charity a moment to register that she's being spoken to, but she does eventually shift her attention to Chas. "Hmm? Oh, yeah, morning." She heads to the kitchen and puts the kettle on and drops a slice of bread into the toaster. Chas watches as she stretches to peer into one of the cupboards, reaching over the mugs to grab something near the back. She emerges holding a travel mug. Chas frowns.

"Going somewhere?"

"Eh?" Charity turns to her, brow creased in confusion. Chas nods to the cup Charity's adding instant coffee to. Charity follows her line of vision and makes a noise of understanding. "Oh. Yeah, no. It's for 'Ness. She's running late for...I dunno, doing something to pigs, and of course she says that's my fault. So I said I'd do her a coffee to go."

Chas lifts her eyebrows. "How very domesticated of you."

"Least I can do after the things she did to me last night." Charity gives her a lewd wink.

"How many times do I have to say this?" Chas makes a show of screwing up her face in distaste. "No sex talk at the breakfast table."

"Only 'cause you've got nothing to bring to the conversation." Charity grabs the toast that's just popped up and slathers it in butter. "Paddy not up to much, is he? Can't say I'm surprised." She takes a bite of the toast, chewing around her smile.

"Uh, for your information, madam-" Chas begins, ready to defend her boyfriend's honour. Unfortunately she's interrupted by the arrival of Vanessa, shirt buttoned up wrong and one shoe half on. She's in the middle of trying to put her hair into a ponytail, but it's haphazard at best.

"I cannot believe the time!" She stumbles a bit before stooping to pull her shoe on properly and then continuing her journey to the kitchen. Charity holds out the travel mug and Vanessa accepts it, taking a long swig. She glares at Charity over the rim as she lowers it. "Paddy is gonna kill me and it's your fault." As an afterthought she adds. "Morning Chas."

Charity flutters her eyelashes. "How is it my fault that you can't bring yourself to leave my bed?"

"Oh, give over," Vanessa slaps her arm, lightly. "I was getting out of bed and then you started-" She glances at Chas and lowers her voice. "-doing...things."

"Give me strength," Chas murmurs, looking to the ceiling for help.

Charity points at her, eyes wide. "You know what, that's really spooky because that's what Vanessa said afterwards!"

This earns Charity another slap, though it's easy to identify amusement underneath Vanessa's blush. Charity just laughs and goes to take another bite of her toast, but Vanessa intercepts it and plucks it out of her hand, taking a huge bite.

"Oi! That's mine!"

"S'mine now." Vanessa grins, her left cheek bulging with toast. Off Charity's bemused expression, she rolls her eyes and leans in to press a kiss to her cheek. "I'll make it up to you later. I've got to go."

"Hmmm, yeah, you'd better run." Charity pouts as Vanessa heads to the door, juggling the coffee and toast with her keys and phone. "See you later, babe."

"See you. Bye Chas."

And with that, she's gone. Chas turns to catch Charity grinning like an idiot at the door. She lets out a little sigh and turns her attention back to the toaster, popping in a second piece of bread. Chas shakes her head. "You know, at some point you're going to have to admit that she's more than just a bit of fun."

Charity's head whips around to pin her with what Charity probably assumes is an intimidating glare. But Chas has known her far too long to be intimidated, and she can see that she's hit a nerve. She raises an eyebrow and Charity's expression changes, as if Chas has made some big joke.

"What's this you're on about now?" Charity tries to laugh, a short exhalation of air through her nose. "Me and 'Ness? 'Course it's just a bit of fun."

"Mmhmm." Chas gets up from the table and approaches Charity, amused by the way she backs into the cabinets. "Shall I tell you my opinion?"

Charity scoffs. "You will anyway, so I don't know why you're asking."

"The way you smiled at her just now?" Chas points in the direction Vanessa's just taken. "I've never seen you smile at anyone like that since...well, in all honesty I can't remember ever seeing you smile like that at anybody."

"Oh, shut up. What is this, a Mills 'n' Boon? Suddenly everyone I smile at I'm in love with? For God's sake." Charity retrieves her second piece of toast and starts to butter it, turning her back to Chas. "She's good in bed. We have a giggle together. That's all there is to it, right?"

"Keep kidding yourself if you like." Chas moves in close behind her, leaning her chin on her shoulder. "But don't think for one second that you're fooling me, okay?"

She reaches around Charity and steals the now buttered slice of toast, twisting away before she can stop her.

"Oi! Will people stop stealing my breakfast!"

Chas laughs at her indignance, heading up the living room to the door. "Oh shut up. Vanessa'll make it up to you later for both of us, I'm sure." She winks and points at her own cheek. "You've got lip-shaped toast crumbs, by the way."

The last thing she sees before she heads through to start work is Charity lifting a hand to where Vanessa had kissed her, and that smile reappearing.

The End

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