ptahrrific: Jon and Stephen, "Believe in the me who believes in you" (fake news)
Erin Ptah ([personal profile] ptahrrific) wrote2011-02-03 02:04 pm

Fake News: As If You Were Salt-Rose, Or Topaz

Title: As If You Were Salt-Rose, Or Topaz
Rating: PG
Pairings: Jon and Raven (pre-slash or pre-het, however you want to read it)
Disclaimer: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.

Written for [livejournal.com profile] pookiesbleubass in the 2010 [livejournal.com profile] fakenews_fanfic Secret Santa. Big Stew (or, at least, sinister!Jon) meets Raven for the first time.

Sexy title courtesy of Pablo Neruda. Sketchy illustration over here. Far better illustration, by [personal profile] omelton, here.



The figure on Goldman's arm was unmistakably not his wife, a fact which Stewart knew better than to mention. Instead he made small talk while enjoying the view: not much chest on her, but the hips made up for it, and the petal-pink lips and waves of brown hair didn't hurt. Her royal-blue gown was slit at the sides from shoulder to waist, only the faintest silver ribbons holding it to her skin, while the blue fabric converged in a demure bow at her throat as if daring someone to unwrap her.

"But I don't believe we've been introduced," he said, when it felt like a hole in the head would be preferable to listening to Goldman prattle on about stock prices for thirty more seconds. "Who's your charming lady friend?"

"Where are my manners?" laughed the older man. "Jon, meet Raven. Raven, this is Jon Stewart."

"Pleased to meet you," said Raven, with a smile that changed the whole shape of her face, or seemed to. Stewart kept his gaze fixed on her eyes as he pressed a chaste kiss to her hand. Sure enough, the smile stopped just below.

"All this talk about money must be boring you, sweetheart," continued Goldman, patting Raven in a way that allowed him to slip in a none-too-subtle squeeze. "Why don't you go ahead and get yourself some more champagne?"

Stewart made his own excuses as soon as he dared, and tracked Raven from a distance as she mingled with the other guests. Even in low heels she had a good four inches on him, making an imposing figure that he had no trouble following. When she swished through the door of the ladies' room, Stewart straightened the lapels of his tuxedo, checked that nobody was looking too closely, and ducked in behind her.

He found her past the row of low couches but before the empty stalls, reapplying her lipstick at a gilt-framed mirror. A streak of pale rose smeared across her chin when his reflection came into view; to her credit, rather than turn or scream or both, she regained her composure and began blotting it away. "Mr. Stewart. What are you doing here?"

"Same thing as you," said Stewart. "Intruding."

She turned at that, one hand clutching defensively at her necklace: a glossy pink opal suspended on a graceful arc of silver, hanging between what would have been her breasts. Matching opals hung at her wrists and from her ears; Stewart wondered if they had twins at her ankles, or if her legs were bare under the sweep of her skirt. "I...I don't know what you mean."

"Somehow I have a feeling you know more than people give you credit for. Especially Goldman."

"I have a feeling you should leave now," shot back Raven. "And if you won't, I will."

Stewart let her go, past the mirrors and the couches and the dark spreading leaves of the plants growing in pots that matched the wallpaper. (Whose idea was it to put potted plants in a restroom, anyway?) "Whatever he's paying you," he said, not moving, "I'll double it."

It was Raven's turn to appear in the reflection over his shoulder, high spots of pink in her cheeks that had nothing to do with her makeup.

"You think you know me," she said, her voice rounding out with new lower timbres in fury. "You don't know anything about me. It's not about the money. Anyway, you couldn't afford me even if it was."

Stewart rather doubted that, but he let it pass. "So enlighten me. It can't be the man's raw sex appeal."

"Big words from a man who wouldn't show up at a dinner table without a couple of phone books to sit on."

In the mirror, Stewart saw his own eyes sparkle in appreciation. "Consider me chastised, madam."

His calm manner seemed to throw Raven; the flush melted from her cheeks as she fidgeted in place, toying with the silver clasp of her purse. "He's going to get me on television," she blurted, the arch of her eyebrows daring him to disagree. "Already has, if you count commercials. You've probably seen me without even knowing it. I looked...different."

Stewart tried to picture her with short hair, shoulders broad in a suit jacket or polo shirt, untucked and filling out a pair of men's jeans. All that came to mind was the sight of her fanned across a bed, dress tugged down around her hips by the hands of a man twice her age. "And that's going to do it for you? If you do eventually land a title role, or get your face on the air in primetime. You think that'll be worth it?"

"Don't patronize me, sir."

"Your falsetto's slipping."

Raven clapped her hand to her throat again, mouth snapping shut.

"Listen, here's what I think," said Stewart before she could recoup. "You don't know what you need. Oh, you know what you want," he added, strolling towards her. "The fame, the glory, the adulation--something tells me you would even enjoy them if you got them. But you wouldn't be satisfied. Because what you need, even if you do wind up with a well-deserved throng of anonymous admirers, is one real person--"

His hand settled lightly on the curve of her hip.

"--who worships you to the depths of his soul."

Raven had frozen in place, trembling under his touch. Their faces were inches apart; Stewart could see every flutter of her eyelashes, feel the catch of breath as he pushed a scrap of paper under the front of her dress, where the dark fabric hugged it against the soft skin of her stomach.

He pulled away when her eyes started to glisten, so that later they could both more easily pretend she hadn't been about to cry. The last she saw from him was a smile, at once slow and confident, rakish and gentle: the kind that promised nothing but suggested everything.

A blonde Stewart had met once or twice looked taken aback when he emerged into the hall; he switched the expression to an adorably sheepish one, and made for the gents'. He was going to need a few minutes alone anyway, or risk some severe embarrassment as the night wore on. Odds were good Raven wouldn't muster the courage to retrieve the nondescript business card for a while yet, and he would have plenty of time to warm back up before she eventually, inevitably, made the decision to call.
karmageddon: (Default)

[personal profile] karmageddon 2012-11-22 07:43 pm (UTC)(link)
ooooh! Intriguing! (I'm gorging on your back catalog. More fun and fewer calories than turkey)