Toast in the toaster, water in the kettle, instant coffee granules in the mug, lean against the counter and try to wake up a little more. Liv yawned widely, rubbing at her eyes underneath her glasses as she waited patiently for her breakfast to be ready. She was a little later getting up this morning than she might usually have been, but she had been out late last night. It was either that or try to sleep through the noises coming from Lucy's room - it was bad enough knowing her sister was getting laid to a high standard regularly now. It was worse given that Liv knew who was doing the laying.
There was a reason Johnny preferred his apartment to Lucy's and that was Liv, but Johnny had Ben to deal with, and that was almost worse than worrying Liv might overhear them. He really had to get a place of his own. Living with Big, Orange, and Ugly was really starting to cramp his style. He'd been tossing and turning for a few hours, trying to steal the covers back from Miss Snorey Blanket Stealer. God, she was hot, and the sex was the best he'd had in, well, EVER, but her bedside manners leaved a lot to be desired. She wasn't exactly snuggly. He gave it one last attempt and was rewarded with a shove, which sent him rolling onto the floor with a loud thump.
In the kitchen, Liv heard the thump and rolled her eyes, trying not to laugh. She'd shared a bed a time or two in the past with her sister, and knew only too well what Johnny was contending with. She turned back to the counter, putting more water in the kettle in preparation for making tea or coffee for the company she was no doubt going to have in a few minutes' time.
"Aw, son of a..." He rubbed his bruised ego which just happened to be his ass, grumbling as he climbed to his feet to search for his jeans, which had somehow ended up in a discarded pile of clothing on Lucy's bedroom floor. He picked up a bra, turning it this way and that, tossing a peek over at Lucy. No, she was still asleep. He could tell from the snoring. God, that was irritating. He held the bra up to his own chest, just for kicks, wondering how women could stand wearing the damned things, before tossing it over his shoulder and continuing his search through the clothing pile. It was times like these, he wished he could just be normal and not have to wear that stupid uniform all the damned time. Finding his jeans finally, he pulled them on, carefully zipping so he didn't catch himself in the zipper. He didn't have any underwear, after all. "I'll just go make my own breakfast now, Your Majesty," he told the snoring twin, before turning to the door with a heavy sigh.
He didn't even get a snort in farewell, although the bundle of blankets on the bed shifted to seal itself up tighter. Lucy was definitely someone who liked her sleep undisturbed. Johnny's entry into the main room was greeted with the sproing of the toaster disgorging Liv's breakfast, and the sight of Lucy's younger twin tossing a slice of toast back and forth between her hands as she turned to toss it onto a plate, blowing on her fingertips with an endearingly wounded expression.
He froze in place when he stepped out of the room and wandered barefooted and bare-chested down the hallway to the kitchen, caught between two twins, a small smile crossing his face as he watched Liv trying to juggle the slice of hot toast between her hands. He glanced back over his shoulder, hearing Lucy still snoring behind him. The smile turned slowly to a somewhat guilty frown, as he debated whether or not to go hide in Lucy's room until she woke up or gather his courage and face her younger sister. He was going to have to sooner later. Might as well get it over with.
"Hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot ..." Shaking the faint tingle from her fingertips, Liv attacked her toast with butter, slicing it in two before taking a bite, leaving that half clutched between her teeth as she turned to pour boiling water into her mug. She certainly made for a charmingly domestic view as she went about making her breakfast, her robe hanging open to reveal the short pajamas she was wearing. One hand went up to push her unbrushed hair out of her face, her nose wrinkling briefly to push her glasses higher up. Johnny could feel remarkably relieved that she hadn't actually noticed his arrival yet.
Okay, he couldn't just stand there and watch that without snickering a little, pressing a hand against his mouth to try and stifle his laughter. He watched her quietly a moment, tempted to tease her horribly by pretending he thought she was Lucy, but he thought that would be too cruel and besides, they both knew Lucy was still in her room sawing wood, so he'd never be able to get away with it without looking as guilty as sin. He thought she looked adorable in her robe and jammies, so like Lucy and yet so different, and found himself wondering what it would be like to take those glasses off and kiss her. Would he be able to tell the difference between them? What did she taste like? He shook his head, forcing the silly fantasy from his mind, and cleared his throat to warn her she was no longer alone.
The sound of a throat clearing behind her - a masculine throat, no less - was definitely the best way to alert her to his presence. Liv pulled the toast out of her mouth, chewing hurriedly as she stirred her coffee. "Oh ..." The sound was a little muffled through the toast, which was swallowed a little too soon for comfort. She turned to look at Johnny, ready to smile in greeting. "Good mornin - oh, my goodness." Her gaze slipped from his face to his bare chest, and there went the blush. She went from her usual pale color to a delicate shade of pink that threatened to grow deeper as her eyes snapped away. "Um ... yes. Hello, Johnny. Coffee?"
He couldn't help but catch that blush, and it amused him to no end. Like most men, he didn't really think much of walking around without a shirt on, a little clueless as to the effect that might have on those of the female gender. He idly wondered if Liv was a virgin. No, no, no... Do not go there, he warned himself, clearing his throat again, from his own sudden and unexpected nervousness. "Um, yes, thank you. Don't mind if I do." The hell is the matter with me? "Um, instant or..." He glanced to her cup of coffee, almost wishing he'd stayed cooped up with Miss Snorey Pants a little longer so he didn't have to face her sweet, innocent look alike.
Nodding without actually looking at him, Liv managed a nervous smile of her own, turning back to pour out a fresh cup of coffee. "Do you take cream and sugar?" she asked, not bothering to ask about her sister. "I assume Lucy's still hogging the covers and snoring. I'll, um, I'll do her some breakfast when she wakes up."
"It's instant, I'm afraid," she added in apology, finally lifting her eyes to him with a wry smile. "Can't afford a coffee maker yet."
"No, just black. Full throttle." He answered with a slightly nervous but hopefully friendly smile. He didn't do anything halfway, not even coffee. He chuckled a little when she mentioned her sister. "Yeah, she's not exactly snuggly in bed." He cleared his throat again, almost blushing. Like that wasn't awkward. "Instant is fine. I'm not picky." He wondered if he should sit down or what.
She passed the mug over to him, almost relieved to find that he seemed to be as nervous as she was. Although, of course, this was the first time they'd actually spoken as Johnny and Liv, rather than Liv pretending to be Lucy. "So, um ... I can put some more toast on, if you'd like, or there's porridge -" Her Blackberry buzzed loudly against the counter, and she grimaced. "Sorry, just a second." Lifting the device into her hand, she bit off another section of her own toast, checking the message that had just come in.
"Porridge?" He snorted. "No, toast is..." He frowned as her Blackberry went off. One a doctor, the other a P.A., it seemed both were on call 24 to 7, just like him. "Your boss?" he inquired, curiously, as he stepped over toward the toaster to make his own toast. Should he do it the old fashioned way or the Johnny Storm way, he wondered.
The little kitchen space really was little, and as he stepped up beside her, it highlighted the main difference between Lucy and Liv - Liv was about two inches smaller, which was why she wore heels as much as she could. "Yes," she answered his question thoughtfully, tapping out a quick reply of her own as she spoke. "She messages me every time she thinks of something else she needs doing, no matter the time of day or night." Setting the phone down, she shrugged lightly, glancing up at Johnny with a certain amount of surprise on finding him that close. "Should I get out of your way?" Never mind that she didn't want to move, although Lucy would kill her if either of them twigged that standing close to Johnny and feeling the heat radiating from him was rather a stimulating experience for Liv.
"So, if she needs a loaf of bread, she texts you? That isn't being a P.A., Liv. That's being a servant." He pulled a couple slices of bread from the bag and fed them into the toaster, deciding it was probably good manners to do things the old fashioned way and not show off in someone else's kitchen. Once that was done, he turned to face her, only then realizing how close they were and how much shorter she was than her sister, privately filing away the differences in his brain for future reference, in case they ever tried to play The Parent Trap on him again sometime. He was tempted to reach over and brush a stray strand of hair from her face, but he resisted the urge. She's Liv, not Lucy. Down, boy. He blinked at her question. "Um, no, I..." He sighed. "Maybe I should just go."
"Oh, no, she doesn't do that," Liv giggled softly, shaking her head. "It's usually someone she's forgotten to call, or an idea that needs to be pitched to one of the departments in the studios. She doesn't ..." She swallowed, realising that she was taking enjoying standing close a little too far, and took a step back, her blush deepening as she bit her lip. "Please don't go, Johnny. I really don't mean to make you feel uncomfortable." Taking her toast and coffee around to the other side of the counter, she drew in a quick breath, preparing to offer a solution to the problem that was her. "I can make myself completely scarce whenever you're here, if that makes things easier."
He frowned a little as she moved away to a slightly safer distance. "Don't do that, Liv. It's not you. It's me. This is your home, and I'm... I'm intruding." He lowered his eyes, noting the blush again, thinking he'd embarrassed her. God, he was stupid. He turned away just as the toaster went pop. No problem at all taking the hot toast from the toaster, despite the fact that it was still steaming. He tried to remember when the last time was that he had his own living space. Hadn't he come to Rhydin partly to get away from the watchful eyes of the others, to find his independence, to be on his own for awhile? And they'd sent Ben after him to play babysitter. Why then, was he feeling lonely and a little homesick?
"No, you're not intruding, please don't think that." She perched herself on one of the bar stools, leaving her toast forgotten on the plate beside her. Her hands clenched as she drew her courage carefully together, closing her eyes to begin talking. This needed to be said, however awkward it was to say it. "I'm .... I'm feeling awkward because I was privy to something that should have been just between you and Lucy, and that's wrong, and I know me being around is making things uncomfortable for you, and I don't want you to be uncomfortable, I want you to be able to relax here because I know you said you don't really get much time to yourself, and this is a good place for quiet, and oh dear God, I'm babbling again." Squeezing her eyes more tightly shut, she lowered her forehead to the counter and banged it. Hard.
He set the toast onto a plate and turned to face her as she spoke, realizing it seemed she'd said more to him in five minutes than Lucy had in an entire evening because moaning and snoring didn't count. He winced at the head-banging. "Stop it, Liv. Stop blaming yourself and stop feeling guilty. I forgive you. Anyway, I was an idiot not to realize what was going on sooner, so it's my fault as much as anyone else's. I'm an idiot."
Lifting her head, Liv sighed softly, shaking her head with a faint smile. "We should stop with the blaming ourselves, it was all her fault," she said with comical sternness, and that sounded like the party line Lucy was trying to force on them both. The only problem there was that if Johnny accepted that he didn't need to feel awkward around her, she would have to find a way of relaxing around him, because her feeling awkward was only a tiny part of her nervousness. The bigger part - and the more pertinent - was caused by how much she liked him.