Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Step By Step
Challenge/Prompt: halfamoon Day 5: Borders
Warning(s): Future Fic
Word Count: 966
Date Written: 10 March 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
Dana shut her book with a loud snap and a clearly irritated sound underneath her breath. Rich looked up from his comic, his head propped up in his hands. “What?” he asked concern. He loved it when he made her make that noise because it almost always followed a makeup session that involved very passionate kissing and sometimes a little nibbling if he got lucky, but he wasn’t used to hearing her become so greatly annoyed at a book. His woman loved to read, and when she started chunking books of all things, he knew it was time to run or at the very least, if he couldn’t run, to keep a low profile.
“Men are such . . . such chauvinistic pigs!”
Rich grinned. “That’s nothing new,” he said with a wink.
“No, but this . . . This is garbage!” She slung the book as far as she could, causing Rich to swiftly sit up.
“Baby -- “
“Don’t baby me, damn it!”
Rich swallowed hard. This was Dana at her angriest, something even he, after all their years together, was not adept or comfortable dealing with. “Sweetheart -- “ Her eyes cut him to silence. “What’s so wrong with the book?” he asked, getting up from their bed, crossing carefully over their room, and picking up the biography. He glanced at the cover, but it didn’t really tell him much about the book except that it was about a woman from some time long ago.
“She’s about to marry this guy,” Dana spat, “who’s been having her followed!”
“That borders on stalker behavior!”
“It doesn’t border on it, Rich,” Dana snapped. “It is stalker behavior! But she knows, and she accepts it! If you’d ever done that to me -- “
Rich came to a stop before her and tossed the book away from them both. It landed gently, but Dana began to forget her anger as he reached out, took her hand in his, and kissed the back of it. “If I’d ever done that to you,” he acknowledged, “you would have killed me, and I would never have gotten to me Mr. Dana Foster.”
She grinned. “You know that’s not your name.”
“I know. That’s not the world considers to be my name, but I like thinking of myself that way.” He grinned at her and was rewarded with the corners of her lips beginning to slowly inch upward. “I like that you’re Missus Rich Halke. It’s something I’ll never take for granted. I’ll never take you for granted, but I had sense beat into me by you at a much earlier age that most men ever get. Look at JT. Sam’s still having trouble with him after all these years.”
Dana was smiling now. “Go on,” she urged.
“But I like considering myself to be Mr. Dana Foster too,” he allowed, “because that means you own me.”
“I don’t own you, Rich!”
“You do, and I’m proud to be yours.”
She rolled her eyes at him. “You’ve got a completely reversed idea of relationships than what men back then had.”
“Precisely,” he agreed, “and I’m glad I do. You taught me it. You taught me to value a woman and to realize the strength that your gender has. Most of you women are way stronger than most men, myself included, will ever be. It’s an honor to be yours.”
She blushed, and he knew he had her. “And knowing you and what you like to read, that woman was ahead of her time. She may have been tolerating a stalker, but I bet she teaches him several things and maybe even makes a new man out of him by the end of the book.”
“I don’t know,” Dana admitted, eyeing the book in question, “but I don’t want to think about that stupid book or that stupid man any more right now.”
“What do you want to think about?” Rich asked, sliding closer.
She tugged him closer still before wrapping her hands around his head, cupping his handsome face in her palms, and answering just before she kissed him, “Us. You. What you mean to me and what a good man you are.”
“I’m your man,” he whispered against her lips, “always and forever.”
Dana grinned, and her hot breath washed over his smiling lips as she answered approvingly, “You’ve got that right, Mr. Dana Foster.” She wouldn’t have minded him taking her name, but it was also an honor for her to take his. They were truly a perfect match, neither being too far above the other, and she knew he would never attempt to do to her the things the man in the book had done to the woman, who had been one of the earlier supporters of women’s rights in America.
Clearly, during the heroine’s generation, there had been a lot to teach both mankind and the world. Even in Dana’s generation, there was still so much that needed teaching. Rich was right: Even JT still needed to be taught some good lessons, and yet he’d managed to land Sam, a good woman, after all. If Sam couldn’t teach him, who could? Dana realized she’d just gotten lucky with Rich, lucky that he was such a good student and such a good man.
She’d never take him for granted and knew he would never take her for granted. They would also never stop loving each other, but for right now, she just let her lips speak as she pulled her husband into her lap and began to make sweet love to him. The past was the past -- it was meant to stay there although also to be learned from --, but their future would always be bright and full of each other and love. For that, more than anything else, she would always be eternally grateful.