Who: Hannah Abbott, Blaise Zabini
Where: Witch Weekly 2002 Awards
When: 20 April 2002, post-awards reception
To call some of the attendees at this awards ceremony celebrities was stretching the definition of the term about as much as the scanty dresses that clothed the waitresses.
“At least they haven’t skimped on the champagne,” Blaise remarked, relieving one of the servers of a couple of glasses. He passed one to Hannah with a sly smile. “If they had, I’m not sure I could survive all the empty tosh that some people are coming out with. I might have to do something drastic.”
“It’s not so bad,” Hannah drawled, taking the champagne and admiring the amber bubbles before taking a long sip. “At least no one has thrown their knickers at Cavanaugh. You wouldn’t believe how often things like that happen at Sisters’ events.”
“Indeed. I probably wouldn’t believe it.” He glanced over his shoulder to where Cavanaugh was talking to a journalist who seemed to be more of a fan than a professional now that she’d had a few drinks. The actor didn’t look too pleased to have her hand curled around his bicep. “I’m not sure if he’s going to get anyone’s knickers tonight. If anyone threw some at him, he’d probably hand them back.” Blaise smirked. “After folding them.”
“Hmm, yeah,” Hannah agreed after watching Cavanaugh for a moment. “He is rather gentlemanly for someone who could get away with being an utter lothario. Perhaps he is gay after all.”
Blaise chuckled. “I’m sure that most of womankind would consider that a complete waste. But it would be less competition for the rest of us.”
It was rare that Blaise came up against anyone that he considered real competition. That said, he hadn’t really looked much at other women the last couple of weeks, not since Hannah had propositioned him out of the blue. It was unnerving how simple things could be with her. “Maybe we should try this more often,” he remarked lightly.
Hannah froze. She did not think she liked the sound of where he might be headed with this.
“What do you mean?” she asked cautiously, trying to keep her voice neutral and mostly succeeding.
“Specifically? I’m not sure yet. But perhaps some sort of foreplay that involves leaving the house every once in a while.”
Hannah felt the need to clarify what he was saying before she panicked. Because what Blaise was describing sounded dangerously close to a relationship, but that couldn’t be true because this was Blaise and he didn’t do relationships any more than she did.
“You mean dates?” she asked, cocking an eyebrow. “You think we should start dating?”
Blaise winced. “That’s a very… limiting term.” It wasn’t what he’d been thinking at all. Except, he realised with a sort of dread, that kind of was what he’d been thinking. Fuck everything. “Though we are living together and having sex on what seems to be a regular basis.”
Hannah put her champagne flute down and swallowed hard. Bugger it. How had they gotten here? Wasn’t this exactly why she’d thought the first time around that it had been a bad idea for them to shag? And yet here they were anyway because she couldn’t keep her head clear when she was horny.
“So, you think we should try… a relationship,” she said. It wasn’t really a question. He’d made it pretty clear. They lived together, they were shagging, might as well take it to the next level, right?
Blaise knew that pissed off look. He’d seen it a great many times since they had lived together, usually because Merton or one of the others had done something idiotic. In fact, he was pretty certain that she had worn the exact same expression that first night they’d had drinks back in London and started to become friends.
“Excuse me, you’re the one using that word, not me.” Blaise didn’t want to use the R-word. “But we get on in and out of the bedroom. At some point we should probably stop and think what that might mean.”
“I don’t want to think about it,” Hannah snapped as panic surged through her and she felt an actual desire to physically run away from this conversation. She’d much rather face down an enemy than have a conversation like this. “That’s not what this is. That was never what this was. I don’t do that. I don’t. I like you, Blaise, but…”
She almost thought maybe she would like to date him if she even knew how to do that anymore. That was freaking her out more than anything else.
“I don’t do that any more than you do,” Blaise said, trying to keep his tone neutral, even as he felt a flash of anger. She was being ridiculous now. He just wanted to figure out what the hell this was without putting labels on it. “But I like you too, Hannah. I like you well enough to want to have dinner with you sometimes as well as fuck. Or is the idea of that really too much for you?”
“Yes,” Hannah hissed, eye flashing. She didn’t give a crap that people around them were starting to stare, she just needed this to be over. “Yes, it is too much for me. There. Are you happy? Now you can absolve yourself of having fucked your crazy flatmate or whatever this is about. I don’t want to be in a bloody relationship with you, Blaise, okay?”
Except part of her sort of did.
“Absolve myself? The only thing I’m guilty of is thinking that you might be capable of having a rational conversation about this.” Blaise downed the rest of his champagne, shoving the glass into the hands of a surprised waitress who was hovering just a little too close for comfort. Her eyes widened and she darted away.
“I actually like the fact that you’re a bitch. But this? Maybe you are crazy if you…” The words caught in his throat. He shook his head. “You know what? Forget it. You’re a mindfuck, Abbott.”
“Fuck you, Zabini,” Hannah said, not even making an effort to keep her voice down. “Just seriously fuck you.”
She turned on her heel and marched away before her emotions or her sudden urge to cry became apparent. She was a mindfuck. She knew that. She’d never pretended to be anything else. And goddamn Blaise Zabini was not going to make her feel guilty for that.
Catching sight of Tom Pippin cracking onto a completely oblivious Mandy, Hannah changed tack and headed in that direction. A little empty flirtation was exactly what she needed and Tom was always willing to provide.
“You already fucked me,” Blaise called after her. “And look where that got us.”
Fine. Let her flounce off. He didn’t need that sort of drama in his life. He just needed something stronger than champagne. Yet he couldn’t just leave it at that. After ordering a large firewhiskey he turned to look over his shoulder. His features curled into a sneer.
Tom Pippin, wanker of the highest order. For Merlin’s sake. She couldn’t be serious. Hannah was really going to turn him down for Tom fucking Pippin? Forget all the relationship bollocks. She was going to pass up the opportunity for fantastic hate sex to go and giggle at him of all people? Blaise could even imagine how she’d look, all furious passion and still wearing those killer heels in the bedroom.
Blaise’s hand curled tightly around his drink. No. This wasn’t happening. Over his dead body.