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Boss Complex

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If you're a typical person, marriage is one of the last things on your list. Proposing before your first date normally indicates you're living in South Asia, and if you're not, well good luck to you, buddy, but you've probably just scared away any potential dates. For Drew, proposing was the only first step he could make. And, lucky for him, she said Yes.


That step was actually a lot more complicated than just popping the question and waiting for an answer. Aside from purchasing plane tickets to fly back to Alaska, rallying the family together again, and arranging the entire ceremony for a do-over, there were... the legal issues.

"Tate is a very good last name. I don't know why you wouldn't want to have that name."

"I am not... get it, not... changing my last name from 'Paxton' to... Tate."

"I don't get it. Your name is plastered all over in Sitka. I just don't see why you'd need to have that name attached to your first, too."

"See, you're trying to make it sound as if you're being reasonable, and it's just not working." Margaret's job was making unreasonable things sound reasonable. Drew had been exposed to her deviant dragon claws for long enough as her assistant that he'd grown dragon-proof skin. Margaret turned to pierce him with her pondering dagger eyes, and her brown ponytail lashed behind her like a hungry beast's tail.

"Okay, Andrew." Finally, she was giving in. "Give me that pen."

Damnit. "Uh, no."

"You're giving me that pen."

"No, I'm not. I'm writing 'Paxton.' Andrew Paxton. As it should be."

"Andrew Tate."

"Andrew Paxton."

"Andrew Tate!" she refuted as she lunged for the pen in Drew's hand.

"N-NOO!" Drew struggled; Margaret's dragon claws were stronger than he remembered, and as she pressed against him in their skirmish, he felt her spell taking over him like the kind of shower water that smells funny.

They fell giggling to the floor; Drew felt like the little schoolgirl that he never wanted to be, rolled over and began tickling Margaret where he knew he'd get the most out of her. Her dragon-lady façade wore off in favor of a yawning pink and white grin, and she squirmed beneath him like the happiest creature in the world.

"Margaret Paxton." he said to her as she turned his fingertips into laughter. They both quit their movement while they fastened onto each other's eyes like birds catching onto a bit of sky made perfect just for them, and their bodies realized how close they actually were. For a moment, Margaret's eyes were droopy and brown and romantic and seemed to search his face for something further, and her lips were this soft pink shape that made him want to close his eyes and dream. Then, a word smiled at the corner of her mouth and wrinkled her eyelashes. "Well," she spoke in a low, fuzzy voice, "I guess that can work." Drew didn't notice he was smiling open-mouthed and wide-eyed like an idiot before Margaret continued, "It'll take some explaining with Bergen, but it can work."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Drew said as he rolled off of Margaret. She got up before he could help her, naturally, and she had straightened her blouse and was situating herself in her chair by the time he clambered to his feet. Before she could answer, their attention was caught by what was outside the door of Margaret's office--apparently, they had attracted an audience that realized when to make themselves scarce ten seconds too late.

That was about the last thing Drew accomplished, as far as being the man of the relationship goes. About three months into their marriage, Margaret decided (like she always does) that they were going to go out to eat at "Le Bernardin" to celebrate. Andrew raised his eyebrows to express his skepticism, something in which he was well-practiced.

"Sounds like a place where you'd need a reservation."

"Mmhmm."

"So, you got one?"

"Yep. 6:30."

"Margaret, it's 6:05 now. We're never gonna make it."

"Sure we will." Margaret replied in her usual cool, which meant there was something ugly bubbling just beneath the surface. "We just have to be smart, and take the smart roads."

There were no "smart roads" during stormy-weather-rush hour. Andrew eyed his wife-slash-girlfriend with anxiety as she sat hunched over the steering wheel, tight-lipped (and tight-assed). He took a chance to glance at the clock. The shadows of rain drops all but covered the glowing numbers on the dashboard--6:28. There were cars on all sides, and Drew was almost certain he spotted a snail passing them by five minutes ago. He was sure he had gotten to that point in their relationship where he should be able to point out the unfortunately inevitable to his spouse, but he really, really didn't want to go there.

They ended up eating McDonald's in the car. The space between Margaret's eyebrows had completely vanished, and it took all that Andrew had to not search her face for where it had gone. Finally, the need to break the silence became overwhelming, so Drew did it--which surprised him as he was thoroughly convinced he would need a chainsaw. "You've got mayonnaise on your cheek, dear." She glared at him then seized a napkin and wiped it off as one might wipe a baby's bottom with barbed wire. Then she continued working at fitting an entire burger into her mouth. "You know, you look lovely." Drew said, squinting and attempting a credible smile. Margaret ceased her chewing and sized him up, then slowly swallowed what she had bitten off.

"Thank you, honey. You look like you're about to piss your pants, so maybe you should keep your mouth shut and concentrate on fixing that." She smiled and turned back to her burger. After they finished, she spoke in a voice sharper than the noise of her taloned claws crumpling up the paper trash, "You know what, let's go to your apartment tonight. I'd rather stay there."

That was something they never did. They had both agreed that Margaret's house was nicer, (being a woman's) and it was just easier to let Margaret get up and do her thing at her own house rather than allowing her to ransack Drew's during her morning mood.

Drew did not want to argue with the creature sitting in the driver's seat. "Well, okay," he hesitated. She drove them to his apartment. The drive seemed to relax her somewhat, thank God, and as they got out of the car and through his front door, Margaret lowered the tired daggers from her eyes and retracted her fangs. Drew slipped his hand over her hip, but she walked through the hall without taking notice, and immediately sought out the bathroom. Drew's body sighed into the couch in the living room; he figured Margaret would be heading straight to bed, so he flicked on the television and relaxed.

Margaret surprised him ten minutes later by sliding onto the couch beside him. Superman was currently beating the snot out of Lex Luthor on tv, so it took a moment for Drew to notice she was looking at him. "I'm sorry," she said, leaning over and resting a hand on him. "I just had a--"

"Rough day? I know," Drew replied, smiling (albeit timidly) and sliding his arm onto the back of the couch behind her. Margaret smiled appreciatively in return, then leaned forward and kissed him with heavy lips. Drew lifted his hands to her waist, following along like always as she crawled on top of him.

Suddenly, Gammy's voice was in his head. Be a man! 

Drew furrowed his brow as he wondered why in the world Gammy would be in his head at a time like this.

A woman likes a man who takes charge, no matter how much she denies it.

What, Gammy? Get out! Drew thought desperately; he glanced at Margaret as they kissed, but she seemed to be satisfied with his distracted performance.

You know, I loved it when my man took me by the front of my shirt, ripped off my clothes, and--

Okay, Gammy, that's enough, I get it, I get it...

It was a conversation Drew had had with Gammy while they were visiting the house in Sitka (something that happened more often now since the wedding), popping into his head as if it had any business being there. Gammy had asked about Drew and Margaret's sex life, and had gone about dragging answers out of him by practically beating him with a large and persuasive stick.

"I just do whatever Margaret seems to want... I'm not going to... violate her, you know what, why am I even talking to you about this? I bet they're all wondering where we are now--"

Gammy put a hasty hand on Drew's arm. "You don't have to violate her! You just have to please her, that's what she wants!"

"Oh, God..."

"Believe me, you know I was a young woman once, too, and I know these things..."

"Oh, God..."

"Just try it, and you'll see. Be a man!"

"Okay, will you stop talking about this?"

"Maybe even try pulling her hair, you know? And then--"

Okay, cutting off the unpleasant reminiscing NOW. Drew rolled his eyes and almost grimaced, but caught Margaret's tongue between his lips and hurriedly acted as if he had been into what they were doing the entire time. Drew groped for an idea of what to do next. The entire evening had been generally expected--Margaret made all the decisions, while Drew followed along. Maybe it was time to change things up a bit... No matter how much Drew really didn't want to. As pathetic as it was, Drew couldn't get the image of 'Margaret the Boss' out of his head. He called it a boss complex. So, lifting his shoulders off of the couch and interrupting Margaret's usual flow was a huge step. He continued kissing her and moved inexperienced fingertips up the untested skin of Margaret's arm; always, Margaret had undressed herself. Well, maybe Drew wanted to do it for once? Yeah, he could do it. He slipped a finger beneath the strap of the gown she had come out of the bathroom in, then stopped--no slap against his cheek, no teeth grinding into his tongue. She didn't seem to mind.


She pulled back slightly. "What are you doing?" Margaret mumbled with suspicious surprise.


"Nothing," Drew replied quickly, before silencing her with an ardent kiss. He inched his way from beneath her, slowly, (this wasn't so hard) and doffed both straps of her dress from her shoulders so they fell gently against her arms. What next? Drew's hand climbed up Margaret's delicately curved back (he had found ages ago that, contrary to popular belief, there were no spikes there), and weaved his fingers into her hair. Her body felt the farthest away from recalcitrant; she pressed against him almost capriciously. He formed a grip on her hair and, with a diffident wince, pulled slightly.

Not only did Margaret give out a tiny little moan that made Drew ridiculously 'happy,' but it was because he was listening to his grandma

He couldn't deny that he was feeling encouraged, and more than ever, he wanted to taste more of Margaret. He palliated his kiss from her lips, and they both opened their eyes though they remained heavy; Margaret looked like a nocturnal goddess in the caress of the TV screen's blue light, and steadily, Drew sampled the flavor of this Margaret's cheek, then her neck, and her shoulder, as if negotiating with her light cherry skin. He did what he desired; ran his hands where he wanted to touch Margaret best, cradled her where she was a woman and not an editor; he painted her smooth legs of golden wax with the brush of his hand; his fingers wept graciously over each of her feet, inhaling and stroking through each shape and curve while he laid on top of her and made her naked, then enjoyed her the way he wanted to enjoy her.

They had somehow ended up in the bedroom. Sprawled across the mattress, they soaked in the smells of sweat and romance, bodies beating like their hearts with each breath. Neither of them felt the need to close their eyes; Drew examined the air above him and relished how beautiful it felt. The cozy, brunette girl beside him shifted, and her eyes called to him in a lacy, silhouetted embrace. Drew turned to look at her and caught a smile in his mouth.

She eyed him with a sudden look that said she was thinking, and Drew felt himself cringe. "Why don't you ever call me 'dear' or 'honey' or some other pet name unless you're being sarcastic?"

The heavy, intoxicating steam that had enveloped Drew's atmosphere decided now was the time to start feeling like dried sweat. "Uh, what?" Drew replied in a voice that clearly stated 'why are you bringing this up now when we just had amazing sex do you have to ruin every tiny bit of happiness i come across'.

"You know." Margaret said, turning over onto her side to face him more assertively. "You never call me anything but Margaret."

After a moment that became more uncomfortable as it passed, Drew answered, "...Yeeeah...?"

"Well, can't you call me something more... affectionate?"

Drew raised his eyebrows. "You've been thinking about this a lot, haven't you?"

"I'm serious, Andrew," Margaret pouted, pushing herself up on her elbows. "Normal couples do that. Why don't we?"

Drew was determined to not get into this. "We're not normal." That much was obvious.

Margaret wasn't satisfied. "Andrew... Andy..." she cooed in her 'reasonable' voice, drawing herself closer to him and resting a professionally manicured hand over his chest. Drew frowned. He thought about it, and he really did not feel comfortable referring to Margaret as anything but. Margaret was Margaret... It was something that had been hard-wired into his system since he began working for her. So, even though he had taken charge with her in bed, maybe he wasn't completely cured of his boss complex.

"Maggie-waggie-poo." Drew growled unpleasantly. Now it was Margaret's turn to frown.

"No."

"Marge Simpson?"

Margaret's nostrils flared dangerously. "You know that isn't what I meant."

"Darling baby poopsikins?"

"I'm not a dog. Ugh, fine," Margaret groaned. She grabbed her pillow and turned over so that she was facing away from Drew. "I'm going to sleep now. Don't wake me up." she announced in her I'm-giving-you-an-order-and-you-better-do-it-now-or-you're-fired voice, which wasn't to say there wasn't a certain amount of sugar lacing her tone.

At least Drew hadn't been forced to leap over that obstacle. Happily, he settled beneath the covers, then lovingly placed an arm over Margaret's dozing form.

"No."

Just as lovingly, Drew removed his arm and kept to himself for the rest of the night.