“How long do you think this will last?” Bonnie asked Frank the very first night of the lockdown as she collapsed exhausted beside him into bed. He held back the covers until she was underneath and then dropped his aching arm back to his side.
She had insisted they clean and tidy the whole house from top to bottom once the quarantine was announced and she had seemed so nervous about the whole situation that Frank hadn’t had the heart to argue or complain. So clean they had. And then they had reorganised all the shelves. And at that point she had asked him to build another one for her files and well, she was wearing one of his shirts and a strand of hair was stuck to her forehead and she looked at him with such big eyes and he just couldn’t say no.
And now that the entire house was in order, and their presses were fully stocked, Frank was so tired he wanted nothing more than to hold her and drift off to sleep.
“You sick of me already?” he joked but changed tack when she didn’t laugh ,”it won’t last forever you know, it will be far from the worst thing we’ve gotten through together”.
That answer seemed to satisfy her and she placed her head on his chest.
“It’s very strange”, she muttered against his t-shirt.
He never had the chance to ask her which part she meant because as soon as she had finished speaking her head fell heavier into his chest and he knew she was asleep.
“Please stop rolling your shirt sleeves up, it’s distracting and I have other things to do”.
Bonnie had been sitting at the dining room table with her laptop and her third cup of tea, that Frank had made for her, for three hours now and she was still no closer to finishing the documents she had been working on.
Working from home during quarantine had become more of a challenge than she’d expected. Any time she made any progress whatsoever, Frank came up with a more inventive way to catch her attention. He didn’t have any work to do himself and didn’t seem to want to spend a single second in a room she wasn’t in. She was beginning to get frustrated and she had told him as much multiple times.
He didn’t reply to her but thankfully disappeared, presumably into the kitchen behind her, and Bonnie returned her focus to the computer screen.
Then she felt his breath on her neck, followed closely by his lips. One hand tangled in her hair, moving her head gently to give himself better access. She should have known better.
“Oh you’re right, this is far less distracting”, she huffed.
He hummed against her and she sighed her defeat, leaning back into him and closing her eyes.
“This lockdown better end soon or I’ll never get anything done ever again”, she said but her breathlessness slightly undermined the annoyed tone she was aiming for.
“Are you sure you don’t want to isolate with us?” Bonnie asked Annalise later over the phone. She had no idea if Annalise was by herself and Annalise didn’t feel the need to enlighten her.
She simply said no. And Bonnie couldn’t understand why she didn’t feel disappointed by her answer. Annalise definitely would have helped her fend Frank off so she could be more productive.
“How’s Frank?” Annalise wondered eventually after a minute of comfortable silence and Bonnie wondered for the millionth time if she was able to read her mind.
“He’s alright”, Bonnie turned to look at the man in question who was leaning against the counter across from her, “You can take him though, he hasn’t left me alone all day and I’m this close to committing murder”.
Frank’s eyebrows knitted together and he glared at her in faux outrage.
“Try not to kill him”, Annalise said drily ,”we’re in enough trouble as it is”.
“I’ll do my best”, Bonnie replied ,”but this thing better be over soon or I won’t be making any promises”.
Annalise went silent again then but it wasn’t as comfortable as it had been before.
“What’s wrong?” Bonnie asked worriedly.
“Nothing”, she answered, “I’m just really glad you two have each other”.
Bonnie rolled her eyes and moved the conversation swiftly along to the weirdly safer topic of Annalise’s upcoming trial. She was not quite sure how to talk about what Frank had become to her with Annalise just yet. She wasn’t used to the idea of her not being openly hostile, let alone supportive, of them. It felt slightly too much like a trap.
But when she hung up the phone with unexpected worried tears in her eyes and found herself enveloped in his arms before she had even realised she needed a hug, she found herself feeling grateful for the exact same thing.
Later one evening they lay together on the couch as they did every night after dinner now, only half paying attention to whatever nature documentary Bonnie had put on the television. Frank was warm, content and half asleep. This was his new favourite time of day. She was curled in a ball with her lower legs strewn across his lap and her head resting on his shoulder.
“I’ve been lying to you”, her voice was barely a whisper but Frank could hear it loud and clear over the distant hum of the narrator’s voice.
“Yeah?” He tried his best to sound nonchalant. He really did. He just couldn’t quite keep the worry from colouring his tone.
“I don’t want this to end”, she admitted.
He relaxed instantly and pulled her as impossibly tight to his side as he could.
“This is the best my life has ever been”, she continued her quiet confession without meeting his eyes, “how sad is it that being locked inside with you annoying me twenty four hours a day is the best thing that has happened to me?”
Frank closed his eyes and kissed her head.
“Nothing sad about that”, he said, “it’s just the first chance we’ve had to live a semi normal life in years. Nobody could hold that against you”.
Bonnie silently contemplated that for a moment.
“Is this what Oregon would be like?”
Her voice was so impossibly small and held a barely concealed vulnerability that tugged hard at his chest.
“I think so”, he answered into her hair, “it would be a lot of this with the added bonus of being able to walk by the sea when it’s nice out”.
“But not with dogs”.
“Absolutely no dogs”, he agreed, “but maybe a few real plants instead of those stupid fake ones because we’ll have time to take care of them”.
“Oh I could plant some herbs for you to cook with”.
“Absolutely, I can even show you how to make my special sauce”.
“Your mother wouldn’t approve of you sharing the family secret”, Bonnie said drily, thinking back to the stories she had heard about his mother’s dedication to preserving the family recipes.
“You are my family Bon”, Frank said and gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze ,”she knows you, she’d understand”.
When Bonnie turned her head to look at him then, her eyes were glistening. She couldn’t seem to find the words to continue but Frank understood her anyways.
She softly pressed her lips to his and he brushed away the stray tears that dusted her eyelashes with his thumb.
“I think we should move this family to Oregon as soon as this is over”, Bonnie mumbled between kisses that were growing increasingly heated.
Bonnie could feel him smile against her lips as he helped her rearrange herself so she was straddling his lap and worked his way down to her neck.
“Will our bedroom do until then?” he asked.
When she nodded he carefully stood, not once taking his lips from her neck, and walked her towards the stairs. She momentarily wondered when her room had become theirs but didn’t stop to correct him.
Bonnie struggled hard not to laugh against his hair as he carefully tried to place his foot on the bottom step without checking to see where he was going.
“I love you, you idiot”, she whispered affectionately into his hair at his stumbling.
He paused in surprise and placed her standing on the step before him so he could kiss her properly.
She so rarely felt able to say it and he didn’t think he’d ever get tired of hearing it.
And even though he didn’t say it back, she knew she’d never get tired of how he didn’t need to. She could see it in his eyes and feel it in the way he cradled her head and she let herself dare to dream that maybe it could last. For now she vowed to make the most of every second of their lockdown, where they could live in their own world far away from the chaos and pain of the real one.