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marginalia and starfishchick organized Can't Fight This Feeling: The Power Ballad Slash Ficathon. And I thought, I would totally write a fic for "It's Been A While," by Staind, though I hadn't previously realized it was a power ballad. And, well.

Title: One More Peaceful Day
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Bridget Jones's Diary
Ships: Mark/Daniel, Mark/Bridget
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: It's been a while since I said I'm sorry.
Notes: Set after the second movie/book. Ish.



In a fit of goodwill, or perhaps a canny PR plan, the network holds a fundraising bash in the name of a new, controversial poet. This ties directly with the premiere of a new half-hour program about literature which, an advertising director mutters to her, will be boring as paint, but improve public perception of the station overall.

Bridget finds she doesn't care so much, if there's a party with champagne and those little sandwiches shaped like animals, and a hot, young, bisexual Italian traversing the room, thanking each person for attending his fundraiser effusively, and with tongue.

It's halfway through the party when she gets distracted by a sloppy catfight between Tom and that bitch from accounting, and she loses track of Mark.

It takes her seventeen minutes to make her way about the room, being distracted by the hot, young, bisexual Italian (again), and a tray of stuffed mushrooms.

Finally, though, she turns past a potted plant next to the elevator, and finds Mark. With Daniel. Kissing Daniel, to be precise.

She blinks three times, deliberately, because she has had quite a bit of bubbly, and perhaps she's having one of those episodes they talk about in Cosmopolitan.

"Well," she pipes up, and they break apart from each other, mussed in a rather artistic way. "That's the spirit, boys."

"Bridget--" Mark says.

She holds up a hand. "I think," and she concentrates very carefully on her enunciation, "your dedication to the cause is admirable." She takes another sip of champagne, and raises a fist high in the air.

Then she passes out, but gracefully, managing to slump against the wall and not flip her skirt up.

*


She's tempted to pass it off as a hallucination, but when Mark kisses her goodnight, later in bed, he smells like Daniel.

Bridget finds she much preferred to think their antagonism was about her and not...

Well. She prefers not to think about that, either.

Very much.

*


Bridget doesn't dislike Daniel, not really, aside from the rampant fuckwittery. He's an amusing person to know, particularly when you're not emotionally invested in him.

So when Daniel appears at a dinner party, one a friend of a friend of a friend is hosting, she's not altogether displeased. She would, after all, prefer to discuss politics with him, instead of babies with the friend of a friend of a friend who invited her.

While consuming a complicated martini, she notices Mark smiling at one of Daniel's over-rehearsed bon mots. Or, not smiling, but trying not to smile.

After that, she starts to count the number of times it happens. Eight, for the record.

Later that evening, she stares at Mark from across the bed.

"What?" he asks, and she loves the way his mouth tilts.

"Were you very good friends with Daniel?" she asks. "Before?"

Mark's lips thin, and she almost flinches.

"We were close, at one time," he replies.

She wants to ask more, but he leans to her and kisses her shoulder, and she forgets the question.

*


Mark's birthday comes round, and she wants to find a suitably embarrassing picture of him to enlarge for the party. She knows he keeps old school things in his study, so she sneaks in one afternoon and investigates. He's at his desk, surrounded by manila folders, but he only smiles at her briefly before returning to his work.

Left to her own devices, Bridget pulls out random photo albums from the bottom of his bookshelf. Stuffed in the back of one album, she finds a packet of old photographs.

In one, Mark has his arm slung around Daniel's shoulders, and Daniel's arm is around his hips. She stares at the curve of their smiles, and the way Daniel's fingers curve around Mark.

"What have you got there?" Mark asks, voice absently curious.

She flutters the photo like a fan. "If I didn't know any better," she teases, "I'd think the two of you were shagging."

She means it as a joke, but there's a sudden weight to the room, and when she looks at Mark, he's staring at a spot high on the ceiling.

Something flickers in her brain. "You...weren't. Were you?"

Mark sets his jaw, and she decides she's going to scream very soon. But he's gone before she can, past her and out the door.

*


"Am I mannish?" she asks Tom, over the phone. "Do you find me attractive in a mannish way?"

Tom snorts. "I am not attracted to you in any way at all," he says.

"Oh, good," she sighs. Then she frowns. "Not even a little bit?"

"God," Tom responds, and a very long discussion ensues.

*


She calls Mark at his office.

"When did you start to like women?" she asks brightly. "Did you always? Or were you forced to deny yourself by the oppressive heterosexual society?"

"I don't have time for this, Bridget," Mark says. "I'll see you this evening."

When he hangs up, she chokes on her tea.

*


She watches Daniel during the staff meeting, because the discussion is yet again about demographics, and she has nothing to contribute to the statistics.

Daniel's hair is rumpled, his tie is askew, and she has a good idea of what he did during his lunch break. But with whom?

She wonders if Mark knows about that sound Daniel makes when you bite that spot just behind his ear.

She wonders if Daniel knows Mark is ticklish behind his left knee, and then she gets a very graphic mental image.

"Oh, god," she bursts out, and an art director breaks off mid-sentence.

"Bridget?" she asks.

Bridget coughs, then again for effect. "I forgot to turn off my iron at home." She stands. "If you'll excuse me."

She sneaks back to her office and dials Mark again.

"Is Daniel a better shag than me?" she demands.

Mark sighs. "Bridget, really--"

"Say something dirty to me," she interrupts. "Right now. Be specific."

After a moment, Mark says, "I have an appointment. Thank god."

"Mark!"

"This evening, Bridget." There's almost a smile in his voice. "I promise."

"Fine," she says, and hangs up, and pouts.

And when she notices Daniel standing in front of her desk, she yelps and throws a box of paper clips at him.

The bits of metal patter down to the floor like rain, and three get stuck in Daniel's hair.

He leans over her desk and grins, the grin that always turns her legs to jelly, as well as other, unspeakable places.

She clears her throat. "Yes?"

His tongue touches the corner of his mouth, and she stares at it, mesmerized, until he starts to speak.

"I'll tell you," he murmurs. "Every single, filthy detail. Everything you want to know."

"Really?" she asks, and she can't keep from sounding breathless.

He nods, and reaches out. Brushes his fingers against her chin.

"Invite me to your house for dinner," he says. "Tonight."

She bites her bottom lip, and nods.


###

A/N: Title and summary adapted from the lyrics of Staind's "It's Been A While."

Comments

( 49 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Anonymous)
Nov. 13th, 2005 02:29 am (UTC)
OH GOD. I hate leaving anonymous messages, but this...this just blew me away. If you loathe anonymous people who usually lurk around you can log my IP address or ask for my email or whatever, but I had to review. I know you almost never continue these things, but please, oh please. Something, anything, I want to know every single, filthy detail.
doyle_sb4
Nov. 14th, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC)
Oh!! Oh, brilliance, this is the fic I've wanted since I saw the first movie. *worships at your feet*
moodfic
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thank you!
starfishchick
Nov. 14th, 2005 06:39 pm (UTC)
Dude. DUDE.

DUDE!!

*rampant flailing*
moodfic
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:18 pm (UTC)
HEE!
siryn99
Nov. 14th, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC)
OH. MY. GOD.

*fails incoherantly*

I demand a sequel. We must have the dinner and whatever happens after. It would make a lovely Christams gift for me.

And I will forever imagine Tom as Gaius' AU twin.
moodfic
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I really, really am trying to wrap my mind around what happens next. I can't decide!
oddnari
Nov. 14th, 2005 09:36 pm (UTC)
Bridget Jones is SUCH a disaster waiting to happen.
Her life could well be a movie... oh, it is!

Brilliant work! Bridget is so... Bridget.
Well, squeeee, you've got everyone's voices pat!
Smashing.
moodfic
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
marginalia
Nov. 14th, 2005 11:21 pm (UTC)
dude, this is awesome. spot-on voices, and i want to know more too :D
moodfic
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:18 pm (UTC)
*g* Thank you!
dramaphile
Nov. 15th, 2005 12:43 am (UTC)
This is actually the first Bridget Jones fic I've ever written, and now I'm wondering what I've been missing all this time! Your characterizations are spot on, and the delightful images dancing around in my head after that last part will be entertaining me for quite a while. Well done!
moodfic
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
kittykatz
Nov. 15th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
This is amazing! I would love more.
moodfic
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
park_hye_in
Nov. 15th, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC)
Just...YAY!! Bridget Jones fic! And GOOD Bridget Jones fic, although of course it's good, it's you. *g*

moodfic
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thank you!
kerrypolka
Nov. 15th, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
*gurgles at you*

This is about ten times hotter than it has any right to be, because all the voices are perfect.
moodfic
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)
*g* Thank you!
cosmic
Nov. 19th, 2005 08:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is just so brilliant!
moodfic
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
anidada
Nov. 29th, 2005 05:44 pm (UTC)
Ooo. More, please. Details, yep. Filthy, especially. *offers cookies*
voleuse
Dec. 6th, 2005 04:48 am (UTC)
Hee! Thanks! I shall continue to ponder on it.
fitofpique
Dec. 7th, 2005 09:10 pm (UTC)
I just unearthed this from my bookmarks and I'm so happy I did! What a treasure. I am in love with everything about this fic. Like everyone I would be very excited to see a sequel, but I this is quite perfect as a stand-alone story.

Eeee!
voleuse
Dec. 16th, 2005 12:51 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
nightlarke
May. 22nd, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC)
here via MMWD's rec
NICE! Well done. I third? fourth? the request for a sequel. Pretty please? *bats eyelashes*
moodfic
Jun. 14th, 2006 01:27 am (UTC)
Re: here via MMWD's rec
Thank you so much! *g*
cupidsbow
May. 24th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC)
*snorfle* Oh, this is great! Thank you.
moodfic
Jun. 14th, 2006 01:28 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it!
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( 49 comments — Leave a comment )

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