Brenda/Sharon (The Closer)
I do not own the closer and I am not making any money off of this
Summary: A game of never have I ever and a startling confession.
“Never have I ever slept with someone significantly younger than myself.” Sanchez said, starting off their game of never have I ever. They’d just finished a particularly upsetting case and all felt like unwinding and it only made sense to do it together.
“Define significantly.” Provenza requested stubbornly.
Flynn laughed and pushed his friend playfully. “Drink up, old man.”
Provenza grumbled and took the drink, noticing that he was apparently the only cradle robber at the table. “Alright, I have never-”
“You’re supposed to start ‘never have I ever.’” Tao corrected.
Provenza scrunched up his face but heeded the advice, “never have I ever slept with someone significantly older than me.”
Everyone turned to look at Brenda. Brenda pretended to be scandalized, “Will’s not that much older than me! He’s…” she paused to count, “five… six… fine, eleven.” She took a swig of her rum and coke.
“Easy, Chief,” Flynn cautioned, even though he was playing with diet Dr. Pepper, “it’s still early in the game.”
“Lieutenant, I’m from the deep south, don’t y’all worry about my ability to hold my liquor.” Brenda paused in thought for a moment, “never have I ever… answered a booty call while I was on duty.”
Sanchez and Gabriel embarrassedly took a drink.
Provenza looked thoughtful, “do those expire? Like, does it count if it was thirty years ago?”
“Drink.” Flynn laughed.
“Okay, never have I ever been divorced.” Tao grinned, knowing half the table would have to drink.
Flynn, Provenza and Brenda all drank. “Never have I ever paid alimony.”
Flynn and Provenza took a drink and Provenza added, “never have I ever gotten involved with someone on the job.”
Flynn, Brenda and Gabriel all drank. “Come on, detective,” Provenza pointed at Sanchez with his glass, “the kid counts. I didn’t say it had to be sexual.”
“You’re going to start arguing semantics?” Sanchez took a drink. “Never have I ever set off the fire alarm because I couldn’t read the signs in spanish.”
“I told you that in confidence!” Provenza protested but drank.
“Never have I ever lived in my parents’ basement.” Gabriel interjected, hoping to cool any feud that may have erupted on account of Provenza being a beligerant drinker.
Tao grinned embarrassedly, “Cathy and I lived with my parents for a few months after we got married. Let’s see… never have I ever – Captain Raydor!”
Brenda looked confused, “I don’t get it.”
Sharon glanced up to see Major Crimes all sitting around one table. She wished she hadn’t come in alone, she looked like one of those people who went to bars to drink alone. In reality, she’d planned to come with one of her lieutenants and she’d bailed but Sharon was still interested in a drink.
She waved a little.
“You here alone?”
“Uh…” she felt like she’d just been caught out. She could lie… but they’d know soon enough she was and it would be awkward if she just turned and left. “Yes.”
“Grab a chair,” Tao insisted, “we’re playing never have I ever.”
“Okay… I’ll just grab a drink.” Sharon motioned to the bar.
“Oh god, I just invited Sharon Raydor to join the game.” Tao ducked his head, “I really can’t hold my liquor at all… did that just happen?”
“Never have I ever invited Sharon Raydor to anything.” Flynn announced, looking pointedly at Tao.
Tao guiltily took his drink and Brenda, remembering the “invitation” she’d extended to shadow the squad, took a drink. Brenda was beginning to feel the alcohol effecting her brain – it must be! She was beginning to think that Sharon Raydor wasn’t all that bad.
Sharon grabbed a chair and quickly surveyed the table, there was only room between Brenda and Flynn. Her two favorite people… She wasn’t sure why she’d agreed to participate, she’d never been a big fan of games, she was even less of a fan of Major Crimes.
“She should go back and drink for some of the ones we already did.” Sanchez said.
“No, no,” Provenza injected, “it’s easy. Never have I ever worked in IA.”
Sharon took a drink and looked pointedly at Provenza, “never have I ever turned 60.”
The table erupted in laughter and Provenza downed a gulp of his scotch, mumbling to himself. With everyone getting intoxicated – except Flynn, who was getting caffeinated – the entire crowd relaxed and the game continued amicably.
Two more rounds of drinks had to be ordered to continue and now it was Brenda’s turn, “never have I ever…” she had to pause and think. They’d exhausted quite a lot of the routine cop ‘never have I evers’ and were venturing ever further into more personal territory. “Never have I ever camped out for tickets to a concert.”
Sharon took a drink and said, “1978, I camped out for two days to get front row tickets to Led Zepplin.”
“I saw Zepplin in ‘81.” Flynn reminisced, “excellent concert. They just don’t make ‘em like they used to.”
“I camped out for Duran Duran tickets with my sister.” Gabriel guiltily admitted, taking a drink.
Provenza grinned devilishly, he was waiting until everyone was just drunk enough to drop this particular question because he’d always wondered if Gabriel was a switch hitter. “Never have I ever had slept with someone who was the same sex as me.”
The ice in Sharon’s vodka on the rocks clinked against the glass as she lifted it to her lips. All eyes turned to stare at her with stunned awe. Sharon paused, taking in their wide eyes and their slack jaws. She took the sip and set down the glass.
“Well, this just got awkward…” She let out a slightly nervous chuckle. “I should probably go…”
Brenda put a halting hand on Sharon’s arm, when Sharon turned and caught her eye Brenda lifted her own glass to her lips and took a drink. She smiled and shrugged her shoulders, “college.”
Sharon heaved an inner sigh of relief and settled back in her chair, the game continued through another round of drinks before everyone started to check their watches. Flynn offered rides as he pulled his coat on and Sanchez, Gabriel and Provenza all took him up on it; Tao had called his wife.
Before long it was just Sharon and Brenda left at the table. “Looks like that’s my cue.” Sharon said.
Brenda waved her off, “you’re a wiggly little thing, aren’t you? Sit. We’ll split a pot of coffee. I absolutely hate taking taxis home after drinking.”
Sharon sat back down but her posture was still somewhat stiff as Brenda ordered them strong black coffee. They were silent when the waitress brought them the pot and two mugs. Brenda picked it up and poured the steaming brown liquid into the two mugs. Sharon was struck with an amusing thought that she probably had taken a class in school about being a good hostess but she had the good sense to keep that to herself.
Sharon sipped the coffee and bit back a grimace. “Bar coffee. Is there anything worse?”
“It’s not that they weren’t cool with it, it was just a surprise.”
“Oh yeah. This conversation.” Sharon deadpanned, having hoped that her sexuality wouldn’t have to be brought up again with a casual work acquaintance and she cursed herself for not just pretending she was 100% hetero instead of airing her personal business.
“Provenza’s been trying to get David to admit he’s bisexual for years, that’s all it was.” Brenda insisted, “he didn’t mean to embarrass you.”
“Well… thanks for also taking a drink just the same.” Sharon sipped the godawful coffee, “Even if it wasn’t true.”
“You could tell?”
“Haven’t you heard of gaydar?” Sharon teased. Brenda blushed and Sharon shook her head, “no, it was obvious to me that it was an act of mercy.”
There was silence as they tried to sober up on caffeinated bar sludge.
“I did have the opportunity once.” Brenda began again.
Sharon thought that this might be her new definition of hell, listening to Brenda insist she has gay friends so it’s okay. Her previous definition of hell was when her alzheimers-suffering mother mistook her for her sister and gave a half hour rant about how selfish Sharon was and how she often resented her for moving away after high school and for feeling ‘better’ than the rest of the family. Annabelle Raydor, who couldn’t tell her ass from her elbow could recall in excruciating detail all the times Sharon forgot to call and a million and half other infractions. Yes, this conversation was somehow worse than listening to her mother describe exactly why she couldn’t stand her.
“In college I met this girl, she was breathtaking. Her name was Hannah Neary, she had thick unruly black hair that made her look really at peace with herself… you know?” Sharon gave a small nod to move the story along. “My boyfriend at the time, noticed my interest in her and he suggested we have a threesome.”
Of course… Sharon found herself thinking with an inner eye roll but said, “go on.” when Brenda looked at her.
“I was really mad at him for suggesting it and he thought it was because – and I guess I did too, at the time – I was offended he thought I’d want to sleep with a girl but I quickly realized that I’d been so angry at him because I was offended he thought I’d want to share. I had been falling for this girl and he ruined it by turning it into this tawdry male fantasy under the guise of offering me something I want. Like I needed him in order to sleep with a girl.”
Sharon was surprised at Brenda’s candor and her sincerity. It was, as if, Brenda had been waiting since undergrad to tell someone this story and have someone understand that the feelings she’d had for Hannah Neary had been pure and then they were cruelly tainted.
Sharon nodded sympathetically and something subtle changed in Brenda’s recanting. Now she felt sure that Sharon was the right person to say these things to and that she wasn’t being judged.
“It was definitely a time of free love, a time of the liberated woman who was in control of her own sexual desires and needs and I got a lot of offers, both from men and women and I turned most of them down. I was in the minority because I only wanted to sleep with someone that I liked. You know, that I’d actually gotten to know. And I didn’t want to be someone’s experiment, someone’s college lesbian experiment.”
Sharon nodded, “I’ve been there.”
“And so it just never happened.” Brenda concluded.
Sharon wasn’t sure if she’d pass a breathalizer but she felt very sober as she looking into Brenda’s face and saw the sadness and disappointment in her eyes. “Hannah transferred and I never even got to kiss her.” Brenda sipped her coffee, “I never even got to kiss any woman actually.”
Sharon was trying to figure out how to respond to the blonde’s admission when she announced, “thanks for letting me get that off my chest.” She smiled, “I feel like I’ve been carrying that around for a lifetime.”
“What are friends for, right?” Sharon smiled encouragingly.
Brenda smiled sweetly back at her. The silence that followed was amicable as they finished off the coffee.
“Time to get going, I guess.” Sharon said, pulling some money out of her wallet and dropping it on the table.
“I’ll walk out with you.” Brendadropped her share down as well and followed Sharon out into the night air. She wrapped her coat tighter around herself and looked up at the sky.
She felt an arm snake around her waist and tug her gently closer. She turned her head to lock eyes with the brunette and they smiled at each other. Sharon leaned in and kissed her softly on the lips. Brenda sighed with contentment against the soft lips and parted her lips to encourage Sharon to continue. Sharon ran her tongue along Brenda’s bottom lip before deepening the kiss.
Brenda’s hands plunged into Sharon’s dark hair. Brenda clung to Sharon as they kissed, she felt herself melting against the other woman. She moaned softly against Sharon and moaned louder, in protest when Sharon pulled back.
“There, now you’ve kissed a woman.” Sharon smiled, “we got to know each other, we like each other… most days. Was it everything you dreamed it would be?”