Cloud Number Nine - pt. II

TITLE: "Cloud No. 9" part 2/?
AUTHOR: Alexandra K.
RATING: R, I guess (it’s *one* little word, nothing graphic… except for maybe… well, anyway…;-))
ARCHIVE: Yes, please.
SUMMARY: Just read it…
DISCLAIMER: standard. I can’t be bothered to type it twenty times.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Yay! Part 2 is finished:) Part 1 was sent out about a century ago, so I’m resending it as well:) Enjoy!

Writing memos: everything enclosed in <---> are Ally's thoughts; inconsistencies with the script should be disregarded as usual... Please don't be too harsh on the legal stuff - I'm not claiming to be an expert on it, but I *am* having lots of fun writing it, doing research & etc. Plus, court cases are such a rarity in fics these days... *hint hint* :)

- - - PART 2 - - -


It was a lovely spring morning, the kind you fall in love with the moment you open your eyes… especially if the first thing you lay those eyes on is Larry Paul next to you, softly stroking your arm. Those irresistible, warm, delightful mornings, begun with quick replays of the previous night and slowly fading into sunny, crisp and refreshing afternoons… could *anything* be better?

<I have a depo in 15 minutes, and I’m about two seconds away from tearing off the opposing counsel’s suit… I’m a VERY bad lawyer…>
"You know what," she smiled, snuggling up to Larry’s neck, "if someone were to ask me right now what colour my office walls are, I wouldn’t be able to guess correctly…"
"I look *that* good, eh?"
Ally giggled. Just as they were about to settle into another perpetually long kiss, a grossed-out groan filled the room. Ally looked up to see Raymond Saul – resembling a Neanderthal packed up into something that was supposed to look like an Armani suit – eyeing them with square pupils.
"Mr. Fish!" he whined, calling Richard. "They’re… kissing!"
"Oooh, Ray, it gets worse…" Richard replied matter-of-factly. Larry made a desperate attempt to take his hands away from Ally’s waist (where they seemed perfectly content), but instead of pulling them away he ended up sliding them over her backside, sending the lines of Raymond’s pupils searching for a triangular shape to fit into. Ally looked down guiltily, as if she were caught making out with a boy in her room by her father. In a second, Larry muttered something incomprehensible and exited, set on preparing for the upcoming depo. Ally smiled, Richard turned to Ray with a "bygones" and Ray shot Ally an angry look before following Larry out.


A polite handshake before the depo was all Raymond & Alice were shown, but in the conference room sparks – and not always romantic – flew every which way.

"I understand you’re suing Mr. Saul here, right, Ms.Weaver?" Richard started off brilliantly, and was just about to continue in the same octave when a kick under the table – produced by Ally’s heel – hinted him of other options – namely, to sit quietly and let *real* lawyers handle the case.

"You’re quick!" Alice deadpanned back. Larry caught Ally’s annoyed gaze and decided to make use of it, before it was too late.

"Ms. McBeal, in the papers you *faxed* me," Larry started, but Ally’s mind already had objections: <I *handed* them to you between Time Number 4 and Time Number 5 on Saturday evening, in reply to which you sent them flying over to a distant corner of the room, being preoccupied elsewhere…> "…there are some facts which are…" Larry paused, searching for the right word, "…disagreeable, to say the least, and I-"
<"Disagreeable", are they? Did you enjoy last night? Good, remember it, ‘cause it’ll be a loooong time before anything of the like happens again…> Ally thought, shooting him a glance that, as hoped, threw him off track.
"…uhhh, okay, never mind. Onto… uhhh… um, Mr. Saul. Mr. Saul?"
Raymond was half asleep by now, which once again proved his extraordinary intellect to Ally. Richard shook him awake, and Larry was by now completely convinced that this case would take much more effort than at first intended.
"Mr. Saul," Larry started, "is it my correct understanding that you refuse to pay out the amount that you owe Alice Weaver?"
"And would you-?"
"Would he is for the court to determine… speaking of which, I suggest that’s where we take this, since we’re obviously unable to come to an agreement on *normal*-" Ally stressed the last word "-terms."
The argument carried on, went around corners and down avenues, and eventually ended up nowhere.
"Ms. McBeal?" Larry smiled sweetly after producing a series of phrases with words even a judge would hesitate to define.
"Yes, Mr… Paul?"
<What the hell does "ignominious" mean?…>
"You, as best I know, work for Mr. Fish, who’s probably the last person you want to be arguing with about *money*. Isn’t that what you’re after in this case, money?"
"No, Mr. Paul. *I* was under the impression it was none other than *your* lovely client who’s seeking damages in the humble amount of a couple million dollars. So that would make you & your previous statement, how should I put this?"
"-wrong." Richard finished for Ally, proud to have served his duty in the deposition.
"Exactly." Ally turned to Richard, then back to Larry.
<And don’t you dare smile at me…> she continued her trail of thought.
"Okay. I think the reasonable extent of questions has been pushed to the limit here… Thank you for a wonderfully entertaining & informative deposition – shall we see each other in court?" Larry stood up & picked up his coat.
"We decidedly shall." Ally smiled sarcastically at him, then extended her hand for a formal handshake.
He looked up, almost surprised, but enfin decided to accept the offer.
His hand met hers, sending electricity through her body. His hand was so warm, so soft and at the same time so manly. She looked up at him, letting the corners of her mouth go up into a half-smile. He remained reserved, but his eyes produced a certain warmth she felt only she could sense.
In ten seconds, he left, stalked by her semi-jealous gaze following his hand on Alice Weaver’s shoulder. As soon as he was out the door, Ally collapsed in her chair, smiling giddily at the ceiling.

He was abnormally wonderful. And the case was abnormally tormenting.


"What’s the big deal with going against Larry, anyway? If you ask me, it would be interesting…" Nelle asked Ally, a bit annoyed at how this case had become the biggest legal event of the past several years.
"See, Nelle, that’s why I *don’t* ask you when in need of advice…" Ally deadpanned, deep down admitting to herself that Nelle was beyond right.
"Excuse me for offering it…" Nelle replied dryly and entered a stall while Ally continued to bang her head against another stall’s door.
"Can’t people use the bathroom in peace & quiet?" Ling asked out of a neighbouring stall, then exited it and advanced to the sink.
"Ditto…" Nelle called out of her enclave.
"I’m sorry, I don’t have anyone softer to turn to in my despair than a steel door – my "cushion" is too busy thinking up ways to grill me Teriyaki-style in court… Ow…" Ally stopped the banging, feeling a large bruise forming on her forehead.
"Talk about kinky love…" Ling sarcastically pointed out.
"Oh, you know what I mean…" Ally replied, annoyed.
"Are my eyes deceiving me or… is Ally actually NOT running to Larry for comfort?!" Nelle smirked, exiting her stall.
"Nelle, why is it that you always get so much joy out of people’s problems?" Ally asked.
"Ally, it’s *not* a problem, and that’s what you need to realize as soon as possible… It’s a perfect way to unleash your anger at him for all those times he drove you insane by chewing with his mouth open or slurping wine or-"
"Larry has perfect manners, thankyouverymuch…"
"Yeah, and I’m Pope John Paul the 2nd…" Nelle continued in the same sarcastic tone. "Look, there’s gotta be *something* wrong with him – use that as motivation for your defense, and build on up from there. Should be a brilliant closing. Whop!" she exclaimed, tossing the paper towel she’d dried her hands with straight into the wastebasket. "Just offering advice…" she smiled her all-too-famous million-dollar smile and walked out proudly.

Ally was left to face off with Ling alone (not as if Nelle would be of particular help there, though…).

"She’s right, you know… It’s nothing to kill yourself over…" Ling continued.
"Oh, but you’d both just be delighted beyond your senses if it were, wouldn’t you?"
"Ally…" Ling repeated patiently.
"This could be very harmful to our relationship… don’t you think so, John?" Ally turned to John, who’d just walked in, hoping he’d agree with her.
"Not really…" John replied.
"Oh, come on!"
"Ally, if you two are even HALF as close as you appear to be, you don’t have anything to worry about…" Ling stated matter-of-factly.
"She’s actually right, as terrible as it is to admit it…" John answered, subjected to an intimidating glare from Ling.
"Like Nelle said – think of something negative… then get livid. And go into that courtroom in full armor."
"And is my lividness going to help the fact that we have completely no defense WHATSOEVER? The guy’s basically caught red-handed, and I’m supposed to argue he’s God’s gift…"
"Hey, you asked about *Larry*…" Ling turned around and quickly exited.
"John?" she looked at him questioningly.
He hid behind the stall door in reply.
"Remind me to shoot myself for becoming a lawyer…" she growled and walked out.
"Okay," came John’s feeble reply several seconds later.


Ally sat at her desk, staring blankly at the legal pad in front of her.
‘Things wrong with Larry:’ read the heading. She’d been desperate to find something she could use as a start-off point, but her search seemed to be in vain. All she could come up with was "Jamie" and "ex-wife", but she preferred not to venture into that territory, for fear it could bring unwanted conversations outside the courtroom. Just as she was scanning her mind for potentially terrible things Larry had done, Elaine poked her head into Ally’s office, smiling.
"Ally, Larry’s here…"
"The one thing missing in my life right now…" Ally snarled, softening her facial expression upon seeing him – white shirt, loosened tie, smug expression and too delicious to take one’s eyes off of. Battling her inner voice, Ally managed to stay serious, letting out a tiny smile nonetheless – and he noticed.
"I missed you at lunch." He started.

<I didn’t think I’d *survive* lunch without you…> she thought, but let out a simple "Yeah." in reply.
"You ready?"

<Very. For you.>
"Yeah, think so."

"How did Richard react to the depo?"

<Richard? Who’s Richard? I saw you and fog in that conference room…>
"Fine. I mean, you know Richard…"

"You okay?"

<Gee, use a lifeline on that one!>
"Me? Yeah. Just…"
"Work." Larry caught on.

"Yeah. Work."

"Let’s go home."
She smiled again, he handed her her coat. As she reached for the switch to turn off the lights, his arm went around her waist and pressed her closer to him. "I think you know what I’m about to say…" he kissed her forehead, and she nodded.

<Wait a second… I’m supposed to be *livid* here!>


Silently they marched up the stairs towards the door. Larry opened it, then stood back wanting to let Ally in first, but she didn’t move. Over the walk home, she decided to sum up her willpower and try out the "livid" tactic, and this was stage one.
"Oh, so *now* we’re acting like a perfect gentleman…" she growled and leaned back against the siderail.
Larry was a tad surprised.
"I’m letting you in-"
"I need *your* permission to enter my own apartment?!"
"Ally, I opened the door-"
"I have hands, I can open it by myself, thank you very much!" With that, she slammed the door shut and fished around in her pocket for her own set of keys. Once she successfully drew them out, she opened the door once again and let herself in without Larry’s "invitation".
He just stayed silent. Whatever he said would be misinterpreted and he knew it.

As soon as they entered the apartment, Ally turned left and Larry turned right, both locking doors behind them at exactly the same moment…

…And in about 3 seconds they made the *startling* realization that being further away than 6 inches from each other after dark is unbearably difficult…

…Both doors opens at the same time, and Ally locked eyes with Larry before swiftly making her way into the kitchen.

He stood in the doorway, watching her every move… She’d taken off her suit jacket, and was now in a simple white blouse and gray pants, an outfit perfectly shaping the contour of her body that now, as always, seemed so alluring to him.

He came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, careful not to let his own emotions flood him too soon.
"Larry!" she took on a tone that was supposed to sound steely.
"Mmmm-hmmm…" he murmured into her shoulder.
"Larry…" she once again tried to sound stern, but the feeling of his breath on her neck surpassed everything.
"You’re not gonna get away with that so easily," she continued.
"Really…?" his lips caressed first the nape of her neck, then went higher.

He was a masterful seducer, and she understood perfectly well it wasn’t just to take her mind off the case – case or no, he loved her…

But it was fun. Playing hard to get was interesting, especially since Ally knew perfectly well what all of this would end in.
"About the case…" Larry continued, in hopes of lightening her up a bit.
"We’re *not* settling, if that’s where you’re going with all of this…"
"I *know* you’re not… I don’t even *want* you to…" Larry paused his kisses to answer her.
"Oh, please. You do too. Because you’re looking for a way to make the case go away, like you always do, with everything…" Ally pretended to be carefully studying a two-week old newspaper. Larry’s wandering hands clearly had a certain effect on her, since she didn’t notice she was holding the paper upside down… until Larry himself pointed it out.
"Hmmm… Interesting article?"
Ally quickly turned it over.
"Very. Why?" she snapped.
"Just… wondering… so… where were we?"
"You always want everything to float away, as if by magic…"
"Ah, yes… And since when are you so cynical?" he was genuinely interested. She seemed too serious… He didn’t know if it was yet another tactic or where she was set on being like that for some time...
"I’m not cynical. I’m… thinking…"
"Oh, I see…" Larry smirked. She was so cute at times like this.
"What is that "irkmph" sound you do?" she angrily imitated his smirk.
"Furball…" he smiled.
"That’s what I thought…" she twisted out of his embrace.
He sighed heavily. It was going to be a long week.
"Ally," he started, but she wasn’t about to let him put a word in.
"Don’t ‘Ally’ me. You know that I like the way you say my name, which I really should NOT have confessed to you because now you use it as a way to distract me, and I am NOT going to be distracted this time, NOT when you’re opposing counsel on a case I *really* need to win, so don’t even TRY. And by the way, in case you didn’t notice, you’re still not forgiven for the depo – ‘encroach, eschew, assuage’," she imitated him, "who the hell talks like that? Don’t try the smartass tactic on me, either, because you know I think you’re really sexy-" she paused, lulled by the word, "when you do that, which is another thing I shouldn’t have confessed… Arrrgh! See! You got me to confess two things that I would’ve never told you otherwise… you bastard!" She punched his arm, at the same time admiring the way his muscles bulged through the fabric of his t-shirt.
He nodded, closed his eyes & smiled. "Ally," he said, bringing his hand up to her cheek.
She pushed it away. "No, Larry. For once, we’re not gonna play by your scenario."
"Ally, what the hell is wrong with you?"
"Guess…" she said, turning on her heel and walking out.

He leaned back against the wall, closing his eyes in hopes of escaping the multitude of feelings built up in him… He was so shocked by her behaviour that it took him several minutes to realize that this was all a masquerade, something she didn’t want to do but at the same time was curious what would become of it.

Faint music filled the room, breaking off his train of thought. Opening his eyes, he saw her.

"Dress to kill indeed…" he blurted out, admiring her outfit – a white blouse and crème-brulee shorts, not by any chance chosen randomly.
"Kill… you?" She looked up, pointing a finger at him.
"Maybe…" he smiled.
Meredith Brooks interfered with a very timely ‘E-lec-tricity… Eye to eye…’
"Hmmm… if so, than I *must* have my motives…" she continued, remembering the depo.
He sighed. "C’mere."
He sighed again. "No, Ally, I’m talking to the blender…"

The phone rang, and Ally let the as of then unidentified caller know his call wasn’t too welcome – by simply unplugging the phone with her foot as she walked slowly towards Larry in that haute-couture way and stopped about a foot in front of him.

‘Hey don’t I know you?
I can’t speak…
Strip my senses
On the spot…’
"I like this song…" she continued.
"Mm-hmm…" he entered a very bright thought.

"Larry, I-"
"Shhh…" he cut her off, placing a finger on her lips.
"Okay." She bit her bottom lip, savouring the look in his eyes. This had all been a game, a game she thought would be a lot of fun but which also exposed her – and Larry – to each other in a different light. Sure, maybe she could’ve done without the smartass depo comments on his part (she hadn’t been able to find the word "ignominious" in the dictionary, and still had no clue what it meant), but what all of it really showed was that she loved every single thing about him, even the way he was so tolerant towards her bitchiness. He was more than anyone could ever ask for, and he treated her like she was the most precious person in the world.

‘I’ve never been defenseless
I can’t even make sense of this
You speak and I don’t hear a word…’
"Larry?" she looked up at him, smiling. His eyes were so warm, so full of radiance and depth, illuminating the entire room.
"Yeah?" he took her hand and pulled her closer, wrapping his arm around her waist.
"What does ‘ignominious’ mean?" she sounded like a kid, asking her mom for the definition of a word she shouldn’t know.
Larry looked at the ceiling, then back at her, and laughed.
"What…?" she asked.
"I don’t have a *fucking* clue…" he confessed. She giggled.
"Then why did you use it?"
He gave her a "plead guilty" look, then added "To piss the hell out of Richard."
"You’re unbelievable…" she scolded him playfully, dropping her head on his shoulder as his lips met with her neck.
"Thank you." He replied. His hands felt her bikini line through the fabric of her shorts; hers went up to his face. She tilted her head a little, but he reacted faster, and soon both completely dissolved in their kiss.

‘Or would I melt into you,
Mouth to mouth,
Lust to lust,
Spontaneously combust…?’ Meredith Brooks continued to coo in the background in perfect harmony with the atmosphere set in the room.

"Hi…" she smiled at him when their lips parted.
"I love you."
"You don’t say…?"
"I love you…"
"You already said that."
"I know. I love you."
He smiled and kissed her cheek.
"…But that doesn’t mean we’re giving up, no matter how much I love you or how good you are…"
"So you’re admitting I’m good?"
Ally immediately covered her mouth, muffling a "Whoops…"
He kissed her fingers, which soon swooped up around his neck, and his lips ran into hers.
In ten minutes, the only thing on Ally was Larry. His hands were everywhere at once, his knee slightly parted her legs, and his lips caressing every inch of her had her moaning with delight. This was sensory heaven, the pleasure only heightened by their previous mini-brawl.
In an hour, both were lying wrapped up in each other’s arms.

<I don’t ever want to exit this bedroom again…>
"I’ll still win, you know…" she retorted. He groaned and rolled his eyes.
"Christ alive… Ally!"
"I’m *just* saying…"
He gently ran his fingers through her hair, tangled after their roly-poly activities. She smiled quietly and turned off the bedside lamp, then curled up in Larry’s embrace.

Court would just have to be damned.

- - - end of Part 2 - - -

Song credits – "What Would Happen" by Meredith Brooks

Whaddaya think?!