Inspired by a prompt left on DreamWidth’s fic_promptly comm by theleaveswant:
“any [fandom], any [character(s)], the hankie code – give me characters going out flagging, and/or older/immortal characters reminiscing about how much easier it was to find someone to pick up in places/times where it was common, and/or people who know the code laughing at people who don’t realize what they’re flagging (hello Bruce Springsteen cover art), give me an AU where people flag things that aren’t possible in this world (basically, I’m flagging orange on this one)”
Orange, in the Hanky Code, means “anything goes.”
Me being me, of course, I immediately took Leaves up on it. So I googled the Hanky Code and came up with the perfect colour for Nick & Nat: a lovely shade of maroon. Take heed of the tags; the action is tame, but the dialogue and character thoughts sure as hell aren’t!
And yes, I’ll explain the choice of maroon further, at the bottom. Enjoy!
Nick couldn’t help but stare at her while her back was turned, as she leaned against the morgue counter.
Really, how many people carried a handkerchief in their back pocket these days?
He tried not to think about the significance of the colour she had chosen—a rich, dark maroon—because that way lay madness. At least for him, anyway. There was no way she had chosen that colour deliberately. Right?
Right. There was no way his Natalie could possibly know what it meant to have a dark maroon handkerchief tucked into the right back pocket. It was just a crazy coincidence; an innocent act that meant more to him than she could possibly know.
But it—and the faint smell of her, hidden underneath modern hygienic products—was driving him insane as it was. He had to know.
She stopped her writing and shifted slightly, so she could look back over her shoulder at him. “Yeah?”
“You have a handkerchief in your back pocket. I’m just wondering why it’s there.”
The answer he got from her was accompanied by an enigmatic smile. “You mean you don’t know?” His acute hearing heard the thrum of her heart pick up speed then, as if she’d just realized what she’d said.
His train of thought crashed as it left the station. His mind now began to whirl at the thought, the message DOES NOT COMPUTE! flashing in his head.
Then he mentally kicked himself. Of course, she knew. She was an intelligent woman, and she had already proven she was attracted to him in much more subtle ways… ways he’d tried to ignore due to inherent risks involved. But now, she was obviously choosing to forgo subtlety and preferred to telegraph her ideas instead.
He took a breath and summoned his dignity, along with a little of the vampire’s innate charisma, and he knew in that moment what to do (while inwardly thanking the powers that be that his inner turmoil wasn’t outwardly visible to her). He approached her then, brushing her hair back so her neck was exposed to him.
His cool breath raised gooseflesh on her soft throat as he replied, “My question now for you, Miss Lambert, is what would you like me to do about it?” He kissed her neck then, letting the tips of his fangs gently rake her skin.
She took the bait. “I…” she began, her breathing audibly picking up. She clearly had not expected this turn of events. “I mean… would you…” Her breath then hitched in the middle of an exhale as one of his hands wandered along her shirt, the other joining to undo the buttons of her blouse.
“Don’t be so coy,” he teased her. “If you want to wave a flag about it, you have to be willing to say it.”
She whimpered as his hand now ghosted along her breast. She was obviously very sensitive to touch at the moment, hormones going haywire. He could smell her menses now that she was so close. It was the perfect time for him to entertain the idea of intimacy without potentially causing her harm.
“I want…” she began, shuddering in pleasure at his touch. She turned around and looked him in the eye.
“I want you to taste me.”
“Now?” he replied playfully, getting down onto his knees and tracing his fingers along the lines of her skirt. Yes, the smell of her was particularly strong, now that he was this close.
She swallowed hard, and he took pity on her. He laid a kiss against her now-exposed stomach. “Not right this minute, then.”
He stood, feeling a wicked smile creep onto his face. “Get your coat, and sign off early. We’ll continue this discussion at my place.”
So, as you can probably imagine now, a maroon handkerchief (among the gay and BDSM communities) means you’re into bloodplay. Wearing the hanky in your left pocket means you like cutting others, biting them, etc. with the intent of drawing blood. Wearing it on the right (like Natalie) means you like to bleed for your partner.
Also, among straight and lesbian couples, it can mean a desire to earn your “red wings.” Go to Urban Dictionary if you’re not sure what that means; I wouldn’t recommend Googling it.
So yeah. Maroon’s the perfect colour for a vampire, no? (And if you don’t know what maroon actually LOOKS like, you might want to get a primer on colours.)
Here endeth the lesson. 😛