Pairing: Padma/Nefertari, Padma/Nefertari/Rafi
Spoilers: Problematic strips of FH
Summary: Nefertari imposes on Padma and Rafi to spend the night.
Word Count: 3085
Date First Posted: 05-02-2004
Date Revised: 27-05-2011
Notes: As you can see, I went through a very definitive 'young maharassas' phase. I enjoyed it, though. I like Padma/Nefi/Rafi, but more in a big friendship way than an actual romantic/sexy way. The 'go fish' game at the beginning, and P and R's odd delivery of the lines is lifted directly from the obscure show, DAAS Kapital.
Feedback: always welcome, as is constructive criticism.
Also Archived At: LJ
"Have you got aaaaaahh... seven?" Rafi asked, raising his eyebrow curiously and watching Padma over his cards. Padma laid down his seven grudgingly and watched his friend's eyes twinkle.
Padma scrutinised his own cards. "Have you got aaaaahhh.... nine?"
"Go fish," Rafi said mysteriously, and Padma picked up a card with a sigh. Somehow, he could never beat his best friend at this game.
Rafi gave his frustrated roommate a grin. "If we'd been playing for cash, brother, you'd owe me your gold fillings."
"I don't have any gold fillings. Besides, if I had any money we wouldn't be home playing cards."
The reminder of their sad state of affairs with regards to money brought a frown to Rafi's face. "Cheer up," he told Padma, not bothering to stifle a face splitting yawn. "Something'll come along."
At that moment, there was a loud unexpected knock at the door. Both men instantly sat up from their slouching positions.
"Did you pay the rent this week?" Rafi cast a sidelong glance at Padma.
"With what?" Padma retorted.
"Shit," Rafi swore, leaping to his feet on the cushions of their dilapidated sofa.
The knocking persisted. "Ok ok ok, don't panic," Padma panicked as he too stood on the sofa. "It may not be the landlord... It could be someone looking for you!"
Rafi's eyes opened ludicrously wide behind his glasses. He immediately jumped over the backrest and ran to the small window. "Here, give me a boost."
Half his body was dangling outside with Padma's help when the knocking was accompanied by a voice:
"Padma, are you home? It's me."
Padma nearly dropped Rafi the rest of the way out the window when he heard Nefertari's voice.
"It could be a trap," Rafi hissed as he fell back inside.
The door opened to reveal Nefertari standing there, beautiful as ever, carrying a bag on her shoulder. Padma immediately beckoned her inside out of the cold, and took the bag. They spared a moment for a brief but tender greeting, which Rafi didn't at all feel obliged to be polite and look away from.
"I'm very sorry to come over so late, but I'm in a little bit of a bind," she apologised.
"What's the problem?" Padma queried and offered her a seat. 'Tari politely sat on the end so she wouldn't sink in. Padma sat attentively at her right and Rafi picked himself up off the floor to flop by her left. She turned towards Padma first.
"You know how my bathroom is right next to my bed? Well, I had a minor plumbing disaster and the pipe underneath the sink burst. It soaked and ruined my mattress. I can get another tomorrow, but I don't have anywhere to sleep until then."
Nefertari looked humbly at her boyfriend and his best friend. "I was hoping you might be able to put me up for a night."
"Of course," Padma said immediately, putting a hand on her knee.
Rafi cleared his throat. "S'cuse me, but where is she going to sleep?" Though not subtle, the question was a valid one -- there was barely enough room in the tiny apartment for Padma and Rafi as it was.
Padma tapped his long fingers against his lips. "'Tari can take the bed, we'll sleep out here."
"I didn't want to take your bed away," Nefertari said, though she really did not want to sleep out in their living room.
"Where out here?" Rafi raised a thin eyebrow and looked around skeptically.
Padma caught up with Rafi and grew thoughtful. There wasn't any space in their small living room amidst their furniture, magazines and general clutter that they never seemed to be rid of, no matter how much garbage was taken out on collection day.
"I see your point..." Padma conceded. "Well... what about old Sahir?" he slapped the frayed cushion of the sofa. Two pairs of eyes followed Padma's gesture.
"Padma, I don't wish to seem picky," Nefertari began diplomatically. "But I'm only just barely sitting on old Sahir. The thought of sleeping on it?" She did not manage to repress a shudder.
Rafi reached forward and grabbed a cigarette from the half-full pack on the table. "Hate to say it, but I'm with the lady on this one," the cigarette moved between his lips as he talked and searched for his lighter. "This place is a stinkhole."
Nefertari began to stand. "I'm sorry for coming over, I know how tight you are for space. I'll go to a hotel."
"No you won't," Padma replied vehemently, standing as well. "It's a waste of money. Besides, I said you could stay here."
Rafi got up. "Ok, so I'll stay someplace else, then."
"Where, and with what? This is your place too, brother; it's not fair to kick you out. We'll figure this out."
Rafi gave a small smile. "Ok, so how does that solve anything, Padma?" A thin stream of grey smoke exited his lips. "There's no floorspace out here, and even less in the bedroom. How do we all sleep tonight?"
The realisation came slowly. Padma was first to think it. He looked across from Rafi to Nefertari and raised his eyebrow. Nefertari looked at him blankly for a moment, before frowning slightly, and vaguely shaking her head once.
Rafi watched silent messages pass between the two and scratched his head. "What?"
Nefertari turned to her boyfriend with a concerned expression. "Padma, I really don't know about this--"
Padma hushed her fears with a look. "It'll be ok, I promise." He ran the back of his index finger over her cheek. The Indian man nudged Nefertari in the direction of the bathroom. "Go get changed."
"Into what?" Rafi asked, confused.
"If you're sure," Nefertari said hesitantly, picking up her bag and walking to the bathroom.
"If the door gets stuck, just jiggle the knob counter-clockwise!" he called after her helpfully as the door shut with a click.
"Padma, I don't get it," Rafi looked thoroughly puzzled. "Where the hell are we all going to sleep?"
What had dawned on the others minutes ago finally hit Rafi. Tiny bits of cigarette ash fell to the carpet.
Nefertari chewed her bottom lip as she got changed in the cramped privacy of the bathroom. She wasn't so sure sleeping all in the one bed was such a great solution. Though her appreciation for Rafi had crept into the levels of friendship, that didn't necessarily mean that sleeping in the same bed as he and her boyfriend was the next logical step.
Taking out a toothbrush, she did her teeth, carefully not touching the sink anymore than she had to. Nefertari brushed her hair a few times to get the snarls out of it. Smoothing her nightgown, and satisfied that she was as ready as she could be under the circumstances, 'Tari opened the bathroom door.
Padma beamed when Nefertari walked out. She had no makeup, her hair was brushed out to form a gentle wave around her shoulders, and she wore a nightgown made of some kind of metallic plum fabric. It reached her ankles, with thin shoulder straps, and cut modestly over her bust.
Padma was right to beam. She was beautiful.
He had also taken the time to change into his pajamas, which consisted of a pair of paisley shorts that reached his knees. Padma stepped forward to brush a tendril of hair from Nefertari's face and leant down to give her a sweet kiss.
"Hi," he said softly.
"Hi," she returned, "are you sure this will work?"
At that moment, Rafi blundered out of the bedroom. "You can actually reach the bed via the floor without havin' to climb over stuff now. There's a trail, but I advise not to stray from it or--"
Rafi looked up and saw Nefertari in her gown. While not overtly revealing, it definitely showed off her splendid figure. His mouth froze in the shape of the last syllable he had uttered. Rafi was frozen staring at her, except for his left eyebrow, which manically twitched once.
It was enough for Nefertari. She turned to Padma, hands clasped in front of her. "No. No. I can't do this." Brown curls swayed as she shook her head emphatically.
Padma took her hands and kissed them, laughing softly. "It really is going to be ok," he assured her. "Look, we'll go and get settled first. Rafi's going to have a shower."
Rafi snapped out of his stupor. "I am?" Padma answered his question with a pointed stare. "Oh, yeah, I'll just..." he inclined his head towards the bathroom. "Yeah." Rafi pushed his glasses up to the bridge of his nose and stumbled backwards.
When the bathroom door once again closed with a click, Padma turned to his girlfriend. He rubbed her hands and gestured towards the bedroom. With a long-suffering sigh, Nefertari reluctantly followed him in.
Rafi had done what he'd said; he had cleared a trail to the bed. Clothes, magazines, tools, and brown boxes that looked suspiciously like they'd fallen off the back of some truck were piled up everywhere. There was a clear -- but not clean -- path approximately 1 foot wide that meandered to the bed.
Padma and Rafi owned a well-used queen bed with a slightly sagging mattress, and framework that was kept together by its rust, not its bolts. It was pushed up against the far wall of the small room, though there still wasn't enough space for the doors to the wardrobe to open up fully without it clanging against the frame.
Nefertari wasn't all that enthused about walking barefoot across the carpet, and kept her sandals on until the last possible moment. She sat gingerly on the bed, pleasantly surprised to note that the bedclothes were fresh. Sitting on the bed with her knees drawn up, hands on her knees, Nefertari looked up. "So what now?"
"Now we get comfortable," Padma said smoothly, sitting down next to her. He let Nefertari rest her cheek against his bare shoulder while he combed fingers through her hair. After a peaceful moment of that, he pulled the sheets back, encouraging her to slide underneath, closest to the wall. After another moment's hesitation, she complied.
Padma attentively tucked the sheet around her and made sure her beautiful hair was spread out over the pillow in the direction he wouldn't lie on. She giggled at him and enjoyed the attention before he slid down to lie next to her.
They lay there somewhat motionless for a minute, before Nefertari fidgeted. She turned on her side and motioned for Padma to put his arm up. Nefertari promptly wrapped that arm around her and laid her head on his shoulder. "That's better," she murmured, rubbing her cheek against his bare skin.
Padma grinned, his unpinned hand coming to skirt lightly over her hip under the sheet. The material of the nightgown slipped over her skin easily, bringing a smile to her face. Nefertari looked up with large, blue eyes and watched as Padma became more and more interested in rubbing the gown in slow circles over her hip.
Nefertari returned the favour by running her nails lightly down Padma's chest. A low murmur of approval left his lips, and his hand gripped 'Tari's hip just a little more forcefully, pulling her closer. Padma nuzzled any part of his girlfriend that he was close enough to reach before she inclined her head up to be kissed.
The kissing only fuelled their passion. Soon Nefertari braced her hands against his chest as she kissed him. Padma's arms wrapped around her waist firmly, clenched fingers rippling the sheer fabric of her gown.
They only had enough time to guiltily spring apart at the sound of the bathroom doorknob jiggling, before Rafi walked in. He surveyed their flushed and disheveled appearance. "Want I should dim the lights?" he said with a wolfish grin, hand on the switch.
Nefertari pulled the sheet up over her chest, looking away. Padma ruffled his hair self-consciously, cheeks faintly stained pink, but shrugged off any embarrassment with his usual aplomb. Padma kissed Nefertari's shoulder before shuffling closer to her. He created more room on his left and lifted the sheet up, patting the empty mattress.
Rafi scratched his chest, aware of the awkwardness in the air. He walked towards the bed, grateful for the invitation. Despite his confident stride, he was still unsure. He slipped under the covers as smoothly as possible, mumbled goodnight to them both and turned over.
Nefertari still hadn't turned around. She hated being out of her comfort zone, not to mention her own bed. With incredible self-control, she kept utterly still; facing away from both Padma and Rafi until she heard the latter's soft snores. Only then did she shift at all to get more comfortable. 'Tari rolled over slowly so as not to disturb anyone, turning to look straight into Padma's face.
Her mouth opened in a little 'o'. "I thought you were asleep," she whispered.
"No. Just waiting for you," he replied in a low voice.
"Waiting for me to what?"
"To get comfortable so we can snuggle," he said matter-of-factly.
Nefertari couldn't help a soft laugh. "Alright. Don't say I never do anything for my boy," she said in a mock-stern tone. Despite the occasional snort that reminded her Rafi was there, she'd relaxed suitably to get comfortable.
'Tari positioned her head further up Padma's arm so that her head rested comfortably in the cradle of his neck. Padma kissed her hair, a hand softly stroking her bare arm until she finally fell asleep.
Nefertari stirred. Though she was warm and quite comfortable, there was something tickling at her brain to wake up. A slow, steady snore by her head wasn't immediately recognisable. It was less of a familiar rattle and more of a strange wheeze. Slowly blinking her eyes open, she found herself staring directly into the face of a sleeping Rafi.
It took her a moment before she remembered where she was -- and in that confused second, she did wonder whether she'd had too much to drink the previous night -- before feeling the comforting and quite familiar arm of Padma around her.
Tilting her head up, Nefertari saw her sleeping boyfriend's face, a picture of peaceful rest. Padma lay on his back, an arm tightly wrapped around both herself and Rafi. Rafi, for his part, had his cheek mashed against Padma's chest. The wheezing snore she'd heard in her sleep definitely came from him. The young man's mouth was open, and he was about ten seconds away from drooling on Padma. In an odd way, Nefertari supposed, Rafi was cute like this. His features always tended to look softer when his dark hair wasn't pasted down onto his head.
'Tari drummed her fingers softly on Padma's stomach, wondering whether to go back to sleep or to try and get up. This was decided for her when the hand on her shoulder began to move slowly down her arm. Looking up, she saw Padma awake.
"'morning," he murmured, combing his fingers through the tendrils of her hair.
"Good morning," she replied, crooking her leg up to stroke his shin with her foot.
A large, lazy smile crossed Padma's features. "How did you sleep?"
"Surprisingly well," she admitted, propping herself up on her elbow, and tossing long caramel-brown locks over her shoulder. Rafi snorted, but didn't stir. Nefertari ran her right hand slowly down Padma's bare chest. "I feel very well rested."
Nefertari tilted her head invitingly, a small smile curving her lips. Padma's eyes drifted down Nefertari's gracefully extended neck, drawn inexorably to the lacey neckline. Given the way her body twisted up, the nightgown gaped, Padma's eyes firmly fixated on her cleavage.
Padma's arm tightened around her, urging her upwards towards his lips. Nefertari stroked the underside of his chin and kissed Padma. Despite the presence of Rafi, Padma had assured her that his best friend could sleep through nuclear fallout (Though somehow he could wake up if he heard the door lock being picked. "No one out-Rafi's Rafi, brother," he'd said vehemently).
Padma nibbled on Nefertari's bottom lip lovingly. "You're full of energy," he chuckled.
'Tari glanced down at Rafi, who moved involuntarily with the movements of Padma's chest. "Sshhh," she admonished. "Less talk. More sugar."
Padma murmured in approval and joined their mouths together again. Just as they began to get enraptured with each other, the weight on Padma's chest began to stir. Rafi yawned widely, eyes opening blearily. He blinked and took in the sight of his best friend and girlfriend sharing a tender kiss.
"So where's my morning kiss, eh?" Rafi shot Nefertari a toothy smile.
Without warning, Padma leant down and pressed a kiss to his friend's forehead. "'morning, Rafi," he chuckled.
Rafi wiped his forehead self-consciously as Nefertari giggled. "Very funny."
They lapsed into the awkward silence of the previous night. "Well, I suppose we should get up," Nefertari said.
The dancer tucked her head back under Padma's chin, and looked at Rafi. "What's it like out there?"
Rafi scratched his stubbly chin and stuck a skinny leg out from underneath the covers and touched his toes to the floor. He shuddered and brought it back under the blanket quickly.
"Ah, shit. Heater's on the blink. The floor is colder than a polar bear's balls."
Padma and Nefertari both shuddered sympathetically and burrowed further into the blankets. Rafi pulled the covers up over his shoulders. "What now?" he muttered, cranky at being exposed to the cold.
Nefertari looked up at Padma, who gave her his lazy, wide smile. "The stores will be open all day. There's no need to get up right now, I suppose..." Before she had even finished her sentence, Rafi had already resumed his place on Padma's chest, closing his eyes.
Padma tousled Rafi's hair affectionately to a yawning protest and turned back to Nefertari. She had assumed the complementary position to Rafi.
"Is it my imagination, or do you like this?" She asked him wryly.
"I don't hate it," Padma admitted, kissing her forehead.
She settled herself comfortably against him and lightly stroked his chest. "I suppose it isn't all bad... but don't get used to it," Nefertari warned.
"'course not," Padma said. "For one, we'd have to get a bigger bed."
Padma was still chuckling at Nefertari's horrified expression when she finally dozed off again.