by Katta

Joey never talks during sex.

She makes little noises, or so she's been told. One of her first boyfriends had found great interest in listening to those noises and describing them to her later. She had found it all rather amusing -- Like a little sheep? Really? -- and he had assured her that, yes, she baaahed like a little sheep.

Perhaps she should have been offended, but it was too funny for that. So instead she just pointed out that it was entirely fitting for her to sound like a sheep during sex, seeing how he looked like one.

Even back then, she had a way with words.

She's worked hard on that eloquence, and she enjoys it. There's a certain kick in knowing just the right questions to ask in a poll to find out what people are really thinking -- or conversely, phrase the question so that people's opinions seem different than they really are. Lying with statistics isn't a matter of numbers, not really. Numbers just makes the words seem more reliable.

She doesn't mind using those skills in her personal life, quite the contrary. She can give a snappy comeback in English or ASL, guaranteed within less than three seconds or your money back.

It's a skill, and to Joey, sex isn't about showing off skills. It's fun and relaxing and doesn't require talking.

Most guys respect that. There was this one, though -- a jerk, really, but everyone has their share of losers. He had wanted her to shout his name, and when she had tried to tell him she just didn't do those things, he'd gone pouty and said she could at least sign it. Dork. As if she didn't have better things to do with her hands.

She'd tried to oblige, though, crying oh Max, oh Max to satisfy the guy -- and, God, the only reason she still remembers his name is because of the dislike she got for it after a few times like that. And it hadn't made him happy anyway. He said she sounded too bored when she cried it, and she had to sit on her hands and bite her tongue not to reply, it's because I am, mister. Didn't take too long after that before she kicked him out of her bed altogether.

Al may have his flaws as a man, but demanding his name shouted in bed isn't one of them. And that's why it's safe for her to return to her hotel room and her bed with him, even though her mind is elsewhere. She can have sex with Al thinking of curly hair over a high forehead (showing signs of premature balding, but she doesn't care), and of sexy little dimples and puppy dog eyes, and of the absolutely repulsive clothes Joshua Lyman wore the first time she saw him.

She can think about those things without guilt or fear, because if no name is spoken, it can't ever be the wrong one.


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