The first time Alex tried to kiss Nikita was very early on, so early that her body was still rebelling over the lack of speedball. Nikita was helping Alex off the floor and Alex moved in, quick, putting her mouth to Nikita's and working in her tongue while her hands tried to get under Nikita's shirt. It was easy; it should have been easy; she'd done it a thousand times. Instead she found herself on her stomach with one arm twisted behind her back. "You don't need to fuck your way in with me," said Nikita. "I won't let you."
The second time Alex tried to kiss Nikita, Nikita held her back with a palm against her chest.
"What did I tell you about that?"
"I'm not trying to…"
"You had too many years of buying favors with sex."
"I know the difference."
"It takes years, Alex."
"I've had years."
"You've only been free for a few months."
"Oh, like that's fair."
"Life ain't fair." Nikita put both her hands on Alex's shoulder. "Please, Alex."
"I want this. I want you."
"Maybe I'm jaded. No, Alex. For my sake, Alex, if you don't believe it's for yours."
The third time, Alex woke up from a nightmare to Nikita above her, one hand pressed flat against Alex's shoulder and the other on the mattress next to her, and Alex pushed herself up and into Nikita's arms before she was fully awake. Nikita pulled her in, wrapped her arms around her, and when Alex pushed them an inch apart it was only to lean back in with a kiss, passionate, pressing, determined.
Needy, too, but Nikita had seen her, cared for her, through detox.
Nikita broke it, but she cupped Alex's face with her hands as she did so.
The fourth time they were sparring, and it was the first time that a sparring match had ended with Nikita flat on her back and Alex sitting on top of her, pressing down her arms. To lean down and claim a kiss was what people do: because she could, because she won, because Nikita couldn't get the leverage to throw Alex off and Alex had totally earned it.
She hadn't expected the knowledge that the other woman couldn't stop her to turn her on that much.
Nikita's eyes were narrow, assessing, when Alex pulled up.
"Yes," she said. "You're learning."
The fifth time was the morning of Alex's insertion. Nikita being Nikita, she celebrated with a disgustingly healthy breakfast instead of pancakes. Alex poured two coffees, came over, and put both cups on the counter.
Nikita put down the knife and turned to her.
"I'm going to kiss you," said Alex, matter-of-factly, "and this wasn't a question."
Nikita neither leaned in nor pulled away, neither melted or took charge. Only when Alex put her hands on Nikita's hips she moved, wrapping one hand around Alex's neck, and Alex's mind went blank in surrender that was equal parts desire and terror.