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Merlot [Parts 1 & 2]

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Alison Hendrix was a studious woman.
Alison Hendrix was careful, cautious.
Alison Hendrix was calm and collected at all times.
Alison Hendrix was not, no matter what anyone said, in love with Elizabeth Childs.
Even when Beth knocked her knee against Alison’s under the table at Clone Club meetings to get her attention just because she liked when Alison looked at her.. Even when Beth left a bottle of merlot on Alison’s doorstep with a little note attached that read ‘You said you’d never had merlot, so here’s a bottle. Call me if you want to try it out with me sometime. -Beth’. Even when Alison actually did call Beth and they got tipsy together, Alison Hendrix was not in love with Elizabeth Childs.
That was until Beth showed up at Alison’s door, a dull look in her eyes that she only ever got when she was taking antidepressants, soaked from the rain, pleading that she can’t go back to Paul.
Alison thanked her lucky stars that Donnie had taken Oscar and Gemma away for the weekend as she moved aside for the trembling detective to come inside.
Beth made herself at home on Alison’s couch, shrugging off her petticoat. It was quiet and still in the Hendrix household until Beth spoke in a voice that was as shaky as her body.
“I can’t do this anymore, Ali.” She confided, her head in her hands. Alison sighed and wrapped an afghan around her genetic identical, sitting beside her with an arm around Beth’s shoulder comfortingly. “He’s my monitor, I know it.”
Alison’s eyes fell to the floor, “We don’t know that yet, Beth—”
“I know it, Ali, please you have to believe me.” Beth pleaded.
“I want to. I really do, but we have to wait and see, okay?”
Beth was quiet for several moments, “I can’t be in love with a person who doesn’t love me back, Alison.”
Beth’s words held a double meaning in their delivery. And suddenly, like a light bulb turning on, it all fell into place. All of Beth’s little quips shifted together like a puzzle.
“Call me if you want to try it out sometime.” The note on the wine had read.
“I’m so happy I’ve got someone like you.” Beth had said with a tentative touch to Alison’s shoulder.
“God knows what we would do without Ali.” Had been her remark when Alison broke out the Jack Daniels after a particularly difficult day during a meeting with Cosima.
One single exchange stuck out the most to her, however.
“You know Cosima’s tattoo? The Golden Ratio? I think that’s so interesting, you know.” Beth told her conversationally during a drive.
“Yes, I agree, it’s a lovely piece of art.” Alison said absentmindedly, her brain going a million miles a minute over something Cosima had uncovered.
“Well, yeah, it’s pretty but it’s also… I don’t know, like, divine, almost. Like it was put on a planet full of ungodly abominations but it’s so perfect. It’s a juxtaposition of all that is good and evil.”
“I didn’t know you liked things like that.”
“I don’t know, there’s something comforting in thinking that two things, no matter how different, can come together in some weird harmony, you know?”
Alison’s eyes met Beth’s as she looked up at her from beneath the swirl of the afghan’s fabric.
You said you never had merlot.
Call me up if you want to try it sometime.
In this life, you will meet people who will make the blood rush through your every vein, dizzy your every nerve ending, and tango themselves through each and every one of your thoughts. You will meet people that are whirlwinds, and they will remind you of vodka. You will meet people that are sweet and bubbly, and they will remind you of appletini’s.
And if you are lucky— oh my, let your heart be just lucky enough— you will meet someone who reminds you of merlot. And there is no single word to describe how they will make you feel.
In this moment, Beth became Alison’s merlot. And almost as if she was curving her mouth around a wine glass, she molded her lips against Beth’s.
And much to her pleasure, she tasted as intoxicating as wine. Alison hoped that she would have the pleasure of getting drunk off of her.