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can't live on bread alone

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Daria expected the call.

While half the city gathered at the cemetery, she had spent the day testing three new bread pudding recipes, her iPod softly streaming jazz playlists in the background of her otherwise empty home. Waiting for the phone to ring by occupying herself in the kitchen, in her element, was a far better alternative to pacing her apartment.

She’d entertained some hope that she would be invited to the funeral, that she would get to be draped on Renee’s arm like the other officers' girlfriends and wives. She had dreamt that she wouldn’t merely get to play the part of the doting, supportive girlfriend, but that she would actually get to be it – in front of other people.

But apparently she wasn’t that kind of partner. Not yet, at least.

As much as she cared about Renee – loved Renee – some part of Daria wondered if the two of them would ever truly reach that level of intimacy. She knew that Renee was still struggling with the aftermath of being forcibly outed, and Daria worried that a romantic connection started behind closed doors might always carry some element of secrecy with it.

There were a lot of reasons why this relationship could progress poorly. In addition to the continued turmoil of Renee’s newly-out status, her increasingly galvanic and reckless personality left her far too prone to dealing with her feelings at the bottom end of a bottle, and Daria had noticed mysterious cuts and bruises along Renee’s knuckles one too many times for it to be mere coincidence. Daria would be lying if she said Renee’s burgeoning self-destructive behavior didn’t alarm her.

There was also the small fact that the woman Daria was head over heels for was a police detective.

In Gotham City.

In the MCU.

Renee investigated the major freaks that gave even Batman a run for his money. In the few short months that Daria and Renee had been officially seeing each other, Renee had already been framed for murder, kidnapped by one psycho, targeted and hunted by another, and had lost several of her fellow officers. Had circumstances been slightly different, it could easily have been Renee’s funeral today.

Daria wasn’t sure how she felt about a potential lifetime spent waiting for that call notifying her that a bullet, or a bomb, or hell, a freakin’ freeze-ray had finally found Renee.

But tonight, this call - the one she had anticipated since she read the headline in the Gazette: “GCPD To Mourn Its Slain” - this was one she could handle.

Daria pulled the final pan of bread pudding from the oven – the salted caramel version – when the phone rang. She set the hot pan and her oven mitts down and killed the music. She rushed to the phone, knowing exactly who it would be and what would be asked.

“Can I come over?” Renee's forcibly composed voice at the other end of the line inquired.

A romance between a pastry chef and a hard-nosed detective in one of the most corrupt, violent cities in the world - there were a million and one reasons why this might all go to hell in a handbasket, why this might end in tears, or blood, or both - but Daria was still glad that she had the distinction of being the one the stubborn detective called on for help, comfort, and solace. No matter how hard this might be, no matter where this was going, right now there was only one answer to Renee’s plaintive question.

"Of course."


As Daria opened her front door to admit Renee, she quickly realized that she had not fully considered the ramifications of Renee coming over straight from the funeral. She barely suppressed what she imagined would be seen as an ill-timed gasp as she found herself not even remotely prepared for the sight of the other woman in her dress uniform.

Renee’s dark auburn hair was pinned up below a shiny eight-point cap with a gleaming GCPD badge front and center. Underneath a black, single-breasted jacket, adorned with more badges and pins, lay a crisp white button-up shirt and black tie. Neatly pressed pants and glossy loafers, both in midnight black, completed the ensemble. Grief and distress were evident in Renee’s eyes, but she stood in the doorway with shoulders back, tall and proud. Daria took the vision of Renee in, the very picture of the valiant but battle-weary urban soldier returned from war.

Renee’s appearance left Daria feeling woefully underdressed. Her shorts and the GCPD gym shirt she had “borrowed” from Renee months ago were faded and worn, and spattered with bits of sugar and butter from her earlier baking sessions. As she gaped at Renee’s dapper image, Daria found herself battling with an unforeseen bout of arousal. A distinct tightening in her chest took root, while a trail of fire headed further south.

“Hi,” Renee greeted her, smiling solemnly.

“Hi.” Daria shyly smiled back, shaking herself out of the daze the sight of the crisp uniform had left her in.

Daria led Renee into the quiet of the apartment. Her bare feet made no sound on the hardwood floor, but the dissonant clack of Renee’s polished shoes echoed throughout the hallway. Even with freshly fallen snow outside, the apartment remained toasty from the earlier use of the oven, and hints of cinnamon still wafted through the air.

As they made their way towards the living room, Daria struggled to find something else to say, for some point of conversation that didn’t sound trite.

How was the funeral? (As if there were good funerals and bad funerals.)

Did you ride in the motorcade?

I’m sorry for your loss?

Daria quickly gave up on any attempt to spout mindless platitudes or to ask banal questions, deciding that Renee would speak when – if – she so desired. She took one of Renee’s hands in her own and guided her over to the couch. Renee dropped onto the cushions wearily. Daria sat half-facing Renee and tucked one leg underneath the other.

The silence between them stretched on. Renee kept her eyes downcast, occasionally swallowing hard and opening her mouth as if she were about to say something, but she shut down again each time. Daria still clasped Renee’s hand in her own, relishing the weight and warmth of it. She mapped the lines and valleys of it with her own fingertips, and rubbed their palms together affectionately.

Daria didn't know what to say, so she just touched.

Her thumb ran over Renee’s cheek, darting up to the corner of an eye to wipe away the slight wetness that, if she were to bring up in conversation, Renee would probably deny was even there. She restored an errant tendril of hair back underneath Renee’s cap, allowing her fingers to descend the solid lines of Renee’s neck as she brought her hand around to the front of Renee’s uniform.

Daria’s palm moved over the jacket’s lapels, drifting between the rougher fabric of the coat and the smooth feel of the dress shirt underneath. She spiraled a fingertip over the elegant knot of Renee’s necktie, noting that Renee’s eyes closed as Daria’s comforting strokes spread over her upper chest.

Daria continued with the light touches. She slowly explored the different contours and textures, the raised ridges of the designs on the sparkling badges and buttons, and traced each letter in the “MONTOYA” carved into Renee’s nameplate. Her hand wandered downward, traveling over the flap of a hip pocket, and landed on Renee’s upper thigh. Daria’s thumb absently massaged the spot. Renee’s firm thigh muscles twitched in response.

Renee’s eyes opened and she smirked, raising an eyebrow. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say you have a bit of a fetish," she teased, breaking her silence.

Daria chuckled, heat rising in her cheeks at being caught paying so much attention to Renee’s uniform.

"It is very nice," she admitted, drawing out the syllables and biting her lower lip. Renee enjoyed that particular habit of hers, and the action lured Renee’s gaze to her lips. The thigh muscle beneath her hand jumped once more.

Daria placed a palm over Renee’s heart, which thrummed steadily under the slightly scratchy fabric. “You look so handsome in it. I’m just sorry it took such a horrible occasion to see you wearing it.”

“Yeah.” Renee frowned, grimly agreeing with her. She paused for a moment, appearing to take a centering breath, then smiled warmly up at Daria. "I didn't realize you'd like it so much."

"I like you. Very much. This,” Daria grinned, waving at Renee’s uniform, “is just...ganache on the cake."

The corners of Renee’s mouth widened into a genuine smile. "You know I love it when you talk pastry."

"Mmm.” Daria hummed seductively, scooting closer to Renee on the couch, draping her arms around the back of Renee’s neck. “I could go all night."

She leaned forward, plucking the hat off of Renee’s head, and captured Renee’s lips in what she intended to be a gentle, languorous kiss. Renee responded ardently, her tongue slipping between Daria’s lips. Daria raised her eyebrows, surprised at how quickly the somber woman escalated the kiss, but she tightened her hold on Renee’s neck and met the smooth, silky glide of Renee’s tongue with her own.

Heat flared between Daria’s legs, and she shifted over to straddle Renee’s hips. Her shorts rode up as she lowered herself onto Renee’s lap, and the fabric of Renee’s pants brushed against her inner thighs. The sensation of soft skin meeting coarse cloth sent another wave of arousal to her core. Daria moaned as they continued to kiss, both women breathing vigorous gasps against each other’s lips, Renee’s hands clenching and unclenching in the hem of Daria’s ratty t-shirt.

Daria's hands roamed over broad shoulders and the contours of the jacket covering Renee’s chest, coasting along the fabric and imagining the tawny skin and honed muscles that lay beneath it. Her right hand skirted the edge of Renee’s police shield, catching on the mourning band that was drawn across it. With cold clarity she remembered why Renee was there.

The Joker.


Dead officers lowered into the ground.

Daria sat back on Renee’s thighs, reluctantly ending the kiss, and placed a halting hand against Renee’s chest.

"I'm sorry, Renee, you've had a rough day…" Daria’s chest heaved as she tried to control her breathing.


"…I shouldn't be - this is..."

"No, Dee, it's ok I..."

"...I'm being disrespectful and..."

"Daria!" Renee shouted.

Daria’s eyes widened at the outburst, and she abruptly ceased her guilt-ridden babbling.

“Please,” Renee implored more quietly.

Daria couldn’t mistake Renee’s unabashedly husky tone, and locked onto the intense brown eyes peering up at her. Longing erased the pain and sadness she had seen in them earlier, but she was still worried as to how well Renee was processing recent events. Half-formed thoughts of concern and nurturing raced in the back of Daria’s mind.

Was Renee just deflecting her feelings?

Should she press the need for discussion?

Had the detective eaten anything today?

Daria swallowed roughly as she looked into dark, expressive eyes that had only one desire at the moment – her. Perhaps talking was not the kind of comfort needed.

Daria nodded her consent to forego words and returned her hands to the back of Renee’s head, lightly scratching at the base of her skull. Renee hummed appreciatively, and Daria angled forward, drawing their lips together once again.

Renee’s hands slipped underneath Daria’s shirt, fingertips rhythmically dancing along the sensitive flesh of her abdomen, sending a shiver rippling up her spine. Trim nails faintly scraped across Daria’s skin as Renee’s fingers moved upward.

In her baking-filled anxiety over Renee, Daria hadn’t bothered wearing a bra all day. Renee gasped sharply as her hands reached Daria’s bare breasts, seemingly having expected the hindrance of an undergarment. As Renee eagerly kneaded her breasts, Daria moaned against her mouth, as appreciative of her casual clothing choice as Renee clearly was.

Eager for even less of a barrier between herself and Renee, Daria pulled her shirt over her head and tossed it to the floor. Renee darted forward, her mouth enveloping an already hard nipple, drawing a surprised gasp from Daria. Renee’s tongue explored the contours of her breast, using the same degree of care which Daria had shown earlier when caressing Renee’s buttons and badges. Renee alternated long, slow strokes along the full curve of her breast with tiny nips and kisses, swirling her tongue enthusiastically around her nipple. Daria tilted her neck back and moaned wantonly as Renee sucked and teased, her whole body trembling when teeth nibbled lightly. Renee switched to her other breast, and Daria pressed Renee’s head against her body in encouragement.

Renee’s hands slipped down her back and under the waistband of her shorts, grasping at her flesh and holding her body upright. Renee’s mouth traveled up her chest, nipping across her collarbone and licking the sinewy lines of her neck, until her lips came to a stop against her ear.

“I want you, mi querida,” Renee declared, her voice promising all sorts of sensuous delights.

That tone never failed to make Daria instantly wet, and she responded with a whimper and a nod. Her now-erratic breathing stole any further verbal communication from her.

Renee’s hands tensed on her lower back as she turned Daria, depositing her on her back on the couch. Daria’s body bounced on the cushions and she emitted a startled squeak at the sudden move. Her shorts and panties joined her shirt on the floor, and Renee maneuvered herself onto her knees at the opposite end of the couch. With one final lust-blown glance into Daria’s eyes, Renee ducked into the space between her parted legs.

Daria’s back bowed away from the couch at the first slow, perfectly-light swipe of Renee’s tongue against her folds. Renee again alternated between licks and gentle nips, varying how much pressure she used according to the sounds escaping from Daria’s lips. Daria had trained her well, enough for her to know that a low, keening groan meant yes, like that, right there - and short, staccato exhalations meant more and harder.

Daria flung her forearm across her eyes as she ground her hips into Renee’s mouth, her lower back lifting off the couch with each undulation. When Renee’s tongue finally encircled her clit, Daria’s moan rose from deep within her chest, reverberating through her body. She hooked one leg over Renee’s shoulder and down her back, coaxing Renee’s mouth even further against her. The decorated epaulets adorning Renee’s shoulders came into contact with the sensitive underside of Daria’s thighs, and she gasped as the cool metal of the buttons kissed her skin. With each pulse of movement from the woman between her legs, Daria’s heel dug into Renee’s back, and her calf dragged along the rough fabric. She needed the full weight of Renee’s body against her, in all her uniformed splendor.

Daria removed the arm from across her eyes and clutched at Renee’s collar, tugging her upwards.

“Come up here. Now,” Daria commanded, panting.

Renee wasted no time in obeying, scrambling up Daria’s body, claiming her lips in a hungry kiss. Before Daria could whimper at the loss of contact at her center, Renee promptly entered her with two fingers.

Daria cried out against Renee’s mouth, body humming with pleasure. Her hands fisted in the back of Renee’s jacket and pulled her closer. Renee’s thigh slipped between her own and joined in the rhythm behind Renee’s thrusting fingers. The slick evidence of her arousal was getting all over those orderly dress pants, cloth and wet heat and Renee’s glorious fingers combining to make Daria feel too good to give a damn about decorum.

Renee added a circling thumb against her clit. Daria struggled to breathe as Renee’s mouth and fingers worked in tandem. Her toes clenched and unfurled with each thrust. As Renee’s body shifted, allowing her to include another finger, one of the badges on her coat skated across Daria’s hardened nipple. Every detailed ridge of the chilled metal pressed into delicate, overheated flesh. The exquisite sensation caught Daria off-guard, her moan suspended in her throat. Back arching, breasts straining against Renee’s clothed chest, her inner walls clenched around Renee’s fingers as orgasm rocketed through her.

Daria collapsed against the couch, gulping air as her heart rate slowed. Through half-closed eyes, she peppered lazy kisses against Renee’s lips and traced her fingers along the collar of Renee’s dress jacket, working her way downward to undo the golden buttons. Daria peeked at Renee from underneath her long, dark lashes.

"As much as I've enjoyed this,” Daria grinned against Renee’s mouth, “I think it's time for it to come off."

Renee glanced down at the police badge on her chest, a tinge of darkness returning to her expression. “Yeah. It is,” she replied, unable to prevent the glum note in her voice.

Daria tugged on Renee’s tie knot, drawing the other woman’s eyes back to her. Renee swallowed hard under her intense gaze. Daria rubbed her thumb across the peach-fuzzed skin over Renee’s cheekbone, then trailed downward, lightly caressing her bottom lip.

Bending forward, she kissed Renee tenderly, pouring all of her love into the kiss – a kiss meant to convey one particular sentiment: no more demons tonight.

Mi amor,” Daria whispered reverently.

Renee’s eyes closed as she inhaled sharply through her nose, the weight of those words washing over her. Daria’s lips returned to Renee’s, proceeding with more light kisses until she felt Renee once again relax into her and return the kisses in earnest. Daria beamed as she detected the first languid roll of Renee’s hips, and she resumed stripping the uniform from Renee’s body.

As the uniform came off, the uncertainties plaguing Daria’s mind - already heavily warded off by passion and a powerful orgasm - ebbed. She vowed to herself that they would talk, at least about this most recent tragedy. The other fears – the empty liquor bottles and the bruised and battered knuckles – could wait until they had some respite from the latest in atrocities that only Gotham seemed able to produce.

This had become a familiar pattern - Renee coming to her shrouded in need, with Daria only too willing to respond – and she hoped such occasions would be enough to fill the cracks that had formed between them, or bolster those yet to occur. They would wake in the morning, sated and naked in each other’s arms, Renee offering up back-rubs in exchange for Daria’s famed breakfast plantains. And they would go one more day trying to convince themselves they were just a normal couple in a normal town.

Daria needed moments like tonight, Renee open and breathless and kissing her like she was the only remaining lifeline in a city seemingly bent on destroying everything good in it. She needed moments when Renee’s eyes, spent and spilling over with devotion, focused on hers - and she glimpsed in them a spark that echoed Daria’s own longing for partnership and familia and home. And she needed moments when it was easy to believe that the heat, strength, and love between them was enough to banish thoughts of funerals and freeze-rays and costumed madmen.