“Who the fuck are you this time, then? I can’t keep up with this, Oregon.” Vod’s double checking her bag again. It’s heavy as fuck, but she’s pretty sure she’s got everything now – memory cards: check; USB stick: check; fake papers and ID: check; crowbar: check, because she has to break in and out of places unexpectedly all the time lately, and it doubles up as a weapon, too, a good whack over the head. It’s an unpredictable business. It’s one of the things she loves.
“Virginia,” Oregon tells her, double-checking her stockings are even and not even looking up. “You will remember it?”
“What are you doing, going through all the states of bloody America now?” Vod looks up. Oregon meets her eyes and grins.
“Oh, piss off, look, shall we just go over the plan once more, yeah?” Oregon asks. There’s something tense in her voice, that quiver of nerves Vod recognises from their very first job, and way back before that, from exams and Shales and the moment Vod discovered her real name and dislodged her cool front. Vod rolls her eyes, but she’s smiling back too.
“Same plan as it always is. You go in there, do your thing,” she gestures at Oregon’s outfit, eyes lingering on the stockings, the heels, “and while the stupid prick’s distracted, I’ll get downloading.” She pulls the memory stick out of her bag and waves it in the air. “Like that time we nicked Howard’s porn, you know, except this time we’ll get more financial pay off.”
Oregon nods. She smiles again, still a little tense, but bright and pretty. “Right. Of course. We’ve got a bloody good system these days, you know, Vod.”
“’Cause you’ve got bloody good legs.” It’s true, sort of. Vod’s not lacking in confidence, but she knows all too well that she couldn’t do the seduction thing the way that Oregon does – Oregon’s been practising that since their first year, really.
It looks like this reassures Oregon more than a quick run through of the plan. Her cheeks colour with a faint pink tinge, and she laughs the way she always does at a compliment, as though she knows no other way of reacting. Oregon shifts closer and peers into the bag too, doing her own double check. “So what’s your secret identity today?”
“What?” Vod blinks. “What do I need one for? I’m not doing the talking.”
“Remember last time?” Oregon says. “When that old woman cornered you to try and sell you a poppy by the door, and then you got into that conversation, and you managed to charm her into wanting--”
“Alright, alright.” Vod rolls her eyes again. “I’ll be, uh… Melissa.”
“Melissa… fucking, I dunno, Rushdie.”
Oregon laughs even as she shakes her head. “Because that’s not weird at all. Okay, then, Melissa Rushdie . Shall we get going?”
“Let’s, Virginia,” Vod says, and she can feel the shape of Oregon’s smile against her mouth, the brief, hot sting of her teeth, and rubs her thumb over the elastic of Oregon’s stockings. “Go break some fuckin’ hearts, yeah?”
“Make some fucking money, partner,” Oregon says, cut glass and unfailingly proper, and gives Vod a crooked wink.