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after all, your legs are shaking

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The elevator shudders, groans, shifts to a halt.

Leslie groans, lifting her face upwards (probably counting down from ten backwards because it really is a good stress-relieving technique). After, sure enough, about ten seconds, Leslie deflates, leaning (boxes and all) against the back wall of the little room. "We're going to be late. I knew we should have taken the stairs!"

"Isn't there a little call box thing? I think that's like, a state mandate." Ann knows nothing about elevators, but this seems like an appropriate time to fake it. In fact, the extent of what Ann knows about elevators can be explained by the few horror movies Ann has seen: sometimes cables break and the elevator plummets, sometimes there are demons in the elevator (she's not sure about that one) and sometimes the doors close on body parts and then she covers her eyes, surprisingly squeamish about fake gore. None of these things, Ann assumes, will be helpful at the moment, the calm before the storm when Leslie watches the time tick down, no closer to her meeting. That, too, will be akin to a horror movie.

To what lengths will this desperate public servant go? she imagines the voice over questioning, the camera zooming in on Leslie's darting eyes.

What Ann doesn't expect is Leslie's almost-manic laughter. "Call box? Oh beautiful, naive Ann. It's like you've never entered this building before!"

Ann frowns, shifting before finally putting her own box on the floor of the elevator. She thinks she feels it shift, but that might just be the horror movies talking. "So why did we take the elevator?" the rising tone of panic isn't entirely her fault. There could be demons in the circuitry. This is Pioneer Hall, after all. Maybe a restless spirit.

Leslie levels her gaze. "The elevator is the less terrifying option, trust me." She takes a step away from the wall, sliding her hands into her pockets. Ann recognizes the gesture; keeping herself under control and contained. She takes another step, finds she's already reached the sliding doors and turns to Ann. "I'm not great in enclosed spaces, actually. Are you great in enclosed spaces?" Her eyes have that wild tinge, sitting extra-wide in her face, her lips draining of color.

"Haven't really thought about it," Ann mumbles, watching as wild-eyed Leslie comes closer and closer still. "Les?" And then Ann does feel dizzy because Leslie is pressed against her, arms on either side of Ann's shoulders and she is leaning closer, and Ann closes her eyes even though there's nothing more that she'd like to see in the whole world than this moment. This moment: the soft, then insistent, then desperate press of Leslie's lips against her own; the noise she (or Leslie, or the elevator) makes before Ann's knees give out and she's clinging to Leslie's waist and kissing her like the two of them are fighting for oxygen. She breathes Leslie in, breathes deep and deeper.

A shudder, a shake comes, and Ann pulls back, just slightly. "We're late," Leslie whispers, tucking an errant strand of Ann's hair back, smoothing her pants, and bending for her box just as the doors open and the elevator dings.