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anything for you

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(I come falling down)

It's fine, you say, and maybe your voice catches a little, but she nods. I'll get over her.

You don't expect it, but she takes your hand. It's this sudden, surprising movement, both of her hands around yours. She's strong. Her hands are cool. Her hands are cool, but there's this heat in the air and you can't get a decent breath... like swimming underwater, or walking through a thick fog.

You'll get over her, she says, echoing you, but sounding different some how. And you'll find someone. Someone who wants you back. A pause. You know. Like that. She squeezes, smiles, takes her hands away.

It's funny, sort of, the little flip that happens in your heart. You laugh, you shrug playfully.

You don't know if you've ever actually seen her before this moment, but you can see her now, days ago, with that matching flower in her hair. Her lips moving. Her hand like a cool breeze on yours.

I'll get over her, you say again, and this time you believe it.

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"Elaborate storytelling," Morrigan says, rolling over onto her back. "Crafted for the supposed benefit of the masses." She sighs, stretches, and damned if Leliana can't help watching her. Watching the way the sinews of her body shift underneath her skin. Her nipples hard in the night air, and her eyes bright in the superficial darkness of their tent.

"Storytelling that I happen to have made my life's meaning," she can't help but insist, knowing that the words hardly matter when her hand spreads across Morrigan's abdomen and her lips seek out the witch's.

Actions, Leliana knows, speak louder than words.

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The lock doesn't come easy, not even with Marshall's magic putty sizzling at the metal chains. "Can you do it?" Rachel asks, only a small tinge of fear in her voice (something that Sydney admires about her), her body arched against the pull of the heavy chains at her wrists and waist.

Sydney feels the right moment slipping further and further away, the sound of footsteps just past the edge of her hearing. "They're coming," she whispers, "Pull."

And either the lock finally gives or the putty does it's goddamn job (Sydney doesn't care which) and Rachel jerks her arms free, steps out of the heavy links. "Can you run?" Rachel asks, placing a pale hand against Sydney's stomach.

"No. I can shoot."

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It all comes down to good police work, really.

She is hopeful, but totally fucking surprised to find a live girl at the end of the road of preserved bodies, and seeing her, wild and fighting, all tooth and nail, when Masuka tries to take a pulse, sets Deb's heart racing.

"Is there anything you can tell me about the man who did this, anything at all?"

The girl -- Lumen Ann Pierce -- is clean now, dressed in the plainclothes they keep at the precinct, with, maybe not this specifically in mind. She has cold eyes, and Deb's seen the medical reports. She doesn't expect any less. The girl clenches and unclenches a fist.

"It wasn't just him, the guy you're after. There were others."

She maintains eye-contact, keeps her questions easy and measured. Deb notices later, going over her notes, that Lumen never asked "Why?"

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"They're beautiful," Kaylee says quietly, extending her fingers to touch the lips of the lily, white with streaks of pink striking out from the center. She's looking at Inara. She's never been able to help it. She doesn't mind not being able to help it.

Inara's smile is slow, like the blooming of a flower. "They've grown on Landren for centuries. I didn't think I'd be able to see them again, let alone show them to someone I care about." She turns from Kaylee briefly, placing her hand over Kaylee's, her own fingers dipping into the lily's center. Lingering a moment, Kaylee feels the muscles in her hand twitch, and in one smooth movement, Inara turns back to her, spreading a sticky yellow across the high point of Kaylee's left cheek.

"What--" she blinks, smiling in confusion.

"Pollen," Inara explains. "This particular breed is good for the skin. And it's been awhile since I've seen you dirtied up." She runs her thumb over the streak of powder, stepping closer, smiling again.

"I thought this assignment was gonna last forever."

"But I'm back now. And I've brought a bit back with me, haven't I?"

Kaylee smiles, ducks her head. She presses a smooth kiss to Inara's cheek, inhaling slowly. "I missed you." Sometimes, Kaylee thinks, it's all right to state the obvious.

"Come here, then," Inara says instead of I missed you, too. She takes a step back, more graceful even than Kaylee remembers. Wordlessly, serene, she leads Kaylee to the bed and undoes the fastener at the top of her pants. Kaylee feels terrible, for a moment, about lying here, on the cleanest of sheets, but she wiggles, forgets, when the line of Inara's eyes drag back towards her face.

Instead of thinking, then, Kaylee burns.

"You'll open up for me, won't you?" Inara asks, her hand against Kaylee's sex, wet.

"Oh, anything," Kaylee breathes, guiding Inara's wrist closer and closer still.

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Joyce cups your chin with soft, but firm, fingers, turning your head. "You're looking in all the wrong places, you know."

"And how would you know where I'm looking?" You can't help the flirty tone that sometimes comes out around Joyce. You like the way she looks at your whole body and always comes back to your eyes.

She smiles at your tone and releases you, pointing to the man at the bar, his slim build working for him in slacks and a sweater.

"Well, what's wrong with him?" You wiggle your fingers in your hand bag and come out with a lipstick -- a brighter shade than you wanted, but -- you shrug and put it on. You wrote the tag line for this brand.

"Look where he's looking, Peg." Joyce gestures again, smiling at the flick of your eyes in her direction. Sure enough, he was walking with two glasses to a man down the bar, a gruff-looking guy twisting his wedding ring.

"Alright," you sigh, "so everyone's a homosexual."

Joyce laughs despite herself, grabbing at your hand under the table. "Not out loud everyone's not. Look," she cups your chin again, running her thumb slowly across your lips. You can feel the tingle go right through you, like static electricity. "At least let me show you your options."

"Options," you scowl. She's confident, though, you'll give her that. Confidence counts for a lot in a woman. In anyone, really.

"Would you rather have a go with him?" Joyce directs your attention back to the men at the bar, Slim's hand now resting softly on the married man's. You look down, see Joyce's hand over yours.

A deep breath. "Options," you say, and this time it doesn't sound like a bad thing.

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Everything should be better (she's home now) but it isn't.

Olivia feels fine, looks fine; looks healthy, even. And maybe it's understandable that she feels like her molecules will fly apart at the slightest provocation. Maybe anyone would pretend to take a call (It's Broyles, I've got to--) instead of hugging her sister too close for explanation.

I'm so glad you exist, she wants to say, wants to feel every part of Rachel until convinced, until Rachel smiles sadly, kisses Olivia's forehead and wipes the spot with her thumb.

She should say it (damn the consequences, for once) but she doesn't.

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Kenzi shook her head. "Nuh uh. Kissing you to my potential demise is so not on my agenda for the day."

"But I'm so hungry," Bo begged, her voice beginning almost playfully, but trailing off with a flash of her eyes into something a little more threatening.

Kenzi smiled in defense. There was no way Bo was getting her rocks off on this mortal chick, but Dyson wasn't answering her phone calls (hadn't now, for days) and the Ash had Lauren on major lock down. Kenzi couldn't exactly ask Bo to revert to her old ways and drain some innocent hobo, could she?

Bo licked her lips, taking slow steps forward. "I'm so hungry, and you're right here, all cute and pouty." She inhaled, lifting her chest. Kenzi couldn't help looking. Looking didn't mean anything.

And, pouty? Hungry Bo sure had different taste than usual.

Taste. Hah.

Bo stepped even closer (was that possible?) and swiped her palm along Kenzi's neck. Even knowing what was coming, the wave of lust and compliance hit Kenzi like a train. "W--whoa. You aren't playing around there, are ya Bo?" She could resist it, though. Bo breathed heavily, ran her thumb along Kenzi's cheek. Heavy breathing. Cleavage. Ooh... not so great at the resisting.

"Just a little hit to calm you down, right?" Kenzi was shaking hard; she really wanted to kiss Bo. And she was pretty sure it wasn't just the fae hoo-doo. "And then we'll find you some tasty other human?"

"Whatever you're comfortable with, Kenzi," Bo purred, placing her mouth on Kenzi's cheek, ready to turn at the go-ahead.

Kenzi swallowed, figured Hell, there are worse ways to go. And I've tried a few.

The kiss started with a gasp, electric, but calmed quickly into a soft storm of lips and tongues and essence. Really, Kenzi thought, not half bad.

--

Her eyelids felt like they were coated in chocolate. Sticky, heavy chocolate. Kenzi blinked. "Damn," she mumbled when the part that made words started working again. Brain. Mouth. (Ooh, mouth.)

"What were you thinking, Kenz? I could have killed you!"

Kenzi made a noise of disbelief, though she knew it was true. "I trust you, Bo. And you were really, really hungry."

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"That's it!" Ava sits up and promptly spills the chai latte that Missy had been eying, the ceramic cup balanced delicately on Ava's upper thigh while she "brain mapped". Brain-stormed, Missy silently corrected, as she did every time Ava insisted on using the term.

But now the brain mapping is done, at least Missy can assume, and the latte is spilled and Missy is kneeling before her boss with a roll of paper towels just waiting to fulfill their purpose.

"It's the one thing Ellen has on me," Ava says, gesturing to the empty room, seemingly ignorant of Missy's presence at her crotch.

"Ratings?" Missy supplies, helpfully.

"Lesbianism!" Ava finishes, triumphant. And she finally seems to notice the careful attention Missy is paying to her silk dungarees, and could this be it, could this be the moment when she finally, finally looked down with something other distraction in her face? When Ava stops seeing Missy as Missy and starts seeing her as possibility? "Now. I need to find someone worthy of a good fling. Naturally, I don't count that week in the 80s. And get these to the cleaners, will you?"

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For all that Kaylee is the real... gumption behind Serenity, she's rarely alone with her ship. There's always someone clanking around, shouting gorram obscenities. Echoes of people, even in the deepest bowels. It doesn't make her mad, most of the time. They're her friends, and even when they run around blowing fuel cells and then making a 愚蠢的 noise about fixing her up she loves them. She loves Serenity, too, and they're all tied together somehow, in the place in Kaylee's heart marked Affection.

She keeps a lost-and-found collection of items in her bunk. Bolts from a blown fuse box. A broken syringe.

Serenity's part of her, under her feet and over her head and in her blood from the time Kaylee moved a little too quick and sliced her hand open on an alternator. Inara was there, somehow, suddenly, like a soothing mist, like the cool hand of a ghost. She whispered an ancient prayer, and it sounded like the hum of an engine. Kaylee didn't have anything clean, so Inara pulled a scarf from her head and wrapped the wound. She taught Kaylee the word, then, 丝织物, and Serenity went silent, all inside her and everywhere.

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Natalie's dated girls before she meets Cindy. Dated and one-night-standed, and made-out-with-at-clubs, more drunk than sober. She's had crushes on girls before she knew what crushes were. (Standing in the doorway, watching Ned and his high school girlfriend kiss, hesitating, zombie movie reflecting back on their faces.)

Cindy, though, makes her tremble. They go on three dates before Cindy takes her home, and even then they just kiss and kiss and sleep. (Not just. Never just.) Natalie watches her sleep when morning comes, her normally restrained hair loose around her face, a ponytail still clinging. The word love bubbles up. She doesn't try to stop it.