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marching on a dead end road

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I. necropolis

Bone-weary, Furiosa trudges up the roughly cut stone-steps to the top floor of the Citadel, the heart of Immortan Joe's stronghold where all his most precious commodities are kept in safety. She heaves a sigh of relief as she comes to the stop of the stair and passes through the door guarded by two bored, sickly War Boys. The air washes over her like a wave of clean, precious water, cool and refreshing.

She is one of the few ever offered the use of the bath hidden in Immortan Joe's inner sanctum, and after a run on the fury road, it is an offer she simply can't refuse. She recognizes it for the privilege it is, a boon paid dearly for by blood and grease and a weighty conscience, but it is irresistible nonetheless.

She is already working the straps on her metal arm to loose it as she steps into the water room and she pauses abruptly with a jangle of metal at the sight of the Splendid Angharad sitting weeping on the steps to the bath, her wet hair plastered to her shoulder. The water dropping from the ends of it has dampened the top of her thin dress and before Furiosa can glance away she catches sight of the rounded weight of a breast and the rosy tip of a nipple revealed by the see-through fabric. A forceful, startling pulse of want spikes through her, immediately hounded by red-hot shame.

Joe's wives are achingly beautiful, all five of them, but Angharad is the most exquisite of them all, a woman so lovely it seems a miracle she exists in this world so full of shit at all. She is seen even less throughout the citadel than any of the others, but any stolen glance Furiosa has gotten of her has tickled something inside of her she doesn't want tickled, giving wake to a craving she doesn't want to acknowledge. She may have paved her way through the Wasteland on a tide of death and violence and blood, but she is not Immortan Joe.

She stands in the doorway wavering, until Angharad looks up at her, her eyes red-rimmed and her face streaked with tears. "Imperator," she says, swallowing, and makes as if to stand, but halfway through the movement her strength seem to fail her and she sobs quietly, a hand going to cover her eyes as she sits heavily back down on the step.

Hesitantly, Furiosa steps forward and sits down next to her on the chilled stone, reaching out a hand in comfort, but letting it fall as she realizes she has no idea if Angharad wishes to be touched. Besides, it is not allowed, and while she holds little regard for most for Joe's laws, it seems to her something wrong about the thought of her dirty, calloused hand on Angharad's smooth, clean skin.

"I had thought that when I got pregnant, he wouldn't touch me," Angharad says, her voice quiet but bitter. This close, Furiosa can see that her skin is flushed pink, as if scrubbed vigorously to be cleaned of something that's sunk as deeply into her pores as the fine desert sand she has never known the grit of.

"In a few months, he won't," Furiosa says. She has seen many women paraded in and out of the Citadel, celebrated and rejoiced as Joe's seed take hold in them, and shunned and cast out once their three chances to provide him a healthy male heir come to an end. Most of them lose the babes before they even reach the fifth month of the pregnancy. None has yet born a child Joe has proclaimed healthy. Furiosa, like everyone else in the Citadel, knows of Angharad's pregnancy, even though it is still early enough that her flat belly betrays nothing.

Angharad sighs, wipes her nose with the back of her hand. With her voice still rough from crying, she says, "Mrs Giddy told us the world was different once. Perhaps, here at the end, stripped of anything resembling civilization, we can't get away from what we truly are. What we're supposed to be." She touches her belly with one hand and sniffles again.

"That's no true," Furiosa says brusquely. She's so very tired, tired and still caked with dirt, and she suddenly wishes that Angharad, sitting there like a reminder of everything Furiosa have done to survive, to climb the ranks, to grant herself some measure of safety and respect, would simply go away.

"What isn't true?" Angharad asks and turns to look at her fully for the first time.

Beneath her damp her, at her temple, Furiosa sees a jagged mess of fine, white lines. Scars. There are matching ones on her chest and collarbone, she notices, an intricate web of past violence inflicted on that soft, pale flesh. It's not Joe - he would never ruin his treasures in such a way. No one else would dare. No one except Angharad herself.

"The inevitability of this world," Furiosa says, slowly. And because of those scars, because Angharad is scared and hurting and because she is so very beautiful in this hellish, ugly world, Furiosa tells her of the Green Place of Many Mothers. She tells her of where she grew up, of her home and her mother. She offers up her most coveted secret, the only piece of her soul that is still truly hers, the knowledge she has greedily hoarded close to her heart all this years - the knowledge that this is not all there is, or will be, or the only thing that can be born out of fire and ash.

She tells Angharad of the Green Place, and it is like dislodging a part of herself that may threaten to send tumbling everything she has built herself up to be during these long, dark years.

II. rattling the chains

Furiosa has never paid much thought to the coming and goings of Joe's wives, but after her interaction with Angharad in the water room it seems as if there is nowhere inside the Citadel she can move without catching a glimpse of the other woman, returning to the top floor from the short outside walks Joe permits them, or joining Joe as he inspects newly built or renovated vehicles, or passing by the water room as Furiosa is allowed in to wash of the grime of the fury road.

As Angharad goes into the fifth month of her pregnancy, Joe brings her down to the workshop and shows her around, all the while telling his son of the empire he'll one day inherit. The work shop, usually a place abuzz with talk and movement, is fallen silent in the presence of Joe's most treasured wife, five months into a pregnancy that has yet to suffer a single complication.

Furiosa leans against the door of her War Rig, a wrench in her grease-blackened hand. She feels how Angharad seeks out her gaze as she walks past and, for a fraction of a second, she allows herself to meet her eyes and something she cannot grasp passes between them before Furiosa looks away, refusing to count herself among the pack of fools staring at Angharad as if she's chrome, more shiny than the desert twilights even.

The wives, whenever they leave their rooms, are constantly watched, studied and admired, but it's not until she walks toward her room late at night and Angharad ambushes her to drag her into an secluded supply chamber, that Furiosa realizes that the wives - or at least Angharad - watches them too, in return.

And this time Furiosa can read what it is in her eyes that she didn't see before: hope.

"I know you are planning to get out of here one day," Angharad says. She is standing with her spine very straight and her chin tilted slightly upwards. "To go after your Green Place. We want to come with you."

Furiosa raises her eyebrows. "'We'?"

"None of us wishes to stay here," Angharad says. "None of us are things." She spits the word out, as if it is a rotten thing caught on her tongue.

"All of us are things," Furiosa says grimly. "Flesh toys for Joe to play around with in his Wasteland empire of death and sand."

"I know there is a supply run coming up in a few months," Angharad continues defiantly. "I know you are the one leading it. Take us with you and we'll seek out the Green Place together. Build a new life."

Furiosa shakes her head. How many times has she not imagined the very thing Angharad is laying out for her? It is her most cherished dream: simply veering the War Rig off road, heading into the rough, vast desert and just... disappear. Go back.

(If there still is anything to come back to.)

(If she, after everything she has done, would still be welcome back.)

"Please," Angharad says. Among the white raised lines of long-healed flesh on her chest, are a few pink - newer - ones. "Please."

Angharad's tone is imploring, but her face hard. She is standing too close and Furiosa is suddenly overwhelmed by the inexplicable desire to stoop down and kiss her, pull that plump bottom lip between her teeth and find out what kind of sound that would cause her to make. She takes a deep breath, but that, too, is a mistake - her nostrils fill with Angharad's scent, clean and sweet and with just a hint of salty sweat.

"No," she says and makes to push Angharad aside and stride out of the room, but before she has time to fully react, Angharad has her pushed up against the wall and a hand pressed between her legs, the other going to tug down the top of her dress, revealing the ample swell of her milk-heavy breasts.

With her breath hot upon Furiosa's cheek, Angharad says, "I'll pay for our passage, if that is what you want."

Wrenching herself free and away from the wall towards the exit, Furiosa sneers at her. "Do not mistake me for some horny, sun-dazzled War Pup," she says, even as she hates herself for the way the pounding between her legs betray her words.

"Mrs Giddy has agreed to spirit us away into the Rig," Angharad whispers into Furiosa's ear, making her jump from where she is banging away at a rusted water pump in attempt to force another few months of service out of it.

Angharad presses something small and smooth into Furiosa's hand. It's a jar.

"I got it from the Organic Mechanic," Angharad mumbles. "Said it was for me, but it's for your shoulder."

Despite the padding and despite fitting and re-fitting it as best as she can throughout the day, the weight of the metal arm causes it to chafe against her skin. It results in a dull sting she has learned to work around, the habit of shrugging back or readjusting her shoulder every now and then to keep the pressure of the worst spots as ingrained to her as breathing. She hardly notices herself; she didn't think anyone else ever did.

"Thanks," she says and drops the wrench she's been using with a clatter to reach for a screwdriver.

"Dag's pregnant, too," Angharad says. "Just a month in. Joe doesn't know. She's had two miscarriages."

"The Green Place might not even be there anymore," Furiosa says, instead of responding. They both know what will happen to Dag if she bleeds this child too out ahead of term. "Perhaps it has been swallowed up by the sand, like everything else in this godforsaken world."

"It has to," Angharad says, stubborn like rust. "This can't be all that's left. It was you who said so."

Inwardly, Furiosa curses. She had thought to offer Angharad some measure of comfort, something to cling to during the darkest part of the night, but instead she gave her something far more dangerous. Hope. A future. A utopian vision of a better world. "Give it up," she mutters.

"What are you so afraid of?" Angharad says. "Dying?" Her voice is sharp and scornful; having gotten nowhere with seduction or pleas, she has apparently decided to settle on taunts.

"There are things far worse than dying," Furiosa says, keeping her focus on her work, the familiar clang of metal, the weight of the tools in her hand.

Silence. Then, "You're afraid to hope," Angharad says softly.

Furiosa fastens a screw so hard the metal whines from it. "I'm afraid to lose what little I have left," she says. She tenses as Angharad's hand land on her shoulder, and Angharad drops it immediately as she feels it.

Furiosa keeps her eyes on the pump and ignores the sound of Angharad's retreating footsteps as she leaves.

Two days later, the main air pump in the wives' room suddenly malfunctions and Joe sends for Furiosa. She's not his best mechanic, but she's his best female mechanic, and it's only his female warriors he trusts will not lay a hand on his wives when left alone with them.

It takes Furiosa about a minute to work loose the beaded bracelet caught in the heart of the machine, with the wives and Mrs Giddy all gathered around to watch her work.

"Strange how that thing got there," she says as she pulls the bracelet out and hands it to Capable, who reaches for it.

"Angharad says you won't help us," Toast says bluntly and Cheedo sends the her a reproachful look. "Perhaps that's 'cause you like it here. The way things are. Imperator," she continues, ignoring Cheedo.

Furiosa pulls in a breath through her nose, her fingers gripping a pipe hard as she heaves herself up from the floor. "I do what I must to survive," she says gruffly. "Same as you."

She climbed her way up here on the backs of dead bodies, bodies of people she'd slain by her own hand. These women may never have held a blade or a gun, but that doesn't mean that people hasn't died by the hundreds to provide them the comfort they have.

It's a fucked up world.

Angharad opens her mouth to say something, but instead her face turns into a grimace, one hand going to grip her belly.

Capable starts forward and Furiosa, too, is halfway through a step before she even is aware she has moved, but Angharad holds up her hand. "I'm fine." Her face is still twisted up. "He's just... kicking."

That's not pain in her expression, Furiosa realizes, but something else entirely. Disgust. A hint of fear. Somehow, that's what finally makes her decision for her - what allows the longing that, despite her best effort to stomp it out, has been steadily growing inside of her since she first spoke those foolish words of a different world to Angharad to fully come to life, like a lone, fragile flower bursting through sun-burned desert soil.

"Fine," she says and every pair of eyes in the room swivels from Angharad to her. "I'll do it."

Dag actually runs in for a hug, awkwardly throwing herself around the neck of an unresponsive Furiosa. She lets her hand rest against the girl's elbow for a second, before moving away, careful not to look at Angharad, fearful of what she'll see there, and what Angharad would find reflected in her own eyes in return.

III. we who wander this wasteland

The storm has hardly died down before Furiosa stops the Rig and throws the door open, shaking herself as she jumps out of her seat to rid herself of as much sand as she's able, fingers already going up to loosen the arm. She sighs in relief as she puts it down and quickly brushes it clean of the grit that's found its way into the metalwork.

The hatch covering the hidden compartment in the backseat is thrown open and the Wives climb out on unsteady legs, hands scrabbling to brush of the sand already sticking to their sweaty, clammy skin, blinking against the bright glare of the desert sun.

Capable reaches into the back of the car and grabs a pair of tongs, using them to cut open the chain holding Angharad's chastity belt in place with a quick snap. The metal contraption falls to the sand with a dull thud and Angharad's mouth falls open as she exhales in relief, as if an unbearable weight has been lifted off her shoulders. She steps out of the contraption and follows Furiosa as she crosses over to the other side of the Rig to get to the hose. They could all use a good washing down.

Angharad helps her unhook it and roll it out.

"Thank you," she says.

"There's no need for that," Furiosa brushes her off. She turns on the hose and fills her palm with water, splashes it over her face, and another to splash across her neck, and a third to drink.

She turns it off and hands it to Angharad, who reaches out slowly to take it, her eyes on Furiosa. If she was beautiful before, she is tremendously so now, standing in the Wasteland with the bare soles of her feet against the burning sand and her shoulders defiantly squared against the horror of the day, the uncertainty of their future.

She looks at Furiosa as if she's waiting for something and she is too close again, close enough that Furiosa can smell the dirt and sweat of her and something else beneath it, something that is uniquely Angharad. Half a step, and she would be near enough to kiss her, get that mouth beneath her own, taste the sweat on the skin of her jaw and throat.

Furiosa drops her grip on the hose. "Wash up and drink. I'll clean off the Rig," she says and Angharad's lips thin.

"Fine," she says and pushes past Furiosa to get the hose to the others.

It is Angharad who brings her the blanket and lays it across her shoulders before moving to sit next to her in the sand, wincing slightly as she lowers herself down on the ground with a hand low on her heavy belly.

"This isn't the first time I've tried to find it," Furiosa says after they've sat there, beneath the star-spangled sky, for many long minutes. "During those 7000 days, I ran away many times. I dreamed of driving the War Rig, of finally getting a real shot at it... but I got too afraid to hope, in the end. Without you, I don't know if I'd ever made the attempt at all."

"I'm sorry..." Angharad begins but Furiosa shakes her head vigorously.

"No," she says. "This isn't over yet. There must be something beyond the salt. The world can't end here."

Somehow, foolishly, she had thought that if they just got to the Green Place they would be beyond the reach of Immortan Joe. If they just got to the Green Place, everything would work itself out. But in this ruin of a world nothing comes easy, or free, and she guesses they simply have to try and build something from this wreckage by their own hands.

"This is something, at least," Angharad says, looking over her shoulder at her sisters and the Vuvalini. "Something else. Just like you said." She smiles. Then her brows knit together as she pulls in a sharp breath, hand clutching at her stomach.

"Is he coming?" Furiosa asks, concerned.

"No," Angharad replies forcefully, face twisting into a frown. "It's too early. I just need some water." She hesitates for a moment, before gripping Furiosa's shoulder to heave herself up from the ground. Furiosa look after her and when she's on the far other side of the truck, she gets up and heads over to where Keeper is sitting bent over her rifle, cleaning it out.

"You have any experience with women giving birth?" she asks.

"Long time ago," Keeper says. "But yes, your woman's time's not far away. A few days, at the most."

"She's not mine," Furiosa says, a little too forcibly.

Keeper snickers, but not ungently. "I know you can't own people, Furiosa. Can't keep them from giving their hearts away either, though."

Furiosa says nothing in response and Keeper laughs quietly again.

In the morning, when they set off, Angharad swings her leg over the back of Furiosa's back without a word, arms twining around her waist to hold on as Furiosa starts the bike. As they drive, she keeps her thought off Angharad's proximity by focusing on the way her body occasionally tenses, presumably as another early contraction racks through her womb.

When Max stops them and lays out his plan, Angharad is the only one who says nothing. The others look to her, a little curiously, but she remains silent. Furiosa wonders what she is most afraid off - giving birth in the relative safety of the Citadel or in the open terrain of the salt desert; for the child to live or not.

They decide to return and Angharad still remains quiet, but as they pull their bikes around and drive back east, her hands are clutching hard at Furiosa's waist.

IV. let demons howl outside

They've scarcely been back at the Citadel for a whole day before Angharad's contraction set in for real. It's in the middle of the night and out of concern for her health, no one has come to get Furiosa, but she wakes anyway, from the sound of Angharad crying out in pain.

At first, she reaches for the gun beneath her bed, before remembering where she is, what they have done. She puts the weapon down and gets herself upright, stumbling out into the hall and towards the room Angharad's claimed for her own.

There's too many people in the room, gathered around the bed where Angharad is laying with her legs clamped tightly together, her face wet with tears and sweat, cheeks burning feverishly bright.

"No!" she yells, slapping Dag's hand away as she tries to wipe her forehead off with a damp cloth. "No! I don't want this! You can't... I don't want him!"

She's panicking - her breathing is wild, her hands curled tightly into fists, and there is true, genuine fear in her too-wide eyes.

"I can't," she sobs, begs.

Furiosa pushes between Capable and Cheedo and sits down heavily on the floor next to the headboard. Weakly, she reaches up and takes Angharad's hand, pressing her thumb against her wrist to feel her pulse, racing and stuttering.

"Whatever happens, we'll take care of it," she says evenly. She tries to focus on Angharad's face, but with her one eye still swollen shut, the other woman's mostly a blur, this up close. Instead, she squeezes her hand. She can't imagine how terrifying this must be for Angharad, how much it must feel like her own body colluding with Immortan Joe even now, after everything, to keep her shackled, how betrayed she must feel by her own flesh. She can't imagine, but she can be here, at least, and make sure that Angharad doesn't lose herself, too, in fear of the memory of the tyrant.

"You need to start pushing," Keeper says. "Or your own life'll be in danger."

"You better value your own life as much as any War Boy," Toast tells her sharply.

"The night will be long," Dag says, hands wringing the wet cloth, "but dawn always breaks."

Slowly, Angharad's elevated breathing evens out, her face settling into determination. "Okay," she says, with tears still glimmering in her eyes. She groans as another contraction hits. "Just get him out of me," she says.

Capable gets up on the bed and settles behind Angharad to support her. Angharad woves her fingers together with Furiosa's in a death-like grip, and Toast takes her other hand. Dag moves in to dab at her face again and this time Angharad lets her.

Time seems to stop inside the birth room and it takes forever and no time at all before Angharad is groaning roughly and gathering her strength for one final, hard push, with which the baby slides out of her into Keeper's waiting hands.

The ensuing silence seems deafening. They wait, breaths bated, but nothing comes.

It's a boy, and he's stillborn. Small and premature as he is, he wouldn't have lasted long anyway.

Angharad falls back against Capable, sweaty and exhausted, turning to press her face into her shoulder without as much as glancing at the child.

Keeper wraps it up quickly and pats Angharad's ankle with a "You did good," before taking it away.

They recuperate, all of them, as the days pass. Angharad is up the day after the birth, moving around carefully but unburdened. The wound in Furiosa's side will eventually leave a big, ugly scar, but she's had worse. It still needs time to heal, but she's restless and she doubts that this will be what kills her.

She knows the people see to her as a leader now, and she'll be that if they need her to, but it's so much easier to just slip away into the workshop instead and do what needs to be done in there - there's a water dispensing system to fix up and the Rig and countless battered vehicles to try and salvage. They may have overthrown the Warlord, but that doesn't mean they've rewritten the reality of this broken down world.

Furiosa's under the hood of her Rig, looking over it's front engine, when she hears someone climb up into the cab. She puts down the tools and hauls herself carefully up, mindful of the wound, and sees Angharad sitting in the front seat, a cooing baby sucking hungrily at her breast.

"I hope it's all right," she says, adjusting the infant in her arms. "It feels more like home than any other part of this place, right now." She catches Furiosa looking at the child and says, "A lot of mothers out there have dried up from malnutrition. I'm doing what I can to help." She smiles down at the babe, stroking its round cheek with a finger.

Furiosa watches, and a wave of fondness, so strong it's seems scary in its intensity, washes over her. She ducks back down beneath the hood of the Rig.

"Poor thing really took a beating, huh," Angharad says above her.

Furiosa grunts.

"We'll still have to trade with Gas Town and the Bullet Farm, won't we," Angharad continues. There comes a shuffling sound and a soft gurgling coo from the baby.

"If we want to keep the wheels running and the Citadel defended, then yes," Furiosa says. "Might be different there too, though. They also required a change in leadership, as far as I remember."

"Dag is planting strawberries," Angharad says. "I don't know what that is, but I'm sure its far better than bullets."

"Most things are," Furiosa agrees distractedly. The engine will keep, for now, but it's battered. It won't survive another wild chase across the desert, that's for sure.

There is a burp and shortly after Angharad's feet hit the floor. "I need to go get the next one," she says.

Furiosa slides out from under the cab to grab another wrench, looking after her as she goes.

"Do you think he'll ever be back?" Cheedo asks. They are gathered on the floor in their former room, having dinner together. It's nothing special - dry lizard meat and greens - but it still seems like a feast. "Max, I mean."

Furiosa shrugs. "When he gets hungry enough, I reckon," she says with a grin.

"The desert holds just enough to nourish the body, but not the soul," Dag notes, picking at the black dirt that's perpetually stuck under her nails these days. Nux has taken to calling her a black thumb affectionately.

"What does your soul hunger for then?" Cheedo asks her with a smile, leaning against her side.

Dag falls back to the floor, pulling the other girl with her. One hand goes up to card through her hair. "Nothing," she says with a sigh.

Furiosa can't help but glance across the ring to where Angharad is sitting. She catches it, and smiles, but it's a bleak one.

She hesitates for a few seconds outside Angharad's room, before knocking softly and stepping inside at Angharad's, "Come in."

Angharad is sitting on her bed, her hair loose around her shoulders, and Furiosa suddenly feels like she's intruding on her, in this small space she's made her own.

But since she's already here, she asks, "Are you all right?"

Angharad shrugs. "Just a bad night."

Furiosa nods. She turns to leave, but Angharad's voice stops her.

"Could you... stay?"

Turning back, Furiosa nods again. Angharad crawls beneath the blankets on her bed and Furiosa removes her pants before getting in next to her. The bed is too small to comfortably hold two grown women and as a result they are pressed up intimately against each other, skin against skin.

Angharad turns out the one lamp she has burning and at first it's a relief, but then Furiosa realizes that she can hear the soft cadence of Angharad's breathing and feel every minute shift and twist her body makes as she tries to get comfortable.

Furiosa lays still in the darkness. She's used to uncomfortable.

"It's not right," Angharad says, breaking the lengthy silence. "Him having to die for the sins of his father." She pulls in a shuddering breath. "If we had not left, he would have lived."

"In this world, there is a million ways to die," Furiosa says. She lets herself fall forward, molding her body to Angharad's back, resting her arm across her waist. Angharad sighs, gathering up Furiosa's hand and pressing it to her chest.

"I wanted it gone," Angharad whispers. "Not dead... just never to be. Everytime I felt him move inside me, I felt sick from it."

"I know," Furiosa says. With every breath, she's inhaling in Angharad's unique, heady scent. It's not the scent of something removed from this world, something too clean and precious to be real, but the scent of life, of living. "Not wanting a child doesn't make you a monster, Angharad."

Angharad doesn't reply, but she falls asleep soon after, slowly going relaxed against Furiosa's chest.

It is the light that wakes her. With her sleeping quarters being on the ground floor where windows are scarce, it's something she associated with being out on the road and it takes her a while to reorient herself and remember where she is. Not outside, sleeping on scorched earth, but in Angharad's bed.

Angharad is already awake, turning over to come face to face with Furiosa as she feels her come alive. She seems soft and sleepy, with her tousled hair and heavy-lidded eyes.

"Hey," she murmurs, her voice cracked from sleep, reaches up to hook her palm around Furiosa's neck - soft fingertips raking through the scruff at the back of her head, tracing across the strangely soft, raised scars-tissue of the brand – and brings her down into a kiss, her mouth eagerly opening beneath Furiosa's with a soft exhale.

Their bodies shift and slide together as if worked by some inexplicable machinery, Furiosa covering Angharad's frame with her own, Angharad's legs falling open to make room for her hips between them, Furiosa's hand going down to pull up the hem of Angharad's dress and slip in to rest against the softness of her thigh.

Furiosa rolls her hips against her and Angharad gasps quietly, hand dropping to Furiosa's jaw, where her thumb presses hard against her lower lip to allow her to bite down and pull away with it. Furiosa follows easily, seamlessly, planting kiss after kiss against Angharad's lips, chasing the taste of her, wanting to hear that soft, gorgeous gasp again.

Her hand goes up to card through Angharad's hair and her mouth drops to her throat. She sucks kisses into the skin there, feeling Angharad's pulse race beneath her lips. Angharad's hand has returned to the back of her head, the other sliding beneath her shirt and up her back, letting scars and the curving planes of muscle guide her way across the sleep-warm skin.

Furiosa takes a detour, moving up to bite at Angharad's earlobe, which make her huff out a laugh, before dropping down to trace the length of her collarbones with her tongue. When her mouth finds scar tissue, she pauses for a moment, but when Angharad doesn't react to it, she kisses the jumbled lines. Beneath her mouth, they seem less like a messy and gruesome parody of the War Boys scarification stripes, and more like a story on its own, one of rebellion and suffering and endless, steadfast strength.

She continues downward, soft kiss by soft kiss, fingers pushing the fabric of her dress away to bare Angharad's breast to her mouth. She sucks the nipple into her mouth, filling her hand with the soft weight of her breast, and Angharad gasps, fingers tightening against Furiosa's shoulder, before traveling up her neck to the back of her head in a long, lingering touch.

Furiosa lifts her head for another kiss, long and slow, her hands slipping Angharad's other breast free of the dress to cup them both in her hands, Angharad groaning and arching sharply against her as she rolls the calloused pads of her thumbs over her hardened nipples. She tightens her grip and pushes a knee between Angharad's legs, pressing firmly against her, and she groans again. Furiosa likes that - the taste of pleasure on her, the way her mouth goes slack beneath hers, the forceful way she pulls in air, and the way she pushes back against her, asking for more.

Furiosa smiles giddily against Angharad's mouth as the other woman sunddely flips their positions, moving to straddle her. Her hands slide up Furiosa's hips and beneath her shirt, pulling it up, Furiosa lifting her arms to assist with getting it off. Angharad goes up to her knees to pull her own clothing off and when she sinks back down, Furiosa can feel her, wet and wanting, against her lower stomach, and yet another wave of arousal swoops through her, hot and exhilarating like flaming guzzoline.

Angharad smirks down at her, and something else entirely flutters through Furiosa's chest at that, something soft and gentle and infinitely more terrifying. Angharad pulls her up and into a kiss that's long and slow and all the more filthy for it.

She pulls back and her smiles turns soft as she leans in to place a kiss to the corner of Furiosa's mouth.

"Do you know how long I've waited for this? You caught my eye long before you first spoke to me." she whispers, nipping at Furiosa's earlobe. She sits back, eyes going hazy as she looks down at Furiosa with her hands traveling leisurely across her upper body, fingers dipping down into the grooves over her collarbones, the cut of muscle in her upper arms, thumb stroking the soft skin at the end of her nubbin. "And when we stepped off the War Rig in the desert, I was more thirsty for you than I was for water." Her hand drift across a series of burns - courtesy of a recalcitrant engine - on Furiosa's chest and down to cup her breast, making Furiosa let out a quiet hiss, buck up against her. "I saw how you looked at me in here and I thought that once we were out there, you would... do something about it."

"Perhaps," Furiosa says, gentle fingers traveling up Angharad's arm, shuddering at the touch of her hands on her breasts, "I was waiting on you." It is not the full truth, but, at the same time, it kind of is.

For the first time, Angharad's touch grow hesitant and her smile falters. "Perhaps I didn't know what to do," she says, eyes flitting away to avoid meeting Furiosa's gaze.

Furiosa sits up, stroking Angharad's hair from her shoulder, to dabble soft kisses across her jaw and throat, and in doing so she presses Angharad more tightly against her, wetness smearing against her skin, making her stomach go tight at the feel of it.

She reverses their positions again, carefully urging Angharad to lie back, kissing her all the while. The feeling striking through her as Angharad easily tips her head back to allow for Furiosa's mouth on her throat, the palms of her hands pressed to Furiosa's back, is a heady one, and she breathes in sharply with her nose buried against the delicate skin there, suddenly overwhelmed by lust and affection for the lovely woman beneath her.

She works her way downward slowly, kissing and biting at Angharad's nipples until they're flushed red and she's breathing in deep, ragged gasps again. Angharad tenses and twists as Furiosa's lips finds a spot on her sternum, but when Furiosa looks up at her face, catching her cheeks reddened like the desert sand at sunset, she is biting back a smile. She does it again and Angharad shoves at her shoulder with a huff to push her past the ticklish spot.

When Furiosa finally reaches the juncture of her thighs, Angharad is squirming restlessly against her, her breathing fast-paced and expectant. Blonde locks are sticking to her sweaty forehead and as Furiosa bites into the meat of her inner thigh, her mouth falls open to let out a breathy groan.

She sits back and Angharad's eyes open, seeking hers. They're clouded with arousal and Furiosa can't help grin at her as she lifts one of her legs up on her shoulder, lips seeking out the pad of her foot to give it a light, quick peck. Angharad's eyes doesn't leave her as Furiosa kisses her way upward, past her calf, the bend of her knee, up the soft expanse of her thigh. Furiosa grabs her hips in either hand, pausing momentarily at the feel of raised, jagged skin beneath her thumbs.

Angharad arches against her as she kisses the chafe-marks the chastity belt left behind and her whisper of, "Please," is a command Furiosa can't help but obey. Placing her hand on Angharad's thigh to open them wide, she pushes her nose against her to her to inhale her scent, thick with want, before pressing her thumb to her labia, spreading her a little, and licking a hot, wet stripe up the length of her cunt. Angharad moans, loudly, vehemently, thighs going steel-tense on either side of Furiosa's head.

She teases the velvet-smooth folds of Angharad's cunt with her the tip of her tongue, scrapes her teeth against her clit before taking it into her mouth to suck. With another moan, Angharad grabs hold of her neck, fingers scrabbling helplessly against Furiosa's scalp as she slides her thumb slowly into Angharad, holding her open to fuck her with her tongue, shallow and taunting as Angharad moans dissolves into a series of long, high gasps.

She tastes like salt and flesh and sweat, but to Furiosa it seems sweeter than fresh water. She swallows a mouthful of slick and saliva and shifts in closer, using the width of her tongue to lick in long stripes that has Angharad crying out hoarsely and relishing in the way Angharad's thighs bear down on her on either side, clamping down to hold her in place, hips working in a steady rhythm against Furiosa's face.

Moving up to suck a kiss against her clit, Furiosa glances up at Angharad without letting up the work of her lips and tongue. The sight of her sends a deep, heavy thrill through her, making her own cunt pound - head thrown back and chest heaving, her skin glimmering with sweat. She cries out again, nails raking across Furiosa's back and Furiosa hisses in response. Janking Furiosa in harder, hand curling around her scalp, Angharad finds her climax with a loud cry.

She collapses back to the bed, her pants loud in the room as she struggles to catch her breath, fingers still carding mindlessly through the scruff of Furiosa's scalp. Leaning her forehead against Angharad's thigh, Furiosa focuses on doing the same, licking her lips to chase the taste of her lover.

With a final kiss to Angharad's hipbone, fingers stroking across that hateful mark left behind by Joe's greedy selfishness, she moves up to kiss her mouth, smiling softly as it remains slack beneath hers. She brushes a few, sweaty strands off Angharad's forehead instead and the other woman's eyes flicker open, returning her smile with a small, soft one of her own.

They say nothing. Instead, they kiss for a long while, basking in the precious knowledge that there is more to this world than rust and bone and death, after all.