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mistakes made by another in another lifetime

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"Janine!"

Mary Anne called out the woman's name before she could stop herself. She had been living in Boston for three months now, but it felt like much longer. She hadn't seen anyone she knew since her father and Sharon had helped her move into her new apartment.

"Mary Anne."

If she hadn't known Janine better she wouldn't have heard the faint note of surprise in her voice.

"It's been..."

"Eight years, two months -- " Janine ducked her head.

"Ancient history," Mary Anne said softly.

"You could say that."

They stood silently for a bit.

"I'm working at Angel Memorial now," Mary Anne said.

"Good for you. I always knew you'd succeed."

Mary Anne swallowed, remembering reassurances whispered between kisses, remembering Janine's hand deep inside her and her calm calm voice repeating "Come for me." She couldn't think of anything to say.

"Well this is my stop," Janine said as the subway came to a halt. "It was good to--"

"Can I come with you?"

"I'm just going home -- oh." She paused, and Mary Anne held her breath. "It's a bit of a walk to my apartment, but if you want to come...."

Mary Anne followed her out of the station, shivering as the November aired whipped through them.

Janine glanced over at her and smiled. "Your nipples always were one of your best features."

Mary Anne blushed, and didn't feel nearly so cold anymore.

They still hadn't said anything else by the time they got up the stairs and into Janine's apartment. Mary Anne looked around while Janine settled. Lots of earth tones... really nothing that set it apart for any reason. Until. Mary Anne had to sit down when she saw the Indigo Girls poster up on the wall in the bedroom, directly in your line of vision if you were sitting on the bed. She had given that poster to Janine the day she had left for college -- the last day they had spoken.

Janine walked in, holding a mug of tea. White, with pink flowers, and a few chips in the paint. Mary Anne had startled when she had walked in, and she couldn't bring herself to look at Janine's face, so she just stared at the mug, at the steam rising from it, at Janine's hands ... darker than she remembered, but nails still cut short -- she jerked her head away, began tracing the patterns on the comforter with her fingers, not wanting to think about who else might have sat on this bed.

Janine sat down beside her, put one hand (still warm from the tea) on Mary Anne's shoulder.

"How long till my soul gets it right?" Janine asked softly.

"I think I'll write a book," Mary Anne replied, her voice cracking, but her eyes meeting Janine's.

Janine leaned closer and kissed her, and Mary Anne was crying now but she didn't care because Janine's hands were all over her, and she was lying back on the bed and kissing her back and Janine's hands were on her skin, under her clothes, and oh.