So, it's supposed to be a quiet night in. It's supposed to be because Bo swore, on her favourite pair of knee-high boots, to let Kenzi have an evening off to go to her sister's husband's brother's band's concert.
At some point, quiet night in turned into this will only take an hour, just come with me and talk to this guy, which turned into it wasn't me, a troll did it, which turned into a half-hour crash course from Trick on all the reasons that fighting a troll would be a horrible idea, which turned into this. Kenzi, at four in the morning, ruining her shoes with muddy sand while Bo attempts hand to hand combat with one.
The troll is definitely winning.
It knocks Bo in the face, hard. Really hard, enough that Kenzi learns what it looks like when someone bites through their own cheek. Bo spits blood - a lot of it - and Kenzi's stomach does a flip. She doesn't hurl, though, and that's a small victory. By now, watching Bo get hurt is something Kenzi's used to, but it's still not something she enjoys.
Bo stumbles down to one knee. Her sword tip drops, and she starts shaking her head, like she's having trouble recovering from that last hit. Kenzi gets ready to run over, help her clear her head and get away before she gets hurt worse than she already is, but before she can react the troll lumbers forward and claws Bo, right in the thigh. Suddenly there's blood everywhere. All over the troll, and worse, all over Bo, running in sticky trails down her thigh and onto the ground.
Bo goes white and sways.
Kenzi's watched Bo almost-lose enough fights to know when she needs to step in. Her heart starts to beat faster with concern - and maybe a little fear, because trolls are a lot bigger than she was expecting from Trick's description.
The heels of her shoes are too sharp for her to balance on the sand, so she shifts her weight up onto her toes and runs toward Bo as fast as she can. She crouches down beside Bo, saying her name over and over again. She reaches for the hilt of Bo's sword, still in her hands, and tries to pull. "Bo, let go. Give me the sword."
Bo coughs, weakly. "No," she murmurs. "Run away. Run away, there's a troll."
"I know. Give me the sword."
Bo lets go, and Kenzi takes her sword in both hands, putting herself squarely between Bo and the troll. The troll makes some kind of horrible, throaty noise that sounds like stones grinding together, and takes a step forward.
The sword feels awkward in Kenzi's hands - she and Bo have been practicing with weapons a little bit, but Kenzi's mostly been sticking to ones that aren't as long as she is tall. Still, she manages to swing fast enough to make contact with the troll's belly, slicing through flesh. The wound oozes something that might be blood, grey-green and reeking, and it steps back.
Kenzi crouches down, regrouping. Bo is slumped against the ground, trying to watch, but her eyes are getting that glassy, I'm-about-to-pass-out look Kenzi hates that she knows. She turns back to face the troll. The sword is heavier than she thought it was, and she can already feel her arms starting to burn from the weight of it, making the tip waver like she's scared. She's not - she's not - but the troll is even bigger this close up. It growls at her, snarling something in that ridiculous troll language that Kenzi can't understand, except for the very last thing he says; little girl.
She grits her teeth, tries to remember what Trick told them when he was giving Bo that lecture about what a stupid idea it would be to try to meet up with a troll to have a reasonable conversation. Right. Skin like rock, incredibly strong, hate loud noises, have to stab them right in the neck.
She focuses on its throat, the place where its veins bulge out around its neck, rope-thick. Her heart hammers oh god, oh god, I hope I don't die as she takes a breath, lunges forward, and starts to scream.
It actually works.
Minutes later, she's standing over her very first - and hopefully only - troll corpse. "Yeah," she says, breathless and totally amazed that she's still alive. "Ten points for Kenzi."
There's a noise over her shoulder that sounds like something between a laugh and a gurgle, and she turns just in time to see Bo's eyes roll back as she quietly passes out.
"Bo," she shouts, running to her and shaking her by the shoulders. "Hold on. We're gonna - wake up. You've gotta get up. I'm gonna find you someone to heal on."
Bo sort of mumbles, and her eyelids flutter, but she doesn't move more than that.
Kenzi slaps her. Bo doesn't respond, but fresh blood starts to ooze from the open, jagged line across her cheek, the one made by her teeth. "Shit," Kenzi says. "Shitshitshit, Bo, you're not allowed to die. Stop it."
She presses her fingertips to Bo's neck, trying to feel for a pulse, but her hands are too shaky and she doesn't remember where she's supposed to feel, because all she can think about is how Bo never lets herself get this hurt, this close to dying, and she's not allowed to die before Kenzi does, they talked about this.
She tugs at Bo's arms, trying to lift her up, but Bo is suddenly heavy (dead weight, a horrible voice in the back of her mind says), and there's no way Kenzi is going to be able to carry her back to the car. She reaches for her phone, scrolling through all her Fae contacts with shaky hands, getting blood all over the screen, but everyone lives too far away to get to them in time.
Kenzi spends another long moment truly panicking, when the solution suddenly comes to her.
There's another option, of course there is, staring her right in the face. It's never occurred to her before, but then, Bo's never looked this close to half-dead, either. "Okay," she says. "I can do this. Think of England or whatever, right?"
She screws her eyes shut and presses her mouth against Bo's. For one horrible moment Kenzi worries she might not respond at all, but then - oh. She responds.
Bo feeding is one of the weirdest things Kenzi's ever experienced.
She's seen - or stood outside a gas station bathroom door and heard - Bo do this dozens of times before. But she never stopped to really think about what it would be like to be on the receiving end of this (except for a couple of dreams that one time just after she left Nate, but a dry spell after weeks of truly excellent, regular man-love counts as an extenuating circumstance.). Bo's hands clutch at her shoulders, and her mouth responds against Kenzi's like a kiss but not quite. Better. Like the best orgasm she's ever had, multiplied by ten and lasting forever, rippling across her whole body. She's making noises, letting these wanton, high-decibel moans come out of her while something deep inside pours into Bo. She can tell there's something important flowing away from her body, making her feel tired and heavy-limbed, but she feels too good to care. Suddenly she understands every single night she's spent being kept awake by Bo's overnight guests.
Then the hands at Kenzi's shoulders are pushing her away, hard.
Kenzi hears herself make this disappointed, needy whimper, but now that Bo's stopped feeding, she's with it enough to be incredibly embarrassed about it. "Kenzi," Bo whispers.
She looks a lot better. There's still a lot of dried blood caked around her cheek, and all over her thigh, and there's the faint green-yellow of a fading bruise on her temple. But she's awake, and everything that was bleeding before is healed up just fine. Kenzi sighs out her relief. "Bo."
Her voice sounds sort of hoarse, like she's been shouting. She coughs to cover it up.
Bo reaches up and brushes the back of her fingertips along Kenzi's cheek. Kenzi shivers, for no good reason. "You healed me," Bo whispers. She's got this look on her face, and it's not the look she's supposed to give to a best friend who saved her life in a completely nonsexual way. It's this weirdly affectionate, almost hungry expression, and she's staring at Kenzi's mouth like it's giving her ideas.
Kenzi rolls her eyes. "Duh," she says. She tries to stand up, but that's when she realizes just what it means to help Bo heal. Every muscle in her body is screaming at her, and her head is pounding.
Bo catches her when she wobbles forward, one hand strong against Kenzi's bicep and the other around her waist. "You didn't have to do that," she says, gently, as she eases Kenzi back down to where she was before.
Kenzi punches Bo in the arm. She tries to use force, but her arms are surprisingly weak; the most she can manage is a gentle tap. "Shut up," she says. "Of course I did. You were going to get yourself killed, again."
"I mean it," Bo says. She puts her fingers under Kenzi's chin, forcing her to meet Bo's eyes. There's this look in them, halfway between you're my best friend and I want to handcuff you to my headboard, and Kenzi's not quite sure what to do about it. "Thank you."
Kenzi's stomach does a flip. She's pretty sure that means she's hungry, because it definitely doesn't mean that she's remembering what it felt like for Bo to feed on her, or that the lizard parts of her brain are thinking about what it would be like to do that again. "Whatever, dude," she says, willing her voice to be steady. "Don't think this means you're off the hook. I killed a troll all by myself, and I saved your life. Pretty sure you owe me a drink."
"Sure," Bo says, but she's beaming at Kenzi with eyes that say, I'm going to get drunk and spill my deepest feelings about this later tonight. "I think I can manage that."
Kenzi tries to stand again, but her legs are a lot heavier than she remembers, and her body doesn't seem to know how to balance in six-inch heels the way it's supposed to.
"You okay?" Bo asks, looking concerned. When she frowns, her lower lip juts out the tiniest bit, and Kenzi definitely doesn't think about leaning in and kissing her.
Kenzi shakes her head. "Yeah, of course," she says. "I was just thinking that maybe we should sit here for a while before we go for our celebratory beverages. To regroup."
Bo pulls with the arm that's still looped around Kenzi's waist, and Kenzi half-leans, half-falls back against her chest. It's comfortable, and Bo is warm against her back, and despite the fact that there's a dead troll less than six feet away from them, Kenzi feels her eyelids starting to get heavy. "We're not going to regroup that long, though," Kenzi says. "Don't get comfortable."
"Okay, Kenz," Bo says. She leans forward, pressing her lips against the top of Kenzi's head. "Whenever you're ready."