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The Distance Between Us

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Politics complicated everything. Tamsin missed the days of the 9th and 10th centuries when it had been less meetings and more physical combat. Riding into battle and beheading your opponents and seizing their territory for your own. It was much simpler than making small talk and trying to reach a compromise. There was a disgusting false civility to it all that Tamsin abhorred and it didn't suit her in the least. Hale's meeting with The Ash and the High Council only led to yet another meeting being created. It would be held in three days time with Vex and the dark fae elders. Tamsin supposed it was progress but she rather they just got to it and invaded Odin's realm already. The longer they waited the more time he had to plot.

Shortly after they arrived at the Dal, Trick disappeared into his study with Bo following behind him. Tamsin sat at the bar, contemplating the bottle of akevitt and the beers Trick had on tap. She had decided on a German lager and was standing up to fill her glass when Dyson approached. Peering at him as she filled the stein, she arched an eyebrow. "Beer?" she inquired.

"It's barely noon," said Dyson in reply.

"That's your light fae judgmental tone," Tamsin mimicked his disapproving voice. She plopped back down on the bar stool, the full stein firmly in hand and took a drink of beer. "None of that needed here, wolf-man."

"Tamsin," Dyson said her name somberly and Tamsin arched an eyebrow. "You and Bo--"

"Not the talk," groaned Tamsin in what could pass for a whine. Grabbing the akevitt, she screwed off the cap and complained, "I don't want to do this with you, Dyson. We're good, aren't we? Let's not try and bond over this sort of shit."

"I don't know about bonding but things need to be said," said Dyson. He had that abominable serious look on his features. The one he got when he was particularly determined about something and felt what he was doing was right. Seeing it made Tamsin miserable because whenever he wore that face he was usually right. And she didn't want to have this conversation.

"Fine," Tamsin griped and she poured a shot of akevitt. Downing it in one gulp, she slammed the shot down on the bar and stared at her fingers gripping the glass. "I'm not sorry," she said bluntly. "I want her, I took the chance to have her, and I'm not sorry I did it." Tamsin lifted her gaze to stare at him head on, her gaze unflinching. "It's shitty, I know that. We're partners and I actually care about you, something I didn't think would happen at the start of this, but I didn't expect to want her either." Shrugging her shoulders, Tamsin reached for her beer, taking a drink of it before she muttered, "Que sera, sera."

"Whatever will be, will be," Dyson finished the lyric and a smirk formed on his features.

"The future's not ours see," said Tamsin gravely, offering him a shot of akevitt, laughing when he took the shot and drank it quickly. She released a snort of amusement, looking away from him to stare at Trick's selection of top shelf alcohol. Tamsin absently noted that he had an elderberry wine made by nymphs in Sweden. That was some rare shit. "I had a girl once," Tamsin offered and she watched Dyson move next to her, his gaze lidded as he studied her. "The best girl in the world. A fucking bad ass samurai who loved to fish and fuck and she even knew how to get blood stains out of clothes," she scoffed, her fingers tracing the top of the beer stein. "She was supposed to be it," Tamsin said plainly, looking at Dyson now. "You know what I mean? You live for eons and nothing matters for shit then you meet the girl and she's everything."

"Yes, I know," said Dyson and something in his eyes told Tamsin he wasn't thinking about Bo as he said this.

"My girl, Tomoe," Tamsin provided with a laugh and an elegant twirl of her hand, "she got taken from me. I didn't want her to die so I struck a bargain with Odin and he kept her alive but he stole her soul and she did some bad things for him." Tamsin became quiet, staring at her beer, watching the bubbles form and she sighed deeply. She was so very tired of this. Of having Odin in her life and feeling this weight on her heart whenever she thought about the last thousand years. "Genocide type bad," said Tamsin, drinking her beer until the glass was nearly empty. "There was almost another war because of it." She offered him a wry smile, broken in its amusement as she observed his confusion. "In Asia," she supplied. "That's when I was having my little field trip in the far east. Seeing the sights and falling for the lovely maidens."

"Just one maiden though," said Dyson knowingly.

"Yeah, just one," said Tamsin in acerbic tones.

"What happens when you make a bargain with Odin?" asked Dyson and she grimaced.

She didn't want to tell him this. Fuck, she didn't want to tell anyone this. Bo, Trick, Kenzi, Dyson, and all the merry men. Tamsin didn't want to tell him but a part of her felt like she owed him something. Bo was her own woman, she didn't belong to anyone, and Tamsin would laugh at anyone who tried to say otherwise, but she knew how Dyson felt. Tamsin could have made some sort of effort to try and put him into consideration before acting on whatever it was she was had with Bo but she didn't. Tamsin didn't feel guilty because why should she? She didn't owe him anything. That wasn't the type of relationship they had but all the same, the decent thing would've been to give him a heads up.

Maybe Vex was right. The light fae and their polite niceties were rubbing off on her. She was starting to believe their line of bullshit in some ways more than others. If she didn't she wouldn't be answering Dyson. "You become his bitch," said Tamsin shortly. "He only wants Valkyries to be under contract. We're the delivery system for the awesome hero dead and that's who he's after for the most part. We contract ourselves to him and we bring him the fallen warriors instead of taking them to Valhalla. He gets them, he warps them, and he sends them back out into the world as his messengers."

"He did that to your girl," said Dyson quietly.

"Yup," said Tamsin, popping her lips on the word, giving him a twisted smile. "I'm the one who brought her to him. Of course, I didn't know that's what would happen but I knew it was her time to die. Destiny, fate, and all that predestined load of crap that Oracles feed you. He kept her from dying and I brought her to him as part of the payment. I don't know how long we were in his realm and she was in his fucked up training but she came back different. Wrong. Like in fucking Pet Sematary."

"What happened to her?" asked Dyson and Tamsin could see in his eyes he already knew the answer.

All the same, that didn't stop Tamsin from responding, "I killed her so she couldn't come back." Tamsin snorted and finished off her beer. "Pissed Odin off and that's when I became his special project." She looked Dyson in the eyes and continued, "It's why I had you burn my body. If there was nothing left of me but ashes and bone he couldn't resurrect me. My life cycle would finally be over and it would end with my contract to him."

"He killed then resurrected you as a form of punishment," Dyson murmured with certain understanding.

Tamsin didn't look at him after he said this. She didn't want to see the sympathy on his face that she could hear so clearly in his voice. It wasn't what she wanted, him feeling that way, but she had to explain. He deserved that at least. "Yeah, it's kind of his thing," said Tamsin in droll tones. "It's crap but you get used to it after a few years. You become numb."

Dyson didn't say anything for a long while. They just sat, side by side, in comfortable silence, staring at Trick's liquor bottles and reflecting on their thoughts. Then Dyson said, "Some shifters like to pretend they have the exact characteristics as their animal forms. As if they are the animal but we aren't. We can change our bodies to match theirs but we don't have their minds and we don't fully share their instincts." Tamsin looked at him with confusion, wondering where this was going. "Wolves mate for life," said Dyson earnestly and Tamsin nodded. "But I'm not a wolf," he continued with a half smile. "I'm fae and I'm a shifter who can turn into a wolf, not a wolf itself. It's not the same thing. I have a choice in what I am and what I become. Do you understand what I'm telling you?"

"Yeah," said Tamsin roughly. "I do."

"When you live as long as we do, it's best to learn how to let things go," Dyson said wisely. He reached for the akevitt and poured himself a shot. "I had my time with her then it was over. I just want to settle it, to let her know I'm still here."

"I get it," Tamsin murmured and she did get it. If she was in his position, she couldn't ever give up on Bo totally. Not until she heard from the succubus herself that she wasn't what Bo wanted. Dyson had been with Bo and they had been in love and at one time they had a future together then it was stolen from them. The Norn took it from them just like Odin had taken Tamsin's future with Tomoe and she couldn't blame him for wanting to try and get it back. "We're cool."

"Good," Dyson released a breath of air and he looked at Tamsin steadily. "What happens next is up to her." He turned from Tamsin and drank the akevitt in one gulp, slamming the shot glass on the bar much like Tamsin had earlier. "If it doesn't work out for me I'll get over it," he said frankly, looking Tamsin in the eyes.

"Not completely," said Tamsin softly. She understood all too well what Dyson was telling her in his own cryptic way. That he wouldn't interfere in whatever was going on with her and Bo beyond telling Bo about his own feelings. Whatever Bo decided he would respect the outcome. Even if that meant she wouldn't be his. It was very reassuring and nice to hear but Tamsin knew the type of love Dyson had for Bo and letting her go entirely was a next to impossible concept. It was the reason why she clung to Tomoe's memory like it was a security blanket. "No one could do that."

"We all carry a torch for someone," said Dyson curtly. He rose to his feet and Tamsin suspected their conversation about feelings and women was officially over. While it had been enlightening Tamsin couldn't say she was sad to realize this. "It's just a matter of making sure we don't burn down the remainder of our life because we're holding it."

"All right, Master Yoda," drawled Tamsin as she smirked at him. "That's enough with your pearls of wisdom."

"Come on," Dyson said, heading for the door. "Let's get out of here and shoot some rounds at the range."

Following after him, Tamsin realized this was why she wanted back on the force. Why she wanted to be a detective again. It wasn't out of some fucked up love for truth and justice and putting the fae bad guys away while hiding their existence from humans. Tamsin wanted the camaraderie she shared with Dyson. The sense of having a true partnership. Where you had your differences but ultimately it didn't matter because they had your back and you had theirs. His reaction to her thing with Bo was the reason why she trusted him like she did. It was blunt and honest and now that it was over the issue was settled between them. Nothing more needed to be said on the topic and they were both united in their desire to protect Bo.

Making them partners in more ways than one.

---

Two hours later, she returned to the shack and found Bo wearing an apron and kneading dough. Tamsin blinked at this and removed her holster, gently setting her gun down on the side table. "Hello, Betty Crocker," said Tamsin with dry humor. "You want to explain to me what's going on here? Did you get body snatched?"

"That happened once," said Bo absently. "I got stuck in this gross bounty hunter's body." She looked up from kneading the dough. "Did you or did you not want to eat a strawberry rhubarb pie? Because that's what I'm making here, lady."

"I want," said Tamsin, smiling and sitting down at the kitchen island.

"Chop rhubarb then," said Bo, nodding to the vegetable that sat on the island.

Grabbing a knife, Tamsin cut the vegetable into small pieces. As she worked, Tamsin considered what Bo was doing. It was a small thing but it was incredibly thoughtful and it spoke of someone who cared about another. Tomoe had done things like this for her when they were together. Having Bo do something similar was bewildering but in the best sort of way. It made Tamsin wonder yet again what she was to the succubus. "You didn't have to do this," Tamsin offered. "I was joking around."

"I know," said Bo playfully, lifting her head and retrieving the bowl of strawberries. "I felt like making a pie and this happens to my favorite kind. It's just lucky for you that you like it too," she said with a grin, flicking some flour at Tamsin.

"Nice," Tamsin drawled, her nose scrunching up, wiping the flour from her face. She watched Bo fit the dough into the pie tin, taking in her easy and practiced movements. "You baked a lot, didn't you?"

"My mom used to enter bake-offs," said Bo, very matter of fact. "She had me help." Fitting the dough inside the tin expertly, Bo continued, "It's not a big deal. You cook, don't you? I mean, you served up venison during your rebirth trial."

"You want to eat, you learn how to hunt and cook," said Tamsin plainly. "Didn't have much choice in the matter. It's not like this," Tamsin nodded to Bo who had finished fitting the dough to the pie tin and was chopping strawberries. "Measuring and figuring out ingredients. I toss whatever into a pan that I know tastes good together then eat it."

"I don't measure either," said Bo wryly. "I guess if you do something enough, you know when it's right."

After she said this, Bo looked Tamsin in the eyes and the valkyrie got the feeling she wasn't just speaking about recipes. Tamsin swallowed hard and dropped her head, staring at the rhubarb as she continued to chop it into equal portions. "What did you find out in your meeting with Trick?" asked Tamsin, trying to divert the topic, whatever it was.

"Not much," said Bo, shrugging her shoulders and dumping the strawberries into a larger bowl filled with flour and sugar. "He dug up this spell we can use that will free Aife's thralls the next time we see them."

"Good," said Tamsin in a murmur and finished chopping the rhubarb, she pushed it towards the other woman. Bo smiled at her and added it to the bowl, stirring the mixture. She sighed, wiping her hands on the apron, and Tamsin figured it had to sit for a while. She considered Bo for a moment then she moved, reaching out for the succubus, pulling her forward by the pocket on the front of her apron. Bo smiled and stood in between her legs, her gaze was introspective and her touch light as she picked up the silver-gilt pendant that rested against Tamsin's collarbone. Bo's gaze was dark and she frowned. At first, Tamsin wondered at it then she realized how similar to the symbol of The Ash it must look to the succubus. She didn't have any in depth knowledge of the fae and their clans. It was simply an all too familiar design that reminded her of the mark of ownership Lauren had to wear. "It's the crest of the Clan Lundr," said Tamsin quietly, reaching up to clasp Bo's hand. "This is a totem, all Valkyries have one. We need it to gain passage into Valhalla."

"How does it do that?" asked Bo curiously, looking at Tamsin as she lay her hand flat on her skin, her fingertips caressing Tamsin in a leisurely movement.

"I don't exactly know," said Tamsin wryly. "It's made from our essence during rebirth. The left over bits and pieces from the shells of our bodies that get burnt up and reformed in the sacred fire. Each time it comes out looking different."

"You don't know something," Bo teased and Tamsin huffed, making the brunette laugh. Bo smiled sweetly and cupped Tamsin's face in her hands, leaning in and kissing her. It was soft and delicate with Bo's lips tenderly feeding on her own, her tongue pressing for entrance and tasting from her deeply. Tamsin groaned and moved into Bo's touch as she cradled Tamsin's breast in her hand, thumbing her nipple, smiling as it became stiff at her touch. They separated slowly and Bo's voice was low as she questioned, "Have you been there yet?" Tamsin blinked, she was in something of a daze and was confused as to what the other woman was speaking about. "Valhalla."

"No," Tamsin said, her brow furrowing. "Why?"

"Because, isn't that where Tomoe is?" asked Bo and Tamsin frowned. Her first instinct was to pull away from the succubus but Bo held tight, keeping her in place. Tamsin averted her gaze and clenched her jaw. "Hey," Bo's voice was painfully gentle, just like her fingers as they lightly pressed onto Tamsin's skin, turning her head so their eyes could meet. "You can see her if she's there," Bo said and Tamsin frowned again. Why was Bo telling her this? "You should see her," encouraged Bo and Tamsin stared at her, trying to figure this out. There had to be a reason behind it. Some sort of plan or logic that the other woman had that was driving this conversation but Tamsin couldn't comprehend what it was. "I think it would help."

"With what?" Tamsin challenged and she quickly found herself becoming angry.

No response came from Bo at first. Instead, she ducked her head and bit her lip, forming a contrite expression on her features. It gave Tamsin pause as she considered it and Bo's motives for bringing all of this up. Then the succubus looked up at her and she held Tamsin's face in her hands. "It would help you move on," Bo murmured.

"Explain," demanded Tamsin and it was Bo's turn to be anxious but Tamsin wouldn't let her look away. She held Bo's chin in her hand and looked at her with a furious gaze. "I want to know what you meant by saying that."

Bo shook her head and ducked down, nuzzling her face into Tamsin's neck, and the valkyrie shivered upon feeling Bo's breath on her skin. The succubus pressed closer, her arms wrapping around Tamsin and they melted into one another. There was a certain security in this embrace, it was soothing, and Tamsin felt her bristling anger begin to melt away. "You shouldn't live with that guilt all of your life," said Bo eventually, her voice practically a whisper. "I let it eat me up for years, the awful things my mother said to me when I told her what happened with Kyle. She wasn't the same when I went to see her, she had dementia, and she didn't even know what year it was but I told her everything I needed to and I don't feel guilty anymore. I made my peace with everything that happened and I moved on." Bo pulled back and peered up at Tamsin, kissing her cheek and touching it with a tender caress. "I just want the same for you."

Fucking hell, Tamsin thought. What was it with them? Bo, Dyson, Kenzi, and even Trick. They never failed to stop Tamsin short with their consideration and their caring. Tamsin used to loathe any sort of interference in her life and her decisions but she couldn't stay mad in the face of their genuine concern. It didn't help that everything they said tended to be the honest truth and Tamsin was never one to ignore the truth. In the end, that led to far more problems.

"Okay," said Tamsin after a long moment of silence. Bo was right. She wouldn't ever fully let go of her guilt until she saw Tomoe again. Met with her and apologized for everything that happened. The prospect of seeing her was daunting but Tamsin knew it couldn't lead to her feeling any worse than she already did. "Not now," Tamsin said, holding Bo's gaze steadily. "After we're done kicking Odin's ass. I'll see her then. All right?"

"Good," said Bo almost breathlessly and the smile she gave lit up her entire face. She seemed at a loss for words and she laughed happily, darting forward to kiss Tamsin. When she pulled away, Tamsin returned her smile and Bo looked to the bowl of ingredients. "I think it's set for long enough."

With that, she walked away from the valkyrie and returned to preparing the pie. Pouring the contents of the bowl into the pie pan and smoothing it out with a spatula. Tamsin watched Bo's easy movements, cutting the remaining dough into strips and placing them on top of the pie filling. It was strangely mesmerizing and Tamsin was struck by the domestic feeling this whole scenario had. The only thing they were missing was a fucking white picket fence and a golden retriever puppy. Releasing a humorous snort at her own joke, Tamsin leaned against the kitchen island, resting her elbows on the surface.

"Once I see her, we'll go on our date," Tamsin volunteered in a sincere promise.

Her words made Bo freeze in her tracks and then she looked up with the brightest smile on her features. It was wide and glittering and filled with so much hope it caused Tamsin's heart to skip a beat. "I'd like that," said Bo and her voice was laced with emotion. This was such a small thing to promise but it meant so much to the both of them. It was a pledge to survive all of this and a vow to look forward to tomorrow because of everything that would be waiting.

---

When the day of the all important meeting occurred, it's much what Tamsin expected. Paranoia, armed guards, and bickering as Bo quickly lost patience with trying to make both sides see the very real threat. Tamsin kept out of the discussion for the most part, only offering her opinion when needed, stressing Odin's powers and the fact that he won't just be wanting to enslave the dark fae. He'll be coming after everyone, including the light.

They've finally reached some sort of agreement when the doors to the warehouse burst open and Aife appeared, complete with her enthralled fae army in tow. Certainly, it isn't all of them, but it's enough and Bo barely has enough time to process this before Aife is set upon by the light. Defeating them was something of a laugh and Tamsin would have been impressed by it if she wasn't concerned about the situation as a whole. Bo managed to fight her way through the chaos to reach her mother who responded in her usual glib manner. She wasn't the problem, Aife claimed, Evony was.

There were just seconds to process this and then the explosion came. Walls falling down and people screaming. It descended into utter mayhem and none but Aife was pleased about it. She laughed long and loud, directing her army as Evony appeared through the smoke with an attack force of her own. Shit, fuck, damn. That was all Tamsin could think before she sprung into action. This wasn't a normal fight, it was something comparable to the old days, when she had fought with Tomoe against the rival dark fae clans in Japan. The fire fae and the explosions, the dark cloud of smoke that burned your eyes and obscured your vision. It was all too familiar and Tamsin instinctively slipped back into her old mentality.

Kill or be killed and Tamsin launched herself into the fray decisively. Her arsenal of weapons weren't available, all she had was her pistol, her fists, and her feet. As she attacks Evony's muscle, Tamsin kept a close eye on them. Trying to see with her own eyes if they're under Odin's control or they're muscle for hire. Their eyes are clear and their movements smooth, they're missing the tell tale signs of not knowing your own mind and Tamsin decided then and there not to hold back. She released her powers of doubt on three of them and breaks the back of a fourth. It's a bloody and brutal thing, this battle they're in, and Tamsin barely has time to register the giant behind her when he grabbed her by her neck.

"Not smart, buddy," Tamsin wheezed, tearing at his hand as it tightened around her neck, lifting her off the ground. She dropped her facade, revealing her true face. "You don't want to do this," she hissed. With that, his grip loosened just enough for her to pry his fingers back, breaking them, and as she did, she kicked him hard, sending him crashing to the floor. Tamsin landed in a heap, taking in deep gasping breaths. The battle raged on and it didn't look good for the light fae. One of their elders had been injured and The Ash didn't appear to be all that great at combat. Narrowing her eyes on seeing a Dullahan heading towards the light fae leader, Tamsin muttered, "Fuck this shit."

Her colt was quickly retrieved and the shots fired, turning the Dullahan's attention towards her. Tamsin knew this wasn't the smartest thing in the world. She had no idea where its head was and killing a Dullahan wasn't the easiest thing. Still, she dodged his punch and kept him far from The Ash as she tried to figure out a way to kill him. Distantly she can feel that same tug she experienced before, in the backwoods of No Man's Land, and the air is heavy with power. Bo is syphoning chi from their enemies but that doesn't help her with the Dullahan and Tamsin cursed as he managed to cut her in the side. It's not an especially deep wound but it slowed her down and it was better to end this sooner than later.

Pipes aren't the best weapon in the world but Tamsin made due with a large one, kicking the knife from the Dullahan's hand, and running him through with it. She watched him collapse to his knees and fall forward and Tamsin dropped the pipe. Her side is bleeding and a feeling of dizziness started to seize her. Then she returned her attention to Bo who was still drawing chi from Evony and her followers. They were almost drained completely and were at death's door. Tamsin grimaced and made her way to the succubus just as Kenzi administered one of Lauren's shots.

It did nothing. Bo continued to drain them and her eyes were horrible and bright. There was an alien look to them, as if Bo was otherworldly, and Tamsin didn't fear many things but she feared her in this moment. She could see why Odin wanted to use Bo because she held a truly frightening power. Kenzi was there, trying to snap her out of it, and when Tamsin reached them, she was in something of a panic as her own chi was being taken. Tamsin moved in front of Bo and slapped her hard. This made Bo stop draining their chi but in an instant those blue eyes were focused on Tamsin and she swallowed hard.

This wasn't her Bo, this was somebody else, it was what Odin would make of her. "No," Tamsin muttered, grabbing Bo's face in her hands and staring her down, dropping her mask to reveal her true face. "You don't get to do this."

How long they remained that way Tamsin had no idea. Looking into Bo's eyes in this moment was like losing a piece of herself and she started to shake, becoming weak on her feet as she felt her chi being syphoned. No, this wasn't right. This wasn't how it was meant to happen and she didn't know what to do. How to bring Bo back to herself and all she could think was that if she was going to die this way then she would do it with a kiss. Gathering the last of her strength, Tamsin pulled Bo forward and kissed her as if it would be their very last. She put everything into it. All of her love and all of the emotion she wanted to share but she kept hidden because it hadn't been the right time. Tamsin gave Bo everything she was and just before she felt herself begin to black out, she watched a semblance of sanity return to those glowing blue eyes.

Good, Tamsin thought, her eyelids were as heavy as her limbs and she collapsed onto the ground. Her Bo was back. She had managed to do something right after all. They still had a chance of winning.

---

Shouting and the slam of furniture being broken woke Tamsin from her rest. Her head is pounding and she feels weak. It's worse than the other times that Bo drained her. She started to push herself up but a firm hand is on her shoulder, keeping her in place, and she's met with Kenzi's concerned gaze.

"Hey," said Tamsin roughly, falling back onto the couch. They were in Trick's study, she realized, looking at their surroundings. It took her a moment to recognize the angry voices belonged to Aife and Trick. "What's going on?"

"Bobalicious drained you," said Kenzi frankly, sitting on the couch and staring down at her. "You should be wiped."

"I'm getting there," said Tamsin with a groan, pushing herself up by her elbows. She poked her head up enough to look into the bar where Aife and Trick were in the midst of their confrontation. Bo was with them, standing in the middle, trying to stop their argument with a look of clear frustration. "What's with the family feud?"

"Aife's pissed Trick put the axe on her thralls," said Kenzi carelessly. "Mama Succubus says we need them to take Odin out and she's making her point with migraine inducing volume." She tilted her head and studied Tamsin for a minute then asked, "How are you really feeling? No lying because I can so spot that shit a mile away."

Tamsin paused to consider the question and the moment she did, she frowned, lifting her shirt to look at where her wound should be. The skin only showed a faint red mark at where she had been cut. "Tired and confused," Tamsin said, lifting her gaze to stare hard at Kenzi. "Why am I healed?"

"Bo," Kenzi's lips popped on her name and she formed a mischievous grin, resting her chin in the palm of her hand, and gleefully watching Tamsin's reaction. "She freaked big time after you snapped her out of it with your self sacrificing heroics. Pumped her magic succubreath into you and healed you up good. She drained you then refilled you. Nifty, ain't it?"

"They weren't heroics," Tamsin grumbled irritably, not at all pleased with how Kenzi was trying to describe her. She pushed herself into a sitting position and held back a groan. Whatever Bo did healed her but it didn't take away the aches and pains that came from being drained of your chi to the extent it left you close to death. Still, she had been through worse. Tamsin grimly thought of her battle with Tomoe and the years of torture that followed at Odin's hands. Standing up, Tamsin waved off Kenzi's help and gingerly walked into the main bar, where Aife and Trick continued to bicker. "We don't have time for your fucked up family issues," said Tamsin bluntly, raising her voice as she entered the room. Aife and Trick turned to look at her, Trick with a wide and worried gaze, and Aife with something akin to admiration. Bo instantly rushed to Tamsin's side and she tried her best to maintain her mask but it was difficult in the face of Bo's concern. "I'm fine," Tamsin reassured, taking Bo's hand that was resting on her hip and squeezing it in a tender hold. "We get anything out of Evony?

"Vex took her for questioning," supplied Trick and Tamsin nodded. Most likely she would be executed once he got everything he wanted out of her. Tamsin wondered if he would do it privately or make a public spectacle out of it.

"Valkyrie," Aife said in silky smooth tones, walking over to Tamsin and wearing a fetching smile. Tamsin raised an eyebrow and next to her, she felt Bo bristle in response to her mother's flirtation. "You agree with me, don't you? Odin will have his slaves and we need ours. The battle is already severely weighed against us. We need bodies to level the playing field."

"We do," allowed Tamsin and Aife smirked in triumph, "but what good is it to beat Odin if we use his methods to do it? We'll be no better than he is and isn't that why you took Bo from him? Because you knew she could be better?" Aife looked away from Trick, no longer gloating as the smirk fell from her features and her eyes narrowed at Tamsin. She felt Bo press closer, they were shoulder to shoulder and Bo entwined their fingers. "Don't try and change her into him now."

"You're very good," said Aife and Tamsin had the definite feeling she was being sized up again. She strode over to Bo and flashed her a glittering smile. "I'll return in time for the attack, darling," she promised, kissing her cheek. Aife then directed her gaze, hard and unfeeling towards Trick and she said, "Try to not send any assassins after me, would you? The civil thing would be to wait until one parent is dead before you attempt to kill the other."

"Aife," Trick's voice was exasperated and pleading.

"No time to chat," Aife dismissed him with a flick of her wrist, walking out of the bar. "Toodles!"

They descended into awkward silence and Trick gave them something resembling a smile but it was small and painfully awkward. "Kids," he offered lamely and he stared at them for a moment before disappearing into his study.

The instant they're alone, Bo's hands are on her, moving over the skin where the wound had been and Tamsin can see the guilt in her eyes. "I'm fine," Tamsin said, reaching for Bo's hands and drawing them away from her midsection. "You fixed me right up." The guilt didn't leave though. It remained in her eyes and Tamsin sighed, moving closer, and holding Bo's face in her hands. "Hey," she said this in a soft command and Bo looked at her with wide eyes. "Tell me what's wrong."

"I almost couldn't stop," said Bo faintly, her gaze darted away from Tamsin's and she bit down on her lip.

"You did though," Tamsin enforced and she gave into temptation, her thumb moving across Bo's cheek in a gentle caress. The succubus released a shaky breath, focusing on Tamsin, a plaintive look in her gaze. "That's what really matters," Tamsin murmured, holding Bo's gaze and trying to get her to recognize the truth in her words.

Nothing but silence and Tamsin frowned. She wasn't having any effect and Bo was lost in her thoughts, tormented by her actions, and Tamsin didn't know how to help her. Then Bo said decisively, "I need to see Lauren." It was such a small thing. Saying those words but it meant so much. Lauren could help Bo in ways that she couldn't. Whatever she had to offer it wasn't enough and something in Tamsin broke on hearing this. It didn't reflect on her features though. They were kept purposefully blank and she nodded, stepping backwards as Bo continued, "The shot it worked but it wasn't good enough. There has to be a way she can make it stronger." Tamsin understood Bo's reasoning but it didn't remove the feeling that she was a failure. That she hadn't been good enough, strong enough, to help Bo when she needed it the most. "Tamsin," said Bo emphatically, stepping forward and reaching out for her. "I can't let this happen again. If it does I might end up killing you."

"You wouldn't," said Tamsin adamantly, clenching her jaw after she said this, "but you should see her." The words were stuck on her tongue, coming out at a slow and reluctant pace, and Tamsin hated herself for saying them. It was the right thing. That was what she told herself. Bo needed Lauren and Bo should go to Lauren. While it stung her pride and hurt her in a way she couldn't quite understand, Tamsin knew full well you couldn't be everything to everyone. There were things that Lauren could provide Bo that she never could and Tamsin would never deny Bo what she needed. "Just be careful," Tamsin swallowed and she allowed herself this small foolish weakness, stepping forward and touching Bo's cheek. "Okay?"

"I will," Bo promised and she rushed forward, kissing Tamsin soundly.

Then she walked into Trick's study, to presumably tell him about her plans to visit Lauren. Tamsin stood in the middle of the bar, staring into space, when she felt a familiar presence at her side. "Hey partner," said Tamsin in droll tones. His shirt was ripped and yet again, he was showing off his toned abdomen. Sometimes Tamsin swore he did things just so he would wind up shirtless. It happened way too often for that not to be the reason. "How'd you make out?"

"Five kills and I got to hand over Evony to the dark," said Dyson, flashing a vicious smile that made Tamsin laugh. She nodded her head agreeably, thinking she'd be pleased with those results too. "What's going on?"

It was always Bo with the two of them. Tamsin really shouldn't be surprised by it but sometimes it got tiresome. Looking to him, she considered what Bo had told her and the undercurrents to the conversation. The succubus was going to Lauren for help but Tamsin wouldn't doubt something else would be settled between them. Dyson's words echoed in her ears, that he just wanted a chance to let Bo know how he felt and then he would let the chips fall where they may. It was only fair that he got to have his moment on the same day as the good doctor, thought Tamsin.

"She's going to see Lauren," said Tamsin finally. "Wants her help with cooking up a harder, better, faster, stronger formula to neutralize Odin's effect on her." There it was, the subtle twitch in his jaw and the stiff set of his shoulders. Tamsin didn't know what it was about the doctor but Dyson clearly had a problem with her in a way that didn't associate itself to Tamsin. She wondered if it was the fact that Lauren was human or was it that they were both there at the start. Rivals in romance from the very beginning. "You should talk to her before she leaves."

"Really," said Dyson in a rumble and he looked at her with those eyes that always saw too much.

All of this would be easier if she could just hide again. Bury herself underneath that smart ass facade and just say a few fucking witty lines and that be the end of it. Only she couldn't do that because now everyone around her seemingly could see beyond it and it was infuriating as hell. Especially when all she wanted to do was not deal with them knowing her feelings and all the bullshit that went with them. Heaving a sigh, Tamsin studied the decorations of the bar again, trying to find something from Asia this time. "Me and you, we're simpatico," said Tamsin with dry humor, gesturing to herself and then Dyson, whapping him lightly on his chest. "I'll make my peace with whatever happens but first the lady's got to know she has options." Tamsin arched an eyebrow significantly. "So I'd get your ass in there and let it be known, huh?"

For a second, it seemed like he was going to say something to her, but instead he nodded and grabbed her, pulling her to him for a fast and fierce hug. Tamsin grumbled in protest and he laughed in a happy rumble, ruffling her hair then turning on his heel and walking into Trick's study. Tamsin wandered over to the bar and contemplated the beers while Trick and Kenzi entered the room. Trick disappeared into his supply room and Kenzi sidled up to her at the bar.

"You know what D-Man's doing in there, right?" Kenzi inquired, looking at her.

"Yup," Tamsin drawled, deciding on a pale ale, and standing up to pour herself a glass. "I told him to get in while the gettin's good. The doc's about to have her chance so I figured, hey, let the wolf in on it too."

"Jean Valjean," Kenzi said somberly and Tamsin snorted, sitting down on the bar stool. "Seriously!" said Kenzi emphatically, clasping onto her arm and shaking her. "What the fuck?! I mean, what in the literal fuck? I thought you were all in."

"They love her too," said Tamsin simply, drinking her beer, "and Bo is a succubus."

"What's that mean? You're going to time share her?" asked Kenzi incredulously.

Tamsin released a bark of amusement, smirking at Kenzi, thoroughly entertained by the other woman. "No," she said slowly, shaking her head. "I might not be everything she needs. I don't think anybody could be that and I'm not going to waste time being jealous over shit I can't change. Dyson loves her, Lauren loves her, they should be able tell her that and Bo should be able to decide what she wants to do about it." Tamsin shrugged her shoulders and took a long drink of beer.

"You are being scary mature about this," said Kenzi, squinting at her as if she was an extraterrestrial.

"I'm a couple thousand years old," said Tamsin acerbically. "I should be scary mature." Kenzi continued to stare at her as if she was some sort of anomaly and Tamsin heaved an irritated sigh and faced her. "Look," she said strongly, "I want her but wanting her doesn't mean I have a claim on her. Bo's her own woman and she's got to make her own choices. Do I want her choice to involve me? Yeah. But if it doesn't then I'll deal and move on. The same for Dyson and Lauren."

"Right," Kenzi said this slowly, tones of utter disbelief lacing her voice. "What if BoBo wants a foursome?"

Tamsin eyed Kenzi and broke into a half grin, seeing the mirth in Kenzi's eyes. "Then I guess we'll have to get a bigger bed," Tamsin offered and Kenzi laughed, bumping shoulders with the valkyrie. After a moment, they calmed down, and she looked to Kenzi, well aware of the role she played in Bo's life. "I just want her, Kenzi," Tamsin murmured, her voice just as solemn as her expression, letting Kenzi plainly see the truth of this. "I'll take Bo however I can get her."

"Damn, man," said Kenzi heavily, standing up to reach for two shot glasses and some vodka. She filled them up and pushed one towards Tamsin, lifting it up for a toast. When they clinked the glasses together, she said, "To the bottom!"

Knowing this toast and the meaning all too well, Tamsin smirked and replied, "Skaal!"

They drank their shots and slammed the glasses down on the table. Ignoring Trick's look of reproach as he joined them in the bar. After all, they were about to go to war and if that wasn't a time to drink then what was?

---

When you spend hundreds of years training and thousands of years fighting, you develop a specific set of skills. Among which is the ability to never fall into a deep sleep. If you allowed this, you couldn't wake in time to keep yourself from the clutches of danger, and a sword would be at your throat, slitting it before you opened your eyes. That being the case, Bo cried out in surprise when Tamsin sprung forward in her bed the instant she sat on top of it. The room was pitch black as it was well into the dead of night and it took Tamsin a moment to recognize Bo's figure. As soon as she did, Tamsin released Bo as quickly as she captured her and she uncoiled her body, staring at Bo who met her gaze with wide eyes.

"Sorry," Tamsin apologized and Bo could see the regret in her eyes. She struggled, searching for the proper explanation while Bo rubbed at her sore neck, and finally all she could say was, "It's part of my training to always be on alert for attacks.

Continuing to rub her neck, Bo said wryly, "This is where I'm reminded you Bronze Age, me 1970's."

"Sorry," Tamsin apologized again and she scooted forward, removing Bo's hand from her neck and inspecting the damage herself. The skin was red and irritated and Tamsin frowned, upset she was responsible for even that small amount of injury to the brunette. "Here," her voice was a hush and she reached up, tangling her fingers into Bo's hair and tugging her close, her lips a breath away from the brunette's. "Let me fix it."

The kiss was soft and probing, Tamsin was forcing Bo into this feed, and at first, the succubus didn't respond. Then slowly, she felt the tell tale pull of her chi being devoured and Bo's charms flooding her body. It wasn't like the times before, it lacked an overwhelming wave of desire, instead she felt all the tension leave her, providing the same sensation as a great massage. When they parted, Bo's neck was healed and Tamsin looked at Bo with a lidded gaze, a strange feeling of contentment spreading throughout her. Despite this, she could see the darkness in those brown eyes. The misery and the self hate and it was excruciatingly familiar and it wasn't something Tamsin ever wanted to see on Bo's features. It should be something utterly foreign to her and Tamsin would do anything to remove it now.

Words sometimes did more harm than good, Tamsin was well aware of that, and she didn't have any in this moment. Just actions as she reached for Bo, pulling the succubus into her arms. Bo's body melded to her own and her hands clutched to Tamsin's frame and she felt Bo tremble. Closing her eyes, Tamsin sank back onto the bed, situating Bo on top of her, keeping her as close as possible and sighing when she felt Bo's leg fit snugly in between her own. It was a quiet promise that Tamsin made to Bo in this embrace. One that spoke not only of a desire to protect but of compassion and eventually Tamsin felt Bo begin to calm. Then Bo lifted her head, her brown eyes flashing with a hint of blue and she kissed Tamsin.

At first, it was much the same as previous kisses, filled with warmth and overflowing with emotion. All too soon it became something else entirely. A wanting and desperate thing, Bo nipping on Tamsin's bottom lip, demanding to be allowed entrance with her tongue and her teeth and Tamsin would not deny her. She opened herself to the succubus, arching into her touch as she shoved the t-shirt off Tamsin's body. This wasn't a normal feed, Bo wasn't taking her chi, but all the same Tamsin felt as if the succubus was drawing something from her in this. There was an urgency to her touch as she slid down Tamsin's body and yanked her shorts off, throwing them to the floor and quickly descending to suck on Tamsin's clit.

Bo had never used her charms like this and Tamsin had never felt so wet and it was all she could do to keep from crying out when Bo thrust into her as she thumbed her clit. Her tongue working in tandem with her fingers and Tamsin keened low in her throat. How long had it been since she felt like this? Centuries and it was frightening to feel so much once again but Tamsin would never wish it otherwise. Feeling was the proof of living, Tomoe had told her that, and it was the truth. Tamsin had never felt as alive as she did in this moment, her hips moving in time with Bo's thrusts as she rose up to meet her. Her only awareness being a deep seated desire to take everything the succubus could give and return it tenfold.

It was a primal and almost savage display of intimacy that Tamsin knew all too well. She had experienced this before in Tomoe's arms, when they barely survived a particularly brutal battle in the Genpei War. They made love that night with a ferocity that was as much about their feelings for one another as it was an affirmation that they were alive. The way Bo touched her now, frantic and grasping, as if she was trying to emphasize their connection, was an echo of the past.

Nothing good had caused this need in the succubus. This was a dark and desolate emotion that drove her onward, her lips hungry on Tamsin's, tongue pressing for entrance, and she could feel Bo's tears falling onto her skin. Tamsin ended the kiss to try and look into Bo's eyes but the other woman hid in the crook of Tamsin's neck. Her sobs silent and heaving as she increased the pace of her thrusts and Tamsin instinctively bucked into her hand to match her tempo. "Please," Bo rasped, kissing the underside of Tamsin's chin before moving onto her mouth. "I just want..." Bo's voice trailed off, broken and despairing, and Tamsin felt her eyes prick with tears in response and she seized Bo's lips in a hard kiss.

This was a different sort of feeding, it wasn't meant to sustain Bo's body but her heart, and Tamsin surrendered herself to it, pulling Bo ever closer, giving her everything she had inside of her. All of the love and the care, everything she felt for Bo that frightened her to the very core of her being, and Bo was crying as Tamsin reached her climax. When Tamsin settled down, her mind fuzzy and her body exhausted, she pushed a lock of hair from Bo's face and kissed her tears away. Bo shuddered and sighed, her chest moving in heaving breaths as she slowly pulled out of the valkyrie. Her fingers were still wet with desire as they clutched to Tamsin, treating her like she was Bo's life preserver in a storm.

For a very long while, Tamsin didn't say anything. She simply held Bo in her arms, allowing her tears to dry, and kissing the top of her head when she nuzzled closer. After she felt Bo was calm enough, Tamsin questioned, "You want to tell me what that was about?" Bo was silent and Tamsin pulled her closer, her hand moving across her back in a comforting caress. "If you don't want to talk, you don't have to but like somebody once said to me, I want to listen."

"I wrote that," Bo corrected in a mutter, peering up at Tamsin. "I didn't say it."

"My bad," said Tamsin droll tones, arching an eyebrow and forming a crooked smile, "like somebody once wrote to me then."

Chuckling quietly at this remark, Bo sighed and rested in Tamsin's arms, relaxing under the gentle circles Tamsin was tracing over her skin. "Lauren poked and prodded me for hours. She came up with a new formula but she says it will probably hardly work any better than the original," Bo said this without any inflection.

"That isn't what has you upset," said Tamsin, frank in her honesty, gazing down at the succubus.

There was no response other than Bo shifting in her hold, her hands clinging tighter to Tamsin, and the valkyrie didn't say anything more. She held Bo and she waited. If she wanted to tell her then she would. Words dragged from the lips of an unwilling confessor would never ease the mind and Tamsin wouldn't press Bo further if that was the case. Just as Tamsin resigned herself to not knowing the reason why Bo was distressed, she said, tormented, "I can't be what she needs."

"And what's that?" asked Tamsin, her voice soft and soothing.

Bo reached for Tamsin's hand and entwined their fingers. Gazing at them as she raised them into the air and Tamsin mimicked her movements, tapping her fingertips against Bo's and smiling at this interaction. Her attention focused on their hands, Bo answered, "I can't be faithful to her in the ways I know she really wants. It's not possible. Lauren wouldn't want to do what Kenzi did, become fae, and she shouldn't have to." Bo let their hands fall to the bed and her fingertips trailed up Tamsin's arm. "Even if Lauren was fae her chi still wouldn't be enough to sustain me. I've fed from Kenzi since she turned fae and her chi is only slightly stronger than it was when she was human."

"You love Lauren," Tamsin stated. Bo didn't respond and Tamsin took her silence as an affirmation of this. "If you love someone you can work through messed up shit. The both of you just have to really want it."

Tamsin didn't know where this was coming from. These fucking lines out of a self-help book or some shit like that but it felt like the right thing to say. She didn't want to lie to Bo or try to sway her into thinking a relationship with Lauren was this impossible thing because it wasn't. Tamsin had known plenty of fae who had been with humans in the old days before the Great War and the subsequent divide which resulted in them hiding their existence. It hadn't been the easiest thing in the world but she had seen many fae and human pairings work because the bond was true and the love genuine. She wasn't stupid, she had eyes, and Tamsin knew that was the case for Bo and Lauren. While she was many things, Tamsin had never been one to settle for being second best. The simple truth was, she wanted Bo more than she had wanted anything in a very long while but she wouldn't truly have her if she was longing for someone else. If Bo's heart was with Lauren then that's where she should be, not warming the sheets of Tamsin's bed and occupying her time with late night confessions.

In an elegant movement, Bo rose up, leaning on her elbow and gazing down at Tamsin. The valkyrie was frozen by the intensity in those brown eyes and it was as if Bo could see into very soul. She felt her breath still in her chest as Bo rested her hand on her cheek. "You've always been so alive," Bo said in a hush, almost reverently, a wisp of a smile clinging to her lips. Tamsin blinked in confusion, unsure where this could possibly be going. "I told you that when you were dying and it's even truer now. When I look in your eyes I see that passion for life, for taking every second you have and living it like it was your last. Only before it was buried underneath your grief and that's finally gone. I can see you're happy."

What to say to this? How to respond? Tamsin didn't want to say too much and make Bo feel as if she owed her something, not when she was trying to sort out what to do about Lauren and maybe Dyson, but all the same... she couldn't keep silent either. And so, she looked off to one side, swallowing hard then she replied, "It's because of you." Gathering her courage, Tamsin faced Bo, deciding that if she was going to say this she had to look her in the eyes. "I mean that."

The smile that Bo formed in reaction to this was nearly blinding and she released a bubbling laugh, strangely broken in its sound, then she captured Tamsin's lips in a clinging kiss. When they separated, Bo continued to smile and she caressed the blonde's face then she murmured with heartfelt sincerity, "Thank you for saying that." Tucking her head underneath Tamsin's chin, Bo was silent for several moments and then she said in a soft and solemn tone, "Lauren loves me but when she looks at me it's like she's exhausted because of it. Almost as if loving me is a burden. People can work through their problems if they love each other and they really want to but it takes energy, Tamsin." Bo lifted her head, looking up at the other woman with a plaintive gaze, as if begging her for understanding. "I feel like Lauren and I have run out."

"Bo," Tamsin murmured, frowning at the tears she saw in brown eyes, she cupped her face in a comforting hold.

"Does love even matter when you're too tired to fight for it?" asked Bo, giving that strained and broken laugh again. "I think it's too much for us. The fae, Nadia, and Taft. We keep trying at it and we keep falling apart and I wonder why do it anymore? Lauren doesn't look at me like she used to and I'm sure it's the same for me."

The look that Bo gave her was a quiet and questioning one and Tamsin held it for a long moment. Then she sighed, her thumb caressing Bo's cheek in a languid gesture. "I don't know what to say," Tamsin revealed.

"Just tell me the truth," said Bo and Tamsin could hear her need for this. Tamsin nodded her head and took a deep breath, trying to sort the words out in her head before she spoke them. Not wanting to confuse or complicate matters further.

"Akazome once told me the secret to love was the honesty of a sleep addled mind," said Tamsin with a wry smile, pushing a lock of brown hair behind Bo's ear. "It's in that place between sleep and waking when you're unable to hide the truth and what comes to you in those moments is a reflection of a heart's genuine desire." Smiling brighter, Tamsin kissed Bo in a tender reassurance, and murmured in her ear, "You figure out what or who makes you happy and that will be your truth."

Faster than her eye could see, Bo was upon her, kissing her deeply, her embrace passionate and her touch feverish and Tamsin moaned. As emotional and all encompassing as their previous encounter had been, this was something stronger, it wasn't tainted by grief and guilt with Bo trying to lose herself in Tamsin's arms. This was a display of raw affection and desire, making Tamsin quiver and buck into Bo's hands, opening her mouth wide and groaning when Bo fed on her chi. On and on, they went like this throughout the night, until they collapsed, exhausted and in a tangle of limbs on the bed. Bo held Tamsin closely against her body to maintain their connection even during sleep. As Tamsin drifted off, she could feel the gentle press of Bo's lips on her forehead and she heard a faint whisper of the succubus' voice.

"You make me happy."

---

It's no simple task, transporting a regiment of fifty something fae into a realm across the planes of time and space, but Duncan was a Shadow Person. An ancient and storied species of fae, one to be admired and feared, and he did it with barely a drop of sweat on his brow. The instant they arrived in Odin's realm they were set upon by his army, their numbers coming in wave after wave, and on the horizon Tamsin could see her sisters. Sigrun standing tall and proud with Brynhild and Gudrun at her side. They were leagues apart but their eyes locked and she knew they would not fight against her.

This joyful realization resounding in her heart, Tamsin rushed into battle. Her broadsword felt light in her hands and there was nothing holding her back as she cut down Odin's pawns. If not for her own experience with Tomoe, she would have had some hesitation in killing them, but she knew full well they could never be free of his influence. They were all too far gone, as Tomoe had been, and it was kindness to end their suffering at his hands. At least in the peace of death, they could return to their former selves. It was this thought that was foremost in her mind as she decimated their numbers. Slashing with her sword and she could see Bo fighting at her mother's side.

She was a thing of exquisite strength, a reflection of Aife herself, who snapped the necks of their enemies as if they were nothing more than twigs in her hands. Tamsin often thought Odin the frightening parent but perhaps it was Aife because, after all, isn't it the mother who will always so viciously protect her young? Even from their own fathers if necessary.

They were a brewing storm and Tamsin ran after them, laughing as she cut her opponents down. Her smile was wide and gleaming, savage in its beauty, and this was what greeted her sisters as they met on the field of battle. The centuries that had passed since they last fought together were too vast to count and this was a glorious echo of the past. A Valkyrie tribe free and fierce, facing an impossible tide and battling against it. This was their great moment of defiance, seizing their freedom, taking it in their hands and removing Odin's influence from their lives.

Deeper they went into the compound, led by her sisters, drawn to his inner sanctum and Tamsin tried to not fixate on the wild look in Bo's eyes and she wanted to ignore the way they shifted from brown into blue. Bo was different, yes, but she was herself, there was a marked difference when he controlled her and Tamsin saw nothing of it currently. All the same, she was desperately praying those shots Bo had taken of Lauren's improved formula had a better effect than the old version. Kenzi and Dyson were with them, hot on their heels, and Tamsin knew if she failed they would save Bo. They wouldn't allow Odin to claim her and it was with this confidence in her heart that she followed the succubus into Odin's throne room.

Aife recited the spell that would destroy his koushang with an almost enraptured expression, her face that of a viper's and Tamsin watched as for just a split second, Odin looked surprised. The koushang shattered and Aife laughed long and loud, her hands like claws as they reached for him, holding him in a merciless grip as she began to drain him. He fell to his knees with a reverberating crash and Tamsin can't believe this is happening. Aife is draining him and she can see him wither and crumple before her eyes and it's something to marvel at. This demon of a man who took Tomoe from her and twisted her into a heartless monster, the man who killed and resurrected her for his games of torture, he was dying.

Finally, that was Tamsin's only thought.

Then, just as it seemed it was over, and Aife would complete her task and leave the dark king as nothing but an empty husk Bo was there. Yanking her mother from Odin, disrupting the flow of her chi, and it was him in her eyes. Tamsin could see that just as well as Aife, who Tamsin knew was torn between killing Odin and saving her child. It wasn't a choice that Tamsin would allow Aife to make and as Bo tossed her mother across the throne room, Tamsin intervened.

This wasn't her Bo, this was what Odin would make of her, and it destroyed Tamsin to see her this way. This was a thing of nightmares and Tamsin wouldn't let it stand. How to bring Bo back? That was the question resounding in her head while she took punches and dodged the sharp blade of the other woman's knife. Though it was difficult and the succubus managed to stab her deeply in the right shoulder, causing Tamsin to curse and refocus. It would all be over if Odin died, Tamsin was sure of this. He was the puppet master and once he was dead and no longer able to pull the strings this farce would end. Aife, she thought, darting her gaze across the room to look for her figure. Tamsin watched Aife push herself to her feet and as she lifted her head, their eyes locked and Tamsin could see the agreement in her gaze. This was Aife's fight more than anyone else because it wasn't just about what he did to her but what he would do to their daughter. It was fitting she would finish it.

They knew what they had to do. Tamsin reached for Bo and Aife rushed at Odin, perfectly synchronized in their efforts. The valkyrie captured Bo's lips in an ardent kiss, putting everything she felt for Bo into this embrace. There was a moment of pause and then Tamsin felt Bo begin to feed, pulling the chi from her body, and Aife flashed Odin a ruthless smile, her nails digging into his flesh as she told him to say his last goodbye with gleeful exuberance.

Odin's neck snapped and all is silent in the world. It is almost as if time stops and restarts itself as Aife lets Odin's lifeless body crash to the floor, her laughter resounding in the chamber. Declaring that the dark king should never fuck with a crazy succubus when he doesn't have a koushang. Tamsin's awareness is fading as Bo continued to feed but it's dying off and in her daze she wonders if that's why Odin couldn't control Aife. Her mind had already been torn asunder by his machinations and as a result it was too far gone for any sort of dominance to be exerted over it anymore. Odin had been his own undoing.

The feed slowed to a stop and Tamsin is light headed but she has her faculties and is aware of her surroundings. Bo, however, doesn't appear to be. She stared at Tamsin with a bewildered look in her eyes. With her mind in that addled place Akazome spoke about, Tamsin held Bo's face in her hands and smiled. "We won," Tamsin said, her smile growing brighter.

Bo looked from Tamsin to her father's fallen body and Aife as she neared them. Tamsin stepped away from Bo, allowing her to go to her mother and she started to stumble but Dyson is at her side to steady her. She gave him a silent look of gratitude then turned to watch Aife wrap Bo up in her arms. This was a victory.

---

The Dal hadn't seen a celebration the likes of this in several hundred years and Trick pulled the rarest vintages from his cellar, pouring glasses with a merry smile, and Aife was the belle of the ball. Her past seemingly forgotten by the light for this one night and thoroughly welcomed by the dark as Vex pitched her vigorously on the benefits of joining their side. Tamsin was slightly off kilter from the battle but it didn't stop her from indulging in akevitt and beer with her fellow valkyries. Only to top it off with some of the Viking Era mead courtesy of Sigrun. She had just indulged in her second tankard when she sensed Bo approaching. Arching an eyebrow and raising her tankard, Tamsin noted Bo's lack of an alcoholic beverage. "Where's your drink?" she asked. "This is a party. Your mom is the fae Xena, a giant redeemed hero. You should be plastered."

"I think you've got that handled for the both of us," said Bo humorously, pulling Tamsin forward by the belt loops of her jeans.

"Probably," Tamsin acknowledged, tilting her head and squinting at the succubus. Bo smiled at her admittance and slipped her hands underneath the material of Tamsin's shirt, touching her skin in a comforting caress. Tamsin regarded the other woman for a long moment, reading her veiled expression. She was far too serious for such a festive occasion and Tamsin put two and one together to come up with three. Dyson and Lauren both had their sensitive emotional chats with Bo about their relationships and apparently it was her turn. Heaving a sigh and wearing a resigned expression, Tamsin turned to the other valkyries and set her tankard down on their table with a clunk. "Later, ladies," Tamsin declared, giving them a jaunty salute in an attempt to keep her spirits up. "I've got to take care of some business."

Taking Bo's hand, Tamsin smirked at Gudrun's shout to have an enjoyable transaction as she led Bo through the crowd and into the privacy of Trick's study. Once they were alone in the study, Tamsin perched on the arm rest of the couch and peered up at Bo who stood between her legs, a frown on her features. Bo tugged at her shirt collar and Tamsin blinked, wondering what this was about, watching the succubus lightly touch the bandage that Brynhild had put there not an hour ago. During the battle she had sustained more than a few injuries, including that stab wound to her shoulder. "I'm fine," Tamsin reassured, removing Bo's hand and squeezing it lightly. "I've had plenty worse injuries."

"I hurt you," said Bo quiet and almost severe, her gaze focused on Tamsin's shoulder. Tamsin knew it wasn't just the literal injury she was focused on but also the fact that she had drained Tamsin of her chi and in the process, weakened her. Most likely exacerbating the gravity of her wounds in the process.

"I'll get better," Tamsin replied just as forcefully, drawing Bo's gaze to her, and forming a smirk. "I'm tough."

Immediately after she said these words, Bo was upon her, lips insistent and eager and Tamsin was taken by surprise. Before she had the chance to enjoy the kiss, she experienced the strangest feeling. Her entire body was filled with warmth and a sensation of utter giddiness overtook her. At first she didn't know what was happening but as she felt herself become stronger and her energy revitalized, she realized that Bo was feeding her chi. Her wounds were being healed and her vitality restored. This was a small taste of what Bo went through when she was feeding and it was amazing. When they separated, Tamsin was breathing heavily and her head was swimming.

"I don't want you to have to be tough, not with me," Bo divulged in something of a whisper. Her mind bleary, Tamsin was altogether baffled as Bo continued, "I know I don't make things easy and I hate it. I hate my life being so fucking complicated all of the time." Bo bit her lip and looked off to one side, wearing a face of trepidation and Tamsin watched her closely, her breath catching in her chest. She hadn't known what to expect from this talk but it wasn't this. "You make it simple though," Bo revealed, looking to Tamsin and forming a breathtaking smile and releasing an incredulous laugh. Holding Tamsin's face in her hands, Bo smiled and said, "You don't pressure me and somehow, you've always accepted me for exactly who I am. I don't have to fight my nature when I'm with you and you've never made me feel ashamed because of it." Bo paused and she wore an utterly determined expression, one Tamsin had seen time and time again before she went and did something that should've been impossible but succeeded anyway. "I've already talked to Dyson and Lauren. They want me but after all of this, I realized that all I want is you," Bo confessed and Tamsin could see the nervousness on her beautiful features.

They had never talked about their feelings or their future. It wasn't something Tamsin wanted to pursue, not with her guilt over Tomoe and Bo having multiple suitors. Here Bo was, saying the one thing that, deep down, Tamsin always hoped for but thought she would never hear. Words, words, there were so many words she wanted to say to her, to explain how much Bo meant to her, how she had saved her from a miserable and hopeless existence, that she loved her as she had only loved one other, but Tamsin didn't say any of them. She simply pulled Bo into her arms and kissed her with intense emotion, showing her how very much she loved her and when she felt the succubus smile and moan into her, Tamsin knew she succeeded. They parted with beaming smiles and Bo laughed happily, launching herself into Tamsin's arms. They laughed loudly as they fell backwards onto the couch with a thump. She could feel Bo smiling as she kissed the line of her neck, her hands slipping underneath her shirt to cup Tamsin's breasts as they kissed again. It was all too much, Tamsin thought, this feeling of happiness but she surrendered to it completely and to Bo, reveling in her touch.

"DUDE," Kenzi declared loudly and the sound was accompanied by the study door slamming open. "Do that in private!"

Bo pushed herself slightly upwards, glaring over the couch at her friend. "We were," she pointed out grumpily. "The door was closed. You came in here, remember?"

"The guest of honor demands your presence," Kenzi defended, hands on her hips. "Mama Succubus wants her daughter."

"You're a cock block," Tamsin remarked sourly from where she was comfortably resting underneath Bo. She lazily traced patterns on the brunette's back, enjoying the feel of her soft skin against her fingertips. "Leave us alone."

"Unless Bo's funky fae hormones have done something I don't know about, neither of you have cocks to block," snarked Kenzi, waving her hands at them then walking out of the room. "Get your asses out here! You can sex it up at home!"

"No shit!" retorted Tamsin, thumping her head against the couch and frowning deeply.

Laughing at their antics, Bo kissed Tamsin, seemingly charmed by her irritation. It was as if somehow the sight of it had distracted Bo from her own ire at Kenzi's interruption. "Come on," Bo murmured, sliding off of Tamsin and holding out her hand as she stood up. "We'll have plenty of time to make up for this later."

Taking Bo's hand, Tamsin realized the succubus was right. Bo had chosen her. Not Dyson. Not Lauren. Her. They had the rest of their lives to spend together. Overwhelmed by the reality of this, Tamsin pulled Bo to her and kissed her passionately, putting all of her love and every bit of her devotion into it. When she pulled away, Bo was panting and Tamsin flashed her a rakish smile, murmuring in her ear, "That's a sneak preview."

Brown eyes gleamed blue and Tamsin laughed, turning on her heel and leading Bo towards the party. Well aware she would be paying for that stunt once they returned home and that just gave Tamsin one more thing to look forward to.

---

Three hours passed until they left the Dal and Tamsin had never driven faster. She broke several traffic laws during their trip home and by the time she parked the car, her jeans were already unbuttoned. Bo was kissing her with her right hand down the front of Tamsin's jeans as they stumbled out of the El Camino, in the throes of an fervent embrace. Skilled fingers explored the length of her pussy, teasing her clit, and Tamsin bucked into Bo's hand as they made their way inside. Bo slammed her against what passed for a wall and plaster fell from the ceiling as Tamsin hitched her leg around Bo's waist.

No words were needed between them, Tamsin was wet and ready, desperate for Bo's touch and the succubus gave it to her, sliding three fingers into her in a smooth motion. She moaned into Bo's mouth, lifting her hips and matching the pace of Bo's thrusts as her fingers tangled into her hair, keeping her firmly locked into their kiss. A familiar heat pooled in her belly and she was so fucking hot and wet, Tamsin knew it was due to Bo's charms but it was so much stronger than before. There had always been a part of her that had been restrained, kept protected and safe, because as much as she wanted Bo she didn't know what she was to the other woman. Now she knew. Tamsin mattered to Bo as much as Bo mattered to Tamsin. Bo truly was her present and her future and there was nothing keeping her from giving everything she had to the succubus

All her love and desire flowed through her in this moment and Tamsin felt like a teenager again, immediately climaxing on Bo's fingers with a shout. Tamsin felt boneless and weak but Bo was there to support her. Grinning and kissing her sweetly as she fell to her knees and pulled Tamsin's jeans and panties down with her. The valkyrie barely had an instant to process this movement when she felt Bo's lips on her, sucking her clit as her tongue explored her folds. Again her fingers tangled into thick brown hair, holding Bo close as Tamsin bucked into her, begging for more and Bo gave it to her. She gave Tamsin all she asked for and more, sending a wave of her charms through the blonde's body, making her tremble uncontrollably.

One, two, and then three times, Bo made her orgasm again and again, until Tamsin drug her up by her shirt, and kissed her soundly, delighting in her smile and laughter, pleased to see her so happy. They finally made their way into Bo's bedroom and quickly divested themselves of clothing, tumbling onto the bed, ensconced in an passionate embrace. Tamsin had been taken so wonderfully and so very thoroughly she wanted to return it measure for measure. She nipped at Bo's lips, opening them wide and kissing her deeply, her left hand tracing her curves as her right pinched Bo's nipple. Her touch was aggressive and knowing, encouraging the succubus to feed and when she entered her roughly, she bit down on Bo's bottom lip. Bo formed a crooked smile, gleaming and utterly joyous, then she yanked Tamsin forward, feeding from her vigorously.

It was exactly what Tamsin wanted and she delighted in it, thrusting into Bo at a ferocious pace. From this day forward, she wanted all of Bo's fears about feeding to leave her. Tamsin wanted Bo to feed from her as forcefully as she needed in order to sustain herself and to sate her desires as a succubus. This wasn't something Tamsin wanted Bo to shy away from. She loved every part of Bo and that included her succubus nature. For far too long, Bo had been made to feel these desires were evil or they were a burden and Tamsin wanted to show her they were anything but when it came to their relationship. That Tamsin not only accepted this part of her but she loved it and craved for this kind of touch. It was something she welcomed.

Trying to give as much as she received, Tamsin relished the feeling of Bo contracting around her fingers once then twice, only removing them when she felt Bo tug at her wrist. Grinning as she broke their kiss and Bo ended her feed, Tamsin's hand trailed up Bo's side, cupping her breast and she cocked an eyebrow at Bo who blinked at her languidly. The grin still planted on her features, Tamsin kissed Bo's breasts, then led her lips downwards as she kept her hands on Bo's breasts. Laughter resounded in the air and Tamsin nudged Bo's thighs apart, tasting her eagerly. This time it was Bo who encouraged her onwards with fingers tangled in her hair and her hips quivering with desire.

On it went, for the rest of the night and well into morning. They fell asleep in each other's arms and that was how they remained until they woke late in the afternoon. Tamsin stretched her muscles, smiling as Bo curled into her, resting her face against Tamsin's collarbone. A comfortable silence enveloped them and thinking of everything that had happened, Tamsin was reminded of Bo's words to her. That she shouldn't have to live with the guilt of what happened with Tomoe for the rest of her life. How she needed to go see her in Valhalla in order to truly move on. More than ever, this was something that Tamsin knew she had to do. She loved Tomoe and she always would but she was her past and Bo was her future.

"I'm going to see her," Tamsin said suddenly, looking to Bo and smiling at her bewildered expression. "Tomoe," she explained, pushing a lock of brown hair behind Bo's ear. "You were right, I need to talk to her."

"That's great," said Bo breathlessly, smiling and kissing Tamsin lightly. Her face open and encouraging. "You're going today?"

"Yeah," said Tamsin and she was suddenly nervous at the prospect. Clenching her jaw and steeling herself, Tamsin looked at Bo who gazed at her with those brown eyes that always saw so much. She was like Tomoe in all the ways that were supportive and caring. The ones that never failed to take hold of her heart. "I want to tell her about you," she revealed in a hush, trailing her hand over Bo's cheek, tracing her delicate features. "I need her to know how you saved me." She could see Bo begin to protest and Tamsin interrupted her with a fierce kiss, breathing against Bo's lips when they parted, "You did save me. I wasn't living when you met me. Not in the ways that matter. You changed that."

No verbal response came from Bo, only a loving kiss that led to another and another. Until it was more than evident Tamsin wouldn't be leaving for Valhalla anytime soon. Not that Tamsin minded. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

---

Almost a millennia had passed since Tamsin had stepped foot in Valhalla. She didn't know what to expect upon her return but she found it much as she remembered. The blue skies and the green forests and the great and shining hall, calling to her in the distance. A hall of heroes, where the fallen warriors went to socialize, and with certain trepidation, Tamsin walked towards it. In her mind she repeated Bo's whispered words of farewell, "Tell her what you feel. Don't be afraid. She loves you."

Did she though? Could she after everything that happened? After everything Tamsin had done?

Tomoe had always been so very understanding with her. Those thousand plus years of age she had over Tamsin weren't carried with arrogance but instead with patience and love. It was only when Odin began to take control that Tomoe started to change. She was responsible for that change and Tamsin couldn't help but think Tomoe would be justified in hating her. What she did was against everything Tomoe stood for and she would've never wished for any of it.

Her stomach was tied in knots and her heart was in her throat as she walked into the great hall. Though it was enormous, it was also teeming with warriors and Tamsin weaved her way through them, looking for a familiar form, slight but always standing tall, her height belying her true strength. Then it was as if the crowd parted and Tamsin saw her. Those light brown eyes were all seeing and all knowing, piercing into her, and Tamsin froze.

How much time progressed between when she saw Tomoe and when Tomoe stood before her, Tamsin didn't know, she only knew that it felt like a lifetime. Then there she was, just a breath away, and Tamsin swallowed hard, fear enveloping her. Tomoe stepped closer, lifting Tamsin's chin with her finger and thumb so their gazes locked. Once they did, she formed that winsome smile that had always served to beguile so many in the Clan Minamoto.

"I have been waiting for you," Tomoe said with that rich tone of affection she so often used. Her brow furrowed as she appeared annoyed with herself and Tamsin was reminded of how she wasn't the best with words. How she had to concentrate before speaking or she couldn't get her point across in the manner she desired. "That sounds terribly ominous, doesn't it? I only mean to say, I've been waiting for the day you come to see me. When you would be free."

"I'm sorry," the words were torn from Tamsin's throat, hoarse and full of emotion, her hands clasping onto Tomoe's forearms. Her eyes begging for forgiveness as she swallowed again, gathering up her courage. "Everything was my fault. I should have told you what the miko said--"

"Shhh," Tomoe soothed, hushing Tamsin with a finger to her lips, her gaze filled with understanding. Stepping forward, she gathered Tamsin in her arms and the blonde collapsed into her, a silent sob escaping her as she clung to Tomoe. She felt the agonizingly familiar touch of elegant fingers combing through her hair, calming her, and it was like returning home. Tomoe's voice was quiet and tranquil in her ear as she murmured, "You made a mistake due to love. It is something we all have done and you do not need to apologize for it. Anymore than you would demand my apology for your horrible treatment while I was under his control." Pulling out of their embrace, Tamsin saw the sadness reflected on her features and she knew Tomoe was thinking of those awful conflicts they had, where their fights had turned physical, and Tamsin shook her head severely. She would never hold that against Tomoe. Never. It wasn't her. This silent communication received, Tomoe touched her cheek gently. "All is well, keshiki. You will always be my flower." Her eyes twinkled with that playfulness Tamsin had known so well as she smiled. "Though you will forever deny this. You are a mighty warrior, not deserving of such a name."

"No," said Tamsin roughly, smiling through her tears. "I've missed it. Hearing you call me that."

"I will have to say it often then," said Tomoe teasingly, wiping the tears from Tamsin's face. "Although it will be strange to not be chided and have to kiss away your scowl." After she said this, a frown emerged on Tamsin's features and Tomoe looked at her knowingly. "You have something else to tell me."

"I met someone," said Tamsin haltingly. Though she felt no shame in being with Bo there was some strange guilt in saying this to Tomoe. Here she was, standing in front of the woman she loved first, the woman she had wanted to spend the rest of her life with, and she was speaking of someone else. She loved Bo as much as she loved Tomoe but it was different and she knew some part of her heart would always remain with the elder fae. "She saved me from him."

"You love her," said Tomoe and there was that tiny line in between her eyebrows. The one that appeared whenever she was in deep thought or something troubled her. Tamsin swallowed again on seeing it. Tomoe had always been so very loving and so very understanding with her and she had never been jealous but she had made sure to claim what was hers. As soon as they became involved, Tomoe made no secret of their relationship nor did she fail to dissuade any who dared attempt to approach Tamsin with unwanted affections. A sad smile, almost melancholy, spread across her fine features and Tomoe stood on her tip toes, pulling Tamsin down to her and kissing her forehead. "I can see it," she whispered. "She is good for you."

Tears fell down her cheeks and Tamsin buried herself in Tomoe's embrace, the smaller woman held her tight, her touch comforting as it had always been. It was exactly like Bo had said, she had let the guilt eat her up for years, what happened with Tomoe and some minuscule part of her had even felt guilty for moving on with Bo when Tomoe was dead. Only here she was, in Tomoe's arms, basking in her forgiveness and listening to her approval, and she finally felt at peace.

After that, they dined in the hall, eating steaks and drinking sake, speaking about everything and anything. When it was time for Tamsin to leave, Tomoe hugged her tight and kissed her cheek, telling her to return soon. Asking playfully for stories about her Bo and Tamsin blushed as she gave Tomoe her promise. Then she was at the shack, standing in the kitchen and Bo shrieked and banged into the convenience store refrigerator at her sudden appearance.

"You scared the shit out of me," Bo accused, giving a burst of nervous laughter. "You should wear a bell or something. Give a girl a little warning when you appear out of thin air like that."

"I'm not a cat," said Tamsin sardonically.

"You're not?" Bo asked with false astonishment, stepping closer and winding her arms around Tamsin's neck. "But you act cute and grumpy like the ones on the internet," she contemplated this with exaggerated seriousness only to grin when Tamsin scowled. Kissing her lightly, Bo tilted her head and touched Tamsin's cheek. "How did it go?"

"She made me promise to come back and tell her all about you," Tamsin mumbled, hiding her face in Bo's neck.

The laughter Bo released was warm and enchanting, reminding Tamsin why she loved the succubus and when she was done, Tamsin kissed her. All too soon, a familiar hunger seized her and Tamsin lifted Bo up by her thighs, delighting in the way the brunette wrapped her legs around her waist and smiled against her lips as they continued to kiss. Tamsin carried her into the bedroom, determined to show Bo how much she meant to her. The end of her life with Tomoe was the beginning of her life with Bo. Their journey together was just now starting and the distance between them?

It was gone.

End