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It had been literal centuries since the first time Carmilla had seen her, and yet Laura still took her breath away without even trying.

Laura had taken to mentoring a few amateur journalists lately. They had recently managed to bring down the corrupt CEO of a large company, their first real target. Laura explained all this to Carmilla, who sat on their leather couch and listened intently. Laura almost skipped from one side of their small living room to the other, hands telling as much of the story as her words. The care and pride she felt over her charges was clear as day.

The world had done it’s very best to take that warmth away from Laura. They had both seen terrible things in their many years. Done many questionable acts too. Somewhere deep inside, Carmilla knew she would be a very different creature if Laura was not by her side during the worst moments. But she had been there, for every one of them.

She held Carmilla when things became almost unbearable, and Carmilla thanked every deity she didn’t believe in for Laura choosing to be in her life. Other times it was Carmilla holding a trembling Laura, wishing she could protect her from everything that hurt her. During those moments, Carmilla almost understood her long dead Mother. The world was a cruel place, one that didn't deserve the tears Laura cried over it.

Laura stumbled a little on their coffee table, but barely seemed to notice as she continued this new tale. The smile on her face had a small answering one appearing on Carmilla’s face. It was inevitable. Just like the stars shined outside, Laura had a light all of her own, something that never went out. Every victory fed it, every defeat galvanized the flame, only making it stronger.

Carmilla listened to every word she said, grinning when Laura admitted to having helped out her little band of misfits.

“Just a small breaking and entering, Carm. Enough to give them somewhere to start. They did everything else by themselves. And so well!”

The two of them had been in a vacation of sorts, but Laura could no more deny her investigative nature than Carmilla could her own self. It was no trouble, they could vacation whenever they pleased after all. And it was a privilege to see Laura like this, happy and free and content.

“Now that jerk is going to spend the rest of his life working to repay everything he stole, and why are you looking at me like that?” Laura tilted her head a little in curiosity, coming to a stop between Carmilla’s knees.

There were many things Carmilla could have said at this moment. Your students did so well, I’m proud of them and of you, Liebling. Or, that was fascinating, but Laura, you’re only wearing one of my old shirts, and I would very much like to fuck you against our door now. Even a plain you’re the most brilliant woman I know, would have worked.

Instead, all Carmilla could do was wrap her arms around Laura’s middle, pulling her closer. She nuzzled against Laura’s belly, a hand soon smoothing Carmilla's hair back with care.

“I love you.” She looked up into Laura’s eyes as she said it, her heart beating faster at the warmth and pure happiness that stared back at her.

“I love you too Carm. So much.” Carmilla tried to hide the stupid grin those words always caused, but it was utterly futile. As Laura pulled her up and into a gentle kiss that quickly grew heated, Carmilla breathed a content sigh against her lips. Carmilla loved the stars deeply, and out of all of them, one had decided to love Carmilla back.