The incessant rain, the loud thunders and scary lightnings might have had some sort of romantic allure when she first sit by Gill’s door. Now, more than an hour later, she can declare that allure officially dead. Her frozen face and numb limbs are not gonna miss it. Romanticism is for twats. And she is no twat, she is a fuck-up coward and working on that. She’s not acting on an impulse, she has calculated the risks. For God’s sake she has been working relentlessly on this plan for at least ninety minutes. She knows the plan inside-out. She’s gonna rock this plan. She even has a fail-safe. The woman is not her boss anymore so she can’t humiliate her for the rest of her days. She can keep the small amount of dignity life has left her with, and cherish it.
It’s a three phases plan. Get inside. Deliver the speech. Run home as fast as humanly possible. It’s impossible to screw up. But she’s dangerously closing to death and the door is still locked. Where is the witch? Why does she always have to make Rachel’s life a freaking hell? It’s so cold, she knows she should try to remain conscious but she never takes her own advices. Or those of others for that matter.
A kick in the leg is what wakes her up and Rachel struggles to know where she is until a stentorian voice forces her back to reality.
“Wake up Sherlock. It’s my first day of retirement and I don’t want a suspicious death on my porch.”
“What? Oh sorry.. I’m sorry I must have.. Fuck I think I drooled a little..”
Gill casts her a mildly disgusted look. “Come inside kid”. She opens the doors and disappears inside. Rachel is relieved she is not witnessing her pitiful attempt at standing up. She has no sensibility whatsoever in her legs.
“Tea?” Gill shouts as Rachel totter into the kitchen.
“Yes, thank you and I’m sorry..”
“Yes, you said.”
Gill is putting the kettle on and Rachel sits at the counter. The warmth of the house is pleasant but she can’t shake the sleepiness that surrounds her brain. She’s been here before, at Sammie’s engagement party. It was at the end of a dreadful day and she didn’t pay much attention to the place. She regretted that later on. The only light is the one on the stove and the darkness of the room dulls her rising apprehension. Rachel always restrains herself at work, she keeps her eyes down and pretends that she’s not so close, that she can’t smell her perfume, that she’s not touching her arm. And from tomorrow on she won’t have to pretend. Tonight, or better the few minutes Gill will let her stay before sending her sorry ass home, Rachel can finally feast on her. Her first treat is ogling her hands. Her thin, restless hands Rachel could, and had, imagined doing so many precious things to her. Sadly tonight her polish isn’t the usual dark one, it’s lighter to match her blouse she was wearing but she’ll make do. She can’t help but admire how remarkably steady Gill is after partying all night. And this curt but efficient attitude, like she’s cleaning up after a murder or teaching toddlers how to solve one, has always turned her on. Especially now that she has all her walls down.
It’s too late when she realises what a foolish mistake she tricked herself in. Left unprotected, her mind is suddenly overwhelmed by her presence. And she can’t function anymore. She is kept hostage by her own desire. She can’t breath, she can’t scream and the loneliness she collapses in crushes her.
Gill’s throaty voice makes her jump.
“The tea is in front of you.”
Her hands are cold and sweaty and Rachel rubs them on her trousers. “I must have zone out, sorry.”
“Are you all right or should I call Scary Mary after all?”
“I.. I’m alive, I think.”
Gill squints her eyes but doesn’t investigate any further and changes subject.
“It was a nice party.”
“Yeah, Janet outdid herself.” She answers absentmindedly.
Gill stares at her like she’s waiting for something but Rachel is desperately trying to calm herself down and doesn’t have spare energy for small talk.
So Gill speaks again, very fast this time. “Everything was perfect. The place, the music, the booze, of course, everybody was funny and nice, I even got presents can you imagine? Like they were thanking me for retiring and we can keep talking shit pretending you’re not in my kitchen at 3 o’clock in the morning or you can tell me what the hell are you doing here, Rach. Just a thought.”
Rachel opens her mouth but she can’t make a sound if her life depended on it.
“The decor then. The room was so nice, elegant but not cold. And all those little lights outside? I wonder how long it takes to put up that kind of stuff. I wouldn’t have the patience.” Gill sighs “I’m not a very patient person I think you picked that up over the last five years. I really hope you did.”
“I’m sorry” Gill rolls her eyes and Rachel can feel a spark of anger burning deep down. She combs her hair and clear her voice. “I have a speech...”
“Oh Lord. How long?”
Rachel smirks because she’s really helping her. The spark is now a full blown blaze. “It’s not that long, and I’ve been out there two fucking hours, who knew you were such a party girl!”
“Next time I retire I’ll check with your schedule first!”
“You know, if you keep interrupting me, very soon it will be 3 o’clock in the afternoon.”
Gill surrenders and gestures her to go on. Hopefully very quickly.
“All right then. The speech.” Gill stares at her and her mind goes blank. Rachel was hoping for an argument and that idiot is not giving her one. “Damn, it was a fine speech. Fuck. I should have written that down. Ok. I’m not good at this shit.” Her throat is dry and she looks longingly at her tea. “Tonight when you said you were proud of me I.. No. Let’s start from the beginning. Five years ago...”
“For the love of God Rachel just say it!”
“Well thank you very much for being so understanding! Can’t you see I’m a bit in a spot here?”
“How can I forget? You are rude and cold and scary and I really don’t know why the fuck I fancy you. I really must be the dumbest dumb on the whole planet. And now I’m gonna drink the tea because fuck you and fuck your disapproving look.”
She is so mad and focused on not spilling the tea everywhere, she doesn’t even realise what she has just said but Gill hasn't miss it.
“What’s that face? Why are you looking at me like I’m crazy?”
“Well, you just said you fancy me, so maybe you are.”
Rachel puts down the cup too quickly and burns her fingers. “Shit! I never said that!”
“I. Did. Not.”
“Oh my God I did, didn’t I?”
“Oh my God.”
“I don’t thing even God could help you and your troubles with speaking before thinking.”
Rachel lets her head fall on the counter and her right arm cover her eyes.
Gill walks slowly around the counter till she is next to her. “You are nuts and stupid and 99% of the time have no clue what you’re doing.”
“Oh please don’t be shy now.”
“And yet incredibly lucky.”
Rachel doesn’t notice the smoky quality of her voice, she wants to run or die or buy a freaking time machine. “My thought exactly, have I told you 24 hours ago you would have sacked me.” She opens her eyes and sighs sadly. Gill steps closer and with gentle fingers tilt up her chin. “No, because 24 hours ago I couldn’t have done this.” She leans forward and kisses chastely her lips.
“Oh.” It’s all Rachel can come up with.
“Yes. Oh. I agree.” Gill smirks and moves away. When Rachel’s brain finally keeps up, she is alone in the room. “Gill?”. Getting no answer she goes looking for that strange woman who killed her boss and took her place and she finds her in the living room, pouring two glasses of wine.
“I thought I gave you a moment to let it sink, I think we’ve established you’re not very bright in this kind of things.”
She wants to be a little angry but she has no anger left. Or anxiety, or pain. She is not happy either. She is so calm she must be in shock. She thinks that none of this is really happening and she is ok with that too.
Gill keeps smirking like there’s something extremely funny only she can see. And maybe it’s Rachel. “Are we having wine instead of tea?”
“I considered wine being more appropriate.” she explains to her like she would with a child.
“Maybe you need courage.”
Gill raises one eyebrow like she has said the silliest thing.
“Or maybe you’re thirsty.” Rachel corrects yourself. And Gill finds her worthy of one of the two glasses of wine. Rachel takes a step but has to hold on to the closest chair, her legs are not very co-operative. Her body mustn’t have received the memo about being all relaxed and content and super cool with the emotional roller coaster that is tonight. She chastises her defiant limbs and tries again.
“One of the perks of a younger lover is the strength of their body. You don’t look very strong to me.”
“You know, I could be hurt by your comment but I’m in a good mood so I’ll focus on the word lover and work with that.” Rachel says smiling.
“I was speaking generally.”
“I’m sure you thought you were. At you age one gets easily confused.”
Gill gasps. “I’m not... my age is not..”
“Shush, shush. It’s ok, I’m here, all strong and mighty and very young.” She has finally managed to get in front of her. Rachel takes the glass from her hand and puts it on the table. She want to kiss her again and Gill lets her. This time is not chaste, it’s hard and sloppy and too short because Rachel suddenly can’t breath.
“I’m starting to think stamina is not your stronger suit” but her voice is breathy too.
“Do you really want to keep offending me during the whole sex thing?”
“Who said we’re having sex?”
Rachel’s heart stops and her suspects are confirmed. Her body and her brain are on different planets and she knows by now who’s gonna take the lead. “You’re kidding right? I’m not ready to joke about having sex with you.”
“I never do sex at the first date and this is hardly a date even for your loose standards.”
“But.. but..” She must look like a child who gets to the gates of Disneyland only to find out it’s closed.
“Kid?” of course she calls her kid “I was joking.” And she smiles widely because in her twisted way of thinking now they are even.
“It seems we’re heading that way, yes.” She states in that patronising way that annoys Rachel to no end. She looks around and finally finds a piece of wall without paintings or tables or doors, this house is a mine field for her precarious balance. Rachel takes her arm and pushes her against the wall, Gill makes a noise but she chooses to think it’s a moan not an objection and when she’s finally where Rachel wants her, she kisses her. And now that’s definitely a moan. She holds Gill’s face in her hands because it feels like she is falling at the centre of the earth. Gill seems way more present and capable of more than one action. Her hands are pushing up Rachel’s shirt and her fingers are cold on her skin but that’s not why Rachel is shaking. Gill keeps discovering her upper body like it’s the most natural thing, like she has done it a million times. And Rachel is amazed.
“You’re shaking too much.”
“No, I’m not”
“I can’t undo your bra.”
“That’s because...Wait. Why would you be good at it?”
Gill looks at her like she is daft. And maybe she is but this is not the time to play detective. “Ok, never mind. I’m perfectly fine.”
She rolls her eyes, “I’m ecstatic.”
Gill seems pleased. “Good, now be a good girl and move away.”
Rachel quickly steps back before realising how obedient she must have looked. Gill notices, though. “Have I just found the magic words to make the feisty Rachel Bailey all docile and tame?”
Rachel laughs but it sounds slightly forced.
Gill is trying to read her like she were a perp and she starts feeling unease. “Can we go on now?”.
Rachel wants to sound annoyed but it sounds as a little girl waiting for permission. The other woman’s smirk grows in a smile and Rachel curses.
Gill steps in her personal space and pushes her against the wall. “That’s better.”
“Is it?” But she doesn’t care because Gill is kissing her neck.
“You are trembling and all tense.”
“How can I tremble and be tense at the same time?”
“I’m sure you’re capable of many other wondrous things.” Gill says pulling her shirt up her breast and finally being able of kissing her skin. Rachel must have goose bumps everywhere by now. She feels hot and her brain is not working anymore, Gill is all over her and it’s like drowning but in a good way. If she dies now she wouldn’t mind too much, she surely wouldn’t notice. What she does notice is Gill’s hand slipping into her trousers. Her fingers are still cold as impossible as it is after being in contact with Rachel’s body for so long. Or is it? Long? It could be a minute like an hour or a day or five years. Maybe you just met and you didn’t waste all this time, maybe Rachel has been clever for once.
Her hand is so damn slow, Rachel wants to scream but instead she opens her eyes and Gill is looking at her.
“Still with us miss Bailey?”
How, how in hell she manages to be so calm. It’s unfair.
“I guess. Not sure. Probably not.”
“Let’s try and reanimate you.” She pushes her hand all the way and Rachel screams. Gill kisses her and it takes a moment to reciprocate but when she does she puts everything she has got in it.
Rachel is already close, feeling how wet she is on the other woman's fingers.
“Inside.” She moans.
She is extraordinary grateful that Gill doesn’t make her repeat herself. Not because she wouldn’t. She would, over and over again. But right now she is too far away even to beg.
Gill is not very gentle and Rachel is glad. She’s fucking her and she’s damn perfect at it. Obviously.
Then the unthinkable happens, Gill loses focus and her fingers are haphazard for a few seconds. And then she’s perfect again. But Rachel has opened her eyes and has seen DCI Murray with all her control gone.
When she comes Gill kisses her.
“Are you ok?” she murmurs and it’s uncharacteristically sweet.
“Yeah.” Rachel is so happy she is embarrassed of herself and tries hard not to smile like a lunatic.
“Good. Now that we have put that out of the way, can we shag properly?”
Rachel is baffled. “Put what?”
“Kid, you looked like you would have died on me if I didn’t make you come right away.”
“Oh thanks, stop pampering me, it’s not like I was deeply enjoying the moment or anything.”
“Well it’s true, isn’t it?”
“I said stop. And what do you mean properly? I didn’t know I needed to be proper. Do you mean missionary style or something like that?”
Gill brushes away her hair and strokes her cheek. “First, you talk way too much. Second, no kid, when I say properly I just mean my way.” She steps back and walks away.
“And what’s your way?”
“For one, in my way I usually have an orgasm at some point.” And Rachel can’t respond because Gill is already vanishing at the end of the stairs.