Carolina’s never really gone out of her way to spend time with other women before. It’s not some fucked up sort of superiority thing-- she just isn’t all that outgoing in the first place, and when she does manage to forge a connection despite herself it’s more often than not with man due to statistics. More men join the army than women, it’s as simple as that. It’s a culture thing, she knows, misogyny, but she’s never really concerned herself with that either. Her father had given her permission to break the jaw of any man who made the working place less efficient due to his personal prejudices, which gave Carolina a certain reputation that neatly nipped things at the bud for the most part at the sexism front, but definitely didn’t help her with the whole ‘making friends’ thing either.
She respected Kimball, and they had a good rapport, but she was too disciplined to be able to see Kimball as anything but a superior, and Kimball herself seemed to be--justifiably--mired in the war that was tearing her planet apart, both consumed and defined by it.
Grey made Carolina feel… wary. Tense. She could abstractly say that she appreciated the doctor, that she was grateful for everything she had done for her and her friends, but she’d had too many a horrible experiences with medical professionals, too long and drawn out, too intense and overwhelming. Especially considering how obviously Grey clearly saw her patients as fascinating lab rats at least to some extent.
CT had been too suspicious, too far down on the leaderboard for Carolina to bother with all that much, too diametrically opposed in viewpoints considering the person Carolina had used to be. She could recognize now that in retrospect CT had been the one in the right, the one who had deserved to survive the Project, but that wasn’t how the world worked.
South… Carolina could have gotten along with South. She’d softened with time and healing and friendship, but the Carolina of then could have wreaked havoc with South. Tough, sharp yet blunt, a raging inferno. Carolina had always been intense, and she would’ve burned well along with South, she thinks. But South had been bitter. She had all of Carolina’s intensity and brutality but without any of her discipline or self control to focus it into an efficient razor edge. She looked down on the people below her and sneered up at the people above her. Not that Carolina could blame her considering her reaction the second someone better than her had come along.
Speaking of Tex… the less said about her the better.
So. Not a whole lot of lady friends. And that was fine, she didn’t feel like she should have any, there wasn’t an empty void in her life that could only be filled by boobs and makeover slumber parties. She had both, actually. Wash had never bothered getting top surgery and Donut was ecstatic at the opportunity to help her choose which exact shade of eyeshadow to wear at a moment’s notice.
But then they defeat Temple and Kai arrives to the group like a whirlwind of a strange brand of defiant femininity, and she starts thinking. The Reds and Blues are a sea of nothing but dudes from the tits up, and Kai isn’t a doctor or a superior or a better fighter than her or preoccupied with looking behind the veil to find the ominous conspiracy (Carolina tries to imagine Kai in Project Freelancer for a moment and her brain melts a little. She’d sense something was up before confidently stating before the Director himself that secret/immortal member of the Illuminati JFK was behind it all with shits and giggles as his motivation).
She could get along with Kai, maybe.
“It’s Carolina,” she corrects her as she approaches. “What are you doing?”
That’s not a smalltalk question to get the ball rolling, she’s never been into that. She is experiencing genuine bafflement and strongly wants to be given a proper explanation here.
Kai turns off her welding torch and moves her mask off her face so Carolina can perfectly see the condescending ‘isn’t it obvious?’ expression she’s making at her, like Carolina’s the one who’s being silly and weird here.
“Making decorations, duh?”
Carolina gives the horrifying… sculpture Kai seems to be working on a long hard, decidedly skeptical look. It looks like a snowman, sort of, if a snowman could be a nightmarish demon from hell. It was made of metal and twisted rebar, likely salvage from one of the many wreckages that followed the Sim Troopers like footprints. It’s larger than life, towering over Carolina by a good few feet, the metal of its skin melted and slagged from whatever fire or explosion that the crash its materials suffered through resulted in. It has a large, uneven hole for a mouth, its eyes smaller, lopsided dark pits.
“Let’s leave interior decorating to Donut, maybe,” she says, carefully diplomatic.
“But the party’s got a theme!” Kai cries. “Donut’s got two settings, and that’s IKEA catalogue and glitter.”
“Party?” Carolina asks with a blink. “We’re having a party? And what’s the theme? Is it halloween already?”
“Bitch, it’s nearing Christmas. You guys seriously need a calendar or something.”
Carolina doesn’t take offense at the expletive even though she’s broken other people’s bones for less. Kai peppers her sentences regularly with bitch and asshole, like filler words. What she takes offense at is that fucking sculpture. “That,” she says, distaste obvious in her tone, “does not exactly scream ‘festive’ or ‘merry’ to me. Perhaps ‘the despairing howls of the damned’ screaming would be more accurate.”
Actually, not being especially outgoing or having a certain kind of reputation aren’t the only reasons Carolina isn’t great at the whole friends thing: her personality isn’t all that warm or glamorous either. Oops.
But Kai apparently takes the poorly attempted banter in the spirit it’s intended and gives her a wicked grin that makes Carolina feel-- things. Stuff. Platonic friendship stuff, wow her plan to befriend Kai is going so great. “It’s a halloween-Christmas mashup! We’re right in the middle of the two holidays, and I’m not gonna wait, dude.”
“Well thank god, I was beginning to fear that you were genre blind as well as color blind. Can we add Hanukkah?”
“HELL YEAH!” she shouts, volume suddenly jumping up several decibels, but Caboose has inured Carolina to sudden yelling, so she doesn’t so much as flinch. “Candles everywhere! Strip dreidel! Kosher buffet tables! It’s gonna be awesome.”
Carolina blinks again. “How would you play strip dreidel?”
Kai doesn’t seem to hear her, caught up in a sudden frenzy of excited planning. “I could carve the Star of David into pumpkins! Oh fuck, should I double my order? I--”
Carolina decides to forcibly change the topic of conversation to what she’d approached Kai for in the first place before she can dive too far down the rabbit hole of this party planning extravaganza. “Do you want to spar?”
“--golem’s kinda hot-- huh? What was that?”
“Do you want to spar?” she repeats herself. “With me?”
Kai raises her eyebrows at her. “Is that an excuse to kick my ass, Miss Badass?”
“Because I may not be a Freelancer, but I can fuck shit up!” She gestures with her blowtorch for emphasis.
Carolina squints at her. “I don’t think I’d spar you while you were wielding a blowtorch. Without armor, no weapons, maybe? Not as an excuse to kick your ass, just for,” fun, “training.
Carolina is not good at making friends. But this is how she did it with Wash and Sarge and Tucker. Caboose and Donut counted themselves as her friend automatically, and Grif loosened up around her after the first time they got high together. She’s still working on Simmons, but after the stunt he pulled with Gene she thinks a friendly knife fight might do the trick there. So, going off of past successful attempts of befriending, she’d try violence first, some pot brownies if that didn’t work out, and if that didn’t fly either she’d just have to sit around and hope that Kai either had a change of heart and decided to befriend Carolina herself or they turned out to pseudo siblings somehow, Epsilon style.
After a long moment of Kai giving her a considering look, her eyes going up and down her body, she grins big and bright again with that slight mischievous edge to it that makes Carolina’s stomach flop inside of her. “No boob punches?”
“No boob punches,” she agreed with a nod. She’d never had to specify that before, but she was dealing with a Sim Trooper here. Expect the unexpected, as well as the highly stupid.
“That’s a deal then, Carol.” Kai reaches her hand out for a shake.
“It’s Carolina,” she corrects herself again, letting some of her irritation seep into her voice even though she’s quite pleased at the success she’s having so far, and reaches out to shake Kai’s outstretched hand.
Carolina had already cleared a place in the base’s gym for the spar even though she hadn’t been sure heading out if Kai would agree to it. Some people can be strangely nervous about sparring with her, as if she’d seriously hurt them during practice or something. (Throwing someone across the room hardly counted as being seriously hurt, in her opinion.)
Carolina’s just wearing a practical sports bra and thin sweatpants in deference to the heat. Kai’s wearing incredibly short shorts, QUEEN written across the ass in rhinestones, and a crop top in a truly hideous shade of neon yellow. Carolina supposes she’s seen people fight in worse.
She does some preparatory stretches before they begin, and Kai follows her lead. She peeks at her out of the corner of her eye and her eyes widen before she quickly schools her expression. Kai, apparently, does not have entirely rigid bones. There has got to be some give there, she’s hugging her foot in between her bosom while effortlessly balancing on one leg!
She finishes her warm up successfully without staring at Kai’s displays of godlike flexibility too obviously, she thinks. They both walk up to the mat and get in position.
“Rule one,” she says.
“No boob punches,” Kai says confidently.
“Sure. And rule two is that the fight is over when one of us firmly pinned, unconscious, off the mat, or crying uncle.”
“I’ve never had to safeword out in my life,” Kai brags.
“Rule three,” she says, choosing to ignore that, “is to use your common sense when attacking.”
“Right, right. I promise not to horribly mutilate you for life if you do the same for me.”
“On three then,” she says, and an excited, fierce smile escapes her. She tries to stifle it, knows it can be unnerving and intimidating, but Kai spots it and grins right back, just as excited as her and twice as fierce.
“One,” she says.
“Two,” Kai says for her.
And they collide. Carolina lunges for her, and Kai twists just barely out of the way in time and raises a hand held in a clawing motion as she goes, raking her impeccably manicured, long nails across Carolina’s face as she hurriedly tries and turn her momentum before she manages to throw herself right off the mat all on her own. Four hot white horizontal lines going across the bridge of her nose, her cheeks, and just above her upper lip makes themselves known with a sharp burst of pain. The wounds are long and trailing, tapering unevenly across her face. It bleeds lightly. Shallow. Not a problem.
She turns around, or, no, she snaps around back towards Kai, intent and fast like an animal. She’s casually inspecting her nails, making sure she didn’t damage them, idly trying to get the blood buried under the nails out. She’s watching Carolina out of her peripheral vision though, she can tell because the moment Carolina’s face comes into view Kai smirks and oh, oh, there’s that feeling in the pit her stomach again.
“You don’t think that counts as mutilation, do you?” Kai asks. “Because you could pretty easily cover that up with some foundation once it heals some. Probably won’t scar if you moisturize--”
“Scars are hot,” she says firmly. Thinks of York’s eye, that spider webbing pattern of a scar right on his face, and she’s in the sort of mood right now that the thought doesn’t bring with it a single pang of sadness, only a wash of heat and frustrated longing that overwhelms her for just a moment.
“Oh, fuck yeah,” Kai says. “You are cool.”
Carolina gives her a vicious but not unfriendly smile and lunges for her again, lower this time. She slams into her, hands going around her midsection, knees straightening, and she did, she’s got Kai in her arms, her feet off the mat, at her mercy--
Kai slithers in her grip, hands on her shoulders, pushing up. Once she manages to get her shapely hips over the ring of Carolina’s arms that she tightens too late she jumps over Carolina, and she’s behind her, turning so that her front is against Carolina’s back, hands coming up to do something. She doesn’t find out just what that something is because her elbow flies out behind her reflexively, slamming into Kai’s stomach. She crumples against Carolina’s back, leaning on it, wheezing incredulous, impressed laughter.
“What, you won’t let a sister cop a feel?” she says breathlessly.
Somehow she doubts that that was what she was going to do. Carolina throws herself backwards, sending them both tumbling onto the floor with her on top of Kai. There’s a fumble of limbs, frantic confusion and struggle as they both try and get themselves orientated and in control of the grapple without giving the other a long enough break to figure the situation out themselves. Carolina’s got one of Kai’s wrists in her hand, her other hand bracing herself, looming over her, and her blood drips onto Kai’s face and oh
That feeling again. A nice visual.
Kai hooks her leg over Carolina’s thigh effortlessly but she doesn’t try and do anything with it, her free hand darting up to get a good handful of her red hair at the side of her head, her grip tight, too tight to be polite or nice or friendly but Carolina love s it.
“Oh,” Kai says, her tone playful, teasing, almost mocking. “Do you like that, Carol?”
She opens her mouth to answer yes no it’s Carolina but all that comes out is a shuddering breath.
Kai lurches upwards, but it isn’t for a kiss. She headbutts Carolina, and she doesn’t quite break her nose but blood certainly flows, dripping down Carolina’s mouth and chin, down her throat and onto Kai’s face and hair and skin and crop top and oh oh oh
She snarls and grinds her pelvis onto Kai’s, Kai’s leg pushing and urging her onwards, and Kai throws her head back and moans, so loud it's clearly exaggerated, but the column of her throat is bared and mmm, Carolina dives in for a bite without even thinking about, digging her blunt teeth in hard, not breaching skin but most certainly bruising. The moan becomes more real, her grip in Carolina’s hair tighter, more deliciously painful, tugging her further in even though she’s already as close as she can get, still grinding up against her, desperate for friction, more, more.
“Get your shorts off,” Carolina breathes urgently against Kai’s throat.
“Ffffuck yes!” is her response, and she pulls Carolina away from her by the grip on her hair, and she goes along with it even though she knows she could rip her way free of it if she wanted to, if she needed to, leaving behind long strands of red hair in an otherwise empty grip, or she could press down on Kai’s wrist until her fingers weakened, opened--
She doesn’t want to do any of that. She wants that hand to stay right where it is. Kai apparently agrees, because she fumbles to open her shorts one handed, and Carolina helps her along, unbuttoning, zipping open, tugging down, and Kai isn’t wearing any underwear and doesn’t bother shaving, apparently. Nice.
She sinks down towards Kai’s pussy, and Kai lets out a delighted squeal as she realizes what Carolina’s about to do. She uses two fingers to splay Kai’s lips open, opens her mouth, and takes one long, languorous lick upwards from the bottom, flicking up at the top, slow like taking a considering sip of good wine, like letting a piece of chocolate melt in your mouth. Indulging.
Kai’s grip on her hair shifts but stays, her other hand coming down to join it, to push her face deeper into her pussy, firm and insistent. “Fuck, fuck, fuck… !”
Carolina licks a steady and deep pattern, every third lick lingering just a little longer on Kai’s clit on the upwards stroke, and Kai swears and curses and encourages her, tugging at her hair close to her scalp, and Carolina’s hair is going to be so ruffled after this, obvious sex hair, and she’s fine with that.
Her tongue breaks the pattern and makes a twist that Kai apparently finds particularly inspired because her foot thumps her against her back, unable to help herself, twitchy and restless with desire, and Carolina’s grip on Kai’s hips tightens until her nails are digging in, hoping that she’ll take it as the encouragement it is, and she does. She kicks again, harder, and Carolina thinks she’ll bruise there tomorrow. Good, good, good.
Arousal is a fiery, heavy pit in the bottom of her stomach now, glowing hot like she’s swallowed a glass full of lava, urging her recklessly onwards, making her rub her thighs together, desperate for something to press up against, a dick, a hand, a mouth, a vibrator, anything.
She presses deeper, her nose pressed up against the curls of Kai’s pubes, and then retreats with a light brush of tongue and then just lips that makes Kai shouts a frustrated moan, denied and desperate, on the edge. Carolina kisses it and puts a finger in. It practically glides in, she’s so wet, and she curls it as Kai says, “Yeah, yeah, more!”
She obliges her. Two, then three, plunging in and out faster and faster, rougher and rougher. When she isn’t eating her out Carolina has a better view of the action, and she notes the blood she smeared around Kai’s pussy with pleasant surprise, having almost forgotten her injuries. She licks her lips, and leans back in to lick it off, fingers pumping, Kai panting and watching her now, propped up on her elbows.
Just as she’s lapping up the last drop of blood, Kai tenses, her pussy tightening around Carolina’s fingers, and then she drops down onto the floor from where she’d been propping herself up on her elbows to fall onto her back and then her back arches off the floor and she makes a ragged scream that Carolina hopes she’ll always remember. She comes, fluid dripping down Carolina’s wrist, and she gently eases her fingers out.
“Me now?” she asks, speaking softly, hopefully, need and urgency coursing through her body.
“‘Course,” she mumbles after a moment to compose herself, and she smiles up at Carolina, apparently even more energetic than she’d been one orgasm ago. And then she lunges again, and Carolina’s too distracted with need to stop her from flipping them over, reversing their positions, and now Kai’s straddling her lap, and Carolina’s seriously wishing she’d brought her strapon to this spar.
Instead however, Kai gets out of Carolina’s lap and between her legs, one knee thrown over her leg, and she pushes the other one up against the heat between Carolina’s legs, and the pressure makes her moan without thought, so relieved for a moment and then wounded up even tighter.
“Do what you gotta do, babe,” Kai says, and there’s that sharp, mischievous edge again, that smirk, that little shit.
Carolina knows what she wants her to do. She wants her to grind up against her leg, to literally look down on her as she comes in her stupid sweats that feel suddenly too thick where before they’d been the thinnest pair she owned, too in the fucking way.
“You’re going to have to--”
Kai smacks on her thigh, almost on her ass but that isn’t in her range, sharp and hard and hot and Carolina’s breath hitches. Oh, wow. She hadn’t known that that was what she wanted, that that was what Kai would have to do to get her to grind up against her leg like a desperate bitch in heat, but it was what she wanted, apparently, and that’s exactly what she does. She pushes down hard, desperate for friction, and Kai nudges her knee up back into her helpfully, and pressure, pressure, pressure, that’s what she needs, what she craves, she NEEDS
She needs pain.
She sits up, curling one leg around Kai to help keep her balance, and she takes her sports bra off, throwing it away over her shoulder without looking.
“Hot,” Kai says, her hands going for her tits immediately.
“No,” she says, and Kai freezes before she can make contact, looking at her. “I need them on my back. Scratching. Hard.”
The smile is back on her face like it had never gone away, eager and excited. “Hell yeah!” she cheers, and then gets closer, knee still pressed up against her crotch, arms around her, and they’re hugging, they’re basically hugging and it's so nice and then she sets her long manicured nails on the top of Carolina’s back, just resting, just putting on very light pressure, and the anticipation makes her groan and push up against her knee impatiently and then Kai rakes her nails down her back and then everything is very nice. Carolina gasps and doesn’t know whether to pull away from the hurt or into it, compromises by arching her back away and pressing herself up against Kai but leaning back into the raking hot lines of pain as well.
She can’t stop moaning, it’s so good, she can feel the blood welling and beading and dripping, weeping lines of blood on her back, warm, so warm, too warm, so perfect. She feels breathless.
And then Kai kisses her, and it’s soft and gentle and surprising, and then she bites down on Carolina’s lower lip, and Carolina moans and leans into the kiss, her surprise washed over by desire so she can respond, kiss back, deepen it.
Kai rakes her nails down her back again, just a few inches away from the last lines, and she goes slower this time, but just as deep. It’s less like being suddenly punched in the gut by thunderstruck arousal this time and more like being given something slow and great and inevitable, hard to describe but so amazing. Carolina moans long and low into the rough kiss, feels the trails of blood slide down her back, tastes her own blood in the kiss. It’s good, it’s so good.
Kai slips one of her hands away from her back and she groans in protest.
“Bitch, you’re going to have to come some time,” Kai says. “I mean, I’m all for sex marathons, but you’re supposed to do those in your bedroom. Dex said that if he walked in on me fucking one of his friends one more time he’d have to surrender himself to one of our enemies.”
That’s when she realizes that they’re doing this in the fucking training room. You know, the public one that anyone could walk into at any time. Or past. She tried to remember how loud they’d been so far and winced.
“Yeah, okay,” she says instead of putting an end to it immediately because just right now she feels very weak and desperate and horny.
Kai slips her hand past the waistband of her pants and panties, and her hand just cups her for a moment, warm and nice. Carolina wonders at how big her fingers feel, suddenly. Wonders how well she’s going to finger her with those insane nails-- insanely delicious, holy fuck. Another pass of those painted claws, just one hand but a surprising diagonal slash that caught her off her guard this time to make up for it.
“Don’t worry, I’ve got practice,” she says, having apparently predicted her concerns. “Lots.” Okay, now she’s just bragging. No wonder her and Tucker get along so well.
Kai parts Carolina’s lower lips with her ring and pointer finger, slipping her index finger in and fuck, Carolina hadn’t noticed how wet she was before just this moment, but she really, really is. She grinds against the hand without even thinking about it, pushing the finger deeper in with the movements of her hips, breath uneven and loud.
“Hey,” Kai says, and Carolina looks up. Kai takes the opportunity to capture her into another scorching kiss, and then she’s distracted, her focus fractured and occupied by too much stimulus at once, she couldn’t formulate a plan, couldn’t take action. She just had to let Kai do what she wanted, hope she knew what she was doing.
Of course she did. She soon slips in her pointer finger as well, and moves the fingers inside of her gently and smoothly, careful with her nails, making her feel breathless and wound up so tight she wants to scream but she’s trying not to scream and it’s hard to remember why but she’s not supposed to scream don’t scream don’t scream--
Kai makes a last raking pass down her back, harder and deeper and faster than any before, and she times it with a deep thrust of her fingers that hit a certain spot and
Carolina comes and screams.
Wash is almost at the other side of the base when he hears the scream in their brand new Blue Base, but when he does he sprints towards the training room because that was Carolina’s voice and he’s never heard her scream like that before, not ever, not even when--
He bursts through the doors in time to see Kai help Carolina up off the training mat. Carolina’s hair is ruffled and almost entirely out of its ponytail, she has blood around her nose and mouth, her sports bra stained with it from where it dripped down, but besides that she look fine. A little flushed and panting maybe, like she just had a hard workout. As she stands up she quickly turns to face him, standing stiffly, her face blank.
Kai herself has some blood smeared around her mouth as well and sprinkled in drops on her clothing and skin just like Carolina, but she looks a little better off. She was smiling for one thing instead of looking as stone faced as the Director, like Carolina was doing. She looked eerily similar to him in that moment, actually--
“What’s going on here?” he asks, eyes scanning the room for a threat.
“Just sparring, Wash,” Carolina says in her settle down voice.
“I kicked her ass,” Kai says smugly.
His eyebrows shoot up. “Really.”
“Sure, you heard her scream, didn’t you?” Kai looks slyly at Carolina. “Right, Carol?”
Carolina’s lips thin. “She got a lucky shot in. I was very… startled.”
“... Huh,” he said. Well, who was he to judge? He’d been beaten by Sim Troopers before. Just not one singular one on their own before. Well, maybe Kai was the badass one, then.
“Well, bye Wash!” Kai says, and waves her hand at him and doesn’t move away from where she’s standing.
“Bye Wash,” Carolina parrots, also not moving.
“I’m getting a feeling I’m not wanted here,” he says with a wry smile. Carolina’s stiff face finally cracks and she smiles a little. His smile grows wider and less wry. Back in the old days, if Carolina had lost a spar she’d brood about it for days, at the very least, until she won against whoever initially beat her in a truly spectacular stompdown.
She's improved a lot.
“Sorry,” she says, still with that little smile. “We’re kind of having a girl’s night.”