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A Couple of Old Maids

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"Old maids," the whisperers say about them, but even at the ripe old age of sixty two, Diana can't help but think that Anne has somehow managed to defeat good old time herself.

There's nothing even remotely old maid-ish about Anne. She's still as spry as she was when Diana first met her fifty one years ago. Still skinny as a rail, though she has some meat on her bones nowadays, not as much as Diana has, of course, but that's to be expected. They've always been that way -- opposites of a sort. It suits them. It suits Diana.

"Come in out of the cold," Diana calls out to her love, her heart, her kindred.

It's dark, though the stars are out in force, and Diana can’t help thinking about how pretty they are. How alike they are to Anne’s eyes when the sunlight catches them just so.

"A juggernaut," Anne had said, clasping her hands to her bosom, voice a romantic whisper of passion, an underlying hint of lust.

The moon's bright as well, casting the white world in an eerie glow that makes Diana think of the faeries that Anne’s always talked about. There's a fresh coat of snow on the ground, and it's still falling. Diana knows that it's calling to Anne, as is the moonlight, as are the stars.

"Come out, my love." Anne's voice is carried on the flakes of snow that dance in the air between them. "Make snow angels with me, then we'll go inside and cuddle by the fire with large mugs of hot cocoa and buttered scones."

Laughing and shaking her head, Diana knows that there's only one way to get Anne to come in out of the cold, and that is to join her and, revel in the madness of the moon , for a spell. Grabbing the coat that hangs on the hook near the door, for moments such as these, Diana buttons it up, and steps into the boots that she keeps near the door as well.

She follows Anne's footprints in the snow, marveling at how small they still are. Anne's standing in the middle of the sparkling field of snow, pristine save for her footprints, arms spread wide, head tilted back. Diana steps up beside her, tilts her head back and wonders what Anne sees in the stars that she doesn't. Perhaps some lovers separated by time and space, pining for each other.

"Isn't it breathtaking?" Anne asks. Her eyes are twinkling nearly as brightly as the stars, Diana can't help but think. Her heart swells with love for the girl beside her. They may be old, and no longer in the prime of their lives, but they most certainly are not, by any means, dead.

Instead of answering, Diana reaches for Anne's hand and draws it up to her lips. She brushes a kiss over Anne's chapped knuckles and then kisses her chafed palms. Anne never remembers to wear gloves.

"Let's make snow angels," Anne says, falling backward without warning, taking Diana down with her.

Diana's breath whooshes out in an, "Oof."

Anne giggles. "Sorry, old dear."

"The stars are lovely tonight," Diana says in response, not acknowledging Anne’s apology, or her use of the word, old. The stars are lovely, like tiny little diamonds in the inky black sky.

Anne sighs and she starts moving the hand that Diana's still holding, dragging their arms through the snow. Diana moves her other arm to match, and knows that Anne's moving her other arm as well, trailing it through the snow to make a double snow angel.

It's cold, but Diana feels none of that with Anne lying in the snow beside her, arms flapping as though they were kids again, and it was their first snowfall spent together.

No, there's nothing old about Anne, Diana thinks. Nothing old about lying in the snow, holding hands, making snow angels.

"We'll have to tell Gil about this," Anne says, sitting up, pulling Diana up with her.

"He'll think we're a couple of crazy, old birds," Diana says, laughing.

"No doubt he will," Anne says, sighing.

She stands, hauling Diana to her feet as though she weighs nothing. She brushes the snow off of Diana's coat, and then off of her own. Squeezing Diana's hand, she leads the way back to their cozy little home, forging a new path through the freshly fallen snow.

When they reach the front door, Diana looks back. The moonlight glints off of the snow, making it look pearly white, unearthly.

The snow angels are perfect in their symmetry. It's hard to tell where one snow angel begins and the other ends -- they're flawlessly entwined, much as she and Anne are, their lives sewn together inextricably.

"'Someone asked me what home was, and all I could think of were the stars on the tip of your tongue, the flowers sprouting from your mouth, the roots entwined in the gaps between your fingers, the ocean echoing inside of your rib cage.'" Anne quotes in a wistful voice.

Eyes sparkling with a madness long familiar to Diana, Anne presses a kiss to the corner of Diana's mouth, drags her coat from her, and hangs it on the hook.

They shuck their clothes along the way to their bedroom, leaving them strewn throughout the hallway. No one will visit tomorrow, or the next day. The snow will see to that.

It's cold, but Diana feels none of it when Anne wraps her arms around her, pulls her down onto their bed and lavishes her with kisses, languid and filled with the passion of their youth.

"Old maids, indeed," Diana snorts when she and Anne finally come up for air, bodies pressed together beneath their bed clothes, downy coverlet trapping the warmth of their lovemaking between them, keeping the cold of winter well at bay.