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Mala played music 24-7 and it was driving Anna mad. Either the room was immersed in a constant background of Indian pop or Anna could only communicate with her roommate by shouting through the music an iPod was feeding her head. It was like living alone, except without the privacy and with a morning bathroom schedule.

Anna's side of the room was neat, made so out of habit and the lingering dread of a parental surprise visits, with her study books alphabetized on the shelf above her desk and a stack of fresh pens and pencils ready to go, whereas Mala's was draped over with posters and stacks of CDs and cardboard boxes full of computer parts. Her desk was piled high with junk, except for a small square area where she worked on her miniatures. Mala did all her studying on her bed, with the iPod on loud and her cover littered over with notebooks and pencil shavings.

The only good thing about living with Mala was the way she danced. When she wasn't working or painting or reading, she'd step around the junk on her side and spin over to Anna's, hips and hands and feet and the swish of her organic rainbow nightgown moving together like a liquid dream. It made Anna's mouth water, as much as she wished it didn't, as much as she knew this was exactly the sort of thing they said happened in college and as much as she didn't want to be a cliché.

Then came the Tuesday on which everything went wrong. Anna overslept and missed her morning class because the mobile she'd set the alarm up on had apparently frizzled and died during the night, which led to her running into Fredo Garcia skipping outside the dorm, who then followed her into the afternoon class and sat behind her trying to flirt all through the introduction, and of course the teacher happened to look up just as Anna was trying to discreetly nutpunch Fredo, so she was called in for a talk with the councillor and missed all her afternoon classes too. After an exhausting round of begging for notes from he classmates she finally got back to her room to find Mala sitting on her bed reading peacefully with her iPod blasting into her ears, while a new stack of computer parts, including a monitor, and a box full of paint jars and Warhammer figures were sitting right in the middle of Anna's side of the room.

Right up on the bathroom door, even.

It was just too much after the day she'd just had. She could have picked those boxes up or even just kicked them over to Mala's side, but the point was that she shouldn't have to.

"Mala," Anna snapped. Mala didn't look up. "MALA."

No reaction. Anna was sure she was being wilfully ignored. Well, she thought, let's see her ignore this.

Half a minute later, Mala looked slowly up from Anna's feet digging into the covers of her bed, up across her legs and right into her naked crotch. Her gaze stalled there for a moment before crawling up towards Anna's face.

"Turn off that iPod," Anna ordered. "Right. Fucking. Now."

Mala did not argue. She flicked the gadget off and snatched the plugs from her ears, tossing them into the mess on her desk, and stood up on the bed, facing Anna. Anna could hear her breath coming in faster. She knew all she had to do was reach out.

They fell in a tumble on the bed, the book thumping as it fell to the floor. Mala's hands were in Anna's hair, her mouth hot on hers, soft and pliant and womanly and Anna stopped caring about clichés, because she had always liked this and she would always like this. She slid her hand up Mala's shirt, fumbled with her bra strap but soon gave up and just slipping her hand under the cotton, finding the hard nubs of Mala's nipples, palming her soft small breasts. Mala gasped and slipped her thigh between Anna's legs, and Anna bucked up, rubbing against her. They rolled, and Anna was on top, quickly undoing the knot of Mala's sweatpants without breaking the kiss. Mala's tongue was sliding against hers, and she fumbled for Mala's pussy just as Mala reached for hers.

Holy crap, she is so wet. Anna made a small mewling sound and their mouths fell apart, each gasping and panting as they bucked into each other's hands. Anna plunged two fingers deep inside Mala and rocked her hand. Mala made a choking sound, like an aborted cry, as Anna found her clit with her thumb.

Mala rolled against her hand, crying out loud. Son of a bitch, thought Anna, the one time we don't have music playing loud enough to cover it... "Oh, more," Mala breathed, and Anna slid down her gorgeous body and between her legs and plunged her nose into Mala's wetness, pushing in a further finger.

Mala moved like an ocean wave beneath her.

Some fifteen minutes later Anna was lying curled under Mala's arm, spent and sweaty and glowing with pleasure.

"Fucking hell," said Mala. "You could've just said."

"Don't you ever ignore me again," Anna warned.

Mala gave her an amused smile. "Why, what would you do, jump my bones again? I'm shaking."

Anna slapped her bottom, but she was smiling into Mala's warm brown skin. Things were going to get so much better around here.