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The Best Part of Losing You

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Ruth really had nearly cramped up.

Carmen had offered space in her room, and then Tammé had offered, and then Sheila had offered.

They’d all offered without asking any questions about why Ruth sitting outside Debbie’s door. There just seemed to be a collective understanding that Ruth would not be staying in her room tonight.

“Is Russell mad?” Sheila had asked, unlocking her room door. Ruth shrugged.

“No, just… sad.”

Sheila grunted at that, and then said “Worse. Look, you can hang out in here until Debbie gets back if you want? We can like, not talk about anything?”

Ruth had smiled at the offer, and then had shook her head.

“No, thank you. I think I’m just gonna, I’ll just wait.”

Sheila nodded, and then said “Good idea. Debbie likes the… drama.”

Ruth smiled at Sheila curiously. “What do you mean?”

“Debbie Eagan? Dramatic show downs?” Sheila glanced down at Ruth once, and grinned. “You have met her, haven’t you?”

But that had been an hour ago now, and now that the dramatic show down is here Ruth finds that she’s struggling to self start.

“Ask me” she whispers, because for a hot second it looks like Debbie is about to disappear into her room without a backwards glance at Ruth.

Debbie looks at Ruth for what feels like a long time, and god it’s as though her mouth can still feel the pressure of Debbie’s kisses.

“Why are you sitting by my door?”

Ruth doesn’t actually want the question. She wants Debbie to pull Ruth towards her, and leave all the talking until tomorrow morning.

She sighs.

“I, um. I broke it off with Russell. And then, I told him that… well, it’s too late for him to book anywhere else to stay. So I said to him that I would go sleep in someone else’s room.”

Debbie seems to absorb all this without a flicker of interest, and she just watches Ruth, until Ruth is nearly fidgeting under her gaze.

“But there are spare rooms on the corridor” she says eventually, “He could have stayed in one of those…”

Ruth gulps. “Yeah, I know. I just… I wanted a reason to… to not be in my room tonight.”

There’s a heavy silence. Debbie bites her lip, and then seems to reach for her door handle, as though it is easier than continuing this conversation.

“God Debbie”, and it comes bubbling out of Ruth “please don’t make this hard for me, I am trying-”

Debbie sighs heavily, and then looks back at Ruth.

“I know. But you’ve been making it so hard for me…”

Ruth bites her lip guiltily.

“Sorry.”

Debbie looks at her, and Ruth feels examined, feels as though Debbie is turning her over and over in her hands, trying to figure out how she works.

Ridiculously, Ruth remembers Debbie telling her that she does ‘an eye thing’. Ruth wonders if she’s doing it now.

And god, why is Ruth always waiting for things to be easy?

“Come here” Debbie whispers, and it’s almost a question, as though Debbie thinks that Ruth might actually turn away from her instead.

It’s as easy as falling, and Ruth surges into Debbie like a breaking dam. Because they’ve done the first kiss, and the second kiss, and the third kiss, and now it’s just want, needy, desperate want, and Ruth doesn’t have to worry about whether Debbie wants her, because she knows.

“Fuck” Debbie whispers onto her lips, and Debbie’s hands are on either side of her face, and her thumbs are stroking behind Ruth’s jaw bone. Ruth feels them tremble with some repressed emotion, and god she thinks she might start crying, if she isn’t careful.

“Fuck” Debbie says again, “Why is it always so difficult? Why is it always…”

Ruth shakes her head slightly, because she hasn’t got the answers, and then Debbie is kissing her again, and moaning softly when Ruth drags her tongue across Debbie’s lower lip.

Debbie’s reaching for the door handle then, and none of it is happening quickly enough, and Ruth is nearly undone by a memory, the way Debbie had just sounded was an exact match for the way Debbie had moaned the first time Ruth had touched her.

In fact, Ruth is pretty much ready to undress herself, but Debbie seems to have other plans. In fact, when they enter Debbie’s room, something about the way Debbie tosses her bag onto her bed indicates a change of tone. And then Ruth has her confirmation when Debbie runs a hand over her face, pinches at the bridge of her nose, and holds up a hand to Ruth.

“Wait, just… hang on. Give me a second.”

Ruth does as she is told, even as she feels like she is teetering on the edge of oblivion.

Debbie looks at her for a long moment, and then sighs abruptly and sits on the bed.

“Can we just… I think we’d probably do better if we managed to talk, before…” Debbie trails off, and looks a little helplessly at Ruth, as though putting a name to it is just a heartbeat too terrifying.

“Talk?” Ruth asks, as though she’s heard of the concept but never experienced it personally. “What do you want to talk about?”

Debbie snorts, and then gestures between herself and Ruth.

“This? This is… something that requires words.”

I want you, Ruth thinks. I can’t remember when I haven’t wanted you, she realises. The talking seems unnecessary.

Debbie must see the hesitation on her face, because she smiles slightly.

“I’m not… trying to lay out terms of negotiation, or anything. I just- look, the last time we did this we didn’t manage to talk before or afterwards, and that… those were not fun days in my head.”

Ruth gives a little half smile at that, and then says “Yeah, they were… not good days for me either.”

There’s a silence then. Ruth shifts from one foot to another, unsure what Debbie needs to hear.

The obvious, maybe?

“Debbie… I really like you. And, you like me, and I think that we should at least try…”

“And where is Sam, in all of this? Because to me it feels like every time we make an inch of progress you go running back to Sam, and I can’t… keep feeling like this.”

“Like what?” Ruth whispers.

Debbie blinks at her, and then looks away.

“Like I want all of you and all I’m allowed to have is ten percent of you…”

And Ruth realises Debbie is trying not to cry.

She doesn’t know how it happens, but suddenly she’s on her knees in front of Debbie, and is cupping both of Debbie’s hands in her own.

“Hey, hey… Sam is my boss, and I made some bad choices. I slept with him because… we were both lonely, I guess. It was a stupid thing to do, and it hasn’t happened since that time when you blew up at me for sleeping with him.”

Debbie scoffs slightly, and then says “Well can you blame me, the man is a disaster-”

“Yeah, he’s not…the stuff of romance novels. But he’s- I don’t know, he felt like what life was offering me. You know? This is the type of person who wants you, this is probably as good as you are going to get, just go with it, you know?”

Debbie looks at her, almost entirely uncomprehending. Ruth sighs after a second, and jesus, her heart is full, full to the brim, full to the brink.

“I didn’t even realise that you would- could ever- look at me… jesus it feels like I haven’t been able to think about anyone other than you for so long, and now you are telling me that you’ve been feeling the same way? God, I want you to have all of me, that’s what I’ve been trying to give you for longer than I can remember-”

Debbie gasps slightly, and then comes forward to kiss Ruth.

“I swear, if you fuck off to Sam again…” she threatens, but the way she whispers it onto her lips takes all the sting out of her threat. Ruth laughs slightly.

“Look, I know I make bad decisions, but I’m not crazy…

…..

They’ve touched before.

Ruth feels like she could catalogue every type of touch she and Debbie have exchanged; file them with an explanatory note, in the archive dedicated to the ever changing nature of their relationship.

They used to touch hands, arms, shoulders, thighs, all in the name of friendship. Ruth had held Debbie’s face in her hands on her wedding day, and wiped away her tears, and told her that she looked beautiful, and Mark was a lucky guy, but if Debbie didn’t start walking down the aisle soon all the guests would leave and then Ruth would have worn this uncomfortable bridesmaid outfit for nothing.

Ruth is on Debbie’s lap now, and Debbie’s hands are gripping at her sides, fingers splayed across her lower back and tracing shapes, letters or words.

And Ruth’s cradling Debbie’s head in her hands, kissing her mouth, her lips, the line of her jaw. Debbie’s breath hitches slightly every time Ruth flexes her hips forward for some unfulfilled contact.

And it’s just touching. It’s just skin, skin to skin, palm to waist or finger tip to collar bone.

They’ve touched before.

Even the areas that go beyond the territories of friendship, the wrestling areas. The inner thighs, armpits, stomach and crotch, back of the neck and a handful of hair. A palm wrapped around a throat as they choke and stagger.

Debbie moans when Ruth rides forward harder, and grips a hand in Debbie’s hair.

God, and all this want. It’s impossible to contain, to process. All Ruth wants is for Debbie to moan like that in response to Ruth’s touch, over and over again.

It’s just skin.

But then, abruptly, it isn’t enough skin, and Ruth is taking off Debbie’s top, and Debbie is raising her arms in the air to help.

There’s a bruise on Debbie’s chest; a purpling mark that disappears beneath Debbie’s bra. Ruth traces gentle fingers over it, almost absentmindedly.

“Was that me?” she murmurs. Debbie nods, and Ruth wonders whether she’s thinking about the bruise’s location as well.

Just above her heart.

“I’m sorry” she whispers, although the words have never really worked before. “I didn’t mean to.”

Debbie smiles softly at her, and then kisses her cheek.

“I know. And it’s just a bruise. It fades.”

When Ruth pulls her own top over her head, it’s with a half self conscious laugh, at the fly away nature of her hair and the sheer repetition of their misunderstandings. Debbie hands leave her sides, and her fingers are at Ruth’s collarbone, tracing the skin lightly in a way that has Ruth’s heart spiralling. Debbie buries her face in Ruth’s neck when her hands drop to Ruth’s breasts, as though the evidence of her desire is somehow embarrassing. But Ruth moans when Debbie squeezes, and then finds her tits through the thin material and pinches. Debbie’s mouth is open against her neck, and she’s dragging her tongue along Ruth’s neck before biting gently.

“Fuck, Debbie…I want you to…”

And then Ruth is reaching behind herself to undo her bra, and she laughs again quietly. Debbie looks up at her.

“What’s funny?”

Ruth shrugs with one shoulder, and then drops her bra to the floor because it doesn’t really matter.

“We’ve undressed together so many times, and we’ve touched each other so many times, and…” Ruth is distracted by Debbie’s bra strap, and she runs a finger over it, before nudging it to one side until it falls from her shoulder.

Debbie smiles at her, curious. And then her eyes flutter shut when Ruth flattens her hand until her palm is pressed to her skin, to the bruise above her heart.

“You aren’t seriously saying-” Debbie whispers, sounding almost amused “That this feels the same as the changing rooms…the wrestling ring?”

“No, just… I don’t know how I managed all those other times, if this is how I feel now.”

The corners of Debbie’s mouth quirk slightly, and then she lets her eyes drop, and Ruth really does feel naked now.

And now Debbie’s mouth is on her, and Ruth is rising up onto her knees, because she wants Debbie’s tongue on her tits. And a pressure, god anything between her legs, she is going to die.

She’s lost her words, and it’s just a sound that comes out of her mouth, when Debbie puts her mouth- oh god.

“Shh” Debbie admonishes her, after a second, but she doesn’t really mean that, because if she did she wouldn’t keep doing it oh fuc-.

“Fuck…. Debbie”, and something seems to break in Debbie, because she’s undoing her own bra, craning around awkwardly behind her. Ruth stands up, and suddenly it’s a hopscotch race to remove all the clothing, because why are they even fucking around like this? They’ve seen each other naked. They want each other naked.

But it’s never been like this. The touches have never felt like this.

Debbie naked is… it’s probably a good thing that Ruth has seen Debbie naked before, because she would certainly be feeling a little overwhelmed right now.

They end up on the bed, and Ruth is climbing on top of Debbie and…

It had been dark last time. And fuck, ridiculous to be thinking about Mark right now, but holy shit Ruth feels a pang of sympathy because Ruth honest to god has become a teenage boy, how the hell is she not supposed to look?

Debbie snorts at her, and then pulls her down, kissing her firmly on the mouth.

“You can look. I want you to look. Fuck, I want you to put your mouth on them so please stop making so much meaningful eye contact with the headboard…” Debbie’s voice trails off into a groan, because Ruth is good at following instructions.

But then she loses her way for a moment, because Debbie’s hand is suddenly between her legs, and then her fingers are-

“Fuck” Debbie breaths softly, and Ruth has to agree.

….

Ruth goes down on Debbie, afterwards.

She doesn’t have a clue what she is doing, and Debbie even asks her if she is sure, suggesting that she doesn’t have to, but Ruth has never wanted to do something more in her life.

But sure, she doesn’t have a clue, but it isn’t as though she needs a road map, and then Debbie’s hands are guiding her, fingers woven through Ruth’s hair.

And then Debbie’s voice is telling her what to do, in a low, continuous murmur that feels close to a murder because it’s killing Ruth, she’s so turned on.

Each time Debbie swears it feels like a victory, and Debbie gradually becomes monosyllabic, and then there aren’t words at all, just noises, but Ruth figures that she must be doing something right, so she just carries on as best she can.

Debbie’s body goes tense, and then she flies apart beneath Ruth, holding her head tight as she rocks upwards onto Ruth’s mouth in small, quivering movements.

And Ruth is on the verge herself, but some small part of her brain manages to latch on to the fact that it might be considered rude to just straddle one of Debbie’s thighs and just ride down into oblivion.

So she kisses Debbie’s stomach, and Debbie’s breasts, and eventually collapses into Debbie’s side, tempted to hide her mouth because god knows what she looks like.

Debbie doesn’t let her hide though, and rolls into Ruth, kissing her long and slow. She licks at Ruth’s lips once, and then bites her lip as through remembering something from long ago.

“That was good” she whispers, not that Ruth’s ego needs any help at all.

Ruth smiles, and then there’s something about the way Debbie is looking at her…

“God, I’ve missed you.” she says, not really thinking about her words at all. “I’ve missed you looking at me like that.”

Debbie smiles at Ruth, and then her nose crinkles in confusion. “But I’ve never looked at you like this.”

“Yes you have” Ruth affirms, the weight of her realisation taking a grip of her. “You used to look at me like that all the time.”

Debbie says nothing for a second, and then comes forward to kiss her again, this time with a smile on her mouth.

“Well,” she mumbles onto Ruth’s lips “We probably could both work on our ability to pick up on hints…”

Ruth kisses her back, and then strokes her fingers along Debbie’s cheek. She grins, because another thing she is very good at is being direct.

“So- how do I hint that I’d like you to go down on me?”

Debbie laughs.

“Well, that should do the trick…”

…..