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Ever a Surprise

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Stephanie pulled at the strap of her borrowed black velvet halter-top, then pulled the waist of it back down to meet her skirt’s waistband and looked around the courtyard, trying not to bite her lip so she wouldn’t smear her lipstick. Her long bright-red hair was piled on top of her head in some kind of fancy curled up-do, and she couldn’t help the urge to tear it all down and put it back in a braid. 

Her blind date for this dance was supposed to be holding a paired item to the bronze three-armed candlestick she was carrying, but she didn’t see anyone holding candles, or even anything that looked like it could be used to light up a room. 

“Wait,” someone said behind her, “is that a candlestick?”

Stephanie turned to see Lynette Calder, freshman-year bane of her existence and legacy hockey player extraordinaire, holding out a small, fat-bellied clock with curly hands on its round face. Stephanie recognized it from last spring’s musical. 

“Oh, those fuckers,” Stephanie said. “Beauty and the Beast, really?” 

Then her brain caught up with her mouth. That meant Lynette was her date. 

“I mean,” she said. “Um. Hi? I’m Stephanie.” 

Lynette grinned. Her front teeth were just a little bit crooked, which was annoying as shit because it was freaking adorable. She was wearing a flared black mini-skirt and a blouse with floaty sleeves, and even under the half-sleeves her forearms were stupidly ripped. Stephanie kind of wanted to lick them. Lynette was probably about to walk away: She hated Stephanie.

“I know,” Lynette said. She paused, looking at Stephanie. “So this is a surprise.”

It didn’t sound like a bad thing, though. In fact, she sounded almost as lost as Stephanie felt. 

Lynette’s asymmetrically cut blonde hair was crunched up with gel on one side, buzzed on the other, and Stephanie really wanted to run her fingers up the buzzed hair, see if it was as soft as it looked. She wasn’t sure she wanted to touch the longer hair, though — it looked like Lynette had taken hair styling tips from some of the male hockey players she hung out with in the dining halls.

Well, Stephanie thought, as Lynette just stared at her, looking more and more anxious, at least this wasn’t some kind of group prank — just Stephanie’s friends having horrible memories. It wasn’t like the lesbian dating pool at their school was enormous, after all, and Stephanie was taking a break from dating guys right now. It was, however, kind of a surprise that Lynette was single. 

“I promise not to puke on your shoes,” Stephanie offered. “If you promise not to call campus security on me.” 

“Again, you mean?” Lynette said. She looked almost relieved that Stephanie was willing to bring up the incredibly awkward way they’d run into each other for the first time freshman year. 

“Well,” Stephanie said, trying a small smile. “I mean, been there, done that, had the hangover and awkward phone calls with my parents. I’ll try almost anything once, but those are firmly off my bucket list.”

Lynette held out a hand to her, then. Her nails were smooth and blunt, and it looked like she was wearing clear nail polish. 

“Want to head in?” she asked. Then she looked at the clock in her other hand. “I don’t know what the fuck to do with this, though.”

Stephanie shook her head. 

“They’re from the props cabinet at the UT,” she said. At Lynette’s blank look, she explained. “The Undergrad Theater,” she said. “I can make my friends take care of them,” she offered. “They stole them, they’ll have to put them back.” 

“Okay,” Lynette said. 

Stephanie pulled her phone out of the tiny bag her friends had found for her and texted Katy. 

u asshole b&b props rly? come get them, fucker

Lynette shifted her weight. She was wearing heels, which made her even taller, and Stephanie wanted to climb her like a tree. 

“Okay,” she said. “Katy should see that soon. But, um,” she paused, thinking. “We probably shouldn’t go to the dance yet? I mean, we’ll lose them or something, and they’re assholes for borrowing these, but, like, we shouldn’t lose props.” 

Lynette nodded. 

“Common room?” she asked. “Your friend can meet us there, right?” She shifted again, and almost winced. “I’d like to sit down.” She glanced down at her feet. “These shoes are murder.” 

They didn’t look that bad to Stephanie: they were just wedge sandals, not crazy high stilettos or anything, but she’d never seen Lynette in anything but sneakers or flip-flops before, so maybe that was why. 

“Sure,” she said. “Lemme just tell her.” 

basement common room bring drinks plz you owe me

Katy texted back a wine emoji and a thumbs-up, and Stephanie put her phone back in the tiny purse. 

“Basement common room,” she said, and paused. She’d expected a blind date to be awkward — but she’d also expected it to be a total stranger. Being set up with the insanely hot jock she’d had a hate-crush on since freshman year was not what she’d expected. 

“So, um,” Stephanie said, waving her keycard at the sensor to let them into the closest entry-way, “what are you majoring in?”

Lynette glanced at her. “Biology,” she said. Her tone was guarded. “I’m not officially pre-med, but I’m taking most of the right classes. I’ll do a post-bac year to finish up after I graduate, if hockey doesn’t work out.” 

Stephanie’s brain stuttered. She’d been expecting — well, nothing that challenging, really. Pre-med classes were a bitch. “Oh,” Stephanie said. “Um,” she grabbed for a reply. “That’s cool. I’m just doing English and Theater, you know, because that way I’ll have read all the plays I do lights for.” 

“You’re still doing lighting design?” Lynette asked. Her heels thumped loudly on the hollow stairs as they walked down to the basement. 

Stephanie nodded, waving her keycard at the next sensor to let them into the basement hallway. “Yeah,” she said. “I did lights for Beauty and the Beast, that’s why I recognized the clock so fast. The director was such a nightmare. He said he had a Vision, but I think he just watched too much Disney as a kid. You can’t get that kind of light in the real world, you know?” 

Lynette sped up as they reached the couches, plopping down on one and putting her feet up on the coffee table with a sigh. Her miniskirt fluttered around her thighs. Stephanie wanted to lick them, which was almost certainly inappropriate. 

“Yeah,” Lynette said. “People get all kinds of weird ideas from movies.” She shook her head. “Like, training montages? Bullshit. You don’t get ripped in a week.” 

Stephanie looked at the couch next to Lynette, then sat in an armchair just next to it. Lynette hadn’t told her to fuck off yet, but she didn’t think they were going to be spooning right away. 

Conversation faltered, and Stephanie was starting to wonder if talking up her lighting choices for a production of She Loves Me had really been such a good idea when Katy and her boyfriend finally arrived, conspicuously empty-handed. They were going to the dance without the hassle of having to meet a blind date, and Stephanie had a moment of pure, unvarnished hatred for her ex-boyfriend, who had dumped her and run at the slightest hint of commitment being on the horizon. Don’t date actors, she told herself. Well, in that regard, Lynette was pretty much perfect. 

“So,” Katy said. “Tale as old as time?”

Lynette surprised Stephanie by grinning. “True as it can be,” she half-sang. Her voice wasn’t all that bad, even compared to the theater people Stephanie hung out with. 

Barely even friends, Stephanie thought. Then somebody bends. Oh, she was going to murder her roommates for this setup. 

“Got it in one,” Katy said, holding out a hand for the props. “I’ll take those — Jamie stole the keys and made copies a while back, so we’ll put them back tomorrow morning.” 

Lynette handed over the clock without protest, and Stephanie gave her the candlestick. 

“Now,” Katy said, settling down on the couch facing Lynette. “You have got to tell me how you two met. Was there dancing furniture?” 

Jamie, who knew a little more about how the two of them had met in the first place, looked like he wanted to clamp a hand over her mouth. 

“Well,” Lynette said. “Freshman year, I lived on the ground floor of my entryway — unusual, right, usually it’s boys. And one night I wake up at like three a.m. to things crashing in the common room, so I went to check out what it was.” 

“You grabbed a hockey stick!” Stephanie protested. “And it wasn’t that much stuff!”

“I’m a hockey player,” Lynette said, shrugging. “And it was a lot of books, my roommate almost had a fit the next morning. She was in the middle of a paper.” 

Stephanie settled back. 

“So,” Lynette continued. “I get into the common room, and the window into the courtyard is open and there’s someone climbing in, dressed head-to-toe in black, with smudges on their face.” She at least looked a little apologetic now. “I may have taken a swing at her,” she admitted. 

“You hit me in the head with a hockey stick!” Stephanie protested. “It hurt like a fucker!”

Across from them, Jamie looked like he wasn’t sure if he wanted to laugh or to cry. Katy was biting her lips in a way that said she was definitely about to laugh, consequences be damned. 

“You looked like a robber!” Lynette shot back. “They’d just had all those stranger danger bullshit presentations after a break-in in another dorm, and my roommates were freaked out!”

Stephanie had forgotten about that. “Okay,” she admitted. “Not my finest hour. But,” she insisted. “You swing hard!”

Lynette had the grace to look a little ashamed. Then she seemed to remember they had an audience. “You puked on my shoes,” she pointed out. 

“Because of head trauma!” Stephanie took a deep breath. 

Jamie cleared his throat. “So,” he said. “I kind of think Katy meant how’d you find each other tonight?”

Stephanie and Lynette stared at him. “Oh,” Stephanie said. “Um, Lynette noticed me first. And I recognized the props.”

“That,” Katy started, then stopped, gasping for breath between giggles. “Is way less fun, and you should totally stick with the other one.”

“Oh fuck you,” Stephanie shot back. She looked at Lynette, who was starting to look uncomfortable again. She had looked almost human while they were arguing, fallible like the rest of the puny human undergrads who weren’t legacies and also star varsity athletes, and it was a good look on her. “Lynette’s awesome. I bet you’d just scream if someone broke into your dorm room.” 

“Like a banshee,” Katy agreed. 

“She thinks she’s a soprano,” Stephanie explained, when Lynette looked confused. “She’s really not.”

Jamie shuffled the props a little awkwardly, clearly looking to avoid this conversation yet again. 

“You’re kind of rude,” Lynette said, sounding surprised.

Stephanie stared at her. 

“Oh, no,” Lynette hurried to add. “I mean, it’s just — I thought you were just like that when you were talking to me.” She looked at Stephanie and grinned. “Girl,” she said. “I hang out with hockey players. I can handle being chirped. I just don’t like people who hate me specifically.” 

Stephanie blinked. “Oh,” she said. She wasn’t sure what to do with that information, but it seemed like maybe it was a good thing? 

Katy laughed again. “She’s such a dick,” she said. “I mean, you know, not literally, but like — you should see her when she’s running call. The baby freshman all totally cry.”

“They do not!” Stephanie protested. “That was just once! And he deserved it. Who puts a source four under a row of theater seats in a rented venue and then forgets about it? Those fuckers are expensive!”

Jamie locked eyes with Lynette. “It wasn’t just once,” he said. “I hate to break it to you, but you’re not special. She makes everyone cry.” 

Stephanie glared at him, but Lynette just laughed. It was an awkward, honking sound, and Stephanie thought she probably liked it way more than made any kind of sense. 

“You’re still the only person I’ve let hit me with a hockey stick,” Stephanie offered, and Lynette laughed all over again. 

“Okay,” Katy said. “I’ve gotta get these props back to my room. Enjoy the dance. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”

Lynette quieted, and Jamie shot her a wink. “She’s been cautioned for public indecency,” he said. “The field’s all yours.” 

And they peeled to their feet and headed out, leaving Stephanie alone with the girl she’d been harboring a hate-crush on since freshman year. 

“They seem nice,” Lynette offered. 

“They seem fun,” Stephanie said. “Jamie might be nice sometimes, but Katy’s a holy terror. She makes the baby techies cry way more than I do.”

Lynette grinned, and her eyes crinkled up at the edges. Her front teeth were alarmingly perfect, and Stephanie wanted to kiss her so badly she could cry. “Okay,” she said instead. “I bet the dance is underway. Want to head over?” 

They headed to the dance, but when they got to the door, Lynette stopped and closed her eyes. “Shit,” she said. “They promised. Those assholes.” 

Stephanie looked in the door to a dark room with disco balls and occasional strobes. It was shitty lighting, and the dance floor wasn’t very full, but she couldn’t see the problem. “What?” She asked. 

“The strobes,” Lynette said. She’d turned away from the door and was facing out onto the courtyard. “I can’t go in there.”

“They’re not that bad,” Stephanie protested. “I mean, it’s hard to fuck up strobes, other than by using them in the first place.” 

“Concussion recovery protocol,” Lynette said. “I actually really can’t go in there.” She looked miserable. “I’m sorry, my friends promised they’d talk to the organizers, but I bet they forgot.”

“Shit,” Stephanie said. “Are you okay?” Concussions were serious, right? 

“I’m fine,” Lynette said. She sounded frustrated now. “I just can’t do strobes for a while, which sucks tonight.” She looked down at Stephanie. “You go have fun,” she said. “I’ll just get a head start on a problem set or something.” 

Stephanie stared at her. Lynette seemed to be totally serious, like she really thought Stephanie wanted to go to a dance alone and leave her date to do homework, instead of doing something else together. 

“Fuck that,” Stephanie said. “I’m not dancing by myself. And I’m sure not letting you do homework on a Saturday, oh my god.” 

Lynette blinked. “I do homework on Saturdays all the time,” she said. “I have to, I mean, I couldn’t keep up otherwise.”

Stephanie grabbed her hand. “Well,” she said. “Not tonight. We’re going to do something else. I’ve got, like, tea and cookies in my room. We can watch a movie.” 

Lynette followed easily. “It can be a cheat day,” she said. “I mean,” she added. “If they’re good enough cookies.” 

Stephanie laughed. “I dunno,” she said. “Does home-made double-chocolate-chip with butterscotch chips tossed in count?”

The noise Lynette made was nearly pornographic. Stephanie grabbed her hand tight, feeling the calluses on her palm, and dragged the two of them toward Stephanie’s room a little faster. 

The staircase was deserted, and Stephanie’s single was far enough from the party that the music was only a dull bass rumble from time to time. As soon as they got in the door, Lynette plopped down on the ground and pulled her wedge heels off. Her toenails were painted alternating blue and white, their school colors. 

“Ugh, thank god,” she said. “I could feel them eating my Achilles tendons and making my toes cramp.”

Stephanie hesitated for a minute, then kicked off her shoes as well. The halter top slid up, exposing her stomach and lower back. Stephanie tugged it down and felt the strap digging into her neck all over again. “Will you be really offended if I put on a shirt that isn’t trying to strangle me?” she asked. 

Lynette looked up at her. “No,” she said. She sounded a little confused, and then her expression cleared. “Your friends played dress-up too?”

Stephanie groaned. “Like I was some kind of freakishly large barbie doll,” she agreed. “I hate halter tops, and this one’s too small.”

Lynette grinned. “But it looks good,” she offered. “I mean, aside from you looking like you want to set it on fire. That part’s a little more alarming.” 

Stephanie laughed, digging through her dresser for a shirt that wasn’t horribly embarrassing. “I mean, I’d have to choose my place pretty carefully for that,” she said. “Fire alarms are a bitch.”

Lynette chuckled. This time her laugh was low and almost surprised-sounding, and Stephanie wanted to hear it again immediately. She pulled an old lighting crew shirt from the bottom of the drawer, neckline and sleeves ripped off in a fit last year, and pulled it over her head before squirming out of the halter top under it. “Sorry,” she said, when the halter’s straps got caught on her hair-stick and clips somehow. She tugged. It hurt, and she felt herself flush as red as her newly-dyed hair. “Um. Help?”

Lynette laughed again, and Stephanie heard her stand up. “I think it didn’t like you threatening to set it on fire,” she said, and then her hands were tugging gently at Stephanie’s hair, pulling clips out and untangling the shirt from everything in the process. When she stepped back, Stephanie pulled the shirt free, and a few locks of her hair fell in her face, fire-engine red and faintly curly from the up-do. She could feel most of it resting thick against the small of her back. 

“You are magic,” Stephanie said. “Ugh, I hate having my hair up like that, it’s heavy.” 

Lynette was looking at her in something like surprise. “It looks really nice,” she said. “Um,” and then she was leaning forward and brushing the hair out of Stephanie’s face. “Tell me if –” she started, and Stephanie leaned in the rest of the way and kissed her. 

Lynette pulled her closer with the hand wrapped in Stephanie’s hair, and seemed uncertain what to do with her other hand until Stephanie grabbed it and pulled it to her waist, drawing Lynette closer. 

It was a surprisingly slow kiss, nothing like some of the alcohol-fueled hookups Stephanie had had with actresses who weren’t able to admit what they wanted until they’d been drinking, with guys who had one goal in mind. It felt more like a relationship kiss than anything else. Stephanie had expected hard and fast, fucking each other in exasperation as much as attraction, but Lynette was touching her like she wasn’t sure what to do, like she didn’t want to get it wrong somehow. 

Stephanie finally pulled back to breathe and pressed a kiss to the underside of Lynette’s jaw. “Hey,” she said. “What do you want?” 

Lynette stiffened in her arms. 

“No, I mean,” Stephanie clarified. “Like, I’m on board, I just figured, you know, communication is good? And I kind of want your thighs over my shoulders ten minutes ago, but only if you like being eaten out.”

Lynette blinked. “I –” she said. “People don’t like that?” 

Stephanie shrugged. “Sometimes. I mean, what do you like?” She pressed a kiss to the side of Lynette’s mouth, where she was starting to frown. “I like oral sex,” she said. “Both ways. I like fingering, also both ways. I don’t like sixty-nine-ing because I get hella distracted.” Stephanie took a breath, when Lynette didn’t seem to be about to start talking. “I like some mildly kinky stuff,” she admitted. “But I figure that’s more of a relationship thing? Nothing really freaky, and it’s not, like, mandatory.” 

Lynette huffed a laugh and combed her fingers gently through Stephanie’s hair. “So you don’t need to pee on someone in a furry catsuit to get off?” She asked. “I can live with that.”

Stephanie met her eyes. She was tempted to joke about it, but Lynette looked a little too guarded. “Nah,” she said. “I mean, I’m not kink shaming here, but I don’t have rubber sheets or a catsuit, so I feel like I’m pretty under-prepared.” 

Lynette pressed a kiss to Stephanie’s nose. “I don’t–” she paused. “I mean, I haven’t done this a lot.” 

She sounded a little ashamed about that. Stephanie kissed her again, and ran a hand up and down the line of her back. Her muscles were stunning; her skin was warm and smooth. 

“Good,” Stephanie said, before realizing how that might sound. “I mean, I don’t — I mean, we can figure it out?”

Lynette nodded. She took a breath. “Okay,” she said. “I really want to see your breasts, though.”

Stephanie laughed. “Only if I can see yours,” she said, but she was already stripping the t-shirt off over her head, moving to unclasp her awful, expensive strapless bra to pull it off in the same motion. When she looked up, Lynette had pulled her backless blouse over her head, and wow, she wasn’t wearing any bra at all, not even glue-on-cups.  

Lynette looked a little awkward. She had a four-pack and her biceps were even more amazing without the flimsy sleeves covering them. She looked like a Greek statue. 

“Oh my god,” Stephanie said, and pulled her toward the bed. “You are so fit, it’s amazing. I want to –” She tugged Lynette down beside her. “I’m going to talk a lot,” she apologized. “But I really want to touch, like, all of you, you’re amazing.” 

Lynette actually smiled. “I like it,” she said. “I like knowing how you feel.” She stretched out full-length on the single bed, raising her arms over her head, naked except for her flippy miniskirt. 

“Oh my god,” Stephanie said, and straddled her waist. She ran a hand up the side of Lynette’s buzzed head, shivering slightly at the soft rasp of it under her fingers. She leaned down to kiss Lynette again, and grinned at the gasp that tweaking her nipples provoked. 

Then there were hands cupping her breasts, callused, gentle fingers running over her skin like she was fragile, special. 

“Harder,” Stephanie urged, kissing Lynette again, and then panting against her jaw. She hadn’t been this turned on in ages: she’d forgotten what it felt like to want this desperately. “Please.”

Lynette pinched hard, and Stephanie moaned. Then, all of a sudden, she was on her back, and Lynette was bending over her. “I want to see,” Lynette said, and bent down to suck on the nipple she’d pinched. Stephanie felt her back arch, and shoved a palm over her mouth. “Oh, good,” Lynette said, and turned to do it again, sucking and nipping not-too-gently until Stephanie felt like she might die if she didn’t come. 

“Please,” Stephanie said, and shoved at her own skirt, trying to get it off. “I want –” she shoved a hand against her clit, pushing just a little bit, and pulled Lynette’s head back to her breast. “Just like that,” she said. “Please, don’t –“

Above her, Lynette paused, then lapped curiously at her nipple. 

“Oh god,” Stephanie moaned. “Don’t –” 

Lynette stopped. 

“Don’t stop,” Stephanie finished. “Oh god.” She was panting, feeling wrung out and lit up inside. 

Lynette pinched her almost viciously, just right, just perfect, and Stephanie felt the shudder of it run up and down her nerves, rebounding like a pinball machine, like fireworks in an enclosed space. She crooked her fingers just so and bit back a scream as her back arched and she crested the peak of orgasm. 

“Give me a minute,” Stephanie said after a minute. “Oh my god, I think you broke me.”

Lynette pressed a sucking kiss to the curve of her breast, hands feathering up and down her sides. Her own breathing was coming a little faster, each exhalation a little feather-press of air against Stephanie’s skin. 

Stephanie took a deep breath, and then opened her eyes. Lynette’s eyes were dark and she looked half pleased and half desperate. Her skirt was hiked up around her thighs. 

“Naked,” Stephanie managed. “I mean, we should be. God, I want to get my mouth on you, please say I can.” 

Lynette shuddered, and then stripped her skirt and underwear off in a single, efficient gesture. Her ass was amazing. Stephanie wanted to bounce a quarter off of it. She wanted to bite the curve of it, to have those thighs around her head. 

“Please,” Lynette said. “God, it’s been–” She stopped. “It’s been a really long time, and no one’s ever seemed like they wanted to before,” she said, a little softer. 

Stephanie sat up, shucked off the rest of her clothes, and patted the bed beside her. “I do,” she said. “I really, really do. C’mere.” 

Lynette pulled Stephanie on top of her into another kiss. One hand ran idly up and down Stephanie’s back, while the other cupped a heavy breast, almost as if she couldn’t help herself. Stephanie had sometimes considered reduction surgery, but this kind of appreciation was definitely a plus. Lynette seemed almost to be learning the shape of Stephanie’s body, and Stephanie wondered if she’d done this before. Then Lynette pinched her side. “Hey,” Lynette said, and shifted so her thighs were a little wider open between them. She paused, flushing. 

“Don’t have to ask me twice,” Stephanie said, and pressed a trail of kisses wet and slow down Lynette’s stupidly muscular torso before settling in between her thighs. She breathed out, and Lynette gasped, and then yelped as Stephanie licked, broad and wet up her cunt. 

“Oh my god,” Lynette gasped. “Do that again.”

Stephanie did. Lynette was wet and salty under her tongue, her clit already swelling up, eager for attention. Stephanie placed a soft kiss there before dragging her fingers between Lynette’s labia, testing her reaction. Thank god for anatomy diagrams and the Museum of Sex, Stephanie thought, imagining the long legs of the clitoris on either side of the vulva as she pressed just a little bit. Lynette moaned, and Stephanie circled her thumb over Lynette’s clit gently. 

“More,” Lynette managed. Her voice was deeper now. “Please,” she added, softer. 

“Whatever you want,” Stephanie said, and licked her clit a little harder. “You want my fingers, too?” She asked, and Lynette nodded frantically. “Okay,” Stephanie said, one hand braced across the cut of Lynette’s hip. “Okay, awesome. God,” she said. “You’re so hot, look at you, this is amazing.” Then she shoved her face back into Lynette’s cunt so she couldn’t keep talking. 

Lynette squeaked when Stephanie slipped one finger in and crooked it up just so. 

“Do that again,” Lynette demanded, breathy and impatient. 

Stephanie did, and then with two fingers, and Lynette came to pieces in her hands, shuddering through her orgasm nearly silently, only a long, low whine escaping through clenched teeth. Stephanie pulled her fingers out slowly and pressed a last slow kiss to Lynette’s clit before sliding up the bed, licking her fingers clean so she wouldn’t have to wipe them on the sheets. Lynette opened her eyes, still visibly shaken, and groaned. “You can’t be serious,” she said, when she realized what Stephanie was doing. 

“I said I liked it,” Stephanie said. 

“How are you real,” Lynette said, and pulled her into another kiss. She didn’t seem to mind her taste in Stephanie’s mouth at all. Finally they pulled apart. “Tell me we can do that again,” Lynette said.

“Now?” Stephanie looked at the clock she’d somehow inherited from a past roommate. “I mean, I was planning on doing a problem set –“

Lynette smacked her with a pillow, and Stephanie collapsed laughing in a pile of limbs and sticky skin. 

Best blind date ever, she thought, as she watched Lynette try not to fall off the edge of the twin bed while reaching for the pillow that had gone flying. Tale as old as time indeed.