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Run For You

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Eve stood at the bus stop and checked the time on her phone: 8:03am. The rush hour crowd, all waiting for the 56, didn’t give her much hope that she’d make it into the office on time. Using Bitter Pill as a base made sense, but Eve hadn’t settled into her new commute routine yet. Everyone around her was craning their necks to be the first to see the bus as it rounded the corner. Eve was looking not for the bus itself, but hoping that there would be the silhouette of Villanelle inside it. She doubted, after the kiss they shared on the 56 earlier that week, that she would ever be able to ride a bus without thinking entirely of Villanelle: the way Villanelle had sauntered causally over with a ‘hi, Eve’, the power she had held over her as she pressed Eve into the bus seat before they had kissed, the way stray strands of hair had fallen silkily towards Eve’s face. Their kiss had given Eve a feeling in her stomach she hadn’t felt since she was a teenager: giddy butterflies and a knot in the back of her throat. The feelings of lust she had for Villanelle completely overrode everything else: how she had murdered more people than Eve could count, and even how she had shot Eve and left her for dead.

Eve looked around her but couldn’t see Villanelle. She checked her phone again: only four minutes had passed but this time she took note that it was Friday and felt a little happier, standing up straighter, glad for the rest that the weekend would bring. Looking into Kenny’s death was draining. She was all-consumed with thoughts of everything MI6; she needed a distraction, a hobby that didn’t involve female assassins. As she thought this, a bus rounded the corner and pulled up in front of the crowd she was in the middle of. Eve hung back, letting other people board it before her as she looked up towards the window of the top deck, scanning every figure in the window, simultaneously hoping and fearing that Villanelle would be sat up there. As she looked, she noticed the advert pasted across the side of the double-decker: ‘Start running with Couch to 5K!’ the advert read in huge letters, followed by an image of a woman about her age in gym clothes with a speech bubble saying “I’m slow, but I’m lapping everyone on the couch!”. Eve scoffed aloud, and her mind flashed back to the bus that drove smugly past her at Kenny’s funeral ‘worry, greif, regret, let it all go…’.

Eve stepped forward to board the bus and was suddenly unable to move. Villanelle. Further down the road. There she was. Running. Panic rose in Eve’s chest. Her fists clenched, her mouth dry. Her heart was beating fast, and her mind whirling at a hundred miles an hour. What now? Would Villanelle make a scene in front of all these people? Yes, of course she would. Twenty metres away, Villanelle crossed the street and Eve saw her side profile. With simultaneous relief and regret, that she wasn’t Villanelle.

“You getting on, love?” the driver shouted to Eve as she stood, mouth agape at the woman running. An innocent jogger, in a tight matching outfit and headphones.
“Yes,” she mouthed and stepped forward, sucked so quickly out of her fantasy.

No seats. There never was at this time in the morning. The journey from this side of Kingston to the office wasn’t far and Eve stood up willingly, completely preoccupied with her thoughts of the woman that was, for a few seconds, Villanelle. Holding onto the pole she was leaning against, Eve zoned out and looked towards the fogged up window. The bright colours of the Couch to 5K advert came to her mind. Maybe she could take up running? Was that a ridiculous, wild idea? Her and Niko had never really been into exercise, preferring a takeaway and a movie in an evening over a couples gym trip. But you’re not with him anymore, she reminded herself. Her thoughts went straight back to Villanelle and the kiss they had shared. How energetic their fight had been, how physically worn-out she’d been afterwards. Emotionally, she was completely wired, but it was true, she could be fitter. Villanelle probably walked away from the bus not even short for breath. She thought about how she wouldn’t be able to keep up with the younger woman if they were in a fight again or… intimate. Forgetting she was on a bus, Eve’s mind was filled with flashes of Villanelle on top of her, as she had been during their kiss a few days before. Only this time she was naked and they weren’t on public transport. Eve imagined her toned and muscular arms holding her down, and a sheen of sweat on her torso. Villanelle would have so much more stamina compared to her. The thought of Villanelle’s athletic body grinding expertly against her own had Eve’s mouth watering. She was embarrassed at the thought of not being able to keep up with Villanelle and the competitive side to her got her thinking…

Still holding onto the light blue pole for support, she slid her phone out of her pocket and typed into the App Store ‘Couch 2 5K’.

**********

Saturday morning, Eve’s alarm woke her at 7am. Admittedly, it was early for a weekend but today she had plans. Rolling over to turn off her alarm, she caught a glimpse of the running clothes she had folded on the chair beside her bed the night before. ‘Running clothes’ was perhaps a stretch. She had rummaged around in her drawers for clothes that were somewhat suitable for running. She settled on an old pair of leggings that were flecked with bleach stains. On top of them was a baggy, faded Roxette band t-shirt she must have had since her early twenties. She rolled out of bed, amazed at herself for still thinking that going for a run was a good idea. When was the last time she went for a jog? Early in her MI5 days, probably. Definitely not since she’d been married to Niko.

The trainers were probably the most worn-out part of the outfit. Eve hadn’t even been aware that she still owned these trainers until she was packing her things to move out of her house and into this flat. She felt a little embarrassed as she pulled on her clothes, remembering the girl that had jogged past her the day before in her tight pink matching co-ord. She thought of Villanelle and wondered what she’d think of her… although that made her feel another pang of embarrassment, so she brought herself back to reality and opened up the C25K app.

Eve was nervous, what if she physically couldn’t run? What if she saw somebody she knew? Walking down the stairs of her building, she began to regret the tatty old leggings. But the image she’d had of Villanelle panting and grinding against her yesterday morning made her push open the front door of the flats, out into the cold air and hit ‘play’ on ‘Week 1, Run 1’.

Chapter Text

Villanelle closed the front door as she waved a lazy goodbye to Dasha.

“Yes, yes, I’ll be a good little girl,” she shouted sarcastically at Dasha as she sauntered away down the drive.

“Don’t make me regret giving you this apartment!” Dasha replied, mock-anger in her voice, her back to Villanelle.

Villanelle rolled her eyes childishly and slammed the door with a flourish. She was giddy. A new playground! She’d never lived in Barcelona before! Skipping across her huge, open plan apartment towards the bedroom, Villanelle felt a rush of excitement. The property was perfect! No noisy neighbors, great views and even the water pressure was just right! Villanelle twirled into her new bedroom, running her finger tips down the ornate, vast door frames. All of her belongings were boxed up in the middle of the floor. Later , she thought to herself, prolonging the time until she had to unpack. Balanced on top of the piles of cardboard boxes and suitcases was her gym bag. She tilted her head and fiddled with the zip. How about a run? It had been a few days since she’d done any running; she’d been busy trying to persuade Dasha to give her a chance at being a Keeper. 

 

For Villanelle, running was where she really gathered her thoughts together. If she was struggling to come up with a good way of killing her next target, she’d go for a run and not let herself come home until she had a blow-by-blow plan of the kill. The actual physicality of ‘going for a run’ came naturally to her now, although it hadn’t always been that way. Back when she’d been with Anna, she’d been impressed with how much stamina the older woman had. Villanelle had wanted to be fitter and more athletic to impress Anna and so she had taken up running. It wasn’t easy at first, but the months she had spent in prison had really helped her to improve her fitness levels: she would run laps and laps of the yard, just to feel something . And now, years later, running was usually one of the best parts of the day. The action of lacing up her trainers and heading out the door, full of energy and potential: it made her feel alive. 

 

Villanelle pulled on her short, pink running shorts and a matching cropped t-shirt. Tying her hair into a high ponytail, she headed towards the kitchen to fill her water bottle.

“Wow,” she sighed at the impressive water pressure. “You and me,” she said aloud to the apartment, “we are going to be good, good friends.”

 

Within no time, Villanelle was locking her shiny new front door behind her and walking down the driveway. It was huge! Konstantin would never treat her like this! Where to start? She could Google map a route but the best way to explore would probably just be to run wherever her legs took her. She stretched as she walked, warming up her legs and doing lunges across flowerbeds and the little paths that joined together her neighbor’s gardens with her own. What a cool place to live! Nice life, she thought to herself, cool flat, fun job . What didn’t she have?

 

Eve.

 

She stopped, mid-lunge. The image of Eve’s perfectly dark brown eyes burned into the back of her mind made her shiver, despite the heat of the Barcelona sun. 

“Estas bien?”

Villanelle looked up, still stretching over a flowerbed, almost doing the splits by this point. Standing above her was a concerned-looking man about her age.

She rolled her eyes and stood to face him.

“I am stretching,” she replied, not bothering to reply in spanish. “You know, before you exercise… e jercicio ,” she added, when he still looked bewildered.

He said nothing, just stared at her. His eyes lingered for too long on her cleavage. Without thinking about Dasha, the new apartment or how her reputation needed to be squeaky clean here, Villanelle brought her knee up to the man’s crotch and hit him square between his legs. He stumbled, his eyes suddenly filled with shock and pain.

“Pervert,” she muttered and turned away, leaving him to fall to the ground, gasping and clutching at himself.

Villanelle walked away from him, pulling out her earphones from her running bag and plugging them into her phone. She scrolled through her playlists. What was the vibe of today? 90’s Hip Hop?  National Anthems? She settled on the automated Spotify playlist ‘All Out 80s’ and started running.

 

Barcalona was very easy to like. It had quaint little side streets that would come out onto a busy tourist street and huge buildings and their beautiful architecture that were right next to tiny cafes. Villanelle ran and ran. Her mind was focussed solely on the beat of the music and the rhythm of her trainers on the cobbled ground. It felt good to be moving, to be thinking about nothing but which road to take next. She ran across huge courtyards, through crowds of tourists and followed signs to the beach. Villanelle hadn’t lived within walking distance to the sea before. She remembered the first time she had seen the ocean and felt a warm rush of childhood innocence that she wished she could hold onto. She wondered what she had been like as a child. Had she been happy? It was all foggy and hard to remember. 

 

Rounding another corner of a tall building, Villanelle ran into a wall of ocean air. It smelled so good. She hadn’t smelled anything that good since... Eve’s hair. Before she could stop herself, she was thinking about the one thing she’d been trying to stop herself from thinking about for months now: Eve. In her ears, she heard the gunshot. The ruins in Rome had amplified the horrific sound of her regretful choice, mocking her with it’s deadly echo. Villanelle ran faster, pumping the volume button on her headphones to try and drown out the sound of the gun and the vision of Eve, beautiful Eve, falling to the ground.

You've built a love but that love falls apart,

Your little piece of heaven turns too dark,

Listen to your heart .”

Villanelle screwed up her eyes and ran even faster, the lyrics of the Roxette song felt like they were mocking her. She had listened to her heart. She had opened herself up to Eve and… now Eve was dead. Why does everyone I love end up dead ? She thought to herself, angrily.

 

Villanelle hurdled over the beach wall and onto the sand, panting and desperately wanting to reach the ocean. She wanted to wash every thought of Eve off her body. She wanted to stop thinking about her. She wanted… Eve.

Sprinting across the sand, darting in and out of sunbathers, Villanelle pushed every bit of strength she could to her feet. In seconds, she had reached the water. She stood panting, leaning over with her hands on her thighs, slick with sweat.

“Eve,” she breathed, wheezing and clutching a stitch in her side. “Why do you make me feel like this?”

She stood up, still gasping for breath but she knew it wasn’t just from the run; the thought of Eve always made her chest tight, though for reasons she didn’t fully understand. Villanelle slowly became aware of her surroundings and looked out across the sea towards the horizon. A single small cloud floated peacefully above, in an otherwise entirely blue sky. The ocean view seemed to be endless and Villanelle felt very alone; there were families all around her, couples and friends all having fun at the beach.

“I admit it, Eve, I wish you were here.” She sighed and looked out at the sea.

Chapter Text

Eve gazed out of the office window at the blue sky. She was distracted and lost in her thoughts, her vision blurry and out of focus. In her ears she could hear nothing but the echoing of Villanelle’s smouldering voice pulsating out of the plastic heart.

“Admit it, Eve. You wish I was here.”

She had dreamt about it last night, dreamt that the voice was sounding out of her phone pressed to her ear, as though the two of them were on a phone call. It had felt so real that she had checked her call history just in case it hadn’t been a dream.

But it was, of course it was. Years, they had been going back and forth with this. Leaning against the radiator for warmth and for something to steady her, Eve remembered Hugo asking her what the deal was between her and Villanelle.

“Do you like watching her or do you like being watched?”

Both , she had answered. But it was more complicated than that. Eve didn’t just want to watch: she wanted to know, to understand and to be there for it all. See Villanelle, touch Villanelle. Now that she was in her life, Eve couldn’t imagine it without her. Even though that came with a lot of consequences.

 

Across the blue sky, Eve watched a single tuft of cloud drift slowly out of sight. 

“Eve!” Jamie shouted from the other side of the busy office, “lunch!”

She was pulled out of her daze and blinked as she turned around to re-adjust herself to the dim yellow office light.

“We’re getting sandwiches from Tony’s,” he called, walking towards her. “The usual?”

Eve was about to say yes but remembered that she had brought her running clothes with her to the office with the intention of doing ‘Week 3, Run 1’ of Couch To 5K at lunch. Running had very unexpectedly improved her life the past couple of weeks: she’d managed to think clearer, sleep better and having a hobby was keeping her distracted from everything that had been going on. Well, almost everything. Villanelle’s cat-like eyes flashed across her mind.

“I’m good,” she said, “I’ll pass.”

Jamie looked confused and a little hurt but Eve was too wrapped in her thoughts to notice.

“Brought a packed lunch with you?” he asked, lighthearted and clearly trying to make conversation.

“No-,” Eve changed direction mid-way through, “I mean, yes.”

Before he could pick up on her stuttered response, she grabbed her bag and headed to the bathroom to change. She really didn’t want the whole office knowing she had taken up running. Jamie would want to know what had pushed her over the edge and say something sarcastic like “you really must hate yourself”.

 

Eve sat on top of the toilet seat in the end cubicle and pulled on her new trainers. After she had finished Week 2 of the program, she had treated herself to better running gear. The Roxette t-shirt and Niko’s old shirt with the birds on the front had made her feel like she stuck out more than she already did in the park of runners that looked like athletes . She had walked cluelessly into the first sporty-looking shop she came across and been pounced on by an energetic sales girl. Her hair was cropped and curly and bounced with every overly-enthusiastic sentence.

“You’ll want these ones,” she had thrust a pair of leggings towards Eve. “High-waisted, to suck everything in ”.

Eve left the shop with some white trainers (“Everyone wears white trainers these days,” the girl bounced and showed off her own) and two running vests with built in chest support (“My mum wears these,” the girl had said, “and she’s had five kids so they’ll work for you!”).

 

Eve stood in the cubicle wearing her new running outfit for the first time. Mutton dressed as lamb? She thought sadly. Eve was reminded of her recent birthday and cringed. What a sad birthday it had been: waking up in the office and getting a parcel she thought was from her husband but it turned out to be…from Villanelle. She shook her head as if trying to shake every thought of the woman out of her ears and unlocked the cubicle. In front of the mirror, Eve started to tie up her hair. But that made her think again of Villanelle so she stormed out of the bathroom and blindly tied it into a loose bun as she walked down the stairs. Eve crossed the car park, her eyes down at her phone, forcing herself to look away from the spot where Kenny had fallen. She hit play on Week 3 and started her warm up walk.

 

Eve hadn’t really given much thought to the route she would take until now. She didn’t know this side of London very well so took a guess at the bottom of the street and made a left turn, hoping she would come across a park sooner rather than later. 

 

Eve jogged slowly, and tried to remember the breathing techniques she’d seen on YouTube the night before. Within minutes, she came across a small park. It was empty of athletes , thankfully.

Not big enough for them , she thought sarcastically. Hello little park, I like you . Eve did a lap around it, and another and another. She was beginning to feel tired now, her legs felt like lead and she wished the park was even smaller than it already was. But before she knew it, in her headphones, her Couch to 5K instructor told her it was time to stop running and begin her cool-down walk.

“Thank God,” Eve wheezed and bent over, her hands on her knees. “Ah!” she flinched. A pain shot through her shoulder where the bullet had gone through her last summer. She breathed as slowly as she could whilst trying to catch her breath to stop the stabbing pain from getting worse. She was still bent over in the park, at this point regretting the tight leggings more than ever. The pain was getting worse; it hadn’t hurt like this in a while.

Stupid little park , she thought as she lowered herself onto the grass and rolled cautiously onto her back. The cool grass beneath her gave her some relief and controlling her breathing meant she wasn’t getting stabbing pains anymore. Eve raised her fingertips to the scar underneath her vest strap and touched it tentatively, as though expecting it to have been reopened and dripping with blood. 

 

Laying there on the grass, Konstantin’s voice came to her mind.

“When a bullet has gone through you,” he had said to her at Kenny’s funeral, “it leaves something behind.” 

She knew he had been thinking of Villanelle. He would undoubtedly know more about Villanelle and her whereabouts than he was letting on. Eve looked around her at the trees and thought about asking him where Villanelle was now. At least tell me what country , she imagined herself asking him when he refused to give her Villanelle’s address. Would she still be in France? Maybe she had moved back to Russia? Or… England? Eve’s neck prickled at the thought of being near to her. 

“Pathetic,” she mumbled to herself and slowly stood up, wincing at another twinge of pain in her shoulder. The woman is a psychopath , she told herself for the millionth time. Eve was caught off-guard with a smile as the memory of Villanelle sitting at her old kitchen table came to her mind.

“You should never tell a psychopath they’re a psychopath,” she had said to Eve over the Shepherd's Pie. “It upsets them.”

Chapter Text

“C’est fini,” Villanelle said into her phone briefly before hanging up on Konstantin. Dasha had told her not to travel and yet here she was in Lyon, France. She could be back in Barcelona in a few hours if she got the first flight, but there was something else Villanelle wanted to do whilst in France. And, besides, she wasn’t going to sit tight like a good little girl for anyone, especially not Dasha . Well, maybe not anyone. Villanelle's mind was suddenly filled with scenarios of her being Eve's good little girl . The back of her neck prickled at the thought of Eve dominating her. 

 

Villanelle pulled herself away from her fantasies about the older woman and headed back to the greenhouse in which she had hidden her travel bags. She had known all along she didn’t want to spend the night in Lyon; if she got the first flight out, she could be in Paris by the early evening. It had been months since she’d been back there. Villanelle had never loved anywhere as much as she had loved living in Paris: the glamour, the language, everything about it was beautiful. And the most beautiful part? Paris had been where Eve had slid a knife into her stomach. 

 

Walking down the driveway and out of the dead Accountant’s property, Villanelle hiccupped. The thought of Paris and the hiccup made her flinch. What was it she had learned in school? Wasn’t there an old Indian superstition that says when you have hiccups it means someone is thinking about you? Standing by the side of the road, Villanelle pulled out her phone to call a taxi to the airport, and did a quick Google search to see if she was right. She was. Eve is thinking about me , she thought. Hi Eve . Her mind was filled with images of Eve’s flat, the way it had been when she had dropped off Eve’s pink bear. Villanelle tried to picture Eve laying in the bed thinking about her but the sun was too bright in her eyes and she kept hiccuping which was starting to make her feel sick.

“Baby, why are you doing this to me?” she mumbled, looking down at her feet.

 

The taxi to the airport was long. She didn’t want to talk to the driver so pretended to be a confused British tourist who spoke hardly any French. Alone with her thoughts on the back seat, Villanelle thought about the Accountant’s wife she had just strangled. That had been a fun kill! Her original plan had been to stab her with the hedge clippers, but she was thankful to have strangled her instead because she didn’t have time to wash before catching her flight. Villanelle didn’t feel what she used to feel when she killed people, and was only slowly becoming aware of this. The days of watching the life drain out of their eyes seemed to be gone. She was distracted, bored and not feeling the thrill of it anymore. Eve, she thought, let’s blame it all on Eve.

 

Villanelle boarded the plane still in her gardener’s costume. It was absolutely not to her usual taste but there was something about it that she was holding onto that made her want to keep it on. She felt ridiculous sitting in her first class cabin wearing a raincoat and nylon shorts but wore it the whole hour it took to fly from Lyon to Paris.

 

On the plane, Villanelle searched Airbnb for a flat to stay in for the night. Instinctively, she typed in her old postcode. The first flat that came up was a few streets away from her old apartment building. Thinking about going back to the place where she had been stabbed by Eve had her whole body tingling and so Villanelle booked the flat, excited for the evening ahead of her.

 

Just before they landed, Villanelle changed out of the gardener’s clothes and into her GymShark running gear. She realised what it was that had made her like the gardening outfit: Eve. She could easily picture Eve wearing clothes like this: in summer, on a walk in the countryside or pruning shrubs in her garden. That made her smile. Eve was so sweet, the way she couldn’t care less about fashion. Villanelle wanted to keep the outfit and wear it next time she saw Eve.

 

Villanelle got a taxi from the airport to her flat for the night. It was small and smelled musty but she chose it for its location and wasn't planning on spending any waking time here anyway. Already in her running clothes, she left her carry-on luggage in the bedroom, filled her water bottle and headed out the door. 

 

The Paris air felt warm and familiar on her skin; she loved this city. The sun was setting as she jogged towards her old apartment, catching glimpses of it through the old buildings. She ran in silence, wanting to soak up as much of Paris as she could, without any distractions. The feel of her trainers on the cobblestones was nostalgic and she pushed herself to run faster, excited to see her old flat. Villanelle knew it was a risk coming back here. Would someone be expecting her to come back?

 

Rounding the corner of her old street, Villanelle saw her old building up ahead of her. The roads had been mostly empty tonight, and this one was no different. To her left was the black gate she had hidden behind and watched the fake paramedics take away all her clothes. Villanelle got a pang of sadness at the thought of what she had lost and pain shot through her stomach like a stitch. It hit her exactly where Eve had driven the knife into her. This pain spurred her on more and she ran faster towards the front doors. A man she didn't recognise was leaving the building.

"Hold the door!" She shouted to him in French and he willingly obliged and let her in. 

Too easy , she thought, I could be a very dangerous psychopath and you have just let me into your building.

 

Taking the familiar steps of the ornate staircase two at a time, Villanelle climbed up to the floor her apartment had been on. The banister slithered up the staircase beside her and she thought of Eve's hands trailing down it when she had fled after stabbing her. What had Eve been feeling in that moment? Fear, most definitely. Regret , absolutely. 

Oh poor baby , she thought as she reached the landing and looked at the front door, I have been a bad influence on you, haven't I?

 

The hallway outside her old flat looked exactly how she had remembered it and Villanelle felt disappointed: she wanted to see her blood smeared along the walls and the knife Eve had stabbed her with discarded casually, still on the floor. She wanted to see the knife, to kiss it and feel the hot blood that Eve had made her leak dribble down her chin. Villanelle was panting from both the running and the excitement. She stared at her old door and contemplated knocking. Who lived there now? She wished she had looked for it on Airbnb, maybe it was available for rent on there? Tentatively, Villanelle took a few steps across the landing towards the flat. She felt scared, the scar on her stomach twinging as though her body was aware of the danger she had been in last time she was here. 

 

Eve has stood in this spot feeling this feeling , Villanelle thought. Eve will have been scared to go in. Villanelle loved to wonder what Eve was thinking. She wanted to know what it felt like to be Eve. Much of her time was spent picturing Eve in different scenarios. Heart in her mouth, she took a few more slow steps towards the door. She tried to pretend she was Eve and imagine what it was like for Eve to stand here, having a staring competition with the door in front of her.

 

Villanelle was only slightly aware of what she would look like if anyone saw her: a jogger lost indoors and tensed as though for a duel with a wooden door. Villanelle couldn't care less what people thought of her. The only person she cared about was hundreds of miles away.

“Come in, baby,” Villanelle said aloud, imagining she was standing next to the Eve that had stood here a year ago, about to go into her old flat. “Let me give you a tour. You will like the bath taps. Very good water pressure.”

Chapter Text

Eve. 8am. London.

 

Eve’s thumb hovered over the words Start Run on her Couch 2 5 K app. Today was week 5, run 3, which meant twenty minutes of non-stop running. Eve was nervous. Before this, the longest she had run without stopping was eight minutes. Twenty minutes felt wildly out of reach. She stood in her apartment looking apprehensively at the back of her front door. Should she even bother? If she failed at this run, she’d feel totally disheartened. They still had no leads to Kenny’s death and Eve wanted to get outside and feel good about herself. She had started running for the distraction and it really had been working until right now, as she stood here, beginning to doubt herself. On the small table beside the door where Eve usually kept her keys was a glass of water. She didn’t remember putting it there… her mind immediately jumped to Villanelle. Had Villanelle been in her apartment? She looked around for any other signs of a trace of her. 

Don’t be stupid , Eve thought to herself, it’s just a glass of water, it’s probably been there for weeks and I’ve been too distracted to notice.

She looked at the half full glass of water. Half full , she mused, not half empty. You got this, Eve, let’s run for twenty minutes. 

 

Eve carried on trying to motivate herself as she walked down the dimly lit staircase to the ground floor. She used the dull reflection in the side of the mail boxes as a mirror to tie up her hair. She thought about Villanelle, as she always did when she tied up her hair. “Wear it down” were the first words Villanelle had ever spoken to her. She remembered the way her voice had sounded perfectly, even though months had passed since then. Her voice had been cool and soft. Eve lay awake, night after night, longing to hear Villanelle’s voice in her ears. The battery in the pink heart from the bear she had given Eve had long since died and so she was having to rely solely on her imagination to picture Villanelle’s voice in bed with her. In the pitch darkness, it wasn’t too difficult. What would it be like to sleep next to Villanelle? Would she be able to relax?

 

Distractedly, Eve hit Start Run on the app, and began the warm-up walk. As she walked out of her apartment building, Eve imagined Villanelle’s tall, slim body next to her own in bed at night. Her heart would be racing, pounding out of her chest, as it always did whenever she was alone with Villanelle. But being in such an intimate situation?

 

It’s not even just a sex thing, Eve mused as she began to jog towards the big park nearest to her flat. Sure, the thought of Villanelle naked in her bed had her entire body tingling, but it was more than that. Eve longed to know Villanelle, the human Villanelle. She wanted to lay next to her, both women completely defenseless and relaxed. Eve scoffed at herself and doubted she would ever be able to relax knowing Villanelle was in the same city as her, never mind the same bed. Eve felt giddy thinking about the younger woman, so much so that when her automated running instructor sounded in her ears to tell her she’d been running for a whole five minutes, she was surprised. Maybe thinking about Villanelle as she ran was the most productive way for her to run...

 

As she jogged into the park, she allowed herself to visualise being in a relationship with Villanelle. Eve had been very cautious not to imagine this until now. But today the sun was shining in London, and Eve had fifteen more minutes of running ahead of her, so she allowed herself to picture Villanelle as her… girlfriend . The very word in her mind made her smile and Eve ran faster.

 

Villanelle, she imagined, was a very attentive person to be in a relationship with. If she wasn’t wanting to kill Eve, she knew she’d be very caring and giving. Eve pictured being on Villanelle’s arm as they walked into a room together; she’d love how small she would feel next to the taller woman. Blocking the path ahead of her was a group of teenagers on bikes. With a new surge of energy she felt as though Villanelle was breathing into her, Eve sped up and ran around them on the grass. Dating someone younger would make her feel younger, right? That was why she had started running after all: Eve wanted to keep up with Villanelle, to have stamina that matched hers. She pictured her own body naked next to Villanelle’s. Their soft skin would go so well together. Being with a woman was so different from being with a man. There would be no moustache, no chest hair, no… Eve pictured herself with her head between Villanelle’s legs. She breathed hard, trying to steady her breathing as she ran to avoid getting a stitch. It was difficult for Eve to imagine having sex with Villanelle. She knew that she wanted it and she knew how she wanted it. But would it ever happen? Could it ever happen? Could the two of them possibly ever be in a room together, alone and not lash out? 

 

Eve jogged on the dewy grass, the morning sun reflecting on it, making it shimmer. In her ears, the half-way bell sounded, signalling she’d been running for ten minutes. Eve was starting to feel optimistic that she could run for twenty minutes without stopping. You’ve already ran for ten minutes , she told herself, just do the same thing again. Jogging past two women sitting together on a bench, she let herself, again, picture what being in a relationship with Villanelle would be like.

 

What would it be like to wake up next to Villanelle? She hadn’t slept next to anyone except Niko in years. Villanelle seemed so flawless to Eve, but she was human, really. She loved the thought of Villanelle sleepy in the morning. Eve was overtook by a tall skinny man running but didn’t notice. She was too busy fantasising about kissing Villanelle awake; Eve couldn't even imagine Villanelle having bad morning breath. Eve began to imagine domestic life with Villanelle. Her mind flashed to Alaska: Villanelle had briefly spoken about the two of them moving there right before she… shot her . Eve pushed the negative thoughts that came with that out of her mind and pictured making Villanelle, her girlfriend , a morning coffee in bed before she left for work. Or maybe the two of them would go on morning runs together?

 

Does Villanelle go running? Eve wondered as she jogged past a pond full of ducks. In the middle of the brown ducks was an elegant, white swan. She felt disheartened and insecure as she imagined Villanelle, a beautiful swan, running alongside herself, a common duck. 

She wouldn’t want a relationship with me, Eve told herself, sadly. She’s young, she’s-

 

But Eve’s thoughts were pulled out from beneath her like a rug when, across the pond, she saw a tall, athletic woman watching the ducks. Her posture was exactly that of Villanelle’s. She was wearing tight, baby pink sporty clothes and had her light brown hair tied up in a high ponytail. Eve couldn’t quite make out her face. Eve was used to seeing women that looked like Villanelle everywhere she went; the chances of this being the real Villanelle were very slim. 

Eve, you are being ridiculous , she told herself firmly and looked forward, trying to focus on moving one tired leg in front of the other.

 

“Just one minute left!” her automated instructor announced enthusiastically in her ears. “Give it everything you’ve got!”

Eve pushed herself harder than she had all day. Running as fast as she could with all the energy she had left, she followed the track around the pond, to finish her lap of the park. Her legs burned, protesting against the anaerobic movement but she carried on, loving how alive she was feeling.

 

Head down and sprinting, Eve ran head-first into a baby pink blur: a very solid blur, in the shape of a woman. The woman’s reflexes were quick and she grabbed Eve before she could lose her balance and slip into the duck pond. Eve was breathing too heavily to speak or even think about how mortifying it was that she had just ran into a person. Panting, she looked up at the taller woman's face. 

 

“Congratulations!” The instructor chimed in her ears, “You’ve just run for a whole twenty minutes! Don’t stop moving, keep walking for your cool-down!”

Chapter Text

Villanelle. 8am. London.

 

Villanelle was loving spending time in England. She’d come for a Kill a few days earlier but stayed to treat herself to a city break. After everything Dasha and The Twelve had put her through lately, she really thought she deserved some me time . It was a sunny morning in London and Villanelle woke with a start. Her alarm clock chimed and the curtains of her bedroom in the Airbnb twitched with an early morning breeze. Sun shone through the gap between them and Villanelle felt wide awake watching the light dance across her ceiling. She wondered why she felt so awake as last night, she hadn’t been able to fall asleep. The constant thought that she was in the same city as Eve whirled through her mind, all hours of the day. She’d purposefully picked a flat as close as she could to Eve’s apartment because she really wanted to get to know what Eve’s life was like here. Given everything that was between them, it wasn’t like Villanelle could just knock on her door or text her and ask to see her and hang out , so she had to get creative. 

 

Villanelle had spent the last four days drinking up every bit of London and, in her mind, Eve. She’d taken the 56 bus that they had kissed on countless times, ridden it all the way to the bus station and back. The memory of their kiss was still as clear as it had been on the day it happened, when she was up there on a top deck. But today, she didn’t feel like riding the bus. Villanelle slipped out of her teddy bear pyjamas that she had bought from the bear factory and pulled on her new running clothes. Somehow, she had forgotten to pack her usual gym gear so bought some when she had first arrived in London. The matching baby pink set had caught her eye, and a little flirting with an enthusiastic girl in white trainers that served her even got her some discount.

 

Heading out the apartment, she passed the kitchen which was still a mess from when she had tried to cook a few days before. She’d been walking through the city, looking for places she could imagine Eve would go and came across a huge Chinese Supermarket. She had gone in straight away and wondered at all the colourful products on the shelves with names she couldn’t read and bought a whole selection of different packets and tins. As she walked up and down the aisles, she imagined Eve doing her weekly shop in here, filling up her basket and planning meals. In the freezer section, Villanelle watched a woman that, from behind, could have been Eve. She followed the woman closely, pretending she was Eve. Her girlfriend, Eve .

What do you want for dinner, baby? She had imagined Eve asking her.

You, always you , Villanelle would reply smugly and wrap her arms around Eve. They would kiss, right there in front of the frozen spring rolls. 

 

One day , Villanelle hoped sadly and pulled her eyes away from the messy kitchen and headed to the front door where she pulled on her running trainers. Would the two of them ever have their happy ending? Could she ever be allowed one small moment of happiness? Villanelle locked the door of her apartment and walked, disheartened, down the stairs. Most of her trip had been happy. She had loved walking around Eve’s part of London, imagining she was there with Eve. She even took Eve’s route to work a couple of times, during the day, when Eve wouldn’t be around: she wasn’t ready to see Eve just yet. Villanelle would stand outside the office building where Eve worked and look up at the vast sheet of windows, scanning them for a face that could belong to Eve. What would happen if Eve saw her? She had goosebumps every time she stood there in the car park. 

 

When she wasn’t outside her office, imagining various scenarios where she was Eve’s girlfriend and picking her up from a long day at work, Villanelle visited the restaurant that Eve used to work at. It had been hard for her to track this place down, but she was so glad she’d made the effort. Villanelle would sit in the restaurant for hours, trying samples of everything on the menu. She imagined Eve had made the food and she tried to guess what Eve’s favourite items on the menu were. She imagined Eve on her break in the staff area outside with the other chefs. What had Eve done on her breaks? Read a book quietly in a corner or chatted to everyone else? Villanelle wanted - needed - to know everything about her. 

 

Villanelle began to jog, very distractedly, towards the park nearby. This park was close to Eve’s flat and Villanelle was giddy to be in a place that Eve was undoubtedly very familiar with. She ran into the park, did a few laps to tire herself out and headed to the duck pond. The pond was Villanelle’s favourite place she had visited in London so far. Watching the ducks and their easy, futile lives brought her so much peace. It had been a long time since Villanelle had felt even remotely calm; Dasha had brought her nothing but stress. Villanelle jogged across the dewy grass to the pond and stood by the waters edge, looking out at the ducks as they bobbed around lazily. Today, in the middle of them all was a beautiful white swan. Villanelle marvelled at it’s elegant beauty and couldn't help but think of Eve. Eve, the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. Villanelle was attracted to Eve in so many ways: her passionate personality that had caused the two of them to meet, her fearlessness and her strength. Eve had been through too much and Villanelle regretted that so much of that was because of her doing. 

 

Around her, joggers ran their morning runs all over the park. Villanelle wondered, still stood watching the ducks, whether Eve ever ran. She smiled to herself as she pictured Eve jogging. Villanelle longed to see the side of Eve that went for runs: the domestic, human side to the fascinating woman that kept Villanelle up at night. Briefly, she let her mind wander and pictured the two of them living together, in a relationship, and going for a morning run together, in this very park.

 

Until that moment, Villanelle hadn’t planned on carrying on her run, she’d thought about walking back to her apartment and maybe going on a walk to Eve’s flat. But the thought of going for a jog with the imaginary Everunning beside her gave her a new surge of excited energy. She pulled her attention away from the swan, turned on her heel and suddenly a mass of curly black hair came crashing towards her.

Chapter Text

Eve looked up into the eyes of Villanelle. She stood rooted to the spot, breathless and sweaty from the run. The anger she had felt when she first saw Villanelle on the bus reappeared and, instinctively, she tried to lash out. But Villanelle was quick and Eve was out of breath; she seized Eve’s wrist before her fist made contact with Villanelle’s face. Eve noticed that Villanelle looked shocked at this move. Hurt. The two women paused, holding each other in a strange embrace, still on the slippy mud by the pond. Eve panicked and opened her mouth to shout, or scream or call for help. Villanelle gave her a look that stopped her: somehow, Eve trusted that she wasn’t going to hurt her. 

“Hi, Eve,” Villanelle said coolly, though Eve felt there was an edge to her voice. Was she… nervous? Villanelle started to loosen her grip on Eve’s arms.

Eve panicked and cried out, “Help! Help, she’s-”

“What, Eve? What’s wrong?” Villanelle looked upset and pulled herself out of the embrace.

“You! You-” but Eve didn’t quite know what to say, her feelings of anger towards Villanelle were slipping away at the pained, confused look on Villanelle’s beautiful face. 

Eve felt like she was going to be sick; her head was spinning and she was still gasping for air from the run and the shock of seeing Villanelle.

“Have some water,” Villanelle said, passing Eve her own water bottle from her running belt. Eve pushed her hand away and began backing away from Villanelle.

“Why should I trust you?” she shouted, “you killed, you always-”

Eve slipped clumsily in the mud and, again, Villanelle caught her. This time both women slipped into the waters edge, and their legs were splashed with muddy brown water. Neither of them seemed to notice: they were looking deeply into each other's eyes, months of fighting and hatred and fear passed between them. Eve felt a lurch in her lower abdomen that travelled warmly between her legs.

“You don't want to fight me anymore, Eve,” Villanelle said softly, so close to Eve she could feel her warm breath on her face. Eve’s eyes flashed.

“You don’t know what I want!” She shouted up at Villanelle who, this time, didn’t flinch.

“Then enlighten me, baby,” Villanelle drawled, making Eve feel weak at her knees and fear she would slip further into the mud. Baby, really? Eve lashed out yet again and Villanelle silenced her with a finger to the older woman’s lips.

“Don’t make a scene, Eve, we are just,” she looked Eve up and down, noticing in full detail the running clothes, “two runners, running. You look cute, by the way.”

Eve felt like she would melt into a puddle and drip bit by bit into the pond. Villanelle was still holding her tightly, their faces painfully close. Eve’s mind flashed to the last time they had seen each other and... kissed on the bus. She caught Villanelle looking at her lips and knew she was thinking the same.

I kissed you last time , Eve thought, this one’s got to come from you .

Villanelle stayed completely still, as though she was proving to Eve that she wasn’t going to hurt her. 

“Why are you running?” was all Eve managed to say. The question felt stupid as soon as it left her lips. Why are you in London? was what she should have asked. Villanelle seemed to read her mind and smiled adoringly down at her.

“I am visiting the capital for a few days, I could have left earlier but I wanted to…” her eyes wandered, for the first time away from Eve and she looked out across the park. “I wanted to see what it was like here.” She said with an innocent shrug.

Eve stepped away from Villanelle, her mind buzzing. Villanelle was here in the park, five minutes away from her flat. She wanted to see what it was like here . What did that mean? But Eve knew, really, what she had meant by that. Eve felt the same, she wanted to know everything about Villanelle and any chance at spending time in Villanelle’s life, she would jump at. Eve tried to keep her face unreadable.

“Where are you staying?” she asked, as though making polite chit-chat with a tourist she had just been introduced to. Villanelle smiled and Eve felt exposed: of course Villanelle could read her like a book. 

“Just across the street,” Villanelle pointed past the pond, her brow furrowed in confusion. 

“Two runners, running,” Eve replied, looking in the direction Villanelle was pointing, “so let’s run.” Villanelle looked bewildered. Clearly she had not expected Eve to take her seriously. Eve started backing up the bank of the pond, still cautious not to turn her back on Villanelle. Could she trust her at all? Something in Eve didn’t care if she couldn’t trust Villanelle. Her heart pounded in her ears. 

“Run with me,” Eve said, tilting her head affectionately at Villanelle when she hadn’t moved. In her pink sports bra and leggings, Villanelle unfolded her arms and walked up the bank, no longer protesting against her. Eve showing her affection seemed to unlock something in Villanelle.

 

Somehow, the two women began to jog slowly across the park. A passer-by would just see what was on the surface: two women jogging, maybe friends or colleagues. But everything that had passed between them in the last few months had Eve’s whole body on fire with electricity that was coursing through her veins, like a charged magnet next to another. They ran in silence, neither looking at each other. Was this actually happening? Less than five minutes ago, Eve had been running alone, her only thought to finish her twenty minute park run but now she felt like she could run for miles. Eve felt as though Villanelle was the one setting the pace, though she had no problem matching it. Together, they strided across the dewy grass in the morning sun. After a couple of minutes when they were leaving the park gates, it felt completely normal. They jogged in unison, their trainers hitting the ground simultaneously. Eve loved every second of it: she was seeing a whole new side to the assassin she had never seen before. Looking left and right for cars as they crossed the road, Eve caught Villanelle’s eye. She was smiling down at Eve, a real smile that Eve couldn’t help but reciprocate. She felt happy. She felt normal. This felt normal. All thoughts of MI6 and The Twelve were completely absent from Eve’s thoughts as they headed up a side street. Beside her, Villanelle slowed to a stop.

“This one’s mine,” she said to Eve and pointed to the apartment building to their left. Eve stopped abruptly, and tripped into Villanelle for the third time that morning. “I never knew you were so clumsy,” she laughed and caught Eve. This time, Eve didn’t resist at all. She let herself sink into Villanelle’s arms, wrapping her own around her bare waist, sticky with sweat from the morning exercise. They stood on the pavement that was busy with commuters, yet noticed nothing but each other. Eve rested her face onto Villanelle’s chest very tentatively. What had been a clumsy fall turned into a long, unexpected hug. In her arms, Eve felt Villanelle’s shoulders relax as the two women held each other tighter and breathed in unison. It came so naturally. Eve forgot why they had been fighting all along, forgot where she was, forgot to feel angry.

Eve shocked herself and said quickly, “invite me in.” She said it confidently but quietly, thankful not to be out of breath this time she was so close to Villanelle’s face. Villanelle pulled away from Eve, a cautious look in her perfectly hazel eyes. Eve felt an immediate pang of regret and embarrassment in her gut.

Clearly, Villanelle saw this as she quickly said “no, no it’s not you it’s,” she paused “it’s messy.”

“Ha! You would never give any notice before showing up in my house!”

Villanelle shrugged and before Eve could change her mind, she was following Eve up the narrow staircase of the building. Her gaze couldn’t help but settle on the curve of Villanelle’s hips, walking so seductively in front of her.

She knows she’s doing it , Eve thought, and let herself fall for the younger woman’s power, her palms sweating at the thought of being alone in private with Villanelle. She wanted to grab her hips, there on the stairs, slam her against the wall and shout in her face. Eve longed for apologies for the pain she had caused… but would she be happy with that? Could Villanelle ever say the right thing for Eve to truly forgive her? Was a conversation really what Eve was climbing these stairs for?

 

Villanelle slipped a key into the lock of the door the two of them were suddenly standing in front of and Eve was pulled back to reality. Eve followed Villanelle into the small apartment, her eyes still burning into Villanelle’s waist where her leggings reached her lower back. How was this happening? What was going to happen? Before she could think, move or change her mind, Villanelle spun around to face her and slammed the door shut. Eve’s heart leapt into her mouth as Villanelle slammed her against the back of the door, her hands against the wood on either side of her face.

“Don’t you dare,” Villanelle breathed terrifyingly into her face and Eve’s knees shook with fear and lust. “Don’t you dare make fun of my messy flat.”

Chapter Text

Villanelle’s eyes, still only milimetres from Eve’s, flashed as she relished in the way she was making Eve feel. Men were easy and women were fun but Eve, Eve was unparalleled. Never had she ever felt a connection like this with another person. Beneath her, Eve looked terrified and expectant. She wanted this as much as Villanelle did. They stood, breathing each other in, savouring every second. Villanelle could tell Eve was waiting for her to make the first move. Villanelle’s right hand moved slowly from the door beside Eve’s head and she held onto the back of Eve’s head. She pushed her fingers close to Eve’s scalp through the hair that was pulled back into a bun. 

“Take your hair down,” Villanelle said, her voice low and her eyes dark. All joking about the messy flat was gone. This was real.

Eve complied, quickly pulling out the hair tie and shaking out her curls. Villanelle pulled Eve’s hands out of her hair and replaced them with her own. Eve obeyed and let Villanelle pull at her hair, using it to drag her closer. Never breaking eye contact until now, Villanelle slammed Eve’s willing body against the door and traced her open mouth down Eve’s neck. Her hands slid from Eve’s hair down her body, grabbing at her waist and pushing her harder against the door. Eve let out a gasp and pushed Villanelle’s head deeper into the nape of her neck, though Villanelle refused to close her mouth, not ready to kiss any part of Eve just yet.

 

Eve was breathing heavily beneath her, her hands hungrily starting to explore Villanelle’s torso. Villanelle matched this and pulled at the hem of Eve’s tight gym vest, teasing Eve. 

“Stop!” Eve said suddenly and pushed Villanelle off her.

Dizzy from having her wildest fantasies become a reality and shocked at them being ceased, she blinked at Eve. “Did I do something wro-?” 

But Eve cut her off, “no, I just ran and I’m sweaty and I don’t…” Eve mumbled, making Villanelle smile.

“Then let me give you a tour,” Villanelle smirked and spun Eve around, holding her hands behind her back and pushing her towards the bathroom. The two women giggled and stumbled down the narrow hallway. Villanelle couldn’t believe this was happening. Everything that had passed between them ceased to matter. It was irrelevant. Here, in this flat, all that mattered was each other. They deserved this and they both knew what was about to happen. Villanelle tore off her running belt and discarded it, pushing Eve into the bathroom and fumbling for the light. She was never clumsy, never lost control but Eve in her hands made her feel human and brought her guard down to where it hadn’t been since she had become an assassin.

 

In the bathroom, they paused. Villanelle closed the door behind them and Eve stood, two metres away, leaning against the glass shower cubicle.

“Take off your clothes, Villanelle,” Eve said, confident. 

Her eyes widened in response and immediately she felt exposed. Villanelle wasn’t used to being dominated, not like this. She said nothing, kicked off her trainers, and began to slide out of her pink leggings, not breaking eye contact with Eve who stood leaning, casually somehow, against the glass. Villanelle stood up to face Eve, wearing only a black thong and the pink sports bra. She watched Eve drink in what she saw and felt powerful again. They were equal, here in the windowless bathroom.

“Bra,” Eve breathed, not taking her eyes away from the lean, smooth body in front of her. Villanelle resisted and took a step towards Eve.

“Don’t you want to do it?” she asked, smirking. “I bet you have thought about doing it, I know I have…”

Eve’s dominance faltered and she stepped across the small bathroom to close the distance between them. Her hands reached out to Villanelle and she twisted her body away from her. Breathing heavily with anticipation, Villanelle lifted her arms up as Eve slid her sports bra off and over her head. She tossed it to the side and out of the corner of her eye, Villanelle saw Eve’s own t-shirt and bra fall to the floor. She tried to turn back around but Eve’s hands stopped her as they slid around her waist. Eve pressed her naked torso against Villanelle’s back; the feel of her hard nipples against her skin made Villanelle lean her head back in pleasure and she let out a breathy moan. Eve’s hands slid upwards slowly and cupped Villanelle’s breasts very tentatively. Eve thumbed gently at her nipples and Villanelle felt her stomach jolt with lust. Careful not to startle her, she turned around and faced the topless Eve. Villanelle felt so honoured to be finally seeing Eve in this way.

“You are beautiful,” Villanelle breathed and a lump caught in her throat.

Eve blinked slowly and smiled up at Villanelle, who’s eyes were beginning to water. Closing the space between them, Eve pressed her body against Villanelle’s and cupped her face in her hands. Silently, the two women shared a peaceful exchange: the fighting was over. There wasn’t going to be anymore cat-and-mouse chasing. There would be no more hurt. 

 

Slow and savouring the build up, Villanelle pressed her lips against Eve’s. It was a kiss full of love and peace, not anger or lust or anything that they had shared on the bus. Villanelle’s hands slid up into Eve’s dark curls and she moaned into her mouth as their kiss deepened. Eyes closed and using each other’s breath like oxygen, the two women kissed harder. So much chemistry and passion held them together. Villanelle pulled Eve’s leggings and underwear off slowly and Eve used her to balance as she stepped out of them with Villanelle kneeling in front of her. 

 

Looking up at Eve, Villanelle felt a wave of love for this woman wash over her. Her eyes bore into her own, saying so many unsaid words. She stood up and slipped off her own underwear. They stood looking at each other's naked bodies. Villanelle loved the way Eve stood with such confidence.

“You are beautiful,” she told Eve again. “More than beautiful! You are…” but she had no words to describe how perfect Eve was and how happy and how lucky she felt to be given the privilege to stand here in front of her.

 

They stood smiling at each other, their guards down and their hearts on their sleeves and their clothes on the floor. 

“Shower,” Eve said suddenly, reminding them both why they were both naked in the bathroom. Reluctantly, Villanelle pulled her eyes away from Eve and reached into the shower to turn it on. The cold jet of water hitting her arm brought her back to reality and she felt uncharacteristically nervous. She couldn’t mess this up, couldn’t do anything that would make Eve hate her or leave her . As she looked at the white floor, Eve slid her arms around her and embraced her in a loving hug. Immediately, Villanelle’s shoulders relaxed. The comfort Eve showed her made her feel calm. She fought back tears as Eve rested her head against her shoulder and Villanelle pressed her face into her dark curls.

“This means so much to me,” Villanelle said quietly, hardly loud enough for Eve to hear over the shower. Eve pulled back and pressed a sincere kiss onto her lips. Villanelle felt reassured. Safe.

 

They stepped into the shower and under the hot water. Watching Eve’s body under the dim bathroom light as she stood under the shower and her hair became soaked-through sent Villanelle into a frenzy. Where she had previously been tentative and not wanting to hurt Eve, she was now consumed by the heat between her legs. They kissed passionately, pulling at each other's wet hair and exploring each others bodies with their hands and their tongues. Villanelle pressed Eve against the glass and kissed all the way down Eve’s legs, water sliding down them and into Villanelle’s willing mouth. She swallowed the water in big gulps as though drinking Eve’s juices. Villanelle watched Eve who seemed to be in a trance, mesmerised by the woman kneeling before her.

 

Villanelle wanted to press her lips onto every part of the beautiful woman in her hands. She washed the mud from the duck pond off Eve’s legs, stroking them delicately and appreciating every second. Villanelle looked up into Eve’s eyes as she kissed up her thighs, water splashing onto her face. She didn’t care if she drowned, at least she’d have experienced this .

“Kiss me,” Eve said seriously, looking down at Villanelle with a dominant glint in her dark eyes. 

Villanelle obeyed and kissed her way up Eve’s shiny, wet body, paying extra attention to her breasts. Eve’s tongue in Villanelle’s mouth made her moan loudly and Eve pushed Villanelle up against the glass and bit at her lip.

“I’ve wanted you for so fucking long,” Eve said as she started to kiss and bite at Villanelle’s bare neck. “You have no idea how many times I get off thinking about doing this.”

Villanelle moaned in response to hearing the words she never thought she would and pulled one of Eve’s hands off her neck and down between her legs.

“Not yet,” Eve said, resisting.

“Who knew you would be such a dom ?” Villanelle joked, though Eve’s teasing was driving her crazy.

Eve pulled at her wet hair and kissed her hard. Villanelle felt her eyes roll back into her head as the passion from Eve’s powerful kiss drove her wild. 

Eve pulled away from the kiss and watched Villanelle standing there, wanting more. Villanelle felt entirely powerless, a feeling that was new to her. She felt scared, what if Eve secretly wanted to stab her again? As though Eve had read her mind, her eyes flicked to the scar on her belly from the knife Eve had driven into her.

“It hurt a lot,” Villanelle said, lighthearted but with an edge to her voice that told Eve she wanted an apology.

“So did mine,” Eve said, placing her fingertips onto her own scar from Villanelle’s bullet.

“Did you want to kill me?” Villanelle asked.

“Yes,” Eve said, her eyes dark, though giving nothing away. “Did you?”

“Yes.”

There was a pause and Eve broke it, “do you want to kill me now?” 

“No… I want to,” she looked at Eve’s incredible body, “I want to get you all soapy. I want to wash your hair and your armpits and…” and be your girlfriend and sleep next to you every night and take you out for dinner and marry you.

Eve smiled the biggest smile Villanelle had ever seen her smile and she threw her head back into the shower water.

“I’m serious,” Villanelle said, wrapping her arms around Eve’s waist. I really like you .

Eve reached for the shower gel and passed it to Villanelle.

“Go on then.”

Chapter Text

Eve watched Villanelle step out of the shower and leave the bathroom as she went and looked for some towels. She spun around, giddy from Villanelle’s kisses, excited about what was coming next. Villanelle had covered her from head to toe in soapy bubbles and kisses and whispered promises in Eve’s ear that made her throb between her legs and her toes curl. Everything that had happened over the last few months really did seem to be leading up to this moment. Eve wasn’t certain of what would happen in her life after this. After the shower alone - the giggles and the passionate kisses - there was no way she could pretend that this hadn’t happened and go back to how it had been before. Eve wanted this. She wanted Villanelle. In every way. It was clear to her now as she looked at her reflection in the steamy glass. 

I love her , she thought to herself and drew a heart with her finger into the condensation. Behind it, Villanelle appeared, still naked. In her hand was something purple and small. Eve stepped out of the shower facing a sheepish, almost embarrassed-looking Villanelle.

“It’s a microfiber towel,” Villanelle said, unfolding it and shaking it out.

“A what?”

“The Airbnb, it didn’t come with any towels so…” she held out the towel to Eve who stepped into it and let Villanelle wrap it around her. “So we’ll have to use my gym towel.”

It wasn’t the clean, fluffy white towels that were in romantic movie scenes like this, but it made Eve grin. She loved that she was being wrapped into Villanelle’s gym towel. She loved that Villanelle had a gym towel. She loved that Villanelle was patting her dry with her gym towel.

“A microfiber towel, huh?” Eve asked as Villanelle slid into the towel too and they stood cocooned in it together.

“Oh yeah it’s great!” Villanelle jumped at the opportunity to talk about her towel. “It’s huge but it folds up really small and the fibers can absorb up to 8 times their weight in liquid. I take it everywhere, it’s…” But Villanelle trailed off as Eve was beginning to laugh. 

“Don’t laugh at me! This towel is great!”

Eve laughed and kissed Villanelle, “God, you are ridiculous.”

“Well, if it wasn’t for these microfibers, you’d be dripping wet still,” Villanelle said frowning and feigning anger.

“Oh, I’m still dripping wet,” Eve said, jokingly seductive.

“Oh you are? Well, in that case…”

Eve laughed as Villanelle scooped her into her arms and carried her out of the bathroom, the miracle towel falling to the floor, completely forgotten. Eve felt content as Villanelle carried her into her bedroom, kissing and smiling onto each other's lips.

“Throw me onto the bed, daddy!” Eve shouted, continuing to joke.

“Oh, don’t call me ‘Daddy’,” Villanelle warned and threw her onto the mattress, “I might just like it.”

 

Eve pulled Villanelle on top of her for a long, deep kiss. Her breasts touched against her own and Eve felt the weight of them in her hands. She had wanted to do this for so long, longed to be naked beneath Villanelle. Her body reacted to the stimulation and she felt herself grow wetter and wetter the more they kissed. Villanelle repeated her name over and over between kisses as she left a trail of them down her neck, between her breasts and towards her pubic bone. She watched Villanelle kiss and lick her skin, not wanting to pull her eyes away and miss anything. Villanelle slipped her fingers into the thick curls between Eve’s legs and pulled on her pubic hair. Eve bit her lip.

“You are so much more perfect than I dreamed,” Villanelle’s voice was low as her eyes looked up to match Eve’s gaze. She kissed her thighs and Eve moaned, squirming beneath her; she arched her hips towards Villanelle’s mouth, desperate to be kissed there. Villanelle complied and kissed closer and closer to Eve’s hot centre, rolling her tongue across the dark curls. She pushed Eve’s legs further apart and held them down forcefully.

“Villanelle,” Eve moaned as she felt the wonders of her mouth between her legs. She was working very slowly, still teasing Eve and cautious not to give too much too soon. Eve watched as Villanelle’s head bobbed up and down, her tongue working miracles and her hands grabbing and scratching at Eve’s legs and hips and back to her legs.

“Fuck,” she moaned, unable to remember a time she had received oral this good.

Shocking Eve and silencing her with open-mouthed pleasure, Villanelle pushed fingers inside of her without any warning. Gasping for air, Eve’s whole body shook with anticipation, though Villanelle’s fingers remained completely still. Villanelle expertly brought her body back up on top of Eve and started to stroke between Eve’s wet folds, kissing her neck.

Eve grabbed at Villanelle’s waist and ass and pulled her hips against her own, desperate to be fucked harder.

“More.”

Villanelle didn’t need telling twice. She pushed another finger deep into Eve. The wave of her oncoming orgasm rose inside her and she gave herself into the power of Villanelle. Villanelle, the assassin. Villanelle, the alleged psychopath. Villanelle, the woman expertly fucking her to climax.

“Oh, Villanelle,” Eve groaned as her body tensed, and she collapsed into the pillows. She felt Villanelle kiss down her body and kiss between her legs, licking up the liquid pooling out of her. They kissed sloppily, Eve sucking Villanelle’s mouth and loving the taste of herself on her tongue. Villanelle smiled into her kisses and Eve couldn’t help but reciprocate. How long had she longed to be fucked like that by Villanelle?

“I’ve wanted to do that forever,” Villanelle grinned as if reading her mind and kissing Eve’s nose playfully.

They looked deep into eachothers eyes and Eve couldn’t help but notice the adoring look in Villanelle’s hazel eyes.

I love you , she wanted to say to Villanelle. I love you and I want to be with you.

Villanelle squirmed on top of her and Eve felt a drip fall onto her thigh that made Eve groan with pleasure and excitement.

 

Eager to touch Villanelle and make her feel what she had done to her, Eve let one hand make its way between Villanelle’s open legs, the other onto the back of her neck. Eve’s fingers made contact with her wetness and the feel of Villanelle’s hot anticipation dripping down her inner thigh made Eve’s mouth water and she kissed Villanelle deeply. The two women breathed heavily into each other's open mouths. Eve pulled back from her to get the best view of Villanelle’s face as she pushed two fingers into her. Villanelle arched her back and began to ride Eve’s fingers hungrily. Eve was amazed with the frenzied look in Villanelle’s eyes; she felt powerful as the blonde woman sat herself up on her hips and rode Eve’s fingers hard. Eve was mesmerised by Villanelle’s chest bouncing and her hair, still damp from the shower, tumbling over her perfect skin. 

 

Villanelle held onto Eve’s chest for support as she fucked her fingers harder and Eve brought her other hand towards Villanelle’s clit and began rubbing her there. This movement seemingly pushed Villanelle over the edge and she grabbed onto Eve’s neck with two strong hands. Eve felt the air to her lungs cut off immediately. Villanelle choked her and watched her eyes bulge, grinning as she edged closer to orgasm whilst draining the life out of Eve. Eve felt her vision begin to go black and panic rose in her throat. She knew Villanelle got off on killing people but, like this ? Before Eve could even start to struggle, Villanelle’s hands left her throat and she collapsed onto Eve, shaking and moaning as she climaxed, whispering Eve’s name over and over. Eve kissed Villanelle’s hairline, excited from being choked and thrilled to have been the reason for her orgasm. She loved that Villanelle had given up everything to her and shook, powerless on top of her. Eve was overwhelmed by a wave of love for Villanelle. She didn’t want this to end, didn’t ever want to leave the safety of this nameless flat.

 

Villanelle rolled onto her back and lay beside Eve on the messy sheets, holding onto her hand and panting like she had run five laps of the park. They gazed at each other, both overcome with endless amounts of love for the other woman. 

“I can’t believe this is happening,” Villanelle said bewildered, though with a smile.

“I can,” Eve said and rolled towards her and laid her head on her chest. She left a trail of soft, loving kisses across Villanelle’s chest and neck and jawline. Because she could believe it. No two people with this sort of connection should ever ignore their feelings or push them away, she thought. They had been through so much. Their lives had both been torn apart and thrown into the air. Now they were lying here together, in the mid morning light of Villanelle’s rented apartment, Eve couldn't help but feel as though all those pieces of her life were finally beginning to fall right into place. Villanelle played with her hair, twisting dark curls around her long fingers.

“Eve,” she breathed and Eve propped herself up on her elbow to look into her hazel eyes. A tear rolled down her perfect skin. Eve wiped it away. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything I’ve put you through. I’m…”

Eve pressed a watery kiss on Villanelle’s lips as she felt a tear drip out of her own eye. Villanelle pulled her towards her and they held each other close.

“I’ll never hurt you again,” Villanelle said, and Eve knew she meant it. 

Eve smiled into the nape of Villanelle’s neck, eternally thankful for the Couch 2 5K advert on the side of the bus that had brought her here.