There are some things you just don’t tell your coworker unless a botched phase-shift experiment means you’ve both been marooned in an alternate universe, an exact replica of your own except for the complete lack of human life, for at least eight months with absolutely no one else to talk to.
After ten months, and a bottle of wine, it turns out that Osgood has never had sex.
After two more months, and another bottle of wine, Kate suggests a solution.
They’re both sitting on the edge of Osgood’s bed, a week after Kate blurted out that she wasn’t averse to walking Osgood through the basics, as it were.
It’s been an awkward week, though not nearly as awkward as it could have been. A lot of things have been couched in hypotheticals: “if one were to” and “if another person were to” and “if x, then y” and so on. There have been some clarifications: Osgood has fooled around with other people; she has had orgasms before—though not in company; she is attracted to women even when cis female isn’t the only option remaining on the shelf.
As long as Osgood hasn’t looked Kate in the eye when she’s talking about naughty bits, it’s been surprisingly easy to treat the whole thing like an extended pre-experiment fact-finding scenario. Do research, set ground rules, etc.
And now here they are.
Sitting on Osgood’s bed. Oh my.
All that theory is suddenly very, very real.
Osgood tries to take a deep breath. She mostly succeeds.
Kate leans in and kisses her on the cheek, her lips soft and warm. She takes Osgood’s hand as she pulls back just a bit, not entirely, her brown eyes steady as she watches for any sign that Osgood is not okay. Osgood can feel herself blushing, an entirely ridiculous amount for just a cheek kiss, but Kate seems to take it as a compliment, sliding closer and pressing another to the same spot, and then a longer one to her jawline, and then still longer on her neck, her lips parting slightly, a teasing, testing suck at the skin there that makes Osgood’s thighs lock together as her own lips part in a sigh.
She is suddenly very glad that they agreed to no kissing on the lips. If this is what kissing not on the lips is doing to her, she doesn’t even want to think about how quickly she would lose control otherwise.
“You taste nice,” Kate murmurs against her skin, and oh wow, unfair, much too sexy for just some friendly older-mentor-showing-you-the-ropes (they agreed no literal ropes, no toys either, no frills, Osgood really needs to stop thinking about Kate in frills with ropes) fooling around.
“Well, I showered,” she says instead, which is probably the least sexy response she could have made, but Kate just chuckles against her skin, her arms wrapping around Osgood’s waist as her mouth continues its ministrations down to Osgood’s collarbone.
Osgood’s hands scrabble against the quilt, which she really should have changed out, Starfleet Academy pattern doesn’t really help with the whole sexless virgin vibe she has going, although maybe it does? Maybe Kate is into that? It occurs to her—it’s amazing how anything occurs to her with Kate’s mouth on her skin and Kate’s hands starting to stroke back and forth across the back of her shirt—it occurs to her that over the past week, as much as they’ve talked, they haven’t really talked about what Kate likes, what Kate wants.
“Can I touch you?” she blurts, a little breathless.
She feels the older woman start a little, almost imperceptible, against her. Then a nod. “If you want.”
“Wherever you want.” If there was a hint of uncertainty in Kate’s voice a moment ago it is gone now, pure confidence in her low tones as she strokes her thumb over Osgood’s hip, her breath puffing warmly against the skin just below Osgood’s ear. “However much you need to, to get going.” Her other hand coming up, fingers weaving through Osgood’s hair. “This is for you.”
Hesitantly, Osgood slips her hand beneath Kate’s shirt at her back; rewarded by a small gasp, she strokes the smooth skin there. Her other hand runs a thumb over Kate’s thigh, heat radiating through her jeans.
“Do you want me to take it off?” Kate murmurs into her ear.
When several parts of Osgood’s brain have finished exploding, she nods.
Kate stands, undoing the buttons of her blouse matter-of-factly, revealing small breasts in a pink cotton bra. Shedding the jeans reveals it to be part of a matching set, a light curl of hair escaping to one side of the pants that makes Osgood swallow, hard, and try to look anywhere else, which ends up being Kate’s legs, all ten miles of them.
When she looks back up, Kate is watching her, the look in her eyes the same as when she waits for Osgood to catch her breath after a harrowing run from an alien threat. “Still in?”
All Osgood can do is nod. Her eyes flick back down to Kate’s bra and knickers, and she bites her lip, wanting more but not sure if it would be an imposition to ask.
Kate must notice, because her hands go to the clasp at her back, pause, and when no protest is forthcoming, undoes it, and then steps out of her pants. When Osgood can look her in the face again, she is smiling.
“Should I be flattered?”
Words are very impossible right now, but Osgood manages to nod again, several times.
Kate sits back down next to her, and gently guides her down until they are both lying on the bedspread. She traces the outline of Osgood’s face with one finger, and that gesture is somehow so intimate that Osgood cannot help but turn her head to kiss her hand. She watches Kate for any hint of discomfort as she moves her lips to Kate’s palm, her hands stroking lightly up and down Kate’s sides, knowing she has permission for more but scarcely daring to venture further.
Kate’s eyes have fluttered shut at the touch of Osgood’s lips, and she lets her breath out in a slow sigh as she opens them again. She presses another kiss to Osgood’s neck and begins to stroke her back, first mirroring the patterns Osgood is making on her sides before wrapping her arms around her back to pull her closer, her fingers tracing Osgood’s spine from the small of her back to her shoulder blades.
“All right so far?”
She starts unbuttoning Osgood’s shirt, less briskly than her own, sliding the sleeves off Osgood’s arms. There’s a little pause when she realizes Osgood is wearing a binder.
“Do you want to keep this on…?”
“No, that’s all right, you can…”
Kate peels the fabric from her skin, the loss of the compression a relief to Osgood’s lungs and ribcage even as the absence of the pressure leaves her adrift in a different way. Kate’s hands hover, not quite touching.
“How do you want me to—”
“You don’t have to avoid them,” Osgood says. “It’s just that—it feels good when it’s incidental, all the nerve endings are there, it’s just that when people focus on them—”
She steels herself for well-meaning questions, for having to explain how makes her feel not herself to have that attention focused on her breasts, especially when she’s still untangling what percentage of that dislocation and dysphoria is gender and what percentage is the way she spent the first twelve years of her life being invisible and then suddenly people—boys her age, boys her sister’s age, men shouting out cars, men in the supermarket, one slimy teacher—started paying attention to her, but only that one part of her, like it was more important than anything else about her, her brain or her heart or her collection of one hundred and thirteen minerals she had spent an entire summer laying out lovingly in small wooden display boxes, could ever be.
Like being invisible in an entirely new way.
But Kate doesn’t ask anything, just nods and returns her hands to Osgood’s waist and her mouth to Osgood’s neck, without probing further. Osgood breathes in shakily, more relieved than she realized she would be—she just wants a kiss and a cuddle and an orgasm or two without all the work of coming out and giving a Gender Theory 101 lecture, especially when she herself hasn’t worked out how she feels about all of that, about pronouns, when she gets swamped in discouragement if she starts to think in any depth about identities and pronouns because if she settles on anything different than what she’s currently using then she’ll have to start thinking about how to explain it to her family and her coworkers and what battles to choose and how hard to fight—and it’s been enough of a battle, and one she’s given up on ever winning, to get everyone she works with to stop appending “Miss” to the front of her name.
Everyone except Kate, who only had to be told once.
Osgood lets her own hands slide up to brush the underside of Kate’s breast—she likes breasts, just not on herself—and tries to slow down her spiraling brain, focusing on sensation and leaning into arousal instead. If Kate is disappointed, if she was looking forward to touching Osgood’s breasts more, she is not letting it show in the slow and tender attention of her lips and tongue on Osgood’s skin, and Osgood moans softly.
Kate rocks a little against her at that, and Osgood swallows hard at the press of heat. Her right hand seems to drift of its own volition down to Kate’s hipbone, tracing the elegant line there.
Kate’s strong hands come up to Osgood’s shoulders and ease her down against the mattress. “Tell me if this is good.”
She starts kissing down Osgood’s body, paying attention to the gasps when she returns to her collarbone and lingering there a moment before traveling down to Osgood’s stomach, which trembles under her touch. She slides Osgood’s trousers off, strokes her hips before nipping and sucking at the skin of her thighs; Osgood can feel how wet she is and Kate is right there, Kate can see how wet she is—Osgood is torn between squeezing her eyes shut in embarrassment and trying through sheer force of will to transform her glasses into videocameras so she will never forget the sight of Kate’s head disappearing between her thighs—
The older woman’s mouth touches her, and Osgood’s leg jerks up, barely missing Kate’s head.
“Oh god, sorry! I’m sorry. Are you all right?”
“I’m fine.” Kate props herself up on an elbow. “Are you…?”
Osgood blushes. “Ticklish.”
“Ah.” Kate smirks. “I’ll proceed with due caution.”
She adjusts her position to brace herself more firmly against Osgood’s legs, and touches her tongue to her again. Osgood squirms. It feels good, it does, but—not enough pressure when Kate is licking her slowly; a live wire that makes her twitch and gasp, almost sob, when Kate’s lips close around her clit or her tongue slips inside—pleasure that wrenches so hard it’s almost pain, at the same time no pressure against her upper body; she feels unmoored, disconnected—more more MORE, she wants—no, too much—
She wets her lips. “Kate, I can’t…”
Kate pulls back immediately. “Are you all right?”
“I can’t, it’s too…” Osgood can feel her eyes tearing up, embarrassment and frustrated arousal bringing all her emotions so much closer to the surface than she ever usually lets them. God, Kate was trying to make this special for her and she can’t even do this right. “Sorry, I know this is supposed to be the ultimate lesbian sex thing—”
“The only wrong way to have sex is the way where you’re not enjoying it,” Kate says. She reaches out to where Osgood’s hand is gripping at the bedsheets, interlocks their fingers. “We don’t have to do anything you don’t want.”
Osgood squeezes her eyes shut then, tears threatening to fall.
“Shh.” Kate crawls carefully back up to her, cradles her gently to her shoulder. “It’s all right. Osgood, it’s all right.” She strokes her hair. “Would you like something else?”
Osgood swallows hard. Why is it so hard, to say what she wants, even after all this time? “I like…your hands.” Takes a shaky little breath. “I like being held like this, the—the pressure, it feels like I’m really here—”
Kate clasps her tighter to her chest, her arms so strong. “I can work with that.”
She squeezes tighter with her right arm around Osgood’s shoulders, her breath hot on Osgood’s neck as her left hand trails down between Osgood’s thighs, parting her to sink into her slickness there. Osgood sighs, lets her legs fall open a little further for better access—this is so right, this is so needed, the solidity of Kate’s fingers stroking firm and confident inside her, the strength of Kate’s arm around her, holding her in place to be taken, the heat of Kate’s breath against her skin, speeding up in what she dares to hope is reflected arousal at the feel of Osgood’s desire, slick and desperate, against the palm of her hand—
“How’s this?” A husky murmur against her hair.
“Good…” So good, so beyond good. Being held so close and tight, so intimate, so much heat and skin, Kate so strong and gentle at the same time—Kate wraps her leg around Osgood’s hip to pull her closer still, her fingers sliding deep and coming back coated with wetness that circles around Osgood’s clit, the heel of her palm pressing hard as she glides back in, Osgood squeezing tight to chase the sensation—
Osgood’s eyes flutter open, and she sees Kate looking at her with such steadfast and overwhelming attention, such wonder, as if she is doing something marvelous when all she is doing is falling apart inside her arms—
“Kate,” she manages to whisper before she has to bury her face in Kate’s neck, whimpering uncontrollably through her orgasm clenching around and against Kate’s hand.
When she can breathe again she presses kiss after kiss against the soft skin of Kate’s shoulder, trying to make all the gratitude come out that she can never put into words. She trails her hand down the trembling line of the other woman’s ribcage, slips her hand lower to feel wiry curls wet with desire.
She looks up at Kate’s face; sees the war in the older woman’s eyes, the wanting and the worry. The you don’t have to that is struggling to make itself heard in a single name; the I want you to that she is biting back with every bit of strength she has.
“I know I don’t really know what I’m doing here,” Osgood says softly. “But you feel close, and if you wanted to—to take care of yourself, now—if I could watch—”
Kate’s hips jerk upward at that, and she bites her lip, slowly expelling her breath. Then her hand drifts lower to slide under Osgood’s, curling her fingers to press inside herself. She grinds against her own hand, her eyes sliding shut and her teeth pressing into her lip again in concentration, and Osgood knows she should be looking lower, getting pointers, but Kate’s face is suffused with such quiet, desperate concentration—having an orgasm with another person was great, but this—
“So beautiful,” she whispers without even thinking, hushed as in a cathedral, and Kate cries out, short and hard, her body tensing like a bowstring as a rush of wetness coats their hands, before she sags into Osgood, her arms crushing her in an embrace.
They are still intertwined, Kate drawing lazy circles on her back, sweat-slicked skin cooling just enough to make Osgood think about suggesting they relocate under the duvet, but warm enough that she is loath to suggest anything that might make Kate move. Their bodies fit together perfectly, and she doesn’t want anything—not a blanket, not a million pounds, not a top of the line lab kitted out with every scientific toy that U.N.I.T.’s accountants have turned down—that would mean leaving Kate’s side, and that might mean Kate would not come back.
Kate presses a kiss to the top of her head. “How are you doing?”
“Good. Really good.” She props her chin on Kate’s collarbone to peek up at her; tries not to sound too hopeful. “You?”
Osgood snuggles back into her chest, loving the rise and fall of it, the way she feels so cushioned and secure. It gives her the courage to say more. “It felt…vulnerable, but good?” It’s not even the orgasm; she’s given herself really amazing orgasms before, but this was an amazing orgasm while being held, while being seen... She huffs a little laugh. “I don’t know why I thought not kissing on the lips would be less intimate.”
“Mmm.” Kate shifts a little; Osgood can feel her peering down at her as her fingers play with the ends of her hair. “Are you all right with that? Feeling…intimate.”
“Yeah.” It comes out like a confession, but one she feels safe making. “It was just…a lot. Good, but…overwhelming. To have the focus just on me.” She doesn’t think she would have felt nearly as safe letting herself feel all those sensations if it hadn’t been Kate there with her. “I liked it, but…next time can you teach me what you like?”
Kate’s finger slides up under her chin, tilts her head up to drop a kiss on her forehead.
“I’d ask how I was lucky enough to get you, but—“ She gives a wry smile, and gestures at the room around them and by extension the whole bubble universe they live in now. “Last woman on earth, and all that.”
She’s smiling, but something about her words seems resigned. Osgood frowns.”We will get back, you know.” She hesitates, not certain if this is the right time, the right place, to say this. “You’ll see your kids again.”
“That’s not what I—” Kate huffs a little. “I was fishing for a compliment. Something about my stamina or how you’d never believe I was pushing fifty would have sufficed.”
“Vain,” Osgood mutters to hide her blush. She reaches over to tangle Kate’s fingers with her own. “As if you don’t know you’re gorgeous.” She can’t believe she’s just said that; blurts more: “I’m the one who should be fishing.
Kate squeezes her hand, uses her other arm to wrap Osgood tighter against her. “This isn’t about giving up,” she says softly into Osgood’s hair. “I know you’ll get us back. This is about—change. Changing relationships. Adapting. Seeing if—given present conditions—this might be something you want.” A long, trembling breath. “If I might be something you want.”
Osgood swallows, hard. Looks up at Kate, who is looking down at her with uncharacteristic trepidation in her eyes. She is dizzy with all the possibilities she sees in those eyes.
Changing, and adapting, then. Trying.
“Is it all right if I kiss you?”
“I thought you’d never ask.”