Hope wakes up in increments. Fragments of last night sliding into place alongside fragments of right now.
Last night: The party at the old mill. Everyone in an aggressively good mood as they all celebrate slaying the most recent monster.
Now: The cozy softness of her sheets. The smell of smoke and the faintest traces of sweat in the hair tickling her nose.
She doesn't open her eyes, but she can tell by the silence, the stillness, that it's still night time. She doesn't know why she's awake, or even how long has passed since...
Hope on the periphery of the party. She’s never been one for large gatherings or even teenage revelry.
The memories come in flashes, like headlights through the trees.
Hope making eye contact with Josie across the bonfire as Jed tugs the younger girl onto the make-shift dance-floor.
The sight of his bulk pressing into Josie’s slight frame has Hope reaching for the nearest solo cup. She thinks it might have been in an underclassman’s hand. But if so, the kid didn’t put up a fight, just let Hope take and down the drink.
Yes, it must have been, because she remembers asking him to bring her another.
H e does. Immediately. “Do you wanna--” he asks hopefully before she silences him with a Mikaelson glare.
He scurries off and Hope’s back to lurking alone. Across the way, Jed is still moving against Josie. One meaty paw dwarfing her slim waist.
Hope wonders if this is what Josie meant that one night when she said that they get to choose. Landon made his choice -- he and Raf are still off on their soul-brother-journey; the last she heard, which was weeks ago, they were in the midwest somewhere -- and now she and Hope can make theirs.
Hope wonders if this, what she's watching play out on the far side of the bonfire, is Josie choosing. Choosing to move on. Choosing Jed of all people to do it with.
Hope drains her second drink and pulls her gaze away from the witch and the alpha in favor of hunting down the liquor table.
She shakes her head, presses her cheek further into her pillow, and ends up with a mouthful of hair. She lifts up to swing it behind her head and then realizes it’s not her own hair like she had thought.
Time gets blurry after the liquor table, but she remembers Josie clear and sharp as a shard of glass. Josie, Jed-less, by her side.
“Hey,” Josie is saying, leaning into Hope’s space to reach for the bottle of soda on the table.
“Hey,” Hope watches as Josie mixes her drink. She hears herself asking, like her body is in another room totally separate from her mind, “Where’s Jed?”
Josie turns and leans against the table, shoulder pressed warm and solid against Hope’s. “Dunno.” She waves a hand vaguely in the direction of where Hope had last seen Josie and Jed dancing. “Does it matter?”
Josie raises an eyebrow like its a challenge. The firelight flickering across her eyes as she watches Hope, casts them dark almost-black, then honey, then dark again. Mesmerizing.
Hope swallows. “I don’t know,” she answers. “Does it?”
Josie presses the rim of her drink to her bottom lip and watches Hope over the top of it. She waits an age before answering.
Waits long enough that Hope feels herself swaying a little closer. Hope has good eye-sight pretty much all the time, one of the benefits of being part wolf, but she doesn’t remember being able to count Josie’s lashes before this very moment.
“No.” Josie finally says. Her eyes are hot on Hope’s like errant embers that have escaped the fire behind them.
Then the song changes -- Hope hadn’t even been paying attention to the music before, but it must have been playing for there to be dancing -- and Josie is tugging Hope to dance with her and Hope is simultaneously wishing she had mixed her last drink a little stronger or maybe never started drinking to begin with.
Josie is in Hope's bed, back pressed to Hope’s front. Beneath the covers, Hope can’t see, but she can feel that their legs are tangled. She has one arm stuffed under their pillows and the other thrown possessively over Josie’s waist.
Hope knows her interpersonal skills are a little rough -- her dating history just as spotty -- but even she knows what’s happening right now.
She and Josie are spooning.
But that’s not all.
Sometime in the night, Josie’s sleep shirt (which must be one of Hope’s because Hope can't remember seeing the other girl in anything other than her matching pajama sets) has rucked up and it’s nothing but warmsoftsmooth skin beneath Hope’s hand.
Instinctually, she flexes her fingers and feels Josie’s stomach muscles tense beneath them.
“Hope?” Josie’s voice is scratchy and lower than Hope remembers ever hearing it. Of course, this is the first time she’s been in this position -- waking up next to her in the middle of the night.
Oh. “You’re awake?”
“Yes,” is the simple reply.
Hope scoots back and goes to retract her hand, an apology on her lips when Josie stops her. Josie’s hand is firm and warm against the back of Hope’s as she holds the older girl still. Keeps Hope's hand pressed into the flat plane of Josie’s belly.
“Don’t,” Josie says.
Hope can’t tell if her hand is shaking or if it’s the muscles underneath it that are shivering. This feels… Dangerous.
Not 'staring down Malivoire and its menagerie of monsters and mayhem' dangerous, but… Like trying a powerful spell for the first time. Like tipping back the bottle of 80 proof vodka straight, no chaser.
Dangerous like allowing herself to get her hopes up.
“Are you drunk?” Hope asks.
“No,” Josie answers, voice steady and midnight-low. “Are you?”
Hope wasn’t paying attention to the music before she started dancing and she certainly isn’t paying attention to it now. How could anyone with Josie’s moving to whatever beat is playing through the speakers?
Josie leans in, places a hand on Hope’s waist, and tells Hope to loosen up.
Hope tries. Honestly, she does. But Josie doesn’t move her hand from Hope’s body. Instead, she fists it in the material of Hope’s v-neck and tugs her closer.
It’s only because of Hope’s supernaturally fast reflexes that she doesn’t end up spilling her drink.
“There,” Josie grins, once their bodies almost touch. “Just follow my lead.”
Mouth suddenly dry, Hope gulps the rest of her drink and does as instructed.
They sit there for an eternity frozen just like that, Hope scarcely allowing herself to breathe as she feels each of Josie’s breathes against her hand, before Hope finally allows herself to lay back down.
She settles into the mattress but doesn’t relax. Because nothing about this situation is relaxing. Every muscle feels tensed in forced inaction, every nerve standing on end in anticipation. But she eases back into a more comfortable position. Off her elbow. Laying fully down beside Josie.
She scooches a little closer so she isn’t accidentally pulling Josie’s hair or anything, and in her own movement, she almost misses Josie’s. Almost, but not quite.
Josie wriggles backward, not a lot, but enough. She presses her ass flush against Hope. They’re touching from shoulder to ankle, but for some reason this purposeful contact has the breath catching in Hope’s throat. Her hand, still under Josie’s shirt, clenches against her warm skin, pulling her back a little harder, pressing them more firmly against one another.
Now, it’s Josie’s breath’s turn to catch.
An indeterminate number of drinks and songs later finds Josie and Hope stumbling back towards the school.
(Hope may or may not use this as an excuse to wrap her arm around Josie. Her memory is a little fuzzy on these particulars.)
All that matters is that Josie is warm and close and she smells like smoke, and underneath, sweat from dancing, and underneath that: something Hope has come to categorize as simply Josie. The smells stick in Hope’s nose and she doesn’t think she’ll ever get them out, doesn't know if that's good or bad, just is.
They pull to a halt outside Josie’s bedroom door.
“Oh my god,” Josie groans.
There’s a sock on the doorknob and some pretentious, high-spirited orchestral music playing loudly from within.
Hope hides a laugh in Josie’s shoulder. “As an only child, I don’t speak Sister, but…”
Even she can put two and two together: Lizzie and Sebastian have taken control of the twin’s room for the foreseeable future. Josie shudders and pretends to dry heave in the hallway.
“Now where am I going to sleep?” Josie only has time to pout at the be-socked door for all of 0.2 seconds before Hope's mouth is opening almost of its own accord.
“Well,” Hope says. “Now that Alyssa is out of my room…”
“Hope Mikaelson, are you asking me back to your place?”
“To sleep! Just to sleep!” Hope knows she is blushing, but can’t make herself stop. Most powerful being in the world and she still can’t stop herself from blushing at Josie’s over-the-top scandalized-flirtatious tone.
“Well, of course,” Josie grins innocently. “What else would we be doing?”
Thankfully, before Hope can think of an answer to that, Josie grabs her arm and strolls down the hall to Hope’s room.
“Good?” Hope asks, muscles tensed and hyper-still. She can hear Josie’s heartbeat, thrumming along her throat and so close to Hope’s own mouth.
She can hear Josie swallow. “Yeah.” She nods, then melts a little further into Hope’s arms.
She readjusts her hold on Hope’s hand. Pulls it higher, further under her shirt. Hope’s fingers brush the underside of Josie’s breast and now they both release a little gasp. Impossible to tell who is more affected.
“Good?” Josie asks.
Hope nods. Scooches forward that much closer, burying her nose in the soft, still-smoky, brown hair in front of her. “Yeah.”
“This seems… Ill-advised,” Hope says dubiously as she exits her ensuite and watches Josie shimmy under the sheets on her own bed.
“We literally spend our free time facing off against mythical monsters and demons. Sharing a bed cannot be any worse than that.”
Hope rolls her eyes. Josie may have a point, but, "We don't do that while drunk, though."
Hope feels like it's important to point this fact out. Not for her own benefit, but Josie's. Hope's hands still itch to reach out like they did on the dance floor.
Josie just makes a grabby motion with one hand and says simply, "You're a gentlewoman. I trust you. Now come to bed before the ceiling spins off this plane of existence."
Hope stretches her fingers out, sweeps the pad of her thumb into the hollow at the center of Josie’s chest. Then, Hope isn’t sure if it’s through Josie's or her own power, but her palm is suddenly cupping Josie’s breast, nipple pebbled and hard against Hope's calloused skin.
Josie sucks in a breath, hard and quick. Like its a shock to the system for Josie just like it is Hope, for Hope to be touching her like this.
She reaches her free hand out to where Hope’s arm is thrown across the pillows in front of them. Threads their fingers together and arches her chest further into Hope’s hand.
It’s all the encouragement Hope’s hormone-addled brain needs, as Josie releases the hand at her chest and reaches back to grab Hope’s hip, keeping their bodies close. Hope squeezes the swell of flesh in her hand and revels in the soft exhale Josie rewards her with.
She palms Josie’s nipple, circles it with her thumb, then switches to the other. And all the while, Josie is making the most enticing little breathy whimpers. They’re so pretty. And so hot. Hope can do nothing but try to draw out more of them.
She doesn’t even realize she’s rocking forward against Josie's ass until she hears herself groaning at the contact, her clit rubbing against the front of her pajamas, desire throbbing low and deep in her belly.
Josie’s hand is welded to Hope’s hip, coaxing her that much closer, to move that much harder against her.
Hope noses the collar of Josie’s shirt down and kisses the freckled skin of her shoulder. It feels reckless to kiss her, even with her hand on Josie’s boob, basically assaulting her nipple, and her hips grinding into Josie’s ass.
Which is probably crazy, but still. Crazy is kind of in their wheelhouse.
What's crazier still is that Hope finds herself wanting to bite down, to leave a mark, but she doesn’t. She’s never even kissed Josie before (this, her lips brushing her shoulder, hardly counts) and now she’s thinking about leaving hickeys. She knows her wolf is at work. It helpfully flashes back to earlier in the night, seeing Jed, another, inferior, wolf, touch Josie.
She feels a growl work its way up her throat at the memory.
She wants to sit up and watch. She wants to replace the unsavory image with this new, much better one. Josie, shirt tugged up to expose the flawless skin of her torso, arching hard into Hope’s hand on her chest. She knows the sight will be devastating. She wants to see it. Wants it for her own selfish reasons even outside of Jed.
But she'd have to sit up, in order to do that.
The thought of moving has another growl rolling sub-sonic through her chest. She never wants to move from this position: this position that allows her to feel Josie’s body against hers.
Suddenly desperate to feel the other girl move more fully against her, Hope slips her arm out from under Josie’s pillow, squeezing Josie’s hand once in reassurance before releasing it, and jimmies it down along the mattress to the dip of Josie’s waist. She wraps her arm around Josie and tugs her back harder against her.
In response, Josie tips her head back against Hope’s shoulder, exposing the long column of her throat. Hope has to focus hard on keeping her teeth in check.
In the mix, the covers get a little crazy. Josie kicks them lower, down off their hips, giving them more space to maneuver. Hope shoots a look down over their entangled bodies and notices one thing and one thing alone.
“You’re not wearing pants,” she hisses and runs one of her hands lower, over Josie’s hips and thigh to confirm this fact. Josie shivers.
“Too hot,” Josie pants in response. “You’re like a freaking furnace. Had to take them off like fifteen seconds after you fell asleep, lest I melt into the sheets.”
Hope snorts. “Can’t have that.”
“I don’t exactly hear you complaining,” Josie manages to say with a remarkable amount of cockiness given how hard she's breathing.
Josie has a point. Hope’s hand has yet to travel back up past Josie’s belly button. Choosing instead to map what she can reach of her Josie’s long legs.
“Right back at you,” Hope manages as she runs her palm along the outside of Josie’s thigh, up her hips, and then sweeps her fingers along the waistband of her panties, dragging a whine from Josie’s still-bared throat.
“Fuck,” Josie moans, setting Hope’s blood alight.
“Yeah,” Hope murmurs back in agreement.
Hope wants to pull her own pajama pants off. Wants to feel Josie’s thighs against hers directly as they tangle together. Wants to pull all of both of their clothes off, actually. Feel all of Josie rolling and bucking and moving against all of her.
And she would do just that, too. If only she weren’t a little busy, touching every available centimeter of skin Josie has on display.
She coasts her hand along Josie’s leg, letting her fingers drag lightly high along the inside, just barely grazing the fabric. Josie’s hips stutter.
“Hope,” she grits out through clenched teeth as Hope repeats the move, sweeping her fingers a little higher, pressing them a little harder.
“Can I…?” Hope lets the question hang, open-ended, but no less obvious as she thumbs the waistband of Josie’s panties.
“Yes,” comes the heated and immediate reply. And then as if that wasn’t consent enough, Josie jogs her hips up in invitation.
Hope swallows hard. The angle is wrong and she can’t see what she’s doing, so she closes her eyes, buries her nose at the base of Josie’s neck, where her spine meets her shoulders and focuses hard on every other sense.
She breathes in the smell of Josie’s skin, still smoky, but now with more sweat and something deeper, richer, muskier. She listens closely to Josie’s skip-quick heartbeat and her high labored breaths. She feels the whisper-soft skin of Josie’s stomach, then the coarse curls, as she slides her hand inside Josie’s panties.
“Oh, fuck,” Hope says when her fingers meet wet heat.
Josie’s fingers are like claws in the fabric of Hope’s pajama pants as Hope swipes her index finger lightly across Josie’s clit. Josie’s hips jerk and Hope tightens the hold her other arm has around her waist to keep her close.
“Keep going,” Josie says, voice breathy and sliding right in between Hope’s own legs like a physical presence.
Hope’s never touched another girl before. She knows Josie and Penelope had done it, obviously (Penelope was never demure with her comments), but this is still all so new for Hope. The way Josie slips beneath her fingers, impossibly wet and soft. The sounds she’s making in the back of her throat as Hope explores.
It’s almost too much.
Maybe it’s a good thing Hope can’t really see anything. She just might combust from sensory overload.
She’s slept with a guy before. This isn’t her first time having sex, period, but still. She quickly realizes there’s no comparison. Yes, it’s all sex, but it’s like comparing table tennis to bowling. They’re both indoor activities, but…
Hope’s middle and index fingers, already slick, bracket Josie’s clit and rub alongside the sensitive bundle of nerves, only tangentially applying pressure to it. It’s a move that Hope likes to use on herself, actually. And apparently Josie’s a fan, too, judging by the quick little breaths, Hope feels her breathe out in time with Hope’s downstroke.
Hope forgets about chasing her own high, her hips stilling against Josie’s ass, in favor of focusing on Josie achieving hers. She can feel Josie’s stomach muscles quivering and tightening against her forearm.
Hope presses an open-mouthed kiss into the skin between Josie’s neck and shoulder and tastes sweat and want. “Feel so good,” Hope says half to herself.
But Josie must hear her because a moan tumbles from her lips and Hope isn’t even rubbing herself against Josie’s ass anymore and she still feels like she might come any minute.
“More,” Josie begs, her hand like a vice on Hope’s wrist as it tugs lower. “Please-” Her voice is broken and breathless and Hope doesn’t care that she’s never fucked a girl before, has only the vaguest idea of what she's doing. She’d do anything Josie asked as long as she asked her like that.
“You want me to-?” Hope doesn’t even get to finish her question, her middle finger already circling Josie’s entrance, before Josie interrupts with a desperate nod.
“Yes,” she says, canting her hips up so that the tip of Hope’s finger slips inside.
Hope’s sliding inside before she can really second-guess herself. Josie’s low groan is almost overshadowed by Hope’s own.
Hope knows she probably sounds like an inexperienced boy, reacting like this, but she really can’t care. It’s just… It’s so much.
“Fuck,” is pretty much the only coherent thing she manages as she slides in and out of Josie’s tight wet heat. She figured her years of touching herself would ready her for the feeling, but being inside of herself is nothing like being inside of Josie. Because it's fucking Josie.
She adds another finger at Josie’s request and builds the pace. Loves the keening whimpers Josie gives her as she readjusts her arm and spreads her other hand flat over Josie’s belly button. Just low enough for her fingers to tease the edges of Josie’s clit like she was doing earlier.
She shoots a quick thanks to the universe for her super strength because honestly, Hope kind of never wants this to end; is glad it doesn't have to on her account. Oh, she wants Josie to come, definitely. But she doesn’t want to stop touching her. Never wants to leave the slickhot channel of Josie’s cunt. She feels a little delirious from it all.
Josie’s moving in tandem with Hope. Her hips driving down to meet Hope's thrusts. Her movements bring her ass grinding back against Hope’s own wet panties and it surprises a sharp shiver out of the older girl.
She can tell Josie’s close from a variety of things. There’s the sharp pressure of her blunt nails digging into Hope’s forearm. The quick, shuddery breaths she’s drawing every time Hope swipes across her clit or fucks up into her a little harder.
And then, of course, there’s Josie’s words.
“Fuck. Hope, fuckfuuuck. I’m so close, please don’t- Hopepleaseplease- ” She’s stuttering out. The low desperate murmurs have Hope redoubling her efforts, just as desperate to give Josie what she wants.
“I got you, babe,” she finds herself murmuring against Josie’s neck. “You feel so good around my--”
And then, Josie’s coming.
She goes rigid in Hope’s arms and for a beat, her hands where they’re touching Hope’s skin, glow red as she loses control of her siphoning abilities and draws magic from Hope’s body. It shouldn’t be as hot as Josie’s broken moans, but it is. Just another piece of proof that Hope made Josie lose control.
The glowing halts as the shockwaves roll through Josie’s body and then she’s still against Hope’s front, except for her heaving chest.
“Shit,” Hope breathes into the silence.
“Yeah,” Josie agrees shakily. She releases her grip on Hope’s pajama-clad hip and runs a hand through her hair, pushes the sweaty strands back from her temples and up onto the pillow.
She doesn’t turn around, but she also doesn’t move either of Hope’s hands -- one still on her lower belly, lazily toying with the curly hair between her hips, the other still two fingers deep inside of her.
Hope finds that her voice is breathless as she asks, “Good?”
“Yeah,” Josie says, voice stronger now. “Better than.”
Hope lowers her lips back to Josie’s shoulder. “Can you go again?”
“Definitely,” Josie chuckles. “But first,” she pivots. Rolls over in Hope’s arms ending up on top of the shorter girl. “It’s my turn,” she says, staring down at Hope, her mussed hair a curtain around them as she angles her hips and grinds down into Hope’s.
Hope nods her head frantically, her raging hormones basically crying in joy. “Okay.”