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It’s raining when they reach New York Harbor. 

 

Their ship slowly passes by the Statue of Liberty, her arm extending high into the clouds. Eve has never seen her in person before, but knows that she is a symbol of hope for those who come to this land, searching for a better life. When the green statue first came into view, Villanelle had told her that the poor in Europe told fantastical stories about America, that the streets were paved in gold. Eve had softly responded that it was not as wonderful as it seemed. 

 

Living impoverished in America had steeled Eve in ways that had never left, despite her time with Niko and its shallow luxuries. Instincts embedded through years of hardship had remained beneath the surface, unable to be wiped away with fancy gowns or precious jewels. 

 

However, there is an underlying sense of anxiety as they approach their port. To be poor in America is a condition that is not only difficult, but all-consuming. Eve realizes upward mobility is difficult in any country, but here? It is as though the country’s metaphorical boot is upon one’s neck, forcing one down despite efforts to stand. 

 

Villanelle shivers slightly next to her. 

 

Eve is pressed snugly against her side, the both of them huddled underneath a soaking wet tarp as they sit on the top deck. The officers had asked the survivors to gather together despite the persistent drizzle, taking names and trying to reunite families. 

 

Too many would never get to see the ones they lost. 

 

Eve glances at her lover.

 

Villanelle, who is breathing - alive

 

Who had looked death in the eyes, only to stay. 

 

For Eve. 

 

Their future is uncertain, to be sure. There will be obstacles, hardships, and trying times. Poverty is the most pressing at the moment, but it would be naive to think that it will be the only one. But with this woman by her side - this amazing, wonderful woman - Eve feels as though they could take on the world. 

 

Like so many times before, Villanelle's presence alone calms her anxieties like a balm.

 

Eve shifts closer into her, the warmth in her chest seeking companionship with the heat radiating off of Villanelle’s form. The Russian hums softly, wrapping her arm securely around Eve’s slim and trembling form. Villanelle tilts her face towards her, a small smile gracing her face as her eyes meet Eve’s. The hands squeezing Eve’s heart loosen slightly, and she remembers that unlike the little Eve of her childhood - she won’t be alone this time. 

 

This time, she'll have Villanelle. Who so unlike her mother, wouldn't sell her out or abandon her. They've gone through too much, and Villanelle has proven herself too many times for that to be a possibility in Eve's mind.

 

“Your hair is getting all crazy,” Villanelle grins, lifting a hand to poke playfully at the damp curls starting to frizz around Eve’s head. Despite the tarp covering them, water manages to seep into the creases and onto their faces, soaking their hair. Normally, it would have chilled Eve to the bone. But now it barely makes Eve shiver. 

 

“It gets angry when it’s wet,” Eve smiles, snatching the hand hovering around her head to bring its palm to her lips in a soft kiss. 

 

It’s a soft, tender moment. One that serves to distract them from the obvious chaos and despair around them, but it serves its purpose well. It soothes, Eve’s lips and mind held firm by the anchoring warmth of Villanelle’s palm beneath her lips. 

 

What strong, yet gentle hands this woman has. Capable of both beauty and brutality, pleasure and pain. Perhaps it's why Eve fell in love with them, their dichotomy between the light and dark captivating the very depths of her heart. She runs her hand along Villanelle’s, stretching her fingers along Villanelle’s longer ones so that they match - like a mirror. The Russian smiles, a soft and precious thing, and presses the pads of her fingertips into Eve’s. Her eyes flutter shut, and for a moment, reality only consists of them, joined together by the soft caress between their hands.

 

It doesn’t last. 

 

The universe truly is a cruel, cruel entity. One that seems hellbent on giving Eve multiple heart attacks within the span of a week. 

 

Eve opens her eyes to find Villanelle spinning both of them around in a complete 180, her grip firm on Eve’s shoulders. Her chest is heaving, eyes laser focused as she glances briefly behind them. She looks predatory, primed and ready for action that is jarring in contrast to her previous demeanor. 

 

“Vill, what the hell?” Eve hisses, trying to glance back to no avail. 

 

Villanelle whips back around, tugging the tarp further over both their heads. 

 

“It’s fucking Niko,” she whispers, “he’s looking for you.” 

 

Eve manages to glance behind her, quickly glimpsing the absurd mustache stuck to Niko’s face. He is glancing to and fro at the passengers huddled together under similar tarps to her and Villanelle, and Eve recognizes the curve of her name on his ugly lips. 

 

“Shit,” Eve curses, pressing further into Villanelle’s side, as if she could somehow climb inside her and hide away. Her heart pounds frantically inside her chest as she burrows her head into the juncture of Villanelle’s neck, her hands gripping the material of her shirt tightly. 

 

Villanelle must sense her terror, because she works quickly to reach her other arm around her trembling body, cocooning her away from hundreds of pairs of eyes. The world disappears, and Eve is left with comforting darkness and the lovely, sharp smell that is beholden to Villanelle. 

 

“Just be still,” Villanelle whispers gently.

 

Eve nods. 

 

She holds her breath as footsteps - slow, clunking, Niko’s - make their way closer. It takes everything in Eve not to run, to stay still as her breath shakily escapes her lips. Memories flash behind her shut eyelids - the pain, the fear, the feeling of her world closing down around her. 

 

Eve thinks of all the times he had held her captive. Had bruised her, shouted in her face, roughly gripped her chin and hair, had left her alone for days on end. How he had stripped her down and left her almost barren, unable to achieve what every living soul is entitled to - freedom. 

 

Villanelle brushes a curl behind Eve’s ear, presses a kiss to its shell. She whispers something soft in Russian, her words touching her mind in an almost-caress, intimate. So unlike Niko, gentle and sweet despite the situation that has befallen them.

 

Since when did they become like this? Two halves of the same whole, held together by some sort of destiny as they stumble their way through death and destruction? Now, as the devil incarnate threatens to rip Eve from Villanelle’s arms? Her last and only chance at something good

 

Niko’s footsteps stop mere feet behind them. 

 

Eve’s breath hitches, and she swears she can feel Villanelle’s muscles coil beneath the skin. 

 

“Pardon me,” Niko says behind them, his voice hoarse sounding and strained, “but have you seen an Eve Park by chance?” 

 

Eve and Villanelle stiffen underneath the tarp.

 

A moment passes. Two. All Eve can hear is her breath and Villanelle’s, mixing in the cold air. 

 

“I’m sorry sir, no Eve Park on my list,” another voice - an officer? - yes, an officer, it must be. The ones that had been taking down names, trying to get a sense of just how many had perished in the ocean. They had not come to Eve and Villanelle yet, and Eve already knows that just might be what saves them. 

 

The words of the officer should comfort Eve, but she knows better than to let her guard down when Niko is present. This is only reinforced when she hears the telltale sound of Niko’s footsteps creeping behind them. 

 

Her breath quickens, escaping her lips in sharp pants. 

 

She can’t breathe. 

 

She’s too loud. 

 

He’s going to find them. 

 

She’s going to be taken away. 

 

Without Villanelle. 

 

Eve can feel the ghost of Niko’s touch above the tarp hiding them from view. 

 

She holds her breath.

 

Her lungs burn. 

 

Villanelle’s arms tighten. 

 

Then, almost as quickly as it began, Niko leaves. 

 

His footsteps drift away.

 

And for once, it’s finally over. 

 

~~~

 

“That was close.” 

 

“Close? Are you kidding me, he was right there!” 

 

“I know, I could smell his celery breath.” 

 

“Well, good for- wait, celery breath?” Eve sputters. 

 

They are sat in a small pub, both women perched onto two rickety barstools that creak whenever Villanelle shifts her weight too far back. 

 

After they had departed the ship, Eve had spied the rundown establishment through the now pouring rain. They had sprinted across the wet cobblestone, quickly weaving their way through the crowd of people that had crammed themselves into the harbor. Villanelle had abandoned their tarp long ago, finding that it was no use to huddle underneath a leaking piece of plastic. 

 

And so they rushed into the pub, an old thing adorned with a soft light despite its age. It was vacant of attendants, save for a reserved looking man behind the bar. The bartender must have understood where exactly they had come from by the state of their appearance, and with no insistence had brought two pints of fine beer to accommodate them. He said very little, only giving his name - Jamie - and a firm command that the drinks were ‘on the house.’

 

“I heard ‘bout the ship,” he had muttered, a frown creasing lines deeper into his face. “It’s a damned tragedy.” 

 

Before Eve and Villanelle could even comment, he was gone, retreating to the back room without so much of a goodbye. 

 

And here they are. 

 

“Yes, he reeks of it,” Villanelle nods sagely, taking a long slurp of her beer. “There were too many times that he got right in my face, and I could smell it coming off of his teeth.”

 

“His breath was always terrible,” Eve agrees with a chuckle, her delicate fingertips drawing doodles into the condensation on her glass.

 

The beer is smooth, sliding easily down the back of Villanelle’s throat as she feels its foam tickle her top lip and nose. It is always so hard to find good beer these days, the only ones worth drinking being those special brews from Dublin. As she sets her glass down, she sees Eve giggle before gentle fingers wipe some residual foam off the tip of her nose. 

 

It’s odd to be here now, after everything. 

 

But despite it all, it makes Villanelle happy to be alive. 

 

Here, in this shabby pub.

 

 With Eve. 

 

Her chest is filled with a kind of honey-sweet heaviness, and it mixes perfectly with the dark chocolate brown of Eve’s eyes. They are tired, especially after their close call on the ship, but there is something beautiful in her posture now. It’s looser, relaxed as though a great ton of bricks were suddenly removed from the brunette’s slim shoulders. 

 

It makes Villanelle excited - now isn’t that a new feeling? - for whatever will come next. There is so much that they could do, so much that they could see! And all the while, Villanelle could have the chance to show Eve what she has been missing all these years with Niko : someone who will love her. 

 

There’s just one thing she has to ask. 

 

“Where do we go now, Eve?” Villanelle questions gently. 

 

It’s not that Villanelle has ever been concerned with making plans, quite the opposite. She is used to being without resources or a stable source of income, and is used to surviving on the most minimal of assets on a moment’s notice. Her varied skill set was sought after, and despite the illegality of her and Konstatin’s activities she was quite good at the jobs she was assigned. 

 

But that was before, and this is after. 

 

Now, she has decided to give up her usual tools of the trade, and she has a certain Eve Park by her side. She asks Eve where they will go, because now it’s not just Villanelle. Something that she never in a million years could have anticipated. In the past, Villanelle had accepted that she would most likely die young and alone, that the universe would snatch her from the earth as quickly as she had been thrust into it. But, as Villanelle traces patterns into the palm of Eve’s hand, it seems as though the universe has other plans. 

 

It has given her a partner, and Villanelle wants to know what Eve wants to do. 

 

Eve smirks, sly and mischievous. 

 

Villanelle’s brows furrow. The small woman had plotted something. 

 

That could never bode well. 

 

Despite the fact that their unconventional relationship has spanned a week at most, Villanelle already knows that her lover has a truly incredible mind. It’s just that sometimes her thoughts can be… odd. 

 

It only makes sense that such an interesting woman would end up with such a spectacular partner as Villanelle, Villanelle preens to herself.

 

Her thoughts are abruptly stopped when, with miraculous eyes, Villanelle watches Eve reach into the front of her dress, into her lovely expanse of cleavage, and remove a silver, gleaming necklace. 

 

Villanelle’s jaw drops.

 

“You didn’t… ” 

 

“I did.”

 

There, between Eve’s fingers, is Le Cœur de la Mer.

 

The Heart of the Ocean. 

 

“How?” Villanelle breathes.

 

“I felt it in the pocket of my dress when we were getting off,” Eve says sheepishly, “I can’t believe I forgot about it, but I think it’ll catch a pretty penny if we can pawn it to the right buyer.” 

 

Eve grins, pride radiating off of her in waves that make her face glow. 

 

“Probably a fortune… ” Villanelle mutters. 

 

“Yes Villanelle,” Eve whispers, leaning forward to close the distance between them, her words ghosting over Villanelle’s lips. “A fortune .”

 

Villanelle feels her eyes flutter open and closed, focused on the plump, pink flesh of Eve’s lips. Her tongue swipes over them quickly, so fast that if Villanelle had blinked she would have missed it. 

 

“You have secured us a very comfortable spot here, my darling,” she tells Eve, exhaling softly as Eve’s hand runs up the side of her neck to grasp her jaw possessively. 

 

“I daresay that you’ve saved the two of us a lot of unknowns.” 

 

Eve grins. 

 

“There are never unknowns with you, sweetheart.” 

 

~~~

 

It takes them a week to find a small house on the outskirts of the city, the sellers quickly accepting their offer as Villanelle slapped a thick wad of bills into their hands. It’s comical how fast they had been able to find somewhere, frankly unreal, but that's what happens when you have amass a small fortune in a short amount of time, Eve supposed.

 

It’s still close enough to the urban areas to get things if need be, but far enough away to be free of the noise and pollution. The walls are lovely red brick, nothing too fancy, but certainly more comfortable than Eve had experienced during her childhood, or Villanelle in hers respectively. 

 

It takes a second week to fill the house with furniture, Eve smiling throughout it all as Villanelle gleefully arranged the rooms to suit them. The house they had bought slowly becomes a home, something that Eve realizes is not just a place, but a feeling. Somewhere to come home to, and better yet, someone to hold onto.

 

It is not all sunshine and rainbows, though. 

 

It takes a month for Eve to find Villanelle in a cold sweat one night, shivering and mumbling something pained, frightened. For a few seconds, Eve doesn't know what to do, until some deep set instinct sets in and gather Villanelle into her arms. Villanelle's face is contorted, tears streaming down her face as she whispers to her demons holding her hostage. 

 

"I don't want to go, please don't make me go, it's not my time, please-"

 

Eve holds her, tries to gently rouse her from her nightmare without being jarring. Villanelle's eye snap open, a choked sob catching in her throat as her panicked gaze meets Eve's.

 

She should have known that it would take much longer for the two of them to completely leave the ocean. 

 

Because Eve hasn't left either. There are too many nights that she can't sleep, that memories of Bill and Konstantin, hell, even Niko plague her to the point that she doesn't bother with it. She reads books, consumes in in a fervor that is almost inhuman, as information attempts to replace the pain and trauma of the past. When they first got here, Eve had been so wrought with it during those nights that she went through three books of introductory Russian just to try and escape. 

 

She just should have realized that she wasn't the only one struggling, that Villanelle carries her own baggage, and that maybe she should've said something. 

 

But, there's still time to make up for it. 

 

And so Eve whispers small comforts to Villanelle in broken, soft Russian, gentle and sweet despite its imperfections. She runs her thumbs over Villanelle’s cheeks, pressing a kiss to her forehead. 

 

Villanelle freezes, her bloodshot eyes widening at the sound of her native tongue before her young face crumples, sobbing harsh and rough into the safety of Eve’s shoulder. Her grip tight and almost bruising against her arms.

 

“I-I can’t leave, Eve,” Villanelle pushes out through her cries, “Every time I close my eyes, I’m in t-that water and I just can’t-”

 

“Shhh,” Eve hushes, running a hand through the blonde’s hair. “You’re safe, darling. You’re here. I’ve got you.” 

 

Through every pass of her hand, Eve wonders if they will ever find true peace. If they will ever be free from the memories that haunt them in the night - terrors that come in the form of freezing water and icy corpses. Perhaps they never will, Eve thinks. Perhaps they will always battle the demons and monsters that permeate their dreams. 

 

Villanelle sniffles quietly in the safety of Eve’s neck, her warm breath puffing against Eve’s skin in even bursts of air. Upon further inspection, the brunette finds that she has fallen asleep, her tear stained face finally calm and relaxed as she takes solace in Eve’s embrace. 

 

She reclines, careful not to jostle the sleeping blonde now snuggled into her chest. Their life, this home, is so new . Eve knows that they have been through hell, have seen death and pain and sorrow. They have lived lives longer than their years, and have already seen too much. 

 

But without each other, who knows where they would be?

 

Because even if they are haunted, they are together. 

 

That, if anything, gives Eve comfort. 

 

~~~

 

“Eve!” 

 

“Honey?” 

 

“Look what I found.” 

 

Eve Astankova tears her eyes away from her article, the paper snapped snugly in her typewriter as the cool October breeze brushes through their open window.

 

It’s been five years since the harbor. 

 

Five years since the Titanic. 

 

Five years since Villanelle Astankova literally fell into Eve’s life. 

 

It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been more than worth every moment. 

 

Eve pads her way through their living room, her bare feet pattering softly against their new hardwood floors. Villanelle had put them in herself, proud and beaming as she had finished the last coat of varnish on top of the perfectly cut beams. At first, Eve had half-wondered why they hadn’t gotten a professional to put them in, but it soon became apparent that despite their comfortable life, Villanelle liked putting herself to work when it came to their home. 

 

It was one of the many things about the Russian that hadn’t changed in their years together - Villanelle was still spry, rude and breathtakingly gorgeous as ever, and had taken to working for an interior design firm when she wasn’t working on art or rearranging the layout of the house. 

 

Eve had opted to write for the new women’s magazine in the city, finding that writing about the capabilities of women rather than their social boundaries awoke something dormant within her soul. Her most recent article was over a ‘crime of passion’ in the Bronx, a scorned wife having killed her husband over unpaid taxes and a horrid affair. True crime is an unexplored genre, but through her uncanny ability to digest evidence and profile female killers, Eve has begun to make a name for herself in the competitive world of journalism. It’s liberating to speak of women in such mysterious and dangerous terms, because in her opinion, they are. 

 

As Eve peeks into their bedroom at the humming blonde woman crawling into their closet, she thinks that Villanelle might be the most dangerous of them all. 

 

The thought makes a smile curl across her face. 

 

“Darling, what are you doing in the closet?”

 

“I found something.” 

 

“And what would that be?” 

 

Villanelle pokes her head out briefly, blonde wisps of hair flying about her face as her mouth splits into a shit eating grin. 

 

“The shirt I first shagged you in,” she says, lifting what Eve recognizes as the same soft button up Villanelle had worn when they had first met. It’s still the same as the day Villanelle had chucked it into the back of the closet, a splotch of red marking the fabric from Villanelle’s bloody nose after getting body slammed. 

 

Despite that, Eve feels her wife’s words pool low in her belly. 

 

It’s not that she doesn’t think about it. In fact, there have been more than enough times that Eve has reminisced at work, thinking about their sweat-covered bodies moving against one another in that expensive car, wetness from them both staining the vintage leather of the seat, remembering how Villanelle’s fingers curled oh so tightly around Eve’s throat- 

 

Fingers snap in front of her face. 

 

“Eve, moya lyubov -” Villanelle calls to her. 

 

Eve comes to, blush still hot beneath her cheeks. 

 

“Yes, sorry I just, ehm, zoned out a little bit there,” she replies shakily, scowling at the smirk adorning her lover’s face. 

 

Cheeky ass. 

 

“Good to know you remember,” Villanelle drawls, nosing at the juncture of Eve’s jaw and neck, mouth pressing deceivingly innocent to the skin as Eve inhales sharply. The shirt is dropped, Villanelle’s hands gripping Eve flush to her chest.

 

She feels herself flush against Villanelle’s lips, eyes slipping closed as she grasps at robust shoulders as a soft moan escapes her parted mouth. A tongue traces along Eve’s jugular, hands making a similar pattern along her hips, moving up to brush along her sides until strong fingers are teasingly brushing her nipples over the cotton of her shirt. 

 

It should be embarrassing how wet she is already, but Eve genuinely cannot bring herself to care. It never takes much to get her like this when Villanelle is involved, and is one of many perks to being happily married to her wife. Villanelle groans softly against her jaw as she feels the hardness of her nipples with her thumbs, more so when Eve whimpers her name and tugs desperately at the honey-colored hair of her head. 

 

“Tell me what you want, baby,” Villanelle rasps, her mouth millimeters away from Eve’s, but it’s still much too far for Eve’s comfort. She moans gutturally as her wife backs her against the wall, her teeth sinking into the shallow flesh of her collarbone. 

 

“I-I want,” she breathes, her brain fogging up at the obscene feeling of Villanelle sucking a dark bruise into her neck. “I want you to fuck me-” 

 

Her eyes glance downwards to the soft, linen button up on the ground. 

 

She thinks of the car, the burning heat of Villanelle above her, clothes in disarray.

 

“...in the shirt.”

 

Villanelle lifts her head from Eve’s neck, her eyes dark with what can only be described as pure, filthy lust. 

 

“Yeah?” she whispers into the space between them. 

 

Eve bites her bottom lip, steels herself, and rolls her hips purposefully into Villanelle’s, savoring the desperate ‘Eve’ that comes out of her sweet mouth.

 

Yes ,” Eve replies roughly. 

 

Within the span of a millisecond, Villanelle has stripped and thrown the shirt over shoulder, haphazardly shoving her arms through the sleeves before she has Eve pinned to their bed, back to sheets as their mouths connect in a hot, messy kiss. 

 

“Fuck, baby-” Eve pants into her lips, groaning as Villanelle’s tongue licks into her mouth.

 

She bucks her hips into her wife in a hopeless abandon, knowing full well that beneath the cotton of Villanelle’s shirt, Eve’s fingers are leaving red imprints into her skin. 

 

They settle into a rhythm, a sensual dance that only the two of them know. 

 

Eve grips hard onto Villanelle’s shirt as memories flash beneath her eyelids. 

 

She pants and repeats Villanelle’s name like it’s a prayer as the blonde kisses down Eve’s torso, bunching her dress around her hips as underwear slips off of her legs.

 

Villanelle doesn't bother taking Eve's clothes off. Eve already knows that she has a singular focus now.

 

Eve almost screams in relief when Villanelle’s fingers spread her open, and her tongue runs flat along her, wetness ruining the sheets below them. 

 

When Villanelle finally pushes two fingers into her, Eve feels tears run down her cheeks. 

 

Because it’s so right. I t’s been five years and it still feels so good, the two of them consuming one another until there’s nothing left but the red string of fate binding their very souls together. 

 

Villanelle takes her roughly, grabbing Eve’s leg by the ankle to shift it straight up in the air to fuck into her properly. Her face is flushed red, a primal look in her eyes as her fingers hook inside Eve to press against a spot that makes her vision white out. 

 

“Fuck, Vill I’m coming-” 

 

The words only serve to spur Villanelle on, her pace quickening as Eve pulls her down by the collar of her shirt, connecting their lips as Eve’s hips stutter in their movements as a tidal wave washes over her. A choked moan stops halfway into her throat as she bucks once, twice into Villanelle’s now stilled fingers.

 

She comes down slowly, her hands grasping at the air where she feels Villanelle should be, before a comforting weight settles on top of her, gentle kisses pressing along her cheeks and nose. 

 

Eve’s eyes flutter open to connect with hazel ones. 

 

“You okay?” Villanelle asks softly, her voice hoarse and out of breath. 

 

Eve looks at her wife, her lover. 

 

One of the lucky few who survived the Titanic. 

 

The only one who gets her. 

 

Her everything. 

 

“Yeah. Yeah I am," Eve whispers.

 

And she proves it, promises in her lips as she leans up and captures Villanelle's.

 

Because yes

 

They are okay.