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Double Your Pleasure

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They were both in costume for the Q&A, Xena and Xena. It seemed like the audience cheered twice as loud.

They're still in costume hours later, when Lucy opens the fridge in her hotel room and tosses Zoë a miniaturized bottle of tequila.

"Fuck," Lucy says, after they've done the shot, "help me with this." She's trying drunkenly to get at the breastplate's back-closure, contorted like a dog chasing its tail, and Zoë laughs and undoes the laces. Zoë's fingertips linger on the defined squares of muscle across Lucy's shoulder blades.

"Nice traps," Zoë says. "Been working out?"

"Yeah, I'm considering a career as a stunt double."

"In your dreams!" Zoë snorts.

"Try me," Lucy challenges, dropping into a parody of Xena's fighting stance. Zoë aims a karate chop at her head, grinning, and Lucy catches her arm and grapples with it.

They stumble against the bed, fall onto it, Lucy on top.

Zoë's straight, and so is Lucy. But Xena isn't. It's not quite clear how it happens, but Lucy is kissing Zoë, hands on her thighs underneath the leather skirt-flaps. Two bodies pressing against each other as if trying to melt together. Onscreen, they add up to one.


Uma looks like a movie star. Even in sweaty gym clothes, falling on her ass for the tenth time as Woo Ping scowls, she radiates an aura of glamour. Zoë falls and falls again and doesn't look glamorous doing it. She's never been happier in her life.

She hangs out with Uma and Lucy and Quentin because Beijing is foreign to all of them. Uma gets up from their game of Texas Holdem, and when she comes back she presses her thumbs into the knots in Zoë's shoulders. Zoë closes her eyes and groans.

"Sore?" Uma asks. "Me too. Maybe you can return the favor later?"

And that's how Zoë ends up working her fingers down Uma's back, an alabaster expanse punctuated only by the band of a sports bra.

Uma reaches out to touch a purpling bruise on Zoë's thigh, traces up along the line of muscle and doesn't stop when she hits the leg of Zoë's shorts. Zoë gasps.

"You're gorgeous as me," Uma says, "you make me look beautiful."

Uma's stripping off the bra and tugging Zoë's shorts over her hips, and Zoë says "Yes. No." Uma's the beautiful one, a beauty Zoë can't believe she inhabits.


"You started on Xena, so it's not like this is the first time you've doubled a lesbian." Sharon's lips are smug around the rim of her mochaccino. "Character," she adds.

She puts down the cardboard cup, leans against the wall between Zoë and the door of the dressing room. When Zoë was shooting fights with Halle today, Sharon watched her with the same predatory smirk.

'Look, I've got a boyfriend," Zoë says.

"So do I." Sharon slants closer, brushing the crescent of skin below Zoë's tank top with her fingertips. "Doesn't mean we can't do a little, you know, research."

"Pardon me?" To take a step backwards would be to admit defeat.

"We're playing the bad guy," Sharon says, and kisses Zoë.

It's certainly bad that Zoë finds this familiar-- hearing herself moan when two fingers enter her; seeing a parallel palm trapped under hers on her breast. Beside herself, she maps Sharon with her hands, trying to absorb the configuration of her muscles, the way she moves.

When Zoë comes, she bites down hard on Sharon's shoulder. Sharon hisses and bites her back, mirroring the marks. In Zoë's ear: "This is much more fun than doing my own stunts."