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Hymn to Aphrodite

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Council meetings have become a regular fixture of life in the Citadel under Imperator Furiosa. Officially, she and the sisters meet with representatives from each of the city’s factions to address their concerns and make plans for improvements. These meetings have become less frequent as the workers become more and more self-sufficient. At first they had flocked to her, worshipped her and the other women as they had previously worshipped Joe - perhaps even more so because she had saved them from him. But as they realize they are no longer dependent on their leader for water and for food, they no longer feel the need to deify her.

Now it is more common for her to just meet with the sisters alone, informally, to discuss the needs of the city. She requires their counsel as much as they ask for her’s, and here there is no distinction between them. Typically they will all converge in Dag and Cheedo’s quarters - their’s being the biggest - whenever there is something of importance to discuss.

Tonight Dag and Cheedo are otherwise occupied, and the meeting takes place in Furiosa’s room. Capable is seated on her workbench, reporting on the improved health of the War Pups under her care. Nux seems healthier too, though he’s currently standing much too stiffly at Capable’s side, still too nervous to touch anything belonging to Furiosa. Toast has no such qualms, easily lounging on Furiosa’s bed next to where she herself is seated.

As Capable finishes telling them about some of the ways they’re reviving the Pups without the use of ‘blood bags’ Toast yawns widely, signaling the lateness of the hour. Capable feigns exhaustion as well, though it’s obvious that she simply wishes to drag Nux back to their room to celebrate the good news. Furiosa can’t begrudge them this small victory, and even pretends she’s fooled by their act. She tries to hold back a smile as the couple (“completely worn out, really”) practically skip off as they exit her quarters.

The smile fades when she looks back at her bed to find Toast has given up all pretense of sitting on the bed, now curling into the space behind Furiosa, dragging the pillow down with her.

“Meeting’s over.” She announces. She had thought that was obvious, but Toast is still here.

“Mmmhmm.” Only Toast could sound so obstinate even when she’s tired. A brief flash of annoyance passes through Furiosa - Toast’s own bed is only a short distance away and there’s no reason for her to be commandeering Furiosa’s.

“That means you need to go to your own bunk.”

The only response she gets is Toast’s even breathing. There’s no way she’s actually asleep this quickly, but Furiosa realizes she doesn’t really have the energy to argue the point, or even stay annoyed. She almost considers just taking Toast’s bed, but she’s not about to be forced out of her own room. With a defeated huff she simply pulls off her boots, tugging at the straps of her prosthetic until she is freed. She kills the lights and moves to the side of the bed that’s been left open, lying back awkwardly and barely catching a corner of the pillow. Her body naturally gravitates to the worn center of the bed - where Toast has now made herself at home - but she remains stiffly at the outer edge. There is no chance of getting comfortable like this. Toast radiates warmth, her soft breathing distractingly loud in the silence of the room. Despite the fact that Toast has become as familiar to her as her own metal arm - their presence both constant and essential in her waking life - Furiosa cannot imagine getting any real sleep with either in her bed.

***

Furiosa wakes up many hours later, feeling rested in a way she hasn’t in a long time. She is quick to notice that she is not alone in her bed, though it takes several moments to remember why this is. She certainly doesn’t recall moving to the center of the bed, but it appears Toast has shifted as well - not quite snuggling into Furiosa but her front is pressed hotly against Furiosa’s side, and her head now rests in the space above her shoulder. She can feel Toast’s small breaths against her neck and it’s…not entirely uncomfortable.

Toast is still asleep, and obviously not faking it this time. Furiosa is reluctant to wake her now, knowing this kind of uninterrupted sleep is rare for either of them. All of the girls struggle with nightmares still, though it’s sometimes easier when the others are near.

Shit. She realizes that with the other girls all pairing off Toast has been left on her own for far too many nights. It’s no wonder she was so exhausted. But of course Toast can’t just ask for what she needs - a trait Furiosa’s all to familiar with. They’re survivors, both of them, and asking for help is too close to admitting weakness. Furiosa prefers handing out orders instead, and Toast hides behind her own stubbornness. They’re quite the pair, really.

Furiosa is careful not to wake the other woman as she slips out from beneath the sheets, wanting to let her sleep just a little more. She won’t begrudge her a few more moments of peace, though she has already overslept herself. There is still a lot to be done, and she suddenly has too much restless energy pumping through her veins.

***

After that night, Toast shows up more and more frequently in her bed, sometimes offering up vague excuses and other times just slipping in without a word. Each morning Furiosa sneaks out before Toast wakes up. She’s not there every night, but it’s often enough that Furiosa has begun to think of her tiny bunk as having ‘sides’. She’s doesn’t even pretend to object, no longer bothered by the other woman’s presence in her bed and knowing as she does that Toast needs this. And for a while Furiosa is sleeping better as well, despite the fact that she starts every evening awkwardly avoiding any contact, still not entirely used to falling asleep so near to another person. By morning, though, she’s always shifted closer to Toast’s warmth. Usually it is just an arm pressed up against the smaller girl, or occasionally her back to Toast’s own. The idea of being entangled with another person all night still seems alien to her, potentially suffocating, but these small touches ground her in a way she hadn’t entirely anticipated. She should have expected it though, it matches perfectly with Toast’s effect on her waking life. Toast has become a solid presence at her side, backing Furiosa up even if she doesn’t always agree with her.

For a while they start to become even more in sync with managing the Citadel. Most of that probably stems from the fact that they are less exhausted, and less prone to snap at each other or anyone else who gets in their way. But it also becomes easier to invade each other’s space - Toast coming up to assist Furiosa with hauling tools out to the workers or Furiosa physically correcting Toast’s stance as she shows her how to defend herself in a fight. It’s not quite the easy affection she receives from the other girls, but it’s good. They’re working harder than ever, exhausting their bodies until it’s no longer awkward to fall into bed together.

And for a while, it works. Furiosa adjusts to falling asleep to the sound of another person’s breathing, and Toast has stopped offering up excuses whenever she wanders into Furiosa’s room. The other girls seem to relax as well at the lack of tension apparent in both women.

But it all begins to unravel when Toast starts sleeping in less and less clothing. She complains that it is too hot, and though Furiosa offers to give her more space Toast just reminds her that they’ll just wake up pressed together anyway. And it’s not untrue, but it’s making it much harder for Furiosa to remember that Toast is just here to sleep. She almost misses their previous awkwardness - it was easier to think of this as a duty, a way of protecting Toast. It had been bad enough that she had begun to actually enjoy it, but now she is constantly reminded that there is a beautiful woman in her bed. And it’s hard not to think about what sharing a bed usually means. Especially with so much perfect skin on display. She finds herself wanting to taste it, and then feeling guilty for thinking this.

She knows that Toast used to have some sort of hero-worship type crush on her, but since their return to the Citadel they have become something more like friends. They have saved each other, and they’re both heroes in the eyes of the Citadel. There’s no more need for Toast to worship her. Or to reignite her crush, it seems. Toast has yet to ask anything of Furiosa other than a place to sleep (and she didn’t even really ask for that). Her sisters have asked far more of Furiosa - for relief, for courage, for affection - though each of the remaining girls has now found someone who can offer them everything. Furiosa doesn’t feel like she has that much to offer, but she wants to, for Toast. But Toast has never made any indication of wanting more from her. Instead the girl just drives her mad, taunting her each night with warm dark skin pressed against Furiosa’s side.

Furiosa endures it as best she can, remaining fully clothed despite the heat and trying to maintain some distance between them in the small bed. She’s afraid if she doesn’t it will become obvious to Toast what she really wants, and she doesn’t want to scare Toast off. Or worse - make her think she owes Furiosa something for sharing her bed.

She wants Toast to feel safe, to have somewhere she can escape whatever haunts her her sleep. Even if it leaves Furiosa in a near constant state of frustration, leading her to sneak off to her bunk in the middle of the day just to gain some kind of relief. These interludes are not particularly satisfying, especially when compared to the temptation of the girl beside her, but it’s enough to take the edge off. Mostly.

Furiosa can feel her old irritability creeping back as she loses more and more sleep to the chaos of her mind. Today she even snapped at Toast, and so she’s surprised when Toast once again slips into her room that night, shedding more than the necessary amount of clothing to keep cool. Furiosa leaves her plenty of space but Toast just curls up at her side, and even with her eyes closed Furiosa can feel that her entire upper body is now exposed. Toast’s bare chest is firmly pressed against her own uncovered arm and it’s just too much.

“If you want to sleep in here you need to put on some damn clothes.” It comes out much more harshly than she intended, and she can feel the smaller girl tense beside her. She can’t take it back now though - that would require an explanation she’s not ready to give right now. She’s certain now that Toast will just leave her, and it almost comes as a relief. Tomorrow she will apologize to the girl. Once she’s gotten some fucking sleep.

But Toast doesn’t leave. She merely sits up, slipping on her shirt in a huff before laying back down again. She keeps her back turned to Furiosa the entire time. Furiosa turns as well, pressing her own back against Toast’s in the closest thing to an apology she can muster right now. Both sleep fitfully that night.

***

Toast doesn’t return to Furiosa’s room the next night, or the one after that. This is not unusual, but it feels suddenly significant with what has happened. Toast has become increasingly distant during the day as well. She still works alongside Furiosa, but she no long infringes on her personal space, and she’s quieter than usual. As more and more nights pass it becomes apparent that Toast isn’t sleeping much in her own bed either. She’s not sleeping at all, really, and her mood is starting to mirror Furiosa’s own.

The other sisters are quick to notice this change, though Nux does his best just to stay away from all of it. Capable eventually comes right out and asks her what’s going on. She tries to tell her that everything will work out alright even when Furiosa refuses to say what’s happened. Maybe Toast has told her something about it but she can no longer guess at what the other girl is thinking. She finally escapes to her room to avoid any more of their concern.

Furiosa is able to enjoy several moments of blissful, uninterrupted silence before Toast is thrust into her room by unseen hands. Those same hands shift a number of heavy items in front of the room’s entrance, effectively trapping them in the room. Furiosa could of course push past it, but she’d only be met by the other three sisters and whatever other schemes they’ve concocted. It’s obvious they want her and Toast to work things out, and if it hadn’t been apparent before, Dag’s shouting through the barrier that they’re not allowed to leave until they ‘talk’ certainly makes the point vividly clear.

But Toast is just standing there by the door, looking defiant while somehow avoiding actually looking anywhere near Furiosa. Furiosa simply watches her, willing her to say something, anything, to get this over with. She’s not about to admit her own feelings, so she’s hoping Toast will just yell at her for a bit so she can apologize. Then things can go back to normal, and Furiosa can just try and move on.

Toast does yell at her, but her words are not eaxtly what Furiosa expected. “What the hell is wrong with me??”

“What…?” Furiosa has no idea how to respond to that, which doesn’t really matter because Toast just keeps talking over her.

“Angharad, I understand. I mean she’s beautiful and…splendid. And Capable was scared about things with Nux. But then you went after Dag and Cheedo, and they already have each other…”

“I didn’t go after them.” She has no idea why she feels the need to clarify this, but it seems suddenly important that Toast knows that she’s not trying to come between the sisters.

“…Why not me? Why don’t you ever touch me like you do with them?” She is actually shouting at her now, and Furiosa realizes how much it’s taking for Toast to say this.

She should tell her that she wanted to, that she still wants to. That she was scared to mess things up, that whatever this is between them is too important and she couldn’t risk making the wrong move. But all that comes out is, “You never asked.”

“Did they have to ask?” It comes out with a bitter edge to it - not quite jealousy, but hurt all the same.

She answers truthfully,“yes.”

Toast visible deflates at her words. Furiosa may not be able to tell her how much she had wanted Toast to ask her, but at least she seems to realizes why she needed her to. The silence is heavy between them, as the gravity of her words settles in.

“What if I asked?” Toast’s tone is neutral now, but her expression is one of careful hope.

“Are you asking me to?” Furiosa’s response is equally restrained, attempting to hide her anticipation of the other woman’s response.

“I’m asking you what you want.”

Furiosa sees in Toast a mirror of her own inner struggle - for so long she has been given nothing and now she no longer knows how to ask for what she wants, what she needs. The real question hangs in the air, unspoken. Furiosa answers it as best she can by closing the distance between them, standing near enough that there’s no mistaking her intentions. Toast hesitates for a single moment before rushing up to meet her with a bruising kiss, which Furiosa returns with equal force.

There’s no more need for words here. Furiosa presses the smaller girl against her wall, bending down to meet her lips more fully. She tangles her good hand into Toast’s short locks, deepening their kiss. Toast’s own arms are wrapped around her middle, fingers gripping at her back as if to hold her in place. Not that Furiosa has any notion of leaving now that she finally has the girl in her arms.

Toast’s kiss is nearly punishing in its intensity - biting at Furiosa’s lips as fingers dig into her shoulders. Furiosa just moans in response, wrapping her metal arm around Toast’s back to encourage her. Assured that Furiosa isn’t planning on going anywhere, that she wants this just as much, Toast finally eases up a little. The kiss is still just as powerful but it loses that edge of desperation that had made it almost painful.

Furiosa welcomes the lingering roughness. It feels real to her in a way that soft and gentle sometimes don’t. Toast seems to feel the same, growling a little into their kiss when Furiosa’s arm tightens around her. She makes even better sounds when Furiosa tugs carefully at her hair, tilting her head back so that she can drags her lips down Toast’s neck. She shudders in Furiosa’s hold when she allows her teeth to scrape against the delicate skin there, moaning as Furiosa shifts over to nip at her earlobe.

Toast doesn’t remain idle during all of this, hands slipping down to tug at the belts around Furiosa’s middle. She’s more than a little distracted though, and Furiosa has to reach down to help her. Together they manage to free her from the mess of buckles and extra fabric that are currently in their way. Toast takes immediate advantage of this new freedom, slipping her hands up Furiosa’s shirt to run blunt nails down her spine. Furiosa ends up biting her a little less gently than she intended at the sensation, but Toast doesn’t seem to mind at all. Toast repeats the gesture several more times but Furiosa just licks soothingly at the small bruise she’s left.

When their mouths meet again it’s softer now, if no less intense. Toast’s hands slide down Furiosa’s back until they're gripping her ass, nearing drawing a yelp out of the taller woman. She can feel Toast grinning against her lips, and takes her revenge by sliding a thigh between the other girl’s. Toast’s smug grin is interrupted by a full-fledged moan, and the hands at her backside grip more firmly in response. Furiosa can feel the heat of her even through the rough fabric of their pants as Toast grinds against her thigh, warmth spreading through her own core in answer.

Furiosa eventually breaks their kiss to tug Toast’s shirt over her head, relishing the gasp that escapes her lips as her bare back meets the cool wall. Furiosa’s eyes are locked on Toast’s chest, watching as her nipples tighten in reaction to the sudden change in temperature. How could she have ever demanded that Toast cover up? She’s perfect like this, all creamy brown skin and soft, pert breasts. Her hand is immediately drawn to the nearest of them, tracing around the underside before thumbing across the peaked nipple. Toast gasps again, prompting Furiosa to repeat the gesture on either side. After several more minutes of exquisite torture, Toast finally snaps.

Despite her small frame, Toast is surprisingly strong. She easily presses Furiosa back towards the bed, shoving her onto the mattress when they reach it. But her touch immediately gentles as she relieves Furiosa of her prosthetic, removing each component with slow care. Furiosa has never let anyone else help her with this before, but it feels like a natural extension of the way Toast is taking her completely apart right now, stripping away all of her barriers.

Afterwards, she finally pulls off Furiosa’s top, teasing at the muscles of her stomach before sliding up to cup her breasts. She attacks both at once, alternately flicking and tugging at her nipples. Furiosa arches up into her touch, unable to keep herself from moaning when Toast brings her mouth down to join her fingers. Toast’s retaliation is complete when she bring a leg over Furiosa’s thigh, grinding their hips together once again. This time they are both pressed against one another, though their pants are still in the way. Toast continues for a few more minutes before finally pulling away, reaching down to tug off Furiosa’s boots.

This task complete, she moves back up to work at the belts at Furiosa’s waist. Furiosa offers her help again but Toast just smacks her hand away this time. She manages to undo the buckle as well as the fastenings of Furiosa’s pants by herself before she becomes too impatient. Not even bothering to try and remove her pants any further, she simply slips her hand beneath the waistband, meeting with bare skin. Furiosa nearly jumps at the sensation, moaning as Toast’s rough fingers slide through her curls to cup her heated flesh.

There’s not much room to work here, but it’s enough for Toast to grind her palm against her, fingers sliding through her slick folds with each motion. Furiosa tries not to think about the number of times lately she’s been in this same position, her own hand thrust down into her pants trying desperately to get even a small taste of this feeling. It can’t even begin to compare to this, Toast’s palm pressed against her and the woman herself hovering like a goddess above her. Toast finally manages to slip a single finger inside her and it’s barely enough but fuck it’s been so long…

Toast observes each of her reactions, finding what elicits the best responses before ducking down to kiss at Furiosa neck. Maintaing the rhythm of her finger, she bites down at the juncture of shoulder to mark her in a way that mirrors Toast’s own neck. Furiosa is no longer entirely in control of the sounds that escape her lips, or the way her hips rise up to meet Toast’s hand. Far too soon the palm grinding tight circles against her clit and the shallow thrust of Toast’s fingers bring her almost to the edge. When Toast moves up to kiss her once more, pressing her chest against Furiosa’s arm, she thinks about how they could have had this before, how they could have this every night from now on. It’s this thought that finally brings her over - the relief of it startling in its intensity after so many nights of frustration.

When she comes back down she finds Toast smiling softly at her, a rare honest smile, not her usual smirk. Furiosa could definitely get used to this. But they’re nowhere near finished now, as she’s reminded by press of Toast’s hips against her thigh. She manages to flip their positions in a single motion, surprising Toast with the suddenness of the exchange. It’s easy enough to slip out of her own pants with one arm, but it’s a little trickier to remove the rest of Toast’s clothing by herself. Toast moves to help her, and soon she’s completely bare beneath her. Furiosa spends several moments just staring down at the girl, admiring her petite frame, the firm muscles hidden beneath silky skin. She realizes how perfectly Toast fits against her - endearingly short where she has always been too tall, endlessly soft where she is rougher. She bends down to kiss at each spot that has taunted her every night Toast lay at her side in barely more than her underwear.

She nips at a sharp collarbone, kisses across her perfect breasts, and dips her tongue into her bellybutton. Toast is left squirming beneath her, nearly begging her to do something, anything more than this teasing. Furiosa takes pity on her, sliding her hand down to run a single finger along Toast’s sex. Toast almost knees her in response, and she gently eases Toast’s legs out of the way before continuing. She keeps her touch light at first, gauging each reaction. Toast’s whole body is shaking by the time she finally presses in a single finger. It’s much easier to thrust without the barrier of pants in the way, and Toast allows her legs to fall open in response.

Her thumb slips up to circle Toast’s clit and she shudders appealingly beneath her at the touch. She slips a second finger in beside the first, moaning at the slight stretch. Furiosa supports herself on what remains of her left arm to capture Toast’s lips again, swallowing up each small sound she makes. Toast’s arms reach up to wrap around her, once again drawing her nails down Furiosa’s spine. A shiver runs though her, and she considers teasing the girl a little more for this, but she’s been so patient for far too long. So Furiosa maintains a steady pace, curling her fingers into the girl as her hips rise to meet her hand. She feels an answering pulse in her own core, but her focus is enirely on Toast now. They quickly build a rhymth between them, Furiosa’s hand and Toast’s hips working in tandem to bring on her release. When Toast finally comes it’s beautiful, and Furiosa pulls back from their kiss just in time to catch the blissed out expression on her face.

Toast takes a few moments to revel in her climax before she’s leaning up to press surprisingly chaste kisses against Furiosa’s lips. The small movements of her hips are less innocent, however, shifting restlessly to encourage Furiosa to continue. And she does - watching Toast fall apart just once isn’t nearly enough to satisfy her. She’s not sure she’ll ever get enough of this. She leans back onto her heels to watch the smaller girl writhe beneath her, hips once again rolling off the bed to meet her thrusts. A leg moves up to wrap around Furiosa’s back, trying to draw her closer but only spreading her soft thigh even further apart.

Having Toast so open before her is impossible to resist, and though the girl whimpers at the loss of Furiosa’s fingers they are quickly replaced by her mouth. Toast nearly screams at the feeling of Furiosa’s tongue against her, as she broadly laps at the wetness she finds there. She earns a steady stream of moans when her tongue dips into the emptiness left by her fingers, but the best reaction is when she draws Toast’s clit into her mouth. A steady stream of curses pour from Toast’s lips, and she only gets noisier when Furiosa brings her fingers back to join her mouth.

Toast’s hands scramble for purchase in Furiosa’s close-cropped hair, holding her head firmly in place as the other woman tries not to worry about breathing. Toast swears beautifully when she once again curls her fingers, her entire body trembling as Furiosa quickens her pace. Furiosa throws her other arm across Toast’s stomach to hold her hips in place, but they still try to buck towards her mouth and fingers. She can feel that Toast getting close once again, and the barest hint of teeth against her clit are all that’s needed to bring her fully over the edge, coming even more forcefully than the first time. Furiosa eases her through it, holding her close as she shudders in the aftershocks.

Toast drags her up for a real kiss this time, licking the taste of herself from Furiosa’s mouth and chin. Finally sated, Toast arranges them so that she can curl up against Furiosa side, wrapping her arms and legs around the other woman. And it doesn’t feel suffocating, or defenseless, or any of the things Furiosa had imagined before. It feels like coming home. And for the first time, Furiosa asks her to stay.