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A Birthday to Remember

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Jameson University taught its students how to sneak, lie, and break into places and/or things that would help the D.E.B.S. bring down their prey. Yes, Jameson University taught its students a lot of useful skills, and as Amy Reynolds – formerly known as Amy Bradshaw, the Perfect Score, and the pride of the D.E.B.S. – skulked around the parking lot outside a Los Angeles area sports bar, she couldn’t help but smirk as she imagined Ms. Petri’s reaction to her current behavior.

She had not a doubt in the world that it would be worse than the time she blew off the Bureau Chief’s canned speech and ran off with Lucy Diamond during Endgame nearly two years ago.

Life with Lucy since that fateful night had been anything but dull, and she never once regretted her decision to abandon the DEBS and run off with the brunette. She was currently about halfway through the required coursework for a degree from Metáfora, the most prestigious art school in Barcelona, and though she was content with her studies, it hadn’t taken her long to miss the thrill of the chase that she used to experience as a DEB. She’d confessed as much to Lucy, and she had been not at all surprised when the brunette had admitted to missing the excitement of her previous profession as well. But, because Lucy had sworn to the DEBS that she would remain an upstanding citizen in exchange for them giving up on pursuing her, their options for reclaiming that high were limited. Sky diving and other such extreme sports, while thrilling, just didn’t give them the same adrenaline rush, and they eventually came up with the idea to try and out-do the other in essentially harmless pranks that would test the mettle of their old skills without running afoul of their agreement with the DEBS.

And she was determined that this prank was going to be the best yet.

She just hoped that her wife didn’t totally flip her shit about it. Because, if there was one thing on the planet that Lucy loved as much as her, it was the baby blue 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville that the former supervillain had retrofitted to include rocket launchers and a host of other not-entirely-legal aftermarket upgrades. The car sat unused most of the year, well protected in an obscenely expensive underground garage that boasted 24-hour armed guards; and every time they came back to Los Angeles Lucy lovingly pulled the custom cover from the vehicle, adoringly washed it by hand, and made up errands that ‘needed’ to be run just so that she’d have an excuse to drive it.

Because of this, it was the perfect target for Amy’s next prank and she grinned as she looked over the hood of the car at her accomplice that she’d selected to help her with the job. “Ready?”

“Oh, hell yeah,” Max replied, her smile even wider than Amy’s as she pictured what Lucy’s reaction would be when the brunette saw that her car wasn’t where she’d left it. She’d actually grown to like Lucy, and she couldn’t deny that the brunette was perfect for Amy in every way imaginable, but she was competitive enough to jump at any opportunity presented to prove herself the former supervillain’s better. And stealing her car, even if it wasn’t technically stealing because Amy was with her and the blonde had the key, was as good of an opportunity as anything else she'd managed to come up with.

“Let’s go,” Amy said, sliding the key she was holding into the lock and turning it first to the left and holding it for a count of two before she turned it quickly to the right, left, and right again, effectively disarming the alarm as she unlocked the car. If anyone tried to open the door without doing that, they would be sprayed with a bright purple dye that was incredibly difficult to wash off and the alarm would sound, bringing Lucy running.

Max cackled merrily as she watched Amy lean across the car to unlock the passenger door. She shot one last glance at the front door to the bar as she jumped inside, barely closing her door behind her before Amy tore out of the parking lot. “Your wife is gonna be pissed, Bradshaw!”

“It’s Reynolds,” Amy shot back with a smirk. “And… she totally is.”

“I know!” Max crowed, throwing her head back against the headrest as she kicked her feet excitedly. “This is awesome!”

Amy laughed and nodded as she sped through the midday traffic toward the freeway. The Westside was always a crowded, busy mess, but thankfully the bar Lucy and Scud favored was only a couple blocks from the 405. She wove through traffic, whipping around a Land Rover that was stopped in front of the Whole Foods with its hazards flashing, and she clicked her tongue happily as she spied the turn lane for the freeway.

“So, what’s the plan?” Max asked as Amy turned onto the 405 south. It was just before one o’clock in the afternoon so the freeway was actually moving, though not anywhere near the posted speed limit, and she knew by the way that Amy kept checking her watch that the blonde was on a schedule of some kind.

“I told Janet that we’d pick her up since hers and Scud’s condo is on the way. Dominique is on assignment in Paris and couldn’t get free, something about obligations and…”

“She has a hot piece of ass in her bed and doesn’t want to ditch him yet,” Max finished.

“Probably,” Amy agreed, laughing. If anything, Dominique’s hedonistic lifestyle had gotten markedly more extreme since the girl had graduated the Academy and been assigned a post in the Paris branch of operations. “Anyways, Scud’s passed the word onto a few of Lucy’s old friends, all of whom have found their way into town without alerting the authorities, and that’s it. Everybody should arrive at the house by eleven or so tonight, and Scud is going to try and keep Lucy off our tracks until after midnight when it’ll officially be her birthday.”

Max nodded and looked out the side window. “You do realize that there are easier ways to plan a surprise party than stealing your wife’s car, right?”

“I do,” Amy chuckled. “But this way is so much more fun.”

Max laughed and tipped her head in agreement. “And that’s why I love you, Bradshaw.”

+++/+++\+++

Lucy and Scud wandered out of the bar not long after the AC Milan v. Barca game went final, which just so happened to be about twenty minutes after Amy had taken off in the Caddy, and they both pulled up short when they approached the spot where they’d left Lucy’s car. Because the cranberry red Prius that was parked in the spot now most certainly wasn’t the car they had arrived in. Lucy immediately spun in a circle, looking for her car and thinking that she must have forgotten exactly where she’d parked it, but it wasn’t anywhere to be seen.

“What the hell?” Scud muttered, his brow furrowed as he tried to not laugh at his companion’s obvious confusion. He still thought that Amy was going to catch all kinds of hell for this stunt, but he was more than willing to play along because he still owed Lucy one from the time the brunette had tricked him into wearing a thong, tassels, and high heels in the middle of downtown Brussels during Pride weekend six years ago.

Lucy frowned and shook her head as she ran her right hand through her hair. “I didn’t hear the alarm, did you?”

“No. I upgraded the software last month so it would have sent an alert to your phone if the alarm had been tripped. Did you get anything?”

The former supervillain pulled her iPhone out of her back pocket and deftly unlocked it with a swipe of her thumb. A picture of her and Amy kissing greeted her, and she smiled in spite of their situation at her wallpaper. But, besides that, there was nothing to catch her eye. “No.”

“Can I see your phone?” Scud asked, holding his hand out expectantly.

Lucy immediately palmed the phone and held it close to her chest. “No. Why?”

“I’m not going to look at your super-secret porn stash, don’t worry,” Scud drawled, rolling his eyes. “Geez.”

“First of all,” Lucy drawled, rolling her eyes at her old friend, “we both know that I don’t keep my porn on my phone. And second of all, why do you need it?”

“Because I also installed a GPS tracker with the alarm so that if the car ever was stolen we would be able to follow the thieves and get it back.”

Lucy grinned and slapped her phone into his waiting hand. “You’re awesome.”

“I know,” Scud muttered, shaking his head. “See this icon?” He held the phone up for Lucy to see and pointed at an icon that looked like a sonar screen from a submarine. “This is your tracking program. Just open it up and…” His voice trailed off as he waited for the app to load. Once it did, it showed a blinking red dot moving south on the 405, and he did a celebratory fist pump. “Voila! Pretty sweet, huh?”

“Fucking genius,” Lucy agreed, snatching the phone out of his hand and peering intently at the screen. Her dark eyes hardened as she watched the progress of the dot and she smirked as the thrill of the chase began to course through her. Whoever it was that had stolen her car was in for a very rude awakening when she and her team caught up with them. “We need a car. Who do we have around still?”

Not at all surprised that Lucy was going to try and recover the vehicle herself, Scud said, “Jake and Tony are in Encino now, and I wanna say Mike is down in Long Beach. Everybody else kind of scattered after you made that deal with the DEBS.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Lucy muttered as she scrolled through the contact list on her phone looking for possible allies. “Anybody else? What about Ninotchka? Is she still around? I mean, I know we didn’t end up on the best of terms or anything, but there’s nothing in my contract with Petrie that says I can’t hire an assassin to do my dirty work…”

“Negative.” Scud shook his lead. “Last I heard, she was in Bucharest trying to audition for some ballet company there.”

“That’s right; she said something about that on that ridiculous blind date you tried to set up. Which was an epic fail, but then I met Amy so I guess I can forgive you.”

Scud rolled his eyes and waved at Lucy to get on with things already.

Lucy grinned at his waving hand as she slapped at it and asked, “What about MacPherson?”

  1. “Dead. Secret Service killed him.”          

“Damn,” Lucy muttered. She wasn’t really surprised because he was a twisted son of a bitch, but that still sucked. “Okay, so… then who?”

“How’s this – you call Enterprise and get them to pick us up, I’ll make a few calls and see who I can round up since you’re not supposed to be in direct contact with anyone from your less-than-legal life before you fell in lurrrrrve with The Perfect Score.”

“Shut up,” Lucy chuckled.

“You shut up,” Scud retorted.

“Oh, real mature, big man.”

“Hey! You started it!”

“Enough!” Lucy bellowed. “Call around, find some guys to help us hunt down whatever douchebag stole my car. I’ll find us a rental.”

Scud nodded and pulled out his phone. “And what do you propose we do once we catch them?”

Lucy smirked. “We hand them over to Mad Max, of course.”

“You know that she said she’ll shoot you if she ever heard you call her that again,” Scud warned as he lifted his phone to his ear.

“It’s true though,” Lucy retorted.

Scud grinned. “Totally. Just don’t tell Janet I said that.”

“Deal.” Lucy grinned. “Besides, you know Max will go apeshit for the chance to beat the hell out of somebody without getting in trouble for it.”

Scud pursed his lips thoughtfully and nodded. “Yeah… she’s kinda scary like that.”

+++/+++\+++

After retiring from a life of crime and establishing a booming sailboat rental business in Barcelona, Lucy had decided to lease her Evil Lair to a small, up and coming tech company so that the building didn’t sit empty. Of course, since she owned the property outright and was making pure profit off the rent, that meant she and Amy were able to buy a moderately sized house on the beach in California to serve as their home away from home when they traveled. The house wasn’t as extravagant as its neighbors, in the ways that could be seen and measured, anyway, but it was just the two of them and the three bedroom, two and a half bath, three-story property on the canals of Venice was more than large enough to suit their needs.

Yes, by all outward appearances, the Reynolds’ Los Angeles home was completely unremarkable. And they wanted it to look that way. Even though they had both abandoned their previous professions to pursue a life together, the former spy and the former supervillain knew better than most what dangers lurked in the night and Lucy had made sure to protect their home against them all. Laser beam sensors crisscrossed the perimeter of the house in a random, shifting design that was much more effective than the plaid version that the D.E.B.S. had on their buildings, and if any of those sensors were tripped, there were a multitude of fates that would await the perpetrator. Gas designed to knock the intruder out, poisoned darts (Lucy was quite protective of their armory that was housed in a small room that could only be accessed through Amy’s third-floor studio), blinding strobe lights, and the list went on and on.

So, as Amy and Max rolled up to the house, the blonde stopped in the middle of the driveway and pointed a special remote at the hidden sensor that was tucked into a light to the left of the garage door. If anybody tried to drive any closer to the door without doing so, they would find all of their car electronics shut off by an EMP device. Scud had ‘enhanced’ the device used by police so that it also locked the car doors so that whoever was inside the car would remain there until the police arrived.

“Alright,” Amy said as she handed the remote to Max. “I need to get everything ready for later, so have fun driving around and making Lucy chase her tail for a while.” She smiled at the malevolent chuckle that escaped her old friend and shook her head. “Just don’t come back here until after midnight. I don’t want Lucy’s surprise party ruined by her showing up too soon.”

“Geez, Bradshaw,” Max drawled, rolling her eyes. “Give me some credit here. Who’s the best field operative in the International Bureau?”

“You are.”

Max literally puffed up with pride as she nodded. “That’s right. So don’t worry about me, I got this. You go get everything ready for Lucy.”

“I…” Amy’s voice trailed off and she smiled at the woman beside her. “I appreciate you doing this.”

“She’s good for you, Amy,” Max said in a gentle tone. “Now, enough with this emotional shit and get out of the goddamn car, Agent.”

Amy smirked and snapped off an incredibly sloppy salute that made Max groan. She laughed as she opened the driver’s side door and climbed out. She stood next to the car as Max slid across the bench seat and leaned down to poke her head through the window as Max made herself comfortable behind the wheel. “Scud will be acting as Lucy’s navigator. He’ll text me if they start getting too close to you and I’ll give you a call to let you know. Now, you do know that this is Lucy’s baby, right?”

“I won’t crash the car,” Max retorted.

“You better not. Even I won’t be able to keep her away from you if you do,” Amy warned with a wink before she turned on her heel and took off into the garage.

+++/+++\+++

Lucy laughed maniacally as she tore out of the rental lot, the tires of their rented Mini Cooper squealing against the pavement. “I’ve always wanted to drive one of these!”

Scud groaned and tightened his grip on the Oh Shit handle above the door. “And you didn’t just buy one, why?”

“I needed something to tow boats with in Spain and Amy refuses to take her driver’s license test there because she still can’t parallel park, so she doesn’t need a car,” Lucy said matter-of-factly. “This is just like The Italian Job, isn’t it? So badass…”

“Just keep it shiny side up,” Scud muttered as she took a corner on two wheels. “Gimme your phone.”

“Why?”

“Damn it, Lucy! Do you want to find your goddamn car or not?!”

“Oh, right,” Lucy murmured sheepishly, shooting him an apologetic smile as she dug her phone out of her pocket and handed it over to him. “Hopefully Amy won’t call while we’re out. She always seems to know when I’m lying about something and she’ll flip her shit if she knows that we’re chasing down whoever it was that stole my car instead of calling the police.”

Scud grinned. He knew for a fact that Amy was planning on checking in with them several times during the afternoon and evening just to make Lucy sweat. “Fingers crossed,” he drawled as he pulled up the tracking app and studied the screen to make sure that Max was on the move. He knew by the time displayed on the car stereo that Amy should already have been dropped off at the house – and he was pleased to see that Lucy’s car was currently driving up the 110 into downtown LA. That route would give her the most options of where to go next and it would give him plenty of choices for ways to get Lucy lost. “Right… I got ‘em. They’re in LA. Um… take the 405 south to the 110.”

Lucy nodded thoughtfully as she calculated how much time they’d lose if she dropped by her house for a minute. “Do you think we should swing by the house to pick up the extra charger for my phone? I also left my favorite gun in the safe there and…”

“You are not shooting anybody!” Scud shouted, looking completely scandalized.

“I know that,” Lucy grumbled.

“Good. Now, while you were signing all the paperwork for the rental, I managed to get in touch with Jake. He and Tony are going to come to us once we have a location. Mike is, unfortunately, in Alaska this week on some kind of a job.”

“Alaska? Guns, probably,” Lucy said knowingly.

“Yeah. Anyways, Jake said he’d call around; see if he couldn’t track down any of the other guys, but it might be just the four of us for the takedown. Turn here.” Scud pointed at the onramp for the freeway. He had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing at the growl that rumbled in Lucy’s throat when she saw the line of cars waiting at the meter. Perfect, he thought. This’ll just give Max more time to get away.

Lucy drummed her fingers on the stick shift as she rocked the car back and forth, getting more comfortable with the release point of the clutch. “You never answered me about swinging by the house.”

He made a small noncommittal sound as he turned to look at Lucy, and he couldn’t help but grin at the way her brow was furrowed in concentration as she stared out the windshield at the cars in front of them. He recognized that look; it was the one that she got whenever she was chasing something she really wanted. If he wasn’t under strict orders from Amy – who, to be honest, he thought was even scarier than Lucy and Max combined – to keep Lucy away from home for the day he would have said yes because it would let Max get further away from them, but he didn’t want to face the wrath of Amy (and, thereby Janet, because she was supposed to be helping Amy set up). “Um… probably not. I don’t think we wanna waste that kind of time. We can always stop at a Verizon store or something and pick one up if we need it.”

“But what about my gun?”

“You are not shooting anybody!”

“But it’s good for intimidation!” Lucy argued. “You know as well as I do that I’ve never actually shot anybody!”

“You shot Bobby in the leg after you and Amy took off after Endgame,” Scud reminded her with a haughty look as they finally inched forward to the light.

“Yeah, but he’s a dick and he totally deserved that,” Lucy said, grinning as the meter light changed to green and she was able to race onto the freeway. “Besides, it was only a graze and you have to admit that he looked pretty ridiculous crying like a little girl about it.” She raised her voice to a pitch that no grown man should be able to hit and cried, “My leg! Oh! My leg! She shot me! I’m gonna die!”

Scud laughed and held on tight as Amy whipped through traffic, squeezing through spaces that they really shouldn’t have fit through, to get to the carpool lane that was, predictably, moving the fastest. “Yeah, that was pretty funny.”

“I know, right?” Lucy chuckled.

He nodded and, deciding that the mention of Amy was the perfect segue to his playing the wife card, he said, “Speaking of Amy… didn’t you said that she made plans for you guys tonight?”

Lucy stopped laughing as she remembered her wife’s plans. “Oh fucking hell. She did. I totally forgot. Something about a pre-birthday dinner or something. Goddamn it. She’s gonna be pissed.”

“When were you supposed to be home?” Scud asked, playing along as he watched Max’s progress. The D.E.B. had just turned north on the 101.

The former supervillain groaned and glanced at the clock. It was now a little after two in the afternoon. “Six.”

“On a scale of one to blowing up Australia, how pissed will she be if you’re late?”

“Eh.” Lucy hedged. “Probably blowing up Australia… do you think she’d just blow up Australia instead of taking it out on me?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Too bad. I’ve never liked their attitudes.”

“Think you should call her?”

“Nah,” Lucy shook her head. “If we can’t get the car back and get me home in time, I’ll give her a call. Otherwise… no point pissing off the wife for something she’ll never know about, right?”

+++/+++\+++

Back at the house, Amy grinned as she surveyed the decorated room. The blue and yellow streamers were a little much, she had to admit, but she wanted Lucy’s birthday to be especially festive since it was the first one that they would be celebrating with their friends instead of alone. Not that she didn’t also have a little something planned for when they were alone, but she knew that Lucy had given up a lot to be with her and she wanted to give her wife a fun night (or early, early morning, anyways) with her friends that she hadn’t seen in a while.

She glanced at the clock on the oven as Janet bustled about in the kitchen getting some of the food ready for later and she grinned as she reached for her phone. It was almost six, the time Lucy was ‘supposed’ to be home, and she knew that it was time to turn up the heat on her wife. The call went through and Scud answered on the third ring, sounding appropriately wary, and she made a mental note to commend him later on his acting skills. Because she knew that Lucy always had the speaker on her phone set to full volume, she made sure to imbue her own voice with more than a hint of annoyance as she said, “Scud… is my wife with you?”

“Um, yeah. Hold on, Amy,” Scud said. Amy had to bite her lip to keep from laughing as she heard him tell Lucy, “It’s your wife and she sounds pissed.”

“Hi, honey!” Lucy’s entirely too chipper voice greeted her.

“What are you doing?” Amy asked, feigning anger even as she smiled at the picture of her and Lucy on the deck of their sailboat, The Evil Lair, off the coast of Greece that was framed and hanging on the wall in the family room.

Lucy cleared her throat nervously and Amy had to cover her mouth to stifle her laugh. “Um… driving around with Scud.”

“Okay,” Amy drawled. “And… you were planning on coming home soon, right? Because I made that reservation at the Little Door for eight and it’s going to take us some time to get up to the Westside.”

“I totally didn’t forget about that,” Lucy said quickly. “I just… traffic’s crazy, baby. I’ll try and get there but… I might be a little late.”

“How late?” Amy pressed, shaking her head at Janet who was jumping up and down with her hands over her mouth so that her laughter wouldn’t be heard over the phone. “Like… do I need to cancel the reservation?”

“Would you mind?” Lucy asked hesitantly.

Amy smiled. “Not at all.”

“Aww, thank you,” the former supervillain breathed.

“And I’ll even put some fresh sheets onto the bed in the guest room for you,” Amy said and, without giving Lucy time to respond, disconnected the call. “God that was fun!”

“She’s going to be terrified that she’s made you mad,” Janet said, smirking at the blonde across the large kitchen island where she was arranging platters of food for later while the last batch of cupcakes baked in the oven.

“I’ll make it up to her later,” Amy assured her.

+++/+++\+++

“That… did not go well,” Lucy muttered as she handed the phone back to Scud. They were currently winding their way across Mulholland Drive in pursuit of her Caddy that was, by Scud’s last estimate, about half an hour ahead of them.

“How not well?” Scud asked, even though he’d been able to hear Amy’s part of the conversation perfectly and knew exactly how pissed the blonde hand sounded. She really was the perfect liar.

Lucy sighed and shifted down into third gear as she made a loud exploding sound.

“That’s not good,” Scud murmured.

“We’ll have to stop and pick her up some flowers or something,” Lucy said.

“Right… because that’ll get you out of the dog house,” Scud said sarcastically.

“Well, what else am I supposed to do?!”

“Go home?”

Lucy shook her head and took the next curve at twice the posted speed, running the RPMs up near the red as she accelerated out of the turn. “No. We’re finishing this.”

“Even if you have to spend the next month in the guest room?”

Lucy swallowed thickly and said, with much less conviction, “Yeah.”

+++/+++\+++

Another five and a half hours passed with Scud and Lucy chasing the former supervillain’s precious Caddy through the hills and freeways of Southern California; and Lucy was getting close to admitting that, perhaps, they’d be better off giving up the chase, reporting the car as stolen, and hoping that if the police recovered it that they wouldn’t examine it too closely and discover all of its ‘accessories’.

“I am so dead,” Lucy muttered as she turned off of Temescal Canyon onto PCH and her phone began to ring again. “You don’t think she’d divorce me for this, do you?”

Even though he knew it was all an act on Amy’s part and that Lucy really wasn’t in trouble with her, he couldn’t help but feel bad for the brunette because she was so obviously depressed after a day of fruitless searching compounded by the presumed ire of her wife. “I don’t think she’ll divorce you,” he assured her.

“Well, we’ll see about that, huh,” Lucy murmured as she finally answered her ringing phone. “Hey, baby. We’re on our way home now.”

“Oh, so you’re finally coming home to your wife? How kind of you.”

“I’m sorry,” Lucy apologized, wincing slightly at the vitriol in her wife’s tone.

Scud swallowed thickly and looked out his window so that he wasn’t looking at the completely broken expression on Lucy’s face. She was near tears and he was about ready to tell her everything just so that she’d stop worrying.

“Do I even want to know what you two were doing?”

“Um… somebody stole the Caddy and we were trying to track them down,” Lucy explained.

“And you couldn’t tell me this before, because… why?”

Lucy licked her lips and shook her head. “I dunno, baby. Am I really in the guest room tonight?”

The obvious pain in Lucy’s voice cracked Amy’s determined resolve to play angry until Lucy got home, and she sighed as she said, “We’ll talk when you get home. Just… come home, Luce.”

“I will,” Lucy swore, her grip on the steering wheel tightening as she fought to hold back her tears. “We’re at Temescal and PCH, so we should be home soon.”

+++/+++\+++

Amy sighed and rubbed a hand over her face as she slipped her phone into the back pocket of her jeans. She wandered slowly out of the guest room on the first floor that she’d gone into to call Lucy one last time, and forced herself to smile as she was met by Janet’s concerned gaze. “They’re on their way home now.”

“And you’re feeling bad that you made her feel bad,” Janet said knowingly. “She’ll forgive you, you know. Once she realizes that it was all a game so that you could keep her out of the house so you could set all this up, she’ll get over it.”

“I know, I just…” Amy’s voice trailed off. “I know.” She took a deep breath and shook her head as her phone rang again. “That’s Max,” she told Janet as she pulled her phone out of her pocket. “Hey, Brewer.”

“Bradshaw,” Max drawled in a smug tone. “You all ready for me? Because I’m like ten minutes out.”

“Yeah. They’re about twenty minutes away so that’ll be perfect. The alarm is off, so just pull into the garage when you get here. I don’t want them pulling up and seeing the car in the driveway.”

“Will do,” Max said. “Brewer, out.”

Amy shook her head at Max’s antics, knowing that the girl was feeling smug about evading Lucy all day, and smiled. “Right… well, Max is the last one. Everybody else is here. So... let’s get this thing started.”

“You want everybody in the great room?” Janet asked.

Amy look around at the people gathered in the great room, kitchen, and out on the patio, and nodded. “That will work.”

+++/+++\+++

The front porch light shone brightly as Lucy pulled up to the curb in front of her house, and she took a some measure of relief in the fact that Amy had at least turned the light on for her. Sighing despondently, she killed the engine and leaned forward to rest her head against the steering wheel for a moment to gather her courage. She offered up a silent prayer that she wouldn’t find a completely irate Amy when she got inside, and she groaned as she sat up and reached for the door handle. “Time to get this over with,” she muttered, glancing over at Scud. “You wanna take this car home and we can return it in the morning?”

Scud nodded. “Sure. You want me to come in with you?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Lucy murmured. While having a witness might dampen Amy’s anger for a while, she’d still have to face the music when he left and she wasn’t sure her nerves could take much more of not knowing exactly how pissed Amy was at her. “Thanks for your help today, man.”

“No problem. Look, call me later if you need to, okay?”

Lucy licked her lips and nodded. Just the idea of having a friendly voice available made her feel a little bit better about what she was about to face. “Yeah. Thanks, man.”

“Not a problem. I’m sure it won’t be that bad, just get up there and get it over with.”

“Uh huh,” Lucy murmured as she climbed out of the car. She smiled in spite of herself when Scud wrapped her up in a light hug as they passed, and she sighed as she stepped up onto the curb to watch him leave.

Knowing that Lucy wasn’t going to go inside until he was gone, Scud smiled and waved at her before he started the engine and pulled away from the curb to make a quick lap around the block so that the brunette would think that he’d really left. He just hoped that Lucy didn’t kick his ass for being a part of it all, once the truth was revealed. Amy would be in the clear, there was no way Lucy could ever remain angry with the former DEB, but he could very well be getting the ass-kicking of the decade for leading her around all day letting her think that she was in trouble with her wife.

The little red taillights of the Mini disappeared around the corner and Lucy drew a shaky breath as she turned on her heel to make her way up the path. She pulled her keys out of her pocket as she approached the door and her brows lifted in surprise when she found that the door was already unlocked. She stepped carefully inside, noting that the foyer was lit only by the small Tiffany lamp on the hall table, and toed off her shoes as she closed the door after herself. “Hey… Amy?”

“Kitchen,” Amy’s voice answered her and Lucy let out a soft sigh as she steeled herself to meet her fate.

Her footsteps were silent as she made her way down the tiled hall, and she blinked in surprise when she saw Amy sitting at the kitchen island with only the light above the stove left on to see. “Sweetie?” she murmured hesitantly.

Amy smiled to herself before she schooled her expression and spun around on her stool to look at Lucy. Her heart seized in her throat at the broken, pleading expression on her wife’s face and she sighed as she slipped off the chair to walk over to where Lucy was standing. She’d been planning to play the angry card a little bit longer, but she just couldn’t do it. Not with Lucy looking at her like she was about to cry. She smiled reassuringly at the brunette as she gave the signal to everybody watching. “Hey.”

Lucy was about to say something to try and explain everything that had happened, but before she could even begin to formulate a sentence, the lights all turned on and she was bombarded by a deafening, “SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LUCY!!!”

Amy watched as understanding dawned on Lucy’s face and she couldn’t hold back any longer as she leapt forward to wrap her arms around her wife’s neck and hold her close. “I’m sorry that I scared you, sweetie,” she whispered against her ear, just loud enough that her apology could be heard over the terrible rendition of Happy Birthday that the brunette was now being serenaded with. For as brilliant as everybody assembled was in their respective fields, singing wasn’t any of their fortes. “You are not in trouble and you do not have to sleep in the guest room,” she added quickly.

Suddenly weak from the nearly crippling feeling of relief that rushed through her, Lucy could only nod her understanding as she wrapped her arms around Amy’s waist and held the blonde tight. She swallowed thickly as she buried her face in the crook of Amy’s neck and she closed her eyes as she soaked in the familiar feeling of holding her wife in her arms. “You’re mean,” she muttered.

“I’m sorry,” Amy said, smiling as she held Lucy close. “I’m so sorry, baby. I just wanted it to be a surprise.”

“And you couldn’t have just told Scud to keep me out until a certain time?” Lucy asked, pulling back to look at her wife. “I was freaking terrified that you were going to leave me!”

“Actually,” Scud’s quiet voice interrupted them. “She did tell me to get you home at a certain time.”

“And before you totally flip your shit, Diamond,” Max spoke up as Lucy pulled away from Amy to look at them, “Amy and I took your car and you’ve been chasing my marvelous ass all afternoon. So, if you wanna flip your shit, do it with me. I can kick your skinny ass…”

Amy shot Max a warning glare as Lucy growled at the DEB, and she wrapped a tentative arm around her wife’s waist, hoping that the touch would calm her down. “Are you mad?”

Lucy took a deep breath and held it for a moment before she let it go slowly. “No. I’m not mad. So you stole my car?”

“Technically it’s my car too,” Amy murmured, smiling sweetly at her wife. She batted her lashes for emphasis as she added, “So… it was never really stolen.”

“And you knew that I would go looking for it on my own,” Lucy said.

“Well, yeah,” Janet drawled in a ‘duh’ tone of voice as she joined the group. “Like you’d ever let the police touch that thing?”

“And Janet was in on it too, perfect,” Lucy muttered. It was one thing to be duped by Amy and Scud – they were both more than adept at this particular game; but to be punked by Janet – sweet, innocent, sweater obsessed, not going to listen in on other people’s conversations even though she’s a freaking spy, Janet – that just was embarrassing.

Sensing that Lucy wasn’t really mad, Amy smiled and pulled the brunette into her so that she could whisper in her ear, “I promise I’ll make it all up to you later, baby.”

An expectant shiver rolled down Lucy’s spine at the husky tone of her wife’s voice and she nodded. Part of her wanted to sweep the blonde up into her arms and carry her straight off to bed, but the house was full of people and she knew that now wasn’t the time (no matter how badly she wished it were). So, instead of going cavewoman on her wife, she smiled at their friends that surrounded them, put just the right amount of steel in her eyes to make them all take a small step backwards in fear, and said, “You’re lucky Amy and I are heading back to Spain in three days so I won’t have time to get back at you all for this before then.”

Seeing the empty threat for what it was, Scud grinned and tipped his head at the French doors that were open to the patio where the brunette’s kegerator was built into her BBQ island. “Beer?”

“Hell yeah,” Lucy muttered, nodding. “Just, gimme a second,” she told him as she turned her attention back to Amy. She smiled adoringly at the blonde as she cradled her face in her hands and captured in lips in a slow, sweet kiss. “Two things.” She kissed her again.

Amy smiled and wrapped her arms around Lucy’s waist. “Hmm?”

“First… I love you. Second… when is everybody leaving so you can make this up to me?”

The blonde rolled her eyes as she leaned in and kissed the brunette softly. “I love you too. And before sunrise. I swear. Now, go enjoy your party, baby. A lot of these people had to fly in to make it,” she said, tilting her head indicatively at Lucy’s friend Mike who the brunette believed to be in Alaska, as well as a handful of Lucy’s ‘guys’ from her badass master criminal days who wouldn’t have missed the celebration for the world. Lucy Diamond might have been on every Most Wanted list in the world at one point, but she was really a gentle soul with a good heart, and her people were incredibly loyal to her because of that.

“You all played me,” Lucy muttered, grinning as she kissed Amy again and she winked at the blonde as she pulled away. “I’m holding you to that promise of later, baby.”

Amy nodded. “You won’t be disappointed.”

+++/+++\+++

True to Amy’s word, everybody was gone by the time the eastern horizon was beginning to pink with the sunrise. Cleanup was left for a later time as they strolled hand-in-hand up the stairs to their bedroom, and Lucy sighed happily as she felt Amy’s lips brush against her cheek. “You do realize that I’m going to have to get you back for all this, right?”

Amy chuckled and nodded. “Yes, I kind of expect that. But, I’m hoping your birthday present takes some of the sting out of everything that happened so you don’t feel compelled to do anything quite this extreme.”

“Mmm,” Lucy purred, turning into Amy so that she could capture her lips in a slow, needy kiss. “What’s this present I keep hearing about?”

“That is something you don’t get until all of these-” Amy tugged at the brunette’s clothes “-are gone.”

“I like those kinds of presents,” Lucy said, smiling as she started working at the button to her pants.

“I know you do,” Amy murmured, her eyes twinkling with amusement as she watched Lucy tear her clothes off like they were on fire. Once the brunette was completely naked, she tilted her head at their bed and said, “Up you get.”

Lucy scampered onto the bed and laid back against the pillows with an expectant smile. “Like this?”

“Yep,” Amy said, winking at the brunette as she turned on her heel and walked toward the bathroom.

That… was not what Lucy had been expecting to happen next, and she lifted her head up to shoot a bewildered look at her wife. “Where you going?!”

“To get your present,” Amy said, shooting a mischievous smirk over her shoulder at the brunette. “Now, don’t move, and don’t touch anything – I promise I’ll take care of you once I’m back.”

The smoky sexiness in Amy’s voice made Lucy shudder and she swallowed thickly as she felt herself grow instantly wet and ready for the blonde’s touch. “Uhm… hurry?”

Amy chuckled and gave the brunette another saucy wink before she disappeared into the bathroom, making sure to close the door tight behind herself so that Lucy couldn’t see what she was doing.

Left to her own devices and wanting to abide by her wife’s wishes, Lucy dropped her head back onto the pillows and drummed her fingers restlessly on her stomach. She hated waiting for things she wanted and she really, really just wanted Amy on top of her, or beneath her, or inside her… she wasn’t picky, she just wanted her wife. It was her birthday and damn it she deserved some birthday sex after everything she’d been put through! Time seemed to inch by as she waited and she groaned in frustration. What was taking so long?!

“Amy!!” She called out, pushing herself up onto her elbows so that she could glare at the door that separated her from her wife.

The doorknob on the bathroom door began to turn and she licked her lips expectantly as it began to open. Slowly. Amy was obviously enjoying teasing her, and Lucy was about to holler again when her eyes landed on the toe of a high heel shoe that had just appeared in the gap. The door opened fractionally wider, enough for Amy to slip a little leg into view, and Lucy’s jaw fell open.

“Oh wow,” she breathed, transfixed by the sheer white stocking that her wife had put on. She licked her lips as she lifted her gaze higher, over the delicious curve of Amy’s thigh to the line of lace that marked the top of the stocking. The door swung open wider as she noticed the way the blonde’s garter claps shone bright silver in the light, and she whimpered softly as she traced the thin strip of fabric holding the stocking in place. Her heart sped as she realized that Amy wasn’t wearing a traditional garter belt (or panties), but just a tight corset made of some gauzy sheer fabric and lace that hugged her body like a second skin. A beautiful, sexy as fuck second skin. A length of ribbon laced up the front of the corset and Lucy followed its path with her eyes, completely entranced by the vision in front of her. The blonde’s breasts were pushed up tantalizingly by the equally see-through cups of the corset and Lucy moaned loudly at the sight of pale pink nipples straining mightily against the thin fabric. “Jesus.”

Pleased with her wife’s reaction to the outfit, Amy chuckled softly as she sashayed slowly into the bedroom. “Happy birthday, baby,” she purred, tilting her head to the side as she stopped at the foot of the bed and gazed down at her wife. She smiled at the way Lucy was already breathing hard and she felt a smug sense of satisfaction at the way the brunette’s dark nipples were already pebbled and waiting for her lips.

Lucy swallowed thickly, trying to find her voice, and croaked, “Wow.”

That had been the response Amy had been trying for, and the blonde chuckled softly as she ran her hands down her body, starting at her shoulders and the sliding down, around the outside of her breasts, and over the plane of her stomach. She let her fingers skim slowly across the sides of her mound, drawing Lucy’s attention to her naked sex, and she licked her lips as she watched the brunette’s eyes darken with need. She traced her fingers down the fabric of the garters until they brushed against the lace of her stockings before she brought her hands higher again, letting her fingers linger in all the places she knew Lucy would be dying to touch. “Do you like your present?”

Lucy nodded as a fresh wave of arousal crashed between her thighs and her nipples tightened almost painfully. She needed to touch. “Do I get to unwrap it?”

“Not yet.” Amy shook her head as she kicked off her heels and climbed slowly onto the bed, letting Lucy get a good eyeful of her breasts as she crawled up between her legs. “Eventually,” she promised, smiling as Lucy’s legs opened wider for her, showing her exactly how much her wife liked the outfit. “I get to have you first, though.”

“Oh god,” Lucy groaned as she reached down to thread her fingers through the blonde’s hair.

Amy chuckled and nodded as she dipped her head to run her tongue up the length of her wife’s sex and she moaned at the familiar taste that greeted her. Soft, swollen lips wrapped around her tongue as she ran it up and down through her wife’s folds, again and again, never pressing inside, always being careful to not touch the engorged bundle of nerves at her apex. At the moment, she wasn’t interested in bringing Lucy to orgasm. She simply wanted to tease her, make sure the brunette was eager and ready, and once she was certain that she had her right where she wanted, she pressed a single, light kiss to her clit before she pulled away.

A loud, entirely plaintive whimper fell from Lucy’s lips as she felt Amy’s mouth leave her and she tightened her hold on the blonde’s hair, desperate to keep her from moving away from where she needed her.

“Lucy,” Amy murmured, her voice both chiding and playful as she shook her head and continued on her slow path up the brunette’s body. Lucy’s hands dropped to the bed and she hummed her approval as she traced her tongue over the defined ridges of her wife’s abdominals, pausing every now and again to suck against the secret spots she knew drove the brunette wild. Lucy writhed beneath her as she moved slowly, continuously, excruciatingly, slowly higher and higher up her body until she was brushing her lips around the swell of brunette’s breast.

The feeling of Amy’s corset dragging over her stomach as the blonde sucked against her nipple drove Lucy absolutely mad with need, and her hands scrabbled across the bed, blindly searching for something to hold onto before they latched onto Amy’s ass. She dug her fingers into the firm globes as she tried to pull the blonde down into her and groaned, “Please!”

Amy nipped lightly at the brunette’s nipple and shook her head. “Not yet, baby,” she murmured, smiling as she covered the nipple she’d been tonguing with her hand and shifted to deliver similar attentions to its twin. The brunette’s hands on her ass began squeezing in a slow, needy rhythm and she moved with them, rocking forward and dragging her breasts across Lucy’s skin, knowing that the sensation would ratchet her need up even higher.

And, judging by the increasing volume of Lucy’s whimpers, moans, and groans, she was right.

A quiet, self-satisfied chuckle fell from her lips as she finally abandoned Lucy’s breasts to swoop up and capture the brunette’s lips in a deep, probing kiss. The hands on her ass tightened and pulled her in closer as their tongues stroked almost ruthlessly together, and she groaned when the need for air forced her to pull away. She had meant for this encounter to be slow, playful, and teasing, a gentle build-up to that euphoric flash of ecstasy, but their mutual desire was just too great to accommodate those plans.

“I need you,” Lucy whimpered, dragging her nails over the swell of Amy’s ass as she canted her hips up off the mattress, searching for some kind of friction that might give her some relief.

Amy’s breath hitched at the wanton need in Lucy’s voice and she nodded as she eased a hand between the brunette’s legs, stroking slowly through the silken warmth that greeted her. She lowered herself onto Lucy and was helpless to contain the breathy moan that tumbled from her lips as she felt the brunette’s legs lift to cradle her hips as she dragged her fingers heavily across the brunette’s clit.

Loving the way the brunette mewled and arched into her touch, Amy began rubbing tight, firm circles against the bundle of nerves. Lucy’s hips worked faster and more desperately against her as she teased the sensitive bud and she could tell by the almost frantic sound of her wife’s moans that the brunette needed more. And she was more than willing to give her that.

“Oh, God yes,” Lucy groaned as she felt two fingers tease her opening, stroking across it and pressing lightly against the ring of muscle with feinting thrusts. “Please, Amy,” she croaked, rolling her hips hard up into the blonde’s hand and trying to force her inside.

A long, drawn out moan was torn from her throat as she felt two long, thin fingers push inside her. Her hands shot up to grab onto the pillow beneath her head as Amy began thrusting with long, heavy strokes, pressing hard against the front of her channel and dragging over hidden ridges that made lights flash behind her eyes. The feeling of the heel of her wife’s palm rocking against her clit made her scream, and she was helpless to contain the desperate pleas that fell from her lips as she begged for Amy to take pity on her and make her come. She needed to come. She needed it more than anything and she cried out in frustration as the blonde refused to set a rhythm that would let her find her way to the promise land.

“You are so fucking beautiful,” Amy murmured as she thrust hard into Lucy before pulling out excruciatingly slowly. She could tell from the fluttering around her fingers that the brunette was close, and she wanted to look into her eyes when she finally sent her flying. “Look at me,” she husked, thrusting as hard as she could for emphasis.

Dark, desperate eyes landed on storm tossed blue and Lucy groaned. “Please, Amy. Please…” Her voice trailed off into a moan as Amy’s stroke finally, finally settled into a rhythm. “God… yes… baby,” she grunted, her fists tightening around the pillow under her head as she eagerly met each of the blonde’s thrusts. “Fuck… so good… so… goddamn… good.”

The familiar heat of her building orgasm began to spread through Lucy’s body, up her stomach and down into her thighs, and she screamed as she felt it begin to crest. “Oh god… please, Amy… please make me come… please make me come… please make me…” Her desperate cries trailed off into a low, rumbling moan of pleasure as her orgasm crashed through her.

Amy groaned softly at the sight and feeling of her wife coming undone and she gentled her stroke to ease Lucy through her orgasm. “Mmm… that’s it, sweetie,” she purred encouragingly as Lucy gasped and trembled beneath her. “God, do I love you.” She dipped her head and nuzzled the brunette’s cheek. “Happy birthday, baby,” she whispered once Lucy’s body finally relaxed around her.

Lucy groaned and wrapped her arms around Amy’s waist. “Love you,” she sighed. She licked her lips as she felt her wife’s fingers leave her and she moaned as she was finally able to pull the blonde down onto her.

“So… did you like your present?” Amy asked playfully as she felt Lucy’s hands begin to stroke up and down her back.

“Dunno,” Lucy murmured, smiling mischievously up at her wife as she slipped her fingers under the hem of the corset. “I haven’t unwrapped it yet.”

“Would you like to?” Amy purred, arching a brow at the brunette questioningly even though she already knew the answer.

Lucy nodded and, with a quick twist of her hips, flipped them over so that she was on top of the blonde. “I really, really would.”

Amy laughed and lifted her arms above her head as she gazed adoringly up at her wife. “Well, get on with it then, birthday girl.”

“Oh, I plan on it,” Lucy murmured, her smile wolfish as she reached for the ribbon that held the blonde’s corset together. “Just you wait.”

Finis.