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coax the cold right out of me

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Sasha isn’t quite sure how she let it come to this. She’s got Becky’s arms around her, and her arms are around Becky, and this really, really isn’t how two people who are supposed to be bitter rivals should be behaving. If Naomi and Tamina found her like this, found her here, with Becky, curled up together on the floor to keep warm, Sasha doesn’t even want to know what they would think.

Or, two people who once meant the whole world to each other. As much as Sasha tries to deny it, she knows it’s true. Becky loved her, and she loved back just as much. It was more than just working together in the ring, more than just making sure she had someone on her side while she chased after the title. It was more than their quick, not-quite-fumbled exchanges in the showers after matches or a long day of training at the performance centre; more than when they got to take their time and draw it out because there was a bed or a couch rather than hard, cold tiles and every chance of slipping; more than Sasha’s irrepressible smirks when Becky made that sound that told her she was almost, almost there…

No, it was always so much more than all that. It was real, tangible affection. More than Sasha thought she’d find in such a cutthroat industry, especially when she was always so focused on the profit and the prize and trying not to let herself get too close to people unless they’d end up being useful.

She’d done that with Becky, but then it grew, grew into far more than Sasha ever expected and she couldn’t take it. She convinced herself that Becky was the same, that the only reason she stuck with Sasha was to get to that title, the title that became Sasha’s title. And of course Becky was after it, everybody was after it, but she wasn’t trying to be underhanded about it. She could have been if she’d wanted to, but she wasn’t. She wasn’t because it was Sasha.

Sasha presses her head against Becky’s shoulder a little more. She needs to stop thinking about this. Needs to stop thinking about their past, their could-have-beens, and to just get through this cold, cold night with no more dwelling on any of it.

“You feeling a bit warmer now?” Becky asks her, breaking the silence they’ve been in since Sasha resigned to Becky’s suggestion that just maybe the thing to do when they’re stuck in the arena, snowed in and with broken heating, is to try and generate some more body warmth by sharing it.

Sasha nods her answer, just a slight bow of her head that would surely go unnoticed had Becky not been looking for it.

“Good,” Becky continues, voice soft. She just leaves it at that: no added spur-of-the-moment pun to make Sasha sigh and roll her eyes and – deep down, at least – smile.

“We can – we can let go of each other now,” Sasha tells her, squirming a little, hating how much she doesn’t actually want this to stop. How much she thinks she might never want to let go.

Becky hums, loosening her arms just a little.

“Do you want me to?”

Silence, just as before, but this one is different. This one is Becky waiting for an answer.

“No,” Sasha admits, glancing down and away from Becky’s gaze. “I don’t.”

“Well,” – and there it is: the smile in Becky’s voice, and something that almost sounds like relief – “I don’t want to, either.”

Sasha lets herself smile, too – still not where Becky can see, just into the crook of her neck – and tightens her hold. She’d like to believe she can keep herself as cold as the raging blizzard outside, but she knows – and worse, Becky knows – that it’s impossible.