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Contact lenses aren't much use after one's fifth or so mug of mulled wine.

Everything's colours, now, and movement. It works well for Ruby, in all honesty, because they've always had a rather fast-moving perception on things (or, as the doctors would say, ADHD, but call it what you will). The strings of lights tracing the walkway and houses and every other damn thing this time of year spin like streaks of brake signals on the highway, multicoloured and fading into hazy warmth. They whip past Ruby's eyes and burst through the dusting of snow at their feet like newborn faeries, guiding their wobbly steps from the back door. Sapphire's hand is searing in theirs, and she's making the white light from the strings of baubles wrapped around the decorations by the door fracture when she moves; she looks like some kind of deep blue disco ball, only a disco ball would have been envious of the large curve of her ass. They can't help watching it as she walks. In their defense, she's short enough that it's fairly close to the ground, and they've got to watch that anyway so as not to fall on their face.

The snow is dry for this time of year. Sapphire's college friends from afar never understand what they're talking about when they refer to it as such, but Ruby's shoes remain free from damp frost as they shuffle and stumble their way across the yard, and Sapphire's yet to wipe out on any ice hidden under the dusty mounds of frosted flakes, despite her high heels. They penguin-waddle across puddles of spilled beer and giggle together at their postures; Sapphire yanks Ruby's arm dangerously as they clear the stones of the walkway, and crushes their lips together in a way that can only be described as uncoordinated. They're acting like children, really – nothing about their wobbling or escape from the milling throng of people in the house can be considered mature, until their intake of alcohol is factored in. There's liquid poison in Ruby's stomach, and venom on their lips from the woman leading them away. She's had as much as they have – maybe more – and although she holds it better (since she's yet to trip on her own feet or screech quite as loudly as Ruby has), there's something about her that's become unhinged. She pivots on the slippery earth, shoes tapping out in harmony to the deep bass pounding through the building, and rolls her hips to dance. Her arms are loose on Ruby's neck and head hanging so her hair sways, wild and as frigid in shade as the cold world around them.

She mouths the words to the music, neck rolling, thick with liquor. Flaky snow glitters down from a tree branch jostled by wind, and shimmers upon her hair like it was born to be there. Sapphire glances up from underneath her frosted bangs, eyes so vibrant a blue that the shiny baubles decorating the mantle in the house would be jealous, and smiles so richly – so unlike her – that Ruby's heart momentarily forgets what its purpose is. Her cheeks have gone the colour of gingerbread, and they find themself suddenly very hungry. Ruby cups her jaw in what they hope is a smooth motion and peppers her with kisses with the same fervor as the beat from the stereo tickles their chests.

“Ru,” she laughs, her low voice squeaking between each press of their lips, “Ru-Ru.”

Warmth wells up in Ruby – maybe it's the alcohol coming back up their esophagus, or perhaps the feeling of hearing their mother's pet name for them on the breath of their beloved. Whatever the reason, it lights a fire in them, and enables movement in their limbs; they grasp at Sapphire's upper arms, grinning with a power they're surprised their fluttering gut can encourage, and press their kisses more tightly to her cheekbones. She's giggling frantically now. No one believes Ruby when they mention that Sapphire is ticklish, but her every sensitive cell stands at attention when the right touch is administered.

“R-Ruby,” she snorts, fingers brushing at the edge of their shirt, and then her voice takes a turn for the decidedly sultry as they leave an open-mouthed smooch just below her ear. Her muscles melt beneath their hands, and her hair tumbles like a silver curtain from her shoulders as she tilts her head to allow them more room. “Ru.”

And so, Ruby thinks, slamming Sapphire against the side of someone's shiny black SUV with much more force than intended because their liquor-infused brain took unkindly to their sudden movement, humanity's toxic beverage initiates another round of Questionable Decisions. The metal thunks musically at their contact, and splashes goosebumps across Sapphire's shoulders and arms like icy wildfire. She's buried her hands in their curls (and ruffling them despite how much work Ruby had had to put into taming the exasperating spirals into something semiformal), and they have to brace their forearms on either side of her to keep from face-planting into her chest. Not that that'd be an objectionable thing. Ruby's kisses along her jugular are becoming looser the more her pulse pounds against their tongue, and she wastes no time in lifting a thigh between their legs when their teeth nip at the curve between her shoulder and neck.

Part of Ruby wants to urge her to hush, because Sapphire's chest has begun to heave and her panting is louder than the deep base throbbing under their feet, but most of their sense has taken a swim in firewater and lost track of the virtuous and acceptable-in-public. They can distantly hear people crunching across the snow in the yard, chattering with each other and occasionally shouting profanities to the sky as young drunkards are wont to do. A far-off voice in the back of their mind mumbles something about them being just out of view, crushed against the side of the vehicle as they are. But Sapphire moans, and Ruby politely tells the voice to fuck off.

Sapphire's hips are rolling circles against theirs, her dress sequins scraping gently against the car's paint and pushing up into them with a rhythm that's easy to get lost in. Ruby pins her arms at the wrists and watches, hypnotized, as she moves, intoxicated with the music and the contact. Her eyes flutter at them, half-lidded and thick with mascara, and her blind side is as soft as the snowflakes caught in the perfect, wide curlicues of her hair. She's nothing short of gorgeous. Everything from Ruby's forehead to their chest flushes, sick with love, and they forget to act until she whines their name.

“Ru,” comes the call, as possessive as a siren's, “Come back.”

The stereo indoors is playing a song the entire party's heard a thousand times in each attendee's life, and Sapphire's curves are as familiar as the notes, to Ruby. They wrap themself flush around her and stroke every bit of skin they can reach, harder than usual because their fingers have gone slightly numb (from the cold or the liquor they're not entirely sure). They lean in to find a blushing ear, and trace it with their teeth. Sapphire shudders.

“No, no, no, wait,” she says, and uncoordinated palms are suddenly pushing them away; Ruby retreats as if they've been burned, hands held up placatingly. Sapphire's hair sways and glimmers like tinsel in the spotty lighting as her head once again becomes heavy on her, no longer supported by Ruby's contact. She peeks up at them with a single heavy-lidded eye from between her bangs and blinks slowly, as if purposely exhibiting her long eyelashes and vibrant iris. “Stay there.”

It's then that her arms slink up along her silhouette, her short, sparkly nails slowly detailing the arcs of her thighs and soft pouch of her belly, and reach up over her head to caress the smooth metal of the car.

Ruby’s brain has always been a bit strange anyway, but with alcohol in the equation their imagination and memory blend together into tangents so bizarre that the conscious part of them wants to shake their head (though mostly figuratively speaking, because literally moving their skull would cause vertigo and nausea, and it’s not like they can actually look away from the languid way Sapphire’s swinging her hips, as though the vehicle behind her is a dance partner with an intoxicating touch). Somewhere in the foggy sulcuses of their grey matter comes the question of whether or not Sapphire ever took pole dancing lessons like she’d suggested long ago. She’d been straddling Ruby at the time, her arms stretched above her and fingers knotted in the pinchy springs of the bunk bed above hers, grinning like an imp, both because Ruby had immediately started gaping like a dying fish at the comment, and because they both knew her parents would have a fit. That’s not what her birthday money had been for, obviously.

Granted, neither had it been intended to be blown on tubs of ice cream and a dusty copy of Prairie Dog Day that Ruby had nearly drowned themself in a crate of discounted DVDs for, but rebellion burnt within the woman in very curious and romantic ways.

It’s Sapphire’s humming that drags Ruby out of their increasing mental adventure, and her wide-lipped pout that reminds them she was putting on a show. She’s stretched out against the side of the SUV like it’s a sleek reinvention of a medieval rack, her head tilted back to watch them from beneath her unruly bangs. Grinning ruefully, Ruby folds their arms and nods at her to continue. There’s a pause before she complies, during which she gives them a displeased look, but soon enough her hips are circling once more. She concretely locks Ruby’s attention when she slowly rocks into a squat and back up again, her thighs straining in the fabric of her dress.

If her legs want out so badly, Ruby thinks, they really ought to help. They flattens their palms on either side of Sapphire’s head, bracing themself and caging her in without physically touching her. They stay still as a statue, gaze feral, as she continues to move, chest rolling towards them in invite. It’s a bit of a stalemate, though challenge is electrifying the air between their heartbeats.

The moment a heavy Bing Crosby remix starts up, the tension in their shared breaths dissolves into hushed giggles, and Sapphire’s hands drop from above her head to twine around Ruby’s neck. She pulls them close, her smile pressing against their jaw and cheek and shirt collar, and to their credit Ruby keeps to nuzzling the soft skin under her curls with their nose alone. Their hands remain pressed against the vehicle up until Sapphire stumbles into their elbow and knocks herself free; snorting, she staggers away from Ruby’s reaching grasp and slides along the gloss of the car hood, cheeks flushed and daring them to kiss her.

Ruby has never been one to turn down a dare.

They catch her small wrists in iron hands and pin her again in a spot where her back bends slightly and their toes are booting rubber wheels. Sapphire laughs, but the sound is cut short when Ruby traps her lips as well, and she sways against them, the tilt of her mouth fading the longer they keep her. There’s fire on Ruby’s tongue, and the moment they slip it past hers something in Sapphire ignites – her hands strain in their grip, and her breasts press into theirs, begging permission to touch. For a moment they are once again like teenagers, lost in the sensation of each other and numb to their precarious position and the chill of the air. Sapphire’s dress shifts upward to expose the top of her thigh when Ruby frees their arm to trace her hip, and she squeaks at the icy touch of the metal. Ruby grins, presses her into it, and nips her ear.

“Sapph,” they murmur, and goosebumps dance under their palm, “Can I make you mine?”

Her body is shivering, but her grip is firm when she knots her fingers in their hair and locks eyes with them. There’s a cheer from inside the house, and banging noises, and the music becomes a fraction louder (as if the metal around them weren’t already reverberating), but Sapphire’s response drowns every other sound out: “As if you have to ask.”

How Ruby manages to push her up onto the hood of the car is a mystery, since their brain is fogged with excitement and hydroxyl compounds and pure affection, among other things, but nonetheless her curves are soon splayed out on the metal and her lungs are gasping at its icy touch. Ruby leans over her and kisses at her stomach, pressing into the fabric of her outfit until sequins are slicing at their tongue. They slide their palms up her thighs possessively, bunching the dress to her hipbones with little regard towards the light frost on the hood. Sapphire shivers, one hand gripping at a nearby windshield wiper and the other at Ruby’s forearm, struggling for balance against the tilt of her seat and the shock of the temperature against her bare skin. She whimpers as Ruby bites at her hipbones through the cloth, hard enough to make her jump. They notch fingers under the elastic seams of her underwear – soft green boyshorts, of all things, because Sapphire prefers comfort under all her glam – and suck the skin of her upper quads until they can feel the heat emanating from between her legs.

“Ru-Ru,” she groans, the muscles in her legs twitching and damp from the ice crystals she’s melted with body warmth alone. Sapphire’s writhing like a trapped animal, only she’s pulling Ruby closer more than she’s attempting escape; her leg hooks around their shoulder, quivering as she tugs them tighter against the side of the SUV. Ruby grins against her pelvis, eyes raising to watch the way her head is lolling and the puffs of steam her rapid breath is making in the winter air. Normally they’d tease her far longer than this – Sapphire isn’t hard to stimulate, but she’s an absolute dream to watch when she’s riled up. Standard procedure would call for a spattering of smooches up the inside of her thighs, gentle caresses of her breasts and tasting of the rosy mocha of her nipples, and languid tracing of her lower lips before anything else, but the alcohol in Ruby’s system and intense grip Sapphire has on their arm is demanding something beyond tentative exploration. This is pure, palpable want, and Ruby’s not foolish enough to meet it with leisure.

They seize the front of her panties with one hand, tug them to one side, and with only a single careful prod to make sure she’s wet enough, slide a finger straight into Sapphire’s craving sex. They let her gasp, kiss just below her navel as her hips arch up, and then demand submission with deep thrusts straight into her center. Ruby’s free fingers press against the soft pillows of Sapphire’s labia, not roughly but with intent, occasionally spreading them ever so slightly with their knuckles so they can delight in the sound and wetness of her. They’re not taking their time in fucking her, but neither is this a rush. Sapphire’s rather conditioned to clitoral stimulation anyway.

When Ruby begins twisting their finger inside of her, curling and pivoting and generally testing the stretch of their partner’s walls, Sapphire starts to mewl, her head tilting forward and back, hair fluttering around her like silk, attempts to hold herself on her elbows all but abandoned. There’s something dangerously erotic about seeing her half dressed and framed with distant porch lights, like a suburban succubus. Her faint breath dances in clouds around her, visual confirmation of Ruby’s success, and her fluttering eyelashes give Ruby a view into one good eye, rolled back in delight. They could warn her about her noise level, but she moans their name and traces tenderly at their cheek, and Ruby decides her voice deserves to be the solo in whatever song is blaring on the speakers now.

They perform one long, slow drag against Sapphire’s G spot – located a finger deep and just slightly to the left – to watch her shudder, then slip their digit from her. She’s trying to look offended at the loss, but Ruby meets her gaze as they suck her want from it, and she goes visibly weak. Perhaps liquor isn’t great for their coordination, but it does a hell of a lot for their ability to seduce. Two fingers take their turn at the V of Sapphire’s labia, and Ruby ducks to taste her.

The next few minutes are a blur of heat and whimpering and Sapphire, all thick scent and sweet flavour, punctuated with a faint, high, “Please, oh, Ru– Ruby, yes–!” They’ve spread her wide open, stretching her lips so every swipe of their tongue electrocutes her nerves, and by the time they press their lips in a kiss against the hard nub of her clitoris, Sapphire’s muscles are shuddering with coiled need to orgasm. Ruby glances up at what parts of her haven’t fallen, shuddering, against the hood of the car, traces the peaks of her breasts where they glimmer in the faint light and threaten to fall from the cups of her shirt, and happen to notice a crowd. There are at least four bodies, from what their blurry eyes can make out, standing in a semicircle and chatting loudly, and they’re standing much too close for Ruby’s liking. They ease in their ministrations, ready to grab at Sapphire’s hips and yank her out of sight like some kind of sexually aroused rag doll, when one of the figures – someone short, with a high ponytail – looks right at them. Ruby’s gut goes cold, and Sapphire, unrealizing, whispers their name, but, miraculously, the figure turns back to their group, and loudly suggests they go back inside, because, “I’m freezing my fucking tits off out here!”

Ruby doesn’t miss, for all they can’t see, the thumbs up that’s gestured in their direction.

Left back in peace, they quickly turn back to the task at hand, in case some less benevolent spirit should amble by in a drunken stupor. Sapphire’s just about to sit up when Ruby’s fingers go soft against her, dipping down to gently trace her vaginal opening, and take her clitoris entirely into their mouth, sucking carefully. The tip of their tongue dances over it, and she collapses back into the SUV like she’s gone boneless. Her dainty fingers grip into their hair tightly, pulling them close, and Ruby obliges by sucking harder. (It wouldn’t be their own privates’ cup of tea, but to each their own.) Sapphire’s hips surge up, pressing into Ruby’s lips and forcing their finger back inside her; when she comes, they can feel every delightful spasm of her muscles and the surge of fluid that trickles between their knuckles.

There’s a soft song that starts up – much to the party attendees’ apparent mixed reactions, because both hoots and boos echo from the building – just as Ruby smooths Sapphire’s panties back in place and kisses the trembling skin around them with wet lips. They gently scoop their hands under her low back to help her rise, and she curls into them automatically, arms knotted around their neck and legs around their shoulders, like an overgrown, glittery koala. For a moment, they both breathe. A balance finds its stride somewhere between Ruby’s deep, satisfied rumbling and Sapphire’s exhausted staccato.

A heavy, echoing whoom announces that something’s changed, and Sapphire leans back and turns to see what’s happened. The main lights of the house have been shut down, by the looks of it because someone’s killed the breaker, but a second later the strings of tiny coloured lightbulbs stapled across every harsh line of the structure come to life. Sapphire is abruptly a body formed from a kaleidoscope, all fractured illumination and rich nighttime skin. Snowflakes flutter down from the power line above them and sparkle across her hair, and soon it, too, is glowing with colour. Ruby has never seen anything more lovely in their life.

When she turns, tucking disheveled locks behind her ear, and smiles at them, Ruby gasps, “I love you,” and pulls her into their arms. Sapphire would barely be able to stand normally, and much less in heels, what with her legs still shuddering, so Ruby hugs her close to their chest. She laughs weakly, leaning into their collarbone with happy resignation, and peeps in surprise when Ruby begins rocking them to the beat.

They’re hardly sober, and there are more endorphins flying through Ruby’s system than they know what to do with, and they have no words to offer when Sapphire quietly giggles, “I can’t even stand, Ruby. How do you expect me to dance?” But her voice is all tenderness, and she nuzzles into their neck and collapses against their hold with the utmost trust and sentiment, all the same.

They decide, collectively, that at this point their party visit is done, and not only because they’re both shivering and Sapphire’s sporting wet underwear. They reassemble their outfits as best they can (though there’s really nothing to be done for Ruby’s fluffed up curls) and stumble into the house hand in hand, giddily greeting everyone they pass. They wave at Pearl, the designated driver-caller, to summon them a cab, and while they’re fishing coats out of the pile on the piano bench in the living room, a boisterous voice hollers, “Yo, Red!”

Ruby’s face breaks into a massive grin as they spot Amethyst’s conspiratorial smile, and after Sapphire’s given her a customary peck on the lips, they grab her non-beer-holding hand to pull her in for a one-armed clap on the back.

“I like Crown, preferably Reserve,” Amethyst whispers as she presses her forehead to Ruby’s temple, and with a laugh and a squeeze of her hand, they reply, “You’re getting chocolate.”