Lodgings at the Overwatch headquarters weren't terrible, the over-used and over-washed cotton bedsheets were still much more comfortable than the scratchy polyester ones that were given out as standard in Talon quarters, despite the piling and the dubious stain on occasion.
Amélie had her own room, one with a view and occupant controlled roller shutters as an extra layer of protection for the 3 inch thick bulletproof glass windows. It was small, but not cramped. Fitted with a double bed, a side table and lamp, a closet and a plain white desk with a metal frame.
While her safety had been promised- no, guaranteed- by Winston and one Angela Ziegler, Amélie still spent a lot of her free time wandering the perimeter, checking for cracks in the outer wall or tampering with the razor wire. Winston assured her that their security cameras covered most parts of the compound, both inside and out, and anything not covered by them was posted by guards.
Still, it did little to settle her nerves of an evening when she was at her most on edge. Talon would not let her get away this easily, whether it be tomorrow or a year or ten years from now, they would not let their secrets slip away with Amélie's cure. She was too much of a risk, knew too much.
Sniffing, she caught whiff of a familiar scent followed by the sound of military issue steel-capped boots crunching along the leaf scattered path behind her.
"You are quite brave, approaching 'The Widow' all on your lonesome." Her tone was clipped, but playful, not turning around to face her ambusher until the sound of a snort rung out.
Fareeha had a cocked eyebrow, her posture perfectly straight underneath her astutely cleaned and pressed combat fatigues. While they were free to wear whatever they wanted, Amélie understood the soldier's preference to wear her dark navy camouflage uniform. In the case of a sudden attack, readiness was preferred over comfort.
"And you must get sick of the boredom and loneliness that comes with an uneventful patrol." Fareeha took up position next to the French woman, sharing her gaze at a discoloured section of the concrete wall.
"Non," she replied, nonplussed, leaving the two in silence for a few seconds before nodding her head towards the wall. "The interior has suffered structural cracks from ground movement, repairs must be made. A well placed explosive-"
"-Will not happen on my watch," Fareeha cut her off before she could finish, agitation eating just below the surface of her stern features. Amélie turned her head to face her, the two sharing a momentary staring competition before Fareeha decided to break the gaze.
The taller woman sighed, shifting the weight between her feet, the ground crunching beneath her.
"I know you're afraid of Talon, but they would never dare attack Overwatch at their base of operations," she turned, placing a hand upon Amélie's shoulder until the French woman regarded her with softening eyes.
Lightly squeezing, Fareeha gave a crooked smile.
"Besides, I'd never hear the end of it if anything happened to you on my watch."
Amélie let out a breath of a laugh at that, just the thought of a small, infuriated British woman beating at Fareeha's chest with all her might and accomplishing nothing bringing warmth to her chest.
"Speaking of, your other half wanted me to get you. It's dinner time and she said something about 'not wantin' to get rained on bringin' ya' food outside and 'avin it turn inta slop'," Fareeha did her very best at imitating Lena, only succeeding in sounding more Scottish than cockney English and only making Amélie press her face into her hand in embarrassment.
"Absolutely not." Amélie grimaced, pulling her hand from her face and letting loose a weary sigh.
Fareeha motioned with her head in the direction of the dining hall, shoving her hands deeply into her pockets as the French woman complied, falling in step beside her as they made their way inside.
Dinner was... nice. Not that they could say much about the food itself, it was rather samey and wasn't anything particularly special. But the company was good. Sharing a table with her Lena, Angela and Fareeha; it almost made it easy to ignore the various looks she still got from all of the other agents around the mess hall. Though things had gotten better after Lena's run in with the subordinate, that didn't stop the glares from being shot her way.
She wouldn't lie, it always unnerved her just a little bit. And while she understood where their ire was coming from, she wished they could have walked a mile in her shoes and everything she had endured to come this far in the first place.
Now, she was becoming a changed woman. Lena had awoken repressed feelings and desires deep inside of her, given her a chance where the rest of Overwatch had mourned a woman who was no more. Then came Angela, a brilliant doctor, saving her from death's door and finally freeing her from the palm of Talon once and for all.
It was her turn to heal, to mend and regain her humanity with the assistance of a beautiful tomboy and supportive friends.
Lena's voice shook her out of her head space. Looking up from her almost empty plate where she had been shifting around some insipid looking leftovers for the last few minutes, she made eye contact with soft hazel eyes that seemed to enquire as to her well-being. A small smile curved her lips.
A small hand snaked to her back and rubbed it in gentle, easing circles.
Amélie turned back to her plate, putting down her fork and pushing away from the table with a soft sigh.
"Yes, I am just tired," she offered their friends at the table a small nod. "I think I may go to my quarters for the evening."
They nodded their understanding, and as she got up from dinner, she heard Lena's chair scrape out from underneath her, hurried footsteps and a quick voice letting Angela and Fareeha know she'd catch up with them later. Another few seconds later, the smaller woman fell into step beside her.
This earned Lena a wry smile and a questioning eyebrow.
"Escorting her lady home?" Amélie spoke in a soft tone, a note of humour dancing on the tip of her tongue. Lena winked and puffed out her chest in response.
"And they say chivalry is dead!"
Chuckling quietly, the French woman offered her elbow to the other woman, taking satisfaction in the warmth it offered as it snaked around her own.
"Actually, I might've gotten a coupla' movies from Angela's private chick flick collection. Thought maybe you'd like to 'ave a night in? Y'know, cuddle up and watch 'em together or somethin'..." Lena's voice trailed off into nervous laughter, her arm now gripping onto Amélie's a little tighter.
Watch movies together... perhaps under a blanket, maybe with some cheap microwave popcorn or crappy syrup flavoured carbonated water. It almost sounded too good to be true, too domestic, too-
Amélie reached over with her free hand, taking a slip of Lena's skin between thumb and forefinger and squeezing.
"Ouch! Bloody 'ell woman what was that for?" Lena demanded, her brow crinkling, her free hand now coming to rub at the reddening mark on her forearm. Pouting, she directed her gaze up to apologetic golden eyes.
"To see if I am dreaming."
Lena's mouth dropped open, a look of incredulity crossing her features as she slowly began to shake her head from side to side in reprimand.
"That ain't how it works, luv. You gotta pinch yourself."
In return, Lena reached over and performed the same action to Amélie's forearm, being rewarded with a low hiss from the woman and a string of French curse words.
Now being her turn to pout, Amélie gazed down at her companion and took note of the smug grin of satisfaction on her face; took that smug, shit eating grin and filed it into her memory for later use.
"I suppose you were going to make popcorn too, then?" the French woman inquired, as Lena tugged on her forearm and steered her in the direction of her own quarters.
The Brit slid her hand down Amélie's forearm in a slow motion, one that left goosebumps prickling up in its wake, taking her hand and lifting it to her lips. They pressed to the back of Amélie's knuckles, leaving little puddles of warmth from where they touched; a bloom of heat swirled through the French woman's chest.
"Whatever you want, luv."
The rest of the walk was short, quiet, punctuated only by the occasional sound of laughter ringing out from someone's room, or footsteps as they echoed down tiled hallways. It was as if people were purposefully avoiding the couple as they made their way to Lena's room, but more likely it was just coincidence. At least that's what Amélie preferred to tell herself.
They arrived at Lena's room, the smaller woman pressing her thumb to the pad beside her door, a twinkling of LEDs slipping over her digit until it had completed the scan, beeping and turning green. The thick, solid steel door slid open with a barely audible whooshing sound, revealing Lena's quarters beyond. Said woman gave Amélie a sideways glance and a little smile before tugging on her arm, coaxing her inside the room.
It hadn't been the first time Amélie had seen the quarters, she had of course seen it briefly when she had stopped by once or twice to accompany Lena from her room for breakfast or a mission debriefing. Not once though had she actually set foot inside, and she dare not ask, too polite and not wanting to intrude on what was a persons' only private space in the seemingly never ending halls and offices of this facility.
After the two of them had cleared the doorway, the doors softly slid shut behind them and locked with a firm click. Amélie looked around, admiring the quarters as Lena pulled away from her and headed towards an entertainment unit that sat on the left side of the room.
It wasn't much different to Amélie's own room, maybe a foot or two larger, but the amenities were the same. The only difference was where the French woman's room was bland and full only of the necessary items of equipment and furniture, Lena's had been decorated to some extent with items of personal interest. A few posters of sci-fi movies here, a teddy bear there, a soft comforter dotted with stars and galaxies- sprawling shades of violet, orange, greens and blues on a black background.
The corner of her lip turned up into a smile as she moved over to the bed. She picked up the small teddy bear. It was well loved and a little raggedy, but unbelievably soft, with big brown eyes and a chequered ribbon around its neck. Unable to resist, Amélie lifted it up to her cheek and gave it a little wriggle, turning to Lena and watching as the smaller woman saw what she was holding and turned a bright shade of crimson.
Rushing over, Lena grabbed the bear and pulled it close to her chest. Her eyes flickered between Amélie's amused expression and the little bear now crushed against her breast.
"Mr. Cobblesworth!" she blurted, looking away again as her slim fingers fiddled with the little bow around the teddy's neck. A sheepish smile made its way onto her face, but she still couldn't make eye contact with Amélie. "Me mum gave 'im to me when I was little and got real sick with chicken pox."
Amélie hummed softly, moving closer and bending down just enough that she could level her gaze with the teddy's own bright stare. Taking one of his little paws in her hand, she shook it softly. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr. Cobblesworth."
This seemed to calm the colour in Lena's cheeks, her eyes finally flicking down to meet Amélie's with something akin to relief in them.
"You don't think I'm stupid for 'avin a teddy?"
The French woman ran a finger across the soft little ears adorning Mr. Cobblesworth's head, enjoying the way the silky fur felt against her fingertip.
Pulling her hand away, she levelled the Brit with a soft smile before making her way over to the bed. Brushing her hand against the plushness of the comforter, she smoothed the fabric out some before taking a seat. Lena followed her over, placing the teddy back into his position sitting against the headboard of her bed, perched upon her pillows.
"Well good, cos I can't sleep without 'im." Lena stated quite matter-of-factly, straightening up some and pushing the palms of her hands against her hips. She stood there like that for some time, chewing her lower lip and looking mildly in thought before her eyes brightened. "So movies yeah? I got a whole heap of 'em, whatcha' in the mood for?"
The two women spent the next 15 minutes just deciding what they were going to watch. Lena had a preference for sci-fi movies and comedies, while Amélie rather enjoyed romance movies and the occasional thriller. Finally, they settled on a romance movie about two young women who were members of a space exploration team tasked on building a habitable colony on a new planet to help save the human race, all while slowly falling in love with each other.
They had settled in together on the edge of the bed, sharing the comforter and a bowl of popcorn that Lena had managed to scavenge from the kitchen and microwaved, as well as two large tall glasses of soda that were in plain unmarked cans, but by the sour taste Amélie had to guess was some kind of fruity punch or lemonade.
At first the two had started off with some space between them, the comforter squished and pressed between as a mild form of barrier to ensure no unnecessary touching. However as the movie progressed, Amélie found they had somehow managed to scoot closer to each other. A shuffle here, a wriggle here. Comforter pulled up a little and the sensation of a warm thigh sliding against her own made her breath catch in her throat, and it took her a moment before she allowed herself to exhale again. She didn't realise that her fingers were trembling until she reached for the edge of the blanket to pull it tighter around her waist.
Turning to her left, Lena seemed nonplussed and invested in the movie, her hazel eyes sparkling in the dim lighting as the reflections of the TV screen danced in her vision. Steeling herself, Amélie took another calming breath, allowing a soft heat to settle in her chest, her whole body warming from where the smaller woman was making contact with her.
After a few more minutes she managed to acclimatise to the touch, finally able to concentrate on the movie again. Some time passed, the story progressing and the two women on screen slowly realising their feelings for each other. Lena was now watching, leaning forwards on her knees with her elbows, half her face hidden in her upturned palms. Her eyes were bright and her cheeks a rosy pink as the two actresses closed the distance between them, the tension thick in the air, their bodies inching closer and closer together until a team mate entered the room and ruined the intimate moment.
Lena must have felt as frustrated as the characters in the movie did, as she let out an exasperated sigh and she wriggled beside Amélie, pushing even closer against the French woman's side until she could feel the sensation of a hand brushing against her outer thigh.
The sensation sent tiny little jolts of prickling heat like nerve ends firing all the way up to her head from her toes, causing said toes to curl up from where they were underneath the covers, her legs restless and shifting to try and disperse the energy only causing her to brush against Lena even more. Casting a sidelong glance at her companion, the woman didn't seem to notice Amélie's reaction and if she did, she wasn't saying anything.
Returning her attention to the movie, she let out a silent sigh and tried to ignore the warmth that was slowly blossoming in her lower abdomen. She managed to push the sensations down enough that they were just a barely noticeable ache, that was until later in the movie, and she could have sworn at that moment that Lena had specifically set her up for this.
The actresses finally had a moment to themselves that ended in soft lips pressing together in insistence, dimly lit bedroom scenes and rolling shots of the smooth plane of abdomens and perfectly rounded breasts as tongues and fingers scraped ever so gently and loving across them.
Or perhaps- it wasn't planned.
Amélie dared to look at her companion, who felt her movement and turned her head to meet her gaze.
The two of them were stuck like that for a few seconds, eyes flicking between lips, necks and cheeks. A hand slithered across into Amélie's lap until it came to rest over her thigh, squeezing firmly but carefully.
Biting her lower lip in anticipation, a burst of heat travelled up through her stomach, ribcage and into her throat where she felt herself letting out the smallest of gasps. She was unaware she was gradually moving closer to her companion until they were already so close that she could feel the warmth of Lena's breath gently feathering across her barely parted lips. Looking into her hazel eyes she could see how dilated they had become, dark and deep and full of an unspeakable hunger that made her tremble at the knees.
They stayed like that for what could have been ten seconds- but felt more like an eternity. Amélie could feel her pulse throbbing in her neck, her stomach threatening to abandon her completely and escape through her throat. It drove her insane the way the woman stared at her lips, licking her own so that the soft pink shimmered in the light from the TV.
A noise broke the moment, and it took her a second to realise it was Lena speaking- a half broken sound, deep and husky but barely above a whisper.
"Please just kiss me before I lose my fuckin' mind love-"
The sound was muffled as Amélie closed the last inch between them, her lips pressing firmly against her companions in a heady rush of need and want, of burning sensations pulsing through her lower body and butterflies beating against the inner walls of her ribcage. Her mind was bombarded with sensations, everything seeming as though it was ten times more intense than it ever had been. Was this a side effect of having Talon's technology removed from her body? Or was this how it had always been before it had been taken from her, and her mind and memory had been dulled to it?
Either way, she could feel herself shaking and her hands moving as though of their own accord. Her slender fingers threaded themselves through the tresses of brunette, pulling closer the silken lips now kissing their way down to her neck and seeking her pulse point, brushing over her skin until they found a most delicious spot and closed around it to suckle gently.
A most animalistic groan sang through the air, and it took her a moment in her haze to realise it had come from her own throat. Heat rose to her cheeks, both from the attention being lavished upon her neck and from the fact that she had made such a noise beyond her own control. Perhaps- if she bit down on her lower lip- she could muffle herself from making any further sounds.
Her eyelids fluttered closed as Lena's lips finished suckling on that spot, giving it a few delicate kisses before she used her fingers to tilt Amélie's head and start to work on the other side as well.
"Fuck, Lena." The profanity had left her lips before she even had time to process it, followed by a crooning whimper as teeth grazed across her skin teasingly. A gentle moan of encouragement followed from the Brit's mouth.
"You're so beautiful," there was no teasing, no playfulness. Lena's voice was filled with lust and desire, so rich, so throaty. Her once irritating cockney accent was now sheets of liquid silk running down the entirety of her body, hot and delicious and enveloping every single bump and fold on her being. It only served to send the coil of burning need in the pit of her abdomen winding even tighter until she felt an ache start to build in her very centre.
It must have been at that moment that things began to start tumbling and unfolding like a sheet of fresh and slick snow on a mountain side finally breaking free and snowballing down at a rapidly increasing speed, crushing and consuming all in its wake.
A hand brushed against her breast even as it was still covered by a plain cotton shirt and a crop top, the action causing lightning bolts of painful pricks to burst through her body and to her central nervous system, her entire body tensing and shuddering, coiling in on itself. She lost her awareness for mere moments, finally coming to and trying to force her eyes open.
"Sorry, God Amélie, I'm so sorry I didn't think-"
Strong arms were holding her close and tight, a constant and firm pressure that was slowly having a calming effect on her.
"It hurts, my body... what-"
The arms held her a little more firmly, a small hand pressing into the nape of her neck and a soft pair of lips pressing the faintest of kisses to her right cheek. A shudder ran down her spine followed by a series of sharp pricks through her arms and chest that felt like fire and ice, a low throb that was nowhere near the pleasurable aches and heat that she had felt previously.
"I think we should take you to see Angela." Lena pulled away but her hand still stayed pressed into the nape of her neck, her eyes all pain and worry as she tried to convey some form of apology through her gaze.
Amélie was no stranger to pain, and she sooner would have excused herself to her room to endure whatever this was on her own. Under the cover of darkness and privacy, where no one could see or hear or disturb. Yet here she was, pressing a clammy forehead against that of her companions', finding already that she was agreeing with a small nod of her head even as that small movement sent more trembling shock waves through her.
Every poke and prod set Amélie's nerves on edge, but she was feeling better than she had before and- to Angela's credit- she was being every bit as kind and gentle as she was able to be given the circumstances.
A small device that the doctor had pulled from the ceiling to shine lights in her eyes and scan over her body with a series of sharp, controlled movements finally retracted into its position. Angela clicked her tongue and swivelled in her chair to face the computer screen to her right, scrolling through the seemingly haphazard listing of words and numbers on it as if she was reading a child's novel.
Shifting uncomfortably in her seat, vinyl creaking underneath her small frame, Amélie's gaze flickered between the screen and the doctor. Angela's features were all but obscured by her golden locks of silken hair as it bobbed somewhat elegantly against her cheek. The shimmering blues of the monitor painted her face beautifully, highlighting her cheekbones and the light pout her lips pressed into as she concentrated. It wasn't hard to see what Fareeha saw in her, she was every bit as angelic as her name and occupation suggested.
"Ah, it is as I suspected." Angela's voice was steady and sure, the corners of her lips curving up into a pleased smile and her face turning to regard Amélie with what she could only describe of one of certainty and pride.
Rubbing her palms against her thighs, Amélie waited for the doctor to continue. When she didn't she pressed her further.
"What is it?" she asked, with only a slight hint of annoyance in her tone. Angela tucked a stray collection of hairs behind her ear, folding her hands into her lap in a delicate manner. Amélie looked down and made note of the small band with an inset ruby on Angela's ring finger.
"You are familiar with pins and needles, I take it?" Angela enquired, and it almost seemed a comical question to ask.
Scoffing, Amélie stopped her fidgeting. "Of course I am, what kind of question is that?"
Angela seemed pleased with her reply, leaning forward and tapping one of Amélie's knees with the back of her index finger. The French woman jolted at the sensation, a series of coursing shocks running up her leg and spine. Her eyes narrowed at the woman sitting before her and she considered just how the fine doctor might miss that pretty little smile if she wiped it right off her face.
No, control your emotions Amélie, she's just trying to help.
Adjusting herself in the seat, becoming momentarily uncomfortable, Amélie sat up straighter and cleared her throat. Crossing one leg over the other, she waited for Angela to move back out of her personal space.
"I had considered this a possibility in my personal journals on the journey of your rehabilitation," sliding her chair backwards, she tapped a few buttons on her screen to pull up what Amélie could only describe as being a roadmap of her central nervous system. Bright colours flashed at various points around the image of her body, some areas dulled out to a dark grey, belonging on the opposite end of the spectrum.
"It seems your central nervous system is beginning a phase of repairs as it relearns how to decipher sensory signals from touch sensations." Turning back to Amélie with a tiny smile and a tilt of her head, she motioned back to the screen. "Hence, pins and needles. Though, I didn't expect you to be on such an extreme end of the spectrum," her tone was apologetic, and Amélie found her brow furrowing as she tried to take in this information.
"And you didn't think it relevant information to mention to me before this?" Irritation came in a clipped tone, but the French woman couldn't find it in herself to stay mad.
A small sigh. Readjusting her blouse, Angela clasped her hands in her lap, legs crossed at the ankles.
"As I said, I wasn't entirely sure myself that it would happen. It was merely a possibility."
Chewing on her lower lip, Amélie turned away, finding something- anything- to focus her attention on. The cool white of the LED's cascading the walls with soft cone shaped beams of light, a medical chart that labelled various muscle groups of the human body, a bookcase filled with so many medical journals and books that many were stacked on top of each other in a most un-organised fashion.
Clearing her throat, Amélie found a spot on Angela's blouse to focus on so she didn't have to make eye contact. "And what is the course of treatment from here?"
Angela motioned with an open palm towards her monitor again, still showing the blinking road map of Amélie's nervous system.
"There is no medication I can give you to ease the symptoms, unfortunately," she brought her hand back to rest in her lap. "They will have to clear up on their own once your body has restored the neural pathways. It could take a few days, or weeks, or months. There is no way to be sure."
Another interesting spot appeared, this one on the floor. It was glossy black marble filled with splashes of white and grey, twisting upon one another and reflecting a pale impersonation of any lights that touched it.
A soft sound filled the air, it could have been a breath or a hum, but it made the French woman lift her head to meet the gaze of the doctor sitting in front of her. She thought she might find pity or disgust, fearing to be a hamster yet again underneath the gaze of people who could hold control over her body. What she found however was a gentle smile and eyes filled with hope, filled with belief and encouragement.
"Might I suggest a plan of slow exposure therapy? Perhaps you have someone who could-" interrupting her own sentence as she looked away with what could only be explained as a look of mischief, "-aid you with skin touch exposure?"
Ah, there it was.
Corner of her lip turning up, Amélie allowed one of her eyebrows to lift up higher on her forehead.
"Why Doctor, you wouldn't be suggesting that I get a certain British woman to touch me as much as possible, would you?"
An inquisitive brow raised in response, a lock of blonde hair falling out of place and bouncing gently against Angela's cheek.
"We are all adults here, aren't we? I can promise you that your recovery will most certainly progress faster with assistance than it would from isolating yourself."
A fair point, Amélie had to concede. She lowered her eyebrow, but the wicked smile on her face remained. "I suppose you would want an excuse to see Lena touch me, wouldn't you?"
Sitting up stiffly, Angela only replied to that wicked smile with one of her own.
"I don't believe I need an excuse, you two seem to be quite happy to display your affection in public without any coaxing."
Amélie gave her that, but she liked to think she had always kept their little touches and kisses mostly in private areas where as far as she knew there was no one to see them. Perhaps they hadn't been so private after all.
"Come, I'm sure Lena will be wondering what's taking so long." Pressing her hands against her thighs, Angela began to stand from her seat, motioning for Amélie to do the same as she headed for the door to her office. "Would you like company back to your dorm?"
Shaking her head, the French woman thanked her quietly and made her way out. The doctor was right about one thing, Lena would most definitely be wondering about her, and she was starting to wonder just how she was going to go about explaining her latest 'problem' to the smaller woman.
It had only taken her a few minutes but she managed to find her way back to Lena's dorm. Of course she had insisted that Lena stay there and wait for her, just to save the woman from having to sit in the waiting room at such a late hour of the night. It had taken a firm levelling stare and a tired sigh but she had eventually agreed to stay there and wait.
Now there she stood, raising her curled fingers to the smooth cold door to rap lightly, waiting for a response and finding a strange swirling sensation of nerves in the pit of her stomach.
A few moments passed before she finally heard shuffling. A beep followed by the door opening to reveal something that in that moment knocked all the breath from Amélie's chest in one go. Dear Gods, had Lena always been this beautiful? Apparently the little woman must have managed to find a pathway to sleep, her brown locks that were usually set perfectly in place now haphazardly falling all over her face. Her top half was dressed in a plain grey singlet that was riding up her abdomen to reveal the slim V shaped lines slithering up from her panty line.
That was the other thing, Lena's bottom was clothed only in a pair of thick banded boy shorts, her slender thighs on full display. Amélie just couldn't stop her gaze from being drawn downwards, her eyes painting lines between each freckled dot along her bikini line.
"Y'alright love?" Lena questioned, her voice a soft coo as she reached up to rub the sleep from her eyes. Peering back up to make eye contact, the raven-haired woman forcibly swallowed a lump in her throat.
"I- yes. I'm sorry, you were asleep, shall I leave?"
Beginning to make motions to walk away before her gaze betrayed her yet again as the peaks of Lena's breasts pushed against the thin fabric over her chest, Lena entered a state of more wakefulness, almost appearing offended by such a suggestion.
"Oi, last thing I want's for you to leave."
A firm hand grabbed Amélie by the wrist, giving her a gentle tug to lead her back into her quarters. It was dark now, spare for a small night light beside Lena's bed that splashed the rustled sheets and blankets with soft orange highlights. She found herself being guided to sit on that bed, Lena plopping down right beside her so that she could feel the heat of her body even through the layers of clothes.
"So, what'd the doc say?"
A small, encouraging hand rested delicately at her lower back; softly enough so as not to apply uncomfortable pressure, but enough to provide Amélie with a sense of ease and comfort. Her lips trembled, palms flattening out against her thighs as she repeated everything that Dr. Ziegler had told her about her condition. Not once did Lena give her a look of pity or anything that suggested she thought less of her. She listened intently and with understanding, something that she would at times still struggle with accepting.
Once she finished relaying the story to her, she sat there very still, awaiting a reply from the British woman beside her. What she had expected and what she got however, was two different things it seemed. A curious eyebrow raised up on Amélie's forehead as she watched Lena get down on her knees before her, pulling off her boots and socks one at a time to expose her feet; Amélie gave them a little wriggle to experiment with their new-found freedom.
The smaller woman then turned and made her way to her wardrobe, sliding open the door and chewing thoughtfully on her lip for several moments before humming to herself and grabbing a pair of light grey pyjama pants dotted with little pictures of puppies. It came with a matching grey singlet that Lena turned and offered to the woman sitting on her bed, staring between the clothing and the woman with a baffled stare; Amélie tilted her head up in questioning.
Shrugging a shoulder and not making eye contact- apparently something on the floor was incredibly interesting- the pyjamas were pressed into Amélie's hands.
"Stay with me tonight."
A simple sentence. No innuendo, no heat, no distaste or irritation. Not even a trace of playfulness still existed in that small voice, suddenly so quiet and yet insistent in its nature. Usually Amélie had difficulty deciphering the true intentions behind Lena's words and double entendres, the insufferable woman having a tendency to hide truths behind humour but dodging subjects when touched. However now, in a state of half-sleep, half-wakefulness, Amélie found herself smiling a true, heart-burning smile.
Despite it not being necessary, Lena had given her some moments of privacy to change into her pyjamas while going to collect a tall glass of water for her which she had accepted thankfully. She was even more thankful that the woman had held up the sheets and blankets to allow her to slide into the bed without too much friction as to avoid triggering any painful sensations, only a few mild tingles as the fabric had jiggled while Lena joined her in the bed.
The night light was flicked off and the two lay in darkness, the only sounds those of soft breaths and the mild swishing of cool air blowing through the room's air vents. A tension pulled between them, and despite the fact that they weren't touching each other- or at least, trying purposefully not to touch each other- Amélie had never felt such a magnetic pull towards the smaller woman. Perhaps Lena felt the same? She felt the blankets shift, the Brit showing signs of discomfort as she moved restlessly against the mattress.
That reply came faster than she had expected, and almost immediately she detected the tone of deep longing within the girl beside her.
"Can you-" Amélie began her sentence, reaching out beside her to search for something, anything, to ground her. It almost didn't come as a surprise when she found an answering hand, smaller fingers finding hers almost instantly and intertwining with her own in a quick, needy movement.
A shaking breath exhaled from Lena, one holding the weight of too much tension now releasing as they shared the warmth of a precious, intimate touch.
It wasn't much, and it still tingled and pricked through her wrist and up through the entirety of her arm, but it grounded Amélie. Pulled her down into the warmth of a lazy Spring downpour, the rain pounding with cool drops along her cheekbones and forehead, soaking her through to the bone but filling her with electricity and a rich fulfilment of being at peace.
Maybe it was the sound of her partner slipping into a peaceful rest, her soft snoring a reminder of how beautiful and alive she was, or maybe it was the body heat reaching out to her like tendrils of smoke and enveloping her in a fog of fatigue; that night she found herself having the most restful sleep she could ever remember having.
AN: Thank you to everyone who has supported this fic so far. I haven't had the time to write what with work, running a household and trying to maintain a social life. I've decided for the mean time to take a break from playing video games so that I have more time for being creative, and hope to start updating fics again more regularly. Hope you enjoy the chapter!