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This icon is not this at all. I just wanted to show off its LOOOOOVELY SHAAAAADES, 'cuz I'm a WHOOOORE

Speaking of whores, have some expository pre-smut. So, basically, brief rundown. They've been walkin' nights, you know, meet at this lamp post here and wander about, all this cuteness. Night before this, they're like huh. This could be some sex. But I mean it's Ice Queen and Mr. Reads-the-Articles. Still, when she locks up and doesn't speak, he finally grabs that dame and lays one on her, and they're both like O.O! ::scamper off:: and it's climactic and cute. So, next night.

Would you go back? *dun dun*

EDIT 12-23 5:22 AM. New line bolded! Holy fucking exposition, Batman! This will never end! Ashley's mom's cat was Archie Morris! And he was even orange! Epic smut ftw!

                This was stupid. She was doing this out of habit, she realized halfway to the lonely lamp post, and if her mind had been her own tonight she wouldn’t be walking now. For whatever reason, she had wanted to be nowhere near Faye, nowhere near her cheery going-on, and every fragment of the room that somehow reminded her of everything that had happened last night. Looking up at the bitter cold moon through her puffs of cloudy breath, she had trapped herself into thinking about it again.
                She would be spending her walk alone tonight, because she had never really learned to open her damned mouth. She had known dozens of people in many places who had experienced only the opposite problem (George came to mind right away, and she smirked in spite of herself). There were things she was wishing now, words chasing themselves around in her mind then that could have come out but didn’t. It would have stopped her from being so confused and alone. It would have stopped him from knowing what she wanted, allowing it to be okay, without a speck of her consent.
                People shouldn’t get in other people’s minds that way, she thought. She had seen Evie in Norah’s mind in a similar manner, but that had taken years of experience. This was quasi-instant, hard, and disconcerting. Not even Gloria had been so in tune with her thoughts.
                But he would think he made a mistake, think he had been hasty and wrong. He had been hasty, but it wasn’t wrong.
                Regaining understanding of her immediate surroundings rather than the walls she was building in her brain, she looked to the fast-approaching lamp post vaguely, half-heartedly, angrily.
                She was stopped in her tracks along the dirt road when she saw him under the light, as if it were any other night. He saw her right away, and she suspected he had been watching her walking along the road erratically in thought the whole time.
                If he was so good at speaking what she thought, she would let him do it this time. He tried valiantly to resist, even when she took a few steps closer and stopped anew. Finally he let out a small sigh and let his shoulders relax. “You didn’t think I was gonna let you walk by yourself, did ya?”
                She watched his words, little clouds of white, expand and disappear into the air. Allowing her focus go back to his face, she found him trying to look as he would, not as he maybe should have, and she wasn’t as comforted as she would’ve liked. Or perhaps, expected. But nothing about their time together had been something she would have expected.
                As always, he was true to form at this. He lost his courage to wear the mask of normalcy, and he frowned small. “Look, I know you weren’t really…”
                While he searched, she finished before she thought about the consequences. “Expecting.”
                “Expecting.” He nodded, finding the ground.
                It was impossible not to. She closed whatever gap remained, standing close until he looked back up. “When you feel strongly about something,” she tried, “it’s hard to do it wrong.”
                It hit him hard enough to witness, and he gawked at her for a moment. “No, no, listen, don’t think I was trying to pull some kinda fast one here, I’m not—”
                She hadn’t thought she was going to have this chance. She thought she had ruined something so much better than she’d anticipated. “The answer would have been yes,” she interrupted, quiet in her new boldness.
                “To the question you asked me.” But haven’t they? Haven’t these days been fantastic? “It still would be yes.”
                He took in this new information readily, and regarded her. “And you didn’t say anything—”
                “—because I wanted to—”
                “—too.” He waited for a disagreement, but didn’t receive one. “So the two of them?”
                She held his gaze and didn’t allow him to drop it. “They don’t have anything to do with anything anymore.” Looking startled at this shared information she wasn’t aware she felt so strongly about, she shrugged.
                This seemed to be exactly the encouragement he needed, and just as little as she had, it wasn’t the least bit expected. She had a suspicion they had both set out tonight ready for the same night – cold, bitterness, guilt, and concern along empty streets with empty consciences, reliving the same six seconds in varying possibilities until the annoyance of it grew too much to bear. Maybe he hadn’t thought it out as much as she had, but she could tell by the way he was looking at her now he had just as much intention as she did to do something to make it a very opposite evening.
                When still he didn’t speak, she found it made her even braver. “Didn’t you feel it?” She paused, wondering if he could hear her unbelievably gentle sigh of a voice. “I kissed back.”
                He had heard her, apparently, as he took the side of her face in a wintry hand, and lined himself up for a second attempt. She didn’t fight, she didn’t freeze, and she gave back into him again, just as strong and just as she had imagined all day. This realization of opportunity made her more brazen than she could remember in years, and consequently greedy for possibility. After all, what had she been doing for days and days but denying and skirting?
                Faye had told her to loosen up; if only she knew how she might do that, and if only she knew with whom.
                She was already off to a better start, she realized upon guiding his shoulders down so he would sit with her, over her, on the nearby bench. There was an honest fierceness to this, she felt, that owed nothing to the youthful stupidity of Howard’s reign, but something a little more blunt and open. He curled an arm around her shoulders to protect the blades from the wrought iron, bearing down with his chest to sandwich her between himself. The hand that had been on her face seconds before was now shameless, dipping under the hem of her coat to find the hem of her skirt.
She should have squirmed, should have asked him what had happened to the truly sweet fellow she’d been strolling around with, but it made sense before she even had the time to take offense. How long had he been here? How long could it have been? Realizing she didn’t really want definitive answers she could have possibly calculated, she continued to take Faye’s suggestion to heart and tilted up her knee to forcibly slide his hand up her thigh. A surprise around every corner – she felt him smile against her lips. She even giggled in response, aligning her nose with his to look at too-close-to-see brown eyes. This man was years her senior, gambled like some kind of professional, swore in her presence, jumped from the sky for a living, and snuck around on a regular basis. She shouldn’t have put it past him. But hell if he wasn’t a sweetheart who had melted the cold for days. He had taken her bottom lip between his before she heard her giggling echo back at her.
Turning out of his mouth’s little embrace, her eyes searched the street veering off to the left. Behind a cart abandoned for the night were two young girls, pushing it as eleven or twelve. When he looked over as well, they knew they were sufficiently caught, and scampered off whispering in tiny, delighted, mortified French.
He laughed first and easy, giving her shoulder a squeeze that somehow calmed her right away. “It’s past their bedtime,” she said feebly.
He looked back at her, unimpressed with the words with a lingering sense of impression at her actions and allowances of his. “And it’s not past yours?”
It wasn’t how he meant it, that much was clear, but it was her first thought anyway. She leaned back to take him in, and wonder if just for a moment if she had lost her organized, logical, serious little mind. She looked at the bare amount of lipstick she’d managed to smudge across him and wiped it off his lower lip with a thumb. Why not? Oh, why not? Everyone would just die, wouldn’t they?
That one utterance, one tiny name, sealed it completely. Maybe he couldn’t feel the same way, and it was so unlikely that he could, but if he could, she would know. She would know before the night was over, and there would never be another day of wondering.
                Could she pull it off seriously? Especially with someone like him?
                “Are you gonna fall asleep or something, Lillian?”
                “It is past my bedtime,” she blurted. When he looked almost let down, she thought about her delivery a bit harder with the second half. This time, she didn’t try. She let the words escape, to let them feel alone, instead of trying to think of how they should feel. “You should take me.”
                His eyebrows all but disappeared into his hair. Still, he didn’t let go of her. She could even swear she felt him grip onto her knee. “No, I can’t, you… you keep getting me all wrong, and I’m not—”
                “I am.”
                Mouth hanging slack on instantly forgotten words, he closed his jaw a bit late. “You are.”
                “Yes.” She looked up at him through her lashes.
                Instead of watching her, searching her for answers, he looked off to the right, as if the lamp post itself would tell him what to do. A few moments later, after she had laid her hands on his chest, he looked back. He was bewildered, but smiling, and decisive. “What happened to that sweet girl I’ve been going around with?”
                She stood, breaking away from him in such a way that he had to as well. “If you can tell me we can go right now, and you don’t have to stop anywhere, and get anything, you’re just as unsweetened.” She had him.
                He paused, eyed her long, eyed the ground long, and looked back up with a smirk. Patting a pocket a bit, he stood tall. “Hate to admit it. Sour.”
                Looking stunned, though there was no way she could have been, she gasped in a wide mouth and backed up a step, all smiles. “You aren’t.” As if to prove a point, she changed straight away, stepping back towards him to stand into a soft, long kiss, before tempting him back towards her again. This was unreal. It felt like they’d had this relationship for months.
                “New route, huh?” He reached for her hands, and she didn’t give them at first.
                “Utterly new route.” Once she was convinced there was no way he was turning around, she let him take them, fold her close to him, and brush the hair away from her neck. Seeming to notice this wasn’t a time for talking, he only applied his lips there variedly as they walked back in the direction of the housing unit. But of course, he couldn’t last.
                “This is okay, right?”
                “You know it’s okay.”
                “Right, I know, but it actually… is… okay, right?”
                “Right, of course it’s okay.”
                Sliding around the building, which was alive with feminine laughter and glowing lights, she took him by the hand and led him up the fire escape, and he didn’t complain nor wonder why. She had butterflies churning when she remembered that Faye had promised to be with Rosie and Torie tonight, serving as a self-elected mediator, and would balk at a locked door. Prying open the window, he slipped past her to extend a hand and help her inside.
                She closed out the cold behind her and stood still, overwhelmed momentarily. But he stepped around in front of her, shoving out any thoughts of guilt or concern or disbelief, and slid his hands between her coat and her dress, pulling her in close for a kiss more gentle than their others. Feeling more at home with him again, she relaxed, and forgot again about any involvement Faye may have had. This was their time, not hers or Skip’s, and it was going to be made the most of. Of that she was sure when he shifted his palms to slide the coat from her shoulders.
EEEE! Zomg! I like where this is going!
:O :O :O :O

PRE-SMUT LEAD-UP. You best be writing in that notebook while you're in Florida! And for the asshole comments:

I bet Nix is lurking.

And I hope Malarkey doesn't smell.


:O. hott

That's coming along nicely! They're not on the park bench any more! I see some smuuuuuuuuut in the near fuuuuuuuuuuture :D!