DISCLAIMER: If only the gods would smile upon me and make Ms. Jones and Ms. Lahbib all mine, but alas, Nikki Wade and Helen Stewart belong to Shed Productions. I have merely offered them candy, and brought them safely home.
SPOILERS: End of Season One/Beginning of Season Two.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The house was cold. Helen could feel the draft of air that slipped in around the loose caulking of the bay-window, barely stirring the thin white lace of the curtains. The room was dim, the swaying light of a few candles sending moving forms across the walls, her only company tonight, save the heavy glass in her hand, and the bottle of liquid amnesia on the coffee table.
This had become her nightly ritual. It was the only way that she slept now, the only way she knew of ridding her mind of bits of Nikki. Each shot took with it a piece of the woman who shadowed her every thought.
Inhaling deeply, taking in the fiery vapors of the vodka, the first shot washed away the traces of Nikki's scent, the subtle whisper of cologne, the smell of fresh air, and potting soil, of mulch and perspiration and longing.
The second, slipping down her throat with a burning, lingering caress, wiped from her mind the feel of work-roughened hands, sliding gently along her cheek, tracing a pattern along the soft skin of her throat, tangling less than gently in the fine hair at the nape of her neck.
By the third shot, the taste of the vodka, the icy rivers of Siberia, the faint traces of mineral and soil, wiped from her mind a sweetness she had never known existed until the first brush of Nikki's lips against her own. It was a flavour like none other, and she craved it as a dying man craves water and redemption.
Closing her eyes, she waited for the darkness, as a quick, experienced flick of her wrist sent the fourth shot spiraling down her throat. A momentary blindness, it drew her back from the brink of falling into the depths of chocolate brown eyes that held all that she could ever hope to know of grace, despite the Calvinist warnings of her youth.
Helen leaned back against the plush pillows of the sofa, eyes still closed, breathing growing slower and deeper. For a few hours, she would sleep, her mind numb to the smell of Nikki's skin, to the feel of Nikki's hand, to the taste of Nikki's lips, to the soul-quenching depths of Nikki's eyes. Until the morning sun slanted in the living-room window, and she awoke to the pounding in her skull, and the daily onslaught of remembering.
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