DISCLAIMER: Spooks and its characters are the property of Kudos and the BBC. No infringement intended.
SPOILERS: Kinda. Most of the story is set pre series 1, but it does vaguely refer to events in series 2 and 3.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Jayden Scott
At first, Zoe was convinced that it was all in her head. It had to be. There was no other possible explanation for it.
Of course, it was not exactly the best kept secret in Five, even though it wasn't the gossip around the water cooler. It was more common knowledge than anything. Tessa had anyone she wanted. There weren't many people that she hadn't shagged: Harry, Tom, Malcolm, and even Christine Dale, some speculated. Everyone knew that Tessa got exactly what she wanted, even who she wanted, so once something fell into her sights, she was an irresistible force.
It started with stray smiles during briefings. Zoe would glance up and catch Tessa's cool blue gaze on her, studying her. When caught, Tessa showed no signs of embarrassment, she would just faintly smile at her for a few moments as if daring Zoe to look away first, then refocus her attention on whoever might be speaking at the time.
Then came the casual touches. Zoe might be hunched over her desk, eyes squinting at the computer screen, or at a sheaf of papers with every feasible scrap of intelligence they had on a particular target, and Tessa would silently slink up behind her, peer over her shoulder. Then she might rest her hand on Zoe's shoulder and inquire after what she was working or some equally asinine question
Zoe would stutter a reply when all she could really think about was the surprisingly soft fingers on her shoulder, casually brushing her neck as the hand was withdrawn. Zoe would suppress a shudder and desperately fight the urge to watch the older woman walk away. Then when it was safe, she would glance around to see if anyone had noticed her and Tessa's exchange. Honestly, for a spy, she thought she was particularly awful at pretending that Tessa had no effect on her.
She desperately wanted to talk to Danny about it, or anyone really. But Tom and definitely Harry were out of the question. They were her bosses for the love of Christ. Malcolm was also out because she had a suspicion that if she did, she would be feeding his already sordid imagination. That left Danny, but her flat mate would never let her live it down. Ever. She could already hear his smug voice, teasing her relentlessly. No, this was something best kept to herself.
Besides, what would the legendary Tessa Phillips, senior case officer for Section K want with Zoe Reynolds? Tessa liked people with position, people with which she could use her relationship with as leverage. And Zoe had no position; she didn't even have keys to the bloody janitor's closet. She had nothing to offer, nothing to bring to the table that would interest her. Tessa did not have relationships; she had acquisitions.
All doubt was removed from her mind the day Tom assigned Zoe to examine some maps an undercover agent had recovered on his last op. "Some maps" was an understatement of the severest degree.
She chose to work in the briefing room, where she could unfold and spread the maps out on the massive table, take notes with pencil and legal pad while walking around the entire table. If she could see them all at once, it might help her organize the intelligence in her head. For good measure, she drew the shades on the glass wall that allowed a view into the briefing room from the office and vice verse to prevent distraction. Tom had given her instructions to finish before she left for the night.
Zoe was certain she would still be there in the morning with as much information as she would have to sift through. So while he was off shagging Ellie, she was stuck here with some maps, a legal pad, and coffee that kept going cold. It wasn't an entirely fair thought; Tom worked as hard, as if not harder than any of them. But she was in a foul mood and not feeling very charitable.
Hours crawled past as if time was personally trying to spite Zoe. She had long since stopped checking the clock, or even going to refresh her coffee. She barely even noticed when the briefing room door opened and quietly clicked shut. A back part of her mind heard it though, assuming it was Danny come to tell her he was headed home.
Hands planted on the table, she leaned a little further forward to read one of the countless notations the agent had made on the map.
"Those the maps Apollo brought in?"
Tessa's voice was all business, but the mere sound of it made the hair on the back of Zoe's neck stand up. Still, she did not move. "Yeah," Zoe managed, concentrating as hard as she possibly could on the scribbles made in black permanent marker.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Tessa slowly round the side of the table as if giving the maps a precursory glance. "Hmph." She murmured, neither in approval or disapproval. "Anything interesting?"
Zoe lifted one hand from the table to rub her strained eyes, to nervously tuck an errant lock of chestnut hair back behind her ear. "I don't know, honestly. Probably won't until I've gone over the entire bloody thing with a microscope." She bent back over the table and made her own notation on the map, this one in red marker.
With the stealthy quickness that Zoe had only seen in cats chasing their prey, Tessa was behind her. Not just behind her. Achingly close.
Her breath caught audibly in her throat. Inwardly, she winced. She could lie straight-faced to a foreign diplomat with no problem. She could pretend to be a PR consultant or a legal secretary at an instant's notice. Harry often commented that her acting skills were laudable, high praise from the head of MI5. She was a bloody spy, but for the life of her she could not act as if the older woman had no effect on her.
Tessa heard the small gasp and chuckled, a husky, deep throated laugh. Her hands coming to rest on the gentle curve of Zoe's hips, jerking them back sharply. "Zoe, Zoe " Tessa tsked.
A flush quickly spread from Zoe's to the rest of her face, to her chest. There were only two thin layers of skirt between her arse and Tessa's groin. Conflicted, she wanted to push back into the older woman, harder. Instead, she attempted to pull away, to stand up straight. A firm hand planted in the small of her back kept her bent over the table and another still upon her hip kept her from squirming away. Zoe could feel the dampness between her legs, certain she would cum just from Tessa's display of dominance.
"Listen to me, Zoe." The predatory rasp in Tessa's voice stilled Zoe immediately. "I know you want this. Don't think I haven't noticed the way you react to me, the way you try not to want this."
"Tessa-" Zoe began, but was immediately cut off.
"I said, listen, not speak." Tessa commanded easily. The way she wielded authority with such practiced ease caused even more chills to tremor down Zoe's spine, but she complied. "Now, when you finish here, I want you to come to my flat." Her hand strayed down her thigh, lifting her skirt slightly and traveling back up, dragging her nails on Zoe's bare skin. "Here's the address." Fingers of the same hand deftly tucked a slip of paper in the waistband of the younger woman's underwear. Arousal shot through Zoe's body like an electric charge, causing her fingers to clench, eyes to roll backwards.
The hand was quickly removed and Tessa leaned over, covering Zoe's body with her own to whisper in her ear. "I always get what I want, Zoe. One way or another."
With that, Tessa was walking to the door. Breathless from the sudden loss of contact, Zoe quickly straightened, still agonizingly conscious of the warmth on her arse and back that was from the pressure of Tessa's pussy and breasts. "Tessa!" She called out, whirling to chase after the other woman.
Tessa halted, her hand on the door knob. She was not classically beautiful; she probably had been when she was younger. But she was still attractive. Her blond hair was not out of place by a single strand, the abrupt haircut only lending to the sharp, angular features of her face. blue eyes narrowed as if there was nothing they could not see. A slender, well kept figure was accented by the conservative beige slacks and blazer Tessa wore. There was a sternness to the older woman's appearance, an air of severity which only made Zoe more attracted to her.
Without thinking, she crossed the gap between them with a few hurried strides and caught Tessa's lips in her own, their bodies pressed together. Tessa stiffened initially, caught off guard by the younger woman's sudden display of confidence. With everyone else, there was never a chink in Zoe's armor; the young woman was always sure of herself, not intimidated by any person or situation, except for Tessa and she knew that and played it to her advantage.
This was the spirited young woman that Tessa enjoyed, so long as she did not forget who was in charge. As if to illustrate that point, she snaked one arm around Zoe's waist while the other hand wound its fingers in her hair, jerking her head back.
Zoe only moaned softly in response, pushing her body harder against Tessa's. Their mouths danced together, then tongues, hungrily relishing everything the other had to offer. With a little quirk of her lips in amusement, Tessa noticed that Zoe was on the tip of her toes to kiss her, so she craned her head down to better accommodate her.
Time was lost to both of them. Zoe was so absorbed in the softness of Tessa's lips, the deliberate swirls of her tongue, that it barely occurred to her that she was finally kissing Tessa. Finally. And how Tessa was stronger than she anticipated though her skin was surprisingly smooth, and that she tasted sweeter than she could ever have imagined.
Tessa was only aware of the enthusiasm of the younger woman, the passion of her kisses as if Zoe were trying to convince her of her intentions. Of how she smelled faintly of perfume, soft flower petals. Of the earnestness in her eyes every time Tessa opened her eyes long enough to see pure doe brown eyes gazing back at her.
When the bruising kiss was finally broken, it was Tessa's turn to be surprised. Zoe's hands cupped Tessa's face, her fingertips gingerly resting on her cheeks. Tessa was startled to realize that they had been that way during the entire duration of their kiss.
There was never any doubt that Zoe would leave Thames house that night and go straight to Tessa's. Or that she would be there whenever the blond woman beckoned. That was simply how it was. Long after Tessa had fallen asleep after they had fucked, Zoe was not stupid enough to believe that anything Tessa did with anyone qualified as "making love," she would snuggle deeper into the covers and rest her head on her bare chest and listen to her heart beat.
Those were the moments that Zoe cherished the most, after they had both climaxed to the point of collapse, she would curl against Tessa who would wrap her arms her, pulling her so close that Zoe lay half on top of her. She would wait until the steady, even breathing told her that Tessa was asleep and listen to the drum of her heart, let the rhythmic rise and fall of her chest lull her to sleep.
Despite all her efforts to the contrary, Zoe fell deeper and deeper in love. What started out as infatuation ended in an addiction. She could never refuse Tessa, no matter how hard she tried. Tessa took her whenever and wherever she pleased, without any complaint from the younger woman. Zoe enjoyed the sex, more than that she never felt closer, more absorbed in another person during sex than she was with her. But she wanted more. More than hungry kisses, more than a quick shag in the briefing room after hours, more than an empty, post-coital embrace.
But she was not naïve.
No, she was certainly not naïve. She even admitted to herself that she knew that she was not the only person Tessa fucked, but she did not want to know who the others were. Though she relished with certain confidence that she was the only one that Tessa had with any sort of regularity. She spent more time in Tessa's bed than she did her own, but that hardly meant anything.
Before, Zoe entertained fantasies of what it would be to suck on Tessa's tongue, to feel her long, slender fingers slip past the waist of her panties and part her legs. She even had one particularly guilty fantasy of Tessa bending her over a table, much like she had in the briefing room, and fucking her from behind.
Once all of those day dreams had come true, she day dreamed of what it would be like to have Tessa wake her with soft kisses on her cheeks and eyelids instead of hungry, demanding kisses on her neck, chest, and lips. What it would be like to go to sleep with her every night without having to make excuses to Danny why she was never at their flat.
She craved Tessa's affection. Every tousle of her hair, caress of her cheek caused a pang of hope to leap under her breast. She yearned for Tessa's subtle smiles and nods of approval; reinforcing that there might be a chance that she felt something beyond a physical attraction to Zoe. She was not naïve, but she still hoped that perhaps, though she never vocalized it, that Tessa might feel the same way about her.
It wasn't naïve to hope. Was it?
One night, as they had done so many times before, Zoe waited until Tessa was asleep again before carefully extricating herself from her embrace. Propping herself up on her elbow, she gazed down at the sleep slackened face of the beautiful older woman. With one finger, she delicately brushed her blond bangs from Tessa's brow and barely brushed her lips across it.
"I love you, Tessa." She whispered, knowing she would never have the courage to say such a thing if Tessa were awake.
They kept up their relationship until Tessa was branded a traitor by Five and escaped to veritable exile. What was even worse was that Zoe had given Five the rope with which to hang her lover. It made it hard for her to decide who was truly the traitor.
Especially when the unmarked envelope bearing simply her name appeared on her bed. Zoe did not question how she managed to break into their flat, let alone her room. It was Tessa after all.
The note was torturously short.
I was awake, even when you thought me sleeping. I was always awake.
I spent twenty odd years always pretending to be something different than what I was. I should have told you. Hindsight is always twenty twenty, my sweet.
That was it. A few empty affairs, a lot of cock-ups, and life was normal. As normal as it would ever be without Tessa peering over her shoulder or waiting for her after work.
Until the same organization that had turned on Tessa turned on her too. When Zoe went into hiding, she took that boy as a cover until she could find Tessa again. There was no doubt in her mind that they would find each other once again. The alternative was too painful to consider.
After all, her day dreams did have a tendency of coming true.
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