DISCLAIMER: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and all its characters are the property of Fannie Flagg.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Set the night of the bee charming scene.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The night had settled in around her, had become a blanket of mysteries, the sounds different than what she was used to the crickets loud, the train quiet, her breathing imbalanced. She was hidden in the shadows, waiting for someone she wasn't sure would appear, much like a ghost hunter waiting for an apparition.
As if on cue, Idgie materialized, slipping inside through the window, as silent as a phantom. Their eyes met immediately, Idgie backlit by the moon, spectral and radiant, and Ruth was enchanted.
"What are you doing here?" Idgie asked as she made her way fully into the room, stopping just short of where Ruth sat. She was surprised and nervous, her uncertainty making her sound younger, less abrupt.
"I could ask you the same thing," Ruth said, her own confidence diminishing. She shook her head and smiled, her laugh hushed by the threat of tears. "You don't normally spend the night in the house."
"I'm not I'm " Idgie glanced around the room before suddenly adding, "I'm here for a change of clothes."
Again, Ruth smiled. She realized Idgie was making an excuse, and she raised an eyebrow in challenge. Idgie accepted it, defiance setting her features into a stubborn mask.
"Fine," she said and began unbuckling her belt. "Do whatever you want. I'm going to change, and then I'm going to down to the bar to have some fun."
Idgie dropped to her knees to unlace and remove her shoes, kicking them to the side before standing to remove her pants. Ruth watched as the tan shorts fell down equally tanned legs, pooling at Idgie's feet, the tail of the white men's dress shirt coming free and ending at muscled thighs.
Ruth allowed her eyes to glide over Idgie's body, her internal temperature rising with each inch of exposed skin she longed to taste. It wasn't a new feeling, but it was the first time Ruth was willing to accept it.
"Don't go," she heard herself say, forcing her eyes back to Idgie's, stopping the blonde's progress. "We need to talk about what happened this afternoon."
Idgie shrugged, supposedly detached and uninterested. "What's there to talk about? I kissed you; you said we shouldn't do that again; I left. End of discussion."
"You make it sound so simple."
"It's not," Ruth said, sinking further into her chair as she searched for the words to make Idgie understand, to make herself understand. "I I was scared."
"Of me?" Idgie asked, incredulous.
"Of you. Of us."
She reached out to touch Idgie's bare leg, her hand trailing upward, underneath the material which hid very little. Pausing, she glanced up to see Idgie's eyes slide closed. Ruth smiled, her other hand reaching to touch Idgie's other leg, pulling the blond to her, to straddle her hips, Ruth's dress scratching Idgie's thighs.
"What do you want?" Idgie asked, a whisper of fear in her normally dominant voice. She felt Ruth's fingertips tracing patterns on her skin and could not think past the sensation.
"You, silly. I want you." It was an honest admission, even for Ruth, but they both had known the answer before the question had been asked.
"Why now? What changed?"
"Because when we were apart," Ruth sighed, "I couldn't breathe."
Idgie looked into the warm brown eyes staring intently up at her and leaned down to meet Ruth's waiting lips, softly and briefly, insecurity still in her hesitation. But Ruth was pliable, giving herself to Idgie just as she had taken herself away earlier in their afternoon.
When Idgie pulled away, it was a long moment before she opened her eyes. Ruth's hands were still on her thighs under her shirt and Idgie smiled as she kissed Ruth again.
She tasted just as Ruth remembered, like honey and wilderness and something close to freedom. But this time there was a permanence which had not been there before. Ruth recognized then she would love Idgie for the rest of her life.
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