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The day was grey and nothing seemed to be moving. The sky was heavy, pushing down on the buildings of Manhattan like a thousand feet of water on a lost city. There had been rain, for the past week rain and sunshine and then rain again. Now the rain had subsided, for the time being at least, but the clouds remained to smother the city and its inhabitants with a dull pressure and grey miasma of dejection. Everything seemed hollow, perfunctory and slightly pointless. Tracey just thanked God they didn't have to go into work today.
Lying on the couch in the living room of her Brownstone, watching the world tick by so slowly and ungratefully, like a schoolboy dragging his feet in the morning, Tracey sighed. She had woken early, just as the dawn pushed it's way through the masses of cloud only to be dulled by the incessant drizzle. The bed had felt cold and foreign to her. The darkness of her room and the slanted light from the window falling across Kelly's curled up shape made her feel weak and uncomfortable. So she freed herself from the tangled sheets and made her way to the kitchen, her feet thudding softly, dully against the floor boards. Filling a glass with tap water, Tracey leaned on her elbows and sipped, staring across the counter and out the window. The world looked coloured and clean, just with a dampening grey tint to everything in sight and the dirt that inevitably covered every surface of the city.
She wondered if life was always like this, if it depended entirely on each person what they saw. That one might have a slide behind their eyes that showed all the goodness and another had the slide that revealed the true ugly nature of the world, like the old fashioned plates used in black and white cameras. Her problem, Tracey thought, was that she had both, the good and the bad. She could see the teddy bear in the arms of a smiling, pig tailed little girl but she could also see the sweat shops filled with similar, poorer children where it was made. She could see the sleeping form of her father in his armchair, his loud voice finally quietened, but she could also see the empty bottles of Scotch in the sink. She put down her glass and pushed the heels of her palms into her eyes, watching the stars appear. It was like mathematics; a plus and a plus equals another plus, a minus and a minus equals another minus but a plus and a minus, the good and the bad, always amounted to a minus. There it was in black and white, in text books everywhere and yet no one seemed to understand, the bad guys always win.
Sighing in frustration at her gloomily affected thoughts, Tracey left the kitchen and stepped into the living room, trying to ignore the window. As she dropped onto the lounge, back propped up against one side, she was faced with the greyness again. She didn't change positions. A window into the world would not beat her, Tracey mentally asserted, blinking stubbornly at the clouds. And there she sat, staring out the window
"Trace?" She turned her head to see Kelly standing at the living room entrance in her pyjamas, rubbing her eyes. Her blonde hair was messy and a few pieces stuck up like little flames. Bed head, Tracey smiled. Kelly seemed fuzzy all over with sleep and Tracey was struck my the thought that she'd be cold in her singlet top and bare feet. The long blue cotton pyjama pants, downy with use, were very warm, Tracey knew, having worn them herself. But Kelly's arms must be freezing in that extremely cute singlet. She'd laughed a lot, nearly hurting Kelly's feelings, when she'd seen it. Kelly had pranced into her bedroom wearing it one night and Tracey had to hold her still to read the front. It was plain white with red straps and there were a pair of bright red lips stencilled across the chest. On top of those was written "Hot Lips" in cursive script and underneath "Kissing Instructor, M*A*S*H 4077th" Her laughter was only quelled when Kelly gave her a sulky but strangely appealing look. Tracey had sat up and pulled it over Kelly's head, whispering that it was very cute but she'd like it better on the floor
Tracey was struck by the memory as she smiled at Kelly's adorable stance and attire. She still had not forgotten the temperature, though she'd been out of bed far longer than Kelly.
"Come here, baby." She stretched her right arm out over the arm of the couch, beckoning her partner. Kelly padded over and dropped down between Tracey's legs, leaning back and rolling a little to the side, so she was snuggling into Tracey's chest. The older ADA wrapped her arms around the blonde's upper body, rubbing her exposed arms quickly to warm her. Kelly gave a contented mewing noise, nuzzling her cheek against Tracey's sternum. Tracey smiled down at her, quite aware the look would go unnoticed. Kelly was already drifting off to sleep.
Tracey must have dozed off too because when she lifted her head to look around the living room, the rain had started again. She felt Kelly's weight on her chest and was amused to find her head still nestled quite comfortably between Tracey's breasts. She was toying with the idea of yawning extra loudly to wake Kelly up when she heard a muffled moan.
"No, Tracey.." She nearly stopped breathing altogether at the sound of her name. She was quite curious to find out what Kelly was dreaming about. The blonde moaned again and rolled her lower body a little. Tracey listened carefully. Was it one of those dreams?
"Tracey " Kelly said her name in a breathy whisper and a tremor of arousal ran through the brunette's small body. She was seriously considering waking Kelly up when she heard another moan and Kelly say
"Tracey, I don't LIKE banana ice cream." Tracey clapped her hand over her mouth to stop her laughter reaching her sleeping partner's ears. Kelly rolled over and faced the couch, shivering a little in the cold and pushing as close to Tracey as she could. This made Tracey laugh harder and she used her other hand to help stifle the noise. Once she had her mirth under control, which took a considerably long time, she let her hands drop and find Kelly's arms, a smile still playing upon her lips at the whole situation. She began to rub them slowly and gently and was rewarded by a contented sigh. Kelly didn't seem to be dreaming about ice cream anymore, Tracey grinned, looking out the window. The rain was falling harder now, running down the windows. But the world no longer seemed gloomy. It just looked wet.
Tracey began to sing gently, her voice flowing like warm honey through Kelly's dreams.
"It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring.
He bumped his head on the end of the bed, and couldn't get up till the morning."
Tracey continued to hum the tune, rubbing Kelly's bare arms warm, accompanied by the soft musical splash of the rain.
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