DISCLAIMER: Showtime is lucky enough to own this show and these characters, not me.
SPOILERS: Much of Season One, including L'Ennui, Lawfully, and Looking Back.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By speakpirate

Alice ran her hand slowly down the back of the woman in front of her. She felt scared and tender and half-in-love all at once. Then she heard the unmistakable sound of vomiting. "Geez, it's like being back in high school," she thought, remembering her first drunken grope with the captain of the cheerleading squad.

Dana retched over the side of the boat again. Alice stroked her hair, and murmured soothingly to her. "Dane, honey, it's going to be okay. You're going to be okay. I promise."

"She." Dana's words were interrupted by more heaving. "She won't take me back this time."

Alice inhaled sharply. She'd suspected that something was off when Dana showed up at the party sans sous chef, and proceeded to polish off the entire open bar stock of Absolut. Briefly, she flashed on how hot Dana had looked in her tank top, dancing at the edge of the hot tub. She looked hot even now, in a ravaged and wasted kind of way.

"Shh...it's gonna be alright," she muttered. "You'll be okay."

"I love," more sounds of vomiting, "I loved her,"Dana said, as her whole body began to shake.

"Oh, honey, I know." Alice said, wrapping her arms around Dana's athletic frame.

"Don't!" Dana protested weakly. "Don't touch me. I'm gross."

"You're not gross," Alice assured her. "You're my best friend."

Dana's bleary eyes moved up to Alice's face. "Really?"

"Okay, yes, but let's not make like a big deal," Alice smiled.

Dana was still shaking slightly, whether from cold or from residual alcohol poisoning, Alice couldn't tell. She retrieved a blanket from a chest nearby, and returned to wrap it around her friend. Best friend. Only a friend, she reminded herself. So what if Dana was so drunk and depressed that she'd do anything tonight. She needed comfort, not a come on. And it was way too soon, anyway. Even if she was willing to be a girl who sleeps with her friends -- especially one incredibly sexy/geeky kinda famous tennis player friend -- no way would she do it less than twelve hours after Dana had ended her first major adult relationship.

It was getting a little chilly out on the water. Alice huddled under the blanket with Dana, who rested her head on Alice's shoulder. Alice put her arm around Dana's shoulders and pulled her close. The music from the party was slowing down, and the lights of the harbor were pretty in the distance.

"This is nice," she thought. Not Dana puking all over, obviously. But the two of them, quietly cuddling together, on the boat. For a minute, she wondered what it would be like to be Bette and Tina. Knowing that this woman is the one you want to wake up with every day of your life. Alice glanced over at Dana, who seemed to be drifting towards a restless drunken slumber. It wouldn't be bad, she thought, to have that face be the first thing you see in the morning. Every morning.

She'd always tempered her crush on Dana with thoughts of how impossible it would be for her to be so closeted all the time. Dana had her whole playing house thing with her hunky doubles partner. With Alice being a "dirty bisexual," she'd probably insist on having them go out on double dates with Harrison and his boy of the month.

But this most recent thing with Lara had been bringing out a new confidence in Dana. Not that she was going to march bare breasted with the Lesbian Avengers in the next Pride Parade, but that she could accept herself and take small steps towards being more honest with the world. And maybe if her partner was patient enough, and supportive enough, she could do it.

Alice shuddered a little at the thought of Dana's neo-Republican parents in Orange County. It couldn't have been easy growing up in that environment. And Dana put so much pressure on herself to succeed. Alice stroked her hair gently. She should cut her some slack. If Dana could just relax a little, she'd be fine.

Plus, how much would Dana's public identity matter if they were alone in a bed somewhere. If Alice had her tongue between her thighs making her cum so hard that she ejaculated. Alice felt herself getting a little hot at that thought, as she had every time she thought about it since Dana brought it up at the Planet that morning.

She'd never had that happen herself. Not even with Gabby. Who was so good in bed that it almost made up for her mind games and general bad treatment. Almost.

Dana snuggled a little closer. Of the many, many, sexy things about Dana, Alice thought, one of the best was the way she would always show up when you called. When you needed her. No matter what else she was doing. When Alice had been burned by the angry, non- committal version of Gabby the first time around, Dana had stayed on the phone with her long distance into the wee hours of the morning the night before a big tournament. That was just the kind of person she was.

And straight forward. No complex definitions of sexual identity. Lesbian man, or FTM, or S&M. Dana just gay. About as gay as they come. Not for the first time, Alice wondered whether she might find all the things she was looking for in a man or a women right here, in a Dana. Still thinking along those lines, she curled up against the athletic body next to her, and drifted off to sleep.

They woke up suddenly, several hours later, when Shane leapt down to their level of the boat. "Hey," she said, nudging Alice with her elbow. "Hey, you two. Check it out. The sun is rising."

Such a romantic, Alice thought groggily. She was still getting her bearings, when she realized that her arms were wrapped around Dana, who's head was softly resting on her breast.

"Huh.uh." Dana mumbled incoherently.

"Shh." Alice soothed her again. "It's early. You don't have to get up yet."

"Only if you want to see the sun rising over the city from the water," Shane said sardonically.

Slowly, Dana opened her eyes. Alice tried not to get too hopeful over the fact that she didn't immediately freak out or change positions. Alice moved a hand gently over her back again.

"You had a rough night," she said.

"Urgh," Dana mumbled again, her eyes open and taking in her surroundings. Slowly, she moved her head from Alice's breast, only to rest it again on her shoulder. "I feel like shit. I must look like shit," she groaned.

"No, you look like the gorgeous - though momentarily hung over - tennis player who will be the next face of Subaru," Alice assured her, ignoring Shane's raised eyebrows from across the seat.

The sun was really rising now, breaking over the land in streaks of red and orange. "I've got to give it to you, Shane," Alice admitted. "In spite of the fact that this is an ungodly hour of the morning to be awake, given what time we went to bed, this is really beautiful."

"Yes it is," Shane agreed, giving Alice and Dana an enigmatic smile. "I'm going to head up top for some food, and maybe bring back some water for the new face of Subaru. Later."

She always has the best instincts for when to leave people alone, Alice thought. How did she ever get that cool? It couldn't be all nipple confidence, could it?

"I'm so embarrassed," Dana said quietly. "I made such a fool of myself last night."

"Don't," Alice told her. "No one noticed. I still love you. And today is a new day."

"New day," Dana repeated, still not extricating herself from the warm place she was resting against Alice's body.

And together, they watched the sunrise.

The End

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