DISCLAIMER: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to Rayne for the great Beta work.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To bellataggart[at]gmail.com
SPOILERS: Up to S01E11
Lost and Found
By Bella Taggart
Bo had come into Sammy's, an out of the way little bar known for its mixed clientele, hoping to find information on a missing half-blooded fae woman. What she hadn't expected to find was Lauren, but there she was sitting alone at the bar. An almost empty bottle of whiskey lay in front of her, a glass settled in her hand, and her head was bent, her mind seemingly miles away. Unaware of being observed, she looked different tired.
Bo approached the bar as stealthily as she could and took a seat a few stools down from her. Hiding behind a tall man between them, Bo took the opportunity to really look at the woman.
It had been two weeks since she'd last seen her at the police station though judging by the difference in Lauren's appearance it could have been much longer. Bo had never known a person to age in such a short time. Her clothes were hanging a little too loosely off her form and there were dark circles under her eyes. She looked like she hadn't slept in a week.
Bo briefly wondered what was keeping her up at night and then decided that she wasn't going to think about that. She was here to do a job, not steal glances at an obviously disheveled and yet still attractive-as-could-be doctor.
She sat up straighter on her seat, just as the man between them took his leave. Lauren's attention caught onto her in seconds. First her eyes widened in reflex and then quite unexpectedly she burst out laughing.
"Of course you'd be here today," She mumbled, shaking her head, more to herself than to Bo. "Of all places."
Bo, not knowing what to make of that reaction, just found herself getting peeved about missing the joke. "Was I supposed to be somewhere else?"
"No." Lauren shook her head, trying to reign in her laughter, though the alcohol in her system wasn't making it easy.
"What's so funny?" Bo asked.
"Nothing." She held up a hand in apology.
They sat in silence for a while, both of them looking at everything but each other. Then the rattling of metal hitting metal had Bo turning back to Lauren. She was clutching something and hitting it onto the surface of the bar, keeping up with the rhythm of the song that was playing. Bo felt the hair in the back of her neck stand as she realized that it was the Ash's necklace Lauren was playing with.
"Do you mind? I'm getting a headache."
Lauren stopped her hand in mid motion and put the necklace down.
Bo looked away. She hated that damned thing. What was it they said; Guns don't kill people, people kill people? Well the necklace might as well have been a gun as far as Bo was concerned. Her rational mind knew that the amulet itself held no power. Still that knowledge didn't make her want to break the thing in half any less. If only there had been no necklace, no hidden agenda, and no betrayal. Things could have been so much different.
"I'm sorry." Lauren said.
"Yes, yes I know." Bo sighed exasperatedly, thinking they were back to that.
"What? No," Lauren chuckled, "For the noise," She clarified. "No, I wasn't apologizing for that. I ." she hiccupped and brought a hand to her chest "Excuse me. I've...I've decided to stop apologizing for that, so you don't have to worry."
Lauren had stopped calling. Bo had noticed that. Her last message had been 17 days ago. Bo, it's me again...I don't know what to say anymore I need to talk to you, please just call me...Please.
Bo hadn't called her back.
"Good," Lauren repeated. "Great. I mean, I might be slow but even I'm not that slow..." Her words were slurring, "I got the message, loud and clear, right about the time I said sorry for the 5th...or was it the 7th?" she looked like she was trying to calculate it in her mind, and then gave up with a wave of her hand. "Doesn't matter. Somewhere along there I finally understood that...you didn't wanna hear it. So no more. In fact, I'm not even gonna say the word "sorry" anymore. Period. Throwing the word out of my dictionary vocabulary! Vocabulary."
Lauren was more than a little tipsy. By the looks of it she was completely drunk off her mind. Bo had never seen her like this, let alone heard her babble, ever. In spite of herself, she worried about what had caused the normally collected doctor to lose herself like this.
"Right," Bo said, annoyed to still be caring about Lauren one way or another. "Isn't it a little early to be drinking?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, is there a rule somewhere..." She stopped herself and cracked up again, "I did it again! I didn't mean to... really... I'm," She smacked her palm over her mouth, and her whole body shook in an effort to contain the laughter.
Bo wasn't laughing, however. "Don't you have to be at work? It's four in the afternoon."
"Is it four already?" Lauren lifted her arm up and brought her watch to an inch from her nose. "It is indeed. Well, you know, all work and no play makes Lauren a...what was it?"
"Just how drunk are you?"
"I'm not drunk!" She protested in reflex, trying to sit up quickly. When she found herself swaying on her seat, she held onto the bar and amended her statement. "Well, maybe a little."
Lauren pulled an arm under her head and closed her eyes, just to rest them for a moment. She was jerked awake by Bo's too loud calling of her name, "Lauren!"
"What?" She straightened up, opening her eyes wide and trying to get her bearings. Bo was sitting right next to her.
"Do you need me to call someone?"
"Aww, you're sweet." Lauren replied, rubbing her face. "But I'm fine on my own...sweet, sweet Bo..." She trailed off, concentrating on her watch again.
Bo didn't know what to make of her. She wanted to just shake the woman. Instead she shook her head.
"You don't have to feel bad, you know." Lauren announced with sudden clarity.
"About us." She waved her hand between them to make her point. "I knew, from the moment we started whatever it was...that was between us, that it wasn't going to last long."
Bo's head snapped back to her. "What does that mean?"
Lauren hummed into her drink, getting lost again.
"Lauren," Bo prompted.
"What does that mean?"
Lauren shook her head. "Nothing."
"Not nothing. What did you mean by that?"
Lauren held her glass to her brow, instead of speaking. The ice felt refreshing against her skin.
Bo didn't like not getting answers to her questions. "Did your little master say that our affair was supposed to be short-lived?"
Lauren looked up suddenly, unable to believe that Bo had just asked her that. Though why, she didn't know. Bo obviously had no understanding about anything when it came to Lauren.
"Yeah," she said, playing with the necklace back in her hand. "That's it."
Bo didn't want Lauren agreeing with her when she obviously didn't. It was patronizing.
"Then why?" She asked with a little more force than necessary.
Lauren sighed audibly, resting her head on her bottle. "What does it matter now?"
Lauren closed her eyes, trying to lessen the spinning of her world. When it made no difference she opened them again. "It was too..." good to be true was what she was going to say but when she met Bo's angry glare she found herself swallowing the rest of her words. Instead, she said, "If you knew anything about my life, my past you wouldn't be asking me why. But...it's not my past you're interested in." She trailed off with a bitter smirk on her lips and a glazed look in her eyes.
Bo couldn't help wondering if Lauren was talking about her search into her own past or her recent interest in Dyson's. Either way, it was none of Lauren's business. That didn't take away from the sting she felt at hearing the hurt in the other woman's voice however.
"Whatever." She sat back on her stool and looked around in the bar.
Lauren nodded, as though that was the reply she had been expecting all along, and went back to her drink.
Bo was irritated frustrated. Despite her resolve not to engage, she found herself doing exactly that. But it was so easy to fall into whatever hole Lauren had dug for herself. It was so easy to fall into Lauren.
She hated it, her weakness in the face of this woman.
She didn't understand her. She certainly didn't know a thing about her. Lauren was right about that, because if she had she would have expected her trust to be broken by her. Whatever had driven Lauren to be a slave - God, she hated the word - had to be more important than whatever bond they may have shared.
What had Lauren said? Right, she was in it for the science. Spectacular.
Bo motioned the burly looking bartender over. He was a beast of a man, tall and wide, with a long beard hiding most of his face. Bo wouldn't have been surprised if he was something other than human. Not anymore, when in every corner she turned there seemed to be a new fae popping in her way.
"Yeah?" He asked, in a tone far from friendly.
"Hey," She smiled, turning the charm on. "There was a fight here the other day, over this woman". She took out a photo and showed it to him. "Remember her?"
He didn't even take a proper look before he grunted, "No."
Bo took hold of his arm, her fingers radiating her power and asked again, "You sure?"
Then the strangest thing happened, he looked at her with just as much hostility as before and in a bored tone said, "Cute. Now you wanna let go of my arm, so I can get back to work?"
Bo let go, more out of shock than anything else. Her power hadn't worked. He walked away as unaffected as anything, leaving a confused succubus behind. Just as she was about to try again, she heard Lauren take a breath to speak.
"That won't work on him. He's a Mordar Giant; he's immune to your power."
Bo rolled her eyes.
Lauren faced her with an amused expression on her face, "Your seduction trick over there probably felt like you were tickling him more than turning him on. And let's be honest, tickling is more annoying than pleasurable."
A commotion by the door broke their eye contact. Two men were pushing into each other like ostriches, looking for a fight, while a crowd formed around them.
"You should leave". Lauren suggested, "You don't wanna get mixed up in that, being a side-less fae and all."
"I'm fine here, thanks."
"I'm just saying, you usually end up right in the middle of trouble, even if the trouble has nothing to do with you."
"You're very talkative all of a sudden."
"Am I? Yeah, drinking does that to me, which is why I guess I usually don't drink. I must say I'm finding it quite liberating, although I could do without the dry mouth." She said, smacking her lips.
Bo found herself grinning in spite of everything, which, she was beginning to discover, was a part of Lauren's charm,. One minute she was making her smile, and the next she was pushing on her buttons hard enough to hurt.
"I'm wondering something." Lauren said suddenly.
"Since we're having a conversation."
"No, seriously." She looked into her eyes somberly, "When are you going to pick a side?"
And here came the pushing.
"I mean, how long do you think you'll be able to remain neutral? How long before you get hurt, irreversibly?
Bo gave a warning look, but Lauren continued anyway, "If you gave the Ash the chance, he could protect you."
"I don't want his protection."
"Then pick the Morrigan."
Bo's eyes widened in shock, "You want me to choose the dark fae?"
"I don't care as long as you choose someone."
"Well, sorry to disappoint but that's not gonna happen."
"I worry about you."
"I'm a big girl Lauren. I can take care of myself."
"Dyson's body won't always be enough to heal you."
"I'll get by."
"Damn it Bo, I might not always be around to help."
"I never asked you to be. I don't need you Lauren."
The flash of pain that sliced through Lauren's face at her words had Bo regretting them instantly. But it was too late, they were out already. They weren't true, but they were out.
Lauren looked down, hiding behind the hair that fell across her face with the move of her head and nodded. She took a moment, and then, trying very much to sound unaffected she said. "Right, of course."
Putting her drink on the bar, she slipped off her seat and stood up. "It's getting late."
Bo watched as Lauren steadied herself. With a lift of her hand, Lauren motioned the bartender over and pushing the bottle his way said, "Pour the last one for the pretty lady Sam."
The bartender who had barely spared a glance at Bo actually smiled at Lauren, his face transforming into a much younger version of itself, looking more like an overgrown child than anything else. "Sure thing Doc." He said, putting an empty glass in front of Bo. "Ice?"
Bo nodded, wordlessly.
When Lauren reached into her pocket and took out some bills, the bartender started arguing.
"What're you doing? You know your money is no good here."
Bo watched as Lauren smiled her first sincere smile of the day, and put the cash on the bar. "Take it." She said, "Get Emily a toy for me."
The bartender looked at her for a long moment, some kind of understanding must have passed between them for in the next moment he was nodding.
She tilted her head towards Bo, "I think she has some questions she wants to ask you. Be nice, for me?"
The bartender nodded. "Anything for you, Doc."
"Take care of yourself Sam."
Lauren looked up at his soft, caring eyes.
He leaned closer, and took her small hand in his large one. "I know it's not my place to ask but, are you sure you want to go through with this today? You don't look strong enough."
Bo's attention zeroed in on the conversation, as more questions started running through her mind. Go through with what? What did strength have to do with anything? Who was this man that was holding Lauren's hand? Where exactly was Lauren going?
Lauren squeezed his hand in a reassuring manner, and in a voice more confidant than she felt, said, "I appreciate your concern Samuel, I do. But let me assure you, there is no need for it. It's just like any other time, I promise."
He held onto her for another moment, then the cloud over his face parted lightly, and he let go.
Lauren watched while he moved onto another customer, and wondered just when exactly she had learned to lie so well.
She could feel herself sober up by the minute. For a moment she contemplated ordering another round, then thought better of it and turned away from the bar.
Bo was looking right at her. Though she didn't actually ask anything, Lauren could read her face well enough to know that she expected answers.
Lauren thought on the matter: about their failed would-be relationship, about her obligations and what she owed or didn't owe Bo. She realized that she felt quite a bit indebted to the succubus. After all she had given something to Lauren that she had never thought she'd experience. It was over in the blink of an eye, but it was still longer and more beautiful than anything she could have imagined, or hoped for.
A taste of real, actual rushing, thundering life. The heartbeat, the glow, the pain - oh the pain - yes, but she wouldn't have changed a thing about it. For the first time in a very long time Lauren had felt alive thanks to Bo which made this all the more difficult somehow.
At least she remembered the feel, the touch, the taste of it. All things she could hold onto. And she had even allowed herself to dream about what it could have turned into had it had the time to grow.
Perhaps it was better that it hadn't. Lauren doubted that she'd be able to stand the intensity of it if it had.
Yes, she owed Bo a lot but she didn't owe her the truth of this matter. In fact Bo had made it abundantly clear that she wasn't interested in any kind of explanation concerning Lauren and the Ash. There was however one thing Lauren wanted to make clear.
"For the record, I'm not sorry for what happened between us Bo. That day, the Ash told me to distract you so that you wouldn't get killed. I'm not sorry that I did, or about how I did. I am only sorry that that was our first time." Lauren ran a hand through her tousled hair, and in a voice too low for anyone without special powers to hear, added, "And our last."
Lauren saw Bo tense up once again and looked away, not wanting to see the indifference that usually followed her apologies. Still she waited for a response.
Though she knew she was foolish to hope otherwise, the silence still hurt her. She smiled to cover it up. "Anyway, I've gotta get going." She started rushing, suddenly wanting nothing more than to get away from Bo. At the last moment her eye caught onto her necklace lying on the bar top. She reached for it in one swift move, saying the first thing that came to her mind. "Oops, don't wanna forget my collar."
When Bo's eyes widened in horror, Lauren realized that she had hurt her with her words. They were quite the pair really; pushing and pulling on each other until there was no place to hide from the pain or the joy they caused one another.
It was done now. There was nothing more to do but to walk away.
Only Bo didn't let her. She grabbed Lauren's arm, stopping her movement. "Lauren." She said, her voice low and deep.
Lauren's head hung low. Then she took a breath and looked back at Bo.
Bo didn't want to ask it, didn't want to show any kind of weakness or affection for the blonde after what she had done, but seeing her in this agitated state, in this completely out of character dismantled state, she couldn't help herself. "Are you okay?"
Lauren sighed, in a long and lasting way, as though she had been holding onto her breath for minutes. Her lips started curling up, "now she asks," she said in what could almost be a teasing manner. Than she looked into Bo's eyes, in silence and all traces of humor, fake or otherwise, and agitation disappeared from her face.
What was left scared Bo more than anything that had come before it. It looked like acceptance; for things that were, for things to be, Bo didn't know. All she knew was that she didn't like it. Lauren, the woman who could have been a warrior in another life, Lauren, the woman who had fought against everything time, pressures from both sides of the fae, her reluctant patients whom for one reason or another refused her treatment, her guidance, for the attentions of a certain succubus, for her to choose a side and who knows what else - since the day she had met her, was wearing the face of someone who had given up.
Bo's senses were issuing red alerts, urging her to do something anything to get the fight back into Lauren but she didn't know what that could possibly be when she had no idea what was causing this. Furthermore, what was this exactly?
Why had she walked into this bar of all bars in the city today? Before coming here and seeing Lauren like this, everything had been fine. She had known what was what and she had been content to live that way. Black was black and white was white and Lauren was a cold hearted, unfeeling bitch who had royally fucked her over.
Only, when she wasn't.
There had been moments that couldn't have been faked between them. Bo knew that, even when she didn't want to know that. Perhaps that was what hurt the most. Lauren had taken something real, beautiful, with a potential to be so very rare, and ripped it apart.
And here she was standing in front of her, vulnerable as could be. Obviously hurting and Bo wanted to make it better. Despite her own hurt, she wanted to fix whatever it was that had broken to make Lauren behave this way.
"What's goi..." she started asking only to be cut off by Lauren who took a step closer to her and said, in barely a whisper "I'm fine. I'm good now."
She was close enough for Bo to smell the alcohol in her breath, the perfume on her neck, the irresistibly alluring scent of her skin. For a moment she thought that Lauren was going to kiss her, her breath caught in her throat, her heartbeat tripled in anticipation, but all Lauren did was smile tenderly this time. She looked into Bo's eyes, as her own filled with tears.
Something was happening between them but Bo couldn't make sense of it. Bo couldn't understand what Lauren was trying to say without using her words because what she did understand was that there was love in Lauren's eyes. And that couldn't be. She didn't want to see that, hear that, know that. And yet she didn't move away.
She let Lauren raise a finger to her face and so very gently tuck the single rebellious strand of hair behind her ear. The heartbreakingly slow touch woke every single succubus cell in Bo's body. Feeling the rise of her power within her, she took a breath to calm herself and closed her eyes.
Lauren, despite knowing that at any moment this privilege was going to be revoked, couldn't make herself rush as she let her fingers trace the edge of Bo's face one last time. She tried to stop the trembling of her fingers - from fear of disrupting this gift of a moment - as they made their way down to Bo's lips. They parted under her touch and Lauren heard herself gasp as she felt the warmth of Bo's breath.
She was going to take this with her. No matter what happened when she left this bar, she was going to hold on to this feeling of touching Bo one last time.
She leaned in as close as she dared and breathed into Bo's neck. "Good bye Bo."
When Bo opened her eyes, she knew two things. Her eyes were blue with her power and Lauren was gone.
To Be Continued
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