DISCLAIMER: Lost Girl and its characters are the property of Prodigy Pictures and Canwest Global. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S WEBSITE: catherinewestwood.wordpress.com
FEEDBACK: To catherine.westwood.now[at]gmail.com
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
CHALLENGE: Written for Epic Proportions 2013.

None Of Us Were Angels
By Catherine Westwood


Lauren knew she was only living a cliché with her love of classical music. Blonde, white, European ancestry, and she was just checking boxes off at this point...

But when Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 was playing, nothing could be wrong with the world, which only made her more of a stereotype Regardless, it was the only way she could concentrate completely on what she was seeing through her microscope, shutting out the rest of the world with the greatest of ease.

She squinted, as if that alone could tell her what she was looking at. She looked up, and sighed.

It had been quite a few hours that she'd been trying to solve the latest quandary facing the Light Fae, and she rolled her neck backwards, trying to loosen the tension. A few years ago, when Lauren had learned of the existence of the Fae, she had thought it was hard enough to acknowledge that there was another "class" of sentient beings on Earth. And that they had always been all around her. The hardest part had been to realize that all of them "passed" for human, and yet that term was very far from what they really were. Those that had made her squint in college, those that, as she traveled the world in her twenties, had made her head tilt sideways as she tried to figure out the puzzle.

And, then she had been in Africa and her lover of many years, Nadia, had been overcome by a mysterious, coma-inducing disease.

That was how she met the Ash, the leader of the Light Fae, and then her life changed forever.

Now, she lived amongst the Fae, and she was even in love with one. At the thought of the indomitable Bo, Lauren's lips helplessly curled upward. As Grumiaux's heavenly rendition of Mozart continued in the background, the good doctor could admit that it had been a perilous and intoxicating adventure to be with Bo.

If anyone had ever told her, before or after the Ash's arrival in her life, that she would have been involved with a succubus, Lauren would have stared at them gobsmacked, looked at them askance, before firmly writing him or her off as completely loony tunes. Okay, delusional.

Lauren leaned back in her chair, and haphazardly rubbed her hands over her face. It was a highly uncharacteristic gesture. But even in this new world, where it sometimes seemed that her and Bo's merry band of warriors, utter destruction seemed to rain down on them every other week.

When nearly every challenged seemed to hinge on saving the world, it was easy to become inured to chaos and half-finished sentences. There was never enough time, it seemed to Lauren, to speak in paragraphs; only quick sentences, which did nothing to build permanence in and of itself.

It did seem that every time she saw Bo, there was always an urgency, a lightning-quick need, and even a sort of unspoken unease about whether each of them were already infected with some sort of personality-altering parasite.

Honestly, the number of times either she or Bo had been a personal pawn in whatever sick destroy-the-world plan a Dark Fae had plotted for that day was enough to break anyone's mind. Well, any sane mind, anyhow. That neither she nor Bo dwelt very long on any tragedy was, Lauren knew, problematic to say the least. The doctor in Lauren freely acknowledged this intellectual truth, but the human being, the lover in Lauren didn't want to look too closely at all.

And that seemed to suit Bo just fine too. They really were perfect for each other.

As the virtuoso's violin picked up pace, it slashed bold, winding notes into the barren air, and Lauren's lab came alive with movement, jarring the doctor out of her head. Lauren smirked to herself, and rolled her eyes. She didn't have time for all this wool gathering; the fate of the world hung in the balance.

And, this time, Kenzi, Bo's dearest friend and roommate, had been pulled into the mix. Even though she and Kenzi were human, their lives were deeply entwined with the Fae, and that made them fair game to the Dark Fae.

Until, of course, Bo, Lauren, and the rest of their crew figured out a way to save Kenzi and the planet. No different from any other Thursday in their lives, really.

A few days later, the world was indeed saved. Turned out a Light Fae had gone rogue, and taken it upon herself to align with a Dark Fae, and together they had a perfect plan to take over the world all the while using Kenzi as the unknowing sacrificial lamb.

Well, nearly perfect.

The Dahl didn't have dance night often, but the gang made a special effort to show up and celebrate their latest success because this time had hit closer than most, and thank God Kenzi was still alive. And, in their typical fashion, after a few heartfelt toasts, they all just moved on by drinking profusely; doing their best to forget the latest barely-avoided-world-destroying tragedy.

And when an irresistibly upbeat club song came on, Lauren dragged Bo into the pulsing crowd. As the latest screaming pop song played, they danced like teenagers would; screaming the words at each other, brilliant smiles plastered on their face, and shaking their shoulders and hips like they weren't too old for those moves.

It was pure joy, touched with a healthy dose of realizing that life was short, and meant for living.

Dyson pursed his lips, fighting a smile. Sometimes, he really wished he was mischievous enough to tape such moments; the blackmail potential the following day would be astronomical.

He turned to his right, and saw Kenzi holding up her phone at the couple on the dance floor, clearly recording the moment. She looked at him, her hand never wavering. "What? This is gonna be awesome tomorrow," she said completely seriously. Before smiling widely.

He just shook his head, hiding his grin in his beer. Dyson was the perfect storybook hero; he was broad shouldered, strong-jawed, soft-hearted, foolishly loyal, and fearless. When he had been involved with Bo, sometimes on a purely functional level when she needed to heal or feed, he had felt emotions and conflicts that hadn't plagued him in a long time.

To him, and to many in their circle, what he and Bo had had seemed to be love. When Kenzi, whom he'd always thought of as his little sister, had taken on the witch that had stolen his heart, he had realized that he wasn't a hero.

Kenzi was a hero. The upstart of a human had taken on one of the most powerful witches in Fae history, and won his heart back. Of course, it had been too late.

Bo had finally given into her dearest wish, and begun a relationship – a bona fide one – with Lauren. And he'd sworn Kenzi to silence that she wouldn't tell Bo that he could once again feel emotions.

Because his heart was breaking, but he was Fae enough to be happy for Bo, to shut up and not poison Bo's love for Lauren with guilt. After all, even he could see that Bo and Lauren had been fighting fate in trying to stay away from each other.

Maybe he was a little bit of a hero after all.

And then the Dahl's DJ decided to take the music slow for a minute, and Bo and Lauren moved toward each other like magnets, feet adjusting to the song, and fingers loosely entwined as they swayed together.

"God, what the fuck happened to the Dahl?"

Kenzi looked to her right, and noticed Dyson's partner walk up to the bar. "What?"

Pam shook her head and sneered. "It's become trashy."

Kenzi rolled her eyes, and turned around to sit at the bar again; now that her roommate and her lady love were slow dancing, it was gauche (and, damn, they were cheesy when they were drunk) to keep taping them. Plus, Kenzi was totally bored with their high-school-prom moves.

Pam shot her a glance. "Want a drink?"

Kenzi's blinked in surprise before pouncing on the offer of free alcohol. "Duh, of course."

The Valkyrie waved to Trick, and frowned at waiting even a second. "Service is getting sloppy."

"Look, I'll take the tequila, but can you please not harsh my buzz with your usual I'm-too-cool-for-school bullshit."

Pam raised her eyebrows. "My, my. The human has teeth when she's drunk."

Kenzi rolled her eyes. "Listen, I'm just going to bully Dyson into that drink. Thanks for the offer," she said as she slipped off the bar stool.

"Wait," the blond Fae said, and her eyes seemed to soften for an instant. "I'm glad you didn't die," she said haltingly, as if she were unsure what the right words were.

Kenzi barely smiled, but she felt the muscles in her shoulder loosen. "Thanks. Me too," she said with a wink.

"Two shots of tequila," the Valkyrie smiled at Trick, who had finally appeared in front of them, as if all were forgiven for his tardiness. She patted the bar, and said in that same soft voice, "You're the only person I know who loves tequila the way I do."

The brunette slid back on to the stool. "Oh, you clearly haven't met 'After-Hours Lauren'."

Pam raised her eyebrows. "Nope, I haven't," and then her eyes flickered to the dance floor where Bo and Lauren were once again gyrating like silly girls. "That must be hard," Pam said, tilting her heard towards the lovers.

Kenzi glanced in their direction before turning back to Pam. "Naw, it's good the Doc and the Wonder Snatch are together."

The Valkyrie wrinkled her nose. "Gross. But that's not what I meant."

The brunette just raised her eyebrows, satisfied to wait out the suddenly chatty Valkyrie.

Pam sighed, already doubting the wisdom of not being usual self to humans. In for a penny, she supposed. "To be in love with your roommate. That's what I mean."

Kenzi was silent for a second before she burst out laughing. "That's a good one, Pam. Really. But, no."

But Pam cut her off. "Really? You're going to deny it?"

Kenzi's eyes bugged out. "Did you snort some powder from that Hydra dude? Because I've heard it's a killer high. Also makes people hallucinate," she finished tartly.

Pam rolled her eyes, and nodded at Trick who finally placed their shots in front of them. The blonde detective picked up her glass, and nodded distractedly to Kenzi. "Cheers," she said in a flash, and downed the tequila without a chaser.

Kenzi was impressed; she didn't want to be, but she was. She nodded companionably, and knocked her shot back and immediately squeezed around a lemon slice. "God, that's good," she said even as she shook her shoulders excitedly.

It may have been the alcohol, and just the need to thank the Valkyrie for her generosity. "Don't hate Bo because people love her," Kenzi said, her voice serious but loud to be heard over the pounding bass.

The Valkyrie shook her head, and motioned to Trick for two more drinks. "She's a killer."

Kenzi's back went up. "She's saved the world more times than I can count."

Pam slid liquid eyes over to the other woman. "So you admit it; she's a killer."

The brunette narrowed her eyes at Pam and easily slid off her stool again, standing firmly this time. "You know what? I was right before; I'm gonna drink with Dyson. Thanks."

"You can run all you want, human. We all know the truth."

Trick wandered carefully into the midst, sensing that something was seriously amiss. But Kenzi and Pam wouldn't stop glaring at each other and seething in a silent impasse, so he just set down their shots, and walked away, giving them a very wide berth.

Kenzi picked up her glass (no need to waste alcohol, after all) and said witheringly, "None of us are angels." And then she walked away determinedly towards the Werewolf, needing Dyson's consistent good cheer.

The night was young, and Kenzi was going to experience every minute of it.

As usual, Lauren and Bo fell into bed in the immediate aftermath of another victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. It was how they coped, and how they rejuvenated themselves; in the truth of their breath, flesh, touch, words, and taste, it was easy to find absolutes for a few hours.

They were mad for each other, and dispensed with any playfulness; perhaps unsurprisingly, no matter how many times they survived near-disaster, they were drawn to each other as if it were the first time all over again.

Of course, the actual first time they had had sex, it had been intensely complicated; everything within Lauren had been screaming in anguish because she'd been seducing Bo on behalf of the Ash. He had more or less demanded that Lauren sleep with Bo for a tactical advantage, and Lauren had hardly needed convincing.

That first night, Bo had made love to her, and Lauren only felt cursed. It had been the best and worst night of Lauren's life. And, these many months later, it remained her dearest wish that how they had begun wouldn't one day doom them.

But, for this very moment, when they were both catching their breath, and her hand was still entwined with Bo's, Lauren knew she had to tell her lover what had been on her mind for weeks.

"I have to leave," Lauren breathed out.

Bo was still getting her breath back, and her mind was floating somewhere in the stratosphere. Wait, that was the right word, wasn't it? Stratosphere? It sounded right. God, she felt good; every muscle was having its own private blissful celebration and she was—Wait, what? Leave?

"What?" Bo managed blurrily.

Lauren was frowning intently at the ceiling. "The Ash. The Compound."

Bo blinked her eyes slowly, and tried her hardest to follow along. "What?"

Lauren finally turned her head, nestling into the pillow. "I have to leave The Ash."

She took a deep breath, and then scowled. "Boy, you recover fast."

Lauren frowned, not understanding, and then she smiled. "Oh, honey..."

Now Bo got up on her elbow. "Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Don't "oh, honey" this, honey."

Trying to stave off a full-fledged pout, Lauren ran her hand soothingly up her lover's forearm. "You're amazing. You're always amazing."

Bo turned her half-pouting face to her lover, and then narrowed her eyes. "You missed it by this much."

Lauren tried to bite back a smile, and she hoped she succeeded. "C'mere."

Kissing Bo was one of the definitive experiences she'd had, and Lauren could not help smiling into the kiss.

And then Bo pulled back suddenly. "Wait, leave the Ash?"

Lauren's head fell against her pillow, and she exhaled loudly.

Kenzi slouched her way into The Dahl, and looked around the place. Of course, there was Lauren at the bar.

She looked up to the ceiling. "Really? She had to be here tonight?"And then, Kenzi sighed mightily, and ambled her way to sit next to the blonde doctor. "Fancy meeting you here, Doc."

Lauren turned away from her soul-deep contemplation of her beer. "Kenzi. How are you?"

She drummed her fingers sunnily on the shining ebony of the bar. "Fan-tas-tic! Wanna do shots?"

Lauren smirked. Apparently there was only speed of drinking for Bo's roommate. Lauren didn't have try too hard to like Kenzi. Most of the time. "Sure. What's your poison?"

Kenzi only rolled her eyes. "C'mon, Doc, you know me better than that. Yo, Trick!"

The sometimes-underestimated, always-avuncular barkeep walked over. "Kenzi, always good to see you. Don Julio?"

"You know it, boss. And one for my friend over here," she said, nodding over to Lauren.

Trick tried to keep the surprise from his face. "Of course. Coming up."

Lauren didn't know what to make of Kenzi most of the time, and that was on a good day. "Top-shelf stuff."

Kenzi goggled at her. "You know tequila?"

Lauren shrugged it off. "Mostly through Bo. I guess she got it from you?"

"Bo used to be a beer girl, or sometimes vodka. She needed classing up."

Lauren tried to bite back a smile as she lifted her own beer in front of Kenzi's face.

The younger woman's eyes grew wide even as she tried to dig herself out of a hole. "Well, that's not say...There are a lot of great beers around..And--"

Lauren finally laughed. "It's fine. It's not my favorite, but I can't get drunk tonight."

"No 'After-Hours Lauren' tonight, huh?"

The blonde doctor gaped. "She told you??"

Kenzi winced, closing her eyes and all. "Oh, shit."

"Do you guys tell each other everything?"

"Uh, Doc? Roommates? We mostly live together? It's like all those tragicomedy sitcoms? Roommates, compadres, sorority sisters?"

Lauren eyed her blankly. "What sitcoms?"

"You need to get out more."

"I'm plenty out."

Kenzi raised her eyebrow. "Touche, Doc. Now where's the damn tequila? Trick!"

"Keep your voice down, I'm coming!"

"I could have gone to Mexico, and bought the damn tequila by now."

Trick ambled up to the bar, shaking his head, and looking at Lauren. "Kids these days! No patience for anything."

Lauren only smiled, and picked up her shot glass. "Gonna need lemon and salt please, Trick."

"Coming right up," he smiled at her.

"Yea, that'll only take ten minutes," Kenzi groused.

Lauren frowned. "What's with the rush?"

Kenzi made a shocked face and gently waved the full shot glass in front of Lauren's face. "Uh, hello? This is awesome tequila. You do not keep awesome tequila waiting. That's, like, a cardinal sin. And especially not for something as wussy as salt and lime. Be a real woman, Doc."

Lauren raised her eyebrows and leaned back. "Whoa. That might be the most you've ever spoken to me."

"Yea. Well. It's tequila. Don't get me started."

"Now you're blushing."

"Doctors are the worst."

"Here you go! Lemons, limes, and kosher salt all around!" Trick grandly pronounced.

Kenzi just gawked at him. "Kosher salt?"

Trick straightened his shoulders. "I was told it was all the rage."

Lauren pressed her lips together firmly in order to laugh, and then turned decisively to the woman beside her. "Ready?"

"As a heart attack," Kenzi quipped. Before licking her hand, sprinkling the salt, and then waiting for Lauren to do the same.

"Wait! We have to toast to something," the younger woman said with wide eyes.

Lauren blinked for a moment. "To tequila."

Kenzi shrugged her shoulders, happy with the perfunctory toast. "Salud!"

And they knocked back the alcohol, and just as swiftly as they swallowed, they were clenching their jaws around their lemons.

"So good," Kenzi breathed out. "I might become an alcoholic for tequila."

"I think we all skirt that edge."

She rolled her eyes. "And there returns the good Doc."

"Trick! Another round!" Lauren hollered, letting the thinly veiled dig pass her by.

Kenzi slouched over the bar, twirling her empty shot glass against the bar. "You seen Bo?"

"Yesterday. Today's been chaos. Needed to get away..."

Kenzi nodded dispassionately. And sighed loudly.

Nothing was said for a few beats while Lauren went back to contemplating her beer, and Kenzi kept fidgeting.

"I get the two of you, y'know?"

Lauren turned her head towards Kenzi and said nothing.

The younger woman didn't look at the doctor, but nodded to herself as if she were talking to herself. "You and Bo."

Lauren pursed her lips and tried not to be insulted at the grudging tone, even though she knew it was true that she and Bo were not, at least at the outset, a natural fit.

Kenzi continued after a beat, ignoring the silence. "Bo's all spontaneous and brash and in the moment. And you're all brainiac Yale doctor. But. It's what brought you together that kills me. You were all 'Let's do this!' and she was all 'No, we should wait and think about this.'" Then the younger woman actually laughed boisterously. "And then! She was totally chivalrous and nice and sweet and tried to be happy for you and Nadia."

Lauren breathed in deeply, the jocular mood suddenly and sharply plummeting. She closed her eyes, and tried to swallow past a dry throat.


Kenzi nearly hiccuped as it occurred to her she may have just stepped into a minefield. "What I mean is! Bo! You! When you two started it was because you became polar opposites of who you usually are! You became each other! Now that's balance! So, yea. Love," Kenzi ended her tirade of exclamation points with that pointed whisper.

"And here's the second round, ladies!" Trick said grandly, sailing into a tense atmosphere that he either didn't pick up or chose to ignore. "Tequila for everyone!"

Kenzi actually perked up again, desperately glad for an obvious respite. "Yay! Okay, let's do this."

Lauren sighed, the loadness of the previous moment slipping away amidst the renewed boozy good cheer. She couldn't quite tell whether she was pleased.


A Few Hours Later...

Granted, in order to tell the all-but-in-name leader of the Light Fae, who doubled as the owner of the most popular Fae bar, and Bo's grandfather about leaving the Ash, Lauren had needed, well, tequila.

But once Trick ushered her into the basement of the Dahl so that they could talk privately, the tequila didn't help tone down Trick's response.

"You're what?" Trick asked.

Lauren sighed. She knew she'd have to tell the story more than once, but really, this was getting tiresome. "I can't turn away from my own kind."

The deceptively diminutive bartender rubbed his forehead worriedly. "I'm not asking you to. No one is, no one would, Lauren."

"Then tell me you understand."

Trick sighed mightily and folded his arms over his chest. "There's a problem with your plan."

Lauren's forehead smoothed out; it was never a good sign when the Blood King used that tone. "What?"

"The next few weeks and months are going to be very...challenging," Trick said, not at all liking what he was going to have to share.

The blonde doctor tilted her head sideways, and squinted trying to decipher what he was saying. "Something worse than usual?"

"Yes, something much worse."

Lauren sighed. "I'm still going to have to leave the Ash, Trick."

"That's fine, and you can, and no one is going to stop you. I can make sure of that. But, can you just stay for a few more weeks? We need the resources your labs have at the Ash's compound."

"You know I don't like emotional blackmail, Trick," she said, her voice taking on a firmness that was unexpected when Lauren was talking to the Fae she respected above all others.

Trick nearly smiled, because he adored Lauren for being both a genius and the best match for his beloved granddaughter. "I know," he said, "But Bo's about to go through something very, very dark. And we're the only ones who can save her."

Lauren nearly gasped. "So it wasn't just my imagination? You know?"

"Do I know that she wakes up screaming? That she constantly doubts whether she is using the immense power within her for good? That she's most afraid of being corrupted? Yes, Lauren. She's my granddaughter, my only family left."

Lauren sat down on the bar stool heavily, breathing slowly in the deathly calm of a silent Dahl. "I thought it was just..."

"Just settling into a new relationship? Committing to you? No, it's much, much more than that."

Lauren put her head in her hands. Shouldn't this be getting easier? Did she have the worst luck in love? "Tell me."

Trick leaned across the aged wood of the bar. "It's called the Asura. Everyone in my family goes through it at some point, and now..." he paused, closing his eyes, and hating what he was about to say. "Now, it's Bo's turn."

In light of what Trick had told her, Lauren needed time to think, and she needed vestiges of normalcy. They all had different coping mechanisms; for Trick, it was poring over the old books, for Kenzi, it was chocolate and tequila, for Bo, it was sex with strangers. Or, at least, it had been until they'd started seeing each other.

For Lauren? For Lauren, it was watching Absolutely Fabulous. Although, now that she watched with Bo, it was clear from the past few occasions that her lover did not enjoy the show as much as Lauren did.

"Wait, why do you find this show funny?"

Bo always asked this question, and it never failed to make Lauren smile. But she cleared her throat, and "It's fantastic British humor."

A few beats later, there's another question. "What's 'Bolly'?"

Lauren doesn't even look away from the screen. "Short for Bollinger. Champagne."

"And why does she call the daughter 'Sweetiedahling' all the time?"

"That's explained later."

"Later this episode?"

Lauren huffed. "Shhh...You gotta keep watching."

Bo didn't really understand much of what was going, except there were two over-the-hill women being reined in by one Saffy Monsoon.

The brunette leaned into to kiss Lauren's shoulder. "Let me guess, you get Saffy."

Lauren didn't look away from the TV, but she did smile and turn her head slightly towards her lover. "No, actually. Was more of a cross between Patsy and Eddie."

Bo pulled back. "Really??"

Lauren nodded. "Now, ssssh. This is the best part!"


The Next Day...

"We have to do something," Lauren said, not at all helping the situation.

Kenzi just rolled her eyes, and tried not to respond but couldn't hold her tongue. "Hey, research wasn't my idea."

Lauren leaned back in the uncomfortable wooden chairs in Trick's bar. Somehow, the Dahl became their headquarters during every crisis.

Trick walked in. "My sources have something."

Kenzi raised her eyebrow. "What's up?"

Trick pursed his lips. "Apparently, there's only person who knows enough about the Dark to help." He looked at Lauren.

Lauren just stared at him for a full minute before she realized what Trick's thunderous brow spelled. Th doctor closed her eyes, and laid her head on the wood of the table in resignation. "No, no, no."

"Can someone please clue me in?" Kenzi asked, her voice high-pitched, and her eyes darting back and forth.

"We have to go see the Morrigan. Well, Lauren does," Trick said, not at all happy with the declaration.

Lauren's head popped up. "Me? Why me? I don't think she even knows me."

"Because you're the only I can think of that can help her with her alleged 'problem'."

Great. She couldn't wait to hear what this would mean.

Later that day, at the Dahl...

Trick's lips twisted downward, and he felt like rolling his eyes. "You know what we have to do, don't you?"

Lauren's eyebrows rose, and her voice was surprised. "I do?"

He nodded, his arms crossed. "We have to go see the Morrigan."

"Why? She hates--"

Trick bit on the inside of his cheek. "She owes me a favor. I can get a meeting, but..."

"But what?"

"We'll need to be able to do something for her."

Lauren's neck leaned back. "Why does that sound like it's not going to be good?"

The bartender stretched out his neck, and he didn't want to say the next few words. "She, uh, has a female problem right now. According to the rumors."

The doctor's brow rose, not sure why Trick was blushing so profusely and not looking at her in the eye.

Finally, he relented and unfairly glared at Lauren before sighing, "She's experiencing what humans refer to as..."

"As what...?"

He made googly eyes at her, hoping that she would pick up the hint. It was a full minute before Lauren tossed around various options in her head, and she hoped she was right. "Really??"

Trick blew out a big breath and nodded vigorously, ever so grateful not to have to say the word.

Lauren blinked. "So the Morrigan is going through...Hmmmm...And she needs us to..? Fix the problem?"

Trick just nodded again, and leaned back, knowing Lauren would find a way.


A Few Hours Later...

"So the Morrigan, aka Head Baddie of the Universe, is going through menopause??"

Lauren frowned even as she bent of her microscope. "I wouldn't use those exact words"

"I don't believe it," Kenzi wheezed out past big gulping laughs. "Oh God, this so nuts," the younger woman said as she leaned against the window sill of Lauren's lab.

"Well, whatever you want to call it, I have to fix it."

Kenzi's lips twitched. "So you're coming up with Fae Viagra?" And the very thought of it set her back to the belly laughs.

Lauren sighed, and adjusted the ingredient ratios by mere milligrams.


Even More Hours Later...

She had been working on the formula for the past six hours, and her back and neck were beginning to protest loudly and relentlessly. Kenzi, reliably, had fallen asleep in the couch in the corner.

She heard the door open, and immediately knew who it was, and she smiled without taking her eyes away from her microscope. "Hello," Lauren called out from her bent position.

Bo was nearly tripping with excitement. "Hey there! I told the gang that they were going to have to fight the good fight without me tonight. Because," she nearly sang, "I've taken the night off to spend with my lady love."

By this time, Bo had noisily 'sneaked up' on Lauren, and wrapped her arms around the good doctor. Lauren straightened away from the microscope, and leaned back for a moment, all the aches in her body magically soothed. Medically, of course, not much had changed, but Lauren knew there was a surge of dopamine now making its way through her brain.

Love was a grand thing, indeed.

Lauren took a deep breath, wanting to remember every moment of this. And then she leaned away, and gently turned around. "That was seriously romantic of you. And, I really, really want to..."

Bo leaned back, the beginnings of a frown on her face. "Do I hear a 'but'? Has it been that long since I've--"

Lauren slapped her hand quickly over Bo's mouth. "Don't. Whatever you say will send me into a semi-conscious realm of memories, and then I'll be completely helpless to resist you."

Bo smiled wickedly behind Lauren's hand, and then gently, oh, so gently, bit the fleshy part of Lauren's palm.

The doctor jerked her hand back, but not before her eyes clouded over. "Bo," she whispered.

"Ah, now she remembers. C'mere," and with that, Bo leaned in and kissed her. Softly, as if they had all the time in the world.

As it usually happened, matters escalated without either of them consciously thinking about it. Arms wrapped, and hands gripped and stroked. Before they knew it, they were knocking loudly against all of the equipment on Lauren's table.

Which was enough to wake even Kenzi. "What the--? Oh, c'mon, you guys!"

Lauren immediately pulled away, and couldn't help the blush that was working its way fast up her neck and face. But Bo didn't let her go, only leaned back and spoke without taking her eyes off Lauren. "Hey, Kenz. I hear you're up."

Kenzi had her hands against her eyes. "Look, I'm happy someone I know is getting all happy with the horizontal mambo--"

"Thanks, Kenz," Bo drawled, even as she smiled and moved to kiss Lauren again.

"But!" The youngest woman jumped up off the couch, and quickly approached Bo menacingly. "She can't take a break! We're working! On a very important project!"

Bo had taken a wise step back, and raised her eyebrows. "Oh. Okay, what's it about?"

Kenzi's eyes got comically large as she was frozen in place by the question. "Uh...It's a super important and super secret project."

Bo nearly laughed in shock. "What? You're not going to tell me? I'm on the Justice League, or the Avengers, or whatever the Fae version of that would be." She looked at Lauren beseechingly. "Do I have the right comic strip?"

Lauren's lips twitched.

"Bo!" Kenzi shouted before her roommate went off on a complete tangent for the next ten minutes. Sometimes she didn't know whether she or Bo was more of the spaz; but Kenzi definitely knew that she was the more adorable spaz.

Lauren sighed. "Listen, Bo, I'm doing Trick a favor. And he told me to keep it under wraps, so please."

Bo took another step back. "But I'm his granddaughter. What? He's letting you two work on it, but not me?"

Lauren took a quick step forward. "It's not like that."

"I think it's exactly like that," was the hushed response, and then it was too much. Bo pulled her hand away, and walked briskly towards the door. "Well, since I have the night free..." And then she was gone.

"Shit," Lauren breathed out heavily. "Shit, shit, shit."

Kenzi rolled her head back, sighing at the ceiling. "That went well."

Lauren closed her eyes. "We should have told her."

"No way, Doc. That is exactly what we shouldn't have done."

Lauren's tone was cutting. "The last time I kept secrets in a relationship, it didn't go so well, Kenzi. And Nadia--" She stopped, not entirely able to go on. She swallowed roughly.

Kenzi clenched her jaw, uncharacteristically not showing her helpless anger. She looked away, and was ashamed for not being able to find the words. "Doc..."

"No, it's fine. Really," she said, her voice gentling. "Let's just get back to work."

Lauren bent over her microscopes again, and tried to block out the rest of the world.

The name alone was enough of a death knell to any conversation. No one wanted to talk about Nadia, Lauren included, because that would be putting a human face to a loss in the war in the Fae world.

Because the question no one really wanted to ask was: Would any Fae have given her or his life to a human war without there being an outrage?

Yet the human world, at least those few who knew of the Fae, had remained silent.


The Next Morning...

Lauren knew that Bo was giving her the silent treatment. All morning, while they were waking up, brushing their teeth, over breakfast, and now Bo was leaving for the day, picking up her jacket on the way to the door.

"Don't go."

Bo froze in her step. "What?" she said incredulously, turning around to face Lauren.

Lauren was sad but firm. "Don't go, Bo."

Bo tilted her head. "I'm not the one keeping secrets, Lauren."

Lauren tried not to move, but her hands reached out regardless. "Please. It's not what you think."

Bo's eyebrows rose. "Why can't you tell me?"

Lauren tried not to sigh. "Because I was asked to keep it a secret, and I'm trying, Bo. It doesn't mean I don't love you."

"You know what? I'm really tired of everyone not telling me the truth."

She really didn't want to continue. "Please. Just trust me. It's me, Bo. I'd never hurt you."

Bo's head dropped incredulously. "'That's a cheap shot."

Lauren clenched her jaw. "Bo, please. Come here."

The succubus didn't want to give in, but Lauren had always been her exception. "Lauren, we have to share things..."

The blonde nearly crumpled, wrapping her arms around Bo. "I know," she whispered, burying her face in Bo's neck. The feel of the strong shoulders and soft skin was enough for Lauren to sag in love. She breathed in, closing her eyes, and trying to memorize everything sensory about this moment.

Bo pushed her chin over Lauren's shoulder, feeling at peace, even when so many things were unsaid and needed to be spoken. Her eyes closed of their own volition, and she felt time slow down to a crawl. It could have been a second, a minute, or an hour before she heard Lauren speak.

"Please. Just trust me on this one."

Bo pulled back. "Twenty-four hours. Then you tell me everything."

Lauren smiled, and gently kissed her love. "Deal."

Bo's eyes searched her lover's thoroughly, just waiting her out.

Lauren didn't blink.

Bo sighed, and leaned her forehead against Lauren's. "I need you. You're...the best person I know," Bo breathed out, brushing her nose against her lover's playfully.

Lauren closed her eyes, and tried not to cry. "Bo..."

"Just for a second, I just want to feel this right now."

Lauren understood immediately, and just nuzzled innocently with the love of her life. This was when nothing else seemed to matter because there was only silence and they felt cocooned in a wondrous world of infinite possibility and heart-pounding warmth.

A mere minute later they both pulled back from each other.

Bo smiled, and entwined her the fingers of her right hand with Lauren's. "You gonna be okay?"

Lauren's forehead smoothed out as she smirked in affirmation. "Yea. Now go kick some ass."

As Bo laughed, and then skipped out of their apartment, Lauren felt the good cheer leave with her lover.


Later that day...

The Morrigan swept into the room, and Lauren had to admire so much about the woman: Strategically ruthless, unusually beautiful, hilariously superficial, and unmatched in artifice.

"What is she doing here? You know I don't care to hang around their kind," came the first venomous words from the Morrigan.

Lauren closed her yes. Ah, if only the the Dark Fae leader weren't a complete bigot, she would have been the perfect Fae.

Trick leaned back in his chair, his brow thunderous, but his words were calm enough when he said, "She is my friend, and she is with me. Take it or leave it."

The Morrigan only sneered. "So you summoned, Blood King," and the the redheaded leader of the Dark Fae smiled now at Trick's patent distaste of his official title, and a lilt came into her voice, "so here I am."

"We have a solution to your problem."

The Morrigan raised an eyebrow. "I wasn't aware that I had one."

Trick cleared his throat, still hoping he wouldn't have to say the word. He was fully aware that he was being extremely silly, and had his wife been alive, no doubt she'd be shaking at her head at him. But, still.

The silence began to grow oppressive as both of the seated parties simply waited the other out.

And then Lauren couldn't take any more of the Morrigan's drumming her fingers rhythmically against the table.

So she blurted out, "I have a treatment for your menopause."

The Morrigan's eyes flashed dangerously as her hand came up automatically, and she was mere milliseconds from frying Lauren's head when she heard Trick shout, "Don't!"

The redhead's eyes momentarily flicked to the diminutive Blood King to see his right hand raised, his fingers spread, in an exact match to hers.

"Don't, Morrigan," Trick warned again, ready to combat any magic the Dark Fae would have hurled at the hapless Lauren.

The redhead took a deep breath, narrowed her eyes and then flicked her fingers at the blonde from across the room. The slight surge in magic was enough to knock Lauren off of her feet and on to her butt.

"Ow!," the doctor yelped as she went down like a house of bricks.

Trick got up to his feet. "Morrigan!"

The redhead rolled her eyes. "Oh, relax, it was just a nudge."

Trick clenched his jaw. "Careful. You're on thin ground when you hurt my friends."

"Oh, Blood King, still so loyal, still so blind."

"Morrigan, there's a debt to be paid," he whispered, the menacing tone enough to make the Dark Fae stop slouching.

"Fine," she sneered. "I'll listen to the human."

Meanwhile, Lauren rubbed her elbow while still on the ground. Her gluteus maximus was going to be sore for days, and she had half a mind to tell the Morrigan where to shove it.

Grumbling to herself, Lauren pulled herself to her feet, and dusted herself off; sometimes, she really wanted to walk out on the whole Fae world, and tell them all to sort on their own these regularly scheduled tragedies.

But, Bo.

Lauren sighed heavily before starting to talk about the Dark Fae's problem. Once she got to the end of her lecture on the medical aspects of the Morrigan's current woe, the redhead mocked falling asleep. As the last of Lauren's words died away, the redhead histrionically portrayed waking up. "Oh, so you're done now?"

Trick rolled his eyes, but it was Lauren who spoke. "Listen, this is the solution to your problem. This test tube," the doctor spoke fiercely as she shook the liquid in her hand. "So you need to help us so that we can help you."

"It's a fair trade, Morrigan," Trick said.

The Dark Fae looked between Lauren and Trick for a moment before taking a deep breath. After exhaling, she said, "What do you want?"

Lauren sighed in relief. "You may have heard the rumors about Bo."

The redhead raised an eyebrow, smiling openly now. "Oh, what rumors?"

"Don't play dumb, Morrigan," said Trick, in no mood for the Dark Fae's usual, long-winded, barbed exchanges.

She looked dead into Trick's eyes, and then sighed theatrically. "You mean the one about your granddaughter being consumed from the inside out by the darkest force in the universe?"

The anger rose swiftly through the Blood King, and for a moment he nearly lost control, and felt Lauren's warm grip on his shoulder.

He took a deep breath, and brought his powers under control. Sometimes, it was a small wonder that he blamed Bo for being so impetuous.

Lauren looked at the woman across the table dead in the eye. "Tell us what to do to save her, and this test tube is yours."

The Morrigan slung her shoulder over the back of her chair, and smiled showing teeth. "You really don't get it, do you?"

Trick closed his eyes and prayed for patience while Lauren remained unmoved. The blonde doctor put her palms on the table, leaning over it, and looked calmly at the Dark Fae. "Tell me, Morrigan, or you can suffer a dry vagina for the rest of your unnatural life. Just dying to get it up but not even all the KY in the world will ever get you there. Not even close."

Trick's lips twisted sourly even as he squinted at the unpleasant imagery Lauren's words conjured. But the Morrigan only looked back at the doctor balefully before spitting out, "You know what? This is actually going to be fun."

Lauren didn't move an inch. "Oh, really? Tell me why."

The Morrigan pulled her lips back and showed her teeth.

Her apartment was entirely still, and even the traffic seemed to have dimmed into nothing. Lauren sat on her couch, her legs folded into a yoga pose. She stared at the blank TV in front of her, and just let herself not think anything.

It was awful.

Why did people like silence? Even in her most distracted state, which usually occurred whenever she was in bed with Bo, there was always noise in her head.

Lauren loved that, always tethered between the real and subconscious world, making everything about life richer.

In the wake of the Morrigan's pronouncement, everything was still and silent around her. She looked down at her upturned palm, and noticed the slight sheen of sweat coating it. She rubbed her fingers together, absently trying to remove the moisture.

Then she went back to staring at the TV that was off.

That was how Bo found her when she walked into the apartment, and for a moment, the incongruity of seeing Lauren completely still was enough to stop her in her tracks. Bo didn't know why she whispered, but she did as she said, "Lauren?"

The blonde seemed to come out of her trance, completely surprised to see her lover in her apartment. But then Lauren smiled. "Bo."

And no one could be upset when one spoke in that cajoling and sybaritic tone. Bo smiled without even realizing it, and walked slowly towards Lauren.

"Are you okay?" And still, the succubus whispered, and still not knowing why.

Lauren smiled up at her lover even as she remained seated on the couch, and then she leaned in and wrapped her arms Bo, resting her head against the brunette's stomach. "Yes," she whispered happily. "I'm okay now."

It was scenes like these that completely knocked Bo off kilter. Of course, she loved Lauren, but more than the marathon sex sessions, it was the unexpectedly loaded moments of just being in such silent closeness.

Lauren leaned back, and now there was an impish twinkle in her eye. "I'm talking you to bed."

Bo laughed out in surprise. "What? I'm getting whiplash here, honey."

And then Lauren's eyes fluttered up at her. "That can be arranged, too."

Bo swallowed, and pulled her lover gently up from the couch until they were both standing. "I love you," she whispered against Lauren's lips, letting the words slither around them with meaning and promise.

Lauren looked at Bo and smiled again. Everything was going to work out; she didn't know how, but they usually did. "Let me show you," she drawled in reply to Bo's declaration, even as she led her lover up the stairs.

Whenever she kissed Bo, there was a shimmer of something around them that Lauren had never felt before. When they had first met and danced around their mutual attraction, there were endless conversations about the dangers of having sex with a Succubus. But regardless of those concerns, as with so many things, their better judgment had gotten overwhelmed by their chemistry. And here they were.

She ran her fingers up Bo's spine, and smiled at the resulting shudder that ran through her lover. Lauren smiled against Bo's lips, and whispered, "That was how I first touched you." The memory of seeing Bo on the table of her lab as her patient was still very strong between them.

Bo leaned her forehead against Lauren's, and kissed the corner of her mouth, and then traveling downward. "When you were just my doctor," she said as she rang her tongue down her lover's neck.

It was Lauren's turn to arch into her lover's embrace. "God, Bo. Why is it I can't get enough of you?"

Bo leaned back, her elbows supporting her weight, as she smiled down at Lauren and raised her eyebrow teasingly. "Because I'm a sex goddess?"

Lauren laughed good naturedly, before running her hand through Bo's hair, and then beckoning her lover back down to kiss her. "You certainly are," Lauren drawled between kisses, and then she lost as her breath as Bo ran her hands down the sides of Lauren's body. That small move, the feeling of the tips of Bo's fingers across that rather ordinary-seeming area was enough for Lauren to go from zero to sixty. Bo had found more erogenous zones on her body than anybody else; that had to mean something.

In a swift move, she had flipped Bo on to her back, temporarily knocking the breath out of the Succubus. But a moment later, Bo only smiled and said, "Well, someone's feeling vixeny today."

Lauren rolled her eyes even as she chuckled. "That isn't a word, Bo."

Bo leaned up, stealing a kiss, and letting it go on until their tongues came into play. She pulled back, breathless as always around Lauren, but couldn't resist getting the last word in. "It is now."

And then Lauren decided she would stay on top tonight, and shut up Bo with a toe-curling kiss. Before heading southward, getting Bo to talk again in a completely different language now.

It was an axiom that Bo had had sex with lots and lots and lots of people. Sometimes for pleasure, sometimes for necessity, but she had to admit that she had redefined the word "promiscuous." It wasn't something she was ashamed of, but Fae society wasn't that different from human society in judging women who got around. No matter how many Faes wanted to think they were, oh, so much more evolved than all those human simpletons.

Lauren had never made her feel ashamed either, but there had been moments that Bo had cursed their decision to fall in love; inasmuch as the conceit of assuming the decision was theirs to make. But it was Bo's fault. She was the one who had finally given in to the bittersweet ache; no matter how much Lauren and she tiptoed around each other, with each successive forcedly platonic interaction, they had only hated themselves for their cowardice.

Bo had never been one for patience even on a good day, and the time she and Lauren had spent saving each other in the Hecuba prison had been her breaking point. They were so good together, complimenting each other's strengths, and saving the world in small ways and large ones everyday.

It just wasn't fair at all.

But it was all easier to bear when she felt Lauren kiss her way down her sternum, and when, in helpless reaction, Bo's hands clenched in her lover's hair, silently urging Lauren to stop (but not really stop) teasing her. Lauren's mouth covered her breast, and Bo's body surged, the moan seeming loud amidst their heavy breathing.

Because this was worth it; this feeling of deliriousness; of knowing and not knowing what would come next; skin and sweat and whispers of instruction and encouragement. And the verbal and physical conversation jumped leagues as the urgency of their bodies grew exponentially more ragged.

Lauren dipped her head, loving the feel of Bo's fingers in her hair, and dined on her favorite meal.

And when Bo came against her mouth, the Succubus' body wrenching inside of itself in intense pleasure, they both moaned.

The conversation continued for the rest of the night.


The next day, back at the Dahl...

"She's saved my life enough times, I suppose," Lauren breathed out.

Dyson shot her a look while Hale gaped at her openly, blustering. "You can't seriously think you're going to take the Morrigan's advice."

Lauren looked at the two men with clear eyes. "Have you read any Shakespeare?"

Both of them were thrown for a loop, and Hale shared a confused look with Dyson. Sometimes, humans were far more cryptic than Fae ever could be. "Um, what?"

Lauren ignored the question because she was already pulling out her phone and dialing Trick. "Hi, it's Lauren," she didn't wait for his pleasantries as she barged on, "do you know an apothecary?"

"What does that mean?" Dyson whispered to Hale.

"I think it's some sort of chemist guy," Hale whispered back even as Lauren continued talking.

"Can you set up a meeting? This afternoon? Okay, evening," Lauren agreed, not really listening to Dyson and Hale's low tones. Then she clicked her phone shut, and turned to face both of them, and smiled a bit painfully before saying, "I'm going to need your help."

As usual, telling Trick about her plan was the hardest part.

"No, I'm going alone," Lauren said firmly.

Trick blanched, and then sputtered, "Listen, Lauren, you're a great doctor but the Apothecary isn't someone you see alone."

"Trick," Lauren breathed out as she rubbed her eyes, "we're running out favors very quickly, and soon we won't have a leg to stand on. We need to start showing strength. We need to get the word around that even the Morrigan helped us because no one, not even her, wants Bo to become--" And she fumbled over the words because there was no way she was going to give breath to the idea.

Trick clenched his jaw even as his hands clenched into fists; he had never so helpless when it came to Bo. She had such immense light in her, it was blinding to him at times. He recognized it so easily because it had burned as brightly in his wife, Bo's grandmother and namesake. Isobelle had always said she'd fallen in love with the Blood King as soon as she saw him. He smiled bitterly now, and prayed for the strength to see this through and save his granddaughter in a way he hadn't been able to for this wife. "Okay, we'll do it your way, Lauren. But there isn't anything to say that you can't have some back-up hidden away."

Lauren nodded. "Tell me, and then let's get going."

Bo saw the caller id on phone, and smiled. "Hey there," she purred to Lauren.

Except the voice on the other end wasn't Lauren. It was harsh, electronic-sounding, and menacing all at once. "We've got your little girlfriend."

The world went gray for a second, and Bo stopped breathing. "Who is this?"

"You pissed the Dark Fae off one too many times, succubus."

Bo clenched her fingers around her phone, and her voice dropped to its lowest register. "Who is this?"

The voice chuckled, as if amused. "That doesn't matter. What matters is that you have an hour to come rescue her. After which, you'll be finding pieces of her body all over the city. Tell anyone, and she dies immediately. Call any of your friends, and she dies immediately. Come with anyone, and she dies."

Bo thought she was going to throw up, but then she felt the blissful dark energy start to suffuse her, and she knew what she had to do. "Where?"

"Eight six Magnolia Avenue. You have fifty eight minutes."

The line went dead, and Bo was running to her car.

In some distant part of herself, a part that she couldn't listen to at the moment, Bo knew that she shouldn't like it this much. Feeling this boundless rage, this dark, dark joy in hurting people with her fists.

But even as she let her fists fly at 86 Magnolia Avenue, a dark and dilapidated mansion with more rooms than she could count, Bo found herself not caring.

One after another, the Dark Fae went down as she kicked, shot, and slashed her way through the entire place, with only one aim: finding Lauren. Later, she wouldn't even remember whether she maimed or killed because that spark that had been growing for the past few weeks had finally consumed her. And it felt glorious. She knew that some of her opponents got blows in, and later she might hurt from ashe multitude of cuts and bruises, but now, she felt the glow suffuse her body.

Room after room, she felled foes like they were amateurs. Something wasn't adding up, but she didn't care when reached the last room, and saw Lauren slumped over in her chair, her arms tied behind her, her feet bound, and her mouth gagged.

Bo dropped her sword, and ran to her lover. "Lauren! Lauren!" she screamed, immediately trying to remove the cloth gag from around her mouth. Bo was crazed, running her hands over her lover's face, which luckily wasn't too bruised. To Bo's relief, she saw Lauren start to come around, and got busy trying to untangle the rope from around Lauren's hands and feet. "C'mon, baby, you gotta wake up. We gotta get you out of here."

Lauren was coming to, and mumbling, but her first full word was completely appropriate. "Ow."

"I know, baby, I know," Bo continued as she undid a particularly stubborn knot at Lauren's ankle. "But you're gonna be fine."

"Bo," Lauren looked at her lover, and whispered.

The succubus stopped for a second, and looked up at her lover. "Hey."

"I'm so glad you came," Lauren smiled with chapped lips.

Bo smiled back, before completely undoing the ropes, and helping her lover to stand. "Can you stand? Are you okay? What did they do to you?"

Lauren leaned on Bo a little, and they stumbled as they made their way down the house. Lauren couldn't help but notice all the bodies littering the house.

"Bo," she whispered, stopping her lover. "Did you do all this?"

Bo didn't want to stop moving: Who knew when something bigger, something worse, something that Bo couldn't stop came along? "Lauren, we have to go."

Lauren stepped away from her lover, her strength returning in spades. "Bo, you didn't--"

"Lauren, I didn't have time to do anything else! And we don't have time now."

"All these people, Bo..."

Bo growled, feeling the familiar heat in her belly. "They weren't people. They were Dark Fae, and they were holding you hostage. What the fuck did you want me to do?"

"Bo," Lauren whispered, "this isn't right. Tell me you didn't--"

Bo stepped away from her, her eyes darkening. "I had to save you. I did whatever I needed to. Don't judge me, Lauren," she growled.

Lauren straightened. "I can't do this," she whispered, not really looking at her lover.

Bo's mouth evened into a line. "Do what?"

Lauren knew what she had to do. "Did you really think I loved you?"

Bo's head went back. "What?"

Lauren sneered. "You're a Succubus. A creature capable of only taking, and giving nothing back. Like a parasite."

Bo took a full step back. "Lauren," she whispered.

Lauren took an equal step forward. "Look at this place, Bo, look at all these bodies. This is who you are, this is what you are. How can someone like you be capable of love? You never really thought this would actually work out? You and me? We can't even talk about the love of my life. Nadia, Bo. Nadia was the love of my life," Lauren breathed out fire in her voice.

Bo's face twisted, and it wasn't at all pretty. The anger started to swirl in the pit of her belly, and Bo tried to fight it but it was like the birth of a wildfire.

And Lauren wouldn't stop advancing. "Nadia. You remember her, don't you, Bo? My lover. Whom you killed."

"You asked me to!" Bo screamed, because that was the one face she saw in her nightmares that she could never shake. "She asked me to! You were both begging me to do what neither of you could do! Lauren! You were begging me!"

Lauren's eyes burned. "And you didn't hesitate long did you, Bo? Is it because you couldn't have me another way? There was no way I'd leave Nadia, right? So that was what you had to do? Gut her like an animal?"

The words pounded at Bo, and she felt all the blood drain from her body. This couldn't be her Lauren, the one who always sought to see the best in the Succubus, who was both frighteningly practical and ridiculously romantic. This couldn't be the woman who had so thoroughly and effortlessly seduced Bo on a daily basis, so much so to make Bo – who could have had anyone – was panting from her desire for this human.

"Lauren," she whispered, tears flooding her eyes even as she clenched her jaw, "don't."

"Don't what, Bo? Say what we've both been thinking but were too afraid to say out loud?"

"That's not true."

Lauren sneered. "Come on, Bo, let's be honest. Something we're so rarely. I wasn't in love with you. I'm not in love with you."

The rage finally lit, and her eyes turned a dangerous blue even without her realizing it. Bo clenched her jaw and took a step forward. "Stop it, Lauren."

The doctor crossed her arms and leaned back. "Or what, Bo? Are you going to kill me? Just like Nadia? Or are you going to drain the life out of me?"

The fire within took over without even a moment's notice, and Bo had Lauren backed up against a wall, her forearm against the doctor's throat. "Stop it. This isn't you," she growled, her voice as unearthly as her eyes.

"Why? Why should I stop? Can't handle the truth, Bo?" Lauren wheezed out trying to claw Bo's arm away, but finding her strength no match for Bo's. "How could I love you when I'm always afraid of you? Really, who could love you?"

And with that, whatever was left of Bo was swallowed whole by the rage and she didn't even realize how hard she was pushing until Lauren went limp against her.

For a moment, the world went completely black. In the next, Bo came back to herself and realized what she had done.

"Lauren?" she whispered, but got no response.

The blonde was limp in her arms, and Bo was panicking. "No, no, no, no, no, no. Lauren, baby, c'mon..." Bo spoke as she laid her lover down on the floor, feeling for a pulse, and finding none.

"No, no, no, this isn't possible. Baby, no, please..." But the body beneath her was completely still. There were tears in her eyes now, and she started CPR, pushing at Lauren's still body that refused to comply. "One, two, three, four," she called out rhythmically, focusing on the motions and not on the fact that she may have just killed her lover.

But there was no pulse, and Lauren's body remained still. Bo pushed away from her, and collapsed onto the ground.

And screamed.

She screamed with tears pouring from her face, until there was no breath in her body, and then she felt it. That now-familiar, dark pulsation, it was asking her to seek refuge in it. It was whispering that there was nothing left to live for now, no reason to keep fighting it, she could give in, she could be free, she could be the most powerful being. If only she would give into the darkness.

But Bo just kept screaming, and pulled Lauren's lifeless body to her, tears and pain and everything else mixing together as she rocked them back and forth. In her agony, she didn't even realize that the dark voice that had kept hammering at her had stopped, and suddenly there was dark smoke rising from her skin. Bo wondered for a moment if she were going mad.

And then everything went completely dark, as she fainted.


A few days later...

Bo didn't think she'd ever been this angry. "So, you're telling me that Lauren took some sort of potion that would make her seem as if she were dead?"

Trick leaned back in his chair, knowing that this would be one of the hardest conversations he'd ever have to have. "Yes," he whispered.

"And you knew about it?"

Trick pleaded with her. "It was the only way to save you, Bo."

"The entire kidnapping thing?"

"A favor that I now owe the Morrigan. She had her low-level flunkies set it up."

"All this to save me?"

Trick leaned forward. "Bo, it was the only way. You are my granddaughter, the last family I've got. And you had to reject the Asura out of your free will to be free of it. You had to make the choice, but it had to be under the worst possible conditions your mind could take."

"That's why you used Lauren to be a part of this. Because if I thought I had killed the love of my life--"

"And, then, if you still rejected the Asura's all-consuming takeover of your body, then it would leave you forever. And you'd be free."

"The black smoke?"

"That was the Asura. Leaving you. Forever. You won."

Bo leaned back in her chair, having no idea when she would process all of this. "You lied to me. All of you."

Trick opened his hands, and pleaded with Bo. "Please, Bo, try to understand. I've been through this, your mother has been through this. I was just trying to save you. I was trying to do what I couldn't do for your mother. And you can be angry with me, you can even hate me. But I wasn't going to stop trying to save you. The difference was, that Lauren knew that only you could save yourself. So even if you can't forgive me," he continued, his voice growing stronger with every word, "you have to forgive her. Because she knows you best, and she still loves you."

Bo went to visit Lauren in the hospital only at night, when she knew the blonde was sleeping, recovering from the side-effects of having taken a potion that made one's heart seem to stop. From overhearing the doctors and nurses talk, Bo knew that Lauren was healing well, and wouldn't have any physical side-effects.

Bo sat in the uncomfortable hospital chair, and drew her fingers over Lauren's, trying to understand, trying to forgive, as she looked at the sleeping form of her lover.

And then Lauren's eyes were suddenly open, and looking at her. "Bo," she whispered, "I'd hoped you would come."

The words were stuck in Bo's throat, the aching words of rage and anger and hurt, that she wanted to hurl at Lauren. Questions asking why her lover didn't trust her, how she could have let Bo think, even for a few moments, that she'd killed Lauren. But none of the words would come. So Bo just stared.

"I'm sorry," were the next words out Lauren's mouth.

Bo just pulled Lauren's hand up to her mouth, and kissed the palm slowly.

"You know I didn't mean any of it," was what Lauren got past the lump in her throat. That was the most important part of what she needed to say. That everything she had last said to Bo was because it was part of the plan to make Bo lose control, and then confront the Asura. It had just been a plan, but Lauren hadn't wanted to think about the fallout.

And, now she was staring at the consequences in the air, in the distance between them. "Can you forgive me?" Lauren asked, not sure if she wanted to know the answer, but knowing she had to ask anyway.

"We need to talk," were the first first words Bo could manage.

Lauren said nothing even as she frowned, and took the hand that Bo held in her hand, and ran her fingers gently over Bo's jaw. If this was the last time she touched Bo, she wanted to remember all of it.

Bo couldn't smile, but her voice was as firm as it had been in days. "But I think," she whispered in the dark, clinical, beeping room of the hospital, "we're going to be okay."

Lauren nearly fainted with relief, and she could only let the breath leave her in an explosive gasp. She ran her fingers over Bo's lips. "I love you, Bo. More than I've ever loved anyone."

And, with those words, there was another beginning for the two of them, and not at all an end.

The End

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