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Phantom Touch
By mel


Bo walked slowly into the living room and flopped onto the couch next to Kenzi, who was busy killing yet another army of robot hookers. She stared at the screen, unable to find even her usual low-level of amusement with the game that had held her roommate's attention for quite a while now. Her mind was still trapped back in Lauren's lab.

Kenzi, being a good reader of people, or Fae, or her roommate… whatever, knew that there were some seriously heavy thoughts going on inside the sullen succubus' mind – so she just nodded a greeting of hello and kept to her massacre, understanding that the deep thoughts that were troubling her friend weren't going to come out until the beauty was ready to share. Which, judging by the way Bo's brow was furrowed, she concluded would be sooner rather than later.

Bo, for her part, didn't even see Kenzi's nod of greeting – she was too busy staring sightlessly at the screen and wondering… "What the hell am I doing anymore?"

Kenzi nodded thoughtfully to herself and paused the game, setting the controller down on the table so she could turn her full attention onto her friend. "I'm assuming this sudden burst of introspection has something to do with your recent outing to go see Doctor Hot Pants."

"What the hell am I doing?" Bo repeated herself, her arms flapping in the air before falling uselessly in her lap.

"Yeah, see, I'm gonna to need more than that if I'm to play the Yoda to your Skywalker."

"I want her," Bo whispered, knowing that Kenzi would understand who she was referring to. "I want her so bad it's like there's this… this… this gigantic hole in my chest that only she can fill."

"I think the hole you're wanting her to fill is a little bit lower than that."

Bo shook her head, a small, sad smile playing on her lips. "If only that was all I wanted from her Kenz."

"Wow," Kenzi drawled. "Well, this does explain why you've been so incredibly mopey since she tried to keep you from getting yourself killed. You've got a case of the big L for Doctor Freeze."

"She could have talked to me," Bo murmured. "Could have told me what was going on. Not just run smack into Plan B – 'Hey, I know, I'll seduce the succubus'," she mocked in a false sing-song voice.

"Yeah," Kenzi replied sarcastically. "Because we all know how much you love to talk things through and listen to reason."

"I trusted her."

"She trusted you," Kenzi argued, wondering why in the hell she was defending Lauren. It's not like they were besties or anything. "I think she still does, even after she's been the direct recipient of your never-ending shit-storm of a temper-tantrum."

"I'm not having a temper tantrum."

"Heh, you so are," Kenzi chuckled. "You're pissed because you made sweet, sweet tender love with her and afterwards, when you tried to sneak out and leave her in your bed to go chase down a majorly wicked baddie, she told you about the whole 'master plan'," she emphasized the words with little finger quotes. "And, I get it – it sucks that needing to distract you was what it took to get you two doing the horizontal tango, but she was just trying to save your life. And, for as much as your relationship skills suck ass, you can read desire better than anybody so you know she wanted to be with you."

"You don't even like her – why are you sticking up for her?"

"Because somebody needs to! It should be you – but you're over there drowning in your little pool of self pity so it's up to me."

"She belongs to the Ash," Bo pouted, crossing her arms over her chest and glaring at the wall behind Kenzi's head. "Even wears a little collar around her neck to prove it. Let him protect her, that's his job as her owner."

"Why are you being such a child about this?"

"I am not."

"Aaaaand, thank you for proving my point," Kenzi chuckled. "Do you really think you're the only one who's hurting over her decisions from that night?" Kenzi sighed. "I've seen her too, you know." Bo arched a brow questioningly. "Not like that, get your sex-crazed succubus mind out of the gutter. You know I don't do chicks, roosters are more my thing."

Bo just shook her head and laughed at that very Kenzi-ish expression.

"Focus!" Kenzi snapped her fingers in front of Bo's face. "Hot Pants is not looking so hot these days. When you two were getting your flirt on she would TOTALLY melt in your presence. Icy cold doctor façade – poof! Disappeared! Hasta la vista, bring the girl another shot of tequila. But now there's nothing. No spark. No life. Not too much different from yourself, really – when you let your angry bitch mask fall, that is."

"I am not wearing an angry bitch mask."

"Please, you're so cold and bitter anymore that it's getting to the point that I'm dressing in layers when I'm around you so I don't get frostbite."

"I want to be free to choose the life I want," Bo repeated her mantra.

"And you want somebody to live it with you, I get it," Kenzi sighed as she pick up her controller and turned back to the television. "Problem is, I think you want Lauren to be that person – but now you're so busy being all self destructive and shit that you're not even giving the girl a chance to explain herself properly!"

"She's not free to choose to spend her life with me," Bo grumbled. "She is property of the Ash, she does his bidding."

"And wolf-boy doesn't? Fealty, property, same difference… really. They both do what he tells them to."

Bo arched a brow questioningly.

"Okay," Kenzi conceded. "So Dyson might be a little more selective in what directions he listens too – but girlfriend was teaching you to control your power sucky thing behind the Ash's back because she freaking wanted to!" Realizing that Bo wasn't going to answer, Kenzi paused for a moment to make sure Bo was listening before she smacked the stubborn succubus upside the head with the biggest clue-by-four she had. "Thing you need to realize is, Bo, Lauren's doing what she has to do to survive – but surviving isn't living. She only comes alive when she's around you. Now – get out of here, I need to focus on destroying these rebel invaders and your epic bad mood is causing a disturbance in my channeling of the Force."

Bo stared at Kenzi for a few seconds as she tried to understand what had just happened before giving up and pushing herself off of the couch. "I'm going to go take a hot bath and then I'm going to bed."

Bo reclined in the steaming tub and looked up at the cracked lath plaster ceiling as she kept replaying her second trip to Lauren's lab through her head. "I can't believe I just watched," she muttered darkly, shaking her head in disbelief as she smacked her palm to her forehead. And, really, she couldn't – because Lauren filling out random medical forms was hot, but Lauren self-servicing (and murmuring her name while she did it) was molten lava, surface of the moon hot. She was still hurting and angry from Lauren's betrayal, but she couldn't deny the fact that there was still a painfully obvious attraction between them.

Lauren didn't even try to deny wanting her.

"…you can read desire better than anybody so you know she wanted to be with you." Kenzi's words floated through her head unbidden, and now, alone in the bathtub with nobody to keep pretenses up for, she could admit that there was something to her roommate's observations. "When you two were getting your flirt on she would TOTALLY melt in your presence. Icy cold doctor façade – poof! Disappeared! ... But now there's nothing." Of course, the observation that hurt the most was the one that was closest to her heart – "I think you want Lauren to be that person…"

"I did," she murmured quietly into the silence. She closed her eyes and sank deeper into the water until the surface was tickling the point of her chin. She rested her hands on her stomach as she breathed in the jasmine scented oil she'd dribbled under the tap, hoping the normally soothing fragrance would help with her wounded heart.

She couldn't let herself become that vulnerable again.

Breathe in, breathe out, she thought to herself. Clear your mind. She ran a dripping hand over her brow as she relaxed into the water. Her breathing slowed to a steady, regular rhythm as she laid there with her eyes closed, her body relaxing into the warmth like it was a welcoming lover's embrace.

"Lauren," she whispered as her mind wandered back to their night together, the only night she'd ever truly made love. The night she learned that there was more to sex than just physical pleasure – that the physical was a means to express the emotional. And now that she'd experienced that deep, binding connection, she wanted nothing more than to feel it again; but every person she'd bedded since that night never came close to making her feel like sex was anything beyond just sex. Mechanics. Friction. Release. Feeding.

It was so different with Lauren.

Her hands became mobile, sliding over her torso in a slow, deliberate caress that was nearly identical to the way Lauren had touched her that night. Slowly, lightly, fingertips barely grazing her skin as if too much pressure, too firm of a touch would cause her to disappear. She slid her hands up over her breasts as she remembered the way Lauren had looked at her with nothing short of absolute reverence in the dim bedroom light. She brushed the pads of her thumbs over already semi-erect nipples as she let her body remember the glorious sensations Lauren had been able to evoke within her when the blonde's hot mouth surrounded each tip, pinching and rolling the hardening buds between her fingers as she allowed herself to remember the electric intensity that had ricocheted through her under Lauren's quick, skillful tongue.

"God," the word fell from her lips on a sigh as her right hand slipped from her breast and followed the exact path the blonde's lips had emblazoned down her stomach. She smiled slightly at the memory of Lauren's playful side and how the blonde had taken great pleasure in nipping and sucking at each of her protruding hip bones before working her way lower with soft, feather-light kisses.

"I don't think I've ever wanted anyone as much as I want you," Lauren's whispered confession rolled gently across her mind as she slipped her fingers between her folds to play in her own arousal.

Her eyes still closed, her mind fully engaged in the replay of her few stolen moments of happiness, she was completely unaware of herself, of her surroundings. "Lauren." The blonde's name fell from her lips on a sigh as she remembered the way the doctor had closed her eyes and leaned in close to breathe in deep the scent of her desire. "Is this real?" Lauren's whispered question, tinged with the merest hint of disbelief, marked the moment just before the blonde's tongue finally brushed against her. "My God you are absolutely exquisite."

"I need you." The whispered confession escaped on a breath as Lauren's tongue teased her higher and higher. "Lauren, please," she murmured, shifting her hips under the water in much the same way she had under Lauren's mouth that night. She cupped herself firmly, applying the same delicious amount of pressure against her sex as Lauren's hip had when the doctor'd moved back up to hover above her. The hand that was still at her breast turned over so that her nipple was rubbing against the back of the hand in a near mirror image of the way it had when she'd fondled Lauren's breasts as the blonde hovered above her, rocking, pushing, thrusting so intimately against her. She sighed as she touched herself, so lost in her fantasy to where she could practically feel Lauren's nipple raking across her palm.

She licked her lips at the memory of Lauren's warm, chocolate eyes, so soft and expressive, staring into her very soul. And then Lauren had smiled that soft, shy smile down at her and she'd felt like every doubt, every selfish insecurity had evaporated to be replaced with a feeling of truth, an unflappable knowledge of what was real. "Nobody owns you," she'd murmured as she tore the necklace from Lauren's neck.

Except the look in Lauren's eyes that night told her with perfect clarity exactly how untrue that sentiment was. Lauren's eyes were declaring loud and clear that she was Bo's to own, to love, to protect, to wound, to abandon, to destroy.

And she was pretty sure her eyes were saying those same exact things.

The hand between her legs began pushing up against her clit, rocking against the point in the same way Lauren's hip had pushed into her that night as the blonde held herself up on those thin, deceptively strong arms. Silken blonde hair falling around them like a curtain, separating them from the world, surrounding them in each other, as her eyelids fluttered closed and she lowered her lips for yet another gentle, tender, adoring kiss.

"Mmm," she sighed, her body buzzing from her touch, from Lauren's phantom touch, her very soul ablaze with the desire, trust, and affection she'd felt emanating from Lauren's every whisper, every kiss, every caress.

She wanted to be that vulnerable again.

"God you're gorgeous." The memory of Lauren's awed whisper made her heart stutter in her chest. "Please, I need more," she whispered as her hand between her legs shifted down so she could slip two fingers inside wet, willing heat. She could picture perfectly Lauren's analytical gaze studying her face, searching to see if this penetration was too much, too fast, too anything.

But, God, it had been just too, too perfect. "Yes," she encouraged the fingers inside her as they fell into a steady rhythm, a pace no lover beside Lauren had ever set within her. Every stroke was perfectly timed, seamlessly delivered so that each stroke conveyed how truly special their joining was.

Fingers slid effortlessly inside tight, clinging walls as she allowed Lauren to stroke her higher, slowly higher with each and every plunge and retreat. Every brush of lips, every whisper had her heart skipping a beat and her pulse racing with desire until she knew nothing beyond the sound of Lauren's hot breath falling against her ear, the feeling of Lauren's lips against her skin. The feeling of being so incredibly cherished and adored, as if Lauren were the one blessed with the opportunity to touch her so, to affect her so.

She needed to feel that again.

"Lauren, so close," she whimpered to the otherwise empty room, pleading with the ghost of her lover's memory to release her as the hand between her legs shifted back up to rotate in quick, firm circles against the throbbing, pulsing bundle of nerves that was straining, begging for attention.

"I could stay here forever."'

Her touch against herself quickened to an inhuman speed until she fell over the edge with the memory of Lauren's cheek brushing softly against her own. "Me too," she confessed in a hushed whisper as her body quaked and trembled with her orgasm.

It was the cooling of the water surrounding her that forced her from the tub. She dried herself quickly and slipped into a robe for the short trek to her bed. The bed that would forever bring her memories of Lauren and their beautifully tragic night together. As she shed her robe and laid down, her skin tingling with the memory of Lauren's touch as she wrapped herself in the thin cotton sheet, she finally admitted to herself that it didn't matter. The hurt didn't matter. It was simply the unfortunate result of Lauren's absolute desperation to help her. To save her.

To keep her.

She fell asleep with thoughts of Lauren on her mind, her final cogent though tumbling over her lips just as the curtain of sleep closed in around her, "I love you."

The End

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