DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of three stories for International Day of Femslash 2012's Big Bang. I think Project Alice fits the Olympic Motto (faster, higher, stronger) by nature of her genetic tampering. She uses her powers for good, but since the tampering is a little steroid-y, I also think the Olympic Creed fits this series perfectly. It's all about struggle and survival against the best (of the worst) humanity has to offer. Happy to hear any thoughts. Special thanks to Dakota, my heart, my muse, and my ever-vigilant editor.
SPOILERS: This picks up in the middle of Resident Evil: Extinction, the third movie in the series, so anything is game through Extinction. Alice has been alone for a while and rescues a caravan containing a couple of old friends and one particular new one. She has unpredictable powers.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To missmonaj[at]yahoo.com
Resident Evil - After Extinction
Claire finds Alice on the perimeter of the fire watching the others break off for bed. She'd never admit it to the stranger out loud, but Alice seems lost and very alone. Worse than that, she doesn't seem to expect more for herself. She'd been so quick to let Claire know her time with the caravan would be limited. Now she feels like an asshole.
Claire made the rule long ago that anyone not dangerous or infected could join them. She may not know what's up with Alice's enhanced abilities, but Carlos assured her that the woman is safe. Better than that, the sun-bleached brunette has a natural inclination for and talent at protecting people. Claire gathers that Alice would disagree with that assessment, but it doesn't make it any less true. And she's confident that the warrior would prove a much better asset than liability.
"Thanks for backing my play. Having your intel of the area helped a lot." Claire sits on a log a yard away, hoping they didn't get off on the wrong foot. Hoping, too, that she could let Alice know she's welcome to join them, and that the knowledge would drain some of the guarded loneliness from her gaze.
"It's the right move." Alice notices a strange look from the younger woman, but lets it go. She's used to strange looks from the few decent humans she finds. At least she finally met the Claire Redfield brave enough to hold this convoy together while broadcasting room for more. It's amazing that enough hope still exists to keep this many people together. She'd tried it herself and had to abandon them because Umbrella was tracking her.
"I hope you'll stay with us after Vegas. We're going to need as many good people as we can get if we're gonna make it." Claire watches the fire, letting its warmth reach deeper.
"You're not afraid of me." It's a statement, but Alice can't mask the surprise.
Claire laughs, humorless and tracing the edge of the abyss. "I'm afraid of everything. Zombies. Infection. Raiders. Water. No water. Spoiled food. No food. No gas... I pull my gun at the slightest sound. I haven't slept through the night since I can't remember. I ache like I'm seventy. Everyone here has some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, and there's no help, no end in sight. It's gets harder and harder to care because all you see is how this teenager is going to die. How that woman is going to lose her last kid before giving up and walking into a sea of infected."
Claire stops herself and brushes away a tear with a quick swipe of her hand. "Mostly I'm afraid that one day I'll quit caring and give up. Or worse, walk away and let the monsters take them." She meets Alice's eyes in the low, flickering light, not a bit proud of what she's just admitted. She's not one to bullshit though, not even herself. "But no, I'm not afraid of you, Alice."
Alice can't breathe for a moment, the pressure on her chest suffocating. She has to look away, to give herself time to take that simple statement in, to realize that Claire has apparently decided to trust her, even though she must know the story of her leaving Carlos' group. More than that, the younger woman is trying to impress upon Alice that she understands.
The air is thick between them, charged with a subtle energy that lets Alice see Claire clearly for a heartbeat or two. "Thank you." She really hopes that the redhead heard her, because she can't quite speak again yet.
Claire nods and looks away. "The watch is sorted for the night, and Kmart left her spot in the hotel for you." She watches a few different emotions war in Alice's gaze for a second before standing and offering the stranger her hand. "She thought you cold use some real sleep; come on."
Alice takes the hand up and holds it for a beat too long, wondering at the absolute vitality she feels in Claire. Her powers are random with people, but sometimes she gets...readings. She's not around humans enough to school the talent, so impressions are scattershot. This one is strong though--life. And despite what she'd just said by the fire, Claire is full of hope.
Alice gets that tightness in her chest again, her own buried hopes seeking light. She is drawn to Claire like the warm comfort of a fire. Even now she follows quietly, noting the slight swagger of hips, the confidence in her walk. She exudes strength, and, Alice notes with a sudden start, sex.
"It's not much, but there's a bed that's only slightly dusty." Claire turns to find Alice staring at her again. "You okay?" It's the first time she's flat-out asked, so she only half expects an answer. Just like Claire, she'd likely answer that everything was fine.
Alice nods slowly, feeling completely disconnected from her body. She must have looked like she was going down, because suddenly Claire is there, steadying her. When the redhead touches her, she jerks away at the heat and walks into the room to sit on the bed. Head down by her knees, Alice breathes deep once. Twice. She is lightheaded again. Normally she would protest the gesture of leaving her a bed, but tonight she is too tired. A cool, wet cloth on the back of her neck helps combat the nausea, a constant enough companion that she's grown used to it.
"Drink some water. You're probably dehydrated." Claire hands her a water bottle and stays with her a while, sitting close but not touching her again. After a few minutes of nursing the water, Alice stirs, sitting up slowly, then standing. She has to check the impulse to jump up and follow her around the room, in case she should try to pass out again. This woman obviously needs no protection, but she feels like she should try anyway.
"Thank you." Alice stretches, wondering when this episode will pass, when she will feel like herself again. The dizziness gone, she starts getting ready for bed. But Claire seems ready to go. Finally, things click, and she closes her eyes against the pain in her head and the realization. "Where are you sleeping?"
"I've got the Hummer." She watches Alice move between her and the door and shifts slightly to compensate.
"You can't give me your room." Alice's head is throbbing now, and she closes her eyes again.
Claire notices the chink in Alice's armor and isn't going to change her mind. "I barely sleep anyway, and the Hummer is the closest thing to home I've got. Sleep tight." She tries to make a quick escape, but the brunette leans a hand on the door, a smile quirking one corner of her mouth.
"That's the point... Beds are a treat." Alice isn't moving.
"You saved a lot of people today; you deserve it." Claire turns the knob, but the door doesn't budge. She didn't expect to find herself so close to Alice. Or so drawn to her. But retreating is against her nature, so she arches an eyebrow in a silent demand for freedom.
"You save a lot of people every day." Alice's smile grows. She crooks her eyebrow too, waiting for the next argument. When the redhead hesitates, Alice reaches over to lock the doorknob and the chain. "I'm too tired to argue, but I will if you insist. Or," she turns and indicates the queen-sized bed, "...We could share."
Claire looks at the expanse, plenty big for the both of them. And she had been looking forward to it. "Fine."
Alice nods and squeezes her shoulder on the way by, acknowledging the silent truce. She stows her gear by her side of the bed and takes off her shoes, also a rare luxury. But every sense is focused on Claire, wondering if she'll have to convince the younger woman again. It's suddenly very important that she stay.
Claire finally moves toward the bed, and Alice lay back. She douses the lamp and makes herself comfortable too. It's been a long time since she's slept next to anyone but KMart. The teen snores a little, but generally only wakes her a couple times a night. She's such a light sleeper anyway. Would she be able to sleep next to this stranger?
Alice breathes deeply, trying to slow her heart rate. It's elevated, even for her. She chalks it up to the excitement of the day, and the current exhilaration of sleeping in a real bed. Behind a locked door and a fairly secure perimeter. It's the best feeling she's had in many months, and it's a distracting enough thought to keep her awake for a few more minutes.
"I'm not sure this is a good idea." Alice's words are loud in the dark, even at a whisper. She doesn't expect the soft laugh.
"Don't worry; I might talk in my sleep, but I don't kick."
Alice smiles, "Last night I woke up with my cycle hovering ten feet off the ground... It didn't survive the landing."
"Smooth move, Skywalker." Claire hopes Alice knows that she's trying to lighten the mood. This time her comment draws a low chuckle. Relieved, she asks, "Guess all that power didn't come with an instruction manual?"
Alice shakes her head and remembers that Claire can't see her. It feels safer that way though, and she lets the silence grow heavy again.
"From what Carlos says, I'm confident you'll figure it out." Claire closes her eyes, body-aches slowly yielding to the mattress beneath.
This is the hardest thing for Alice to get used to again: human behavior. Kindness. Trust given at the word of another. Actions that are never certain, and are sometimes better left unexplained. She doesn't know a tear has slipped free until it trails wetly down her cheek. The quiet sniffle is even more surprising. She tries to laugh it off. "Sorry... Five minutes with you, and I'm a mess."
Claire reaches out, taking the chance that this time Alice won't flinch away. Her shoulder is soft and warm and very human. She keeps her hand still, non-threatening. "That's because you're safe here. With us."
Alice freezes at the contact, unexpected but more than welcome. Every sense concentrates on the small patch of warmth Claire's hot palm creates. Then it is gone, and the redhead whispers, "Sleep tight."
Claire listens to Alice force one deep breath, then another. She is just skimming sleep when the glass in the windows begins to rattle. Sitting up, she can see Alice's silhouette enough to know the woman is dreaming. A fearful moan, a ragged cry, and Claire can't stand it anymore, moving closer to put a hand to Alice's heaving chest.
The solid presence, still and strong against a pounding heart, makes the brunette pause. The cry becomes a whimper, the tossing about calms, the windows sit silent again, and Claire finds herself cooing low, nonsensical sounds that nevertheless bring Alice's world under control. She waits for stillness, tracking the steady rise and fall of Alice's chest until they are both asleep.
Claire is warm for the first time in months. She doesn't know why, but there is no way in hell she's gonna move. The weight on her back is delicious. And the thigh tucked between her own is so close to being in the perfect place.
That's the thought that penetrates sleep enough to wake her. They'd shifted in the night, and Alice is pressed against her back, arm trapped securely beneath Claire, tucked under the tank top, between her breasts. Alice isn't going anywhere unless Claire lets her go.
'Not gonna happen,' she thinks to herself. It's too good, too impossible, that she'd found this bliss here. Whatever this bliss is.
The woman behind her moans in slumber, the sound vibrating through Claire's entire body. The this, is Alice. Tucking closer, accepting the slender thigh deeper between her own, Claire doesn't care that they've just met. Or that the world continues to die faster than any of them can save it. She only cares about the weight at her back, the warmth and life beating so strong she can feel it in her own chest. Breast to back, Alice's heart pounds for them both, lulling Claire back to sleep and much sweeter dreams.
Alice wakes with a start, but can't move. After a moment, she feels enough to know that she doesn't want to. Claire is sprawled across her body like they'd spent all night making love. The image that flashes across her mind is decidedly more graphic, and Alice knows that she is feeling more herself today.
Today...dawn hasn't even broken yet, the darkness still inky around them. It's been so long since she's been held by another, she'd forgotten how good it could feel. She'd forgotten, too, how good it feels to hold someone. Especially someone this soft, who smells like an intoxicating mix of earth and salt and desert sage. It's the first time she's liked the scent of the desert. Now she will always associate it with Claire.
The redhead stirs, and Alice realizes that she is not ready to give up her treasure. Something about this woman makes her selfish, reckless. Every part of Claire seems to call for her. And now, in the dark, Alice can have her for a few moments. When the sun comes up, and they raid what's left of Vegas, Alice will move on, and this will be a sweet memory.
Alice turns onto her side, hand snaking beneath soft cotton to touch flesh. The flat expanse of Claire's tummy teases her palm, and she presses gently. The redhead cooperates in her sleep, turning to wiggle her bottom against Alice's center until they are spooning.
Nuzzling into Claire's neck, Alice murmurs her name, savoring the intimacy of the moment. Then the redhead is arching against her, hand reaching back to tangle in the hair at the nape of Alice's neck. Another moan escapes, louder, needy. The monster is scraping at her chest again, like just before the birds. But the feeling is manageable. At least controllable for the moment. The redhead is so pliable against her, she could take more liberties. But she does not want to. She just wants this stillness, this peace, as long as she can keep it.
Claire moans, the sound invading her dream. Only the body against her is real, the hot neck beneath her palm a connection between the two realms. She turns her head to kiss Alice when the pounding on the door starts.
But the two don't part, frozen for a moment in the almost. Then Alice's hold tightens on Claire's middle, making her breath hitch and stomach clench. After the hesitation, they hop out of bed, armed to the teeth in 4.2 seconds.
"Perimeter breach!" KMart pounds again, then races to the next door. She turns back to see Claire emerge from the room with Alice. Before she answers Betty's question, she notices a look pass between them, then a quiet touch.
The world explodes before them as LJ mans the flame thrower again. Claire watches Alice square her shoulders, prepared to deal with another onslaught of carnivorous birds. She barely reaches her in time, wrapping Alice in a tight embrace. "They've got it! Stop..."
Claire's hold tightens again as she waits for Alice to relax. "Please...we need you." Finally the brunette relents, going slack for a moment before shaking Claire off.
"I could have hurt you." Alice walks away. They'd gone from reluctant bedmates to sleeping intimates to strangers again, all in the space of minutes. Minutes that Alice will cling to when she tries to remember why she's fighting. Right now, she is shaking and afraid of what she'd almost done.
Claire watches her go, more concerned about the convoy than any imagined threat from Alice. She will mend that bridge later, when she's had a little time to make sense of it. As the brunette walks away, all she notices is the three inches of exposed thigh between Alice's shorts and leg warmers. When had she first seen that?
Closing her eyes, Claire flashes back to a moment, just a heartbeat, when her fingertips grazed over soft flesh and Alice moaned low. Staring after the brunette now, Claire tries to remember what other sleepy liberties she'd taken with Alice beneath the veil of darkness.
Whatever they were, it leaves Claire restless and wanting more.
Alice walks until she can't feel Claire's piercing blue eyes at her back. She'd almost let her powers loose on the threat, and the redhead had been right there in her path. She hadn't mean to snap at her though... The same something about Claire that makes her reckless now makes Alice feel raw and exposed. And hot. She cannot forget the brand of Claire's naked skin on her own, marking Alice as taken, bound to her absolutely.
She can barely breathe, something dark and heavy stirring inside. Does the T-virus have a part to play here too? Is her desire not even her own anymore? ...Because that's what grips her now, absolute need, debilitating lust. Desire had once been a manageable thing. Now it rages through her system unchecked, tainted. But she cannot completely separate it, the lust from the infection.
She does feel control though. Fleeting. Small. A few moments where the force of her need could be channeled. She just needs a target. Only one pops to mind, and now that image is accompanied by the remembered feel of Claire's body beneath her.
Alice watches camp break from afar, keeping an eye on the perimeter. Occasionally, she'll feel the weight of Claire's gaze again and look her way. But the connection never lasts long. Whatever it is they'd shared, neither seems to know what to make of it.
Connections are a dangerous thing in this world though, and Alice isn't ready to explore it yet. When Carlos offers a ride with him and KMart, she accepts. It would leave Claire alone, but the redhead is not her responsibility.
The more she thinks about it, the more she wants something, anything, to happen with Claire. It's not logical. It's definitely dangerous. And it could never last. But it's the first time since Raccoon City that she's wanted more than revenge.
There is a weight to that thought that makes Alice look for the redhead again. Perched on the hood of her Hummer, she's giving out orders to Mikey and LJ. She wears authority so easily, leading with compassion and confidence. Watching her quick smiles and easy affection for the kids, it's tempting to disregard what Claire had revealed last night. Watching her go through the motions, she understands how surviving becomes habit. How it can look a lot like living sometimes.
Now she feels guilty for avoiding being alone with her. But KMart pulls her into the truck and she doesn't object.
"You don't strike me as someone who runs from things."
Alice starts. How in the hell had Claire snuck up on her? Pretending to examine the obstacle in front of them--a wall of cars stretching from here to, presumably, Vegas--Alice shifts her weight away from the woman standing close enough to touch. "I run all the time. It's the staying in one place that isn't safe."
Claire knows it's the truth and smiles. It's rule number one: Keep moving. But that's not what she meant, and the brunette before her knows it. Claire just doesn't know how to articulate that the stillness she had with Alice had awakened something in her that she thought was dead. And she wants more. She reaches to touch Alice's arm, surprised by the tension there. "Ride with me on the next leg?"
Alice finally meets the dark blue eyes searching for her own. She wants to say yes, wants to respond to the light touch. But she is frozen, torn between her own powerful need for connection and her vow not to endanger anyone else.
The long drive hadn't made things any clearer. As reassuring as Carlos tried to be, the facts are that he and LJ are the only two from Alice's group that are still alive. What good had her leaving done them? Could she have protected them if she'd stayed? After all this time, could her strategy be moot?
"It's not a good idea." Alice's voice is thin, low, and unconvincing even to her own ears.
"I think it's a great idea." Claire steps into her, close enough to kiss if she wants, and trails a hand down Alice's arm to hold the brunette's fist. She feels like a teenager trying to hold a girl's hand at the movies, and lets herself think for a moment about what indulgences she'd take advantage of if they had the world back. Alice deserves to be courted. A long drive seems like a pretty practical date these days, but she wishes she had more to offer.
"Any way through?" Carlos approaches Claire's back, looking at the bleak view of impossibly jammed road.
Alice lets her gaze linger on very persuasive blue eyes for another beat, then takes a step back. Her hand tingles where the redhead touched her. Claire's nearness is chaos and mystery and need, things that make the monster in her stretch and roar its desire to be let loose. "Looks like we'll have to go around."
"Damn. That adds another day." Carlos kneels to lay out a map and starts mumbling to himself about possible camp locations.
Claire continues to watch Alice, who is less shy about meeting her eyes, but won't quite let Claire into her personal space. Still, she's sure Alice was about to give in.
"Alice, LJ isn't feeling well. Can you drive the van this leg?" Carlos asks.
Alice's head snaps over to Claire at her low growl, and she can't help but smile. Apparently the redhead had planned to get her way. "Sure." She kneels beside Carlos, pulling Claire down beside her.
Now that she knows she won't spend the next several hours inches away from Claire, it's safer to touch her, be near her. It's the loss of control that Alice fears. She doesn't want to hurt any of them. Especially--and increasingly--Claire. Maybe she can practice.
Claire struggles to pay attention to the map. The mixed signals coming from Alice are disconcerting, but promising too. And it's past the point of no return for Claire. Sometime in the night, she'd started wanting Alice, and that feeling only gets stronger as the day wears on. ...Now the woman is looking at her strangely, brow crooked. "What?"
Alice hides her smirk behind a hand and states again, "There's a little town here," she points, taking the opportunity to lean a bit closer to Claire. "It's twelve miles out of Vegas and has a small clinic we can hole up in. Might even still be some supplies. I couldn't carry a lot when I went through there."
"Still had your cycle at that point?" Claire smiles innocently, reminding Alice more of last night's teasing than the unfortunate loss of her sweet machine. She means the next part though. "I'm sorry you lost it, but it's our gain."
Alice nods, not feeling the loss so acutely anymore. "It did seem to work out for me." This time, she doesn't look away, letting Claire see that she's not immune to the pull of what she offers. Alice doesn't know what to do, but she is not immune, and still all too human.
"Thanks ladies. I'll round up the troops." Carlos rolls the map as he leaves, finally registering the weird vibe between Alice and Claire. He's confident that they'll get used to one another though, and continues on his task.
Claire watches Alice for a moment, then smiles. "I'm gonna figure you out."
Alice tilts her head, studying Claire right back. "What happens when you do?"
Claire lets her gaze go predatory for a beat, staring at Alice's lips. "Then it gets fun."
Alice feels herself blush, something she wouldn't have thought herself capable of yesterday. "See you in a couple hours."
Standing, she offers Claire her hand. When the redhead takes it, she goes a little weak in the knees. She can feel Claire's elevated pulse, can hear her breath stop, then start back stuttered and uneven. Alice is going to need the time alone to remind herself how to breathe.
"Will you hold me again tonight?" Claire traces her fingers over Alice's wrist, refusing to give Alice time to make other arrangements. She wants a promise now. She wants something to look forward to.
Alice is anchored by Claire's touch, and for once she doesn't let herself think. "Yes." The redhead nods once, squeezes her hand, and walks away, leaving Alice to wonder exactly what she's agreed to.
Alice has listened to KMart babble for three hours straight, but hasn't heard a word. As they pull into the ironically named Rain, Nevada, all she can think of is her upcoming evening with Claire.
Over the next couple hours, they scavenge a considerable amount of food, medical supplies, and even some gas. The clinic is bigger than Alice remembered, and less secure, so they clear out a bed and breakfast on the edge of town. She doesn't get close enough to speak to Claire, but notices her watching a time or two.
Claire takes the stairs two at a time to the third floor, where the master bedroom claims half the space. She marks it as her own by stowing her pack there, and takes a minute to clean up some and change. She can see Alice outside, off by herself in what's left of a backyard oasis, now mostly weeds and one stubborn tree.
By the time she gets outside, dusk is falling, and the surplus of food has raised everyone's spirits. Laughter and the strains of LJ's harmonica drift over from the fires. Far enough away for Claire to feel comfortable sidling up to Alice beneath that tree. She discovers the brunette hand rolling a cigarette that she slips between Claire's lips and lights.
Alice watches the deep inhale with hooded eyes as she rolls one for herself too.
"I could kiss you." Claire takes another drag, savoring the stale tobacco like it's a Cuban cigar.
"That's funny..." Alice lights up and enjoys her first drag as well. "I've been thinking a lot about that possibility."
Claire has too. She glances over at the group, wondering if they're far enough away, if they'll get interrupted. Because she won't want to stop with just a kiss. They watch each other smoke, swaying closer, bodies brushing, flirting. Claire runs her fingertips up a leanly muscled arm, feathering over an exposed collarbone. What does it mean that she likes the weapons on?
Finishing her cigarette, Claire flicks it to the ground and presses closer. Her hands tremble as she unbuttons Alice's vest, pushing the layers of fabric aside to lay her hands on the brunette's stomach. Only then does she raise her lips, accepting Alice's mouth with a hunger that surprises them both.
Alice takes Claire with her as she sinks back against the tree, focusing on keeping her need in check... Her composure lasts as long as it takes for Claire to moan softly. At the sound, fire races through her veins, scorching a path to her brain and severing all connections between herself and reality.
Alice's whole body starts to throb, pulsing at the rhythm of Claire's erratic heartbeat. She begins to get images of what she'll do next, of pressing Claire to the tree, of kneeling, tasting. The buzzing in her head blocks everything but the younger woman riding her thigh in that same uneven beat.
Claire rocks faster, harder, actions not fully her own. Dizzy, she clings to Alice, whose kiss has turned tender and demanding. And then her body explodes, aftershocks constant and stronger than any orgasm she can remember. She doesn't know how she got there so quickly, so completely, but Alice continues to play her body, touching everywhere at once. It makes her want more, and she moves to take her shirt off, needing to feel the brunette against her again. But Alice's strong hands stop her, and she pauses, panting and so beautiful that it makes Claire want to tie her against the tree for proper ravishing.
"We have a room." Alice won't admit it, but she feels weak, drained. Energized too, but she needs a minute to figure out what's wrong. She doesn't want to stop, every movement sending tremors of need through her barely-working muscles.
Claire leans close for another kiss, seeking the low buzz that consumed them for a few erotic moments. It's no longer there, but something much stronger takes hold, and Claire pulls away, gasping for breath. Her hips are held captive by hands that curve around her ass, squeezing possessively, promising exactly what she wants. You'll have to let me go.
It is a whisper in Claire's mind, something she won't say aloud because she does not want it. Alice hears it anyway, wondering at her connection to Claire. It's so sensitive, she knows exactly what the redhead is feeling.
"A room with a bed. A big one." Claire concentrates on the sensitive spot just below Alice's ear. At the first touch of her tongue, Alice loosens her grip, and Claire slips out of the embrace. Alice takes her hand, following Claire like a lost puppy. They'd made it to the porch when KMart rounds the corner at a run and launches herself at Alice.
Laughing, KMart kisses Alice on the cheek. "Thank you, thank you, thank you! You've gotta come to the fire. We have something for you." She drags the brunette away from Claire, but adds, "You too, Mama Bear."
Claire watches the teenager lead Alice away helplessly, then follows. She's just caught up when the whole caravan erupts in a cheer. Alice is the center of attention as KMart presents her with a necklace of some kind--dog tags with a pendant maybe--and welcomes her as a member of their caravan.
Claire waits until KMart is off by herself, staring proudly from the sidelines, and throws an arm around her shoulders. "So, you're leading the pack now?" She keeps her tone serious, businesslike.
KMart isn't fooled. "I'm influencing."
Claire laughs, pulling her into a hug. "You did a good thing. I think it means a lot to her." She nods at Alice, who blushes beautifully in the firelight, and wipes away a tear when someone gives her a plate of food. Sending KMart back to the party, she settles on the porch, enjoying the scene. And making plans for later.
Someone brings her food and she eats. Someone brings her a warm beer and she drinks. She watches Alice the whole time, waiting for a very polite hour before she starts to get impatient.
Then Alice is there, placing another hand-rolled between her lips, lighting it with a practiced flip from her Zippo. Her hand finds its way into Alice's hair, enjoying the privilege of petting while she smokes.
Alice waits, savoring the tease of Claire's lips wrapped around a thin tip. She knows the redhead will flick it with her tongue, coaxing the drag out with an unconsciously seductive inhale. She can feel those lips around her nipples, sucking gently but relentlessly, until she is a writhing bundle of nerves.
Claire notes each place Alice's eyes wander so she can start there. After her cigarette. The anticipation is almost too much. Her discipline in such matters is untested after so long and she doesn't know what to expect. But she wants Alice, needs her, between her thighs, beneath her tongue. She can't wait anymore, and flicks her butt into the sand.
Alice leans into Claire's embrace, but the redhead backs away, leading them to the third floor. Someone had left the window open and added her pack to Claire's by the door.
Claire undresses two steps into the room, wrapping her lover in another warm embrace. "I finally get you to myself." She takes off Alice's weapons first, enjoying the shiver that runs through her. The clothes follow, and finally she gets a proper look. Taking a moment to lock the door, she just stares. The brunette is lean like they are all lean these days, her breasts small and perfect and already begging for her mouth.
Alice crawls onto the bed, letting Claire see how wet she already is. How wet she's been since their episode in the garden. She's had time to recover, to consider that something special had passed between them before. Maybe something to do with the virus hijacking her DNA. But she pushes those thoughts away, wanting to be the only reason Claire goes weak and kisses her like there's no tomorrow. "Come here."
Claire watches for another beat, imprinting the vision of Alice's perfect ass framing the very honey she is after. Eyes hooded and focused on a single, half-hidden spot, Claire sinks between Alice's thighs. Then the world is right and still and perfect. As long as she tastes, as long as she feeds, as long as Alice's fingers tangle in her hair and urge her on.
"Please..." Alice's control slips a notch as she writhes against Claire's very talented mouth. She's waited so long to feel, to want, to find someone who doesn't care that she is part human and part death. "More."
Claire locks her arms around Alice's hips, long, broad strokes bringing her off the bed in climax, drawing out every aftershock she can access before slipping inside and taking her all over again.
Alice is a puddle of semi-sated desire, amazed at how much Claire's ministrations exhaust and expose her. Amazed at how much she welcomes it, how much she needs to be part of something again. Claire understands. Her beloved.
It's an unexpected realization, but feels right. The moment she acknowledges it, a warmth blossoms in her chest, and she knows it's true. And leaving no longer seems a possibility.
Claire finally lets herself be rolled into a more accessible position. Alice's touch is gentle, reverent, claiming inch by slow inch everything that she is... When she cums this time, it is not mysterious or fast. It doesn't leave her feeling a little empty and wanting more. It starts at her feet, makes her arch off the bed, makes her cry out, open for just a bit more. When Alice takes her over the edge, there is no doubt in the world who she belongs to or where she will call home.
Alice wakes her slowly, over and over again. By morning, they are both sore and aching and covered in love bites, their voices hoarse. They have to be persuaded out of bed by an incessant pounding on the door, and finally KMart's impatient, "If you're hiding, it's no use. Everyone knows."
A half-dressed Claire opens the door and grins at the surprised blush on KMart's cheeks. "If that's true, then they'll understand... We'll break camp at noon, hit Vegas, then spend another night here."
Alice is smiling as Claire closes the door. The redhead is naked again and straddling her within seconds.
"Maybe just one more time before we sleep?" Claire is sure that she didn't have to ask. She just likes the anticipation in Alice's eyes when she knows her intentions.
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