DISCLAIMER: D.E.B.S. and its characters are the property of Angela Robinson. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The song is Ready for Love by India Arie.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Ready for Love
By Mercury


"Look, it'll be okay."

"No," Amy shook her head sadly, "it won't."

That was the moment, right there, when she knew it was over. As Amy's world was crashing down around her, Lucy looked on with a devastating hopelessness. Standing above Amy in nothing but a sheet, she watched as implications and consequences clouded Amy's mind, obscuring all traces of the exquisite tenderness they had just shared. With one blink of an eye, propriety and duty had utterly eclipsed pleasure, beauty and love. She stood there, as it happened, watching. It was like getting caught in the undertow – the water just kept pulling her down and back and the harder she swam to get above water, the more tired and weak she became until the waves simply overtook her.

Lucy learned that she loved kissing Amy. They'd had a lot of practice over the last seven days. Once again, lying entwined on her duvet and taking their sweet time, Lucy pondered the fact that Amy had the softest lips. They tasted like coming home. Lucy felt as though she could lie there, just kissing her, forever.

The beautiful moment was interrupted by a sharp slap that sent heat along the skin of her upper back.

"Did you just snap my bra?" Lucy looked down at her soon-to-be lover, incredulous.

"I was trying to be smooth." Amy bit her lip. Her face transformed into a look of contrite embarrassment, a glow rising in her already-flushed cheeks.

It was quite possibly the cutest thing Lucy had ever seen.

"I need to go." Without even looking her in the eye, Amy turned and began dressing unceremoniously, picking each item of clothing off the floor. Clasp the bra, pull up a sock, head through the neck-hole. It was all so methodical, so cold and abrupt. In her brusque movements she relayed a sense of shame and embarrassment, mingled with a hint of remorse. And it was that, more than anything, that made Lucy want to cry or scream or throw something across the room.

Instead, Lucy watched the display quietly, her eyes following Amy about the apartment in an attempt to catch a signal – any signal – that what they had just shared had not been a lie.

Once dressed, Amy stood in the middle of the room, at a loss for what to do next. Lucy took the cue.

"Here, I'll drive you. Just give me a sec to get dressed." She bent to pick up her shirt, letting the sheet fall to the ground and exposing her bronzed skin. She heard a gasp and looked up, caught halfway between reaching for her underwear and jeans. Her eyes locked with Amy's for the first time since the interruption. Her breath quickened as a shimmer of hope flared through her.

But Amy turned away abruptly, "It's okay, I'll walk." She began heading for the door.

"What?" Lucy's voice held a little more hysteria than her calm exterior intended to let on. "You're not walking home!"

"I'll be fine, I… I'll take a cab or something. I just… I have to go."

"Amy, no," Lucy grabbed for her arm. Amy turned and fixed Lucy with a desperate glare, folding her arms across her chest for protection. "Please," Lucy's voice softened, "let me drive you home."

She received no more than a terse nod and averted eyes, but for the moment, it was enough.

"Do you love me?"

The usual bad-ass master criminal bravado was gone. There was none of that hardness that usually laced her voice like a seductive, biting poison or the jagged cutting-edge of a diamond.

Instead, there was a hint of barely concealed rawness, an openness never-before articulated.

Amy looked up into expressive eyes, Lucy's pupils dilating and making deep brown eyes even darker. Amy's breath caught at the rare display of vulnerability.

Finally deciding to put Lucy out of her misery, Amy nodded and whispered, "Yes."

It should have been raining. There should have been blurry lights and streaky wipers, a windshield that wept rivers of drizzling rain. Instead the night was mockingly crisp, as if nothing in the world was wrong. Even the radio conspired against her. Smooth, sickly tunes drifted from the dashboard in a sensuous voice. Scud's preset station, some soft-rock bullshit or something.

I am ready for love
Why are you hiding from me
I'd quickly give my freedom
To be held in your captivity

Lucy glanced over at Amy. She was turned away from her, looking out the side window with her arms still folded tightly across her chest. The music didn't even seem to register as Amy's face remained a stony mask. Lucy gripped the steering wheel tighter and took the next turn a little more abruptly than usual, making the tires squeal. She checked her side- and rearview mirrors almost compulsively, needing something – anything – to take her mind off the velvety music and the thorny girl in the passenger seat.

I am ready for love
All of the joy and the pain
And all the time that it takes
Just to stay in your good grace
Lately I've been thinking
Maybe you're not ready for me

Not able to take any more, Lucy practically slammed off the radio.

"God, enough of Scud's vagina music!" She winced. That was entirely the wrong thing to say. Demeaning, crude… just the impression she was trying to make. She shook her head, exasperated with herself.

She looked over at Amy under the pretence of checking her blind-spot. Still no response. Lucy silently berated herself again for being so obscene. She tended to lash out when she felt threatened or vulnerable; she wore her abrasiveness like a cloak, shielding herself from succumbing to weakness. You get feisty when you're put on the defensive, Scud would say. He put it mildly.

She sighed, blew her bangs out of her face, and kept her eyes on the dry, crisp road that passed under them without so much as a sympathetic sheen of water to lace the pavement.

"Do you always get what you want?"

It was said in a silky voice, dipped low to convey a sultry sensuality. The tone spoke of promise, while the words belied just the hint of shyness.

They were both panting. Amy had a leg insinuated between Lucy's thighs and it was doing all kinds of wonderful things to her nerves while mildly hindering her mental capacity for conversation.

"I don't know… this is the first time I've ever wanted anything."

As the silence stretched on, the air seemed to fizzle with unspoken words. The tension and its oppressive quiet seemed to pound in her ears.

Great. Should've stuck with the radio. Lucy sighed, once more glancing surreptitiously towards her reticent passenger.

They rounded a corner onto a quiet suburban street, complete with freshly-cut lawns and rich, manicured gardens. All that's missing are white picket fences, Lucy thought snidely. They rounded another corner. Oh, never mind. Every time she drove through here, Lucy almost gagged at the plastic cheerfulness the neighborhood radiated. It was just so… perky. Even at night. This was a far cry from the unassuming industrial zone they had just left, with its dirty warehouses and the occasional well-hidden evil lair.

"Let me out here." Those were the first words she'd uttered since they'd started the car.

"We're almost there, it's okay," Lucy reassured, not taking her eyes off the road.

"Just… stop the car!"

Startled by the harshness of Amy's tone, Lucy pulled over at the side of the road.

"Look," Lucy began, putting the car in park and turning in her seat to face the blonde. "Can we talk about this? I'm sure they'll understand. We just need to tell them the truth… that we love each other. We can go together. They'll understand," she repeated, almost as if trying to reassure herself.

Amy couldn't even look her in the eyes. "I can't do this now." She struggled with her seatbelt and then reached for the door handle, her eyes firmly planted elsewhere the entire time.

"God dammit, Amy, look at me!" Lucy wanted to scream. Instead a pitiful voice escaped as she reached towards her lover. "Please…" But as her hand reached towards Amy, her target moved farther away and she almost fell onto the passenger seat, her arm outstretched and grasping at air. Amy was already out the door and walking quickly away from her.

Lucy couldn't remember a time when she wasn't touching Amy. The thought occurred to her, peripherally and in a fleeting sort of way, that there must have been a time, not so long ago in fact, when she had not known what it was to touch her. Now, knowing what she knew, the softness and the heat and the rightness of it all, she didn't think she would ever be able to survive without it.

Amy's thigh pressed upwards between her own, and all existential introspection evaporated instantly. Lucy moaned into Amy's mouth, and it was no longer enough just to touch aimlessly, at any expanse of skin that could be found. So her hands moved downwards with determination, to pry desperately at Amy's belt buckle, struggling with the clasp. Finally the buckle was released, the button and zipper pulled open, and her hand was sinking at last inside warm panties. She sighed at the moistness already forming.

But Amy was tugging up at Lucy's shirt, and then down at her own jeans, and they took a moment to divest the remaining items of clothing. This required that they separate, even momentarily, and to Lucy, who knew what it was to touch Amy, that separation seemed like an eternity.

But then they were together again, and Lucy was inside Amy, and it was like an epiphany: What she thought she had known about touching her was nothing compared to this. She kissed Amy's neck and down her collarbone and marveled at the feel of Amy surrounding her, enveloping her in a wet, spectacular warmth. Lucy was so much a part of Amy at that moment that when she felt the walls clenching around her fingers and heard the gasps escaping those lips in a mounting crescendo, her own breath expelled in a silent moan and lights exploded behind her eyes.

Lucy watched Amy walk away. She went quickly at first, as if running from the car. From me, Lucy thought. Then Amy slowed, her strides evening out into a reluctant walk of shame. Lucy wasn't sure which was more insulting.

She sat in the car long after Amy had disappeared down the street, feeling sick to her stomach. Eventually the silence, punctuated by the occasional, almost obnoxious chirping of night crickets proved too much for her. She tried the radio again. The same song was just nearing its end. Was it that short a time since they had been driving together? It felt like she had spent an eternity alone in that car.

Tell me what is enough
To prove I am ready for love

I am ready

As the song trailed off, the words struck her. Finally – and even despite Scud's best efforts to turn her off the idea of being "open to love" forever with his blind date disasters – she was ready.

She was ready, and Amy wasn't.

She sat there, numb, as it all fell into place. Her own reluctance at finding love, the armor and artillery she used to hide a small, scared girl. Her inability to step out of her comfort zone, to embrace the new and exotic for fear of getting hurt. And the way it had taken time, years even, until she was ready and willing to take that step. With a nod, she gripped the steering wheel. Her face hardened into a look of steeled-resolution. Finally, she was ready. But Amy wasn't.

"I can wait."

The peaceful, drowsy neighborhood was startled from its slumber as tires squealed on the pavement and a '59 Cadillac DeVille sped away through the night.

"Do you love me?" Amy mirrored Lucy's earlier question, only this time both women wore nothing but beads of sweat and satiated grins.

Lucy's smile faded and she rolled over onto her side, intertwining one leg between Amy's. Placing her elbow on the pillow, she propped her head up so that she could look down into deep blue eyes. "Yes," she whispered, with all her heart.

Amy bit her lip and smiled. She reached up until her fingers tangled in silky dark hair and pulled Lucy down for a kiss.

The End

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