DISCLAIMER: South of Nowhere and its characters are the property of The N network, no infringement intended.
SPOILERS: Season 2 Eps The Morning After, this takes place immediately after the fade out of Behind the Music.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By LN James


The night hadn't exactly turned out as she had planned. Aiden and Kyla crashing Ashley's party, the constant fighting and bitchy words between Kyla and Ash, and it all culminating in her girlfriend breaking down, again – pretty much not on the schedule. Then again, when did things ever really turn out the way you thought they would?

Sitting on Ashley's bed idly paging through the photo album she had made Ashley as a present, Spencer sighed. After collecting herself, Ashley had gone to seek a delicate truce between the newfound siblings, even if she did so begrudgingly. Or as Ashley put it: "Go make up with my little InstaSis. Fun."

Aiden offered to drive her home after he decided to bail before getting any more grief from Ashley, but she declined. Her mom was on call at the hospital for the next 24 hours and her dad, sitting forlornly in front of the TV, drink in hand, had absently given her permission to stay, if she wanted. Of course she felt bad for what her parents were going through, but she was currently wrapped up in a big ball of what she could only describe as Very Happy Kinda Angsty Exciting Lust-Filled Love. And you know? Sometimes you had to live your own life…and let others live theirs.

The past two weeks had been, to put it mildly, an emotional rollercoaster, like some amusement park ride that looks like fun before you get on, but lasts just a few turns too long. She had finally realized who and what she wanted – Ashley, and Ashley, in that order. They shared one and only one incredibly (and dare she say, mindblowingly) awesome night together. And then, before they really had a chance to revel in just how well they fit, she watched her girlfriend's heart break into a million pieces before her eyes. Spencer had spent the rest of the time trying to help put the girl back together again.

All the while, Ashley had been, understandably, less than emotionally…what would be a good word? Available? Cooperative? Spencer knew this, Ashley knew this. Grief plays out differently for everyone, she figured. Know how sublime a thing it is to suffer and be strong. Or something like that.

"Hey…you're still here."

Startled, Spencer looked up to see Ashley leaning against her bedroom doorway, her hands in her back pockets. Though she was still dressed in her party attire, her face betrayed the kind of youthfulness that comes long after the fight has died down and the fortified wall has fallen. Ashley unguarded was soft.

"Yeah, I, um, decided to stay, if that's alright?" Standing, Spencer made her way towards the door, letting her eyes wander across Ashley's face, trying to gauge her mood.

With a smile, Ashley reached out her hand, "Of course it's alright. I'm just surprised."

She felt herself pulled close after Ashley shut the door and she let her arms wrap around the brunette. And then she consciously moved closer, pressing her whole body against Ashley. She was still getting used to being able to be this close to another body. Sure, she hugged people all the time, hugged Ashley lots. But this was different and new, this closeness, this acute physical proximity to a body that made her head swim and her heart pound. Sometimes it felt like she was playing with dynamite, generating too much heat to be safe.

"Why were you surprised?" She whispered, burying her face in Ashley's neck. If Ashley alone could cause some serious damage, then the way she smelled might as well have been liquid fuel thrown on a bonfire for good measure. Nitroglycerine disguised as tuber rose and bergamot orange.

She felt hands press against her back as Ashley turned and let her lips kiss lightly against her brow. Head swimming, heart pounding. Pulling back, Ashley looked at her.

"I just figured that you would need a break from all of my drama. I haven't been the easiest person to be around, you know."

With a light chuckle, Spencer reached up and let her hand touch against Ashley's face, "I hadn't really noticed."

Smiling slightly, Ashley let her eyes close briefly as she nodded before she made eye contact again, "I'm sorry, Spencer. It's like I don't even know how to act anymore, how to function. This whole thing has fucked me up and I'm this royal bitch and I cry all the damn time, it just comes and I can't control it. And I miss him so much, and I'm pissed at him for not telling me the truth about Kyla. Most times I can't believe he's really gone and I wake up every morning thinking it was a dream or thinking it didn't really happen. But it's real and I lost the only person I consider family, the only person who really loved me, even if he was never around, he loved me."

When Ashley paused, Spencer pulled her closer, making sure she knew she wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. There wasn't anything she could say or do to make Ashley's dad come back. Loss like this was permanent, all the more painful because it punched a hole in Ashley that might never be repaired. She could only imagine how it must feel to lose what little sense of family and security the other girl had. Forget about Ashley's mom, she was a distant, cruel bitch. Forget about the money, it would never fill the emptiness. Maybe Kyla, she seemed nice enough, sweet and kind even. But only time would tell on that. She felt Ashley's hands move down her arms before they settled back down to her hips, squeezing gently.

"Spencer, I feel like any second I could just go crazy. I don't know how to deal with this and sometimes I just want you to figure out how to make it all better or at least make it not hurt so much. Help me forget, for a minute or an hour or…" Ashley just stopped, her eyes pleading, seeking the kind of reprieve that only comes from physical oblivion.

And with that, Spencer let instinct dictate. If this was what Ashley wanted or needed, she was going to do everything in her power to make it happen. She may not be the most experienced and she may have been hesitant and tentative their first night together, but this was different, more intense, so she let her body respond, shut off the insecurities in her head. She would make Ashley forget everything but Spencer's name and Spencer's hands and Spencer's lips and Spencer's body.

Roughly, she pushed Ashley back against her bedroom door, her hands flying to the other girl's face and pulling them into a bruising kiss. Ashley inhaled deeply as her mouth found Spencer's, both of them kissing just this side of wild. Hands found her thighs as she felt Ashley's nails skim along her skin, up her skirt and back down, scratching the outside of her thighs. She pressed her hips against the brunette, her own hands forcefully pulling at the bottom of Ashley's sheer shirt, impatiently tugging it until Ashley, frustrated, pulled it off, along with her vest, and threw both across the room.

Spencer's hands immediately found black silk, even as her fingers tangled in the thin silver necklaces that dangled between Ashley's breasts. Under normal circumstances, she probably would have preferred to take it slow, spend time learning the curves of Ashley's body, but right now, she had neither the time nor the will to slow down. Especially when Ashley closed her eyes and let her head fall back against the door, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. Situation: Volatile.

Taking the opportunity, she let her lips find Ashley's exposed neck, feeling blood just under the surface beat against her tongue as her teeth bit slightly, leaving a little red mark on Ashley's pulse point. She couldn't help herself really, it was like someone else possessed her normally shy hands as she desperately tore at Ashley's belt, ripping it open before starting on the button and zipper of her jeans. She felt herself pulled back to Ashley's mouth as the other girl literally growled against her lips. Tongues and lips fought for dominance, sparking a fierce battle neither wanted to retreat from.

"Fuck, Spencer.." Ashley tore herself away, momentarily overcome, her eyes darkly hot and burning. In the small part of her brain that was perpetually reserved for taking note of immensely important things, Spencer took a mental picture of how Ashley looked right now, completely focused on her and completely consumed by need. She had never really seen anything so beautiful or so compelling or so dangerous. And frankly, it made her a little crazy. If anyone was going to lose their mind tonight, it would be her.

Impulsively, Spencer grasped Ashley's hips, slipping her fingers between jeans, panties, and skin, and let herself sink to her knees, pulling denim and black silk down with her. If she hadn't been so intent on the sight in front of her, she might have found the look of surprise on Ashley's face amusing, eyes wide and jaw dropped open, shocked. All Spencer knew was that when one of Ashley's hands went into her hair and the other found her shoulder, she had already felt herself leaning forward.

Only one thought raced through her mind as her lips first pressed against Ashley's inner thigh before moving in farther: I must have this. After that, it seemed like time stood still. Again, instinct took over and basically, she did what her body told her to do. Kiss. Breathe. Lick. Taste. Kiss. Lick. Taste. Breathe. Revel. Consume. Enjoy. Please. Yes. Take. Give. Make Her Forget.

"Oh, God…Spencer." She could feel Ashley's body shake, hands on Spencer to keep steady and remain standing. She looked up, their eyes locking, as her hands pulled Ashley's hips closer. The brunette's breathing was ragged, her face flushed, dark hair falling in waves over her shoulders. When Spencer moved slightly, adjusting, Ashley looked momentarily desperate, caught between a slow burn and a conflagration.

"Don't stop, please..don't leave...me."

Taking a moment to pause and wetly kiss against Ashley's thigh, Spencer took hold of one of Ashley's hands before drawing it to her lips, placing a kiss in the her palm. Though spoken in a moment of physical weakness, she knew that Ashley's words went beyond the immediate. She let her voice drift up softly, sending reassurance in a glance.

"I'm not going to stop, Ashley. And I'm not going to leave you. I'm right here, I'm not going anywhere."

She watched as Ashley relaxed and felt her hand gently move through Spencer's hair, pushing it off her face and touching gently against her cheek, dragging fingers through the wetness still glistening on her face. Ashley's voice was low, slightly rough, still full of need.

"You have no idea how you good you are, Spencer…no idea."

She smiled up at Ashley, raising an eyebrow before she let her lips return. Feedback was good, she appreciated it. It only served to inspire continued greatness. Kiss. Breathe. Lick. Revel. And when Ashley's hips began moving against her mouth, the other girl's hands back in her hair, pulling her close, she felt herself believe she was all that Ashley would ever need or want.

"So good.."

Ashley's words were nearly drowned out by her breathing and soft moans. Spencer closed her eyes and burned a copy of those sounds into her brain. Although she was completely focused on Ashley, her own body had been responding in kind, contributing to the nuclear fusion between them. This only drove her to press against Ashley harder, faster, lips and tongue and mouth all working together.

"Oh God…"

Ashley moved against her mouth faster, her own eyes closed tight, her knees weak. And when Spencer felt Ashley hold her head still, her hips still grinding, she looked up and caught her eye. Amazingly, she could actually see the precipice from which Ashley dangled, holding her breath. The world stands out on either side, no wider than the heart is wide.

As those seconds ticked by, Spencer knew that Ashley remembered nothing, felt no pain, no loss. She just…existed…in a moment of bliss. And it was beautiful to behold, almost like staring at her favorite painting or listening to the most perfect music or tasting the sweetest fruit.


With that, Ashley breathed out and let go. She was witness to Ashley's liberation and she could now give testimony to the healing powers of a sudden inferno. Sometimes you have to burn the land to save the earth.

So, Spencer was there to catch her when Ashley collapsed, her arms wrapping around the other girl as she slumped down and into her lap. For long moments, they remained silent, Ashley breathing, Spencer letting her fingers idly stroke through Ashley's hair, feeling the slight dampness at her temples.

She loved this girl with all her heart. Ultimately, she didn't care if everyone knew or no one did, that wouldn't change her feelings. And it was true: Being with Ashley wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination. But the rewards were worth it, especially if it meant that she would feel this kind of connection this intensely.

Feeling Ashley stir and adjust herself in her arms, Spencer let her eyes drift over her face as Ashley's words were soft, "Thank you for staying."

She let a smile play across her lips, "Thank you for letting me stay."

Ashley smiled back as she started to get up, her hand pulling Spencer with her, "No, thank you. Really. Thank you."

She laughed and shook her head, "Ash, you can stop thanking me now."

When Ashley pulled her over to her bed, her hands once again found the outside of Spencer's thighs, just under her skirt. "Oh, I've just begun to thank you, Spencer. And trust me, I'm very appreciative.." Here Ashley kissed her softly, before she continued. "…and thankful for your lips". She let her tongue run over top and bottom lip before adding, "And your mouth." More kissing. "And your tongue." More kissing.

All in all, Spencer had to revise her initial assessment of the night: Sometimes things turned out way better than she could have ever planned.

Then she decided to stop thinking and forget everything but Ashley.

The End

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