DISCLAIMER: Characters are not mine. This was written for pirateygoodness Ė and no, Bette does not run off with the baby in this one. Spoilers for the last episode of Season 3. Also, the title makes no sense, but I canít come up with anything better. This was... a good distraction from math studying.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Shades of Grey
By TheAgonyofBlank


"I really like your necklace."

Bette shifts in her bed, the words echoing in her head. She knows she should be asleep, because it's been a long day, and she's really, really tired. But she can't sleep, try as she might. Her mind is too active, and is thinking about things she never would've entertained once upon a time. But now Tina isn't hers anymore, and she's not even sure what she feels for her ex-partner, so she allows herself to think of these thoughts. Maybe they will go away once she's thought a little more about it, she tells herself, but deep down she doubts it.

She's thinking, of course, about what Helena said to her earlier that evening. It had been after the wedding that did not happen and before the sleep that did not come, when she had been sitting at the hotel bar and sipping a glass of wine. She'd seen a blur of movement out of the corner of her eye, and when she'd turned, she'd found Helena staring back at her. Well, Helena had actually been staring at her breasts, but Bette pretended not to pay attention.

She had taken another sip of her wine, and hadn't bothered to break the silence.

"I really like your necklace."

Surprised, Bette had looked up at that, noticed that Helena had been wearing the exact same one. Thank you. Then she'd taken another sip of her drink. No compliments in return. She'd been aware of Helena's gaze still on her chest, but now she knew that the woman was looking at her pendant, not her breasts. She had sighed. Then she had proceeded to stare at the beer bottles that lined the bar shelves, thinking about how she wasn't a beer kind of woman. And she had wished then that Helena would leave her alone, because she did not want any kind of company – not even the silent kind – right now.

She had started to say exactly that to Helena, but before she could get a sound out, she'd felt a light, cool touch on her collarbone. Helena's finger. She hadn't been able to suppress a shiver. The finger had trailed down to the beginning of the valley of her breasts, followed her necklace chain to the pendant. Bette had stared directly at Helena then. But Helena had just smiled in response as she fingered the pendant.

"It's quite lovely."

Bette nodded. Yes, it was. And then without another word, Bette had left for her room.

But the furniture around her now is unfamiliar, and maybe it's also partly because of that that she can't sleep. She shuts her eyes and tries to force sleep, but still it doesn't come. Something bubbles up inside of her, something exciting. She's had that feeling before, with Tina, but she doesn't want it now. She doesn't want it because she knows she's having that feeling because of Helena. But Helena is the woman who broke her heart – she had stolen Tina from her, once upon a time. She resents Helena for that, resents her through the friendship they currently have. She can't help it.

She can't help getting out of bed, either, and dressing herself.

She can't help that Helena smiles at her when she sits next to her at the bar again.

"I really like your necklace."

She can't help but smile back, joke.

"It's a little nicer than yours."

The End

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