DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Spoilers for Vendetta. Set before Buried.
FEEDBACK: To ariadni.mou[at]gmail.com

Silk & Lace
By Athena


Chapter 1

Pete took the porch steps in two and whistled as he picked up the package propped against the front door. He recognized the logo on the bag and grinned. Package in hand he walked inside.

"Hello.o," he shouted cheerfully. "Myka, your friend Victoria just sent you something. Your know, the one with the Secret."

Myka stepped out in the hall looking confused. Her eyes fell on the package in his hand and she shook her head. "I didn't order anything."

"Me neither," Claudia piped in, poking her head out from behind Myka's back.

The bag was suddenly snatched out of his hand. "That would be for me."

"HG?" he exclaimed. She smiled at him over her shoulder.

"There are no decent shops in this town. What's a girl to do?"

She grabbed Claudia's wrist as she passed by. "You young lady are coming with me," she said softly, but with a hint of something that made the others realize it was not a request.

"I am?" Claudia said confused as she was half dragged, stumbling towards the stairs, a step behind HG. "Yes, of course I am. HG, I've got you covered," she said and shook her head as if to make all the pieces fall into place. "You can let go of me now Wonder Woman."

HG gave her a mysterious smile and removed her hand. "After you young lady," she said and made a gesture for Claudia to proceed her up the stairs.

Claudia cast one last glance over her shoulders at Myka and Pete and was taken back at the emotions on their faces. Pete's confused look was not a surprise really, but Myka's sad look of utter disappointment shook Claudia's core. She almost tripped over her feet as she walked backwards up the stairs.

"Come on then, we don't have all day," HG said and shooed her on.

Claudia gave Myka a lopsided smile and then raised upstairs. "Race ya' old lady," she quipped.

Myka turned around and went back in the living room. She picked up her book and sat down with her back to Pete; her body language clearly warning everyone to stay away.

Pete looked at her wondering what the heck was going on. Myka's dark withdrawal into her world of fiction was a clear sign that something was not right. However, he knew her well enough to not go there until she was ready. He scratched his head. "Women," he muttered.

When she heard Pete's footsteps on the stairs, Myka lowered the book to her lap. She felt awful. That sour feeling in the pit of her stomach of being left out, of not being one of the popular girls in high school resurfaced with a vengeance. Why had Helena suddenly become best friend with Claudia? She was confused. She hurt inside. Helena meant so much to her. Had Helena just used her, Myka the nerdy girl, to get what she needed, and now she didn't need her anymore? Myka startled as the book slipped from her hands and fell to the floor with a loud clunk. She picked it up and left the room. Dragging her feet upstairs she walked to her room. She noticed sadly that HG's door was closed. As she walked by she could hear hushed voices inside and then HG's laughter. She closed her eyes forcing back the tears. She quickly entered her room and closed the door.

"What's the rush Batman?" Claudia asked as she plopped down on HG's bed.

"I need your help," HG said and closed the door behind her. "I want to be sure that what I ordered is appropriate."

Claudia's eyebrows shot up. "Holy smokes! Are you going to parade underwear in front of me?"

HG nodded.

"Aiii, jikes," Claudia said and bit her lip.

"Is that a probem?" HG asked confused.

Claudia stared at her and saw the slight confusion and worry on her face. She realized that HG really did need her help. "It's okay," she said and patted HG's shoulder. "Just change in the bathroom okay? I don't know if I can handle Victorian lady nakedness."

HG smiled. "Of course darling."

HG removed her vest and hung it over a chair before grabbing the shipping bag. She ripped it open and dumped its contents on the bed. Claudia's eyebrows shot up and her cheeks suddenly got a very healthy pink to them. "Ehum, HG, is that what I think it is?" she asked hesitantly and touched one of the plastic wrapped items.

"I don't know. It's a corset," HG explained.

"That's what I was afraid of," Claudia mumbled.

"What's wrong darling?" HG asked. She studied her face for a moment and then folded her arms. "Do I still make you nervous darling?"

Claudia cringed and held up her hand, showing a little space between her fingers. "Maybe just a smidge."

HG laughed. She opened the bag and handed the item to Claudia. "I don't really know if I'll find any use for it," she admitted. She got a faraway look on her face and Claudia leaned forward. "It reminded me of the past," HG finally admitted.

Claudia nodded. "That's cool dude. Anyway whatever guy ends up seeing you in this will definitely appreciate it," she said and whistled.

HG gave her a dazzling smile. "I didn't buy it for a man," she purred and winked.

"You didn't…" Claudia's eyes were big as saucers. "Dude! Tipping the velvet action at Leena's. Artie is gonna blow a gasket! Sweet," Claudia exclaimed cheerfully.

To Claudia's surprise HG blushed. "What?" she asked.

"I didn't realize that you knew that expression?" HG said softly.

"Ah, well, it's a book you know," Claudia waived it off.

"A book?" HG said, sounding just a little shocked. "Someone actually wrote a book about that?"

"Well, I'm sure," Claudia said with a shrug. "This one though is fiction. It's just the title. "

HG nodded in understanding, still looking a little shell-shocked.

"It's out on DVD you know," Claudia said nonchalantly as she sifted through the different bags, matching bras and panties like she did it every day.

"Is it now?" HG said with a devilish smile.

"Yeah, you should check it out. It's all cool and retro and stuff."

HG chuckled. "All right. I might just do that, but for now, help me out here Claudia. What works for casual and what is over the top?"

"Corset. Definitely over the top man," Claudia said and tossed the corset into its own pile.

HG picked up a small bag and pulled out its contents. "It said that this kind of garment wouldn't leave any lines. Sounded good to me." She pulled at the garment and her eyebrows shot up. "Is it supposed to be this small?"

Claudia felt her ears get warm. "Well," she said and coughed. "It is."

HG turned the item over and pulled at it, still confused. Claudia's fingers itched and finally she couldn't take it any longer. "Here, let me," she said and took it from HG. "See this bigger part?" HG nodded. "It goes in front, and this," Claudia pulled at the piece holding it together. "goes in the back."

"How? There's nothing there!" HG exclaimed.

"It goes…" Claudia sighed and looked up. "Kill me now," she mumbled. She looked at HG. "It goes between… you know," she explained and pointed at her butt.

HG stared at her and then at the thong. She finally understood and laughed out loud. "Thanks Claudia."

"Yeah, whatever. You're so totally checking this one out on your own in the bathroom. I'm not gonna go there," Claudia said and held up her hands.

HG smiled and patted her knee again. "That's quite all right. I'm sure I'll get a lot of entertainment out of it with the right person."

Claudia coughed and quickly picked up another bag. "Moving on." She read the description and nodded. "This is good." After a little fiddling around she found the matching panties. "Here, start with these. They are good for anything."

HG smiled at her and took the items. "I'll be right back."

Claudia could hear her undress through the open door. She quickly turned her attention to the rest of the bags. It didn't take her long to pair them up and put them into piles.

"What do you think?" HG said and smiled at her.

Claudia leaned back on the bed, mouth open. HG was standing in the middle of the room only dressed in a silk and lace matching set. The contrast against her pale skin was stunning. "HG you are one gorgeous lady," Claudia finally managed to squeak out. "Not that I'm really into the ladies, but still. I can acknowledge hotness in another woman," she explained.

HG smiled and her eyes twinkled. "Thank you darling. So you think this will do?"

Claudia nodded enthusiastically. "Smokin' hot man."

A soft knock on the door startled them.

"Who is it?" HG called out.

"Myka," came the muffled answer through the door.

"Come in darling," HG said as she readjusted the bra strap.

Myka opened the door and stepped inside and instantly froze. Her eyes met HG's and they just stared at each other until Myka looked away. She looked at the garments on the bed, and Claudia who was curled up like a happy kitten at the foot of HG's bed. Her eyes went back to the breathtakingly beautiful woman standing in the middle of the room only wearing a luxurious set of black underwear. Myka's anger flared. "HG, how could you? She's just a kid!" she said angrily and stomped out of the room. She was gone before HG could even open her mouth.

HG suddenly felt cold and awkward standing in just her underwear. She had for some reason lost all interest in trying on anything else. She reached for her shirt, hanging on the bathroom doorknob and put it on. The shirt tails reaching halfway down her thighs, not quite covering everything, but it was enough. "Claudia," she said softly. "Thank you. Maybe we should do this some other time? I'm for some reason not in the mood anymore."

Claudia nodded. She had felt the charges between the two women and the puzzle pieces started to fall into place. She looked at the old fashion garment on the bed. "I think she would like it," she said softly.

"What?" HG said confused. She looked up at Claudia as if she had forgotten she was still there.


HG's cheeks flushed a little, adding some color to her black and white appearance. "Why do you think I bought it for her?"

"HG. I'm nineteen, not stupid." She cocked her head. "Myka got totally turned on just looking at you right now," Claudia said confidently.


"Duh. Her eyes." Claudia said and rolled her own. "Her pupils looked like she'd been smoking pot man."

HG raised an eyebrow.

"Not that I would know anything about that," Claudia said very fast. "I know for sure Myka doesn't, so there's really only one other explanation."

HG shook her head. She grabbed all the little bags and shoved them into a drawer. She rested her hands on the dresser and took a deep breath. Claudia noticed in the mirror that her eyes were closed shut. She covered her mouth as it hit her. HG was about to cry. Oh, man, why me? she thought. She carefully approached her and gently touched her shoulder. "HG? Are you okay?"

HG nodded, but she could tell that she wasn't. "Come here cupcake. Time for a snuggle," Claudia said and put her arms around HG's waist. HG hugged her back as she laughed and cried at the same time.

"You are very wise for your age Claudia," she said and smiled. She kissed her on the cheek. "Thank you."

"Yeah, whatever." She said a little embarrassed. "Seriously HG, you should go talk to her."

"I can't," she said with a strangled sound.

"You're the bravest person I know. I know you can do this," Claudia said honestly.

HG hugged herself shaking her head.

"Here. Put these on," Claudia coaxed and handed her her pants. "Come on, I'm not gonna dress you. You might be used to that, but I'm no chamber maid."

HG laughed. "If you were, you would have to warm my bed at night," she said and winked at a stunned Claudia.

"Well, ehum, I…" Claudia stuttered her ears getting hot again.

"I'm just joking. It's true though. My chamber maid would warm up all our beds before bedtime – with a bed warmer. You fill it with hot coals and put it between the sheets."

"Ah," Claudia smiled, finally understanding. Then she punched HG's arm. "Dude, you totally made me think it was something else." She said and pursed her lips.

HG laughed, her eyes twinkling. She looked at the door. "You really think that she'll talk to me?"

"I know she will. Now get out of here."

Part 2

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