DISCLAIMER: Desperate Housewives and its characters are the property of ABC. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I wanted to write a Robin-centric fic, since there don't seem to be many out there. I've taken some liberties with her history; please forgive me.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Season 6, Episode 16 "The Chase"

Some Things Are Easy
By Kate


It was no secret that Robin Gallagher had done a lot of things in her life.

Many of them had been hard. Getting her degree, for instance, had been a battle. It had meant studying in Waffle Houses at four in the morning with the short order cook leering at her over the sleepy waitress' shoulder because her roommates were partying; cutting her hours at the club down during finals so she had to give up meals in order to make rent that month; enduring the constant, cat-calling criticism of the other girls, who had tried to make something of themselves, once, and failed. Robin had been determined not to fail, and endured the comments the same as she endured any other criticism.

Quitting her job at the club had been surreally difficult – not the quitting part itself. That had been a snap, "Fuck you, I quit," sliding from her lips as easily as money from a man's wallet. Leaving the life, that had been difficult. It was addicting, and not in any chemical sense, except maybe it was. The rush of moving under the lights, of teasing touches down beautiful women's bodies and getting paid for it, maybe her brain had gotten addicted to that unique high, better than any workout.

The money was addicting. Walking away from a good night with two thousand dollars in cash, tax free because who was going to report it? That was a stronger high than heroin, and coming down was a hundred times worse. Crashing to the bottom and realizing that when her lease was up in two days, she had virtually no where to live, that had almost been enough to send her back to her closet for her back-crippling heels and glitter eye shadow.

There had been easy things, too. Becoming a stripper – that had been easy. Robin had been dating an older guy named Rock, who made money using his considerable muscles and masculine first name at an establishment called The Platinum Mirage. She came to pick him up from work, his manager saw her in her ponytail and cheerleading uniform, and that was it. She was headlining by the next week. Sixteen years old. She usually just told people that it had put her through college: that was easier.

Stripping itself had been easy, passed mostly in a daze of beautiful women in gauze or nothing, hypnotic beats and high, flashing lighting that kept her from seeing the men as easily as it helped them to see her. Robin wasn't ashamed to admit that she had been a very, very good stripper. She knew, just from looking at a man, the way to move to make him want her. Seduction was an art form; Robin could make masterpieces in her sleep.

Making the switch from men to women had been easy, as easy as sliding her fingers inside her first woman, feeling the pulse and the flutter and watching the gasping, trembling effect her actions had. Men were hard, all angles and corners that Robin was constantly battering against; women were smooth and soft, and Robin fit into place against them with no more than a quiet sigh of relief. 

Nothing, not one thing in her entire life, had been as easy as falling in love with Katherine Mayfair. It had happened between heartbeats, between casual words and slight, flickering smiles, the emotion sliding into place inside Robin's chest like all this time she had been a puzzle, and Katherine was her final piece.

And nothing had been more difficult than walking away from her after hearing that at least some of her affections were returned. Every single step up to her room was more of a struggle than all of the steps she'd taken to leave stripping combined. Robin counted off in her head, back and forth like a child making a list of pros and cons.

Pro: She has feelings for you.

She clenched her hand around the banister and forced herself to keep moving upwards, away.

Con: She doesn't want to have those feelings for you.

Reaching her room, she pushed the door open and sighed, looking at all of her things, heart squeezing painfully with the thought that, for the first time in a long time, she had been living in a place where she felt at home, not just a place to crash at the end of a long night but a home. And somehow she had found the courage and made it her home, so thoroughly that now she had to leave it.

Pro: That look in her eyes was desire; you hadn't gotten it wrong.

Her suitcase had been relegated to the top of her closet; Robin pulled it down, clenching her teeth and fighting the restless, panicky jitters in her limbs. Her body was oscillating between anguish and desire, so quickly she couldn't distinguish the two, and in any case both of them were things to be fought. She threw the suitcase on the bed and flipped it open.

Con: She doesn't need this right now. She doesn't need something complicated, and you'd be complicated for her, no use in pretending otherwise.

She grabbed an armful of clothes from the closet, dumping them, hangars and all, onto the bed. Her hands were sticky, clinging to the fabric; Robin was painfully aware of the fact that she smelled like champagne, which she associated with the early morning, stumble-home feeling of an all-night bachelor party, dirty and cheap with saliva and other fluids she shuddered thinking about. Robin could rarely stomach champagne anymore. She'd bought it to drink with Katherine, wanting to hear her giggle when the bubbles hit the back of her throat and hum when the first burn of alcohol warmed her stomach, wanted to feel the slow heat of her own secret desire pulling her towards the sounds even if she hadn't planned on completing the motion. She had just gotten a job, a real job which required her to wear clothes, and she'd wanted to indulge herself, if only briefly.

Pro: If you kissed her again, she'd kiss you back this time. 

Robin pulled a robe out from the tangled mess of clothing and wrapped it around herself, a leopard printed thing she would have felt comfortable wearing open over her stage outfit backstage at Mirage, and yet even when she belted it tightly around her waist, she still felt utterly raw and exposed, unwashed hands digging into her hips and the scrape of stubble up her spine with the bouncer nowhere in sight.

Con: She would probably cry afterwards.

Robin hooked two fingers into the corner of her suitcase, tears welling in her own eyes, sliding her thumb along the teeth of the zipper and breathing deeply, looking for the strength to continue packing. 

She had to pack, now. She had to leave, now. If she stayed, if she let herself fall into the sinking mix of despair and hope whirling like a vortex in her chest, then eventually Katherine would come upstairs looking for her, and they would have to talk some more. Robin didn't think she could stomach another round of what had happened downstairs without either kissing Katherine or throwing up, and the way she felt right now, throwing up would probably be the more likely option.

Sighing, she picked up the nearest article of clothing – a pink, gauzy shirt, one of the ones she'd modeled for Katherine that morning, before Katherine had shaken her head and walked out of the room, returning in a few moments with a shirt in her hands. 

"Wear this," she'd suggested, and Robin, overwhelmed with the notion of going to the interview with the orange silk wrapped around her like a flag proclaiming the object of her desire, had barely been able to say thank you. When the manager of the Downtown Grille had remarked on how classy she looked, she had been honestly startled. In Katherine's shirt, she had felt more sexually charged than she had ever felt on stage. 

The pink shirt slithered out of her hands, resisting her half-hearted attempts to fold it. Robin sighed and threw it into the suitcase. It missed, and she shook her head a little bit in a futile attempt to clear it, pulling the errant corners of the shirt over the zipper.

She didn't hear Katherine walk in, only looked up and there she was, standing in her doorframe with a calculating, determined look on her face that Robin had never seen before and hesitated to name. She'd learned very quickly that reading Katherine wasn't like reading anyone else, that she had to make her jokes and ask her questions hesitantly, step soft and sidle up in situations where, with other people, she would have been in their laps with twenties stuffed in her g-string in the same span of time. It was something that made the woman precious, had spurred Robin's initial curiosity and led, ultimately, to the situation they were in right now, Katherine looking at her in a way she didn't understand but was beginning to heat her up in a way she understood perfectly.

Katherine rocked back and forth, the toe of one foot against the heel of the other, and with a motion that gave the impression of a shrug and an "Oh, what the hell," pulled the door shut. There was fear in her eyes when she turned around, but there was also a smile, hiding in the corners of her mouth and in the slight wrinkling of her eyes, and as she moved forward, Robin had no trouble reading her intentions. 

And she was shaking, with tears still sitting in her eyes waiting to be shed, but smiling back at Katherine was, as always, one of the easiest things she'd ever done.

The End

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