DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Trial By Jury & Law & Order and all their characters are
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: First and last lines of all the ficlets written by the ever brilliant flying_peanuts. My eternal thanks. These are all of the vignettes of Serena Southerlyn and Tracey Kibre that I wrote for even_angels_. They are little glimpses of an ongoing life, set in between, or after, or at the same time as my Between Bombay series featuring the same two. Take your pick. Except Breathe Me, which really should be part of the series, say as part number six, but gets ahead of itself. Oh, well. Enjoy. I don't know that anyone will even care to read these, but I was encouraged by racethewind10 and since I have nagged and threatened her all week, it seemed only fair. I originally intended this to be 15 parts, for the 15 stations of the cross, but to be honest, this was all that I could manage.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
She traced her profile behind closed lids. Fingers swept gently, just grazing along the high forehead, the sensation of the silken hair at her temples almost too soft for Tracey to register. She let her hands slide slowly down, her fingers forcing Serena's eyes to flutter shut as she caressed gently across the closed lids. Her fingers just skimmed the bristly line of lashes, the thin definition of eyebrows, before returning to the softness of her lids.
Sometimes, when Serena looked at her, Tracey could swear that she could see all the way down to the soles of her feet. See all the mess, all the turmoil, all the uncertainty that swirled around inside her, clouding, distorting what she did, who she was.
In the half-light of Serena's bedroom, those blue eyes were always shadowed, and yet Tracey knew that she was seeing her, truly seeing her. Those eyes took in all the flaws, the lines that had appeared around her eyes, the sprinkling of freckles across her chest that seemed to have gotten darker, more pronounced, the pattern melding into itself.
They missed nothing. They saw her fears, her doubts, her insecurities, and yet when the clear blue of them met her own, there was only love.
"Good morning, Sunshine." The too, too cheerful voice cut through Tracey's consciousness like a straight razor through butter, pulling her from a delicious dream of a beach, and Serena's naked ass as a pillow, and mojitos in fishbowl glasses served by scantily clad women.
"What?" Tracey growled back, refusing to open her eyes, burrowing her face into the plush softness of the pillow.
"I made you breakfast. Bagels, cream cheese, lox, fresh melon and blueberries, and coffee. Of course, if you're not interested, I'm sure that the woman in 12-B would be more than happy to join me," Serena replied, plopping down unceremoniously on the edge of the bed.
"Tell her to put my damn coffee mug back in the right place and your undies back on right-side out," Tracey muttered into the pillow, turning her head a bit and cracking open one eye to glance sideways along the edge of the bed.
All she could see from that angle was Serena's right hand. Her skin was tan against the pale mint of the sheets. Tracey loved Serena's hands, loved the slender length of her fingers, the nails slightly rounded, with just a thin edge of white at the tip. Those hands had the ability to slip along her skin and arouse in her a trembling heat like nothing Tracey had ever known. They could also soothe and calm another heat, smoothing back the hair from Tracey's forehead when she had the flu a couple of months ago; a cool, gentle touch against her feverish skin.
Now one of them reached out and rubbed tenderly along the length of her back, a welcome, wondrous weight against her spine. Rolling over suddenly, dark eyes open and flashing, Tracey sat up.
"On second thought, the price of good lox is way too high to waste on that philistine in 12-B. She's not even from Scarsdale," Tracey laughed, picking up Serena's hand and bringing it almost reverently to her lips.
"Do you think that my ass is getting bigger?" Serena asked from a half-turned contortionist position in front of the full-length mirror in the changing room, surveying said behind with an expression of displeasure.
Tracey didn't reply for a moment, until her silence caused Serena to peer at her suspiciously. The fact that an amused smile graced Tracey's lips added nothing to Serena's state of mind.
"Tracey?" Serena asked, a little peevishly.
"Oh, sorry," Tracey replied, her gaze returning to her girlfriend's less than happy face.
"Sorry that my ass looks bigger, sorry that you didn't lie to me fast enough, sorry that you and the couch will be forming a closer relationship? What exactly are you sorry about, Tracey?" Serena inquired, hands now firmly planted on her hips.
"None of those. I was just thinking that I owed my ex-husband and several other people an apology. Until you asked that, I never quite understood the look of abject terror and the stammering that used to appear whenever I asked that same question. Now I know," Tracey chuckled, rising from the bench in the changing room to cross to Serena's side.
"For the record, your ass is perfect. See, it fits into my hands as if it were made for that purpose alone. In all the world, there is no other ass as sublime nor that I love as much as yours," Tracey answered firmly, reaching around Serena to grasp the item in question, pulling Serena against her, backing them both into the stall, and closing the door with her foot. "If you will allow me to demonstrate, I will prove my complete and utter adoration of your ass."
Laughing, Serena responded, "All I wanted was a 'no, it doesn't look huge in those pants', but I never turn down free demonstrations."
The living room was dark except for the flickering, incandescent light of the television. They were watching The Sea Inside; outside a late Spring storm dropped snow on an unsuspecting city. Tracey reclined on one end of the sofa, propped up on several throw pillows, as Serena lounged back against her, Tracey's legs wrapped around her as she leaned back between them. Tracey felt, rather than heard, the nearly inaudible sob from the slender body between her legs.
Leaning forward a little, she could see the steady stream of tears that made their singular journey over the smooth, rounded curves of Serena's cheekbones. Each drop hung suspended for an instant, reluctant to leave the warmth of smooth skin, before plummeting to the edge of the thick cotton blanket that covered them both, catching the light from the screen as it fell.
Michelangelo, in his dearest fantasies, no doubt dreamt of carving from marble something akin to the perfection of Serena's cheekbones, Tracey decided. Her eyes were drawn back over and over from the beautiful film on screen to the sculpture of bone and pale honey skin, now wet with tears.
Serena must have felt her stare; suddenly, she turned her head, watery eyes darkened to deep sapphire in the faint light.
"What?" She asked softly, followed by a slight sniffle.
"Nothing," Tracey chuckled gently, reaching up to brush away a lingering teardrop with the pad of her thumb. "You're just adorable."
"Why?" Serena asked, her tone that of a small child, confused and just a trifle petulant.
"You just are," Tracey replied, pulling Serena's head back to rest against her shoulder.
"Because I still cry at sad movies?" Serena asked, turning her face to bury it in the hollow of Tracey's throat.
"Because you can still cry at all," Tracey whispered, tenderly cupping Serena's cheek, not sure if Serena heard her, and not even sure if she wanted her to.
A stream of gold silk trailed down over Tracey's face, carrying with it the clean scent of lemon and chamomile, blurring her vision, until she was all but blind, the world awash in a golden light. It kept traveling, slipping down her chest, whispering over exposed flesh, tickling as it flowed down over already hardened nipples, over the taut muscles of her abdomen.
It reached her thighs, tumbled over them like a sunlit river overflowing its banks to lie against the pale green of the sheets. Tracey slipped her hands down, her fingers tangling in the length of it, at once cool and warm under her fingers, the ice of platinum and the heat of the sun.
Rich girls' hair, someone had joked once, when they thought that she wasn't listening. Straight and blonde, a crown of gold for the daughter of the king. Lying there, leaning back against the headboard, Serena's wealth of hair clasped in her hands, as her lover worked magic with her lips and tongue, Tracey couldn't help but wonder what that made her the lover of the king's daughter.
Lucky, she decided, as all other thought was washed away.
Spring weather finally came rushing into New York City on the wings of robins and the caressing breezes of May. The sky was as blue and clear as Serena's eyes, Tracey thought idly, leaning back against the hard wood of a park bench and tilting her head back toward the flooding warmth of the sun. Beside her, on the ground, a small flock of pigeons caroused, jerkily strutting in circles, the iridescent glow of their feathers pearl blue and white and pink against the gray of the sidewalk.
The air inside her office had been stifling, the heaters still belching out puffs of fetid hot air. After a morning spent pouring over depositions and motions by the defense, Tracey had to get out. She had stopped at her favorite pretzel vendor and picked up a fat curlicue of dough and salt, and a Snapple Raspberry Iced Tea, and made a beeline for the small park near Hogan Place.
Now she and her pigeon friends were slowly savoring the wonder of a New York City pretzel and discussing the weather and the remarkable similarity between the May sky above and the eyes of a certain attorney she knew rather intimately. Tracey took on faith that the cheerful cooing of the birds was an affirmative response to her musings and not merely the satisfaction of a free meal.
Glancing down the sidewalk, Tracey watched as the figure of a woman approached, blonde hair blowing slightly in the breeze, hips swaying with each step. The legs that were responsible for those steps were discreetly revealed by the skirt that didn't quite reach her knees. And nice legs they were.
Exceptionally nice legs, Tracey thought, as the woman approached and dropped gracefully onto the bench beside her and crossed the shapely limbs. Reaching out, Tracey ran a hand up the length of one leg, from the slender ankle to where the thigh disappeared under the crisp fabric of her skirt.
"I could have you arrested for that, you know," the woman stated matter-of-factly.
"But you won't," Tracey replied, her fingers skimming along the firm skin just under the edge of fabric, completely unconcerned if anyone were watching.
"No? And why not? All I have to do is yell for that nice policeman on the horse down there," the woman answered, her breath catching just a bit as Tracey's fingers moved slightly higher.
"I'd offer you the rest of my pretzel as a bribe, but unfortunately, I already shared with my other friends here," Tracey told her, indicating her small winged harem with her head.
"Did they let you feel them up on the bench?" There was a definite hitch in the woman's breathing now, as Tracey slid her hand up underneath the skirt to tease along the crease between the crossed legs.
"No, but then, I didn't ask. I prefer leggy blondes," Tracey murmured, leaning forward to whisper against the length of a slender throat.
"Well, since I don't get any of your pretzel, I'll take dinner at Pigalle. Eight sharp. Don't be late, or I might have to find some other woman who likes my legs," the woman answered, standing suddenly, to stare down at Tracey, blue eyes sparkling in the Spring sun.
"Trust me, baby, that wouldn't be hard to find," Tracey laughed, shaking her head in amusement as Serena turned and walked back up the path toward the courthouse, hips swaying in time to the breeze.
"Hi there," Serena's voice was low and warm even over the phone line.
"Hi there, yourself," Tracey chuckled, "No one's civil rights being violated today?"
"It'd be easier to count the people whose rights weren't trampled on today," Serena replied, and Tracey could almost see the quirked eyebrows and the smile bringing out the dimples at the corners of Serena's mouth. "But I had a few minutes and I wanted to call you. I miss you."
Tracey took a moment to savor the sound of Serena's voice. There was something she adored about it, about the inflection, the clipped cadences, the slight hint that Serena chose her words carefully, each syllable enunciated clearly, as if the words held a value to her too precious to rush or slur.
"You miss me? You just saw me four hours ago," Tracey teased.
"I did indeed see you. All of you. Every glorious inch. And I touched every glorious inch. Repeatedly. With my fingers. With my lips. With my--," Serena voice had lowered, taken on the husky tones that Tracey normally only heard in bed.
"Hey, is this an obscene phone call?" Tracey interrupted, feeling a flush of heat along the back of her neck.
"Uh-huh. In a minute I'm going to tell you what I plan on doing to you when I get you home tonight," Serena inveigled, amusement in her tone at the audible hitch in Tracey's breathing.
"Serena," Tracey breathed unsteadily, warningly.
"I know: behave, right? Alright; I will, for now. But later? Later I will just have to demonstrate all those things you won't let me say. Have a good day, Counselor," Serena laughed.
As Tracey hung up the phone, she glanced at the clock. Eleven a.m. As images of what Serena planned on showing her flashed across her mind, Tracey wondered how the hell she was going to make it till five.
It had taken a while for Tracey to figure it out. It was one of those vague, sensory memories, like smelling bread baking and thinking of her grandmother. She remembered the first time she had visited the country with her parents, driving upstate in late September, the flash of orange and red and gold past the windows of her father's Nash station wagon, a moving kaleidoscope river, undulating in waves of color.
They had stopped at a roadside stand that sold pumpkins and apples and touristy knick-knacks. It had rained a little on the way up, and the air still held a hint of moisture, a freshness that she had never experienced in the city. Arrayed along the stand were basket upon basket of apples. Macs, Granny Smiths, Empires, and Romes, all round and plump and red and green and glistening with a layer of moisture.
Picking one up, Tracey remembered licking the rain drops off the crisp skin of the apple, tasting the sweetness of the fruit in each tiny droplet, the scent of the apple and the rain and the grass behind the stand and the sheer wonder of being twelve and alive rushing into her nose and mouth.
That was what Serena's lips tasted of, and every time Tracey kissed her, the wonder of that moment came rushing back to her.
Her hands moved with slow precision, fingers mapping every curve, every turn in the road, memorizing, claiming. They smoothed over the gold of silken hair, traced the gentle sculpted curve of eyes and cheeks and lips. They felt the vibrations of words against skin, words murmured in tones meant only for them.
They trailed over the soft mounds of breasts, the hard muscles of arms, the tendons of legs, the slender grasp of hands. They listened to the unspoken voices of bone and skin, learning the cadences of language in their touch.
Hair. Skin. Bone. Lips. Arms. Hands. Breasts. Stomach. Thighs. Tracey moved slowly, reverently, to each, every touch a pilgrimage; hands and mouth searching, tender, offering sacrifice, offering passion, offering love.
Those were the stations of joy.
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