DISCLAIMER: Don't own them, though I do covet them.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Strawberry Season
By Janine


"Don't you just love strawberry season?" Jean asked stretching out her neck as she walked into the kitchen, smiling as Ororo looked up at her grinning rather sheepishly.

"You know I do," the white haired woman responded smiling as the chair opposite her pulled itself away from the table allowing Jean to flop down in it easily.

"Where did you manage to hide those all day?" the red-head asked, her eyes falling to the bowl of strawberries sitting in front of Ororo, both the fruit and their owner looking lovely in the moonlight.

"The fridge," Ororo replied meeting Jean's skeptical gaze for a moment before elaborating with a smile. "Behind the sugar-free yogurt, broccoli, and soy milk."

"Nature's best defense against teenagers," Jean responded nodding, clearly impressed with the other woman's thinking.

Ororo nodded sagely and pushed the bowl towards the middle of the table so that it was within Jean's reach.

Jean accepted the offer and reached into the bowl, plucking one of the succulent red fruits out bringing it to her lips. Her eyes closed as her tongue licked out to capture a drop of sweet juice that had escaped her, Ororo watching her silently.

"Tucker's Farm," she breathed out a moment later. "They're from Tucker's aren't they?" she asked a second later, a small smile playing on her lips as she looked over at Ororo. The flavor was unmistakable.

Ororo nodded plucking a fruit from the bowl herself, though she merely held it between her fingers, her thumb stroking its delicate skin instead of placing it in her mouth.

"God, I haven't been there since …" Jean paused momentarily as memories of the last time she had been to Tucker's Farm came flooding back to her. A look over at Ororo confirmed that she remembered the last time they had been to Tucker's as well, and suddenly the other woman's sudden hesitance was explained. "Since that summer Scott and I split up."

"A long time ago," Ororo murmured finally lifting the berry that had been in her hand to her lips, taking a careful bite.

"Not so long ago," Jean replied and it didn't feel that way though it had been over five before.

"A veritable lifetime," Ororo responded holding Jean's gaze intensely for a moment before reaching into the bowl once more.

Jean could tell from the soft yet firm tone that Ororo had used that it was best to contradict the statement. But now that she was thinking about it, the details were so clear in her mind, so fresh that it seemed like it could have been five days or five hours ago. She could practically feel the sun beating down on her face as they walked through the strawberry patch, Ororo walking backwards in front of her waving one of the straw hats they been given earlier that day in front of her face fanning her as she swiped at her forehead.

She had been moping around the mansion all week, and that morning had sat herself down in front of the television set with a box of Lucky Charms, a carton of milk, a bowl and a spoon and had decided to stay there for the foreseeable future. Ororo had come along about three hours into her pity parade and dragged her off of the couch informing her that they were going out. Apparently the dark woman was convinced that some sun and exercise would do wonders to improve her mood.

And it had. Despite it being one of the hottest days of the year, she had had a wonderful time traipsing around the patch with her friend, occasionally stopping to form a human shield around Ororo when the woman found a bunch of strawberries in desperate need of watering and conjured up a mini-rainfall for them.

Hours later, utterly exhausted but with a basket full of juicy, tender strawberries in their possession they had wandered off of the beaten path and collapsed under a large tree with an abundance of shade.

They gobbled down strawberries, talked, joked and generally had a ridiculously fun time, kidding and relaxing in a way that Jean had been hard pressed to remember doing since high school.

At some point they had gotten into a good natured argument and Jean had thrown a strawberry at Ororo laughing uproariously at the stunned look on the woman's face as the fruit bounced off of her forehead. Ororo had declared that it was a waste of perfectly good fruit, and that if Jean wanted to act like an eight year old she should do it in a way that didn't involve the abuse of innocent produce.

Jean had nodded solemnly as if she were giving the other woman's words some serious thought and then launched herself forward, tackling Ororo, sending her sprawling onto her back until they were both rolling in the green grass beneath them laughing and struggling for dominance.

She had landed on top, and as she stared down at Ororo while they both tried to catch their breath, Jean had impulsively leaned down brushing her lips against the other woman's.

When she pulled away from Ororo's mouth the adrenaline that had been pumping through her system had begun to fade and Jean began to worry about what her friend was going to say in the silence that met the separation of their lips.

To her surprise and pleasure, Ororo had simply placed a hand on her cheek and leaned up bringing their lips together once again, drawing Jean back down on top of her.

Jean wasn't sure how long they spent under that tree, kissing, laughing, caressing and feeding each other strawberries. The whole afternoon was cast in a surreal haze for her, and for all she knew they could've spent days under that tree kissing or mere hours.

With the school mostly empty in the summer months, they had spent many more days together wiling away hours wrapped in each others arms, mouth exploring mouths, fingers running over smooth skin, whispers, laughter, and moans tickling their ears.

June passed to July with her tongue licking a path up Ororo's stomach and July to August with Ororo between her thighs.

When September arrived Scott had shown up with flowers.

Strawberry season had ended.

Jean reached into the bowl of strawberries absently preoccupied with her thoughts when her fingers brushed against Ororo. She looked up, meeting the cool blue of the other woman's gaze, remembering the feel of the fingers she could feel again now running up her thighs and dancing over her breasts.

Ororo pulled her hand away, taking the last strawberry in the bowl with her, putting it into her mouth as Jean watched her.

"We should take the children there sometime," Ororo commented when she finished chewing. "It'll be good for them to get out of the air conditioning and get some exercise."

Jean nodded.

Strawberry season had just begun, but for her and Ororo it would always be September.

The End

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