Winter Solstice
by Lara
February 2002

This is a work of amateur fiction and does not intend to infringe on the rights of Sunrise, Sotsu Agency, Asahi TV, and Bandai Visuals. No profit is being made.

The story is set in 196, on December 21st.

Pairing: Sx11.

Warnings: Yuri lemon.

Thanks to CC for beta reading, and to sticking with me through this one *smile* I really needed someone to reassure me here.

Thanks also to Tatjana for taking this all so lightly, and for mentally holding my hand during some parts of this story. =)

A brief gust of icy air tickled her nose, and Sally automatically burrowed more deeply beneath the covers to get away from it. Much better there, cocooned in the warm blankets and safe from any invading cold. She had discovered that winter, in the form she was used to it, was nothing compared to the version that Europe seemed to be getting of this particular season. The snow was nice, but the rest...

She would have gone back to sleep, but something was off, and over the last years she had become more and more sensitive towards this sort of thing. It never was wise to ignore those feelings that something was not quite like it was supposed to be. Reluctantly Sally opened her eyes and blinked a few times in the darkness; she didn't see anything due to the almost complete lack of light, but she always felt more alert with her eyes open.

There were no noises either; everything was so quiet that it had to be long past midnight already. The room was not on one of the office floors, but that did not matter much in the main building of the Preventer headquarters. The corridors here were almost always frequented by busy people who would rush hence and forth, and who would hardly care that their footsteps could be heard inside the rooms they were passing. A little wearily Sally raised her head and glanced at the pale green digits of the alarm clock which confirmed that right now was not a time for normal people to be awake.

A little undecided, Sally lay back down and shifted a bit closer to the comfortably warm body of her lover.

Or rather into the space where her lover was supposed to be. Right now all her questioning hand encountered was a vacant spot that still was warm from the heat of the body that had apparently been lying here until recently.

Frowning, Sally sat up, shivering when the blankets pooled in her lap and left her skin unprotected against the cool air of the room. Her eyes, now used to the darkness, could not make out any traces of Une's whereabouts. But surely there had to be a reason for it... Maybe a situation that required special attention, or perhaps the President had once again forgotten to consider time differences when he called from the other side of the world to discuss some more or less important matters. It wouldn't be the first time that this happened, and unfortunately it wouldn't be the last time either.

Those thoughts, although reasonable, didn't help much, and Sally found herself growing restless. With a small sigh she decided that she was not going to manage to fall asleep again immediately, and that she therefore could as well check whether something was wrong.

Her pajamas were quite easily found; they still lay on the floor at the foot of the bed, where they had been tossed some hours earlier by a somewhat impatient Une. Not that Sally had minded, of course, not at all. But right now, when there was no warm body to snuggle up against, she wanted to have at least some protection against the chill in the air.

Sally closed the last button of her pajama top, then slid her bare feet to the floor and padded over to the desk to see whether there was a note. Une normally left a message if she had to leave unexpectedly. But this time there was no short message waiting for her. The frown returned to Sally's face when she saw that Une's clothes were still here. Surely her lover had not gone wandering around the base in her nightgown, had she?

No, there had to be an explanation for this. Sally thought for a second, then went to check the bathroom, but found it empty. Her eyes lingered on the closet for a moment, but then she dismissed it as silly to think that Une could be in there. Not in the bathroom, not in the main room... the frown on her forehead deepened.

Walking over to the nearest wall, Sally reached out to switch on the light when she suddenly caught sight of something. A motionless silhouette was standing outside on the balcony, clad completely in white and the first thought that crossed Sally's mind was that she was seeing a ghost. But then she looked at the figure more closely, and recognized the long brown hair of her lover, and the long old-fashioned nightgown.

Which was hardly enough clothing to offer protection against the below zero temperatures and the wind out there.

For a moment Sally stood still, pondering the best way to proceed. The first thought that came to her mind was to open the door and to drag that stubborn woman inside, but she doubted Une would appreciate that much. Nevertheless the doctor inside her protested against the idea of leaving Une in peace, but at the risk of catching hypothermia with all its unpleasant after-effects.

In the end she went to the closet and took out the long coat that came with her uniform. Sally put it on above her pajamas, buttoned it, then slipped her bare feet into her favorite pair of warmly lined boots. Once done with this, she grabbed the second coat she owned - bought a week ago, when she had begun to suspect that the temperatures would never stop falling - along with another pair of shoes that would hopefully fit Une. She could have gone over to the other woman's quarters, but that would have taken too much time.

With some difficulties Sally opened the door to the small balcony. Une showed no reaction, she just leaned on the iron railing, apparently unaware of the bitingly icy air. Almost as if she had turned into a frozen statue out here; the small white clouds of her breaths were the only sign that there still was life in this body.

Sally shook her head, then simply draped the coat over Une's shoulders. She knew that reprimanding the other woman would not work, and that there was a not too small chance that Une could take it the wrong way. The brown-haired woman reacted fiercely to anything that remotely reminded her of being patronized, and Sally had learned to be not too obvious with her advice.

"It's so quiet," she stated, crossing her arms and leaning on the railing too.

A small sound of agreement was the only reaction it got her, but Sally did not let herself be discouraged. Wufei came to her mind, and how much energy she had devoted to convincing him of anything, whether it was to get his help in fighting the military or to make him take vitamin supplements when the food on Peacemillion had proved to be somewhat one-sided. It had taught her that persistence was everything.

"I brought you some shoes if you want them," she said calmly, then put the boots down next to Une. "How cold is the floor?"

Une sighed softly, and after a moment raised her feet to slide them into the boots. "Too cold."

"Thought so," Sally said, inwardly enjoying her small victory.

For a few moments they stayed silent, just stood side by side on the balcony and looked down at the trees that were growing in the small courtyard. They were tiny still, and tied to wooden stakes for protection against the wind. Almost like a metaphor for the newly formed World Nation, and for the role the Preventers played in it. Almost. Sally didn't like to think in such decorative nothings, so she shoved that thought away again and just looked at the trees without seeing more in them right now than nice plants.

Une eventually broke the silence. "You have a mission tomorrow. Why aren't you sleeping?" she asked, still staring down into the courtyard.

"You have a meeting and an inspection in the morning, why aren't you sleeping?" Sally returned with a small smile.

The mission she had was not even worth the name, it was just the transfer of one of the jets from Brussels to Zurich. Sally's presence there was only required because the Swiss president had insisted on welcoming the crew personally, and they could hardly leave him with the lieutenants who would normally do the job. So she'd just go there, exchange some nice words, and spend the journey back wondering just how she had gotten into a position where she had to be diplomatic with people. But Une's duties required her to be alert, so she'd need the sleep. And normally the other woman was aware of it and tried to rest, so it was more than a little unusual to find her out here at this time of the night.

Shaking her head, Une sighed softly. "I woke up and could not fall asleep again," she said.

Sally raised her eyebrows. "What did I do? Hog the pillow? Hog the blanket? Did I hold you too tightly? Don't tell me I snore..."

A quiet laugh escaped Une's lips. "Don't worry. It wasn't something that you did."

Sally breathed an exaggerated sigh of relief, then stepped behind Une and gathered the slim body close. "Then what is it?" she asked softly.

Une leaned back against her, slender hands covering Sally's. "Too many thoughts on my mind, that's all."

At this Sally gave a little hum of encouragement, hoping to get Une to talk. She didn't like it at all that they were standing out here in the cold, but she knew that dragging her lover inside would not help at all. Most certainly it would earn her a few hurt looks and a cold and lonely bed. Her main hope therefore was to find out what had driven Une out on the balcony, try to ease those thoughts, and then coax her back inside. A smirk crossed Sally's face as she heard Heero's voice in her head, stating 'mission accepted'. Maybe she had spent too much time around the pilots, she thought as she hid her face against soft brown hair that smelled of cinnamon and cold.

"Remember that invitation to the President's Christmas party?" Une asked in a soft voice. "There is no way that I can decline."

Sally tightened her arms a little around the slim form. "At least that way you won't have to spend the evening on your own," she said with a small sigh as she thought of the surveillance mission she had had to accept for that day. Naturally nobody had wanted to be on duty for Christmas Eve, so Une had asked for volunteers. And Sally, as a high-ranking Preventer, had had to be a good example to everyone, since Noin had not been available.

"But I would have liked to be alone." The soft strands of brown hair tickled Sally's face as Une turned her head a bit. "I don't want to be at that reception with all its fancy speeches and with all those politicians who think that they are powerful." There was an undertone of anger in Une's voice, but she kept it under control so far.

"You can always leave early," Sally tried to soothe a bit, not quite sure yet why this seemed to be a sensitive topic. "Just make sure people see that you are there, and then excuse yourself because of some mission. Noin can handle it on her own, I'm sure of that."

"Of course she can," came the almost defiant reply. "But that doesn't change the fact that I have to be there too, because nobody cares whether one of us would be enough or not. They want top Preventers to show off. Justify their positions maybe. They are letting me feel just how dependent we are on their money and their permissions, and it's all so, so..." Une released Sally's hands and gestured helplessly as she searched for the right words. "It's humiliating, because we will be totally out of place and because everybody knows that. And still they don't care at all. Someone should remind them just what the purpose of the Preventers is. It's certainly not to serve as pretty party ornaments!"

Une's voice got louder as she spoke, and if anybody else was out in the courtyard, they would have understood every word. Not that it really mattered much, but still Sally was not entirely comfortable with the thought. What was making her more uneasy, though, was that she got the feeling that something was not quite right with Une. The tone of voice, the way she nervously ran her hands through her hair right now... small signs that the woman was losing her precious balance.

"Calm yourself," Sally said quietly, a hand slowly stroking up and down Une's side. "Calm down, love, please..." Psychology hadn't been her special area when she had worked as a doctor, but during the last year Sally had done quite a lot of reading on the problem of split personalities. And what she knew from there was enough to worry her now. Une clearly was upset, and she seemed to feel like she was being toyed with by someone else.

The brown-haired woman had apparently gotten her personality disorder under control, but only as long as she felt like she could deal with a situation. If something happened that made her feel helpless, she still tended to switch, though it never was as bad as during the war. Still it made Sally shiver to remember the last time it had happened, a few months ago. Une had gotten outmaneuvered by some politicians on an apparently unimportant issue. They had cornered her, and suddenly had been faced not by the calm and reasonable leader of the Preventers, but by the cruel personality of the Lady. The men had hastily retreated, but it had taken Une a few hours in which she had constantly switched from Lady to Saint and back, until she had stabilized in the middle again. Sally had no wish to see this happen once again.

"Une, calm down," she repeated once more, breathing a sigh of relief when she felt the slender body relax against her.

"I know they're not worth getting so agitated," Une said, sounding more collected already. "But sometimes..." She shook her head. "They think that the peace we have now is their achievement, and theirs alone. Do you know where the President was during the war? Some small island off the coast of New Zealand, safely away from any kind of danger. Same with the Prime minister, and almost all the others. The only current top politician who actually saw the war happen was Relena Peacecraft."

Sally nodded to show her agreement, then realized that Une wouldn't see the gesture. "They're politicians, not fighters," she said, wondering why this was bothering Une so much. She normally did not care much about politics as long as she was allowed to handle the Preventers without interferences. And since Une was careful to keep the organization within its boundaries, they usually were left in peace.

"The one doesn't exclude the other, you should know that." Crossing her arms, Une tucked her hands in the narrow spaces beneath her elbows to keep them warm.

For a moment Sally pondered Une's last statement. "Yes, I know," she replied. "And I know who you are thinking of." As Sally had found out, there were not many persons who had managed to leave a lasting impression on Une. And only one of them would fit the description of what Une had in mind.

"I wish he were here."

Shaking her head, Sally tightened her arms around Une. "But Treize is not here," she said quietly. "And there is no use in comparing others to him. They have their own good points."

"Oh yes, they are able to pretend to be competent," Une returned angrily. "So far they have spent all their efforts on getting elected, and on keeping their supporters happy."

Sally sighed; politics usually was a sure topic to lead them to a disagreement. For her, the best form of government still was a democracy, with all its flaws. It gave power to those who normally could not influence anything, and it made them feel like they could control their own fate in some way. Une, on the other hand, was a firm supporter of the idea that nobody should be bothered with having to govern themselves, and that the entire voting process was nothing but a waste of time. In her opinion there was not much sense in having people on top who had gotten there because of their popularity and not their actual achievements.

"Change of topic?" Sally requested hopefully after a moment of silence. She was not up to having an argument right now. Too late, and too cold.

Une turned around within Sally's embrace to face her. "Change of topic," she agreed.

"Politics ruins the mood."


Raising a hand, Sally ran her fingers through long brown hair, twirling a strand around her thumb for a moment before releasing it again. "I was wondering why you are out here," she said softly, fighting the urge to lean closer and kiss those inviting lips. Kissing was good, but being seen at it and creating a scandal was not.

Une shook her head. "It's silly."

"What is silly?" Sally returned, studying Une's face. Evasive answers from her were not something regular.



Brown eyes flashed with anger for a moment, but it died down again almost immediately, leaving a strange vulnerability in its wake. "It is nothing that should be discussed with a lover. I don't want to talk about it."

Sally frowned. "Well, I don't want to stand out here in the cold, but I'm still doing it," she remarked, watching the other woman carefully for signs that she was pressing too much. So far, Une had not switched in Sally's presence even when they had argued, but there was a first time for everything. And Sally had no wish to see it happen.

"You do not have to stay out here with me." Une was keeping up the eye contact, and Sally found herself wondering who would be the first to blink. "Go inside, I can see that you are cold."

"And you are not?" Sally returned, stubbornly refusing to look away, although her eyes were beginning to sting from the effort of not closing them for a moment. She was not certain whether Une was consciously turning this into a power play or not, but she was determined not to give in.

"That is beside the point."

"It is? I thought the point was that it is freezing out here, and that once you tell me what is wrong, we both could go back inside and get warm again."

Une blinked, seemingly startled at the firm tone, and Sally inwardly congratulated herself to the small victory. She kept her eyes on her lover for a little longer, then gave in to the urge to shut her eyes for a moment too before she fixed them on the other woman again.

"Go inside, Sally," Une repeated, more quietly this time. "This night is not for the living."

The statement made Sally raise her eyebrows in puzzlement. "What do you mean?" she asked, hoping that she would receive some sort of explanation.

Une shook her head. "Go inside."

With a soft sigh, Sally tightened her arms around the slim waist. "Not without you," she said softly. Whatever was on Une's mind had to be solved before either of them was going to get any rest. Trying to provoke an argument had not worked this time; it was a tactic that tended to be quite successful occasionally, as Sally had found. Once Une let out the anger and frustration that sometimes piled up inside her, she would be much calmer. But this time there was something else that caused the young woman's strange mood.

"Why do you have to be so stubborn?" Une asked, leaning forward a little to rest her forehead against Sally's.

"I am not the one who insists on turning into an icicle out here," Sally pointed out as she stared into deep brown eyes for a moment before she drew back to get some more distance between them again. They were still out in plain sight, and that was making her uncomfortable. If only Une agreed to go inside...

Une took a step backwards, out of Sally's embrace, wrapping her arms tightly around herself as she leaned against the railing. She looked smaller than she really was as she stood there, almost frail with the dark strands dancing across her face in the wind. It made Sally want to gather her close again and fight off whatever was worrying her.

But that would hardly help now, because it was not protection that Une seemed to need. No, it was something else, and Sally wished that she knew how to deal with it. Her instincts told her that it would be best to coax Une into talking, but that was far easier to think of than to actually do it. Une was far more comfortable by now with speaking about personal issues than she had been a few months ago, but she still was likely to keep things to herself.

So Sally remained quiet too as she stepped up to the railing next to Une and rested her crossed arms on it. Her gaze wandered up to the sky almost immediately, but she could not see a lot of them. Brussels' countless lights were just too strong, they blocked out the starlight. Such a pity; the people who lived in cities had no idea just what they were missing.

Silence stretched between them for a few more moments, before Une shook her head and sighed softly.

"You are not going to return to bed if I do not admit that I am losing this battle," she said, running a hand through wind-tangled dark hair.

Sally turned a little to look at her. "You think this is a battle?" she asked softly.

Une looked up sharply, shook her head. "No," she said quietly. "I do not want it to be one."

"I'm glad." Glad that Une was not taking this the wrong way, glad that her lover appeared to at least begin to give in.

Raising a hand, Une ran her fingers through her hair once more, a gesture that Sally had learned to interpret as a sign of insecurity. "Why do you want to know anyway?" the dark-haired woman eventually asked.

"Because I am trying to understand what drives you out here in the middle of the night," Sally replied. She took a step sidewards until her elbow brushed against Une's. "It's not something that you usually do."

"No, I don't..." Une trailed off, then shook her head lightly. "It is a silly and childish thing to do."

"But still you are doing it," Sally insisted, determined not to let this opportunity slip. She was quite certain that if she did not get Une to talk now, she would never manage.

Une shifted closer. "I was remembering something my grandmother used to say about this night," she said a little hesitantly, and Sally hummed in encouragement. "That it is the longest night of the year, and that it belongs to the most glorious warriors of the past. They ride across the land on the storm, and whoever sees them..." She broke off, her cheeks reddened a little by a blush. "I told you that it is childish."

"I think it is interesting," Sally assured her, still marveling at the fact that Une was speaking about something like this. It was not like her at all; normally she cared little about stories and beliefs. But this tale was important to Une. "What happens to those who see them?"

"They die, unless they are strong enough to withstand the sight..." Une shrugged, her voice neutral. "Just a tale to explain why some people froze to death in winter nights, that's all."

"Maybe, but that doesn't make it less interesting." With a brief smile, Sally reached out to cover Une's hand with her own. "Did you see them?" she asked, not quite daring to ask more directly whether she had seen _him_.

"No. But I was not really looking for them."

Perhaps not for all of them, just for one... Frowning inwardly at herself, Sally shoved that thought away. There was no use in being jealous of a ghost, she knew that from personal experience during the early days of her relationship with Une. The best was to simply ignore the shadow of Treize, but sometimes it was so difficult...

"If you were not looking for them, then why are you out here?" she asked quietly, needing to get away from those thoughts.

Une watched her for a moment, seemingly reluctant whether to speak or not. "For the most time I was just thinking," she said eventually, and a small smile crossed her face. "Nothing important... just stray thoughts. And..."

"And?" Sally gently prompted, returning the smile as she wrapped her coat a little more tightly around herself. The cold was not as bad as she had thought at first, but it still was far from being comfortable.

Raising a hand, Une combed her fingers through her hair, attempting to untangle a snarl that the wind had caused. "It has been almost a year... and in the next days I will not have time for private thoughts, with all those meetings and duties." She sighed softly, the sound barely audible. "I needed to say goodbye in some way. And apologize to him."

Sally ignored the protesting little voice in her head and wrapped an arm around Une's waist carefully to draw her lover closer. "Apologize for what?" she wondered aloud. Sometimes it eluded her why so many of the persons around her seemed to feel that need to hold themselves responsible for anything bad that happened.

She felt Une lean against her a little. "I don't know. That I did not understand sooner. That things turned out the way they did." Another soft sigh, then Une straightened and took a deep breath. "I should not still be missing him," she said, a hint of frustration in her voice.

Not quite sure what to say, Sally absent-mindedly ran her hand up and down Une's side. She had not been prepared to have to deal with Treize's ghost this night; she had been expecting this to come up in a few days, but not yet. But now that it had come up, she would just have to go along with it.

"You loved him," she said eventually, the words leaving a sting in her soul at the thought that maybe she was not enough to make Une get over him. "It is alright to miss him."

"I know, but that does not make it easier." Une was leaning on her again, more responsive by now to the closeness. Her head came to rest on Sally's shoulder a little tentatively. "He does not compare to you," she said, her tone serious. "I love you, Sally, as a partner. What I felt for him was different."

"And yet you would not have said no to a relationship with him," Sally spoke, not quite sure why she was saying the words that only made her feel a little more uneasy.

"No, I would not have said no." Une raised her head again and looked at Sally, deep brown eyes searching her face. "But he would never have asked. And it was better that way." For a moment she paused, looked lost in thought before she continued. "He would never have been what you are for me, and I don't know whose fault that would have been, his or mine."

Sally tightened her hold on her lover's waist a little, trying to show by that gesture that she understood. "I am not jealous," she said, assuming that this probably was what Une was thinking right now.

Somehow Une seemed to know that the statement was not entirely truthful. It showed in her eyes for a moment, but she did not comment on it.

"I love you, and I loved him," Une almost whispered. "Him because he believed in me. And you because you make me feel wanted and because you are... because you are who you are." She shook her head lightly, smiling. "I am not good with words when it comes to this."

"You are good enough," Sally assured her, returning the smile as she fought down the need to gather Une close, to feel the slim form that fit so perfectly in her arms. It were times like this one when she wished to be back with the rebels in the woods of China; there it would not have mattered if someone had seen her and Une kissing. But here... She had not seen anyone down in the courtyard or on one of the other balconies, but that did not mean anything at all.

Perhaps they should make their relationship public. But just like every time that thought crossed her mind, Sally knew it to be an impossibility right now. It would mean a loss of face for both of them, and having the leader of the Preventers appear weak in any way was the last thing they could afford. No, compared to that, discretion was better. If only it were not for that ugly bit of knowledge that if they were not both female, then it would not be any problem to let others know.



Une shifted a little closer still. "I think I have said all I wanted to say."

Sally looked into her eyes in an attempt to find a confirmation. "You are certain?" she asked quietly.

A slight nod sent strands of brown hair dancing across pale cheeks. "Yes, I am. And I feel cold..."

Shaking her head, Sally smiled at her lover. "It took you a while to realize that," she said, then moved to steer Une back to the balcony door. A firm push to get it to open, a nudge to make Une step inside. Sally followed, glad to feel the warmth on her face again as soon as she had shut the door again behind them. She had not realized just how freezing it had been out there, but the sudden difference in temperature made her skin tingle.

Cheeks red from the cold, Une was rubbing her hands together in an attempt to get them warmed. Sally watched for a moment, then reached out to cover those icy fingers with her hands.

"Thank you," Une said softly, holding herself almost perfectly still as Sally was massaging her hands. No shivering, which Sally took as a good sign, and no other characteristics of hypothermia either. Quite amazing actually, considering how long they had been out there, but maybe she should not be surprised. This was Une, after all.

"You are welcome. Do you want to take a shower? That would get you warm..."

"It would also mean wet hair."

"Hairdryers were invented for a reason."

"Yes, but do you really wish to stay awake for as long as that procedure would take?"

Smiling, Sally shook her head to show that she accepted defeat. "You are right, it is too late for that," she admitted, glad at the lightened mood of the other woman. Une's expression had turned more open again and less guarded, and Sally cautiously dared to believe that for now they had indeed settled the issues that had kept them out on the balcony.

"Exactly." Bending down, Une took off the boots Sally had given her and put them down at the side of the balcony door. "We both need to be rested, so we probably should sleep," she said as she slipped out of the cloak and placed it back into the right closet, making Sally wonder just when the other woman had found out where she kept her clothes.

Sally followed Une's example and took off her own cloak and boots, not bothering to put them away though but simply leaving them where she dropped them. She would tidy up in the morning, she decided. There was no hurry for that, and Une's reprimanding glance was quite easily countered with an innocent smile.

"You know I will put them away as soon as..."

"As soon as you wear them again," Une finished the sentence, slipping into bed. "Sometimes I wonder how you manage not to constantly mislay things if you don't put them in the right places."

"I have a very good memory," Sally returned. She switched off the light, then crossed the room and settled next to her lover. "I always remember where important things are."

Une rolled onto her back and looked up at her, raising an eyebrow, the gesture barely visible in the semi-darkness. "Do you?" she asked.

"Oh yes." Snuggling closer, Sally made herself comfortable. "I'd never misplace you, for example," she stated, wrapping an arm around Une's waist in a gesture that had become familiar for them.

"Good to know that you will not simply lose me somewhere..." Une trailed off when Sally's hand began to wander, finding its way beneath her nightshirt. "I thought you said that we should rest..."

Sally smiled, then shifted a little to claim a teasing kiss that deepened quickly. "Are you tired enough to sleep yet?" she whispered when they broke apart again.

"Not really, no..." Une's hands settled on her hips to draw her closer, and Sally willingly moved. "But you have a mission..."

"I can rest on the plane," she dismissed this, then covered Une's lips with her mouth to silence any objections. Her body was beginning to wake up to the closeness of the other woman, and rest truly was the last thing on her mind right now.

Besides, who knew when they would next get an opportunity for this, Sally thought as her hand trailed upwards beneath Une's shirt, her fingers lightly brushing over smooth skin. Smiling a little at hearing a soft gasp from her lover, she tried to memorize the sensations so she would have something to think of when they were continents apart once more.

Une's nightshirt soon was in the way and unceremoniously landed on the floor somewhere in the dark. They shifted closer together, legs entangled, and Sally carefully settled on top of the other woman, trying to balance her own weight as much as possible.

The sight of Une looking up at her always made her pause, and this time was no exception at all. It was the expression of those wide brown eyes that caught her, that rare openness and trust that always warmed Sally's heart because she knew she was the only one who was allowed to see this. Une did not let others close easily, and so Sally felt privileged every time she was given the pleasure of just looking into Une's eyes.

"I love you," she whispered, bowing her head for a lingering kiss when she heard the words returned. "My Lady..."

"Yes, yours, just like you are mine..." Une said, the words trailing off into a gasp when Sally's lips found that tender spot behind her ear that simply demanded attention. "Yes..."

"Not insisting on sleeping anymore, hmm?" Sally teased, placing kisses along the slender neck and finally stopping at the hollow of Une's throat. A light nibble coaxed another soft moan from the woman, and an insistent hand tugged at Sally's pajamas.

"Take those off," came the murmured request from Une. "I want to feel you close..." Her hands were already working at the buttons; all Sally really had to do was shift her weight a little to help. Une's hands on her bare skin felt more than just good, and Sally took a moment to just relax and concentrate on the patterns her lover's fingers were tracing on her back until she felt the need to take a more active part again.

A bite at a collarbone, soothed with her tongue before Sally kissed her way a little further down her lover's body. By now Une was becoming more responsive to her attentions, gasping sharply when Sally licked around a nipple lightly before taking it into her mouth. Une arched against her, and after a few moments attempted to roll them over and get some control back.

"Shh..." Sally murmured, raising her head and looking into brown eyes darkened with passion. "Just let me..." Having Une beneath her like this, feeling the slim body shift against hers was more than just a little arousing. But for now the need for physical satisfaction was not as strong as the need to give pleasure to her lover, to make sure that Une could have no doubts that Sally loved her.

She sought the other woman's mouth again and Une urgently responded to the kiss, her arms tightening around Sally's body and drawing her closer. Smiling, Sally returned to teasing Une's sensitive spots, enjoying the knowledge that it was her who could cause that wonderful woman to gasp and moan and writhe like this.

"Sally, please..." Une tensed when Sally's fingers tickled her bellybutton for a moment before stilling again. "No teasing..."

"Teasing is fun," Sally returned, but she moved her hand further downward and between Une's thighs, silencing the resulting moan with a kiss that gradually deepened as Une wriggled instinctively, trying to get more contact.

Sally let her do, despite all intentions losing the control she had tried to keep over herself. Impossible not to want, to need... Une seemed to have sensed it, because Sally suddenly felt a touch in that most private place, mirroring the movements of her own hand, and she couldn't help getting drawn into the pleasure of it all. Her world was rapidly becoming reduced to just the immediate sensations of her lover's touches. Une was kissing her again, a much needed solid point, and she felt Une tense against her, felt the same tension inside her own body until it suddenly uncoiled, making her gasp her lover's name as the world madly spun around her.

When the last tingles of climax had faded, they curled up against each other beneath the sheets, exchanging small exhausted kisses and trying to get their breathing back under control.

"I love you..." Une murmured quietly, snuggling closer and resting her head on Sally's shoulder.

Sally buried her face in Une's hair for a moment to hide a satisfied grin. "Love you too..." she whispered, trying to put all the conviction into her voice that she felt whenever she said those words. "You're my Lady..."

"Mhmm..." came the agreement from Une, her sleepiness evident even though she still managed to barely keep her eyes open.

With a small smile Sally placed a kiss on her forehead and tightened her hold on the slim body. "Just sleep..."

That suggestion seemed to be all that Une needed to close her eyes and drift off. Sally could feel her breathing even out almost immediately, and it did not take long until she followed her lover into the realm of dreams.



Some time later, Sally woke to the feeling that the room was a little too cool for her to be entirely comfortable. For a moment she contemplated simply nestling a little closer to Une for warmth, but sleep-muddled reason told her that this would hardly warm her toes, and that Une would probably feel cold soon too when the temperature went down further.

Damned automatic heater, Sally thought as she carefully slipped out of bed. The radiators were set to switch on and off at a certain time of the day, and while that normally worked out rather well, the system did not react if a night was colder than usual. But by now Sally had learned how to deal with it, and simply padded over to the closet and took out the thick woolen blanket she stored there. It would easily be enough to keep them warm.

Blanket in her arms, she glanced at the balcony door, then walked over and opened it wide enough to poke her head out.

"Thank you for watching over her," she spoke into the quietness of the night. "Just remember that now she is mine."


The End

La Casa