Viva Glam by Dasha K.
Archiving at the Scullyslash list archive is fine. Anywhere else, all you have to do is ask.
Summary: Old friends reunite. A prequel to the Jitterbug Perfume Series.
Rating: NC-17 If explicit sex between women offends you, or you are under eighteen, do us both a favor and delete this now.
Classification: SRA
Keywords: Scully/other, slash, some Mulder/Scully UST
Email: dashak@aol.com
Disclaimer: They don't belong to me, I just write stories about them. Viva Glam belongs to MAC Cosmetics, makers of the finest lipstick in the world. My favorites are "Fetish" and "Chintz" and I like the "Spice" lip pencil, too. GA wears "Shhh" when she's playing Dana Scully.
Spoilers: Fifth season
Note: This is a prequel to the "Jitterbug Perfume Trilogy", but you don't need to have read it to follow this. All you have to know is that May is a woman Scully met while at a seminar in San Francisco, just after the events of "Pusher." Time-wise, this takes place in the spring of the Fifth Season, a little bit before the other stories start.
If you want to find out what happens later, you can find the other stories at http://dasha.simplenet.com.


I don't know what I'm doing here.

Really, I should be at home, entering an afternoon's worth of research into my laptop, some quiet music on the stereo and a mug of green tea at my elbow with Miu Miu, my cat, dozing at my feet.

Instead, I'm applying another coat of Viva Glam to my lips in the rearview mirror and fiddling a bit with the silver stud in my nose, trying to decide if it suits me or not. All I know is that I'm damn glad my mother is on the other coast. I may be May Cheng, M.D., but I'm still my mother's only daughter and she'd fall to the floor in a dead faint if she saw the nose ring.

Okay, now or never. Tea or vodka, which is it going to be? I get out of the car and slam the door behind me. Shoving my hands into the pockets of my pants, I strut through the parking lot to the club, teetering a bit in the faux-Prada platforms I splurged on last week at Nordstrom's.

She said we could, right before I left. So why is guilt ringing in my ears like feedback after a Pixies concert?

The pounding beat of techno assaults my ears as soon as I step inside. It's funny how the minute I turned thirty I mostly lost my taste for dance music. Still, I didn't come to Jitterbug Perfume for the music.

It's crowded tonight. Jeez, every dyke in D.C. must have come down with a case of cabin fever tonight. It feels a little lonely to push my way through the crowds. I've only been here three weeks and I'm not yet out to my co-workers, which means I have people to hang out with, just not at places like this. Places where I truly feel at home.

At the bar I order a vodka and cranberry and lean back to enjoy the view. After a week of toiling in the fields of pediatric leukemia research, the parade of women is a sight for these sore brown eyes. Short, tall, blonde, brunette, butch, femme, they're all here tonight. The crowd is a bit too Eddie Bauer-wearing for my taste, but so what? I grin and sip my drink.

A tall blonde in a leather vest strides by and I give her the once-over. Blankly, she passes her eyes over me and keeps on walking. Ooh, now that's good for the self-esteem and I put on this lipstick just for you, baby . . .

Oh well, I'm here tonight just to window-shop. I've got Karin back home and although we agreed we'd see other people while I'm out here for six months, I'm not going to trash two years for any old busty babe sporting leather.

And then I see her, on the opposite end of the U-shaped bar, leaning over to talk to the bartender. Now, she's a treat for the eyes-at least the rear view of her is. Black pants and a dark green spaghetti-strapped tank top with a low square back. Short, but with amazingly long legs and high black chunky heels. Red hair curving at the nape of her neck and oh God, she leans over a bit more and her tank top rides up, exposing a small tattoo at the small of her back. I'm too far away to get the details, but it looks like a circular design of some sort.

I have to get a closer look.

The redhead turns around, drink in hand, and I stop dead in my tracks.

Window-shopping, hell, I know this woman. I slept with this woman. She's another story entirely.

Her lips touch her glass and she takes a sip of her drink. I remember those lips all too well, even though the last time I touched them was almost three years ago.

She was so nervous that night, a woman already past thirty and still a virgin, as far as women were concerned. I'll admit it, I kind of have a thing for flings with mostly straight girls. Karin told me, when I finally admitted it to her, that it was my way of avoiding commitment, by being attracted to women who could never truly love me. It serves me right for having a therapist as a girlfriend.

The delicious part was that as nervous as she was, once she got going she was one tremendous lover. The memories of the night we spent together got me through more than one thirty-six hour shift as a resident. Those memories also sent me to the Ladies' Room more than once for some quick relief.

I smell her perfume before I see her, still the same low notes of vanilla and sandalwood. I turn around and she's standing at my side, smiling.

"May," she says and leans in to kiss my cheek.

"Should I be flattered that you remember my name?" I say and kiss her right back.

She quirks a smile. "You never forget your first. But do you remember mine?"

"Of course, *Dana* . . ."

"What are you doing in my fair city? This is a weird coincidence."

"I'm working on a research project at Georgetown. Pediatric oncology."

She nods and something unreadable passes over her face. "Well, it's great to see you."

"You, too." I smile.

A small white hand reaches out to touch my hair. "You grew out your hair."

"And you cut yours . . ." She looks gorgeous. Different-older, somehow harder, but more glamorous. When I met her in San Francisco she still looked like a college girl in her jeans and bulky wool sweater, but this woman is thinner, more precise-looking, dark and deeply sexy. Oh and she has a tattoo now, don't forget about the tattoo.

"Simplicity," she says, brushing the hair out of her eyes. "I needed my life to be less complicated and ditching the hot rollers seemed to be the way to start."

I signal the bartender for two more drinks for us. "Complicated life? What's going on?"

"May, if I told you, you wouldn't believe it." Dana laughs and fiddles with her stir stick. "I told you I'm an FBI agent, right?"

"Yes, you did. I'm well over twenty-one, in case you're undercover and planning to card me."

She smiles and I find it curiously sad. "Let's just say that it's been a trial of a year and leave it at that, shall we? I haven't been out in . . . months . . ."

The crew-cutted bartender passes a gin and tonic to her and another vodka cranberry for me. I give her some money and Dana and I wander over to the corner, where there are some couches and chairs and we find a free loveseat covered in burgundy velvet, like something out of an 1890's whorehouse.

"That's better," she sighs. "These shoes are murder."

"Why wear them, then?"

An eyebrow arches in my direction. "Because they're sexy. I'm so practical and buttoned-down at work. When I get the chance to go out, I want some glamour in my life."

I glance down at her shoes, the way the black satin straps gleam against the white of her feet and ankles. Small, slender feet, the kind just made for wearing high heels, unlike my short, fat numbers that have a hard time squeezing into narrow soles. Some dead relative of mine is laughing at me from beyond for giving me such absurd feet. I laugh. "Glamour, yeah right, I think I remember that. I live in a lab coat during the week. Lab coat, tee shirt and my glasses, I'm quite the Hot Lab Babe."

Her finger traces my cheekbone and I shiver. "I don't know, May, you've got the glamour thing going on tonight."

I clink my glass against hers. "I did it just for you, Dana, down to lace panties." I'm kidding, of course.

Dana doesn't take it as a joke, though. Her mouth twists into an unreadable expression. "I wouldn't mind seeing those," she says, and a flush spreads across her cheeks. It occurs to me that despite her bold words, she's just as insecure as I am.

Taking her hand, I say, "So, did I make a conversion? Do I get to get my free toaster oven from the Lesbian Cabal?"

"I don't know," she says, shrugging. "It's hard to tell what I am these days. I don't like labels."

"I do," I say and set down my drink on the coffee table in front of us. "I'm your basic red-blooded Asian American Dyke Princess."

Dana laughs and starts coughing on her drink, apparently having swallowed some down the wrong pipe.

"And you," I continue, "you're just dabbling a bit in my world, right? Having some kind of early-midlife crisis or delayed teen rebellion?"

She tilts her head. "Are you saying this is a stage?"

"I'm thinking that five years from now you'll be happily married and living in the suburbs." I smugly smile at her and take another swallow of my drink, shuddering at the strength of it.

It wouldn't surprise me much if my frank words offended her, but she seems to take it all in stride, calmly sipping her drink and staring at me with a serene expression on her face. "I may be dabbling, and I may not be entirely sure what I want for the rest of my life, but I do know what I want tonight."

My higher functions shut down at the potential in her words. "What's that?" I manage to squeak out.

Dana leans over and I again smell her sweet perfume and just a hint of female sweat. Glancing down, I realize I have quite an eyeful of her breasts, no bra of course, small round beauties inside her tank top. She says nothing, simply gives me a wicked grin.

"What do you want?" I ask, hands starting to tremble. "I can't help you out if you don't tell me."

She moves closer, so close her lips are touching my ear. "I want to take you home, May, and eat you until you scream."

My drink drops to the floor and cranberry juice spreads all over the tile floor.

I turn to her, eyes no doubt as big as the proverbial saucers.

What happened to the shy, vestal virgin I dragged home from Belladonna that night? The woman who was afraid to tell me what she wanted, who took almost an hour of kissing and fondling to take her clothes off for me? The woman who lifted her blue eyes to me when I was naked and smiled in embarrassed delight?

I enjoyed that woman, but I think I could grow to like this one, too.

A half-hour later, and I pull up in front of Dana's building, having followed her in my own car.

Shit, I didn't plan this, didn't go to the club to get laid tonight. Briefly, I wonder what Karin is up to tonight, if she's at home on the couch watching old movies or if she, too, is out at some bar, getting ready to drag some sweet young thing back home to our bed. We agreed this was fine, I tell myself and banish the guilt.

Dana leads me inside and locks the door and turns to me. "Home, sweet home," she says and I catch a glimpse of the shy woman who walked into my apartment.

Her apartment is tidy and pretty, just like she is, decorated in soothing blues and creams. A perfect retreat from what sounds like a stressful life for her.

"Can I get you a drink?" she asks.

I nod. "Something non-alcoholic. I don't have much of a tolerance anymore in my old age."

Dana snorts and heads for the fridge, hitting the new message button on her answering machine on the way.

Beep. "Dana, it's Mom. Give me a call if you still want to go to some estate sales on Sunday."

Beep. A baritone voice. "Scully, it's me. Pick up if you're home. <sigh> Listen, we've got to talk about that file I found today. Can you come into the office tomorrow? I'll bring bagels . . ."

"My partner," Dana interjects and I spot something undefined in her eyes. Interesting.

Beep. "Dana, it's Dr. Hanley. Your labs came back today and everything is looking good. No unusual cells at all, so you won't have to come back like we discussed. Just call my office and schedule an appointment for two months from now."

Dana shuts the refrigerator door and pours us each a glass of orange juice. "That was my oncologist," she says in a quiet voice.

My mouth opens. "I didn't know you were sick," I lamely offer, thinking of my grandmother's wasted frame in the hospital bed as she lay dying of colon cancer.

She raises her chin. "I'm not any more. I had a brain tumor, naso-pharyngeal, but I'm in remission. I have been for a few months."

I shut my eyes. "Oh, God." I'm in oncology myself and I know what the cure rate is like for her type of tumor.

Her hand touches my shoulder. "May, I'm fine. Really, I am. It's not even worth discussing. I've never felt better, although right now I can think of a few ways I could improve upon that."

I notice the glimmer of arousal in her eyes and I feel the twinge.

Pulling her towards me, it seems foreign to kiss someone my own height after Karin, who is six inches taller. The strangeness flees, though, when her tongue slides into my mouth and touches my own, her mouth tasting of the gin she was drinking. I shut my eyes and let my hands wander to her back, pushing up her shirt and touching the silk of her skin. She presses herself into my body and I groan at the sensation of her breasts crushing into mine and how it feels to have her crotch grinding into me. Stand-up dry humping, I haven't done this in ages, but it feels so damn good.

Without breaking our kiss, we back up and stumble into the bedroom. Dana pulls away and I make a disappointed noise. "Patience," she warns me and turns on a small light on the dresser. "I want to see you, May."

It's already clear to me that my panties are a loss for the evening.

She walks back to me, eyes glittering in the lamplight. With practiced ease, she slides off my tee shirt and pants and steps back to appraise me. I've never been overly confident about my skinny, curve-free body, but the look Dana shoots me is enough to banish those body-image thoughts into oblivion-she's the picture of sheer lust, dragging her tongue across her swollen lower lip. Her fingers lightly skim the lace of my bra, teasing my nipples into hard peaks. I tip my head back and revel in the feeling. Her mouth comes down on my neck and her tongue makes circles on my most sensitive spots. Somehow, I attain enough consciousness to struggle her shirt off and I stop to feast my eyes on her gorgeous breasts, at her rose and coffee nipples and her pale cream skin.

"Bed," I mutter.

"Yes, the bed," Dana agrees. She flings the spread off and pulls me down onto her gray and white striped sheets, cool on my warm back. She pulls off her own pants and joins me on the bed, the two of us lying side-by-side, perfectly matched in height from head to toe.

"You know what the height similarity means," I comment and she gives me a full, delicious smile.

"I know," she whispers and unsnaps my bra with one hand, the talented wench. "I'm counting on it." She pushes me onto my back and straddles me, running the softness of her skin against mine, over and over again until I'm howling in frustration.

"In a rush?" she says, raising an eyebrow.

"I think so," I grunt and she placates me by simply spreading my legs wide open and making a dive for it. Her fingers run along the lace of my underwear and she makes to pull them off, but instead I feel her face press along the material of the crotch and her tongue drags up and down the thin strip of the damp material. Holy lord, the girl is trying to kill me. I'm squirming against the sheets, my fingers circling my own nipples, attempting to not whimper, but I fail. I whimper like crazy.

Dana's head lifts up. "Do you want me to keep going?"

I nod against the pillow, feeling my hair coming loose from its topknot, strands brushing my cheeks. Her hands lift up under my buttocks and her tongue snakes between the fabric at the side of my panties. I don't know where Dana learned to be so sadistic, such a tease, but I'm going to have to strangle her pretty little neck if she doesn't get my underpants off in one minute.

It's just been so damn long, too, too long, I think as she finally slides my panties down my legs and I kick them halfway across the room. Oh yes, finally, I'm naked, bare before her unnaturally bright blue eyes, her full lips just waiting to take me. Usually I'm the aggressive one in bed, God knows I was the last time I slept with Dana, but the power balance has shifted and I'm ready to get down on my knees and worship her as my mistress. Okay, I would do that, but I'm flat on my back and nothing, I repeat, nothing is going to get me to budge from this place.

For such a small, feminine woman, she'd make one hell of a butch if she set her mind to it.

I'm certainly no stone butch myself, but she's got me flipped.

"May, I wish I had a camera to capture your face right now."

I stifle a laugh but only for a second because her tongue reappears and pushes its way between my folds and I jerk at the contact. Has it really been so long? My own hands and my venerable vibrator are nice, but there's nothing like the slick roughness of a tongue along my heat, nothing like fingers pushing their way in, one, two, then three. I open for her, hands busily clenching and unclenching fists, trying not to beg.

Our first time together she licked me so tentatively, like a kitten, which was a turn-on in its own way, but this is a woman who now knows exactly what she's doing. Experience has taught Dana well and I'm losing control much too quickly, heading off to oblivion after just a few moments of her talented fingers and tongue. Sometimes it's hard for me to come. I have to concentrate so hard I nearly get a headache, and the slightest distraction-a car alarm or the phone ringing can derail the whole thing. Tonight the Rose Bowl Parade could pass through this bedroom and I swear I wouldn't even notice. It's all boiled down to this bed, my body and hers.

My legs rise in the air in an effort to bring her closer, to get more of her in me, on me and I shamelessly grind myself into her face. It's just too much, too good, and I tilt my head back and cry out as I'm taken over by surge after surge of pleasure.

When it's over, I'm seriously concerned that I may have short-circuited my entire brain stem and ruined a promising career in research.

Karin and I have been together for two years and while I love her so much it makes my bones ache to even think about her, after a while it just gets familiar, routine. The last year, if we had sex once a week, it was a show-stopping week. It pains me to admit it, but nothing feels like the rush of someone new, someone hot and yet unexplored.

Like some erotic panther, she crawls up the bed to me and kisses me with tangy sex-flavored lips. "Can't think, can't move," I moan, eyes shut. She chuckles at that.

Curling up around me, she lets out a gust of a sigh. "It's been too long," I hear her say under her breath.

I roll over so we're facing and notice again how perfectly matched we are. Eye to eye, breast to breast, knee to knee. "How long, Dana?"

She shuts her eyes and I regret the question, even though I don't exactly know why. "About a year. Since I got sick."

My stomach folds in upon itself. Shit, me and my big flapping mouth. A wave of sadness washes over me, sadness that no one was there to hold her and love her while she thought she was dying. I pull her closer and kiss her silky hair. "You were alone then?"

Dana nods. "If you mean, did I have a lover, then, yes, I was alone. But I was never truly alone. I had my mother, who was with me every step of the way, and a good friend who proved to be supportive beyond my expectations. But I didn't have any lovers while I was ill. I had no desire, no energy for it. That part of myself had to be channeled into basic functions- finding the will to get up, to work, to do my errands, to cook and clean."

I work with cancer every day. My research here in D.C. is with a clinical trial for a new leukemia drug and I have a group of thirty kids I'm tracking. I see their struggle and their strength and the tremendous energy they pour into simply staying alive. But now I know that as close as I get to cancer, I will never truly understand what it's like to be sick. Dana knows, though. She's been through the fire.

She kisses the tip of my nose. "I didn't mean to unload on you, May. I'm actually celebrating the fact that I'm here, that I'm healthy, that my desire has returned in full force."

I smile for her benefit. "Spring fever?"

"Birds chirping and cherry blossoms blooming make for a horny federal agent."

"Oooh, do you have a gun?"

She lifts her eyebrow again. "Actually, I have three."

It's quite an erotic image, Dana packing heat. I wonder if she wears a shoulder or a waist holster. Has she ever killed anyone in the line of duty? I don't dare ask.

"Anything I can do to help you with that?" I ask.

Her smile is rich and inviting. "You can touch me," she says.

As if she needs to ask. My hands have been itching to fully explore that soft skin of hers, to make her howl in frustration and pleasure. It's better to give than to receive, my mother always told me. I learned to take her advice, but to her chagrin, I grew up to put her advice to use with women.

My fingers make an idle journey along the curve that runs from Dana's armpit to her waist, and then along her hip and thigh and I watch her shiver a little. Yes, it's been far too long since this beautiful woman has been touched. I want her to forget, for one night, that she has ever been alone.

Dana leans forward and licks my bottom lip and I have a flashback to that night in Belladonna, when out of the blue, she went and kissed me, and no little peck, either. It was open-mouthed and wet, her hungry tongue pushing its way into my mouth. This kiss is just as ravenous, but I pull away from her mouth. "We're going slow this time," I admonish her and she shoots me an evil look.

I could spend a month just looking at and touching her breasts, but I also want to taste them. With her, I want all of the five senses to be engaged, all at once. I let my mouth trail kisses down her neck and linger for a while on her prominent clavicle. But I'm more impatient than I thought and soon my mouth finds the sleek silk of her breasts and I nuzzle them, allowing my tongue to take the tiniest sweep of the skin around her aureole. Dana begins to wiggle against the sheets and I have a need to see her actually writhing so I take the nipple between my lips and begin to suck. Ah, that's right, honey, just start writhing . . .

I have all this beauty spread before me like a buffet (and I've always been fond of a buffet) so I decide to do a little wandering before I settle in somewhere. Her ribs are prominent, the skin still stretched tight over the bones. Ten pounds would soften her considerably, but now that I know the reason for the weight loss, I'm not going to complain. It sometimes takes a person's metabolism a while to readjust after chemotherapy.

My mouth settles in the small dip of her belly button and I let my tongue do a little exploring there, running in and out of the dimple and around it in circles. Dana stifles a giggle. "Ticklish?" I ask.

"Extremely," she mutters.

"Roll over," I tell her and she raises her head.

"What?"

I smile. "You heard me. I just want to see the other side of you."

The bedsprings squeak a bit as she turns onto her stomach. I kneel up next to her and admire the strong muscles of her back and shoulders. She's a small-boned woman, but she looks to be packing a lot of strength into that slender frame. I bend and kiss a few of the more prominent freckles on her shoulder blades and, with my tongue, follow the trail that the bumps of her vertebrae make down to her lower back.

The tattoo is beautiful, a ring of deep reds and greens and black, a snake eating its own tail, the ourobourous. There is some deep meaning to that symbolism (I remember a friend telling me something about it at a party) but I'm not really in the mood for tattoo symbolism when she is obediently lying before me, her soft and fragrant skin just waiting for my touch.

My hands pass over the lovely flare of her hips to the twin globes of her ass, the skin as smooth as a baby's. I press my lips to the skin there and she sighs into the pillow.

"Get on your knees," I whisper.

Dana lifts her head once more and gives me a confused look.

"You heard me," I order, but I soften the command with a smile. I don't want to scare her.

She must trust me, for she gets on her knees, her hands lightly resting on the wood headboard, and raises her rump a little. I kneel behind her to get a better look.

This is a pretty angle to view her, still able to see the tattoo and her bottom, but her pink slick folds are bared to my eyes at the same time, fringed with coppery curls.

Dana bows her head. "This is weird," she says. "I feel so bared to you."

I come up behind her and press the length of my upper body along the heat of her back. "You should glory in it; you're beautiful."

She gasps low in her throat. One hand reaches to touch her nipples, to make them harder, longer and the other creeps down her stomach until I find her clit, already swollen and peeking out from its hiding place. Just a few strokes of my fingers and she's circling her hips and starting to breathe hard.

"Soft or hard?" I ask her. So sue me, I'm not psychic, I like to get directions. Not every woman responds the same way.

"May, what you're doing right now, it's just . . .perfect .. ."

Slow, I decide, circling and teasing. I must be doing it right because she's getting wetter by the second, her juices nearly soaking my hand. I pull my left hand away from her breasts and sit back on my knees so I can enter her with my fingers, first just one, slowly pushing in and out.

"Oh goddddddd," she moans and I smile, pressing my mouth against her ass to kiss it as I let two fingers slip in, knotted together to provide more friction. Dana pushes her bottom back and forth, doing all the work for me.

I love a woman who goes after what she wants.

Damn, I'm getting excited all over again. My body is aching to be touched again, to feel her tongue running all over my skin.

My fingers work her harder, rubbing her clit in circular motions and she suddenly gasps in her throat and I feel the pulsating flexing of her internal muscles as she comes, her entire body shaking with the force.

I have to smile in triumph. But if she thinks we're finished here, she's wrong. It's been a long time for me, too.

Dana turns her head around and smiles, her eyes half-lidded and dreamy. "Oh," she sighs, "that was incredible."

"I aim to please."

I rejoin her at the head of the bed and we collapse in a sticky heap. I just cannot get enough of her, her taste, the feeling of her lips against mine, her tongue in my mouth. Oh, I'm in big trouble here, because I want more, until we're too exhausted to move.

"Are you tired?" I whisper.

"In only the best way . . ."

"Are you up for more?"

She raises an eyebrow. "What did you have in mind?"

I pause to take a nipple in my mouth and let my tongue have its way with it. Then I sit up a little and prop my head with a pillow. "Come here, " I whisper and start pulling her up by her hips.

A smart woman, she knows what I want, and she rises to straddle my face. Yum, just what the doctor ordered. But I'm also feeling greedy tonight.

"Hey, Dana, can you turn around, so we can . . .?"

She flashes me a wicked smile.

Karin and I don't do it like this a lot-- given our height difference, it's more of a hassle than it's worth. But Dana and I fit together perfectly, able to fall into a luscious rhythm of licking and sucking at each other. I grab her by the ass and sweep my tongue around her folds, and deep inside. Her taste calls up the sense memory of spreading her legs and tonguing her for the first time and how she cried out at the sensation.

Again, she takes me in bold strokes of her tongue and fingers, knowing just how to make me raise my hips off the bed, trying to get her closer, deeper in me. I'm grasping her so hard she must be bruising, but the way she's rotating the lower half of her body lets me know that she's feeling nothing but sheer pleasure at the moment. And that feeling makes my own pleasure expand exponentially.

Yes, it's better to give than to receive, but when it's mutual, it's paradise on earth.

Back and forth, back and forth, no one can ever accuse Dana and me of not having good rhythm. She just tastes so damn good, and I can't get enough this.

She's the first to go off, off like fireworks, lifting her head from my crotch to make various threats and promises in a strained voice that gets louder as she comes under my tongue. As soon as her climax subsides, she lowers her head to me and redoubles her efforts, twirling her tongue over my clitoris with just the right amount of pressure to light my own set of pyrotechnics.

Boooooooooom!

Eventually, we disentangle as best we can and Dana turns herself around so we're facing each other again.

My heart is still wildly beating as she moves next to me and nuzzles my neck with warm, wet lips.

The wave of emotion that crashes over me is immense and frightening in its intensity, too many feelings coming to the forefront all at once-satisfaction, fear, love, guilt, lust and sorrow. Even though I've just had shattering sex with a gorgeous, smart, funny woman, a woman who at any other time would be the one I'd be praying for before I went to sleep, I miss Karin.

Damn damn dammit!

Can't I just have hot sex and enjoy it without having to think about Karin?

I miss the worn flannel sheets on our bed and the Pacific Heights street noises coming through the open windows. I miss propping myself up on one elbow in bed and watching Karin as she stands in front of the mirror, undoing her single French braid into a multitude of long, blonde curls.

Despite my best efforts, tears spring in my eyes and begin to roll down my cheeks. I try to quickly wipe them away, but Dana notices and touches my cheek. "Are you okay?"

I nod and force a shaky smile to my face. "I'm just a little overwhelmed."

Her blue eyes flood with sympathy. "Are you sure?"

Rolling onto my back, I stare blankly at the ceiling. I guess I'm going to have to be honest with her. She deserves it.

"Dana, I didn't mean to keep anything from you," I begin.

Next to me, her body stiffens.

"I have a lover back home in San Francisco," I continue. "We've been together for two years. Before I left, we decided to see other people while apart, but I'm feeling kind of . . ." My voice trails off. To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure what I'm feeling.

Dana's voice is gentle. "You miss her right now?"

Nodding, a few more tears trickle down my face. "I'm sorry," I whisper.

"Shhhhh . . ." She kisses my eyebrows and forehead. "I understand what it's like."

My eyes open. "What do you mean?"

She bites her lip. "What I mean is that I know what it's like to ache for someone, to come back to earth in someone's arms and have her not be the one you're burning for."

I wrap my arms around her and pull her close, so I can feel the rise and fall of her chest as she breathes. "I don't want you to think you've been used, Dana."

"I know it's more complicated than that. We can easily rationalize what we just did-we were lonely; we got caught in the heat of the moment. But I know and you know that our private motivations are very complex."

I nod in agreement. "How about you?" I ask. "Who are you aching for?"

Dana's face is studiously blank, but her eyes flicker with something terribly sad. "I can't talk about it," she rasps. "It's a long, long story."

Part of me wants to respect her veil of privacy, but the inquisitive side of my nature wins as usual. "Maybe you'd feel better if you talked about it," I urge.

For a long time she's silent, clearly trying to gather her thoughts. Her fingers flutter anxiously while she's thinking, and she chews on her lower lip. Finally, she speaks. "Relationships have to have a balance to survive. Sometimes when you have a relationship with someone that has achieved a precarious balance, it's easy to be afraid of changing things, of letting the balance tip too far to one side." She looks over at me. "Am I making any sense?"

"Sort of." Not really, I'm nosy, I want names and details.

"This person in my life is precious to me and the thought of changing the way it's been between us terrifies me." It's her turn for her eyes to well with tears and mine to kiss them away from her cheeks.

"Does . . .he . . .know how you feel?" I'm taking a guess at the pronoun.

Her eyes open wider. "I don't know," she says.

This is the part where I should be giving her some wonderfully sweet and understanding "follow your heart" speech, where I should urge her to rush to this man and confess her undying love, but I know that this isn't what she, or I, needs tonight.

Tonight should be about reveling in the present, not confronting the past or the future.

All I say is, "I hope you can someday find what you're looking for."

She nods. "Thank you."

Dana sits up and stretches and I wonder if this is my cue to leave. I sit up, too. "Maybe I should get going," I tentatively offer.

Turning to me, her face is soft and flushed. "May, I don't usually do this, but will you stay the night?"

I break into a smile. "Of course."

Dana gets out of bed and searches for her panties on the floor. I lean back and enjoy the sight of her nudity. "I'll be right back," she says, and heads out the door.

A minute or so later she returns with an orange in her hand.

"What are you planning on doing with that?" I ask.

She grins. "I'm thirsty and all the juice is gone." Back in bed, she deftly peels the thick skin from the flesh of the fruit and I smell the sweet fragrance of citrus.

The peelings are tossed into the bedside trash and she rips the orange in half, sending tiny beads of juice into the air. "Do you want some?" she asks in a whiskey-low voice.

Mesmerized, I nod. I open my mouth and bite the section she offers me, delighting in the tart juice on my tongue.

Dana gives me a bigger section this time and as I bite down, the juice runs down my chin in rivulets. She laughs at the sight and begins to lap at the stickiness with her tongue.

I manage to grab the remainder of the orange from her hand. "You haven't had any yet," I remind her.

Like a baby bird she shuts her eyes, gold lashes on cream skin, and opens her mouth. She sucks at the orange section and then takes my fingers in with it, running her tongue up and down them. My hand involuntarily makes a fist and I realize it's the hand holding the orange when juice begins squirting out onto her bare stomach.

She yelps in surprise and we both laugh.

I bend down to drink the sweet juice from her stomach and we're lost to it again.

I'm awakened by the sound of the clock radio playing jazz. It sounds like Benny Goodman; I'd recognize Gene Krupa's distinctive drumming anywhere.

Dana doesn't stir and I don't want her to have to wake, so I reach over her still body and turn the music off. The red digital letters of the clock inform me that it's 7:00 am.

I'm torn. Part of me wants nothing more than to stay, to wake her with gentle kisses and slow lovemaking. And later, to make her pancakes and spend the rest of the day in this bed.

No, I can't do that. It would be courting danger. Both of us, in our own way, are pledged to another and it would be far too easy to fall for each other and make everything much too complicated.

I can't.

With care not to make too much noise and wake her, I slip out of bed and find my crumpled clothes. They smell like smoke from the club and I just wish I could be teleported home and into my pajamas.

Fully dressed, I walk out the door.

In the dining room I find the bowl of fruit from which she took the orange. There are a few green apples, a pear, some browning bananas and another orange. I pick up the orange and sniff it, the scent reminding me of our last, lazy sex of the night.

I walk back into the bedroom, where Dana is sprawled on her back in the tangled sheets. The room still smells like sex and citrus.

Dana's right arm is outstretched, the palm slightly cupped. I tiptoe to the bed and place the orange in her palm and her fingers curl around it, but she doesn't wake.

I waver for an instant.

No, it's time to leave. I walk out of the room, put on my shoes and head out the front door.

In the car I pull out my cell phone and automatically punch in Karin's number, our number. I know it's only 4:00 am in California, but I don't care.

Karin's voice is thick with sleep. "Hello?"

"Hey, baby, it's me."

She softly laughs over the cyber-optic connection. "Oh May, I've missed you."

I lean back in my seat and smile at the sound of her voice.

End


Long-winded author's notes:

First of all, if you've read "Nightclub Girls", you'll notice that Scully never mentions a second encounter with May. Instead, it would seem that Tristan is the first woman she is with after her cancer. I don't have a good explanation for that, so can you just play pretend for me? Pretend that the two stories don't contradict each other? <g>

This is a horribly belated Christmas gift for several friends-you all know who you are. I'm sorry it has taken so long. I started this in December and then got royally distracted by "Increments." So, Merry Christmas, you guys!

Thanks to Meredith for indirectly inspiring me to finish this, by suggesting that I take a break from a terribly angsty piece by writing some "naked pretzel action."

And all the thanks in the world to Gwen and Plausible Deniability for being the most shagadelic beta readers a girl could ask for.

Oh, and I haven't fallen off the ship. Really, I promise. ;-)

Feedback is what Dr. Cheng and Dr. Scully prescribed for me. dashak@aol.com