TITLE: Winter, and Its Effects on Girls
AUTHOR: Marie-Claude Danis
EMAIL: mc@fangy.net
SITE: http://fangy.net/ww
FOR: Jae Gecko, clearly, because she's so good to me. And also for Ellen Milholland, whom I think might very well have invented girlslash, and possibly the wheel.
In answer to Jae Gecko's Mood challenge: http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?itemid=19284361&nc=1

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Winter, and Its Effects on Girls by Marie-Claude Danis

I'm cold, but it's a good, bracing kind of cold. Cold in places that are usually warm, cold because she's kicked the sheets down to the foot of the bed, and I can't reach them because she's much taller than me. Cold because she's warm, and two persons in the same bed, no matter what bed and under what circumstances, will always be at odds when it comes to body temperature. Cold because we got so hot earlier we had to open the window, and it's January, and turns out now we're too exhausted to get up and close it.

Cold because we are unmoving, and in the dark, robbed of the false feeling of warm coming from the bedside lamp. CJ is holding her breath. When she exhales, the air whitens and gathers briefly at her mouth, then dissipates into nothing. She stares at the ceiling, and I can see her eyes following the grooves in the textured plaster. If nothing else, I can hear her think. About tomorrow's first briefing, about today's last, about our Joshua, about quitting, about staying in the game, about staying ahead of it if she can.

Me, my fingers drum silently on the mattress and I stare at the thinly curtained window on the other side of her bed, and at the silhouette she creates against it. The slope of her neck, the dip of her throat, the rise of her collarbone -- then down, down, and the bump of her ribs, the curve of her belly, dipping down and out of my view. My eyes travel back up and I study the way her breasts flatten and pool into soft rounded flesh when she lies on her back, how the nipples perks up in the cold, crinkling the aureola.

For a moment, I almost forget I'm cold.

She closes her eyes and her mouth sets into a relaxed pout, lips slightly swollen but dry now from the breeze. It's odd to see her rest, to see her stop for a moment, and I think she likes being with me because that means she doesn't have to feel the pressure of having to fill silences. She's pretty when she's worried, but she's exquisite when she lets go. I get to see it, more and more. Watching is all I ever do, and she makes it impossible for me to tire of it. I like the way Kenny's hands move for 'smitten', and his muted laugh when I flip him off.

The cold stiffens the air, but doesn't quite rid the bedroom of its tell-tale aroma; it only sharpens the scent, making it a trivial thing, a domestic sin, like it happens every day. Almost right. It happens every night. It has, for a little while. And every time, she opens the window and sleeps with the sheets kicked off her body, and I'm thinking maybe she does it because she knows what I'll be reaching for when it gets too cold.


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