Title: Accidental Something
Author: Michelle K. (CageyGrl@yahoo.com)
Archive: List archives. Others ask.
Summary: A non-relationship relationship.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Don't sue.
Accidental Something by Michelle K.
1. the beginning's not really a beginning
The first date doesn't seem like a first date. It's just like any of the other times they've gone out as friends, laughed over coffee and pie, told pointless stories to fill the air.
She doesn't even know Donna's intentions are anything other then platonic until later, in Carol's living room, after they've switched to Scotch. Carol's in frivolous mode, commenting on Letterman's tie maybe, when Donna's hand covers hers. When she looks over to inquire the reason for the contact, Donna kisses her.
She reacts because she's lonely. Donna's not exactly her type.
When their mouths part: "What was that?"
"You know what it was," Donna replies evenly, her smile sly. "It wasn't an abstract notion."
"You know what I mean."
"I just thought," Donna says, her smile turning into a frown, "I just thought...never mind. I should get going."
Carol holds onto her arm. "I didn't say I was horrified, I just want to know why."
"I thought we had...chemistry." Donna shakes her head. "This sounds stupid, doesn't it?"
"Not exactly," Carol exhales. They've never struck her as the female version of Hepburn and Tracy, but they get along. "It's just...didn't expect it."
"I like you, Carol," Donna says. "I wanted to kiss you, so I did. It doesn't have to mean anything." Pause. "Unless you want it to."
Carol spins the possible answers in her head before leaning in and kissing her. This could end up being stupid on so many levels, but there's also the possibility for something good. She thinks it's probably the mix of the alcohol and a few months of going to bed alone that's making her inexplicably optimistic.
It's in bed, after they've shed half their clothes, that Donna hits her with, "I've never done this before. With a woman, I mean."
But she's too far-gone to care if Donna's not confident in her touches. She just wants this, even if it's first time fumbling.
Strange thing, though, is that it's not fumbling. Donna has a clue, even if she furrows her brow in confusion at every touch that doesn't produce a gasp. It's *good,* if not *the best ever* and that's fine. Carol's had years of falling into bed with women, and she highly doubts she's ever been someone's *best ever.*
This is good enough.
The next morning, Carol expects a conversation. A 'This is a mistake' or 'We should do this again.' She gets Donna's head between her thighs and a fairly decent orgasm.
They fall into a relationship. Or a routine that seems like commitment, in any sense. Dinner a couple of nights during the week, weekends spent at either apartment. Cheryl, Donna's roommate, doesn't seem to notice or care that a woman's constantly spending the night at her place. And Donna doesn't seem to mind that her roommate's boyfriend is around just as much.
Carol herself finds it a little too close for comfort. Particularly when Axel - the boyfriend - gets her into a conversation. It ranges from cereal to what type of dog she prefers to the name of her parents. Sometimes, Carol wants to ask him what kind of name Axel is, but she fears it would prolong the interaction.
Then, one morning over coffee (Donna's contribution), pancakes (Cheryl's), bacon (Carol's), and toast (Axel's), he starts a more personal tack.
"So, how long have you and Donna been together?" he asks lightly.
She can feel Donna's eyes on her, telling her that she better know the answer to this question. "Three months."
"Yes," Donna says approvingly. "We just had our anniversary last week," she adds. Carol doesn't remember celebrating that.
Axel's giving her looks through the rest of breakfast, but remains silent until their significant others have gone. (Cheryl to the bathroom, Donna to her room).
"So," Axel begins. "Do you ever have...think...this is going to be a rude question, maybe. But, anyway, are the two of you open to trying something new?"
"I've been talking to Cheryl about this for a while, and she's kinda been blowing me off - but I think if I had someone like you to mention, she might change her mind. Or even Donna, if you think she'd do it?"
"Excuse me?" Carol repeats, although she knows what he means. "I'm not going to do...well, you and your girlfriend." She blinks at the oddness of the statement and retreats into Donna's room.
She says that she wants them to spend more time at her own apartment.
"It's safe to spend the night at my place."
Donna smiles. "Cheryl got fed up with his lesbian obsession. Thankfully, with us? Not a problem."
"As long as you're not thinking of inviting me into a threesome."
"I'm not. Currently." Donna straddles her. "One girl is enough for me."
Sometimes, she thinks she loves Donna. She's not sure if it's because she *should* love Donna after being with her for several months, or if she does actually love her. The words remain unspoken, though, just hanging in the air with no discernable reason to them.
She likes them better unspoken, though. It doesn't have to get screwed up if love isn't explicitly involved.
"Hey," Carol says as she leans on Donna's desk.
"What's up?" Donna replies.
"Guest list for the benefit. Everyone's getting them, but I came to you first."
She smiles. "I'm flattered," she says as she takes the paper and lays it on her desk. "I'm going to get some coffee. Do you want any?"
"Sure," Carol says, although she has a full cup sitting back on her desk. She doesn't feel like leaving quite yet.
Josh exits his office just as Donna hands Carol a cup. "She gets coffee? What does she do that I don't?"
Carol thinks of the previous night, of Donna arching towards her fingers and crying out her name. "I'm a very valuable friend," she interjects. "When you help her find an herbal remedy for her menstrual cramps--"
"I get it."
Carol smiles as he retreats. "The word menstrual always makes men run."
"Do you really have an herbal remedy for cramps?" Carol nods. "How could you not tell me about this?"
"Was probably too concentrated on all the sex."
Donna nods. "Can see how that would be distracting."
Carol brushes her fingers over Donna's. "Yes. Yes it is."
Donna arches toward Carol's mouth. "This is why you get coffee," she groans.
The hard floor of the bathroom hurts Carol's knees, but the illicit pleasure of sex in public makes that discomfort secondary. "Be quiet," Carol mutters.
Donna smirks. "Oh, like you? Miss Oh-Oh-Oh--" She bucks as Carol's tongue sweeps over her clit. "Oh God."
"I was quieter than you," Carol insists as she poises her fingers at Donna's entrance.
"If you want me to be quiet? *Don't* do that."
Carol withdraws her fingers and Donna exhales.
"We should finish this up, right?" Donna mutters. "People do use the bathroom--"
Carol cuts off Donna's sentence with another firm lick to her clit. She knows how to make Donna come quickly, and she does.
Donna kisses her afterward, mutters "Keep that up and you'll never be wanting for coffee. Just in case you need an incentive."
"Good to know."
The next day, Donna places a cup of coffee on Carol's desk and walks away.
Carol finds her in the bathroom. They fuck in the same stall, and the primal need makes her think of the word love again.
2. so the end is...
Donna's mom calls her every Sunday night. Carol listens to the conversations while flipping through magazines or sorting through Donna's book collection.
She waits for some mention of herself. She's not really expecting Donna to make reference to her girlfriend - while Donna's mom probably isn't an axe wielding maniac trying to rid the world of homosexuals, the most tolerant picture hasn't been painted - she is hoping for a 'my friend Carol' or even some shopping story where her name and relationship is omitted.
Josh is discussed; there are CJ stories and even recollections of conversations with Leo. But Carol never gets mentions, anecdotes, or the smallest of name drops.
"Bye, Mom," Donna says as she hangs up the phone. "Peter's discussing marriage with his girlfriend of the moment. I'm sure that'll last," she sighs, trusting that Carol knows and cares about what she's referencing.
"I thought he was getting married last month."
Donna shakes her head. "That was his girlfriend of *last* moment. And mom's freaking out because he just won't grow up and settle down. Or rather, he's settling down with everyone for about five seconds." Another sigh.
"It could be worse. You could be front row center for these familial battles," Carol points out.
"I guess," Donna shrugs. She leans over and kisses Carol, which Carol allows.
Until Donna's hand slides under her shirt. "Hey," she says sharply as she pulls away. "You just talked to your mother."
Donna's brow furrows in confusion. "And?"
"And, I wouldn't be able to jump into sexual activity a minute after talking to my mother," Carol replies.
"You hate your mother. I like my mother and I'm very fond of you," she replies sweetly.
"But not enough to talk about me?" She flinches at the sharpness of her own voice, but she has no intention of apologizing.
"I'm sorry, okay?" Donna says. She does sound sorry, but Carol also has no intention of quick forgiveness. "It's not that I don't l--" Carol hears the beginning of 'love,' and she feels like she's about to have a heart attack. "--care about you." Carol wonders if Donna changed the word because she sensed Carol's fear, noted her own, or just made a minor switch of 'like' to 'care.' "It's just...you don't know my mother."
Carol sighs. She knows Donna's mother well, even if it's all amassed from conversations and assumptions. "I shouldn't have brought this up, okay? Just pretend I never mentioned it."
"Listen to me, okay? You can't just pick up the phone and go, 'Hey, Mom. I'm dating a woman, so maybe that makes me a little gay. Talk to you later.'"
"But, as has been established, you hate your mother."
"I didn't come out to my mother because I hated her. I came out to her because I wanted to be honest."
Donna stares at Carol. "Why are you fighting with me?"
"Because I don't know what you want."
She waits for Donna to say, "You." Waits until it all becomes too awkward to stay. As Carol is putting on her shoes, Donna mutters, "I want you. What are you doing?"
"I'm paying attention to the incredibly long pause."
Carol doesn't mourn the death of their relationship; it's silly to weep for what you never had. Donna was just playing gay, like a little girl playing dress-up. Wouldn't it be cute to wear mommy's pearls? Wouldn't it be adorable to kiss a girl?
She's not bitter. If she were bitter about every relationship that ended badly, she wouldn't be able to keep from drowning in the bile. But, she still does feel uncomfortable around her from time to time. Especially when they're alone, but that only happens once in a blue moon. Donna has the good grace to excuse herself.
She starts to date a few weeks after her final night with Donna. None of them last, partly because Carol's relationships are innately doomed, partly because there is no one who can conform to her hectic schedule. *That* was the one good thing about sleeping with a co-worker - you could just go home and sink into bed together, without the explanations about why the hours are so late, why the sex might be lazy.
It was easier - but not easy.
Nothing ever is.
It's a couple months after their break-up that Carol catches Donna handing Josh a cup of coffee. A whisper, two smiles, and Carol can picture Donna propped up on Josh's desk, legs spread and lip trembling.
She hates Josh just because she can't bring herself to hate Donna.
And then she realizes how bitter she actually is.
3. ...not really an end
"I'm not sleeping with Josh."
Carol doesn't look up.
"Margaret," Donna continues, undeterred, "said you think I'm sleeping with Josh. I'm not." A pause. "Do you think you could look at me? That would make this conversation easier."
"Donna," Carol says, tilting her head, "I don't care if you're sleeping with Josh."
"Then why are you talking about it?"
"I'm not sleeping with Josh. I'd still like to be sleeping with *you*, and you are not Josh."
Carol's instinct is to make a snide comment about the much-mentioned Josh, but she's more intrigued by following up on Donna's random desire to go back to having sex with her. Because she's still strangely bitter, she says, "You should've thought about that before you ended it."
"You ended it. And you are not me, either, so I don't understand the confusion." Donna rests her hands on the desk and leans forward. "You dumped me because of a problem you made up."
"I didn't make anything up. You're not gay."
"You're not serious. Because I didn't shout it from the rooftops? I think the sex cancels that out."
CJ's door opens, and Donna jumps back. There's a moment of supreme awkwardness, culminating in CJ asking, "Am I interrupting something?"
"Yes," Donna answers. "I mean... yes."
CJ studies them with a half-grin. Carol wonders if she has any idea what it is she interrupted. "I'll be back in a couple of minutes. Maybe you should wrap it up?"
"Sure," Donna says to her retreating form.
Carol sighs. "We can't talk about it here." Donna starts to talk, and Carol cuts her off with, "Just come to my place later. Okay?"
In Carol's living room, Donna is less confrontational. She even apologizes.
"If I told my family--"
"Do you really want to do that?"
"I don't know. Would we go back to the way we were?"
Carol shrugs. "What were we?"
"I think we were on our way to figuring that out."
Carol smiles for reasons she's unsure of. "Well--"
Donna moves closer. The kiss is no surprise.
"Let's try this again," Donna says.
And they do.
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