Title: Concertina
Author: Michelle K. (CageyGrl@yahoo.com)
Site: http://glimmershine.tripod.com
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Donna/Margaret
Summary: "I know the truth lies in between the first and the fortieth drink."
Disclaimer: Characters are Aaron's. Title and summary belong to Tori Amos.

Concertina by Michelle K.

*

Margaret's not one to go out drinking; she formed a hatred of hangovers in college and it stuck. But she's here with Donna now because--

Damned if she knows.

"And then he called me an idiot. I'm not an idiot," Donna says, continuing the story of her latest breakup. His name's Trey this time, but the story's similar to any other tale of heartbreak she's told. "So, I told him I don't need that in my life. I don't, after all. Who does?" Her smile is the sad, wistful one of a single girl who's had too much to drink. "I don't."

She almost says 'I told you,' but she's sure Donna remembers the conversations about Trey's worth, conversations colored by Margaret's barely hidden jealousy.

It's not that she expected Donna to fall in love with her; she just knows it would've been a nice surprise.

"I know you don't," Margaret says. She orders two more whiskey sours. The bartender leers -- not at her, at Donna -- but Donna doesn't notice. Margaret glares at him, but that's similarly ignored. "It'll be fine later," she continues, returning her gaze to her friend.

"You know what the worst part is? Josh is going to mock me. Incessantly. You didn't like him, but you're not throwing it back in my face. But Josh... Josh will. He'll just let me know that I'm a failure at this. He'll make it his mission--"

Margaret listens best she can, but all she can hear is: Josh, Josh, Josh, Donna loves Josh, Josh, Josh.

It stings, but not as much as watching Donna date these men who discard her. Josh is her fixation, a need she'll never take a chance on. Josh hurts her, but he'll never get the chance to break her heart. But all these others -- Cliff, Jack, Mike, Leon, Robert, Trey -- they're killing her a little at time.

Part of Margaret envies them, and she feels guilty; making her friend cry isn't a job she should want, but it's a job she'd take at a moment's notice.

"But he doesn't give a damn," Donna continues. "Not a damn about anyone but himself." She turns to Margaret with tears in her eyes. "I don't think I should be here anymore," she mutters.

"I'll take you home."

"I slept with Amy," Donna blurts out.

Margaret freezes. "What?"

"I slept with Amy. Several times. I cheated on my boyfriend with a woman, and here I am picking on him. He should've broken up with *me,*" she continues. "And I'm picking on Josh...it's not his fault. It's *her* fault."

She's not sure how to respond. Donna's often become irked at mention of Amy's name, but Margaret assumed a different reason for her reaction. She wonders if that makes her a bad friend.

"And," she continues, "she thought *I* was in love with Josh. I'm not. She is, though. You know they're back together? She loves him and fucks me, but treats me like the leper." She takes another sip of her drink.

Margaret mirrors the action. The alcohol burns her throat in a way it never has before. "Why didn't you tell me?" she says softly.

"I didn't want anyone to know. But I'm too drunk to care about shame." The falsity of her smile is bitter. "I'm not in love with Amy. I'm not in love with Josh. I'm not in love with Trey. I'm not in love with anybody." She sounds like she's about to cry, but no tears fall. "I should get out of here," she continues, yet stays still.

"Donna--" Margaret begins, but she can't think of what to say. She could tell her she loves her, but that hardly seems appropriate. No need to make Donna's life more complicated.

*

"What?" Donna says, moving her eyes to Margaret.

Margaret looks away. "Nothing."

Donna can feel Margaret's discomfort. She knows that Margaret is certainly not horrified by the gender of the person tearing her apart, as Margaret's orientation is no secret. But there's a difference between saying 'I slept with a woman' and saying 'I fucked my boss's girlfriend.'

God, she feels like such a fool. Near tears in a bar because Amy got tired of sleeping with her. On the other hand, though, how could she not cry? Nobody loves her and she loves nobody -- she can barely even stand herself.

Margaret throws some money on the bar before sliding an arm around her. "C'mon. Let's go."

"Thank you," she mutters as she puts her arm around Margaret in turn, holding tight on her hip. When they make it outside, Donna feels dizzy from the night air and the alcohol. Just make it home, she tells herself. Just make it home and get some sleep, and things won't feel quite so bleak in the morning.

Suddenly, Margaret stops and Donna realizes it's because of her own stumbling. "Sorry," she mumbles.

Margaret sighs. "It's okay."

She leans closer to Margaret, holds her tighter. They make it to the car without incident, but Donna falls into the passenger seat with a thud.

"Are--"

"I'm fine," Donna says. "Just drunk." Her voice catches in her throat, and she feels like she's once again on the verge of crying. But she stays silent through the ride to her place, through the halls of her building. She almost drops the keys, but Margaret catches them.

"It'll be okay," Margaret says as she leads her to the bedroom, but Donna's not nearly inebriated enough to believe it.

"No, it won't." She falls onto her bed, Margaret slamming on top of her.

Margaret grunts. Donna's not sure if it's from annoyance or pain. "Amy's hardly the be all and end all," she says as she gets off of Donna, sitting next to her. "Trey definitely wasn't. You're crazy if you can't see that someone will love you, and that you will find someone to love."

"What if that's not the same person?"

Margaret shrugs. "I'll take your shoes off."

Donna doesn't blame her for not using false words of comfort. She admires her for it, in fact. She hears the soft clink of her heels hitting the floor. Then, Margaret turns to her.

"What else do you need?"

"Could you hold me?" Donna asks, cringing at the whiny quality to her voice.

Margaret doesn't mock her, doesn't recoil. She simply lies down next to Donna and wraps her arms around her. Donna feels comforted by the tenderness in her friend's embrace. She doesn't forget how fucked up she is, granted. But how could she complete such a Herculean task?

Margaret brushes hair away from Donna's face, making Donna look up. Margaret's nice, Margaret doesn't hate her, Margaret even likes her. So, she kisses her hungrily, not letting her get away. She moves her hands to her own waist, undoing her pants. Taking one of Margaret's hands and slipping it inside her panties, the other woman finally pulls away.

"What is happening?" Margaret asks.

"Please," Donna says, holding onto Margaret's wrist, even as she realizes that shoving her best friend's hand down her pants isn't going to make things better.

Margaret blinks. "Donna--"

"Please," she repeats, placing tiny kisses on Margaret's chin as she arches toward her.

Something settles on Margaret's face -- pity, probably -- and she slips her hand over Donna's sex. Donna gasps when she feels Margaret's fingers enter her. She's not really wet, and this is not the ideal way to have foreplay.

Margaret seems to notice Donna's lack of arousal. "Should--"

"No," Donna interrupts, although she doesn't know what Margaret was going to say. "Just keep doing that, okay?"

*

Margaret moves her fingers slowly, listening to Donna's tiny gasps. Whenever she imagined having sex with Donna, it never involved both of them being fully clothed with Donna close to tears.

"Let... let me do this right," Margaret says.

"There's nothing wrong with this," Donna insists.

Margaret shakes her head and withdraws her fingers. She kisses Donna as she undoes the top buttons of her blouse.

Donna whimpers. "Stop. If you're going to try to pretend you love me, just stop."

"I wasn't going to pretend," Margaret replies without thinking.

Donna's eyes widen, and she pulls Margaret in for a kiss. She feels everything changing as Donna nibbles on her bottom lip, but she's hard-pressed to figure out if these changes are going to be ones they really want now. But it can't be denied that Donna's no longer resisting as Margaret goes to undress her. Donna sits up so Margaret can take off her blouse and bra. Margaret lowers her mouth to Donna's chest, suckling one nipple to hardness, then the other. Donna reclines again and Margaret moves with her. Donna raises her hips and Margaret takes the hint to shed her of her pants and panties. She takes a moment to drink in the sight of Donna nude before returning her hands and mouth to her body. Donna squirms and sighs, Donna moans and shudders, Donna does all the things she'd imagined her doing during sex.

Donna pulls her in for a kiss and spreads her thighs. Margaret traces her outer lips with a finger, feeling the wetness against her. She keeps kissing Donna's skin on the way down to the patch of curls.

Then, she actually tastes Donna Moss. Salt, metal, and something she pretends is different from the other women she's been with. And she pretends that Donna's reactions are stronger, more beautiful, and that it takes a shorter time to bring her to orgasm.

Donna bucks against Margaret's mouth when she comes. She doesn't say a name.

Margaret has no idea what's happening now.

*

Donna watches as Margaret moves to rest her head on Donna's stomach. Donna plays with Margaret's hair, trying to think of anything to say.

Margaret loves her. And Donna's used her, just the way Amy did to her.

"Get undressed," Donna says.

"Do you really want to?"

Donna nods. "It wouldn't be fair, right?"

"That's no reason to have sex with someone." Margaret runs her fingers down Donna's arm. "You're not in love with me."

"But I love you," Donna says. "I'm sorry," she adds, and she again feels like she's going to cry.

Amy.

This is all Amy's fault.

"Get undressed," Donna says. "Just... get undressed."

Margaret unenthusiastically follows Donna's instruction. Donna pulls her in for a kiss, their nude bodies pressing together. Donna slips a leg between Margaret's thighs, feeling the dampness on her skin. Donna shifts so they're both lying on their sides and she starts to rock. The mattress squeaks, but Margaret makes hardly a sound until her small orgasm.

Donna's satisfied by the reciprocity, though she knows this makes nothing better.

Donna lets her umpteenth apology die on her tongue. "Don't leave, okay?"

Margaret sighs. "I wasn't going to. It's going to take a lot more than this to make me leave."

Donna's never heard Margaret sound so resigned. She rests her head on Margaret's shoulder, wishing everything were simpler.

END

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