Author: miekhead PM
The aftermath of Claudia's disappearance and Steve's resurrection effects Leena more than expected. Sequel to 'She's Gone' and second in the 'She's...' series.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Claudia D. & Leena - Words: 1,256 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 1 - Published: 07-31-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8378109
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As her job involved catering for people's comfort, Leena's hearing had become almost superhuman over the years. One minute she could be in the deepest of slumbers, the next, her eyes would be wide and she'd be staring at the door.
Which was exactly what she was doing now. The gentle scraping and shuffling of feet outside caused her to shift, and though she kept her eyes closed to protect herself from the change in light, she smiled gently at the almost silent knock.
Moving onto her side, she watched Claudia stand in the open doorway and at first, the innkeeper had to rid herself of the uneasy feeling that overwhelmed her. She was scared… scared of Claudia, and that was one of the most heartbreaking things she'd ever had to acknowledge. "Hey," she croaked, struggling to sit up. "You uhh… you okay?"
"I dunno, really." Claudia smiled, but it didn't reach her eyes. Leena's eyes squinted in the dark and she frowned, searching for Claudia's aura. Lost… embarrassment. "Where's Steve?"
"Sleeping." Claudia grunted. "Told me to leave and I… Well," she sighed. "I wanted to know how you are."
"How I am?" Leena asked. "That's new." It wasn't supposed to cut as hard or as sharp as it did but Claudia physically flinched.
"I'm sorry," Claudia said sadly, "I'll go, I…"
"You just left." Leena shook her head. "You just left me."
"Hey," the redhead began defensively, stomping forward. "I was going to come back, I'll always come back." She said, but noticed the sadness in Leena's eyes.
"You left me in the middle of the night," Leena shrugged. "I didn't know what to think, Claud." Everything about her sounded tired. Like she'd given up even with Steve, alive, sleeping in the next room.
"I… Leena, can I sleep here tonight?" Claudia asked suddenly, shuffling from toe to toe.
The innkeeper stared for a moment before shrugging again. "Sure, I guess." She reached down and pulled off her pajama top, then her bra and before the horrified younger woman could stop her, lay down, submissive in the bed.
"Oh god," Claudia choked and walked to the bed. "No, no, no…that's not…" she gasped, "That's not what I meant, I wanted to…" She looked down at the woman, naked and bare and ready. She felt sick… was this what it had come to? So detached and so impersonal…
She could leave and get rid of the feeling of embarrassment or she could stay and make it right. She chose immediately. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, she placed her hand on Leena's and watched the innkeeper's head turn to her direction.
"Leena, I am…" she paused, scrunching up her face and taking a moment to collect herself. Tears fell easily, but she tried to regain at least some composure. "I am so sorry… the way I've been treating you, the things I've done." She sniffed. "I'm sorry." Her voice now seemed just as tired as Leena's had been. "But I can't sleep, and I keep feeling as if I'll croak any second and that I'm choking and it's freaking me out, so please…"
Leena huffed and shuffled over. She was glad to have Claudia back, and Steve… and she was pissed off too, but the aura wafting over Claudia's being seemed genuine and frightened, so she merely rolled her eyes when Claudia shifted in the bed and tugged on some of the bedcovers.
What she wasn't expecting was for Claudia to pull off her own tank top, pull Leena over until she was on top of her, and she press her lips to the innkeeper's.
"Claudia," Leena pulled away and began to roll off but Claudia kept her tight.
Wrapping her arms around Leena's back, she clutched at the bare skin with her fingertips and whispered, "No."
"Claudia, let me—-"
"No." Claudia said again, pressing her lips to Leena's shoulder. "Not letting you go. I'm sorry, damn it. I'm sorry."
That's when Leena lost it, and she buried her face into Claudia's neck, sniffling quietly.
"Steve's back," Claudia murmured. "I'm back," she soothed, running her hands up and down the older woman's back. "I'm back. Not going anywhere. Not unless I can help it, anyway. The Regents? Not so sure…"
She smiled at the sniffling, knowing that Leena would have probably had to keep strong and brave for Artie and everyone else. She saw the innkeeper's bright smiles at dinner, but noted that they had dampened when everybody looked away. Sighing, she cuddled the woman close until she'd calmed down.
And then, after one kiss led to another, the two actually made love. Not some detached excuse to feel some endorphins for half an hour before it all went sour again. No, this was tender, and slow… warm.
The woman in Leena's arms wasn't evil, she could tell that much. The innkeeper smiled and threaded her fingers through the sweaty hair. "Need to cut your hair again." She whispered, pressing a kiss to Claudia's crown.
With arms wrapped around the innkeeper's middle, Claudia eased herself up and pecked Leena on the lips. "I think I'll leave it," she said, pressing her head back to Leena's breast. It truly was one of the most comfiest places on Earth. "I feel like it needs to be longer for now," she mumbled. "Plus I can do more with it."
"You sure?" Leena enquired, a little shocked but not exactly disappointed. "You gonna be my femme?"
That made Claudia snort out loud. Sometimes Leena would be Leena one moment, and suddenly dish out current lingo like she was making it for dinner the next. "Yeah, okay." She smiled, humoring the woman. "I'll be your femme." She snorted again and rolled her eyes, then closed them at the gentle tickly patterns to her back. "Leena, I think I'm in trouble."
The fingers on her back stopped their assault. "With," Leena cleared her throat, "With what exactly?"
"Quit the bull, you know what with, I heard Artie talking to you." She sighed. "Jane didn't get permission from the Regents. I'm in the crapper."
"And?" Leena scowled, and the stroking to Claudia's back began again, but it was mainly for her own benefit. In answer, and wanting to keep her calm, Claudia did the same, rubbing her thumb gently over Leena's clavicle and down the sides of her breasts.
"And I should have known… I shouldn't have been so dumb."
"Then it's Jane's fault. Not yours." Leena said stubbornly.
"Claudia, no!" Leena squawked. "You don't get to feel guilty for this. She jeopardized her power, and tricked you," she rambled. "And sure it's something you wanted to do anyway, but if a Regent tells you to do something, you do it and you don't get the blame."
Claudia quietened and smiled tiredly, closing her eyes again. "You got my back, huh?"
"More than you know, Claud." Leena whispered, smiling briefly at the answering mewl of exhaustion. She heard Claudia's breathing deepen and let out a sigh. She pulled the cover over the both of them, pressing her lips to Claudia's head again. "More than you know."