AN: It's done. Wow. ;w; I can't believe it. This piece has been such a joy for me and psychotic-cat to work on. ^_^ I hope you had as much fun reading it as we had writing it.

Epilogue: Four Weeks Later

"Why do you look so happy?" Lycoris asked from her sprawled pose on the bed as Athena sashayed up beside her. The smile on her girlfriend's face was contagious, and an answering one tugged at the corners of her own mouth. Sometimes, it was difficult to process just how beautiful Athena was. Even after all they had been through, the fact that this gorgeous creature was in love with her still took her by surprise.

Athena slipped onto the bed and straddled her waist, smile still firmly in place. "Why shouldn't I be happy? You're here, and healthy, and almost completely healed… And we have the place to ourselves tonight since my parents went out." Athena reached out and slowly drew her fingers down the center of Lycoris's torso, her grin growing even wider.

The suggestiveness in Athena's voice wasn't at all subtle. Lycoris still couldn't profess to being a particularly good flirt, but she had learned how to read Athena, and her lover was definitely trying to start something. For the first week and a half, Athena had stayed by her side at the hospital, keeping her company while she recovered. By the end of her second week at home on the Citadel, the third week after the incident, Athena had decided, after much begging on Lycoris's part, to take her for that promised test drive. She hadn't been allowed to do much, but it was hard to argue when Athena's head was between her legs. And as she'd started feeling better, Athena had let her return the favor a couple of times.

"Do you have anything in mind for tonight, since we have the place to ourselves?" Lycoris asked. She brought her hands up, holding Athena's hips in a light grip.

Athena ran the soft point of her tongue over her lower lip: a clear, nonverbal 'yes'. "Since you've been doing so much better, I thought we could try using your cock tonight. See how much healing you've done."

It was difficult for Lycoris to contain her excitement. She'd been waiting for this, had even asked Athena about it a couple of times to no avail, and she was eager to prove that she was strong enough to please her lover in any way Athena might desire. But when she tried to sit up and roll Athena beneath her, Athena placed a hand against her chest and pushed her back down.

"No. Like this. I want you just like this."

The command made Lycoris's heart pound hard beneath Athena's palm. This was a position they hadn't had the opportunity to try yet, and she couldn't deny that it was intriguing. Okay, more than just intriguing. She swallowed, already imagining how Athena would look on top of her, naked and arching. I just hope I don't pass out, or fall off the bed like I did the first time she straddled me. I'll never live it down.

"Are you sure that's what you want?" she asked, her pride making her protest even though the mental image was incredibly appealing. "I can be on top if you want. I promise you won't hurt me."

"How about a deal?" Athena asked, dipping down and leaning in close. Their noses brushed, although their mouths didn't meet. "You let me ride you this time. Next time, you can pose me any way you want. Sound fair?"

Lycoris inhaled sharply. That was a bargain she couldn't afford to pass up. She bit her lip, trying not to groan. The picture in her head of Athena's hips rolling on top of hers was replaced with a picture of Athena on her hands and knees, a few vivid purple handprints standing out from the soft blue skin of her ass. "Okay. But just a warning, I'm gonna put you through your paces when it's my turn to pick the position. I hope you're ready."

Athena smirked, batting her eyelashes. "Oh, I'm ready. But let's worry about getting you ready." She finally came in for a kiss, and Lycoris melted as soon as Athena's tongue teased past her lips. A lot of things had changed after her near-death experience, but this wasn't one of them. Kissing Athena was still one of her favorite things in the world. Without her permission, her hands moved down to rest on Athena's thighs, squeezing the toned muscles there. Something about Athena's taste made her dizzy, and she needed something to grip.

Eventually, they broke apart, but only long enough to breathe. Athena's fingertips crawled beneath the hem of her shirt, grazing the sensitive skin of her abdomen and making her muscles bunch at the ticklish touch. Athena gasped a little as her stomach jumped, obviously pleased by her responsiveness, but Lycoris silenced her with another short, hard kiss, swallowing most of the sound. "Shh," she muttered. "I know your parents are gone, but we've gotta be quiet. We don't want to get caught again, do we?"

"Twice is enough," Athena agreed. "But I'm not staying quiet while we're all alone in this big empty apartment. You're just going to have to deal with it."

Lycoris sighed, knowing there was no winning the argument. Besides, she loved Athena's noises. The little whimpers she makes when I just barely touch her, the way she moans when I hit that spot deep inside her, the way she says my name when she comes... Just thinking about those sounds made her want to earn them again immediately. She moved her hands from Athena's thighs to her hips, tugging and encouraging her to move.

"Be patient," Athena laughed, although she didn't object. "Let's get our clothes off first." The hands on her stomach went back to what they had been doing, and Lycoris allowed Athena to peel her shirt up and over her head. She was grateful for the help. Although she had regained her full range of motion, her ribs were still a little sore from time to time.

There was undoubtedly a hungry glint to Athena's eyes when she tossed the shirt aside. It was a familiar expression, and it made Lycoris feel so many things—aroused, confident, and loved to name a few. She lay there silently and let Athena look her fill, unashamed of the way her nipples tightened and her breathing increased. It didn't bother her that Athena could see every single one of her responses. She trusted her lover.

Athena didn't leave her exposed alone for long. Once she had seen enough, and lightly played her fingertips over Lycoris's sensitive abdomen for a few moments just to drive her insane, she pulled her own shirt off and tossed it to the floor as well. Lycoris didn't have nearly as much self-control as Athena. She immediately reached for her lover's breasts, needing to feel their perfect weight filling her hands. She already had plans to worship that beautiful flesh for hours.

Before her hands could reach their goal, Athena caught her wrists and pinned them to the bed. Lycoris could feel the pout forming on her lips even before Athena chuckled at her expression and kissed it away with a fleeting touch of lips that did nothing to satisfy. "No touching yet, baby," Athena said, pressing her wrists firmly against the mattress one more time before straightening back up. "You just lie there and let me love you. I'm in control tonight."

"You've been in control a lot the past couple of weeks," Lycoris grumbled, her pout firmly back in place. Still, she kept her arms flush against the sheet and stayed as still as possible. She was, however, making plans to grab for one of the tempting purple peaks of Athena's nipples with her mouth if her lover ever leaned over her again. Lycoris could play by Athena's rules if she had to, but it was in her nature to push the boundaries where she could.

"As if you haven't loved it," Athena retorted with a laugh and a playful shake of her head. "Besides, we both know this is going to be a rare occurrence, so enjoy it while you're laid up. Once you're at full strength again, I'll go back to being your mostly submissive, purposely disobedient lover." Lycoris couldn't help but smirk at the tease, knowing that the description was actually quite an accurate one.

The slight nod of her head as she acquiesced was all Athena needed to get back to the business at hand. Athena toyed with the waistline of her pants, dipping a finger below it to tease the bare flesh beneath until Lycoris started to consider begging for Athena to just take the confining leather off. She didn't have her cock in yet, but the tight pants she preferred were starting to feel uncomfortable for her throbbing clit as well.

But Athena knew just how to tease her, and she paused her torturous touch just moments before Lycoris broke. Lycoris didn't know whether to thank her for stopping or beg for more. Luckily, she didn't have to decide, because Athena started to unfasten her pants without being asked. Not for the first time, Lycoris wished she had acquired a different style. It seemed to take forever to drag her leather pants completely off.

The utter relief she felt when Athena's palms finally slid up her bare legs was worth it. She had been craving contact, and her lover's fingertips left tingling trails along her thighs. They fell open without her permission, and Athena gasped in approval. "Wow, Corrie." Athena's touch crept higher, sliding over the dark stain at the front of her underwear. "You're already so wet. Is this all for me?"

Lycoris fought to keep her hips from jerking. The fabric was so damp that she could feel almost everything when Athena brushed the aching bud of her clit, and she throbbed in response. Despite the innocent expression of wonder on Athena's face, she knew it had to be intentional. "Y—yes," she stammered. "All for you, The."

She wasn't surprised when Athena began pulling her panties down, but the gesture still made her shudder. The cool air tingled against the exposed folds of her azure, and the sight of Athena licking her lips had her imagining the heat of a hungry mouth instead. She felt very exposed, especially lying flat on her back without her full range of motion, but she trusted Athena to take care of her. Their bond had only strengthened over the past several weeks, and she found herself looking forward to whatever torture her lover had in store.

That torture turned out to be a wicked tongue. Athena ducked beneath her knees, kissing slowly up along the line of her right leg. The gesture sent a jolt straight to her clit, and a groan cracked in her throat. "Fuck," she hissed, struggling to decide what to do with her hands. She wasn't sure whether it would be better to fist the sheets or grasp the back of Athena's crest. "Wh—what are you doing? I thought we were going to use the cock?"

"In a minute," Athena muttered, drawing closer to the crease where her leg joined her torso. Her tongue flicked, and Lycoris tensed instinctively. "Wanna taste you first. It's been way too long."

Lycoris started to protest that it had only been about two days, but she knew it wouldn't matter. Athena was insatiable, a fact for which she was eternally grateful. If she wants to work me up a little with her mouth, I'm not going to say no. She spread her thighs even further, digging her heels lightly into Athena's back to let her know it was all right to continue.

Athena took the invitation to heart. Moments later, Lycoris was shouting to the ceiling as a hot tongue swiped between the pouting lips of her azure and caught at her straining clit. Her ridge pulsed, but to her dismay, Athena didn't pull it in and suck. She seemed content to circle it instead, never quite pushing back the hood to hit the tip.

Lycoris whimpered, biting down on the inside of her cheek. "Damn it, The, why are you such a tease?" she panted, rocking in search of more pressure. Unfortunately, Athena knew her too well. She drew back, avoiding the predictable movements and keeping her attentions light.

"Because I don't want you to come yet," Athena muttered, alternating light kisses with long, thorough licks. She still didn't form a seal, and Lycoris began to tremble. Suddenly, being pulled into Athena's mouth was all she could think about, simply because it wasn't happening.

Lycoris's first instinct was to reach down and take control, but the words from earlier tempered her natural grab for power. Usually, Athena would love it if she demanded what she wanted with more than just words. But tonight might be one of those nights when Athena really was in the mood to set the pace for a little while, and trying to persuade her otherwise would only result in a longer wait. So she decided to go with a different tact; one that she wasn't as used to, but that she certainly wasn't too proud to employ whenever Athena wanted her to.

"Please, The," Lycoris pleaded, tangling her fingers in the sheets beneath her so she wouldn't be tempted to grab the back of Athena's head. "You make me want to come so much..." It was all she could think about with Athena's tongue teasing her entrance and then swiping up to circle her clit.

"Mmm," Athena hummed, sending another jolt of pleasure through her azure. "I can see that. But the question is, do you want to come in my mouth?" She finally pulled Lycoris's clit between her lips and sucked, making Lycoris whimper and bow beneath her. Unfortunately, the touch was over before Lycoris could get what she needed. She slumped back to the bed in a panting desperate mess, barely able to focus on Athena's next words.

"Or, do you want to come in my azure?" This time, Athena punctuated each of her carefully selected keywords with a shallow thrust into Lycoris's azure. It wasn't nearly enough, only stretching her opening slightly and staying away from the sweet spot that would set her off immediately.

Lycoris shook with need. She wanted everything. She wanted Athena's lips wrapped around her clit, but she also wanted to be strapped and buried to the hilt inside Athena's beautiful azure. There was no possible way to choose, so she didn't. "Both," she gasped, looking down her naked body to where Athena was settled between her spread thighs.

"Both?" Athena repeated in a teasing voice. "Isn't that a little greedy of you?" But after pondering it for a while, she seemed to come to a decision. "Well, you do have a pretty short recovery time. I guess we could conduct a little scientific experiment to see if you're back to normal after your injury..."

Lycoris had a hard time focusing on everything that Athena was saying, but she got the gist. "If it's for science and my health, how can we not?"

Athena grinned up at her, lips glistening with wetness. "All right. Let's see how much you can take." Then she lowered her head, and Lycoris saw stars. The blazing warmth of Athena's mouth sealed around her again, and the fingers teasing her opening finally slid home, hooking against the perfect place. The sharp, insistent curls dragged a shout from somewhere deep inside her chest, and Lycoris's head lolled back against the pillow. She wanted to watch, but she didn't have the strength or coordination to hold her chin up. Instead, she reached down, groping for the back of Athena's crest so she would have something to hold onto when she fell apart.

One of her hands made it, but the other was caught half-way there. Athena's fingers laced through hers, squeezing tight, and Lycoris squeezed back, glad for the connection. Her head was already throbbing with the need to join, and the gesture of love and connection gave her a path to follow. She tested the boundaries of Athena's mind, unable to ask with words, but still hoping desperately that her lover would allow her in.

'Oh, Corrie.' Athena surrounded her in a swell of warmth, wrapping her up in the meld's embrace. 'Love, you don't need to ask.'

Lycoris sighed with relief, and for a moment, everything seemed perfect... until Athena resumed her thrusts and started lashing the tip of her clit. Need enveloped her again, twice as fierce as before with Athena's desire to help feed it. Just feeling how much Athena wanted her to come made her hips jerk. The sudden, uneven movement forced Athena's fingers even harder into her front wall, and she began to quiver as the pressure built.

'Please, The... Oh Goddess, please, make me—'

'That's it. Come for me. Want to taste you...'

They came together, shaking and shuddering and drawing endlessly from each other. Lycoris felt heat spill from deep inside her, splashing over Athena's chin and running over her own thighs, but she didn't care about the mess. Athena was savoring it, letting each pulse pass back and forth through the coiling threads that bound them. Her desperation and Athena's hunger were all tangled up, and she couldn't separate them out anymore.

The longer their orgasm lasted, the more intense it grew. Waves battered their trembling bodies, cresting over and over. Lycoris screamed, and the muffled vibrations that coursed through her as Athena echoed the sound only made her shake harder. But somehow, despite how good it felt, it still wasn't enough. She wanted more. Wanted to feel Athena's azure clutching at her, wanted to fill it with everything she had.

The picture must have traveled through the union, because Athena pulled back at once. The lower half of her face was dripping, but she didn't stop to wipe the wetness away. Instead, she rolled aside and reached straight for the bedside drawer. Lycoris moaned at the loss. One of Athena's thighs was still pressed against hers, enough to keep the meld alive, but losing the warmth of her mouth was agony. The only thing that kept her sane was the thought that soon, she would get to feel something even better.

It didn't take Athena long to find what she was looking for. As adventurous as they were, they had relatively few toys, and the strap-on they had purchased at Pandora's Toybox was still their favorite. Lycoris could already feel her quivering muscles readying to take the shorter end, and her clit throbbed as she recalled with vivid clarity exactly how good it felt to be buried inside Athena's azure. It had been too long since she'd experienced it, but tonight would just be the start of making up for lost time.

Though the meld was beginning to fade, Lycoris could still sense enough of Athena's emotions to tell how much her lover was looking forward to this as well. Athena had tumbled over into a sympathetic orgasm earlier thanks to the strength of their connection, but Lycoris knew she needed more.

When Athena came back to her, settling between her legs, Lycoris made a grab for the cock she held triumphantly in her hand. She was ready to take control of the situation instead of just lying on her back and letting Athena do all the work. Unfortunately, Athena seemed to know exactly what she was thinking and pulled the toy away before she could take it, causing a slight twinge to radiate through her ribs as she stretched just a little too far.

Athena clicked her tongue in a reprimand that had become all too familiar during the last few weeks. "Stay still, love. Let me do all the work." She gave Lycoris a quick peck on the lips, enough to share the wetness on them before pushing back onto her knees and bringing the toy between Corrie's legs.

Lycoris grumbled at once again being reduced to such an impotent state, but the way Athena called her 'love' soothed her wounded pride enough that she didn't put any effort into complaining. Athena seemed to be having fun with their little foray into role reversal, and Lycoris would do anything to make Athena happy. Luckily, she didn't have much time to dwell on her submissive position as Athena purposefully dragged the seat of the toy between the lips of her azure. She shivered as Athena nudged her clit with it, causing the ridge to twitch under the attention.

"Mmm, as quick to recover as usual." Athena brought the shorter end of the toy further down, and Lycoris shuddered as it settled at her entrance. It was still a bit of a process to take the shorter end of the toy, but she was wet and relaxed from her first orgasm, and it didn't take long to seat it inside of her. From there, Athena was already an expert at finessing the sensation transmitter into place over her clit. It wasn't long before she was groaning in pleasure as she felt the gentle pressure of Athena's fingers through the sensitive shaft.

Athena's fist wrapped around the base of her length, squeezing lightly until Lycoris couldn't help but rock up into the touch. She needed more than just her lover's hand. "Please, The," she muttered, clutching the sheets in an effort to maintain control. It was a struggle to keep her hips still, especially when Athena's thumb swiped over her dripping head. "Know I just came, but... I need to be in you. Bad."

"Really?" Athena's green eyes took on a dangerous glint, and she ran her soft purple tongue over her lower lip. The sight made Lycoris's shaft strain even further. "How much?"

Lycoris whimpered. She was swiftly forgetting how to form words, and she didn't even know which ones Athena wanted to hear. All she could do was return Athena's lustful stare with a pleading one of her own and hope her girlfriend wouldn't torture her for too much longer. Her stomach muscles shivered, and her cock continued leaking her desire over the tops of Athena's fingers. Finally, she managed to stammer an answer. "S—so bad..."

"Can you be more specific?" Athena asked with a teasing note in her voice. Her hand vanished, but Lycoris didn't have the breath to complain as she watched Athena straddle her instead. "Is this what you want?"

Athena lowered her hips, and Lycoris gasped as warmth coated the underside of her shaft. Although it was only a grazing pass, watching and feeling the slick folds of Athena's azure drag over her was almost enough to make her form another inadvertent meld. She swallowed, struggling to breathe, and the only noise she could make was a long, low groan.

"That sounded promising," Athena purred. She adjusted her angle, allowing the head to press against her entrance. "What about this?"

Lycoris bucked as the tight ring of Athena's entrance wrapped around the very tip of her cock. She couldn't help it. Even though Athena had ordered her to keep still, her every instinct was urging her to move. She needed the clinging heat hovering just out of reach more than she had ever needed anything before in her life. Her hands shot up from the bed, seizing Athena's waist and trying to pull her down.

Unfortunately, Athena was ready for her. The second her palms made contact, biotics crackled between them. Athena flicked her wrist, and Lycoris's arms flew backwards, hitting the pillow behind her. She struggled for a moment, trying to make sense of what had happened, but her wrists were trapped above her head in a small, efficient singularity. She started to protest, but Athena only smirked. "I did warn you not to touch."

"Goddess, please," Lycoris begged. Her head was swimming, pounding in time with her full, aching length, and having her arms pinned only highlighted her vulnerability. A hard shiver raced through her body, causing her to arch off the mattress, but her cock didn't sink any deeper into Athena's azure. "Please, The, I... fuck, I need..."

"I know," Athena whispered, and the look on her face was no longer quite so teasing. "Just relax and let me give you what you need." Then, at last, she started to slide down.

The pace was so slow that Lycoris could barely stand it. The smooth, satin walls of Athena's azure were impossibly tight, and they rippled with each inch she took. It was wonderful, but still not nearly enough, and Lycoris struggled against the field pinning her arms to the bed. Her fingers grasped at nothing, desperate for a hold.

Athena seemed oblivious to her plight, focused solely on taking her shaft as slowly as possible. Under other circumstances, Lycoris might have liked watching Athena strive for her own pleasure, but tonight, she was too on edge to enjoy it. She wanted to be buried to the hilt inside Athena's azure, every inch of her surrounded by the warm, welcoming softness of her lover's body.

When Athena stopped her descent after taking about half of her shaft, Lycoris whimpered helplessly. "Please. Please, don't stop." Her hips strained upwards, trying to sink deeper, but her Athena knowingly evaded all of her attempts.

"Shh, sweetheart," Athena said, reaching down to place a reassuring hand over Lycoris's pounding heart. "I'm not stopping." She proved her words by taking another inch of Lycoris's cock into her azure. "I'm just savoring. Tonight will probably be the last time I'll be on top for a while, and I want to enjoy it while I can."

Lycoris didn't know how to respond. She could beg Athena to take pity on her, or maybe promise to let Athena have her way with her some other night when she might have more self-control, but she doubted that either tactic would work. Athena knew what she wanted, and she was going to take it.

Helpless to make Athena to go faster, Lycoris reached out with her mind instead, searching for the light and warmth of Athena's soul. There was no barrier to pass through, just the familiar path that always welcomed her. As their feelings and emotions converged, Lycoris realized she wasn't the only one desperate for more. Athena wasn't just denying her. She was denying herself as well.

Lycoris's need doubled, but she wasn't certain if she wanted Athena's orgasm or her own more. She could feel the bliss Athena experienced at being stretched, the spike in pleasure when the head of her cock pushed against the sensitive front wall of Athena's azure, how much Athena wanted to be filled with her release. And Lycoris wanted to give it all to Athena, wanted to share everything with her amazing lover.

'Corrie… wait… want to make it last...' The words filtering through the meld helped Lycoris rein in her own rampant desires. It was difficult when Athena started to rock on top of her, sending jolts of intense pleasure through their joined bodies, but she managed. Their shared experience made everything so much more intimate, pushing both of them toward their inevitable climax.

Together, they searched for a rhythm that would drive them higher without tipping them over the edge. They shuddered when they found it, and Lycoris released a ragged gasp. Her hands flexed in the singularity that held them, but she no longer fought to free herself. She was swiftly learning to enjoy being at Athena's mercy, and thoughts of release were replaced with the desire to draw out their bliss for as long as possible.

But even though they tried, they couldn't stretch the seconds out forever. The desire between them was already burning too bright. Lycoris gazed up into the black pools of Athena's eyes, making sure her lips mouthed the words she wanted to use as she thought them. 'I love you, The.'

Athena stiffened above her, but her lips relaxed in a beautiful smile. 'Love you too. So much...'

The thread winding tighter and tighter around them finally snapped. Athena sank down onto her cock one last time, and Lycoris felt the pressure inside her swell. Her clit twitched against the transmitter, making her entire length throb.

Athena trembled in response. 'Corrie, yes. Come inside me...'

Lycoris couldn't have held back if she wanted to. Not while Athena was inside her head, pleading with her to let go. Her hips gave a short, sharp thrust, and a rush of heat burst from the aching head of her cock, pouring out in thick streams. In the same instant, the clinging walls of Athena's azure went wild around her. They rippled and pulsed, coaxing her to empty everything she had, and she was helpless to resist. They both came in a flood, shivering and spilling until their lower bodies were a sticky mess.

Somehow, Lycoris found the strength to break free of the singularity. She seized Athena's hips in desperation, using the grip to drive even deeper and resume their rhythm. 'Don't stop,' she pleaded, pushing up to meet Athena's downward strokes. The blazing heat around her tightened each time she buried her shaft, and rippling waves continued to pass between them. She still didn't feel empty, and Athena was still shaking above her. 'Please, don't ever stop...'

'I won't,' Athena promised, and Lycoris felt a curious mix of emotions accompanying the words. There was lust, of course, a flame that burned brightly between them, but also tenderness, and something almost like worry. Suddenly, Lycoris knew why Athena had pinned her arms, why Athena had been so insistent about being on top. She had a feeling that if she probed deeper into Athena's mind, she would find memories of herself lying unconscious on a hospital bed, or perhaps something even worse.

Instead of pausing, she followed her instincts. She needed to show Athena that she would always be there, to offer the same reassurance her lover had given her so many times over the past several weeks. She used her newfound freedom to flip Athena over, re-positioning their bodies. Athena welcomed her weight at once, arms curling around her torso to try and draw her closer. 'Corrie...'

'You need this, The. It's okay. I need it, too.' She leaned down, kissing Athena with a gentleness that relayed every terrifying, wonderful emotion she felt for her lover. Her hips started to pump in a slow rhythm, one that let them both relish every second of their union. She took full thrusts, pulling out until only the head of her cock was left inside of Athena's azure before sliding back in all the way. Athena raised her hips to meet every thrust, even hooking one of her legs around Lycoris's hip to take her deeper.

As she made love to Athena, Lycoris couldn't help but watch her lover's face with rapt fascination. This was something she had missed while she'd been confined to bedrest. The pleasure that Athena couldn't hide was mesmerizing, and the fact that it was all because of her made Lycoris's chest swell with pride. She loved Athena, and this was the most pure way she knew how to share it, when nothing was between them and their minds were linked in a bond stronger than anything either of them had ever experienced before.

Inevitably, Lycoris had to speed up, spurred on by the noises Athena made. Soft whimpers broke in Athena's throat nearly every time she hilted herself, and sharper cries came whenever she hit a particularly sensitive spot. Athena panted, murmuring words that were mostly incoherent, but obviously meant to encourage Lycoris to go faster, harder, deeper. It was clear that she wanted more, and Lycoris wanted nothing else except to give it to her.

Lycoris winced as Athena's fingers went from roaming fitfully over her back to digging in, trying to draw her even closer. She would be lying if she said she didn't love it, and Athena's need only served to strengthen her desire. There would be marks on her back in the morning, but she would wear the little badges of ownership with pride. She was Athena's, just like Athena was hers.

'So… so good. More, Corrie. Please.' The pleading demand echoed in Lycoris's head and she was helpless to do anything other than comply. Another time, she might have chosen to tease and deny Athena until she was so desperate she'd promise anything, but tonight was different. All she wanted was to give Athena what she desired, to show her that everything was okay. She was whole and unbroken, and with Athena, she knew she would always feel that way.

Lycoris wanted to hold out as long as possible, but she was at the mercy of the meld and the wave of emotions that flowed between them. She gave a couple more jerking, uneven thrusts before sliding in to the hilt and staying there, sealing their bodies together. Her cock pulsed, and she went rigid, spilling deep into Athena's azure. Athena bowed beneath her, and the smooth muscles around her cock rippled as her lover came with her, drawing out thick spurts of her release.

'I love you.' Lycoris didn't know if she said the words out loud or just thought them, but either way, she was certain that Athena knew. It was clear in the way Athena held her as she trembled and twitched, emptying everything she had. Never had Lycoris been more vulnerable, but never had she been as happy and fulfilled either. They were alive and in love, and they had a lifetime to share with each other.

'Corrie? Love you, too.'

Lycoris smiled at the thought, relaxing further into Athena's embrace. The meld began to fade, but the warmth in her heart didn't. Perhaps it was sappy to think so, but she felt like some part of Athena's soul was still twined with hers, even when they weren't joined. "Mm, you okay, The? My weight isn't too much, is it?"

Athena snorted, placing a kiss just beneath her jaw. "I should be asking you that. You're the one who's supposed to be on bedrest."

"I'm resting," Lycoris protested. She nuzzled into Athena's shoulder, inhaling deeply and scattering a few kisses of her own. "I'm even on a bed."

Athena gave her hips a soft push, coaxing one last shudder from both of them. "I don't think this is what the doctors had in mind."

"Well, if I die from amazing sex with you, at least I'll die content."

Even though the joke was corny, Athena cracked a smile. Obviously, her frightening memories had been put to rest for a while. "So, what now? A shower? Dinner?"

"Actually," Lycoris said, a little shyly, "I was thinking an apartment of our own. Or maybe a nice cozy dorm room at Serrice in a couple of months? Your Mom's the president. I'm sure she can pull a few strings."

"My father won't be happy about that," Athena said. "She'll think you're distracting me from my studies."

Lycoris grinned. "She's not wrong. But everyone needs study breaks, right?"

"Serrice it is, Corrie," Athena murmured, stroking a hand down her back. She tilted up for one last kiss, but a loud crashing sound from down below startled both of them, and their foreheads knocked together instead. Lycoris drew back, rubbing at her sore skull as she pulled out and sat on her heels.

"What the fuck was that?"

"I don't–"

"The! Lycoris! I'm home and I've gotta use the shower, so finish whatever gross stuff you're doing so I don't have to hear you when I get upstairs!"

"Ugh. Nezzie." Athena rolled her eyes, but she left the bed in a hurry, removing a bathrobe from the hook of her closet door.

"What's your rush?" Lycoris asked. "It's not like she's going to barge in on us again."

"Yeah, but we're a mess, and we need to beat her to the bathroom. C'mon, get your clothes back on. I'm not sitting in here and waiting for her to finish one of her thirty minute showers."

"Or," Lycoris suggested, "we could just find a way to entertain ourselves until she's done… You know, since we're already naked and sweaty."

A smirk crossed Athena's face. She hung the bathrobe back on its hook, swaying as she returned to the bed. "You make a good argument… and I don't take much convincing. Fine. But only on the condition that we're as loud as possible. Benezia could use some incentive to hurry up."

Lycoris blushed, but she already knew Athena would have her way. There was no use fighting it. She patted the space beside her and opened her arms, welcoming Athena's body next to hers again. "Hmm. My mouth's about to be pretty busy, but I'm sure you'll be loud enough for both of us."

The End