challenge #11 Murphy's law

If anything can go wrong, it will. You're always in the longest line at the grocery store. Your car runs out of gas when you're already late. Or your computer crashes when you're sending a long email (or posting an LJ challenge). And sometimes things don't quite go the way our TBJ ladies expected either. Which is why this week's challenge is Murphy's Law. Interpreted in whatever way you wish. Until October 7. Go. ;)

"Tracey, I can't do this!" Kelly sighed in frustration, swatting her girlfriend's thigh with the book she was holding. It was large, rectangular and thin, like a children's picture book and was opened on a sea of daisies set on a technicolour background. Tracey looked down at Kelly, lying flat on her stomach with her legs splayed out, bent at the knees, bare feet dipping in the air. She was wearing jeans and a light cotton t-shirt that bared an inch of skin at her stomach. It was rubbing against the rough woollen blanket they had laid out on the grass and the sight made Tracey unconsciously lick her lips. Kelly was propped up on her elbows giving Tracey an insolent look. The older ADA shook her head, dark curls bouncing across her shoulders. She couldn't help smiling at Kelly's predicament.

"Honey, they aren't hard. My 5 year old niece has that exact same book and she can see that's a peace sign." Tracey admonished gently, taking one hand away from the novel she was reading to trace a delicate finger around the invisible symbol on the page. The look in Kelly's eyes changed quickly from exasperation to hopelessness. Her head slumped to the side, the sunlight hitting her blonde hair sifting softly to hang around her left ear.

"I can't see it. I just can't." She moped. Tracey's smile widened slightly at her partner's childish behaviour. She lifted her hand to trace the line of Kelly's jaw up to tuck a strand of sunshine hair behind her ear. Kelly's eyes flickered closed in pleasure and Tracey delighted in scraping her nails slowly down the pale curve of Kelly's neck. Quirking her eyebrow at the moan that escaped her girlfriends lips, Tracey removed her hand and turned back to her novel with nonchalance. Kelly opened her eyes in irritation and launched herself into Tracey's lap. They fell backwards onto the blanket in a heap, Tracey giggling uncharacteristically beneath Kelly's weight.

"Be nice, Kell! I'm still unreasonably sore from last night." Tracey whispered in Kelly's ear, laughingly nipping at her earlobe. Kelly growled and swung her head to the side, biting Tracey's wrist. Tracey yelped in shock and then laughed at Kelly's obvious frustration. The blonde looked as though she'd been denied all the treats in the world and then told her siblings could go out to play and she couldn't. She was definitely playing the child today, Tracey thought, smiling up at her little girl. Well, maybe she needs to be treated as one.

"Look around, Kelly. I brought you here so we could relax on our day off." Tracey leaned heavily on those last two words, turning her head to survey their surroundings. She'd chosen a quiet spot in her favourite park, up on a small hill overlooking a wide expanse of green grass leading down to a lake. A few kids were playing soccer with their dad near the water and a woman in overalls was mixing colours at an easel set up next to the reeds. A white painted gazebo with a green roof stood a hundred yards behind them next to a cluster of trees. The day was hot and just starting to cool off in the afternoon. Tracey never went out midday in the heat. She didn't want to tempt fate with skin as pale as hers. Kelly didn't have such a problem but she didn't want her to suffer sunburn either. Tracey had brought a rug, a few books she'd grabbed off the coffee table and some lunch in a wicker basket. They'd already eaten the sandwiches she'd packed and had been lazing around reading. Not that she'd admit it but Tracey had planned nearly every aspect of the day.

"I'm too annoyed." Kelly voiced. Tracey calmly looked back into her startlingly blue eyes, noting she hadn't turned away to admire the scenery. Kelly's gaze was fixed on her. She looked slightly feral, laying on top of Tracey, but still like a child asking for attention. Tracey bit her lower lip, trying to fend off a smile. She leaned upwards to kiss Kelly square on the lips, tasting honey from their lunch. As Kelly's tongue found hers and immediately claimed most of her attention, Tracey's hand searched for the discarded book. Grasping it's thin cover, she pulled it up in between their bodies and forced Kelly's mouth from hers. Tongue in cheek, Tracey pushed a sulky Kelly off her and flipped through the book until she came to a page covered with tropical fish.

"Ok baby, you're going to do this. I'll teach you." Tracey said, trying to placate her pouting partner. She placed the open book in Kelly's lap and crawled around behind her, stretching denim clad legs on either side, pulling Kelly into her hips. As her junior ADA settling herself into a more comfortable position, her backside rubbing against Tracey's thighs, Tracey silently prayed to be left alone in the park. Glancing to where the soccer game had been playing out, she found her wish to be half true already. There was no sign of the boys or their father and the artist by the lake was packing her easel up. Privacy, Tracey grinned into Kelly's fragrant hair.

"Alright, what do you see?" Tracey asked, squeezing Kelly's upper arms. The blonde sighed and turned to the page, trying to focus.

"Fish, Tracey. Lots of fish." She leaned closer, ostensibly to concentrate of the pattern in front of her. After a loaded pause, she leaned back. "Still just fish." Tracey murmured a sympathetic noise near her ear.

"Ok. Try holding it closer to your face and then moving it out slowly." She slid her hands down Kelly's arms and helped her lift the book up to her eyes. She held it there a few moments, watching Kelly's eyes drift in and out of focus, and then slowly drew the page away from her face. She waited for some sign of recognition to burst through Kelly's concentrated features.

"Nothing." Kelly groaned in frustration, dropping the book into her lap and leaning back onto Tracey's shoulder. Not being able to help herself, Tracey kissed the temple closest to her and wrapped her arms around Kelly's midsection. She loved that Kelly could be so caught up in something that didn't really matter. That she could let the whole world go in favour of a simple puzzle. The beauty in that was not lost on Tracey, who had a tendency to obsess over a case until the warm touch of Kelly's hand brought her out of the dull world of legislature and human suffering.

"Try looking at it another way, sweetie. Try looking at it a different way." She whispered into Kelly's ear, conscious of the heartbeat she could feel on her chest that was not her own. Neither moved for a moment in the dull light when Kelly slowly sat up, lifting the book to her face. Tracey stayed braced on her hands against the scratchy woollen blanket, watching her partner studying the book. Looking up, she noticed clouds had rolled in and were obscuring the sun. Some time must have past, she thought, watching a family of ducks cross the lake to hide in the reeds. Maybe they should head back.

"Tracey, Tracey! It's a dolphin! I can see it; it's a dolphin!" Kelly's excited voice brought Tracey back onto the grassy hill. Kelly was smiling joyously at her over her shoulder, a twinkle in her blue eyes that made her look positively angelic in her childlike happiness. Tracey grinned and slid her arms back around her partner, resting her chin on Kelly's shoulder.

"I knew you'd get it." She kissed Kelly tenderly on the cheek, nuzzling close to her warm skin. Kelly laughed and turned the page to a field of sunflowers. A few beats passed when Kelly exclaimed again, rocking back into Tracey's embrace.

"It's a smiley face! God Tracey, this is amazing." Kelly flipped through the pages, pausing and then announcing each picture in turn, smiling and laughing at every one. Tracey couldn't help but smile with her and laugh at the sheer happiness that shone through Kelly's eyes, her radiant face. This was why she was with the younger woman. This was why she had risked their working relationship to find something more. Not for the warmth of Kelly's body at night or their very enjoyable 'extra-curricular' activities together, though they were certainly a great bonus in themselves. But the happiness that came with living, with exploring and understanding things that Tracey never stopped to consider. Things that only Kelly took into account. Things that made life beautiful.

They had reached the final page, a sea of red and pink hearts over which was emblazoned the words "I Love You". Tracey had captured Kelly's attention and her mouth as she whispered those words in her ear. Tracey was silently thanking God that the parks' other visitors had left them to enjoy each others company when the first raindrop hit the page. The kiss ended abruptly as both women turned to look at the book as two more raindrops splashed across the message. Then the heavens opened.

Kelly shrieked as the rain cascaded down and Tracey cursed as she grabbed her novel, forgotten on the rug, and the picnic basket. Kelly still held the puzzle book in her hand and tugged the blanket off the grass with the other. She felt Tracey's fingers close around her wrist, pulling her through the rain, towards the white gazebo. Kelly ducked her head and ran, following a few steps behind Tracey, holding the book close to her body. They bounded up the stairs to stand, nearly soaking, under cover.

"Damn." Tracey cursed loudly, dropping the basket next to the bench that ran all the way around the wooden structure. Her curls were soaked as was her tank top, her jeans not faring much better. Kelly was in the same state, shivering a little. She looked over at Tracey and giggled at her girlfriend's irritation. She looked like she'd had her parade well and truly rained on.

"What's so funny?" Tracey demanded, placing her hands on her hips, watching her partner laugh. This only served to amuse Kelly further and she dissolved into fits of giggles, holding her sides as water dripped down her neck. Tracey rolled her eyes and picked up the blanket that Kelly had dropped, wrapping it around the blonde's shaking shoulders. It wasn't as wet as they were, so she figured it could provide some warmth.

"Sorry, sorry." Kelly hiccupped. "Just you. So serious." Tracey's eyes softened and she smiled at her bedraggled girlfriend, kissing her on the forehead.

"Well, I wanted our day to be perfect and relaxing. I'd finally gotten you to smile when it starts raining cats and dogs." She looked out over the grass and the disturbed surface of the lake, watching the rain wash over everything. "Murphy's Law…" she muttered, glancing down at her soaking tank top. Kelly eyed her appreciatively, wrapping some of the blanket around Tracey's shoulders.

"What's that? I thought today was going rather well until this happened. I think Sod's Law is the one we should apply here." Kelly mused, pushing a stray ringlet off Tracey's forehead, wiping the water droplets away. Tracey grinned.

"You honestly want to get into a debate about pseudolegislation with me, counselor?" She arched an eyebrow at the wet blonde plastered to her small frame. "They're the same thing, anyway."

"Not where I come from…" Kelly smiled and dipped her head to lick a raindrop sliding down Tracey's neck. The older ADA shivered and caught Kelly's eye again.

"Feral.." she muttered, a sight less irritated than before. She sighed though, and looked out into the rain. "How are we going to get home? We're stuck here." Kelly rolled her eyes. Time for some payback.

"Oh baby…" Tracey turned back to her, an incredulous look on her face. It took all the strength she had not to burst out laughing at the patronising expression Kelly was wearing. "Try looking at it another way." Tracey caught the glint in her partner's eye and decided to play along.

"Well, I guess we aren't stuck here… There's no one around, after all. Maybe this is just perfect." She snaked her hand out from under the blanket and tested the air. "It's still quite warm, we're not going to freeze." She moved her body against Kelly's, enjoying the friction and the glazed look in the younger woman's eyes. Suddenly, she stopped, excited. "Want to dance with me?"

Kelly smiled at Tracey, loving the look on her face. She seemed so young out of the DA's office. So sweet and relaxed. So damned sexy. As much as she craved Tracey's pale white skin, her husky, reverberating voice that commanded attention so easily in the courtroom, that devilish grin that came when she knew they'd scored a point, the real reason Kelly loved being with Tracey was these moments when she looked twenty years younger. So carefree, so happy, so attractive that Kelly just wanted to melt into her. She loved Tracey whatever mood she was in but this particular easy delight that reminded her of sugar, a warm breeze and the scent of Tracey's bed sheets made her content. This smile on Tracey's face made the world beautiful.

"I'd love to." Kelly whispered, letting the blanket drop to the wooden floor boards and taking Tracey's right hand in her own. She placed her lovers left hand on her shoulder and slid her other arm around Tracey's slim waist. She pulled the dark haired woman closer to her, letting Tracey drop her head onto her shoulder. As they rotated to the rain song, Kelly listened for her partners' heart beats to guide their steps. Dark chocolate curls brushed her cheek and she could feel the damp of Tracey's tank top on the exposed skin of her stomach. She bent her head to kiss the pale shoulder below her. Tracey tasted of ozone, salt and honey. Kelly didn't think that maybe the honey was on her lips. She only thought that Tracey tasted of rain, the screen that cut them off from the rest of the world.

Kelly guessed Tracey was her screen. She never thought that her dance partner was smiling, thinking exactly the same thing.