NAME: Kirk Baldridge
TITLE: Soul Provider
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of these characters, names, places, etc. They all belong to Kim Harrison, and I would just like to take this opportunity to thank her for creating them.
FANDOM: The Hollows
PAIRING: Rachel / Ivy
SUMMARY: Rachel's may have found a way to save Ivy's soul, but will she ever get to use it?
SPOILER: None. Set some time after Black Magic Sanction if that makes a difference.
Rachel woke to the familiar, and oddly comforting, scent of lilac.
She smiled. 'I'm home.' Opening her eyes, she first saw long, silky black locks, and then realized she was in bed Ivy. Unfortunately, both of them were fully clothed. 'She's gorgeous.'
With her back to Rachel, Ivy smiled. "I know you're awake."
"I know you know."
Ivy rolled over so they were face to face. "How do you feel?"
"Oddly vacant." Rachel sighed. "I never thought I'd miss your psycho ex girlfriend." Her face fell. "Crap, that really insensitive, wasn't it? I'm sorry."
Ivy shook her head. "Don't be. I already said goodbye to her back in the street. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure your spell was actually going to work."
"Neither was I. Still, I'm sorry I took her from you."
"Are we back on this again? Rachel, she was trying to kill you. It was self defense. If anything, I blame Skimmer for putting you in that position. I just wish…" Ivy sighed. "…we could have actually saved her soul. It would have made me feel a little better about my own future, you know what I mean?"
Rachel nodded. "I think we still can. If I understand what Al was saying, the spell worked. It only went wrong because I was still connected to Skimmer when she died. As long as we make sure the same thing doesn't happen with you, it should be okay." She put her hands on Ivy's shoulders. "I'll tell you what. I'll make sure this is a priority whenever I go to the ever after. Al won't always listen, but I should be able to refine the spell further and make sure there are safeguards in place. I promised I'd save your soul, and I will."
Impulsively, Ivy leaned in and kissed her. When she pulled back a few moments later, her eyes were ringed with black and Rachel's were as wide as saucers. "Sorry. I had to."
"I don't mind."
"Given your recent…experience, I would think not."
Rachel rolled her eyes. "Jeez, you're never going to let me live that down, are you? It wasn't me. I didn't sleep with that girl. It was Skimmer. I don't even remember anything."
"Do you wish you did?"
"Are you curious about what Skimmer did? How she made your body feel?"
"I can help, you know. Skimmer taught me how to make love to a woman. I can teach you."
Rachel licked her lips. "Ivy…"
"You want me. I know you do. I can hear it in your voice, and I can smell it, when you catch a glimpse of my cleavage, or when I'm wearing a really short skirt. I also know you're jealous I was out with Cormel. I think you're ready to accept all of me, you just don't know how to start." Ivy arched an eyebrow. "Or am I way out of line? If you're going to run away again, please do me a favor and tell me now. I lost Skimmer. I won't have a chance to make up with her. I can't stand the thought of losing you too."
Rachel took a deep breath. It was now or never. "I love you, Ivy. More than that, I'm attracted to you. I have been for a long time. I just couldn't admit it to myself until it was almost too late. I want to make this, us, work. I really do. I just…don't know how and I'm scared I'm going to disappoint you."
"You could never disappoint me, dear heart. I love you too." Ivy kissed her again. "We don't have to make love right now. It's too soon. I get that. I've waited this long, what's a few more…" She was silence when Rachel plunged her tongue into her mouth, and her hands into her shirt.
In the ever after, Al finished his tea and reached behind the counter, to pull out a crystal identical to the one he had broken in front of Rachel and Ivy. That one had been a decoy, allowing him to transfer Skimmer's essence into this one while keeping his itchy witch and her vampire off his case.
"How do you feel, Miss Claymor?" The crystal pulsed angrily, and he laughed. "How rude. I have no intention of selling you, though I admittedly would make a fortune off the living consciousness of a vampire. But trust me, I have something far more…interesting, in mind." He was connected to the crystal and could hear her screaming and cursing his name, and it amused him. So did what she 'said' next. "Why yes, I suppose you could say it's Rachel's fault. If it makes you feel any better."