[Author's Note: Thanks to everyone for reading my story. It's been a wild and fun ride, and I've appreciated all of your feedback. There's no telling what turns Bo and Lauren's story will take on the show, (GAH!), but I've enjoyed imagining a story of my own. Hope you have enjoyed it too. And now, without further ado, I give you…]
"Whoa, way to go Dr. Hotpants!" Kenzi rooted at the bar in the Dal. She leaned off of her stool to clap Bo on the shoulder. "So it turns out Dr. freeze is actually Dr. fox. Gotta say. I did not see that coming."
"Will you please dial it down, Kenz?" Bo pleaded. She surveyed the room to see if anyone was looking at them.
"What?" the younger woman scoffed, unaffected by Bo's concern. She put her hand over her heart, overplaying her earnestness. "I am legit shocked here. This shit is freakier than the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Atlanta combined. And, might I add, that is some freaky, freaky shit. Who knew lady-killers could come in the buttoned-down, baking variety?"
Bo stopped. "You think she bakes?"
Bo smiled a little, picturing Lauren in an apron in the kitchen spooning batter into a cupcake pan. That might be nice, she thought. Then shook her head. "Kenzi!" she yelled. "That's really not the point."
"You're right!" Kenzi agreed, throwing up her hands. She wiped her mouth and threw back a shot of some kind of liquor that only Trick could pronounce. Her mouth puckered, but she managed to swallow, barely. "The point is: This new doctor chick is totally horning in on your doctor chick."
"So…." Bo started.
"So. Bo." Kenzi put her hands on her best friend's shoulders. "If you want Lauren, you have to get on your horse and go after her. Go busting in like John Wayne and all that." She pretended to shoot two revolvers from her hips. Bo didn't laugh. "Or, like a succu-sexier Lara Croft?" She jutted out her chest and made machine gun noises. Still no response from Bo.
"Listen," the Kenzi said, her expression softening. "This is something we humans have to do all the time. You have to go after what you want. Compete. If someone else has the hots for your girl, you have to fight for her. There're like a million songs about this! Although most of them are totally shitty.
Seriously, though. You have to let Lauren know you still wanna bow-chicka-wow-wow. Otherwise, there's no reason for her not to go all Branjolina and run from domestic bliss with you into the arms of a woman who will talk her into adopting a thousand kids from the other side of the world."
Bo stared at her sidekick and most trusted friend, considering. "But. What do I have to offer her that this other chick can't give her? I mean, Dev is a doctor and all that. And probably lives in a house with walls."
"What?" Kenzi retorted. "Have you seen you?" Kenzi turned back toward the bar, rolling her now empty shot glass over in her hands.
"Look," Kenzi sighed, leveling. Bo straightened up and looked at her. Kenzi's voice was more serious than Bo had ever heard it.
"Lauren is always healing and doing her science thing, right? That's what she does. And she's all tight-assed about it and I have made fun of her for that. In the past." She rolled her eyes. "But you know. It's actually pretty cool- -until it goes too far. I've seen what happens to people like her if they don't have someone watching their backs. They care so much about other people, they're willing to give everything- -sometimes too much.
Bo. Lauren listens to you. She trusts you. You could convince her to let someone else take care of her for once."
Bo looked at Kenzi and the brunette's eyes sparkled. "Kenz," she said. "That might be the sweetest thing I've ever heard you say."
"Yeah, well. It's the Blither- -whatever that was called." She looked at her glass, suddenly deciding she needed a refill. She couldn't believe the words coming out of her mouth. More alcohol seemed like a very good idea.
Bo stood up and kissed Kenzi's cheek.
Kenzi rolled her eyes again, but smiled. "Mother trucker," she muttered to herself, watching Bo stand up beside her. She could forgive her best friend for getting her ass killed, but she didn't know if she would ever forgive Bo for making her into a big softie.
Surveying the room, Bo spotted Hale sifting through the crowd and the wheels in her head started turning. "Come on," she said to Kenzi. "I have a plan."
xxxx xxxx xxxx
The moon was high overhead as Lauren made her way up the walk to Devany's bed and breakfast. She checked her cell phone for messages one more time before tucking it into the pocket of her blue leather jacket.
Lauren had instructed her lab assistants to call her if there was any change in The Ash's status. His respiratory system was still severely damaged and, discouragingly, he showed no signs that his condition might improve anytime soon. If she didn't find a successful treatment for him, Lauren knew The Light Fae elders could decide to replace him. And chances were, whoever they selected in that scenario would not be as lenient as their current leader.
Lauren paused on the sidewalk and looked up at the darkened sky. Although she couldn't escape Fae politics, they weren't the first thing on her mind right now, understandably. She tugged the bottom of her shirt down to smooth out the wrinkles in the fabric and ran her hands over her jacket sleeves, recognizing the familiar jitters tingling in her fingers. Devany was waiting for her. She should go.
Inside the inn, Lauren climbed a flight of stairs and turned down a hallway toward Devany's room, where they had agreed to meet. She took a deep breath to calm herself before lifting her hand to knock gently on the door.
It opened within seconds and there, in front of Lauren, was Devany. The police detective looked stunning, her auburn hair down around her shoulders. She was dressed in black slacks, a white blouse, and a vest, and Lauren thrilled at the sight of her. The blonde doctor bit her lip uncertainly.
Dev's grey eyes glimmered as she led Lauren into the room, which had a double bed on the far side and a little sofa and coffee table near the entryway. When they reached the center of the room, Devany turned toward Lauren, studying her face.
Lauren felt vulnerable under the scrupulous gaze of the medical examiner, but she stayed still, her breath constricted in her chest.
They stood there for a good minute, as timid as teenagers, until Devany sighed quietly and took a purposeful step toward Lauren. Now her feet were between Lauren's and their foreheads were centimetres apart. Slowly, Lauren exhaled and opened her arms.
As if resuming a familiar dance, Devany fell into Lauren's open arms and wrapped her arms tightly around Lauren's waist. "Ohh," she shuddered into the blonde's shoulder. "Lauren. I missed you so much."
Lauren felt goosebumps rise on her arms at the sound of Devany's voice so close to her ear. She combed her fingers through long strands of red hair, encouraging Dev to relax against her. "It's okay," she whispered. "It's okay," she repeated.
Devany lifted her head and stepped back so she could see Lauren's face again. Slowly, she traced Lauren's cheekbones with her fingertips, then reached down to grasp Lauren's hands, smoothing her thumbs gently over the knuckles. She smiled when Lauren's eyes closed at the familiar gesture. Overcome by the sight of her former love responding to her touch, Devany couldn't help herself.
Before Lauren knew what was happening, Dev was kissing her with the intensity of a sudden rainstorm. The taste of Devany's mouth against hers, urgent and familiar, drew a deep moan from Lauren's throat. Dev had told her once that the sounds she made when they kissed made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on-end. Lauren pressed her hand against the nape of Dev's neck, pressing against the soft skin there. She wondered if Dev still felt that way. God, it had been so long since their last kiss.
Devany ran her tongue along Lauren's bottom lip to encourage Lauren to deepen the kiss. She opened her mouth and Lauren did too, humming softly. She felt Lauren's tongue move elegantly against hers, and Dev reached down and wrapped her arms more tightly around Lauren so she could walk them over to the bed.
Lauren managed to slip off her own jacket and unbutton the first few buttons of her shirt before Dev pulled her down onto the comforter and straddled her thighs. She was struck by a wave of heat as Dev settled her full weight against her hips and leaned over her to whisper in her ear.
"Lauren," Dev said, in a tone that was decidedly possessive.
Lauren arched up reflexively at the sound of her name and a jolt of anticipation coursed through her; but, distantly, she felt a wave of guilt swell and break inside too. It felt to Lauren as though Dev was saying her name to reclaim her, and Lauren's conscious mind protested.
In her heightened state of awareness, Lauren felt the coldness of the metal pendant resting against her collarbone, which marked her as Light Fae property. An unwelcome pang of self-consciousness accompanied her thoughts about the amulet, which had been exposed by her unbuttoned shirt. Before she could stop it, her mind called up the words that Bo had whispered to her only a few months ago: "Nobody owns you."
Nobody owns you, Bo had said. Lauren could picture the succubus' brown hair fanning out onto the sheets beneath them as she made the declaration, her eyes glistening with emotion. Lauren had repeated those words to herself a thousand times over, and she did it again now. Nobody owns you, she recited in her mind, and her voice was joined by Bo's.
Lauren rocketed back to the present when she realised that Devany had stopped kissing her. When she opened her eyes, which had been squeezed shut, she saw the redhead hovering above her expectantly. Dev had said something.
"What?" Lauren asked, reaching up to brush a strand of hair out of Devany's face.
"Your necklace," Dev repeated. "I want you take it off."
Laughing, Lauren encouraged the progress of Dev's hand as it trailed down her side. "Isn't there something else you'd rather take off instead?" she offered suggestively. It had been so long since she had been touched like this, with the familiarity of a long-time lover. She was practically burning for direct contact.
Dev looked decidedly annoyed by Lauren's response, which Lauren thought was strange. Anger was an emotion she had rarely seen Devany express, and never toward her. But the longer Lauren hesitated, the more unfamiliar Devany's expression became, as if a dark cloud had settled over her features.
"What?" Devany responded agitatedly.
"Why do you want- -"
"Just take it off," Devany said, interrupting. Her tone was desperate, bordering on overly-seductive. "I want you," she purred, sucking one of Lauren's fingers into her mouth.
Lauren felt a surge of anticipation rush through her at the feeling of Dev's teeth scraping over her fingertip, but something wasn't right. She tried to guide Dev's head to her chest so she could hold her there for a moment, but Dev recoiled fearfully.
"What's wrong?" Lauren asked. "What- -" she started to say again, but she was cut off by the sound of heavy footfalls in the hallway and the door to the room swinging open. Dear god. They hadn't locked it.
"Lauren!" a familiar voice called out.
"What the hell- -" Dev shouted, turning to identify the intruder. When she saw the brunette she'd met that morning in the Fae Labs parking lot, her anger plummeted over the edge. Dev leapt off of Lauren, eyes glinting with a toxic mix of fear and infuriation. "No," she said. "Not you."
"Bo!" Lauren shouted. "What are you doing?"
The succubus' eyes flashed blue as she opened her mouth to answer, but Devany didn't give her the chance. Advancing quickly, Dev lunged at Bo, kicking her hard in the stomach.
"Stop!" Lauren yelled. She jumped up from the bed and ran toward them, grabbing Dev from behind to restrain her before the police doctor could deliver a follow-up punch, but Dev easily out-muscled her. "How?" Lauren asked, looking bewilderedly at Bo, who was lying doubled-over on the floor. Bo was young, and relatively untrained, but still, she should have been able to hold her own against a human. Dev shook Lauren off of her and targeted Bo again with her eyes, getting ready to charge.
"Bo!," Kenzi shouted, rushing into the room with Hale at her heels. She launched herself at Dev, who was scowling at a shocked and frightened succubus lying on the floor. Kenzi could tell that Bo was hurt in more ways than one, although she was trying not to show it.
Kenzi's leap was off the mark, but it didn't matter, because Lauren grabbed Dev and leaned all of her weight backwards, trying to drag her away from Bo. The maneuver proved effective- -not because she was able to move Dev with her body weight, but because of something else. When the pendant of her necklace made contact with Devany's back, Dev cursed. The amulet had burned her skin.
The forensic scientist whipped around to face Lauren. "Bitch!" she screamed. "I've waited too long for this!"
"What the hell?" Hale cursed from beside Kenzi, scrambling to separate Devany from Lauren. He rushed over, but couldn't get to them before Dev had kneed Lauren in the diaphragm, knocking the breath out of her. "What the hell are you doing?" he said, holding his arm out in front of Lauren, who was hunched over on the floor.
Lifting her head, Lauren tried to use the backs of Hale's shoes as a focal point as she struggled to regain her breath. Attend to the physical first, she ordered herself. She would deal with everything else later.
As she took in shallow breaths, Lauren was vaguely aware of Hale and Dev exchanging words above her head and Kenzi eyeing her with concern nearby. Then the heels of a pair of black boots entered her field of vision.
Lauren strained her neck to look up at Bo, who stood between her and Devany. Bo's skin was flushed, but she had otherwise regained her composure. Through a haze of aching pain, Lauren saw Bo reach around Hale to touch Devany's face and pulse her with energy. No, Lauren thought. But she couldn't do anything to stop her.
"Whatever you've been waiting to do to Lauren," Bo gritted icily, "you're going to have to keep waiting." Her eyes glowed blue and she drew a strand of chi from between Dev's lips.
Lauren's face tensed as she saw Dev sway on her feet, unable to escape Bo's influence. Dev's jaw was wrenched open as the succubus drew a steady stream of energy from her mouth. Lauren tried to look away, but she couldn't move. She wanted to stop Bo- -do something- -but fear and disbelief had locked her muscles and she had not fully recovered from Dev's knee to her chest.
"Bo…." Kenzi warned, realizing the succubus was close to taking more energy than was necessary.
Bo's forehead furrowed, concentrating, as she drew more and more of Devany's chi, disbelief pooling in her electric blue eyes. Devany should have been out of energy by now, but there seemed to be a second, untapped life force emanating weakly beneath the one she was draining.
Drawing the last of the first source in, Bo broke the connection, but did not release the woman whose face she held in her hands. "Not human," she coughed, struggling to stay on her feet. She let go of Dev's face and wheezed, and a wisp of black smoke flew out of Bo's mouth and dissipated into the air.
"Dev?" Hale said, coming closer. He grabbed the police doctor by her arms to steady her.
"…wasn't me," Dev sighed weakly, looking confusedly into Bo's eyes, which had returned from blue to brown. "Where's Lauren?" she asked, leaning over heavily in Bo's and Hale's grasp.
Lauren crawled to her knees and reached out to take Devany from Bo. Bo let her, reluctantly, and stood out of the way.
"Here I am," Lauren said. "I'm here."
Bo had the presence of mind to take an extra two steps back, although she stayed close enough to jump in between Dev and Lauren again if need be. She was caught between feeling like Lauren's protector and a trespasser. She coughed a few more times, trying to get the taste of the strange chi out of her system. Kenzi came over to stand beside her best friend and put a hand on Bo's shoulder.
Lauren had lowered Devany to the floor, using one hand to prop her up by her lower back, the other supporting her neck. "Student Doctor Lewis," Devany said softly.
Lauren tried to smile, but her lips and chin trembled. "Doctor now," she whispered, smoothing back Dev's hair. "What happened?"
"Dean Vanden Broek," Dev said. "…couldn't stop her. I'm sorry….."
"The dean?" Lauren repeated. "From med school?"
Hale and Kenzi exchanged confused glances.
"She…wanted revenge," Dev sputtered. "She was Dark Fae...failed to detain you for The Morrigan when your father- -" Dev let the sentence trail off when she saw Lauren's jaw tighten. "She used me."
"How?" Lauren asked.
Hale stepped forward. "I think we just found our dybbuk," he said. He bent down and turned to Lauren. "The dean was Dutch? She spoke Dutch?"
Bo spoke quietly. "She possessed another kid in town, too," she explained, putting two and two together. "We solved that case earlier today."
"I helped," Kenzi added. "Dean whatshername really gets around. What's the deal with jumping all over town, though?"
Hale explained, since Lauren was clearly not in a state to answer. "A dybbuk can only travel inside a host's body. The dean needed another body to use as a vehicle to get to Devany. When she leaped into Dev's body, the other kid died. It's unusual, but when a dybbuk is especially powerful, it can snuff out the host's life completely."
"Didn't Trick say most dybbah- -whatevers skip town after they finish their earthly to-do lists?" Kenzi asked.
"But this one wasn't finished," Bo answered lowly. She put her hand on Lauren's shoulder.
Dev nodded weakly. "Good detectives," she said to Bo and Hale. She tried to smile at Hale, but she was too weak.
Bo didn't say anything else. She felt guilty for intruding on Dev's moment with Lauren for the third time that day. She didn't want to imagine what would have happened if she hadn't followed Kenzi's advice and come busting into Devany's room like John Wayne Croft…. But now, she had the urge to make herself scarce. She moved to give Lauren and Dev more space, but Lauren held Bo in place with her eyes. "Stay," was all the blonde said to her. Bo did.
Lauren turned back to the woman in her arms.
"I found you," Dev said, reaching for Lauren's open shirt collar, "thanks to you…H- -Haley." She tried to smile smugly about using the nickname she knew Hale despised, but she was too weak. She couldn't see it, but, next to her, the siren took off his hat and bowed his head.
"I missed you," Lauren told Dev, turning to press a kiss to one of Devany's hands. With her other hand, Dev was rolling the chain of Lauren's necklace in her fingers. Lauren followed her gaze to the pendant. "It marks me as protected by The Ash," she explained.
Dev nodded, her head tipping back as she partially lost consciousness.
Bo could see the last embers of Dev's chi flaring and extinguishing within her body, and her heart broke for Lauren. Hadn't Lauren been through enough already, losing her mother, her father, and her freedom? Did she really need this too?
Lauren guided the chain of her necklace out of Devany's hand and interlaced their fingers. Aware from experience that Dev had only moments left, she leaned into Dev's ear, so that only the gray-eyed scientist could hear her, and whispered to her.
Dev whispered something back, and Lauren turned her head to kiss Devany on the mouth.
Devany returned the kiss and looked up at Lauren. Then her body stilled, and Lauren reached down with trembling hands to close her eyes.
No one moved until Lauren started to shake with sobs, clinging to Devany's body in her arms. Kenzi excused herself, uncomfortable with the display of emotion she knew was coming, and slipped out into the hallway, Hale following after her.
Hale wanted to stay, but he needed to act quickly to make arrangements to cover up the Fae involvement in Devany's death. Also, to be honest with himself, he was concerned about Kenzi. He took out his badge and cell phone next to her and switched into detective mode.
Inside the room, Lauren wasn't aware that Hale and Kenzi had left, but she could feel the warmth of Bo's presence beside her. Turning away from Dev, she reached blindly for Bo with what little strength she could muster.
Bo gathered Lauren into her arms and held her there until Hale and several members of Lauren's medical team appeared with a stretcher. The siren used his powers to distract the innkeeper while Bo and Lauren and the medical team, with Devany's body in tow, slipped out the back.
Kenzi had called a cab for herself to The Dal. She texted Bo to tell her to take Lauren to the clubhouse and call if she needed anything. She told Bo to call her when she wanted her to come home.
Hale drove Bo and Lauren to Bo's house in his squad car. By the time they got there, an exhausted Lauren had collapsed against Bo in the back seat, asleep. Bo carried her inside, where she and Hale laid her down on the living room couch. Bo didn't want to presume. She tucked a blanket around Lauren and kissed Lauren's forehead before following Hale out to the front stoop, where she hugged him goodnight.
Hale assured Bo that he and Dyson would check on Kenzi at the Dal, and the succubus flashed him a grateful smile before jogging back into the house.
Inside, Lauren was sitting up on the couch with her knees to her chest. She turned toward the door when she heard Bo's footsteps behind her. The muscles of Lauren's face were taut as she fought hard to reign in her sadness, but Bo still thought she looked beautiful.
Bo wasn't sure what to do, but Lauren seemed to want her to sit. So Bo urged Lauren forward on the sofa and slid onto the couch behind her, making a space for Lauren's body between her knees. When Lauren sat back against her, Bo settled her arms around the doctor's waist.
Lauren shook periodically with sobs, and Bo tried to hold her steady. When Lauren finally stilled against her, Bo took a deep breath and leaned into her ear. "Stay the night with me," she said. "I can't let you go home alone like this."
Lauren wiped her eyes. "Okay," she sniffled. She turned in Bo's arms so they were facing each other.
Bo smiled sadly when she saw the trails of Lauren's tears on her cheeks and the redness of her eyes and nose. She brushed a lock of blonde hair behind Lauren's ear and slid her hands over Lauren's shoulders, gently massaging her neck. Lauren's eyes closed at Bo's touch, and a few holdout tears rolled down her face. Bo wiped them away with the back of her hand.
Lauren opened her eyes again when she felt Bo reach for her necklace. In spite of the fact that the pendant had burned the dybbuk's skin, it looked unaffected, just like she was supposed to, Lauren thought soberly, even after the many losses she had endured for the Light Fae. She had lost her family, her first love, her freedom. The only consolation she had- -the only consolation she'd had in years- -was here in front of her, the woman determined to take away her sadness.
Lauren looked down at The Ash's symbol, which Bo was holding against the flat of her palm, her knuckles touching Lauren's bare skin. Bo looked at the necklace, then at Lauren, considering. Lauren held her breath, unsure what would happen next.
"This protects you," Bo finally said after a pause. Lauren nodded uncertainly.
Lifting Lauren's hands so that she held them with both of hers, Bo looked at Lauren with an expression that was completely unguarded, like the one Lauren had looked at Bo with in the lab earlier that day.
"Let me protect you," Bo finished, searching Lauren's face for approval. "Please," she added, grasping more tightly to Lauren's hands.
The doctor gulped. For Lauren, it had been a very long day. Like all mornings since she had entered the Fae world, she had awoken with a sense of the unknown. Sometimes the feeling came with joy, other times with dread. On many mornings, for many years, Lauren had woken up wondering if she would ever see Devany again. Today, she awoke wondering when she would see Bo again after her battle with Aife. Never would Lauren have thought she would see both Devany and Bo, and lose one of them again, in the same day.
Lauren couldn't think of any words to use to answer Bo. Her mind was too ragged for eloquence. So, slowly, she brought their mouths together and kissed Bo with all of the intensity she could summon. She broke away after a few seconds, but Bo brought Lauren's mouth back to hers and kissed her ferociously, flinging open the door to both of their hearts.
"Stay with me tonight?" Bo asked after she had released Lauren from the kiss. The hope on her face was so sweet that Lauren smiled in spite of herself.
"Please," Lauren said simply, holding onto Bo tightly when the Fae hugged her happily.
Bo shivered against Lauren as she held her and pulled the human doctor tighter against her. Today, she had gone from being unsure of her feelings for Lauren, to being sure and nearly losing her, to getting her back and ending up with the beautiful blonde in her arms.
Now Bo was sure about everything. They both had pasts they needed to reconcile, but she wanted Lauren, and she was certain that Lauren wanted her too. And Bo didn't plan to let go of Lauren any time soon.