Escenas de Cama

Pairing: Pepa/Silvia
Rated: T for language and situations
Status: Complete; it's a one-shot, for now at least. Originally published on LiveJournal and posted to the Pepa and Silvia International Community
Summary: Our fave couple prepares for the wedding night after the alt-104 events envisioned in "Pepa & Silvia's Happy Ending" vid by Pepsienglish2 (see the YouTube channel)
Boilerplate: Antena3 owns these characters and I'm just borrowing them for fun, though I feel as though Alex P. kinda forfeited them when he went off the rails in ep. 104.
Stylistic note: I'm trying to replicate the tone/pace of what we would expect to see on LHDP (though of course a much longer scene than could appear on the show). Let me know what you think!

A/N: This fic is dedicated to all the other authors, and especially Lenageek and Lovelyafterglow at the LiveJournal PepSi Int'l Community, who keep the English-language PepSi love alive. I have just recently educated myself about PepSi (I was so sadly ignorant before…) and hope you don't mind this small contribution to the community! Thanks again to anyone who reads, and especially to those who comment: as you know, reviews = love!

The great wooden door creaked open, and two women in bridal dresses stepped deliberately into the room beyond, holding hands tightly. "¡Mira!" said the taller, darker woman, gesturing grandly with her free arm. "We can go together, like the equals we are."

The shorter, red-haired woman stuck out her chin, furrowed her forehead and turned to her wife. "As long as you carry me over the threshold when we get back to our house, Pepa."

Pepa laughed. "Come on, Silvia, we don't always have to do things the traditional way, do we? We are two women, you know. And besides, I don't know whether I can lift you like that…"

But her protests were cut off by Silvia's low whistle as she surveyed the bedroom, which was lit only by moonlight and a number of glowing candles. She gripped Pepa's arm with her free hand. "Oh, cariño, you weren't kidding about the bed."

Pepa turned to squint into the darkness. As her eyes adjusted, she began to see the outline of a huge, circular bed against the bay windows at the far end of the room. At its head were at least a dozen fluffy, embroidered pillows, and the rest of the bedding looked as soft and inviting as a cloud. Just as she was beginning to consider whether she should, in fact, try to pick up her wife and throw her onto the bed in order to ravish her, Silvia leaned forward and pointed.

"Wait! What is that?"

"What?" It had been a long day, filled with friends and family, and Pepa was a more than little anxious to get into the gorgeous bed alone with her pelirroja; but still, she felt bad about sounding so exasperated.

"That! See? There's…something…on the bed!"

Pepa's exasperation grew; maybe she should get her eyes checked when she got back to the precinct, because she was having trouble distinguishing whatever it was Silvia saw. But then, sure enough, she made out a dark, mound-like shape with irregular edges covering the duvet. Silvia had already kicked off her heels and had started moving, slowly, with her "forensic walk," toward the bed; and just as she reached it, Pepa realized something.

"¡Ay! Cariño, don't touch it! It could be another of Kike's and Nelson's pranks!" She reached out to gesture urgently at Silvia to come back. As she did so, a very uninviting image flashed into her mind: firecrackers erupting on the bed, lighting it up in flames. Coño, she thought; won't they ever grow up? It's one thing to disrupt the wedding speeches, but screwing around with the bed is going too far.

But Silvia had already reached the bed, was touching it even, and nothing had exploded. As Pepa left behind her own shoes and moved forward to join her, Silvia lifted something thin up off the surface with tentative fingers and held it out to her wife.

"See? It's…it's…a photograph."

Pepa took the proferred object and tilted it so that she could see the image in the flickering candlelight. It was a slightly unfocused snapshot of the two of them hugging tightly under the arbor after they had exchanged vows and walked down the aisle. Pepa couldn't help but smile to see the huge grins that had adorned both their faces earlier in the day; she certainly couldn't remember ever seeing herself or Silvia looking happier, and now that she thought about it, it was obvious that it had in fact been the single happiest moment of her entire life. She remembered that before the ceremony, she had been meditating on her fear of commitment, until she came to the revelation that surrendering to the domestic life with Silvia was not frightening, but blissful; and then, during the ceremony and their moment under the arbor, Pepa's mind had emptied, so that she was able to experience those moments fully, to feel, rather than think, that she was not submitting to the will of another, but rather liberating herself from all her preconceived notions of what it was to be married.

She looked up at her pelirroja, who was smiling warmly as well, gazing at Pepa with moist eyes. Silvia nodded toward the picture in Pepa's hand and whispered, almost reverently, "That's wonderful, ¿no?"

Pepa nodded, her eyes filling with tears as well. She couldn't speak.

After a few moments of gazing earnestly into Pepa's eyes, Silvia cleared her throat and looked down at the photo again. "I saw Kike taking photos with his cell phone," she said, "but he must have brought some kind of printer as well." Pepa chuckled to herself: even in a tender moment, she thought, that forensic mind never stops. "That's really…," continued Silvia. "I mean, for him, that was really…"

"…Thoughtful." Pepa cleared her throat. "Who'd have thought that of Kike?" She couldn't help kissing Silvia's smiling lips.

As she pulled away, blinking, Silvia sighed happily and turned her gaze back to the bed. "But there are so many – they can't all be from today." She started picking up another photo, and Pepa realized that there were several dozen of them forming that thick mound across the center of the bed. She dug in and pulled one out at random.

"No, they're not," replied Pepa. "Look at this one!"

She held up the one in her hand so that Silvia could see it as well. It was a close-up of the two of them on the beach along the Costa del Sol, where they had gone on a holiday weekend with Paco and Lola during the first few months they had been together. They were both looking at the camera but were leaning their heads together intimately, dripping wet, as though they had just emerged from the ocean.

"¡Díos!" Pepa exclaimed, without thinking.

"What's the matter?" Silvia looked at her wife in consternation. "I love this one!"

"No, no, I do too!" Pepa smacked her head. "I could just kill Paco because, remember how I forgot to bring my camera that weekend? And all your photos turned out fuzzy for some reason? Well, I asked him if he had any good shots of us – and of him too, for that matter, that I could put on my desk at work – and the liar told me that they were all terrible, not worth printing! And I was so bummed out!" She slapped the photo with one hand, comically, while Silvia laughed with her.

Then Pepa traced the outline of Silvia's face in the photo, lightly with one finger. "Well, I'm grateful to have it now, at least, because I adore this picture of you. You look exactly as I remember you were that weekend – so relaxed, so carefree with me in public, so very, very beautiful." She looked at Silvia and waggled her eyebrows. "And you can just tell that we were having great sex."

Silvia grinned mischievously. "Not as great as now, …but still the greatest sex I'd ever had."

"Well, of course." Pepa puffed out her chest. "That goes without saying." She leaned into Silvia to whisper conspiratorially, "But it was the best sex I'd ever had, too." She kept moving forward to capture Silvia's lips in a passionate kiss, trying to convey with her own lips and tongue her memory of the night after the photo was taken, when she had discovered that Silvia could have multiple orgasms. Pepa had so exhausted her pelirroja that, over breakfast the next day, an unsuspecting Lola had asked whether Silvia was coming down with a cold, and Pepa had been treated for the first time to the sight of a blush so intense that Silvia's face was nearly the same color as her hair. Pepa had felt her brother kick Lola under the table, to clue her in; and from then on Paco had looked at her with a new kind of respect, as if she had infiltrated some kind of elite club of experts in pleasuring notoriously difficult-to-please women.

The whole memory was such a huge turn-on that it was some time before Pepa realized she needed to breathe and released Silvia, whose knees seemed to be getting weak. But Silvia was unwilling to part: while Pepa caught her wind, Silvia trailed hot kisses along her wife's jawline and down her neck. Her mouth eventually moved to Pepa's ear, where she breathed huskily, "Shall we move these pictures off the bed for later?"

Pepa mustered all her willpower and pulled back to look at Silvia. "No."

Silvia tilted her head slightly and frowned; her eyes were already dark with desire, but they started flashing dangerous sparks. "What is this?" she teased, touching her forefinger to Pepa's throat and pulling it meaningfully down toward her chest. "Are you trying to get back at me because I said we couldn't touch each other last night? Or because of the autopsy? You said you wanted to do things right too, and this is the wedding night…"

Pepa smiled broadly and shook her head. "No, this isn't payback, and I've never wanted you more, pelirroja." She reached up with both her hands to caress the nape of Silvia's neck. "But I want this night to be special. It's our wedding night – we can't repeat it! I don't want to just throw our clothes off and make love the way we would any other night, no matter how good it would feel. Remembering today, remembering the beach, it makes me feel…something special." She looked toward the bed. "I didn't have a plan for how we were going to make tonight different. But then these pictures were left here for us, for a reason. We don't have to see them all, but I want to see a few more." Silvia had closed her eyes to enjoy Pepa's caresses, and Pepa took advantage of the moment to kiss her wife very tenderly on the mouth. Silvia opened her eyes, and the edges of her lips curved up ever so slightly. "Please, pelirroja mia, just a few more, to remind me of our life together and how very, very lucky I am to have you."

Silvia raised her eyebrows. "Vale. Only because I love it when you beg. But you know it's no fair, kissing me like you just did, if you're not going to follow through," she scolded, tracing the line where Pepa's collarbone emerged from her dress.

Pepa smiled and nodded firmly. "You're right. I lost my head, please forgive me. You just set my blood on fire, like you always do. ¡Díos, mujer! I promise I won't tease you…," Pepa sighed while crossing herself and sealing the vow by kissing her bent finger. "…Too much," she added with a sly wink.

Silvia tugged on Pepa's hands, pulling her down toward the head of the bed, above the mound of photos. "If we're going to do this now…let's at least get comfortable, Señora Castro." She leaned back against the pile of pillows, and Pepa lay down in front of her on her side, propping her head up on one hand, so that her back was against Silvia's stomach and she was facing the mound of photos. The dark-haired woman looked over her shoulder into the lovely face of her pelirroja. "Any requests, Señora Miranda?"

"Let's see that beach picture again," said Silvia, beckoning with her hand. "I want to show you something."

"Here it is, Your Highness." Pepa found it on the edge of the pile and handed it back to Silvia.

"You were angry that Paco didn't make us a copy at the time, remember?" Silvia continued. "You want to know why?" She arched an eyebrow and studied Pepa's puzzled face. Then she theatrically flipped the photo over to reveal Paco's handwriting on the back side. Pepa took the photo so that she could read her brother's infamous scrawl in the dim light: "Made For Each Other. Torremolinos, 9 August 2008," was the simple legend.

Sensing that she had missed something, Pepa lowered the photo and turned back to Silvia, whose eyes were glistening again. "He knew," Silvia murmured, as she brushed a finger against Pepa's cheek. "Your brother knew for a fact that we would be married one day, and he saved it for us."

Pepa smiled at the thought and placed the photo on the bedside table that she could just reach with her long arm. "He's a good man, and a good brother."

"I know," Silvia replied simply. She squeezed Pepa's shoulder and leaned over to kiss her cheek gently.

"Find another one," Pepa said, sliding herself out of Silvia's way and across the bed, propping herself up on the pillows next to her wife. "Any one you want."

Not surprisingly, Silvia eyed the mound of photos critically before sitting up and reaching out one pale arm. She turned her head to address Pepa. "You know, I think that it's roughly in chronological order: there are a few shots from today right on the top, and you pulled the beach one out from just underneath the top layer. I wonder what's at the bottom."

Pepa rolled her eyes. "I didn't know you had a degree in archaeology, too, Princess. What's next, astrophysics?"

Ignoring her, the red-haired woman turned one hand over and slid it carefully under the mound until her hand had reached its approximate center, and she tugged it out a moment later, holding a much larger print that she gently freed from the other photos around it. As she lay back, snuggling against Pepa, Silvia discovered that there was a smaller print underneath the larger one, and she held that one up first, intrigued by the mystery of what would lie at the very base of the pile.

The smaller photo proved to be more than two decades old: it depicted the two women when they were four and five years old respectively, standing solemnly together in white dresses, holding ribboned baskets and surrounded by grownups. Silvia gasped, and Pepa knew there was no need for her to turn over the photo to read the caption. "It's when we were flower girls, when your brother married my sister!" Silvia exclaimed. She turned to Pepa. "Was this really the…?"

"Yes." Pepa suddenly felt a pang: she knew that her brother had been through hell dealing with the divorce, and she worried that he had gone through his wedding album to find this picture. "This was the first time we ever met." She gestured for Silvia to give her the photo so that she could turn it over. To her relief, the inscription was in Don Lorenzo's hand this time. "Two Beautiful Girls at the (First) Miranda-Castro Wedding, June, 1983."

"Look, cariño," said Silvia, playfully nudging Pepa's shoulder when she flipped the photo back over. "You couldn't keep your eyes off me even then."

Sure enough, the photo had caught Pepa stealing a glance at the other girl, who was dutifully looking forward. Suddenly, Pepa was taken back to that moment, which she had not considered since she and Silvia had been together: how scratchy the dress was, how hot and boring she found the whole affair, how much she had wanted Paco to drop all the formality and take her up on his shoulders and walk around with her the way he usually did. Nothing about the ceremony had really made sense to her, and when her father had caught her picking at her scratchy dress in an "unladylike" way, he had pointed to Silvia and suggested that Pepa be a good little girl like the pelirroja. Pepa laughed at the memory, and Silvia elbowed her in the ribs to get her to spill the beans.

"That's right, Princess, I was checking you out, but it's only because I had been reliably informed that you were a total goody-two-shoes." Pepa moved her head sassily and opened her eyes extra-wide. "Which is completely confirmed by this photograph."

Silvia stuck out her tongue. "I was a goody-two-shoes back then. But I remember being fascinated by you, like you were this exotic creature from Mars who did things your own way, and I secretly admired it."

"Well, then it's a good thing you didn't show your admiration by kissing me that time!" Pepa laughed. "Imagine what a scene we would have made when we weren't even ten yet!"

"Yeah, well, it would have been a little easier to explain away as a childish caprice than when we were eighteen, and you were all punked-out and corrupting me with cannabis." Silvia batted her eyes innocently at Pepa.

"Uh huh, right," Pepa scoffed. "Now, what's that big picture you pulled out first?"

"Oh, no, not yet," said Silvia, reaching out to flip the large print over so that Pepa couldn't see it. When Pepa pulled a face at her, Silvia grinned and explained, "I already know what it is, and I want to save it for last. Make you answer for yourself right before I have my way with you." She kissed Pepa briskly.

"Vaaaaaale…," Pepa drawled, giving Silvia her patented I-know-you're-crazy-but-I-love-you-for-it look. She had her suspicions about the event commemorated in the large photo but decided to play along – for now, anyway. "So what's next on the agenda, Inspectadora?"

Silvia reached over to her own bedside table, where she had laid the photo she was picking up before Pepa showed her the beach one. It was of the two of them and Sara, the night they hooked up in Paco's bathroom after the "Foot-Crusher" street festival. Sara was on the left, wearing the ridiculous sombrero, and Pepa and Silvia were to her right in lime green and fuchsia wigs. The resolution wasn't great, since a stranger had originally taken it with Sara's mobile phone, but nevertheless, it captured the energy and tension of that night perfectly. Sara's cheeks were flushed from dancing and alcohol, but Pepa knew that Silvia's had been flushed for different reasons entirely; and best of all, Silvia was not looking at the camera.

"Ha!" hooted Pepa. "Mira, pelirroja, this time you were checking me out!"

"No, I wasn't," Silvia pouted, though her blush betrayed her.

"No, no, claro," Pepa sniffed, eyebrow raised. "You were way too cool for that."

Silvia looked appraisingly at the photo again and suddenly burst into laughter so snortingly raucous that tears were streaming from her eyes after just a few seconds. She leaned into Pepa, gripping her for support, and Pepa couldn't help but join in. "Cool?" Silvia finally wheezed after a few minutes. "Exactly!" She sat up straight, slapped the photo, and then wiped her eyes, trying to compose herself. "That's exactly the word I would use." She turned to face Pepa. "Yeah, I was so cool, lusting after you but having no idea what to do, following you and Sara around, trying to look good after dancing for hours at that crazy fiesta, feeling like…like…"

"…Like what?" prodded Pepa, her own eyes sparkling.

Silvia grew still, though a small, self-deprecating smile still tugged at the corner of her mouth. She looked down at the photo again before returning her gaze to Pepa's. "Feeling like a teenager again, just like I felt at Sara's Comunión." She gave a small shrug. "Feeling like I felt for a long time after we got together, and I still feel sometimes even now. Feeling like the bookworm in love with the star forward, the school hero, the badass."

Pepa touched Silvia's face. "I know exactly what you mean. That night, I felt like a teenager again too, except I was the dumb jock trying to impress the intelligent and beautiful princess who could have whomever she wanted. And believe me, I still feel that way sometimes too."

Silvia searched Pepa's eyes intently. "But not today?"

"Not today. And you?"

"No, not today," whispered Silvia, and she brushed Pepa's lips with her own in a way that brought Pepa back to the night of the fiesta, to her sense of wonder and unbridled joy when Silvia had closed the bathroom door, leaving behind her fear and opening herself up to something new.

After releasing Pepa, Silvia turned over the print to read the inscription out loud: "Never forget that I'm the one who brought you two together. Several times, in fact. Now you've got to learn to work everything out between the two of you, and I know you will. Love to you both forever, your Sarita."

"Wow, it's a novel, compared to the other ones," marveled Pepa. "Our niece is right, though, you know. I have to remember to thank her for getting my head out of my ass long enough to appreciate what was right there in front of me."

But Silvia did not laugh this time, and she remained uncharacteristically quiet for a long moment. "What?" asked Pepa, gently.

"She's leaving us, Pepa." Silvia's forehead was creased, and her face had the splotchy redness that appeared only when she was fighting tears. Pepa tilted Silvia's chin up so she could see her eyes.

"This means that she's made her choice," Silvia continued. "Lucas wasn't here today to force the issue, but she's going to go to him anyway."

Pepa exhaled slowly. "Poor Aitor. …But you were right: if ever there was a true love story – other than ours, of course – it's Sara and Lucas, and if that's what she wants, she needs to go take it for herself."

"I know." Silvia nodded, blinking away her tears. "I'm just going to miss her."

"Me too. …Me too." Pepa took Silvia in her arms to hold her tight for a couple of minutes, while they both processed the changes their family soon would be going through.

"All right," muttered Pepa, as she kissed Silvia's head. "Enough with the sad thoughts. I want to see another one from today, to make me feel better."

Silvia lifted her head to nod and smile encouragingly at her wife. "Vale."

Pepa leaned forward, trying to maintain contact with Silvia, as she picked another photo right off the top of the pile. Her eyes had adjusted to the semi-light well enough that she actually could see the subject of this picture, and she chose it deliberately. She was grinning her trademark cat-ate-the-canary grin as she sat back, and Silvia gripped her arm tightly in anticipation.

Pepa put on a straight face. "Oh, ye of little faith," she intoned theatrically as she held the photo out of Silvia's view; and then, with a flourish, she held it up so that her wife could see.

This was another cell-phone snapshot of the two women dancing together after the banquet. They were both smiling, though not so broadly as they had been under the arbor, because they had a certain look of concentration about them, and a self-consciousness that their every move was being observed by an audience. Nevertheless, their arms were raised at a jubilant angle, and they were clearly not tripping over one another.

"Ha!" Silvia punched Pepa lightly on the arm. "The waltz! I never said I didn't have faith in you – and look, it turned out fine!"

"Yeah, yeah," retorted Pepa, "what did you say last night about dancing the waltz that badly? But you were too late anyway: you'd already married me, so if I really couldn't dance the waltz, you'd have been stuck with me, pelirroja."

"I love being stuck with you." Silvia kissed Pepa with smiling lips. "And last night, I was just trying to figure out a way to get away from you, because it felt so nice to be in your arms that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to stick to my guns and avoid touching you all night."

"Fair enough." Pepa smiled again and returned Silvia's kiss.

"Even so, I still have to say I'm surprised that you know how to dance the waltz." Silvia batted her eyes coquettishly. "Are there any previous marriages in your past that you have somehow neglected to mention, my love?"

Now Pepa laughed in earnest. "Damn, woman, I would never be able to keep something like that from you! But you got me: I had no fucking idea how to dance the waltz before this morning. When you kicked me out to get dressed with the guys, I asked your father to… how did you say it, that one time? …show me the moves." She winked and held out her hands to mime dancing with Don Lorenzo.

"Oh, my God!" Silvia threw back her head and laughed out loud again. "I wish I had a picture of that! How the hell did you manage it?"

Pepa shrugged. "We were both in a complimentary mood, I guess: when I came out in the dress, he said that I was beautiful and that he understood why you fell in love with me, and then I asked him to help me with the waltz, and while we were dancing, he told me I'm always welcome to come over to his place and watch fútbol and eat paella, especially if you have a fit over an open shampoo bottle." She grinned and shrugged again. "I just didn't tell him that our first argument after I moved in with you was over that very thing."

Silvia reached up to touch Pepa's face tenderly. "Did he really say that? That he understood why I fell in love with you?"

"Yes, he did." Pepa's face expressed her wonder. "I never thought he'd ever say something like that to me, but I guess winter has finally arrived in Hell."

"He's been great all day. I'm so glad to be able to share this day with him, especially after all we've been through." Silvia's eyes shone. "Thank you, thank you so much for putting up with him all that time and not burning any bridges." She bit her lower lip. "…And for putting up with me, too, for that matter."

"Oh, I'd put up with you anytime," said Pepa playfully. "And hitch up with you besides. But him…" she shuddered melodramatically. "I'm truly happy he's my father-in-law, but just putting up with him is enough for me, thanks."

"Good." Silvia kissed Pepa with finality. "You're stuck with me, just like I'm stuck with you and your waltz. And now…"

"Now what?"

"Now I think you've earned the last memory of the evening." Silvia put down the waltz photo and lifted up the large one she had put off earlier. Very, very slowly, she started turning it over to reveal its subject, flipping it suddenly at the last second. It took them a few moments to take it all in, but as soon as they did, both women started hooting with laughter.

It was a formal group portrait from Sara's Primera Comunión, showing the two extended families flanking the young girl. Paco and his parents were standing to the left of Sara, and by rights, Pepa should have been with them; but instead, she was at the extreme right-hand side of the photo with Lola's side of the family, standing next to Don Lorenzo and directly behind Silvia. What made the photo so hilarious – and what explained the fact that neither woman had ever seen this portrait – was the story told by three faces: Pepa looked fiendishly devious, Silvia's eyes were wide with surprise, and Don Lorenzo was looking at Pepa, instead of the camera, with vindictive indignation. Nothing was written on the back this time: the photo definitely spoke for itself.

When she had calmed down enough to speak, Silvia gasped, "You DID grab my ass! Look, I finally have proof!" She waved the portrait in the air like a victory flag, and Pepa clutched at it.

"No, no, let me see it! I get to defend myself, remember?"

Pepa finally snatched the print away from Silvia and held it up to point to herself. "See? I was a complete fucking mess. Your dad was totally right to insist that I should hide behind you. How was he to know that I was going to corrupt his beautiful princess?"

"So you admit that you grabbed my ass?" Silvia got to her knees in excitement, clutching at Pepa's shoulders.

"Of course I grabbed your fucking ass! How could I not? You've got the best fucking ass in the universe, and even when I was eighteen I could tell that an ass like that needs attention!" Pepa reached around Silvia's body to emphasize her point by squeezing the part in question. Silvia squirmed, laughing, in Pepa's arms.

"But you…!" Pepa reached back around to wipe tears of laughter away with one hand and point at the portrait with the other. "Just look at you! You look like a deer caught in the headlights, but you also look like you really like it…but you don't want anyone to know that you like it…" She pulled Silvia's body into her. "I know that look: you wore it a lot when we first got together. Am I right, Princess?"

Silvia had blushed deeply, but she held Pepa's gaze. "Sí, claro. Later that day, when you pulled me under that table by the orchestra and kissed me, I thought my heart would burst. I was terrified, but so, so…excited."

Pepa started kissing the soft spot under Silvia's ear. "Did you want me?" she growled.

"Ohhhh, I did," moaned Silvia. "I just didn't know that's what it felt like. But after the big commotion, when they drove me back home and I got in bed, I thought of you…"

Pepa was working her way methodically down Silvia's exposed neck. "¿Sí….?"

"And I touched myself, just thinking of you. And then I knew, I knew that I wanted you."

Pepa shuddered deeply: Silvia had never told her this before. "Oh, God. Oh, pelirroja." She started undoing Silvia's dress, and Silvia quickly caught on. As they slid out of their dresses and unpinned their hair, Pepa whispered roughly, "Did you come, pelirroja? Did you come for me, that night?"

"Sí," Silvia sighed, as Pepa warmed one of her nipples with her mouth. "I did, just for you. …And every night after that, …for a long time."

"Yo también." Pepa moved her mouth to Silvia's other nipple. "I wanted you so fucking much. And now…." She brought her head level with Silvia's. "I have you."

Pepa crushed her mouth against Silvia's: their tongues met, sending liquid fire through both their veins. In turn, Silvia pushed Pepa down onto the duvet, pushing away some of the photos that were starting to cascade down from the pile; but others were trapped under their bodies as they moved together to that rhythm they had established, without realizing it, twelve years earlier.

Much later, after they had given and taken all they could, they lay together in the hushed room, savoring the feel of one another's skin and the lineny cloud that enveloped them. Some of the candles had burned out, and the room was even darker than before: Pepa had never understood why many people feared the dark, when she had always felt self-sufficient and calm in it. Recently, she'd come to love the night even more, because that was when she could be alone, and completely open, with Silvia.

As soon as she could form coherent thoughts, Pepa realized that this was, in fact, the happiest moment of her life. Then she was struck – though broadsided might be a better word – by the insight that, from now on, she would never be able to look back on any single happiest moment of her life, because she would never be able to choose between the many moments that might seem better than any previous moment she had ever experienced. She couldn't say whether all marriages were this way, but she felt absolutely certain that her marriage to Silvia would be a whole series of "happiest" moments, each one blowing away her expectations of what was possible in life.

Then, for the first time in her life, Pepa literally shed tears of joy.

When Silvia realized what was happening, she looked up at her wife's face with some concern, though she was immediately soothed by Pepa's look of sheer contentment. She smiled and snuggled more tightly against Pepa's chest.

Pepa knew that she didn't have to say anything – they had just been communicating intensely for over an hour without words, after all – but she wanted to anyway. She cleared her throat and beamed at Silvia when the pelirroja looked up at her expectantly.

"Look, Princess: did you see the skylight? It's so dark in here, we can finally see the stars."

Silvia laughed softly and leaned back to look up at the skylight directly above the bed. She lightly caressed Pepa's face with her free hand as she spoke. "You only need to know where to look. I taught you that, remember? When you thought you couldn't see the stars in the city? And I shattered all the streetlights with rocks, so it would be dark."

"You did!" Pepa squeezed Silvia's ass, making her laugh and squirm.

Silvia turned her head so that she was whispering in Pepa's ear, making the hairs on her arm stand on end. "We lay down on the hood of the car and looked up at the sky. That was the day I asked you to stay in San Antonio with me. You…you were stunningly beautiful."

Pepa blushed and sighed at the memory.

"I wanted to hug you, to kiss you, …but I didn't dare. You reached out toward me with your little finger," Silvia continued, finding the finger in question and holding it up to her lips, "…but I moved my hand away."

Pepa's heart ached to think of that moment, to think that Silvia had been perfectly aware of what Pepa wanted and had even wanted the same thing herself, but had been too afraid to let it happen. She shifted to face Silvia, who was now also crying softly.

"In my whole life," whispered Silvia, her mouth just centimetres away from Pepa's, "I have never loved anyone as much as I love you…and I always will."

"And I love you," whispered Pepa, "with everything that I am, forever." They kissed, then, in that intimate and knowing way that lovers do only after making love, and settled into their favorite positions. Before she drifted to sleep, Pepa realized what Silvia had just done: she had voiced a memory for which there was no photograph, and Pepa silently vowed to pay her back when they woke.