Author's Note of Joy and Love: Finally, I can FINALLY change the rating to M! Oh LORD how much development this took, hopefully well-handled development. It's my first time getting here from scratch, so, you know.

…Yeah, the fic is now M-rated. I thought you should know. Proceed with caution.

Week 2, Day 5: Feel Your Partner

There was something strange about waking up to Cameron entangled in her arms. Sure, Remy loved it; it was comforting, a refuge, a small reminder of what she could experience on a daily basis if she just asked for it. Even though it was her holding the blonde, somehow she could Allison emanate an aura of protectiveness instead of consuming it. Not that she minded, for this was as close as she would get and she loved every second of it. Until her brain would wake up as well and start complaining. She has secrets. Everyone has secrets. She can be dangerous. So can you. She deserves peace. You don't.

None of this was an issue today, because today, Remy awoke alone, her hair spread wet on the snow and her knuckles pale from the cold. She sprang up and rubbed her hands together to warm herself up, then looked around.

Christmasy indeed. The Community Park had turned into a white snowy plain painted by Santa's elves in the North Pole onto the Earth's canvas, and Princeton itself in the distance looked like one of those children's toys that light up when you turn on the switch from afar. The image was greatly complemented by the cotton crowns of the trees, though sligthly disturbed by the fact that underneath were but needles and dead leaves, since snow barely passed through the floating duvet of treetops.

Thirteen spotted her partner a safe distance away, sheltered by the trees, and, taking in consideration the events of the day before, contemplated not following her; Allison might have wanted to be left alone. Then again, she might have wanted just the opposite. Remy approached the blonde and carefully placed a hand on her shoulder. "Allison?"

"Jesus!" Allison jumped, stumbled and almost fell over; Thirteen was fortunately quick enough to steady her. "Don't do this to me!" There was a short pause as the blonde's eyes darted from side to side in an attempt to locate her companion. "The snow doesn't crack when we walk on it," she whispered, a hint of sorrow sneaking through the cracks she hadn't embedded in concrete. Not only did the absense of sound remind her that it was the only way of her recognizing her partner; it was the only way of knowing they were alive, and it was lost.

"Oh," Thirteen muttered, not knowing what else to say. "Do you want me to leave you alone? I can respect that, you know."

Halfway through the first step, when no man would stop her, she was stopped by a single word. "No," Cameron replied. "We need to talk."

Ah crap, the talk. When in all the chronicles has the talk led to something pleasant? Did talking help Joan of Arc or John Huss? Like hell it did; they burned anyway. She and Cameron were not even close enough to have the talk, anyway! Or was Thirteen missing something? Personally, she was more of a fan of body language. With a deep sigh, she turned back to face Allison's eyes that so perfectly matched the surrounding background. None too enthusiastically, she spoke up. "Is this going to take long?"

"That depends."

"Uh-huh." Taking that as a yes, Thirteen made a small campfire burning with spirit fire among the leaves and ordered Cameron to sit down. "So what is it?"

"Why do you keep running away? Honestly, chasing you is a little too long a process for my liking."

"I'm right here," Thirteen said with fake confusion, hoping Allison would take the hint.

She didn't. "I mean running away from how you feel."

"I don't know how I feel and I don't care how I feel. I know your motives."

The blonde sprang to attention, raising eyebrows at the other woman. "Is that so? Tell my about my motives then, you who claim to know me so well."

Thirteen sighed and rubbed her temples, frustrated at the inevitable confrontation to come and thinking of a good way to phrase what she was about to say. "You don't like me. It's your need to mend broken glass writing 'sad panda' all over me." Not too classy, but to the point.

Swiftly and with surprising precision – as if led by some mysterious sixth sense, or a 'Thirteen-dar' – Cameron managed to get from sitting beside Thirteen to straddling her with her knees buried in the needles, hands resting on Thirteen's shoulders. "Bullshit. Look at me."

"What are you trying to prove?" the brunette asked, positively puzzled. Not saying it's not having a certain effect, whatever it is.

"My eyes don't need to be green for my true colors to show."

"You know I hate riddles, Cameron; moreover, I suck at solving them. Just tell me what you want me to say, what you want me to do." This woman's tactics were persistently getting on her nerves.

"Do you see love?"

Remy understood. This was a trial. Allison was trying to prove herself to her, not understanding that the point lied somewhere else. Or did it? The brunette took a deep breath, staring into the blank void which, seemingly forming a wall between her and Cameron's soul, was actually but a crystal clear window. Still, Remy was clueless. "If I did, I wouldn't be so scared, now would I?"

Disappointment showed in Allison's face as her head hung low. To her, Remy was a metronome; here and there she swung, but never crossed the line; a line behind which Cameron stood and waited.

Thirteen shook her head. "You don't get it. I don't see it because I have no idea what it looks like. I don't know what I'm looking for; I've never seen it before. You have and you can read me but I just don't know and the last thing I want to do is jump to conclusions." Hesitantly, she put her hands on Cameron's sides and pulled her sligthly closer, hoping that somehow cutting the distance would make her understand better, see the desperation behind those words, discover the truth. "You have some sort of built-in love-receptors that make you sensible to people's emotions and reactions but I just—I just don't know," she blurted out. "I can't tell what's real and what's just my imagination, and I don't want to be a charity case, and I don't want you to get stuck in this spiral with me and—"

To her immense shock, Allison's lips curved into a warm smile. She was smiling. How could she be smiling while Thirteen was pouring her heart out to her here? Didn't she understand how hard this was for her? God damn them women!

"You're just like Adam."

Wait, who—what? What Adam? Thirteen didn't know any Adams, now did she? Nope, definitely none in the hospital staff—the biblical Adam? What did he have to do with anything? Brainstorm, woman—Oh god—But why would she—Cameron had been mar—

"Why does a girl always have to show you what she wants?"

There was only one way to end this lovely little conference. While Thirteen was stuck fumbling through the folders trying to unlock all the doors and find the right answers, she didn't realize Cameron was leaning in until her lips met Thirteen's.

Sure, Remy had had many, many pairs of lips kissing her own in her life, but no kiss had ever been as memorable as Allison's. It was tentative but not hesitant, forceful but not demanding, passionate but not lustful, a desire and a need, a necessity, a patient heir to the long-lasting chase, and now that Thirteen has experienced it, she thought all that emphasis on how oxygen was important for you was just small talk compared to this. It was meant as a symbol of endless devotion worth a thousand words. I am yours. All you have to do—all you've ever had to do—is take me.

Now that she had tasted the forbidden fruit, Remy finally understood. Fighting this was a useless, contraproductive effort; all the times she had avoided Cameron in order to spare her the pain merely put more weight on her shoulders, and for what? Honor? Cameron had already decided and there was no changing her mind, being the stubborn nutcase she was. What is honor compared to a woman's love?

No more than ten seconds of feigned resistance, patience, luring the prey before Thirteen gently laid Allison on the ground and rolled on top of her. Expectations crackled in the fire, shining like fireflies in the dark.

Thirteen broke the kiss for long enough to say "I do."

"You do what?"

"Love you. I do love you," the brunette whispered, surprised at her own words; the last words she had ever expected to come out of her mouth prior to meeting the other woman, who, though blind, could see clearly from the very beginning. It was just one of Cameron's many skills, and now Remy felt like a fool—a happy fool.

"I love you too," Cameron replied, smiling in return.

Upon capturing the older doctor's lips again, realization hit Thirteen like a particularly heavy anvil in the head. "Allison—we're in the woods."

"You know, you're not supposed to talk during these things," Cameron scolded her playfully and pulled her close.

But you didn't mind a minute ago, the brunette thought, but didn't object; there were other things to focus on, such as how to cleverly sneak her hand into Cameron's jacket and under her shirt, which she managed quite well despite being continually distracted by the blonde's tongue exploring her mouth thoroughly. Allison moaned into the kiss when Thirteen's wandering hand traced lines on her bare stomach and then found the goal it was looking for, going over the soft mound and into Cameron's bra, caressing her breast.

Cameron had never had another woman this close to her, touching her in those places, and for a moment it was unclear to her why she was nowhere near cold in this freezing temperature – before Remy forced her knee into Allison's center and said blonde was too busy whimpering for the tiny part of her mind that had had the time to think to keep functioning. Thirteen couldn't suppress an impish grin creeping onto her face at her lover's reactions as she followed a trail of kisses from the corner of Cameron's mouth along her jawline, down her neck and to her collarbone, leaving tingling goosebumps everywhere her lips touched the silken skin. The noises she was eliciting from the older woman alone were a reward beyond imagining, making warmth crawl in her nether regions.

Just as Remy's hand descended southward and was about to perform the disappearing trick in Cameron's lingerie, the other doctor gripped her wrist. "Wait," she pleaded breathlessly, suddenly filled with uncertainty.

Smiling to herself, Thirteen drew herself up. Of course, she should have remembered the First Time Syndrome. She had almost forgotten such a thing existed. Then again, being Cameron's first – and last, Remy swore to herself – brought a certain privilege and a rewarding responsibility she would gladly take on her shoulders. She had done this a thousand times to a thousand women, but back then, it was pure ferocity. Allison somehow managed to tame the lioness within her and Remy was only too happy to show her the extent of her newfound loyalty. "I don't bite… too hard," she assured the blonde, nibbling at her lower lip in order to illustrate the idea better before soothing the pain by placing a chaste kiss on it. "Just let it happen."

The tentative kiss that followed didn't seem much like an objection to Thirteen; much the opposite, and so she decided to interpret it as permission and took the plunge, delving deep into her body. Remy smiled to herself as she curled two fingers inside Cameron, who was already aroused enough for her, and watched her back arch with a satisfactory gleam in her eyes.

Then an evil, evil idea crossed her mind. With all the obviously intentional messing with Remy's head, surely Allison could handle a little teasing here and there for a change. "Harmless enough, or do you want me to stop?" she whispered into the blonde's ear. "Mmm? You seem a little short of breath all of a sudden. I wonder why that is," she added, tilting her head to the side and furrowing her brow as if she were a child lost in deep thought, and wiggling her fingers at the same time.

This earned a louder moan from Cameron, who recognized Thirteen's tactics but was too desperate to put up a fight at this point. Her breathing was quick and shallow and she thought Thirteen's mouth must have roamed every inch of her skin, never stopping at one place for too long, and the way she was ghosting her tongue along the blonde's neck made shivers run down her spine, and she squeezed the hand invading the private area between her legs. "Remy, please," were the only words currently forming in her mind.

Good enough – for today, the brunette thought and started pumping inside her lover. She quickly picked up the pace and captured Cameron's lips again hungrily, knowing that the other woman was close to coming. She longed to savor the scent and heat and gasps and devour her whole, and that was exactly what she did as she slammed her thumb onto Cameron's bundle of nerves, ready for the sound waves rippling in her throat, and the two melted into one.

Allison's whole world seemed to dissipate into spots of saturated color in an Impressionist's painting. Each of them was unique and mesmerizing, and then she crumbled under the full picture, where the colors merged into the wonder named Remy Hadley.

Remy waited patiently, half lying on half hovering above the older woman as Allison's breathing returned back to normal. "Earth to Allison," she whispered jokingly, brushing a stray strand of the blonde's hair off her face.

"Liar," the exhausted blonde responded after a while.

"I beg your pardon?"

"You do bite hard, you know. You can only redeem yourself now if you kiss it to make it better," Cameron grinned slyly.

Of course she was joking – all the pain had been lost in pleasure. But why waste a perfectly good excuse to steal another kiss? Here and now, there could never be too many kisses. "Much obliged."

"That was a nice trick you pulled back there."

The blond boy didn't seem to hear any of those words as he sat in the archaic armchair, arms resting on its sides. His eyes were closed and his breathing slow and even as if he were asleep. A gentle lamb. Until he spoke up. "Thank you. As you can see, I find ways to keep my promises and get what I want at the same time. I've spent ages perfecting my skill of summoning illusions and manipulating matter, you see."

"I still don't understand why you did that, though. Isn't she a favorite of yours? Why make her complete the same mission twice?" the deep voice continued from above.

"And I don't understand why you have a problem with it. You want her Soul, don't you? There were two chances for her to fail. I was helping you."

Aaron's charcoal black rain glistened as the man stood above Joshua, leaning over the back of the armchair. "Yeah, you did that solely because you care for my success. Please," he spat.

"I'm the Composer. My job is to make sure order is followed. In order to do that, I have to teach people, fill in the blanks they're missing. Miss Hadley had something to realize. Now, as they say, all is well in the UG," the boy replied, his posture still like a stone monument and his voice calm like the sea at night.

"It's a shame your efforts will be in vain," the other man said, wearing an expression of disdain as he took a few steps around Joshua, running a finger along the bonds that were tying the Composer's wrists to his throne. "Only two days to go," he whispered in Joshua's ear.

The boy's lips curved into a sly grin and his eyes opened, revealing that impish spark as he awakened from trance. "There's no mission today. You're losing another fight as we speak."

"And I don't see why you have a problem with that," the Game Master answered, imitating his superior's earlier response. "It's much more fun to settle administrative business here with you. With you completely out of the picture for the next two days, there's no way they can survive."

"Wrong again." Joshua's tingling laugh lit up the Dead God's Pad.

Aaron's eyes widened in disbelief. He drew himself up, his coat rustling in the motion. "How can you still have faith in them after all this?"

"The real question is, how could I not have faith in them after all this? Dear Aaron, you fail to comprehend that from today on, there is a force greater than you and greater than me in play. They've summoned the only one I cannot command or shun; he disobeys the rules of the UG and substitutes his own. To your misfortune, he's on our side. That, too, is a lesson you must learn."

The man scoffed and his voice was ice-sharp as ever. "Nonsense. No one here has seen the Producer in centuries. Your agenda is over."

Joshua smiled. "You'll see when the time comes… For now, do what you will."

Red pins with an orange flame symbol drawn on it jingled in the Game Master's hands. "Rest assured, I will," he said bitterly, once again unknowingly quoting his past self from six days prior.


"Mmmh?" murmured the addressed woman into the blonde's hair, hugging her from behind as they lied together, staring into the neon blue flames. The warmth they produced didn't seem right; blue was the color of cold and winter. It was unnatural, but perfect either way.

"Still nothing?" Allison asked, referring to the fact that they hadn't received a mission to complete today.

"Yeah, the way you were moaning could wake the dead, but I'm still pretty sure I would have noticed Dirty Little Secret playing on my phone," Thirteen teased.

Cameron slapped her arm playfully. "Ass," she muttered.

"At your service," Remy responded, a little disappointed that Allison couldn't see the grin from hell forming on her face. "Don't worry, I was kidding! Dirty Little Secret isn't my incoming message ringtone, dummy."

"Oh come on. That's not even funny."

"Then why are you smiling?" Remy replied, hunching over her partner to catch a glimpse of her pretty face. "It's actually a segment of Dancing Queen I got from Wilson. Come to think of it, he is so gay," Thirteen said with a frown.

Cameron propped herself up on her elbows, deciding to ignore the subject. "I'm serious. This has never happened before. Not that I'm not glad it happened, just… What does it mean? Is this their idea of vacation?"

"Calm down, Allison. We did nothing wrong. If that's the way it is, then just relax and go with the flow." Here's how we do that, Thirteen thought and pulled Allison into a passionate kiss. She could get used to this almost too quickly. Not that that was a bad thing.

"It's kind of hard to resist when you put it like that," the blonde said after she had successfully regained her ability to breathe.

"It's what I'm here for."

Author's Posthumous Note: So. Much. Fluff. My eyes. What have I created. Oh lord. I think this fic is making me sick, and I'm the one who wrote it. That's just sad.