The first time Kate Freelander felt butterflies in her stomach was in third grade for Ms Richardson. Good grades, apples, drawings, fake accidents in the gym. She spent all year trying to get her attention. Ms. Richardson wouldn't hear any of that. A beautiful morning of June 1991 young Kate dressed up. She was wearing her beloved purple boots and her nicest t-shirt, the one with The Kiss on it. She was feeling confident tying her jet-black hair in a neat ponytail. She was feeling unbeatable sitting alone in the back of the bus with all the other kids. She waited patiently until that class was over and when she was finally alone with Ms. Richardson, Kate Freelander asked her out.

When the school called her parents and the other children started to call her names she couldn't even understand, Kate was grateful that the school was almost over. That summer she picked the most dangerous kid of the neighborhood and made him her boyfriend. She was done with girls.

The second time Kate Freelander felt butterflies in her stomach, almost twenty years had gone by. It took her a while to recognize the feeling and a good amount of weeks to bury it deep inside. When she was sure everything was under control she unpacked and started officially working at the Sanctuary.

It was a good place, the guys were nice, treated her with respect and eventually affection.

Kate was content, even though content wasn't a word she was familiar with or remotely ready to say out loud.

Once in a while, in the brief moments between sleeping and waking, she could see deep blue eyes, an amused smile or sometimes a long leather coat. But she was always quick to forget.

The day Kate Freelander was a superhero was also one of the worst days of her life. When finally the suit went away and she stood naked in front of Helen Magnus she felt ashamed. And for someone with a life like hers it wasn't such a common feeling. She had done awful things when she was a villain but none of those affected her as much as hurting those people.

When she was free to leave the sickbay, she ran to her room, locked the door and went straight to bed. Twenty-four hours later she was still lying there, staring at the ceiling.

A soft knock on the door made her jump.

"Leave me alone, Hank."

"It's not Henry, Kate." A feminine voice answered.

"Oh! I'm sorry boss. I just need some more time so if it's not urgent..."

The door opened and Helen Magnus entered the dark room. "Kate, the pity party is officially over, you need to get up."

Kate hurried to gather the sheet, she was in her underwear and even if the curtains were closed there was a pale light coming inside. "Boss!"

"What are you doing?"

"Recovering."

"You're perfectly healed as I already told you yesterday."

"Can I have some privacy anyway?"

"Here? Are you serious?" The older woman laughed.

Kate covered her face and sighed. "Please, Magnus."

Helen walked to the bed and sat on it. Her hand reached Kate's knee and squeezed it tenderly. "Are you all right?"

"No. Yes. I... I'm not ready to face the guys, yet. And you, after what I've done."

"You have done nothing wrong, Kate. You weren't yourself."

"Or maybe that was my real self. What do you know? I've done a lot of bad things in the past."

"And that's it, the past."

"People can't change, doc."

Magnus looked at the girl with honest concern. "Why are you so hard on yourself? Since you arrived at the Sanctuary you've made amazing progress."

Helen's hand was still stroking Kate's knee, going slowly down on her calf and few inches up on her thigh. And even under the sheet, Kate was painfully aware of every tiny shift. "Can you stop? Your hand, can you stop?"

"Why?" Helen froze her hand without removing it.

"I don't really like to be touched."

"By whom? By me?"

Kate blushed, unable to look Magnus in the eyes anymore.

Helen started the caress again. "It's ok, Kate. You don't have to feel embarrassed."

Kate's anger escalated fast. She harshly grabbed Helen's wrist and twisted her arm. "I said I don't like to be touched."

"I heard differently." Helen stated calmly. With her free hand she reached for Kate's face but the girl caught it before she could touch her skin.

Magnus smiled. "It seems we're having a serious problem of miscommunication, here."

"Apparently you can't handle no as an answer."

"Apparently you can't really mean it."

"Mind reader too, Magnus?"

"No. But I do have some experience." Helen turned her body enough to stand on the bed on her knees.

Kate was still holding tightly her wrist.

"What are you doing?"

"What do you want me to do, Kate?" Kate opened her mouth but what she saw flashing in Magnus' eyes made her speechless.

"Then I guess I'll do you." Kate's grip suddenly lost all its strength and Magnus quickly turned the tables grabbing the girl's forearms. In a matter of seconds she was straddling her on all fours and pinning Kate's hands over her head.

The sheet was almost gone, covering just Kate's legs, but she could still feel the leather of Helen's boots pressing on her calves.

The girl was panting, completely taken aback by the unexpected turn of events.

Helen leaned on her. The borders of her black jacket tickling Kate's stomach as she murmured, "Do I have your attention, now?"

The girl nodded, unable to focus on anything else than Helen's breath so close to her own lips.

"Do you need relief, Kate? Forgiveness?"

"I..." But she couldn't go further. It was too much, too soon. She had spent months trying to change, trying to fit, trying to be what she thought she was expected to. And in order to do so she had pushed her desires so deep inside and Magnus so far away that now it seemed impossible to have both, a place to call home and Helen Magnus in her bed.

"Do you need me to give you that?" Kate looked scared and lost and Helen kissed sweetly her cheek. "You have to say yes, Kate."

A voice breathed "Yes". Kate knew it was hers but couldn't recognize it.

Helen smiled and kissed her lips, her hair fell down framing the girl's face. They kissed slowly and Kate couldn't tell the exact moment Helen's body laid fully on hers. Their legs entangled, and Magnus rocked on her, making Kate moan.

Helen's mouth traveled on her neck, her shoulder, down to her cleavage. She nipped her bra and sucked the nipple under the fabric. Magnus could feel Kate relaxing under her and then tensing in pleasure. The girl's hips buckled against her thigh but her movements were limited by the sheet stretched under Magnus' weight. Kate tried to free her hands but Helen kept them down. "I can't move."

"I know." Her tongue slipped under the underwear and Kate's back arched in impatience.

"I want to touch you!" But a deep kiss muffled her protests.

Helen took both Kate's wrists with one hand while the other slipped on her lover's body. "I want to make love to you. I want you to feel how much I care about you, Kate." Helen shifted enough to let her hand settle between them, cupping her lover's sex through the sheet.

"More." Kate moaned. And Helen was happy to oblige. She freed the young girl's upper thighs from the fabric and she spread them with her knee. Then she pinned Kate down with her body again and with skillful fingers pushed her panties aside. "Have you ever thought about me, Kate? About what I'm going to do to you?" She stroked Kate's sex slightly, gaining a low groan and she kept playing until all she could hear was her lover panting and whimpering.

Helen found her entrance and entered Kate whispering, "Is this better than your dreams?"

Kate cried out and Magnus kissed her, quickly raising the pace of her thrusts.

When Kate came, Magnus finally let go of her hands. The older woman kissed her lips, her nose, her eyes and moved tenderly away the hair stuck on the girl's face. "You are so beautiful, Kate."

"Doc, we have a problem!" Henry's loud voice startled them. "Doc? Are you in there?"

Helen leant her forehead on Kate's and mouthed "I'm sorry."

"Yes, Henry. I'll see you in my office in a minute." She started to kiss Kate again.

"Ok but hurry up." After a second he added almost screaming, "Doc?"

Helen turned away from her lover's lips and sighed. "What Henry?"

"We'll probably need Kate as well." Kate desperately rolled her eyes making Helen laugh. "Is she there with you? Kate are you there? Doc can you tell her?"

"She heard you, Henry. I think the Sanctuary in London heard you, too."

"Sorry, doc. I go and call Will."

Helen looked down at Kate. "I'm sorry."

"For..." But she couldn't properly finish the sentence because Helen withdrew her fingers hurting her a little.

"For this." She smiled and stood up from the bed. "Now we must go, darling. Ready?"

"No, not really." Kate mumbled.

"That good, uh?" And with that Helen Magnus was out the room. Her voice came from the corridor, "I'm expecting you in my office in five minutes, Kate."

Kate painfully moved down her arms. She had to take a shower. And find a shirt long enough to cover the red marks on her wrists and palms. She smiled contently, five minutes were all she needed.