Title: The Scientific Method
Fandom: Lost Girl
Spoilers: Somewhere after Food For Thought and before Vexed.
Summary: Bo poses a difficult question for Lauren who starts her own experiment on the effect of the succubus' gifts.
Disclaimer: These fine ladies do not belong to me, they are property of Showcase. They might argue they don't belong to anybody, though.
"Alright, we're done here."
The motions were becoming routine. General exam, pulmonary, respiratory, blood sample, reflexes. They were the typical battery of tests with a couple of additional scans that pertained specifically to their needs. The air was tense but not malicious, polite smiles were exchanged on a regular basis. Lauren had just completed an exam of Bo in their efforts to better understand the physiology of succubae and to help Bo in understanding how to control her needs and exist alongside humans. It was a long and frustrating process, but Lauren was looking for any clues that could lead her to a hypothesis at the very least.
Not too long ago, Bo collided with the Fae world and into the way of Lauren, a human familiar who had become her unofficial doctor. Except now Lauren was starting to feel like they were becoming more friendly than professional and she had a hard time not feeling guilty about it. Her days used to be so regimented with the Ash unless there was an emergency. She never missed a deadline, could even plan her day by the minute. Now there was no telling what would happen on a daily basis. Lauren was counted on by Fae police and now Bo's private investigation venture, the latter causing more trouble that most people say it was worth. But Bo brought more than excitement and political upheaval.
Lauren filled pages with notes of her latest findings while Bo started to get dressed. The serum Lauren had developed for the incubus all that time ago was only marginally effective in quelling Bo's hunger and it was becoming a full-time job to constantly revise the formula. She was afraid she was going to run out of ideas and for Lauren, that was when she felt most helpless.
It was while Lauren was immersed in reviewing her notes that Bo asked the question. "This is kind of embarrassing," she started, sliding off the table. "But then I guess everyone does it, right?"
Lauren looked at the cabinet in front of her. She hid a smile, finding it fortunate that Bo's reflection was only partially obscured in the cabinet's glass doors. She knew she should feel guilty for it, but it didn't stop her. "Does what?"
"Well…" She watched Bo struggle with her words. "You know… you're horny and alone..."
Lauren felt her face warm and her body react as her mind wandered. Suddenly she felt claustrophobic. Get a hold of yourself, she thought. This is a patient, have some professionalism. She finally averted her eyes from the cabinet and began scribbling random words on her page of notes: neutron, allele, synthesis, mitochondrial. Deep breath, and: "What's the concern?" That sounded good, but tread lightly, Doctor.
"It doesn't work anymore."
Lauren turned at this, a little too soon as Bo clipped the bra around her back. "Anymore? ... Sorry." She looked at her freeform poem.
Bo smiled at her. It wasn't the first time Lauren had seen her naked, but she reacted the same way every time. "It's okay." Lauren rolled her eyes at herself while Bo pulled her jeans to her hips. "It used to work, in high school. Now it just... it just makes me hungrier."
Lauren white-knuckled the clipboard in her hands and smiled carefully, almost painfully. She was at a loss for words, not that that was unusual when it came to Bo. It was that moment when the internal filter in her head was going haywire - do you respond the way you want to, or go for the careful, more diplomatic response? Maybe you wait too long and you start to wonder if any words in any sort of arrangement would be better than none at all. And so the response becomes some kind of jumbled and awkward mess that doesn't do anything but confuse the situation.
Or give the wrong impression.
She blinked a few times before looking at Bo who still stood half naked in front of her, camisole in her hands. Lauren was easily taken by Bo's beauty - it was hard not to be - and she sometimes wondered how much of that was Bo and how much it was succubus. This time she smiled, hoping it was enough to pass as relaxed and easy going.
"Sorry." Lauren said again and looked to the ceiling as if chastising herself. "I… was up late last night." She watched Bo pull the camisole over her head. "Ash… stuff."
Bo's eyebrow raised. "Are you okay?"
"The… I mean… It makes sense." She tripped over her words. Lauren closed her eyes to calm herself and opened them to a puzzled Bo. Well, keep going, Genius. "The, uh… the not working. It makes sense, I mean, succubae have to feed on sexual energy to survive."
"Thank you, Dr. Obvious." Bo pulled the leather jacket over her shoulders.
Lauren sighed. "It wouldn't make sense for anything to feed off itself, that's probably why it doesn't lessen the need."
Bo scoffed. "It does more than just not lessening the need." She walked around the exam table and slid between it and Lauren. She spoke low as if hiding their conversation from the empty lab. "It's like everything does what it should, it's just… it just makes everything stronger."
Lauren knew she wouldn't be able to disguise the need that was building inside her own body from Bo, that much was obvious from their time at the Dal, but she still made a valiant effort. "Maybe until you fully hit puberty, the need for consuming chi wasn't necessary and… that fed whatever desires were coming to the surface." Part of Lauren begged for the conversation to die, but Bo had put herself out there and Lauren was her doctor, however controversially, so she felt obligated to help her understand.
"So maybe…" Lauren couldn't seem to stop hypothesizing. Both a blessing and a curse. "The whole point is to feed." She watched Bo's eyes search her face and suddenly the room temperature changed. The intensity was unnerving and arousing at the same time. "Right?" Bo nodded, her eyes returning to Lauren's. "So what you're doing is basically…" Lauren's voice trailed off when she felt Bo's fingers on the back of her hand.
"Keep going," Bo said, her fingers moving slowly under the cuff of Lauren's sleeve.
Lauren had felt Bo's thrall before - it was like a shiver and a hot flash at the same time, making everything but Bo and the need for her disappear. But this time, it felt different. "What you're doing is preparing your body to feed and then… then denying it. It expects a certain result and doesn't stop until it achieves it, so… the need increases."
Lauren's breath hitched when Bo's fingers curled around her wrist. "It would be like having sex and never-"
Bo interrupted her with a kiss. "I get it."
"Bo…" Lauren's tone was one of warning, but she could not stop staring, hoping Bo would just go for it so she wouldn't have to.
"Sorry," Bo tried to laugh it off. "Sometimes it's the only thing I can think of to shut you up." The statement was blunt, but not without affection. She was quick to add: "I don't, obviously, do it every time."
Lauren smiled and nodded, looking at her feet. "That's not the first time someone's said that to me."
"I just… you start getting all science-y and…" Bo's eyes fell to the buttons on Lauren's shirt. "Then it's 'the probability of this and the… a-squared hypotenuse is equal to-'"
She threw it all out the window. The integrity, the professionalism, the restraint. Everything she'd been holding on to since she'd met this rogue succubus. Lauren kissed Bo with a gentle force that made the clipboard in her hand fall to the floor with a clatter. Neither woman seemed distracted by the sound. Bo took Lauren's hips in her hands and moved her back until they stopped against the large cabinet. It swayed slightly under the movement.
"Bo…" Lauren started, but Bo's mouth had already started to move and when it arrived at her throat, Lauren's voice disappeared altogether. She grabbed at Bo's jacket, pulling them together, any semblance of control she had was gone. This was Bo's show now and Lauren was just hanging on for the ride, trying desperately to commit any of this to memory.
Their mouths clashed again, the cabinet shifting along with them. Lauren couldn't believe the rush of desire. It was uncomfortable to have this kind of connection with a person she hardly knew, but at the same time, she felt an uncontrollable need for Bo; to feel, to touch, to taste. It was overwhelming.
Bo touched Lauren's cheek, her fingers glancing over her skin. Lauren shivered under the sensation. This warmth - the one that radiated from Bo's touch - she recognized from the Dal. It coursed through her in gentle waves. Each time it did, she relaxed a little more, forcing her to forget everything but the craving. It was all she could do to watch Bo trace the length of the silver chain around her neck. Lauren's chest rose and fell erratically. She wanted to think clearly. She wanted to catalog every feeling and every action, desperate to understand this succubus. It was the doctor in her - the part of her that fed on knowledge - that was why she still fought the persuasion even though it was what she wanted. When Bo's lips touched the chain at the base of her neck, Lauren couldn't fight it anymore. She shed the lab coat, pushing Bo back a step. The cool breeze of the air conditioned lab drew goose bumps from the skin on her arms.
Bo kissed Lauren again, her hands pushing under the cotton shirt. They were pressed against the cabinet and it creaked quietly under their weight. A noise escaped Lauren's throat and she grabbed at Bo's jacket, yanking it from her shoulders. When they separated, the flash of blue in Bo's eyes gave Lauren pause. She thought she would have been scared. She thought she should have been scared. This was a Fae who survived by killing humans. A creature that was influencing her feelings and taking over control at this very moment, though Lauren believed in her case it was more an enhancement to an otherwise true emotion. They had no idea if sex with humans could be done without killing, in fact Lauren spent most of her time trying to convince Bo of something even she wasn't sure about herself. But Dyson had survived it and that made Lauren uncharacteristically jealous and therefore determined to prove that a human could, too.
She pulled Bo against her chest and their lips met again in a hastened kiss. The revelation was a shock: Lauren wasn't scared of Bo's power, she was dangerously excited by it. She thought she had figured out what it would be like. All the books and articles Lauren had read, all the elders she had spoken to, none of them seemed to have any consistent idea of how it really felt. The air around them felt full of static, like moments before a severe thunderstorm. Bo pulled away and behind the glow, Lauren could see concern in her eyes. She leaned forward, her lips grazing Bo's.
"Do it," Lauren whispered.
Once the fire had been lit, Lauren gave way to Bo's dominance. It was intoxicating. She had never felt so much at someone's mercy, every touch of Bo's hands sent shivers through her body. Lauren tried to keep up, her hands at Bo's waist, crumbling a little more after every grind of her hips. She groaned and a second later, she felt like she was floating. The tightness in her chest was a part of the paralysis she understood, a pressure from the inside out, but the continuous undulation of sexual energy was doing her in. Lauren's body vibrated and there wasn't a thing she could do about it.
What felt like an eternity was probably closer to thirty seconds. Bo broke away from her feed and backed up a few steps. Her chest heaved, her eyes apologetic. "I'm sorry." She pulled her jacket back over her shoulders. "Shit," she swore at herself. "I'm sorry."
Lauren closed her eyes and steadied herself with the cabinet behind her, her free hand pushing the edge of her shirt down. Her lungs struggled to fill at first. "Why are you sorry?" she asked, catching her breath. "It's fine, Bo. I'm fine." Lauren smiled at Bo to reassure her. She wasn't fine, though. Lauren's body smoldered but was exhausted at the same time. Her legs were unsteady, her lungs stiff and her heart raced. If she hadn't been present for what just happened, she might believe she was under cardiac arrest. But Lauren knew the fear in Bo's eyes and she was determined to convince her she wasn't a monster.
"Are you sure?" Bo was in disbelief. This wasn't usually how these encounters ended for her.
"I'm sure," Lauren nodded. She took a step forward and braced herself on the exam table. "Isn't Kenzi waiting for you?"
Bo stared at Lauren, pulling the leather jacket around her body. Lauren was positive her brave face wasn't fooling anyone. "Yeah," Bo replied, turning to leave. After a few steps, she turned back again. "You're sure you're okay? I don't want to leave you if-"
"I'm fine, Bo," Lauren flashed a smile. "Go."
She watched Bo force a smile, but she could tell she knew she was lying to her. Once Bo disappeared around the corner, Lauren walked carefully to the nearest bed on the other side of the lab. Her hands moved across the array of knobs and dials next to the bed, flipping switches and bringing a few machines to life. The small guest chair croaked as she dragged it across the marble floor.
Lauren dropped into the chair and reached across the blinking lights. Her shaking hand lifted the plastic mask and brought it to her face, the quiet hiss of oxygen silenced against her skin. Lauren closed her eyes and rested her elbows on her knees. She still struggled to fill her lungs, but she could feel them beginning to loosen. There was no regret. In fact, Lauren was ecstatic with the outcome, despite the discomfort she felt in the aftermath. She was sure once Bo had more practice, it would be easier for her cater the feed to the individual. Setting the mask aside, Lauren took her pulse, counting silently like a mantra. It felt natural to behave so clinically to an experience that - by her calculations - could have killed her if it had lasted much longer. And despite whatever feelings she might have for Bo, Lauren understood that part of her purpose was to study a powerful Fae and help her better understand her skills in hopes for the betterment of Fae and humans alike. At least that's still what she told herself and usually as long she believed it, she achieved it. The old adage she learned in medical school had kept her moving forward, despite the obstacles she faced.
She remembered being an over-eager resident whose hands shook nervously when tasked with her first IV on a live patient. Really, they shook all the way to the forty-third IV if she was going to be completely honest. Lauren loved the research, it was the jamming needles into people that she didn't care for, but it was a distaste that was cured in short order. She became as adept as she was through necessity and a little thing called the Fae Plague. Lauren pressed the tape over the needle in her arm. Piece of cake.
The hypothesis was simple: if Fae are taught to use and control their powers as they grow and develop, why couldn't humans learn to recover from them? Lauren pulled a clipboard off a nearby stand. She flipped the medical forms over and started scribbling on the back. The pen worked furiously, it's attached string waving after it. After a few minutes, Lauren put the clipboard down and checked her pulse again.
She breathed deep, closing her eyes and exhaled without much trouble. Lauren was a lot of things. Some things she liked, some things she was embarrassed of, and some she was tortured by. It had been such a long time since there had been anyone who made her feel anything other than depression and self-deprecation. For that reason, it was hard not to gravitate to Bo. She made Lauren feel like they were working towards something greater, something bigger than themselves and Lauren herself was just as important a piece as she was. So Lauren knew that despite the difficulty that waited around the corner, the politics, the push back, and the inevitable heartache that would follow, it would be appreciated in the end.
Before leaning back in the chair, Lauren double checked the IV drip, the clipboard safely tucked under her arm. She'd have to get up soon. Only able to buy the morning in the lab alone, Lauren expected Fae techs and lab assistants to file in by noon and she couldn't risk anyone finding out about her helping Bo yet. She'd make an excuse about not feeling well and disappear to her quarters to take it easy for the rest of the day. After a good night's rest, she would be fine, ready to apply her new theories and maybe get herself closer to a conclusion. It was true, she risked more than her own life to help a stranger, but there was no doubt in her mind that Bo was worth the trouble.
March 16, 2012