SUMMARY: Fantine and Zéphine share one drunken, joyous evening; it changes nothing.
RATING: M for non-explicit sex
NOTES: For smokefall.
Shades of Difference
"I ought not," Fantine said, as Zéphine pressed another glass of wine into her hand, laughing. Zéphine's dark hair had begun to escape its fashionable roll, and a curl had fallen over the whiteness of her shoulder, drawing Fantine's gaze to the low neck of her muslin gown; Fantine looked away, blushing.
But she drank all the same, the wine warm and sweet all the way down to her belly, where the warmth pooled and spread. Zéphine was laughing a great deal tonight, her teeth white as pearls, her lips red as cherries, her hands fluttering like birds to brush Fantine's hair aside, to graze against her neck, to twine their fingers together, until Fantine was not sure if the flush she felt was from the wine or the madcap humor in Zéphine's eyes.
"Don't be a bore," Zéphine murmured later, in the twilight of Fantine's garret, as she pushed Fantine's petticoats up and untied her drawers with practiced ease, ignoring Fantine's blush. "Men like a woman who knows how to find her own pleasure. It is not as if it means anything but a bit of fun; why, you will not even be in danger of getting with child."
Zéphine's mouth was hot, her lips soft, her tongue clever, her fingers gentle until they were not, by which point Fantine was entirely consumed by an unfamiliar conflagration and no longer cared how Zéphine touched her, only that she did. She sobbed and writhed against Zéphine's hand, losing even the modesty she still retained with Félix, and at last came apart.
If Fantine thought things would be different between them after that, they were not; Zéphine still treated her with the same laughing half-indifference she gave everyone, as if they had never shared wine-sweet kisses, as if Zéphine had never clutched at her shoulders and shuddered helplessly as Fantine's fingers worked inside her. And if Fantine never felt with Félix quite as she had that one drunken night with Zéphine, well, she loved him; that was enough.
"This chaste astonishment is the shade of difference which separates Psyche from Venus."
-Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, 1.3.3