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Warm, Unspoken Secrets

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Traveling cross country alone sounded like a wonderful idea at the time. With no rules to follow and no obligations holding her back, pre-heist Lou would have been living out her wildest fantasies in living color - sandy beaches and strong booze and all the women she could possibly imagine.

But something changes that night at the Met. The way Debbie looks at her on the corner of the street, smiling, as if she's been waiting there all this time just for her. And maybe that's exactly what they've been doing – waiting for each other on opposite sides of the asphalt, too afraid to take the first leap and meet halfway at the light. That night, Lou decides to cross the street.

Then it's all over, and Debbie is talking about her plans – plans that don't seem to involve Lou.

And she's happy for her. Lou wants to see her partner happy. She wants to give Debbie the world, really. But she also wants Debbie to want what she gives.

So Lou hops on her bike and doesn't look back.

Until she does.

-x-x-x-x-x-

It's easy to hide in New York City. Yet, despite all of the possible escape routes, Debbie's surprisingly predictable when she disappears. It only takes Lou about five minutes to find her – the loft being her first guess, and the cemetery her second.

“Well look at you...” Debbie smiles with her head cocked and her hands in her coat pockets as she stands beneath the archway at the front of the cemetery.

It's cold and windy, and the thick, grey clouds inching slowly across the sky signal rain, and if there's anything Lou's learned over the last few weeks alone, it's that getting caught in a thunderstorm while driving a motorcycle really fucking sucks. She tosses her helmet in Debbie's direction and smiles. “Come with me for awhile?” If Lou's being honest with herself, she doesn't even expect Debbie to agree to it. With more than thirty million dollars at her disposal, Debbie Ocean doesn't need her as a partner anymore. She probably doesn't need anyone anymore.

Debbie slips the helmet over her head. “Well? Where are we eloping to?”

“Don't tempt me,” Lou teases with a wink before swinging her leg over the seat. In seconds, the motorcycle comes to life with a kick of her foot and a flick of her wrist. She tosses her head back and clears her throat, but before she has the chance to relay her normal spiel about hanging on tight, Debbie's hands and arms are around her waist, squeezing, trusting. Somehow, Lou manages to keep breathing long enough to rev the engine and pick up speed. As they ride, the vibration of the bike and the breeze against her skin numbs her enough to forget about the fingers digging into the side of her jacket.

Almost enough.

They drive west. Honestly, she hadn't really planned much beyond “convince Debbie to come”, which was an easier feat than she'd expected. She remembers a string of mostly acceptable hotels close to the Pennsylvania-Ohio border. Even driving the speed limit – which Lou certainly never does – it shouldn't take more than 7 or 8 hours.

Twenty miles into The Keystone State, it starts to rain. Although “rain” isn't the way Lou would describe it – more like a fucking monsoon that has her soaked through her leather jacket, blouse and bra in five minutes flat. Water trickles into her boots and through the thin socks on her feet. With a scowl on her face, Lou searches for the nearest exit that seems to have a trace of civilization at the end of it.

She's certainly dreamed of Debbie wet against her, but not like this.

As soon as the engine sputters off in the parking lot of the small motel, Lou grabs her bag from the back of the bike (a black, semi-waterproof piece she'd snagged before leaving the first time) and swings it over her shoulder. She takes the helmet from Debbie's hands and leads her by the wrist. “Let's get a room and out of this fucking rain,” Lou shouts over the storm.

Debbie follows with a nod.

Lou takes the lead and approaches the front desk while Debbie stays behind to finger through some pamphlets for various attractions nearby.

“I'd like to book a double room.” Lou pulls her wallet from her back pocket.

“Only got singles.” The middle-aged man sitting on the other side of the desk looks at her blankly, like he's shocked she's asked him to do his job.

“Really?” Lou asks, annoyed, because even the fucking Motel 6 offers double rooms.

“This ain't the Hilton, lady.”

Lou glances over her shoulder to Debbie. It's one night, and hell, if it's a problem she'll sleep in the tub. “Yeah, that's...that's fine. The single is fine.” Lou concedes. She tosses her credit card down and a few seconds later, with a barely discernible grunt, the attendant hands over a set of worn keys and points her in the direction of their room.

“All set?” Debbie asks.

“Mostly.” Lou looks down at the trifold Debbie's been reading – a brightly colored advertisement for nearby Hersheypark. “Robbing an amusement park now?” She raises an eyebrow and smirks.

“You know I live for the thrills,” Debbie responds with a wink.

The room is acceptable. There aren't bed bugs and there seems to be running water and even the TV works – all three channels that it can pick up in the Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Debbie doesn't say anything about there only being one bed, doesn't even give her that look about it. It almost annoys Lou how nonchalant Debbie is about it, because she, on the other hand, is an absolute mess. Her palms are sweaty and her breathing is slightly uneven and her skin is fucking crawling.

But maybe, Lou tries to tell herself, just maybe that's from the rain and how disgustingly uncomfortable she feels in her soaking wet clothes. She peels the sticky leather jacket off and tosses it into the corner of the room. “I've got a few outfits in my bag if you want to change,” Lou offers, realizing that she'd picked Debbie up at the cemetery without the good sense to grab her things. But Debbie is a master at her craft, and by the time they make it to wherever the hell they're going, Lou's certain she'll have a whole new wardrobe without spending a dime. Not that they don't have the money now, but Debbie's way is much more fun.

Debbie unzips the duffel and grabs a random t-shirt from the bottom of it, cradling it under her arm as she points toward the bathroom. “I'm gonna shower.”

“Kay.”

Lou expects the brief moment of privacy to come as a relief, but it only makes her panic more. Because they're finally going to be alone together, and yes, they've been alone before, but it was different back then. It was always about heists, the next job, and the next high. For years, she's waited for Debbie to say or do something to convince her that over a decade of flirting hasn't all been a fever dream. Yet she never has, and she never does, and Lou is left pacing around a shitty motel room, trying to figure out whether wearing a muscle shirt and black lace panties is too obvious, but fuck, it's hot and Debbie is hot and-

“Hey.”

Lou's head snaps toward the bathroom door. Debbie leans against the doorframe in Lou's loose, black New York Philharmonic t-shirt and dries her hair slowly with a towel, eyes locked on Lou as she does so. A bit of water falls from her hair and over the skin at her shoulder and neckline, and Lou is definitely not staring.

“Bathroom's yours if you need it,” Debbie comments, tossing her towel onto the floor.

“Uh...yeah, thanks.”

Lou disappears into the bathroom and sits at the edge of the tub, staring down at the tank she'd grabbed from her bag. Truthfully, she's not one for pajamas at all but she's certainly not going to go there tonight. With her wet clothes dripping in a pile on the cold tile, Lou pulls her shirt over her head and takes a quick look in the mirror. It flatters her in her own “biker chick” way, and if it were anyone else, she'd slide into bed with just the tiniest smirk and sway of her hips and that would be it. But this isn't "anyone else", and this little game is getting harder and harder to play as she gets older. She gives her hair a toss – no longer platinum but more of a dirty blonde from the rain – and returns to the room.

True to form, Lou finds Debbie sprawled in bed with the remote in one hand and her eyes focused on the television mounted at the dresser. “Forensic Files or 20/20?”

“Looking for inspiration?” Lou teases. Her sight follows the curve of Debbie's bare leg up to her ass, covered in a pair of hot pink, cheeky-style underwear that would usually be the subject of relentless teasing, but instead causes the breath to hitch in her throat.

“You never know,” Debbie answers. “Although I think it's time to settle down, baby. Put that life of crime behind us, buy a house, have those 2.5 kids and a white picket fence.” She follows it with a playful laugh a second later.

“I'm kinda tired,” Lou lies, and it really is an awful lie, because she's never been more awake. She runs her fingers through her hair awkwardly and wipes at the back of her neck. “Is it hot in here? It's hot, isn't it?” She turns to the wall air conditioner in the corner of the room and pokes at it mindlessly, trying to get rid of some of her nervous energy by using her hands on something else – anything else.

“I think it's fine in here. Hot flashes getting to you already?” Debbie teases. “Menopause really is a bitch.”

Lou turns back toward the bed. “Fuck off, Ocean.”

Debbie says nothing – just raises her eyebrows and sits up a little higher in the bed.

Lou tiptoes around the inevitable for awhile, pacing back and forth, followed by an unsuccessful attempt to lounge in the chaise near the door. Eventually, she concedes and slides into bed. “I think I've seen this one before,” Lou mentions, breaking the awkward silence. “I think they find blood splatter on the dog's collar or some-”

Debbie kisses her - grabs a fistful of the thin, cotton t-shirt around her neck and kisses her. Not a friendly peck between friends, but one that leaves her raw, exposed, trembling. Lou's mind races, but her body acts on instinct, cupping Debbie's face with one hand while the other tangles in the damp hair framing her face. She wants to stop and ask what the fuck they're doing, and what the fuck Debbie is thinking, and what the fuck is going to happen after this, but Debbie's mouth is suddenly moving lower, across her jaw and down her neck and Lou closes her eyes and just savors the feeling of Debbie's lips on her skin, which is so much better than she'd ever imagined it would be.

On the streets and in the clubs, Lou has a reputation of being a player. She takes girls to her loft and bends them over and makes them moan her name over and over until she kicks them out before sunrise. It's how it's always been – even before Debbie, although she's found herself using it to the numb the pain of unrequited love as the years pass. She doesn't kiss on the lips, and they don't touch her below the waist, and in the end, she gets more satisfaction from the cigarette afterward than the act itself.

It doesn't take them long to undress each other, and when they're both naked, skin against skin, Debbie kisses her roughly and guides her onto her back with her body weight. “Why did you come back?” she asks matter-of-factly, staring down at the woman beneath her.

Lou blinks a few times, tries to shut Debbie up with a kiss, but her favorite felon is having none of that. “What do you want me to say? That I missed you?”

“Well, did you?”

Lou bites her lower lip. “Yeah, Deb. I did.”

Satisfied with the answer, Debbie kisses her again, slower this time, with more purpose. Lou arches into her as her mouth moves lower, over her sternum down to one nipple, which Debbie teases with the tip of her tongue. She's got this look on her face, like she wants to make some snarky comment about Lou being such a “pillow princess”, but she says nothing – just caresses every inch of Lou's skin with her mouth until she's practically writhing beneath her.

When Debbie's hand moves lower, Lou spreads her legs with no hesitation, and when her fingers curl – two, then three when Lou begs for it – Debbie kisses away the tears at the corner of grey-blue eyes, not saying anything but simply holding her, swallowing each whimper and moan until Lou shatters to pieces.