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Time, in Passing and Ceasing to Be

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Oliver and Dig taught her the basic things they thought she'd need to know. She knew how to use a stun gun now and to break free from a choke hold. She now knew the proper way to use mace. Most importantly, according to them, she learned different ways to duck for cover and the best way to run like hell.

Nyssa and Sara, however, taught her what she wanted to know. Among other things, they demonstrated the correct technique for throwing a punch and showed her the power an elbow can have. They illustrated how to pinpoint someone's weak spots and how to use them to her advantage. They taught her methods for taking out an opponent, both for the moment and permanently.

Felicity had to admit that while Sara eventually deemed her 'capable' at that skill, the knowledge that she could take a life would never sit well with her.

She joined Sara and Nyssa for target practice. Hand to hand. Conditioning. Tai chi. She wound up developing calluses on her hands and the soles of her feet. And muscles. Actual muscles.

Aching muscles.

The aching muscles led her to learn about the healing powers of touch, the joy of a good massage and the wonders of sharing a bath with two beautiful, amazing women. Not to mention the absolute sensuousness that could result from such an action.

Sara climbed in behind her while Nyssa lit the scented candles and turned off the lights. "True relaxation requires all of the senses to be in agreement," Nyssa explained. "The lighting must be soothing, just enough to tease the dark out of the corners but not enough to be harsh and force one to be vigilant against the brightness."

"Let the candle's aroma seep into you." Sara continued with the explanation as she dipped a washcloth into the water and brought it up against Felicity's aching shoulders. "Slowly, ever so slowly - so slowly that you don't even notice as you breathe it in - its soothing nature begins to take root. Starting in your core." The washcloth trailed gently down her spine and then around her waist where Nyssa took it as she slipped into the front of the tub.

"And from your core to your lungs," Nyssa began, pausing to ask for permission with a raised eyebrow before bring the cloth around to her stomach at Felicity's nod and then up between her breasts. "And from your lungs it spreads through your body." The washcloth slid over her collarbone at the same time Sara's strong fingers fanned out, stroking her shoulder blades.

They might have continued talking, but how could Felicity be expected to focus on words when Sara was behind her and Nyssa in front and there were hands on her breasts, teeth nibbling on her ear, a mouth pressed against hers. She was wrapped in strong arms; a tongue ran along her throat while another slipped into her mouth; there were fingers stroking her clit, sliding up and down her inner thighs, massaging the small of her back, gently twisting her nipple.

Her own hands were busy, one wrapped in Sara's hair as she pulled Nyssa closer with the other. The warm water lapped at her, while the air cooled her overheating skin. A tangle of limbs and lips and love of a kind she had never experienced before, although she did again. And again. And again.

The lessons, of all types, continued. How to focus and how to relax. How to cause pain and how to make love. And while she never did master the salmon ladder, she found she didn't mind that very much. Besides, that never stopped her from enjoying the view each and every time it was in use.

She was stronger in body, and in soul, than she had ever been before and in ways she never thought possible. What she had - the work, the play; the love, the life - it wasn't going to last. It couldn't.

But she was going to enjoy every second while it did.