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Beneath the Storm

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When they finally fall together – and that’s what it feels like, falling into each other, an avalanch of pent up desire and fury and joy and flesh – it’s faster than Yasha would have been willing to believe.

One minute they’re stood in the upstairs landing of an inn in the small hours of the morning, Beau bloody from a bar fight that Yasha had to physically drag her out of before she got them all banned, and they’ve said goodnight to Jester and Nott and the boys are already asleep and they’re just lingering –

The next they’re stumbling through the door to Yasha’s room, caught in a shaky blur of hands and mouths and the strong grip of Beau’s fingers at her hips and then in her hair, the graze of her teeth on her throat and the fumble and slip of clothes coming off skin tacky with sweat.

Beau hisses her name as she bites Yasha’s ear and Yasha rakes her nails down her back and tastes fresh blood and day-old sweat on the expositor’s neck – a cut from the evening’s bar brawl coming open again.

She presses a trembling hand to it and heals it with a thought, sees the corner of Beau’s mouth curling into a smile at the sensation.

It’s over too quickly, even though they must spend hours tangled together, eeking pleasure out of every inch of each other. Yasha can’t bring herself to pause long enough to really think beyond the bed they’re in, to pause long enough to savour what they’re doing – because she might have to think, too, and worry about what will happen when this is over.

 At some point, though, she sleeps – and wakes just as suddenly, to the warm weight of Beau pressed to her chest – and the sound of rain.

There’s a window open – it’s high summer, and it’s been stiflingly hot all day, a blue sky turning murky grey with the promise of a storm like a headache lingering on the horizon for hours. Now, it seems, it has finally broken – water is pattering across the windowsill. A dark breeze carrying the sent of thunder clatters the shutters.

Beau seems asleep still – Yasha sits up slowly, carefully extracting an arm where it’s trapped under Beau’s shoulder, pausing long enough to touch the dark tendrils of hair curling over the other woman’s temple. The softness of them feels impossibly precious under Yasha’s careful caress, and then takes her hand back, a moment later, guiltily, because the moment feels stolen, with Beau unaware of it – even if she’s touched Yasha in far more intimate ways very recently.

Yasha slides out of bed. The temperature in the room has dropped considerably with the rain outside, and she picks up a blanket where it’s been discarded on the floor, kicked aside in their earlier scuffle, wrapping it around her bare shoulders as she approaches the window.

A bolt of lightning splits the sky as she reaches it – fumbles with the glass to pull it shut. The rain continues in its intensity beyond, and Yasha lingers. Though the air is cold on her skin and Beau’s warm, willing presence in a comfortable bed tempts her back, the storm is young and she can feel the presence of her god in its heart.

Yasha seats herself on the bench beneath the window, and sets her chin on the sill, gazing out at the rush of the rain – and waits, counting out her own heartbeats, until the first yawning chasm of thunder crashes across the sky.

She thinks of preying to the Storm Lord, to thank him for this night, for this fleeting moment of grace - but somehow she can’t – can’t close her eyes, can’t reach for her Patron – it feels… unnecessary. The Storm Lord is with her – he is always with her. If she can trust in nothing else, it is that.

She wants to prey to someone else.

Zuala, she thinks, as a second flash of lightning throws the city beyond the window into sharp relief. Do you like her? I think she would like you.

There is a slow heat creeping up her spine – an old wound, knotted with scars, under a new balm.

Do you forgive me?

Her only answer is another peel of thunder, like the side of a mountain giving way, wild and raw with ancient joy.

“Hey.” Beau’s voice is rough with sleep.

Yasha glances back, and Beau is sitting up in the bed, pushing her hair out of her face, not quite obscuring her uncertain expression.

“You okay?”

“Yes,” Yasha feels a sudden crushing tenderness clench her chest, “I’m fine.”

“Storm finally broke, huh?” Beau yawns with a nonchalance that feels practiced, careful, averting her gaze. “You – thinking about taking off again?”

And Yasha realises how this must look – for Beau to wake up to find the bed empty, and the storm blooming. “No,” she says, softly, as Beau inches toward the edge of the bed, “never.”

“Oh,” Beau blinks at her, and then tries very hard not to look as if she’d been in any way worried. “Cool.”

Yasha touches the windowsill, still spattered with raindrops, inhales the feel of the thunder reverberating in her ribcage. A familiar strength is nudging her back to her feet – back toward the bed.

“I wouldn’t go anywhere,” she promises, “not without you.”

The corner of Beau’s mouth curls, and she reaches for Yasha with a single, beckoning hand. “Not without me, huh?”

“No.” And Yasha lets herself be pulled forward onto the mattress, folding herself back in amongst the bedsheets and sudden langerous warmth of Beau’s body, her bare skin soft and welcoming. She presses her face against Beau’s neck, unable to resist.  

“Y’know you sound like you kinda have a crush on me, right?”

“Oh no, what gave me away?” Yasha murmurs, and feels Beau laugh in a single hiccupping gasp, her fingers smoothing Yasha’s hair.

She draws the blankets up over them both, until Yasha feels as if she and Beau are cocooned somehow, tucked up away from the world – as if it’s only them and the storm.

“Think we’re gonna get any sleep, with all that thunder going on?” Beau asks – her fingers are still restlessly tangling in Yasha’s hair. No one has played with Yasha’s hair in a very, very long time.

“Oh, well, I’m sure we can think of more interesting things to do than sleep.”

And Beau laughs again, warm against Yasha’s temple. “That’s my girl.”

The storm will rumble on, of course, until the first light of dawn touches the horizon. But for now, Yasha will allow herself to be pulled down beneath it into brief unawareness, into the cresting power she and Beau can generate together instead, as pure as the rain, as sure as thunder.