Wednesday morning finds Serena woken up by the sounds of a heavy drumming against her windows. There’s a chill in the air and she automatically reaches for the duvet bunched up around her waist and brings it almost over her head to try and get rid of the goosebumps prickling her skin.
It takes her a few minutes to actually wake up and remember that she’s not alone, and more importantly, why she’s not alone.
That thought immediately makes her smile brightly, giddily.
The memories that come with it make her blush intensely.
A somewhat random thought crosses her mind at this point; clearly, she didn’t need to be so nervous about having sex with a woman.
Well , she amends, that’s not exactly true .
She didn’t need to be so nervous about having sex with Bernie.
They might have momentarily gotten out of sync with each other during those few days where she started seeing Bella, but they had definitely gotten back into it by the time they unceremoniously fell on Serena’s king size bed last night.
She pushes the duvet away again when the visions of Bernie, magnificent as she was riding Serena’s leg or of her shiny blonde - and by this time, definitely very messy - hair between her thighs make her overheat quite a bit.
The shift, or maybe the cold air seeping beneath the covers, seems to bring Bernie back to the land of the living at least in part, because there’s a slow movement coming from her side of the bed and a sound between a snort and sniffle.
The movement, or Serena supposes, the body comes closer until it’s actually spooning her, an arm going instinctively around her waist, bringing different kinds of warmth with it. All very pleasant warmths.
So pleasant in fact that Serena falls back to sleep in a matter of seconds, Bernie, who had never really woken up, snuffling quietly in her neck.
It is much later, in fact it is practically lunchtime when Serena wakes again, feeling very rested, something that hasn’t happened in a very, very long time. She can feel some drool at the corner of her mouth and she surreptitiously wipes it away before stretching satisfyingly, dislodging Bernie in the process, a Bernie who protests very sleepily with an undignified - if somewhat slurred - grunt.
“Sorry, sorry,” Serena exclaims immediately, turning around quickly as the duvet and Bernie’s proximity will let her in order to check her partner’s face and give it several quick but gentle kisses by way of apology.
“I might need to rethink this whole ‘sharing a bed’ thing,” Bernie comments, her voice full of sleep and gravel, “if all I get for my troubles is bruises.”
“That’s not what you were saying last night,” Serena counters, her index finger lightly dancing over a purplish mark on Bernie’s collarbone.
Serena shivers, but the cold has nothing to do with it. Bernie’s eyes have a dark glint swirling in them, mixing with the brown and making them all the more hypnotizing.
“Is it, now?” Serena asks as slowly, as Bernie rolls them and ends up on top of her partner.
She pushes back on her hands, gripping the sheets right by Serena’s shoulders, her eyes travelling leisurely all over the visible parts of Serena’s body.
“Do we even have time for -”, she stops, again distracted by the beauty of her partner.
“For,” Serena asks, flattered and amused.
“Hm, for -” Breasts, “for -” puckered nipples, “for-” goosebumps swirling all over her skin, “what were we talking about?”
Serena laughs, a great full laugh, making them both jump and jump on the bed. Bernie just watches, and smiles. If this is what happiness feels like, she’ll happily stay right where she is - meaning comfortably cradled between Serena’s thighs, thank you very much - for the rest of eternity.
“Oh,” Serena sighs, “that felt good. Well, not as good as last night obviously,” she adds while she wraps her legs around Bernie’s waist, “but it’s a very nice bonus nonetheless.”
Bernie answers with a very interested hum and a roll of her hips.
“And to answer your - unasked - question,” she continues with a smirk, “no, we don’t have time for an encore, sadly …”
Bernie rests her forehead on Serena’s collarbone, keeping her eyes closed for fear of being unable to resist the temptation of her partner’s full bosom.
“It’s in moments like this - not that I’ve had many of those, of course - that I regret having such a demanding job,” she states, her words muffled by Serena’s warm skin. Serena, who is gently, soothingly playing with strand after strand of Bernie’s hair.
“I know exactly what you mean.”
“I guess we should shower.”
“Separately,” Serena is quick to add, always - well, almost always - very aware of what Bernie’s thinking.
“Oh come on,” she says, cuddling even closer to Serena, hoping it will persuade her.
“Nice try, Major. But we have patients waiting for us. And junior doctors, and files and meetings and -”
“Alright, alright. I get it. No more fun,” she replies pushing away from Serena and lying on her back.
Her partner turns on her side, facing her and in a low voice tells her that they’ll get back to the fun as soon as they can.
“How soon?” Bernie asks, hopefully.
“Well, we’re set to finish at ten p.m. So you could come back with me, tonight and spend the night here,” she proposes, the back of her fingers caressing her arm.
“I’ll need to make a detour by my house then. I only brought a toothbrush and a pair of knickers with me.”
“I was wondering about that,” Serena says with a smile.
And she did wonder, if Bernie had left the bag in her car as she had done herself, or if she didn’t intend to spend the whole night at Serena’s, or maybe even if she intended to leave as soon as the sun was up.
Bernie starts plucking at the duvet, her eyes shyly avoiding Serena’s.
“I didn’t want to look presumptuous,” she says with a shrug.
Serena cups Bernie’s face so that she will look at her and kisses her softly.
“I’ll make room for you in one of the dresser drawers, and in the bathroom cabinet. You can put whatever you might need for a sleepover in there.”
“Really?” her partner asks in a small voice.
“Of course, my love,” she answers with a peck, her heart melting when she looks into Bernie’s bright and wet eyes.
They stay another short moment like this, sharing the tenderness and the caresses. Sharing the joy of this new milestone in their relationship.
It’s quick, but it feels right.
In her previous relationships Serena never moved this fast, but once again, none of what she’s sharing with Bernie is like anything she has experienced in the past.
“Come on,” she finally says, with an affectionate pat on Bernie’s hip, “you go have that shower and I’ll see if I can rustle up some lunch.”
“And coffee,” Serena nods.
Bernie gets out of bed and, knowing that Serena is watching - appreciatively biting her lower lip, more than probably - struts towards the bathroom. As soon as Bernie disappears, Serena shakes her head and getting up, finds her dressing gown and goes downstairs in search of food. And coffee.
Almost two hours later, they arrive at the hospital in Bernie’s car. She parks in her parking spot, powers the car down and turns around to look at Serena. A forearm, keys in hand, on the wheel, the other on Serena’s head rest, Bernie looks at her partner tenderly but seriously.
“So, how do you want to do this?”
Serena gazes at Bernie thoughtfully before casting an eye out of the car’s window, surveying the comings and goings in the parking lot.
As usual, there’s a lot of people milling about, hospital staff, patients or visitors. Paramedics and taxis.
People who will look at them, some with interest and curiosity. Some, though those will be of a rarer kind, with indifference.
“You don’t need to come out to our colleagues today. You don’t need to come out at all, if you don’t feel like it.”
She likes that Bernie is so understanding, although she hates that she herself had to learn those lessons the hard way.
“I never understood this need to come out . People shouldn’t have to advertise if their preference lies with same sex partners. Straight people don’t have to come out. You don’t see them shaking in their boots in front of their families, announcing with a trembling voice that they’re dating a person from the opposite sex,” she says, some disdain sipping into her tone.
“Age old argument,” Bernie agrees with a small smile.
“I’m not coming out,” Serena states firmly.
Bernie nods, a small smile on her lips and starts getting out of the car, only to be stopped by Serena’s hand on her thigh.
“I’m not coming out, but I’m not hiding either.”
At those words, an interrogative frown colours Bernie’s features.
“O - okay,” she says slowly, prompting Serena to explain her thought process with a little more detail.
“I’m not saying I’ll be parading around with the Bi-flag or whatever it is you call it, but I won’t hide my love for you.”
“Okay,” Bernie answers with a brighter smile.
“It would seem I was never able to actually hide it from anyone, anyway,” Serena says with a laugh and a self-deprecating half shrug.
“You were doing a pretty good job at hiding it from me. And from yourself, I guess.”
“Which is exactly why I don’t want to do it anymore,” she counters, leaning in and bestowing a warm and loving kiss on Bernie’s lips, leaving little doubt as to the changes in their relationship to the occasional passersby.
Breaking the kiss, she leans back and looks adoringly at Bernie, eyes still closed and the very tip of her tongue seemingly trying to chase the very last drop of Serena’s taste.
“Ready?” she asks, opening her own door and breaking Bernie out of her reverie.
“Ready if you are,” Bernie answers, her eyes sparkling.
“Oh darling, you have no idea how ready I am.”
And with that Serena gets out of the car, her full laugh reverberating on the hospital’s tall walls and numerous windows.