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Like A Friend or 5 times they were just friends, & 1 time they knew better

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The first time it happens, it’s completely by accident, in that Ava quite literally trips and falls into it. They’ve been working late into the night, they’re both sleepy and a little wine-drunk, when they decide to call it a night.


Ava’s leg is asleep from sitting on the floor too long with it tucked underneath her and she’s not really paying attention when she gets up and trips on her own shoes, stumbling and losing her balance so horribly she can see, in that split second, her forehead smashing right into the coffee table, when Deborah quickly catches her by the arm and pulls her into her, the force and quickness of it making Ava grab Deborah by the waist.


Deborah doesn’t call her an idiot for not being more careful, and Ava doesn’t apologize twenty times for almost getting blood on her rug. Something else happens. They kiss. And they’re both tired enough, amped up on each other enough, that the semantics they’ve been individually freaking out about in private don’t matter because it’s good , this kiss, as well as the stuff that happens after the kiss. 


They don’t really make eye contact, and they say very little. It’s more rushed than Ava would like, and they’re wearing more clothes than she imagined they would if/when this ever happened, but she gets her fill of Deborah as best she can; palming her breasts through the soft knit sweater she’s got on as she thrusts her hips, grinding Deborah into the couch while Deborah pulls her even closer with both hands on her ass.


It all happens so quickly, but Ava remembers the highlights; Deborah’s little gasping moans as Ava fucked her, how she lifted her hips and then keened into Ava’s shoulder the deeper she went–how unbelievably wet that made her.


Deborah had reached for Ava’s waistband immediately after she’d come, pushing her sweatpants down and slipping her hand between her legs. She allowed Ava to guide her, to show her where to safely position her hand so as to not mame her with those ridiculous nails, and well, Ava didn't last long after that.


“So, this was...okay, right?” Ava asks when they’re a couch length apart and fully dressed again. 


“Sure.” Deborah nods. “Just a...friendly whatever.”


“Right. It doesn’t have to be a thing. Just two adults blowing off steam.”




The argument would hold just a tiny bit more logic if Ava weren’t living in Deborah’s home, but they buy the lie anyway and part ways for the night, both wishing they were going to bed together, but neither having the balls to brave that storm. 





It becomes a regular thing pretty soon after that. After an in-depth discussion about semantics, of course, because Deborah didn’t get this successful by not being a diligent workaholic. 


The rules are these: it must be treated as a reward after working a respectable amount of time–post-show quickies are acceptable as long as they don’t interfere with other engagements, and Ava can understand that. Sure, she could go multiple rounds with Deborah at any given time, but she also takes pride in their work, and she’s not the least patient person on the planet. 


It’s fun, the anticipation, especially when Ava can see it coming in the near distance. Their conversations after late night work sessions get them there without fail most often.


One night, for example, they delve into the topic of female ejaculation for some reason that isn’t important. Deborah shoots the idea down immediately, of course. 


“I’m not saying it’s not real, I’m saying that it can’t feel as good as it’s hyped up to be,” she says from where she’s lounging on the couch in her office. 


She’s wearing a black button-down that keeps teasing just the slightest hint of cleavage and it’s been driving Ava insane all night.


“Well, do you want to find out, or what?” Ava casually asks from her spot on the floor near the opposite end of the couch. She’s got her elbow propped on the seat, her head on her hand and her heart is beating faster and faster as her eyes lock with Deborah’s. 


Deborah snorts. 




Ava shrugs, pushes herself up and crawls over to Deborah, positioning herself between her legs and sliding her hands up her thighs.  


“I don’t know, the fact that no one’s ever made you squirt is really bringing out my competitive side. I really feel like I have something to prove, you know?”


Deborah’s chest rises and falls with every deliberate breath she takes. 


Ava waits for the tiny nod before slipping her hands under Deborah’s knees. She pulls her forward, pulling a low chuckle from Deborah that sends a jolt right through her and she leans forward, lips grazing Deborah’s as she undoes her pants and asks, “Ma’am, may I have the honor of turning you out?”


Deborah throws her head back and laughs now; a nice, loud one, the kind Ava loves. She loves it almost as much as she loves the sound Deborah makes moments later when Ava pushes a finger inside her and strokes her firmly, slowly coaxing her until Deborah’s panting and lifting her hips toward Ava’s hand. She places an encouraging hand on Ava’s elbow as she leans forward for a kiss that Ava denies with a crooked grin and an added digit for good measure. 


Deborah gasps and moans, sinking back against the couch as Ava adds her thumb to the mix, circling in the way she knows Deborah likes, and then she feels her pulsating around her fingers. She keeps going; Deborah’s hold on Ava’s elbow tightens as she makes these blissful little sounds, and then Ava’s fucking her faster and Deborah’s arching her neck, and Ava can’t keep her eyes off her. Moments later, she feels it drip into her hand and Deborah sobs. 


Ava is a woman possessed now. She keeps stroking, and Deborah looks at her, wide eyed and beautiful. 


“One more?” Ava asks, throbbing at the sight of Deborah biting her lip and nodding. 


Deborah thrusts her hips sharply into Ava’s hand, grinding up into the heel of her hand, dripping onto the couch, and then she’s shaking and it’s louder than Ava’s ever heard her and, fuck, she may pass out, she’s so so wet herself.


She’s careful to pull her fingers out slowly, softly kissing Deborah’s cheeks, her lips as she gently rubs her thighs. 


“You okay?”


Deborah shivers a little and licks her lips before slowly opening her eyes.


“Okay,” she rasps. “I believe you.” 


Ava laughs, and after a beat, Deborah sits up, reaching for Ava’s belt as she says, low and throaty, “Now I want to try.” 


Deborah jokes about having the couch replaced that night, but they cuddle on said couch anyway–it doesn’t have to be a thing. A post-coital cuddle between friends never hurt anyone. 




Deborah tells herself she’s annoyed when she gets the text from Ava. She pretends her heart doesn’t skip a beat at the suggestive message, but there’s no denying she’s no longer listening to what Marty is saying and she gets up, cutting him off mid-sentence. 


“Excuse me a moment, I have to make a call.” 


Marty stammers something Deborah doesn’t hear, and she beelines for the bathroom, where, sure enough, her idiot writing partner is waiting, leaning against the wall in a suit of all things. And fine, she looks good in a suit, great even, but she also looks a little drunk. If Deborah weren’t a few martinis in herself, she’d really be annoyed. 


“What are you doing here?”


Ava lets out a low whistle as she looks Deborah up and down. Deborah hopes she’s wearing enough makeup to hide the blush she can feel creep up her neck. 


“I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen you in a dress that shows off those gams,” Ava says, holding up her left hand.


Deborah bites back a joke about the size of Ava’s hands and crosses her arms instead, raising an eyebrow in response. If she remembers correctly, Ava is meant to be at some post-nuptials bachelor-bachelorette party with DJ and the new husband.


“Shouldn’t you be waist-deep in strippers right now?” 


Ava pushes herself off the wall and takes a casual step forward. 


“I’m on my way there. Thought I’d stop for a drink,” She says, nodding at Deborah’s dress. “You save those for Marty?” 


Deborah fights the urge to smile at that. 


“You jealous?” 


“Friends don’t get jealous.”


Ava steps closer still, eyes shamelessly eyeing Deborah’s chest. 


“Hmm.” Deborah licks her lips. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in a suit. Are you trying to impress someone?” 


“Why?” Ava palms Deborah’s hip. “Are you jealous?” 


“No,” Deborah replies and exhales a laugh when Ava pushes her back against the line of sinks near the door. “What are you actually doing here, Ava?” 


Ava answers that by sliding a hand up Deborah’s dress, making her inhale shakily when she rakes her nails up her outer thigh. 


“I can’t,” Deborah says, but doesn’t stop Ava’s hand from wandering higher up. Her following words are weak, but they can pretend she tried. “Marty’s waiting out there.” 


Ava slips her other hand under Deborah’s dress, smoothing both palms over her ass before tugging lightly at the waist of her underwear. It’s obscene what Ava’s turned her into. She’s become the person who fucks in a public bathroom. In her sixties, for christ's sake. 


Ava meets her eyes; there’s a playfulness in them, but her voice is steady, and a little dark when she says, “Tell me to stop and I’ll stop.” 


Besides her sense of humor, it’s one of the things that Deborah finds most infuriatingly attractive; the unmatched confidence when it comes to sex.


Deborah reaches for the door latch just to her left as a response and before she knows it, her underwear is off, her dress is hiked up past her waist, and Ava is on her knees with her face between her legs.


That Ava chose to scope out her location to eat her out instead of spending time with a naked woman writhing on her lap means nothing. And it absolutely doesn’t make Deborah feel any type of way at all. They’re just friends after all. She repeats it like a mantra in her head as she grips the edge of the counter as Ava laps at her.


It means absolutely nothing that when she returns to her table, and Marty’s immediately yammering on and on, trying to get back on her good graces, all Deborah can think about is Ava in that suit, and how she’d rather be tearing it off of her.


Just friend thoughts.  




They don’t fuck midday.


“Lunchtime fucks are for people having affairs,” Deborah said once. 


And, well, they’re not cheating on anyone but Ava’s starting to think this is an affair of some sort. 


She doesn’t tell Deborah this when she kisses her in her bedroom one day, but she thinks it. Because what other explanation is there to the way her heart is caught in her throat when she walks past her open bedroom, mid-bite into an apple, and is stopped dead in her tracks by Deborah, perfectly framed in her window, in the middle of another one of her wardrobe purges; piles of silks and sequins, and colors Ava would never wear, strewn all over her bed.


It’s something about the way the light frames her face, how blue her eyes look, the way she seems so soft in one of her more understated robes; a cream colored one. Mazzy-fucking-Star might as well be playing in the background, Ava’s so taken by her.


Deborah frowns at an offensively green number and lets out an “Ugh” as she tosses it onto a smaller pile on the floor. 


She looks up as Ava steps into the room. 


“Oh, hey. You want any of this? I’m thinking of just sending the entire thing to Goodwill.”


“Hmm,” Ava starts, considering the selection for a brief moment before stepping closer to Deborah and tugging at the belt of her robe. “Can I have this?” 


Deborah’s visibly taken aback but she leans into Ava and places a chaste kiss on her lips that Ava chases and turns into a deeper one that distracts Deborah long enough for her to push the robe completely off.


This is the first time Ava’s seen Deborah’s body in the daylight. She smells like bath oils and expensive lotions. She’s beautiful, and Ava makes sure to tell her that as she trails kisses down her tummy.


Deborah fucks Ava on her pile of donations that day, and for the first time Ava’s beginning to feel worried they might be more than friends. Worried, because she’s not sure how Deborah will take it when she catches up to her. 




Deborah is a handsy drunk. 


Ava discovers this at a gay bar in Twin Falls, Idaho of all places. 


Deborah’s been offered free drinks all night and she’s yet to turn a single one down. Ava’s keeping up, but for the most part, it’s just fun to watch Deborah let loose a little. She’s flirty and, and she holds Ava’s hand, and she kisses her at the bar. She leans in close when they talk, and Ava can’t say she doesn’t like the possessive way she looks at her right before she asks her if she wants to go and Ava gives her a very enthusiastic, “Yes, please.” 


Ava couldn’t have imagined what awaited her in the hotel room. Because this Deborah is a new Deborah she’s just getting to know. This Deborah feels her up on their ride to the hotel; this Deborah whispers filthy things in Ava’s ear, and she’s not sure this Deborah wouldn’t be doing exactly this even if they didn’t have a privacy screen between them and the driver. It throws her off in the best way possible, and she’s giddy with anticipation as Deborah all but pulls her across the lobby and up the elevator to her room where she latches onto her, pinning her against the door as she grabs her, and kisses her breathless. 


Ava fucking loves it. 


“Will you take your clothes off for me?” Deborah kisses down the side of Ava’s neck as she palms her breast, squeezing it. 


Ava moans. 


“Will you be a good girl and let me fuck you with my cock?” 


Fuck ,” Ava pants, quickly pulling her sweater off, Deborah’s words making her dizzy. “Yeah, definitely.” 


They’ve used the strap-on a couple of times, and for the most part, it’d been pretty fucking insane, but Deborah’s exuberant attitude about it is something else tonight. 


Everything is just as good as it’s been before, just as satisfying. Except this time, Deborah kisses her differently. She kisses her like she doesn’t want to stop, and she holds Ava close as Ava grinds down on her lap, with one hand on her hip and the other on the back of her head, hand fisted in her hair. 


“You’re so beautiful,” Deborah whispers, staring so intensely into Ava’s eyes that she almost looks away. 


It’s almost too intimate, which is a stupid thought to have when the sex count is about to reach tripple digits, but whatever. 


“Don’t come yet,” Deborah says sternly, and Ava’s brow furrows, making her repeat it, “Don’t. Come.”


So, Ava slows down, panting heavily, her body shaking a little as she wills herself to ease back despite the dildo still sheathed inside her. 


“Don’t move,” Deborah says, and then leans forward to pull a pebbled nipple into her mouth as the hand in Ava’s hair falls away to brace the other hip.


Ava’s thigh twitch as she clenches around the dildo and shock of pleasure runs through her; she makes a pathetic sound that would have otherwise embarrassed her, except right now she can’t think because Deborah is sucking and licking, and then doing the same to her other nipple, and pretty soon Ava is trembling, sweating through her attempt to hold her release back until Deborah’s done with her. 




Her voice is so small. Her skin is all goosebumps and she’s breathing so hard it’s the only sound in the room until Deborah grants her a bit of mercy and looks up at her, her bottom lip wet. 


“How do I feel inside you?” 


Ava closes her eyes through the tiny shudder that courses through her, bites her lip in concentration before replying, “So good.” 


“I want to look at you,” Deborah says.


Ava’s eyes open slowly and what she sees mirrored back at her is the same unadulterated awe and admiration she feels every time she looks at Deborah. She isn’t sure if it’s always been there and she’s only noticing now, but she holds onto it as she begins to rock her hips again. She struggles to keep her eyes and she succumbs to it only to press her lips to Deborah’s as she finally lets the waves come and she comes with a whimper that she muffles with a kiss.


There’s an I love you lodged in her throat. It almost comes out, but she quiets the thought with more kisses and the taste of Deborah’s tongue in her mouth, Deborah’s hands on her body. 


Ava spends the night wrapped up curled up in her bed. It’s the first time, which is why she’s not surprised to find that Deborah is gone when she wakes up in the morning. 




At some point, they start finding each other across rooms, and at first, neither makes anything of it, until the day in some Midwest town after a show when Deborah looks in the crowd for Ava, and for a single panic-filled moment, she doesn’t find her. It shocks her, this feeling of dread at the idea that she might be gone. But Ava’s not gone. Deborah finds her smiling through a straw not two seconds later, watching her intently, but that terrible feeling is already there, gwaing at her. She can feel it; codependency. 


She’s got to end things. Not here, not now, but as soon as they get back. 


Deborah keeps her distance after the show, and she tells Ava she has a headache, and that she wants to sleep. It’s unspoken that this means Ava should sleep in her own room tonight. 


The distance is noticeable, and Deborah can practically feel Ava glaring at her on the ride back to the hotel. 


“What’s going on with you?” Ava asks when they’re alone in the elevator. 


“Nothing,” Deborah lies. “Why?” 


“Why? Because you’re ignoring me pretty hard right now. I might as well be fucking invisible.” 


“I don’t know what you mean.” 


Whatever Ava’s retort will be, Deborah will never know, because they’re interrupted by a group of chatty teenage girls, and for a second, Deborah has a destructive thought about how Ava’s closer in age to those girls, and it doesn’t feel great, but it does help her decide that it is in fact the right choice, to end it. Just...not tonight. 


But her attempts at leaving it for the next day are pointless because Ava follows her to her room and doesn’t let her shut the door in her face. In fact, she shoves it open and then slams it shut behind them both with that furious look that makes eyes wide and expressive.


Deborah can’t stand to look at that face too closely if she’s going to do this. It’s like staring directly into the sun. 


“You’re not ending this.” 


Deborah looks at Ava at that. Big mistake. 


“Yes, I am,” she says. 


Ava laughs, shakes her head. 


“I fucking knew you’d do this. The second you start to feel something you run the other way. Well, I don’t consent.” 


“I’m sorry, you don’t consent ?”  


Crossing her arms over her chest, Ava nods. 


“That’s right. You decided to fuck an insuferable zelennial who needs to talk incessantly about everything, so, no, I do not fucking consent to you ending things without an explanation. So, let’s have it. Which is it going to be, huh? The age gap thing? The working together thing?”


Deborah laughs.


“Pick your favorite, kid!” 


Ava stares and a tiny furrow forms on her brow, a devastating one that makes her eyes sad. Deborah can’t stand to know she put that look there. 


“Why are you doing this?” Ava asks, pained. “We have a good thing, you and me, and you know it. Why are you trying to sabotage it.”


Deborah sighs. 


“We very different places in our lives, Ava…”


“We are in the same place! We are right here! I am in love with--”


Ava stops, and Deborah holds her breath at the incoming admission. She wants to run, she wants to tell Ava to stop, not to finish that sentence, but then she’s talking again, and the emotion in her words cut right through Deborah.


“Deborah, I am so in love with everything about this,” she says, motioning between them, taking a tentative step forward. “The work we’re creating together is good. And I--I’ve never laughed harder than when I’m with you. And I know I don’t have to tell you about the sex. I were there last night.” 


Deborah laughs, feeling her resolve begin to crumble. 


“You’re the only person I want to be around like 90 percent of the time,and the other 10 percent, I mostly just want to spend it with your dogs, so, I don’t know. If you don’t feel the same way, then I guess we’re not in the same place, but if you do, then I hate to break it to you but I think you might love it here, too.” 


Deborah places her hands on her hips and exhales. 


“That’s the problem,” she finally says. “I don’t want to get used to you. I’ve been doing it alone for a long time now, and that’s been fine. I don’t want to--learn to do it alone all over again.” 


Her heart is racing and she feels sick. All of this emotional honesty that comes with being around Ava can sometimes be a lot to handle. 


“Did you not hear the 90 percent part? I’m obsessed with you. You’re going to have to get a restraining order and a cat to get rid of me.” 


Deborah laughs.


“A cat?”




“Oh. Right. I would never get a cat. But I’m not above a restraining order. Wouldn’t be the first time.”


“She said, shocking no one.” 


Their eyes meet, and Deborah feels the panic, no subside, but lessen as Ava steps closer, slowly, as if she’d spook her with any sudden movement. Smart. When she grabs hold of her hand, it feels like an anchor. 


“I’m not saying put out a release or anything,” Ava says wrapping her free arm around Deborah’s waist. “I don’t need any of that. We can just Holland-Paulson it and be super chill about it.”


Deborah rolls her eyes. 


“How long have you been sitting on that reference?” 


“I can’t even tell you how long. It’s been eating at me.” 


Deborah chuckles. 


“I love you,” she says, shocking them both, and Ava’s looking at her like she needs a confirmation, so Deborah kisses her and then pulls her into a hug, burrowing into her neck before repeating it. “I love you.” 


“I love you, too,” Ava echoes, and then inhales deeply. “I can’t believe you said it first, you big softie.” 


“Okay, well, now you’ve ruined it,” Deborah deadpans and begins to pull away, but Ava pulls her right back. 


“Get back here, you asshole.” 


They make love that night. Ava would gag if Deborah verbalized it that way, but there’s no other way to describe it. It’s slow and sweet, and intense as hell. Ava kisses her like she’ll swallow her whole if she could; she kisses her mouth, her cheek, neck, her thighs, her cunt. When she fucks her, she watches her so intently, with so much tenderness that Deborah thinks she might cry. She doesn’t think anyone’s ever looked at her the way Ava looks at her. She also doesn’t think she’s quite ready to share those thoughts with her, but she shows her appreciation in other ways; tells her in other ways she knows Ava can understand.


Deborah tells her how good she is, how good it feels to be inside her. She tells her with her mouth on her skin, her tongue where she likes it best, until Ava’s gripping the headboard and moaning Deborah’s name–until she’s gasping and grinding into Deborah’s mouth as her release overcomes her. 


Ava stays the night, and Deborah doesn't sleep a wink, feeling as though she needs to guard the moment; she holds that worry to her chest like it’s something precious, and fragile. But they’re not so fragile. Their bond might just be the most solid thing in her life right now, and it’s this realization that finally allows her some sleep with the only thing in her arms being Ava, who wraps herself around her, breathing deeply against her chest. 


Smiling to herself as she’s drifting off, Deborah considers every other partner she’s ever had and it dawns on her she can’t say she’d ever call any of them a friend. She can’t say any of them ever even truly liked her much. As Ava snuggles impossibly closer, Deborah resigns herself to her fate as best friend to a 25 year old bisexual human disaster and thinks she’s never been this well off before.