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What A Week

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On the first day, Caitlyn Kiramman wakes up late. She curses her alarm and rushes her shower and breakfast before getting out the door to arrive at the precinct just in time. Vi is already there, chatting with a coworker gamely before looking up to see Caitlyn walk in. She gives a sly wink and the Sheriff’s terrible morning and mood is immediately lifted. She heads to her office and collects the important paperwork they’ll need.

They have an important raid today.

 

On the 2nd day Caitlyn wakes up late. She stares with confusion at her bedroom ceiling numbly, flexing the hands that no longer hurt. Her brow knits, puzzled at the lack of pain and she raises them above her head, flexing again as she looks them over, finding them void of the scabs and bruises she expects.

With long slow deliberate movements she moves to get out of bed. But just like her hands, her body’s not sore as expected. She has none of the injuries she should have. Her shoulder is unmarked, unblemished, her knee unbroken. With a frown she attends to her shower, gazes at her body in the mirror, the only bruises there faded and familiar from past encounters, and none still fresh. She washes up and forces herself to a light breakfast and heads down to the precinct to begin the funeral paperwork. It will be a distraction, being busy.

She walks into the station and stops cold in her tracks.

Vi is there, chatting with a coworker gamely before she looks up and sees Caitlyn arrive. She gives a sly wink.

Stunned with confusion Caitlyn walks to her office, blinking at blurry memories and deja vu. Maybe she just dreamed it, the fire, the screams, the blood and lifeless eyes. It was just a bad dream.

The paperwork greets her. They have an important raid today.

They gear up, they prepare. Caitlyn gives a speech, rousing and inspiring. Rifles at the ready, gauntlets charged, strategies set in stone. The hidden factory will be their largest takedown to date, will be a vital blow in this war to save the soul of Zaun. Vi hugs an arm around her shoulder, the gauntlet knocking heavily against Caitlyn’s elbow, and she laughs and jokes as they take position to begin.

It is less than an hour into the raid that most of her men are dead just in the same way and all too late Caitlyn realizes who’s death she’s about to see next. She turns to see just as before, just behind her, Vi grappling a Shimmerhead and noticing the one behind too late and the thick blade runs though her so effectively she doesn’t even register she’s died. Caitlyn puts a hand up and gently touches the splatter of blood on her cheek.

She remembers what happens next and orders a retreat but it’s again too late; the factory explodes around them and Caitlyn’s world becomes fire, rubble and pain.

 

On the 3rd day she wakes up late and checks for wounds that aren’t there, has her breakfast and shows up to work to receive a wink and a terrible feeling in her gut. She fumbles her words, loses her focus as they prepare. She changes some strategies last minute. Sheriff Kiramman doesn’t fumble, doesn’t change strategy, a few men whisper. She’s faltering. They don’t know they’ve already died twice before.

When Vi dies this time Caitlyn crouches beside her, cradles her head. Before the blade cracks her own chest the Sheriff whispers ‘I’m sorry.’

 

On the 6th day Caitlyn starts the raid 30 minutes early, claiming a surprise strategy.
This time, Vi is not killed on the end of a blade. This time she’s thrown from a catwalk and lands distantly with a crunch and doesn’t get up, no matter how Caitlyn screams.

 

On the 18th day Caitlyn no longer feels it when Vi’s blood is hot on her cheek. Instead all she thinks is ‘tomorrow.’

 

On the 25th day she tries sneaking down to the warehouse first, alone, to try and figure out a way to prevent them from going down at all. She’s spotted almost immediately and one of the Shimmerheads chases her into an alley. She manages to shoot it before realizing she’s trapped and more are coming. She normally doesn’t do ground work like this without Vi for a reason, she thinks, when she’s unable to shoot fast enough and her head is crushed against the wall.

 

On the 50th day Caitlyn tells the precinct they’re canceling the raid due to extraneous circumstances and the factory explodes anyway, and Zaun burns as Caitlyn stands at her office window, clutching her fists so tightly her palms begin to bleed. Vi goes home alive for the first time, and Caitlyn wakes up on Tuesday again.

 

On the 63rd day she doesn’t get to see Vi killed, but she does get to hear the horrible animalistic scream Vi makes when Caitlyn is impaled, see the tears on her blurry face before darkness obscures her vision entirely. It’s worse.

 

On the 75th day when she walks into the precinct she hugs Vi tightly. She can hear the other enforcers titter and gossip behind her but she doesn’t care. She hugs tighter and Vi, stiff and confused, gives her a light pat on the back.

“You’re… welcome?” She says. “Rough day, Cupcake?”

Caitlyn pulls away, giving Vi a weak smile. “You have no idea.”

 

On the 80th day she goes to Vi’s apartment first, but when ringing the doorbell yields nothing she accepts the other girl’s gone out already. She sits on the front step for a minute before realizing she doesn’t know why she’s there.

 

On the 99th day she takes the gauntlets for herself and smashes into the factory, taking down three Shimmerheads before her muscles give out and she’s overwhelmed. Still, it was a little cathartic.

 

On the 100th day she screams into her pillow until she is hoarse. She takes Vi out to lunch and watches her eat and 3 hours later numbly watches her death.

 

On the 107th day she gets out of bed and stares at her reflection in the mirror. She punches like Vi taught her to, until her blood is running down her arms and splattered across the shattered glass, fragments stuck in her skin.

 

On the 115th day she begins to try and map out the factory floor, and draw out where she remembers every step, plan out in advance a strategy.

 

On the 120th day she gives up on this task - her visual memory was never her strongest.

 

On the 123rd day she watches Vi as the other woman leans casually on a coworker’s desk just before lunch , joking with him and a couple others. Her laugh makes Caitlyn’s heart hurt, and she has to look away.

 

On the 125th day she gets out of bed the second she wakes up and heads directly to the warehouse to scope the scene. She manages to sneak in closer this time before she’s spotted. Before her neck is snapped she thinks “remember this.”

 

On the 146th day she’s made it into the interior, memorized and mapped every step to make it this far. She knows exactly how many enemies, which doors creak, steps echo, where the light shines into shadow. She can map out exactly when and where to send her men.

 

On the 150th day Vi lives an entire hour longer. They take out almost all the obstacles, dispose of the bombs, disable the controls. Then a rogue Shimmerhead tackles her from behind, and as Caitlyn lays broken and dying on the floor she sees Vi, blinded by rage, miss her opponent and punch directly into the energy console, electrocuting herself.

 

On the 160th or 170th day, they have made it the furthest they ever have, and successfully shut down the factory. All rogue enemies have been accounted for. One of Vi’s gauntlets is broken but there are otherwise no casualties.

Caitlyn is giddy. They’re leaving, exhausted and victorious with Vi’s arm around Caitlyn’s shoulders, the brawler laughing when suddenly she chokes.

Caitlyn is frozen in horror as the other girl coughs wetly, and something far too familiar sprays on Caitlyn’s cheek. She touches it, numbly, looks at her fingers. Blood.
The stain on Vi’s chest is at least 30 minutes old, but Vi can’t tell her when she got it. Instead she gently taps at Caitlyn’s chin with a bulky metal finger and coughs weakly and promises she’ll be alright, I’ll see you at drinks. She dies by the time she’s arrived at the hospital and Caitlyn screams in the parking lot and wakes up on Tuesday.

 

On the 171st or 81st or 85th, she’s sure she’s lost track, Caitlyn has begun throwing her officers at the problem, no longer caring about casualties as long as Vi survives. She watches a young man, a recent recruit who’s name she hadn’t managed to remember, drown in his own blood after his chest was crushed and is frozen still, horrified at herself for choosing this, choosing Vi over the rest of her people. She resolves to stop making that choice, just before she is grabbed and crushed in a similar way moments later.

 

On the day she finally loses count, she doesn’t leave her bed, but sits with her arms wrapped around her knees staring at the shadows play on her wall. When she hears the explosion distant in the air, she breaks down and cries until she feels there is nothing left.

 

On a day after that she is sitting on a bench instead of going into work, watching the birds flutter about in the park. The breeze is nice in her hair. She’ll enjoy a few days like this, she thinks, if this is to be eternity.

“Caitlyn?”

The voice startles her out of her calm and she looks up, almost panicked, at a very confused Vi.

“Vi?” She looks around at the park, and back her partner. Vi’s out without the gauntlets so not a patrol. Is it lunch? She suddenly can’t remember if Vi normally leaves at lunch today.

“You, uh,” Vi looks incredibly sheepish, sticking her hands in her pockets like she tends to when she’s nervous. “You didn’t show today? I went looking for you?”

Caitlyn just stares before she slowly figures it out. “You’re playing hooky.”

Vi’s shoulders fall. “Just a little.”

“I don’t show up this morning and you play hooky. Do you always come out this way?” Caitlyn’s brain is trying to figure something big out, remember a new pattern. When Vi gives a confused “Sometimes?” Caitlyn realizes she asked the question out loud.

“I mean, not sometimes, I mean playing hooky isn’t something I do a lot, I mean I’m dedicated to the job, really, I-“

“Sit down.” Caitlyn scoffs. Vi obediently sits down beside her, confused and concerned. She places a hand over Caitlyn’s, rough and warm.

“Cait, why are you here? Is something wrong?”

The sheriff looks down at their hands, processing. She places the other over top of Vi’s, brushing her thumb over the frayed wraps the bruiser still wears.

“Just, sit with me a moment.” Caitlyn says with a wistful sigh. “It’s going to be one hell of an afternoon.”

 

The next day Caitlyn takes a shower, makes herself a nice breakfast, meditates and walks directly to the park.

“Caitlyn?”

Caitlyn glances at her watch. 10:10. She has five hours.

“Playing hooky?” She asks, with an amused smile, feeling, for the first time in ages, like there’s hope again.

 

For days after that Caitlyn loses herself in the same routine; shower, breakfast, meditation and park. Every day at 10:10 on the dot, her timer begins with the alarm of Vi’s voice behind her. And every day she tells Vi to sit down, and they talk. They have’s sat down and talked in ages, since work started getting busier and Caitlyn started staying later to finish tedious projects. It’s nice to talk, and they talk of all sorts of things.

Caitlyn tells Vi the stories she hadn’t managed to tell her yet - the misadventures she had in prep school, the one thing she ever stole as a child (a lollipop), the time her mother caught her sneaking a girl into her room. Vi has such a reaction to that one Caitlyn tells it multiple times, loving the look on Vi’s face until the fact that it’s the same every time starts to wear on her and she stops bringing it up.

Caitlyn asks Vi for stories too. Those are harder to get out of, but she manages more and more pieces, and uses those to coax more stories. One day Vi looks stunned when Caitlyn mentions a story of Vander and asks “how did you know that?”

“You told me.” Caitlyn lies, slightly. It’s technically true. Vi looks amazed.

“I don’t remember telling you that. But you remembered it?”

She looks so heartbreakingly awed, at the idea that Caitlyn could possibly care enough about Vi to remember small details, that it burns and tears at something inside Caitlyn.

She doesn’t bring up Vi’s past again. It feels wrong, to learn and use this information this way.

 

On a day after many of these days, Caitlyn and Vi are watching the birds, warmed by the sun, when Vi looks over.

“Am I in trouble?” She asks. She’s asked this at various times before, depending on how Caitlyn has asked her to sit or conversed with her. It seems to be the most consistent thing on her mind in this situation.

“No.” Caitlyn said. “It’s my fault really. I should know you wouldn’t stay at the station if I wasn’t there.”

“‘Course not, Cupcake.” Vi says, leaning back on the bench, arms up. One drapes almost across Caitlyn’s shoulders in this position. “I go where you go.”

Caitlyn leans back on the powerful forearm, closing her eyes. “I know.”

The next day she spends in bed, crying again.

 

On another day Caitlyn waits, staring at her watch until the 10:10 flashes. She stands up, earning a shocked “Woah! Caitlyn?” from directly behind her. She whips around to see that same expression she’s seen gods know how many times.

“Where are you going?” She blurts in a rush, oddly breathless. She thinks she’s starting to go truly insane.

“N-nowhere?” Vi has her hands up like she’d under arrest. She cringes, eyebrows high and eyes wrinkling with the wince. “Am I in trouble?”

“I want to go with you.” Caitlyn ignores the question. Vi looks confused and stunned.

“What?”

“Wherever you’re going, I want to come.”

“I dunno,” Vi scratches at her chin with her bruised and bandaged hand. “It’s not really… your style.”

“Even better,” Caitlyn loops an arm through her partner’s. “I could use a change of pace.”

 

Vi is drunk. It’s twenty minutes until the world ends again and Caitlyn is watching Vi handling the aftermath of far too many drinking challenges with nearly every patron in the undercity bar. Every single one she would wink and say ‘watch this.’ with increasing sloppiness. It almost felt like she was trying to impress the sheriff.

“You’re drunk.” Vi mumbles to her as she slides into the booth. Caitlyn, still sipping the same drink she’d ordered when they got here, just hums and nods.

“I never thought I would see you in a place like this again, Cupcake. A pretty girl in a place like this.” Vi says in an uncharacteristically sing-song voice. She leans against Caitlyn, head on her shoulder.

Caitlyn is finding it hard to breath. Her heart feels like it’s beating too quickly, making her dizzy.

“You look so pretty.” Vi murmurs into Caitlyn’s neck. “It makes me want to kiss you.”
Caitlyn’s heart fully stops. “You want to kiss me?”

Vi pulls back, inches from Caitlyn. Her breath smells of cheap alcohol but her grey eyes are dark and focused, hand on Caitlyn’s waist. “Can I?”

“How- how long have you wanted to kiss me?” Caitlyn demands.

Vi sways slightly, leaning to place their foreheads together.

“Dunno, how long since you busted me from the joint?”

If Caitlyn’s eyes widen any more they’ll fall right out of her head. “The whole time?” She hisses. “You’ve wanted to kiss me this whole time?”

“So pretty.” Vi mumbles, lips against Caitlyn’s jaw.

Outside an explosion rumbles, and the glasses on the table shake and clatter. Caitlyn curses.

 

On the next day Caitlyn storms into the precinct, grabs Vi by the shirt sleeve and drags her out of her conversation. Vi lets out a little ‘oop!’ of surprise as she stumbles to stay upright and Caitlyn all but throws her into her office, and slams the door behind her. She knows she made one hell of a spectacle but she doesn’t care. She needs her answers now.

“Damn Cupcake,” Vi rubs her arm where the sleeve pulled, looking at Caitlyn with annoyance. “what’s gotten into y-“

“Do you want to kiss me?” Vi’s entire body freezes up in place and she stares at Caitlyn like a child caught with their hand in the sweet jar.

“Do- do I- ki- what?” The brawler stammers, face flushing almost the same colour as her hair. Caitlyn steps once away from the door.

“Do you want to kiss me?” She asks again, lower, more deliberately. Vi blinks owlishly, stepping back. Caitlyn keeps forward.

“I, well, you.” The brawler backs up a step before bumping into the sheriff’s desk, movement halted. She puts one hand back to hold onto it, like it’s the only thing keeping her standing as she stares at Caitlyn.

“I want to kiss you.” Caitlyn says, walking still slowly, breathing laboured as she tries not to cry, scream, rush this too quickly, suffer it a moment longer. “I have for a while.”

“You have?”

“A very, very long while.” Caitlyn is close now. Vi’s eyes dart from her to the door, to around the office, her expression torn between confusion and excitement. Caitlyn reaches up and brushes a finger against Vi’s collar. “So? Do you?”

“OH, this is a dream, right? I’m passed out outside a bar right now.” Vi’s expression is still awed and excited, like Caitlyn pressing against her like this is actually too unbelievable for her to be concerned. “None of this is real, I can do whatever I want and wake up and things will be normal, right?”

“Sure,” Caitlyn tilts her head closer. “Let’s pretend none of this will matter tomorrow.”

“Sounds good to me.” Vi closes the gap, kissing Caitlyn with enthusiasm, hands buried in her hair as she grips the taller girl close to her.

Kissing Vi is the most Caitlyn has felt in so long. Talking to her in the park had been a balm, but now feeling the other woman’s tongue sweeping against hers, hearing the noises she makes when Caitlyn presses her against the desk, this feels like actual victory. None of this will matter tomorrow but she has this now. For now.

“Wait, how far you wanna do this-“ Vi starts as Caitlyn pushes her up, sitting the shorter girl on her desk.

“I locked the door.” Caitlyn says, pushing Vi’s legs apart. “I can’t wait any longer.” Her voice is almost cracking at the effort to keep from crying. She needs this. Needs to feel alive again.

“Holy shit yes, this has to be a dream,” Vi groans as Caitlyn’s fingers run up her thigh. “I always imagined you doing this.”

“Tell me.” Caitlyn presses her mouth to Vi’s ear as her hand pushes up the centre of Vi’s trousers. “Tell me everything you’ve ever imagined.”

Vi’s imagined Caitlyn bending her over her desk, taking Caitlyn right there on top of her papers, Caitlyn against the wall in the evidence locker, Vi against the door in the bathroom, on the mats in the gym, the showers, the stairwell, everywhere. Playing hooky from work to sneak to Vi’s apartment, Caitlyn pressed into the wall of her home, pressing Vi into her couch, her sheets. She’s had years of imagining, years wasted because they were both so, so stupid.

And Caitlyn indulges them, indulges in her own, again and again and god it’s heaven at first, to ignore the world and it’s problems and just lose herself in this bliss. She has Vi, and every day she only has to act out a part, perfected it soon enough.

But hell is the impermanence of heaven and far too soon the bliss of falling asleep with Vi in her arms is tainted by knowing she’ll be gone in the morning. She was hoping this would help, fix things or parts of things or at least help her stop from feeling so broken. But all it does is define the cracks, like dirt rubbed into porcelain, stark and clear and growing.

Caitlyn doesn’t know what will happen when she finally shatters.

 

One morning Caitlyn returns to the park bench and waits. Vi shows up right on schedule, shocked as always. Caitlyn can’t look at her.

“Caitlyn?”

“Good morning Vi.”

“I, uh, yeah. Morning? What’s up?”

Caitlyn’s sitting so still, voice small and broken. “I’m in love with you.” She says, just barely able to keep the sob from reaching her voice.

There’s silence, and then a sudden rush of air as Vi sits down beside her, looking at her, “w-what?”

“I love you. Always have, I think.” Caitlyn is breathing hard with the effort to not break down. She can feel the tears, can’t spare the energy to fight those. “And I never said anything because I thought you didn’t feel the same, or I refused to believe it. I don’t know.” She looks over at Vi now, unable to stop herself from trembling as the tears finally spill. She can’t imagine how it must look, the Sheriff of Piltover, the cold hard hand of the law, sobbing quietly on a park bench.

“I’m so sorry.” She says, in a whisper, the loudest she can manage.

Vi looks horrified, and instantly takes Caitlyn in her arms. “You have nothing to be sorry for.” She says. Her voice sounds thick too. “I’m so dumb, I thought I could never, god Cait you could have anyone. And you… me?”

Caitlyn just nods as the tears steal her voice, running down her cheeks. Vi kisses the top of her hair, pulls her closer and Caitlyn can feel those strong shoulders waver with the effort of trying to not cry with Caitlyn, be strong for her. “I’m here.” The tough enforcer’s voice croaks.

Caitlyn sobs, curls herself into Vi as her partner just strokes at her hair comfortingly.

 

For the next few days Caitlyn lies in bed. At first she doesn’t think at all. And then, she does.

 

Every day for however many days, Caitlyn Kiramman wakes up at exactly the same time and sets about doing exactly the same things. She prepares for her morning, goes into the station, prepares her crew, enjoys her lunch and with all her knowledge goes to experience death and failure over and over and over except that every day she changes one thing, observes how things are affected. And every day, slowly, they succeed a little bit more and a little bit more.

It may be that seems truly gone insane, she thinks sometimes, to no longer know death. To watch her officers die countless times like one watches a chess piece fall, with disappointment and consideration but not with any emotion. To watch the woman she loves break again and again and feel only a calm tactical need to analyze. To experience death herself and only focus on remembering the moments up to it again and again.

She does wonder who she will be, should she ever escape this.

She thinks, sometimes, about why this might be happening and if there is any way to stop it. She used to think that maybe she needed to just save Vi’s life, or save the factory but ultimately she decides it doesn’t matter. It’s a puzzle, and Caitlyn has always been fond of puzzles.

Caitlyn Kiramman wakes up on Tuesday and takes her shower, has her breakfast, and heads into the station for work. Vi gives her a wink and she smiles back and collects her paperwork, all the while chanting out every step, every breath, every heartbeat of what their day will need to be, like a director memorizing a script. They’ve gotten close, impossibly close, to solving all of this with everyone alive.

“Hey Cupcake, isn’t today the day you’re a hero?” Vi’s voice comes up behind her, and Caitlyn silently mouths her words along. It helps her remember.

“I’m not doing this for heroics Vi,” she says, turning her head slightly to look at her partner. “I’m doing it for the good of the city.”

Vi smiles warmly, nudges her with a hip. “I know,” she grins, as she always does. “But nothing wrong with showboating.”

“Yes well…”

Caitlyn trails off.

She hasn’t looked at Vi like this in a while. Hasn’t indulged in her for weeks… months? She avoided counting the days. Denied herself the distraction to focus on the task. The puzzle.

She’s focused enough, she thinks, that maybe this one day of rest…

“Kiss for good luck?” She asks, slyly, bold without fear of a tomorrow. Vi starts and blinks and Caitlyn feels a slight thrill at experiencing at least a slightly different conversation for once in so long.

“What?” The brawler asks, like Caitlyn had spoken a different language. Caitlyn doesn’t answer, just turns herself completely to face Vi, leaning against the desk, remembering very clearly the Tuesday long ago when Vi had her folded back against it, confidence in her mouth. Now the other enforcer is looking at her like- well like she usually does when Caitlyn flirts.

“It’s an important mission,” Caitlyn hums, leaning back as she smiles coyly at Vi, who looks like she might run. She always does, the panic Vi gets about Caitlyn’s forward affection is one of the few things that have never gotten old. That Caitlyn is the only thing to ever make Vi stutter.

“I- So you- you wanna- a- you want what?” Vi manages, as Caitlyn just laughs and leans forward and gives her a very light kiss on the side of her mouth, Vi freezing with a very loud inhale.

“Good luck out there.” She says softly, before turning back to her papers. She does consider taking the day off, letting Vi do what she wills to her instead, but Caitlyn hums to herself that the distraction can be a reward for solving this puzzle and instead keeps her focus.

They have an important raid today.

Despite the small change Caitlyn made this morning, almost everything follows the script. Vi is a little quieter, misses a couple of quips, but Caitlyn doesn’t think much about that as she’s more focused on performance. It’s only until about halfway, when Caitlyn has to avoid a crush of rubble and a fallen catwalk that Vi goes off routine and instead of defending Caitlyn as she regains her footing, she runs for the gun that was dropped. She grabs it and tosses it back to Caitlyn, who smoothly catches and reloads to rejoin the fray, and then Vi is off. It could be only a hiccup, but Vi vanishes down a different corridor instead of staying and that’s that. They’re off script.

She doesn’t see Vi again for the rest of the mission. Things still go smoothly. Everyone else mostly sticks to how things always are and Caitlyn manages to keep a cool head despite the changes, of Vi’s unknown whereabouts.

It’s when the victory is finally secured, the enemies defeated and danger avoided and the entire enforcer team, battered and broken in some places but alive, all alive, are slowly making their way to the rendezvous point that Caitlyn begins to, for the first time in however many days, feel a twinge of worry.

“All accounted for?” Caitlyn asks, trying to keep the tense fear out of her voice. She hadn’t realized how much she had put stock into the script, and even though things have gone wonderfully she still can’t see Vi, doesn’t know-

And then Vi is there, walking through the smoke to approach the meet point, one gauntlet broken and sparking, uniform torn but completely void of blood, hair dishevelled and slightly burnt and alive. Everyone is alive.

Everyone is alive.

Caitlyn can’t contain herself, frozen in absolute shock. Vi sees her and offers a grin and a wave with the still functioning gauntlet and Caitlyn runs.

She runs directly to Vi, gun dropping to the ground with a clatter she barely hears, and she jumps, almost very nearly launches herself, into a hug with the undercity woman. Vi catches her in the hug, uses the working gauntlet to hold and lift Caitlyn up entirely while she shucks the broken one to the ground, bringing her freed hand up to cup the back of Caitlyn’s head and kiss her.

This kiss isn’t like the others, not a drunken tease or scripted play or fuelled by whatever lusty excuse Caitlyn can come up with to have Vi give in, this kiss is genuine and surprising and new and oh. Caitlyn wraps her arms tighter around Vi, unable to prevent herself from smiling and laughing as she kisses Vi back, again and again, joy shooting through her like fireworks in her blood.

“Take me home.” She breathes. She’s done it, she’s solved the puzzle and by the fires of Hell she is going to indulge herself in the adrenaline of victory before she has to do it all over again tomorrow.

“Don’t we have to go back and do the paperwork for all-“

“Fuck the paperwork.” Caitlyn kisses Vi again, long and hard, addicted to the newness, high off of victory in more ways than one.

“Cool.” Vi shrugs as she pulls away from the kiss to breath, laughing as she spins with delight and Caitlyn laughs into that dusty, slightly singed pink hair.

She recovers herself just enough to pull herself away, to straighten her outfit, professionally tell her deputy to send everyone to medical for a check before they go home, shake a couple of hands in congratulations. Then she leaves the site to the waiting arms of her partner, who sweeps her into another victorious kiss. And she takes her home.

Caitlyn doesn’t quite know why it feels different this time, but it does. Maybe because it flowed so naturally, instead of situations tweaked and pushed to maximize outcome, riding on flimsy excuses and ignored problems. Maybe because she finally has no regrets on this day, no failures hanging over her head, and the victorious euphoria just bleeds into everything else she’s experiencing. Maybe because it was the first time Vi kissed her first.

But when she tangles herself up in Vi, touching and kissing every memorized inch of her, fingers and mouth used just so, just right, perfected after what must have been a lifetime of practice, she can’t help noticing how it all feels new. Different. Finally different.

And hellfire, she can’t wait to drown herself in it again tomorrow.

 

Caitlyn Kiramman wakes up late.

She’s sore, incredibly sore, all over, her hip bruised from her high fall, shoulder and hands still numb from all the shots she had to take. Body all around sore, muscles stiff, hurting and sharp and Caitlyn shoots awake.

Her body isn’t supposed to hurt.

She looks around at the nauseatingly familiar morning light in her empty bed, empty room, and she feels cold, clutching at her sheets. Is this the newest development, that she’ll wake up with the pains of the previous day?

She slowly removes herself from her bed, stiffly stretching out against the weight of her limbs and of the dread of facing today like this when-

“Well, good morning.”

Caitlyn almost screams, jumping with a start as Vi walks into the room, dressed, two takeout coffee cups in hand. She winces at Caitlyn’s obvious startle.

“Sorry. Couldn’t figure out your coffee maker, so I went out to grab us some.” She holds up the cups in explanation.

Caitlyn stares.

Vi shifts uncomfortably. “Look, I don’t know if you regret last night, but I didn’t want to just bail first thing. If you want it to be a one time thing, or just pretend it never happened, I’m cool with that if it means we can still be friends, but I just need to know if-“

Caitlyn cuts her off by rapidly marching up to her and kissing her. Vi lets out a ‘mmph!’ into the kiss as she tries to keep the coffee from spilling, and Caitlyn smiles, laughs, steps back to wipe the tears from her face as Vi stares at her dumbfounded.

“What day is it?” She asks, shoulders shaking. Vi tilts her head.

“Uh, yesterday was Tuesday, right? So Wednesday?”

And Caitlyn stares at her with the most adoring expression as relief and happiness and potentially a bit of madness washes through her. She laughs as tears streak her face and she rushes forward to kiss Vi again, hands pressed firmly against her face like she might vanish any moment.

“God, I adore you.” She exhales between kisses. “So much.”

“Shit Cupcake, you get like that with every girl who tells you the date?” Vi chuckles, kissing her back. Caitlyn pulls away, smiling, running her fingers through Vi’s hair before she slowly takes the coffee cups out of the other woman’s hands.

“Tell me what month it is and see how I react.” She places them on the table, and reaches out to Vi, clasps their fingers together and pulls her toward the bed.

Vi’s eyebrows shoot up. “You know we got work today, right?” She grins toothily.

Caitlyn grins back.

“We’re playing hooky.”

 

Caitlyn wakes up early on Thursday, but decides to sleep in anyway, wrapped tightly in muscular, tattooed arms.