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crescent moon, coast is clear

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It all starts that one evening when they'd just finished with dinner, Austin was out, and Emily had just finished rocking Ned to sleep. Emily looks at Ned like he's the sun, the moon, and the stars. Patiently, she will hold his hands while he wobbles around the living room, pick out flowers to place in his hair or shirt pockets, and read out entire passages from her favorite books to him while he babbles happily in response. It makes Sue's heart melt. And now she watches fondly as the poet places the baby gently into his crib before wrapping her arms around her lover. Sue's fingers weave themselves into Emily's hair, brushing back the curls from her face.


"Sue?" Emily murmurs into her shoulder.




"Do you want to have another one?"






After the decision’s been made, Sue acts methodically, planning out each step in her head and then arranging for them to happen. Austin, fortunately, is the easiest to convince as his love for children and even to some extent still, for her, sways his decision within the first 10 minutes of their discussion. They quickly set the date, but as the event draws nearer, it becomes increasingly apparent that the most difficult piece is Emily herself.


She starts fidgeting a week before the fateful date, anxiously pacing in every room while Sue follows her with her eyes. Sue watches the sharp lines of her jaw as it clenches and unclenches every time Austin is in the room and how she steps closer, hovering behind her as she chops the vegetables or cleans the dishes. A few days before the day, Emily gets so anxious that she snaps her pencil cleanly in two from where she was seated, scribbling furiously in her journals, and Sue is kneeling before her in a heartbeat, hand reaching out to ease the broken wood out from between Emily’s fingers.


“Baby,” she murmurs, looking up at Emily in concern. Emily refuses to meet her gaze, eyes trained determinedly towards the window. “Look at me.”


It takes a moment, but hazel eyes reluctantly shift to hers and the mix of emotions she sees swirling in their depths makes Sue want to cry.


“Are you sure we want to do this?” Emily’s throat bobs as she swallows and Sue watches as she chews on her bottom lip. “We don’t need to. I’d love another child, but Ned has already brought us so much joy and if it pains you like this, we can stop. I’m happy with Ned, and with you.”


Emily is silent. Her eyes scan over Sue’s face for any sign of sadness, but only finds genuine concern. She takes a deep breath and slowly exhales.


“No. You want this, have wanted this for so long. And I… I want this too. I just, ugh,” she slumps her head down into her hands.


Sue pries her hands away. “Listen to me. I love you. Only you. And I will always love you.”


“You promise?”


Sue looks into Emily’s eyes, dark, swirling with doubt, anger, insecurity, sadness, and kisses it away.






The event itself, when it happens, is perfectly underwhelming and barely lasts 10 minutes from the time Sue first enlists Austin’s help undoing her corset to when he rolls off of her, heaving for breath. She can’t help but think that it would have taken even less time altogether if her body hadn’t sported such obvious marks of another. She could feel Austin’s eyes nervously roaming the blemishes on her otherwise fair skin and the hesitancy in his touches that followed. Sue doesn’t cum. When Austin fastens the last button on his pants and makes to leave the room awkwardly waving goodbye, Sue sighs and allows herself to lean back into the pillows, thoroughly exhausted with it all.


A few minutes later, a quiet rapping sounds at her door. “It’s me.”


Sue sits up. “Come in.”


Emily pops her head in, taking in Sue’s undressed state, before fully entering the room and closing the door behind her.


“I heard the door shut, so I assumed he’d left.”


She was standing stiffly still at the door, awkwardly fiddling with her hands. The hesitancy is apparent in her body language and so new. It’s been a long time since Emily has displayed this type of hesitancy towards her and the effect, eyes wide and questioning, is a little disarming. It’s strange as it is endearing seeing Emily there, not quite knowing what to do, what Sue would like her to do, and Sue is hit with a sudden pang of longing and affection so strong that tears well up in her eyes.


“Come here, please.” She stretches her arms towards Emily and the tension snaps. The other woman doesn’t hesitate to cross the distance between them, falling into Sue’s warm embrace and pressing kisses to where the tears had spilled over on her cheeks.


Emily pulls back and gently wipes the rest of her tear tracks away with her thumbs. They stare at each other in silence for a moment before Emily sighs.


“I’m sorry.” She murmurs, “I’ve been so in my head about how I felt about this that I didn’t even think about how you might feel.”


Sue sighs, fingers coming up to tuck a loose strand of hair behind Emily’s ear again.


“Thank you for giving us more to love each day, even when I’m… you know, being me.”


Emily smiles ruefully and Sue feels warmth spread through her chest.


“No, you were perfect.” She smiles up at the other girl. “I know it wasn’t easy letting me do this, but it’s done. Plus, I kind of liked seeing you jealous. You get very possessive and it’s kind of hot.”


That pulls a laugh from Emily.


“You should have seen his face when he saw the marks though. I thought I would have to go down on him again.” Sue giggles and Emily crinkles her nose in disgust.


“Okay, no more talking about my brother having sex. Gross.”


Emily moves them so that they’re both lying down. Her arm comes up under Sues head and the other curls around Sue’s back, bringing their bodies together. Sue lays her head against Emily’s chest, humming as the thudding of her heartbeat rings in her ears.


“I love you.”


“I know.” A beat. “I love you too.”