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i can't decide if it's a choice (getting swept away)

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Eve stared down at all the photos that she had collected of Villanelle. She didn’t even know why she was doing it. Everyone she and Villanelle knew had died but still, she sorted through all the photos. 

 

“And for my funeral make sure you choose a flattering photo. Not the mugshot with the bandana.”

 

Villanelle’s words from when they had walked through the street of Rome echoed in her mind. She remembered them three weeks after she had watched all her blood spill into the River Thames, her body tense with each bullet that hit her. Three weeks since Eve had pulled herself out of the cold water of the Thames. 

 

Two weeks and six days since she had vomited for twenty-four hours; she blamed it on the water, stress and a little bit on the grief. Two weeks and four days since she had taken all of her and Villanelle’s stuff and found herself in Connecticut. 

 

Connecticut was probably the most boring state in the United States of America. If you googled what it’s famous for it tells you that it is known as the "Constitution State", the "Nutmeg State", the "Provisions State", and the "Land of Steady Habits" and that it was influential in the development of the federal government of the United States. The most boring state ever. But she grew up there and it was comforting and it was the only home that she had left. 

 

So she spent two weeks and four days holed up in her childhood before she went on a mission to find a photo of Villanelle that wasn’t a mugshot. She couldn’t have a funeral but she could do something, a death announcement, a memorial, just something. It would be a lot easier if Villanelle hadn’t blown up her childhood home or maybe if she wasn’t a professional assassin whose identity had been erased on multiple occasions. She had found a total of fifty-three photos including four from her childhood in the past week. 

 

Eve had also discovered Villanelle’s real name. Oksana Anatolyevna Astankova. Villanelle suited her better. Now she sat on the floor of her bedroom again in Connecticut surrounded by photos of Villanelle. She knew her mom was standing outside the door worried about her. Every second that Eve had spent at home, her mom had spent worrying about her. 

 

She had already yelled about how she hadn’t visited for five Christmases now and that Eve didn’t even answer her calls when Niko died. Her mom had been angry at her, and passive towards her and she had taken care of her the whole time she had been there. But never at the same time and it was constantly changing. She had even brought Eve’s aunt in to try and get everything out of her. 

 

Her mom finally knocked after about ten minutes. “Do you want something to eat?” she called through the closed door. 

 

“I’m fine, Momma,” Eve yelled back through the door. 

 

“I’ve left food outside,” her mom called back before Eve heard her go back downstairs. 

 

She looked back at the photos. Eve picked up the one of Villanelle as a child again. She was hiding behind the arm of what looked like her older brother. Her eyes were angry and stubborn but still innocent. When Eve looked in her eyes, the last time that she looked in her eyes, they were hardened and scared. She didn’t even look scared as a kid but when Eve looked in her eyes for the last time they were scared. Eve threw the photo back on the floor and went to grab the food from outside. She could comfort eat. Comfort eating was easy. Very easy. 

 

Two weeks before her mother got too annoying for Eve to cope. She went back home. London. That was more like home. There was more to do. More people. Just more. She could be distracted. It was impossible to be distracted in Connecticut. The biggest attraction was Yale University and the capital was Hartford. Nobody has ever heard of Hartford. 

 

She rented an apartment so at least she had a roof over her head. Eve was going to need furniture at some point but she had a sleeping bag and airbed. She could live with that for now. Realistically, the first thing Eve needed to buy was a microwave and maybe a toaster. The only other thing that she had with her was the photo of Villanelle that she finally chose. She had even picked a frame for it. The only time that she had ventured outside in Connecticut. 

 

Eve opened the door to the apartment and instantly saw the postcard lying on the ground. It looked like it had been slipped under the door. She dropped her bag to the ground and picked it up. It reminded her of the ones that gave Villanelle her assignments. 

 

The front had three pictures on it, one of a mountain, one of a lake with that mountain in the background and the third focused on a moose standing by that lake. ‘Alaska’ was written in the bottom corner. 

 

“I was thinking, we should go to Alaska. Have you seen pictures? It’s so amazing. We could get a cabin. Nobody would bother us there. We’d be normal.”

 

Villanelle had told her that at the same time that she’d told Eve to pick a good funeral photo. Eve took a deep breath. Either this was a cruel joke or something else. She couldn’t even imagine the something else. 

 

It was either Villanelle’s handwriting or a very good impression of it. The patterned switches between lowercase and capital letters as well as the unexplainable switches between print and cursive writing. A very good impression. Eve took another deep breath. Trying to centre herself and sort her brain out. Villanelle was dead. She watched Villanelle die. 

 

This place isn’t big enough for the both of us.

 

That was all that maybe-Villanelle had written on the card. No address. Nothing. Eve sighed and leaned against the door, sitting down. Villanelle was dead. She watched Villanelle die. Villanelle was dead. Villanelle wasn’t in Alaska. Villanelle couldn’t be in Alaska. Villanelle was dead. 

 

Okay, Eve hadn’t seen any reports of a body being found but a body in the Thames not being found wasn’t anything new. It was one of the most polluted rivers in history. Eve turned it over and read it again. 

 

This place isn’t big enough for the both of us.

 

The handwriting looked like hers, the words sounded like her and the place, it was one they had talked about. Everything seemed, looked and sounded like her. Like Villanelle. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck; that was the saying. It looked like Villanelle, had the same ideas as Villanelle and sounded like Villanelle, then it probably was Villanelle. What did Eve have to lose? She’d already lost everything and everyone else. 

 

She picked up her bag and walked back out of the door. Eve could figure out how to pay off all the credit card debt that she was racking up later. Now, she needed to catch a flight to Alaska and figure out where the photos on the card were taken. 

 

Eve was definitely going a little insane.

 


 

They were going to kill her. Villanelle knew that. That was why she finally kissed Eve. That was why she made sure to kiss Eve before she killed the twelve. That was why she hugged her. Held her close. They were going to kill her so she had to leave Eve and Eve couldn’t know. 

 

She was Villanelle. They couldn’t kill her. They would try and keep on trying but they would never actually kill her. It wouldn’t stop them from trying though and trying was very inconvenient to Villanelle, personally. Her life was meant to be happy with Eve, not constantly running from the Twelve. They were meant to live together and watch movies together and be happy. They were not meant to be apart. So Villanelle had to inconveniently fake her own death. It really threw the spanner in the works of the whole her and Eve thing. And faking her own death wasn’t easy. 

 

However, two hours after a bath in the Thames, she was on the first plane out of London using a fake identity. To the furthest, most untraceable place that she could think of. Somewhere where she could live her life with Eve as soon as she got her back. 

 

Alaska. 

 

She bought a cabin just outside a city. It wasn’t hard to find one to buy and the real estate market in Alaska was expansive and relatively cheap. She chose the most beautiful cabin she could find. The most perfect one for her and Eve. A lake, snowy peaks and a tall forest surrounded the small cabin. 

 

It was only accessible by one road. It looked like it was barely ever used when Villanelle drove down it. She had decided to solely focus on the cabin until she could be with Eve again. Interior design was the job she would have done if she weren’t an assassin. She could make it perfect. Everything had to be perfect. 

 

She took a step up onto the small deck. She thought there may be space for a porch swing there. Somewhere she could sit with Eve and just watch the lake. Villanelle turned to look at the view over the lake and mountains. It was perfect. Porch swing. They definitely needed a porch swing. 

 

She took the key and opened the door. Windows covered the whole of the front of the house. They seemed like maybe triple glazed because the house was still warm when she walked in. At least relatively. The front room was huge. Villanelle could see it all come together. Off to the right-hand side was a sofa that faced a TV mounted to a wall. Maybe another comfortable chair to read in or something. To the left, a dining table just in front of the kitchen that curved in the top of the L shape pulled the open-plan room together. 

 

The height of the kitchen was lower. The base of the L had no second floor but the other half of the house had it hanging above. The kitchen had just an old stove and terrible looking cabinets in it. Villanelle had already decided that she was going to rip them all out. She moved through in the cabin, into the base of the L. Stairs began just outside of the kitchen leading upstairs but she was more focused on making it to the back room behind the stairs. The door is slightly hidden away just under them.

 

This, she had already decided, was going to be a study for her and Eve. They could turn the left-hand wall into floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and add a desk. The entire right-hand wall was glass, giving them an amazing view outside. 

 

She made her way outside and up the stairs. There was a bathroom on the left and a future walk-in closet on the right. The bedroom was just through the final door and it took up the entire back room. It was big. Plenty of room for her and Eve’s bed. Villanelle couldn’t think about that right now. She shut the door and went back downstairs to figure out exactly how to get the electricity and heating working. The longer she spent in the hotel, the longer that she risked being found out. 

 

The sort of utility room was outside of the house, in a second shed-like cabin. She was lucky that she found a house in Alaska that was linked up to electricity, sewage and clean water. The utility room had a very powerful backup generator and a heating system. It didn’t take long to work out. She powered on all the switches to get the mains electricity working before turning the heating on.

 

Two days and Villanelle was convinced that DIY was invented to solely spite her. Next-day delivery, however, was a blessing. It meant she could have a TV and all the furniture for the living room and dining room. However, DIY seriously hindered her progress in getting it set up. The instructions were impossible to understand and it was all just confusing. It had taken her a whole day just to build the dining room table. She picked that because it seemed easiest. 

 

She was on a limited time frame as well. Villanelle was missing Eve too much and judging by the tabs she was keeping on Eve, she wasn’t entirely coping. She was in Colorado. No one who is doing okay optionally goes to Colorado. 

 

It didn’t take her long to figure out. There was a technique to DIY and it was to only ever use the pictures. The words were there to cause confusion. It meant in the next five days she had all the basic furniture set up: beds, sofas, tables, chairs, desks. Everything. She really was the best. On the other hand, Eve was not. How stupid was she? Taking a trip around the wall and asking lots of questions about Villanelle. It was like she was begging for The Twelve to find and kill her. 

 

They didn’t seem to notice and care though so Villanelle let it be and instead focused on the kitchen. She needed to figure out how to install new countertops by herself. It took four youtube videos and one $5000 mistake to get right. She probably should have started with the bathroom. It would have been a cheaper mistake but once she was done. It looked amazing. It pulled the whole kitchen together along with the new cabinets, stove, sink and fridge. Honestly, she was the best at interior design and DIY. All she had left to do was the bathroom and order books to fill the empty bookshelves in the study. 

 

Her tabs on Eve let Villanelle know she was renting a flat in London. Stupid and far too obvious. A sitting duck for The Twelve. She instantly knew what she had to do. A postcard. Inconspicuous and no one but Eve would understand what it meant. She really hoped Eve would understand what she meant. She made it really obvious. The most obvious that she could possibly make it. 

 

Villanelle watched as Eve booked plane tickets from Colorado, of all places that Eve had to grow up, and then watched as she arrived in London. It was probably stupid and crazy and the most embarrassing thing she’d do in her life but the second Eve touched down in London, she started to wait in the airport closest to the house.

 

On the third day, she saw Eve. Just standing there looking completely exhausted as she looked at a signpost listing where the taxi ranks and car parks were. The slouch in her posture, the bags under her eyes. Villanelle felt guilty for not telling her she was alive. She looked so tired. She didn't let herself think that it would hurt Eve so much.

 

"Eve!" she shouted for her as she walked toward her. Eve glanced over at her for a second and just shook her head before looking back at the sign.

 

"Eve!" she shouted again, taking off at a small run so she could get to her. Eve looked over at her again and stopped everything this time, dropping the phone in her hands. Villanelle stopped as well. She hadn't let herself feel, how much she missed Eve and it hit her like a tonne of bricks. 

 

Tears hit her eyes and she started to move toward Eve again. She stopped just in front of her. Eve hadn’t moved an inch. She just stared at her in shock. “You’re dead,” the words fell from Eve’s mouth in a soft whisper. 

 

“I faked that,” Villanelle shrugged, reaching toward her. Eve batted her hand and stepped away. Villanelle had left it too long, she stared down at the floor and took a deep breath. Eve hated her. She tried not to panic. Don’t get hurt. Shove it down. Villanelle didn’t want to feel, she wasn’t meant to feel. Why did she have to feel when she was with Eve?

 

She watched Eve’s hand move towards her again. Villanelle lifted her head to look her in the eye and figure out what was going on. Then Eve’s hand was resting against her cheek. “You’re alive,” she whispered. 

 

“I needed to disappear and I needed the Twelve not to find me,” she leaned her cheek against Eve’s hand, pressing a kiss to her palm. 

 

“We killed the Twelve,” Eve stepped closer to her and Villanelle reached for her, her hand slipping around Eve’s waist. 

 

“I killed the Twelve,” Villanelle corrected her, “Making me public enemy number one. There are always more of them.”

 

Eve’s hand slipped away from Villanelle’s cheek and she pulled Villanelle into a hug. Villanelle let her eyes slip shut and wrapped her arms around her shoulders and buried her face in her neck. She smelt like aeroplane and travel and underneath all that she smelt like Eve. Her Eve. Villanelle could only hug her tighter and pull her closer. 

 

“You’re crying,” Eve whispered, pulling away and looking Villanelle in the eye, wiping tears from her cheeks. 

 

“So are you,” Villanelle pointed out, “And it’s allergies,” she lied, “Hay fever season.”

 

“We are in the frozen Alaskan wasteland,” Eve laughed waterily, kissing the Villanelle lightly on the lips, “Why did you bring me here?”

 

“To live,” Villanelle smiled, “You’re going to love it.”

 

Villanelle carried all of Eve’s singular bag to the car while she complained about a flight delay, cancellation and crying baby on her journey over. All the little mundane things about her trip. It was all Villanelle wanted to hear. Eve's hand gripped hers the whole way, their fingers intertwined. It was perfect. Then there was the drive back. Villanelle drove and Eve’s fingers stayed intertwined with hers the whole way. Admittedly, it made it a little harder to change gears but Villanelle didn’t care. Villanelle had Eve. Eve was all she needed. 

 

Eve spoke quietly on the way back about snow while she looked at the window. Making idiotic comments about the most boring place in the world (Colorado) and how it was always ridiculously cold. “You do realise I grew up in Russia, right?” Villanelle looked over at her, “It was -10℃ on average in the warm places. What was it in Colorado?” Villanelle scoffed, “5℃.”

 

“I don’t know, they only talked about it in Fahrenheit,” Eve admitted, “And no one can convert that.” 

 

“Americans are stupid,” Villanelle muttered, mostly to herself. It’s not like it could be disputed though, they were like the only ones to use Fahrenheit and the Imperial System. That was stupid. Who would use a system that actively makes maths harder?

 

“You’re in America,” Eve pointed out. 

 

“Barely,” Villanelle disputed, “You bought it off Russia, you didn’t even do something cool like invading or conquering it.”

 

Eve just shrugged and turned to stare out the window, “I think there are more polar bears than humans as well.”

 


 

Villanelle pulled up in the driveway just in front of the cabin and looked over at Eve. She was just staring at it. Villanelle pressed a kiss to the back of her hand and slipped out of the car, leaving her to stare. It was her handiwork, it should be admired. She grabbed Eve’s bag before going around to her door and opening it for her. “You should see the inside,” she smiled. 

 

“I should?” Eve laughed. 

 

“I just became the world’s greatest DIY-er for it,” Villanelle smiled, stepping onto the step so she wasn’t looking up at Eve so much, “So you definitely should.

 

Eve just hummed her acknowledgement, her hand cupping Villanelle’s cheek, “Come here,” she whispered. Villanelle leaned down and captured her lips in a soft kiss as Eve’s other hand snaked around her hip and pulled her closer. 

 

Eve deepened the kiss, her tongue licking across Villanelle’s bottom lip. Villanelle just dropped the bag to the floor and ducked into the Jeep, straddling Eve’s lap and threading her fingers into her hair and pulling it out of the ponytail. It was so much better down. Her lips never left Eve’s. Eve’s hands were freezing when they slipped under her coat and shirt but Villanelle did not care. Except she’d built two beds for them (the first one had failed the jumping up and down test) and she fully intended on making full use of her handiwork. It took all the self-control in her to pull away and look Eve in the eye. 

 

“There is a bed inside,” she shocked herself with how breathless she sounded, “And warmth,” she added. Eve’s hands slipped away from under her shirt. 

 

“Lead the way,” she smiled, pressing a quick kiss to Villanelle’s lips. Again, she had to use all her self-control to climb off Eve’s lap and out of the car. 

 

She held her hand out to Eve to help her down the step. In reality, it was all part of her plan. As soon as Eve stepped out of the car and onto the step, Villanelle slipped her hand away so she could pick Eve up in a bridal carry. One arm sweeping her legs out from underneath her and the other supporting her back. Eve burst out in laughter, her arms wrapping around Villanelle’s neck and clinging on tightly. 

 

“Villanelle,” she shouted, fear and laughter shaking in her voice, “What are you doing?” 

 

“We are crossing the threshold,” Villanelle looked down at the bag at her feet. She hadn’t thought this through, “It’s tradition.”

 

Eve looked her in the eye, “We didn’t just get married.”

 

“Just-” Villanelle shook her head, “Okay,” she spun to get to the bag at the right angle. She’d have to squat to make sure that she didn’t drop Eve. She crouched slowly, reaching for the bag. 

 

Eve shook her head, laughing, and reached out to pick up the bag for her. “Let’s get inside before your arms give out.”

 

Villanelle gasped. She was strong. She was a professionally trained assassin. She was very strong. “You need to have more faith in my strength, Eve,” she warned her, sticking strictly to the de-iced path as she walked. 

 

“So how much did you DIY?” Eve asked. 

 

“Everything,” Villanelle told her, “The whole interior looked like complete shit so I redid it.” Rednecks shouldn’t be banned from interior design or just anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to use a deer’s head mounted on a plaque as decoration. She reached the steps up to the porch with the very well built porch swing standing there. 

 

“A porch swing?” Eve looked over at it. 

 

“To watch the sunsets or something like that,” Villanelle shrugged, they did not have time to be distracted by the view and she did not have time to be distracted by Eve’s smile either. Mainly because Eve may be partially correct in the assumption that Villanelle may not be strong enough to keep this up. 

 

“I need you to take the key out of my pocket,” Villanelle confessed, standing in front of the door. 

 

“Which one?” Eve laughed. 

 

“Back right-hand side,” Villanelle told her. There was no hesitation, Eve’s hand instantly slipped into her back pocket. “Key,” she reminded her as Eve felt her up. 

 

“I was just looking,” Eve shrugged innocently, pulling it out and sliding it into the lock. 

 

“Shut your eyes,” Villanelle told her once she had opened the door. 

 

“Seriously?” 

 

“Eve,” Villanelle pouted, dragging out the name. She really wanted to see her reaction properly. Eve just shook her head, squeezing her eyes shut. Villanelle nudged the door open with her foot before she crossed the threshold with Eve in her arms. She let her stand up gently before standing her so she faced toward the kitchen. It was some of her best work. She stepped away to watch Eve’s reaction. “Open your eyes,” she told her. 

 

Eve did so slowly, looking at Villanelle first with a smile before she looked around everything else. Her eyes fell on the dining room first. Not the best room in the house. It needed a lot more wall decoration that Villanelle didn’t have time for but the lighting was amazing. Hanging light bulbs on long cables from the ceiling. She had to use a ladder on top of her table to get them in. 

 

“I ran out of time for decorations and stuff,” Villanelle explained the plain walls. 

 

“It looks amazing,” Eve breathed, walking over to look at the kitchen. Villanelle had spare marble countertops and wood so she had added a breakfast bar looking out the window and found stools that slide under it perfectly so it could double as a kitchen island. It was the thing Villanelle was most proud of but that wasn’t to say everything wasn’t amazing. It was all amazing. Obviously. 

 

Eve walked into the kitchen slowly, admiring Villanelle’s handiwork. “What did it look like before?” she asked. 

 

“Terrible,” Villanelle told her, she tried not to think about it too much but the nightmares were recurring, “I gutted it all. I think a redneck designed it.”

 

“Not one of those,” Eve opened the fridge and looked inside. Villanelle had to admit it was very empty. She’d mostly been eating cereal and boxed mac and cheese and ramen and the occasional pasta dish when she felt motivated to cook (which was not often). “Last time I looked in your fridge there was just champagne.”

 

“Which you then smashed all over my floor before stabbing me,” Villanelle pointed out. 

 

Eve looked around the kitchen, opening a few of the cabinets, “I think one of us needs to learn to cook,” she reached the cupboard that Villanelle had stuffed with ramen and mac and cheese. 

 

“It’s nutritious enough,” Villanelle tried to reason, “I think I should have picked somewhere with a more easily accessible takeaway.”

 

“Is there even hard to access takeaway around here?” Eve laughed, walking back over to Villanelle and going to kiss her. Villanelle was not about to get distracted before Eve saw everything. She didn’t work so hard for no reason. She dodged Eve and took her hand leading her so she looked over at the living room.

 

Villanelle had had time for some to add some wall decorations and fill the bookshelves in there. She had gotten a few cacti as well to add some life to the room, a life that it would be very hard to kill. Villanelle had killed every other plant that she tried to keep alive. Eve made her way over to the bookshelves around the TV straight away, looking at the books there. 

 

“I needed to fill them so I got some I thought you might like,” Villanelle told her as she looked them over. 

 

Eve turned around, finding the door under the stairs, “What’s through there?”

 

“Study,” Villanelle told her, opening the door. She loved that room, it was filled with natural light with all the windows and the floor to ceiling bookshelves were lit with LED strips Villanelle had put in. Admittedly, she was yet to fill it with books but she would need a lot of books and a lot more time. She didn’t quite realise how long your life in a home had to be to fill bookshelves. She and Eve had nothing. They’d lost it all fighting the Twelve. Villanelle reached the light switch, turning the LEDs on. 

 

Eve was focused on the desk Villanelle had built though. A computer on top of it with everything already set up. That had taken so long for her to build. Villanelle was convinced that they made all this DIY deliberately complicated so they would pay someone else to do it (admittedly, that would be Villanelle’s first course of action before she’d moved in). 

 

“You already set up an account on the computer for me?” Eve looked over at her.

 

“I already had to do it once,” Villanelle shrugged, “I would have gotten laptops but apparently using plug-in internet is more reliable even if it is old-fashioned.”

 

“It’s not that old-fashioned,” Eve turned around, taking it all in.

 

“It is,” Villanelle scoffed, leading her out of the study. Eve had to see upstairs. The smartest project that she’d done was the walk-in wardrobe. She had to lay water pipes from the bathroom’s supply into the wardrobe so she could put a washing machine and tumble dryer in there. Putting them anywhere else was insanity and totally ruined the vibe. 

 

Eve’s hand slipped into hers as they walked up the stairs, her fingers interlocking with Villanelle’s. She looked back at Eve with a smile. “Thank you,” she smiled back at her. 

 

“You haven’t seen all of it yet,” Villanelle smiled, pulling her up the stairs and opening the bathroom door. She used the same marble as the kitchen and made sure there was a shower next to the door and then a bathtub perfectly positioned next to the window. 

 

“One-way glass,” Villanelle assured Eve as she stared at the floor-to-ceiling window. Eve took in the rest of the bathroom, toilet and sink. The boring parts. 

 

“I cannot believe you did all this,” Eve looked over at her again. 

 

“I had to pass the time some way,” Villanelle walked back out of the door, “I learned how to lay a water line into here,” she told her, walking out of the bathroom and opening the door to the walk-in wardrobe. The dryer and washing machine were on the left-hand side when you opened the door.

 

“You put the washing machine in here,” Eve laughed, walking in. 

 

“It looked ugly everywhere else,” Villanelle looked over at them, they were still ugly and disgusting in the wardrobe. 

 

“And I assume those are clothes you bought for me,” Eve looked over at the side of the wardrobe with less space, Villanelle could feel the judgement. 

 

“You need help. I had nightmares about the shirt attached to the sweater,” Villanelle reminded her. Eve looked through the clothing slowly. 

 

“You do have better taste than me but I’m not sure how practical it is,” Eve murmured. 

 

“Practical?” Villanelle repeated, rolling her eyes, that was not the point of clothing. Eve really didn’t get it. 

 

Eve shook her head, looking at her with a smile, clearly deciding not to fight Villanelle on that one. “What’s the final door then?” she walked out of the wardrobe, her hand resting on the bedroom door. 

 

“The bedroom,” Villanelle smiled, walking up to Eve and pushing her against the door. Eve’s hand went straight to her ass, pulling her closer with a smirk, looking up at Villanelle. Villanelle’s eyes slipped shut as she leaned in slowly. She paused right before their lips touched, just breathing Eve in. The moment that she’d dreamed of for the last month and a half. It almost made her dizzy. She opened her eyes for just a second to find her eyes meeting Eve’s. 

 

The air around her changed as Eve breathed in slowly. Her fingers tucked a hair behind Villanelle’s ear before it rested on her cheek, she breathed in slowly again. It was dizzying, the feeling of Eve this close. “I love you,” the words fell from Eve’s mouth, her breath ghosting over Villanelle’s lips. 

 

Villanelle couldn’t believe the words that she was hearing. She didn’t know how to process it. Eve loved her. Eve loved her. Eve Polastri loved her. Eve loves her. Villanelle had no idea how to take it all in. Luckily, her mouth acted without her brain needing to function. “I love you too,” she whispered, breaking the almost non-existent gap between them as she captured Eve’s lips in a bruising kiss. 

 

It was intoxicating. Eve practically melted into her and Villanelle melted into Eve too. It was rushed and urgent and passionate. A month and a half of pain and being apart all pouring into one kiss. Villanelle blindly reached for the door handle, her arm slipped around Eve’s waist to hold her as she pushed the door open. The shock didn’t slow Eve down at all, she just stumbled backwards into the room with Villanelle pushed against her, guiding her to the bed. Eve fell against the bed and Villanelle fell with her. 

 

Eve’s hands went straight to her shirt, stumbling over each button as she tried to get it off. Villanelle just needed it off. She needed to feel Eve closer but she didn’t want to leave Eve for a second. She knocked Eve’s hands away and just tugged the shirt open, she didn’t care if the buttons broke. Eve pushed it off her shoulders as her mouth found its way down Villanelle’s neck. Villanelle shook the shirt off as Eve’s legs hooked around her waist and pulled her closer. Their bodies pressed together before Eve flipped them over and pinned Villanelle to the mattress.

 

The moan that Villanelle let out shocked even her as she looked up at Eve sitting back on her hips and pulling off her t-shirt over her head. Villanelle was too stunned to even react. The woman that was straddling her took her breath away. “Where did you learn to do that?” she breathed. 

 

“You aren’t the only one who's trained to fight,” Eve murmured as she brushed their lips together for just a second before her lips found Villanelle’s neck again, sucking the skin into her mouth. Villanelle tried to get her brain together as she reached around Eve to undo her bra. Her fingers fumbled over the clasp before she managed to get it open. It felt like it took forever, it was very hard to focus on anything with Eve’s lips leaving an inevitable trail of destruction along her neck.

 

Eve pulled away for a second to discard her bra to the side. Villanelle sat up with her, Eve’s hands grabbed her ass and pulled her closer, capturing her lips in a kiss and tugging Eve’s bottom lips with her teeth. Eve moaned lightly into her mouth as her hands reached for her bra, making quick work of getting rid of it before she pushed Villanelle back against the mattress and slipped her tongue into Villanelle’s mouth. Villanelle bit back her moan as Eve rolled her hips against her. 

 

The last time they had done this Villanelle was leading. Villanelle was in control, it was the way she liked it but now Eve was in control and Villanelle couldn’t find a single reason to complain. It was hot, Eve was hot. Eve’s hands were also trying to undo the buttons on her jeans and Villanelle was really regretting the clothing choice she really couldn’t hide her whine as Eve's lips left hers and she sank down her body. 

 

Villanelle sat up, looking down at Eve as she tried to figure out the buttons on the jeans. “Fucking hell,” she glared up at her, “Why did you choose these of all things?”

 

“They make my ass look good,” she laughed. 

 

Villanelle undid the complicated buttons herself as Eve agreed, biting her lip, “They do that.” She tugged the jeans down and threw them away before she crawled her way back up to Villanelle and found her lips again in a tender kiss, just soft and gentle kisses. Villanelle wrapped her arms around Eve and pulled her closer. For once in her life, she didn’t mind it slowing down and she didn’t mind just taking a second to savour Eve. She’d take a lifetime to do it if she could. 

 

“I missed you so much,” Eve murmured between kisses. 

 

“I missed you too,” Villanelle smiled, opening her eyes and looking up at the woman above her, threading her hands into her hair and pushing it off her face so she could see her properly. 

 

“Did you miss my hair or me more?” Eve teased her, her fingers replacing Eve’s as she pulled her hair into a ponytail. 

 

“You,” Villanelle didn’t even hesitate to answer. It seemed to surprise Eve a little, her hair slipping from between her fingers as she looked at Villanelle. It was a look Villanelle had seen Eve give her a few times before but no one else had ever looked at her like that before. She was pretty sure it was love, she just didn't want to be wrong so she didn't let herself think that.

 

Eve smiled at her, "Smooth," she mumbled under her breath as she tied her hair back in a ponytail and captured Villanelle's lips in a bruising kiss. Villanelle happily reciprocated the passion and force in it, letting Eve push her into the mattress. She felt hazy, her heart pounding, her blood roaring in her ears. And Eve, she was simply the most intoxicating intense bliss that the world had come up with. 

 

Villanelle sucked in a breath as Eve left her lips, Eve’s tongue travelling down her neck, smoothing over the slowly forming bruises she’d left some time ago. Villanelle didn’t know how long it had been. Everything was happening at the same time. Villanelle bit back another moan, her head falling against the pillow. Eve was making it very difficult to think. 

 

Her brain short-circuited as soon as Eve found her way to her tits, sucking her hardened nipple into her mouth. Villanelle couldn’t bite back her moan then, she felt Eve smile against her as fingers toyed with the edge of her panties. Villanelle arched her hips into Eve’s hand, she wasn’t going to beg or ask. Eve knew what she needed. Eve’s hand slid away as her lips wrapped around Villaenlle’s other nipple. Villanelle sucked in a breath, her hips arching again, she wasn’t going to beg. 

 

“What do you want?” Eve looked up at her innocently. She wasn’t going to beg. 

 

“You know,” Villanelle answered through gritted teeth as Eve’s hand teased her over the top of her panties. She wasn’t going to beg. 

 

“I can’t be certain,” Eve smirked, her tongue licking a stripe across Villanelle’s collarbone before her lips found their place at the base of her neck, teeth grazing over the skin there. Villanelle swallowed her moan, breathing deeply. She wasn’t going to beg. 

 

She wasn’t going to beg. Eve’s fingers slipped, grazing over her clit through her panties. A moan slipped through her lips and Eve looked up at her, very happy with herself. Villanelle was going to have to beg. She desperately needed Eve. Villanelle had never been desperate before. 

 

“You are such a tease, Eve," she complained, covering her face with her hands. She tried to breathe in deeply but Eve's fingers slid over her clit again and she ended up choking out a moan. 

 

"What were you going to say?" Eve asked her innocently.

 

"I need you," Villanelle admitted, it was almost impossible to get the words out with Eve's fingers teasing her relentlessly.

 

Eve leaned closer to her, "To do what?" she whispered, her breath tickling over her ear before her lips brushed over her ear lobe.

 

"To-," Villanelle tried to get the rest of the words out but Eve's teeth were tugging on her earlobe and the only thing that was coming out of her mouth was a moan.

 

“What was that?” Eve’s breath ghosted over her ear again. 

 

Villanelle groaned, “I need you to fuck me.”

 

“As you wish,” Eve smiled, her hand slipping under Villanelle’s panties and her lips capturing Villanelle’s in a kiss. Her thumb found its way instantly to Villanelle’s clit, two fingers slipping into her entrance. It was all at once as Eve’s fingers pumped in and out, hitting her G-Spot and a thumb circled her clit. It was all at once and Villanelle was instantly drowning in pleasure. She tried to keep her brain engaged enough to keep kissing Eve but Eve seemed determined to send her into a frantic harmony of pleasure and ecstasy. 

 

Her lips left Eve’s but their foreheads pressed together so instead Villanelle was just panting and moaning against her. The searing pressure tightened as Eve’s fingers buried into her again and again. Again, again and again. Her thumb rubbed circles on her clit round and round. It was intoxicating, the pressure tightening. Tighter and tighter. Faster and faster. Again and again. Round and round. Fire pooled low in her abdomen, a spring coiled up. Every feeling Villanelle had ever felt during sex, she was feeling all at once with Eve. It was overwhelming but perfect. Eve was perfect. Eve is perfect. Eve would always be perfect. 

 

The pressure kept tightening. Eve’s fingers pumped faster and faster inside her, her thumb rubbing circles on her clit. It all built pressure tighter and tighter. The spring coiled. The fire burned hotter. It all reached its peak, Villanelle could hear herself getting louder, Eve’s breath coming in pants on her face. Then it all went, the spring was released, the fire exploded inside her as fireworks and the pressure dissolved into total pleasure. Everything slowed down around her, it felt like the world stopped spinning. Everything stopped. It was just her and Eve.

 

Her orgasm was barely even other as Eve crawled down her, pulling her panties down and pulling one of Villanelle’s thighs over her shoulder, her tongue licking a cautious stripe across Villanelle’s entrance. “You taste good,” Eve murmured, her warm breath ghosting over Villanelle’s entrance. Villanelle could only moan in response, sitting up and threading her fingers in Eve’s hair to pull her closer. As soon as Eve’s tongue flicked over her clit, Villanelle melted back into her mattress, her eyes slipping shut. 

 

For the first time ever, someone that Villanelle had had sex with had tired her out. Villanelle had to take a break before even reciprocating it. A literal break, she couldn’t even get her legs to work well enough to go downstairs and get water, Eve did that while she tried to recover. Villanelle never had to recover from anything before. 

 

They only stopped when they wore each other out. Villanelle woke up before Eve at some random time that Villanelle decided to treat as the morning, which meant that she had to figure out how to cook something. Although, that was more dictated by her own hunger.

 

She pulled her robe tighter as she stared at the contents of their mostly-empty fridge. Their fridge. Villanelle had for some reason brought eggs and naturally, she had milk and flour. Pancakes. That was a romantic food. Could eggs go off? Villanelle leaned against the counter opposite and looked it up, apparently, they could and apparently she could test it with some cold water. That shouldn’t be too hard. 

 

Step one: test eggs. Luckily, that was easy and they were fresh. Step two was to find out a recipe for pancakes as well as decide whether or not she wanted pancakes or crêpes. She decided on crêpes. They were better and she missed them. They were her breakfast every day that she remembered to eat breakfast in Paris but she never had to make them before. It might almost be too much effort. 

 

By the time she had mixed the milk, flour and eggs, Eve was already waking up. She could hear her walking down the stairs. She wasn't wearing much when she walked into the kitchen, just the shirt Villanelle had been wearing the night before held together by just a few buttons.

 

"Morning," Villanelle smiled over at her as she walked into the kitchen.

 

"I think it's only just about morning," Eve laughed, walking up to Villanelle and wrapping her arms around her waist, resting her head on Villanelle's shoulder, pressing a soft kiss to her neck. "What are you making?" she murmured gently. 

 

"An attempt at crêpes," Villanelle put down the whisk, spinning in Eve's arms to kiss her properly.

 

Eve smiled into the kiss, pressing Villanelle against the counter. "We don't have time for this right now," Villanelle mumbled through the kiss.

 

"We have forever," Eve whispered the promise against her lips.

 

They did have forever. A forever of sunrises and sunsets on their porch swing. Of books and movies and TV shows all while cuddling on their couch.

 

For the first two months, they did nothing but be with each other. Eve ordered a camera and became determined to decorate their walls with pictures of each other (Villanelle vetoed all the ones Eve had collected, not one person had managed to get her best side) but most of them focused on Villanelle. Villanelle had to steal it to at least get one or two of Eve and then a few of them together.

 

Then, they got jobs. Eve worked for the local university as a Professor of Criminal Psychology with a specialism in Female Criminal Psychology after she had received her doctorate with an amazing essay (although that was mainly because the subject was one of the greatest people to grace the planet). Villanelle got a job as a translator, it was easy and it was fun knowing everybody's business. 

 

At the same time, they changed their names. Eve reverted to her maiden name of Park and Villanelle took on the name Elle. Since Eve had started using it as her nickname, it became one of her favourite things to hear. She then took on Eve's surname. She couldn't use her own and they were legally registering themselves as married anyway. Villanelle still maintained that Elle and Eve Park sounded like a shitty couple though.

 

It was simple in Alaska. Villanelle never woke up with everything bad on her shoulders. No loneliness, no need to kill someone, no numbness. There were the occasional nightmares but Eve was always there. Their house was actually home. Eve managed to master cooking as well, Korean dishes mainly, and that helped with their food situation.

 

Three years passed and they found themselves talking about kids. The friends that they'd made in Alaska had had their first and it came one night and then again and again. Eve was against even the idea at first, blaming her age, but Villanelle could see through the excuse. They'd been together too long for her not to be able to. 

 

What ended up happening was actually one of their more sensible plans but it did involve the first trip out of Alaska in years. New fake passports and disguises were their best friend. Eve took control and led the whole thing. Something about how Villanelle shouldn't have to take this one on. So it was Eve who knocked on the door of Carolyn's house, interrogated her, found out the Twelve was recruiting again, stole all the documents on it and then killed her. They kind of already knew about the rebuild but hearing it was what she feared most.

 

The plan was executed to tie up their final loose end. No kids until they were as close to normal in terms of likelihood of being killed as most Americans. But the plan was how they found their two daughters. The use of the documents was simple. Identify the kids who were targets of the new Twelve, find where they were and save them. Mostly they just reunited them with their families, families that still loved them but that didn't always work.

 

The first time it happened was with a five-year-old. Villanelle was dropping her off with her family in Russia, the door was shut in her face and they screamed that they didn't want her back. Eve took over the talking after that. It was too close to home for Villanelle, she just held the girl as she cried. She'd had one or two violent outbursts, that never made anyone an evil person. They were mainly fights with siblings and on the playground. 

 

All Villanelle knew is that when Eve got back to the car, she was angry. "We are not letting her stay there," she told Villanelle firmly. The full story was the older brother was the psychopath. Villanelle looked him up years later, he was in prison for multiple murders. The girl, Mila, their daughter was just stuck in a fight response for so long after abuse at his hands. 

 

She was their eldest, it made the travel harder and Villanelle had to sacrifice the hanging lights to extend the upstairs but they managed it. Mila was bright, intelligent and somehow always had a smile. She was also the person who made Villanelle speak Russian again and love Russian again. It was their language, the language they spoke to plot to get the best snacks, watch the best movies and play the best pranks behind Eve's back. 

 

Two years later, Eve came back from France with their second daughter, Isabella. She'd been orphaned at four and bounced around orphanages for a year until she killed the rabbit, they had declared her psychopathic, thrown a five-year-old in a mental hospital and the Twelve had taken her from there six months before Eve found her. She already had a Keeper and she was already being trained to kill and trained not to care. Eve had killed the Keeper and saved Isabella. She, like most of the assassins the Twelve trained, was not actually a psychopath. She was just dared. Issy wasn’t as intelligent as her sister but she managed to get to the top of every sports team, she was unstoppable. 

 

They also got a dog, a husky. Villanelle named it Konstantin. He would've hated her for it. She swore he was a reincarnated Konstantin, he was just as grumpy sometimes, especially when Villanelle didn’t take him for enough walks. 

 

A dozen years after Villanelle had faked her death, Eve was sitting on the porch swing, looking over Mila and Issy’s homework. They might be teenagers now but they were still running around with Konstantin as they did as kids, throwing snowballs around. Villanelle picked up the coffees from the counter, opening the front door with her foot because both her hands were occupied. 

 

Eve smiled at her as she saw her, pushing her glasses onto her head. “How did they do?” Villanelle asked her, passing her the coffee. 

 

“I’m not a hundred percent sure that Issy actually read ‘The Great Gatsby’,” Eve commented. 

 

“It’s boring anyway,” Villanelle shrugged, “And Mila?”

 

“You need to start practising French with her more,” Eve looked over at her, “We agreed, you take languages and I take everything else and you already copped out by having Is take Spanish.”

 

“It’s not a cop-out, just making full use of her natural talents,” Villanelle defended herself, leaning her head against Eve’s shoulder. “Do you remember when you said we’d consume each other before we get old?”

 

“Are you suggesting I’m old?” Villanelle could feel the glare on her head. 

 

“No,” she responded quickly, lifting her head and looking Eve in the eye, “Do you think the same now?”

 

“Not in the way I meant back then,” Eve smirked at her. 

 

“Moms!” Mila’s voice came muffled from her place lying in the snow with Konstantin on top of her, “We can hear you!”

 

“Sex-” 

 

“Sorry!” Eve cut her off, clamping a hand over her mouth. Villanelle never got to the whole way through her ‘sex is a healthy concept’ lecture. Eve definitely needed it as a child.