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"Victoria," Kate mutters softly one day when they're in her room and on her couch, wrapped up in blankets with the lights off. On the coffee table in front of Victoria sits her laptop, screen flashing with some movie that neither of them have really been paying attention to. Not when Victoria's eyes kept drifting to Kate's face, and not while Kate's been cuddling up close against her side.

Kate has her head tucked right against the junction of Victoria's neck and shoulder, Victoria's arm wrapped stiffly around her shoulders. The blonde herself feels her heart skip a beat when the girl regards her, and in response, she gives a low hum.

It's honestly ridiculous, how much emotion the girl even mumbling her name brings to her. "What?"

Kate turns her head, breath ghosting against the skin of Victoria's neck, bringing forth goosebumps with it. Victoria tries to control the little hitch of her breath, squeezing Kate's arm very gently, right as she looks up. "Do you have any idea what's going on..?"

Victoria stops, and then manages a short little scoff, tearing her gaze away from the screen in order to look at Kate. It proves to be a mistake, because her nose brushes against Kate's and her eyes widen briefly at the proximity.

Kate's eyes widen too, and the temperature seems to rise far too quickly. "N..." Victoria tries, and then forces herself to look off to the side, anywhere but at Kate. She's able to breathe again as soon as she does, and she thinks she might be imagining it, but Kate inhales softly too.

"No, not really. This film is a cinematic garbage." She huffs, speaking evenly in an attempt to regain control over the minor blunder. Kate sniffs, giggles softly and curls up closer to her.

"Which means you aren't watching it."

"I--" Victoria purses her lips, tries to focus on the screen again rather than the warmth blossoming against her side, the weight of Kate against her. "If you're paying so much attention, why are you asking me dumb questions?"

"Um," Kate responds, and Victoria's just a little afraid she's said something wrong, been too rough. It's always hard to control how sharp her tongue is, and even now Victoria has difficulty dulling it down. But then Kate continues, and she feels a weight lift. "Because if you weren't paying attention, I wanted to... um."

That little pause causes Victoria to quirk up an eyebrow, and she pulls back a little in order to focus on Kate again, this time with enough distance to keep her clear headed. Kate's averting her gaze, despite still being curled up against her. "What is it?"

"I wanted to--" Kate stops herself again, peeking at Victoria nervously. She's not entirely sure what she's supposed to do with that, so Victoria huffs and runs her fingers down her arm. And then Kate's eyes flicker down, stopping at her lips, and her mouth runs so dry so quickly she's tempted to pull away and reach for her water.

Oh. Victoria gets it instantly, and it's not as if it's the first time they've done it. It's far from the first time, honestly-- and the fact that Kate feels the need to hesitate every time is both endearing and frustrating, when all Victoria can think about is kissing her so hard she forgets how to breathe.

So she waits for her to say it first. "Hm?"

Kate pauses. "To kiss you." It's such a soft and sweet admission that Victoria almost wants to cry and pull herself away from her right there, pained by how her heart twists in her chest. It reminds her how idiotic she was to push her away in the first place, how remarkable it is to be pulling her back in, trying so hard to not make the same mistake again.

She licks her lips, and then croaks out as smoothly as she can. "God, Kate. You are aware that you don't need to ask, aren't you?"

Kate's lips quirk up, pulling into a slight smile. Her cheeks are flushed pink, just barely noticeable in the darkness of Victoria's room. "I don't, but you get very embarrassed when I do."

It takes Victoria a moment to understand what the hell that means, and when it clicks she's already too late to respond, Kate's hand sliding onto her jaw and nose bumping against her's. They're so close she swears she can feel the flutter of her eyelashes, and before she can even think about the brush of their lips, Kate's closed the distance.

Every time Kate Marsh kisses her, Victoria is convinced she's one step closer to god.

( It's not true, of course. At the end of the day she knows her place, and it's nowhere near Kate's. It’s impossible to pretend otherwise. )

Kate's lips are soft, and it takes no effort at all to melt into them, which is precisely what Victoria does. Kate's hand crawls up her jaw, burying itself against the short locks of her hair behind her ears, and Victoria groans low in response. There's nowhere inherently right to put her own hands, so all she does is slide them down Kate's back to feel her tremble.

It's amazing. Dragging her tongue over Kate's bottom lip is even more amazing, prompting her lips to part for her. Kate gasps softly against her, and then it's muffled by her tongue again. One of her hands grips at the back of her hair, the other cradling the back of her neck, and Victoria skims her fingers down her spine.

Kate shivers and pulls away to breathe in shakily, and Victoria follows her lips hungrily. "Victoria--" Kate breathes out before her lips are captured again, and anything else she wanted to say is quickly forgotten. The blond makes sure she wastes no time in claiming Kate’s mouth with her tongue, clamping her hands down onto her hips and pulling her in closer.

Whenever they kiss, Victoria thinks about the shitty fanfiction she reads at 2am, of characters who swear their partner tastes like something distinctive and tangible. But Kate doesn’t taste like the popcorn they’ve been eating, or the mint tea she likes to drink while Victoria studies. Kate tastes like warmth, like something so unique Victoria cannot even put a name on it. Kate tastes like Kate, and it makes Victoria’s toes curl and heart pick up speed.

Everything is so much warmer now that they’re kissing, so Victoria rolls her shoulders so the blanket slips off. All she can comprehend at the moment is how close she wants Kate to her, and how it currently isn’t nearly close enough. Kate is still leaning over as she kisses her, and Victoria attempts to reel her in. Kate pulls away, dazed and confused for a second, and then she realizes what Victoria wants and flushes a dark scarlet.

“Kate.” Victoria whispers, and then presses a kiss against Kate’s jawline, listens carefully to the difference in her breathing. Kate giggles timidly -- something which Victoria thinks is nervousness -- and then shifts, swinging her leg over Victoria’s lap and straddling her. Victoria makes sure to kiss at her neck, leaving a trail of kisses and feeling Kate tremble under her touch, and then drags her lips back to Kate’s.

They waste more time on this, and it’s so much easier when Kate is right on top of her. There’s something nice in the slow, heated way Kate kisses her, hands buried in her hair and breath hard. Victoria runs her hands up Kate’s back, scratches softly down her spine, and then allows her hands to settle on her hips.

Kate’s fingers slip down the back of her neck, and Victoria Chase mewls and jerks her hips up, making Kate fumble and whimper underneath her breath. Oh.

She wants to try that again, and so she does. She rocks her hips up against Kate, and it warrants another whimper, Kate’s hands dropping down to her shoulders and latching on. Victoria trembles at the sensation, heat boiling in her gut, and she’s so distracted by it she needs to pull away from their locked lips. “K-Kate.”

Kate, with her eyes shut and breath labored, doesn’t even open them to look at Victoria. Her head is swimming, anyways -- she’s not sure she can formulate a coherent sentence without having to think about it, when all she’s thinking about is how nice that felt. “I--”

Victoria bites her lip, suddenly worried she’s screwed up again, and she clears her throat. “Kate, you know we don’t...”

Kate shakes her head, and then finally opens her eyes, and Victoria’s shocked by how dark her hazel eyes seem to be. They’re brimming with something Victoria can’t immediately identify, and she swallows and fights through the very clear arousal thrumming through her own veins.

“S-Sorry, Victoria, I’m just not...”

“Ready?” Victoria clips in after she thinks she’s able to speak through the dryness of her mouth. “Don’t you dare apologize for that.”

Victoria watches Kate fumble, cheeks still flushed and expression still uncertain. Her lips -- plump and swollen from Victoria’s ministrations -- form a slight little smile, apologetic. “Are you sure?”

Victoria, for all it’s worth, holds back at least most of her scoff, turning her head away from Kate. “Please, it isn’t as if I’m that desperate to...” She trails off, and some sort of wanton embarrassment floods her mind, her face heating up. “Anyway. It’s not a huge deal.”

Kate seems to find something amusing in Victoria’s response, and she hums gently and slips her hands back onto Victoria’s cheeks. Victoria tenses, and then relaxes and sighs, drawing her gaze back to Kate. “Okay. You’re very cute when you’re embarrassed, you know.”

Victoria’s eyebrow twitches, and she scowls at Kate openly. It’s a look that’s not as scalding as her others, but she almost wishes it were, since Kate’s smile just widens a little more. “I’m not embarrassed.”

“You’re not.” Kate murmurs very seriously, although her thumbs stroke Victoria cheeks, and the taller girl huffs. She leans forward again, and Kate startles a little, and then eases up when Victoria simply presses their foreheads together.

“I’m not.” Victoria tries again, and she draws circles and shapes against Kate’s back with a touch so gentle it doesn’t quite match her tone. Kate nudges her nose against Victoria’s.

“Okay,” Comes the response in a little whisper, and Victoria closes her eyes.

“Okay.” She replies, and then closes the gap with another kiss.