Disclaimer: Bionic Woman and its characters are the property of NBC. No infringement intended.
Author’s Notes: Written in celebration of International Day of Femslash, July 19, 2008.
Beta: Thank you as always to Ms_Josephine
I like order.
Everything in its place, and a place for everything, all neat and tidy. Put it into a compartment, a box. Sort it, file it, date and stamp it. A specimen I can take out and analyze when needed. The world just makes more sense to me when I am focused and in control. It helps me to see the patterns, the abnormalities, the twisted, evil and bizarre that stands out, a silhouette black against the brilliant white order of things.
I am the one who looks deep inside, prodding and digging to find where you are weakest, looking for what you are hiding. I look for the crack, the place where I can force the chaos to bleed out to see the light of day. How can I use this against my enemy, control of the situation, to control you? Try to play mind games with me, give it your best shot honey. I’ll leave you crying in a puddle and still be cool as a cucumber. Still in control.
This is what I do, it’s what I am good at. I do it at work and try to do it with varying degrees of success in my own private life. I’ve always been like this. I share very little of myself, the true me buried deep behind walls and armour, kept inside. It keeps things in order, pristine, safe. All the masks I wear to keep the true me at arms length. Slide on the game face and bring it to the table, smooth as you please. Some have said it makes me cold, hard and sharp, being so focused. Perhaps this is true, but it is all I know. It is all I will allow now.
I’m staring at my small bonsai tree at the end of my desk. It’s the only personal item I’ve permitted into my office here at Berkut. It’s a splash of green in my glass and metal world, a hint of life growing in this grey workplace. I glance at my watch realizing Jaime’s late for her appointment today.
As if my thoughts conjure her, Jaime strides into my office and plops down onto the chair opposite me. She’s all long sinew and bones, stretching out beyond the edges of the chair, awkward angles and pent up energy, her leg bouncing on the spot. I can smell the worn leather of her jacket and a hint of her shampoo as she flips her hair and sighs dramatically, settling in for our session. Her eyes are sparkling and I’m not sure if it’s with anger or amusement.
Anger it is then. I try hard not to smile. The girl is so expressive as she launches into her latest rant against Jonas Bledsoe, my longtime friend and our boss. She stands and paces, arms waving, emotion and crackling energy. She’s chaos all rolled up into one package. She is so beautiful when she’s angry.
Did I mention I like order? This is not helping me, my attraction to our latest bionic subject. That road leads to confusion, hurt and well, just messy. I merely have to flash back to Jae Kim and Sarah Corvus and how their tragic romance concluded, with him having to fire a bullet into her, putting her down like a sad rabid dog.
No, I need to maintain control and keep a professional distance. Keep life clean and simple.
“I’m starving Ruth. Want to go get a late lunch and we can keep talking?” Jaime looks somewhat hesitant as if this first tentative step to friendship isn’t such a good idea. I should say no. It will be kinder to us both in the long run. The line will be sharp, precise and neat, not to be stepped over.
“Sure.” My mouth obviously didn’t get the memo. I resist slapping my forehead for being an idiot and try to ignore the little flip flop my heart makes when Jaime’s face lights up from my answer.
The food at Terroni’s is always wonderful. We do lunch on a semi regular basis now, a genuine friendship developing between us. I can see Jaime parking her silver Saab 900 from the table I’m sitting at on the patio. She is tossing her blazer into the backseat, leaving her in a blood red tank top and dark pants. Her sunglasses hide her eyes, but I know she’s seen me as she comes straight for me, sliding into the chair across from me.
“Hi!” Soft and breathless, she lifts her sunglasses up into her hair and catches my attention, her gaze intense and bright. Randomly I wonder if this is what she would sound like after...
Oh, Ruth, don’t even go there.
So much for professional boundaries, I am so far past my precise line in the sand. Sooner or later I knew it would come to this. Still, I’ve gallantly tried to distance myself over the last few weeks. I keep my head down at work, filing and cataloguing, staying clear of the training rooms and focus on other agents. I have tried very hard to keep myself in tight check. But she is still my friend and I don’t have a lot of those in this line of work so for that small treasure I am grateful.
Lunch passes quickly, as it always seems to when I am with Jaime. She is practicing her English accent with me today. I promised her I wouldn’t laugh. Much. She gossips and jokes with me, rarely slipping from the English dialect Jonas has assigned her. It is not an easy skill, but she has an ear for it. It takes patience and control on her part not to mess up. I admire her determination. I can tell by her voice that she’s excited about going to school even if it’s only under cover.
Before I know it Rick our waiter has brought the bill and I must return to my prisoner in interrogation room three and Jaime has training with Jae. I’m checking emails on my ever present Blackberry when Jaime returns from the washroom. I feel her as she leans over me, tucking a long dark strand of hair behind her ear before she smiles, touching my arm gently to get my attention. Her hand trails along the inside of my wrist moving down to take the bill from the table.
“This one’s on me, luv.”
I don’t think I could move if I wanted to. The low timber of her voice destroys my paper thin defenses, crashing through my emotional armour. My lower body clenches, deep and intimate. I think my heart even stopped during the endless moment. Her voice, so sexy with the accent, is hot and moist in my ear, too much for my tight control. I smile to cover my rush of feelings, swallowing hard, afraid of what my eyes are giving away.
Her eyes, filled with mischief, glitter with promises of dark and wild things before she moves away from me, off to find Rick and take care of the bill.
God save the Queen indeed.
We’re in Paris and I want to bitch slap my CIA counter part. Where has all my concentration and professional calm gone? Some days the focus and control slip through my fingers like sand, blowing away in the wind, falling away from me, never to return. Bad days happen and my mind tells me that this too shall pass, but a gun sure would help me feel better. Instead I protect my raw psyche with brittle logic and cold intelligence and stare her down. We are both old warriors her and I, and even if I can’t shoot her, I know I could easily take her, physically and mentally.
Nathan wisely ignores me and my mood swings, focusing on the mission at hand like I should be. My focus has been lost for weeks now, and I have no one to blame for it but myself. Clean and simple I had said. Ruth you are a fool.
It cuts me to the quick, Jaime’s infatuation with the young stud from the CIA. Tom. What kind of name is that? It’s a crazy man jumping on a couch. It’s a horny cat yowling on my fence. It’s the name that falls from her smiling lips. I run my hand through my hair and try to focus.
I am coming undone. My control has slipped away from me. I am a nerve throbbing. I am heat seared flesh burning away to reveal the tendons and bone below. The burden of lost possibilities weighs heavy on my shoulders. How can I possibly be okay when all the things that held my life together seem to be shattering around me? What happened to my grey and glass world? I must go back to where I am safe. I must find the lost line in the sand and crawl back to when I was whole.
After this assignment, I will find order again.
Antonio is dead and I am spiraling off of my self imposed tower of isolation. The bar is hot and I am sweaty and getting drunk. I know Jae will make sure to pour me into a cab and send me home. He’s good that way. The shell of a man Sarah Corvus left behind was my greatest challenge and noblest victory. Bringing my friend back to sanity, convincing him to forgive himself for destroying the one thing he loved, was not an easy task. Now he has to deal with what was left behind. The Sarah Corvus alive today is not his Sarah. Messy, it’s all very messy.
I don’t think I can do that. I crave order, the silence of the analytical mind. Pulling away from Jaime was the best thing I could have done. I scan the bar for her. I can feel her here somewhere; her eyes always find me, even now.
However, I don’t want to think anymore tonight. Antonio is dead and I want to remember him. I want to remember the passion we shared, his love of life, adventures we all shared. I want to remember long before life wore him down, long before I knew better than to cross that damn line with co-workers.
“…he was amazing.” Did I just confess to my co-workers our brief affair? God, I am drunk. Although Jaime seems amused despite the heavy mask of sorrow she’s wearing. I forget how young she is sometimes and that this has hit her hard too.
I finally find her alone in the washroom an hour later. Jaime has hidden in here long enough. She is leaning on the counter and watches my reflection in the mirror as I emerge from the stall. I wish I was the reflection for a second. Bright and cold and hard, able to cut away the sloppy edges, the rough emotions swelling through me.
“So Antonio and you, huh?”
I splash cool water on my face, and pull my damp hand along my sweat soaked neck up into my short hair. What do I say to that?
“It was a long time ago.” I smile sadly at her reflection, hoping she will let it drop.
“I didn’t think you were, you know…into guys.”
I snort, I can’t believe she actually asked. She smiles, relieved at my reaction. I think she realized too late that she could have offended me, and it scared her for a second. I don’t forget that she’s been drinking too, although I think the anthrocytes dull the effects. I wonder if that’s a curse or a blessing.
“I’m not. Well, once or twice over the years, but not anymore.” Do I detect a happy look in her eyes or is that just wishful thinking? “Believe it or not, Antonio used to be fun. Not the surly bastard running around Berkut the last few years.” I pause remembering his smile and wicked sense of humour. I glance up to meet her serious reflection. “We both were in bad places in our lives at the time and it was good timing for both of us. And I have not had nearly enough to drink to go into this with you right now.” I smile to take the edge off the comment. She just looks down and then glances up at me from under her eyelashes. Does she even know what that does to me?
“So, you and Tom, huh?” I caught her attention with that, but fair is fair I figure. She looks away and I almost regret the words. Except I really need to know her answer before I completely wall up my heart again. Luckily I can blame it on the alcohol this little game of truth or dare we seem to be playing out.
“It was a mistake I think.”
I move to sit against the sink counter, right beside her. She has her arms crossed and I can smell her faint perfume. I have to stop myself from stroking my fingers through her hair. I need to know more.
She playfully bumps into me, poking me with her elbow. Giving me a sad half smirk she stands and moves slowly to the door.
“I have not had nearly enough to drink to have this conversation with you yet.”
She hesitates at the door, staring at me hard and I am lost.
She moves fast, almost too fast to see. Her hand is suddenly touching my cheek, sliding into my short hair holding me steady. I can see the decision being made behind her eyes, all the reasons not to do it being over run by want, take, have. I see chaos lurking there.
And then we are kissing. Soft, tentative, an invitation that moves quickly to liquid heat, sliding tongues and promises of unspoken delights. She stands between my legs forcing me back, my body arching yearning and needy against her as she takes what she wants. Her hands are all over me, the curve of her hips tight against me. I surrender to her, gladly.
And then she pulls away, tender and vulnerable. I can still taste the scotch she was drinking tonight on my lips and my fingers skim along her deep purple tank top following the indent of her lower back. She sighs, like heavy thoughts are going to drown her. I can relate.
“I have to go. I need some time to think.”
I run a hand along her face, my thumb tracing her full bottom lip before I pull her close again. I want to taste the flush of her skin, explore the hidden dips and hollows of her body. My heart is pounding practically out of my chest. Surely she must hear it with that damned ear of hers. I gently brush my lips against hers and move away. Almost reluctantly she steps back, wide eyed and panting. I can’t get enough of her but we both know this is not the time or the place.
“Come see me when you’re ready.”
Have I mentioned that I like order?
I like to have everything in its place and a place for everything, all neat and tidy. I have come to realize that there is no neat and tidy with Jaime. With her I’m messy. The world is warm and colourful, unpredictable, with no obvious patterns, no rhyme or reason. She is chaos.
She is naked in my bed. The covers are shoved down just covering her bottom and I have a wonderful view of her back as she sleeps. I am humbled by her beauty, constantly. I am amazed that she is here with me.
I place lingering kisses along her spine, and she stirs but doesn’t quite wake. I trace lazy patterns across her back teasing her from her dreams into wakefulness. I move over her to kiss the opposite shoulder, my breasts pressing against her warm back. Pulling her long dark hair to one side I nuzzle along her neck, finding the small patch below her ear that I know is so sensitive for her. She moans and moves beneath me, her feet kicking the covers completely off her sweet body.
I smile into the salty hollows of her neck as her body arches into my touch. She spreads her legs slightly, a small hitch in her breathing, and I know she’s wet for me again. I trail my fingers across the inside of her thigh, tickling lightly across coarse hair. She gasps and I brush against her, my touch more firm.
“What do you want baby?” I whisper into her ear. She tries to push against me to increase the friction, but I pull away. I’m running this delicious mission. She writhes beneath me, moaning.
“Please Ruth…” she rasps, her hands bunching the bed sheets around her. “Touch me.”
I move against her again, back to where I know she needs me to be. I stroke deep into her wetness, penetrating insistently and then slowly, bringing her just to the edge and keeping her there, until finally Jaime comes with a loud moan. Her death grip on the covers starts to loosen, her breathing eases and body relaxes. I hold her close and before long her breathing once more grows deep and I know she is asleep, safe in my arms. I smile and burrow into her long hair, contented.
This is what I have come to understand about myself.
I may like order, but I love chaos.