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Dream of Tomorrow; Eight Years Post-Game, Mature Content
Topic Started: Oct 13 2011, 03:45 PM (1,580 Views)
Namira
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Null sheen.
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"...So to cut a long story short, allow me to summarise. You don't need an experience like mine to open your eyes - all it takes is a little bit of introspection, of looking into yourself. Are you making the right choices? Are you concentrating on the right things? It's never too late to refocus. Thank you."

The modest auditorium burst into applause as Lizzie Volkova stepped down from the podium, inclining her head towards the crowd as her place was taken by the day's host, an earnest man in an ill-fitting suit who acted junior to her twenty-six years, but was in fact much older. The host beamed at Lizzie as she reassumed her place in a seat just below the stage, and she returned the smile politely. Her attention, however, was elsewhere, concentrating on the faces of those in the audience. Some appeared thoughtful, a few were inscrutable, and a few had that exasperated expression Lizzie had learned signified "That was bullshit." Well... you couldn't convince them all.

"That concludes our seminar for today. I'd like to extend a very warm thank you to Miss Volkova, and do remember that if you enjoyed her talk, she has written a book on this same subject in addition to her other work, entitled 'Harsh Lessons, Made Softer'. Thanks for your attention everyone, I'll see you next Wednesday for a written assessment."

Lizzie took the opportunity to slip out of the room. Normally, she would have taken questions, but today she really wasn't in the mood for all the inevitable sniping that came from it. Once upon a time, she would have relished that kind of challenge - the chance to knock somebody deserving down a verbal peg or two was something to enjoy, but these days... not so much. Occasionally, Lizzie would rediscover her argumentative streak, and some poor kid would get ripped to shreds (to inevitably show up on Youtube under something like "Lizzie Volkova SNAPS!!!"), yet she didn't seek out those moments. It was hard enough to bite her tongue when people asked probing questions about her time on the island, tried to analyse her like watching clips meant they somehow knew her life story... sometimes she just needed a break. Today was one of those days.

Sometimes Lizzie couldn't quite believe it had been eight years. She had changed in many ways - both intentionally and none, but some of the memories of her time back there were still as vivid as if she were experiencing them all over again. You could move on, but that didn't mean you would forget. In some ways, forgetting would have seemed disrespectful. Lizzie could never call the island a positive thing, but its affect on her had been ultimately for the better. She supposed that was the point of her talks; it didn't need to be a traumatic, horrific experience to convince you to turn over a new leaf... it had only taken that because she'd been so damn stubborn and set in her ways.

Leaving the building where the lecture hall was situated, Lizzie headed for the car park. She'd come a long way. Changed her name officially. Became a writer of both fiction and non, of help books and stories. Became a public speaker. Learned to be social, to be more open. Fallen in love.

Opening the driver's door of her car, Lizzie caught sight of her reflection in the wing mirror. She gave herself a smile. That was another thing she'd learned how to do. Freely smile. Her dark hair was long and glossy, a far cry from the dishevelled crop of old. She wore ear studs - a gift from Alice. A little eye shadow and blush stood out against her skin, still as pale as it had ever been. Lizzie keyed the ignition, thought about the other physical differences. She was not so slender any more, for a couple of different reasons. She had not been weighed for a little while, but in the years since her survival, Lizzie knew she'd averaged about 115 lbs. Far healthier, for certain.

As for the other reason... Lizzie allowed herself another smile, a smile that persisted throughout the entire drive home - which wound up taking about an hour and a half. A smile she was still wearing as she stepped out of the car again and her hand slipped to the soft swell of her stomach. Lizzie was beginning to show now, and every time she saw the curve of her belly, a thrill of excitement ran through her. Had it not been for her work commitments, Lizzie could have happily spent an entire day in front of the mirror, just staring.

Lizzie started up the path to the front door of her home, a secluded property on the outskirts of town. Close enough to not be isolated, distant enough to be isolated - and have room for a security fence around the perimeter. Neither Lizzie nor Alice had been particularly happy with that requirement, but they'd been endlessly harassed at their former place, and neither of them wanted a repeat experience. It was a nice home in any case. The deed had included a sizeable garden in addition to the rather large house - made affordable by both women's careers. Lizzie felt guilty sometimes, knowing that her success had come from something that had robbed the lives of so many, but she always reassured herself that she had not taken the easy route of simply cashing in cheaply and 'selling her story'. Lizzie had worked hard for years before ever opening her mouth or uncapping her pen on the topic of Survival of the Fittest. The potential for success had been there all along, she just hadn't realised it.

Unlocking the front door, Lizzie entered the house. The front porch was dark, and she groped along the wall for a moment for the light switch. Finding it and flicking it on, Lizzie dumped her things from the seminar in an untidy heap alongside the hat-stand. There was an excited yap, followed by the sound of claws skittering across wooden floors, and a whirlwind of fur came charging up to Lizzie.

"Hey Leeroy," she said, scritching the husky behind the ears as he jumped up and down on the spot. "Alice! I'm home!"
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[ *  * ]
Detective. Detective Sergeant Alice Blake. It had a nice ring to it. Despite it sounding more then a little alien to her ears, it had a nice ring to it. She could still scarcely believe that it happened at all. Making it through the 4 years working the streets, passing the battery of tests required to become a detective was another. But she'd earned it, all of it. The detective title, the promotion that came with it. A lot of hard work, and more time then she would have liked spent away from home. Now that she a detective proper, it wouldn't be smooth sailing by any means. But that she had reached her goal, things seemed like they would be easier. Foolish, maybe. Or optimistic. Maybe the the same thing. But it was hard not to feel optimistic.

Everything was coming together. Not just the job, everything. Her life had never been better.

She'd gotten home from work maybe twenty minutes ago, pulling up to their darkened house on the outskirts of town. A glance at her watch suggested that Liz was probably on her way home by now. Another gig, one of many. She was a popular commodity. A writer, a motivational speaker, a woman of many talents. Some more for Alice then public speaking. Okay, it was possible some people hired her to speak just for the hopes that she'd talk about Survival of the Fittest. And those people who did hire her for that reason were inevitably disappointed. But they were outnumbered by the people who saw that Liz was genuinely good at what she did.

Her car passed the security fence surrounding the house, a landmark that had been obtrusive at first but gradually faded into something that was just there. Liz didn't like it, but recognized that it was necessary. Alice agreed with her objections on the surface, but secretly enjoyed the increased security the fence provided. Chances were good it might have been something she would have pushed for, even in different circumstances. If there was one thing Alice was ever-conscious of, it was home security.

They had adjusted nicely to the new house. Even bought a new dog to liven things up. The same dog which tackled her as she opened the door. She grinned as the husky wagged it tail and licked her face and generally acted like seeing her was the best thing ever. The dog had been Liz's idea, it was one that Alice quickly warmed up to. She'd never had a pet growing up, dog or otherwise, and upon picking up Leeroy, immediately regretted that missing part of her youth.

Sometimes, not often and never for very long, she wondered what direction her life would have taken if Vic hadn't been killed, or if they've never even taken that doomed senior trip. There probably wouldn't have been a dog. She probably wouldn't be a cop. Would she have been happy? As happy as she was now? Impossible to say. When she did think about the past, usually around the same time as she considered alternate timelines, it was viewed with those rose-tinted glasses reserved for simpler times. Those reminiscences of the past usually stopped at the Island.

The Island. Something as influential and important could only be referred to in capital letters. It had been the tipping point, when her life changed. Which, of course, was only expected. Most people were, you know, killed. She was lucky to be alive. Those lucky few that survived were profoundly affected, one and all. Liz still thought about it pretty often. Which, considering her job was inspiring people by sharing her story of overcoming the trauma the Island caused, was expected.

It was kind of funny, in a way. Liz used her experiences on the island as the reason she had reinvented herself. Motivating people, writing self-help books, that sort of thing. Instead of becoming some sort of emotionally dead shell, she helped people. They both did, except being a cop involved more catching criminals and less inspiration.

Once Leeroy settled down, Alice made her way down the entry hall to the kitchen. Now that she was a detective, she didn't have to wear any set uniform to work each day anymore. As long as she had a badge and a gun, it was fine. Most days, she wore her badge around her neck, her gun in a shoulder holster underneath the same leather jacket she'd been wearing for years. She slid the jacket off and placed her gun and badge on the table. She wore a Kevlar vest. Since becoming a detective, she didn't spend as much time on the street, but it was something Liz insisted on.

Physically, Alice hadn't changed much in 8 years. Her hair was cut a little shorter, her body more toned, but that was all. Liz was a different story. She'd mellowed out, lost her caustic tongue. Wore make-up, too. There were, of course, other noticeable changes about Liz as well. It definitely wasn't a change Alice was upset about.

Leeroy heard the sound of gravel before Alice did, and his tail started wagging accordingly. Alice scratched behind his ear, nodding towards the door. "What's that? Is that mom? Is mom home?" Leeory barked happily, and Alice briefly wondered about the dog's grasp on gender identity. A minute later, the door opened and Leeroy took off like a shot. Liz called out, announcing her arrival. "In the kitchen!" Alice called out.

A few seconds later, Liz made an appearance. Alice smiled, as she was wont to do when seeing Liz. Her smiled grew as she took in the bump in her belly. Just seeing it made Alice giddy. A mother! Her! Who would have guessed that? It would be a huge change in her life, and it was a change Alice constantly worried she'd be ready for. Would she be a good mother? Would she spoil their child? Well, she already spoiled Liz, so that might be a given. She was anxious, nervous, but excited. Hopeful.

Alice crossed the room and wrapped her arms around Liz's shoulders and brought Liz in for a kiss, breathing her in, holding her close enough to make up for a day of her absence.

It might be monstrous, horrible, but there were rare times when Alice almost didn't mind her time on the Island. Almost even thought of it as a good thing. After all, if it weren't for the Island, this might not have ever have happened. Now that she was her, with Liz, Alice couldn't imagine wanting anything else.

When the kiss finally ended, Alice smiled down at the woman she'd been with for the last 8 years. "How'd the speech today go? Great? I bet it went great."

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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"Hey you," said Lizzie as the woman she loved took her into her arms. She never felt safer than when she was being held closely by Alice - it was her height, it was her lithe muscles...

Lizzie closed her eyes with a soft sigh as Alice leaned down to kiss her, allowing the contact to sooth away the stresses of a busy day. Pulling back, Lizzie had a contented smile on her face, looking up into the eyes of her closest friend. Alice would say that there wasn't much different to her now then there had been since they first got together, but for Lizzie, it was a whole different story. The years had added a maturity to Alice's face, had refined some of her hard edges and melted away some of her icy barriers. However at the same time, she'd gained a quiet, compact strength, emanating from her body without even having to raise a hand. Where Lizzie had grown softer, filled out, gained just a little curve, Alice had become tauter, tough as wire. In Lizzie's professional opinion, Alice had never been more beautiful - not that she'd ever be able to get the other woman to admit it.

By Lizzie's standards, her partner had done far, far more to deserve her successes. She'd put her head down and ground her way up from the bottom to the rank that she'd now obtained. When Alice came home that day, all smiles, Lizzie couldn't have been happier. That was when they started discussing - seriously discussing - having a child. Sometimes it still felt like that neither of them could quite believe that it was really happening, that they were really going to be parents. The pregnancy hadn't been all sunshine and rainbows; on a couple of bad days early on, Lizzie had truly been a terror - but seeing that smile on Alice's face made all the morning sickness and the aches worth it, and they'd stay worth it all the way through, Lizzie was sure.

"It went well," Lizzie answered. "Even the reporters were being nice today," despite it being years after the events of the island, the press still liked trying to get their scoop about that time. Lizzie had lost count of the number of book signings and talks she'd given that, apropos of nothing, she'd been accosted about V4. "Mommy and junior here decided to come home early though, because mommy was missing a certain someone..." this last was added at a murmur as Lizzie laid her head against Alice's chest, leaning back into the embrace. "How was work? No violence I hope?"

Her admiration of the hard work aside, Lizzie had never made any secret of the fact that Alice's job did worry her. She was booking herself a front row seat to danger - and not only that, but placing herself in a position where it was often her responsibility to break up the causes of said danger. Such occasions had been few and far between, but that hadn't stopped Lizzie worrying herself silly several times when news reports had come in of police incidents. She doubted she'd ever truly get over that, but if anybody was suited to that line of work, then she supposed it was Alice.

In many ways, Lizzie guessed that was what made Alice the 'daddy'. Assigning roles like that was a little too simplistic, and Alice certainly wasn't manly... but these days Lizzie was the much more feminine of the two. She'd wanted to carry the child from day one, and Alice had certainly not argued... but then. Lizzie smiled to herself, still snuggled into Alice's chest, it wasn't as if she didn't know how to be assertive. They had a good balance going, no matter the dynamic. They were happy.
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[ *  * ]
Alice smiled as Liz settled against her chest. One arm she wrapped around her waist, the other running gently through her hair. The two of them rocked gently while Alice listened to Liz talk. Alice was content to just be with her, holding Liz close. Protecting her, like she had told herself she would 8 years before. And that was exactly what she'd done. Keeping Liz safe, looking out for her, making sure she was as happy as possible. It was a mission she was more then willing to accept. Liz had saved her life in the first place, so making sure she was happy was the least Alice could do.

To be completely honest, it was one of the reasons she became a cop. Keeping Liz safe, that is. Sure, there was that component of wanting to help people, that was there too. Her reasons weren't entirely selfish. But being a police officer put Alice in a much better position to protect the woman she loved. The training, the connections she'd made on the force, and, let's face it, the gun. She was armed most of the time. The standard issue Glock 22 at work, and a small concealable revolver, not unlike the one she was issued on the island, the rest of the time. Not because she actually felt like her family was threatened, nothing serious. Just in case.

Liz did not approve.

She worried, Alice knew it. There was the kevlar vest, the nightly questions concerning her safety at work. Alice didn't mind. Liz was allowed to worry about Alice at least as much as Alice worried about her. "No violence. Didn't even leave the precinct today. Mostly desk stuff. Real dull." Alice grinned, even though Liz wouldn't see it, cuddling as she was. "Just the way you like my job." Being a detective hadn't exactly been as action packed as years of movies and television might have suggested. There was some interviewing of suspects, but it was mostly driving a desk. Paper work, reports, that sort of stuff. Initiation, she guessed. Making the new girl do the boring stuff.

Which was fine, she should add. Her first 4 years as a cop had been exciting enough. So, a reprieve, as brief as Alice was sure it would be, was fine.

But that neither here nor there. Alice left her work at the precinct. Once her badge was off, she was done for the day. All of her attention went to Liz once she was through those doors. Alice kissed her cheek, offering another grin. "If those reporter assholes bother you again, just mention that a certain cop you're friendly with can stop by. I can come by whenever you need me. Hell, I might even be able to call in a favor and get a uniform to do security if you want. Let's see some glory-hound reporter hassle you about the Island after someone pulls out a taser."

"Anyway..." Alice reluctantly stepped back and returned to the kitchen table. She took her shoulder holster and badge in one hand before wrapping the other around Liz's shoulders. "Come on, you've had a hard day inspiring people, let's get you off your feet." Alice led Liz from the kitchen, Leeroy tailing behind them, and up the stairs to the bedroom.

Not quite as spartan as her her bedroom in the apartment, but that was mostly on Liz. When it had come to decorating, Alice mostly smiled and said 'whatever you want'. A handsome and spacious double bed dominated most of the room, parked across the room from a nice tv mounted on the wall.On the floor at the foot of the bed was a nice bed for Leeroy. Along the wall, in front of the entryway and to the left of the bed, was a dresser, with the ratio of clothing inside per person decidedly not in Alice's favor. The surface of the dresser itself was adorned with various candles and pictures. Next to the dresser was a decent sized walk-in closest, again filled mostly with stuff for Liz. Her uniform was hanging inside, along with the odd dress, but that was it for Alice. On the opposite side of the room was the bathroom, filled with everything a bathroom should have inside.

Alice set her holster and badge on the dresser and unbuttoned her shirt, dropping it in a pile next to them. She tended the wear some button-down number with the vest underneath, and a plain t-shirt underneath that, along with a tried and true pair of jeans. Along with the leather jacket, it would probably not be a fun outfit in the summer.

Alice looked up at Liz and smiled, her eyes once again wandering to her swollen belly. Concerns about her quality as a mother aside, she was excited. Ecstatic. Raising a child with the woman she loved? What more could she want? After another second, she looked up at Liz. "So, how was junior today? Behaving?" Alice fixed Liz with a stare so overly stern it couldn't help be comical. "By the way, any misbehavior falls on you, since, well, fetus. That means any spanking necessary would also go on to you instead."
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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"Good," Lizzie replied succinctly. The two of them very rarely argued, both women usually realising quite early in any dispute that was unresolvable that neither of them was going to budge. For her part, Lizzie tried not to make her objections to Alice being a cop too vocal, though when she'd initially found out, her shocked shout of "You've done WHAT!?" could possibly have shattered windows. But the fact was... it was what Alice wanted to do, and it was what she enjoyed doing. Lizzie didn't have to like it to accept that Alice was going to keep on being a cop - and by all accounts a damn good cop. On the flipside, Lizzie knew that if Alice had it her own way, she'd be working as some kind of personal bodyguard to every last event she went to.

"You know that I don't want that, Alice. That type of thing starts rumours. I'd much rather get them to back off myself than by threats," Lizzie smiled, leaned up and gave her partner a peck on the cheek. "I appreciate it though," much as she wouldn't have minded at all seeing some of the guys thrown out and their obnoxious sheets of questions ripped to shreds... it was a bit of a PR thing. Lizzie's reputation around the various circles she inhabited was pretty good, starting talk of her security roughing people up would send it nosediving in a hurry - and more than likely her work drop too. Lizzie could always fall back on writing of course, but speaking... she found it so much more energising, like she was touching people directly. Making a real difference.

Holding Alice's hand, Lizzie allowed the other woman to bring her out of the kitchen, casting occasional smiles back at Leeroy as the husky followed them every step of the way. The dog could never get enough attention, though apart from his habitual greeting when they first entered the house, he was as good as gold and never actively bugged them for it.

Walking into the bedroom, Lizzie made a deep inhalation, letting it out long and slow. Before getting her own place with Alice, she'd never figured that she'd be anything much for interior design, but during the clean up of Alice's old apartment, Lizzie had found herself enjoying structuring and decorating the place. That had carried over to their next home, and eventually the house they lived in now. It wasn't anything other than a hobby, but Lizzie had been surprised by how animated and excitable she could get over things like furniture and wallpaper. Needless to say, Alice had been known to tease her relentlessly about it.

As Alice dressed down, Lizzie went and plopped herself on the end of the bed, one hand cradling her stomach protectively. "We've been good today, daddy," there was a hint of mischief in Lizzie's voice, but as Alice continued on, she blushed and let out what many would regard as a very un-Lizlike giggle. Those were reserved for one person. "Well, why don't you come say hi, and judge if they're behaving for yourself?"

They didn't know what the baby was going to be yet. Much to the chagrin of her parents, Lizzie had decided that she didn't want to find out just yet, a decision that Alice had accepted. Names came and went each day, which Lizzie was sure drove Alice nuts. Right now either he was Alexei or she was Luciana.

Lizzie beckoned to Alice, removing her sweater to reveal a white undershirt, noticeably stretched by her stomach. It wouldn't be too long before she'd have to start thinking about a wardrobe shift. Standing, Lizzie continued smiling, waiting for instruction. Alice tended to vary on how she wanted to 'talk' to the baby. Sometimes kneeling in front of her, sometimes standing behind her, sometimes she wanted Lizzie in her lap. She'd learned just to go with whatever Alice felt like.
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Sister Grimm
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I am a great biotic wind that will sweep all before me like a... a great wind! A great biotic wind!
[ *  * ]
Alice let out an exaggerated sigh as Liz beckoned her over. "Work, work, work." She unstrapped the kevlar vest and set it in the growing pile with her gun and badge, leaving her in a plain white t-shirt. Minus the, you know, baby, and the height and the hair style and the make-up and the jeans, she could almost sort of but not really pass for Liz. Because of the t-shirts? Okay, maybe not. Alice kicked of her shoes at the foot of the dresser and turned to the bed and Liz. She felt another smile spread across her face.

She wondered how she'd gotten so lucky. Not just surviving the Island, but the direction her life had taken. A good job, one she liked doing and one she was good at. A nice house, safe and secure. A great woman, one who was beautiful and smart, one who loved her unconditionally. And now a child, one who would hopefully be healthy and fit, a child whom Alice would love and spoil relentlessly. The best explanation she could come up with for her good fortune was that the galaxy owed her one. It was as good as an explanation as any, she guessed.

Growing up, as far back as she could remember, she'd never even considered having a kid. Even when she was still, as far as she knew, straight. At 15, she knew some girls who were thinking about the future. Not many, granted, and not very in-depth. But even then, the thought of having a baby rarely, if ever, crossed her mind. And once she came out, well, forget it. It was just something that wasn't for her. Up until Liz had broached the idea, it had never crossed her mind. Before that moment, she could have died happy never entertaining the notion of bringing someone else into the world. Now? Once Liz brought the subject up, Alice couldn't imagine anything else.

Okay, sure, technically speaking, she wasn't bringing the baby into the world. Of the professions Liz and Alice had, one involved pistols and bullet proof vests, the other involved talking to people. It wasn't really a judgement call. Besides, Liz was happy to carry the baby. And once it was born, Alice would be her mother as sure as anything. Liz would be a great mother, of that Alice had no doubt. She was warm, loving, and caring. She would be perfect. And whatever reservations Alice might have about her own maternal qualities, part of her knew that she would probably do alright.

Alice crossed the room and knelt at the base of the bed, nudging aside Leeroy's cushion first. Alice smiled up at Liz as she placed her hands on either side of her stomach. "So, what are the names today? Are we feeling Russian?" Last she'd heard, it was Luciana or Alexei, but the names changed as often as Liz's moods. Alice didn't really try to keep up. When Liz had settled on something, Alice would know. It was a system that worked, and it followed similar systems in place throughout the rest of their lives. That was, Liz picked or did something and Alice was simply happy that she was happy.

Another smile up at Liz as Alice pulled her shirt up over her belly. Gently, Alice rested her head on her girlfriends stomach. She closed her eyes, speaking softly like the baby would be able to hear or understand her. It wasn't routine, exactly, but it was something Alice liked doing, talking to the baby. Speaking phrases that would probably be meaningless. Greetings, telling them about their future home, their future parents, all the places they would go, all the great things they would do. Alice liked to imagine that some part was getting through, that the baby was picking up on at least some of what she said.

After a time, about when Alice felt the baby was tired of hearing her, she opened her eyes and looked up at Liz, a wry grin on her face. "You realize that this baby is going to kill our sex life, right? They have that super human hearing, where a pin dropping 2 miles away is enough to wake them up. I don't know about you, but in the throes of passion, I'm as quiet as a car backfiring." She paused, throwing a wink at Liz. "As you well know." Alice stood, shaking her head in faux-exasperation. "The things I let you talk me into."
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"For once, we're still the same," Lizzie told Alice, a slight flush coming over her face as always when her stomach was touched. It always felt very sensitive, and she loved the contact - especially when it was Alice making it. "Alexei or Luciana."

Initially, Lizzie had had her misgivings over the amount of decisions Alice seemed to leave to her - a concern that had cropped up much earlier in their relationship too. Lizzie worried that Alice was merely afraid of upsetting her and hence agreed with everything she said, asked or did in order to head off a fight, something which didn't exactly strike Lizzie as conducive to a healthy relationship. Over time though, what had emerged was that the reason Alice didn't appear to care was because her first priority was making sure that she was happy, which Lizzie to be frank found both heart-meltingly romantic and rather embarrassing. She did like being doted upon, to be sure, but for Alice to be that earnestly interested in keeping her smiling... Lizzie was just glad that Alice appeared to get as much out of their little 'system' as she did, particularly in the case of the names. Alice had laid that one firmly in Lizzie's lap, telling her that since she was the one carrying the kid, she got first call on naming them.

Very occasionally, Lizzie wondered who the donor was for her unborn child - who'd supplied what had been vital for making her what felt at times unbearably happy and excited. She supposed it didn't entirely matter in the end. Genetically, the child's father would be somebody they never met, but that didn't mean they wouldn't have two parents. Two mothers, although there were few prizes to guessing which of them would be the more fatherly figure. It was a little odd, really. Looking back, Lizzie would never have pictured herself growing so feminine, but she guessed that in the past, she'd never thought of much beyond the next thread on the internet. She couldn't have been more different now from how she was then. Her looks, her prospects, her presentation, everything. She was fairly fashion conscious, she knew how to apply make-up, she wore her hair long and well-tended, she had gone from painfully skinny to very nearly actually having curves, from a computer-addicted creep (to be quite frank) to a successful writer... It was insane.

It was just a shame what had been needed to trigger that.

Lizzie was brought back to the present with a soft sigh as Alice rested her head on her swollen stomach. A hand crept down, beginning to stroke Alice's hair. After a moment's fumbling, Lizzie slipped out of her shoes, losing an inch of height in the process; she didn't wear high heels, but most of her footwear did tend to have something of a platform to them. After that, Lizzie just closed her eyes too, Alice's words soothing her as much as she imagined they soothed Alexiana. These days, there was little she loved more than hearing Alice talk to the baby.

After a time, Alice stopped, and sensing she was done, Lizzie looked down at her. That dirty little smirk was on her face. Lizzie knew exactly the tone of what was coming. "We could gag you," Lizzie offered, a soft blush coming onto her pale cheeks. She wasn't a sexual innocent, but she did tend to lose her way when it came to dirty talk. Lizzie was most definitely not the 'top' in the relationship, and Alice seemed to delight in finding new and interesting things to do to her. "And well... we could always make it up ahead of time, too."

Lizzie raised an eyebrow.
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"A gag?" Alice tapped her lower lip, a look of contemplation on her face. After a seconds thought, she shook her head. "It's a good start, but we can't be sure that'd be enough. To be safe, you should probably tie me up too. You could borrow my handcuffs, if you want to be extra sure." Alice took a seat on the bed next Liz, throwing one arm around her shoulders and taking her hand with the other, all while maintaining that look of consideration. "But I'm not sure that would be enough either. We might have to break out the whip. For incentive." She did not, of course, specify whether the whip was incentive to make noise or remain silent. Liz would probably fill in the blanks. Most of the time it was Alice leading that way, as it were. But Liz had a kinky streak all her own. Sure, it took some coaxing, but it was definitely there.

Alice nodded, satisfied with her conclusion. "Yes, that should be enough, I think. I mean, there's room to improvise, too, because I know what a devious and sly mind you have." Alice leaned over and planted a kiss on Liz's cheek, giving her hand an affectionate squeeze.

The last 8 years had been good to Alice. Not just counting the obvious things, but mentally, emotionally. For the first time in God knows how long, Alice was happy with herself. Not with her life, with herself. She'd gone through the latter part of her teenage years and the first couple years of her 20's feeding at least some degree of self-loathing. She had clung to Liz back then, not only out of a desire to protect her, but because Liz made Alice feel good about herself and Alice desperately needed that. Just because Liz had saved her didn't mean she'd abandoned the guilt she was carrying. No, she carried it with her for years afterward. It didn't get to suicidal depression again, but it affected how Alice thought of herself.

But, over time, Alice managed to let it go. It wasn't easy, and it wasn't painless, but she'd done it. Once the guilt was gone, the self-loathing soon followed it. Losing the millstone around her neck made it easier. That and Liz. It took her a long time to realize how wrong she'd been about herself. She wasn't a coward, otherwise she wouldn't have lasted 4 years as a police officer on the street. She wasn't stupid, or she wouldn't have passed the exams to become a detective. She wasn't a scarred up freak, she was at least a moderately attractive young woman. And she certainly wasn't weak. If she was, she'd never have survived the Island in the first place. Of course she wished she'd been able to save Vic, but it wasn't her fault that Vic left in the first place.

Right now, Alice had everything she could want. She was perfectly content. There were no niggling self-esteem issues eating away at her, no doubts about the life she was leading. Her parents would be proud of the woman she'd become, she thought. Vic, Vic would be happy with who she had become. Alice was happy with the woman she'd become.

Alice fell back on the bed, pulling Liz down with her. Alice held her close, happy just to be next to her, just to be with her. Liz had made everything possible For that, Alice owed her more then she could ever repay. It was reassuring to know Liz needed her as much as she needed Liz. She still remembered a time when Liz had still be called Bounce, and thought how good the last 8 years had been for her too. Better for her then they had been Alice, she thought.

"Now, you mentioned making out ahead of time? Or was it making up for it ahead of time? One of those. Great idea, if I do say so." Alice winked mischievously, nudging Liz with her shoulder. "I mean, eventually you're hardly going to be able to walk, let alone tie me to a chair." Alice repositioned herself, planting one hand on the opposite side of Liz before leaning over her. Alice smiled down at Liz before lowering into another kiss. Before either of them had a chance to truly appreciate the kiss, Alice leaned back, as if suddenly remembering something. "I forgot, you're the pregnant one. That means you gives the orders here." Alice shrugged apologetically. "It's the rules. Says so in the Geneva convention."

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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Alice replied, and Lizzie rapidly found herself out of her depth and blushing madly. She had no idea how her partner could be so outrageous whilst maintaining an utterly straight face - and just when she thought she might be able to catch her off guard, Alice came back, and not only retaliated, but took it several steps further to leave her absolutely reeling.

Lizzie looked into the eyes of the woman she loved and wondered exactly how she'd got here. At eighteen, she certainly would never have considered herself to be a lesbian - but then, at eighteen sexuality was something that had very rarely crossed Lizzie's mind. In retrospect, a couple of things should probably have been signs. A lingering (slightly ashamed) interest that time she'd accidentally hit a pop-up to a porn site, her preoccupation with the looks of some of the girls at school, the surreptitious comparison of her body to others when getting changed for the loathed gym class... Maybe they were signs. Maybe she was just applying hindsight to events improperly. What Lizzie did know was that she cared about Alice, and the fact that she was a woman didn't even enter into it. Alice the person mattered.

Her parents had been surprisingly understanding about the situation. Lizzie had never really taken them for liberal kinds of people, but then she supposed that she'd never really got to know them that well. She'd locked herself away with a computer and all but isolated herself from them. It was a little painful to look back and realise that she'd been surprised to discover that her parents were good people. They'd been supportive, told Lizzie that they didn't care about who she spent her time with, so long as that was what made her happy. Heck they'd been thrilled to find out that she had a meaningful relationship, and her mother had gone absolutely CRAZY when Lizzie had told her that she was pregnant. It had taken Lizzie a month to persuade her that she didn't need to call every couple of hours to make sure that everything was okay, and even now, she could expect a daily call.

They approved of Alice, she knew. Law enforcement was a solid, strong career path that encouraged reliable and honest people. Alice becoming a cop had definitely made her esteem in their eyes, but in truth they'd already had a liking for her. Alice was quiet and polite and clearly cared a lot about Lizzie. That was good enough for them. Lizzie was glad. She would have gone against her parents in a heartbeat if it was between them and Alice, but given their relationship had been slowly improving... it would have been a wrench. This way was happier all around.

Allowing Alice to lay her down, Lizzie accepted the next kiss. As Alice broke off though, she wriggled around on the bed, pressing her back against Alice's chest now. Repositioned, Lizzie let out a soft sigh, nestling in her lover's arms. She tipped her head back and around, managing, just about, to look up into Alice's face.

"Well..." Lizzie began, pale skin still flushed bright red, knowing the implications of what she was going to say. "I misbehaved today, went just a little over the limit coming home... sorry."
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This was one of those rare times when her mouth cashed a check that she wasn't actually comfortable or willing to back up. Sure, it sounded kinky to say that she would spank Liz. But a lot of things sounded kinky that she wouldn't actually do. Like most things involving bodily fluids, or knife play. Actually, scratch the last one, that might be something she was interested in. Directed at herself, of course. Her masochism was still alive and well, by the way. Alice recognized that in terms of perversion, she outweighed Liz by a rather large margin. Liz was less adventurous when it came to sex. Not a prude by any means, but less adventurous surely. She probably thought Alice was joking about being tied up and whipped, for one. But that was okay. Less adventurous didn't mean, in this case at least, less likely to experiment.

But eight years was a long time. Alice had gotten to know Liz pretty well in that time. More specifically, gotten to know her body. She knew how to make Liz gasp, how to make her moan, to make her scream, to make her beg for more. And, of course, Alice was always more than happy to oblige.

Seeing her blush now, Alice was struck once again how adorable she was. Sexy as hell most any other time, but adorable. Especially when she was treading unfamiliar waters. Alice pushed them both into a sitting position, still holding her close, all the while smiling slyly down at the woman she loved. "We might be able to work something out, if you're really that apologetic. I mean, what kind of girlfriend would I be if I didn't give you a chance to atone?" Alice shook her head, as if the very thought was troubling. "A pretty poor one, I'd say." As hesitant as she was about any spanking, that didn't mean she was at a loss on how to make sure Liz was taken care of.

Alice took a handful of Liz's hair, jerking her head back, rough but not painfully so. Giving her little time to gain her composure, Alice kissed her, passionately, lovingly. The hand not tangling in her hair slid under Liz's shirt, settling just about her stomach and content to remain there for the time being. Slowly, deliberately, Alice moved away from her mouth and migrated toward her neck, planting kiss after kiss as she drew lower. The hand under her shirt drew upward, but moving at a pace that can only be described as teasingly slow. Alice continued to nuzzle into Liz's neck, delighting at every gasp that she made.

Then, the hand slid out from under the shirt and pushed Liz back onto the bed. Alice sat over her, face flushed and eyes gleaming, a wired smile on her face. To her complete happiness, Liz looked just as excited. Not that she expected anything but. Either years, remember. Plenty of time to get to know someone. Alice did have time to think how strange it was to be the dominant one in the relationship. Well, it wasn't really that strange, but it sure felt backwards. It meant sense, she guessed. But it still felt strange. With Vic, Alice might have been the 'guy' in public, but behind closed doors, that couldn't have been further from the truth. It was Vic who had initiated everything, who lead her everywhere. And, let it be clear, Alice liked that. If Liz woke up tomorrow and decided that a change in things was called for, she'd be overjoyed. But this, being the dominant one, it wasn't so bad. It had, after a time, grown on her.

Leaning down over Liz, Alice took both her hands and pinned them above her head, holding them by the wrists, "You're a real bad girl, aren't you?" Alice asked, a wicked and mischievous gleam in her eye. "I bet you might even beg, if I asked. But I'm feeling pretty generous. You won't have to beg." Alice kissed her again. "Much." She leaned down into another kiss, long and lingering, biting down on her lower lip for a fleeting second as she leaned moved away. The hand not restraining anything moved back under her shirt but stopped, tantalizingly just out of reach of anything erogenous. Alice planted a string of kisses down Liz's jaw, moving up to gently nibble on the lob of her ear for a few seconds. She leaned back a fraction of an inch, her voice a breathy whisper in Liz's ear. "You're going to beg, aren't you? Because this isn't enough for you, is it?" Alice moved lower, burying her face in Liz's neck once more, nuzzling and biting, waiting for the magic words.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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When dealing with Alice - at least in the bedroom, Lizzie found the eloquence that she'd built a career on shrivelling and dying like a neglected house plant. This kind of talk just left her entirely tongue-tied, so much so that she was lucky to even get a 'guh' out at times. Alice knew it, and Lizzie suspected that her partner sometimes played that aspect of herself up just to see Lizzie get flustered. Well, less suspected, more "Was a hundred percent certain of." The sly minx.

Lizzie didn't get much time to keep thinking it over. Alice grabbed her by the hair and gave a tug, baring her throat. A tremor ran through her and as Alice's lips met hers, she let her eyes slide closed. Lizzie followed her partner's actions through feeling and touch alone, allowing each new sensation to come as a surprise. A little grin flickered onto her face as Alice's hand again settled on her stomach - much more sensual this time. Periodically, despite her best efforts to remain quiet, little gasps made it out of Lizzie's mouth. Left to her own devices Lizzie most likely would have been whimpering and whining and moaning constantly, but she knew that Alice liked teasing the noises out, and she was happy to oblige.

Pushed back down onto the bed. Lizzie's eyes opened again, and they met Alice's, looking down at her with a glint sparkling within them. On another night, Lizzie might have taken a more active role, but seeing Alice with that expression on her face? It was out of the question. There was one person in the driver's seat tonight, and they would not be budging.

Alice easily took control of both Lizzie's wrists, gripping them over her head. Lizzie made a small show of mock resistance, but didn't really put up a fight. That wasn't the idea. Not that she thought she would have been able to break free even if she tried... Alice was strong.

"Yeah, yeah..." Lizzie murmured, writhing. "I'm bad, I'm bad... I'm your naughty girl, right?"

It drove her crazy when Alice did this. Playing with her, lurking just on the edge of anything she could properly latch onto. Lizzie shivered and moaned, but as always, Alice knew just where to stop to drive her absolutely wild without ever quite touching; fingers scuttling across her skin, light biting and sucking.

"God you bitch..." Lizzie groaned out. "Please Alice... please... I need it, I need you. You're driving me nuts here. Please be rough with me..."
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Alice had to admit it. There were those times when Liz surprised her. Like her penchant for talking dirty. Surprised, but definitely not unappreciative. Alice found that liberal dirty talk would spice anything up. It had always been something that turned Alice on. It had started with Vic, and after some light prompting, carried on with Liz. Hearing Liz, reserved and unassuming Liz, whisper about throwing Alice to the ground and having her way, possibly going into detail about the toys involved...Well, it was a plenty erotic thought, that was for sure.

Besides, it was easier to get Liz to say all the things she would to do to Alice then getting her to actually do them.

Seeing Liz like this, breathless, face flushed, panting and desperate, made Alice's mind race with possibilities. Pleasing Liz and making sure that she was satisfied was, of course, her top priority. If the gasps and moans that she made weren't so arousing, Alice might almost think she was getting the raw end of the deal. Even now, despite the lack of any real reciprocal contact towards herself, Alice was burning up. Her clothes, while not exactly loose, now felt skin-tight, restricting and suffocating. Heart racing, pulse pounding, Alice shifted, climbing on top of Liz. She leaned over her, planting a hand on either side of Liz's head.

She leaned lower, whispering, purring into Liz's ear, "Tell me what else I am." It wasn't a question. If Liz wanted Alice to play top, well, Alice could do that. These last couple years, she'd gotten some practice.

Alice repositioned her hands, pinning one of Liz's wrists to the bed with each. As her her request, her grip was tighter, her nails digging deeper. While Liz gasped and moaned, writhing, Alice took her favorite spot at Liz's neck again, dragging her teeth slowly across pale skin. She continued her trend of biting and nuzzling, instead this time biting harder as she moved, leaving visible marks in her wake.

Again she was struck with how alien this should feel. Playing the dominant one, the top, the one in charge. It should have been awkward, making a sub play dom, but with Liz, Alice was comfortable. It was what Liz wanted, so there was motivation but for the most part, it was Alice having a good time. Any doubts she might have were quashed by the sounds Liz made. Every moan drew Alice forward, encouraged her to keep doing whatever it was she was doing.

In this case, it was pinning Liz to the bed and doing her best vampire impression. Maybe, if she was lucky, she could get Liz to switch roles with her tomorrow. Alice imagined it would involve a lot of pleases and Liz making an exaggerated show of acquiescing, with the mischievous gleam in her eyes telling the answer from the start.

At a point when Liz was no doubt enjoying herself, Alice suddenly broke away, sitting up in her lap. Grinning wildly, Alice pulled off her shirt and tossed it over her shoulder. "Since you're such a hard woman to please, you're going to tell me what you want. Exactly what do you want done to you?" Alice leaned down over Liz, her lips ghosting teasingly across the front of her throat before settling next to her as she whispered, "Be specific. Don't leave anything out."
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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