Big Name Fan

by Domashita Romero (地下ロメロ)
illustrated by hybridcritter

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/210694.html)

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: interested in an interview?

Hello, there. My name is Bailey Callendar, and I’m a writer currently working for Magpie — we sort of fall under the “ladyblog” category, but we’re a bit more diverse than that. I’m working on a story right now about slash fiction, and I’m interested in interviewing a few of the more prominent and prolific authors. I promise this isn’t going to be a “oh, aren’t those girls so weird and cute with their little fan stories” sort of hit piece I’ve seen around; I want to get a good survey of the culture and open it up to our readers. Your name’s come up a lot with some of the people I’ve already been talking to, and I’d love to get your input. I’d just like to ask you a few things about your history with slash, your involvement in fandom, that sort of thing. Please let me know if you’re interested, and if not: happy writing!

-b

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

Oh, I’d love to help out! I have read those point-and-laugh articles before, and I have to say, I was not impressed. I’ve been deeply involved in fandom for quite some time, so ask away!

–marcella

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

Great! Although, here’s the point where I reveal my angle and you maybe change your mind. I’m specifically writing about lesbians who write male/male slash fiction. I’ve read your blog, and it seems you identify as lesbian — please correct me if I’m wrong. Again, I’m not looking to write a “what’s wrong with these women” article or paint you out as bad lesbians or make you defend yourself. I’m gay myself, and find the whole phenomenon fascinating — female sexuality is a complicated beast, isn’t it? I want to write something that shows people more of that complexity.

Still interested?

-b

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

Oh, aren’t you sneaky. No, I’m still interested. Actually, I’m more interested. That’s one of the things that’s so delightful about fandom, I’ve found. It really gives a lot of women a way to express and explore their sexualities and identities that they might not be able to do in their everyday lives. And, yes, I’m certainly a part of that. The article sounds good — I know everyone’s experience is different, so I’d love to hear what some other girls have to say.

So! I’m game! Fire at will!

–marcella

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

Excellent! Well, let me start with some basic questions, and then we can just build from there:

– How did you get involved with fandom?

– How did you get involved with slash specifically?

– What appeals to you about male/male pairings?

-b

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

Oh, I’ve been involved in fandom almost as long as I can remember. I was in fandom before I think I even knew what fandom was, writing little stories in my head about what I would do if I got sucked into Labyrinth. I discovered fanfic on the internet in the late 90s at a very tender age, and I was hooked for life. I didn’t read the smutty stuff at first, because I thought, I don’t know, the internet police would come to my house, or something, but eventually curiosity got the better of me and I just had to read how Mulder and Scully finally hooked up.

Slash was just a natural progression from there. The bulk of the fanwork you’re going to get for most series is slash, so once you follow the trail, you just end up up to your neck in copulating imaginary men. Which isn’t too bad of a place to be, depending on your preferences.

And ah, here’s where you say, but Marcella! Your stated preferences have nothing to do with copulating men! Here’s where it gets more complicated. So, I was reading about Mulder and Scully boffing, even though the only one of them I’d really care to have a roll in the sheets with is Scully (oh, gingers!), but I cared enough about their characters that I was interested regardless of genitalia. And when I got into slash, it was like that, too — I was interested in the characters. The show I’m into now, Mars, on its outset it’s just a silly little semi-supernatural procedural, but it’s got such good characters in it. The chemistry between the two leads is just so rich I can’t help but want to write more expanding that relationship. But there’s more to it, there.

It should come as no surprise to you, a gay woman yourself, that all of the love stories and couplings you see in almost all of today’s popular media are dreadfully, boringly heteronormative. I’d rather poke myself in the eye than sit through a romantic comedy, and I occasionally have to restrain my gagging at the obligatory love plots that come up even in non-romantic movies. It’s just so… bog-standard and boring and repressive and I could really go on all day just about that. So that’s part of what’s fun about slash. You get to play around with sex and romance and characters without falling into the common tropes. Of course, there are plenty of tropes in fanfic itself — I haven’t been above writing a ‘Five Things That Never Happened to [x] and One Thing That Did’ story — but you get to escape the stereotypes for a little bit. Sexily.

And now I send the birdie back into your court. Thwop!

–marcella

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

Excellent! I can really tell you’re a good writer just from these responses. Are there any of your stories you’d recommend I should read?

Now further questions:

You said ‘sexily,’ so now I have to ask the personal questions: does writing/reading the male/male stuff turn you on? Do you get something out of it other than intellectual stimulation, as it were?

-b

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

Oh, you’re saucy, aren’t you? Ah, well, you can’t spend your free time writing pornography and get all prude when someone asks you about your personal life. I don’t personally get turned on by writing my stories — I’m spending too much time thinking if the words are right or if I’ve spent too much attention talking about how the guys are breathing in the scene — but thinking it out beforehand, or reading someone else’s work? Yes, it’s sexy. That is the delightful thing about imagination, you know? I may be gay, but I’m also a proper pervert, so thinking about any two people getting sexy will do me right. It’s more about the energy of the thing, as woo-woo as that sounds, than the actual genitals being put together.

And thinking that something that I’ve written has turned someone else on? Well, that’s about as sexy as you can get.

As for a story of mine, hmm… most of them do require some information about the source material, but “Sound and Vision” is probably a good one for you. It’s a bit long, but it’s an AU so you can make it through without a lot of background information. I’m really quite proud of it. And it’s got plenty of dirty bits! ; )

–marcella

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

I read your story! It was fantastic! I mean, there were probably some parts that went over my head because I’ve never seen the show, but it really could stand on its own as original fiction. I thought I might skim over the dirty bits when I got to them — no offense, but one cock is too much for me, let alone two — but I didn’t, because they were really essential to the story. I’m impressed! I’ll have to read some of the others on your site when I have time. Perhaps you’ll make a convert of me…

But I still have questions for you first!

If the appeal is in breaking out of heteronormative tropes, why write men? Aren’t there lesbian pairings you could write for?

-b

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

Ah, you’ve caught me. Although in this case, it’s as much popular media’s fault as it is mine. There are lesbian pairings I like, but there just aren’t as many. It’s hard to get one well-written female character on television or in a movie, let alone two. I have written stories about the girls, but, well…. to be honest, no one reads them. It is the unfortunate sad state of our world where no one cares about the ladies. And I won’t lie, part of the reason I’m in this business is for the positive feedback, so when there’s none… well. I hang my head in shame. Sully me with the BAD LESBIAN stamp.

I am glad you liked the story, though. : )

–marcella

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

Oh, I won’t mark you as a bad lesbian. I’m sure you’re a very good lesbian. Speaking of, do you have a girlfriend? Does she know about what you write? What does she think?

-b

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: interview

Oh, I don’t have a girlfriend at the moment. If I did, though, I think I’d be honest about my dirty hobbies. I know there are other girls in the fandom who met through it. Happy wives fangirling away.

–marcella

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

Whooops, accidently sent that from my school address! Pardon, I’ve got too many email accounts tangled up in my phone and I sometimes get confused. Now you know my last name! Kindly do not put it in your piece, please. : )

–marcella

From: bailey.ca[email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

You go to Vanderbilt? Do you live in Nashville? I live in Nashville! Oh, I’d love it if we could meet up and continue this interview in person. And maybe you could show me some of that show you write about. I’ve read some more of your stories and I have to say I’m…. intrigued. ; )

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: interested in an interview?

Sorry, was that coming on too strong? We can set my clumsy email flirting aside and I’d still like to get coffee and talk more about the article. Let me know?

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: covering my bases

Just going to send to this email address, too, in case you somehow didn’t get it… I’d love to meet up with you and conduct this interview face to face. And I’d just like to meet you. Sound good?

Bailey tried to keep focus on the blog she was reading, but after reading a paragraph about who some Kardashian or another was screwing for the third time without absorbing it, she flipped back to the tab with her email open and hit refresh again. Nothing. Of course, her phone would chirp at her the second she got an email, but it didn’t hurt to keep checking.

It had been three days since she’d last gotten an email from Marcella. There were probably perfectly sensible reasons why she hadn’t responded — some life emergency, extremely localized power outage, homophobic spam blockers — but Bailey couldn’t help but assume it was her fault. Everything had been going so well, too. She’d had good conversations with the other women she’d interviewed for the piece, but Marcella was something special. She had a sparkle to her writing that had her rereading every email, not to mention the best parts of that fanfiction she’d read.

So, maybe she’d been too forward. Bailey had only been back living in Nashville for less than a year. New York had been glamorous and exciting and dramatic, but it had also been expensive and hard and, well, dramatic. A nasty breakup, a lack of good jobs, and her dad’s getting sick had been the perfect storm to blow her back south. She still had a few friends left around from high school, but the gay scene left something to be desired. She couldn’t help but jump at the chance to at least make a friend with some common interests.

Bailey found herself reading over the archives of Marcella’s blog. She talked mostly about fandom things that were partially inscrutable to her — she had no inherent judgments about the scene, but sometimes it seemed like they were speaking another language — but here and there she found little snippets about her life. She was originally from England — that explained some elements of her writing style — twenty-six years old, and getting her Masters from Vanderbilt. She had some photos here and there on her blog, but they were all of things like merchandise, DVD box sets, and Etsy-purchased fannish crafts. None of herself. Bailey had spent a very significant portion of her life scouring blogs, and eventually almost everyone posted a picture of themselves, especially the more popular bloggers. And Marcella was popular.

Maybe she was shy. She obviously wasn’t shy online; she was vivacious and flirty and fun, but Bailey had learned from her other interviews that someone’s online life wasn’t always reflected in how they were in the flesh-and-blood world. Maybe she didn’t think she was pretty enough.

“I am being such a creep,” she said to her computer after a failed Facebook search. Internet stalking was a perfectly normal hobby, she told herself as she went to Vanderbilt’s website. Maybe there was a student directory with photos. She’d been out of college almost ten years herself, but that was something schools did, wasn’t it? She went to the site’s people finder, entered in Marcella’s name, and clicked ‘find.’ If she didn’t get any hits here, she would stop being a stalker, move on with her life, and write her damn piece.

She got a hit. One definite hit, for Marcella A. Fletcher. With a phone number, a title of Administrative Assistant III, and a department of A&S Dean’s Office. She was a student worker, perhaps? There was an address right there for the Dean’s office, in one of the more prominent buildings on the Vandy campus. She knew right where it was.

Bailey bit her lip as she stared at her screen. This was creep behavior. This was complete stalker behavior. But really, she just wanted to get closure on her interview, and that was okay, wasn’t it? All she was doing was putting on her spunky girl reporter hat and following the story. If Marcella wanted her to buzz off, she would; she’d disappear entirely.

The next day she drove onto Vanderbilt’s campus, through the lovely tree-lined roads, to Kirkland Hall, with its stately red brick and high clock tower. She went up to the third floor and walked through the doors to the Dean’s office with her head high, like she had a perfectly legitimate reason to be there.

She heard a British accent as soon as she came into the reception area, a woman answering the phone with a crisp, “College of Arts and Sciences, Dean’s Office, how may I help you?” Bailey smiled and walked in further; that had to be Marcella. She scanned the desks at the front of the office, looking for someone Marcella’s age. The women working there were all older, and none of them looked like students. Then she heard the voice again.

“Mmhm. Right. Now, what’s your major?” There, at the desk just to the left, was the source of that charming accent. She was a middle-aged woman, dressed in the standard of office lady style, boxy beige sweater and short-trimmed nails. Her sandy hair was tied back in a short ponytail at the base of her neck, and she brushed bangs from her tired eyes as she nodded to whatever was being said on the phone. She was plain but not unpretty, with a smudge of color on her lips her only makeup. And there, on the desk in front of her, was her nameplate: Marcella Fletcher.

“Hi, do you need something?” said the smiling woman at the main desk. Bailey swallowed and mustered up a smile of her own and laughed.

“You know, I am in the complete wrong office, sorry!” she said, and turned right on her heel to walk out.

Bailey lingered on the steps of Kirkland Hall, craving a cigarette, though she hadn’t smoked since moving home. It was possible, she supposed, for that Marcella Fletcher to also have a daughter named Marcella Fletcher, but there weren’t many female juniors in the world, and she hadn’t looked old enough to have a twenty-six-year old daughter. So, that was Marcella. People’s online lives didn’t always reflect how they were in the flesh-and-blood world, indeed.

Well, now she really wanted to talk to her.

It’d be terrible to ambush her while she was at work, of course. But the day was almost over; Bailey could just wait outside and talk to her in a nice open public space when she got off work. She sat down on the steps and pulled out her phone, pointing her browser to Marcella’s website to pic another fic at random to go through. It was another one marked ‘AU’, and while Bailey didn’t know exactly what that meant, she’d like the last one she’d read, so she went to it. And proceeded to get so wrapped up in it that she completely missed that Marcella had left the building and was now fifty feet away and moving fast.

Bailey pulled herself to her feet and brushed dust off the rear of her skirt. She opened her mouth to shout out Marcella’s name, but stopped herself, because, good lord, who wanted a stranger yelling at them from across a yard? She’d just catch up to her — although she really needed to move fast; for a short girl, Marcella had some serious hustle and was booking it down the road. Hopefully Bailey could catch up to her before she got in her car.

She didn’t head for the parking lots, though. Bailey kept following, and had almost gotten to her when Marcella darted out across West End, making it to the other side of the street before traffic overtook the road again. What was she doing? Didn’t she know being a pedestrian in Nashville was a dangerous game? She’d gotten a good lead on Bailey by the time the traffic was clear enough for her to cross. It occurred to Bailey as she followed her another block that Marcella might live near campus; if it turned out she was following her home she would just go home and turn herself in to the creep police.

Marcella did turn to enter a building eventually; it wasn’t a residence, though, but the greenery-covered entrance of Cafe Coco. Well, at least she’d be easy to find, and maybe Bailey could buy her a coffee. Marcella wasn’t inside the cafe when she went in, though, so Bailey headed out to the patio, and there she was, set up at a table with her laptop open to a tumblr page full of animated gifs of famous actors. Yes, this had to be the right woman.

Bailey took a breath and marched right up to her table. “Ah… hi.”

Marcella looked up and looked her over for a while, looking a little wide-eyed and startled, but then she blinked and looked down at her laptop. “Oh, I’m sorry, do you want this table? I suppose it is rather rude of me, taking the whole thing to myself. I can move…”

“No, no, it’s okay,” Bailey said. “You’re Marcella, aren’t you?”

Marcella went still and suspicious, eyeing Bailey. “Yes, I am. I’m sorry, have we met?”

Bailey smiled at her and extended a hand. “I’m Bailey. We were emailing?”

Marcella’s eyes trailed up from Bailey’s hand to her face, and went owl-wide as the name connected and all the color drained from her face. “Oh, god,” she said, and covered her face in her hands. “No, you weren’t supposed to… please, don’t tell anyone.”

illustrated by hybridcritter

It was not the reaction Bailey was expecting, but after a few seconds of thought, she realized she was a fucking moron for not expecting it, in addition to being a completely inappropriate asshole for doing something like this. She was so hungry for more information that she completely disregarded the human part of the story. Of course a woman who’d created a very different persona for her online life wouldn’t want to be caught out. When someone stopped responded to your emails you were supposed to take a hint. God, she was the worst.

“No, it’s okay!” Bailey said, because it was too late to simply turn around and walk right out of the cafe. “I’m not going to tell anyone. I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking. I just wanted to talk to you more.”

Marcella brought her hands away from her face; she looked completely miserable. Bailey was an asshole. “I’m really sorry,” she said, voice rasping.

Bailey sat down in the seat across from Marcella; this was only more awkward with her standing there towering over her. “No, really, it’s okay. I’m not going to put this in the article. I won’t mention a thing about it. I won’t even write about you at all if you don’t want me to.”

Marcella cast a mournful look at her computer, where it looped two seconds of motion from one of the actors from that Mars show perpetually. She closed the lid. “No one knows.”

“No one?”

Marcella shook her head. “No one in my real life knows about what I do online, and no one online knows I’m…” She made a gesture down her body. “This.”

‘This’ was not bad at all, in Bailey’s view. She could use a bit of advice on how to dress better for her body type, but Bailey thought Marcella was really quite cute. She was short and nicely thick, with just that bit of soft-edged butchiness to her that Bailey really liked. She couldn’t quite see what the problem was. “Why haven’t you told anyone online?”

Marcella let out a sigh. “I don’t want to be… the creepy old lady in fandom. The one that people look at and whisper behind her back, oh, isn’t it time she got a real life? Shouldn’t she have grown up by now?” She knitted her fingers together, flexing them to push her knuckles in. “The thirty-year-olds call themselves decrepit, and I’m, well.” She let out a little humorless laugh. “Older than that.”

“I don’t think…” Bailey stopped and took a breath, closing her eyes for a moment. “Maybe you don’t care what I think. I’m a privacy-invading asshole and I’m the one who needs to apologize to you. I’m sorry. If you’d like me to go away and never speak to you again, I will.” She looked Marcella in the eye and offered what she hoped was a repentant smile. “But if I can make it up to you, I’d like to buy you a drink and you can talk to me about it. Or whatever you want.”

Marcella looked at her for a long while, a little color raising in her cheeks, and then she let out a breath. “Yes, a drink sounds good.”

“This place serves alcohol, doesn’t it?” Bailey asked. “Would you like alcohol?”

“Oh, god, yes,” Marcella said, and Bailey left the table to acquire beers.

Bailey returned with two glasses of Newcastle. When she handed one to Marcella, she gulped down a good half of it in one go. Bailey sat down across from her and raised her eyebrows. “Impressive.”

“Well, I am English,” Marcella said, as she licked foam off her top lip. Bailey couldn’t help but smile.

“I did notice that,” she said.

Marcella let out a huff of a laugh. “Yes, that part is at least true.”

Bailey leaned in across the table and made her voice soft. “What else is?”

Marcella sighed and looked to the heavens. “Well, I have been in fandom forever. Just… a bit longer than I told you. I’m not getting a Masters; I’m just a secretary. It’s just… online you can be what you’ve always wanted to be.” She covered her eyes with one hand and drank most of the rest of her beer with the other. “You’ll hate me, but I’m not even actually a lesbian.”

Bailey was glad Marcella’s eyes were closed; she couldn’t have hid the disappointment on her face. “You’re not?”

“Never even kissed a girl,” she said, and dropped her hand.

“Why say you are?” The usual reason for that kind of behavior was impressing dumb boys at parties in college. Marcella’s fandom world seemed to be a no-boys-allowed zone, so that seemed highly unlikely.

“I wanted to be someone interesting. Someone more exciting. Someone I’d have a hard time getting away with being in real life.”

Bailey had a feeling, so she took the risk. “Someone you’ve always wanted to be?”

Marcella’s eyes dropped and she smiled just a little, some faint color coming back into her cheeks. “A bit, yeah.”

Bailey sipped at her beer. “You did say you’d written the girl stuff, after all…”

“I did! I have.” Marcella drank the last of her beer. “I mean, not as much as other things, and it’s all short…”

Bailey raised an eyebrow. “But dirty?”

Marcella smiled a little more at that and got a little pinker. “Quite. Pretty much all of my stuff is. I’m just completely incapable of writing gen.”

Bailey swirled her beer around in her glass, tilting it a little towards Marcella. “I’d really like to read it.”

Marcella’s eyes got wider and she opened up her laptop. “I can send you the link right now!” She clicked and typed furiously for a few moments, and then Bailey’s phone blipped with the email notification. “Of course… you don’t, ah. You don’t have to read it now. I mean, you could; it’s short. But…” She shook her head. “I’m going to get another drink. You do what you like.”

Marcella left the table, and Bailey watched her go. If she were in Marcella’s shoes, she probably would have chased her away instead of letting her sit and ask more personally probing questions, but Bailey got the feeling Marcella had been wanting someone to talk to for a long while. Some secrets became a lot of pressure to keep. The line at the counter inside seemed long, so Bailey picked up her phone and clicked the link to at least skim Marcella’s story.

By the time Marcella returned with her new beer, Bailey had read it through one and a half times (once from start to finish, and then just the dirty bits a second time), her cheeks were flushed, and her panties were damp. Bailey’s been able to tell that Marcella’s more manly smut was good, but it did nothing for her; this stuff was hot, no wilting timid descriptions of female sex, just serious, three-fingered porn.

Marcella sat down and looked at how Bailey was staring at her phone. “Did you, ah, read it?”

Bailey gave her a big grin and put her phone down. “Are you sure you’re not a lesbian?”

Marcella dipped her head and smiled. “Never more than a sisterly kiss between school chums.”

“Well, that sounds sexy,” Bailey said.

Marcella laughed. “Not nearly as much as you’d hope.” She drank her second beer with less desperate need than the first. “So, you liked it?”

“It was great,” Bailey said. She might have to come back and read that one later. “You’ve really never…?”

Marcella shook her head. “I mean, I’ve done plenty of reading on my own. And, you know, I have the equipment.” She smiled a little again, cute and shy. “And I’ve always had a very active imagination.”

“I’ll say,” Bailey said. There was something delightfully dirty and fun about this, consuming porn in public while no one was the wiser. “You really are a good writer. Much better than the other women I interviewed.”

“Thank you,” Marcella said, smiling into the rim of her glass. “I read some of your articles, too.” She made a little typing gesture with her hands. “I googled you.”

“Well, that is fair,” Bailey said. “I did stalk you a bit.”

“Yes, there is that,” Marcella said, laughing a little. “You are apparently some kind of evil detective.”

“Not evil!” Bailey said, holding up a hand in front of her in defense. “Just curious. I didn’t even mean to follow you here, it just… happened.” It wasn’t a terribly good explanation of her creepy behavior, but somehow, amazingly, Marcella did not seem to be holding it against her.

Marcella took another healthy swallow of her beer and said, “Mm, if you weren’t so pretty you wouldn’t get away with it.” She looked up at Bailey as she realized what she’d said, then drank more of her beer as she blushed. Bailey just smiled.

“Oh, look at me. I went and let you pay for one of your own drinks,” she said. “How about this: I buy us dinner, and you tell me how a lovely girl like you ended up here.”

Marcella looked a little embarrassed as she smiled. “I think you’re a bit confused on those ‘lovely’ and ‘girl’ points, but yes, that sounds nice.”

They acquired food and more alcohol, and Marcella had just settled into an appealing permanently flushed state. “The place I’m from, it’s tiny. You’ve absolutely never heard of it,” she began without any prodding from Bailey. “But about seven years ago, I met a man, an American, and I ended up coming here with him.”

“Still with him?” Bailey had known plenty of lesbians who’d spent a good deal of their lives dating men, so this was no damning evidence.

Marcella snorted. “Ha. He dumped me.”

Bailey raised her glass. “Fuck him.”

Marcella clinked hers against Bailey’s. “To hell with him,” she said, and drank. “He’s married with twins now.”

“Oh, to hell with him extra,” Bailey said.

“I think of all the diapers and the university bills and it gives me pleasure,” Marcella said, a tiny devilish smile on her lips.

“Not much maternal instinct, then?”

“Ha!” Marcella barked. “Not a drop.” She looked a little off to the side as she drank. “And, well, even if I did, it’s a bit late for me…”

Bailey bit her lip. “If I can just be entirely rude, how old are you?”

Marcella closed her eyes and sighed. “I’m turning forty in two months,” she said. “Fifty-two days, to be precise. God help me.”

“Forty’s not that old,” Bailey said. “And anyway, you don’t look forty.”

“Ah, yes,” Marcella said. “More like forty-five.”

“No, I was thinking you were closer to my age,” Bailey said, and smiled. “I’m thirty-one.”

Marcella gave her a long look, then shook her head. “You’re a very darling girl, but if someone told you you’re more beautiful without your glasses, you really shouldn’t have listened to them…”

“Perfect eyesight,” Bailey said. “I think you’re very pretty.”

Marcella’s brows furrowed, a soft, confused gesture coming over her face. “I’m… really not, but thank you anyway.”

“You are!” Bailey said, firmly enough to make Marcella blink rapidly. “I mean, I did think that might be one of the reasons you didn’t want to meet with me, that you didn’t think you were pretty enough. But you are!” Bailey shook her head. “No, that sounded wrong. I wanted to meet you regardless of what you looked like.”

Marcella looked down at her hands, her short fingers wound around the bottom of her glass. “I’m really nothing that special.”

“Oh, come on,” Bailey said, reaching out to give her a tap on her knuckle with just her fingertip. “You’ve got a secret life writing porn. That’s pretty special!”

Marcella laughed. “I’m just a middle-aged woman with crap taste in telly who spends a lot of time in boring meetings having dirty thoughts.”

Bailey closed her eyes and giggled. “Oh, telly. I love that. It’s so cute.”

Marcella covered her face with her hand. “Oh, it’s only because I’ve been drinking. Usually I keep my American in line, so people don’t tease.”

“I’m not teasing,” Bailey said. “I just really do think it’s cute. You’re cute.” She’d had less than half the number of drinks Marcella’d had, but she couldn’t help but get a little giddy, especially when it made Marcella smile like that, so sweet and bashful.

“You know… one of the first ways I participated in fandom, when I got tired of lurking, was to read people’s Harry Potter fanfic and check it for proper Britishness.”

Bailey put a hand over her mouth. “That is the cutest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Isn’t it?”

“Just as cute as you are,” Bailey said, and then shook her head. “I’m sorry, I should stop flirting.”

“No, I…” Marcella brushed her bangs out of her face and looked Bailey in the eye. “I really don’t mind.”

Bailey could feel her smile taking up her whole face. “You know, I’ve never seen any of the Harry Potter movies. Or read the books.”

Marcella’s eyes got wide, as though Bailey had just said she’d never in her life seen a dog before. “They’re cultural touchstones!”

Bailey shrugged a little. “I just never got around to it. Emma Watson isn’t as butch in the movies as she is these days, is she?”

“No, I’m afraid not,” Marcella said. “I could loan them to you, of course. Books, movies, I have them all.”

“Or we could watch them together?”

Marcella took in a little breath, looked for a moment like she might lift up and leap over the patio railing, but then smiled. “That could be very nice.”

“And maybe when we’re done with those, you could show me some of that show you write so much for.”

Marcella’s smile got bigger. “That could be really, really nice.”

“Popcorn and cheap wine?”

“Sounds like a date,” Marcella said.

“Does it?” Bailey said, and when Marcella’s eyes got a little wide and startled, she continued. “I mean, I’m perfectly happy to do it even if it’s not. I… honestly don’t have a lot of friends in town anymore. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to meet you.”

“I don’t really, either,” Marcella said, and then chewed the side of her lip for a second. “But, ah… it does sound nice.”

“A date?”

“A date,” Marcella said, and let out a breath.

“The kind that might have a not-sisterly-at-all kiss at the end?” Bailey asked.

Marcella let out a nervous little laugh and looked up at Bailey. “That kind, yes.”

“Well,” Bailey said, and clinked her glass against Marcella’s, quietly marvelling at how this had ended up working out. “Just let me know when you’re free.”

Marcella’s apartment was a nondescript little thing near Belmont, and Bailey arrived there around seven on Saturday night with a bottle of cheap rosé in hand. “Oh, lovely,” she said as she took the bottle from Bailey’s hands. “Think it’ll pair well with popcorn?”

“I think anything pairs well with popcorn.” Marcella looked more comfortable with herself now, dressed casually in t-shirt and jeans, her little socked feet poking out from beneath the cuffs. In pants, Bailey could really appreciate the shape of her legs, short and strong-thighed.

“Did you get home okay the other night?” Bailey asked.

“No, died on the way home,” Marcella said, smiling at her. “Terrible tragedy.”

Bailey gave her a little swat on the arm. “You know what I mean.”

“Yes, everything was fine,” Marcella said. “I find riding my bike home while half-pissed to be quite an enjoyable experience.” She looked thoughtful. “And I’m fairly certain it’s legal.” Her bike-riding explained those lovely thighs and that firm-looking ass that Bailey got to look at as she turned towards the kitchen.

“Just stay off the highway,” Bailey said as she followed, and Marcella laughed.

“So, you’ve really never read Harry Potter?” she said, as she popped Bailey’s bottle of wine into the fridge and removed a chilly bottle of white.

“I mean, I know of it. Wizards! Voldemort! Someone made me eat a terrible jellybean once.”

Marcella laughed as she popped open the bottle with a corkscrew. “Oh, god, those things are horrible.” She retrieved two glasses from one of her cabinets. “What sort of things do you usually read?”

“Non-fiction, mostly,” Bailey said. “I’m one of those terrible people who stopped reading novels after getting burned out in college literature classes.”

“Mm, I do understand that,” Marcella said as she poured. “I’ve just had longer to get over it. I mean, as you can see.” She nodded her head out to the living room, where every wall was covered in bookshelves, filled to the brims with books and DVDs. “I mean, if you’re going to write, the best thing to do is read.”

“Oh, you’re smart and cute,” Bailey said, and Marcella pinkened as she handed her a glass of wine.

“Cheers, then?” Marcella said, and they clinked glasses. Marcella took a very hearty drink of her wine as Bailey sipped, and then laughed as she shook her head. “God, I must be really coming off as a lush. I honestly don’t drink too often, I’m just… well, a bit nervous.”

“Please, you’ve got nothing on me in my prime,” Bailey said. “And you don’t need to be nervous. I’ll be a good dyke; I won’t bite.”

Marcella laughed softly. “No, no, it’s not that… I just always get nervous on dates.”

Bailey leaned up against Marcella’s kitchen counter. “Do you go on many?”

“Some,” Marcella said, then sighed and took another hefty drink. “Honestly, I’ve got rubbish luck with men. One asks me out and I just go, oh! this might be my only chance, I’d better say yes, and then there I am, regardless of how good he is.”

Bailey smirked a little. “Oh, is that why you said yes to me?”

Marcella’s eyes got wide. “No! Oh, no.” She linked her fingers around the stem of her wine glass, holding it like a sacred chalice of pinot grigio. “This is… very different. I mean… none of them ever knew about the real me, and…” She looked into her glass for a moment, then up at Bailey through her lashes. “No one as beautiful as you ever showed interest in me before.”

It would be just a lovely moment to kiss her, Bailey thought, but one had to tread carefully with straight girls. She just smiled and tapped her glass against Marcella’s again. “Well, they’re all idiots, and I’m very lucky.”

Marcella smiled, a giddy little light taking up in her eyes, and then laughed. “That sounds like something I’d write,” she said, softly, and then shook her head and straightened up. “Right. I’m going to make popcorn. Go make yourself comfortable on the sofa.” She handed Bailey the bottle of wine to take with her with a look of deep gravity, and turned to fuss in the cabinets again.

Bailey kicked off her shoes and settled on the couch, curling up her feet next to her. She’d worn a short skirt and stockings patterned in spidery swirls: not logistically the best for a night on the couch, but it was a date, and she knew how good they made her legs look. She listened to the sounds of popping in the kitchen and sipped her wine. Marcella’s apartment was fairly nondescript in terms of interior decorating, but she’d clearly invested a lot of time and attention into an impressive home theater system. Bailey wasn’t sure she’d ever seen a single woman with so large a television.

Bailey was counting the rows of DVD boxed sets when Marcella returned with popcorn, setting it down with her wine on the coffee table. “Am I really the only one who knows about your fandom life?” she asked. “Not even your boyfriends?”

Marcella let out a short laugh. “Oh, especially not my boyfriends. The sort I’ve dated wouldn’t have taken well to an announcement of, ‘oh, honey, by the way, I write a lot of gay pornography. About characters who are better-looking than you.'”

“Might be a little threatened?”

“Definitely,” Marcella said. She gestured at the apartment. “I mean, I don’t even usually have people over. Let’s just say my extensive media collection has been deemed ‘weird’ by some of the men I’ve dated.”

“They sound like pricks,” Bailey said, and Marcella just sighed and had to give a little nod. “No friends from work, either?”

Marcella shook her head. “They’re all very nice people, and we get along fine, but… outside of work, we don’t really have much in common. They’re all married and have kids, or grandkids, or go to church…. The people in the office I’ve had the most connection with are the student workers, and that just makes me feel… old and sad.”

“I don’t think you’re old or sad,” Bailey said. “I mean, you’ve got something you’re passionate about. A lot of people don’t have that.”

“Ah, yes. My secret passions,” she said, smiling. “I still don’t think my coworkers would exactly be impressed.”

“Who needs them!” Bailey said, waving a dismissive hand in the air. “They probably spend their nights watching Real Housewives, while you’re having imagination adventures.” Marcella laughed at that, and she continued, “I mean, now you’ve got me, at least. If I can be so forward.”

Marcella tucked her legs up under her on the couch, turning her body more towards Bailey. “You can be, certainly.”

Bailey snatched up the bottle of wine and refilled Marcella’s glass. “And I can introduce you to my friend Nina and her girlfriend. She’s the one who got me headed down the path that lead me to you. She’s a voracious lesbian slash-reader.” Bailey paused and laughed. “Wait, I don’t know if that sounds like she’s a voracious lesbian or a voracious reader. Maybe both.”

“Oh, taking me to meet voracious lesbians on the second date,” Marcella said, arching an eyebrow. “This is getting dangerous.”

“Who’s to say you haven’t got one on the first date?” Bailey said, and felt good about how her grin was met by one of Marcella’s own. “But really, you all could bond, and I’d be the one non-nerdy one left out of the loop.”

“That does sound like fun,” Marcella said, then bit her lip a little. “Does she know me online, though? I’d feel awkward having to, ah, break the news.”

“I don’t think she does,” Bailey said. “She flits about in different fandoms than you do.” She took a nibble of some popcorn. “What is that show you like about? I sort of wasn’t able to gather from what you had me read; I’m just assuming it isn’t actually steampunk.”

Marcella laughed and shook her head. “No, that was just a bit of AU fun. I can’t help myself from wanting to imagine people in waistcoats and top hats from time to time.”

“As do we all,” Bailey said, and grinned. “Or corsets.”

“Yes, indeed,” Marcella said, then pondered her words for a moment and sighed. “The show itself… well, it sounds rather silly on paper.” She took in a steadying breath and continued. “It’s a crime show about a man named Roland Mars — hence the name of the show — who presents himself to the police as a Sherlock Holmes-like deductive genius, but actually he can solve crimes because of, um, his magic powers. Can see through the fabric of space and time because of a link to essential elemental forces.” She looked at Bailey, who blinked. “I know, it’s a very silly concept, but believe me when I say the characters make up for all the cheesy magic-vision effects. He and his cop partner have fabulous chemistry.”

“No, no, I didn’t say anything!” Bailey said. “Although I did think that whole magic bit in the fic of yours I read was, you know, your little embellishment.”

Marcella laughed. “No, that’s completely canon, somehow.” She wiggled her fingers in the air. “Murder mysteries with magic, ooh.”

“And gay sex?”

“Well, if you read between the lines.” She took a drink of her wine and smiled, looking the most relaxed and comfortable that Bailey had yet seen her. “Everyone involved with the show knows what the internet gets up to, and they do a bit of teasing and, well, pandering. Putting the boys in a lot of tight enclosed spaces together, finding reasons for them to take their shirts off…”

“But never any real payoff?”

“Well… no,” Marcella said. “But in a way, that would spoil the fun. If they actually hooked up, it would kill the whole happy industry of girls thinking up ways for them to hook up.” She laughed again. “That’s just my opinion, though. I know some girls who make deadly serious petitions on the topic, get into all kinds of nasty internet fights. Not my area.” She giggled a little. “I’m just here for the porn.”

Bailey leaned over and clinked her glass against Marcella’s at that. “You’re really doing more than that, though. You write really good stories, not just dirty bits.” She drank her wine and enjoyed the way Marcella seemed to glow from the praise. “Do you ever think of writing, you know, a book? Something original? Your waistcoats story seemed halfway there.”

Marcella refilled her half-empty glass and let out a little breath. “I have thought about it. I’ve probably got it in me, but…” She shrugged. “I’d have to go through the whole terror of trying to sell it, and getting rejected by publishers, and then in the end no one would probably read it.”

Bailey reached over to brush her fingers over Marcella’s knee. “I would.”

“Oh, well, I’ll be sure to put some good lesbianism in it for you,” Marcella said, and then laughed. “Into my imaginary novel that doesn’t exist.” She looked into her wine glass, but she dropped her hand down to brush over Bailey’s fingers. “But, you know, that’s sort of the other end of the coin that’s telling me to be a normal adult with the kind of interests people at work would approve of. It’s this idea that fanfiction isn’t enough. Like you’re supposed to grow up from that, too. But, you know, maybe I could write a book someday, but I’d probably still write fanfiction. Because it’s fun. It makes me happy.”

Bailey raised up her glass. “Cheers to that. Not enough people have things that make them feel that way.” She tilted her head and smiled a bit ruefully. “Myself included, honestly.”

Marcella tinged her glass against Bailey’s, and curled her fingers so they threaded through Bailey’s, still on her knee. “Well, I’ll convert you yet.”

Bailey drank and then grinned, taking a moment to bite the rim of her glass. “Well, I suppose that’s a fair trade. Do you get a toaster?”

“Amazon gift certificate, I believe,” she said, and her smile was so soft and pretty, Bailey had to struggle not to lean over and kiss it right then and there.

Somewhere halfway into the second bottle of wine they realized they’d completely forgotten to watch the movie at all, but by that point, neither of them cared. Marcella impressed her with passionate talk about the role women play in popular media (leaving Bailey wondering how she, an actual lesbian, didn’t know about the Bechdel Test), babbled charmingly about why she loved The Princess Bride (which Marcella was horrified Bailey’d never seen), and told a story about a terrible ex of hers that made Bailey laugh so hard she fell off the couch.

“I’m sorry, I’m a terrible guest,” she said, as Marcella pulled her up off the floor. She ended up in her arms for a bit, leaning close, enough to feel her breath against her hair. “Getting drunk and falling off your furniture.”

“Oh, it wasn’t a long fall, at least,” Marcella said, rubbing her back a little. “But I think I won’t be letting you drive home. You can stay here tonight.”

In your bed? Bailey stopped herself from saying, even as drunk as she was. She was really quite smitten with Marcella, and it’d do no good to scare the straight girl off on the first date. She rested her head on Marcella’s shoulder, sighing softly. “Oh, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to crash on someone’s couch.”

Marcella brushed her hand over Bailey’s hair, fingers winding a little through its waves. “Mine’s comfortable, I assure you. I’ve fallen asleep on it enough times.”

“You’ll tuck me in?”

“Under my nan’s quilt, no less,” Marcella said, and laughed. “Isn’t that just the sexiest thing you’ve ever heard?”

Bailey lifted up her head and smiled at her. “You know, a little bit.” Marcella smiled back, and then it was happening, that moment, that sparking giddy moment right before you knew you were going to kiss someone for the first time. Marcella took in a little breath of bravery and she leaned in first. Her fingers curled in Bailey’s hair as she rose to meet her, kissing her soft and sweet, the feeling of her lips thrilling through her whole body. There was plenty of her that wanted to push her back on the couch and kiss her more and more, but she held back, because this was perfect just how it was. Slow and gentle, one step at a time. She’d hate herself if she messed this up.

She pulled away and smiled at Marcella’s pink cheeks. “You’re so pretty when you blush,” she said, and staggered her way up to her feet. “You get that sexy quilt, and I’m going to go drink directly out of your tap like an elegant woman.”

Marcella laughed, putting fingers first to her cheek and then to her lips. “You could use a glass.”

“Complicated, too complicated,” she said as she weaved her way to the kitchen. She had bumbled through a few cabinets actually finding a glass when she turned and saw Marcella had followed her. She reached up both of her hands and held Bailey’s face to bring her down across the few inches of difference between their heights and kissed her again, this time more assuredly. It made Bailey’s toes curl.

When she let Bailey go, she brushed her sweet short fingers against her throat, making Bailey’s hair stand on end. “This was the best date I’ve had in…” She stopped and laughed. “This is the best date I’ve had.”

“Me too,” Bailey said, and loved the way it made Marcella smile.

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: fun time last night

I must say, you’re really excellent at taking care of a girl with a hangover. But I do have one question: did I leave my panties at your place?

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: fun time last night

Oh, you naughty girl, you know you haven’t. Unless you’ve hid them somewhere for me to find later. You did leave your stockings here. It was like some very sexy spider had spun a web over the edge of my sofa.

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Red: fun time last night

Oh, you can keep those as a trophy. I think I’d put about four runs in them by the end of the night, anyway. I fell asleep with the damn things on and got into a very serious battle with them around two in the morning.

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: fun time last night

I know; I had a peek when I went to the bathroom around three. You’d kicked my poor nan’s quilt off. Legs just everywhere.

I may have looked longer than just a peek. ; )

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Red: fun time last night

Ooh, who’s the naughty girl now? I woke up with my skirt around my belly button so I hope you got a very good look!

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: fun time last night

How else do you think I knew you didn’t leave your panties here?

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: fun time last night

Okay, I think it’s very important that we see each other again very soon. I’ve gushed about you to my voracious lesbian friends and they’d love to meet you. Perhaps an evening with a bit less wine and actually successfully watching something that my nerdy education lacks?

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: fun time last night

Some phrase about dipping in honey comes to mind. Name the time and place and I’ll be there.

Bailey ended up having to pick Marcella up to go to Nina’s, due to its being a little far away and unfamiliar for her to go biking to. That was just fine, though, because after they kissed hello they got to laugh in the car on the way, Marcella fussing through the playlists on the iPod Bailey had hooked into the car stereo. Bailey felt a little bad for thinking it, but she was a little startled at the amount of knowledge Marcella had about good music.

“How do you know so much about music?” she asked.

“Oh, fanmixes,” Marcella said, and an explanation of that filled up the rest of the ride to Nina’s.

The night with the girls went off smashingly well. Nina’s girlfriend Julia cooked enough food to keep the amount of wine they drank from being debilitating, and they both simply loved Marcella. Bailey could tell she was nervous at first, clutching her wine glass with both hands as she bit her lip through small talk. But the minute Nina asked her something about her “ships,” she blossomed like a spring flower, and three of them were off in their own fannish world before Bailey could blink. She didn’t mind standing on the edge for a while, not when it made Marcella be so alive.

“Wait, is your username ‘celladoor’?” Julia asked at one point, and Bailey bit the inside of her lip as Marcella paled.

“Er, yes, actually. That’s me.”

“Oh, I’ve read something of yours!” Julia said with obvious delight. “I’m not huge into Mars, but someone recced me that one you wrote, the X-Files crossover.”

Marcella laughed and put a hand against her chest. “Oh, that one is a bit silly.”

“Oh, whatever!” Julia said, gesturing broadly to nearly slosh her wine on the carpet. “I eat stuff like that up! The way you had Roland talking about all the dirty shit he could see that had gone down in Mulder’s apartment? Mystical echoes of transsexual porn? Loved it!”

Marcella smiled. “I’m really glad you liked it.” She lauged and brushed her hair behind her ear. “I guess my secret’s really out then, that I’m not exactly who I say I am online.”

“Oh, you aren’t?” Julia said, then waved her hand. “Ah, don’t worry about that sort of thing. Nina and I met online, and I was pretending to be a man at the time.”

Nina smiled. “Such angst I had over it, how I was falling for a man.” She leaned over to kiss her girlfriend. “Lucky for me you’re a dirty liar.”

“I just lie about my age,” Marcella said. Julia waved her hand in the air again.

“Oh, to hell with that,” she said. “There need to be more girls over thirty in fandom. Someone needs to raise these children properly. Sit them down and say, when I was your age, we didn’t have kinkmemes. We had to walk uphill in the snow both ways to get a Due South fic with two paragraphs of smut, and we liked it!”

Marcella laughed brightly. “Oh, you just might be right. They might be mad at me for lying, though.”

“It’s just the internet,” Nina said. “You’ve got us now, after all.”

“And me,” Bailey chimed in, reaching out to take Marcella’s small hand in hers. “Even if I don’t know what a kinkmeme is.”

Marcella reached out and patted her cheek. “I’ll teach you, dear.”

When they settled on the couch to watch The Princess Bride (Nina and Julia had been equally scandalized by Bailey’s lack of experience with it and insisted), the girls curled themselves up together at one end, and Marcella sat next to her on the other, their hands twined up together. By the time the movie was half over, Bailey had her arm around her. She had the kind of curves that Bailey liked a lot, soft under her fingers when she curled them around her waist. So many of the girls she’d dated in New York had been like her, smoking too much and eating too little; gorgeous and glamorous, but built like clothes hangers. Now she was back home, had quit smoking, and could get her arms around the type of girl she really liked.

The movie ended and there were hugs and promises all around to do this again, and a general exchange of emails and tumblrs and livejournals between Marcella and the girls. While Bailey drove her home, Marcella reached over to twine fingers with hers, squeezing her hand as she smiled dreamily out the window into the night. Bailey held it tight until she actually needed to use it to drive.

Bailey pulled up in front of Marcella’s apartment. “I really had fun tonight,” she said, turning to her.

“So did I,” Marcella said, and then tucked a bit of her hair behind her ear. “Would you… like to come inside?”

There was promise in those words, and it made Bailey a little wet. She took the key out of the ignition and smiled. “I’d love to.”

They were inside long enough to put down purses and for Marcella to kick off her shoes before she turned and took Bailey’s face between her hands again to kiss her, long and wet and deep. You’d never have thought it too look at her, but by god, the woman knew how to kiss. Bailey was panting when Marcella pulled back.

“I really like you,” she said, breathless herself. “And not just because you’re beautiful and decided to pay attention to me for some reason. I’ve had more fun with you the few times we’ve been together than I have since… I don’t remember.”

Bailey pet her cheek with her fingertips, and Marcella sighed. “You, too. You’re so much more wonderful than I think you know.”

Marcella laughed a little, soft and nervous. “You’re really making me feel it.” She opened her mouth to speak, frowned, and then shook her head. “I was going to say something utterly terrible like ‘let me make you feel it, too,’ but that is a line I wouldn’t put in my worst fic, so I’ll just say: will you come to bed with me?”

Bailey curled her fingers behind Marcella’s neck, stroking up her neck and making her shiver from it. “I very definitely will,” she said, and then a pang of conscience hit her. “But you don’t have to rush this. I know you’ve never done this before.”

Marcella smirked a little, a crooked thing that was pretty on her lips, and looked up at her through her eyelashes. “Just because I haven’t done it doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it.” She rocked up on her toes to kiss Bailey again, just a brief wet touch of lips that made her want more. “I’ve thought of it plenty.”

Bailey let out a breath. “Lead the way, then.”

Marcella’s bedroom had even more bookshelves in it, but most importantly it had her bed, a big, beautiful queen-sized thing that they both tumbled onto, stretching out side by side as they kissed. Marcella thread her fingers into Bailey’s hair, tangling them deep as she tilted her head back to kiss her more. She never expected her to be so forceful, but she had an insistence to her every move and kiss that made her ache.

Marcella kept kissing her as she pulled her hand from the curls of Bailey’s hair to stroke down her neck and settled against one of her breasts. She paused in her kiss to let out a shaky breath as she shaped out her flesh with her fingers. She found Bailey’s nipple with her thumb and drew it over it until it stiffened, tingling and tight even through two layers of fabric.

“God!” Bailey gasped, and she was smiling. “You have thought about this, haven’t you?”

“I really have,” Marcella said into her chin before kissing her neck. She slipped a hand under the edge of Marcella’s shirt. “Can I?”

The exact intent of Marcella’s question was unclear, so Bailey just went for the strongest option, and sat up a little to pull the shirt off over her head. Marcella brought her hand back as soon as she settled down again, tracing her fingers over the lace of Bailey’s bra. She lined out the edges of it for a while, teasing those round little fingers along where fabric met skin, and then tugged one of the cups down before bringing her mouth down to Bailey’s nipple.

Bailey made a choked gasping sound and grabbed the back of Marcella’s head as she felt herself get soaked with each tease of Marcella’s tongue. This was not how previously straight girls acted; she had expected her first time in bed with Marcella to be a world of teaching her how things went. Marcella’s tongue fluttered over the peak of her nipple and she whimpered and squirmed.

“You’ve really…” she gasped, “really never done this before?”

“Really,” Marcella said into her skin as she reached behind to undo the clasp of her bra. “Lots of thinking, lots of reading,” she said as she helped Bailey out of it, leaving her bare from the waist up. “Tell me if I do any of it wrong.”

“No,” Bailey breathed as she rolled more onto her back, giving Marcella access to both of her breasts. “No, you’re doing amazing.” Marcella mouthed at one nipple as she felt her other breast with a gentle hand. Bailey’d been so fixated on those fingers of hers: short and neat and thick. No one would call them elegant, but all Bailey could think about was having them inside her. Her hips squirmed on the bed as she thought of it.

Marcella played with her breasts until she was whimpering and writhing, biting her knuckle to keep from bothering the neighbors with the sounds she might make. When Marcella went for the zip on the side of her skirt, she let out a desperate breathy laugh in relief. Marcella hesitated at it, but she shook her head. “Don’t stop, don’t stop, you’re just… I didn’t expect this.”

“I’ve never met anyone as beautiful as you,” Marcella said, breathing into the curve of her belly. “No one’s ever let me do this before.”

“Anything,” Bailey said, tossing her head against the pillow. “Anything at all.” Marcella drew in breath and slipped her hand beneath the loosened fabric of Bailey’s skirt before pulling it off.

“I loved those stockings of yours, but I’m glad you’ve not got them on tonight,” Marcella said as she moved her hand up Bailey’s thigh, trailing inward. All she had left on were her panties, little satiny things that were completely soaked by now. She looked beyond the haze of her eyelashes to see the intense look of concentration that colored Marcella’s face just before she slid her hand between Bailey’s thighs, pulling her thumb up over the dampened fabric.

Bailey gasped and pushed her hips into that touch, and Marcella followed perfectly, teasing her clit through the satin. “I shouldn’t have worn a damn thing,” she gasped, and Marcella laughed.

“Naughty girl,” she said, her voice breathy but warm. She kissed the edge of Bailey’s knee. “Then I wouldn’t get to do this for the first time.” She hooked her fingers at the waist of Bailey’s panties and tugged them down, guiding her knees together as she pulled them off.

Bailey was naked, spread out on Marcella’s bed, and there she was, still entirely clothed. She wanted to proclaim how this wasn’t fair, but then Marcella was sliding her fingers down through her pubic hair, parting her lips and going deeper long enough to get her fingers wet. Bailey bit her lip and jerked her hips, hungry to feel more of them inside her, but then Marcella was teasing her clit with the tip of one dampened fingertip.

She shouldn’t have been surprised. Of course any woman with a healthy mind constantly full of pornographic thoughts like Marcella would know her way around. Any girl had enough experience with herself to know. Her truest surprise, though, came when Marcella pulled her hand away, slide both hands beneath Bailey’s thighs, and bent down to put her face between Marcella’s legs.

“Good god!” Bailey gasped at the first touch of Marcella’s tongue against her clit, circling it delicately as she kept a good hold on her thighs. Marcella was some kind of mythical creature; straight girls never went straight to eating pussy. But there she was, going without any hesitation. She brought a hand in to spread Bailey’s lips as she buried her nose in Bailey’s curls.

She made noises as she worked, little gasps and sighs as she licked at Bailey, teasing around her clit for a tortureously long time before going in deep, sucking wetly until Bailey’s legs jerked against the mattress. Bailey had lost track of all sounds that she was making; for all she knew she’d been yelling Marcella’s name. She tangled her hand into Marcella’s hair, fingers slipping through the sweat at the nape of her neck, and pulled her closer.

She was hovering near orgasm, flirting towards the edge but then just coming off again, hazy and dizzy as Marcella kept toying with her. She gripped into her hair and gasped, “Your fingers…” Marcella hesitated as she listened to the command. “In me, please.”

Marcella took in a heavy, determined breath and kept lapping at her as she slid one of those perfect little fingers inside of Bailey. She could have gone for a whole hand’s worth, but just that one, sliding in and out of her where she was so unbelievably wet, was enough to make her whole body go tight. She clawed at the bed as she came, gracelessly shoving herself down onto Marcella’s finger, pushing herself into her mouth.

When she could think coherently again, she cracked an eye open to see Marcella lying next to her, mouth still a little pink and damp as she watched her. “Jesus fucking Christ, woman,” she said, and Marcella just broke into a smile and laughed. “Really never?”

“Really never,” Marcella said, and her voice was lower and softer now. That accent of hers really did things to Bailey, and even though her cunt was still twitching from coming, she thought of going again. “Had it done badly to me plenty, though, so I’ve put a lot of thought into how to do it properly.”

“You’ve had it done badly?” Bailey said, sitting up a little.

“Oh, plenty,” Marcella said, and Bailey grinned as she nudged her back onto the bed.

“We’re going to fix that right now,” she said, and brought her head down to mouth at one of Marcella’s nipples through her shirt. She jerked and gasped as Bailey got the fabric wet, and she could feel her stiffen through the cotton. She grinned as she teased the point of it with her teeth, making Marcella whimper.

She slid both hands under Marcella’s shirt and pushed it up over her head. When she’d sorted out their tangle of arms, she leaned back a little to get a good look at her. She was soft and lovely, from the perfect handfuls of her breasts to the gentle rise of her belly, but when Bailey looked up to her face she could see the nervousness and uncertainty there. She surged up to kiss her hard.

“You’re beautiful,” she said against her mouth, and the whispery little laugh Marcella let out told her she didn’t quite believe that yet. She’d have to show her. She straddled Marcella’s hips and guided her up to unfasten and remove her bra, then bent down to press her face between her breasts. She felt them with both hands, squeezing them lightly as she kissed around the curve of one, slowly coming up to take one of her dark nipples in her mouth.

Marcella squirmed but stayed quiet, bringing the back of her hand to her mouth to muffle any sounds. Bailey wanted to make her shout. She kept toying with one of her nipples as she slid her hand down Marcella’s body, twisting open the button of her jeans easily so she could slip her hand inside them. She was so wet; Bailey squeezed her own thighs together as her fingers circled Marcella’s clit. She stroked it directly and Marcella let out a little yelp. Bailey grinned against her skin.

“Come on,” she said as she moved on the bed to be between Marcella’s thighs. They both laughed as they went through the never-graceful struggle of getting Marcella’s jeans off. Bailey smiled at her when she was finally naked, spreading her fingers out over the expanse of her hips. “I love your thighs,” she said as she stroked them, feeling the strong muscle beneath her skin.

“You do?” Marcella said, softly.

Bailey scooted down to smile up at Marcella from between her legs. “I do. Strong and sexy. Try not to crush my head with them, though.” Marcella laughed a little at that, her stomach jumping, and Bailey slid her hands up Marcella’s thighs to part her lips and taste her. She tasted good, sweet and heavy in a way Bailey suspected she was going to find addictive.

She went slow, teasing her tongue around Marcella’s clit, gauging her reaction. Marcella’s breath picked up the longer she did it, and she began to writhe, nudging her hips downward in a wordless request for more. How terrible it was that Marcella’s other lovers hadn’t given her proper attention. Bailey sucked wetly at her clit until Marcella moaned. By god, she was going to make a convert out of this woman.

She knew she was on the right path when Marcella reached down to tangle her fingers in her hair. Her thighs were squeezing her in on both sides as Marcella pressed her forward, leaving her happily, wonderfully suffocated. Marcella was gasping now, breathing hard and desperate, and Bailey just didn’t stop, just licked her and sucked her and fucked her with her tongue until those gorgeous thighs of her tightened and she cried out, slamming the headboard with a flailing hand as she came jerkily.

Bailey stayed lapping at her until Marcella hissed a little and gave her hair a gentle tug, and then she came up to wrap herself up with Marcella, twining their bodies together to feel skin against skin. Marcella rested her head against Bailey’s collarbone, still breathing hard. After a long while, she let out a little laugh and said, “Goodness.”

Bailey laughed and tugged her face up to give her a kiss, smiling at how she could still taste herself on her lips. “God, you’re cute.”

“I’m completely precious,” Marcella said, voice low and lazy. She wrapped her arms around Bailey’s waist and hugged her close. “Stay the night, please?”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Bailey said, and held her close as she fell asleep.

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: you’ve inspired me

I’ve started work on a new story today. It’s going to be sprawling and epic and utterly full of smut. And most importantly: it’s going to be genderswap.

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: you’ve inspired me

Ooh, girls only? Oh, but think of the comments!

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: you’ve inspired me

I only need one. <3

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