Pairing: Stella/Frannie (Fraser/Kowalski references)
Thanks: To Miriam for brilliant and worth-her-weight-in-gold beta.
Notes: For the Get Frannie Laid challenge.
Stella lay on her bed watching the cream ceiling fan spinning against the cream ceiling, and tried to process the news. She'd been off-balance ever since Ray had hustled her into one of the interrogation rooms at the station and told her. Once upon a time he'd have been trying to steal a kiss, and probably would have irritated the hell out of her — I'm trying to work! — but their happily ever after had disintegrated years ago, and they'd both moved on. Apparently he'd moved further than she had. She could still hear him saying it: Fraser and me, we're... and then the tilt of his head, halfway between apologetic and proud, the revealing silence.
"That's—nice," she'd said, not knowing any other words. What did you say? What did one say when one's ex-husband announced he was dating a Mountie? Nice. It was all terribly nice, especially if Stella didn't think about it.
It would have been nicer if the last guy Stella had dated had been the slightest bit interesting. She sighed.
She'd been wrong about the shape of the universe: she had thought she was its center. Not that she'd expected Ray to pine after her forever. God, no. But he could have replaced her with a partner who at least bore her some resemblance. Any resemblance.
She felt hysteria bubble up inside her.
There was a rustle in the hallway. Stella sat upright, listening intently. An intruder? She reached for the phone, and then changed her mind, opting instead for the baseball bat in the closet, a souvenir she'd never thrown out. Then the door creaked open and it was too late. Stella stared.
Francesca Vecchio, the civilian aid from the station, was standing in her bedroom doorway and, although that was surprising in itself, what was really weird was the tiny little trenchcoat she was wearing, which stopped well above her suspendered stockings and her strappy stiletto sandals.
Stella collected her wits and her composure, but only for a moment, because then Frannie let the coat fall open, let it slide down her arms, and then Stella's mouth fell open.
She'd faced down the most aggressive trial lawyers, managed homicidal criminals, and been married to a hyperactive cop, but this was—well, this was new.
Because now Frannie was wearing a shapely leather corset — handmade, by the look of it — and on top of that she'd buckled a black leather harness with a long black dildo that sprang straight out into the air when it was released from the waist-tie of the coat. "Don't be afraid," said Frannie. Perhaps she was trying to sound husky, but it came out nervous.
Stella snorted. "I'm not afraid; I'm confused. What are you doing here?"
Frannie sat down next to her on the edge of the bed. "Fraser said Ray told you about them, and I thought maybe you might want—company."
Stella's started to speak, but Frannie interrupted. "He did tell you, didn't he?" she blurted anxiously, her poise crumbling and her worried frown undermining the effect of the outfit. "Oh my God! I didn't mean to tell you if Ray didn't tell you already. Fraser said he did!"
"It's okay," said Stella, and made a show of calmly smoothing down her tank top. "I'm fine."
But Frannie was off again. "Fraser said. I was after Fraser for the longest time — I guess that's no secret. I really wanted him." She gave a little laugh. "Maybe it was the uniform, you know? Or the way he said thank you? No-one much says thank you anymore. And he is gorgeous." She paused wistfully for a moment, then went on, while Stella waited with grim fascination to find out where this was going. "I knew he wasn't really interested in me, but I kept trying anyway because perseverance is a virtue, you know? Like faith and hope? One of the deadly virtues? Anyway, he didn't tell me about him and Ray until a couple of weeks ago. He sat me down and told me real nice. To start off I didn't know what he was talking about, and he had to explain some things — poor Fraser." Frannie grinned. "He went red as a tomato! Anyway, he told me everything, and to start off I was shocked. You know what I mean? I didn't believe it. But then I thought Why not? It makes sense. I mean, I look at them and it just makes sense to me." She clasped her fingers together, close to her chest. "And really, when you think about it, it's so romantic."
"Romantic," echoed Stella doubtfully.
"Don't you think so? The two of them, working together, falling in love. And it's good—" Frannie stopped a moment, then nodded decisively. "—it's good that Fraser's found someone to love. He shouldn't be alone anymore. Anyway, when he told me, and I'd stopped being shocked, after that I thought if it's good for them, maybe it could be good for me, too. You know?"
Stella leaned away a little, and reassessed Frannie's outfit. "So that's not for Halloween then?"
Frannie batted lightly at Stella's shoulder and laughed. "In May? No! It's because—" She blushed and cleared her throat. "Well, Stella, you're a woman and I'm a woman, and I thought if we were going to do—it—you know, that one of us would have to be the man."
"I see," said Stella, in her calm, professional voice. "Here." She handed the younger woman a thick white towelling robe. "Put this on. I'll make coffee."
Well, thought Stella, who'd have thought? Ray's revelation wasn't the only thing she hadn't seen coming. "I've got to get my eyes tested," she said wryly, as she poured coffee into matching gold-rimmed cups.
"Really? My cousin's husband's an optometrist. He could do you a good deal. Although he didn't exactly finish at optometry school because of the incident with the squirrel, but he's really good. Real professional. He read all the books for the rest of the course, and he's got his certificate signed—" Frannie hesitated, "—by somebody. Anyway, I'll give you his number, only I don't have it on me—"
"Frannie!" Stella interrupted, and then asked the first thing she could think of. If Frannie was going to babble, she might as well be saying something interesting. "Why me?"
"Huh?" Frannie added a couple of teaspoons of sugar to her cup. "Why you what?"
"Why are you here? At my apartment? Why did you decide to try it on with me?
"Oh." The younger woman bit her lip and then smiled hopefully at Stella. "Because you're beautiful and smart and really classy." She stopped. There was something she wasn't saying.
"And?" prompted Stella, with practised persistence.
Frannie changed the subject. "You know, Ray, he gives me a hard time — he's always giving me a hard time – but he's my brother. Or, at least, he's as close as I've got to a brother right now, what with my real brother being under cover as not my brother, and Ray, he comes around for family occasions now and then, so—" Frannie held up her hands excitedly. "Hey, I just figured something. Ray's my sort of brother, and you're his ex-wife, so technically you could say we're ex-sisters-in-law!"
"You want to seduce me because I'm family?" asked Stella, perplexed.
"No!" said Frannie, drawing out the word to show how silly the suggestion was. "It's just I only just realised. What was I saying? Oh yeah. So Ray's like my brother, so now it's like Fraser's my brother-in-law, you know? Which really puts him out of bounds for me, at least for as long as Ray's alive."
Stella tried to keep up. "So does that mean I'm out of bounds too?"
"No, because you're single." Frannie gasped slightly, and rushed on. "And beautiful, did I mention that? I really admire you. Anyway, it must be a real surprise for you to find out your ex-husband's gay."
"Ray isn't gay." Stella gave the statement more emphasis than she'd intended.
"Uh." Frannie looked worried. "He did talk to you, right? I mean, you heard what I said about him and Fraser?"
"Listen" buster, added Stella silently. She took a breath. "I know Ray. He's not a homosexual. I know. Maybe he's bi."
Frannie went wide-eyed for a second. "Wow, I hadn't thought of that. Bisexual, huh? Do you think Fraser might be bisexual too?"
Stella rolled her eyes and then, without forethought or planning, leaned forward and kissed Frannie, long and hard, just to get her to shut the hell up.
She was surprised how sexy it was. She pulled back feeling intrigued and strangely humbled, and looked at Frannie with new eyes. Gone was the pushy civilian aide. Now Frannie was pink-cheeked, with sparkling eyes and parted lips.
"Forget them," said Stella, putting her hand on the collar of the robe. "This is about us." She kissed Frannie again, softly this time, licking between her lips.
It was an exploratory move. A line of enquiry. Do I find this exciting? Is this really lust? Do I want to continue? Answers bloomed inside her, all in the affirmative and she took the coffee cup out of Frannie's hand and pulled the robe aside so she could run her fingers up and down Frannie's bare arm, mesmerised by the texture, like the one time she'd been stoned when she'd spent hours fixating on the sheen of potplant leaves and wood grain, and the tiny bumps in the cheap cotton sheeting that was all they could afford back then.
Frannie's arm was soft without being smooth, the small hairs hushing under Stella's hands into the heavy silence of the apartment, the skin intoxicating, smelling faintly of musk and cloves.
And beneath that, Stella caught a whiff of the corset, new leather, reminding her of jackets, cars, old times, good times. What the hell, she thought. If Ray can do it, so can I. She pulled Frannie to her feet and pushed the robe right off, so that it fell to the floor, so that she was holding Frannie barely dressed and trembling in her arms.
She curved her hand around Frannie's firm leather-clad ass and pressed their bodies together, trying to get closer, to feel her heat, to know her skin.
"Oh my god," said Frannie, breaking away and panting. "You kiss really good. God, I haven't been touched like this since high school. You know, guys are always so obvious. This is amazing. You're so little and soft, and—"
"Shshh." And Frannie did. She quieted right down and melted into Stella's arms and Stella lost it, all her doubts dissolved in a haze of warm willing limbs, and kisses, and Frannie's little moans, which were getting rapidly louder. Stella leaned into the embrace, pushed forward and nearly toppled them both. She had to grab the table to keep them upright, and after a moment that didn't seem so important, and there they were, falling to the floor in a tangle of arms and legs and the robe, which seemed to have re-entered the scene.
The smooth black leather against the soft white towelling was an oddly erotic mixture that made Stella's head spin.
She felt Frannie's ear brush her cheek, her coffee-hot mouth on her shoulder, above the strap of Stella's tank top, and then again, below it.
As Stella thrust her body forward, her pyjama trousers caught on Frannie's silicone penis. Stella reached down and tugged at it in frustration. "We don't need this."
Fran's eyes widened. "How will we—? I mean, don't we need—something?"
Stella smiled. "Trust me."
Between them they unbuckled the harness, and Frannie wriggled and Stella finally hauled off the whole thing and threw it aside. And then they were together and close in a far more satisfying way. Legs tangled, hips glued together.
"Oh fuck," groaned Stella, kissing Frannie, reaching for her. They were moving together, rocking, breathing heavily, rubbing against each other.
Frannie was moaning loud enough for the neighbours to hear, and Stella didn't care, was so caught up in her own turmoil, the ache between her legs driving her on, that for once — for the first time in a very long time — nothing else mattered.
She grabbed Frannie's hand from her own head, where it was tangled in her hair, and pushed it down into the tight dark space between them, then fumbled her own way into Frannie's corset.
And then urgency banked up inside her, dark red desire that melted her core from the inside out and sent her spinning out of control. She clamped her eyes shut, twisted her head sideways, and rode Frannie's hand hard, pushing forward, desperate, until the sensation sharpened and peaked, until she was tumbling into a wave of intensity and nameless emotion, tears falling like hope, with only the circle of Frannie's arm to keep her whole.
"You're so lovely," breathed Frannie. "Oh my God, you're perfect."
Stella let a smile break across her face, felt a wave of thankful giggles waiting to burst out of her, but she held them in and smoothed Frannie's hair gently. "We both are," she said. "You and me both."
Frannie came out of the bathroom into the half-light of the lounge. Stella had turned on a lamp, but the air was dusky and smelled of sex, and Frannie was having trouble getting her eyes to focus. This is cloud nine, she thought. Happy people talk about this, being blinded by love.
She caught sight of Stella standing in the bedroom doorway, the light to her back. She wanted to rush forward and wrap herself around the blonde, but she was shy. What was going to happen now, anyway? Was this the end of the line, kiddo?
Stella shifted her posture, and Frannie could just make out dark lines on her hips, an erect black bulge. She started laughing. "You're too beautiful," she said. "I thought for sure I'd have to be the man."
Stella grinned back at her. Grinned so wickedly, Frannie blushed down to her toes. "We can take turns," she said. "It's only fair."