One Puff (But It Never Is Just One)Author: woldyCharacters/Pairings:
Alice Longbottom/Dorcas Meadowes/Amelia BonesRating:
capnolagnia: arousal from watching others smokeOther Warnings:
very obscure threesome?Word Count:
Alice could lean over and let Dorcas hold the cigarette up to her mouth, placing her lips where Dorcas's had been. It would be almost like sharing a kiss.Author's Notes:
the fantastic atdelphi
provided the idea for this story and beta-ed. The use of smoking to provide cover for surveillance is lifted from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
. Mistakes are entirely my own.
"The hardest thing about war is the waiting," Fabian said during Alice's first week in the Order. ~~~~~~~~
At the time, she was almost insulted by his callous suggestion that inaction was worse than violence. Then, she was still wide-eyed and nervous, barely qualified as an Auror and sickened at the prospect of hurting anyone. Now, she knows exactly what he meant.
Beside her, Dorcas sits almost motionless, eyes fixed across the street. They'll be here until dawn. Probably nothing will happen and Alice will grow increasingly bored and stiff before she goes home yawning to exchange a kiss with Frank at the breakfast table. Or she might die tonight. You can never be certain.
Dorcas shifts slightly, pulling a cigarette from her jacket, and lifts her wand to light it. Alice closes her eyes, protecting her night vision, but there's still a glare of red behind her eyelids. When she opens them again, the cigarette tip glows in her periphery.
Alice shakes her head. She's never smoked, and there's no sense in starting now. It's an expensive habit, she can't take cigarette breaks at work, and besides, Frank dislikes the smell. These hours with Dorcas are the only time she's been tempted.
The cigarette lifts again, Dorcas's lips curling around it as she takes a drag. Alice watches the tip flare in her steady hand.
Dorcas has the most precise wandwork Alice has ever seen, almost as if to make up for her bad leg. Alice has never asked, and Dorcas isn't much for talking, so she doesn't know when the injury happened. Still, Alice has grown accustomed to Dorcas's uneven gait and the click of a walking stick beside her.
Alice watches the smoke swirl in the night air as Dorcas exhales. There's nothing extraordinary about this simple act, so she has no explanation for the way her gaze lingers on Dorcas's mouth and fingers, heart beating just a little faster.
"It's the best cover," Dorcas explained on their second mission together. That was the day they spent huddling under a bus-stop and pretending not to spy on a pawnbroker's, back when Dumbledore gave Alice easy assignments. "Gives you an excuse for standing around, something to do with your hands, and a reason to talk to people. Idling on the street is conspicuous."
"You can provide cover for both of us," Alice said, and Dorcas shot her a sideways glance.
"So you'll be standing there watching a dyke smoke? People will think you fancy me."
She blushed and looked away. Even then, Alice knew that Amelia and Dorcas were lovers.
At first Alice hadn't been able to imagine them together. Amelia was a distant, intimidating figure at work who delivered the morning briefings in a crisp, no-nonsense tone and gave bollockings to at least one junior Auror each week. Dorcas was a quiet presence in Order meetings, calm grey eyes and soft voice, a stark contrast to the louder, cockier members.
The mental image of Dorcas and Amelia comes to her easily now: the way Dorcas's precise fingers would curl around the nape of Amelia's neck, combing through her short hair. She envisions Dorcas pressing kisses to Amelia's broad shoulders before ducking her head to catch a nipple. In the long hours Alice spends pressed up against Dorcas, it's hard not to think of it.
Dorcas's eyes slide sideways, catching Alice watching her. Her eyes are cool, hands as steady as ever, as she holds the cigarette in Alice's direction.
"One puff?" It's barely a whisper.
It's tempting. Alice could lean over and let Dorcas hold the cigarette up to her mouth, placing her lips where Dorcas's had been. It would be almost like sharing a kiss.
"But it never is just one," Alice murmurs.
For a long moment, Dorcas holds her gaze and Alice is certain she's been found out. Then Dorcas's hand moves away and she takes another drag on the cigarette herself.
Alice knows her eyes will need to adjust to the darkness again after watching this, but she doesn't regret it. Days later when she's doing the washing, Alice will lift this jumper to inhale the scent of smoke and remember how Dorcas's mouth and hands looked by cigarette light. Perhaps it's possible to get hooked on secondhand smoke, because suddenly her next mission can't come soon enough.
By the time they escape, there are three Death Eaters on the floor, one of whom is decapitated and thus irrefutably dead. Alice is shaking from head to foot, wand quivering too much to Apparate, but Dorcas grabs her arm and the next moment they plunge into blackness.
They land in an unfamiliar room, and Alice stumbles, almost falling, before Dorcas uses her stick to steady them both.
Alice draws in a shaky breath. "Where are we?"
"My house. We're safe. Sit down, Alice, while I report to Dumbledore."
Alice nods, and Dorcas releases her. She sits down on the sofa, lowers her head between her knees, and focuses on not being sick. The quiet whoosh of flame and murmuring from the next room tell her that Dorcas is making the report.
"Pull yourself together, Longbottom," Alice mutters to herself.
"That's what I was going to say."
Alice's head jerks up, nausea rising again, and she sees Amelia in the doorway.
"Ma'am, I'm sorry-"
"Breathe," Amelia orders in that tone nobody dares disobey. "And I'm not Ma'am here." She crosses the room, takes a bottle and glass from a shelf, and pours three fingers of whisky. "Here."
Alice takes it with both hands and watches Amelia pour two more glasses.
"Some nights you need it," Amelia says evenly and takes a seat.
Alice focuses on breathing in and out until her hand steadies enough that she dares to drink. The firewhisky burns her throat, a good burn, like sore muscles after a hard run. She takes another sip.
She doesn't register that the report is over until Dorcas appears in the doorway, stick clicking across the floor. She sits down next to Alice, and when Amelia levitates the glass towards her, Dorcas plucks it from the air. Alice has no idea how she can look so calm.
"You're staying here tonight," Dorcas tells her.
"Frank," Alice protests blankly. "He'll worry if I'm not-"
"I've sent him an owl. You're in no state to Apparate."
Alice is fairly sure that if she tried to Apparate anywhere she would either vomit, splinch herself, or both. She takes a swig of the firewhisky and closes her eyes as it sears the back of her throat.
"Want to tell me about it?"
Alice shakes her head.
"Very wise," Amelia says evenly. "This fad for talking does more harm than good, in my view."
Dorcas clears her throat pointedly.
"Obviously, there are counsellors at the Ministry if you want to speak to someone," Amelia amends, sounding put upon. "Though I wouldn't tell them details about your...extracurricular activities."
Yes, Alice can see that it would be ill-advised to tell a Ministry shrink about how she sliced off a man's head during an illegal vigilante mission.
"Before tonight, I never killed anyone," she says, voice rasping over the words.
For a moment, there's silence.
"I'd be concerned if you weren't upset," says Amelia, "but he would have done the same to you, and far more unpleasantly. Then I would have lost a good Auror."
Alice opens her eyes and finds Amelia watching her. She doesn't look shocked, or horrified, or disapproving. If anything, her expression is sympathetic.
"It's only the truth. I don't do compliments."
"She really doesn't," Dorcas says dryly, and Alice finds herself smiling. A moment later, she realises how wrong it is to smile about this, about killing someone, and takes a swig of whisky to push the thought away.
They sit quietly and sip their drinks. Alice doesn't know if it's the alcohol or the company, but gradually she feels steadier. The steel tension of her spine eases, hands stilling, and before she realises it, her glass is empty.
"Do you need to sleep?"
"I don't want to be alone," Alice replies on reflex and realises it's true.
Amelia and Dorcas exchange a glance.
"Alice," Dorcas says quietly as her hand reaches out, steady as always, to hover over Alice's knee.
Alice watches it for one breath, two, trying to make sense of the jumble in her head, and then Dorcas starts to pull her hand away and Alice grabs it. She tugs Dorcas's hand down, placing the palm on her thigh.
"Alice," Dorcas repeats, closer now. "Don't do anything you'll regret."
I won't Alice thinks and leans in to catch her mouth.
Dorcas's lips are soft beneath hers, slick with whisky. She's spent hours watching these lips curl around cigarettes, wondering how they would feel, and now she knows. A hand cups the back of her neck, warm and solid, and Alice can't help relaxing into the touch. Then Dorcas's lips part and Alice finds the heat of her mouth. She shifts closer, seeking more warmth and skin, and then feels someone press up behind her. Fuck, Amelia!
Alice pulls back, breathless. "Is this all right? I didn't mean to-"
"We're fine if you are," Amelia murmurs, breath ghosting over her neck. Desire hits Alice like a thunderstorm and all the nerves in her spine come to tingling attention.
Alice twists round, raising her hand to Amelia's cheek, and Amelia presses a kiss to her palm. Her breath stutters, and Amelia raises an eyebrow, kissing the inside of Alice's wrist in a way that sends shivers through her. Alice slides her hand behind Amelia's ear, urging her closer, and just has time to think, Oh god, should I be tugging my boss around? Wait, should I be snogging her? before their lips meet.
Amelia kisses her slowly but with clear purpose, as though she's learning the line of Alice's mouth and judging the best way to make her moan. Then Amelia's tongue slides against her lower lip and she does moan, unable to stifle it, as hands slide up her back.
Her body feels heavy, growing more pliant with every touch. An arm wraps around her waist and somebody's hand - Dorcas's, she supposes - is stroking down her sides, over ribs, belly and thighs. She can't seem to pull away from Amelia's mouth. Amelia's kisses are like everything else Alice knows about her: authoritative, trustworthy, skilful to near-perfection.
There's a brush of skin against Alice's neck as Dorcas lifts her hair aside to press kisses there, and Alice gasps. Amelia pauses and pulls back minutely to ask, "All right?"
"Oh yes," Alice murmurs, and Amelia's lips curl into a smile - the first time she's seen that.
Next moment, Amelia is kissing her again and hands are moving over her body. Alice finds herself writhing, pressing her bum back against Dorcas's leg and her chest forward into Amelia's hand. Amelia's palm is cupped around her breast, swiping over her nipple and then catching it between finger and thumb. It's making Alice's nipples tight and heat is spreading down her belly.
The arm around her waist slides up a little, and then Dorcas is palming her other breast. Alice almost drowns in the sensation. She could come between the two of them like this, she realises, and trust them to hold her up. Once she's had that thought there's no erasing it, and Alice groans into Amelia's mouth thinking yes and more and please.
"We've got you," says Dorcas, breathing the words onto the sensitive skin beneath Alice's ear, and she can't control the way her spine arches at that.
Then it's just the curl of Amelia's tongue, the rasp of Dorcas's teeth on her earlobe, and their hands... Their hands teasing, pinching, and stroking until her nipples are more sensitive than Alice thought possible; until she's panting, breathless, and coming in a rush. As her body sags, Dorcas's arm tightens around her waist, catching her.
"Now it is time for bed," Amelia says, and Alice lets them guide her onto her feet and up the stairs.
It's a broken journey, because by the time they're halfway up Alice has caught her breath again and can't resist kissing Dorcas. Somewhere on the landing Amelia unbuttons Alice's shirt, and by the time they reach the bedroom, she's half-undressed. Alice falls back onto the bed, legs spread wide, and sees Dorcas's eyes darken when Alice beckons her closer.
She loses track of things after that. None of this fits into her usual narrative for sex, the one that starts with Frank's hand on her bum and ends when he spurts inside her. Here, there are twice as many hands and mouths, no cock at all, and no map. It's slower, softer, infinitely more tantalising, and there seems no reason to stop.
Alice's head doesn't clear until two orgasms later. She's sitting almost in Amelia's lap, head resting back against her shoulder, and Dorcas is easing her hand slowly out from between Alice's thighs.
"Merlin," she breathes, and Dorcas chuckles.
"You'll refrain from calling a man's name in my bed, thank you," says Amelia, warm and solid against Alice's back.
Alice smiles and tilts her head to kiss the side of Amelia's flushed, damp cheek.
There's a flare of light, and she realises Dorcas has lit a cigarette. The sight is both familiar and not: the same grey eyes and steady hands, but Dorcas is naked and sitting on a bed, posture a little uneven from the bad leg. Alice watches her inhale, lungs expanding and pupils dilating slightly, and Dorcas meets her gaze as she breathes out.
Alice hesitates for a moment, torn, but it seems ridiculous to say no at this point. She's touched Dorcas's lips directly, now, and knows how they compare Amelia's. She's had her mouth on Dorcas's nipple and she's had Dorcas's fingers inside her. Surely a cigarette can't hurt.
"Go on, then."
Dorcas extends the cigarette towards her, and Alice curls her fingers over Dorcas's own and guides it to her mouth. She wraps her lips around it, inhales, and the acrid taste swirls across her tongue. Alice lowers her hand and closes her eyes for a moment to memorise it.
Then Dorcas kisses her, licking Alice's mouth open to breathe the smoke directly from her lips. Alice's eyes startle open, and she sees Dorcas smile.
"You're right, it never is just one," Dorcas says, taking another drag, and Alice leans in to catch her mouth in retaliation.
"Addicts, the both of you," Amelia grumbles, but she conjures them an ashtray and hums with pleasure when they take turns to kiss her too.
Alice falls asleep beside them, inhaling the mingled scent of sweat, smoke, and sex.
Also, mods: there seem to be no character tags for either Dorcas or Amelia. I guess that's what I get for choosing really obscure characters!