November 29, 1942
By CN Winters
Disclaimers: You already know that Janice and Mel are not mine. This fan fiction however is however. It involves no sex but it does involve two women in love so if that's a problem then I suggest you find a good general story to read. This is NOT the sequel to 'Magic of Egypt'. I just couldn't get this little story outta my head so I put it on paper. Muses are funny that way - they strike hard and usually without rhyme or reason<G>.
Feel free to send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org but I warn you now that outright bashing will get you nowhere. As always, thanks for reading.
Mel was boot stompin' mad! She gave plenty of hints. 'How can a doctor be so dense is beyond me,' Mel grumbled silently to herself. 'Janice Covington - DOCTOR Janice Covington,' Mel corrected herself as she clomped to her tent. 'Demeanor hard as nails. Head as think as redwood.'
Quickly Mel ducked inside the flap but she soon froze.
A man was dressed in a white tux pouring champagne into a crystal flute glass.
"Ahhh. . .Miss Pappas. . . please have a seat."
Slowly Mel walked over, taking in the scene - a white silk tablecloth covered a card table; china plates and bowls lined up neatly next to polished silverware.
"What the. . .?"
"Dr. Covington has requested that she join you for dinner this evening. Shall I go fetch her now?" he asked in his thick, Mediterranean accent.
Mel didn't answer. Her mind was too busy trying to catch up to her eyes. Suddenly she realized she needed to respond to his question.
"Yes of course," she said quietly.
Without delay the man left. Mel was busy smelling the fresh cut roses that were on the middle of the table in a vase (which they found on this latest dig). She didn't hear Janice outside. The archeologist paid the man and added that he was 'free to go'.
Mel was playing with a rose petal when she heard a familiar voice ask, "Do you know how difficult it is to find roses in this part of the world?"
Mel smiled long before seeing the face. "No. Tell me."
"Not easy let me tell ya. . .but seeing that smile makes it all worth while," Janice said as she closed the distance between them. Casually she picked up a glass and handed it to Mel. Only then did she get one for herself.
"Happy Birthday Mel," she said in a toast.
The southern belle looked like she was about to cry.
"Hey! What's wrong?" Janice asked sympathetically. "If you don't like the damn flowers I'll get rid of them," Janice teased.
Mel gave a half-hearted grin. "The flowers are beautiful," Mel insisted. "All this is beautiful. . .I just feel bad."
"Why?" Janice pondered aloud.
"Because I spent the day cursin' ya - thinkin' ya forgot. . .But ya didn't forget. In fact, it's the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me."
Janice reached into her trouser pocket and pulled out a handkerchief. Mel blew her nose and wiped her eyes.
"Feel better?" Janice asked with a caring grin.
Mel giggled in embarrassment and nodded. "I've been waitin' years for someone - some man - to give me a night like this. I never expected it would be you."
Janice was unsure of how to compute this admission so she downed her glass of champagne to buy herself some time.
"You're a special lady Mel," the archeologist said as friendly as possible. "You deserve special things now and then."
Mel felt herself blush. Now it was her turn to down her glass. Janice reached for the bottle and refilled both their flutes. It was then that Mel saw the markings on the bottle.
"Oh my Janice! How much did you spend on this evening?"
"The champagne was nothing compared to the . . . chicken!"
Upon pausing Janice lifted the silver serving tray cover to reveal Mel's favorite - country friend chicken. "I'm not sure which was more difficult to get - those flowers or this damn bird!" she added in a laugh.
Mel giggled but soon started to tear up again at Janice's generosity.
"Oh no!" Janice pushed in a mock threat. "You are NOT gonna start again. I won't let ya."
With that Janice turned on the radio to the Armed Services Network playing some favorites from 'The Hit Parade'. Content with the dinning music she turned to Mel. "Now we eat!" she informed the southern belle.
Being ever the gallant hostess, Janice pulled out Mel's chair for her. Once Mel was comfortably seated Janice leaned down to the translators ear and softly, sultry tone asked, "Breast or thigh?"
Mel promptly choked on her champagne she was sipping.
'Perhaps she's being catching all the 'subtext' comments I've been throwing at her in recent months,' Janice considered silently.
"Are you okay?" she asked aloud, patting Mel on the back.
Mel nodded and managed a weak 'Thank you'.
"So what's it going to be?" Janice asked again.
"Do you have any legs?" Mel said gingerly.
"I've got two," Janice whispered before pulling away. A cocky grin hung on her face.
The archeologist could feel Mel's eyes following her as she walked over to the serving tray. Carefully, she put the two legs on Mel's plate and served her a side of black eyed peas - another of Mel's favorites.
As Janice sat down she could feel Mel's stare still heavy upon her.
"What?" Janice finally asked, meeting the intense eye contact.
"You," Mel said pointedly. "Ya never cease to amaze me Janice Covington."
"Is that a good thing?" Janice replied with her smug grin in place.
"It is tonight," Mel said coyly, with a twinkle in her eye.
Janice looked perplexed. "You mean it isn't always good?" she asked.
Mel sighed. "Let's just say there's been times when ya've scared the life outta me," Mel giggled.
"Like when?" Janice argued playfully.
"Ohhh. . .Like the time ya decided to see if that rope bridge in Africa was still functional."
"It wasn't," Janice said casually. "But I only had to climb 30 feet up that rock ledge."
"Or the time ya decided to ski. . .the Alps. . . on a piece of sheet metal."
"Come on now! You said it was fun. . .until we had to find a way to stop," Janice finished in a guilty whisper.
Mel grinned but she didn't give up. "How about that time in Italy? Ya know, when ya walked up to that Nazi and told him that - let me make sure I say this right," Mel stopped trying to put on her best Yankee voice, " 'Since I'm part of the 'master race' I know for a fact that Hitler is the illegitimate child of Satan himself'."
Janice laughed aloud. 'That was a good one,' she remembered.
"Did I lie?!" Janice argued. "Besides. . .we out ran him," she added in her sly grin. "Admit it Mel. You're life would be very boring without me around. And deep down inside you love to break the rules as much as I do."
Mel gave a sheepish grin as her response.
"Thought so," Janice teased triumphantly.
Mel went back to her meal, as did Janice. Of course it was sheer torture for the honey-haired woman as she watched her partner/translator of three years. Mel would lick her fingers now and again. Janice was helpless to watch the digits ducking inside the moist cavern of Mel's mouth. So helpless that on two separate occasions she dropped the piece of chicken she was eating.
As they finished, Janice rose and leaned over the table. She offered the southerner her hand.
"Might I have this dance Miss Pappas," Janice asked playfully.
"Dinner. . .Drinks. . . And now dancing," Mel teased. "If I didn't know any better I might think you were trying to seduce me," Mel blurted; promptly tensing up. She didn't intend to make her growing suspicions vocal but now it was out there.
Covington for her part was plotting her response. 'So she's not as blind as I thought'.
"Seduction implies corrupting someone into something they wouldn't want to do," Janice observed. "I know you love to break the rules Mel but I would never make you do anything you didn't want to do."
Mel grinned but Janice could sense a sadness underneath it. She looked. . . disappointed?. . .that she wasn't being seduced. Janice was unsure but she would play it by ear tonight.
Slowly Mel stood up and their bodies came together. Janice lightly rested her head on Mel's bosom as they swayed back and forth. Aside from the light, intoxicating perfume and velvet softness of Mel's barely exposed flesh. Janice noticed something else - Mel's heart rate. It seemed to race out of control.
It had grown too quiet in the tent so Janice whispered, "This is nice. It's been years since I've danced," the archeologist confessed.
"I know what ya mean," Mel agreed. "Last time I danced was with Jimmy Burgton at a college ball in '39."
Mel giggled at the memory.
"What?" Janice asked.
Mel looked down and met Janice's eyes. "My feet hurt for a week," she smiled. "You're a much better dancer than him."
Janice pondered Mel's comments and considered her answer. 'Oh what the Hell', she decided.
"Did your heart pound as fast for him as it's pounding now?" Janice smiled.
Mel's expression fell. Janice silently wished she could take back the words. Mel, without comment, stepped from Janice's embrace. The two women stood perfectly still, staring at each other.
"Maybe we should call it a night," Mel suggested. The translator knew she couldn't trust herself any longer.
Janice stared at Mel taking in the jittery, southern belle with great interest.
"I'm sorry Mel if I offended you in any way. I was only. . .", 'trying to seduce you. . . confessing my love'. . . "I was only trying to show you a good time for your birthday," Janice finally concluded.
Mel's shoulders slumped as Janice turned to leave. She was despondent. Janice went to all this work and she had managed to ruin it with one nervous sentence.
"Janice! Wait!" Mel said walking over to her.
Janice did as Mel requested and waited for Mel to continue.
"It's not you Janice. It's me," Mel began. "Sometimes I hear ya say things and I get these 'confusin' feelings."
Mel didn't continue - she turned her back and walked to the dinning/card table. Janice KNEW. Her gut instinct, which was never wrong (well. . .hardly ever wrong), told her just what those feelings were.
"What kind of feelings?" Janice asked softly. She wanted to be a gentle with the belle but she was still going to force the issue.
"Funny feelings," Mel whispered like a guilty child.
'This is gonna be harder than I thought,' Janice figured silently.
"Mel?" Janice called softly.
Mel wouldn't turn around or respond so Janice walked over. She turned the raven-haired beauty around to face her. "Please look at me," Janice ordered softly. Janice took a deep breath. 'Now or never' she told herself. "Do you. . .desire me? I mean not like a friend but . . .like Jimmy 'Whatshisface'?"
Mel blushed and grinned. "No Janice," the belle answered.
Janice tried to keep her expression in tact - there was still a chance they could keep their friendship if she revealed nothing in her own heart. After all, she was just making an assumption right? She thought that Mel wanted her romantically - that's all. Wasn't that a correct and true point? They could go on working happily with each other-no one the wiser to anything. Mel's voice however, brought Janice back from her thoughts.
"I don't desire you like Jimmy. I desire you much more."
After she finished, Mel felt herself tear up. This was it. She prepared herself for Janice's disgust and slew of insults she thought she would receive. The more she thought, the more wet her eyes became. "I'm sorry," Mel said turning away from Janice again.
She missed Janice's sly grin. But what she did catch was Janice's voice begin to sing with the radio.
"If they asked me, I could write a book. . .about the way you walk and whisper and look. . .I could write a preface on how we met. . .so the world would never forget. . .And the secret meaning of the plot. . .is just to tell them that I love you a lot. .And the world discovers as my book ends. . .how to make. . .two lovers. . .of friends."
No one spoke for long seconds. Slowly Mel turned around and faced Janice.
"Janice, you mean you-
Mel didn't get to finish. Janice seized her lips with a passionate yet gentle kiss. She didn't want to seem to 'harsh' but she wanted Mel to understand the point perfectly clear. The translator got it - she basked in the delicate texture as she savored the taste.
When Janice began to pull away, Mel captured the archeologists face on her hands drawing her back into another round of kisses - this time they were just as passionate but more firm and assured.
After a few moments, Janice pulled away unsteadily.
"We can't keep kissing like this and expect to stay upright," Janice chuckled.
"Then let's get horizontal," Mel grinned, stroking a piece of wayward hair behind Janice's ear.
Janice felt her jaw drop but quickly regained herself. "No. Not yet," Janice found her voice saying, ignoring her loins. "Not that I wouldn't love to. Nothing would bring me greater pleasure than to GIVE you pleasure," she added.
She took Mel by the hand and walked to the tents flap. "I think we should take things slow. . .We've waited this long. We can wait a bit longer. . .Is that alright with you Mel?"
"That's fine Janice," Mel said sincerely. "I'll wait as long as it takes."
"Oh don't worry," Janice said with a hearty chuckle. "It won't be much longer. I guarantee."
Mel smiled again as Janice stood on her tiptoes. She placed an affectionate, soul binding kiss on Mel's cheek.
"Happy Birthday again Mel," the archeologist said as she began to leave.
"Thank you for making it the best one so far in 30 years," Mel answered sincerely.
Without further words Janice walked from Mel's tent. Mel, touched her cheek where Janice had just kissed it.
'Happy Birthday,' Mel thought affectionately. 'Happy birthday indeed!'
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