We Do What We Can

Part 8

By: Girl Bard


Disclaimer: No one reads these, but I’ll humor myself. I don’t own LL or ROC, but if I did, I’m sure I’d be off doing more….er…entertaining things rather than writing about some fictional characters by the name of Jaden and Grace. So don’t get all legal on my ass because I’m a very poor college student with no money to my name. So anyone trying to sue me will get a lot of art supplies and an ornery Jack Russell Terrier.

Subtext: yes, Yes, YES!! This story starts out with a G rating, but will eventually proceed to NC-17. This means explicit sex between women. If this offends you, why are you reading alternative fan fiction? Huh?

Summary: This is the sequel to the sequel of I Know This Bar. It would really help if you read that story, followed by Houdini’s Box. This is the third (but not final) story in the series.

Author's Note: These two lovable characters blossomed into an actual story after driving on a rainy Massachusetts day listening to Ani Difranco's incredible song, "I Know This Bar." Henceforth, Houdini’s Box was inspired by Jill Sobule’s equally incredible song "Houdini’s Box." Because I’m a strict believer in following tradition, this story is named after the lovable Sheryl’s Crow haunting song "We Do What We Can."

Feedback: PLEASE! That’s all I need to say. girl_bard@yahoo.com

Dedication: My betas, you rule. My dog rules too. My girlfriend really rules. Life is good.

July 17, 2000

I critically look around the small apartment, unable to focus on anything but the putrid smell of dirt and rotten food.

"There's no way you're living here." I murmur to my uncle under my breath.

"Tell me about it." He responds, sighing. This is about the fortieth apartment we've looked at this week and so far have had no success. They are all either way too expensive or don't allow pets, and my uncle is adamant about keeping little Herc. The puppy is his baby now, and he couldn't give Herc up any easier than I could get rid of Bean.

The landlord continues to show us the apartment, oblivious to our distaste. Smiling, I extend my hand to the landlord and thank him for his time.

"You will fill out an application?" He questions and I hastily shake my head.

"Well, we have a lot of other places to look, so we'll give you a call if you're interested." I remark and the landlord smiles at me like I'm an idiot.

"Places are hard to find. You better decide soon."

Undaunted, I smile tersely at him. "Okay, we've decided. This place sucks." I smile again, this time more polite. "Thanks for your time." I turn on my heels and walk determinedly to the door, my uncle quickly following.

"Good lord, Grace!" He responds on our way down to the car. I'm pleasantly surprised to find that walking down stairs doesn't hurt my shoulder nearly as much as it used too. "Jaden must be rubbing off on you. I've never seen you so feisty."

Laughing in response I get into the passenger side of my car. "Yeah, well, it's amazing how good I'm feeling."

He starts my car and carefully backs out of the driveway. "I'm glad." He responds soberly. "I can't believe how well you're doing in physical therapy. You're so tough."

"I want to get better. I need to put all of this behind me." I remark, effectively ending the conversation as I pick up the newspaper. "Now, where to? I know Jaden said that that Dorchester place was a bad idea, but do you want to check it out anyway?"

He thinks a minute, and then purses his lips. "No. Jaden seemed pretty certain that it was a neighborhood that I wouldn't want to live in and I trust her. After all, she's a cop and would know what she's talking about."

"Yeah, you're right. Well, there's always the place close to us in Beverly.."

"Too expensive. I can't afford moving here and paying $1000 a month in rent, Grace. I don't know how long it will be until I can sell the bar." He answers dejectedly.

"I know." I agree.

"I guess I have to make a decision. I need to go home for a while. As much as I love being here and spending time with you, I can't think about moving here until I sell the bar and find somewhere to stay. I don't want to be in the way with you and Jaden anymore than I already have, and I know that we're having a good time and all, but I have to do what's right."

Stunned, I don't reply. I don't think my uncle has ever said that much in his entire life.

"So I'm going to get a flight home for tomorrow, now that you're doing well on your way to recovery, and I'll see what happens from there."

"I understand." I finally manage to say. "I'm really going to miss you. I want to thank you for coming out here. It means so much to me that you did and I can never repay you for the constant source of support you've been for me. I love you very much."

"Back at you." He responds, his voice gruff to hide his emotion. I smile sadly in my seat as we ride home in silence.


"Fuck off." I mutter to the answering machine as I play the messages. There is a particularly nasty one to Grace from her mother. I struggle with myself internally, imagining a little Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder telling me to 'always let my conscious be my guide.' I'm sure he meant that kids shouldn't steal cookies from the jar and crap like that, not decide weather or not you should delete awful messages from your lesbian lover's ill-tempered parent.

Shrugging my shoulders, I hit delete. No big deal, I'll tell Grace when the time's right. It's not like I haven't been deleting Debbie's bitchy messages all along anyway. What Grace doesn't know, can't hurt her. Yet. And maybe she'll be flattered, even touched, that I was thinking of her well being by trying to shield her from her psycho-hose-beast of a mother.

Who am I kidding? Grace won't be flattered or touched. She'll give me that look that's a cross between sadness and disappointment and give me that whole "this is my life and I can make my own decisions" speech again.

I know I sound like I'm making fun of her, and I'm not. I'm just constantly amazed at my complete stupidity when it comes to being in a mature and responsible relationship.

According to Miranda, I've got an incredible protective streak for Grace about five miles long. I think that whatever I'm doing is "helping" her, when in reality that isn't the case.

So I probably shouldn't do things like delete messages or not tell Grace that her mother called. And I really should probably stop talking to myself, because it's really starting to freak me out. And I really really should stop using "quotations" all the time because I'm starting to sound like that Chris Farley character on Saturday Night Live that Grace loves so dearly.

Footsteps up the hall startle me from my thoughts. Tossing my keys on the counter I turn just in time to see Grace and Rick enter.

"Hi!" She greets me brightly, standing up on her toes to give me a kiss. She's so cute; I can't resist putting my arms around her and nuzzling her neck.

"Hi yourself." I tell her, squeezing her in a warm hug.

"Hi!" Rick greets, imitating Grace's tone as he kisses my cheek and hugs me. Grace and I dissolve into giggles and he smiles briefly as he walks down the hall, the dogs trailing at his feet.

"What's with him?" I manage to ask Grace after we finish laughing.

"He's silly today." Grace answers, smiling. "But he's going home tomorrow." Her smile fades and I pull her close to me for another hug.

"Oh sweetheart, I'm so sorry. But you'll see him soon, okay? Maybe we can go visit after your physical therapy is over."

"Yeah, that's a good idea." She tells me, teary eyed. "Thanks."

I kiss the top of her blonde head. "Anything for you, you know that."

Pulling back from me, her aqua eyes brim with happiness.

"Yeah." She says, smiling brightly. "I do know that."

I return her smile, feeling like a lovesick teenager. I am so in love with this woman I don't know what to do with myself. She snuggles into my embrace and I try to absorb her entire essence. She smells like lavender and peppermint today and is soft in my arms.

I could easily stay here for the rest of my life, completely enamored and at peace. But stupid Jiminy won't get off of my shoulder. I sigh internally, knowing I have to do what's right.

"Um, Grace, your mom called."

She stiffens in my embrace. "I don't care." I start to interrupt her, but she shushes me. "Seriously, let's have a good last night with my uncle. We'll discuss the Wicked Witch of Ohio later."

I can't help but chuckle. "Your wish is my command."

She presses against me closer. "That's what I love to hear." Laughing evilly, she adds; "I have you in my clutches, you are powerless to my wishes."

"Oh no! Whatever will you do to me?" I respond in mock horror.

Grace tilts her head to look into my eyes. Smiling a devilish grin, she waggles her eyebrows. "Oh, you'll see."

I raise my eyebrows in return. "Promise?"

"Oh yeah. I promise." She answers, leering at my chest.

Laughing, I lean down to kiss her. "You're crazy."

She responds by kissing me passionately. Pulling her closer, all thoughts flee from my head except the softness of Grace's lips.


Logan Airport is pretty crowded for a Tuesday morning. The raised voices of the crowd surrounding us mute poor Herc's sullen cries from his doggie carrier. It's pretty neat; my Uncle can take him right on the plane and put him under the seat in front of him.

I don't know how much Herc enjoys it, but it's better than flying him in cargo. My uncle says that when they flew out here, Herc whined until they got on the plane and then promptly fell right asleep. I hope they have as easy of a trip back home.

He's all checked-in and ready to go. I'm really going to miss having him around; he's been such a pillar of strength since the accident. But I will enjoy having some quiet time alone with Jaden.

She has four entire weeks off from work. I can't wait to sleep in late with her and go for walks on the beach and sit under the stars. No interruptions, no late nights or early mornings, nothing but a calm and relaxing time.

If Jaden and I can manage to have a calm and relaxing time. We seem to attract trouble like flies on manure.

I wrinkle my nose at the analogy. I gotta work on that one, there's got to be something not as disgusting.

"My turn." My uncle remarks as they call him for boarding. He stands and slings his bags over his shoulder. Jaden and I rise and my uncle opens his arms to me. I hug him fiercely, not caring how much the pressure hurts my shoulder.

"I love you. Thank you for everything. Call me when you get home safely." I tell him, unashamed of the tears forming in my eyes.

"I love you too. I'm so proud of you, and you mean more to me than you'll ever know." He mutters, returning my hug with true affection.

We break apart, and Jaden surprises us all by wrapping her long arms around my uncle. "You've been great and I can't thank you enough for coming out here." She tells him, and my astonished uncle mumbles his thanks in return.

More composed when they break from their hug, my uncle regards us as Jaden wraps her arm around my shoulders. "You two are meant to be together. My Grace couldn't be in better hands and I'm so happy that you found each other."

He picks up Herc's carrier and turns, headed for his gate. Jaden's arm around me is warm and comforting, and although I'm sorry to see my uncle go, I know that I will see him again soon.

He turns and waves before getting on the plane and I smile brightly. He pretends to be such a grump, but he's nothing more than a big teddy bear.

I sink into Jaden's offered embrace, not caring who is watching. She nuzzles my neck and the feel of her powerful body next to mine makes all of my sad thoughts disappear immediately.

I have plans for her, and they are plans that I am completely sure will be carried out as soon as we get home.

I smile in her embrace. "Let's get out of here." I tell her, and she releases me, clasping my hand as we walk down the terminal.


Returning home, Grace and I have a light lunch of fruit and leftover potato and egg salad. Ever since Rick taught me how to make those, I've been practically obsessed with making sure we always have it fresh in the house.

It's not that I even love potato or egg salad that much, it just feels nice to have it because every time Grace eats it she makes a big fuss over what a wonderful cook I am.

I wonder what Miranda would say about that. Probably that I am starved for affection because my mother left me at a young age and I'm trying to re-create that feeling of unconditional love or something like that.

"Goddess Jaden, this is so good." Grace says between bites of the salad and I smile. Regardless of why I'm making salad all the time, it sure feels nice to make Grace happy.

"Yeah, I have to learn to cook different things. I'm potato salad-ed out." I tease and she graces me with a sweet smile. "What do you want to do after lunch?" I ask and she thinks for a moment.

"Would you mind giving me a massage? My back and neck are killing me." She looks embarrassed to ask but I can't think of anything I'd like to do more than ease her pain.

"Sure." I answer, finishing the last of my fruit. I start to clean up the kitchen, dropping pieces of hard-boiled eggs to Bean who is looking at me mournfully. She really misses Herc; they enjoyed each other's company immensely.

I wonder if Grace would like another dog? I sure would, I never used to like dogs all that much until I realized how much fun it was to have Bean around. It would be cool to get a big dog, one that I felt could offer Grace some protection when I wasn't here.

Maybe that's not a good idea. I mean, our relationship right now is incredible and I love her so much, but the idea of getting another dog when we haven't made any kind of real commitment to each other scares me. It would be like buying a house with her or something without being engaged or married.

Taking Grace's empty plate from in front of her I lean down to kiss her neck. "Go and lay down in the bedroom, I'll be right there."

"Thanks." She responds softly, turning her head to meet my lips. The kiss she gives me practically makes me jump out of my skin. It's so hot, her tongue demanding entrance to my mouth while her full lips nibble mine.

I'm dumbstruck as she gets up and heads into the bedroom, her hips swinging invitingly. She's so gorgeous that I don't know what to do with myself.

'Finish cleaning up and get in there, stupid.' I tell myself, and concentrate on doing just that.

It doesn't take me long before I am making my way into the bedroom. I clear my throat softly to let Grace know I'm in here because she is laying face down on the bed, completely naked.

Her pale body looks like a sculpture of the finest white marble. Feeling rather poetic and proud of myself, I continue to stare at her perfection. Her short blonde hair shows off her swan-like neck. Her shoulders are small, but strong and her back is lovely, dotted with small freckles in interesting patterns. Her waist is slim but womanly and her hips flow into her lovely behind.

I start to chuckle as that Sophie song enters my head. Grace lifts her head from the pillow, looking at me strangely.

"I see how you are. I'm in here naked and you're laughing at me." She says, smiling to let me know she's just kidding.

"No, no, you remember that Sophie B. Hawkins song, 'Big Beautiful Bottom?' or whatever?" I ask her and she furrows her brows.

"No, never heard it." She responds.

"It's great." I tell her, moving over to the bed to straddle her hips and tickling her lightly. She giggles and lays her head back down in the pillow. I softly sing to her, stopping to pepper her with kisses in between words. "I love your big beautiful bottom in my face, oh I'm as happy as a pig in outer space, when I have your big beautiful bottom in my face."

She laughs now, her entire body shaking. I plant two loud kisses on her body part mentioned in the song and she snorts with laughter.

I have to laugh now; I've never heard her snort before and it was really cute. "Jeez, it sounds like you're as happy as a pig in outer space." I joke, and she struggles underneath me to turn over.

Noticing with much joy how easy it seems for her to maneuver now, I say a quick thank you to whoever allowed Grace to survive Aron. I'd be lost without her, completely lost.

Her entire body is visible to me now, and my eyes hungrily feast at the sight. She's gorgeous and perfect and everything else I've ever wanted. I smile at her, reveling in this moment.

"I love you." She tells me, and my heart soars. I know that she really does love me.

"I love you too." I answer her honestly. "Now turn over so I can massage you." I need to feel her skin against my hands, and I need it now. She complies and I ease my weight off of her until she is comfortable once more.

She hands me the oil she has laid on the bed and I squirt a bit on my hands, rubbing it together to make sure it's warm. The windows are open and a scented ocean breeze blows the curtains, giving the entire room a relaxing feel.

I make long and hard strokes up and down her back, carefully avoiding her injured shoulder. It's healed so well, the entire area is closed up and no longer red and irritated, but I don't want to chance getting any oil on the wound. She moans with delight and I try to ignore her sensual noises.

Obviously, between Grace's accident and her uncle's presence, we haven't made love in quite a while. Not that I am expecting her to suddenly be healed enough to even want too, but her moans under me aren't making it easy to think about anything else.

I rub the knots out of her lower back and she sounds like she's having an orgasm. I really think that she is trying to kill me. I'm not sure, but I think that she is.

"Feel good?" I ask huskily, and she groans loudly in return. Putting more oil on my hands I set about working on her neck. Her skin feels so much like satin under my fingers and I don't know who is enjoying this more, her or I.

"Thank you." Grace tells me, and I take that as my cue to be finished. She lies still for a second before turning her head towards me. "That was wonderful."

"My pleasure." I answer her, standing to go and rinse off my hands. I proceed to the bathroom and when I return Grace is lying on her back now, smiling at me enigmatically. I raise my eyebrows at her. "What?"

"Come here." She tells me, crooking her finger. I comply and she sits upright with little difficulty on the edge of the bed. She puts her finger in the waistband of my shorts. "Off." She orders, unbuttoning the denim shorts effortlessly and slipping then down off of my hips.

My eyes widen with surprise as she presses a kiss on my groin through my underwear. "Very nice." Grace mentions, fingering my soft pink panties. "But these need to go as well." As she did with my shorts, she pulls my underwear down, practically growling with pleasure as she views my naked form.

She now turns her attention to my top. "Off?" I ask her hopefully and she grins and nods. I remove the t-shirt from my head, and hurriedly remove my bra also.

"Good girl." She tells me, and I smile. "Now, what was it that I was promising you yesterday in the kitchen?" She asks coyly.

"You didn't promise me anything. You said I would see what you would do with me." I tell her immediately.

She smirks in return. "Oh, that's right." She pulls my hips closer to her and kisses my stomach. I practically gulp and she laughs as she moves her mouth along my hips and thighs. "Spread your legs." She tells me, her eyes the color of the darkest forest and I am helpless but to comply.

Using her tongue, she traces the line of where my lips meet my thigh. I shudder in response, not remembering anything that has ever felt this good.

"Jesus Christ!" I practically scream as her tongue finds it's way to my most sensitive area. She works it in a perfect rhythm, bringing her fingers up and gently easing them inside me.

I know I'm moaning like an idiot and it's all that I can do to stand upright on my trembling legs and not fall over. This feels so good, so incredibly good, and all I can concentrate on is Grace's eager tongue. Her fingers pump inside me and as I wrap my hands gently in her soft hair she groans in return.

The noises coming from her humming throat are turning me on almost as much as her perfect tongue. It doesn't take long until I am on the edge and I plead with her to make me come.

With an effective flick of the tongue I'm lost, feeling like I'm being shot from a cannon and flying through space. My entire body trembles, my hands clench in her hair, and my head feels like it's too heavy for my body. I vaguely am aware of myself screaming with pleasure, and can only be aware of the entire sated feeling of my body.

When it's over, I fall to my knees in front of Grace and lay my head in her lap. Struggling to regain my breath she strokes my hair and murmurs to me. I hug her legs and close my eyes, feeling completely loved by this woman.

Sometimes, life really rules.

Part 9: Coming soon! Stay tuned and please email me with feedback!!!

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