Disclaimer: Everything and everyone in this story are mine. After years of fan fiction, it feels so weird to say that... Any similarities to real people or persons is just a happy coincidence. They look like who you want 'em to look like, so go with it!
Thanks to: All the people who read the versions of this as it came down the pipe. Any mistakes you find are mine and, to be honest, with the sheer volume of mistakes my betas had to deal with, one or two must have fallen through the cracks.
Two Ladies Loving?: But of course! It's Valentine's Day at the Academy!
Special Thanks and Cookies to: Stephanie, for sending me an invite to this. I am humbled and touched to be included with the wonderful authors in this invitational. I hope I don't destroy the standards. *G*
Love it, hate it, want to know where to send the hate mail? firstname.lastname@example.org
DOING LAUNDRY ON VALENTINE'S DAY
by Geonn Cannon
Jill stood under the awning of the laundromat, her mesh bag of clothes hanging from her fingertips, and desperately wished for a cab to wander by. A town this small didn't really merit mass transit, but maybe a cabby had gotten lost. It was almost like a bad joke. Rain was bad enough, but February rain - rain so cold it couldn't become snow - was like a hideous trick played on unwary travelers caught without an umbrella.
As the rain continued to pour onto the sidewalk all around her, splattering her boots, she decided to give up the false hope that someone would come to her rescue. She took a breath and stepped forward... and was immediately pulled back. Something had snagged on the belt of her coat.
When she turned to look, she saw two fingers holding her where she was. The woman attached to the fingers was leaning halfway out of the laundromat door, eyes on the downpour. Jill had noticed the woman sitting in the waiting area and had exchanged a brief 'hello' with her, but that was the extent of their interaction. "No, you don't," she said as introduction. "Give me two seconds, you can share my umbrella."
Jill hesitated and then decided this was just her wish coming true. "Thank you," she said. She turned and followed her savior back into the laundromat.
She was struck, as she usually was, by how dismal the place felt. The walls were pale yellow, sickly under the flickering fluorescent lights, and the tile was cracked between the silent washing machines. The laundromat was a squat building wedged between the supermarket and the movie theater. The washing machines and dryers stood between the front door and the now-vacant office where the owner usually stood watch. The walls of the building slowly folded inward, finally ending at a tiny back wall with a door to the alley.
Jill pushed a hand through her sandy hair, grateful that it had been spared the deluge, and repeated, "Thank you for rescuing me. I wasn't looking forward to running all the way home in this stuff."
"It's my pleasure," the woman said. She returned to the folding table and picked up a t-shirt she had been in the process of folding. "Men have gotten the fun part of 'damsel-in-distress' for far too long. I'm Patricia Hood."
"Jill Colby." She extended her hand and they shook over Patricia's basket of laundry. "Well, the least I could do is help you fold." She put down her bag of laundry and pulled a pair of blue jeans from the basket.
Patricia nodded at the laundry bag on the floor. "You don't fold your own laundry?"
"Not here. I wait until I get home for that. Otherwise, they'll just fall over in the car and I'll have to refold them again later."
"You don't mind the wrinkles?"
Patricia raised an eyebrow. "Ooh, fancy."
Jill smirked. She placed the folded jeans on top of the pile Patricia had started. They were alone in the laundromat, the only sound other than the rain on the roof was the small TV playing in the waiting area. Jill kept noticing that Patricia was staring at her and felt self-conscious. On normal days, she didn't feel attractive at all. Couple that with having spent the last seven hours corralling a bunch of nine- and ten-year-olds... she had no idea what the other woman could possibly find sexy.
Patricia finally broke the silence between them. "So, what do you do?"
"I'm a teacher. Fifth grade."
"Oh! Good for you! I have the utmost respect for teachers. I work for the city."
"What, like a cop?"
Patricia laughed. "Um, no. Nothing quite that special. I just do gofer type stuff. I handle most of the utility payments and stuff like that. And I arrange city work... like if your water pipes burst, I send the truck out to fix it up."
Jill said, "So, when the wheel fell off my trash can last year?"
"I probably got you the new one."
"Well, I just keep thanking you for things," Jill said. She reached into the basket again and pulled out a pair of white cotton panties. Her eyes widened and she hesitated, unsure of what to do with the delicates. Folding a stranger's t-shirt was one thing...
Patricia looked up, saw what Jill had, and said, "Whoops." She took the underwear from Jill's fingers and stuffed them back into the basket.
"I'm so sorry!" Jill said.
"Eh, they're just panties. I got some stuff at home that would really make you blush."
Jill coughed politely and blinked a few times.
"What, Miss Teacher? You don't have fancy panties?"
Jill smiled. "Why, perfect stranger, I think we've crossed the too-much-information line."
Patricia laughed and said, "Fair enough! I withdraw the question. Just stick to that side of the basket and you should be fine."
They folded the rest of the laundry in relative silence, occasionally mentioning the weather or how nice it was to do laundry on a Wednesday afternoon. "I've tried Saturdays," Jill said. "Forget about it. Even if you can get a washing machine, all of the dryers will be occupied when you try to switch to them."
"One of the mysteries of life," Patricia agreed. "Speaking of which, and not to sound too much like my mother..." She checked her watch and said, "Shouldn't you be in school?"
"I get a free last period every day. The kids go to a computer class and I get to go home, stay in the classroom and grade papers or..."
"Go down the street to do laundry. Not bad."
Jill nodded. "Of course, my car is still parked at the school. It wasn't raining when I left. I mean, I figured I'd do a quick load, the walk would be good for me..." She sighed.
Patricia laughed. "I'll give you a ride back to the school, no problem."
"I really appreciate it."
Patricia's response was cut short by an apocalyptic clap of thunder. Both women jerked at the sound and gazed at the ceiling as if to make sure it was still there. They looked at each other and laughed nervously. Patricia said, "You know, folding later is starting to sound like a really good idea."
Jill laughed and helped Patricia stuff the rest of her clothes into her laundry bag. The folded clothes were placed on top and she pulled the rope shut tight so no water could seep in. "You ready to make a run for it?" Jill asked.
"Ready as I'll ever be!"
They stopped at the door and Jill said, "Okay. On three?" Patricia nodded. "One... two..."
They burst through the door on three, Jill in the lead. She was on the sidewalk, wet rain reaching cold fingers under the collar of her coat, before she realized she had no idea what Patricia drove. Four cars were parallel parked at the curb, any one of which could have been Patricia's. Soaked, she turned in time to see Patricia step off the curb and tap the hood of a green Subaru. "It's open!" she shouted, waving a remote on her key ring.
Jill lunged at the passenger-side door and slipped into the car. The remote, in addition to unlocking the doors, had started the engine. Blessed heat was pouring through the vents and Jill suddenly realized how cold it had been in the laundromat. She tossed her laundry bag into the backseat and held her hands up, palms facing the vents, as Patricia slipped into the driver's seat.
Patricia tossed her own laundry into the backseat, not caring about the folded clothes, and gasped, "Give me some of that." She reached over and put her hands next to Jill's. "My car, my heat." She nudged Jill playfully and knocked her hands out of the way of the vent.
"I thought you were a Good Samaritan," Jill said, pushing her hands back where they had been. "Get your own vents."
"They're all my vents," Patricia argued. She closed her fingers around Jill's hand and pushed it forward. Their shoulders were touching and, when Jill turned to look at Patricia, her hair brushed Patricia's cheek. Patricia's laughed died down slowly and she looked closely at Jill's face.
Jill broke the staring contest and leaned back in her seat. "So... w-we should, ah..."
"The school," Patricia nodded. She slid back into her own seat and checked the street before she pulled away from the curb. As soon as the car was moving, the radio came to life.
A female DJ said, "...letting up any time soon. So, sit back and relax and enjoy the rain, folks. I know it's not the romantic, postcard kind of Valentine's Day, but come on. What better reason to stay inside, cuddle up with someone you love and make some great holiday memories?"
Patricia and Jill exchanged a nervous glance. Jill smiled and pushed her hair out of her face. Patricia flexed her fingers on the steering wheel.
"Coming up, we've got the Carpenters and David Bowie. But right now, it's Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women."
Dylan serenaded them as Patricia pulled into the elementary school parking lot. Jill directed her towards the teacher's parking lot at the back of the building. "Right there at the back... the blue Beetle."
There was an empty space next to Jill's car. Patricia pulled in and let the car idle. "Well," she said. "It was really nice to meet you, Jill."
"It was really fortunate for me," Jill said. She smiled and leaned in and kissed Patricia's cheek to thank her. When she started to pull back, she hesitated ever so slightly to look at Patricia's parted lips.
It was all the opening Patricia needed. She turned her head slightly and brushed her lips across Jill's. Still friendly, still chaste enough for either of them to ignore it if they wanted to.
Jill brought her hand up, but stopped just short of pushing Patricia away. Their faces were still inches apart as if they were frozen in place. Finally, Patricia leaned back and faced the waterfall of her windshield. "I probably shouldn't have..."
"No, no," Jill whispered. She moved her hand to Patricia's cheek and brushed her thumb over the wet skin. "It's all right..." When Patricia looked at her, Jill saw the stranger who had pulled her in from the rain, but she also saw the friendly woman she'd met in the laundromat, the woman who, in the time it took to fold half a load of laundry, had become her friend.
She pushed her hand forward and into Patricia's hair. She cupped the back of Patricia's head and pulled her forward. Their lips met over the console in a wave of heat from the now-unblocked vents. Jill ran the tip of her tongue over Patricia's bottom lip, tasting the moisture from the rain, and moaned as she tilted her head to get better access.
Patricia hesitated only briefly, moving her right hand across Jill's stomach as Jill was exploring her mouth. Their tongues met and Jill tightened her hand on the back of Patricia's head. Locked in the car, surrounded on all sides by flowing water, they felt utterly alone. Sunk in the sea, observed only by fish.
But that wasn't even partially true. As soon as Jill broke the kiss and opened her eyes, she saw movement through the foggy driver's side window. She hadn't heard the bell ring, but it must have. People were starting the exit the back door of the school, hunkered down and running for their cars. No students came out through this door, but if any of the teachers spotted her in the car, making out with a woman...
Jill pulled back and sank into her seat again. "We shouldn't do this..."
"No," Patricia said. She hesitated and then said, "We... should go somewhere a little less public."
"Yes," Jill breathed.
"At the risk of sounding cliché..."
"Yours," Jill said. "My apartment is a pigsty."
"What makes you think mine is any better?"
Jill smirked. "You fold your laundry."
Patricia laughed and said, "Okay. You can follow me to my place."
Jill nodded and squeezed Patricia's hand one more time before she opened the door. She retrieved her bag of laundry from the backseat and ducked from the car into the deluge. Patricia waited until Jill was safely into her small blue Beetle before she pulled out of the space.
She smiled as the small round headlights appeared in her rearview mirror. Maybe doing laundry on Valentine's Day hadn't been such a bad idea after all...
Jill stared at the silhouette of Patricia's head as she followed the sedan out of the parking lot. "What am I doing," she sighed. "This is a total stranger and I'm going to her place...?" She pushed her hair out of her face and brushed her knuckles down her cheek. She remembered how Patricia's lips felt, how her hands had felt brushing her stomach. "I'm doing what I should've done a long time ago," she answered herself.
They drove through the heart of town to a small neighborhood near the edge of town. They parked in front of a tidy house set back from the street, nearly invisible behind a wall of hedges. Patricia's car door opened and the umbrella poked out. She ran to Jill's car, held the umbrella out while Jill got out of the car, and they ran together up the driveway.
Patricia unlocked the side door and ushered Jill into the small mudroom. Splatters of dried mud marked the walls and floor, a pair of knee-high rubber boots standing next to the door. Patricia shook off the umbrella and stood it next to the boots. She began unbuttoning her jacket and said, "Stay here... I'll get you a towel." She disappeared into the dark house and left Jill alone in the mudroom.
The lights were off, but there was enough light coming through the windows beside the door that she could see. She unbuttoned her jacket and draped it over a hook. Her sweater vest felt like it had soaked up gallons of rainwater and she pulled it over her head. She looked down at herself and saw that her blouse was wet to the point of being transparent.
The interior door opened again and Jill instinctively crossed an arm over her chest. Patricia had doffed her wet clothes as well, replacing them with a thick cotton bathrobe. "Here's the towel I promised you, and a robe... if you want." Patricia arched an eyebrow on the 'if you want,' letting Jill know it was up to her where the evening went. She nodded and took the folded cotton robe and towel. "The storm knocked out the power... I'm going to see if I can find some candles. Come find me when you're all dried off." She smiled and left once more.
Jill quickly began to undress, draping her clothes over a rod that ran the length of one wall. She kept her underwear on - this may be the boldest move of her life, but she still had some modesty. She rubbed at her clammy skin with the towel and draped it across the drying rod with her clothes.
She opened the door and moved carefully into the dark kitchen. She felt weird, venturing out into a stranger's home like this, but Patricia had said to come find her... She crossed through the kitchen and went through a swinging door into the living room.
Patricia was standing next to the coffee table, lighting the last in a row of candles. When she stood, the light caught her face and Jill had to refrain from gasping.
Patricia smiled and brushed her hands down the front of her robe. "Well," she said. "There's one good thing about meeting the way we did..."
"We'll always look better than we did under those damn fluorescent lights."
Jill laughed and crossed the room. Before she could think about it, she was kissing Patricia again. Patricia put her hands on Jill's hips and stepped backward towards the couch. They sat next to each other and Jill brought her leg up as she turned towards Patricia. The kiss broke and Patricia slid to the floor. "Lean back," she said gently.
Jill bit her lip and complied. She watched as Patricia's hands slid up her thighs, under the edge of her robe, and brushed her through her panties. "Now we're even," Patricia said softly. "Now I've touched your panties, too." Jill moaned and lifted her hips so the underwear could be pulled away.
Patricia tossed the flimsy panties away and spread the bottom halves of Jill's robe. Jill pushed her hand through her hair, her thighs trembling as Patricia looked at her. It had been so long since she'd been with a woman. Most of the single women she met were either teachers or single parents. No way could she jeopardize her career by coming onto one of them.
She swallowed and said, "Patricia..."
Patricia's bright green eyes flicked upward.
"Tease me later," Jill pleaded.
Patricia smiled and captured Jill's bottom lip between her own. She sucked on it for a moment and then swept her tongue across Jill's top lip. She eased Jill's thighs apart to give her room and slid down Jill's body, letting her hands explore the new territory. She knelt between Jill's legs and bowed her head. She brushed her tongue over the sensitive flesh, pausing to flick across the hooded clit. Jill moaned and put her hands behind her head. She closed her eyes and resisted the urge to thrust against Patricia's tongue so soon.
Patricia's hands disappeared from her thighs and Jill opened her eyes. One hand was between Jill's legs, spreading her lips apart. The other hand had gone lower, between Patricia's legs, and she was touching herself as she tasted Jill. "Oh, yes," Jill moaned. "Touch yourself for me, Patricia."
Patricia chuckled and closed her lips around Jill's clit.
The laugh, plus the pressure on her clit, made Jill arch off the couch. She put one hand on the back of Patricia's head to make sure she didn't move during the orgasm. Patricia remained where she was, rolling her tongue across her slick labia and nibbling on her clit until Jill's thighs stopped trembling and her muscles relaxed.
She kissed Jill's thighs and stretched up over her body. She kissed her breasts through the thick robe, cupped them in her hands as she leaned forward and kissed Jill's lips. Jill sucked Patricia's tongue, tasting herself on it, and slipped her leg between Patricia's thighs. "Your turn?" Jill asked when the kiss broke.
Patricia smiled and nodded, "Please."
Jill put her hands on Patricia's hips and pulled her onto her lap. She lifted her hips and rolled until Patricia was lying on her back on the cushions. Jill smiled and settled between Patricia's spread thighs. She took a moment to enjoy the feel of being on top of a woman again and smiled. "It's been awhile," she admitted.
"Well, you certainly have all the moves down," Patricia said.
"Mm," Patricia said. They kissed again, Jill twisting her hips so that her thigh was pressed between Patricia's legs. Patricia shifted to accommodate her as they kissed, which made the bottom half of her bathrobe fall open, and brushed her hands through Jill's hair. Jill moaned when her thigh met warm, wet, naked flesh, confirming Patricia wasn't wearing anything under her robe.
Jill leaned back after a few moments to catch her breath. She brushed her hand over Patricia's face and shook her head. "Your eyes are uncanny..."
Patricia smiled and said, "Uncanny? Is that a teacher word?"
"And green..." Jill said, ignoring Patricia's jibe. She brushed a stray hair out of Patricia's face and said, "So green..."
Patricia tilted her head back and Jill's lips moved to her neck. As Patricia writhed beneath her, Jill assaulted her throat and groped for the knot of her robe. Patricia had the easier job; she reached up and tugged on the knotted belt of Jill's robe. The belt loosened and the robe fell away.
Jill, so recently nervous about being half-naked in a stranger's house, sat up and unclasped her bra. Patricia's hands were on her before the underwear had been tossed away, squeezing her bare breasts and rolling the nipples between her fingers. Her hands covered Jill's small breasts completely and, when she squeezed, Jill moaned and arched her back.
Jill's leg pressed forward and Patricia moaned. She finished undoing the belt herself and opened her robe. Jill sat on Patricia's leg, grinding herself against Patricia's thigh as she rocked back and forth. Her thigh brushed Patricia's soft, puffy lips, moisture beginning to spread across her thigh. "You like that...?" Jill whispered.
Patricia moaned. "And here... I thought you'd be... nice and submissive..."
Jill lay down and kissed Patricia's lips. "I'm a teacher. I dress up nice... play with the kiddies... but at home?" She rocked her hips forward and Patricia cried out, "I need to unwind. Can you handle that?"
"Oh, yeah," Patricia panted. She put her hands on Jill's ass and pulled her forward. "Oh, yeah. I can handle that... Just as long as you take it as good as you give..."
Jill groaned and bucked her hips. Patricia cried out, arched her back and tightened her thighs around Jill. Patricia held her as she came and ran her tongue across Jill's throat.
When she'd recovered, Jill kissed Patricia, slipped her tongue into her mouth and then pulled back. "Well," she said softly. She thrust her hips forward again and Patricia whimpered. "As... a-as well as I give..." She buried her head against Patricia's shoulder, ground against her thigh and came.
Patricia's laugh came out as a moan, her fingers laced on the back of Jill's head. "What do you want, an apple?"
Jill sat up, her hair falling in her eyes. "I'll settle for a peach."
Patricia laughed and pulled Jill down for a kiss. "We'll see, Teach."
When their legs worked again, they abandoned the living room for the master bedroom at the top of the stairs. Jill wasn't aware she had fallen asleep until she woke up, the late evening sun cutting across her borrowed pillow. Patricia was spooned behind her, but nature's call was more intense than the comfort of being cuddled.
She eased out from under Patricia's arm and made her way to the bathroom. When she came out, she tip-toed past the bed and headed back to the front of the house to find at least the robe she'd worn earlier. Her discomfort of being naked in a strange house had returned. She crossed the still-unfamiliar living room and thought, I made love on that couch, she thought. How could the room still feel strange after that?
She went to the mudroom and found her blouse. It was a bit stiff from the rack, but it would do. She fluffed it out a few times and slipped her arms into the sleeves. It reached to mid-thigh, decent enough for the moment. As she was buttoning the shirt, something crashed at the front of the house.
Jill jumped and froze, waiting to see if Patricia responded to the sound. A loud voice shouted, "Mom!" Jill's blood turned to ice. "Ma, Kenny's Mom wouldn't let us come home until the rain stopped. The phone lines were down so I couldn't call, so don't be mad about..."
The boy came into the kitchen and froze when he saw Jill. She grabbed something off the counter - a loaf of bread, it turned out - and held it in front of her crotch. She forced a smile. "H-Hi, Michael."
The boy's eyes threatened to overtake the top of his head. "Hi, Miss Colby."
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