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Who's Going To Drive You Home Tonight

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    This wasn't a place for a woman with tears staining her face and drenched clothes from a three hour walk in the rain. Although, this wasn't a place for anybody really. Everyone here would come to say in the morning they didn't know the place existed.

    Maybe that's why Eve ends up here. 

    A rustic bar with one faded rainbow flag hanging beside the small stage. A small donation jar to pay for the medical bills of another silent victim. Men who smoke cigarettes and glance at the door every time the bell over the door rings. Women with cropped hair and a beyond tired look in their eyes.

    A woman on stage. Long blonde hair falling over her shoulders. A chipped guitar in her lap. An oversized green plaid shirt, barely buttoned to expose a long pale chest, under a torn leather jacket and tucked into high waisted light washed jeans. Even in the middle of her song, she catches Eve's eye and nods with a small smile, stumbling over a word or two.

    "You can't go on, thinking nothing's wrong," the blonde sings to Eve's soul.

    Eve orders a beer and drops more money in the donation jar than what three beers would have cost. All the money she had. It'll never be enough. The thought burns in her throat.

    She's alone. For the first time in her life. There's been countless times before she thought she was alone. When her dad died being one of them. But she wasn't alone because she still had her mom. Then her mom disowned her when Eve and Niko divorced. Niko had been understanding. A good man. He kept Eve's secret and wasn't even too surprised. That didn't mean they stayed friends. At the end of the day, he couldn't be friends with his ex-wife after she got caught kissing a woman. So she moved in with her best friend Bill. And now, Eve has no one. 

    Her hand burns from where Bill's hand was three hours before. She felt it the moment he died. How the strong grip weakened, then was limp. The screaming heart beat monitor not having anything on her own scream.

    Eve runs that burning hand through her wet hair. Just cut it all off. Leave Connecticut. Go to Florida or California. Somewhere more accepting.

    "Your hair is beautiful."

    Eve drops her hand from her hair and jerks her head up to look at her guest. The woman that was singing. Now she has on a baseball cap and a beer hangs loosely out of her hand. Eve never even noticed her finishing her cover of Drive. 

    "Can I join you?" The woman asks with a striking Russian accent.

    Eve nods, not trusting her words yet. She hasn't talked since… 

    "I'm Villanelle," the woman holds her hand out to Eve. With Eve's lack of answer or movement she drops her hand. "I'm just going to call you rude. Okay, Rude?"

    Jesus. Eve snorts. Followed by a full on laugh than freaks Villanelle out.

    "Are you okay?" Villanelle asks while drawing her strong brows down.

    "The only person in my life died tonight. I'm homeless. Oh, and I spent all my money for food this week, tonight," Eve scoffs and puts her head in her hands.

    "Then leave."

    "What?" Did she hear her right?

    “If New Haven doesn’t have anything, why stay?” Villanelle repeats and puts her feet up on the table. The bartender yells at her and she flips him off without removing her feet. “Listen, I can tell you’re,” she makes a disgusted hand motion towards Eve, “going through something. I’m not going to pretend to care. But I’ll do this.” Villanelle takes a deep breath. “I got this little rag tag group of queers and gays. Eight or so people besides me. People come and go. Our next stop is outside Columbus. None of us have a home. We’ve all had someone important to us die. And we always waste our money on booze.”

    Eve’s jaw drops. This was insane. There would only be one thing more insane. 

    “Okay,” she agrees without a drop of sanity.

    Nearly sadistically, Villanelle smiles. “Alright, baby . Let me show you tonight’s casa.” She stands and pulls a pair of black leather gloves from her pocket.

    Eve stands too. “Why are you doing this?”

    Villanelle laughs and looks Eve up and down. “Because you are hot and I want to have insane sex.”

    “That’s-maybe-I don’t.”

    “Relax. I was just joking. Well not really. You are really hot. And I would love to have sex with you.” Villanelle holds the bar door open for Eve. “But I’m a gentlewoman, unlike you, Rude. I want you to beg me to fuck you.”

    “My name is Eve,” she says and ignores the last comment.

    “ Eve . You got a last name?” Villanelle asks and walks up to a white Harley-Davidson. She tosses Eve the single helmet.

    Eve fumbles but manages to catch the helmet noticing the large dent in the side. “No.”

    “Good. None of us do. Well except little Anna, but that’s just a small joke.”

    “What is it?” Eve crawls on the motorcycle behind Villanelle and grips the leather jacket.

    Villanelle lets out a sigh of a laugh. Eve thinks it sounds pained. “Astankova.”


 

    More insanity drips into Eve’s skull. She remembers what she screamed at Bill when he told her the diagnosis.

    “This is because you just have to say fucking yes to everything.”

    Well, now Eve’s a hypocrite. The abandoned church has a spray painted school bus parked outside of it. Weeds and vines grow wild. Broken boards hang off shattered windows. The thick reek of wood smoke flows out of the building.

    “You live here?” Eve asks after she pops the motorcycle helmet off.

    “And where did you live? Under a bridge?” Villanelle counters and walks towards the front doors. 

    “No, that was still too expensive,” Eve responds.

    Villanelle looks at her in disbelief. “That’s fucked.”

    “Yeah well… my best friend had aids and all of our money went to his medical bills. Wasn’t much of a choice. Apparently straight homeless people can still be homophobic.”

    Villanelle shakes her head and walks into the church. There’s a baby crying. 

    “Oh, thank god you’re back,” sighs the woman holding the crying baby. A black woman around Eve’s age. She charges at Villanelle and shoves the small baby in her arms. Almost instantly it stops crying.

    “Are you being bad?” Villanelle asks and pokes the baby’s nose. “Are you just the worst fucking baby?”

    Eve’s eyes widen and she looks at who she assumes to be the mom.

    “It’s fine. I don’t care what Villanelle says to Anna right now because for some reason she won’t cry when Villanelle’s holding her and we all need to sleep before the drive tomorrow,” she explains.

    Villanelle bounces the baby with her own child-like grin and walks toward a broken down crib away from Eve and the woman.

    “I’m Jess, by the way. I take it you’re riding with us to Columbus?” Jess asks.

    Eve shrugs. “Till you guys kick me out I guess.”

    Jess takes one hard look at Eve. And she knows. Eve's in this for the long haul. “Come here. I'll introduce you to the family."

    The family is a group of people that are definitely not related. Jess leads Eve to a small fire right in front of a statue of crucified Jesus. Eve doesn't feel like she owes him an apology. If anything he owed her one.

    A young woman, maybe a few years older than Villanelle, jumps up, and steals Eve. "Hello there, I am thee Elena and I will be your guide today."

    Eve looks at her with shock.

    "I'm fucking with you. But you should come sit beside me before Hugo over there, asks you to fuck his boyfriend while he watches." Elena points out to men sitting beside each other. One has curly hair, a little scruff, and winks at Eve. The other one looks like a deer in headlights. His straight brunette hair is falling down into his eyes and he bumps the other man with his knee. There's something familiar about him. "The asshole is Hugo. The sweet one is Kenny." Elena doesn't need to point out which one is which.

    Hugo coughs into his elbow and Eve fills with dread. She doesn't need to ask because everyone quiets down for a moment. 

    Elena speaks up again. "If you recognize Kenny it's because his mom is the government official pretending to care about us. Carolyn Martens. Total babe but also a total bitch if you ask me. Pretends to care about us but kicked her son out when he told her that Hugo was positive."

    "That's… terrible," Eve replies and let's Elena pull her down on the sleeping bag. Jess sits on her own bag in front of them.

    "We all have it rough here… I don't think I've gotten your name yet," Jess says and tilts her head.

    "Eve."

    Jess nods. "Well, Eve, as I was saying. None of us are here for no reason. I'm sure you aren't either. There's no one upping each other on the tragedy scale."

    "Although if we were, Villanelle would definitely win," Elena says and eyes the woman holding the baby above her face, saying something in Russian.

    "What happened to her?" Eve asks without thinking.

    "That's not really-"

    "Her girlfriend's husband gave her girlfriend HIV and then the girlfriend still choose him over Villanelle," a posh British accent says above them. Eve looks up to see Hugo's walked over. "The last time Villanelle saw her was the day before she died and she told Villanelle, 'it was because of her kind.' Villanelle still loves her though. Probably always will." He shrugs with his hands in the pockets of his pants.

    Eve doesn't say anything this time. Instead she watches as Villanelle sits the baby down, peels her leather jacket and flannel off, leaving her in a ripped tank top. She picks the baby back up and wraps her in the flannel before placing her in the crib for the night.

    "Hugo, why are you such a damn gossip," Elena groans and throws a shirt at him. 

    He catches it and playfully snaps it back in her direction. "Because I'm bored, babe. Which speaking of babe…" he turns back to Eve. "I don't think I've gotten your name yet."

    "Eve," she sounds like a robot when she says it. She's sure she'll have to say it a dozen more times tonight.

    " Eve , you are just beautiful-"

    "Hugo, piss off, the woman's had a long day," Jess says.

    He holds his hands up and turns back to Kenny who waves now.

    The two women point out others in the church to Eve. The other two in the group that sticks together are Nadia and Diego, a couple who are already asleep in their own little tent. There's a group of five that they really don't know the names of that's hitching a ride to Columbus. A couple people that live in the church full time and are letting them stay tonight and the past few nights.

    At each of these stops, they try to make money. Villanelle plays in gay bars or races her motorcycle. Elena sells clothes she buys from thrift stores for outrageous prices. Kenny and Hugo take a large chunk of money and try to buy drugs then flip them. Nadia and Diego do handy work for people, appearing like a poor straight couple that just need a couple bucks. Jess stays at wherever they are to take care of her baby, Anna and most of the money that Kenny and Hugo don't need for investment goes to the baby. Whatever is left after the baby and food goes to gas and lets them figure out how far they can go.

    Jess snuffs out the fire and lays on a foldable cot next to the crib. Kenny and Hugo crawl into their own tent. 

    "You can stay in mine until we steal or buy you one," Elena offers as she picks up her sleeping bag and walks towards her tent.

    Eve doesn't answer too busy watching something-someone.

    Villanelle walks out of the church with a single glance at everyone. She catches Eve's eye and smiles before slipping outside.

    "She stays on the bus. If the police show up to kick us out, she'll make a scene so we can get out."

    "What about her? If she gets arrested?"

    Elena laughs. "Villanelle doesn't get arrested. Things don’t go bad for her anymore. I guess it’s his way of apologizing.” Elena points at Jesus. “I wouldn’t get too close to her though. That luck doesn’t spread.”

    Eve wonders what that means. She has the feeling she’ll learn quick enough.

Chapter Text

    The school bus is split into three sections. The six seats are left in for people to sit, even though they currently don't fit everyone. The rest of the seats are torn out. The middle section is the largest, boxes of clothes, food, water, their tents and sleeping bag, Jess's cot and Anna's crib. The last section is two twin size mattress shoved together.

    The bus sways with strong wind. Rain pounds into the top bus and exposes any small holes into the roof of the bus. Ironic enough, Walking on Sunshine , still manages to blare through the bus speakers. Hugo and Nadia sing loudly while Diego looks annoyed and Kenny look embarrassed.

    Eve finds herself sitting behind Elena driving the bus, and across from Jess and the baby. She leans into the aisle to look out the front window. There’s Villanelle, riding her motorcycle in front of the group in high waisted jean shorts and that black leather jacket. Probably freezing cold and drenched. Eve catches herself rolling her eyes at the woman, already knowing she was a handful.

    A loud crack of thunder makes Anna start crying.

    “Is it safe to be driving in this?” Eve asks anybody willing to answer.

    “We don’t stop unless Villanelle stops,” Elena calls back.

    “That about her stupid luck,” Eve grumbles and slides down in her seat. She shivers and rubs her hands on over her coat on her arms. “Do we at least have heat?”

    “On full blast already. I’m sorry if this wasn’t what you were expecting but we are technically homeless.”

    Anna’s crying is still on full blast. 

    Eve’s never been one for babies. Niko and her had the discussion before she came out to him. It ended in a resounding, no. That’s when Eve was working full time as an officer and Niko was a college professor. Two weeks before Eve’s life started crumbling down.

    It started with Eve being assigned to train a new rookie because, well, they were both women. Eve agreed because she didn’t have much of a choice and when push comes to shove, Eve will do the right thing. Except maybe this hadn’t been the right thing. After a late night and one too many hate crimes in a back alley, Eve ended up at a bar with the rookie instead of home with her husband. Her name had been, Bridget, and Eve hated it. Bridget was beautiful and cocky and one of those people that need those extra pats on the shoulder.

    Well, she only needed the extra pats on the shoulder from Eve.

    She had pinned Eve to wall in an alley, the same alley they stopped a gay man from being killed in a few hours prior. She kissed down Eve’s neck, and down Eve’s chest. Ripped the buttons of Eve’s tan button up and yanked down Eve’s pants. It was then when Eve realized she was gay. That she was feeling things she only thought existed into those new shitty teen movies.

    Then, the next day, her boss Frank walked up to her desk, pulled her into his office and gave her two options. Resign and keep some form of diginity or be fired and charged with aggravated rape.

    Eve chose the former.

    “Can you hold her for a moment?” Jess asks, not really giving Eve the chance to answer because she’s already shoving Anna in Eve’s hands. “I’m going to go grab a few blankets.”

    “Don’t bother,” Elena calls back.

    Eve stares at the baby she’s holding up with it’s armpits. Then Jess takes Anna back. The bus stops as Jess sits back down.

    “What’s going on?” Eve asks and stands up to look outside the bus. She sees Villanelle pull into a motel labeled the Sleepy Valley Motel, with Elena following.

    “Apparently your wish came true. We’re stopping.”

    “Do we have money for that?” Jess asks and bounces Anna.

    “Either we do or Villanelle is going to figure something out.”

    Eve and Elena shuffle off the bus to talk to Villanelle, Eve carrying a dry towel for her. 

    Villanelle tosses the helmet at Eve again, causing Eve to drop the towel in a puddle.

    “Are you fucking serious?” Eve asks.

    Villanelle smiles brightly. “I’m going to go talk to who ever is running this place and try to get us some rooms for the night. How many of us are there this time?”

    “There’s the five plus Kenny and Hugo,” Elena counts on her fingers, “Jess and Anna, Nadia and Diego, Eve and me, plus you. 14. So three or four rooms.”

    “I’ll get four. But I’m getting a bed all to myself since I’m taking care of this. Eve can share a room with me,” Villanelle points at Eve and then walks off towards the building.

    “I’m not rooming with… and she isn’t even listening,” Eve kicks the mud and looks at the light brown helmet.

    “You need to make her mad at you,” Elena says and turns swiftly to Eve. “I mean it. Piss her off or something. This whole being nice thing is weird.”

    “You call this,” Eve holds up the helmet, “being nice?” She carries the helmet as they reboard the bus.

    “The last time someone touched that helmet, she beat them with it.”

    “Oh.”

    “What’s going on?” Diego pops his head into the aisle and looks up at the women who walked in.

    “Villanelle’s bike blew up. We couldn’t even find her body. All that was left was this,” Elena jokes and points at the helmet in Eve’s hands. “She’s getting rooms for us. Four, so buddy system.”


 

    Villanelle gets four rooms for the price of one. Nobody really questions it. Nadia, Diego, Kenny, and Hugo all share a room. Elena, Jess, one of the tag-alongs, and the baby share another. The rest of the tag-alongs get a room to themselves. 

    Eve stands awkwardly as Villanelle files through her back pack, grumbling to herself. Villanelle hooks a line from the front door and then tape it to the wall opposite of it. 

    “Do you want to shower first or do you want me to shower first? Or we can shower together?”

    “I’m going to shower. By myself.” Eve starts to walk away and then stops and turns around. “What are you doing?”

    Villanelle laughs. “After we shower I was going to wash my clothes.”

    Eve looks down at her only outfit. “Do you have any clean clothes I can borrow?”

    “I’ve got a bathrobe I stole from the last hotel we stayed at?” Villanelle offers.

    “Sounds good enough to me.” 

    "We will get you clothes in Ohio," Villanelle states and nods her head to confirm it.

    "I don't have money for that," Eve argues.

    "I never said anything about buying clothes."  Villanelle winks and tosses Eve a grey bathrobe. "Now, go shower. I don't want to be up all night doing laundry."


 

    The next morning, they eat almost spoiled milk from a vending machine with stale corn flakes, watching Saturday morning cartoons. Villanelle doesn't seem to be a morning person, Eve notices.

    Not that she's mean.

    She buys Eve milk.

    Tells Eve her ass looks great in the robe.

    But the way she snuggles into the red oversized sweatshirt. (Gucci, that makes Eve slightly confused.) And doesn't talk while watching Tom and Jerry, makes Eve wonder what Villanelle is thinking about.

    "How long have you been living like this?" Eve puts out into the room. More of a thought that doesn't need answered.

    Villanelle looks over. With a mouthful of cereal that falls disgustingly back into the bowl, she says, "Since my Uncle brought me here from Russia.”

    “And when was that?”

    “When I was younger. Eve, what are you doing?” Villanelle stands up, stretching her long tan legs.

    “I’m just getting to know you.” Eve’s head appears to be on a swivel as she watches Villanelle pass her, light blue underwear fitting snugly on her- “Is there anything wrong with that?”

    Villanelle doesn’t respond right away, she walks into the bathroom to wash out her bowl. Then her head pops out, “Come sit in here and I’ll wash your bowl while you tell me about yourself.”

    “Okay.” 

    Eve gets dressed first. Her clothes are stiff, but it feels amazing to not smell like a feral animal for once. Her and Bill never wasted money on soap so them washing their clothes consisted of trying to hang clothes while it rained. 

    Then sitting on top of the closed toilet seat she tells Villanelle about how she realized she was gay and how the woman got her fired. By the end of it, Villanelle is laying in the bathtub picking at her nails a dime.

    “You know… I have real trouble with authority.”

    “Yeah, so do I,” Eve grumbles. “Obviously.”

    “Oh? Is that so? Were you a trouble maker as a pig?”

    The insult hits Eve in the chest. She always had to take of gay people that would end up just calling her a pig because of the uniform. “I’m going to go check on the others, Villanelle.”

    “Wait, Eve, what-”

    Eve slams the door shut. She quickly grabs her stuff and as she exits the motel room, Villanelle is leaning in the bathroom doorway watching with confusion.


 

    Some of the others are already outside sitting around a picnic table playing cards. Well… when Eve nears she sees they aren’t really playing cards but playing with cards, making card houses, flinging them at each other, and the such. 

    Hugo flings a card across the table when Nadia and Diego kiss. 

    “You know, that should be illegal. It is absolutely disgusting.”

    Nadia raises an eyebrow and shoots the card back. “But giving Kenny multiple hand jobs throughout the night isn’t?”

    Eve snorts and all heads turn towards her. “I’m sorry. I just wasn’t expecting that from you, you seem quiet.” She slides down next to the bright red Kenny.

    “Yes, my pumpkin is very good at that. Practically an assassin with her words,” Diego wraps an arm around Nadia and kisses the top of her head.

    “He always calls her that, we all hate it, too,” Kenny whispers into Eve’s ear.

    Eve realized she automatically twisted her face up. She drops it. “So what time do we leave?”

    Hugo shrugs and picks up his cards. “Probably soon. Once everyone is up. Jess is probably taking advantage of Anna getting a good room to sleep in. Villanelle is probably masturbating now that you’re out of her room...unless?”

    “No! We didn’t do anything. Just laundry. And is she actually…” Eve glances back at her motel door.

    “Yes, it’s why we let her have a room by herself. She has no shame and no one wants to room with someone who grunts and moans like she’s being filmed.” Hugo laughs. “I mean, she does have self-control, just when the option to sleep by herself is there… she’ll throw a fit if she isn’t the person that gets to sleep alone.”

    “It doesn’t sound like you’re much better,” Eve fires back. 

    “No, but at least I have a boyfriend and I’m not jacking off to a dead- Hey, Villanelle!” Hugo eyes widen and Eve turns around to see Villanelle standing behind them in a cropped yellow band shirt and denim overalls. Sun kissed hips perfect the outfit.

    “I’m going to go tell Jess and Elena, we need to leave. Get the bus packed.” Villanelle looks anywhere but Eve.

    Eve waits till Villanelle walks away towards Elena and Jess’s room to ask something that’s been killing her, “Why is Villanelle in charge?”

    Kenny answers, “She’s not in charge. She just has the most knowledge.”

    “Yeah, and why is that?” Eve asks annoyed and picks up a trash bag of clothes to load on the bus.

    “She’s been living this way the longest.” He shrugs and sits down on one of the bus seats. He pulls a bag of pretzels from his pocket. “They are stale but still delicious. I promise.”

    “Uh… no thanks. How did you get in this group?” Eve asks.

    “Oh.” He frowns. “A guy was picking on Hugo and me. Villanelle helped us out and apparently could just tell we were homeless. So she offered for us to join her. We’re the newest permanent members. Well until you.”

    Eve nods and lets the conversation die. The bus is silent as everyone files on, except the awkward crunch of Kenny’s pretzels. 

    Once everyone is boarded, Villanelle steps on, looks at everyone with a frown, and tells them there will be no more stops till Columbus.

    “...if we don’t get to Columbus by tonight, we’re fucked and we will have to drive straight through to Nashville,” Villanelle finishes. 

    Hugo shouts out, yee haw, which earns him groans and the middle finger from Villanelle. Eve doesn’t expect Villanelle to even look at her before getting off the bus. So it catches her off guard when Villanelle calls her name. It’s the first time Villanelle smiles since boarding the bus. Sadistic and cruel.

    “And Eve? You should let everyone on this bus know you’re a blue uniformed pig.”

Chapter Text

    “You’re a narc?”

    “What are you talking about?"

    "What the fuck, Eve?"

    There's clamorous questioning preventing Eve from hearing her own thoughts. Then with Villanelle's wink, a wave of silence washes over her. 

    She pushes up and follows Villanelle off the bus. Shoves her from behind.

    "What the fuck was that?" Eve rages.

    Villanelle laughs and walks over to her bike. She twists around, leaning against it and holding her helmet. 

    Then the helmet hits Eve in the stomach.

    "Stop doing that!" Eve bends over and picks the helmet up.

    "I figured you would want to wear it. Aren't cops all about safety?" Villanelle shrugs and crosses her arms.

    "I… why would I need a helmet?" Eve looks back at the bus. "They aren't going to…"

    "Cute. No… they'll give you shit but once you tell them your story they will understand. Might be mad a few days but you're apart of the family now. Although, I figured you might want to ride with me instead of having to listen to all their questions."

    "You told them I was a police officer so I would ride on your bike with you?" Eve asks in disbelief.

    "Uh, yeah. That's exactly what I did." Villanelle catches the helmet before it slams into her chest. "I take that as a no?"

    Eve doesn't respond as she storms away from Villanelle and back on the bus. 


 

    The questions aren't too unbearable, stopping around the Pennsylvania-Ohio border. Kenny gives Eve a well read book, The Great Gatsby, and even though Eve trudged through the book in high school, she finds herself more interested in it than ever. Empathizes with the need of Nick Carraway to know more about this mysterious and lavish Gatsby.

    About half an hour outside of Columbus, the books rests open like a tent on Eve’s face. One of her legs is propped up on the seat while the other rests on the floor of the bus. Every now and then a bouncy ball bounces off her knee cap.

    “Eve, are you ignoring me?” Hugo asks after about the fiftieth time of throwing the ball at her.

    “Trying to.”

    “Wow, so you were the bad cop in the good cop bad cop routine.”

    Eve rolls her eyes and drags herself into a sitting position. “What do you want Hugo?”

    “More like what you want. Don’t you want to ask me how I got it?” It being the monster that made Hugo’s cheeks look shallow and his cough thick and scratchy.

    “I actually don’t,” Eve responds.

    “Is this your first time?”

    “My first time?”

    “Seeing someone with the disease. I mean if you were playing cop I’m sure you saw it all the time on the streets and gave it a blind eye, but is this your first time seeing it affecting a person?” Hugo raises an eyebrow. Kenny beside him is asleep with head against the window.

    “No, my best friend died two days ago in a hospital that couldn’t even afford to give him any pain medication to make it more bearable.”

    “Oh! I’m sorry… was it…”

    “Scary? Horrific? He was sickly skinny and we could barely afford to buy food so maybe I killed him by not sharing more of my food. They told me it was malnutrition. They refuse to admit this is real,” Eve lists off not noticing how Hugo’s face whitened.

    “Eve?” Hugo’s quiet and glances around to the other passengers. He leans forward into the aisle and Eve does to. “I don’t want to end up like that. I don’t want to risk giving something to Anna and I don’t want Kenny to have to see me waste away. If I ask you for a favor in a few days, will you be able to help me? Villanelle wouldn’t.”

    Eve turns to look at him, eyebrows scrunched down. “What?”

    “Will you buy a gun for me? They don’t let me go anywhere alone and…”

    Holy shit .

    “Hugo…”

    “Eve, please, just in the last few weeks I can feel myself getting sicker. I’ve been trying to hide it but I see how you looked at me as soon as you saw me. You know. I think everyone does but they won’t admit it.”

    Eve doesn’t give him a yes or no, taking the bus slowing down as an excuse to move away from him. She flashes him one more pitied glance and then moves to her window. 


 

    The group of five go their separate ways, thanking everyone for their kindness. Eve realizes she didn’t bother to learn any of their names, and only feels a little guilty. She notices when one of them tries to shake Villanelle’s hand, she slips something into their hand and nods.

    Eve turns towards the broken down warehouse. It looks abandoned. Shattered windows, no lights, missing a door, but Eve knows a place like this could be crawling with criminals or junkies.

    Villanelle retightens her gloves and turns towards the group. “I’m going to go make sure there’s no friends in there.”

    “Let me join you,” Eve declares before she knows what she’s saying.

    Villanelle laughs. “Sorry baby, I don’t need any help.”

    “It’ll go quicker right?”

    There's a short stare down before Villanelle reaches in her pocket. “Sure, whatever,” Villanelle agrees and tosses Eve a switchblade.

    Eve pops the blade out with wide eyes. There’s an intricate A engraved on the base of the blade.


 

    "You take that side. Don't scream if you see a rat," Villanelle says and points to the side away from her with her knife.

    "I wouldn't scream if I saw a rat," Eve defends herself.

    "Uh huh. I believe that."

    "What the hell is your problem?"

    Villanelle's eyes widen and she pockets her knife. 

    Eve carries on when Villanelle doesn't respond. "You flirt with me and then because I didn't flirt back you get pissed!"

    "You weren't flirting back?"

    "Oh my god!" Eve grumbles and storms away from Villanelle. "Arrogant… prick… asshole," Eve mumbles as she marches off to look in what appeared to be an office or something.

    A large figure moves quickly away from the desk when she walks in and Eve can't help the scream erupting from her throat. A rat scurries through a hole in the wall while laughter echoes behind her.


 

    After moving everyone into the warehouse and carrying their bags in, Villanelle, Eve, and Elena end up at a bar. Hardly a bar. More, basement under a tattoo shop. Which is what it exactly is.

    Villanelle knew the owner of the tattoo shop. She stayed upstairs and talked to him while Eve and Elena went on downstairs. 

    There’s way too many people crammed into the small basement. Eve gets stuck in a corner sipping straight from a bottle of cheap champagne. 

    “How did you end up here?” Eve has to shout for Elena to here her.

    “America or in this group?” Elena calls back and eyes a couple men dancing on the other side of the bar.

    “Both?”

    “I moved to America with my boyfriend. Bastard cheated on me and left me homeless, ran into Jess at a local shelter. I figured us Brits should stay together and then the next thing we know, our shelter is being closed by some Vasiliev prick. Villanelle came in and was offering for anyone to join her and Anna.”

    “You knew Anna?” Eve asks and passes the champagne to Elena.

    “Yeah. She was always… peculiar. She loved Villanelle, that’s for sure, but it was like she only loved parts of Villanelle and pretended that’s who Villanelle was.” Elena shakes her head and takes a gulp of champagne. “There was this one time before Anna left where Villanelle got in a fight. Some guy calling them dykes so Villanelle punched him in the face. And then again… and again. It was a bad situation, this is our first time back in Columbus since, but basically, Anna pretended it never happened. If we tried to talk about it she joked that we were going crazy. Villanelle isn't a good person, Eve. Anna refused to admit that.”

    Eve takes the champagne back. “When did Anna leave?”

    “After she tested positive. Villanelle tested negative so they knew who gave it to Anna. Anna wanted to help Maxi if he was sick so we all lived in San Francisco because Villanelle didn’t want to leave Anna alone. There were times we worried Villanelle was more sick than Anna,” Elena says and leads Eve to a couch. She kicks off the occupants so Eve and her can sit down. “She was obsessed with her. Stalked her. The night Anna died, Villanelle wasn’t supposed to be in her house. She broke in.”

    “Why did Jess name…”

    “Anna was part of the family. Plus Villanelle and Anna had talked about wanting to be the godparents. AJ was born the day after Anna died, and when Villanelle held her she just told Jess. ‘Her name is Anna Astankova, okay?’ but it was the type of okay you aren’t supposed to say no to.”

    “Why Astankova?”

    “Villanelle’s real last name.”

    Eve nods. Then she spots Ms. Astankova walking towards them. There’s two things she notes. One, Villanelle is missing her yellow cropped shirt and is just in a bra and her overalls. Two, Villanelle has wrap on her neck with black ink smeared on it.

    "Hey, ladies," Villanelle walks up, double fisting beers. "You are at a party and you're sitting down?"

    "Oh, shut up. I was just waiting for you to get down here so you could show them how to hook up the karaoke machine," Elena stands up and shoves Villanelle. "What'd you get tattooed?"

    “You’ll see,” Villanelle says with a wink. Then there’s crackle of an old speaker. “Guess they got the karaoke set up.”

    Elena catches Villanelle’s wrist before she can walk away. “Eve should go sing something."

    And that's when Eve sees the most disgust she swears she's ever seen on anyone's face. Villanelle tilts her head, her upper lip pursed, and practically insults Eve with just the look. The words that come don't help, "Can you even sing alone?"

    Somehow, that lights a fire in Eve to prove to Villanelle that she is better than her in every possible way. She shoves the bottle of champagne at Elena, and challenges Villanelle. "Watch me."

     Stealing a microphone from a man in a tight leopard print button up tucked into tighter white jeans is Eve's first mistake. Her second is asking for Girls Just Want to Have Fun . Eve's final mistake is catching Villanelle's eye and accepting a challenge.

    So when Eve starts singing and stumbles over the first few words, Villanelle sets down one of two beers to raise her fingers to her lips and whistle. 

    "Let's go Eve!" She calls expecting it to fluster Eve more.

    It has the opposite effect.

    Eve isn't a fantastic singer, but she prides herself on not being terrible. She can at least carry a tune and about 60% of the people crammed into the basement stare at her.

    It’s when she finishes her song, the serpent slithers in.

    “You looked hot up there, but let me show how it’s done.” Villanelle snaps her teeth in Eve’s ear and takes away the microphone.

    She sings with sweet, sweet venom. Honey and molasses. Russian and French. Arrogance and elegance. Eve heard this song in concert with Niko. Rhiannon. Fleetwood Mac.

    " Will you ever win?" Villanelle stares straight at Eve. It makes sense how she earns money. She made it obvious she loved singing.

    Eve glances at Elena who's paying her no attention and takes the chance to slip upstairs where there is still the owner of the tattoo shop.

    "I don't have any money," she states and stares at him.

    He nods with a somber smile.

    "That's alright, Miss. Sit down, talk to me and that'll be your payment," he says with a gravelly voice like a wise father.

    She makes her way and jumps up on the booth, noting that she never tells him what she wants, but slips off her parka and shirt so he has access to her shoulder blade. "How do you know Villanelle?"

    The buzz of the tattoo gun starts before he responds. "She pops in here about twice a year. Just sits up here and talks to me then makes contacts at the party below."

    Eve winces when the needles starts puncturing her skin. "Do you always tattoo without asking what the client wants?"

    "Not always. Just Villanelle and now you."

    "Why?"

    Eve can practically hear the shrug. "You two just seem like you know what you want but refuse to admit it."

    "You don't know me."

    "No, I don't. But I can see it. I know people. That's why I'm a good tattoo artist," he argues.

    "Well, who I am?" As soon as Eve says it, it triggers an existential crisis she doesn't need.

    "You're finding yourself. You are just beginning to truly admit who you are. Like blooming wolfsbane."

    Eve doesn't have a response to that. She doesn't know if he is wrong or right and frankly, she's more focused on not jerking away from the permanent ink going into her shoulder.

    "So, tell me… how long have you and Villanelle known each other?"

    "Uh… this will be the third night."

    "What?" He asks in disbelief and laughs. "You're joking, right? The way she talked about you, I would have figured you've been together since the last time I saw her."

    "We aren't together."

    He doesn't respond. After thousands of little pricks in the back of her shoulder, he informs her he’s done and takes her small hand to lead her to the mirror. 

    Delicate.

    The first word that comes to Eve’s mind is how delicate the tattoo looks. Simple, but intricate. A horizontal black outline of wolfsbane resting on a rose. A loose ribbon tied around them. She can see the thorns on the rose, and even though wolfsbane looks safe unlike the rose, Eve knows how incredibly toxic the delicacy of it all is.

Chapter Text

    It’s the next morning, Eve is laying on the warehouse roof face down, that she is hit with sudden realization of, one of her shoes is still in the tattoo shop. Or at least that’s where she assumes it is. In all reality it could be in an assortment of places.

    She pulls her hand out of a warm bowl of water and takes notice of the lack of people on top of the roof with her. There’s quite a gap in her memory. A fight with Villanelle? No, not quite a fight. Eve challenged her to a drinking competition. 

    And by the looks of it?

    Eve lost.

    Downstairs, everyone is beginning their day. 

    Elena and Diego are working on some sort of breakfast.

    Villanelle is doing things with Anna that look slightly like child abuse, but Anna is giggling so apparently it is okay. Nadia is sitting on the ground beside them.

    Jess is watching them with an eagle eye while handing Hugo and Kenny some cash.

    Eve cracks her knuckles and makes her way to the delicious smelling breakfast.

    “And she lives!” Elena jokes as Eve nears them.

    “Why was I asleep on the roof?” Eve rubs a crick in her neck.

    “You were totally buggin’. You insisted, you can’t even sleep in a room knowing Villanelle’s stupid hot face is in the same room.”

    Fire swarms Eve’s face and ears. “I did not say that.”

    “Actually you did. You were very loud and very obnoxious about it,” Diego speaks to Eve with annoyance.

    “Okay, I get it,” she holds her hands up in peace, “What are you two making?”

    “Well stupid hot face over there went found a random chicken coop and raided it then bought bacon to go with the eggs. We’re also going to have chicken for dinner tonight,” Elena explains, shuddering at the last part.

    “Villanelle killed someone’s chickens?”

    “Five chickens. Headless, gutted, and plucked. Don’t ask me why.” Elena stands up and turns. “Breakfast is ready.”

    Eve sits with Elena, Hugo, and Kenny for breakfast. It’s not until once everyone sits down that she bites into the eggs, an orgasmic moaning escaping her lips at the taste of fresh warm food.

    Villanelle in her own circle with the other’s catches Eve’s eye immediately and her eyes widen at the sound.

    Eve shakes her head.

    Villanelle laughs.

    Then that’s it. Innocent enough for the most part.

    “So what happened last night?” Eve asks and turns to Elena.

    Elena snorts. “I thought you would never ask. Okay so…” Elena goes off into a long story about how Eve and Villanelle went back and forth on stage the entire night until a grand finale of them doing a duet together. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.  

    Eve groans loudly. “How did I end up with my hand in a bowl of water?”

    “Oh! That was me,” Elena admits. “I heard if you stuck someone’s hand in water while they are asleep it makes them piss themselves.”

    “Yeah, well, the only thing wet on me was my hand,” Eve replies.

    Once breakfast is finished, everyone starts preparing to go out, Villanelle makes her way towards Eve. Oversized denim jacket over a black mesh top. Tight black jeans that made Villanelle’s legs go on forever until dipping into white leather boots. Eve notes the few splotches of dried blood on the boots.

    “You’re coming with me,” Villanelle states ending her statement with a large pink bubble.

    “Elena wanted me to go with her,” Eve says and lazily looks over at Elena.

    Villanelle sucks the bubble in her mouth and pops it with her teeth. “Change of plans.”

    “What do you even need my help with?”

    “Every biker needs a bitchin’ babe.”

    Eve ignores the comment. “You think a bunch of bikers are going to be okay with a pair of-”

    “More than they’ll be okay with a pig.”

    Ah, so they both have words to get under each others skin.

    “Sorry, Villanelle,” Eve isn’t sorry, “I already told Elena I would help her.”

    Villanelle glances Eve up and down. “You would not be helping her. Do you even know what people wear nowadays? Or are you still stuck in the seventies?”

    Eve glances down at herself, suddenly feeling a twinge of self consciousness.

    “It looks cute on you.”

    “Oh, piss off,” Eve says. “I don’t have a choice do I?”

    “We all have a choice, Eve. You choose to come with me. You choose to not leave. You are choosing not to kiss me right now. You’re always making choices.”

    “Yeah? Well, what choices are you making right now?”

    “To not manipulate you because I want you to fall for me the right way,” Villanelle replies like it’s an obvious statement. “I already told Elena you’re coming with me.”


 

    “Try this on,” Villanelle warns before whipping a shirt at Eve.

    Eve holds it up. Red and blue plaid, short sleeve button up. “Villanelle, I don’t want to sound rude but how-”

    We aren’t. Trust me.” Villanelle smiles in a way that almost makes Eve feel guilty.

    “So, Hugo and me were talking…” Eve says as she steps into the dressing room.

    “Okay, and? He talks just so he can hear himself,” Villanelle calls through the dressing room door.

    “I know… but…”

    “He asked you, didn’t he?”

    Eve buttons up her shirt and tucks the front into the torn up jeans Villanelle had her put on. “Yeah. I didn’t tell him yes or no because…”

    “Eve, don’t worry about it. Now, show me how you look.”

    Eve steps out of the dressing room, insecurity dripping into her skull at the look Villanelle gives her. Wide eyes, slowly shaking her head back and forth. “I knew it-”

    “You are so fucking gorgeous,” Villanelle says, her voice a few octaves lower than normal. She steps towards Eve, thick black belt in hand. “May I?”

    Eve nods.

    Villanelle slides the black belt into Eve’s pants. Then after she loops it shut, her fingers trail up and undo the top five buttons on Eve’s shirt so Eve’s black bra is just beginning to show. “You should take your hair down.”

    “What?”

    “Your hair. It is very nice.” Villanelle gestures to her own head but holds her hands a few inches away from her skull. “You are beautiful, Eve.”

    Eve reaches up and pulls the hair tie out of her hair. “Thanks, but how do I know you aren’t manipulating me?”

    “I told you I wouldn’t. If your feeling something, that’s because you like me,” Villanelle says the word like in a sing-song voice. Then she watches as Eve’s hair cascades in curls on her shoulders. “Totally bitchin’.”

    Warmth and comfort fills Eve but instead of acting reasonable and admitting it, she rolls her eyes and playfully shoves Villanelle. “So how are we paying for this?”

    “Like I said, we aren’t.” Villanelle points at the dressing room. “Let’s go in there.”

    It’s in there, Eve realizes what is happening. “Villanelle, I am not going through that small ass window.”

    Villanelle leans to look behind Eve. “I don’t know. I think it’s at least medium ass.”

    “Oh my god. Are you serious right now?”

    “100 percent. It’s that or I make you moan loud enough that they throw us out.”

    Eve looks at the window with a frown. “Window it is.

    She goes out the window first, Villanelle insisting to would be easier to get Eve out and then her just pulling herself through. It almost goes perfect.

    Except Eve remembers last second that she can’t catch herself unless she wants to sprain her wrists. The next best thing is catching herself with her forearms. Scraps and pieces of pavement embed itself into her skin. A few droplets of blood form but nothing life threatening.

    “Okay! You’re turn Villanelle!” Eve calls out and waits for the response.

    It never comes.

    “Villanelle?”

    Then Eve realizes she was set up. “God dammit!” She kicks the walls.

    Laughter sounds from the corner of the building. “I didn’t think you would actually do it.”

    Eve turns to glare at Villanelle.

    “You do realize we could have just thrown the clothes out of the window?” Villanelle says while walking towards her motorcycle in the alleyway.

    “I do now,” Eve grumbles.

    Villanelle catches her arm. “Hey, don’t be mad.”

    Eve isn’t mad. It was actually kind of exciting. Fun. “I’m not.”

    This makes Villanelle grin. She drops Eve’s arm and boops her on the nose. “See? I knew you had some trouble in you.” She hands Eve the helmet this time instead of chucking it. “Now we need to get to Bulldogs. The race tonight will be enough money to get us Nashville and be able to have fun there.”

Chapter Text

    Bulldogs is one of the sketchiest looking places Eve has been, and that’s saying a lot coming from a person sleeping in an abandoned warehouse. She prays Villanelle is better at driving at high speeds than she as at semi-legal speeds. On their way to Bulldogs she drove over three curbs, hit one unmoving vehicle, and at one point ran a red light because she was too busy arguing with Eve about if they were lost or not.

    But they get there in one piece.

    Eve takes the helmet off while Villanelle digs in her saddlebag.

    “So, uh, how much do you make off of this if you win?”

    “Typically a couple hundred. This race? Winner gets entire pot and entry fee is five hundred.” Villanelle pulls out an envelope and a leather jacket. 

    “Five hundred dollars? Villanelle that could pay-”

    “Yeah, we could have used this 500 or I can win the entire pot tonight that will be around 7000. I know what I’m doing, Eve.”

    “Do you? If you crash we’re out 500 and have to take you to the hospital.”

    “If I crash, I die.” Villanelle grips the wrap on her neck. “You ready to see this bad boy?”

    Eve watches as Villanelle peels off the tape and wrap revealing a fresh black V. Simple with the left leg of the V being a snake instead of a line. It highlights the peak of her throat and Eve can’t really think about anything besides how hot it is. 

    “How does it look?”

    “It’s… it fits you.”

    Villanelle raises an eyebrow and takes off her denim jacket. “I’m going to take that as a compliment that it fits me because it’s sexy like me.” She slips on her leather jacket.

    Eve blushes because that is exactly what she meant without realizing it. 

    “Adam said he gave you a tattoo too. Are you going to show me it?” Villanelle asks while taking Eve’s elbow with hers.

    “It’s on the back of my shoulder,” Eve explains.

    “So you’ll show me it later.” Villanelle opens the door to the quiet bar. Too early for it to be crowded.

    “Later,” Eve breathes out feeling as though that has a lot more meaning then it should.

    Villanelle leads Eve to a booth and leaves Eve to get them both waters. Eve takes the chance to read the back of Villanelle’s leather jacket. In cursive stitching it reads “ The Twelve ” with a skull with a knife poking it between the words. The words gold, the skull an off white, and the knife deep red. It looked sort of official. Villanelle leans against the bar, slides over the envelope and then when the bartender walks away, she turns and smiles at Eve. 

    The bartender returns with two glasses of water and wraps a wristband around Villanelle’s wrist. She picks up the glasses and returns to Eve.

    “Have fun checking out my ass?” Villanelle teases and sits in the booth so she’s leaning against the wall and both legs are propped on her seat.

    “I wasn’t checking out your ass,” Eve lies because her eyes had traveled a small bit. It wasn’t her fault Villanelle leaned over the counter like that. “I was looking at your jacket. Are you part of a gang?”

    “Are you still a cop?” Villanelle retaliates.

    “So you were part of a-” A straw wrapper hits Eve between her eyes.

    “We have a couple hours before the race starts. Do you want to stay here and talk or do you want me to take you farther into Columbus and we can be tourists?”

    “I want to stay here and talk. I want to know more about you,” Eve admits.

    Villanelle slyly smiles. “Wow, our first date.”

    "Not a date. But maybe I can put up with you for a couple hours and we can be friends."

    "You don't want to date me?" Villanelle asks and plucks a piece of ice from her water.

    Eve doesn't want to say no to that. So instead she says, "I don't even know you."

    "Yes you do. I'm Villanelle. I introduced myself and everything."

    "Villanelle…" Eve warns.

    "Fine. How about this, we ask each other three questions and we have to answer two of the three. No repeating the questions to force the other person to answer it?"

    "Okay. I get to go first though."

    Villanelle slides her legs off the booth and rests her chin on the table, staring at Eve. "Alright, ask away."

    Eve stares at Villanelle for a moment. Should she start off intense or light hearted? "What's your favorite colour? What's your favorite animal? What's your favorite your place you visited?"

    "Wait! That's not fair. I want to answer all of those," Villanelle says with a frown.

    "I mean, no one is stopping you," Eve counters.

    Villanelle nods. "Okay," she cracks her knuckles, "so my favorite color is pink. My favorite animal is a lemur. My favorite place I've visited is the white sands in New Mexico."

    All of those answers gave Eve whiplash. She was expecting like black, snake, and some sort of sex club. "Pink?"

    "Yes. It is a very strong color. Only bold people wear bright pink."

    Eve nods. "Alright."

    "When was the last time you had sex? Do you want to have sex with me eventually? Would you fuck Elena?" Villanelle asks with a smile.

    "Jesus." Eve's eyes are wide. "Well, last time I had sex was with the rookie cop and Elena is hot as hell but no, I would not fuck her."

    "I wouldn't fuck Elena either. There's only one person I want to have sex with right now," Villanelle announces.

    "Thanks. I didn't ask." Eve rolls her eyes and pokes at the straw in her glass. “How did you know about this race? How did you get into racing? Do you enjoy it?”

    “This race is an annual event that I’ve participated in twice now. I love racing. It’s really teetering on the edge of life and death. With the speeds Deifilia goes, one wrong move and I’m dead.”

    “That doesn’t scare you?”

    Villanelle presses her lips together and screws up her face. “I don’t feel fear.”

    Eve gives her an incredulous look. “You don’t feel fear?”

    “No? Isn’t that something that’s like… made up for movies?”

    “You…” Eve studies Villanelle’s face and realizes Villanelle is completely serious, “Jesus. That’s crazy.”

    Villanelle shrugs. “It’s nice I guess. Feeling fear would make being someone like me a lot harder.”

    “Someone like you?”

    “Yes? I’m Russian, Eve. Soviet Union. Communist.” Villanelle holds up a fist and shakes it pretending to be an authority figure. “People don’t like me when they hear my accent. People threaten to kill me and pick fights. I imagine living like this would be very fearful.”

    Without hesitation, Eve replies, “I like your accent.”

    Villanelle grins and winks. “Just wait until it’s whispered in your ear.”

    “Okay… I could use a beer. Do we have money for that?”

    “We always have money for booze, Eve.”


 

    Eve drinks, Villanelle doesn’t. Over the course of four beers, and two hours, Eve finds out quite a bit about Villanelle. She refuses to talk about her most of her past, she loves women, and she met Ted Bundy when she was 17; she saw him escape the courthouse and even pointed him away from the police.

    Eve tells Villanelle a little about Niko, where she went to college, UNH, and that she really had no clue she was gay but now looking back on it, a lot more things make sense. 

    People file into the bar, rowdier customers, quite a few getting the same yellow wristband as Villanelle’s. Then someone, a bald, thin looking man, slides into the booth beside Villanelle.

    “Oksana! It’s been so long, darling. I couldn’t believe it when people said you were still racing,” the man says with a Russian accent as thick as Villanelle’s. He also wears a black leather jacket, although Eve hasn’t gotten the chance to read the back.

    Oksana?

    “Hello, Anton,” Villanelle pushes through gritted teeth. 

    “Are you going to introduce me to your lovely friend ?” Anton reaches over towards Eve who jerks her hand away.

    “Anton, this is Eve. Eve, this is Anton,” Villanelle says as though she would be punished for not saying it.

    “Hello, Eve, are you Oksana’s flavor of the week? Asian now?” He glances over at Villanelle, whose face is getting dark red with anger.

    Eve gives a rude, polite smile. “ Villanelle and me aren’t having sex.”

    “Oh, really! Villanelle, have you gotten that queer disease? It would be a shame. Konstantin would be devastated to hear.”

    “I don’t have any disease.”

    Anton laughs. “Well, that’s not quite true is it? You still got a little bit of that brain disease don’t you?”

    “Yep,” Villanelle pops the p and won’t meet Eve’s eye.

    “It’s not a bad thing. You should be proud of it. Have you told Eve about it yet?”

    “Told me what?” Eve asks, staring at the woman who is finding her thumb ring the most interesting thing in the world.

    “First call for qualifications!” The bartender calls.

    Anton and Villanelle both look towards him.

    “It looks like this conversation will have to be saved for later. It was nice meeting you Eve. Though I doubt I will ever want to meet you again.” Anton gets up and walks away from Eve’s and Villanelle’s table. Eve finally notices the back of his jacket. “The Twelve” Although his picture is of two pistols instead of the skull and knife like Villanelle’s.

    “Oksana?” Eve asks and turns back to Villanelle.

    “He wasn’t supposed to be here,” Villanelle whispers to herself still not looking at Eve.

    “Wasn’t supposed…” Eve repeats under her breath. “Who the hell are you?”

    Villanelle’s head jerks up. “I’m Villanelle. Eve, I need you to trust me. Let me win this race, and then we can talk tonight. I’ll explain who he is. Who Oksana was.”

    “And if you don’t win the race?”

    “That’s not an option.”


 

    Eve’s filed in when the audience. Behind some tall man and she can’t see Villanelle.

    “I need to be up front so I can see Villanelle,” she tells the person telling people where to sit. 

    “Fronts for family, and significant others,” the boy repeats in a bored monotone voice.

    Eve makes a split second decision. “She’s my girlfriend.”

    He looks up from a clipboard. It takes him for a second to connect the word she and girlfriend. Moves the board to his hip and stares at Eve. “You said Villanelle?”

    Eve nods.

    “Al’ight, I’ll go ask her. Name?”

    “Eve.”

    He makes his way away from Eve until she can’t see him anymore. A couple minutes pass before he returns with the woman standing a couple inches taller than him. Villanelle immediately reaches out and wraps an arm around Eve.

    “Is Jerry here giving you trouble, babe?” Villanelle asks with a west coast american accent.

    “I asked him if I could, like, move up front so I could see you race,” Eve says and curls her hair around her finger like a ditzy valley girl.

    “Aw, and what did Jerry say?” Villanelle stares straight at Jerry. Eve notices his name tag says Gary, not Jerry.

    “Uh, follow me?” Jerry asks. 

    “Well if you insist,” Eve says, smiling. They follow him out of the stands. She feels Villanelle’s nose slipping through her hair.

    “You are such a liar,” Villanelle whispers. “But it’s so fucking hot when you want something.” It’s full thick Russian, warm in Eve’s ear.

    “Here you ladies go. I’m sorry for the confusion,” Jerry says as he opens the rope for Eve to walk into the small area of people standing. He leaves when Eve slips in.

    Villanelle makes her way to the front of the fence and leans on it to talk to Eve. “Girlfriend?” She wiggles her thick eyebrows.

    “I just want to be able to see you lose our money.”

    “Eve, do you know how to pickpocket?” 

    Eve’s head jerks to the people right beside them, too engrossed in their own conversations to hear Villanelle’s scheming. “I’ve caught enough pickpockets to know the gist.”

    “That’s not enough. Can you?”

    Eve knows Villanelle is trying to challenge her. Manipulate her in taking the bait. “I’m not doing it, Villanelle.”

    Villanelle pushes off the railing and shrugs. “Okay. Just know one day you might not have that choice.”

    “What’s that… and you’re walking away,” Eve says under her breath as Villanelle walks away.

    Villanelle’s white motorcycle stands out like a sore thumb amongst everyone else’s black, blue, or red motorcycles. Hers also appears to be the oldest model. Eve counts how many people Villanelle is competing against. Two...four...six...eight...ten...twelve...fourteen...fifteen people not counting Villanelle. Potentially seventy five hundred in profit.

    “Alright! Ladies and Gentlemen, we are about to start out qualification round. We’ll go down our list and every one of the contestants will do one lap that we will time.” Some large rough looking guy, denim vest, black bandana, arms covered in tattoos, stands on top of a milk crate shouting at the crowd. “Better time, better position in the actual race. Only the top ten will be racing, so-” he turns to the racers-“You babies that are in the bottom six will be going home empty handed without the chance to redeem yourself to your mamas. Does everyone understand?”

    Unanimous cheering engulfs Eve. Instead of cheering she catches Anton talking to another contestant and pointing at Villanelle, who is sitting on her bike playing with a scuff in the top of her helmet. Anton makes a slashing gesture, filling Eve with dread. 

    “Staring from the bottom of the list, I need Villanelle to make her way to the starting line.”

    Villanelle’s head perks up. She slowly rides her bike through the other contestants until she’s at the starting line. The man talks to her for a minute before backing up and pulling out a gun. Villanelle glances back at Eve once before putting her helmet on and then leaning forward on her bike.

    “On your mark.”

    Villanelle’s hand tenses around her handle.

    “Get set.”

    The gun fires.

    Villanelle is gone. She pops a small wheelie, but gets control of the bike pretty easily.

    Eve feels like Villanelle is going fast, but she hasn’t seen anyone else race yet. Villanelle technically could be the slowest person in the race. 

    Minutes pass.

    Then finally, Eve spots the yellow headlight turning on the straight starting road.

    Cheers sound behind Eve and this time she cheers too.

    “Let’s go, Vill! Come on!”

    Villanelle pops another wheelie as she passes the crowd, winning over whistles and howls. Then she slows down and pops off her helmet, looking at the announcer. 

    “3 minutes and 42 seconds. Holy shit. We got a new record!”

    The crowd goes wild with love for Villanelle. Eve can see Villanelle’s head inflating. 


 

    It takes almost two hours to get through the qualifications. Villanelle works on her bike the entire time while Eve tries to figure out the order. Anton is the last person to do his qualification and his time is also the closet to Villanelle’s, 3 minutes and 49 seconds and apparently it would have broken the record if Villanelle hadn’t already.

    The final ten get forty five minutes before the race starts. Villanelle makes her way to Eve and jumps over the fence.

    “I hold a record,” Villanelle states and leans back against the fence.

    “You hold multiple records,” Eve replies.

    “Oh, is that so? Well, I know it’s not being the hottest person alive because I’m runner up in that.”

    Eve just stares at her confused.

    “You’re the hottest person alive.”

    Eve groans. “You are the most annoying person alive.”

    Villanelle grins. “I’m hungry. Let’s go get tacos before I win.”

    They make their way to the bar and slide into the only empty table after ordering tacos and a beer for Eve. 

    “I think Anton is planning something,” Eve blurts out.

    “Anton is always planning something. Don’t worry.”

    “Don’t worry? How am I not supposed to-”

   “You’re a fucking dyke,” a man steps in and slams a hand down on the table in front of Villanelle. “A fucking dyke shouldn’t even be allowed in this race.”

    Villanelle slowly looks away from Eve at the new guest. “Do you want to repeat that?”

    “You’re a fucking commie, too?”

    Her hands slam down on the table and she stands up. “I’m about to also be a fucking murderer if you don’t fuck off.”

    It all happens in a flash.

    He spits on Villanelle.

    Villanelle grabs Eve’s beer, smashes it on the table.

    The man is slammed on their table.

    Villanelle’s legs are on either side of his chest. 

    Blood dribbles under the bottom of his chin and on the brown glass.

    Villanelle leans down by his ear. “Do you want to repeat what you said?”

    “N-no,” the man stutters.

    Eve stands up and rests her hands on Villanelle’s shoulder. “Hey. I think he learned his lesson.” She has to swallow her own fear to try to get Villanelle to calm down.

    Although, Villanelle doesn’t seem like she needs calmed down. She’s smiling and helps the guy off the table. “Go order my friend a new beer, okay?”

    The man nervously nods and walks towards the bar.

    An awkward looking bartender walks up with two baskets of tacos. She places them in front of Eve and Villanelle then walks away.

    Villanelle digs into her first taco ravousnesly, while Eve watches with concern. “What was that?”

    “What was what?” Villanelle says with a mouthful of food.

    “You just almost killed…” the man places a beer in front of Eve, “thanks,” she dryly replies so he will piss off, “...him.”

    “No I didn’t. I gave him a warning. It’s the hard knock life for us.”

    “Did you just quote Annie to excuse you assaulting someone?”

    Villanelle shrugs and grabs her second taco. “Maybe. Eveeee,” Villanelle whines, “he called me a commie. I love capitalism, without we wouldn’t have Gucci or Dior. Imagine a world without Chloé. It would be terrible.”

    “You can’t even afford that stuff,” Eve points out.

    “Yet. I will one day. Now I have to settle for what Elena finds in thrift stores.”

    Eve shakes her head and finally begins eating.


 

    Anton and Villanelle are beside each other, nearest to the starting line. The shiny obsidian black and looked fast. Eve didn’t know enough about motorcycles to know the name or brand or type, but she did know this. It made Villanelle’s bike look like a bicycle. 

    Anton looks over at Villanelle then pulls off his helmet, tossing it away.

    Don’t you fucking dare, Villanelle .

    Villanelle pulls off her own helmet and looks over Eve before rolling it away. 

    “Villanelle! Put your-”

    “Who is ready for a race?” The announcer yells. People shout and cheer. He hypes them up more as Eve tries to slide through people to reach the spot beside Villanelle in the fence. She’s going to kill Villanelle before Villanelle kills herself.

    Then the gun goes off.

    Eve watches with despair as Villanelle and Anton lead the pack, both instantly pulling a gap from the rest of the racers. It’s obvious this is a two man race. 

    After a few minutes, two headlights come down the straight road. Not another motorcycle in sight. Villanelle and Anton zoom past Eve, Anton a little bit in the lead. Then the other racers pass. The only way for them to catch up would be if Villanelle and Anton crashed. 

    “They shouldn’t even let those two compete,” a sweaty man groans beside Eve.

    She turns towards him, “Who?”

    “The ones part of that mafia style group. The Twelve . Although, I’m just glad that they didn’t send Raymond to race for them this year,” he elaborates information that just confuses Eve more.

    “The Twelve?”

    “Yeah, there’s more than twelve members. Just call themselves that because they run twelve cities. New York, LA, Detroit, Columbus, Miami, Memphis, Atlanta, Seattle, Phoenix, Vegas, Portland, and New Orleans.”

    “What do they do?”

    He shrugs. “No idea. They just got power and power never comes clean."

    Eve nods in agreement. That makes sense. 

    Eventually, two yellow headlights are coming down the path again. Too close. It’s too dark to tell which one is.

    The one on the left begins to wobble.

    People gasp behind Eve. 

    Hair on the back of Eve’s neck stands on end.

    Metal screams against concrete as the bike goes down. 

    It rolls, over and over.

    Smoke rises.

    People start running towards it, people start yelling.

    Eve stands still and waits as the other headlight grows closer.

    Then there’s white passing her.

    Eve climbs over the fence and jogs to where Villanelle is, while everyone else runs in the opposite direction. 

    She opens her mouth to yell, but nothing comes out when she sees large hazel eyes looking shakily at her. 

    “I won,” Villanelle says with a small nervous grin and a little shimmy. 

    Eve shakes her head and wraps her arms around Villanelle who melts into the hug. Her chin presses to the top of Eve’s head. “I thought you were dead.” But she’s not. Eve can hear the fast pounding of Villanelle’s heart.

    “I’m right here, Eve,” Villanelle mumbles and rubs Eve’s back.

    “You’re so fucking stupid.”

    “So fucking stupid,” Villanelle agrees. 

    And they stand there wrapped in each other’s embrace. A frozen moment in time before they need to leave. Eve refusing to pull away from the warm, living, Villanelle to see the wreckage behind her. Listening as Villanelle’s heart calms as adrenaline slides out of her body. It’s now, Eve realizes, she cares so much for Villanelle already.

Chapter Text

    They get the money, get back to the warehouse, and tell everyone to pack up.

    “I want to ride with you,” Eve states as her and Villanelle lean against the bus talking to each other. Eve's right shoulder pressing into it. Villanelle's left. They're about a foot apart. 

    “Not happening.”

    “Why not?”

    “If I get pulled over, I get in trouble. Anton was the only person who knew your name and well, his brains look like someone spilled a bowl of worms.” Villanelle pushes off the bus and begins to walk away from Eve. A wave of nausea and a new wave of adrenaline hit Eve as she pictures Villanelle being the one that crashed.

    “Vill?” Eve calls to stop her.

    Villanelle turns around and looks at Eve impatiently.

    “Where are we going?”

    “We can stop in Jonesboro. There’s a nice motel there that isn’t too expensive. We won’t get there till ‘round 11 in the morning tomorrow though.”

    Eve shakes her head. “You need sleep.”

    “I’m fine, Eve.”

    “Hey! Lovebirds!” Jess pops her head out the window to look down at Eve and Villanelle. “Police scanner just said they’re looking for someone driving a bike that perfectly matches yours.”

    “Fuck, okay, thanks,” Villanelle calls back then looks at Eve. “Change of plans.”

    Change of plans meant Villanelle using a plank to drive her motorcycle into the back of the school bus. They have to rearrange the mattresses and prop one against a wall but it works for the most part. Villanelle throws a sheet of her bike and then gives Elena the thumbs up before falling onto the mattress still on the floor. Eve sits on the opposite side and watches as Villanelle digs in a cooler to dig out a warm beer. She uses her key to pop it open.

    “Is this everything you expected?” Villanelle asks after taking a long drink.

    “For sure,” Eve nods with a small smile. “I totally expected to be running away from the police. And thinking my friend died in a motorcycle accident. I didn’t expect the school bus though. That part threw me off.”

    “Oh, fuck off,” Villanelle throws the beer cap at Eve.

    Eve laughs and dodges it.

    “But seriously, Eve. How are you doing?” Villanelle asks.

    “Better than you could imagine. I think getting my mind off of him helps.”

    “Do you want to talk about it?”

    Eve shakes her. “No, I know you don’t want to hear about it and-”

    “Eve, I can listen if you want to talk. Or I can just sit here and stare awkwardly while you cry? That happens a lot.”

    “You staring at people who cry?”

    “Yes.” Villanelle crawls across the bed and leans on the same wall as Eve. “I am not very good at… what’s the word for when you feel what a person is feeling?”

    “Empathy?” Eve guesses. She forgot English wasn’t Villanelle’s first language and from what Eve is understanding, Villanelle never went to school in America to learn English.

    “Yes, that. I was told I don’t feel it… or anything. That is what Anton was talking about. The brain disease.” Villanelle rubs her finger along the top of her beer bottle.

    “Psychopathy?” Eve lolls her head on the metal to look over at Villanelle.

    “Yes, that is what they called it. Lack of empathy, lack of emotion, lack of everything.”

    “So you don’t feel anything?”

    Villanelle shakes her head. “I don’t know.”

    “You don’t know?”

    “I think I feel things. Not always. But sometimes. Like right now. Or when you were running up to me after the race. Or when we’re together in general. I felt bad after calling you a pig. And it made me upset when Hugo was telling you I masturbate to a dead woman. I am still upset about Anna like how you are with your best friend. I think I loved her,” Villanelle explains. “But I do not masturbate about her anymore.”

    It’s a lot for Eve to process. Especially with how blunt Villanelle put it.

    “Too much?” Villanelle finally looks up at Eve.

    “No. If we’re going to be friends, we should be honest with each other.”

    Friends . I would like to be friends, Eve.” Villanelle yawns and puts her head on Eve’s shoulder. “You were right. I should sleep.”


 

    Villanelle sleeps like a rock all the way to Memphis. It gives Eve time to collect herself. She still has all sorts of questions for Villanelle.

    Are you a part of the Twelve?

    Who was Anton to you?

    Why did Anton call you Oksana?

    Did you kill him or did he crash?

    That last one made Eve feel a bit guilty. To be fair the word psychopath had been thrown around a lot during the Ted Bundy trial and then at the police station in New Haven. NHPD. Seemed like a lifetime ago. How would she look at this case if she was still there?

    For starters, illegal racing and gambling would have gotten Villanelle in a lot of trouble. That's what Eve would bring her in on. Then interrogate Villanelle about the race. See what ties she had with Anton. There would be witnesses to them talking before the race.

    Oh god . Was Villanelle even in America legally?

    Eve doubts it.

    So Villanelle being caught by the police wasn’t even an option.

    The sun is out when someone finally talks to Eve. Adrenaline from seeing someone die is starting to wear off and Eve is beginning to get worn out. It’s a little over twenty four hours since she last slept and that was intoxicated sleep that does no one good.

    “Eve? Can you wake Villanelle up? We are getting near Memphis and Elena doesn’t know where she wants us to stop,” Nadia leans in the aisle way to look at Eve. Eve swears she sees a flash of jealousy.

    “Villanelle didn’t want to go to Memphis, she wanted to go to Jonesboro,” Eve replies and feels Villanelle shuffle on her.

    “Well, fuck,” Nadia whispers and the leans forward to pass the information on.

    A few seconds later the bus is stopping.

    “Why are we stopping?” Villanelle mumbles in Eve’s neck, making Eve shiver. “Did we get pulled over?”

    “No, we’re a little lost actually. They need your help up front,” Eve explains. Her heart throbs at how soft Villanelle is for the first time.

    “Oh. Okay.”

    “Villanelle that means you need to get up.”

    “I know.”

    “Like walk to the front of the bus.”

    “Uh huh.”

    “Now?”

    Villanelle makes a noise between a whine and groan. “Fine.” She pushes away from Eve and stands up, stretching her arms over her head. Pale skin peeks out from below her shirt. Then she looks down at Eve. “Will you come sit behind me? I’m going to drive.”

    Eve hopes Villanelle didn’t catch her staring at her abs. “Sure, but I might fall asleep so don’t get mad at me.” Eve smiles and gets up to follow Villanelle.

    “Never. Plus I can listen while you have a wet dream about-”

    Eve shoves Villanelle forward.

    Villanelle turns her head sharply to glare. “I should have kept calling you Rude.”

    “Yeah, see where that gets you, biker.”

    “Biker? That’s a terrible nickname,” Villanelle says while smacking the back of Kenny’s head for absolutely no good reason.

    “So is Rude!” Eve exclaims. 

    “What are you two arguing about?” Elena asks, standing near the driver’s seat.

    Eve says, “Villanelle insists on calling me rude,” while Villanelle says, “Eve doesn’t want to admit she dreams about me being naked.”

    “Alright…” Elena says. “Well, Eve, I have to agree with Villanelle. You can be a little rude.”

    Eve swings a hand to gesture to Kenny. “She smacked Kenny for no reason.”

    “Yes? But I also have manners,” Villanelle counters with a frown. “Elena I will drive the rest of the way.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “I do not want to be in Memphis after what happened.”

    Elena crosses her arms. “What did happen?”

    Eve glances over at Villanelle because she was curious too. It couldn’t have just been an accident.

    “Another racer as trying to push me off my bike. It made him unbalanced and he crashed. Not my fault,” Villanelle explains with a shrug.

    “He just fell?” Elena questions and plays with a necklace hanging under her purple button up.

    “Yes. It happens a lot.”

    Elena shakes her head and moves her arm to gesture towards the steering wheel. “Well take us to fucking Wonderland or whatever.”

    Eve and Elena slide into the seat diagonal from Villanelle, Eve taking the aisle seat so should talk to both Villanelle and Elena. Although there isn’t much talking because when Eve sits down and the bus starts moving again, she’s asleep.


 

    Jonesboro, Arkansas is a quaint town. Rustic, orange and light brown brick buildings. A lot of old folk. Villanelle drives the bus down a gravel path way to an old farmhouse. She glances back at Eve, who is still asleep.

    "You like her," Elena says when she catches Villanelle.

    "She's not like us. I don't think she can handle this. This is just fun for her. Something not boring," Villanelle says and turns back to the house they are pulling up to.

    "She's exactly like you and it scares you," Elena replies, sliding up in the aisles to see where they are. "Holy shit. I thought they told you never to come back here."

    "They've told me that a few times. They love me." Villanelle smiles. A hand on her shoulder makes her jerk around after she stops the bus.

    Elena gives Villanelle a look. "She isn't Anna. Eve's here and alive and seems like she is as obsessed with you as you are with her."

    "I'm not-" Villanelle stands and glances at the sleeping woman. "You really think she likes me?"

    "Are you all just going to block-" Hugo begins yelling but stops when he sees Villanelle's death glare. He lowers his voice, "the way? I need to piss."

    Villanelle rolls her eyes and moves past Elena. She tries to shake Eve awake. 

    "No…I can be late, " Eve grumbles, still asleep.

    Shaking her head, Villanelle picks up Eve, who's body works on autopilot and wraps around Villanelle.

    "Yep, you don't like her." Elena crosses her arms.

    "I'm getting us a place to stay, go explain the situation to the newcomers.” Newcomers being Hugo, Kenny, Diego, and Nadia. Jess and Elena knew this house. They knew it too well.

    “Vill, be careful,” Elena warns. “I don’t want this bringing up any bad memories.”

    Villanelle laughs and looks at Eve. “Too late for that.” She wraps her arms tighter around Eve’s thighs and hoists her up a little. “I’m going to go get her in a bed, and then I’ll see what happens. Make sure everyone stays on the bus for now.”

    It’s when Villanelle gets off the bus and looks at the old farmhouse does she realize how much she never wanted to be back here. It’s the only place she knows she can 100% lay low for a couple weeks and the other members of the twelve won’t come to. Russian items decorate the front porch. An older couple are visible through the front window, slightly swaying together in their foyer.


 

    Eve wakes up with a startle. She’s in a bed she doesn’t recognize. Floral wallpaper. Handmade quilt covering her. Then she hears the yelling that woke her up.

    Russian yelling, sounding exactly like Villanelle although her accent is thicker when speaking Russian.

    The door to her room swings open, and a plump old woman tilts her head at Eve. 

    “You’re awake,” she puts simply. Her accent is just as thick as Villanelle’s. The woman presses her lips together. She has a head full of wild dark grey hair. Her face is quite aged with wrinkles but Eve can still see she was once beautiful. Eve feels a bit of insecurity. The yelling is louder with the door open. “I will go get Oksana.”

    There’s that name again. 

    The wrinkled woman disappears and after a few more minutes of softer yelling, it stops. Eve sits up in the bed and plays with a loose thread in the blanket. When the door opens, her head jerks up.

    Villanelle carries a tray with a pot of coffee and two mugs. She smiles at Eve. Warm and tender. “Good afternoon.” She makes her was towards the bed, sitting down in front of Eve.

    Eve watches as Villanelle fills the mugs. “Afternoon?” she asks while taking a warm beige mug from Villanelle. There’s a printed christmas dog on the side of it.

    “Yeah, you slept around 6 hours. Seems like you needed it.” Villanelle fidgets. She sips on her coffee and doesn’t make too much eye contact.

    “That woman called you Oksana,” Eve points out. “Where are we?”

    “We’re in Jonesboro.”

    “Villanelle…” Eve sits down her coffee on the tray.

    “We’re at Anna’s parents’ home.”

Chapter Text

    Anna’s dad is a thin old man. A drunk now, but apparently he wasn’t before Anna passed away. He refuses to talk to Eve or even acknowledge her. He sits in a tan recliner slowly rocking while watching a college football game. As he rocks, his drink almost splashes out of the dishwasher streaked glass. 

    Forward, the brown liquid slides to be level with the front of the glass.

    Backward, the brown liquid slides to be level with the back of the glass.

    “Eve, it’s rude to stare,” Villanelle whispers in Eve’s ear. The two of them sit on the loveseat. Jess is upstairs with baby Anna and dead Anna’s mom-that’s a terrible phrase-setting up an old crib for Anna, and Elena is with them. Kenny and Hugo are asleep upstairs. Nadia and Diego are smoking outside and then they will probably go to bed too. Villanelle has rewrapped her neck tattoo and changed into an oversized sunset orange flannel and light denim jeans.

    “I always knew you were a fuck up, Oksana. Look at all these peoples’ lives you’ve fucked up,” the old man suddenly says. “You know she killed my daughter?”

    “Her husband killed her. Not me,” Villanelle says through gritted teeth. “How have you been, Ivan?” Her long fingers tighten around Eve’s knee and Eve feels the need to protect Villanelle.

    “I was doing better until you and your group of American and British faggots showed up.”

    “Hey! Your daughter was gay, too. You shouldn’t talk to Villanelle like that!” Eve jumps up.

    The man jumps up too, spilling his dark drink all over the stained beige carpet. “Who the hell do you think you’re talking to, whore?” He yells.

    “What the fuck did you-” arms wrap around Eve’s waist and she’s pulled outside on the front porch. The humid summer night slides around Eve.

    “Eve. That is our racist, homophobic friend. We cannot pick fights with him.” Villanelle leans against the railing covered in chipped white paint.

    “He called me a fucking whore.”

    “I know. And I want to snap his fucking neck for saying that.” There’s that slightly concerning psychopathic side of Villanelle. “But we’re lucky Natalya let us stay. We just need to lay low for a little bit.”

    Eve steps up to Villanelle. “Why, Villanelle? Or should I call you Oksana?”

    They're chest to chest as Villanelle straightens up off the railing. “Eve, I told you that I would tell you but not right now!”

    “Is that gang going to come after us? Did you kill him?”

    Villanelle scoffs. “Did I kill him? Eve, are you fucking kidding me?”

    “I don’t know! I don’t fucking know who you are!”

    “Eve,” Villanelle’s voice softens, “Eve please. I’m not a bad person.” She raises her hand to touch Eve’s face.

    Eve slaps it away. “Don’t! You want to play this role of cool biker that plays guitar and is all tragic but that’s not who you are.” Eve pokes Villanelle’s chest. “There’s something fucked up in there.”

    “I told you. I’m-”

    “A psychopath. So you did ki- oh my god. I’m going to be sick,” Eve says and walks away from Villanelle.

    “No. Eve, I didn’t.” She comes up behind Eve who’s leaning off the porch. “Eve, I promise. If I had moved my weight, I would have crashed. He was trying to push me off my bike.”

    “Do you promise?”

    Villanelle holds up her pinky finger. “Pinky promise.”

    Eve stares at it for a second and then rolls her eyes and takes it. “I’m sorry, I just,” she waves towards the house. “It’s a lot.”

    “Well, let’s talk. We finally have a break for awhile.” Villanelle sits down and pats the spot beside her. Eve takes it. “So what do you want to know?”

    “Just tell me about you.”

    Villanelle does. She came to America when she was twelve. Her real name is Oksana but her uncle made her change it when they came to America. She was very angry with him and ran away. She met Anna in San Francisco ten years ago. They came here for the first year and then started traveling, where they came across Jess and Elena. Anna wanted to go back to see if she could get a divorce from Maxi and a few months after that was when she started showing symptoms.

    "Okay, but what about the Twelve. And Anton?" Eve asks. Her head has moved to Villanelle's lap and Villanelle runs her hands lightly through her hair. An owl hoots in the tree straight across from them.

    Villanelle sits against the cement base of one of the posts. "In the morning?" She asks.

    "If you'll sing me something," Eve negotiates. Although it isn't much of a negotiation her eyes are closed from how good Villanelle's hands feel against her scalp. She would probably fall asleep from Villanelle just reading a to do list or something.

    "Deal." Villanelle smiles. Her heart flutters. This is nice. "Any requests?"

    "Your favorite song," Eve responds.

    " Wow . Fine." Villanelle chuckles while she considers what her favorite song is. "I took my love, I took it down." She closes her eyes and rests her head against the cool cement. "Climbed a mountain and I turned around."

 

   "And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills."

    Jess and Elena play a game of chess on the bed while Anna sleeps peacefully in her crib. They are having a light hearted conversation and laughing. One of them must laugh to loud because Anna begins crying and Jess rolls her eyes and gets up. Elena picks up the board.

 

    "Til the landslide brought it down."

    Kenny sleeps peacefully in bed. As far as he knows Hugo is beside him. In reality, Hugo is down the hall. He sits on the cold tile of the upstairs bathroom, tear streaked all over his face. Just finished throwing up for nearly half an hour straight.

 

    "Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?"

    Nadia and Diego quietly argue in the room. Nadia looks troubled and Diego's face is an unflattering shade of red. He gestures down stairs wildly and ends up shoving his hand into the wall, scaring Nadia.

 

    "Can the child within my heart rise above?"

    Natalya holds a crying Ivan. He shakes with his head pressed against her stomach while she sits still besides a hand rubbing on his back. However, silent tears fall from her eyes from the reminder of their dead daughter.

 

    "Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?" Villanelle sings and reopens her eyes to look out at the farm. Villanelle hates being bored but she could do this. She could settle down and have a farm. 

    Eve decides she made the right choice. Tears trickle down the side of her face as she thinks about her best friend and how she wishes he was here. 

    How proud he would be of her.

    "Well, I've been afraid of changing cause I built my life around you." Villanelle wipes the tears from beside Eve's eyes. "But time makes you bolder. Even children get older and I'm getting older too."


 

    "Good morning, Tarzan and Jane," Elena greets, kicking Villanelle's thigh right under Eve's head.

    Villanelle throws a hand over her eyes while Eve groans and sits up.

    "Why are we outside?" Eve asks.

    "That's a great question since you two were given the largest guest room. Why did you two sleep outside?" 

    Villanelle shrugs. "We were out here talking. Shit happens."

    "Is talking the new term for fingering someone?" Elena scoffs.

    "What! No! Villanelle and me-"

    "Yes, Elena. We had outrageous sex on the porch of basically my parents home. I made Eve orgasm so many times that she doesn't-" a hand connects with Villanelle's shoulder.

    "Stop it," Eve warns with a low voice that makes Elena laugh.

    "Alright, alright. Breakfast is almost done if you guys want to shower." 

    "Eve, you go ahead and shower. I have something I need to do. Elena, tell Natalya to show Eve how to use the shower or whatever." Villanelle waves her head and walks off the porch towards the barn.

    "What is she…" Eve turns to Elena. "What is she doing?"

    Elena shrugs. "Beats me. Girl's fucking crazy.” She leads Eve into the house and to Natalya.

    “I am sorry about my husband. He forgets we are not in Russia anymore,” Natalya apologizes as her and Eve walk upstairs.

    “Still wouldn’t be an okay thing to say in Russia, either,” Eve points out.

    “No, it wouldn’t be would it? Well, I am still sorry for him. He wasn’t always so close-minded.”

    “Yeah, you don’t need to make an excuse. He’s a prick. End of story.”

    Natalya laughs. “You’re nothing like her,” she mumbles.

    “Like who?”

    She stops at the top of the stairs and turns towards Eve. “Anna. You look a bit like her so I worried Oksana was just using you to fulfill some fantasy but it is obvious the resemblances stop at the hair and age.” Natalya starts walking down the hall. “Come now, I have some fresh clothes you can borrow.”

    Eve follows. “What was Anna like?”

    “She was soft spoken. Sweet. Always saw the best in people. We joked that she could make an excuse for Stalin,” Natalya tells Eve. “Her and her husband lived in San Francisco. She was a school teacher. At least that was what I knew. Then here she comes with this 16 year old girl and asking if they could stay here for a little bit. Oksana was a trouble maker but she was also a hard worker. Ivan would leave a list of things she needed to do around the farm and she would always get them done and prepare stuff for the next day. That old bus you guys use was rotting away in our backyard. She spent her free time with Ivan trying to fix it up. Then the day they were set to leave Ivan snuck out early in the morning and put that motorcycle on the bus as a present for Oksana.”

    “So everything Villanelle has is…”

    “Because of her. Don’t get me wrong. She earned everything she has.”

    Eve stops outside the door to her and Villanelle’s extra room. “Yeah, but you gave up everything for her.”

    “Our daughter loved her. We never fully supported the age gap or anything but it was obvious Villanelle pursued Anna not the other way around. At first when they came here I don’t think they were even actually together in Anna’s eyes. But Villanelle thought they were. It led to a few awkward dinner conversations.” She looks behind Eve at the door. “There should be some clothes in the closet of that room. Feel free to any of them. I’ll wait here.”

    Eve steps in the bedroom. Her and Villanelle’s bags are still laying on top of the bed Eve made after she woke up yesterday. Any opportunity for new clothes, Eve realizes she has to take. She opens the closet and is hit with whiplash from the seventies. She grabs a blue and white striped wrap dress. Holding it up it’s pretty. Looks new for the most part. She grabs underwear from her bag and then meets Natalya back in the hallway. 

    Natalya shows her to the bathroom and shows Eve which way to turn the water for cold and which was to turn it for warm. Eve thanks her once again.

    First, Eve flushes the toilet, then turns the water in let’s it warm while she undresses. She’s put on a few pounds in the last few days. She looks somewhat healthy instead of sickly skinny. Her mind carries to Villanelle. Eve has never been one to be insecure but now as she thinks about Villanelle, she wonders if Villanelle found her attractive. Eve shakes her head to stop thinking about Villanelle.


 

    Eve helps Hugo in the kitchen. Villanelle was nowhere to be seen during breakfast, and afterwards Hugo and Eve volunteered to do dishes.

    “How are you doing?” Eve asks, taking a plate from him to dry.

    “I’m great,” Hugo looks Eve in the eye and lies.

    “Yeah? Well, remember to flush your vomit before you lie to me next time,” Eve says while placing the plate in the cupboard. 

    “Fuck.”

    “Yeah. What would you have done if Kenny used the restroom or something?” She puts down the towel and gives him a pointed look. Total cool aunt move, hand on hip and everything. 

    “I don’t know, Eve. I don’t know what I’m doing. Well, I know what I’m doing . I’m fucking dying. I got AIDS. I’m a ticking time bomb. Maybe you forgot since you’re having your dream romance film-”

    Eve slaps Hugo across the face. “I watched my best friend die of AIDS. I haven’t forgotten Hugo.”

    “Then buy me that gun Eve. Please.”

    She stares at him for a moment. 

    “Anna?” a hesitant voice says behind them. Eve turns to look at Villanelle. Her face is pale and she looks Eve up and down. “You’re wearing Anna’s dress.”

    Oh. That explains the extra clothes. And why the size was almost perfect. “I didn’t-”

    “It looks good on you.” Villanelle rubs the back of her neck. “Um,” she glances outside. “When you’re done, get changed into a pair of jeans-you can borrow a pair of mine-and meet me outside.” She looks Eve up and down one more time and shakes her head. Villanelle turns on her heel and walks out.

    Hugo checks Eve out, "It does look good on you. Makes your ass look-"

    "I will personally kill you myself."


 

 

    Eve has to tighten a black belt around her waist to help Villanelle’s jeans up. Her jeans were already too big for herself, and she was a size or two bigger than Eve to start off with. This led to the jeans being about three sizes too big for eve and almost 6 inches too long. Eve puts her feet on a spare chair in front of a vanity in the bedroom as she cuffs the jeans so she can walk without stepping on them.

    A polaroid slid into the edge of the vanity catches Eve’s eye. She puts her foot down and plucks the picture from the vanity. 

    It’s blurry-one figure in the picture is. The other figure is a middle aged woman wearing a blue and white striped wrap dress. The same one Eve had on earlier. The blurry figured has on a black leather jacket and jeans. Blonde hair and she’s going to kiss the older woman’s cheek.

    Anna and Villanelle.

    Anna was more beautiful in this picture than the staged family pictures littered around the house. This is the Anna Villanelle fell in love with.

    “Eve, are you ready? You’re girlfriend has quite the surprise!” Elena yells from downstairs. 

    Eve jumps then slides the picture back in the frame of the vanity. She makes her way downstairs.

    “You’re really in for it Eve. I hope those hips are strong,” Jess chuckles while sipping coffee in the kitchen. 

    “What’s happening? I feel like everyone knows something that I don’t.”

    “Just go outside, Eve,” Elena says.

    “Wait. Where’s the rest of us?”

    “They took Ivan’s truck into the city. Ivan and Natalya needed groceries and told them to find some handy jobs,” Jess explains.

    “‘Honest work, instead of whatever it is us criminals do,’” Elena mocks with a terrible Russian accent. “Ivan and Natalya are on the front porch. Apparently they want to watch Villanelle torture you.”

    Eve tilts her head at the word torture, steals a half sandwich, and heads outside.

    “Gooood afternoon, Evie!” Villanelle says with her left arm raised in the air. Holding reins. To a large brindle horse. “This is Deifilia and you and me are going to ride her.”

    “Excuse me?”

    Laughter sounds behind her and Eve looks at Natalya and Ivan. “Come on, Eve. Trust me!” Villanelle calls.

    “Well go on. I don’t think you have much of a choice,” Natalya says and nods.

    Eve glances at the sky and mumbles something like fuck you, Bill. She steps off the porch. “Deifilia? That’s the name of your bike?”

    “Correct. I thought the bike should be named after my baby in case I never got to see her again. Alright so,” Villanelle pets her horse, “I have ride behind saddle on for you. I’m going to get up on her and help you up. Tell her how pretty she is why I pull myself up.”

    Eve stares at the horse easily a foot taller than her. “Um...hi...Deifilia. You’re big and uh pretty I guess. You’re grey and kind of spotted and you can kill me if you-”

    “Eve?” Villanelle asks. “What the hell are you saying to my horse?”

    “Just that she could kill me.”

    “Yeah, well, a well dedicated cat could do that too but I don’t see you being scared of Missy.” Villanelle looks at Eve’s feet.

    Missy must be the name of the cat rubbing against Eve’s ankles. Eve didn’t even realize, too distracted with the beast in front of her. She squats and pets the Siamese colored cat. “Hi there pretty lady. You seem- hey! What the fuck!” The cat bites Eve and runs off.

    “She doesn’t like petted. Now come here,” Villanelle tells Eve.

    Eve walks over and takes Villanelle’s hand. She pulls Eve up with little effort. 

    “Alright, just like riding my motorcycle. Wrap your arms around me and I won’t go too fast.”

    The horse turns around and Villanelle does something, Eve isn’t quite sure, but she holds on to Villanelle as the horse starts moving. 

    “Eve don’t worry. Deifilia is well trained. I did train her myself.”

    “That isn’t reassuring. I see how well behaved you are.”

    Villanelle laughs instead of responding.


 

    Eve tries to massage her hips while laying back on her and Villanelle’s bed. Holy shit is she sore. Villanelle is getting dressed after her shower. Eve’s already showered and is dressed in her underwear and an oversized shirt. Dinner was steak, and potatoes. Eve assumes straight from the farm.

    After Eve’s seven thousandth groan, Villanelle asks, “Do you want me to give you a massage?”

    “Yes.”

    “Wait, really?” Villanelle asks and flops down on the bed. 

    Eve pulls up her shirt. “Yep. You did this to me. It’s only fair.”

    Villanelle hooks a leg over Eve’s bare thighs and starts rubbing Eve’s hips. “Like this?”

    “Yes, fuck,” Eve groans as Villanelle presses her thumbs into her just above her hip bone. 

    Even though Eve’s eyes are closed Villanelle still raises an eyebrow at the near moan. She leans forwards and puts more weight behind her hands. “So Eve, tomorrow I will head into the city. I will find a bar and I will perform at said bar. Do you want to come?” She dips her hands just above the waistband of Eve’s underwear and presses grips her hips deeply for the question.

    “What will you do if I say yes?” Eve asks and peaks an eye open. Pure concentration is written on Villanelle’s face as she tries to dig the soreness out of Eve.

    “I can do whatever you want.”

    “I want you to do what you want,” Eve says.

    Villanelle and Eve lock eyes. There’s a moment of silence and then Villanelle leans up, lifting her legs off Eve’s thighs. “Roll over.”

    Oh. Okay. 

    Eve rolls over, slightly defeated. 

    Villanelle works Eve’s entire back now. Her shoulders. Shoulder blade. Spine. Then the back of her hips. And as she begins her trail on the other side, her hands meet the sound of plastic wrap.

    “Your tattoo?” Villanelle guesses. “Can I see it?”

    “Sure, just push up my shirt.”

    Villanelle pushes Eve shirt up, Eve pushing herself up with her hands. Villanelle is vaguely aware that Eve’s breasts are naked. That Eve is half naked and with the right words she could get Eve turned around. But Villanelle doesn’t want that. She doesn't want to manipulate Eve like she does to other women.

    Instead she pushes Eve back down lightly. Her fingers pick at the tape on Eve’s right shoulder. 

    “Oh.”

    “Oh?” Eve asks. 

    “Did you choose? Or did Adam just go ahead and do it? That's how he's done all of mine." All of mine makes it sound like Villanelle has more than the one on her throat.

    "He just did it."

    Villanelle laughs. "It's beautiful. So tell me, did he call you wolfsbane?" Villanelle trails her nails around the healing tattoo.

    "Yeah. How did you know?" Eve asks, eyes fluttering shut at the feeling of Villanelle's nails.

    "Because I'm the rose."

    "What?" Eve asks and jerks making Villanelle fall off her. She pulls down her shirt and looks pointedly at Villanelle. "He did not tattoo you on me!"

    Villanelle, laying on her back, pulls her shirt up and points at her ribs. A greenish, faded black, tattoo sits on her under her left breast. A single thorny rose. "I'm like a rose because I'm beautiful to look at but hurt anyone who gets to close."

    Eve laughs and lays on her stomach beside Villanelle. "He's a total stoner isn't he?"

    Villanelle looks over at Eve and laughs. "Fuck yeah. Aren't we all?"

    "No? I have never smoked weed," Eve admits.

    Her jaw drops. She lifts her left hand to smack Eve's ass to preamble her statement. "Well, I am going to get you soooo high and then take you swimming in Santa Monica Pier."

    "Sure you are," Eve rolls over so her back is facing Villanelle. "Goodnight, Vill."

    Villanelle shuffles behind Eve and puts an arm around her waist. She puts her pinky finger in Eve's face. "I promise."

    Eve rolls her eyes but takes Villanelle's finger.

    "Goodnight, Eve."

Chapter Text

    Nadia and Diego weren’t speaking at breakfast, which, with a group of 8 and a half people, and two very elderly adults that was always a bad sign. Villanelle keeps kicking Eve’s foot under the table, not meaningfully ,just like, ‘Hey, I’m here. Give me attention.’

    Eve kicks back and Villanelle steps on her foot and tries to intertwines their toes.

    Which is fucking gross.

    Eve yanks her foot away.

    “What’s in store for you girls today?” Natalya asks after taking a drink of orange juice.

    Eve looks up from her food. “Who?”

    “You and Oksana. I figure you two would go out and explore the city today.”

    Villanelle grabs her coffee and side eyes Eve, watching for a response with a smile testing the corner of her lips.

    “Yeah, we were thinking about looking for a bar for her to perform in why?” Eve asks.

    “Perform?”

    “Villanelle still sings,” Jess interjects, saving Eve.

    While the conversation changes to Jess and Natalya, Eve looks over at Villanelle. 

    “What is so funny?”

    Villanelle places down her coffee and leans into Eve. “She thinks we are dating.”

    As Villanelle’s mouth is right next to Eve’s ear, Nadia glares. Eve catches it. And everything clicks.

    Nadia hates Eve because she likes Villanelle and Diego is mad at Nadia for liking Villanelle. That could lead to a fight between Diego and Villanelle. Especially if Villanelle acted on that crush.

    Something forms in the pit of Eve’s chest. She tells herself it isn’t jealousy.

    Jealousy would mean she likes Villanelle.

    She doesn’t.

    But she does turn her head and whisper in Villanelle’s ear, “Someone has a crush on you.”

    Villanelle pulls away and tilts her head.

    Eve nods towards Nadia. 

    “It’s a good thing I only like one woman then,” Villanelle says and squeezes Eve’s thigh.

    “What?” Eve tilts her head. “What?”

    Villanelle already has Eve on ignore and is joining the breakfast conversation. 


    Before leaving with Villanelle, Eve smokes a cigarette on the porch with Elena. Hugo and Diego are talking over by Villanelle’s motorcycle. Probably some hard on about the bike. Villanelle and Jess are talking over by the fence.

    Villanelle’s perched on the top fence, chewing on a piece of hay. 

    “You have the biggest crush on her,” Elena says and bumps Eve with her hip.

    Eve looks away from Villanelle and at Elena. “I told her that Nadia liked her and she told me she only liked one woman.”

    “Obviously. The girl’s head over heels for you.”

    “No. Listen I’ve given her chances to make a move and-”

    “Eve, Villanelle probably just assumes your being friendly. I don’t know if you have noticed but Villanelle doesn’t really pick up on social cues.”

    Yeah, because she’s a psychopath. “What do you know about?” Eve asks.

    “Not a lot. I just know it was weird watching her and Anna interact sometimes because Anna would scold Villanelle like a mother scolding a kid.”

    “Villanelle was sixteen when they started dating.”

    “What? That’s disgusting!” Elena exclaims.

    “That’s what I thought but Natalya blamed Villanelle because Villanelle pursued Anna,” Eve explains.

    “Oh, so because Villanelle had a crush that makes pedophilia okay. Bullshit,” Elena says and flicks out her cigarette. “I had no clue. Villanelle was twenty when I met her. I didn’t know how long those two had been together.”

    “Do you think Villanelle is just using me to get over Anna?” Eve asks and throws her cigarette out.

    “No,” Elena shakes her head, “this is so much different than that. Trust me, Eve. She likes you for you. You’re hot, sexy, and your brain,” Elena grabs Eve’s head, “is so fucking beautiful.”

    “Elena! Get your hands off my gi-best friend!” Villanelle yells as she starts walking up, slightly stumbling over the last words.

    Elena smiles, “See?” Then she turns to Villanelle with her hands up. “She’s all yours.”

    Villanelle jumps on the porch hooking her feet under the railing and wrapping her hand on the rail so she can lean back. “Are you ready, Eve?”

    “Yeah. I’ll see you later, Elena.”

    As Eve walks off the porch, Hugo is walking up it with his head down. He knocks shoulders with Eve and doesn’t bother to apologize. With the rush he seems to be in, she assumes he must be getting sick.


 

    Eve has gotten called a faggot or queer a total if 9 times already today and she’s beginning to get wore out. But when Villanelle has a neck tattoo, gels her hair into pompadour, and dresses in a white sequined shirt tucked into snake skin pants, maybe Villanelle is playing the part too well. The third bar they try has its liquor bottles color coordinated into the rainbow.

    “This one will work,” Villanelle whispers as she points at the small stage. Then in her best model catwalk, strolls up to the bartender. “Good morning, good sir.”

    “Whadya want?” He asks while chewing on a cigar. 

    “I want to sing in your bar tonight.” Villanelle leans on the counter. 

    Eve wanders around the bar, making her way to a jukebox. She plays with the knob while eavesdropping on the conversation.

    “What do you want paid?” The bartender asks.

    “Seven fifty,” Villanelle fires.

    The bartender laughs. “Three hundred.”

    “Six and we’ll stay until closing.”

    “Four seventy five and you’ll stay til closing.”

    “Alright! Five hundred it is.”

    The bartender laughs, but instead of arguing, Eve hears a slap of hands. She assumes it’s a handshake and turns around. 

    “So you sing? What does she do?”

    “I know how to bartend?” Eve offers. 

    “Well, shit. You help me bartend tonight and I’ll throw in another fifty dollars. But you don’t keep tips.”

    Villanelle grins. “I like you. I will come here tomorrow and get shit faced. I’ll bring her but she won’t bartend tomorrow. Which, I’m Villanelle, that’s Eve.”

    “I’m Doug.”

    “Doug,” Villanelle repeats. “I like your name, Doug .”

    He gives her a weird look and shakes his head. “Y’all be back here at 9pm. You go on stage at 9:30.”

    Villanelle hooks her arm with Eve’s and leads her out of the bar. 

    “You realize you’re going to need to redo your hair before tonight?” Eve asks while glancing at her father’s watch. 2:24 pm. 

    “Do you think I’m wearing this?”

    Eve looks Villanelle up and down. “I assumed that’s what the get up is for.”

    “Get up? ” Villanelle stops. “Eve…”

    “Park.”

    Villanelle smiles. “Eve Park, I am gay. I dress like this because Freddie Mercury requires it of me.” She gestures to her outfit. Then she jumps up on a bench. “Mamaaaa,” Villanelle bellows with her hands raising beside her. She jumps off and bumps nose with Eve’s, “just killed a man,” she whispers. She puts her index and middle finger up to her head, “pulled the trigger, now he’s-” Villanelle drops to the ground and plays dead.

    People begin to stare at the two women. 

    “Villanelle, get up,” Eve says.

    “Only true love’s kiss can save me I’m afraid, Eve,” Villanelle croaks out with her eyes closed.

    Eve shakes her head and starts walking away towards the motorcycle. She actually gets pretty far before she hears Villanelle again.

    “Eve!” Villanelle calls concerned.

    Eve turns and looks at her. “What?”

    “I love you!” Villanelle calls.

    Eve laughs and flips her off. “No, you don’t.”

    Villanelle stands up and grabs her heart as she walks towards Eve. “I thought you were special.”

    Eve tosses Villanelle the white helmet, catching her off guard. “I’m sorry to disappoint.”

    Villanelle rolls her eyes and picks her helmet off the ground. “You are so dramatic.”

    “You were just playing dead.”

    The helmet lands in Eve’s hands, ready for it for once. Villanelle climbs on the bike and Eve climbs on behind her. 


 

    They go to a thrift store and this time they do not need to commit a robbery. Eve files into the women's clothing while Villanelle dances around. 

    Eve picks simple things.

    Orange sweater. Two different pair of jeans. A couple button ups in solid colors.

    Eve is good with simple.

    Was.

    Then Villanelle crashed into her.

    "Shit! Sorry!" Villanelle picks up Eve's stack of clothes. "What are these, Eve?"

    "Clothes I liked," Eve says and takes the sweater from Villanelle.

    "Eve, you manage to make the oversized clothes look word because you are so cute, but go out of your comfort zone. Get some clothes that scream, I'm here, I'm queer, here is your beer."

    "Well, what are you getting?"

    "It's all at the counter right now. I will give you a personal La Villanelle fashion show back at the farmhouse." Villanelle turns and walks away from Eve. "Eve! Oh my god! I found roller skates!"

    Eve ignores Villanelle except she can't when there is loud crashing, cussing, and then eventually a death grip on her shoulder.

    "Villanelle?" Eve asks. 

    "Yes, Eve?"

    "We can get the roller skates if you take them off right now."

    Villanelle laughs. Then stops as she realizes how close her and Eve are.

    “So…” Villanelle begins.

    Eve notices Villanelle’s eyes glance down. “So?”

    Villanelle jerks her eyes up. “We should probably get back to the house.”

    Eve sighs. “Yeah, probably.”

    “We don’t have to, though.”

    “What?” Eve asks as Villanelle uses her to steady herself while she bends over to take off the roller skates.

    “I stashed the money in my saddlebag. We could take off right now,” Villanelle says and steps out of her left roller skate.

    Eve laughs at Villanelle’s joke. “Oh, definitely. Let’s just go to Malibu. You’ll become famous and I can be your manager.”

    Villanelle walks away to get her shoes. She’s talking already when she comes back, “...come on Eve! You are fit for stage too. Let’s do it. We can do it.”

    “Wait, you aren’t joking,” Eve realizes as they walk up to the counter.

    “No?” Villanelle says confused. “I’m being serious, Eve.”

    “Villanelle, we can’t. That money is for Anna and-”

    “Jess wants to leave Anna with Natalya and Ivan. Actually, Jess wants to leave herself with them, too. She wants to go look for a job tomorrow,” Villanelle interrupts. “The others have around 200 hundred dollars and they would still have the bus.”

    “You’ve thought about this?” Eve pauses.

    Villanelle insisted on being alone on her bike.

    Villanelle was already planning this.

    “You were going to leave after Columbus!” Eve throws an accusing finger at Villanelle’s chest.

    “That will be fourteen sixty four,” the woman working the thrift shop counter says. 

    Villanelle slaps down a twenty.

    “I didn’t, though!”

    “Because-” Eve looks over at the nosy cashier. “Can you just get the change?”

    “Eve, don’t be rude to her.”

    “Five thirty six.” The cashier hands Villanelle her change.

    Villanelle grabs the bags and marches in front of Eve out of the store.

    As they walk out of the thrift shop, they spot Ivan’s truck pulling up to the curb.

    “Hey, dudettes,” Elena says as she hops off the back of the truck being drove by Kenny and Hugo. 

    Nadia climbs off slowly and quietly joins Elena in front of Eve and Villanelle. 

    “Hey, lesbians!” Hugo yells and waves. 

    Villanelle jogs up to the truck and kisses Kenny on the lips before tossing the bags in the bed of the truck. When she pulls away, Kenny is bright red and Hugo is laughing like a horse. Hell, everyone is laughing except Kenny.

    “Oi, stay away from my man!”

    “What is happening?” Kenny mumbles.

    “You see what you’re missing out on Kenneth?” Villanelle teases. Then she salutes the men. “Adios, losers.”

    Hugo and Kenny drive away.

    “So, you two have any luck?”

    “Yeah. We found out a lot,” Eve says distastefully. 

    “Found out?” Nadia asks confused.

    “Yes! There is a gay bar in town,” Villanelle says before Eve can run her mouth.

    Elena squints between Eve and Villanelle. “Eve, can I talk to you?”

    “Sure.”

    Eve and Elena walk a few paces away from Villanelle and Nadia, Eve having her back towards them because she can’t even look at Villanelle right now.

    “What the hell happened between you two?” Elena asks. “Did Villanelle do something?”

    “She’s just a selfish-”

    “Slut?” Elena guesses.

    “What-”

    Elena nods behind Eve so Eve turns around.

    And there’s Villanelle.

    Her hands are slid into her pockets. 

    Nadia is gripping Villanelle’s face.

    Villanelle’s tongue is down her throat.

Chapter Text

    Villanelle is her friend. Villanelle has made no actions to display she liked Eve. 

    Except that time she said wanted to fuck her.

    That time she carried Eve instead of waking her up.

    When she told Eve she only liked one woman.

    Okay, maybe Villanelle did lead her on.

    Nadia pulls away from Villanelle and says a couple things. Villanelle doesn’t smile once. She doesn’t take her hands out of her pocket. She looks like she isn’t even in her body at the moment. Then Nadia says something and Villanelle finally opens her eyes. 

    She looks right at Eve.

    And she smiles.

    “What the hell was that? What is she doing? Eve?” Elena questions. 

    Eve turns around to face Elena. 

    “The one woman she liked was Nadia,” Eve lies. “We were talking about it at the thrift store.”

    Elena pulls Eve into a hug. “That’s bullshit. I’m so sorry.”

    “It’s fine. Villanelle and me are just friends.” Eve doesn’t reciprocate the hug.

    “Well, Evie, are you ready to get back to the house and let these girls loot whatever is left in there?” Villanelle says and wraps her arm around Eve’s shoulder.

    “Yeah, sure,” Eve agrees. “Bye Elena.”

    “Bye Eve,” Nadia says when Eve turns around. “Bye, Villanelle.”

    Eve looks her up and down. Villanelle squeezes Eve’s shoulder as if she could hear Eve’s bad thoughts. That doesn’t prevent Eve’s fist from connecting with Nadia’s jaw.

    “Holy shit!” Villanelle says with laughter. 

    Except.

    Eve doesn’t do that. 

    She looks Nadia up and down and says, “See you later, Nadia.”

    Villanelle rubs Eve’s shoulder as they walk away. “You should have hit her. It would have been funny. I could see you wanted to your fist was-”

    “I’m glad you’re finally moving on.”

    Villanelle stops and removes her arm from Eve’s shoulder. “What?”

    “From Anna...with Nadia?” Eve says and hates that the words catch in her throat.

    “Don’t.” Villanelle’s voice is threatening and she morphs into a different person. “Eve, I didn’t pick a fight when you were wearing Anna’s dress. I didn’t pick a fight back in the store. But get Anna’s name out of your mouth and don’t ever fucking say it again.”

    Eve feels her jaw slacken in surprise. Villanelle’s been pissed off a few times but never at Eve.

    “Don’t forget Eve. I’m the only reason you’re here,” Villanelle says and raises an eyebrow.

    “Let’s just get back to the house and get ready,” Eve says and picks up the white helmet off the bike.


 

    Eve and Villanelle need space before going back up town. Kenny and Hugo found somewhere they could flip some drugs overnight and then picked up Elena and Nadia before returning home with Eve’s and Villanelle’s new clothes.. Eve got ready in Jess’s room so her and Villanelle didn’t have to be in the same room. 

    “Villanelle mentioned you might be staying here?” Eve asks while stepping in a dark blue jumpsuit she grabbed right after Villanelle told her to get some ‘louder’ clothes. It has little white polka dots all over it. Jess braided her hair for her in two dutch braids on either side of her head that came together at the tape of her neck. Then they were let loose showing her wild curls.

    “I was thinking about it. Anna is a baby, she isn’t meant to be living out of a bus. Natalya was the one that brought it up to me,” Jess explains while walking up behind Eve in the mirror. “This life isn’t for me anymore Eve. It’s hard. You’re basically living in a bus with your family. If you get in a fight with one of them it never turns out good.”

    “Villanelle and I got in a fight.”

    “Oh boy,” Jess sighs. “What happened?”

    “She kissed Nadia and I told her I was glad she was moving on from Anna.”

    “She kissed Nadia?”

    “Yeah,” Eve says and turns around. She walks to the bed and sits down. “Honestly, I thought she liked-”

    There’s knocking at the door. Jess raises an eyebrow at Eve’s unfinished statement but goes to answer the door. 

    There’s Villanelle, unplucked eyebrows framing wide hazel eyes lined with white eyeliner. Her outfit is…

    Eve stares at her for a moment. “What are you wearing?”

    Villanelle steps into the room to show off the outfit. A white lace top tucked into high waisted pants. Gold chains hung from the gold belt. The top’s lace overflowed at the collar and sat over her relaxed blazer. Her hair is in a different style of pompadour with it being large in the front but ending in a braid this time.

    It’s hot. 

    Villanelle looks expensive and fancy and hot. 

    Villanelle snaps the blazer back and slides her hands in her pocket. “Apparently in a small town like this, they don’t realize how attractive a woman’s suit is.”

    “I… yeah, apparently not,” Eve says. 

    “Are you ready to go? Hugo and Kenny are dropping us off and picking us up because I don’t want the wind fucking up my hair,” Villanelle tells Eve.

    “Yeah.” Eve hugs Jess. “I’ll see you later.” Before following Villanelle out of the room, Eve leans over Anna’s crib and waves to the small human. “Be terrible for your mom.”

    A hand presses on the small of her back. Villanelle leans over the crib. Teeth shining, Villanelle looks adorable looking at Anna. “You are so little. Look at these little toes.” She reaches a hand in and plucks at Anna’s toes.

    Anna giggles and Villanelle makes the exact same noise which catches Eve off guard. It was exactly the same. Villanelle boops Anna on those and then stands up. One strand of hair falls out of the pompadour and hangs in front of her face.


 

    “Here’s my set list.” Villanelle slides a scrap piece of paper over the bar to Doug while Eve serves beer to a customer a couple seats down. 

    “Well, aren’t you just lovely?” A woman says to Eve. Eve looks away from Villanelle and at the woman. She pretty. Older than Eve. Short hair. Expensive clothes. Not expensive like clothes Villanelle would wear but expensive like ‘I have so much more money than you that I don’t need to show it off.’

    “I’m just trying to help my friend,” Eve explains.

    “Oh? Who’s your friend?”

    Eve points to the suave woman climbing on stage. 

    The woman makes a noise of realization. “She’s your friend .”

    “No. Nothing like that.” Eve looks down as wipes down the counter.

    “Sure it isn’t. Is that why she’s staring at us right now?”

    “What?”

    The woman’s words are true.

    Villanelle stares as she adjusts the guitar strap and height of the microphone. There’s anger in her eyes. Not the same as when Eve brought up Anna but still pure fire. Then ice.

    She morphs her face into an emotionless blank stare and grips the neck of the white electric guitar.

    Then without an introduction she begins.

    “Sweet dreams are made of this,” Villanelle sings into the microphone looking like she belonged up there.

    “Wow, she’s good,” the woman says to Eve.

    “I don’t think I caught your name?” Eve says.

    “Carolyn.”

    “I’m Eve,” she says and holds out her hand. 

    Carolyn doesn’t take it. “I know. And that’s Oksana Astankova. You two are wanted in the state of Ohio involving the death of Anton Ishtun.”

    “I have no clue what you are talking about.” Eve begins to walk away to help other patrons. 

    “Do you know who the Twelve is Eve?”

    Eve pauses and turns around. “What do you know?”

    “I’m Carolyn Martins. What I do doesn’t matter. What does matter is Oksana is part of a Russian Mafia that has moved their operations to America.”

    “Excuse me?”

    “I do not think Oksana is still apart of said operations. But she does know where Konstantin Vasiliev is. My son Kenny is apart of your guys' group. Tonight him and his boyfriend are meeting-”

    “They are doing what?”

    “They are giving me the money you and Oksana illegally attained in Columbus.”

    Eve looks up at Villanelle who has her eyes closed getting into her music. “Why are you telling me this?”

    “Kenny tells me you have quite a close relationship with Oksana. I want you to join my team. You used to be a cop. I know you want to do the right thing?”

    “And what’s the right thing?”

    “I will give Kenny a wire for you to begin wearing. The right thing is to wear it and find out what Oksana knows about the Twelve.”

    Eve thinks about it, “Do I have a choice?”

    Carolyn laughs. “No. If you refuse you and Oksana will be brought in for planning the murder of Anton Ishutin.”

    “Why don’t you just bring us in?” Eve asks.

    “You’re smart Eve. You know this Twelve group is dangerous. You were the best detective in New Haven,” Carolyn strokes Eve’s ego before walking away from the bar. 

Chapter Text

    Villanelle and Eve exit through the back entrance of the bar. Eve’s back hits the wall harshly. Bubbling anger runs off Villanelle.

    “What the fuck did she say, Eve?” Villanelle yells. “What did she say?”

    Eve watches Villanelle pace and yell. 

    It’s one of those moments Eve can feel she has two choices and each one will change the rest of her life.

    Eve makes the choice that feels right.

    “Hugo and Kenny stole the money out of the saddlebag and are meeting with Carolyn right now. Carolyn is giving Kenny a wire for me to wear around you to find out about the Twelve. If I don’t agree, Carolyn is going to have us brought in for killing Anton,” Eve explains quickly.

    Villanelle stops and stares at Eve. “Are you stupid?”

    “What?”

    “Why would you tell me that? Why wouldn’t you have taken the deal?”

    Eve opens her mouth and closes it a few times. Why didn’t she take the deal? “I… I need you.”

    Villanelle tilts her head. “You need me?”

    “Yes.” Eve says. Then she realizes the second meaning. And fuck it. Life is about making choices.

    Eve’s hands grip the lapels of Villanelle’s blazer and she pulls her into her. 

    Then she holds her away at the last second. 

    Villanelle’s breath is hot against Eve’s lips. Her eyes are still closed, but she’s not moving forward. 

    “Who is Konstantin?” Eve asks and doesn't drop Villanelle’s lapels.

    “A bitch,” Villanelle replies and opens her eyes to look down at Eve. “Also my uncle.”

    “The one that brought you to America?”

    “Yes.”

    “What did you do for the Twelve?”

    “Fuck, Eve. I don’t know. When I first got here they would use me to transport drugs because no one expects a blonde white girl on a pink bicycle to have 10 pounds of coke taped to her stomach. Then as I got older I ran away.”

    “Okay? I know for a fact you did more for the Twelve.”

    “Eve.”

    Eve stops. There’s that darkness. Down to her core. She drops Villanelle's blazer and steps away.

    “What happens now?” Eve asks.


 

    It’s not a coincidence Hugo and Kenny don’t pick Eve and Villanelle up. They have to walk 30 minutes to get back to the farmhouse. But when they do, oh, it’s loud and explosive.

    “Everyone get you’re fucking shit together we are leaving tonight!” Villanelle yells as she bursts in the front door. Hugo and Kenny still aren’t back yet. 

     “What?” Elena asks while laying on the sofa watching television. 

    “I’m going to go upstairs and tell Jess that she has to come with us, Eve you tell Elena.” Villanelle climbs the stairs two at a time.

    Eve looks at Elena. "Hugo and Kenny are selling us," Villanelle, "out to Kenny's mom. They stole our money to give to her."

    Elena laughs. "Okay this is a funny prank but-" she notes Eve's serious expression "-you aren't joking. Fuck."

    Another half an hour everyone is updated and on the bus while Eve and Villanelle wait on the front porch for Kenny and Hugo. Eve smokes a cigarette while Villanelle plays with the rings spread around her fingers.

    “What are you going to do?” Eve asks.

    “I don’t know,” Villanelle responds.

    “Are they coming with us?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “Are-”

    Villanelle wraps her hand around Eve’s jaw and pulls her to look at her. “Whtie Sands next. That’s what I know. You and me. I don’t give a fuck who is with us.”

    Headlights make them seperate. Villanelle drops her hand.

    Here comes the light blue pick up truck and a terrible fight.

    "Bonjour, ladies!" Hugo says as he hops out of the truck. Kenny is more on the reluctant side to get out. "We were waiting outside the bar for you."

    "We had to come home early," Villanelle says and wipes off her pants while standing up. "Someone very important was watching us play." 

    Eve watches from the porch while Villanelle swaggers over to them. Kenny gets nervous and Hugo is drunk.

    "Oh? Who? You're-"

    Villanelle's fist connects with Hugo's jaw. He follows the momentum and falls to his knees, gripping his jaw. She follows him and grabs his collar.

    "S-stop!" Kenny yells. 

    Villanelle looks up at Kenny and starts to stalk towards him.

    Eve jumps up and throws her cigarette out at this point. She can't have Villanelle punching a government employee's kid. Assault often isn't something you can charge someone with when the victim is gay but there's probably different rules for someone like Kenny.

    "Kenny, I know you have a wire," Eve tells him.

    Villanelle stops and looks at Eve, nodding. This is Eve's fight.

    "Eve, do you know what Villanelle used to do?' Kenny asks and glances at said woman.

    "It doesn't matter," Eve says. "Carolyn told me what you two were doing tonight."

    "Yeah, she fucking told us that you agreed to be a part of it," Hugo says on the ground.

    "Does it look like I am?" Eve snaps and holds her hand out to Kenny. "Give me the wire."

    Kenny walks back to the truck and pulls out a clunky box and a long, thin cable. Shamefully he hands it to Eve.

    "Why?" Eve asks.

    Kenny looks at Hugo and Hugo speaks.

    "They have something that makes it so you can live with aids. Only the government and rich have access to it. I wanted to live, Eve!" Hugo cries. "You are killing-"

    "Shut the fuck up!" Villanelle yells and drops down on top of Hugo. "You could have gotten Anna killed! They could have showed up here and killed us all, not knowing there's a fucking baby! You stole Anna's money!" Every statement is ended with a punch to the face. 

    Blood pours out of cuts on his face, his nose and his lips.

    It doesn't stop Villanelle. 

    "You ruined Jess's fucking chance at staying here with Anna! You are a fucking no good-"

    Eve tugs on Villanelle's left shoulder while Kenny tugs on her right.

    "Villanelle, stop!" Eve yells. "You're killing him!"

    They manage to throw Villanelle off Hugo. The three of them fall back into the dirt.

    Hugo curls in on the dusty dirt and cries. "I just wanted a chance to survive. I don't want to die. I don't want to," Hugo sobs, through snot and blood.

    Eve, Kenny, and Villanelle all sit on the ground and watch. Kenny gets on his knees and crawls over to Hugo and wraps himself around him.

    Villanelle looks down at her shaking hands. Her knuckles are split.

    "I need to wash my hands," she says and her voice is completely empty of any humanity. Of any emotion. "Get him on the bus. I'm going to go tell Natalya and Ivan bye." She won't meet Eve's eyes as she stands up.

    "Villanelle," Eve calls out to the shell walking away from her. 

    So there Eve is. Looking between a sobbing and broken Hugo, and a cold and broken Villanelle.

    Eve climbs up and picks up the wire. "Deal's off, Carolyn. I don't have a fucking clue what lies you told your son and Hugo, but I'm not a part of it." She drops the wire and steps on it to crush it.

    "Where the fuck is Villanelle?" Diego yells, stepping off the bus.

    Eve turns sharply.

    Nadia tries to stop Diego as he marches up to Eve. They stop about midway between Eve and the bus.

    "Diego, stop! None of this is Villanelle's fault!" Nadia cries.

    He turns and hits her.

    "Hey! What the fuck!" Eve yells and sprints to them. Her hands connect with Diego and knocks him back a few steps. "You abusive bastard!"

    "Stay out of this! This is none of your business!' Diego yells.

    Eve shoves him again. "Don't fucking touch her, again!" 

    When she goes to slap him, he intercepts her wrist and squeezes tight enough to make her cry out. "I said stay out of this."

    "Drop. Her. Hand." Thick Russian sounds behind Eve.

    Diego does and pushes past Eve.

    Fire burns in Villanelle's eyes. "Why were your hands on her? Or Nadia?" 

    He throws a heavy punch that Villanelle squats to dodge then hits him directly in the nose on the way back up.

    As Villanelle takes care of Diego, Eve wraps her arms around Nadia. Nadia presses her face into Eve's shoulder, crying out every time there is an audible hit. There’s yelling and cussing but Eve tries to ignore it.

    Eve makes sure to not watch. She doesn't want to know who is hitting who.

    "Has he hit you before?" Eve asks.

    Nadia nods.

    "Okay. It's going to be okay, now. It's going to be alright."

    There hasn't been any audible hits in awhile. Eve puts her hands on Nadia's shoulders and looks her in the eye. "Help Kenny get Hugo on the bus, okay?"

    Tears leak from the corner of her eyes, but she nods.

    "Thank you, Eve."

    Eve nods and finally looks around for Villanelle and Diego. Villanelle is dragging Diego into the barn.

    They make eye contact and Villanelle shakes her head.

    You don't want to see this , she mouths to Eve.

    But Eve does. 

    She wants to know.

    Nadia and Kenny are getting Hugo on his feet and don't need help.

    So Eve jogs towards the barn.

    "Fuck! You're fucking crazy!" Diego screams from inside the barn.

    Eve enters the barn. Just a storage barn with no animals.

    Except Villanelle and Diego.

    Diego's hands are both pitched forked into the ground. Villanelle leans on the one stabbed through his left hand. His legs kick on the ground and in the air.

    "You hit your girlfriend? You hit Eve? And you think you deserve to be able to use your hands?" Villanelle asks.

    Eve stands in the doorway in shock. This couldn't be real, could it? She heard horror stories while working at the police department and saw the afterwards of scenes like this. She never imagined it.

    That's a lie.

    She imagined it all the time.

    Doing it.

    Watching it.

    The people that committed the crimes.

    Who they were.

    How they felt.

    A shrill slices the air as Villanelle stomps on his fingers.

    "Fuck," Eve gasps without thinking.

    Villanelle turns around and looks at Eve with surprise. Her head darts between Diego and Eve before she pulls out the pitchforks and tosses them on the ground. She walks towards Eve. "You enjoy that?"

    "Did you?" Eve asks incredulously.

    Villanelle looks at Eve and without an ounce of emotion replies, "Yes."

    It takes Eve a second but she nods. "Okay."

    "Okay?" Villanelle asks.

    "They got Hugo on the bus. Are you ready to go?"

    "Yeah. Did he hurt you?" Villanelle glances at Eve's wrist.

    "It'll bruise but that's it. Are you okay?"

    They start to walk away from the barn and towards Villanelle's bike. "That's what I did for the Twelve."

    "Excuse me?"

    Villanelle kicks a rock. "I had one rule when I was on the run with Anna. Every seven days I called Konstantin from a pay phone. He gave me a name and a location and I had to rough them up. Sometimes they fought back and…" Villanelle trails off as she sits on her bike.

    "You killed them?" Eve guesses and it doesn't sit well in her stomach.

    Villanelle doesn't reply. She picks up her helmet and looks back at the bus. "Do you want to run away?"

    Eve glances at the bus and laughs. "Yeah."

    They both frown. It's not an option anymore. Not right now. Villanelle hands Eve the helmet for once instead of tossing it. Eve slides the helmet on and climbs on the bike behind Villanelle.

    "I like this better than your damn horse."

    Villanelle laughs. "Oh, but you sure did enjoy that massage afterwards."

    Eve blushes but luckily she doesn't need to respond because Villanelle starts the motorcycle.

Chapter Text

    Two weeks.

    A lot of things happen in two weeks.

    A lot of things happen in two minutes.

    In two seconds.

    It doesn’t even take two seconds for Villanelle to press her lips to Eve’s when they are breathing heavily against an alley wall.

    “Fuck,” Villanelle mumbles against Eve’s lips.

    “Shut up and just kiss me,” Eve replies and tugs harsher on Villanelle shirt. 

    They were running from someone. Eve doesn’t remember who. Villanelle tugged her into an alley to hide and pressed her up against the wall. Eve couldn’t do anything besides stare at Villanelle’s lips and so she told her to kiss her.

    Kissing Villanelle is so much better than the hundred or so times she’s imagined it. Eve lightly scratches Villanelle’s bare neck where her hair is pulled upwards into a braided bun.

    Villanelle’s teeth graze Eve’s bottom lip and okay, fuck, Eve loves that.

    Then there’s a boom and-


 

    And Eve’s jumping awake in her bus seat. She rubs her eyes.

    Fuck.

    That may be the fourth time in the last two weeks that she’s had a dream like that. 

    Eve glances around, she could have sworn they already gotten to White Sands but maybe that was just a weird part of the dream.

    Villanelle’s bike is rolled up in the middle of the bus. They couldn’t waste the money on the gas. 

    It’s still dark out but she can see the city lights of Albuquerque. Villanelle and Nadia are curled up on one mattress together. Hugo and Kenny have the other one.

    Hugo never quite recovered from Villanelle nearly killing him. He sleeps a lot if he’s not throwing up. 

    Eve stands up and walks to the front of the bus. She passes Jess asleep by the makeshift cardboard crib full of blankets for Anna. Her and Anna catches eyes and Eve holds her finger to her lips. Anna giggles but doesn’t cry.

    “What are you doing up?” Elena asks as Eve stands beside her.

    “Bad dream,” Eve lies and watches the empty interstate. “Do you want me to drive for a bit?”

    “Oh my god, that would be amazing,” Elena says and instantly stands up to let Eve take her seat. “Do you want me to stay up with you?”

    “No, you need some sleep too.”

    “Yeah, I might tell the girlfriends to get off the bed so I don’t have to sleep in a fucking bus seat,” Elena grumbles while sliding in the seat diagonal from Eve.

    “I was surprised to see Nadia get over Diego so quickly.”

    Elena laughs. “I was surprised to see you and Villanelle get over each other so quickly.”

    “We weren’t anything. I don’t know why you don’t understand that.”

    “Eve. I don’t understand that because I’m not stupid. You two are totally feeling each other,” Elena replies. She lays back in the seat afterwards and Eve doesn’t bother responding. 

    Eve drives through Albuquerque and turns south on to 25.

    A hand on her shoulder makes her jump, “We are totally feeling each other.”

    Eve looks back and up at Villanelle in an oversized cut off sweater and underwear. The cut off sweater really doesn’t… cover anything.

    Her nipples are pierced. 

    That’s cool. That’s awesome. That’s hot. Fuck, it’s hot. It’s really-

    “Eyes up here, Eve. Although if you want to stare at my tits that’s okay too.” Villanelle wraps her hand around one.

    “Okay! Stop! Why are you up?’ Eve tears her eyes away and back to the road. 

    “Nadia is sweaty when she sleeps. Plus her hair smells bad. It is not like sleeping with you,” Villanelle states. “You are soft,” she brushes Eve’s hair off her neck and leans in, “your hair smells like strawberries even though none of us have showered since it rained in Oklahoma,” her breath echoes off Eve’s neck. “Eve, you are so beautiful.” Her lips press against Villanelle’s neck.

    Eve jerks and swerves the bus. “Villanelle! What are you doing?”

    “What?” Villanelle asks innocently and leans away. “Everyone is asleep. You could pull over-”

    “Are you drunk?” Eve asks. She doesn’t smell booze but… “Or high?”

    Villanelle shakes her head and rubs her neck. “No? I thought-”

    “Villanelle, you chose Nadia. You can’t have both.”

    “Why not?” Villanelle genuinely asks like a greedy spoiled little kid. “I don’t even want Nadia but at least she-”

    “You made it obvious you didn’t want me.”

    “How?” Villanelle sits down in the bus aisle and watches Eve with confusion.

    Eve ignores her and focuses on the road.

    “Eveeeee,” Villanelle whines. “I did want you- do want you. Nadia is just…”

    “What’s your excuse? It can’t be empathy because you’re a fucking psycho.”

    “Okay, Eve. You are a bitch when you are tired and horny.”

    “And you always are a bitch no matter what! You know what?” Eve does pull over the bus. “We’re talking outside so we don’t wake anyone up because that’s what having empathy is Villanelle.”

    Eve walks off the bus, pulling out a cigarette. 

    “You know those will kill you,” Villanelle points out and leans against the side of the bus, crossing her arms.

    “I am going to kill you,” Eve says. “You like this.”

    “Like what?” Villanelle plays stupid.

    “Fighting! The arguing! Drama,” Eve yells and swings her hands wildly.

    “I like looking at you.”

    “Don’t do that.”

    Villanelle tilts her head. “You don’t want me to tell the truth?”

    “That’s all I want.”

    Eve paces and sucks a long drag on her cigarette. As soon as it is done she goes to grab another one. Except the box is empty. “Fuck!” Eve chucks the box.

    “I can roll you one,” Villanelle offers. “We have-”

    “Villanelle? I want you to roll yourself up in a rug and sink to the bottom of a river.”

    “Dark, I like it.” Villanelle smiles.

    And that does it for Eve. Villanelle is so fucking childish and annoying and can’t take an argument serious. She fucking hates her.

    She fucking hates how good it feels to fucking kiss her.

    Villanelle’s lips are chapped, but still soft. Plush but she also kisses with a burning fever. 

    “I fucking hate you,” Eve pants out when they stop kissing for a second. 

    “Good. This definitely won’t mean anything then.” Villanelle wraps her hands around Eve’s ass and pulls her up so Eve will wrap her legs around her.

    Eve’s back connects with the bus while Villanelle’s hips thrust against hers. 

    Eve knows she tastes like cigarettes but Villanelle tastes sweet like the peanut butter they’ve been living on. 

    This is so fucking dangerous. It feels like either of them could explode at any moment.

    Like Eve is a match and Villanelle is an open flame. 

    Her body is heavy and warm pressing into Eve. One of her hands press to the front of Eve’s neck and the other is undoing the button of Eve’s pants.

    Eve’s hands have found Villanelle’s breasts. Her thumbs circling around cold metal bars, and when she touches the warm hard nubs between stainless steel spheres, Villanelle’s gasps into her mouth. 

    “Eve, you don’t know what you are getting into,” Villanelle says and moves her mouth down Eve’s neck. Her lips sloppily move from Eve’s neck to Eve’s ear. “Can I touch you?” She asks while tapping her fingers on the waistband of Eve’s underwear.

    “Please,” Eve says, not caring how desperate she sounds. 

    Villanelle doesn’t even bother teasing Eve. She slides her fingers into Eve’s underwear, “Fuck, you really like my tits don’t you?” Okay, she changed her mind. She was going to tease. She doesn’t move her hand. Just cups Eve’s wet, dripping heat.

    “Vil,” Eve whines and her hips grind until Villanelle just slightly tightens her hands around Eve’s throat.

    “Be patient, Eve,” Villanelle warns. "Eve. Eve!"


 

    "Eve!" Villanelle yells while hovering right over Eve's face.

    Eve jumps and knocks her head into Villanelle's nose. "What the fuck!"

    Villanelle swings away, gripping her nose. "You gave me a bloody nose, that's what!"

    It's dark out, but Eve doesn't have the same fogginess she did the last time she 'woke up.' This isn't a dream anymore. They are truly in White Sands and used the rest of their extra money to get motel room's for the next week. But here's the thing.

    Villanelle and Eve weren't rooming together.

    "Why the hell are you in my room at…" Eve glances at the clock on the wall, "12:30 in the morning?"

    Eve had gotten her room by herself this time since Nadia and Villanelle were… dating? Sleeping together? They don't hide the PDA but Eve doesn't know if that means they are fucking.

    "I need to talk to you but you were… having a pretty good dream," Villanelle says and sits down in the yellow armchair in the corner of the room. The way she's dressed in overalls a crop top and her leather jacket over all of it makes Eve think Villanelle has something planned.

    "My dreams are none of your business," Eve huffs and sits up, making sure the blanket is covering her definitely ruined underwear.

    "I do think they are when you are saying my-"

    "What did you want to talk about?" Eve interrupts.

    Villanelle smirks but raises her hands in a white flag sort of way. "I am going out."

    "Okay? You don't need my...where are you going?"

    "I'm going to go to the casino and gamble. I have an amazing poker face. Nadia is sleeping and I can't sleep with her," Villanelle says and shrugs.

    So subconscious Eve could predict that. Eve gives herself a mental pat on the back. "Do you want me to join?"

    "Since you offered!" Villanelle smiles and hops up. "I will meet you in front of the motel office in twenty minutes unless… you need help with anything?" Villanelle's eyes glance down for a second. She walks towards the door.

    "No, I don't. Get out of my room and I'll be ready in ten."

    "Wow, you come-" a pillow hits the wall barely missing Villanelle's face. Villanelle's jaw drops and she turns slowly to Eve, blood stuck to the inside of her nostrils. "First a bloody nose and now you are trying to give me a concussion?"

    "Get out!"


 

    "Holy…" Villanelle wolf whistles while walking away from a payphone. She's changed into brown plaid trousers with wide legs and a white shirt sleeve button up.

    Eve changed the only dress she had. A blue number that was off the shoulder and the waist was sequined under her breasts.

    "That's illegal," Villanelle states. "That is the most illegal things I've seen ever." She pushes off the bike and walks up to Eve. "M'lady."

    Eve rolls her eyes but takes Villanelle's elbow. "It's been forever since just you and me have hung out."

    "I know! Nadia is like an annoying cat."

    "She's your girlfriend," Eve states.

    Villanelle freezes. "What? No."

    "Vil, she literally thinks you are dating."

    "We aren't. We… had an argument. I got excited and started laughing during the argument and she called me a psycho for that.”

    “You started laughing… was she crying?” Eve asks in disbelief.

    “Yes. That is why I started laughing. Her crying face is very funny.” 

    Eve laughs, “That’s terrible. You can’t laugh at people who are crying- Why was she crying?”

    “Oh...no reason,” Villanelle says while looking away from Eve and rubbing the back of her neck. Her cheeks turn the slightest shade pink.

    “Villanelle,” Eve says slowly while raising an eyebrow. “What did you do?”

    “Do you want to talk about your dream?” Villanelle suddenly fires back.

    Eve nods and flips Villanelle off. “Give me the helmet, asshole.”   


 

 

    After driving for a bit, Villanelle slows down in front of a church. The doors are boarded up and it looks abandoned. 

    “Do you care if I take a look in there?” Villanelle asks as the bike stops.

    “As long as I can come in there with you,” Eve says and pops off the helmet.

    “No. I want you to stay out here on watch.”

    “Vil, I was a cop I can handle myself,” Eve argues.

    They step off the bike and Villanelle takes Eve’s hands. “Eve, please,” her face softens, “I would feel better if you stayed out here. I will shout if I need help.”

    Eve thinks about it for a second before agreeing. “Be-”

    Villanelle presses her lips against Eve’s. They aren’t chapped at all. Insanely soft. Villanelle is insanely good at kissing. Her hands slide into Eve’s hair while Eve uses Villanelle’s neck to pull her deeper into the kiss. This is insane. 

    She bites Villanelle’s bottom lip and then uses her tongue to soothe it. Villanelle makes a noise between a primal groan and a tender moan. Then she pulls away, leaving one hand intertwined in Eve’s hair.

    “I shouldn’t have done that should I?” Villanelle asks with her forehead pressed against Eve’s.

    Instead of responding, Eve leans up and kisses Villanelle again. Not as fast or needy this time. Just the two of them in this frozen moment of time

    But time doesn’t freeze.

    “I’ll be right back,” Villanelle says while digging in her saddlebag for her switchblade. She looks up at Eve. “If you see anything scary, don’t be brave.”

    And Villanelle’s gone.

    Eve sits on the bike for a while.

    She tries to see what constellations she can remember.

    She gets tired and walks over to the church steps and sits down.

    A reddish orange Volvo passes by. Whoever is in the passenger seat has a staring problem; their face smashed up against the window. 

    It’s the only car that passes.

    When the night sky starts to lighten, Eve figures she has waited plenty of time and gets up to check on Villanelle, panic setting it. What if she was dead?

    The large church doors creak and moan when Eve pulls them open. Large cobwebs hang from the ceiling. Dust covers the pews. Small lizards and roaches crawl around on the floor trying to escape Eve’s path.

    A tall, white statue of Jesus stands with chippings taken out of it. Part of a hand missing here. Large crack there. There’s blood splatter on it and even though it’s dry, it doesn’t look to be paint.

    She turns at the podium to look back at the church. That’s when she spots the white envelope on the podium.

    In cursive black writing, Sorry Baby x

    Eve’s stomach drops. She reaches forward to grab the envelope and opens it.

    Money.

    Ten thousand dollars to be exact.

    And Villanelle’s gone.

Chapter Text

    They are doing decidedly good for themselves. Eve and Jess took on the guiding roles of the group. Everyone but Hugo gets a job. They only have to live in the church for two months before combining their incomes and getting a 3 bedroom apartment. They make it a four bedroom apartment by turning the small office into another bedroom. Eve takes that small room for herself. They don’t really try to argue with Eve.

    There’s an emptiness in Eve’s eyes that makes them think of Villanelle when Anna went back to Maxi. Obsession is the look but they do not say that.

    Hugo is doing terrible and has broken down three times to Eve, begging her to let him kill himself. See, they have shifts and Hugo is never allowed alone anymore. He tries to keep happy and piss around and make people annoyed but also laugh. But he knows Eve can see through it. So when him and Eve play cards, he talks about the different ways he could kill himself. It terrifies Eve how much she understands.

    The group questioned Eve at first. Nadia informs Eve that her and Villanelle fought because Villanelle told Nadia she felt something for Eve. Nadia accuses Eve of breaking Villanelle’s heart. She ignores the comment and Eve tells them she didn't know what happened. Villanelle went in to investigate the church and left the envelope with the money. It's not the truth.

    Eve knew where Villanelle went.

    She’s working for the Twelve again. 

    Eve doesn’t know whether Villanelle did it for the group, or because she had a bloodlust after what she did to Diego. Maybe the Twelve had something on Villanelle and she was protecting Eve. Maybe Villanelle is truly a psychopath and wants to kill and hurt people again. 

    She drives Villanelle’s motorcycle but they sold the bus for a black van. They weren’t planning on running anymore. Anna needed somewhere stable and they did too. They deserved it. That meant they needed a useable care to get to work. They all agreed a van was the best idea incase they ever needed to leave, although hopefully they wouldn’t.

    Eve works in a twenty four hour diner/bar. She sees people come in all the time trying to be the next big thing. They sing songs that they are terrible at singing. None of them ever compare to Villanelle.

    Eve finds herself comparing a lot of things to Villanelle.

    She kissed another woman one time. The woman kissed rougher than Villanelle. Didn’t taste as good as Villanelle. Didn’t warm Eve up like Villanelle did.

    When Eve dresses in the mornings, she compares her outfit to something Villanelle would wear. Wonders if Villanelle would like her outfit.

    Many mornings she’ll picture bumping into Villanelle and Villanelle being wordless because of how hot Eve is. Eve will ask Villanelle if she wants to get coffee. Villanelle always says no, she has somewhere she needs to be, but she also always kisses Eve. Even in Eve’s own mind, she couldn’t get Villanelle to stay after that kiss.

    Eve gets another a tattoo. A single thorny rose down her forearm. And then she gets another one. A snake twisting from her left elbow around her bicep and to her shoulder. Then she got a third one. An outline of a fedora on her left wrist. 

    Something about the needle puncturing her skin is addicting. It makes her feel alive.

    It makes her feel half of what Villanelle did.

    The day after Halloween, she calls Niko. It’s the only time she calls him. He answers and sounds tired. The police questioned him about a couple weeks after the incident in Columbus. He questioned her about it.

    She tells him what she tells everyone.

    Eve has no clue what happened.

    He asks her if she’s happy.

    She says she is. It took awhile but she is happy.

    She doesn’t say that her lips ache and she fell more in love with someone in a couple weeks time than she ever felt for Niko.

    Niko is engaged to a woman named Gemma. She sounds too annoying for Eve’s taste but in Niko’s voice she can hear how happy he is. He sounds like he truly loves Gemma.

    Anna started crying while she was on the line.

    He asked if that was a baby and Eve told him she was a friend’s and about how beautiful Anna is. She doesn’t tell him how Anna’s first word was Fuck and the second was Vill. She just tells him she is so intelligent and has said a couple words.

    Eve doesn’t tell him anything about Villanelle as if Villanelle didn’t even exist.

    Although sometimes Eve stays up in bed until her alarm clock goes off wondering the same thing. Villanelle didn’t feel like someone who just exists. Like, she’s only real if she’s right there in front of you. Other nights Eve rolls over on her left side and she pictures Villanelle laying on a bed or a floor somewhere on her right side. Those nights she swears she feels a hand on her chin gently finding its way into her hair. Gently pulling her forward and gently pressing lips against Eve’s. Eve will then roll on her back and imagines Villanelle gently grinding down on her while Eve maneuvers her hand down their bodies and touches her just as gentle as Villanelle needs.

    Eve doesn’t masturbate often in general but she often masturbates about Villanelle.

    When Eve imagines Villanelle it is always gently.

    Gentle caresses.

    Gentle hands.

    They would trace over Eve. So fucking gentle, letting Eve lead. Over her breasts, over her nipples, down her abdomen and gently swirling around her-.

    Postcards arrive every Saturday. No one mentions them. They sit in a 19 postcard high stack on Eve’s nightstand which beside it rests a pair of roller skates. Sometimes the postcards say sorry, other times nothing at all.

    At nights, Eve traces her fingers over the one from Santa Monica and Eve just wonders what would have happened if she walked into the church with Villanelle. Maybe nothing would have changed. But maybe she could have begged Villanelle to not take whatever deal the twelve were offering. Or maybe she could have asked Villanelle who she was on the phone with before they left the motel.

    Her chest is empty, but Eve doesn't cry.


   

    Villanelle drops a bag of six thousand dollars and a shit ton of gold and diamond jewelry on the coffee table in front of Raymond. The last 19 weeks for her have been shit.

    That night in the church, Villanelle should have killed Raymond. Except he had a gun and didn't give her a choice to refuse the Twelve. When they had gotten in the Volvo , Villanelle shakes with disgust, she tried to attack him.

    It didn't work out, he choked her until she nearly passed out.

    She remembers seeing Eve in that beautiful blue dress sitting on the steps of the porch.

    But that's done and over with.

    Villanelle is committing robberies, assaults, and a couple murders for the Twelve.

    Konstantin refuses to meet with her or acknowledge she's a part of the gang again. It doesn't bother Villanelle at all. She loves Raymond. Raymond is wonderful .

    Raymond has only broken two of her fingers and ripped out both of her thumb nails. Wonderful gifts that made Villanelle feel so loved.

    He does let her make her own schedule though which is nice.

    Fridays are travel days.

    Saturdays are the days Villanelle drops a postcard off at her family's apartment. The last time she was there, Eve was standing in the window. She was holding a mug and wrapped in a blanket. Villanelle wanted to wave, but she wants Eve to be happy. Villanelle never waved.

    Villanelle had to go back to Columbus and apologize to the bar owner. She gets a tattoo, 3:20. ...named his wife Eve… She didn't want to directly tattoo Eve's name on her but she wanted Eve over her heart. She also got another tattoo on her hands. Although this one was forced by the Twelve so she would remember her place. One eight letter word forced across her fingers. 

    Villanelle gets a new motorcycle. The same one as all the other Twelve members. She misses Deifilia and hopes Eve is treating her well. She will need an oil change in December. Villanelle will do that for Eve.

    Time passes Villanelle.

    It wraps it's long arms around her and keeps her three steps behind. She doesn't feel as if she can ever catch up. When she is in Canada for a job, it is Anna’s birthday. October 23 and the winter air bites at her skin under her parka. It makes the metal of her pistol freezing cold as she holds it to a sleeping husband’s skull after sneaking it to the motel room he shared with a whore.

    Villanelle aches. Her hand aches from the cold metal. Her lips ache from the burning of Eve’s lips three months ago. She aches with boredom.

    Do this Villanelle.

    Do that Villanelle.

    Steal from this person.

    Rough up that person up.

    Kill this person.

    Go here.

    Go there.

    Bugs have become her new friends as she spends many nights sleeping right on the ground in a sleeping bag. Very toxic friends to have. Parasitic. They suck her blood and leave her itchy.

    Nights under the stars makes Villanelle think about Eve.

    All Villanelle wanted was to take Eve on a proper date.

    That's why she never kissed her.

    She wanted to get a blanket and lay it out on the white sand and watch the night sky from the middle of the desert. They would be completely alone in the universe except for having each other. The white sands felt as if you were on the moon. Villanelle wanted to be on the moon with Eve. She wanted to be everywhere Eve, show Eve everything, take Eve everywhere.

    That’s how her brain works now.

    She sees Eve in every place she goes.

    In bars.

    In records.

    She sees Eve in the tattoo on her hip.

    Villanelle was going to kiss Eve at the end of their date and tell her how she really felt.

    All of it was planned down to the moment when Villanelle would roll over on her right side, slide her hand gently into Eve’s hair, and just feather her lips over Eve’s until Eve reacted to make sure Eve wanted her to kiss her.

    Some nights, when Villanelle actually gets to sleep in a bed, Villanelle rolls over on her right side and plays it out in her mind. Those nights usually end up with her rolling completely on to her hand and imaging Eve’s hand sliding between their bodies and down and down and-

    Villanelle masturbates to Eve a lot .

    It’s not that she can’t help it, she is just so bored. So instead of using her free time to go sing at bars or race, she pictures Eve with her in whatever motel room Villanelle is staying in.

    She pictures Eve naked.

    She pictures Eve on her knees for Villanelle.

    Sometimes Villanelle imagines herself on her knees for Eve. 

    Actually, most of Villanelle’s fantasies end up with Eve taking control from Villanelle. Guiding Villanelle. Showing Villanelle how to love instead of just fucking.

    Villanelle went to New Haven at one point. She wanted to learn more about Eve. Niko seemed kind. But also extremely boring. Eve might actually be bisexual but she wouldn’t have known by being married to a piece of fudge that grown a moustache. New Haven was freezing in early December. Villanelle figures that is a big change for Eve. To go from a foot and a half of white snow to an inch of white sand.

    She doesn’t spend very long in New Haven, feeling the unimportance of a place like this. The only thing that made New Haven interesting was Eve. They talk about her being a suspect in a homicide case in Columbus. People are very rude and say terrible things about Eve. Villanelle got in a fight at a bar with a woman named Gemma who said Eve was a bitch and there was always something off about her. Villanelle followed Gemma and strangled her in an alleyway on the back to wherever she lived, she hopes the woman was married or engaged to a man as ugly as her personality.

    As Villanelle drove away from New Haven, the radio cracked with news about a murder in New Haven of a school teacher. Villanelle turned her radio down and drove a little faster. But the silence lets her mind scream and in Jonesboro, she has to pull over.

    She spends two nights with Natalya and Ivan. They don’t ask questions, but do inform her she is only allowed two nights. Which means only one full day. Villanelle tends to the chickens, cows, and horses in the morning. They have a farmhand named Olga who is a bitch to Villanelle. But Villanelle ignores it.

    In the evening, Villanelle sits on the porch with Natalya, a cold beer in hand. They talk about everything and nothing. In hypotheticals and theoreticals. They use metaphors to talk about the literals. Eventually, Natalya went inside and Villanelle sat on the porch alone.

    Her chest aches with fullness and Villanelle cries.


 

    Christmas is Hugo’s last good day. Eve can see the way he sinks into the couch and even though there is wrinkles around his eyes because he is smiling, they are also sunken in and bloodshot.

    Two weeks ago, she bought a pistol. They couldn’t take Hugo to the hospital. Risked Carolyn finding them. She could never bring herself to give it to Hugo but she remembers Bill’s last good day.

    They went to the pub and sung Disney. He seemed so happy.

    Wearing a Santa Claus hat, Eve carries two glasses of eggnog in the living room for her and Elena. Elena and Hugo are arguing in the living room.

    Elena sits on the floor by their 5ft sparse Christmas tree. They have a few plastic ornaments hanging off of it, nothing too extravagant, but Eve insisted since it is Anna's first Christmas in a real home. They always had that extra ten thousand they all refused to touch.

    Nadia lays on the recliner, legs over one side and head over the other, and plays with a paddle ball. Bright yellow and Eve isn't even sure where she got it. Nadia is quiet now. More so than before. She is always thinking, never quite in the moment.

    Jess sits in the arm chair and watches Anna crawl around, making sure she didn't get into anyone's eggnog.

    Eve hands Elena her eggnog and sits down beside her. They all laugh as Anna makes a beeline for Eve. Before picking Anna up, Eve places her eggnog on the table. Anna is getting big at 14 months old. Eve had also insisted on Anna’s birthday they went all out. She became quite the terrible aunt the way she spoils Anna.

    Hugo catches Eve’s eyes while Kenny opens his present from Hugo. He looks desperate for just a moment before Kenny is gasping and wrapping an arm around him.

    “Yeah, it’s a Cartier Paris. Eve took me Christmas shopping with her,” Hugo says and smiles.

    “Thank you, Eve!” Kenny exclaims as Hugo clips the watch on Kenny’s wrist. It’s so domestic that Eve feels terrible.

    They are opening Christmas presents at 3 PM Christmas because Eve and Elena worked in the morning and Kenny works at night. Jess, and Nadia all had the day off.

    They had a small Christmas tree set up and most of the gifts were to Jess and Anna, but everyone got one thing from each other. 

    “There’s still one more gift under the tree? It’s for you, Eve,” Elena says picking up a flat square wrapped present. “Who bought this?”

    No one replies while Eve takes the gift away from Elena. She furrows her brows and carefully unwraps it. Two vinyl records. Elton John’s Greatest Hits Volume II and Queen’s Greatest Hits. 

    Eve knows exactly who they are from.

    “Who let her in?” Eve asks and sets the records on the coffee table almost slamming them down. “Who the fuck let her in?” She yells and stands up.

    Everyone looks around at each other. 

    “Did any of you buy these fucking records?” Eve asks. No one answers. “That’s what I fucking thought.”

    Eve realizes she looks like a kid throwing a temper tantrum but Villanelle broke into their fucking apartment. She marches to her room and slams the door behind her. She sits down on the bed, putting her head in her hands. 

    Her door opens.

    “Eve?” Hugo says quietly. He sits down beside her. “I didn’t let her in but I saw her leaving this morning around 5 am. She wanted me to let you know she changed the oil in Deifilia for you.”

    Eve laughs and looks at Hugo. “How did she look?”

    “Rough. And that’s coming from me,” Hugo replies. “We didn’t talk much. She was stealing our milk and getting ready to leave, wanted to be gone before you woke up for work. She said I looked like shit.” He laughs and lays back on Eve’s bed.

    “Hurt? Or just tired?”

    “Both. She had a bruise on her jaw. Smeared blood on her face. But also really bad eye bags. Red eyes. She has a new tattoo on her fingers. I didn’t ask to read what they said but they looked neat.”

    “Jesus,” Eve says and lays back beside Hugo. She looks over at him. “How are you?”

    “Dying. But you know? I realized we all are. I’m just doing it a bit faster than everyone else.”

    “That’s… a terrible way to look at it,” Eve says.

    They both start laughing because life is fucking terrible but they have to laugh. They need to keep their heads up. But they’re laughter dies down and they are stuck staring at each other.

    “Is this the part where we have sex?” Hugo asks and smirks.

    Eve groans and rolls over to face her nightstand. She sits up and opens the bottom drawer. Pulls out a heavy cloth and then sets it in front of Hugo. 

    “Eve, is-”

    “You tell Kenny you love him before he goes to work tonight, okay?” Eve’s voice shakes but she doesn’t cry. “You tell him he is amazing and wonderful and you thank him for changing your life. You are half of his life and you aren’t including him in this choice but you make sure he doesn’t blame himself.”

    Hugo sits up and grips the cloth. He nods with tears silently running down his face. “Thank you, Eve.”

    “I love you,” She says and pulls him into a hug. 


 

    “We wish you a Merry Christmas.”

    Eve leans to the left as she takes the turn on the empty highway. In New Mexico, they don’t have white snow on Christmas but instead white sand dusting the road.

    “We wish you a Merry Christmas.”

    Eve stops Deifilia when she can no longer see any lights from nearby cities. It is deafening silent once the engine turns off. Eve climbs off the bike. It’s a warm night for Christmas. Low seventies. She has on Villanelle’s jacket. It’s the first she wore it since Villanelle left.

    Eve wanders into the warm sand. Sparkling hills of moonlight. Then she freezes and crooks her neck back. 

    The milky way cracks through the night sky. A dark blue canyon full of solar systems and people and love and happiness. Eve wonders if on another planet if someone is experiencing what she is dealing with. Eve wonders if on another planet someone feels as alone as she feels tonight.

    " Scream," says an oddly Russian voice in Eve’s head.

    "What?" Eve's voice is distant as she stares in awe of the night sky.

    Villanelle places a hand on Eve's flexed stomach. "From here. Scream." Her hand trails up Eve's abdomen to her throat. "Let it all flow out. Don't choke on it."

    And so Eve, all alone, screams.

    A long shrill scream that tears her throat apart.

    In the distance she swears she hears a matching scream.

    “We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”


 

    When the next day comes, Anna won’t stop crying. Everyone screams at Eve. They know she provided him the gun. They know she influenced this. Eve doesn’t quite respond to their yelling. Instead she goes into police officer mode.

    She tells them to wrap his body in a rug. Eve takes the van two hours out of the city. Eve digs the grave. It takes half a day. Even if they ever found her body, as soon as they saw he had aids they wouldn’t care about him.

    Her hands blister first.

    Then they bleed.

    Eve doesn’t stop.

    Her blood gets on the outside of the rug.

    Gets on the makeshift grave marker she makes and

    Gets on Villanelle’s jacket that she hangs on the makeshift grave.

    She pours vodka on her hands and then leaves the bottle sitting at the grave.

    “I’m sorry, Hugo. Bill.” Eve sits down on the soft tore up dirt. “Anna.”

    She shakes her head and lights a cigarette.

    Eve gets another tattoo that night.

    A bullet on the back of her neck, pointed straight up towards her skull.


 

    “They’ll all forgive you with due time,” Elena says while sitting on the couch beside Eve. Their apartment is full of people, co-workers, friends they’ve made, an assortment of strangers. Jess took Anna to a new friend’s house so that Elena and Nadia could throw a New Year’s Eve party. Eve’s just here because she lives in this apartment.

    Eve stands up. She looks at Elena while grabbing the bottle of champagne. “I’m going to go drink this in my room. Tell no one to bother-”

    There’s hard knocking on her door.

    Eve glances at Elena and raises an eyebrow. “I thought you said no more people?”

    “I didn’t invite anyone else, I promise.” Elena holds her hands up. 

    Elena was the first and only person to forgive Eve and Eve is so grateful for it. 

    “I’ll go answer the door before I go to bed,” Eve says and rolls her eyes.

    She pushes through too many bodies to be stuffed in their apartment. The countdown is beginning as she opens the door. A strong man stands in front of her. White hair, eye bags. He looks very tired and very annoyed. Dressed in a black pea coat over black slacks and a black top.

    “5!”

    “Are you Eve Park?” he asks with a thick Russian accent.

    “4!”

    “Who is asking?” Eve says and slightly closes the door.

    “3!”

    “I am Konstantin, I believe you know me.”

    “2!”

    “You are Villanelle’s uncle,” Eve states.

    “1!”

    “Yes. She was in an accident. She asked for me to get you.”

    Cheers erupt. People shout. People kiss. People love.

 

Chapter Text

    To say Eve was angry when she got to Konstantin’s Santa Monica mansion would be an understatement. The place was three stories, right on the beach, and had a yellow fucking staircase on the outside porch. This was what Villanelle could have been living in. Villanelle wasn’t homeless or poor, she was rich and choosing to be poor like a spoiled brat.

    The fifteen hour drive and no sleep since the day before New Year’s Eve didn’t help Eve’s anger.

    The house is white. Too white. Too pure. Too innocent. 

    Fancy.

    Expensive.

    The ocean crashes against the beach is soft white waves.

    Konstantin led Eve out to the back patio with that stupid bright yellow spiral staircase. The ocean is a stone throw away from them. The beach is full of people picking up trash, probably from New Year’s Eve parties. Eve wondered if Villanelle watched fireworks last night. If Villanelle kissed someone at midnight. 

    The pier is down about a five minute walk from the house.

    Konstantin walks back out holding two glasses and a bottle of Grey Goose vodka.

    “Where is Villanelle?” Eve asks and takes the bottle instead of the glass.

    Konstantin chuckles as he gives up the bottle. “She is having a meeting upstairs. But she has calmed down. Before I left to get you she was-”

    “I don’t really give a damn about what happened before you got me,” Eve says and smiles. “You are wanted by the government.”

    “I work for the government,” Konstantin says and tilts his head. “Federal Bureau of Intelligence. Who told you I was wanted by the government?”

    “Carolyn Martins.”

    Konstantin laughs. “Oh, Carolyn! MI6. She is funny.”

    “MI6?” Eve asks with disbelief. Villanelle is being investigated on an international level?

    “Yes, she is head of the Russian desk.” Konstantin swirls his glass of vodka around before finishing it.

    “Why the hell is British Intelligence worried about you and Villanelle?” Eve asks, gulping the vodka afterwards.

    “I had no idea Carolyn was worried about me. And as far as Villanelle goes, I have not spoken to her in a few years. She called me from a place in Jonesboro and said she was going to be here right after Christmas. When she didn’t show up I had some friends of mine look for her and found her on the side of the freeway covered in sand, blood and bruised up. I didn’t even think she was alive.” Konstantin starts laughing. “I rolled her over and she started screaming on the top of her lungs. It was a scary sight but I was just so happy to see she was still alive.”

    “You care about her,” Eve comes to the conclusion.

    “She is like my daughter.”

    “Then why did you two stop-’

    “You are a fucking asshole!” A harsh accent interrupts Eve.

    Konstantin chuckles and sets down his glass. “It seems Villanelle’s meeting is going well.”

    “Who is she meeting with?”

    “Her current boss. They really enjoy each other. We should probably check on them,” Konstantin stands up and offers a hand to Eve.

    She refuses it.

    Eve reluctantly follows him into the mansion with paintings worth more than Eve’s entire life. Konstantin is wealthy. Why would Villanelle leave this? This seemed like something Villanelle would love. 

    “So tell me about yourself, Eve.” Konstantin sets his glass down on a random pine table.

    “Why don’t you tell me about the Twelve?” Eve places the bottle beside the glass.

    “The Twelve? Who is that?” Konstantin plays dumb.

    Eve rolls her eyes. “I don’t know. You should tell me.”

    Konstantin stops and turns around. He runs his fingers through his balding hair. “I don’t know what Villanelle has told you but she likes to make up stories. Very creative. But they aren’t true either,” he warns.

    “What about Anton? He was a part of the Twelve, too. Until he died. If you are FBI shouldn’t you be arresting Villanelle and me? We are wanted for the murder of him," Eve points out.

    “I like you,” Konstantin says in a way that screams I hate you. He turns and climbs a rustic brown-grey staircase.

    Eve follows behind him to the second floor, just as fancy as the first floor. There’s a kitchen to the left, on the side closer to the beach, and on the right a hallway with an assortment of doors. Konstantin leads Eve down the hallway. A man is walking out of Villanelle’s room as they reach the end of the hallway.

    “Eve, this is Raymond. He is a friend of Villanelle’s. Raymond, this is-”

    “Eve Park. I have heard all about her,” Raymond says and steps uncomfortably closer to Eve. He plucks something off her parka. “A piece of lint. Don’t want that affecting your pretty outfit for Oksana.”

    “Thanks,” Eve forces out. 

    “Konstantin, I will wait for you outside. It seems there are things we need to discuss.”

    Raymond pushes pass Eve and Konstantin. Lucky enough for Eve, he has on a black Twelve jacket. Outlined fists on the back. The words the Twelve. Eve turns and smiles at Konstantin. “You don’t know who the Twelve are?”

    Konstantin frowns for a moment. Then he opens the door with a slight smile.

    Villanelle sits in a white king sized bed, sitting up and eating a pudding cup. She is talking wildly to the nurse sitting in a chair against the wall. An IV is connected to her elbow. Her blonde hair is thrown up in a greasy messy bun and her face is littered with bruises. Her arms are littered in road burns and dark purple bruises and her left leg has a cast. Eve can see the tattoo Hugo was talking about on her fingers, not what it says, yet.

    “Why isn’t she in the hospital?” Eve whispers.

    “Carolyn.” Konstantin nudges Eve into the room before she can speak again. “Villanelle, you have a guest.”

    Villanelle looks over and stares at Eve. She doesn’t smile or frown. Her eyes don’t light up but they don’t glare either. She just studies Eve.

    “Hugo’s dead,” Eve says, not thinking of anything else to say.

    Villanelle looks up and meets Eve’s eye before nodding towards the seat right beside her bed. There’s a black torn up jacket laying in it. “I know.”

    “Did you follow me?” Eve says while walking over and picking up the torn jacket. The same one she left on… “Villanelle, you can’t just-”

    “I wanted to make sure you were okay.” Villanelle looks at Konstantin. “Can we have a moment?”

    Konstantin shakes his head. “You know I can not allow that.”

    “I know you are a prick.” Villanelle throws her spoon and cup at him. “Konstantin-”

    “No, it’s fine. I want him here.” Eve sets the jacket back down and stands by Villanelle’s bed.

    “Why?” Villanelle pouts.

    “I don’t trust you. You left us. You broke into my apartment. You stalked me! That’s insane, Ok-”

    “Stop it.”

    “No! Are you crazy? Why am I here?” Eve is on the verge of yelling, earning surprised stares form Villanellle’s doctor and Konstantin.

    “I thought-”

    “You thought what? That I would be happy to see you? You ruined my life.”

    Villanelle frowns and rubs her fingers. “Why are you being like this? You love me.”

    Eve scoffs and shakes her head. “No. I’m done.” She turns to leave.

    “I love you.”

    Eve jerks around and stares at Villanelle. “No.”

    “I do.” Villanelle nods to herself. 

    “You don’t understand what that is. You are a psychopath, Oksana. A fucking psycho,” Eve spits out before turning back to the door and marching past Kosntantin. 

    She can vaguely here yelling behind her as she marches downstairs. She bumps into the table and knocks over the glass vodka bottle. Laughter pisses her off.

    “Trouble in paradise?” Raymond teases from the foyer. He stands up, pushing off his knees. “You should leave. Oksana is just trouble.”

    “I’m sorry, who the hell are you?” Eve asks while slipping her shoes back on.

    “I am Oksana’s handler.”

    “Handler? So what? Villanelle is your dog?” Eve stands up and stares at the man. She already hates him.

    “Basically. I tell her who to sic.” Raymond smiles and tucks his hands into his jacket.

    Eve rolls her eyes and leaves the house. She walks towards Deifilia and notices the orange volvo parked in front of it. 

    A flicker of recongintion clicks in her mind.

    Eve turns and goes right back into the house. She ignores Raymond and marches upstairs where Konstantin is exiting Villanelle’s room. “I’m staying. You have room right?”

    Konstantin blinks in shock a few times. “I don’t think you were invited to stay.”

    “No, but you need Villanelle to be happy for whatever you use her for and I make her happy.”

    He laughs and points at Villanelle’s room. “You call that making her happy? She threatening to put the IV in Jerome’s neck if we don’t take it out and let her follow you.”

    “Well, I’ll go tell her that I am staying and then you can show me to a guest room.” Eve smiles with all the hate burning in her body. She walks back Konstantin and enters Villanelle’s room.

    Villanelle looks up at Eve and tilts her head before laying back down and turning to face the opposite way.

    Eve shakes her head. “I’m going to spend the night here and maybe even a few days.”

    Villanelle doesn’t respond.

    Eve turns and leaves the room. Konstantin is still standing in the same spot.

    “What are you doing?” 

    “I don’t know, Konstantin. What are you doing?” Eve asks and then walks into the kitchen and out the french doors.

    She walks down the bright yellow staircase and leans against the railing on the first floor porch.

    Eve isn’t dumb. A lot of things have clicked in her brain. Raymond was foolish to think Eve didn’t know what the word handler meant. Konstantin was foolish to think Eve wouldn’t find out what was going on here. And Villanelle? Eve has the feeling she herself might be the foolish one when it comes to her.

    Villanelle is highly intelligent. Dangerously intelligent. Which meant she has been playing Eve since the very beginning and knew saying I love you would plant some sort of empathetic seed in Eve’s brain to make Eve stay or she genuinely meant it and needed Eve's help, knowing saying I love you would make Eve realize how truly desperate Villanelle was.

    Eve wasn't sure which thought scared her more.


 

    Konstantin leads Eve to a room on the third floor. The only bedroom on the third floor because the third floor had been renovated into a massive closet full of mannequins with campy outfits that would make Elton John even say they were too much.

    "A bit of weird thing to collect," Eve says as she runs her thumb along an all black fur coat. The coat had a train going on for almost two feet. Perfectly tailored to fit one tall blonde.

    "These are all Villanelle's."

    "There's at least fifty thousand dollars worth of clothes in here. Is that Chanel?" Eve darts to a white dress. Beautiful and lavish, but also slimming and body hugging. Hand sewn lace decorated the hips.

    "It was her wedding dress," Konstantin says while walking over. "Custom made by Karl Lagerfeld before he started working for Chanel. There is another custom piece," Konstantin points over at a pine green suit. As Eve gets near it she sees the fine white pinstripes on it. "Any guesses?"

    "Armani?" Eve files the wedding dress comment in Things I need to ask Villanelle about .

    "Wrong Italian-Versace," Konstantin replies and walks up. "Villanelle charmed him with her bright mind. It was a birthday present for her 22nd birthday. I still receive invitations to all of his fashion shows. He rents a room for her and a plus one in Milan and sends plane tickets. All first class."

    Eve laughs, "That feels like a bribe."

    "If you are still here in February you and Villanelle should go. Gianni will love you."

    "You're telling me," Eve steps back and gestures to the dozens of outfits, "Villanelle is friends with fashion designers and is wealthy and she chose to be homeless?"

    Konstantin nods and walks away from Eve to study another outfit. "She was running from herself. Being a kid. She finally grew up."

    "What's that supposed to mean?"

    "Are you serious?" Konstantin laughs. "Eve, she gave up her freedom and happiness to help you and the rest of you parasites. She never did that for Anna."

Chapter Text

    It’s another day before Villanelle’s morphine IV is taken out. Eve popped in to say good morning and goodnight, otherwise not talking to Villanelle.

    The next day, Konstantin gave Eve a plastic credit card to go get some clothes. 

    That didn't stop Eve from borrowing Villanelle's clothes. A Versace piece. Eve didn’t keep up with fashion enough to know the year, but she knew it was expensive and beautiful. A dark blue wrap blouse with a plunging shawl collar and kimono sleeves tucked into high waisted, tapered pants. Eve readjusted the belt in front of the mirror, looking down at the buckle and not noticing the blonde coming up on crutches behind her.

    “No blazer?”

    Eve looks up and at Villanelle in the mirror. “You’re up.”

    Villanelle chuckles, low and deep. “I’m up.”

    “What are you doing up?” Eve asks.

    “What are you doing living in my closest?”

    “What is a homeless person doing with a closet that takes up an entire floor?”

    “What is a homeless person doing shacking up in her ex-girlfriend’s uncle’s house.”

    “We were never girlfriends.”

    “Weren’t we? If I remember right, you liked me… I liked you… you kissed me like we were girlfriends.”

    “You kissed me!”

    “Did I? You enjoyed it though.” Villanelle whispers and comes a little closer to Eve. She brushes Eve’s hair off her neck to lean in next to her ear. “I think about it all the time. Do you, Eve?”

    “Do I what?” Eve plays dumb, willing her body to not form goosebumps. She’s mad at Villanelle.

    Villanelle snaps her teeth in Eve’s ear before leaning away. She moves on her crutches to a lounger in the center of the room. Velvet and even when the white cast on her leg, Villanelle looks like a painting. A leopard draped across luxury. “Why are you forgoing the blazer?”

    “It seemed like too much. This just looks…”

    “Hot?”

    “Yes,” Eve confides. “With the blazer I thought I looked…”

    “Strong? Powerful? All things you are?”

    “Stop it,” Eve turns to stroll over and sit on the end of the lounger.

    “I thought you wanted me to tell the truth.”

    Eve rolls her eyes and looks over at Villanelle. A satin robe hanging very loosely on her body. “Did you and Anna live here?”

    “At one point, yes.”

    “And you were going to marry her?”

    “We had an unofficial official wedding. Marriage is not allowed and she was still married to Maxi. It was the second to last time I was here.”

    “When was the last?”

    “Konstantin purchased a shelter just to shut it down and he would have it as a lot. Anna and me went to help the people move out and we met Jess and Elena. Jess We all clicked it off but Anna told me I couldn’t tell them about Konstantin so we took the bus and we left.”

    “Okay. So Konstantin is what? Your pimp? Or the pimp of pimps and Raymond is your pimp?”

    Villanelle laughs. Gracefully like this was a normal conversation about the weather. “Konstantin works for someone who works for someone. Raymond and me used to be on the same level of employee status but I guess things have changed.” She rubs her fingers. “What The Twelve has became is not what it used to be.”

    “Well, you aren’t who I thought you were.” Eve stands up. “Look at all this. You are wealthy, Villanelle.”

    “It is not clean money. You know that.”

    “Where’d you get it?”

    “I told you. I roughed people up for The Twelve. Moved some drugs. Just gang things.” Villanelle kept rubbing harshly at her fingers.

    “Stop that!” Eve reaches down and grabs her hands. She remembers the tattoos. “Show me.”

    Reluctantly, Villanelle shakes Eve’s hands off her own. And she puts her knuckles together for Eve to read.

    Eve blinks a few times.

    The tattoo is crudely done.

    But she knows that isn’t the part that is making her stomach unsettled.

    Assassin .

    When Eve doesn’t speak, Villanelle puts down all her fingers except her middle, ring, and pinkie on her right hand. “Look, when I do this it says ass.”

    “You’re an assassin.”

    “Yes.”

    “Like, double o seven?”

    “Wrong side.”

    “Oh.”

    Villanelle and Eve stare at each other moment. Eve doesn’t know how to react. Actually she knows exactly how she should react. Afraid, terrified, call the police, call Carolyn, hate Villanelle.

    What she doesn’t know is why she isn’t reacting like that.

    “When did that… when did you begin…”

    “I killed a student in my class while I was in Russia. She shoved me on the playground for having cheap clothes, I strangled her and didn’t know what I was doing until they informed me I was getting in a lot of trouble.” Villanelle looks cold and emotionless while she says it.

    “How old were you?”

    “Eleven.”

    “That’s why Konstantin brought you here?” Eve asks and sits down. Villanelle visibly relaxes at the action.

    “Yes, that and he knew I had potential. Apparently being a psychopath means you have potential. Do you hate me? Anna hated me when she found out that’s why she went to visit Maxi and tried to fix things.”

    “You know I don’t hate you. It’s just…”

    “A lot?”

    “Yeah. I… knew something was up when I saw Raymond’s volvo and I knew sticking around was going to get me in trouble, but…”

    “But you were thinking Russian Mafia trouble, not international assassin trouble?”

    “Int-International?”

    “Canada, America, I have done a couple in Italy. Anna and me would go to Milan fashion week. I told her I was making friends. I was… murdering friends.”

    “Oh my god. Okay.” Eve stands up. 

    Villanelle flinches and moves to reach for her.

    “I’m not leaving,” Eve reassures. “I assume you weren’t supposed to tell me any of that.”

    “No. I wasn’t.”

    “Okay. So we need to still be acting like we are fighting.”

    “What are you talking about, Eve?” Villanelle tilts her head.

    “Well, I can’t break you out of here with a broken leg so we have a few weeks.” Eve gives a slight smile.

    Realization clicks on Villanelle’s face. “You are up to something. You still love me.”

    Eve raises her hands. “I don’t love you. We’re friends. I’m helping you as a friend.”

    “So what’s the plan, boss?” Villanelle smirks.

    Rolling her eyes, Eve holds up the plastic card Konstantin gave her. “I’m going to go spend a shitton of Konstantin’s money.”

    “Ooo, bring me back something!” Villanelle calls out as Eve nears the exit.

    “Sorry, can’t. I hate you,” Eve responds as she opens the door and leaves Villanelle trapped in a cage.


 

    “Elena, I’m sorry,” Eve repeats for the thousandth time, as she leans against a wall holding a payphone. 

    “I don’t get why you are staying there. She fucked us over,” Elena says, she sounds tired.

    “She didn’t have a choice.”

    “Bullshit, tell me why she didn’t have a choice.”

    Eve shakes her head. “I can’t. I’m sorry.”

    “No, I get it. You kill Hugo, the guilt was bothering you, so you runaway with Villanelle. Probably your guys’ plan all along.”

    “I didn’t kill Hugo.”

    “You practically did.”

    “Elena, you don’t know what… what he was going through I helped him.”

    “Yeah, well maybe I’ll think about helping Carolyn.”

    Eve straightens up, pulling on the wire. “What about Carolyn?”

    “She stopped here yesterday asking if that man you went with had been here. I told her no, but she’s staying in town incase we remember anything. Kenny and her are having lunch later today.”

    “Elena. Elena please don’t tell her anything. You can’t trust her.” Why can’t she trust her, Eve? Carolyn is MI6, Carolyn is one of the good guys.

    “Why?”

    “She’s MI6.”

    “Okay, and? We all knew she was a government official already. Eve if you can give me one good reason for any of this, I won’t tell Carolyn anything, but if not…”

    “Come to Santa Monica. Just a one day trip.”

    “Are you fucking kidding me?”

    “You want to save the world right?” Eve quotes one of her Elena’s late night conversations. “You wanted to work for MI6 and save the world?”

    “I mean, I was just kind of bullshitting that night, Eve. We were both pretty knackered.”

    “Elena, you have the opportunity, but helping MI6 isn’t going to do it. Helping Carolyn is only going to cause problems.” Eve knows she’s manipulating Elena the tiniest bit but she has to.

    “Jesus fucking Christ,” Elena mumbles under her breath. She takes a deep breath then. “Fine, I’ll come next week. Just call me on Monday and I’ll tell you where I’ve booked a hotel room at.”

    “Thank you-”

    The phone starts beeping that the line is dead.

    Eve hangs it up and picks her shopping bags back up. She managed to spend damn near five thousand dollars today. She decides that’s enough for today and plans to head back to Konstantin’s place.

    But then again, across the street is a fancy steakhouse that looks like it would have wonderful food.

Chapter Text

    On Wednesday of the next week, four things have happened.

    Villanelle back handed Konstantin with a crutch.

    Eve and Villanelle got in a huge fight over dinner on Monday night, which to Konstantin and his guests looked like two bitter women, but to Eve and Villanelle it was more than that. Villanelle over the whole weekend had been the most over the top annoying person on the planet. Eve could only put up with so many comments from Villanelle before they had gotten under her skin.

    “Did you guys know Eve used to be a cop,” Villanelle said at the first lull in the conversation. She spins her fork in gross box noodles and jar spaghetti sauce. She made a plan in her head to force Konstantin to hire a new chef.

    "Is that so?" Konstantin asked while his guests got anxious.

    "Yeah…" Eve replied. If looks could kill… "It's a long story. But I'm not one anymore."

    "She got fired. For being gay-or should I say she had to resign or she would be fired for raping a girl," Villanelle said bluntly. Her hand wrapped around her wine glass.

    "I didn't-What the fuck, Villanelle?" Eve slammed her fork down. She looked over at Konstantin. "I was training a rookie. We went out for drinks. She was in charge of the situation. Then used it to get me fired. I was given the choice to resign or be fired for a made up fucking lie. And Villanelle fucking-"

    "Hey, who are you yelling at?" Villanelle interrupted.

    "I'm fucking yelling at you. Because all you fucking do is lie!" Eve stood up.

    Villanelle stood up, too. "How am I lying? I said the same thing as you, just in fewer words."

    "You've been acting like you're homeless when you have an entire fucking mansion to live in and you know Gianni fucking Versace!"

    "Ver-sach-A. Not E. Ver-sach-A." Villanelle annouciated the A in Versace.

    "I'll tell you what to do with you're fucking A," Eve scoffed. "Pull your fucking head out."

    Villanelle laughed. "That's fucking hilarious coming from you."

    "What's that supposed to mean?"

    "Ladies-" Konstantin tried to interfere.

    "No, Konstantin, let Oksana speak." Eve noticed Villanelle's eye twitch at being called Oksana. "Oh? You get to choose when you're Villanelle or Oksana? You get to choose when you want to be romantic and kiss people or just leave them for months? You get to choose when you abandon people that love you."

    Villanelle's head shot up at the word love. But she knew Eve wasn't done speaking.

    "But I have my head up my ass. Fuck. You." Eve slammed her chair into the table and left the dining room.

    Villanelle and Eve hadn't spoken since. 

    The third thing that happened, is Eve surprised Villanelle and Konstantin by not leaving the next morning. Eve didn’t even think about packing her bags. When she was sat at Konstantin’s counter eating cereal and reading the news, she was surprised when Konstantin asked her why she was still here.

    “What are you doing here?”

    Eve jumped and looked up. Then she looked down at her breakfast. “I’m eating breakfast,” She said slowly.

    “No. In my house. I figured you would have left after last night.”

    “Do you want me to leave?” Eve stands up and walks her bowl around to the sink. 

    Konstantin laughs. “No. No. You keep Villanelle in line and you actually wash your dishes. You are interesting company.”

    “I don’t really think I’m the one keeping Villanelle in line. Probably more that broken leg that’s preventing her from racing.” Eve remember to feign innocence. The Twelve was an outlaw motorcycle club or at least that’s what Konstantin would tell Eve. Only outlaw because the American Motorcycle Association didn’t want a group of Russians. “Konstantin, can I ask you something?”

    “Go ahead.”

    “Why did you bring Villanelle to America and make her change her name?” Eve dug.

    Konstantin stared at Eve for a hard minute. Then he sighed. “Villanelle had gotten herself into some trouble at school. It was going to ruin her life in the Soviet Union. She has so much potential, Eve. She could rule the world. Or bring it to its knees…” Konstantin trails off while playing with his wedding band. “I had a wife. Four months pregnant that I left for Villanelle. Everything I do is for that girl.”

    “Is she your daughter?” Eve had to ask.

    “Why are you here, Eve? It is only fair I get to ask.”

    “Villanelle changed my life. Whether that's for the worse or better, I’m not sure yet. I’m here to find that out.”

    “I saw what Anna did to Villanelle. She changed her. Tried to make her someone she is not. I let it happen. If you-”

    “Villanelle is who she is, Konstantin. If you changed Villanelle she wouldn’t be Villanelle anymore. I don’t want to change her. I want to… help her.”

    “Help her?” Konstantin laughed. “From what?”

    “Chaos,” Eve answered. She opened a cupboard and put her dry and clean bowl away. “You said it yourself, MI6 wants her. She couldn’t go to a hospital because British Intelligence is looking for her. So what is this?” Eve gestured to the luxurious house. “Witness Protection. I mean, you are FBI, right?”

    “Yes. I am.”

    And that settled that conversation. Eve didn’t believe him, of course. But she learned a few things from the conversation. Konstantin was most likely Villanelle’s father, Konstantin had a family, and Konstantin thinks Villanelle is able to destroy the world.

    The fourth thing is Eve sitting across Elena and telling Elena all of this.

    “Well, it sounds like you’ve gotten yourself in quite the situation, but to be fair, you didn’t have to go with Konstantin. We were doing good.” Elena breaks off a piece of a donut, dunks it in her coffee, then tosses it back in her mouth.

    “Except everyone hates me. Hugo was going to do it one way or another,” Eve defended her actions.

    “Exactly, so you didn’t need to help.” Elena raises an eyebrow. “You haven’t even asked how we are doing. Just Villanelle this and Villanelle that.”

    “And Villanelle is an international assassin,” Eve finally gets out.

    Elena laughs. “And I’m going to be the next president of the United Fucking States. You been doing drugs since your on the West Coast?”

    “Elena, I’m not joking. That’s why Carolyn is digging around.”

    Elena studies Eve for a moment. “You said by not telling Carolyn I would be saving the world. I don’t see how not sharing with an MI6 operative would be saving the world.”

    Elena believes her. Eve lets out a sigh of relief. “I think somehow Konstantin is protected. He says he’s FBI, but there’s just no way.”

    “So you think Konstantin is running what? A secret assassin organization for the Soviet Union and using a motorcycle club as a front?” Elena laughs and leans back. The door to the shop opens with a bell ringing. There's a slight laughter at the noise like having a bell on the door is the neatest thing. “Eve, you’re going crazy. Just come on back-”

    “Hello, Eve and Elena,” Villanelle interrupts leaning on crutches. Her face is beat red and her hair sticks to her face with sweat.

    Eve jumps up and ushers Villanelle into her seat. “Did you walk here?” 

    Besides being just under two miles, it was only 65 out and Villanelle was in a sleeveless striped blouse and thin wide-legged black slacks that cover her cast. Eve takes off her oversized scarf and wraps it around her shoulders. However, instead of letting go like a normal friend would, her hand resides on Villanelle’s right shoulder just lightly rubbing against it.

    To the outsider’s perspective, they look like quite the couple. Eve standing against Villanelle’s left side but completely wrapped around her. Villanelle leaning in Eve. And that’s exactly what it looks like to Elena.

    “Oh, I get it now,” Elena says. Her eyebrow is raised sharply.

    Eve doesn’t deny it. Instead she’s too focused on Villanelle. “Why did you walk here?”

    “You didn’t leave a note. You always leave a note before you leave. Konstantin said you were going to get coffee with a friend. This is the third one I’ve been to.” Villanelle rubs her armpit. It’s not quite bloody, but it’s completely raw. 

    “Did you think I was leaving?” Eve asks. 

    “Yes. We haven’t spoke since-”

    “Listen, I don’t have a lot of time here. Villanelle,” Elena interrupts their conversation. Villanelle turns towards her. “Eve says you are an assassin?”

    Instantly, Villanelle pulls away from Eve. “Yes.” Her voice has a cold, protective tone over it.

    Elena scoffs. “You’re joking.”

    Villanelle hands Eve her crutches and then holds her hands out to Elena.

    Elena reads the word. “So you got the word assassin tattooed by a poor tattoo artist. You really want me to believe you’re an assassin?”

    “Elena, why would MI6 be poking their noses in our lives otherwise?” Eve asks.

    “Uh… because Kenny is Carolyn’s son and she wanted to see how he was doing.”

    “Okay, and? There’s no death record for Hugo. He killed himself and Eve buried him. She would have not known Hugo was dead. Unless she was tracking me and followed me to where Eve buried Hugo.” Villanelle picks up Eve’s drink and smells it. Her face twists up. “Are you drinking tea?”

    “I… yes. Konstantin doesn’t have any in his house,” Eve says.

    “For good reason.” Villanelle starts to get up. “I’m going to get-”

    Eve stops her. “What do you want?”

    “Just coffee. I can-”

    “I’ve got it. Just… talk to Elena?” Eve practically begs. She picks up her bag off the desk and walks away.

    Villanelle smells her perfume on Eve’s new scarf and wraps it tighter around herself.

    “So when did you two start fucking?” Elena asks.

    “We haven’t. It is quite upsetting. Actually, we aren’t even together.”

    “Bullshit. You’ve never looked at a woman like you look at Eve. Not even Anna.” Elena picks at her donut some more. “So is it true?”

    “You know it is Elena. You saw what I did in Columbus. Everyone wanted to believe it was a one time event but… I had already perfected it by then. I got us out of that situation too well. Eve hasn’t seen that yet and she believes me.” Villanelle leans forward, both forearms pressed into the table.

    “And what do you think Eve will do when she sees what you are truly capable of. When this goes from being a noir film to being her reality,” Elena questions. 

    “She will go back to you. Maybe Carolyn. Maybe she will go back to Niko. I do not know. Maybe some part of her wants to see what I’m capable of. Maybe some part of her wishes she got to live my life.”

    Elena eyes Villanelle then Eve who is walking back towards them. She calls out to Eve. “Niko’s been calling says he needs to talk to you. Do you have a number I can give him?”

    “Oh my god!” Eve exclaimed. “His wedding is coming up. I’ll call him as soon as we get back to the house. He’s probably so excited.”

    “Or he’s realizing he is marrying his rebound.” Elena says and begins picking up her stuff. “I need to get checked into my hotel. Same time tomorrow?”

    “Definitely. How long are you in town?” Eve asks and sits down Villanelle’s steaming hot coffee.

    “Until the tenth.”

    “Where are you staying?” 

    “Eve. I am not a child. Worry about your actual child.” Elena gestures to Villanelle getting ready to burn herself on her coffee. Villanelle does burn herself and quickly places down her coffee while rubbing her tongue, not noticing the women watching her.

    “Okay, well, I’ll see you tomorrow,” Eve says before capturing Elena in a hug. 

    “Get out of here,” Elena whispers before pulling away. She smiles and says goodbye to both Eve and Villanelle.

    Eve takes Elena’s place.

    “What did you two talk about?” Eve asks and pulls her tea over. 

    “She believes us,” is all Villanelle gives up.

    “Yeah? That’s good.”

    “Eve, what do you think is happening?”

    Eve tilts her head. “I’m helping you.”

    Villanelle wants to tell Eve that’s not possible. The Twelve will find Villanelle. Actually, she wants to tell Eve that Konstantin is on to them and that’s why she walked two miles to find Eve. But Eve is so hopeful. “Why?”

    “I… because…” Eve chokes on three words. So she changes what she says, “because you don’t deserve this. You could have been anything.”

    “I am a psychopath, Eve. I was never going to do anything good for anybody.” Villanelle looks away from Eve and drags her finger along the top of coffee mug.

    “You’ve done good for me.”

    Villanelle’s head shoots up.

    Eve and Villanelle stare at each other. Something in the air changes.

    Eve juts her thumb towards the exit of the shop, “Do you wanna-”

    “Yes.”

Chapter Text

    The house was empty.

    Which, thank god.

    Villanelle’s crutches drop to the floor as Eve pins her against her bedroom door. She doesn’t kiss Villanelle fast or hard. She doesn’t kiss her at all. Instead she pins her hands to the door and watches how heavy Villanelle’s breathing is. How her eyes don’t leave Eve’s lips.

    “Eve, kiss me,” Villanelle breathes out. “Please.”

    Finally, Eve leans forward and gently presses their lips together. There isn’t a time limit on how slow or fast they have to go. They can just… enjoy this. Villanelle's head hits the door as Eve runs her tongue along her bottom lip. Eve frustrates Villanelle. She has all control, holding Villanelle's hands against the door, preventing her from pulling Eve against her or gripping Eve's hair.

    Villanelle tastes the same but also different. Eve can taste bitter, black coffee which is new, but there's still that taste of insanity. Overindulgence , not insanity. Like everytime Eve kisses Villanelle she's overindulging. Practically gluttony, the way Eve kisses Villanelle. 

    Villanelle tries to push against Eve’s hands but Eve holds them tightly against the door.

    Eve pulls away and presses her forehead to Villanelle’s. “This would be a lot easier if you didn’t break your damn leg.”

    Villanelle laughs lightly. “If we’re on the bed we don’t need to worry about my leg.”

    Eve releases Villanelle's hands and picks up her crutches. “Okay, jackass.”

    It wasn’t very sexy, hobbling over to a bed to be fucked when you’re on crutches, but being sexy didn’t matter now. What mattered now, is Eve finally knows what she wants. Eve finally wants Villanelle.

    Villanelle sits on the edge of the bed while Eve takes her crutches. She places them carefully on the floor and then crawls on Villanelle’s lap. Her hands brush through the blonde hair and settle on the nape of Villanelle’s neck.

    “You’re so beautiful,” Eve says, “and so good.” She pulls Villanelle’s head up to connect their lips. The fervour which she kisses Villanelle with catches them both off guard, and it isn’t long before she’s following the V on Villanelle’s neck with her lips. She nips at the base of the V and she moves back up the snake, rotating her head.

    Villanelle presses her eyes shut and grips tightly at Eve’s hips when Eve starts sucking on her pulse point. It’s the groan Villanelle lets out that has Eve pulling away and studying Villanelle. 

    “Take this off,” Eve starting unbuttoning Villanelle’s blouse. “Take it off,” she says faster.

    Villanelle hurries to help her, leaving her in a skin tone, lace bralette, not covering much. Eve’s hand cusps her left breast and rubs her thumb over not her nipple, but the black ink. 3:20.

    “I didn’t think you were religious.”

    “And Adam called his wife Eve,” Villanelle repeats the first part of the passage. “The Soviet Union discouraged religion. I still do not believe in God. But I believe in you.”

    “You got my name tattooed on you.” Eve pulls off her orange knit sweater, showing Villanelle her tattoos.

    Villanelle chuckles. “A snake and a rose. I am on you.”

    “I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I thought about you all the time.” Eve leans next to Villanelle’s ear. “How you would feel under my hands, under my mouth. How you would feel grinding against my fingers. I would think of me showing you-”

    “How to love,” Villanelle finishes, voice thick. She gulps as she watches Eve pull back. Eve nods and pushes lightly on her shoulders until Villanelle gets the hint and lays back. 

    Their lips reconnect, finally, in the heated and rough pace they expected of one another. Eve’s hips rock down into Villanelle’s on their own accord. In the mess of their kisses they guide each other farther on the bed and once Villanelle is laid out, Eve sits up and rests her hands on Villanelle’s hips where her slacks rest. “I want these off.” 

    “So take them off,” Villanelle says smugly and puts her hands behind her head taking in the sight of Eve in a plain white bra. How beautiful Eve’s chest looked as it rose and fell. She closes her eyes as she feels Eve unzipping her pants and lifts her hips up to help Eve remove her pants.

    And her panties.

    Villanelle looks up in surprise at the boldness. Eve is standing at the foot of the bed taking off her own jeans and underwear. Eve is the first person Villanelle has truly believed is more attractive than herself. “Jesus Christ.”

    Eve looks up and smiles shyly, a blush covering her cheeks and chest.

    Villanelle props herself up as Eve crawls back on the bed and towards her. Eve slides her hands under the edges of Villanelle’s bralette. Raising her arms, Villanelle allows Eve to pull it off. The bralette gets tossed somewhere in the room and Eve’s thumbs are brushing against hard nipples.

    Villanelle falls back with a moan and Eve takes the chance to crawl down her toned body and capture one of her pebbled nipples in her mouth. Using her index finger and thumb she twists and pinches the other one. Eve groans at the pleasurable pain of Villanelle wrapping her hands in Eve’s hair, tugging her back up to her lips. 

    They kiss messily. Like they can't get enough of each other. Villanelle slides her hand down Eve's back for a moment to undo her bra and fling it away. She squeezes and kneads Eve's tits, eliciting moans from the woman above her. 

    As Villanelle sucks Eve’s tongue into her mouth, Eve teases her fingers on Villanelle’s hip bone. Villanelle groans in frustration and removes one of her hands from Eve’s breast to grab her wrist to guide it where she needs her.

    She lowers Eve’s hand and says, “Eve, please just fucking touch me.”

    Eve chuckles and pulls her hand away from Villanelle’s before she meets the sweet, hot nectar. “I will. Just trust me.” She moves her lips down Villanelle’s jaw, her neck, her collarbone, fueling the burning lust in Villanelle’s body with every harsh bite, and gentle kiss. Her tongue swirls around one nipple again. Then her teeth graze the other and makes Villanelle gasp and her back arch. 

    Slow enough to be considered torture, she moves back up and sucks on the black ink, until her own mark was left with it. Then she kissed down the Villanelle’s sternum and to the rose on her ribs. Every kiss making Villanelle more desperate. 

    It wasn’t until Eve sucks into the tattoo on Villanelle’s hip, the one they haven't discussed, that Villanelle slams her fist into the bed in frustration and then grips harshly at the sheet, “Fuck, Eve.”

    Eve had finally moved to Villanelle’s inner thighs and couldn’t help but moan at how wet Villanelle is. She has to hold herself back to manage to keep teasing the inside of Villanelle thighs, wanting nothing more than to finally taste Villanelle. Her hands and arms wrap around Villanelle’s bucking hips to hold her in place.

    And the moment she runs her tongue from Villanelle’s center to her clit, hands shoot to her hair

    “Oh my god, Eve! Oh-Fuck, yes.” Villanelle says as Eve begins sucking her clit. 

    Villanelle had been wrong when she said she was going to get Eve high in Santa Monica. Because this feeling, this… incredible feeling is higher than Villanelle has ever been before. The more Eve does-the more Eve responds to Villanelle’s groans, moans, pleases, and oh, fuck, oh yes, right there, I-yes-yes-yes , the higher Villanelle gets. The higher her back arches and the higher the pitch of her throaty, russian gasps gets. She gets higher and higher until all she can think is-

    “Oh my god. I’m going to cum,” Villanelle cries out and clamps her eyes shut. She’s right there, she’s so high, she’s so close, she’s -

    Eve slides two fingers into Villanelle, who instantly tightens around them.

    - gone.

    Her body freezes for a moment. 

    Then she’s trembling as Eve guides her through the overwhelming feeling. Waves of pleasure wash over her as she gasps and moans. This is everything. Everything she’s been waiting for since that dive bar in New Haven. It’s every emotion she’s never felt before. It’s-it’s-

    Eve watches from between Villanelle’s legs as Villanelle soaks her hand. Villanelle’s mouth hanging open as she loudly moans and grips her breasts. Her entire chest heaves. Eve removes her fingers and wipes them off on the bed before licking up everything Villanelle had to offer and slowly moving up her body. 

    Villanelle is crying, eyes still pressed shut.

    Eve rubs the tears away with her thumb and the action makes Villanelle open her eyes and look up at Eve. 

    “Are you okay?” Eve asks.

    Villanelle shakes her head, not finding her voice yet, but reaches her hands to grab Eve’s face and pull her lips against hers. She can taste herself on Eve and it makes her groan. Eve pulls away first.

    “What’s wrong?” Eve presses.

    Villanelle stares at her, tears still streaming. It’s love. “I love you.” 

    Eve laughs. “Is that why you’re crying?”

    Villanelle nods. “I have never felt so much. It was… overwhelming.”

    “Well… get used to it because I love you too.”

    “But-”

    “I know what I said last week.” And it was just last week she told Villanelle she didn’t love her and Villanelle wasn’t capable of love. “I was hurt, and angry that you left. But I realized I was so hurt because I love you.”

    “I left because I had so much love for you and I didn’t know what to do with it because I... I didn’t understand it but I knew I didn’t want you to get hurt. I made a deal with Raymond to not hurt anyone and a small amount of money if I went with him willingly.” Villanelle explains.

    “I know.” Eve falls back on the bed beside Villanelle. Both of them are breathing heavy until Eve starts laughing.

    “What?”

    “I can’t believe you cried the first time we had sex.”

    Villanelle smacks Eve. “You told me I can’t laugh when people are crying.”

    Eve looks over at Villanelle. She bites her lip to prevent herself to stop from more laughter.

    “You know,” Villanelle begins and flips her body to straddle Eve. Her cast hits the bed uncomfortably but she ignores it to say, “you say had sex like we are already finished.” Her wet heat rubs-drips-against Eve’s stomach.

    The laughter and smile are gone and replaced with Eve watching Villanelle grind against her abdomen. It’s Villanelle’s turn to chuckle. The cast on her leg hurts but she’s thankful it only goes up to under her knee. 

    “Eve, touch me,” Villanelle commands. When Eve nods and places her hands on Villanelle’s hips, Villanelle leans back, putting pressure on her good leg to relieve the pain in her broken fibula, and groans as her hand meets Eve’s soaking center. She finds her swollen clit and swirls her fingers around it.

    Eve’s hips jerk up under Villanelle and her fingers dig into Villanelle's ass pulling her down. “Villanelle,” she gasps.

    Villanelle removes her fingers and brings them to her lips, tasting Eve.

    Eve clenches around nothing at the sight. 

    “Fuck, fuck, Eve,” Villanelle says hurridly at the taste of Eve’s tangy flavor. Unmatched and she needs more. “Eve, scoot back,” Villanelle instructs while sliding down Eve’s body. 

    By the time Eve’s sitting up, Villanelle is thrusting her tongue as far as it could go into Eve, body laid out on the bed. It barely gives Eve time to look at the colorful ink on Villanelle’s back before her eyes clamped shut. There’s hands pressing into Eve’s thighs and pushing them up. Up into Eve’s chest. Up until Eve gets the hint and holds them herself. Then with free hands, Villanelle slips her hands in the skin where Eve’s thighs are pressing into her hips and pulls Eve closer. 

    Villanelle can’t get enough. Eve’s is perfect. Her moans, her gasps, her taste

    Her groans vibrate against Eve’s core and Eve doesn’t know how long she can handle it. Villanelle finally slides her tongue out of Eve, and barely catches her breathe before pulling Eve’s clit into her mouth.

    “Christ, Vill,” Eve moans when her grip falters on her thighs. 

    Villanelle notices and pulls Eve’s thighs around her ears.

    Eve takes the chance to look at the colorful tattoo on Villanelle back. Tattoos, she corrects herself as she realizes that it is two tattoos. Although, she doesn’t get to study it too much when Villanelle begins to tease Eve’s entrance. Dipping in and out but not enough to give Eve what she needs. Although, with Villanelle sucking on her clit like-

    “Fucking fuck, right there. Right there.” Villanelle flicks her tongue on a spot on the side of Eve’s clit that is sending Eve flying towards the edge.

    Villanelle moans as she feels Eve’s thighs beginning to shake. She pulls back. 

    “Say you love me,” Villanelle says, with Eve’s juices coating her chin and dilated eyes staring into Eve’s just as dilated eyes. “Say it and I’ll fuck you hard. Like you want-Like you need.”

    “I l-” Villanelle thrusts two fingers into Eve and curls them just right. Eve shuts her eyes and cries out, “I love you!”

    It becomes a chant as Villanelle thrusts hard into Eve and returns to her clit with her hot mouth. Villanelle is so close to cumming just from tasting Eve that she slides her free hand under her body and meets her own needs.

    When Villanelle lets out a high, sharp whine against Eve’s clit, Eve opens her eyes. Seeing Villanelle eyes flutter shut-seeing Villanelle getting off to fucking her-seeing it all is too much. When Eve’s orgasm starts, when she freezes, when Villanelle is flooded with Eve, she can’t help but come undone too.


    “You aren’t leaving now, right?” Eve jokes. Villanelle can hear the scared tone under it though.

    Their laying intertwined now. Villanelle laying with her head on Eve’s right shoulder and has her right arm wrapped just under Eve’s breasts. She props herself up on an elbow and studies Eve. 

    “I’m never going anywhere without you again,” Villanelle answers while Eve brushes some blonde strands out of her face and behind her ear.

    “What if you don’t have a choice?”

    “Are you thinking about leaving me?” Villanelle teases. 

    “Of course not. I’m here.”

    Villanelle reaches forward, moving her arm up from Eve’s chest, and plays with one of Eve’s curls. She pulls it straight and then lets go, watching it bounce. “You know, it’s going to be hard hiding this from Konstantin.” She then moves her hand to one of Eve’s breast. “I’m going to want to be playing with these all the time.”

    Eve shakes her head and laughs. “Of course, you will. You know, we don’t have to hide it.”

    She drops Eve’s tit and looks up in disgust. “You want Konstantin to watch?” Villanelle’s back connects with the bed when Eve shoves her away.

    “That’s not what I meant at all. I meant we don’t have to hide that we are together.”

    “But then he will know I told you about what I really do.”

    “So?” Eve sits up now. “Maybe he won’t and if he asks, I’ll pretend that he is the one telling me. Maybe I could be-”

    “You are not joining the Twelve.” Villanelle sits up too.

    “I could, and that would give us more time, Villanelle.”

    “More time to what, Eve? More time to feed into this fantasy that you are going to save me from what? Me? Anna wanted to change me to.”

    “I don’t want to change you. I love you.” Eve grabs Villanelle jaw and forces her to look at her. “I love you ,” she repeats. “And I’m going to do whatever is necessary to be with you.”

    “Including joining the Twelve?” Villanelle asks.

    “Including joining the Twelve,” Eve repeats.

    “We will have a big day tomorrow then,” Villanelle says reluctantly. “You won’t be able to come back from this, Eve.”

    Instead of responding, Eve leans forward and kisses Villanelle.

    Anything to be together.

    Eve backs up and nods at Villanelle’s hip. “A lily?”

    Villanelle tenses. “Yes. It was Adam’s idea. Renewal and rebirth.”

    “For Anna?” Eve guesses.

    “Yes."

    “When did you get it? I don’t remember you having it.”

    “Were you looking at my hips a lot, Eve? Objectifying me?” Villanelle teases.

    “Oh, shut up. You hoped I ‘objectified’ you.” Eve climbs out of the bed and picks up her sweater. “What about the tattoos on your back?”

    “Boris and Igor,” Villanelle replies. “They were my-hey, you aren’t leaving right?” she interrupts herself when Eve starts pulling on her underwear. 

    “No, I’m cold,” Eve replies with laughter.

    “Just snuggle with me.” Villanelle slides down the bed and picks up the comforter.

    Eve rolls her eyes and climbs into bed. “So, Boris and Igor?”

    “Yes, they were my father’s dogs. Kavkazskaya Ovcharka.” Villanelle tilts her head while she thinks of the English words. “Shepherd dogs. Large. Caucasian shepherd dogs.” She rolls over and grabs her crutches, then gets out of bed.

    Eve watches the muscles in Villanelle’s back flex. The tattoo of the dogs is neat. Bright and colorful in blues and pinks. Villanelle’s back has a litter of faded scars, but besides that it was smooth, curving into a tight ass that had red fingernail prints. She digs through the top drawer of her dresser for something and makes a noise of triumph when she finds it.

    Villanelle leans her crutches against the dresser and hops back to the bed. She falls on it and scoots into Eve’s arms. Once settled with her back against Eve’s chest, Villanelle unfolds the photograph. 

    Eve smiles and her chest warms.

    There’s little Oksana Astankova between two dogs that sit higher than she is tall. Behind her stands mother and father. Or… supposed to be father. He looks absolutely nothing like her. Long face, small eyes, and pitch black hair. The picture is faded, but she can see Villanelle’s mother was a ginger. She realizes she knows nothing of Villanelle’s life in the Soviet Union, but here she looks so happy. Toothless, wide grin, and choppy white, blonde hair.

    “How old were you?” Eve asks while playing with Villanelle’s hair.

    “Six. Konstantin took the picture. He was dad’s brother. They were not very close, but Konstantin was allowed to come over for my birthday and holidays,  It was Victory Day… a day where we would celebrate the fall of Nazi Germany. May 9.”

    “Did you like your family?”

    “For the most part. They were very rich. My father was a part of the KGB, which paid very good. He never liked me very much and he was very hard on me but I am grateful for it. It made me strong. My mother was easy on me, very sweet, but she got cancer and her hair got very thin and began falling out. It made her ugly, so my father cheated. I caught him and he tried to kill me. At that time my mother was already in the hospital full time so Konstantin got custody of me after that and not very long after my mother passed away. Sometimes I worry I will get cancer and it will make me ugly.” Villanelle says it very objectively. She taps on the picture. “This was a very good day.”

    “Villanelle…” Eve presses her lips on top of Villanelle’s head. “I am so glad you are here.”

    Villanelle smiles and closes the picture. She is here now, no longer the girl in the picture. “I am too, Eve. You make everything in life worth it.”

    “So what happened to the dogs?” Eve asks absentmindedly.

    “They had to be euthanized for killing my father.”

    “What?” Eve leans away and studies Villanelle.

    “When he tried to kill me, he pushed me through one of our sliding doors to the backyard. It caused me to bleed, but also caused the dogs to get in. They tore him to shreds. I had more of his blood on me than my own by the time the officers arrived,” Villanelle elaborates. “They were very good dogs, Eve.”

    “You… got the dogs that… Okay,” Eve says and then shimmies down so her Villanelle are both laying down. “Well, I’m thankful for Boris and Igor for saving your life.”

    “Can we get dog one day, Eve?”

    “Sure, but I’m not getting one of those man-eating fuckers in my house.”

    Villanelle laughs and rolls over to look at Eve. “I want a greyhound. They are fast. We will need a big backyard.”

    “I don’t want a huge house though,” Eve plays along to this fantasy.

    “Big backyard… small house… so we will get a cabin.”

    “I could do a cabin. By a lake or a river.”

    And the pair go back and forth talking about their future home together until they fall asleep.


    It’s around 1 am when Villanelle sneaks, there isn’t much sneaking for someone on crutches, out of the room in loose sweats and a hoodie for water. She is surprised to see the downstairs lights on. That meant Konstantin was still up. Or in a meeting. 

    Wanting to find out, she goes very slowly down the stairs. A couple steps creak under her crutches but not enough to stop the woman’s voice. Did Konstantin have a lady friend? The first landing is all the further Villanelle has to go to hear their conversation.

    “I don’t see the issue, Konstantin. I think this would be very convenient for you,” says the woman. British. Could it be?

    “She is injured right now. I do not think it would be smart for her to go overseas,” Konstantin replies.

    Villanelle squats down and sits on a step.

    “What type of injury?”

    “Broken fibula. She got it around Christmas, I do not know exactly when because when we found her, we were very lucky she wasn’t dead with how dehydrated she was.”

    “You had her in a cast by what the 26th?” The woman inquires.

    “That sounds right.”

    “Then she will be healed by the end of the month. Perfect.” Some books are closed and Villanelle jumps up and moves to the corner of the landing so they can’t see her through the open stairs.

    “Carolyn, I have not agreed to anything.” They walk out of the room, Konstantin’s office, and Villanelle can see Carolyn walking in front of Konstantin, and sharply turn at his words.

    “No, but you have agreed to not have a SWAT team raiding your house. I have an arrest warrant for two women staying in this very house, Konstantin. So tell me, have you agreed?”

    Konstantin stares at her, not responding. 

    Carolyn turns and walks towards the exit of the house, “I’ll see myself out.”

    When the door closes, Konstantin rubs a hand through his hair. “Villanelle, I know you are awake.”

    “Fuck,” she mumbles move to go down the stairs.

    “Come, let’s go outside I need to smoke.”

    Outside, Villanelle sits in a chair with her casted calf in another. Konstantin leans over the railing. Villanelle speaks first, “Are you selling me?”

    Konstantin laughs. “Unfortunately, I can not get rid of you that easy.”

    “Then what does Carolyn want with me?”

    He turns and looks at her, somber. “She wants you to do a job for her.”

    “And then what? When I’m done she arrests me?” Villanelle leans forward. “Konstantin, she has been tracing me for years now. That is part of the reason I haven’t come back here.”

    “Do not lie to me, Villanelle. You were running from more than Carolyn. You were running from the Twelve because you blamed us for Anna.” Konstantin walks forward and pulls the chair away from Villanelle foot to sit down. "Does Eve know?"

    "What?" Villanelle picks at her thumb.

    "Who you are? What you do for us? I do not want another Anna situation where once she finds out she hates you."

    "Eve knows. She… witnessed me torture someone. And she loves me." Villanelle looks at Konstantin. "Konstantin, I do not want to leave her," she admits.

    His stare softens. "Carolyn, promised me immunity for you for 6 months if you do this job for her."

    "What about Eve?"

    "She is not apart of the Twelve. We do not protect her," Konstantin reminds Villanelle.

    "What if she was?" Villanelle asks.

    "What if she was what?"

    "Apart of the Twelve."

    Konstantin laughs. "She would not want to join."

    "She actually asked me to."

    "You're joking. I knew you two have been up to something, but Eve joining the Twelve?"

    “I know. I told her no.”

    “And how long did that last? Ten minutes?” Konstantin jokes. He stands. “I will be right back, I think we both need a drink.”

    “No. We need to talk about this Konstantin,” Villanelle says to stop him.

    He raises an eyebrow. “I cannot make this decision alone. I will have to get the others in town. It will take some time.”

    “That’s fine. As long as it’s before the end of the month.”

    “You want her to go with Britain with you?” Konstantin guesses.

    “If she’s a prospect at the time it will be a good opportunity to begin proving herself. You can tell Carolyn I will accept to work for her if she extends my immunity to Eve.” Villanelle picks up her crutches and stands. 

    “What if she refuses?” Konstantin asks, watching Villanelle head towards the house.

    “You make sure she doesn’t. And Konstantin?” Villanelle stops and turns. “You will vote no, right?"

    "I will vote for what I believe at the time," Konstantin answers.

    "You think she should join the Twelve? That Eve has ‘Twelve potential’?" Villanelle asks.

    Konstantin raises an eyebrow. "You don’t?”

Chapter Text

    Breakfast is oddly silent. 

    Eve watches as Villanelle and Konstantin talk through raised eyebrows and quick eye movements. She wonders if a part of Villanelle knows Konstantin is her father. They have the same twinkle in their eyes, the same bold mannerisms. She compares different parts of their face. Then she gets to their necks.

    Villanelle’s neck in particular.

    And the dark red and pink marks littered in a perfect V.

    By the time she can feel the red on her cheeks, Villanelle is practically spraying milk out of her nose. 

    Before the conversation can take an uncomfortable turn for himself, Konstantin says, “So Villanelle tells me you want to join the Twelve, Eve.”

    Eve looks confused, when did Villanelle have the chance to speak to Konstantin?

    “I was up getting water and saw Konstantin was up,” Villanelle tells Eve when she senses her confusion. “We just had a small talk about it.” 

    “Villanelle informed me that you… have an idea about what the Twelve is and she let you know her line of work,” Konstantin continues.

    “She’s an assassin. After you brought her here for killing a classmate,” Eve answers.

    Konstantin chuckles. “Yes. I hope you know if you joined the Twelve, given your age-”

    “I’m thirty four,” Eve defends herself in disbelief.

    “Yes, turning thirty five this year and three to four years of training you would already be nearly forty by the time you could start taking jobs. So, as I was saying, given your age, you would probably be more intel. Meeting people, making people trust you and Villanelle, or whoever you are with at the time. But that is months away from being decided,” Konstantin says and stands. He grabs everyone’s bowls and makes his way to the sink. Eve gets up and follows him while Villanelle stays seated, tapping her fingers on the table. Counting.

    “Months? You don’t decide?” Eve asks and leans on the counter across the sink.

    “No, it is a vote. It will take a few weeks to get everyone in to town to decide if you have potential. We have actually had an eye on you for a while. Anton in Columbus wasn’t just a chance happening. He had been tracking you since you were an officer in New Haven.”

    Villanelle slams her first down on the table, making Eve and Konstantin both turn towards her.

    “Villanelle…” Eve begins.

    “I knew. I saw him following you in New Haven. I didn’t know who you were, but I knew what Anton meant,” Villanelle says. “I tried to get you out of there.”

    “I did not know this,” Konstantin states.

    “Well, it didn’t matter, because here I am now,” Eve says, slightly angry at Villanelle. 

    “Yes, here you are now. You should be grateful you will have Villanelle as a mentor and not Anton. His trainees had a habit of… mysteriously dying. But then again, Villanelle has never had someone under her wing before. She did not play well with others.” Konstantin gives Villanelle a pointed look. His phone starts ringing.

    Eve puts her head down on the counter, while he dries his hands and goes to answer the phone. Clicking of crutches comes up behind her and Villanelle rests her head between Eve’s shoulder blades.

    “The moment I met you in that dive bar, I knew I didn’t want this for you, Eve. I was trying to prevent this,” Villanelle explains.

    “It wasn’t your choice.” Eve sighs. “So you did kill Anton?”

    “I really didn’t. He was trying to push me off my bike because he knew what I was doing and it caused him to fall. I promise.”

    Silence falls between them. Villanelle just feels Eve’s calm breathing. Eve starts to laugh.

    “Do you think I’m old?”

    Villanelle stands up and Eve turns to hop up on the counter. Villanelle moves to be between her legs. “Eve, you’re thirty four, going through your mid-life crisis. Of course I think you’re old.”

    Eve pushes her shoulder which results in laughter from Villanelle. “You are such a dick.”

    “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and it is a privilege to get to know you.”

    “Okay, you can try to be romantic, but it’s not going to work.”

    “When’s your birthday?”

    “September 17th, 1951. You?”

    “March 12, ‘60,” Villanelle grabs Eve’s arm and begins pressing light kisses up her arm. “I want you. Fuck, I want you so bad.”

    “Ladies,” Konstantin walks back into the kitchen. Villanelle leans away from Eve with a frown. “I’m sorry to leave in a rush, but I have to go to a meeting.”

    “It’s okay, we were heading out soon to meet with one of Eve’s friends, anyways.”

    “Okay, just make sure you lock up before leaving.” Konstantin grabs his coat and starts to head down the call way.

    Eve leans down and grabs Villanelle’s loose collar to yank her into a passionate kiss. Villanelle runs her hand up and down Eve’s bare thighs, teasing them under her soft shorts. 

    “And no sex on my kitchen counter!” Konstantin yells from the first floor.

    Eve and Villanelle pull apart, laughing.


 

    Villanelle fiddles with the soft purple turtleneck. 

    “Stop fucking with it,” Eve whispers at Villanelle while she holds the door open for her. 

    “If you didn’t want Elena to know we’re together then you shouldn’t have made it so obvious,” Villanelle points out and crutches into the same coffee shop as yesterday. “Besides we’re running half an hour late.” Elena waves from a booth in the corner.

    Eve presses her hand on Villanelle’s back. “Go sit down with Elena while I get our drinks,” Eve tells her and then steps around her to the front counter.

    The girl working smiles warmly at Eve. She leans forward. “You and your girlfriend are adorable,” she whispers and then leans back. “What can I get you today?”

    Eve flushes. “I...uh… just a medium chamomile tea and large black coffee.”

    The girl nods and goes back to pour the drinks. Eve watches Elena and Villanelle talk, both lively. Elena laughs when-

    “Oh my god,” Eve says under her breath as she watches Villanelle pull down her collar. She should have known better than send Villanelle over. 

    “Here you go, ma’am,” the girl says. “On the house.”

    Eve glances at her open wallet and at the drinks. “That’s not- Thank you.”

    “No problem. It’s nice to see people not be scared.”

    A small nod and smile ends the conversation. And hopefully hides the sudden pounding of Eve’s heart. With everything going on, her and Villanelle have practically been in their little bubble, both walking at the very edge of it around each other. Now, that they’ve finally collided, the bubble has burst.

    Eve looks around at the different customers. Any one of them could follow her and Villanelle out of the shop. Any one could attack them. But Eve swallows the fear. She realizes, to be a part of the Twelve she needs to be able to handle her own. To not be afraid.

    “Thanks, baby,” Villanelle says, taking the coffee from Eve as Eve sits beside her in the booth.

    “What happened to not telling Elena?” Eve asks with a roll of her eyes. She stretches her arms and one just happens to land around Villanelle’s shoulders. 

    “I knew as soon as you two walked in. Everyone in the shop knew,” Elena jokes. “Then Villanelle going from wearing a sleeveless shirt yesterday to wearing a turtleneck today? Not at all suspicious.”


 

    The trio talked for quite some time before Elena finally wanted the details. 

    “You two are hiding something,” Elena says while stretching out on her booth seat.

    “Eve is going to be staying in Santa Monica with me,” Villanelle states.

    Elena tilts her head. “What?”

    Taking a deep breath before speaking, Eve informs her, “I’m going to try to join the Twelve.”

    “No,” Elena responds. “No. Are you fucking kidding me?” She points at Villanelle, “You’re allowing this?”

    “Villanelle has no part of it. The Twelve was investigating me before Villanelle. If it wasn’t for her I’d already be a member,” Eve tells her.

    “No, you’d be a prospect,” Villanelle corrects. “We actually took some of the motorcycle traditions.”

    “Well, she’s not going to be either, because she’s coming back with me.” Elena points at Villanelle. “I’ve seen you ruin too many people’s lives. I’m not letting you ruin Eve’s.”

    Villanelle’s top lip twitches as her hand tightens into a fist under the table.

    “What are you talking about?” Eve asks and looks between them.

    “Do you want to tell her or you want me to?” Elena raises an eyebrow.

    Villanelle resets her jaw and looks out the window.

    Elena scoffs. “Do you remember how I told you Villanelle fought a guy in Columbus and we hadn’t been back since?”

    Eve shrugs. “Kind of. Why?” She studies Villanelle’s tight face, like Villanelle is on the verge of jumping the table and wrapping her hands around Elena’s neck.

    “That wasn’t the complete truth. Villanelle pulled a knife out of the guy’s belt and stabbed it through his neck. And his buddy-”

    “-pulled out a gun. I grabbed it. Shot him, and the 6 other patrons and the bartender. It was me, Anna, and Elena. Anna pretended it never happened. Elena just told the others what she told you,” Villanelle finished. Her fist in clenching and unclenching on top of the table.

    Eve sets her hand on top of Villanelle’s.

    Villanelle jerks her head to stare at their hands.

    Eve speaks, “Villanelle is-”

    “Eve, you haven’t seen her kill someone. She enjoys it. There’s this look in her eyes like an excited child. Once you see it, this fantasy of yours will crumble.”

    “Elena, I’m glad you care but I’m staying.”

    Elena shakes her head. “I shouldn’t have expected anything different from someone who gives a gun to someone suicidal.” She stands up. “You both are terrible people, and I hope you get what you deserve.”

    “We’ll be stopping by in a couple weeks to pick up Eve’s stuff,” Villanelle calls after Elena. 

    “Go fuck yourselves!” Elena says with a tight smile. The bell on the door rings as everyone in the shop watches the scene. 

    Villanelle steals her hand away from Eve’s to lay it along the back of the booth. “You love me,” she states with her teeth glistening.

    Eve moves her hand to pick at her thumb, taking a moment to respond. “It wasn’t an accident that you killed those men, was it?”

    “No.” Villanelle leans her head on Eve’s. “It was a job. My last job I did for the Twelve until I met you.”

    “Did Anna figure it out?” Eve asked.

    “Of course not. You are the only person. Anna had no idea and genuinely tried to convince herself it was all an accident. She knew… I did things for the Twelve, but she refused to actually listen to me talk about it. She refused to know that whole part of me." Villanelle straightens up and looks at Eve. "The whole time we were together… she never chose me.”

    “I choose you. You no matter what. I want you,” Eve says and cusps Villanelle face. And it doesn’t matter, Eve doesn’t need to be afraid of anything. She kisses Villanelle in the coffee shop.

    No one says anything.

    Villanelle pulls away and grins. “Do you want to go to the pier?”

    “What about your leg?” Eve asks.

    “It’ll be fine.”


 

    The first thing they do on the pier is get cotton candy. Villanelle’s idea and she pays. She pays for them to get tickets to ride a couple of the rides. She plays a game to win Eve a stuffed animal and then when she doesn’t win the stuffed animal, Eve has to break up a fight between her and the employee.

   Someone is trying to swallow fire and Villanelle goes up. He tries to show her but it ends when Villanelle just almost sets the pier on fire.

   Eve’s sitting on the edge of the pier jokingly shoving Villanelle as if she was going to push Villanelle off the pier. Although, one good shove sends their cotton candy stick falling down into the water.

    Villanelle stares at it in the water with the resemblance of a child.

    “Eve, I’m going to jump in and rescue it,” Villanelle says, maybe warns.

    “Villanelle,” Eve replies in the same long drawn out tone, “That water is way too fucking cold. And! I doubt your cast can-” Eve catches Villanelle’s hand as she goes to jump off- “Don’t you fucking dare.”

    Instead of arguing Villanelle intertwines their fingers and calms down. She puts her head on Eve’s shoulder and begins humming a song. 

    The sun is just beginning to set on the ocean causing a beautiful pink sky. Soft yellow fading into peach orange and the blue of the ocean reflecting the reds, pinks, and purples. Sunsets look a lot like love.

    Sunsets look a lot like the way Villanelle makes Eve feel.

    Something not quite tangible, not quite catchable, not quite… real. But entirely too warm, too beautiful, enough to make someone waste their whole life just waiting for.

    Unless it’s worth it. 

    Photographers spend their entire life waiting for the perfect picture of a sunset. But they feel accomplished when they capture it.

    Or at least Eve hopes they do.

    “What song was that?” Eve asks as Villanelle grows quiet.

    “I don't want to set the world on fire,” Villanelle replies.

    Eve chuckles, “You’re kind of an oldie at heart aren’t you?”

    “My mother liked American music. She could only play it when Father was not home.”

    “Because he was KGB?” Eve guesses.

    “Yes. My mother knew he would not allow it. She hid the records under my bed.” She gets oddly quiet. Then, Villanelle tilts her head. “Do you want to ride the Ferris wheel? We still have a couple tickets.”

    “Villanelle-”

    “Eve. I do things that make me happy. This conversation is not making me happy. Riding the Ferris wheel will make me happy. But…” she hands Eve a ticket, “only if you ride it with me.”

    Eve stares at the ticket for a moment before nodding. They make their way to the Ferris wheel. Villanelle sits down and waits as Eve places her crutches against the metal fence. This early in the year there is barely any other people e there.

    "Have fun, ladies," the young man says as he starts the Ferris wheel.

    "Eve, do you remember what I told you?" Villanelle asks when they are half way up and begins digging her pocket.

    Eve looks at Villanelle. She does remember but she’s caught off guard when she looks at Villanelle. The golden sun frames her high cheekbones. Shines on her make-up less face. Accentuates her long neck and makes the black tattoo on her neck look as dark as her pupils. 

    But Eve isn’t caught off guard by that.

    She’s caught off guard by the spot between swallowing black pupils and a strong black tattoo.

    She’s caught off guard by the way Villanelle’s tongue pokes out of the corner of her mouth.

    She's caught off guard by the freckle next to her eye.

    “Eve, are-”

    “I love you. I love you so fucking much.” Eve leans forward and kisses Villanelle with a new found passion. Her mind just repeats the phrase, it’s worth it.

    And Villanelle didn’t lie when she told Eve she would get her high because kissing her is intoxicating. And addicting. And it makes Eve feel like she’s on top of the world.

    At some point, Villanelle must have decided that just kissing wasn’t enough because her tongue is in Eve’s mouth and Eve is making a noise that’s between a moan and a sigh. But, Villanelle gets ahead of herself and tries to pull Eve on top of her rocking the entire seat.

    “Fuck!” Eve exclaims as she tries to steady the ride.

    Villanelle throws her head back and laughs. Her laughter is loud and bold making the entire seat rock more.

    “Villanelle, stop,” Eve yells and smacks Villanelle’s right leg.  

    “Eve, it is okay. Everything is okay,” Villanelle tells her and wraps an arm around Eve’s shoulder. “I am keeping you safe.”

    “You are also the one putting me in danger,” Eve scoffs but leans against Villanelle. “I love you.”

    They just talk lightly back and forth for the rest of the ride. Making future plans… maybe a promise. It’s private and it’s their’s and no one else can ruin.

    Until, Eve is getting up to grab Villanelle’s crutches and she hears, “Fucking faggots.”

    Eve stops.

    Then her fist connects with a stubbled, wide jaw.

    “Jesus, Eve!” Villanelle exclaims. She’s kinda fucked, not having her crutches near her. So she watches as Eve hits the guy again.

    And that saying about men not hitting women?

    This man never heard it.

    Eve stumbles back a few steps. Dark red skin already turning purple around her eye. It doesn’t stop her though, because next thing’s next and Eve is straddling the man. She gets ready to hit him again before stopping, noticing he's scared. He's scared of Eve.

    Knowing that… Eve feels powerful. Strong. She leans down to whisper in his ear, "Have a nice day," before standing to get Villanelle's crutches.

    Villanelle looks at the man then reaches for her crutches. "Follow me," she tells Eve.

    Eve follows Villanelle, a bit confused, and in a bit of pain. She thinks she may need to ice her hand when they get home.

    They step in to a building and Villanelle turns immediately when they step into it, forcing Eve to stay against the door.

    Villanelle slowly balances on one foot and sets her crutches against the wall, then leans forward and turns the deadbolt by Eve's elbow. That's the moment where Eve's brain catches up with Villanelle's brain. Or maybe it's the moment when Villanelle is kissing Eve's neck.

    "Oh," Eve states. "Oh."

    This is what Villanelle feels like all the time. Eve's head bounces off the door when Villanelle is on her knees lowering Eve's pants. Eve gets it now. She understands Villanelle, completely. This feeling.

    Being strong.

    Being assertive.

    Being honest about who you are.

    It feels good.

    "So fucking good."

Chapter Text

    24 days.

    Villanelle and Eve have basically come trapped in their bedrooms. Trapped in each other. To be fair, there really wasn’t much reason for them to do anything else. They were just playing the waiting game. They waited twenty days for Villanelle to get her cast off, which was a situation in of itself. Jerome told them that Villanelle’s leg most likely wouldn’t be completely healed, taking the cast off a week early, and to take it easy. 

    Villanelle has a funny definition of taking it easy because as soon as Jerome was out of the room, Villanelle was picking up Eve and slamming her against the nearest wall.

    Eve learned very fast what sex with Villanelle was truly like.

    Something else that changed when Villanelle got her cast off was she started running. Which Eve tried to join her. And then when they hit the mile mark and Villanelle was still wanting to go another, Eve thought she might die. 

    But it was that 24 day mark that their lives was going to change.

    Villanelle walks out of Eve’s bedroom, rubbing the back of her neck. Eve’s lounging on Konstantin’s sofa reading a book while quiet music plays.

    “What are you reading?” Villanelle asks as she leans over the back of the sofa to kiss Eve’s head and then walks into the kitchen to make a very late breakfast. 

    “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,” Eve replies and then calls out, “There’s left over bacon in the microwave.”

    Villanelle grins. “Thank you!” She bounces over to the microwave to pull the plate of bacon out. “Where’s Konstantin?”

    “On the phone,” Eve answers. She sets the book down and gets up. “Good afternoon by the way.”

    Villanelle glances at the clock. It was a bit later than she thought. “You kept me up very late last night.”

    “I keep you up very late every night. And you get up late every day. Don’t act like this is the first time,” Eve scolds and slaps Villanelle’s ass before jumping up on the counter. “What do you want to do today?”

    “We should probably finally breakdown and get your stuff from the apartment. We finally cleared out the top floor,” Villanelle says while hopping up on the counter beside Eve. She bites a piece of bacon, thinking hard. They moved most of Villanelle closet down to her room and are going to move into the top floor together for a couple months while Eve is a prospect. Then they agreed they wanted to go back to living on the road for a while before finding a cabin somewhere.

    “Do you think Konstantin will let us borrow his van?” Eve asks and steals the bacon in Villanelle’s hand.

    “How much shit do you have woman?” Villanelle asks and picks up her plate before jumping off the counter and moving away from the bacon thief.

    “Woman? Are you kidding me?” Eve scoffs, then she answers her question, “Not a lot. But we both only have motorcycles and no offense but a saddlebag isn’t going to hold much more than a couple shirts.”

    “Hello Eve. Villanelle. I will need you out of the house today.” Konstantin walks into the kitchen and grabs the plate of bacon from Villanelle, who’s jaw drops.

    “Perfect. We will need your van,” Villanelle says once she deals with the fact that she only got one and a half pieces of bacon. 

    “Why?” Konstantin asks.

    Eve jumps off the counter and takes the plate back from Konstantin and hands it to Villanelle. “We want to go get my stuff.”

    “You two make yourselves very comfortable in my house.”

    “That you paid for with the money I make from killing people.” Villanelle takes her plate of bacon and goes to the living room, climbing over the back of the sofa and then turning to face Eve and Konstantin while standing on it. They couldn’t reach her bacon now. 

    “Which you get your jobs from me,” Konstantin points out, “but fine.” He digs in his pocket for the keys, “Just don’t let Villanelle drive.” He hands Eve the keys and eyes Villanelle standing on his sofa. “Eve, you do realize you may not be voted in the Twelve, and if you aren’t… you will have to be taken care of.”

    Eve drops her voice a few octaves so Villanelle can’t hear her, “You do realize I could tell your daughter who you are?”

    Konstantin glances at Eve and the two stare at each other while Eve finally takes the keys away from him. Little to Eve’s knowledge, this is the moment that Konstantin makes his decision about how he is voting.


 

    “Eve, pull in there,” Villanelle says and throws her arm in front of Eve’s face. 

    Eve smacks her hand down, “Where?”

    “That place,” Villanelle points, less in Eve’s face this time, at a leather tailor. “I need to get a new jacket.” She gestures to all the tears and holes in the jacket she’s wearing now. 

    So, Eve pulls into the parking lot of the small tailor. Once, a part of a strip mall, now the only shop that lasts. Villanelle wrangles her hands together, and takes a moment to get out of the van to follow Eve. She puts a hop in her step so she can get in front of Eve and open the glass door for her.

    Eve rolls her eyes, “Wow, you only had to shove me out of the way to be a gentleman and open the door.”

    “Thank you for appreciating my efforts,” Villanelle says with a smirk. Her hand teases around Eve’s back but ends up not wrapping around Eve’s back. “Sorry.”

    Eve smiles and whispers, “Hey, it’s ok-”

    “Villanelle!” 

    Both women turn to the sudden interruption. A tall, lumberjack type of man walks towards them. His yellow teeth make up a smile full of gaps, and dimples covered by a ginger beard wrap around it. He makes Villanelle look short when he wraps her in a hug. “It’s been so long.” Then he pushes her away and glances at her jacket. “Now, I know why Konstantin put in the order for a new jacket for you,” he turns to Eve, “and this must be-”

    “It is. Not official yet. They’re voting right now.”

    “And yet they have you running errands and not just her,” he teases and then starts walking towards the back of the shop. 

    Eve waits until he has disappeared to ask, “Who is that?”

    “Parker McKenzie. He does all the leather wear for Konstantin’s employees,” Villanelle asks. “I actually didn’t know if it would still be him or not.” 

    “He has a crush on you,” Eve says more as a statement, then a guess.

    “I slept with him one time and ever since he’s wanted a round two.” Villanelle spins Eve and wraps her arms around Eve’s waist. “Before you get jealous, I will never sleep with anyone else again-I haven’t slept with anyone else since I’ve met you.”

    “You say that like there’s just a line up of people want to have sex with you.” Eve laughs and steps away from Villanelle. “So he knows of me?”

    “Konstantin put in an order for a jacket for me, and a prospect cut. He didn’t know of you but that there was a new prospect.”

    “And prospects get sent to run errands,” Eve guesses. “Wow, so fun.” She walks away from Villanelle to look at some of the leather coats on racks.

    Villanelle can’t tell if Eve’s actually angry or not. It annoys her a little that Eve thinks she would just be an assassin or something. She grabs a hold of Eve’s wrist to pull Eve back.

    It’s tight and hurts.

    Eve yanks her hand away from Villanelle, surprised. Then angry. 

    “Eve, I’m sorry,” Villanelle tries to apologize.

    “I’ll be waiting in the car.” Eve walks out of the shop, letting the glass door slam shut behind her.

    Villanelle stands in the middle of the shop. She didn’t mean to hurt Eve. It was just, she didn’t get why Eve was angry with her. 

    “Everything alright out here?” Parker asks. 

    Villanelle nods and pulls out her wallet to pay for the order. “Actually, can you make another adjustment to the prospect cut?”


 

    Eve is sitting in the van rubbing her wrist. There’s a little bruising but nothing too bad. Eve knows this is a red flag, but so is dating a psychopath. Villanelle is a pit bull. She just needs to be taught what is and isn’t okay to do.

    The passenger door opens. 

    The bag in Villanelle’s hand crinkles as she sets it in her lap and sits down beside Eve. 

    They both wait for the other to speak.

    “Can I see your wrist?” Villanelle asks, her voice just above being silent.

    Eve moves her hand into Villanelle’s gentle touch. 

    Villanelle moves her hand around, checking for swelling. “It doesn’t look broke.”

    “No, it isn’t.” Eve takes her hand back. “Villanelle, I need you to listen to me.” She looks over and her heart throbs at how Villanelle stares at her. Wide, hazel eyes that wait for every one of Eve’s words. “When you’re angry with me, or anyone who isn’t hurting you or being a prick, you can’t touch them. Not while you’re angry. Okay?”

    “But you were-”

    “No. Villanelle, if I’m angry at you, you really can’t be angry. You need to be understanding. And the same goes for you. If you’re angry, I can’t get angry, too. I need to be there for you. Do you understand?” Eve reaches over and cusps Villanelle’s face.

    “You aren’t angry at me?” Villanelle asks since Eve is touching her.

    “No. I know you have never seen or let alone been in a healthy relationship. The closest you had was Hugo and Kenny and one of them was dying,” Eve says, and gives Villanelle a small smile. “I love you.”

    “I love you, too.” Then she pulls away from Eve. “Do you want to see my new jacket and your cut?”

    “Sure,” Eve replies with a gentle touch to Villanelle’s thigh.

    Villanelle grins as she pulls her jacket out first. “It has a new design.” She holds it up for Eve to see.

    La Villanelle , embroidered gold in the center at a 45 degree angle going from bottom left to top right. Under the words is a teetering silver knife with a gold handle.

    “Why the new design?” Eve asks. “I think it’s very elegant but still.”

    “Well, since my jacket was ripped up, but the patch was still good, I figured the patch could have a different use.” Villanelle pulls out the cut, a leather vest perfectly sized for how Eve would like. Just on the verge of being oversized. Villanelle flips it over and shows Eve the back.

    “Is that?” Eve says and grabs it from Villanelle.

    “Typically prospects don’t have a logo or anything just the word prospect, but I knew you liked my jacket so I thought it would be nice. And if you aren’t voted in to the Twelve I can slice the prospect parts off so you still have the cut and my-your patch.” Villanelle explains as Eve slides the cut on. 

    “Thank you, Vill,” Eve says and pulls Villanelle into a kiss. 


 

    Anna is walking. Not very good at all, but she is walking. Villanelle immediately sits on the floor to play with her. Jess is the only person in the house, luckily enough. She makes coffee for all of them. When it’s done, they take seats in the living room, Anna in Villanelle’s lap.

    “Elena told me you would be coming around to get your stuff at some point. Didn’t really figure you two would actually show up, though,” Jess says. 

    “Villanelle!” Anna yells and pulls on Villanelle’s hair. Villanelle looks down at the girl and gently tugs her hair back.

    “We’ve had a lot going on.”

    “Eve, I wouldn’t consider having-” Villanelle looks down the child in her lap. “-fun is considered a lot going on.”

    “We were waiting for you to get your cast off,” Eve corrects and turns to Jess, “She-”

    “Yeah, Elena told me. I’m sorry,” Jess apologizes for being so short with Eve. 

    “No, it’s fine. I get it. Villanelle abandoned us. So why would I be dating her?”

    “I didn’t abandon you guys. Eve- you all were in danger and I was doing what was necessary to protect you.” Villanelle stands up and carries Anna over to Jess. “I am going to go in Eve’s room and start moving stuff.”

    Eve can see the anger in Villanelle’s neck and the way she walks. Standing up, Eve thanks Jess for letting them stop, “but I can tell you still hate me. Here’s this,” Eve hands Jess a plastic credit card with a post it note, “it will always be paid off. It’s for Anna.”

    “Eve, I can’t-”

    “Jess, just take it. Villanelle loves that kid to death and she knows she’s not going to get to see her much anymore if at all.”

    Without another word, Eve goes to the bedroom where Villanelle is seated on Eve’s old bed, breathing heavy. Eve sits down beside her. Villanelle reaches out to grab Eve’s hand but stops last second, because she is angry. However, Eve wraps her hand around Villanelle’s.

    Maybe, everyone here would always hate the newcomer, the one that gave Hugo a gun, and chased Villanelle off. Maybe they hate that Eve isn’t bringing Villanelle back but instead leaving with her. Maybe they just hate Eve. Eve hopes one day, they can all sit at a table together and be able to look at each other, but Eve fears what’ll have to happen for that to be possible.