Astra kisses Charlie.
She considers the act of it an accident.
It sneaks up on her. One moment Charlie’s pulling her fingers away and Astra is still hot and wanting but exhausted, her thinking still hazy with the warm buzz of afterglow.
Charlie touches her fingers to the inside of Astra’s thigh and strokes a lazy circle. She’s letting Astra feel it, how wet she was, still is, how the feeling of it makes goosebumps prick along her skin.
She lets out a small, unfamiliar noise. Comfort. Contentment. She rolls gingerly onto her side, looking at Charlie and feeling half like she could fall asleep.
Charlie has this comfortable grin on, not even with teeth showing. Just something fond. Without ulterior motives.
Astra can’t remind herself not to fixate. There’s parts of Charlie that seem to always demand a second look or a further examination, the little beauty mark below her lower lip that Astra has gone to bed thinking about. The colors of her lips, sometimes pinker and sometimes redder, Charlie wearing dark lipstick and Charlie right now, without. The reds and purples, the odder colors, blues and greens and blacks, and how Astra will think about the marks they’ll make on her skin. But she always tries not to think what it would look like mixed with her own lipstick, creating smudges across their mouths, like some expression of postmodern art.
Except right now. Right now her mind drifts to it, the feeling of Charlie putting her tongue in her mouth and Astra letting her.
The thought has her weak in the knees, and normally the idea of weakness makes her a little sick, but the energy to push away the soft smile she feels herself giving back would be too much and it feels good. Like this.
She’s felt Charlie’s lips on her neck and her breasts and between her legs and it’s always soft, sometimes strong and sometimes just to be there, but she’s never leaned in and taken that kiss.
And right now, it would be so easy. She’s already lost in the soft bow of Charlie’s mouth, and how it moves when Charlie smiles, depending on how she smiles, the way her upper lip curves up and her bottom lip stretches against her lower teeth.
Astra closes her eyes as she leans in, reveling in those few moments of fearless, thoughtless bliss, and gives Charlie a soft, shy kiss.
She doesn’t register much else until she realizes Charlie is opening her mouth and she feels Charlie’s tongue against her lower lip. Her stomach flips over and back in real time, Astra suddenly hit with a sudden weight, jerking back, still holding her breath. She remembers to breathe only after Charlie opens her eyes in response, quizzically raising an eyebrow.
Her lips seem to throb, like they’re stinging, like they’re swollen, and Astra offers, “Oh. I’m uh- Sorry?”
Charlie’s expression changes, smile shifting, another different, fascinating motion with her lips. She puts her hand on Astra’s shoulder, the intention to pull her back in, and says, “Why would you be sorry?”
If Astra kisses her again, maybe it will outweigh the embarrassment of apologizing.
Though the apology had been to outweigh the embarrassment of the first kiss, and what’s really happening is that Astra’s face and arms are burning hot, she could probably throw up, her mouth still seems to demand attention, stinging in a way it shouldn’t, and she can only lay there, still, trying to think of something to say.
“Uh,” she says. “I just- You know. I didn’t. Mean to kiss you.”
She’d like for Charlie to seem less amused by the statement. She says, “Oh?” and as she does, her mouth forms the perfect shape of the word.
And watching that, Astra thinks it might not be pain she feels, not burning but flushing, buzzing, not stinging but begging. Needing.
“Don’t be so cute,” Astra snaps, the statement having less heat to it than Astra would like. “It was just… A lapse in judgement.”
“It was an extraordinarily chaste kiss,” Charlie says, propping herself up on her elbow. “I don’t think I’ve gotten you pregnant.”
That makes Astra’s nostrils flare. She’s full of all this warmth and it’s useless, not even like the rolling tide of anger that she can direct outward. This kind of fire just stays in her veins and she stews in it, boiling. “Thanks for the clarification.”
She sits up, swinging her legs over the bed. At one point, her clothes had been nearby. That is not currently the case.
“Hey,” Charlie says, taking her arm. “Astra.”
“Where are my clothes?” Astra asks.
“Why?” Charlie says.
Astra shoots her a look over her shoulder. “So I can put them on?”
Charlie seems unmoved by the answer. “Why?”
Astra presses her lips together. She doesn’t think about the softer feeling of them, like a little bit of Charlie has rubbed off onto her mouth. “So I can go back to my room?”
“Why bother?” Charlie says. “You’re already here. We can just go to bed.”
Astra rolls her eyes. “I obviously can’t do that.”
Charlie sits up behind her. “Did I do something wrong?” she asks. “Are my lips dry?”
“No!” Astra says. The horror of the statement. “Your lips are fine!”
“Thank you for the aggressive reassurance,” Charlie says. She puts her hands on Astra’s shoulder blades, tapping gently with her fingers. “Stay.”
She can’t resist those hands. Even if she had good reason to. And right now, she can only feel the taught anxiety of her heartbeat and it’s losing out to Charlie stroking her back.
It makes her shudder in the most pleasant way, sinking into the sensation of Charlie’s fingers. Around the muscles of her back, down her sides. Playing along her ribs, side to back, up, down, Astra doesn’t denote direction any longer than she has to, slumping forward to give Charlie better access to her back.
“What’s wrong?” Charlie asks. “You’re not usually this jumpy.”
Astra lets out a bemused huff, the most attitude she can manage as Charlie melts her back into the bed. “I don’t think you’ve known me long enough to say what I’m usually like.”
“I’m using my context clues,” Charlie teases. Her fingers press gently into Astra’s breasts. Then she slings them over her shoulders, hands clasped in front of Astra’s chest. She can feel Charlie’s warm breath on the back of her neck, Charlie folding herself, over the curve of Astra’s spine.
She has to be on her knees, boosting herself so she can kiss the divot of where Astra’s spine meets her skull.
Astra’s never had Charlie kiss her there, either, and it feels like she’s asking for a closer look, to understand the twists and turns in Astra’s brain. To be let in on more secrets.
“I’ve never kissed anyone before,” Astra says, softly.
“You kissed me,” Charlie says.
“Until I kissed you,” Astra says.
Charlie kisses the back of her neck again. “You told me you weren’t a virgin.”
“I’m not,” Astra huffs. “I just- It’s just- No one kisses in Hell, obviously. It’s different.”
“I don’t think it was obvious,” Charlie says. “I mean, sure some of the residents are lizard people or sentient smoke clouds, but I figured you’d just have to get creative.”
“I guess you could,” Astra says, almost amused but finding it hard to feel anything but tired, still kind of lukewarm. “It’s too personal. It’s too…”
“Human?” Charlie finishes.
“Human,” Astra says.
“Did you mean for me to be your first?” Charlie asks.
“Don’t say it like that,” Astra says.
“Like what?” Charlie says.
“I know you think I’m being…” Astra pauses, Frowns. “Stupid.”
“Hey,” Charlie says, putting Astra back. She lets it happen, laying back down on the mattress with her legs still hanging over the bed. She does it for the obvious reason, that not seeing Charlie’s face had been getting to her, that looking up at Charlie now, kneeling over her, haloed by the ceiling light, Astra feels back where she belongs. “I will never think you’re being stupid.”
“Was I supposed to wait?” Astra asks. “Or like, make a big deal out of it?”
“Did you want to?” Charlie asks.
“I don’t know,” Astra says. “I hadn’t thought about it. I just wanted to.”
“So what are you worried about?” Charlie asks.
“Was I bad at it?” Astra says.
Charlie gently rubs Astra’s scalp. “Kissing’s easy,” she says. “You were fine.”
“Just fine?” Astra asks.
“Well,” Charlie says. “You didn’t give me a chance to get any tongue, so I’m not sure how to rate it.”
She’s so infuriatingly funny. She’s so good at getting under Astra’s skin. “Kiss me again.”
“Like this?” Charlie asks. “With you upside-down?”
“I think you’re the one who’s upside down,” Astra says. “Would that be a problem for you, kissing judge?”
“Oh, I’ve been appointed?” Charlie asks. She braces her hands on either side of Astra’s head, leaning in. “That won’t be an issue at all. How long would you like my tongue to be?”
“Charlie!” Astra says.
“What?” Charlie asks. A little closer. Still out of reach.
“Normal length,” Astra says. “For now.”
“Duly noted,” Charlie says. “Forked or unforked?”
Astra licks her lips. “Forked.”
“Exciting,” Charlie says. “You know, if you start kissing me now, I warn you that you may never stop.”
Finally, Astra can reach her, taking Charlie’s face in her hands and pulling her down just far enough that she can still meet her eyes. “I doubt you’re that good.”
Charlie’s mouth does it’s most interesting thing yet, almost insulted but mostly emboldened, the grin that comes before a kiss, and Astra closes her eyes as Charlie’s lips meet hers, barely minding the odd angle, the way she has to arch her back to give Charlie better access to her mouth.
There’s something kind of thrilling about it. More than just letting Charlie touch her, more than just fucking- She enjoys those, sure, but this has that new toy feeling, the novelty, the excitement of firsts. The way Charlie sucks on her lower lip. The way Astra can feel her tongue.
“You’re so dramatic,” Charlie says. “Turn over.”
“I’m comfortable. You turn,” Astra says.
“Brat,” Charlie says, kissing her again, quickly, upside-down for good measure.
“Your brat,” Astra says, and as Charlie straddles her hips, Astra holds out her arms.
“All mine,” Charlie says, leaning in, letting Astra wrap her arms around her waist and pulling her back up by her shoulders.
Astra almost swoons in Charlie’s embrace, starry eyed, thinking of the way Charlie had pronounced mine. The way she almost smiled at the end of the word, the flash of teeth. “Yours,” she says, and gives Charlie her fourth kiss, mouth feeling the imprint of the word.