There’s a cold, wet fog hanging over the dirt roads of Thanalan, and against her better judgment Roe is standing in it. She’s not one to complain, but this situation seems highly unfair and not like something that she deserves.
Being the Warrior of Light afforded her a few extra creature comforts than the average Eorzean—such as access to Garlond Ironworks’ newest, shiniest and fastest transportation machines, a privilege she was happy to utilize whenever it was necessary for quick travel across the continent (or, sometimes, just when it sounded like fun). This also meant, however, that should the aforementioned machines suffer some sort of inscrutable mechanical failure and give up the ghost in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, there would only be about four people in all of Eorzea who actually know how to fix the stupid thing.
As a result, at the stroke of midnight Roe found herself not arriving home after a long evening to slip into a warm shower and a warm bed, but standing in the rain somewhere between Ul’dah and the Lavender Beds, staring blankly into the metal guts of the Ironworks’ Regalia Type-G and valiantly attempting to disguise the fact that she definitely does not understand any of the instructions Jessie is giving her via linkpearl.
Perhaps sensing that she was fighting a losing battle, Jessie ended their call with an assurance that she had dispatched a pair of engineers (Biggs and Wedge, judging by the disgruntled protests in the background) to Roe’s location to get her moving. Defeated, Roe hangs up and reenters the vehicle, landing in the cushioned leather backseat with a flump.
“They’re on their way, but we’ll be stuck for a while first,” she grumbles, morosely swiping a hand through her supposed-to-be-artfully-messy-but-now-just-flat-and-damp hair.
Thyme, seated next to her, makes a sympathetic noise. “It can’t be helped, sweetheart,” she says. She takes Roe’s hand and gives it an encouraging squeeze. “You may as well get comfortable.”
Roe sighs as she slumps sideways in her seat and brings her temple to rest against the car window. The glass feels chilly against her skin, and the crisp air radiating through the closed window casts a pleasant coolness onto her cheek.
The vehicle trouble is more a mild annoyance than anything else—patience has never been an issue for her when it can’t be helped. Thyme, bless her, has never been the type to complain, either. And they’re certainly not in any physical danger with her around.
No, her main concern is the weather. Roe’s Hellsguard heritage—in addition to making her a veritable wall of extremely cool and attractive muscle—tends to keep her comfortable no matter the temperature, but Thyme absolutely detests the cold, and with the car dead they don’t have access to its heater. She scowls out at the gathering fog.
“Darling. You’re pouting.”
Thyme, for her part, appears totally unbothered as she lounges with her boots up on the center console, cocooned in a large, fluffy coat. Seat belt unfastened, idly twirling a strand of hair through her fingers, she is the very picture of nonchalance—she actually reminds Roe of a perfume ad she saw in the Mythril Eye once.
“Sorry.” Roe sheepishly unsticks her face from the glass. “We might be here for a while. Are you cold?”
“Oh, I’m fine.” Thyme shifts forward slightly in her seat and crosses her legs, revealing a sliver of bare upper thigh at the hem of her short, silky dress. Her violet eyes meet Roe’s with a mischievous glint. “Want me to warm you up?”
Roe snorts out a laugh. “We both know I’m not the one who usually needs help with that.”
In lieu of a response Thyme slides across the seat to close the gap between them, softly pressing herself against Roe’s arm. She cheekily puts a finger to Roe’s lips as if to quiet her but her hand lingers, the pad of her finger gently pressing into Roe’s lower lip, softly teasing her mouth open. “Do we?” she asks, quietly, with a soft, lazy smile playing across her face that reminds Roe of a cat lounging in a sunbeam, and her words seem to float through the air, curling down the length of Roe's spine to rest deep down in her belly like a warm fog, purring and warm.
Roe is not cold in the slightest. But it doesn’t take a genius to see what Thyme’s getting at. “Maybe I am a little chilly,” she mumbles.
Thyme chuckles, a low, twinkling hum. “I thought so,” she says, as she slips from her side of the car to settle in Roe’s lap, thighs straddling her hips.
Pressed down into her seat, Roe feels something like a preserved butterfly: delicately pinned in place, every part of her down to her tiniest flaws laid bare, like an art piece commissioned especially to suit Thyme’s tastes. Thyme smiles down at her—that rakish, mischievous smirk of hers that Roe knows so well, with that enthralling little twinkle in her eye—and it sends her heart hammering against her ribs. It feels like Thyme always draws her in, inevitably: a ship swept along the stormy rapids of a whirlpool as she gazes, rapt, into its swirling depths. And she knows it, too, which makes it even worse when she looks down at her like this, like she’s something to be devoured. Entirely unfair, in Roe’s opinion.
With a smooth, easy motion Thyme undoes her hair, allowing it to tumble down her back and shoulders, and the scent of bergamot—bright and playful, like her—envelops them like a warm blanket. She lets her coat slip down to pool on the floor, leaving her shoulders bare except for the thin straps of her dress and the loose, emerald waves that cascade down to her breasts, and as she smiles down at Roe the moonlight pierces through the fog outside and suddenly she is not just beautiful, she is otherworldly. She leans in close, lightly tugging at Roe’s collar to guide their lips together. “Stay still, darling,” she whispers, her lips just grazing against Roe’s, the ends of her hair lightly brushing against Roe’s throat, and Roe shivers—definitely not from the cold.
Lazily, so, so slowly, her lips begin to explore Roe’s with practiced, easy movements, a gentle ebb and flow like the limbs of a willow swaying in a gentle breeze. Her touch warms from the inside out, like stepping outside to feel the sun on the back of her neck, smelling the faint scent of spring blossoms floating through the air, when summer is on its way and the darkness of winter has well and truly passed. Thyme's lips part to sigh a soft “Rosemary” into her mouth and Roe wishes that the sound of her voice, so low and musical, was enough to sustain her for the rest of her life, that she could swallow it, because breathing it isn’t enough. Roe kisses her back harder, her breath quickening as she tangles her fingers in Thyme’s hair, pulling her in closer, closer, not close enough, and Thyme laughs into her, a light, playful chuckle that sends a pang of affection ricocheting through Roe’s chest.
“Feeling warmer now?” Thyme asks when next they separate, playfully reaching up to run her fingers through Roe’s hair. They’re maybe an inch apart, Thyme’s forehead pressed into hers, their noses touching, and the sight of her long, beautiful lashes and the feel of her breath tickling against her lips make Roe want to dive in and kiss her again, to dash herself against her like a wave to an ocean cliff, to give herself to her utterly. It’s a dizzying thought, and one that she certainly doesn’t have the words to express at the moment.
“I’m not sure,” she responds gruffly, already feeling somewhat stupid and woozy. “I think I might need a little more help.”
“Oh, that’s a shame," Thyme says, wetting her lips with a smile. "Best we keep going, then.”
Her fingers skate up Roe’s shirt to trace along the buttons. Her eyes flick back up to meet Roe’s, silently asking for permission, but rather than use words Roe simply nods, working her hands around Thyme’s waist, dragging her fingers along her hips and squeezing, thrilling a little at how it makes Thyme suck in a breath through her teeth.
Their kiss is far messier and loose now as Roe’s impatience begins to get the better of her. Her tongue traces the valley of Thyme’s lips, coaxing them apart, and Thyme responds with a light, torturous tug at Roe’s lower lip with her teeth before she takes it into her mouth. Thyme’s hands palm her breasts beneath her now-open shirt, eagerly, caressing her until Roe’s nipples pebble and her skin prickles with goosebumps beneath Thyme’s cool fingers.
She could easily get lost in just this, she thinks—Thyme’s thighs squeezing around her hips, the softness of her skin and the way it faintly glistens with sweat in the moonlight, the way she sighs with pleasure every time Roe’s tongue presses into her mouth. Her fingers almost itch with the desire to touch her, to make Thyme laugh and sigh and shiver and gasp beneath her, to look her in the eyes and watch how her lashes flutter and her forehead wrinkles as she loses herself in the feeling of Roe’s hands. But Thyme wants that for her right now, and far be it from her to deny Thyme what she wants.
Thyme’s cheek is smudged with red from her lipstick when they pull apart to catch their breath, and she makes a small noise somewhere between a sigh and a groan as Roe pulls her hips in close to press against her body, nosing her hair aside to kiss her collarbone.
“This was a good idea,” she murmurs, and Thyme quietly hums in agreement.
“Mine usually are.” She meets Roe’s gaze with a roguish smile, made all the more charming by her mussed makeup.
“Although…” Roe runs the pad of her thumb over the red streak on Thyme’s chin—slowly, as though she’s touching something that ought not to be disturbed, as one would handle a piece of art. “I feel like I have to point out that this is definitely gonna get everywhere.”
“I know.” Thyme smirks at her, eyes half-lidded, her lips slightly parted and wet. She lowers her gaze down to Roe’s body somewhat thoughtfully, as though she’s sizing up a blank canvas.
Then she playfully drags a finger up Roe’s chest, making her feel like a chip of ice has fallen down her shirt, and takes her gently by the chin to bring their lips together again—this time slowly, indulgently, at a tempo that suggests this is merely a prelude, and Roe’s stomach lurches with anticipation. She is putty in her hands, like this; her eyes drift shut as Thyme begins to work her way down, kissing the hollow where her throat meets jaw, lightly tracing her tongue down the curve of her neck, grazing across her collarbone and then slowly, slowly down to linger at her chest.
Thyme takes the flat of her tongue to Roe’s breast before bringing it into her mouth and Roe tries and fails to suppress a quiet, shuddering groan, her head thumping backward against her seat as Thyme swirls her tongue in mesmerizing patterns against her skin. Her body is already abuzz with sensation, her breathing hitching with Thyme’s every move despite her best efforts to keep it steady, and she feels the stretch of Thyme’s satisfied smile growing against her skin. She tries to breathe slowly, to savor the sensation of Thyme exploring her every inch—every press of her lips, every playful graze of her teeth, every blotch of waxy, deep red left on her skin a symbol left in place of a simple, intoxicating word that Thyme always sends rolling though her body and thrumming through her very soul: mine.
Then Thyme sucks hard at the spot where her breast meets her rib cage and her hand flies to her mouth on impulse, a strangled moan slipping through her fingers.
Thyme huffs a proud chuckle. “You know,” she says sagely, between kisses, “there are other things I could do for you, if you like.”
“Yeah? Enlighten me,” Roe huffs—it’s hard to banter right now but by the gods, Roe’s gonna try. Thyme pauses—her eyes flash up at Roe with an unmistakable hunger—and sits up, slowly.
“I want to touch you,” she says quietly, playful and also matter-of-fact in that way that is so distinctly her, as she snakes her hand down Roe’s belly to rest on the waistband of her trousers, toying with the button. “Do you want me to?” she asks. Her voice is low and throaty now, sounding almost like a purr. And Roe is scarcely even able to respond with how her whole body aches for it, so instead she kisses her, hard, pulling a wordless rumble of pleasure from deep within Thyme’s chest.
“Of course I want you,” she mumbles against the corner of Thyme’s lips, but the words feel more like marbles on her tongue, slippery and ill-defined. Thyme laughs into her mouth, running her thumb over Roe’s cheek, and the sound rings in her head like church bells.
“So that’s a yes.” Thyme’s fingers gently skim along the fabric of her trouser fly.
“Yes,” she tries to reply, although it comes out more like a gasp, far more breathy and soft than she intended as Thyme begins to grind her hand against her, toying with her just enough to tease, to suck the air from Roe’s lungs. Roe wraps her arms around Thyme's shoulders to bury her fingers deep in the tangles of her hair and Thyme’s back in her mouth, her breath hot and wet and intoxicating as she kisses her languid and messy and slow, like they’ve got all the time in the world. She’s heady, licking at her brain and tingling her spine, warm and delicious like sinking into a hot bath and breathing deep to let the steam fill her lungs. But it’s not enough, of course, and Thyme is certainly doing that on purpose.
Then the heel of Thyme’s palm presses into her and she hisses a quiet “fuck” through her teeth, her head lolling backward as she squeezes her eyes shut. Though her brain is finding it difficult to string thoughts together at the moment, she suddenly remembers something important. “You know I’m not gonna stop you, Tee,” she pants, “but— shit— we’re not going to be alone out here all night.”
“I know.” Roe can hear the grin in Thyme’s voice even though her face is currently pressed against the curve of Roe's neck; she sounds positively impish. “We’ll just have to get cleaned up before then," she says breezily, right before she presses the heel of her hand in again, and the strangled noise Roe squawks out in response is thoroughly embarrassing. Thyme makes a small, satisfied huff and redoubles her efforts, now murmuring wordless little noises of encouragement against Roe’s lips as she pulls her in close to kiss her again, slipping her fingers beneath the waistband of Roe’s trousers to rub slow, lazy circles over the fabric of her underwear and gods if the increased friction isn't absolutely maddening. Roe finds her hands raking hungrily along Thyme’s back, scrabbling for purchase in the folds of her silken dress.
“Tee,” she rasps, “gods—”
She tries to bite back a wordless cry as Thyme sends her hips arching powerfully, before lolling forward to thump her forehead against Thyme’s shoulder and press her face against the curve of her neck—she needs to be touched so badly it’s like her brain has caught on fire but actually looking into Thyme’s face while she does it feels like far too daunting a prospect, even for her. There’s a beat of hesitation as Thyme gently nudges her back upright with her free hand, looking at her with a small smile, eyes soft with affection.
“You’re cute when you do that,” she says, and the fondness in her voice makes Roe feel something like she’s been struck by lightning. “But don’t, please. I want to see your face.”
Then she’s finally slipped her fingers past that last layer of fabric and is touching her in earnest, slowly tracing her folds with long, maddening strokes, languidly circling her clit but not quite making contact as she sucks at the pulse point of Roe’s throat and fuck it’s difficult to take umbrage with being called “cute” right now.
The pad of her thumb finally drags over Roe’s clit as her fingers slip inward and Roe’s eyes flutter shut, mouth falling open as she rocks forward against Thyme’s hand, chasing desperately, her earlier swearing giving way to proper wordless gasps and groans as Thyme croons reassurances and affection into her ear. Roe almost breaks right then, scrabbling desperately at the car seat beneath her but then Thyme’s other hand is there, lacing their fingers together to give her something to hold onto, and she holds on for dear life. Her brain splinters into pieces as she gasps her name, as her entire world shrinks down to occupy the tips of Thyme’s fingers and her silvery voice as Roe arches powerfully, aching and tight around Thyme’s hand—
“Let go, my love,” Thyme whispers. And that’s all it takes—all it ever takes, really.
When Roe finally crashes back into her seat, Thyme seems to melt against her. Their bodies settle into one another naturally and perfectly like they are two halves of a whole finally reunited, and Thyme's weight is comforting and warm.
She sighs happily and snakes her arms around Roe's waist, murmurs a little “I love you” into the curve of Roe's shoulder—and Roe recognizes that wavering tone in her voice, knows it more intimately than she knows herself: it’s the same way she feels when Thyme pads her way across the house in the wee hours of the morning to sleepily press a good morning kiss into Roe’s hair as she sits at their breakfast table, or when she finds herself staring at the way Thyme’s brow is furrowed and her lips quietly move as she sits curled in a ball on their couch, devouring some extremely technical alchemical tome like it’s the most thrilling novel she’s ever read. Or when they decide to spend a cold winter evening entangled in a pile of blankets on the floor in front of the fireplace, amber firelight dancing in her hair, her whole face crumpling into snorting giggles when Roe makes some stupid joke. Or that first night they kissed in the catwalks soaring high above the Crystarium, watching her stare up at the moon for the first time in her life, the stars reflected in her eyes as she cried with joy.
The list could go on and on, but the feeling is the same. It’s that little jolt in her chest that squeezes at her heart, that makes her voice refuse to cooperate. She wants to say it back, but the words won’t come.
So instead Roe wraps her arms tightly around her, one hand tracing the curve of her spine and the other buried deep within her hair as she nuzzles her face into the side of her throat, breathing her in, cradling her next to her heart like a precious, treasured secret. Thyme knows, anyway.
They won’t have long before they’ll be interrupted—and they might have some explaining to do then—but for now, this is enough.