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think you're so cute when you get high

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When Roe pushes her way through the heavy front door of Thyme’s Pendants apartment and steps into her quiet, sunny living room, Thyme doesn’t seem to hear her arrive.

This is not, in and of itself, unusual: it’s not uncommon for Roe to find Thyme with her head stuck in a horrendously technical botanical text or focusing intently on some project she’s brewing up at her alchemy table, and in such a state she’s unlikely to notice Roe’s arrival (or much of anything else, for that matter) until Roe quietly says her name—or, if she’s feeling cheeky, until she wraps her arms around her waist from behind and surprises her with a kiss. This is likely, Roe assumes, why Thyme was quite late to meet her at the Wandering Stairs today for lunch like they had planned, and why Roe is now on the hunt for her to see if everything’s still alright. She likely just lost track of the hour. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time, and it’s why Roe has been known, on days like today, to swing by uninvited and make certain that Thyme remembers to take breaks for meals, whether she wants to or not. Plus, obviously, surprising her is fun.

What is unusual, however, is where exactly Roe finds her today: namely, not hard at work at her desk or curled up with a book, but carelessly sprawled across the overstuffed sofa in the center of the room. Despite it being mid-afternoon, she is dressed in only one of the silken slips she often wears to bed, her hair spilling out behind her in a messy, emerald curtain and her face tipped back toward the ceiling.

And it is just as Roe notices with an embarrassed jolt that she’s got her skirts hiked up around her hips and she’s breathing hard, with a throw pillow pressed between her legs, that she puts two and two together and realizes holy shit, she probably should have knocked.

She starts to instinctively backpedal for the door—a little too clumsily, perhaps, because Thyme’s eyes flutter open and flick over in Roe’s direction, oh, gods—

But then Thyme urgently says “Wait,” and—mortified, but, admittedly, a bit intrigued—Roe pauses in her silent prayers for a stray bolt of lightning to come flying through the roof of the Pendants to incinerate her where she stands, and she waits.

Thyme has not lifted her head from the arm of the couch. She stares down the line of her body to look Roe directly in the eyes, and the look on her face is arresting, to say the least: deeply flushed, her gaze half-lidded and glassy, her pupils blown wide enough to almost swallow the violet of her eyes. But there’s a twist to her mouth and a crease in her brow that makes her look… pained. Desperate, almost.

“Stay,” Thyme says, softer this time. “Please.”

And Roe is certainly interrupting something, true, but she’s suddenly less certain what that something actually is. She hesitantly steps forward. “Are you okay?” she asks—her voice comes out a bit hoarse.

“Yes— more or less,” Thyme says, and she takes a shuddering breath as she slowly, gingerly props herself up on her elbows. “I’m sorry, darling, I should have let you know. I’ll not be the best company today. I’m afraid I’ve become somewhat… indisposed.”

“Indisposed,” Roe repeats, as she carefully takes a seat on the other end of the sofa. In spite of herself, her eyes flick over to the pillow, still clenched between Thyme’s thighs. Surely that’s not what people are calling it now?

Thyme, upon noting what Roe is looking at, somehow seems to flush even deeper. “Oh,” she says. “Right. Well. I suppose there’s no point in me being coy about it now.” She politely clears her throat. “Most adult Viis women experience this once every few years or so—though of course it can be more irregular than that, depending on the person. Essentially it’s a lengthy state of heightened arousal meant to, ah… encourage reproduction,” she says delicately. “It’s not dissimilar to the estrous cycle you find in many other mammals. You could say I’ve gone into heat, in other words.”

There is then a somewhat awkward silence in which Thyme daintily removes the pillow and readjusts her skirts, snaking her legs across Roe’s lap as though she has done nothing more unusual than recount the day’s weather forecast, and in which Roe’s brain does its best to wrap itself around this new information.

“Oh,” Roe eventually says, intelligently.

“Yes. And this time, mine happened to have… unfortunate timing. Not that its timing is ever good.” Thyme huffs out an aggrieved sigh. “It’s uncomfortable, to be sure, but it only lasts a day or so. I just have to ride it out.” When Roe does not entirely manage to suppress a snort, Thyme grimaces. “No pun intended.”

“Can I do anything?” Roe asks. “Like, is there anything I can bring you, or…”

Thyme shakes her head. Then she groans a little and shifts her hips uncomfortably, letting her head fall back to thump against the arm of the couch. “Sorry,” she says, tightly closing her eyes—her voice is low, stretched taut. “I’m alright, it’s just… a bit difficult to stay focused.”

Her breathing has gone a bit jagged, and she’s covered all over by a thin sheen of sweat, Roe suddenly notices, a few dampened strands of her hair sticking to her cheeks and forehead. But when Roe tries to gently place what she hopes is a grounding hand on her knee, her fingers grazing against Thyme’s skin as lightly as she can manage, Thyme twitches and lets slip a noise that could be best described as a whine.

“Sorry—” Roe hastily yanks her hands away, but Thyme shakes her head again.

“It’s okay,” Thyme whispers hoarsely, “you’re alright. I’m just… exceedingly sensitive to touch at the moment.”

“Oh,” Roe says.

“This time is… being difficult. I don’t usually struggle this much.” And she must be in a state, because as Roe watches, Thyme’s hands restlessly knit in the woven blanket crumpled beneath her, clenched, unclenched, clenched, unclenched, like she’s struggling to distract herself—and Thyme can be called many things, but “fidgety” has never been one of them. “Gods,” she murmurs, so quietly Roe almost doesn’t hear it.

“Do you need space?” Roe asks. “Am I too close?”

“No, it’s— I don’t usually have others around when this happens, and…” Thyme trails off, seemingly searching for the right words, as she looks Roe up and down through half-lowered lids. Then she swallows and wets her lips, a slow, deliberate drag of her tongue that makes Roe feel a bit like she’s a pastry in a bakery’s window display. “I imagine this sounds strange,” Thyme says, and the timbre of her voice suddenly sounds different in a way that Roe hasn’t heard before: rough and low—hungry, almost. “But… well. I can smell you.”

There is a small beat of silence in which Roe casts an awkward look down at her shirt, which she had thought, until this precise moment, was freshly laundered. “Do I, uh, need to go shower, or…?”

Thyme smiles as though she’s trying not to laugh. “No, sweetheart. It’s… it’s something to do with pheromones, I believe. I’m a little too out of my head to remember the science right now.”

Of course, leave it to Thyme to still try and deliver a lecture even when her body is throwing the world’s horniest temper tantrum. “I don’t need to know the science, it’s okay,” Roe says with a chuckle. “I’ll take it as a compliment.”

And Thyme sighs somewhat dreamily as she settles her head back against the plush sofa. “Oh, it’s certainly a compliment,” she says, as she gazes down the length of her body at Roe in a way that makes Roe’s stomach do a strange sort of flip. “Let’s just say you’re lucky I’m not currently able to stand without my legs shaking.”

Roe swallows, hard. “We can find ways around that, probably, if you want,” she offers weakly. “Although, uh, if you don’t mind me asking. If you’re so… y’know. Why haven’t you just…?”

Roe makes a series of demonstrative hand gestures. Thyme snorts out a laugh, and then shivers lightly.

“Well, it’s… difficult to control,” she says delicately. “When I’m in the thick of it, I mean. It’s hard not to, ah, lose all other priorities. And this can last until the heat passes, which…” She wrinkles her nose. “I mean, I certainly understand the biological imperatives in theory, but at this point surely losing a whole day to brainless rutting is no longer strictly necessary for the well-being of the species?”

“Sure,” Roe manages, although truthfully her brain seemed to lose the plot entirely the moment Thyme used the phrase brainless rutting.

And then Thyme flashes a crooked little smile at her and says, very matter-of-factly, “I’ll be honest, love, I’ve not been able to get my mind off you all day,” and, well—Roe has to give herself a moment to grapple with the very real possibility of this new revelation making her poor heart actually explode.

Judging by the heat in her cheeks, the look on her face must be something else, because Thyme… starts laughing.

She is a menace.

“Y’know, I don’t have to keep you company today,” Roe starts, fighting ineffectually to school her face into a stern expression, making to stand—

“No no no, wait,” Thyme says, still giggling, as she hooks an ankle across Roe’s lap to keep her in her seat. “Sorry, sweetheart, please. Stay. You know I can’t help it, I simply adore you too much.”

And it’s not like Roe actually wanted to leave, obviously, so she drops back down onto the sofa with a flump. She got the reaction she wanted, anyway. “Although I gotta say,” she says brightly, politely re-folding her hands over Thyme’s knees, “it’s awful bold of you to start teasing me when you’re the one who’s been helplessly teetering on the edge of orgasm for the last however many hours.” At this Thyme grits out a frustrated little ugh as she lets her head drop back against the arm of the sofa, and Roe snorts.

“Well, it’s not for lack of trying, I can assure you—”

Then Thyme sucks a small gasp through her teeth and squeezes her eyes shut. Her fingers twitch into the blanket beneath her, her knuckles clenching hard. “Sorry,” she murmurs, before Roe can ask if she’s alright. “Just… give me a moment.”

And Roe quietly waits, gently smoothing the pad of her thumb back and forth across Thyme’s kneecap in what she somewhat anxiously hopes is a soothing pattern, as she watches Thyme slowly, shallowly breathe in and out through her nose, like she is trying very hard to control herself. Despite Thyme’s reassurances that she has her current circumstance well in hand, it’s not hard to tell she’s extremely uncomfortable. It’s hard to watch, in all honesty.

But in watching her, Roe suddenly has an idea—a very obvious idea, in hindsight. And as it is often wont to do, her mouth boldly charges ahead before her brain can entirely catch up. “Actually, Tee,” she starts.

“Mhm?”

“Do you think it would be helpful if I, uh… lent you a hand?”

(The play on words isn’t actually intentional, but Roe gives herself a mental high-five for it anyway.)

Thyme huffs out a laugh in the general direction of the ceiling. “My goodness. Am I too lust-addled to hear you properly, or are you trying to seduce me?”

Roe’s mouth has suddenly gone a bit dry. “Uh, well. Yes. Only if you’re comfortable with the idea, obviously. You know what you can handle better than I do. But, y’know, if you’d like someone to stick around and… keep an eye on you,” she says awkwardly, ”I’m happy to do anything you need to, um. Provide some relief.”

Thyme cracks an eye open, and a curious peek of violet flashes in Roe’s direction. “Anything?”

“Anything,” Roe echoes. “Wherever you want me.”

“Well, it’s certainly a tempting proposal,” Thyme says. She rolls onto her side, propping her chin in her hand, and levels Roe with a thoughtful look, her lips curling into a lopsided smile. Roe feels something like she’s being scanned. “I can think of several places where I could put you to good use.”

“Yeah? I bet it’ll be more fun than riding it out alone, too—” Roe can’t help but crack a grin. “—pun very intended.”

Lust-addled (her words) though Thyme may be, she’s not out of it enough to not playfully nudge at Roe’s elbow with the ball of her foot. “So long as you stop punning at me while I’m too weak to fight back.”

“…Is that a yes?”

“Darling,” Thyme says, pitching her voice into one of the flattest deadpans Roe has ever heard, “if you don’t get your hands on me within the next five seconds, I may literally keel over dead from disappointment.”

“Alright, alright, jeez. Sit up for me?”

Thyme does, gingerly swinging her feet off Roe’s lap and to the floor, and Roe shifts in closer, so they’re sitting hip to hip. She takes Thyme’s hand in hers and smooths the calloused pad of her thumb back and forth across the valleys of her knuckles, and even just that is enough to make her shiver and push a slow, shaky exhale between her teeth. “I’m gonna start slow,” Roe says, carefully watching Thyme’s face. “Okay? I don’t want you to, like… I dunno. Explode.”

Thyme rolls her eyes, but as Roe leans in to kiss her, slow and soft and as gentle as she can manage, she feels the stretch of her smile against her lips. And it’s a little strange, at first, because when Thyme gently trails her hand along the length of Roe’s forearm, it’s impossible not to notice how her usually-chilly fingertips feel almost feverishly warm; and Thyme is many things, but she is almost never hesitant. And yet, she kisses Roe so, so carefully, like she’s suddenly realized she’s made of old, brittle glass. But she shifts a little closer and makes a sweet, pleased little hum against Roe’s mouth, so they must be doing something right. “Good?” Roe murmurs as she gently kisses the underside of her jaw, and Thyme gives a tiny nod.

“Keep going,” she answers, and her voice has dropped back down to that low, hungry tone from before. Which is, to be frank, extremely encouraging.

So Roe keeps kissing her, and she starts exploring. She lets her hands creep up Thyme’s sides, tracing the soft, gentle curves of her waist and belly through the thin silk of her chemise, slowly drags the pads of her thumbs in little circles across the peaks of her breasts, squeezes lightly—and Thyme’s breathing hitches in a very satisfying way. And she’d be fine to just keep doing this for a while longer, honestly, it’s one of her favorite things to do. But then Thyme decisively shifts her weight backward to recline against the arm of the sofa, knees spread, and tugs Roe in even closer by the collar of her shirt so that she almost tumbles forward into her chest and their bodies crush together—and, well, the lady said keep going, so keep going Roe shall. She kisses the tip of her nose as she props herself up as best she can on a forearm. “Tell me if this is too much,” she says softly, and she gently, experimentally presses her thigh between Thyme’s legs.

Thyme’s eyes fall closed, a deep furrow forming in her brow: “Oh,” she breathes, and suddenly Roe’s only concern in the entire universe is to make her do that again.

So she does, and Thyme rolls her hips to meet the plane of her thigh, slow, hesitant, like she’s not certain if the contact will be too much, but it’s immediately clear how much she needs it from the way she lets her head slowly loll back toward the ceiling, from the thready, high little noises she’s started to make in the back of her throat. And—amazingly, absolutely incredibly—it only takes a few moments more before Thyme makes a choked noise and quivers against her. Roe freezes.

“Was that…?” Roe draws back to look at her. Thyme’s eyes are squeezed tightly shut. “Already?”

“Told you,” Thyme says. “Sensitive.” She stirs slightly in Roe’s arms; as her eyes flutter open and she locks Roe in her gaze, Roe notices she looks slightly dazed, her pupils blown wide.

And Roe feels something in the air… shift. “You still okay?” she asks.

“Mhm,” Thyme murmurs, sounding almost dreamy. Her eyes drift down to Roe’s lips. “Never better.”

She grazes a hand up the length of Roe’s spine to the nape of her neck—it feels so hot against her skin, suddenly—and pulls her in for a long, deep, searing kiss, only broken when Thyme rolls her hips hard against Roe’s body and gasps out an incredible noise against her mouth. “Damn,” Roe says, breathless, and Thyme makes a low little sound in response as she nuzzles her face against Roe’s neck.

“Take me to bed, darling,” she says, and her voice is already wrecked in a way Roe’s never heard from her before. “Please.”

And you don’t need to tell Roe twice, obviously.

She scoops Thyme off the couch and into her arms, princess-style—Thyme makes a little yelp of surprise and delight and throws her arms around Roe’s neck—and, carefully avoiding whacking her shins on the nearby coffee table, makes for Thyme’s bedroom, blessedly just a few strides away. Although they don’t quite make it all the way, because the moment she feels Thyme’s mouth peppering slow, feverish kisses along the column of her throat and then sucking hard at the spot right above her collarbone, it’s all Roe can do to safely lower herself and her cargo down to sit on the edge of the mattress. But it seems to be just fine with Thyme, as she settles herself straddling Roe’s thigh with her chemise rucked up around her hips before her mouth crashes against Roe’s once again in a loose, hungry kiss that seems to go on for hours. “You really weren’t kidding,” Roe mumbles when they finally part, feeling somewhat punch-drunk.

And Thyme doesn’t quite manage to answer, because she’s almost instinctively grinding her hips down against Roe’s thigh, her hands bearing down on Roe’s shoulders to hold herself upright. “Gods,” she breathes, “I’m—”

Roe snakes an arm around her waist to help hold her up. “You good?”

“Uh huh,” Thyme says, and then her head lolls backward with a relieved groan. “Sorry,” she huffs, breath catching, “I can’t— I have to—”

“It’s okay,” Roe says. “I’m here for you. You can use me.”

And those words hold a power Roe may have underestimated, apparently, because Thyme sighs out an incredible moan that seems to echo through the entire room and makes the hair on Roe’s arms stand on end, and then she's kissing her so hard Roe briefly, dimly finds herself wondering if it’s possible for her lips to bruise. And she works herself up incredibly fast; once Roe offers Thyme her other hand she begins rocking against her fingers like her life depends on it, and it’s not long at all before she’s gasping desperately on every exhale and moving her hips in sharp, staccato little jerks. “Roe,” she starts to whimper, “I’m— need to—”

“It’s okay,” Roe murmurs against her skin, cheek pressed against her breast. “I got you. You can let go.”

It only takes another moment more before Thyme quivers and breathes out a strangled “oh,” her throat tipping back toward the ceiling as her hands clench down on Roe’s shoulders so hard Roe’s certain her nails are leaving marks in her skin, even through the fabric of her shirt—and Roe finds herself just sitting there, watching her from below as she sways lightly in her lap, chest heaving with deep, hard breaths. She feels not the least bit starstruck. Thyme is a sight to behold.

“Did that help?” she asks her quietly after a few moments, once Thyme’s breathing appears to have settled to a more normal rhythm.

Thyme nods, but— “Need to do it again,” she murmurs, eyes still closed, her mouth twisted into a discontented frown. “Not enough.”

“Okay,” Roe says softly. “That’s okay. I’m right here. Do whatever you need.”

And it’s not long at all before she’s uncomfortably shifting her hips in Roe’s lap, again, and kissing her so hard it makes her head spin, again, and then she’s rocking against Roe’s fingers, a deep, deep furrow in her brow, her eyes squeezed tightly shut, until she finally comes with a sob of relief. And then, once she catches her breath, she does it all over again.

And over. And over.

In a way it’s deeply strange to watch Thyme—normally so collected and in control that she makes someone like Y’shtola or Urianger look unrestrained—“lose all other priorities”, as she put it before. And she’s not managing to verbally communicate much anymore, which is certainly very different. Although, in all fairness, Roe can only imagine how daunting stringing words together must feel in a state like this. So Roe keeps her arm looped tight around Thyme’s waist, presses kisses to her sweaty, feverish skin, and does her utmost to make sure she knows she’s still here. And the contact seems to be reassuring; during the lulls, as they wait for Thyme’s breathing to slow, she rests her cheek against her breast and whispers whatever gentle reassurances she can think of, and Thyme murmurs wordless, affectionate little noises as she nuzzles her face in Roe’s hair.

Strange, and very different from what Roe’s used to. But, to be clear: amazing.

And so this is how they spend the next… Roe isn’t certain how long, exactly. She supposes it doesn’t really matter.

They hit a lengthy lull, eventually; Thyme brings herself off once again and goes utterly limp, spilling forward to lean heavily against Roe with her full weight, forehead tucked against the curve of Roe’s shoulder. Roe protectively tightens her grip around her waist as she feels Thyme’s breathing slow—she’s not certain exactly how many orgasms it takes to fuck oneself into a stupor, but she figures Thyme must be pretty close to hitting the mark by now. “I think you should rest for a bit, Tee,” she says softly, after a few quiet moments pass with no movement from Thyme. “That was a lot.”

Thyme does not respond. Roe gently cards her fingers through Thyme’s hair, sweeping some sweat-dampened strands off her face, and the touch seems to rouse her slightly—she slowly shifts back upright, head bowed, and sighs out a tiny, breathy noise that is not quite a word.

“You okay?” Roe asks. “Still with me?”

Thyme nods after a moment, although it looks more like a drowsy swoon. She does not open her eyes. “M’alright. Tired.”

“Wanna lay down for a bit?”

She nods again and blearily nuzzles her forehead against Roe’s jaw, looping her arms around her neck. “Sorry,” she mumbles. “Don’t think I can stand anymore.”

Roe laughs. “That’s okay. Hang on, I gotcha.”

It’s a bit clumsier of a transition than she’d like since Thyme does not seem to have the slightest inclination to move, but that’s fine—it’s not like they have far to go. After a bit of awkward wriggling and backward shuffling, Roe manages to wrangle the two of them onto the bed properly without badly jostling her cargo. Thyme, for her part, nestles into the pile of silken sheets and many, many pillows like she plans to never move again, and then plucks groggily at Roe’s wrist. “Stay with me,” she murmurs without lifting her head, her voice slurred with exhaustion.

“Wasn’t gonna leave,” Roe says. “Just give me a sec.” She takes a moment to kick off her shoes (nearly sending them flying onto Thyme’s coffee table) and her pants (now with an impressively sizable damp patch on one thigh) before she flops down next to Thyme with a grunt. At the feel of Roe settling in next to her, Thyme’s eyes open—albeit barely, no wider than a crack—but then softly fall closed again as though her eyelids are too heavy to lift.

“Do you want some water?” Roe asks her softly. “There’s some on your nightstand.”

Thyme does not answer. Judging by the quiet, steady tempo of her breathing, if she’s not properly asleep yet, she’s close to it. Roe presses a kiss to the spot between her brows and Thyme doesn’t even twitch.

“You out already?” she says with a chuckle.

Thyme, again, does not answer; however, she does shift closer, snuggling into Roe’s chest, before she breathes out a long, contented sigh.

Roe smiles and loops her arm around Thyme’s waist. She’ll just have to make sure she has a drink when she wakes up, then.

It’s not until Roe groggily comes to her senses some time later that she realizes the sound of Thyme’s gentle breathing in her ear was more of a soporific than she bargained for.

The light has shifted drastically, with golden slats of evening sun cutting through the dim bedroom, now lit in a deep, sleepy orange. The air has grown stuffy and hot, made even more dizzying by the scent of the candles and perfumes Thyme’s always got scattered about. Roe wishes very much to crack open a window. But far more pressing than any of that is the fact that Thyme has snuggled up even closer in her sleep—very close, practically on top of her, with her face buried in the curve of Roe’s throat—and she feels boiling, feverishly hot. She whimpers softly, and Roe feels a brief, stupid spike of panic that Thyme’s been hurt somehow while Roe was out—but then she notices Thyme’s got a leg hooked just so over Roe’s thigh. And when Thyme unconsciously shifts her hips slightly and makes a breathy, unmistakable little noise, Roe’s sleep-addled brain finally puts two and two together.

She goes very, very still.

And it’s probably something about the stuffy, perfumed air, or those pheromones Thyme was talking about, or the fact that she just woke up, or that they’re both barricaded in this apartment that still smells of sex, or that she spent the last who-knows-how-long watching Thyme come on her fingers, or something—but Thyme’s knee is pressed in such a place that when she next stirs, it takes an incredible amount of self-control to keep Roe’s hips from bucking and her traitorous vocal cords from letting slip a truly embarrassing noise.

Fuck.

She swallows and wets her lips. “Tee,” she croaks, loath to wake her but desperate for an out, “you’re burning up.”

Thyme’s eyes slowly crack open. Roe feels her body stiffen just a little as she wakes, as she dimly realizes what she’s doing. “Oh,” she breathes, and then: “Roe?”

“I’m here.” Roe runs her hand along the small of Thyme’s back in what she hopes is a soothing rhythm, but this clearly does not entirely work, as Thyme quietly groans again and stirs uncomfortably. Roe feels her take a long, shaky breath.

“Sorry,” she mumbles against Roe’s throat—her voice is low and rough, still a little slurred from sleep. “M’not through it yet.”

“I know. It’s okay,” Roe says softly as she reaches for the glass on the nightstand nearby to carefully raise it to Thyme’s lips. “Here.”

Thyme blearily props herself up onto an elbow, and the glass is emptied in a few gulps. “I must look a mess,” Thyme murmurs, wiping her mouth on the back of her wrist as she settles back against Roe’s chest.

And… well, she is a bit of a mess. There’s no denying that. But she is a sight, even still: one of the straps of her chemise has slid down off her shoulder, leaving little to the imagination, and her emerald hair is still mussed with sleep and sweat and curling every which way. She tips her head back to lock eyes with Roe, and gods, the way they look so dark in the low light, the color of summer stormclouds…

Roe’s mouth is incredibly dry. “If you’re… Do you still want me to—”

And she doesn’t quite finish her question, because Thyme’s leaning in to press her lips to Roe’s, and then she’s moving down, dragging slow, open-mouthed kisses along her throat that feel hot and hazy like the stuffy air surrounding them, and as Thyme’s knee presses between Roe’s legs again Roe’s whole body responds eagerly, desire spiking through her like a bolt of lightning. This time she is utterly unsuccessful at keeping quiet.

“Fuck,” she manages, once she regains control of her voice. “I thought— aren’t we focusing on you right now?”

And then Thyme sucks at the spot where Roe’s jaw meets her throat and Roe hears herself make a noise that she didn’t intend to let slip out, somewhere between a startled grunt and a moan. “We were,” Thyme says—or purrs, more like—“but now I want you.”

And, well, that settles the issue, doesn’t it. “Yeah,” Roe says, suddenly dizzy. “Okay.”

In a blink they’re peeling the rest of their sweaty clothes off and dumping them over the edge of the mattress like they’ve decided to fundamentally reject the very concept of clothing itself. Roe watches from below, transfixed, as she pushes herself upright to settle her weight against the broad muscle of Roe’s thigh, as the long, lazy evening shadows paint sleepy patterns across Thyme’s now-bared skin. And the reedy, wordless little noise of relief she makes as her head tips backward and she cants her hips just so, skin to skin, goes surging like a brushfire through Roe’s brain and all the way down, down to curl at the base of her spine, and suddenly, gods, she wants more than anything to bury her face between her thighs—

“Tee, is it possible,” Roe starts, noting almost absently how her hands are slowly creeping up Thyme’s legs, “that those… pheromones, or whatever—”

“Are now affecting both of us?” Thyme says, breathless. “Yes, I think that’s precisely what’s happening.”

Shit,” Roe says, with no small amount of reverence.

“Mhm,” Thyme murmurs, and then she’s dropping forward onto her hands and finally kissing Roe properly, and Roe stops thinking about much of anything at all.

It’s less a kiss than a collision, desperate and hungry, and now Roe can feel it too: an insatiable need burning low in her belly, amplifying every sensation, every sound, every brush of skin against skin in a way she’s never felt before, like when you crank up the tension on a cable, tighter, tighter, tighter until it snaps. Thyme’s feverish fingers drag and brush and grope across Roe’s bare skin as her tongue presses into her mouth and it feels fiery, dizzying, hard—so unlike Thyme, but good, like it’s the only thing that matters in the entire universe, like it’s the only reason she’s not coming unmoored from her body and exploding into sparks, fizzling out. It feels like there’s lightning under her skin and a pounding in her head and Thyme is everywhere, kissing her breathless, burning her to cinders.

Thyme drags her mouth along the line of Roe’s jaw, nuzzles against the spot behind her ear and murmurs something soft and sweet, but Roe can’t quite wrap her mind around the form of the words because she just felt Thyme’s hand skim down her belly and slip between her legs—and Roe hears herself choke out a strangled noise that was supposed to be a coherent thought, she thinks, but her mouth appears to have forgotten how to form sentences, and hell if she remembers what she was going to say anyway. It certainly wasn’t important. And now Thyme’s grinding against her thigh as she sighs the most incredible noises Roe’s ever heard into her ear and brings her off hard and fast, so much faster than usual, utterly relentless and perfect; Roe rocks into her hand like a woman possessed, chasing the sensation to its end, only dully registering how very, very close she thinks she just came to cracking her skull on the headboard behind her when she crashes back against the mattress, gasping for air.

And then, when Thyme takes the peak of Roe’s breast into her mouth and swirls her tongue in that way she has that always sets her whole body aflame, when she feels the mattress beneath them jostle as Thyme shifts her weight backwards and drags her mouth down Roe’s chest, down her belly, when she settles between her legs and eases her thighs apart like the pages of a book, when Roe feels the feverish warmth of Thyme’s breath against her cunt and then finally the hot, insistent pressure of her tongue where she needs it most—well. It’s a minor miracle she doesn’t black out entirely.

In the aftermath, pops of light still sparking behind her squeezed-shut eyelids, Roe feels Thyme slide back up the bed and settle, stretched out on her stomach, against the length of Roe’s body. She hums a pleased little noise as she idly entangles their legs, nuzzling her forehead against the underside of her jaw.

“Fuck,” Roe says again. Thyme huffs out a laugh against her collarbone.

“Sorry, darling,” she murmurs. “I hope that wasn’t too much.”

“Gods, no, you were perfect.” Roe pauses. “Do you, uh…?”

“Mhm.”

“Oh, good,” Roe says, “cuz now it’s my turn,” and then she loops an arm around Thyme’s waist and tumbles her over onto her back.

Thyme yelps out a giggle as she lands in the sheets that turns to a garbled moan halfway through because Roe crushes her mouth hard against her tits, senselessly, feverishly dragging her tongue and teeth and breath along sweat-sweetened skin, chasing the mindless, overwhelming desire that still roars through her brain like a raging torrent—and when she slides down the length of her body and eagerly, reverently strokes her tongue against her cunt Thyme’s back arches clear off the bed, her fingers yanking hard at Roe’s hair as she pulls her in closer, and she almost growls as she rides her mouth and chants “that’s it my darling, you’re so perfect, yes”.

Not their usual style at all. But damn, if it isn’t a welcome change of pace.

Roe is not entirely certain how long they were… like that. She’s sure the two of them ran themselves ragged and passed out in a dead-to-the-world tangle of limbs at some point; she vaguely recalls Thyme groggily nudging her awake and murmuring “sweetheart, you’re so heavy,” at which point she somewhat sheepishly unstuck her sweaty cheek from Thyme’s chest and ceased in squashing her poor, exhausted girlfriend.

But the most important thing is that Thyme’s body seems as though it’s decided, finally, to let her breathe. Now Roe lays with her cheek resting on Thyme’s stomach, Thyme’s fingers loosely tangled in her hair, idly watching her chest gently rise and fall as she dozes. She’s been slipping in and out of a light sleep, and seeing her finally at rest is a great relief—not like the exhausted, feverish stupor from before, but properly relaxed, soaking up the comfortable kind of tiredness that follows a hard workout or a long, satisfying day. Although she’s loath to move too much (and, in all honesty, it takes a while before she regains the full cooperation of her legs), Roe does eventually get around to dragging herself out of Thyme’s bed and cracking open that window. It’s properly night out now, the last dregs of sunlight having long since died away, and the light breeze it invites into the apartment ghosts pleasantly across her still bare skin.

When she returns to bed, the shifting of the mattress as she settles in next to Thyme gently nudges her awake, and she stirs a little and sighs contentedly as she opens her eyes. And as Roe props her chin in her hand and looks down at her—all long, long limbs and soft curves and the messy, beautiful spill of her hair against the sheets, gazing up at Roe from behind sleepy, half-lowered lids, lips curled into a gorgeous, lopsided little smile—she feels her face break into a dumb, besotted grin and thinks, for about the five hundredth time since they’ve met, that there is no way she’ll ever get used to this.

“You feeling better?” she asks, as soon as she’s regained control over her faculties.

Thyme hums out a little “mhm” as she stretches slow and luxuriously, arching her back like a comfortable cat. “It feels as though it’s mostly out of my system by now. I think we’re in the clear. Although I suspect,” she adds, with the slightest wrinkle of her nose, “that I am now in sore need of a shower.”

“I mean, I wasn’t going to say anything,” Roe says with a cheeky grin. She then yelps as Thyme lightly smacks her shoulder.

“Well I was going to ask if you wanted to join me, but at this rate I might just reconsider—”

“Now hang on, wait a second,” Roe says, laughing, “I take it back. Here, let me start over.” She reaches for Thyme’s hand to lace their fingers together and press a kiss into her palm, and then intones as gravely as she can muster: “My sweet Thyme, dearest flower of my heart, whose sweatiest orifices smell only of sunshine and rainbows. It would be my honor, if you should deign to have me, to escort you to the nearest washroom—”

“You are not helping your case,” Thyme says, but she’s laughing as she tugs Roe down to kiss her properly.

They do make their way into the washroom eventually, after a bit more time in bed first; although, when Thyme, her soaked hair sending little rivulets of water trailing down the curves of her body in truly captivating ways, murmurs something into Roe’s ear about 'thanking her for her invaluable assistance', they find themselves not leaving until the water has nearly run cold. Afterwards, Roe, newly clean and mostly dried, scrounges up some chilled water and a bit of food for the both of them (bread, cheese, fruits) from Thyme’s kitchen—they have, after all, well overshot their lunch date by now. And when Thyme, still gloriously naked and soft and smelling of soap (bergamot and orange), slips in behind her where she stands at the counter to guide Roe’s hand to her mouth and kiss the fruit juice off her fingers, and when Roe can’t help but scoop her up onto the countertop (making sure, of course, that any sliced fruit and/or sharp kitchen implements are safely removed first) to kiss her back…

Well, that’s fine. Now they have all the time in the world.