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Villanelle’s done a thousand too many long-hauls to know that perfectly applied red lipstick, upright, friendly posture and a forced, fake smile always do a pretty good job of covering up sleep deprivation.

She’s come straight from a red eye — departing from Cairo in the wee hours of Sunday morning before stopping for a painfully long layover in Istanbul, during which the only luxury she received was a forty-five minute cat nap, sat upright on an airport lounge chair. (In hindsight, the subsequent back pain and splitting headache probably weren’t worth it.) Insane turbulence on the connecting flight left spilled coffee, screaming babies and panicked passengers in its wake, leaving even experienced attendants clinging to their arm rests just a little stronger than they usually would. Touchdown in London came just before 10AM, by which point Villanelle had lost track of the timezones and the day of the week and the country she was in and wanted nothing more than the comforts of a pillow, a mattress, a sofa — anything to finally rest on.

But alas, another attendant on call phones in sick, and Villanelle’s asked to go on short call reserve at the last minute. And it’s not the worst thing on earth, really. Getting paid a full day’s work to stay in the airport for hours until the planes that potentially might need her take off. She can sleep, eat, watch Netflix, people-watch and the chances of being called onto duty are slim...

“Welcome aboard!”

...But never zero.

So now it’s 12PM and Villanelle’s beaming at excited passengers and high-fiving kids as though she wants to be here greeting them at the entrance and checking their boarding passes; as though standing for one more second on her stilettos doesn’t feel like she’ll collapse then and there.

Thank God for Red Bull, is all she can think as more passengers pile in, bumping her with their carryons and complaining about their seats and ignoring the seatbelt signs and attempting to order food before taxi. They’re leaving dreary, grey London for luxurious, sunny Dubai and Villanelle can’t find an ounce of excitement within herself. Each hyper holiday maker that steps onboard seems to drain her more than the last.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking.” The speaker proudly announces once everyone is sat down with bags safely packed away, buzzing with excitement and talking too loudly. This is the part where Villanelle gets to find out which pilot is in charge today. If it’s a friend, she’ll potentially get longer rest breaks and better lunches to their discretion. “On behalf of the entire crew, welcome aboard Virgin Airlines flight 242, non-stop service from London Heathrow to Dubai International.” It’s a woman, that much is clear.

“Our flight time today is looking to be seven hours and forty minutes, flying at an altitude of around 31,000 feet. Shortly, we will begin our takeoff and we ask that seatbelts remain fastened and tray tables remain locked up in their full upright position until your seatbelt lights turn off. We recommend that you keep your seatbelts on for the duration of the flight in case of any unexpected turbulence.”

And it’s Captain Eve. It has to be; Villanelle could spot the voice of her favourite Captain from a mile off. It’s the same Captain Eve that Villanelle has repeatedly tried to get with every year at Christmas parties and gotten remarkably close after one too many Jägers. It’s the same Captain Eve that Villanelle has had a long-standing friendly-ish rivalry with for years, in which they’ve completely blurred the lines between feigned annoyance and genuine distaste for one another. It’s the same Captain Eve that Villanelle would cuff in an instant, jump her bones and ruin her life if Eve weren’t happily married to her long-term wife.

It wouldn’t be her first colleague affair; far from it. It’s really been no secret among the crew that Villanelle gets around her coworkers, from pilots to stewardesses to technicians, she’s tried them all.

She didn’t get fired the first time — arriving almost too late for her very first day on the job at Virgin Air along with a fellow trainee hostess she spent the night with just hours before. With neither girl passing the strict appearance standards thrust upon fresh-faces trainees, they were promptly sent home to cover up their imperfections and try again to get approved for the next flight out of London. Apparently fresh, purpling love bites and lipstick stains are against the company’s aesthetic policy — go figure.

Villanelle didn’t get fired the second time — when she was so horny (and maybe, just maybe, a little bit desperate for the best promotion her flight company had to offer) that she bent her then-boss over a loveseat in a Parisian hotel, having her way with the older woman until the sunlight muted the moon and an extra zero was added to her bank balance.

Villanelle didn’t even get fired the third time — when she and a fellow hostess were caught in the act in the bathroom of a stationary plane, fifteen minutes before passenger loading began. They passed it off as Villanelle feeling nauseous and the other hostess looking out for her with a hand up her skirt and a sweat sheen on her forehead. Corporate let it slide as an explainable misunderstanding, but the all-knowing whispers between attendants and technicians and pilots and controllers offer little in the way of doubt.

“Now we request your full attention as flight attendants demonstrate the safety features of this aircraft.”

Seat cushions can be used as flotation devices, nearest exit may be behind you, life vests under seats, oxygen masks will drop down in case of loss of pressure, attend to your own mask first, brace, brace. Villanelle’s literally performed this demonstration a thousand times, knows every single feature and hand movement and exit hatch on a 737 like the back of her hand. It’s muscle memory at this point, drilled into her since the day she started her hostess training.

No one listens to the safety briefing anyway, and those who do listen don’t retain. If the plane goes down, everyone’s fucked. It’s all a waste of time. Villanelle wants to go home.

“We remind you that this is a non-smoking flight. Smoking is prohibited on the entire aircraft, including the lavatories. Tampering with, disabling or destroying the lavatory smoke detectors is prohibited by law. If you have any questions about our flight today, please don’t hesitate to ask a member of the flight team. Thank you.”

No one asks anything. The plane takes off. Villanelle takes food and duty-free orders and hands out those food and duty-free orders and wallows in the still mundanity and the mind-numbing boredom, daydreaming of the hotel bed she’ll sleep in when she finally gets to Dubai.

 

- - -

 

They’re five hours in and Villanelle’s bored out of her mind. She’s exhausted every crossword and word-search, memorised the duty-free catalogue cover to cover and willingly had conversations with every weird over-sharing passenger in first class.

All her passengers seem to be satisfied, having already eaten their pre-ordered meals and already gotten sick of the overpriced coffee. There’s always a lull like this on longer flights, where the passengers are too over it to demand very much. As long as no one dies and no babies are born on board, Villanelle suspects the rest of her shift will be reasonably quiet from here.

Over-tiredness has rippled through her body like a bolt, to the point that she probably couldn’t even sleep if she tried. This in combination with the jet lag won’t do her any favours on landing, but that’s a problem for later. She’s now in the aircraft’s kitchen, helping herself to handfuls of grapes and trail mix when the thought pops into her head.

The cockpit door is right there and Captain Eve is presumably right there and maybe she’s also bored and hungry.

Maybe this is the perfect excuse to go talk to her Captain, bringing her grapes like a peace offering. Eve has never been too fond of Villanelle, but that’s half the fun. Villanelle gets to see Eve’s pretty little face and wallow in the satisfaction of setting off her short temper, and it’s hard to say no to that.

So she types in the cockpit access code and waits to be buzzed in before she can talk herself out of it and before anyone can catch her going in without any real reason to.

“Hi, Captain.” Villanelle greets as the door opens, delighted to see that it is, in fact, Captain Eve expertly steering her plane and initially ignoring Villanelle’s presence. They never got to talk very much on their past few flights together, so Villanelle’ll call this a catchup of sorts. Eve’ll call it a nuisance.

“Hello.” Eve replies, face dropping when she makes eye contact. “Oh. It’s just you.”

Villanelle giggles, settling down in the third officer’s chair behind Eve. There’s really no space in a 737 cockpit, with controls and levers everywhere, they’re either tripping over something or pressed against something at all times. Incessant beeps and radio static mean there’s never true silence, and the views from the huge rounded windows make the passenger windows look like mouseholes. “You sound happy to see me.”

The main thing that strikes Villanelle right away is that Eve’s flying alone. No FO, no SO, no TO — which, by all commercial and legal regulations, is against the law. If Eve takes a random heart attack and dies up here, they’re all well and truly fucked.

So Villanelle asks the question... “Where’s your copilot?”

...And Eve ignores it, instead speaking a few altitude and speed codes into her headset, pretending Villanelle isn’t there for a few moments. “Why are you in here?”

“Incase you wanted food.” The Tupperware box of red grapes gets subtly nudged over to Eve like it’s a drug deal, both knowing fine well that pilots technically aren’t meant to eat anything in the cockpit. And ‘aren’t meant’, actually means it’s totally illegal. But they’re good at keeping secrets, so who’s going to know. “I brought you grapes, but if you want something else then...”

It’s probably the one thing Eve likes about working alongside Villanelle. For all her annoying traits and sexual glances and flirty mannerisms, she’ll never say no to smuggling in a snack for the pilots, who’re often expected to fly for upwards of ten hours with no food at all. If nothing else, Villanelle’s understanding of their hunger.

“Oh, great.” Eve practically whispers, as though they’re being watched by spy cameras or something. “Thank you.”

“Mind if I stay in here? Too many screaming babies out there.” It’s worth a try, even though she’s sure of Eve’s answer before she even opens her mouth.

Captain Eve is all for breaking rules when it’s something she can benefit from, like snacks on deck or hostesses taking over passenger announcements. Though whenever it’s something that the hostesses can benefit from, like longer breaks and controlled rests and use of the AC, Eve won’t hear a single word.

“You can’t be in the cockpit while we are inflight, Villanelle. You know this.” There it is.

“And you can’t be alone in the cockpit while we are inflight, Captain.” Villanelle shrugs, watching Eve’s smile falter. She’s visibly nervous, knows how much shit she could get in for flying without an FO, which is all the better for Villanelle. “Looks like we’ve both broken the rules.”

“My copilot is on his fifth flight in twenty-four hours.” Illegal, but whatever. “If I don’t put him on controlled rest for a little while, he might pose more risk to the aircraft from avoidable mistakes.” Still illegal, no matter how much Eve tries to justify it. And to top it all off: “I’ve been flying longer than you’ve been alive. I think I know exactly what I’m doing here.” Still illegal no matter how much Eve tries and fails to patronise.

But fuck it, it’s hardly Villanelle’s place to talk about legalities. Frankly, she doesn’t give a single fuck as long as she gets her pay check at the end of the month and their aircraft doesn’t come to a fiery, burning crash in the depths of the Mediterranean. Still, having full access to this flushed, wannabe rebellious Captain Eve is amusing Villanelle far more than it should, so of course she’ll play into it.

“Well, I’m here to keep you company, Captain. You must be bored.”

“Amazing offer and all but unless there’s a burning question, hostage situation or a technical fault, I really need you to leave the cockpit. You know you can’t be in here for safety reasons.”

Eve has her back to Villanelle, pressing buttons, typing codes and pulling levers, occasionally muttering phrases to the men on the ground in her headphones and doing everything in her power to avoid eye contact.

Of all flights Villanelle’s been on with Eve, she doesn’t think she’s ever seen Eve really at work. Sure, she’s heard Eve’s passenger announcements where she asks for airplane mode to be turned on and informs them of the remaining flight time and the weather at their final destination, but she’s never seen what Eve does. She’s so focused and intelligent, knowing exactly what to do and in which order and with how much throttle and where everything is — and all in the absence of her copilot. The plane is in the air because of Eve and Eve alone. Villanelle can’t help but genuinely admire her Captain, who’s smarter than Villanelle gives her credit for.

It doesn’t help that Eve looks especially put together today as well, like more than normal. Her hair’s down, brown ringlets pouring over her shoulders, almost camouflaging her black headset and it’s a nice contrast against her usual messy ponytail. She’s wearing lipstick too. It’s not the offensively bright red that hostesses are required to wear, but a warm plum that accentuates the shape of her lips and draws Villanelle’s eyes to them. Eve never, ever makes an effort with her work appearance, so Villanelle has every right to her suspicions.

“Actually, I do have a burning question.” Villanelle says, stealing one of Eve’s grapes from the tub. Eve turns around in her chair to properly look at her, raising her eyebrows, mentally preparing for whatever she’s about to come out with. “When we get to Dubai, are you meeting your wife? Is she there waiting for you already?”

“Why do you ask?” Immediately defensive as always. It’s never a good look. “Not that it’s any of your business.”

Villanelle is briefly paused by Eve holding a finger in the air, regular voice replaced by her quick, heavily annunciated pilot voice to relay the aircraft’s position to air traffic control. “Virgin Air Flight 242, reporting flight level 320, that’s Foxtrot Lima 3-2-0.”

“You were saying?”

“You’re wearing makeup and your hair looks nice. Date night in Dubai later, I’m guessing?”

Pilot date nights are something Villanelle can only dream about. Eve’s clearly extremely wealthy, with a high paying job and a rich entrepreneurial spouse. They designed their own house from the ground up and have multiple villas in exotic countries. It’s clear they aren’t going to slum it when they get to Dubai, and Villanelle yearns to experience the lifestyle someday. Call it jealously, call it curiosity, call it whatever.

“Didn’t realise my appearance or my wife is in any way relevant to your job on this aircraft, but to answer your question, yes. It’s date night in Dubai tonight.” And for once Eve doesn’t sound defensive. She sounds... happy. Willing to give this tiny detail about her personal life away, which makes a change from constant dismissals. “She’s actually one of the two-hundred-and-nine souls on board at the moment, so I hope you’ve been serving her well.”

Well, shit. Villanelle stifles a laugh, thinking back to all the ridiculous rich ladies in she’s seen in first class today, wondering which one is the lucky lady. Perhaps she’s the woman who hasn’t removed her sunglasses in the five hours since they departed, or the lady who demanded to speak to a manager mid air in a setting where there is no manager. Maybe she’s the lady who ordered a ridiculously complicated coffee as if there was a Starbucks onboard, or the lady who clapped when the plane took off, only to be met with strange, confused looks from those around her. Or maybe she’s just one of the women minding their own business and reading a book. Villanelle really needs to stop thinking the worst of people.

“Your wife’s on this plane?” Villanelle asks, an unexplained adrenaline rush flowing through her at this knew knowledge. “She must love the ‘Pilot wives fly free’ sentiment, huh? Free first-class cabins, free food, free alcohol. I’d marry you too for all that, Captain.” Like Villanelle wouldn’t marry Eve regardless given the opportunity, but she’ll never let onto that.

Eve’s eyebrows raise and she leans back in her seat to make eye contact with Villanelle again. “You’re saying she married me for the free flights?”

“Of course not. Have you seen yourself?”

“As flattered as I am, you have a job to do and I have a job you’re distracting me from.”

With a nod, Villanelle’s standing up from the TO’s chair. And she really, really plans on leaving, on getting back to her job and serving her passengers like she’s being paid to, but Eve stops her.

“One more thing.” Villanelle knows what’s coming, braces for the impact, plans out her response before it’s even warranted. “It’s my job to make sure all flight crew are following the rules they agreed to upon signing their contract. Shirts have to be buttoned all the way and skirts must be at least knee length. At the moment you’re covering neither of those rules.” Sex sells, that’s always Villanelle’s excuse. Men will buy endless duty free perfumes from her if it means getting a peak at her cleavage every time she comes over to them, working wonders for her commission pay. It’s a win-win situation, really. Villanelle gets to wear what she likes and get a bonus for it. One could argue that Villanelle buttoning up would actually lose the company some money. “There’s a uniform policy for a reason. It’s for everyone to follow, including you.”

“Oh, lighten up.” Villanelle huffs with an eye roll. “I’m only on this flight as cover. Maybe instead of lecturing me about dress code, you should be happy I even showed up at all.”

“Being on cover isn’t excuse to parade around with half your shirt unbuttoned.” And the knowledge that Eve’s eyes are currently skimming her chest is sending butterflies around Villanelle’s stomach. Or moths. Probably moths.

“My boobs distracting you, Captain? How objectifying.” If Villanelle makes an adroit attempt at bending forward so Eve can get a better look, she’ll deny it to her grave. “If seeing three buttons undone gets you this worked up, you should probably have a talk with your wife.”

“I didn’t make the rules, now button up. I won’t ask again. We have a dress code for a reason.”

And Villanelle wasn’t going to mention anything. Like, really, she wasn’t. She planned on minding her business and saving Eve the embarrassment. But if this is the game Eve wants to play, then...

“What about that bulge in your pants, Captain? Are strap-ons part of the dress code now?”

And if the way Eve’s face almost immediately drains in colour is any indication, Villanelle has won this round already. But of course she’ll go further, because getting under Eve’s skin has fast become her favourite pastime.

“Surely it’s inappropriate to wear the accessory you’ll be fucking your wife with later while you’re on duty. What would the bosses think of that? You thought I wouldn’t notice?” It’s actually all Villanelle’s been able to notice, but she won’t let on to that. Good for Eve. Good for Eve’s wife. Good for them.

“I can get you fired for being in here.” Eve reminds her, trying and failing to sound threatening.

“And I can get you fired for flying alone, so I guess we’re even.” Villanelle pops another grape into her mouth, smiling at Eve when she dares to make eye contact.

“How long have you been with her?”

“Twelve years.” Eve sighs, waiting for Villanelle’s next comment, completely resigned to the fact that she isn’t leaving anytime soon. “Ten married.”

Villanelle genuinely knows very little about Eve’s wife. Not her name, not what she looks like, not where she’s from. All she knows is that this woman is the only thing barricading her from Eve, and she must be hot shit to have Eve this pussy-whipped.

“Have you ever fucked her in the air?” Villanelle asks smugly, half out of curiosity and half to see Eve’s reaction. Of course she hasn’t.

“Of course I haven’t.”

She’ll feign surprise. “Really?” She’ll make Eve feel like she’s missing out. “If my wife was a pilot it’d be the first thing I’d do. There’s something about these pilot shirts — they look really sexy.” And Villanelle’s hands are not so subtly stroking Eve’s shoulder badges like a masseuse, each shoulder boasting four stripes indicating Eve’s rank as a Captain. Each stripe was slaved over in pilot school and beyond, with Eve only gaining her fourth stripe and Captain rank after twenty years of service. Four stripes are no joke.

Eve laughs. Like, genuinely laughs. She’s not prudish or defensive, just amused. “I’m sure she’d love that, but it’s also insanely illegal. Let’s not forget.”

“There’s no official law against having sex in a plane as long as you’re out of view of others. As long as you don’t crash into the Atlantic, there’d be no consequences. No one would even know.”

“I don’t do that kind of thing.”

“Have you ever fucked anyone in the air?”

“You know I have a job to do in here, right? I don’t just sit here doing nothing. Don’t you think sex would be a huge distraction trying to fly this thing?” Eve’s tapping at buttons, gesturing to all her screens and levers and radios.

“Just stick it in autopilot.” Villanelle shrugs. “Unless you’re taking off or landing, who cares?”

“Virgin Air Flight 242, initiating autopilot. Fuel remaining 37 tons, wind 120 degrees, 450 knots. Operations normal.” Eve’s pilot voice will never not be hot, Villanelle decides.

“Even if I could technically still do my job, how would I smuggle my wife in here?”

Villanelle shrugs. “Security’s tight. You wouldn’t get very far. Plus, it’s unheard of that you’d ever be flying alone like this. I guess you’d have to do it with another member of the flight crew instead.” It’s not a suggestion persay, just a part of their meaningless conversation. If Eve happens to take up any of Villanelle’s advice, then she’ll be here. In the meantime, that’s all this is: advice.

“Well, what about you? Ever fucked anyone in the air?”

“I don’t do that kind of thing.” Villanelle mimics Eve, giggling as she does. She really doesn’t do that kind of thing, but of course she would.

“I find that hard to believe. I’ve heard all about your time in hostess training. Banging every girl that showed a hint of interest, manipulating regional bosses, bagging promotions right after leaving hotel rooms. It wouldn’t surprise me if you had.”

There’s no reply from Villanelle. Eve keeps going.

“I know you slept with that Pan Am pilot.” True. “Wasn’t there a BA pilot too?” There was. “And an Emirates pilot, or was it two Emirates pilots?” It was three Emirates pilots. “Didn’t you fuck a passenger before, too?” Yes, she did.

Never in the air, though. Villanelle can whole heartedly attest that she’s never had sex in the air. In an aircraft, yes. But in the air, no. Not that she’s opposed, just that the opportunity has never presented itself. Believe it or not, there are never many opportunities to get special alone time with another person in mid-air while on the clock. Frankly, Villanelle thinks that Eve’s unwittingness to sleep with her right here, right now is a wasted once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But she’ll respect the sanctity of marriage, and all that.

“There was a Lufthansa pilot too.” Villanelle adds, smiling with pride and lifting another of Eve’s grapes from the tub.

“Of course there was.” Eve laughs, standing up from her chair to stretch, walking towards Villanelle. “I don’t put it past you. You’d fuck anything with a pulse.”

“You’re calling me a slut?”

The next words roll off Eve’s tongue like they’re rehearsed, like they’ve been bubbling up inside her, overly aggressive as though she needs to talk about something. “I’m calling you easy.”

“If I’m so easy...” Consciously or subconsciously, Villanelle leans in a little closer. “...then why haven’t you?”

“Because I’m married.” Eve’s eyes visibly struggle to hold contact with Villanelle’s, continuously faltering until she’s staring at the ground. Eve twists her wedding ring round her finger, mindlessly fidgeting while she thinks of her next words. “And I don’t do that kind of thing.”

“Isn’t it boring? Only sleeping with one person your whole life?”

“Of course not. It’s...” Eve steps forward as her voice trails off, looking down Villanelle’s body then back up again. Thinking, waiting, until... “Okay, whatever. Fuck it.”

All sense of control seems to leave Villanelle’s body when Eve reaches up to connect their lips for the first time, crowding her mouth and taking what should be her’s; but isn’t her’s. Villanelle’s not Eve’s and Eve’s definitely not Villanelle’s, but in the suffocating swelter of the cockpit, there’s little space for any mindless pondering in that vein.

It’s not romantic or slow in the slightest; they kiss like it’s a competition, a means to an end, subconsciously searching for the ultimate way to one-up the other and break the other down.

All of this has been a long fucking time coming, and it’s the only thing Villanelle can think about as Eve’s tongue finally breaches past her own and begins marking its temporary territory. As much as Villanelle tries to reciprocate, she’s practically winded from the shock and the disbelief at what’s even happening. Her absentminded lips move as though they too are on autopilot, resigned to instinct and so free.

Eve’s hands move from their resting place on either side of Villanelle’s face downwards to reach her neck, shamefully concealed by her hostess scarf. It’s censoring Eve’s ability to touch and feel and claim every inch of Villanelle like she so desperately wants to and she’s tugging at it, knocking whatever remnants of breath Villanelle had left straight out of her windpipe.

But Eve’s hands move faster than her clouded brain and before long she’s down at Villanelle’s chest, desperately unbuttoning even further down than what she previously scorned of, revealing more of her body button by button. Villanelle’s panting against Eve’s lips, briefly pulling away to catch a breath before pulling her back in moments later. Eve’s fingers fully work the entirety of Villanelle’s hostess shirt, leaving her exposed in nothing but a red lace La Perla and sun kissed skin, prickling with goosebumps at every single touch.

It’s not until Villanelle similarly reaches to unfasten Eve’s buttons that she realises Eve is not at all interested in matching her own state of exposure. Shaky hands are slapped away before there’s a single second to argue back. No undressing for Eve, because of course. Why would she, when she’d have so much more fun whoring Villanelle out in an attempt to prove a point, to win this unspoken bet. Eve’s four smug Captain stripes get to sit pretty on her shoulders as professionally as ever, and Villanelle’s bared and revealed and looking so easy.

“Really?”

It’s all the words Villanelle can manage to mumble, lips and tongue still pressed against Eve’s, pace getting quicker with every passing second. It’s all encompassing. It’s a “really, we’re doing this?”. It’s a “really, we’re doing this here?”. It’s a “really, you’ve got my tongue between your incisors but I can’t see an inch of your chest?”.

One of Villanelle’s hands drop down further until she’s touching the very prominent bulge in Eve’s pants, stroking purposefully and tactically as though her Captain is able to feel it somehow. Both women pull away from the kiss, gasping like their heads have been submerged for the past ten minutes. It’s all direct eye contact and bargaining and the fading flits of something that feels suspiciously like trust, Villanelle’s hand still continuing it’s steady motions against Eve’s strap-on through her pants.

“That’s not for you.” And Eve’s right, it’s not for her. It’s for the forty-something businesswoman sitting pretty in first class — whose stilettos could double as stilettos and whose magnetic presence could light up the hold. It’s for the woman Eve promised to have and to hold over a decade ago, the woman who’s spending half her journey asleep and the other half boasting to strangers and flight attendants that her partner is the one to fly the aircraft. It’s for the woman who’ll lay with Eve tonight with no knowledge of her actions and will taste the traces of Villanelle on Eve’s lips.

Villanelle should feel bad, ruining the sanctity of marriage and whatnot, but Eve’s lips feel so fucking good on her lips and face and ear and clavicle. Ethical pondering can wait until touchdown.

“I know it isn’t.” There’s something of a smugness in Villanelle’s voice. “That won’t stop you though, will it?” Of course it won’t.

“You could always tell me to stop.” Villanelle suggests, giggling and nibbling at Eve’s throat gently when she gets no response, just as she anticipated. “It’s a good thing I can keep secrets, right?”

Wordlessly, Eve’s dragging Villanelle by the wrist a few steps across the crammed cockpit, returning to her chair and motioning Villanelle to straddle her. There’s no room — seriously, no room. But when Villanelle’s hiking a leg over Eve nonetheless, the squeezing pressure against her thighs will be grinned and bared. Right now, Villanelle needs her lips on Eve’s regardless of the awkwardness and she’ll accept the bruised legs as a compromise.

“Do not touch anything.” Eve orders. “Do you understand? Touch one button and you’re out.”

Villanelle’s frantically nodding as she leans in to kiss Eve again, breath hot and heavy against her lips as Eve’s hands work their way up Villanelle’s thighs. When her skirt is swiftly hiked up over her ass, Villanelle can’t help the blush that rises to her cheeks at the feeling of being exposed.

Momentarily, she’s hyper-aware of the fact that they’re surrounded by windows and that anyone could look in right now and see them — until she remembers they’re 32,000 feet in the air and travelling at over 500 mph and there’s really no scenario more private than this.

Anything that happens is between Eve, Villanelle and the clouds that rest beneath them.

Eve’s grabbing handfuls of Villanelle’s ass as both begin instinctively gyrating their hips along to the unrelenting rhythm of their kisses. “No panties? You really came to work like this?” And if Eve’s first words sent a wave directly towards Villanelle’s centre, her second words sent a flood: “You’re such a slut.”

“Sit down.”

“Your...” Trembling fingers reach Eve’s pants zipper as Villanelle wordlessly begs for their removal, the blood pounding in her ears distracting her from speaking fully formed sentences. She needs Eve to take something off too, needs to be spared from the humiliation of getting this worked up and turned on while Eve gets to stay fully clothed and visibly in control of the situation. “Can you...”

When Eve slaps Villanelle’s hand away, it becomes clear that Villanelle either takes what Eve wants or she takes nothing. Eve wants Villanelle to ride her thigh, without the luxury of getting to feel her skin, the intrusion of rough tailored pilot pants serving a constant reminder of what she’s doing, where she’s doing it and who she’s doing it with.

It’s demeaning, being exposed like this with no reciprocation. Eve just gets to sit back and watch, encouraging Villanelle’s desperate movements for her own entertainment. If there was ever any doubt of who’s in charge here, it’s blown away with the wind now, sucked into the jets and propelled out into the firmament.

With the first hesitant movement of Villanelle’s hips, it immediately strikes her that this is different, because it’s dry and it’s unforgiving and the way Villanelle’s almost instantly dampening Eve’s pants highlights just how wet she is and this is all new. Villanelle’s used to being treated like a queen in bed and now Eve’s treating her like she’s just... easy.

There’s one, two, three more experimental hip thrusts before Villanelle’s comfortable with what’s going on. The thick material of Eve’s pants gets softer as Villanelle gets wetter, allowing friction against her clit that’s relieving instead of uncomfortable.

Within twenty seconds, Villanelle’s set a pace for herself. Forwards and backwards, going increasingly faster as she gains confidence.

“Look at you.” Eve’s practically laughing at her fervid desperation. “Getting my leg all messy.”

And it should be humiliating but it’s spurring Villanelle’s unrelenting rhythm on even further, letting out obscene noises with every movement of her hips. Soft lips press against Eve’s neck, expelling hot and heaving breaths that give Eve visible goosebumps.

Villanelle’s somehow this wrecked while six miles above ground, fucking an on-duty pilot while on the clock herself. It’s fucking lewd and embarrassing and easy. Villanelle - 0. Eve - 1.

There’s whole aisles of passengers she could be waiting on right now, serving their pasta and opening their Coke cans and collecting their trash, but instead she’s fucking their pilot. For a certain passenger, Villanelle’s literally fucking their wife, and the mere thought of that is making her blood flow hotter and her clit throb harder and the dark patch on Eve’s thigh spread wider.

One wrong move and they could set off an alarm or jerk the yoke or halt fuel flow to the engines or cutoff the onboard battery, leaving the cabin in darkness. They could mistakenly set off the wrong hydraulics or disturb a radio or wake up Eve’s fucking copilot asleep in the rest compartments. That’s to say nothing of the other two-hundred-and-seven souls on board who’re depending on Eve to get them to their destination safely, completely unaware of her current distractions.

If this isn’t a story for the church confessional, then nothing is.

“Virgin Air Flight 242, turn left heading two-six-zero. Descend and maintain 3000.”

The muffled, crackling instructions from air traffic control break the silence in Eve’s headset, offering a wholly unwanted interruption to the moment and Villanelle swears she hears an exasperated groan from Eve.

“If you make a noise we’re stopping. If they hear you, we’re both out of a job.” Eve’s staring Villanelle dead in the eye as she pulls her headset’s microphone back against her mouth, attempting to compose her own breathing before replying to ATC. “Understood?”

“Yes, Captain.” Villanelle gasps, breath hitching as her hips roll on their own accord, finding the perfect angle to gyrate against Eve’s thigh.

“Roger. Virgin Air Flight 242’s turning left heading two-six-zero, leaving 3200.” Villanelle lets out a whine louder than normal when Eve absentmindedly raises her knee slightly, causing Eve to tug harshly on her neck scarf to shut her up before continuing. “Descending 3000.”

Eve’s clicking buttons and pulling sticks and typing codes with all the expertise of a maestro and all the ease of a maven, effortlessly gliding this 394 ton hunk of metal through the skies like she has done consistently and perfectly for the last thirty years. Eve’s focused, skilled and precise; the girl on her thigh just as unimportant to her as her wife sitting pretty in first class. Villanelle in her right mind would definitely comment on how sexy Eve looks and sounds in pilot-mode, but her right mind is barricaded by the feeling of Eve’s perfect pressed seams and warm, stationary thigh thrust right against her clit, motionless and unforgiving and teasing and never enough. Villanelle wonders if Eve’s wife were the one to iron these pants, pressing them just right only for another woman to come along and ruin her efforts.

Her quick gyrations aren’t letting up despite Eve’s momentary distraction, grinding against her like it’s the last thing she’ll do, like it’s the only thing she wants to do. Short, muffled moans are huffed hot against Eve’s neck and into her ear as desperate hands try to touch Eve’s steering arms or clothed chest or get inside her now-stained cargos. Villanelle’ll opt for neck kisses instead and if she sucks too hard by mistake, she’ll blame the slight wind turbulence. It’s really taking almighty self control not to leave rabid marks in visible places all over Captain Eve’s neck, marking her Villanelle’s and letting everyone else on the flight crew know exactly what went down and where. For the sake of their jobs and Eve’s marriage, however, she won’t.

Eve places a supportive free hand on one side of Villanelle’s ass, pushing her gently, helping her move forward and backwards and hearing the volume of her whines increase ever so slightly with every movement. Villanelle’s so turned on; pupils blown and cheeks flushed and palms sweaty, and hearing Eve’s serious, professional pilot voice is helping like a hole in the head.

Coordinates and cryptos are muttered under Eve’s breath as she attempts to harness all her energy and thoughts and attention onto descending the aircraft safely before worrying about Villanelle and the mess she’s making and the noises she’s gasping and the high she’s chasing. It’s visibly evident that Eve’s dying to touch her and kiss her and have her way with her, practically twitching in her sleeves. New beeps from the cockpit indicate the aircraft has reached the desired flight level and Eve can finally switch back into autopilot and finish what she started, finish Villanelle off like she so desperately wants to.

“Virgin Air Flight 242, reporting flight level 300. Foxtrot Lima 3-0-0. Initiating autopilot. Operations normal.”

With the speed and tone change compared to Eve’s regular air traffic control communications, Villanelle’s sure that any further correspondence will get promptly ignored by Eve and blamed on connection issues. There’s a tremor in Eve’s voice mirrored by her insistent hands and desperate touches. When Eve’s lips crash aggressively against Villanelle once again and both hands drop the control yoke to focus on pulling Villanelle faster against her, Villanelle knows her theory was correct.

“Fucking hell. Stand up.” Eve demands, breathless from the kissing and the pressure and the anxiety.

It’s all about the thrill of getting caught, of getting walked in on, of waking up Eve’s copilot, of alerting the ATC, of Eve’s wife seeing the mess Villanelle’s made of Eve.

Villanelle will blame the way her head spins and her blood drains as she stands on the sharp drop in altitude, not on the way Eve’s frantically unzipping her pants and pulling out the thick purple strap-on dildo meant for her wife and her wife only, patting her thighs as an invitation for Villanelle to come sit. There’s no effort on Eve’s part to undress, still completely clothed as Villanelle hikes a bare leg over to straddle her, her skirt now practically bunched up at her hips and her shirt unbuttoned completely.

“You’re really gonna fuck me in the cockpit?” Villanelle giggles from her space on Eve’s lap, leaning in for another kiss as the control deck continues it’s incessant beeping and reminding them that this is really about to happen. “I thought you don’t do this kind of thing?”

“You’re still so annoying.” Eve breathes out between desperate kisses, reaching down to touch Villanelle’s thighs and ass and anywhere she can reach. “Don’t flatter yourself.”

Villanelle’s breath hitches and hips buck involuntarily as soon as Eve’s soft fingers make direct contact with her clit. It’s a contrast to the feeling of rough cargo pants against her heat she felt just moments ago, feels softer and more intimate. But it’s none of that, because Villanelle’s just hooking up with a married coworker, so she’ll forget about any real feelings and enjoy this for what it is. Thinking of how it feels instead of how it feels.

Villanelle’s calmed down enough to play Eve’s game, for now at least, and so now is about bringing Eve back to a level playing field. Because, yeah, Villanelle might be easy, but Eve’s the married one here. Eve’s the one who had to get in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt before getting to sit in this very chair and fly this very plane. Eve’s the one with everything to lose, and the thought of that makes Villanelle giddy.

“You cheat on your wife a lot, Captain?”

Villanelle’s mouth has travelled down to press against Eve’s neck, her voice inadvertently hoarse and sultry. The spank that lands on Villanelle’s ass in response to her question graduates into a rough squeeze, Eve’s nails digging deep enough into the thick flesh to leave eight half-moon craters in their wake. Because no, she doesn’t cheat on her wife and the fact that Villanelle of all people is the temptress to ruin her streak must be driving Eve fucking crazy. Villanelle will wallow in it though, the way she has more power over Eve in this state than Eve will ever admit.

Eve’s fumbling bands move her strap from its resting place against her stomach to Villanelle’s clit, rubbing over it slowly but confidently, the tip immediately wet from just seconds of external contact. Villanelle has to dig her canines into her own bottom lip to silence the moan threatening to spill out, instead coming out as a laboured hiss.

“Does she know all it takes to get you going is a sexy little flight attendant in a short skirt?” Villanelle - 1. Eve - 1. “I bet you’ve dreamed about this since flight school — taking one of your hostesses in the cockpit, bending her over the pedestal and having your way with her above the clouds.”

Without another word, Eve’s halting her movements of the strap against Villanelle’s clit, pushing it down to line up with her soaked entrance instead. Eve really does have every intention to hold it there — hovering over her entrance, teasing Villanelle, making her beg for her cock — but Villanelle’s sitting right on it immediately, foiling Eve’s plan just as surely as she’s fogging up the glass they’re pressed against.

Watching Villanelle’s face morph from desperation to relief as she lowers is nothing short of heavenly, her entrance taking Eve’s entire length all at once, wetness offering little resistance to the unforgiving press of silicone. They’re crammed in Eve’s seat, pressed against the port window on one side and the pedestal on the other, dangerously close to control columns and pedals and instruments that Eve knows like the back of her hand. Villanelle’s sure she hears Eve whisper another strict “don’t touch anything” against her lips, but her head’s too foggy and overwhelmed to think straight or hear straight or see straight.

Desperate hands find Eve’s cheeks as Villanelle continues to kiss her, more tongue than lips on both ends as she slowly gyrates her hips in little circles, adjusting to the all-too-welcome feeling of Eve buried to the hilt inside of her. Thick and ever-present and choking and just what she needed.

Their pants come out so hot and heavy, catching in their throats like pills and steaming up the windows surrounding them.

“Want you to fuck yourself down on it.” Eve tells her, voice just barely above a whisper as she double, triple, quadruple glances back at the locked cockpit door, ensuring they’re wholly intruder-free and private.

Shaky hands find Eve’s shoulders as Villanelle lifts herself off the strap almost all the way before quickly sinking back down, drawing involuntary preens and whines from her throat. The cockpit is loud by default — whirring with machines and alarms and eolian groans that probably drown out any noises from the outside, allowing Villanelle a little scope to let out the noises she can’t bring herself to muffle. Villanelle rocks herself up and down in a steady rhythm, pulling up til she’s almost completely empty and then slamming down til she’s full to the brim. The lack of space doesn’t provide much comfort to either party, nor does it allow any sort of enthusiastic speed, but it’s fine for now. For now, they need to take each other in and let out the bubbles of respective frustration that have plagued them this entire flight and the hundred flights together that came before. For now, it’s about forgetting that anything else matters in a setting where everything has to matter.

“So pretty.” Eve whispers as Villanelle swaps out her up and down motions for back and forth rocks, moving Eve’s strap around in circles inside of herself.

In her normal state, Villanelle would bask in the compliment and tease Eve about her uncharacteristic softness, bite back a “Prettier than her?”; but now her eyes are closed, head leaned back, neck concealed only by her scarf and with the genesis of a sheen beginning its cast over her body. With every little moan Villanelle lets out, the cockpit temperature rises impossibly higher and the fog in her brain gets thicker and thicker until there’s no other thoughts, just cleared out airspace and rocky turbulence.

With little in the way of trepidation, Eve’s right thumb reaches down beneath them to sweep lightly over Villanelle’s clit, causing Villanelle’s muscles to visibly strain even further. It’s an awkward, less than perfect angle but it’s friction and that’s all she needs for now. When Villanelle’s glazed eyes drift down and fixate on the wedding band coiled around Eve’s finger, she’ll call her twitching eyebrows and subtle smirks a show of admiration. The pride, accomplishment and achievement she feels from the mere sight of Eve’s marital promise will all go unspoken in the claustrophobic seat they’re sharing.

They stay like this. Going as fast as they can with the little space they have, kissing off their frustration, hands grabbing at whatever body parts they can reach. It’s steady and it’s fine but it’s not enough. Eve’s clearly aching to thrust upwards but can’t in all her confinement. Villanelle’s desperate to go faster, harder, take Eve’s cock in the way she always imagined she would in her daydreams and fantasies. They’ve got each other where they’ve always wanted each other, but in the most awkward position imaginable

“Fuck.” Villanelle manages to gasp out, and it’ll go unspoken whether it was from insurmountable pleasure or from the sudden, sharp pain of hitting her head on a low hanging overhead panel. “Can we?...”

“Yeah.” Eve breathes out, punctuated with the hint of a giggle. “Hold onto me.”

Without much warning, Villanelle’s being lifted up by Eve, strap still buried inside as she narrowly misses another head bump. She can’t help but laugh slightly at the absurdity of the situation. It’s a lot. Of all commercial pilots she anticipated to enter the Mile High Club with — Captain Eve was probably the last one on her list.

With her back against the starboard wall, Villanelle’s roughly pulled into another quick, heated kiss as Eve grabs handfuls of her shirt, practically begging on its removal. It’s more comfortable here. No low hanging beams or pressure against thighs or constant anxiety of touching any buttons, they can really go for it how they like.

“Okay?” Eve asks her as the tip enters once more, almost uncharacteristically gently, to which Villanelle can only nod and thrust her hips further forward in an attempt to take Eve deep.

Without much hesitation, Eve’s thrusting the entirety of her length upwards at once — this time at a whole new angle and with a lot more space than they had while sitting. The new angle practically has Villanelle floored, somehow feeling even fuller than when Eve was buried to the hilt moments ago.

“Shit.” Villanelle breathes out as the tip of Eve’s cock repeatedly hits the spot inside that makes her see stars. There’s no build up. It’s fast and it’s dirty and a means to an end, with all the passion of a drunken hookup with a stranger.

Eve radiates the same determination and focus with Villanelle’s body as she does with her plane.

She knows exactly where to touch Villanelle — focused hands rest on Villanelle’s hips, holding her steady as her thrusts only increase in tempo and power. When Eve’s hands move to Villanelle’s bra, cupping and tracing her constrained nipples without ever setting them free, Villanelle’s restless body bucks up with need. One hand rises up even further to tug at Villanelle’s necktie, making her incessant moans turn to gasps that only spur Eve on and heighten Villanelle’s senses further.

She knows exactly where Villanelle’s sweet spots are on instinct — from the edge of her jaw to the lobe of her ear to the nape of her neck. Eve’s focused lips respond effortlessly to Villanelle’s huffs and gasps as if she has studied the blueprints of her features for years, knowing them inside out like she knows her aircraft inside out. Villanelle’s positively done for when Eve’s thumb makes contact with her clit again, immediately clenching around the strap-on that she wishes Eve could feel. Eve knows the exact angle and tempo and pressure that Villanelle likes against her clit and it has her legs shaking and pulse racing.

“You’re not even embarrassed to get fucked like this on the clock?” Eve’s practically whispering her words in Villanelle’s ear, causing the goosebumps to rise up the back on her neck. “Taking my cock so well. You must do this a lot, hm? You let everyone fuck you like this?”

But Villanelle knows exactly what Eve’s trying to do. The unspoken bet. She’s trying to degrade Villanelle into losing and Villanelle’s never been one to go down without a fight, so she’ll do her worst.

“What about you?” Villanelle manages to gasp out, Eve’s cock still hitting her sweet spot dead on every time, thumb still frantically swiping over her clit, overwhelming wetness allowing for no friction whatsoever. “You like your girls easy?”

There’s silence from Eve, so she continues.

“What would your wife think? Am I better than her?” The way Eve’s brow furrows and the way her nails dig into her thighs tells Villanelle all she needs to know. “You going to think about me every time you’re with her?”

Villanelle’s hostess scarf is swiftly tugged backwards and removed from her neck and tied tightly around her mouth, simultaneously working as a makeshift gag to shut her up and a way for Eve to gain access to Villanelle’s concealed neck with her hands and mouth. Eve’s quick to take the flesh between her teeth as soon as it’s exposed, no doubt leaving marks that’ll stick around longer than expected and maybe wearing a scarf to work has its perks.

“Nothing to say now?” Eve smirks at the way Villanelle’s reduced to nothing but pathetic whimpers and restless hands. Any moans coming out are just gargles and gasps, highlighting the ruination Eve’s made of her. With Eve holding her up pliant against the starboard wall, she’s practically weightless. “Should’ve shut you up like this way sooner.”

Every contact of Eve’s lips against Villanelle’s neck is sending waves down to where she needs it most, bringing her closer and closer to the edge. It seems like every pint of blood in Villanelle’s body is heading southbound, leaving the rest of her body numb and her head cloudy.

Villanelle decides she will let Eve win this unspoken bet a thousand times over, if it means Eve will fuck her like this again. Eve wins. Eve won from the moment she leaned in for their first kiss. She can take whatever prize she wants. She can bask in the pride that she managed to break Villanelle, completely fold her in half and press hard on the edges. Eve can wallow in the fact that Villanelle would do anything to please her, to have her like this again, to be hers. And if it’s only this once, she’ll thank Eve for the honour.

When Villanelle tries to talk around the scarf, it comes out wholly undecipherable. She wants to tell her to keep going, don’t stop, right there. Wants to nod, to say yes, to do anything at all, but Eve’s fucking her so perfectly that she can only let out pathetic noises she’s never heard herself make before and her grip is loosening on Eve’s shoulders and Eve’s fingers speed up their circles on her clit and her muscles are freezing up and there’s no return from this.

Her orgasm hits her like a plane crash, like she’s falling and shattering and disintegrating on impact, blown apart into nothing. Just rubble and smoke and ash. If Eve weren’t holding her up against the wall, she wouldn’t trust her own shaking legs to hold her upright for any length of time.

Eve’s surprisingly soft with her as she comes down, untying the scarf from her mouth, holding her tight and stroking her back soothingly, nosing into her hair and maybe, just maybe, pressing kisses on her scalp. For a second, it feels normal. It feels like they’re in a normal post-orgasmic haze, evening their breathing together and taking a minute of composure.

“I can’t believe...” Villanelle pants as Eve lets go of her tight grasp, allowing her to stand up on her own and steady her weak legs. “...you did that.”

There’s a giggle from Eve as she reaches for a baby wipe from her bag to clean off the strap before tucking it back into her pants as if it never left. For all intents and purposes, it never did. “You didn’t think I had it in me?”

If they were in a normal setting, this’d be the part where they’d even their breathing together, maybe cuddle up for a while in all their haze, slipping in and out of sleep. They could relax, enjoy each other’s company, maybe go again if they were up for it.

But it’s not a normal setting. They’re stood up in an airplane cockpit with real people’s lives and livelihoods depending on them, so when Villanelle’s right hand tries to snake into Eve’s pants to get her off, it’s hardly a surprise that Eve pushes her hand away.

“Come on. Can we not...?”

Eve’s giggling and shaking her head, walking away from Villanelle to similarly fix her own hair and take a baby wipe to her pant leg. They both look equally disheveled, but they’ll blame it on the tiredness. They’ll miss the parties in Dubai tonight in favour of a long overdue rest and they may never talk about this ever again. But it happened, and the bruises on Villanelle’s leg and the stain on Eve’s pants are proof.

“I have a landing to prepare for and you...” The pack of baby wipes is passed to Villanelle, whose thighs still glisten from the wetness Eve never got around to cleaning up. “...need to go grab some fancy wine for my wife. Seriously, get her the most expensive thing we have. It’ll relax my guilty conscience.”

Villanelle huffs, readjusting her hair in the reflection of a window and buttoning up her shirt. Her skirt’s wrinkled and her mascara smudged, but she’ll have to wait until landing to fix those. From here on out, they’ll have to hope no one asks any questions. “I wanted to return the favour. I can get you off fast, I swear.”

For a second, it’s like Eve’s really thinking about it — but objectively it’d be a bad idea. They can’t take any longer than necessary and the longer they take, the more chance they have of getting caught. There’s a silence as she thinks about her next words. “You can pay me back in Dubai.”

And Villanelle’s letting out a sigh of relief that yes, she may have to wait but yes, she’ll get to have Eve like this once again. Maybe the morals will catch up to them, maybe Eve’ll completely cut Villanelle off eventually but for now, there’s just a post-coital bliss that Villanelle won’t shake for the rest of her day. Or week. Or month.

“Will you go grab me a black coffee please?” Eve requests, and the mundanity makes Villanelle laugh, but she nods all the same. “And wake up my copilot, we’re starting our descent soon.”

“Whatever you say, Captain.” The cockpit door opens for Villanelle to leave and the immediate rush of cool air from the cabin hits her all at once, working to take the heat away from her flushed cheeks. She turns on her heels, shooting Eve one last genuine, fulfilled smile as she does. “Here’s hoping we get to do it on a bed next time.”