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  1. A light knock came from the door to Helen's guest room. “Hey,” Evelyn called in a low voice. “You want some tea? Maybe with a little whiskey?”
  2.  
  3. Helen couldn't help but let out a small laugh. “Evelyn...can you come in here?”
  4.  
  5. Evelyn walked in. She was dressed in loose DevTech logo sweatpants and a white tank top, and her hair stuck out in various directions. “What do you need?”
  6.  
  7. Helen pulled her knees to her chest, but that felt wrong. Her body still complained more than it ever had before about moving her joints. She sat with her feet hanging off the bed. “Will you stay with me? I can't...I'm having trouble sleeping alone.”
  8.  
  9. Evelyn climbed onto the mattress. “Thought you asked me not to touch you. It feels too weird without your powers or something.”
  10.  
  11. “I just want you here,” said Helen, her voice just above a whisper.
  12.  
  13. Evelyn nodded and flopped down with her head on the pillow Helen wasn't using. “Well, I'm here now. 'Night.”
  14.  
  15. Helen lay down again and turned her head to look at Evelyn. She was lying face up, her eyes closed, long lashes curling up and casting feathery shadows down her cheekbones. The shapes of her lips were outlined by the low light. Helen felt her throat go dry as she examined Evelyn's profile.
  16.  
  17. “Evelyn?” she said before she could stop herself.
  18.  
  19. “Hmmm?” Evelyn asked sleepily.
  20.  
  21. Helen swallowed. “I know I don't...I can't handle being held or touched. But I don't know...” She trailed off. “Can I kiss you?”
  22.  
  23. To her surprise, Evelyn was quiet at first. “Nah. I make it a rule not to kiss people who are pretending I'm someone else.”
  24.  
  25. Helen edged closer to Evelyn. “I wouldn't be pretending you were someone else.”
  26.  
  27. Evelyn turned her head to face Helen, her expression inscrutable. “If you mean that, then yeah, you can kiss me.”
  28.  
  29. Helen closed the remaining distance between herself and Evelyn, letting her eyes drift shut as Evelyn's full, soft lips met hers. Evelyn's kisses were gentle, almost shy, as if she expected Helen to pull away at any second. Helen's lips had always been less elastic than the rest of her, which might have been why there was no horrible sensation of wrongness as Evelyn kissed her. There was some mild discomfort, but it was worth it to feel Evelyn's warm lips on hers.
  30.  
  31. Evelyn reached to cradle Helen's face, remembered at the last minute that Helen had asked to not be touched, and moved her hand to Helen's hair, caressing it. Helen rested a hand on Evelyn's waist, again enduring the unfamiliar and unpleasant sensation of touching someone without her powers in exchange for comforting contact.
  32.  
  33. Evelyn pulled back slightly. “You okay? Is it okay that I'm touching your hair?”
  34.  
  35. “Mm-hmm,” Helen murmured. “It's nice. Now let me kiss you more.”
  36.  
  37. It was a long, long time before the kisses stopped, and by then, the tears on Helen's cheeks had dried. “Thank you,” Helen whispered. “So you don't kiss with tongue?”
  38.  
  39. “Nah, not my thing,” said Evelyn. “I like using my teeth, but maybe not the first time I kiss someone.”
  40.  
  41. “It's not really my thing either,” Helen confessed.
  42.  
  43. “Can I kiss you more?” Evelyn asked lowly, and Helen responded by leaning in and kissing her, her hand sliding from Evelyn's side to her back. Evelyn went back to stroking Helen’s hair, but pulled away when she felt tears streaming down Helen’s cheeks again. “Hey. What’s the matter?”
  44.  
  45. Helen blinked rapidly. “I wish I could hold you.”
  46.  
  47. “Yeah, I’d like that too,” said Evelyn, her voice soft. “Is that really the only reason you’re crying?”
  48.  
  49. “No,” Helen whispered. “I, uh…I don’t know how much you studied my NSA file, but...it was in there that...that many male supers were interested in me. You know, when I was younger?” She wiped her eyes. “But I never took anyone up on that, until...until my husband, and even then…” Helen took a deep breath. “I think there’s something wrong with me. I’ve never been interested in anyone but my husband, and even back then, he...he pursued me for a while before I even wanted to give him the time of day…and I…”
  50.  
  51. Helen trailed off, and Evelyn finished her thought. “You don’t have feelings for me and you feel weird about kissing me.”
  52.  
  53. “More like I don’t know how I feel,” Helen replied. “More like I’m confused. I like kissing you. It feels nice. But I don’t know if I just...if I just like feeling wanted or...or…” she shook her head.
  54.  
  55. “Would you feel more comfortable if I went back to my room?” Evelyn asked.
  56.  
  57. “No! No. Please, stay. I want you here.” Helen sighed. “I do know I like being with you.”
  58.  
  59. “Okay, that’s fair,” Evelyn murmured. “I don’t expect you to have all your feelings perfectly sorted out. You should have seen me when I was first in rampant denial of the fact that I liked women.” She touched Helen’s hair again. “And by the way, there’s nothing wrong with you.”
  60.  
  61. Helen managed a smile. "Thank you."
  62.  
  63. "You're welcome. I know you're going through hell right now." She looked up at the ceiling. "There was a junior designer at DevTech. After my parents died, she was my shoulder to cry on. But I had no idea what my feelings were doing, I didn't know how she felt about me…" Evelyn trailed off, shaking her head. "It happens."
  64.  
  65. "Did you ask her out?" Helen queried.
  66.  
  67. "Nah. I couldn't trust her not to out me." Evelyn looked over at Helen. "Could never figure out if I could trust anyone not to out me. I've never kissed a woman before you."
  68.  
  69. Helen blinked. "Really?"
  70.  
  71. "Yeah. I hope that doesn't make you feel weird."
  72.  
  73. "No, it doesn't." Helen blt her lower lip. "That must have been lonely."
  74.  
  75. "Yeah, it sucked. But I've learned to deal with it." A small smile came to Evelyn's face. "And don't worry, now that we've kissed once, I'm not going to be constantly attached to your face trying to make up for lost time."
  76.  
  77. Helen couldn't help but chuckle. "Thanks for that reassurance." She rested her hand on the center of Evelyn's back once more. "Can I kiss you again?"
  78.  
  79. Evelyn smiled. "Yeah." She leaned forward and pressed her lips to Helen's. It was a long time--but not long enough for either of them--before they broke apart.
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