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You Are My Fire

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When the fire alarms go off, she ignores it. Of course she does. There are over a hundred apartments in this building. When isn’t the fire alarm blaring over the tiny speaker above her door? Her first day here she had gone up and down three times in a single afternoon, each time a false call from someone’s cooking gone wrong.

She is waiting patiently for the noise to cut, but it doesn’t. Not before she hears the sirens and feels the ominous shudder from something in the building. Above? Below? She’s not sure. There is shouting from the hallway, and a banging on her door from her neighbour. Yennefer hurries and opens it a crack, the chain bringing it up short from opening all the way.

“Yen! Everyone is evacuating. I think it’s the real deal this time. Come on.” Her neighbor Renfri is looking at her expectantly, eyes darting to the others who are pushing through the halls towards the stairwell.

“I’ll be right down. You go on ahead. No – really. I’m going to grab Triss and I’ll be right behind you all. Go.” And her friend looks skeptical, but nods and joins the crowd.

She shuts the door and scrambles to grab a few items. Her USB stick for the shop. A photo album. Her wallet and keys. An outfit. She coos and calls for her tiny kitten, just a few months old, to come and jump in her bag to take refuge. It may or may not take longer than she realizes.

By the time she leaves the apartment, there is no one left, and the smoke – there’s already a haze travelling through the hallway, and she has no idea what floor the fire is even on. She tries to cover her face the best she can, and races to the stairwell.

She’s an idiot.

It’s her mantra as she begins to descend eleven flights of infuriating stairs.

Yennefer lives at the end of a hallway in a studio, which means there is no balcony for her to hunker down on. Was she even supposed to wait on a balcony? Or the roof? She’s at the halfway point. Or does she just try to go down, which she is already doing, and makes sense to her? Why hadn’t she paid more attention to the evacuation plan? She growls in frustration when she comes up short on the third floor. Dead end. The second floor steps are collapsed.

She regrets not moving quicker. No matter how panicked and unorganized, the fire fighters had likely found those from her floor, and had escorted them down to safety. She hasn’t seen anyone, and now, somehow, she is slightly turned around. In her own building, of all places.

Yennefer is looking for stairwell B, which should be close, but either the fire is catching up to her, or she is catching up to it. It is unreasonably hot and now she is trapped on a floor that is simultaneously so close, but so far away from fresh air. She is sweaty and tired, and everyone’s doors automatically lock when they close, so there’s no point trying handles to go take refuge on a balcony. She collapses near the end of the hallways and coughs into her shirt that has been pulled up across her face. Yennefer scoots a little bit to the end, finally allows those tiny voices of terror creep in. She slams a fist against the floor, tells herself to get her stupid ass up (self-deprecation has always worked in the past) but it doesn’t work this time.

Ah – there’s the sign she’s been looking for. But who knows if those stairs are still in good repair? And she isn’t entirely sure her legs can carry her the remaining three floors.

Yennefer is so tired. Her chest hurts. It hurts like it has never has. And as she allows herself to sink further into the floor, her hand sneaking in and encouraging Triss to get out of her sack and do something. Anything. Escape. Cats are good at that, right?

Triss mews at her a few times, and then, almost laughably intelligent, goes and paws at the stairwell door. As if she knows. Yennefer laments that she won’t be able to get out either, but is occupied watching her as her vision begins to fade.

But then the door opens, and she sees the kitten skirt past a set of boots. There’s yelling, and whoever has found her rushes to her side. She acknowledges that she is being lifted, and she’s thankful as unconsciousness takes her.

It’s a week later when she arrives to the station, arms loaded with bags of sandwiches and sodas. Even if she wasn’t here with a delivery, it’s not unnatural to thank the people who have saved you, she reminds herself. Yet, Yennefer is feeling unusually nervous.

Her staff know about the apartment fire, and they know how close she came to dying. Her assistant manager, after all, is her emergency contact in the event that anything happens. And bless that woman for keeping the store afloat and taking care of everything while she was gone. Though they don’t discuss the fire, they ask her how she is feeling. If she needs to sit down. If she needs anything. It’s appreciated, but also slightly infuriating, and every time they say something it serves as a stark reminder that she owes someone a thank you. Someone other than her overly smothering employees, that is. Hell, one of them had even caught Triss for her.

Coincidently, the station which responded to the fire, is also the one that orders in their lunch from her deli quite frequently. They have always been good customers. Good enough to send a Christmas card to. But today it’s different. Not only is it the first time they’ve ordered since she’s been back to work, but it’s also the first time that she’s done the delivery herself.

“Good morning!” she calls as she enters through the bay doors.

“Yennefer!” She recognizes the voice and turns to greet the charming young probie that is always sent down for pickup (whenever she can’t send one of her staff). He’s also the one that has been calling in the orders for the last year or so. Though they have rarely met, she feels herself relax in familiarity.

“Istredd,” she greets, and allows him to start offloading the bags of food. “It’s good to see you. There is enough here to feed an army.” She winks and he gives her a crooked smile. She always appreciates the business.

“Guys, come help with this!” Another two firefighters come quickly and grab the bags. Their foolish grins over the prospect of food is contagious. “I’ll get the money. Oh hey – do you want a tour while you’re here?” The way he shifts foot to foot, nervously, is almost endearing. Yennefer bites her lip.

“Actually, about that. It’s on the house today,” she offers, before he can disappear to find his wallet. Istredd’s eyebrows rise, but he doesn’t ask why. He doesn’t ask, because he must know. “I’d actually like to thank whoever hauled me out of the apartment fire last Tuesday.”

“Ah, of course. That would be the Captain.”

The Captain. Hm. Yennefer follows him, noticing that his stature has changed, almost formally. He leads her upstairs and through a couple of winding hallways. He stops near the end, raps on a door, and sticks his head in.

“Captain, Yennefer from that big apartment fire would like to speak to you.” Whoever is on the other side must tell him to send her in, because he gives a small bow and motions for Yennefer to enter.

“Thanks again!” He whispers. “It was nice seeing you. Hope you’re feeling better!”

After he disappears down the hallway, she enters, but doesn’t sit. She knows she is staring, but can’t bring herself to care. The woman in front of her is quite beautiful, she must admit, and when she looks up, Yennefer is rooted by sharp blue eyes that seem to take in everything. Her hair is pulled back, her uniform is pristine and fits snugly across her shoulders, and when she stands, Yennefer can’t help it, she blurts:

“My God, you’re tiny.” And she immediately wants to be anywhere but here. Her eyes momentarily close because she has never said something so idiotic in her life. There are a dozen different things that could have come from her mouth, and every single one would have been infinitely better than tiny. She knows she is grimacing, which may be her saving grace. When she opens one eye to assess the other woman’s reaction, the Captain has an arched brow and is looking Yennefer over. She seems equally amused and irritated, and Yennefer thanks the heavens that it is not just the latter.

Yennefer is not that much taller, and it’s not like she weighs a whole lot. Still, she is wondering exactly how this petite woman managed to haul her down three flights of steps. And she is pretty sure she heard somewhere that their full gear was something like thirty pounds? She decides she is not going to ask. In fact, she might not say anything ever again to her without being spoken to.

“I managed to carry you out well enough, didn’t I?” And she’s around the desk. Fuck. Beautiful is an understatement: this woman is gorgeous. Yennefer should have said that instead – wait, no. This is a fire chief, not some random girl fishing for compliments. Thank God she can hold her tongue (sometimes) or she’d already be knee deep in her own blurted blunders. She is staring though, and she knows it. And she knows her expressions are never neutral even when she tries.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. I came to thank you, and just… you carried me down all those stairs and you - you’re just not what I was expecting. But I’m not complaining. At all.” SHUT UP, she screams at herself in her head. What is wrong with her?

“You’re welcome,” Tissaia offers, the corner of her mouth twitching. “Yennefer, right? Istredd says that you own the deli down the road that we get takeout from.” The Captain is examining her, thoroughly enough to make Yennefer feel a bit uncomfortable, and then murmurs almost so low that Yennefer nearly doesn’t hear: “He seems quite taken with you.”

“That’s right. Um – right about the deli. As for Istredd, um, he seems like a nice guy? But it's not like that.” They stand quietly for a minute, and Yennefer knows she should dismiss herself, but she doesn’t want to. Not yet. Maybe not ever, she muses.

“Well, either way, your sandwiches are excellent. And I’m glad you seem to be doing much better. Did anyone offer you a tour?” She isn’t sure why she keeps getting offered tours, but she accepts this time. In a matter of minutes, she is practically jogging behind one Captain de Vries. Or Tissaia. Being told that she may call her that makes Yennefer wonder if she will ever stop grinning.

There are a couple of questioning looks and raised eyebrows, though she is not entirely sure why. Then again, though she hardly knows the woman, the Captain doesn’t seem the type to just give anyone tours. That must be it.

Though Yennefer loves her staff like family (even if the amount of sass they give her often makes her want to pull raven curls from her scalp) she has always been a solitary creature of habit. She does not text much, or call, or make many social trips. When she does go out, she often goes out alone. When she itches to meet someone new, it’s usually for one night – maybe a week or two. Most of her life revolves around work, and most of her work revolves around monotony. And monotony may be boring (sometimes aggravatingly so) but it is safe and no one gets hurt.

So even though it’s business, she surprises herself when she starts taking the time to do the deliveries. Yennefer enjoys it, and it’s obvious that most of the fire fighters soon look forward to her coming as well. She is sure the food is partly the reason, but some of them are so easy to chat to that they form an almost-friendship. It’s something new from her normal routine.

Istredd is always so transparently happy to see her, and usually the one that comes to greet her when she announces her arrival. His preference is ham and swiss, but out of everyone, he is the most likely to rotate through the other options. When he calls in the orders, he starts telling her who each one is for. The first few times she had marked them, but now she just remembers. She knows them well enough to find them and hand them their order directly. She even starts running individual, bi-weekly tabs. Everyone seems happy with this, and the entire shop is thrilled that the fire house orders several times a week now.

She knows Stregobor, the Chief, can be abrupt and is often in his office or in meetings. He likes roast beef on a bun. He always notices her when she comes in, as his desk is right near the front. At first, he would either ignore her or give her an almost-questioning glare. Now he nods to her and sometimes even offers a small smile. It is forced, she knows, but she is convinced all of his smiles are. So she takes it as the half-compliment it is. She starts to deliver his lunch straight to his desk, like she does Tissaia, because he seems to be the type who would appreciate something like that. As expected, he seems to approve. Suddenly, he doesn’t mention or seem disturbed at how frequently she is there.

Calanthe, loud and obnoxious but fascinating all in one, likes corned beef with everything on it. Everything. It is a strange combination, but Yennefer has watched her wolf it down while teasing Eist over his tuna melt (as if her own sandwich isn’t a garbage bin between two halves of a bun). She wonders how long before the two of them realize that they’re made for one another. Though perhaps, they already know.

Captain de Vries likes turkey, with no cheese, spinach, tomato, onion, aioli, and extra pickles. Yennefer always delivers hers last, and the two will take a few minutes to chat about minor, trivial things. A lot of weather. Weather is always safe. Yennefer worries now and then that she is imposing, but a selfish streak in her doesn’t care at the same time. Besides, the way that Tissaia always has time for her makes her wonder if she looks forward to her visits as much as Yennefer looks forward to making them.

No one in her deli makes a bad or skimpy sandwich; they are known for piling on a ridiculous amount of meat. After all, it’s what makes her shop so popular. But one day, Yennefer decides she is taking over the turkey sandwich from then on, and puts in a little extra effort. She even wraps up a few pickles into a spare sheet – just in case.

She doesn’t expect a response, especially since she knows Tissaia will not eat in front of her. Yennefer wonders if she will notice. Not that she has to, of course. That’s not why she did it.

The Captain is on the phone when she drops off lunch. It’s okay, because Yennefer knows she is likely to act a bit shifty. Tissaia mouths a ‘thank you’ and looks equally apologetic and dismayed. It’s a reaction that makes Yennefer’s stomach flip-flop and she blows a kiss jokingly, not thinking. The Captain falters, and she takes great joy in the fact that Tissaia has to ask whoever is on the other line to repeat themselves. But the way she looks at Yennefer? She doesn’t disapprove the casual sign of affection. And that’s when Yennefer flees with a self-satisfied smirk on her face.

She goes back to the kitchen to chat with Calanthe and Eist. That’s that, then. Even if the Captain doesn’t notice, she decides that she enjoys putting in the extra effort and that she’ll continue to do it.

Yennefer is in the fridge to grab the two a drink, when she hears Calanthe greet the Captain through a mouthful of food. Tissaia comes up behind her, places a hand on her back and reaches around to grab herself a bottle of water.

Thank you.” The whisper is soft, almost silent. As if the small of her back isn’t already pulsing desire through the rest of her, the breath against her ear takes everything she has not to whimper in response. Tissaia is gone as quickly as she came, and Yennefer is left staring blankly into the fridge long after she’s gone. When she finally grabs two sodas and shuts the door, Calanthe is sitting backwards in her chair with a smug smile playing along her lips, but she says nothing.

One day she arrives just as the alarm is starting, and watches as everyone slips into their gear with incredible speed. Her eyes are drawn to Captain de Vries, who is barking orders while pulling on her own suit. It's as though it's second nature to her. Her mouth goes dry – dryer than usual, because if she is being honest, it always does whenever she sees the woman in any capacity. Right now though? She is powerful and strong and perfect in every way. And though Yennefer muses that the Captain might always be perfect to her, this is a different kind and it leaves her wanting to know every facet of this tiny, wonderful woman.

Tissaia’s eyes meet hers. Be safe, Yennefer mouths, and she is thankful that her brain is actually co-operating. She hasn’t made a fool of herself since the first day. She swears that something softens in Tissaia’s gaze, but then she is gone and the trucks are peeling out from the garage.

After that, she’s gotten into the habit of helping herself straight into the kitchen to unload if they’re not there. As the weeks continue on, some of the firefighters start joking that she is their honorary member. At some point, she starts prepping their dinner now and then, and when she sits at home and reflects on it, it does seem a little strange. And sometimes she runs into partners, who have come by to help prep. When one of them mention they haven’t met and asks who she is with, Yennefer hesitates. ‘No one’, she finally says, ‘I own a shop down the road and they saved my life a couple of months ago and this just became a habit.’ It comes out somewhat rambled and shy. The way the woman’s mouth quirks in response puts Yennefer on edge.

“Well, I’m sure I’ll be able to ask again come the Christmas party. After all, I’ve heard Istredd is interested, among a few others? And if not, you’re far too pretty to stay single long.” Yennefer isn’t big on gossip, doesn’t know who 'the others' would be. Frankly, the whole compliment seems a little backhanded. She frowns.

“Ah, Istredd is sweet but – um, it's not like that. I’m not with anyone.” The other woman just humms in disbelief, and thankfully disappears soon after.

She knocks on Tissaia’s door.

“Do you ever take a break?” Tissaia doesn’t look up.

“If I’m here? Not often. I need to make sure our training is set up properly. I don’t like my crew being over exhausted, but I also need to make sure they stay sharp. It’s a fine balance.” Yennefer knows Tissaia pushes them hard. She has watched her train, crew lined up in two perfect rows and completing whatever regimen Tissaia lays out. She is well respected, liked even, and participates in her own schedule. But she is a force to be reckoned with. If anyone falters, it’s another repetition for everyone – no exceptions. If she were to ever become an instructor at the academy… well, Yennefer is sure she would be terrifying to study under.

“I’ve heard a rumour that you don’t eat, sleep, or leave. I haven’t actually seen you do any of those things, so I can’t debunk the theory. I thought I’d bring you some dinner regardless.” She brings the plate of pasta to Tissaia’s desk. “You do eat, don’t you?”

The Captain’s gaze comes up sharply, but then she realizes Yennefer is joking. Of course she is; obviously she knows Tissaia eats. And something shifts as she studies the younger woman who is leaning over her desk. Yennefer enjoys how Tissaia’s eyes travel over her cleavage before being forced to land on her face. She looks completely unashamed to have been caught looking.

“If you’re offering?” Were they still talking about food? The two of them are having a silent standoff until Yennefer grabs the fork and stabs a few pieces of penne before holding it out. Tissaia’s lips wrap around it as she takes the food into her mouth. They don’t break eye contact until Tissaia sits back into her chair, closes her eyes, and releases a small sigh of pleasure.


Yennefer does everything she can not to make a noise in response. Goosebumps ripple up her arms. The entire mood is something different than usual. Though she thinks the Captain is absolutely exquisite, and has for months now, is the feeling mutual? Sure, they have flirted now and then, but very little crosses the line of friendly banter.

And then something in Tissaia shuts down, putting a stop to whatever was just about to happen.

“I will eat soon,” she says quietly, and turns away to keep writing in her report. Yennefer accepts the dismissal, but stops when she hears her name right before she closes the door behind her.


“Next time we order lunch, you should bring something along for yourself.” They stare at each other for a few long moments, before Yennefer smiles broadly.

“Hm. I’ll do just that. Have a lovely night.” And she can’t stop the little skip in her step on the way out.

“No. You can’t be serious.” Tissaia is laughing and it is wonderful. They have been sharing a myriad of work stories. Yennefer would never have guessed that her questionable customers, combined with the atrocities that her staff have committed against her, would cause Tissaia to laugh hard enough that she has to wipe her eyes.

Yennefer realizes that she looks forward to seeing Tissaia on a regular basis, and the way that the Captain’s eyes light up when she enters makes all the difference. The two of them make a habit of having lunch together, and then finally, one day, Tissaia clears her throat.

“Give me your number,” she demands, holding out her phone with a new contact started. Yennefer considers giving her a hard time over it. Instead, she takes the phone and enters her information. She comes around the desk and crouches behind Tissaia, holding out the phone and taking a selfie with the two of them, before uploading it as the contact photo. And then she proceeds to do the same for herself.

They don’t discuss it again, but Yennefer wonders well into the evening if Tissaia will enjoy the idea of seeing their joined photo pop up in messages. It’s getting close to eleven when Yennefer hears her phone ding. There that photo is - sitting across the top of their messages. How cute.

>> Hey, are you sleeping?

<< No. Why?

>> Was just wondering what you are doing.

Yennefer hesitates, and wonders if she should say something flirty to see what happens. She starts typing out a series of responses – wouldn’t you like to know, something exciting, can’t say. She curses and deletes all of it. In reality, she is laying in bed watching bad reality TV shows.

<< In bed. Not sleeping.

She sees the three little dots flashing as the Captain begins typing back, but it disappears and Yennefer laughs when it starts and stops again. Is Tissaia having the same debate? Yennefer puts her out of her misery.

<< Do you want to talk on the phone? Instead of typing?

>> But then I won’t see our little photo.

Yennefer laughs. It is almost cringe-worthy sweet, she thinks. If her staff ever found out about this, she would be finished. They would never let her live it down.

<< We could video chat!

>> OK.

>> Give me a minute and I’ll call.

There’s a pause and Yennefer wonders what Tissaia is doing that she doesn’t call right away. But then her phone is ringing, and Yennefer answers it. The Captain is perched in a chair, hair wrapped in a towel, and it looks like she is wearing a robe.

She just got out of the shower. Wait. She was texting her from the shower? She tries to hide her reaction but can see it fail miserably in the mirror image of herself.

“It’s pretty late, what are you still doing up?”

“I could ask you the same! At least I’m almost there.” Yennefer moves the camera so Tissaia can see around her. The Captain is biting her lip.

“Well. I don’t think it would be appropriate if I video chat with you in bed. But I will go right after we’re done.”

“Oh – do you sleep naked?” Yennefer blurts the question before thinking, and the silence that ensues is tense. Oh God. Tissaia de Vries sleeps naked, she realizes, head spinning. Her face must be doing something, but she doesn't bother trying to figure it out. She’s too busy trying to shake the mental image. The Captain is watching with a curious smile. As if she knows the temperature in Yennefer’s room just went up ten degrees.

“Where’s my cat?”

“Wait - your cat?”

“Hmmm, yes. I watched her for almost a week. My cat. I miss her.” Yennefer’s look is incredulous as Tissaia starts making clicking noises. And as if on cue, Triss jumps up between Yennefer and her phone.

“How did I not know that you were the one that took care of Triss?” Tissaia just smiles coyly in response. And then promptly ignores the question in favour of the tiny furball now pawing at Yennefer's screen.

“Who’s a good kitty?” Tissaia coos, and as if Triss mews back at her. As if! Then, as if remembering she's ignoring Yennefer, she asks: “Do you live alone, Yennefer? I hear voices in the background.”

“Oh, that’s just the telly. My new place is pretty quiet, unlike the high-rise. It’s nice. You should come by sometime. Even if it’s just to visit my cat.”

“I’ll take you up on that. Give me the channel?” Tissaia grabs her own remote and waits patiently – or maybe not so patiently. After a second of hesitation, Yennefer gives it to her and the Captain barks out a laugh. “Ah! Reality television on the learning channel. How absurd.” And even though she complains, she settles in and starts watching the show with a surprising interest. Yennefer enjoys how the other woman reacts so differently than the guarded Captain she has come to know. The two of them go back and forth making comments until they are practically shouting, and Yennefer is laughing and Tissaia is making exasperated huffs, which have little impact with the amusement playing at her lips.

“Do you work tomorrow?” Yennefer tries to stifle a yawn, but the traitorous thing follows right behind her question.

“I’m so sorry - I didn’t realize the time. And no, I’m off for two days now. I thought I’d give you a quick call, so I didn’t even think-”

“Oh, don’t apologize,” she interrupts with a dismissing laugh. “You can keep me up all night any time.” And if there wasn’t a furious blush racing its way up Tissaia’s neck and cheeks, Yennefer may have been just a little mortified at what she had just said.

It’s late. Later than Yennefer is used to, but they were out on what must have been a nasty call, and she wants to make sure everyone comes back and is taken care of properly. Some of them grab a bite on their way out, thanking her quietly, but not making eye contact. Some skip out altogether. Even Calanthe grabs her stuff, and though she gives her a hard, single pat on the shoulder, it’s only half-hearted and a bit more solemn than what she’s used to.

She hears Stregobor screaming at someone - maybe multiple people - in his office, and she worries. Almost everyone is gone from this crew, she thinks, save for Tissaia and maybe a few others she doesn’t know very well. She mentally recounts who all came back. Everyone came back. Everyone is okay.

She doesn’t know what is going on, but she cares. She cares a lot.

Yennefer waits a little bit longer. She talks to the replacement shift that has come in. Whatever has happened hasn’t transpired to them, and they scatter to the rec room or bunks. When someone asks someone else who is getting chewed out, they just shrug and go back to what they’re doing.

When the shouting has stopped, Yennefer waits. She waits until she decides to go find the Captain herself. She’s not in her office, not in the gym, not back by the trucks. The only place she hasn’t been is the locker room. Other than the bunks, it's likely one of the only places off limits. When she can’t find her elsewhere, Yennefer knocks and enters anyway.

“Hey. Everything okay?” The question is soft, and Tissaia shoves her jacket into the locker and turns to her. She’s angry. There are tendrils of hair curling down around her face, a stress-crease drawn between her brows, and she watches, intrigued, as the Captain rolls her head side to side to release whatever frustration is coursing through her.

Yennefer considers apologizing and ducking out. She is still by the door, after all.

Tissaia is watching her now, not saying anything at first, but then starts moving towards her. Yennefer realizes she isn’t stopping. No matter how much they flirt, usually the Captain is a full arm’s length away at all time. She backs right into the now closed door, and Tissaia’s hands wrap around Yennefer’s wrists and pins them up on each side. Her expression is dark as she searches the younger woman’s face.

“Who do you belong to?” She demands, and the question strikes Yennefer as odd. She feels her ire rising in response. She’s not an animal, and she’s certainly not going to be kept, of all things. She belongs to no one, and as she’s about to bite out a response, Tissaia continues. “Are you having an affair with any of my crew? With Istredd?”

“No?” Her irritation fades to confusion. Where is this all coming from? Something flashes in Tissaia’s eyes. Relief. Though being pinned against the wall like this would be entirely inappropriate if her answer was anything else. She doesn’t have time to think about it, because Tissaia’s hand releases a wrist and threads through her hair.

Whatever hesitation she harbours, dissipates, and she pulls Yennefer into a hard kiss. And Yennefer melts into it, a moan escaping against the soft lips moving against her own. When Tissaia pulls away, Yennefer worries she will suddenly come to her senses and disappear.

But her face stays only inches away. Her fingers come up and ghost across Yennefer's cheek, her jaw, her lips. They tuck her hair behind an ear and travel down and across her collar bone and over the swell of her breasts, which are rising and falling faster with each passing moment. Tissaia’s face usually betrays nothing, but right now it is searching and stormy, and Yennefer knows desire when she sees it.

Everything is alight and racing to pool between her legs. How many times has she imagined something like this? How many nights has she touched herself, imagining it was her hand? And though she knows something has always been there, she hasn’t dared

Tissaia still has her one hand pinned against the wall, and it slides from holding her wrist to entwining with her fingers. Yennefer takes her spare arm and grabs the other woman by the waist and pulls her close. She flips them so that their spots are reversed, and though it’s obvious that Tissaia is temporarily uncomfortable with the change of control, she relaxes almost instantly.

She doesn’t fight Yennefer, who pushes a knee up between the Captain’s thighs. Tissaia lets out a hiss and bucks her hips. Yennefer, who is drunk on finally – finally – having this wonderful woman pressed against her, and responding, drags her mouth across Tissaia’s jaw and down her throat.

“Can I change my answer,” she breaths against Tissaia, who makes a questioning murmur. “I very much want to have an affair with the Captain. But you already know that, don’t you?” There’s another noise that comes from her – confirming and impatient - and the two of them are once again a mess of limbs and lips, kisses and nips, exploring hands that grab and drag and explore.

But suddenly, Tissaia untangles herself from Yennefer and forces herself walk away. She doesn't break eye contact, except for a moment when she pulls her black shirt above her head and tosses it into a nearby hamper. Her pants drop behind her and she steps out, grabbing them in a fluid motion and tossing them in the same bin. Before she disappears into the showers, there is a slight lift of her eyebrows. The invitation is clear.

Yennefer doesn’t move immediately, even after Tissaia disappears. She stands there as she hears the showers turn on and her mind races. Is she dreaming? Yennefer replays the sight of Tissaia, naked, and how her body curves in all the right places.

She has had her share of partners, but Yennefer has never wanted someone so badly that she worries her legs may give out before she even gets there. She begins tearing at her own clothes and leaves them beside the clean ones that Tissaia has put out for herself.

The emotion that dances across the Captain’s face when she steps in, isn’t unwelcome. Yennefer is thankful she is not shy, as Tissaia's gaze is raking over her hungrily. When Tissaia grabs her, she laughs, an almost squeal, and a little louder than she thinks she should. They are kissing again, but this time there are no clothes and their bodies feel so fucking good against one another.

Yennefer takes the shampoo and motions for the Captain to turn around. She combs it through her hair, and lathers it down and over and between her shoulders, down her back, over her hips. Yennefer commits every curve to memory, baffled at how soft Tissaia looks, but knowing that there is an impressive strength hidden in this form.

Tissaia’s muscles tense under her ministrations and she sighs, and Yennefer takes a chance to reach around and wash her breasts. When she purposely runs her thumbs over Tissaia’s nipples, there is a growl and Tissaia’s hands come up to cover Yennefer’s.

And then she’s guiding one down. It travels, and Yennefer allows it to be guided. It takes her hand straight between her legs and as she slips her finger between her folds and drags it along her clit, Tissaia’s head falls back against Yennefer’s shoulder. Yennefer is barely breathing.

“I want you. Please.” Tissaia pants. There’s a near whine, which seems almost impossible coming from her Captain, when Yennefer’s fingers slip away from her. Yennefer turns her around and sinks to her knees. She silently prays to whoever is listening that the image she sees is burnt into her memory for the rest of her days. Of how Tissaia’s eyes widen, and how she worries her bottom lip in anticipation.

She kisses and nips at the Captain’s thighs, before she runs the tip of her nose against Tissaia’s slit. Yennefer is not sure which one of them wants the other more right now, and she brushes her fingers along herself to confirm that yes, she is just as wet as the glistening pussy against her face. There is a satisfied moan from them both, as her fingers part Tissaia and her mouth wraps around her clit and sucks greedily before letting go. And then she is dragging her tongue, circling, pressing, and learning which points make the other woman hitch her breath or let out a keen of approval. Soon, she can hear airy moans escaping in time with her own ministrations, and Yennefer loves that it sounds like Tissaia is trying to be quiet, but failing.

One of her Captain’s hands are gripping the shower bar with an impressive ferocity, but another is wrapped through Yennefer’s locks, holding her in place. Yennefer relishes the power that she has, but also that she can barely move with Tissaia is holding her so tightly. Tissaia can feel her climax begin to build. It is a slow but powerful, and she aches to feel Yennefer inside of her. But that will come, and for now she will enjoy watching the raven-haired beauty between her legs. She will relish how Yennefer falters now and then as her own fingers work herself to her own climax.

When she crashes, she tries her best to muffle the cry with an arm. Yennefer is running her tongue along her, almost tenderly, but now she is moaning. The vibrations of it feel exquisite. And then the other girl goes rigid and cries against Tissaia's folds with her own release. Tissaia untangles her hand and pulls Yennefer up. She grabs the fingers that she knows Yennefer had brought herself to climax with, and draws them into her mouth. 

“Come home with me,” she asks, before capturing the Captain's mouth in a searing kiss. A content, muffled hum against her mouth is enough of a reply.

Things change after that. Oh, there are no declarations of love. No sweeping displays of public affection. When she hands Tissaia a meal, their hands brush, but they barely make eye contact. One day, she catches the Captain alone, and when she’s sure that no one is even in the adjoining hall, and she leans in for a quick kiss. Tissaia rewards her with a brilliant smile that she suspects is just for her.

Spending the night together goes from one night a week, to two nights, which goes to at least two planned with a couple of unexpected evenings. Sometimes Tissaia downright hangs up from their evening phone call, only to show up twenty minutes later. Other nights, Yennefer watches with mirth as the Captain continues to chat with her while very clearly leaving her house. More times than not, Yennefer will surprise Tissaia by sitting on her step with takeout or groceries. On occasion, she will bring Triss along. She swears the Captain forgets about her momentarily, every time. For as much as she pouts, she loves watching the two of them cuddle and carry on with a series of mews and coos.

Oh, they spend a lot of time twisted in the sheets, exploring each other as if they are the discovery of the century to the other. The sex is fantastic, and frequent, and there is no denying it. But Yennefer also enjoys spending time with her. Getting takeout and chatting at the kitchen table. Cooking together. Reading. Curling up on the couch with snacks and watching television or old flicks. It is a bit domestic, and she does not particularly want to discuss it, but she starts thinking that she doesn’t ever want it to stop. And the looming commitment is equally terrifying and exciting.

She considers bringing it up, but in the end, never does. Yennefer shows up to work tired and sore after their nights together, but happy. And if her staff suspect anything, which they must, they keep their mouths shut about it too.

It's a few minutes after close when Yennefer finds herself daydreaming about everything that has happened. And when the bell to her deli jingles, she snaps out of her reverie and realizes she’s been polishing the same spot for at least ten minutes.

“I’ve got it!” she calls. Jaskier is halfway in the under-counter fridge, taking stock from Rita who is purposely antagonizing him by throwing him things before he’s ready. Yennefer can surely muster something up for whoever is here, depending on what they want.

“Evening! Not much left, but – oh!” Yennefer stops mid-sentence, and she suddenly feels nervous. Not a bad nervous, but the giddy excitement of something new. Her Captain is standing there. In her shop. Her clothes are simple – a fitting black shirt and a pair of nice-fitting jeans.

She has had the most mind-blowing sex with the woman in front of her, but a black shirt is going to be her undoing? Hopeless. Her mouth opens and closes and she feels a blush creep up her neck.

“Hello,” Tissaia greets, and she closes the distance and takes Yennefer’s hand, pressing a kiss tenderly to her knuckles. This only serves to fluster Yennefer even more. “So, the crew is going to the Golden Sturgeon down by the docks. Most of them are bringing dates and-” Tissaia falters, suddenly not looking as confident as Yennefer knows her to be. It’s almost adorable. She bites her lip and looks around the shop. “Ah, I feel terrible. I just realized I haven’t been in here before. You have a really nice place.”

“Oh, no you don’t. Are you finally asking me on a date? Or did you just stop by to compliment my excellent sense of decor?” Tissaia’s eyes swivel back to her, and there’s a hint of mirth in them. The Captain doesn’t like to be teased, but it’s another exception - one of many that is in Yennefer’s favour.

“A date, obviously. But your décor is nice too.” She is still holding Yennefer’s hand and traces the back of it. “If you’re up for it, that is. I don’t mind the others knowing. Not that they need to. But I… Yennefer. Stop laughing at me! I’m not used to this.” Yennefer isn’t laughing, per se, but she knows she is close. She tries her best to school her expression into something neutral.

“I need to close up, and I’d like to change. But I would love to go.”

“Don’t worry about us!” comes a voice on cue from the back entry. Yennefer spins around and sees both Rita and Jaskier peeking out, both looking like cats that got the canary.

“Go,” Rita confirms. “We’ll close. You never leave early. Well. You leave earlier than you used to.” And then she leans to Jaskier and mutters smugly, still loud enough for everyone to hear: “This explains a lot. She’s got to be the turkey sandwich.”

Yennefer’s nostrils flare and she throws her towel at them. The two of them scamper away like children, their laughter and whispered gossip filtering back to the front room. Yennefer can feel her face burning, and it doesn’t help that Tissaia is forcing herself not to laugh.

The Sturgeon is busy and somewhat loud, but the moment they walk in, they can tell the entire crew stops talking. Calanthe and Eist and a few others downright cheer and catcall. Istredd, poor Istredd, looks crestfallen but not surprised. A few others do a double take, and Yennefer feels nervous as a few of the girlfriends seem to size her up from across the room.

“What can I get you?” Tissaia calls into Yennefer’s ear, her arm slipping around her waist possessively.

“Surprise me? Something bright and sweet.” Tissaia smiles, nods, and releases her to head to the bar. Yennefer stands for a moment wondering if she should follow, or go to the crew. Why shouldn’t she? It’s not like they were strangers, right?

“Yen!” Calanthe yells, breaking her out of her reverie. “Get your ass over here! We have questions!” She feels simultaneously thankful and mortified, but moves toward them – happy that where she needs to go is clear. Though it should have been from the start.

“Spill, girl,” Calanthe orders, forcing Yennefer to sit beside her and sidle up. Eist rolls his eyes, but sips his drink and watches the band.

“Hm? There’s nothing to spill. How about we discuss why neither you two have brought dates when almost everyone else has?” Calanthe smirks and winks.

“Ohhhh, we’ve got a live one here! It’s a secret,” the older woman practically purrs into her ear, and Yennefer wonders how many drinks she has already had. With her personality, it’s hard to tell the difference between sober and drunk. Calanthe and Eist share a look, and it’s laced with such open admiration, that it is either a relationship well divided between work and home, or it is not a well-kept secret at all. Not while drinking, anyway.

“I hope you’re not antagonizing her,” Tissaia says as she slides something that is pink and yellow and garnished with all sorts of treats and umbrellas. She has gotten herself something off tap, and settles herself in beside Yennefer.

“You realize this will be the gossip of the station for probably the next six months? The gossip you are not included in?” She says it seriously, suddenly somber and turns to glare at a few of the fire fighters who Yennefer does not know that well. Yennefer still doesn’t know what happened that one night, and it has never had a repeat performance. When asked about it, Tissaia either brushes it off or shakes her head. All she has ever said is that her crew can be lewd, and though it’s just them blowing off steam, there was some nasty speculations that caused an argument. And though arguments aren’t an issue in general, it had gotten to a point that mistakes were made, and the call almost turned fatal because orders weren’t being followed properly. ‘Everyone involved is still fortunate to have a job.' When Tissaia finally tells her this much, Yennefer knows the crude comments must have been about her. Her explanation may be vague, but paints an ugly picture.

Though she is still curious about the Captain’s reaction, she has never dared to ask anyone else about it. It’s not worth it if word was to get back to Tissaia about Yennefer’s inquiries.

“I realized she’d be my undoing the moment I lay eyes on her,” Tissaia quips back. “Well, maybe the second time. First time was a pretty rough go. Sorry, love.” She nudges Yennefer with her shoulder and Yennefer can’t help but laugh.

“Really?” Yennefer says. “And here I thought I was pining alone until- uh, nevermind.” Tissaia’s eyes practically dance. They don’t really discuss feelings, and though the conversation has jest undertones, there is a ring of truth to what they’re both teasing the other about.

Calanthe takes a moment to make a sound akin to gagging.

“Well, good for you both,” Eist says. “And if anyone doesn’t approve – fuck ‘em!”

“While we’re speaking about approvals – you two do realize that you can stop pretending that you’re just friends? Eternally single friends, nonetheless.”

“Well! I’m getting another drink!” And Eist disappears, leaving Calanthe to send a slew of profanity after him and a ‘at least get me one too!’

The evening is lovely. Yennefer forgets about the few that seem concerned over their Captain having a life, and they seem to either warm or forget about her. By the time they leave, they’re a little tipsy, Yennefer more than Tissaia. Then again, the Captain did not get roped into tequila shots with Calanthe. Yennefer had cut herself off after a second round, much to everyone’s surprise. ‘Most people don’t learn until after the full first experience,’ they explain. What they don’t know is that Yennefer likes her drink just as much as the next person, so there may be a next time, but there’s something she wants tonight and it won’t do to be three sheets to the wind. She holds onto that thought, almost nervously, until the evening draws to a close.

Tissaia walks Yennefer home. It’s almost 3am, and the air is a bit chilly with the end of summer closing in. She thinks she may take the day off tomorrow, and shoots a message to Rita, who just sends her an abysmal amount of winking emojis back. When they arrive to her door, Yennefer turns on her heel and instead of getting her keys out, rummages in her pocket. She’s been playing with the damn thing all night.

Finally wrapping her fingers around it, she pulls out a key and holds it out to Tissaia. The other woman freezes momentarily, confused, but does take the key from Yennefer.

“What’s this?”

“A key!” Tissaia quirks an eyebrow, but says nothing. “Obviously. I – wanted you to have a copy. It’s yours. For here. If that’s okay?”

“Is that what you have been fidgeting about all night?” Yennefer groans and nods, but doesn’t reply. Handing someone a key to her apartment is a huge step.

“Yennefer,” she takes the hands that have come up to cover her face in embarrassment. Then cupping her face, the woman kisses her and it’s tender and wonderful and Yennefer thinks it impossible to ever tire of it. When she pulls away, their breaths are short and their foreheads lean against one another. “Thank you. I’ll get you a key to my place as well.”

“You don’t have to.” Even though most of her anxiety over the whole key-gifting was dissipating, she didn’t want Tissaia to feel obligated.

“Yes. I do. And you know why?” Yennefer shakes her head. “Because I love you, Yennefer, and so it’s only right I give you a key in return.” Yennefer’s eyes go wide, and she holds Tissaia’s waist and blinks a couple of times.

Tissaia pulls away and steps up to the door. Yennefer watches her twist the key and pull down the handle, and it swings open with ease. The Captain is holding out a hand and something swells in Yennefer as she takes it. The two of them practically slam the door shut and Tissaia is already pinned against it, her clothes being peeled off and discarded on the floor.

“Tissaia? I love you too. Let me show you how much.”

Well, as much as she still doesn’t like Fringilla, she supposed the woman had called it.

Yennefer attends the Christmas party on Tissaia’s arm, and in return, the Captain attends her own little soirees with her own staff (which are often sushi dinners or theatre nights, much to their delight). She also goes to almost all of the barbecues, holiday bonanzas, and pub nights. And each time, Tissaia – her sweet, private Captain – is tastefully possessive and outright obvious about her feelings.

Yennefer is playing cards with a couple of other people during the labour day barbecue, occasionally smiling at her girlfriend who returns it in kind. It’s been just shy of a year together, and her heart still flutters when the woman does so much as wink at her. She is across the room, speaking to Stregobor and her lieutenant.

Yennefer dismisses herself and wanders around the hall and stops in the bay. It’s always quiet here, and is a great place to relax during these events. She hears footsteps behind her and turns. Tissaia has come through the doors and reaches for her hand. She allows herself to be escorted around the far side of the far engine, and suddenly she is pressed up against the side. She smiles. Oh, Tissaia.

“Mm, I’ve been waiting for you to come down here," Tissaia admits.

“Ha, nothing gets passed you, eh?” Tissaia just smirks and pulls at Yennefer’s hips. She pushes Yennefer's hair to the side and her lips descend down her neck. “Will you get in trouble?” There is a growl and a half laugh.

“If we get caught, yes. An impressive amount of trouble to boot.”

“Then I guess you better be quiet.” Tissaia raises an eyebrow, and Yennefer spins her around and maneuvers her so she is bent over, arms extended and supporting herself on a running board.

Yennefer starts to hike Tissaia’s dress. The Captain never wears dresses, not to her work events, but this evening Yen did done nothing short of beg. Tissaia had finally folded after a little persuasion. Her head is now craning back to watch Yennefer, and when Yennefer pulls out part of a strap-on, her eyes go wide.

“I want to have the Captain against her own firetruck,” Yennefer explains, arching a brow in challenge, and Tissaia's laugh is breathy.

Yennefer hikes up her own skirt, slips on the toy and adjusts it. She runs two fingers up Tissaia’s thigh, and hums in satisfaction when she can feel the quiver underneath of her nails.

Yennefer teases a finger against Tissaia’s opening until the other woman bucks against her. When she finally pushes her fingers in, she’s already wet, and when she withdraws, Tissaia immediately makes a muffled noise of dissatisfaction. Yennefer almost laughs as Tissaia tries to push back against her. She teases her again, rubbing the length agonizingly against her folds until she pulls back, guides the cock to her opening, and pushes in.

Her first few thrusts are slow, but she doesn’t have time for this to be a lengthy lovemaking affair. People will notice their absence, and though they both want this, it wouldn’t do for Tissaia to get in trouble over it.

So she thrusts against the Captain, each entry becoming rougher until one of the Captain’s hands have to brace herself against the side of the truck. And each time Yennefer buries into her, Tissaia shudders and whimpers and it is everything she fucking dreamt this would be. She feels sweat bead along her forehead and limbs, despite how cool it is.

“Touch yourself. I want you to come so hard you can’t even look at this truck any more.”

One of her hands snake down, almost shakily, and her fingers graze along her clit. The Captain begins to shake, but Yennefer doesn’t let up until her entire body freezes and shudders. Tissaia does well to keep her cry almost mute. Her shoulders sag as the final waves of her orgasm subside.

Of course, the alarm sounds at that point. It’s right above them and the two jump as though they’ve just been caught. They both adjust their dresses and Tissaia’s eyes go wide and she grabs Yennefer’s hand and starts running for the door furthest from where the crew will be coming in.

They burst out of the station as though they just robbed the place. Tissaia is still practically running as she takes Yennefer to her pickup and motions for Yennefer to get in. She hops in the driver’s seat and they sit there, doing nothing except looking back at the fire hall. Yennefer pulls up her skirt and starts removing the strap-on, thankful that they didn’t actually run into anyone. The bay doors open, and the trucks light up and start to pull out. The two of them give a small wave to those that spot them, as if they have been sitting in the parking lot the whole time.

“Are we safe now?” Yennefer can barely say it with a straight face, and the two of them begin to laugh, breathless and guilty. Tissaia twists the key and her own engine roars to life. “We didn’t say bye to anyone."

“Text them and tell them we have business to attend to.”

“Oh, because that doesn't sound bad.” Tissaia just winks at her.

“Well, I think we should spend the rest of the evening in your very comfortable bed, and when I’m done with you, we should discuss getting rid of one of the apartments. If that sounds reasonable to you, of course.” Yennefer’s falters, but a big smile breaks out across her face, which gives Tissaia her answer. She doesn’t say anything, but she doesn’t need to. Her hand slips into Tissaia’s spare one and the two sit in comfortable silence for the ride back.

>> Are these yours?

When Yennefer reads the message, coupled with a photo of Tissaia’s underwear, her hand covers her mouth to muffle the bark of laughter that still manages to escape around her fingers. Tissaia starts to question her and shoots concerned looks over at Yennefer, who is now nearly laugh-crying against the window.

“You forgot your underwear,” she gasps between breaths. “They must have gotten pushed underneath the truck.”

“How do you know they’re not yours?” Tissaia’s neck and face is bright red, but she doesn’t look angry. Maybe embarrassed. And Yennefer can tell the other woman now knows she is missing her underwear by the way her face goes from confusion to mortification. Also, with how she looks down at her lap as if she expects to see them clinging to her dress or something.

“My love. You can’t lose ‘em if you don’t wear ‘em.” And she swears she feels the truck lurch as the speed picks up just a touch. Yennefer considers telling Calanthe that they’re not theirs, but she can imagine the woman dramatically parading them around the fire house to make a point.

<< Oops. Yup, those are mine. Can I grab them on Monday? Or just leave them in the office and Tissaia will bring them home.

>> Girl, please. You had no underwear lines in that fine dress, so I know these aren't yours. But bonus points for trying to take one for the team. 10-4. Will leave for the Captain in her office. Have a good evening.

Yennefer smirks, but doesn’t reply, because they’re already home and Tissaia has already come around and is practically pulling her from the truck with a hungry look.

“As soon as you get in that door I want this dress off.” So Yennefer practically sprints to get in. After all, who is she to argue? The Captain gets what the Captain wants.