'Ships In the Night

Author: Bennie
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters.
Characters: L/Mi/T
Summary: Well, I thought I'd delve into the complex psyches of these characters according to three comparative conceptual framework analyses that I consider fundamentally relevant to a post-modernist (yet neo-classical) interpretation of ... Huh. Oh, what the hell -- who needs plot? I'm just having a lil' fun with a few of my favourite UC 'shipping characters without trashing my favourite CCs, you know? No biggie.

"Grab the end, yeah, a little higher, higher, keep a firm grip, gently now, that's good." Michael nodded in satisfaction, and ran one hand through his hair, making it stand wildly on end.

He didn't notice; his attention was on the two tiny, sweaty females in front of him.

Liz grunted as she lunged. Tess gasped, then bit her lip and pulled, as hard as she could.

Michael couldn't help the smirk that hovered somewhere around his lips.

"Come on, girls, you can do better than that. Put some muscle into it."

Liz and Tess stopped their exertions, looked at each other and then at Michael. His grin grew wider as he saw the fire in Liz' eyes, and the arch of Tess' scornful brow.

Liz stood up straight, stretched, and turned her entire body to face him, hands on hips.

"Excuse me, Mr. 'I have a bad back', Mr. 'I'll just watch'? Did you say something?" Her voice was low, dangerous. It was all Michael could do not to laugh out loud at the very picture of righteous indignation in front of him.

*God, but she's something, * he thought in admiration. *I wonder if Max knows what he's getting himself into. *

Suddenly he realized that she had stopped speaking. In fact, both girls were completely silent. And a lot closer.

He backed up a step, frantically trying to switch mental gears.

"No, wait," he had time to say before they descended on him … Liz tickling him in the side and Tess attacking him with a firm cushion. He fell, pulling them with him, all three giggling furiously and shrieking desperately.

"Is this a private party, or can anyone join in?"

Liz, Michael and Tess froze and then rolled away from each other at the sound of Isabel's amused drawl. Liz and Tess busied themselves tidying cushions and generally avoided eye contact. Blushing, Michael stared at the floor and muttered something about "crazy girls … hormones … no self-control …"

Isabel just laughed, and surveyed the scene before her. The couch was half-on, half-off the service elevator. A couple bags and boxes were already stacked neatly in one corner.

"Is that the last load?" she asked.

Tess nodded. "Yeah, just this couch and the gifts." She smiled brightly. "Thanks, by the way, you guys. They're great."

"What did your parents want?" Liz asked. Isabel had been paged a minute ago, and went to use Maria's cell phone.

"Max and I have to go home. Aunt Kerry and Uncle Jed came by for a surprise visit, and the pleasure of our presence" she said, adopting a fake British accent and sniffing snootily, "has been requested.

Liz smiled at Isabel's antics. "Is Max out in the Jeep?"

"No, he's -- " Isabel started, but was interrupted by a strong shoulder pushing her out of the way. "Right here. MAX!" she yelled, rubbing her hip where it had bumped the doorframe.

The object of her ire ignored her, instead striding purposefully across the floor to pull Liz into his arms and kiss her soundly until she pulled away, embarrassed by their audience.

"Max," she whispered, red face buried in his broad chest. "Later, okay?"

"Definitely," he promised, and squeezed her hand before turning to Tess. "We'll see you tomorrow night for your house-warming, okay?" She nodded, smiling, and he turned to leave. As he passed Isabel, he called back airily "Come on, Izzy! What's taking you so long? We've got to get home - and I don't want to have to explain to Mom and Dad why *you * made us late."

Isabel's eyes narrowed and she stalked after her brother. Dire threats could be heard following him down the hall and out the door.

Liz and Michael burst out laughing, and after a moment, Tess joined them. Surprised, they glanced quickly at each other but didn't comment. After all, Tess hadn't started in with all the "Destiny" talk when Max had kissed Liz. And neither of them wanted to break the rare good mood.

"Have Maria and Alex left already?" Liz asked, instead. Tess nodded, looking a little self-conscious about her show of emotion.

"Maria has a shift tonight, and Alex is driving her so that Michael can use the Jetta to get you guys home later," she explained. "That is," she continued, her voice trailing off uncertainly, "if you don't mind staying to help me with this …"

Liz studied the blond girl in front of her and considered how hard she had tried to become more accepting of the humans. She'd also backed off Max, which Liz definitely appreciated, and right now she looked like nothing more than a very young and vulnerable teenager, struggling to come to terms with the death of the only family she'd ever known.

"Of course," she answered brightly. "Not a problem. Besides," and she grimaced exaggeratedly, "like I'm in a hurry to get in a car with that psycho-driver over there."

Eyes twinkling, Michael pretended insult. "Excuse me? I'll have you know I'm an excellent driver!"

"Oh yeah?" Liz countered. "What about last week?"

Michael flushed. Maria had let him drive the Jetta, which should have made him suspicious, but he was in fact caught completely off guard when she leaned across the gearshift and began whispering suggestively in his ear … and when her hand brushed against his thigh, he had veered off the road and into a ditch.

He had forgotten that Maria told Liz everything.

"The exception that proves the rule," he proclaimed pompously, if enigmatically, then distracted her by reaching muscular arms around her and together they worked the couch the rest of the way onto the elevator.

Sighing exaggeratedly, Liz pulled him down onto the couch and they waited in companionable silence for Tess to join them.

Once on the elevator, Tess closed the doors and pressed the button for the top floor. Turning, she silently looked to Liz and Michael for permission before sitting next to Liz on the couch.

Liz couldn't help but wince inwardly; she didn't know which was worse, Tess the sex kitten trying to force Max' attentions, or Tess the insecure orphan, who was so desperate to be accepted that she even looked to the humans for reassurance.

She decided to speak to Tess on a personal level, to actually "talk" with her.

"It was good of Nasedo to make sure you were okay financially," she said.

Both Michael and Tess looked at her in shock. It was the first time either had heard her speak voluntarily about Nasedo, and neither had expected her to sound so casual about the alien who had kidnapped and threatened her.

Tess nodded after a moment. "Yeah, it simplified things a lot, not to have to worry about money."

She had used some of the money he left in her name to buy a building, which she had had converted into loft apartments. It would provide her with both a home and a means of continual support, she figured, and although it was left unsaid, it was understood that if needed, it could serve as a headquarters for alien business. Also, she was letting one of the smaller apartments to Michael at a reduced rate, and had offered the others the same opportunity.

Suddenly the elevator stopped moving, and the lights went out.

"What the hell?" Michael yelled, Tess clutched an armrest, and Liz jumped up to grab the emergency phone.

"Hello? Hello?" she called out, then turned in the direction of the couch. She could only just make out the forms of Michael standing near her and Tess sitting at the far end.

"It's dead," she said in disbelief.

Michael made his way over to the door and pulled open the security gate and, with a little extra alien "oomph", worked the doors open a couple inches.

"We're stuck between floors," he said, alarmed.

Tess suddenly gasped, and both Liz and Michael turned to her. "What is it?" Liz asked.

"It must be the workers, they're here to do some electrical work downstairs today, and I know last week they turned off the power several times. I --" she gulped "I told them I thought we'd be out of here by late afternoon. They probably don't realize we're still here!"

"How long will it be off for?" Michael demanded.

"I don't know," Tess answered, and Liz could hear how upset she was.

She sighed, then spoke reassuringly. "It's okay, Tess. We'll just hang out here until it comes back on. It's not like we're in danger or anything."

When she didn't get a response, she felt her way back to the couch and sat next to Tess, who, she soon realized, was shaking.

"What's wrong?" she whispered. After a moment, Tess leaned over and said, very quietly, "I don't like the dark."

Liz was thrown. Not only had Tess admitted something very personal, and to her no less, but … an alien warrior? Afraid of the dark?


Immediately, however, her genuine good nature asserted itself and she automatically reached for Tess' hand and confided quietly, "that's okay. I'm not too fond of it myself. But at least we're together." Suddenly embarrassed, she amended: "I mean, none of us are alone in here. That would be worse."

"Yeah," Tess said. Her voice was neutral in tone but Liz was close enough to tell as she relaxed bodily. Except for her hand. Her hand clutched Liz's firmly.

"Michael?" Liz asked, wondering what he was doing.


"Do you want to sit down or something? Or is there anything you can do?"

There was silence. Then the two girls could hear him moving carefully in their direction.

Just not carefully enough. The couch suddenly jerked and Michael yelled out in agony before collapsing on the floor.

Liz and Tess rose as one and made their way cautiously over to Michael, where they crouched beside him.

"Michael?" Tess asked in concern. "What happened?"

"Nothing," Michael said, but his pain was evident. "I just walked into the couch, that's all."

"That's all?" Liz countered in disbelief. "Michael, you're obviously hurt. Where did you hit it?" She reached out blindly, feeling along his arm and patting his back gingerly.

*Wow, he must be working out or something, * she thought, idly wondering what those muscles looked like all glistening and sweaty and flexing and -- She pulled herself out of her little reverie with a shake of her head. *What are you doing, Parker? * she chastised herself silently. *Not only is he hurt but he dates your best friend and he's your boyfriend's best friend! *

He was breathing harshly but finally answered. "Somewhere … kind of … tender."

Liz drew a blank until Tess made some kind of choking noise, and then she understood. Embarrassed, she just said "oh," and waited for someone to say or do something.

Michael groaned, and Liz realized he was shaking. He was obviously in more pain than he was willing to admit. She bit her lip and then turned to where she thought Tess was.

"Tess," she started, "can you help him? I mean, heal him, or take away the pain, or something?"

"Oh!" Tess responded, and Liz jumped a little. At some point the blonde girl had moved until she was right next to her. Liz could feel the warm outrush of sweetly scented breath as Tess considered her question.

"I've never done anything like this, I've always been able to see what I was doing, but I guess I could. Only -" and she paused, discomfited, but took a deep breath and tried again, unable to speak louder than a whisper. "If I can't see the problem," she said softly, "I might have to, uh, use my hands to, um, you know, focus the energy."

"No!" Michael said resolutely, through clenched teeth.

"Michael," Liz said sternly, careful not to reveal any of her own embarrassment. "It's like going to a doctor or something. It's not a big deal."

"Oh, it isn't?" he snarled sarcastically.


"Oh, so if you were hurt on the chest, you'd take off your shirt without a thought so one of us could heal you?" he challenged. His voice was ragged, and Liz could hear him biting back moans.

"Been there, done that," she muttered, remembering the unintended unveiling of a certain polka-dotted bra. But she let it go; they had to do something quickly, because he was obviously hurting than he was letting on. She had to distract him, make him think of something other than his pain for a moment, so Tess could do her thing …

Suddenly she reached out and grabbed his arm. "Michael, give me your hand," she commanded. After a second, she could feel his muscles unlock as he slowly pulled one hand from - *don't go there, Parker! * - so that she could grab it.

She knew he must be in agony, to obey without question or argument. Determined now, she took his hand and placed it firmly on her right breast.

He froze, his hand instinctively clenching over thin material and unfamiliar soft flesh, and she felt the shock go through his body as her nipple hardened noticeably.

"Now, Tess!" Liz whispered, and in a flash Tess reached around Michael and placed her own small hand between his legs to connect with and heal the inflamed flesh.

There was absolute silence for a moment, and then the three jumped away from each other.

After a moment, Liz stood up and made her way back to the couch. She felt the cushions dip slightly as Tess sat down next to her. Both waited quietly.

It didn't take long.

"What the hell was that?" Michael yelled, and Liz noted how much healthier he sounded. Maybe too healthy, she thought, wincing at how loud everything sounded in a dark, enclosed space.

"Michael, relax!" she told him. "We did what needed to be done. That's all. And it worked, didn't it?" she pointed out. "Do you feel better?"

"Well, yeah," he admitted grudgingly, and then sighed. Liz could almost see him running his hand through his hair. "Just, you know, can we never talk about this ever again? It never happened, okay?" and neither girl missed the note of pleading in his request.

"Okay," each promised, and silence fell again.

"Michael," Liz said finally, "you might as well make yourself comfortable. There's no telling how long we'll be here. Just - just be careful when you sit down, okay?" and she could feel Tess shake next to her, desperately stifling giggles. "Yeah," Tess said, quietly so that only Liz could hear her; "wouldn't want a repeat now, would we?"

"I don't know," Liz whispered back. "He's pretty good with his hands."

And neither girl could help herself; each laughed out loud.

"What's so funny?" Michael asked suspiciously as he gingerly checked the space beneath him before sitting on the other side of Liz on the couch.

"Nothing, nothing," Liz assured him. "Oh, I don't know, it seemed like a good size to me!" Tess joked, and both girls began to laugh again.

Liz felt Michael tense. "What did?" he demanded ominously.

"Oh, relax, Michael," she chided him. "We're just trying keeping our spirits up. Remember? Dark? Trapped in elevator?"

Thankfully, he chose to be a good sport. Of course, Liz figured, appealing to his masculine vanity *was* a good way to keep him from going all sullen on them.

Still, the sound of his laughter shocked both girls out of their own mirth.

"I bet Kyle would be really jealous if he knew."

"Knew what?" Tess asked.

"Well," he elaborated smugly, "that I was sitting in the dark, on a couch, with Liz Parker and Tess Harding. It's probably his wet dream come true."

"MICHAEL!" they shouted, and turned to whack him playfully. To reach, Tess leaned over Liz, but lost her balance and they both fell.

Liz found herself in an interesting position, head in Michael's lap and Tess pressing into her from behind. Apparently she wasn't the only one, as she became aware of softness against her back and … movement … against her cheek.

Blushing furiously she pushed herself up and the three sat in silence, the sound of their uneven breathing loud in the darkness.

Then Liz asked "Michael, what is it like to, you know, have a part of your body react like that?"

"Huh?" he gaped in shock

"Um," she tried to cover her nervousness and embarrassment. "I was just, um, wondering, what it was … uh … like …" and her voice trailed off.

"I'd like to know to," Tess interjected. "I've never seen one before, especially not, um, 'in action'."

Michael gulped audibly. He was tired of shouting, and actually feeling pretty good after the healing. He didn't want to get into a big fight, especially if it carried over and Maria found out … no, no, better to finish this now. Besides, it wasn't like either girl was flirting or anything, just curious. And now that he thought about it, he had a few questions of his own …

"How about a trade?" he proposed suddenly. "I tell you guy stuff, you tell me girl stuff."

Liz and Tess thought about it for a moment. "Agreed," they chorused.

"What do you want to know?" Liz asked first.

Michael thought for a moment. "Do girls like French-kissing?"

Liz answered, "Yes, if it's done right." Tess said, "I don't know. Other than … you know … I've never kissed anyone. Not like that."

For some reason, her confession upset Liz, who ignored the carefully worded reminder of a certain kiss in the rain to focus on her admitted inexperience. "Really? Why not?"

Tess shrugged. "Nasedo always made me stay away from boys, because, you know …" and she didn't say it. By unspoken agreement, everyone decided that the word "Destiny" had no place in this conversation.

"But didn't you have any girl friends?"

"Girlfriends?" Tess asked, confused.

"You know, a friend you practiced with."

Michael laughed, amazed. "Liz Parker … are you saying what I think you're saying?"

Now Liz shrugged. "Yeah, well, in 8th grade Maria and I decided that we might as well know what the magazines were talking about, so we tried it on each other. And Michael," she added teasingly, "you know that thing she does with her tongue and your bottom lip? You're welcome."

Michael choked. "You?"

Liz nodded, then realized he couldn't see her. "Yup!"

"What are you guys talking about?" Tess asked, really wanting to know.

"Come here," Liz said, suddenly feeling very daring. It was, after all, very dark. Tess leaned in, and Liz gently grasped the sides of her face and pulled her even closer. Tess didn't pull back, so their lips met, and Liz initiated a slow, searching kiss. When she was sure that Tess was completely relaxed, she used her tongue to enter and then explore Tess' warm mouth.

Tess moaned, and Liz retreated a little, stopping only to run her tongue along Tess' plump lower lip playfully.

Tess giggled. "Can I try?"

"Sure," Liz agreed, and Tess carefully recreated each step of Liz's sensuous assault, and with one final sucking of Liz's lip, they sat back, gasping for air.

"Wow," they said simultaneously, and giggled again.

Michael had listened to them silently, his imagination running wild and his pants growing snug. He shifted his hips, trying to find a more comfortable position as unobtrusively as possible.

But Liz noticed. "Michael? It's your turn. And you never answered my question."

"What question was that?" he temporized, groaning inwardly. If he wasn't careful …

"About getting hard?"

Tess gasped, amazed at Liz's choice of words. Her admiration for this human was growing by leaps and bounds. She had guts.

"About …" Michael lost his voice for a second, but moistened his suddenly dry mouth and continued gamely. "Uh, it can get embarrassing, actually, if you're in public or something, and can't, um, control it."

"But does it feel good?" and he had to close his eyes, wondering if she knew the effect her innocent questions were having on him.


"Does it --" and she stopped for a moment, sensing that something was affecting him.

"Michael," she asked, "are you … right now?"

Tess literally felt her jaw drop, and leaned forward. This was getting good!

Michael didn't respond right away, trying to control his breathing and think of an answer - any answer - that would get him out of this dignity intact.


"Can I …" she started, but it was Tess who finished the question.

"Can we touch it? I didn't really get a good feel last time."

Michael's eyes bulged. The thought of their tiny, soft hands on him … he couldn't breath properly, he couldn't think clearly. Blood chemistry to the contrary, he really was a typical teenage boy in many ways. "Yes," he allowed, sitting rigidly, hands clenched at his side, eyes tightly shut.

Liz was the first to reach over, first finding his thigh in the dark and carefully following it up and over. The moment her fingertips reached the bump in his jeans it jumped and she heard a strangled sound come from Michael. Undeterred, she lightly patted it, trying to visualize the shape of the flesh underneath the fabric.

Then she felt Tess come up behind her, using Liz's body to guide her to Michael, finding Liz's shoulder, sliding along her arm and then joining her hand in its explorations.

Liz found herself strangely excited; there was something kind of … erotic … about Tess touching her like that, even if innocently. Her touch was so feathery and light … Liz began wondering what those small hands would feel like elsewhere … she smiled and continued her own forays into male anatomy.

Michael could only take shallow breaths. He concentrated on staying in control, trying to divert his body from responding mindlessly to their curious ministrations.

Then he felt Tess's hand at his zipper, pulling it down. "What are you doing?" he gasped raggedly, and his brow beaded with sweat.

"The material is in the way," she explained practically.

"Do you mind?" Liz asked, pausing. When he didn't answer she pressed the issue. "Michael, we won't continue if you want to stop."

"No!" he said, a little louder than he intended, and Liz bit back a grin.

"No, it's okay," he continued, quieter but she felt him shudder.

With zipper open, his erection pushed straight upwards and Liz wasted no time in divesting it of its last layer of covering.

Michael hissed as he felt the cool air on heated skin, and then fought to stay conscious as he felt hands on him, exploring his hardness and the soft sacs beneath.

"Oh!" Tess exclaimed, and his eyes rolled backwards as her breath caressed him. "It's wet, or something. What is that?"

Liz spoke knowledgably. "I read that a little comes out early, like this, and then the rest, you know … sort of shoots out later."

"It's slippery!" Tess went on, and snickered when the hard flesh under her fingers twitched.

"Um, you guys" Michael tried to say, but had trouble getting out the words. "If you don't stop …I, um, I won't be able to help it" And both girls stopped to consider this latest development.

Slowly, regretfully, they pulled back. Michael felt relief, but also a little disappointment. It really had felt incredible, the two of them exploring him like that … but it was his turn for a question, and it was too late to turn back now.

"My turn," he reminded them, when he could breathe again.

"Yes?" Tess encouraged. She was rubbing her moistened fingers together in awe. *This is so cool, * she thought. *Maybe later … * Michael interrupted her musing.

"Do girls really get wet? Down 'there'?"

"Of course," Liz answered immediately.

"But" and he hesitated.

"But what?"

"You don't, like, peeyourpants?" He finished in a rush.

Liz and Tess practically collapsed on each other, they were laughing so hard.

Michael was hurt, and it showed in his brusque tone. "Never mind."

"No, no, really, it's okay," Liz managed to say consolingly. "I can see why you might think that."

"Yeah," Tess piped up, and he felt better.

"So, what is it then?" he persevered. He'd tried to find out once before, but Max had just blushed to the tips of his ears and changed the subject. And it's not like he could ask Izzy. So he dropped it.

"It's a lubricant," Liz said, the words rolling off her tongue easily. This wasn't so bad, she thought. Maybe because they were in the dark; none of it seemed quite real. "It comes out when a girl gets aroused. It's so 'it' goes in easier."

"I guess it's slippery, like your stuff," Tess added helpfully, trying to sound like she knew what she was talking about.

Liz wasn't deceived. And she was starting to feel bad for thinking someone so darned innocent could possibly be a sexual temptress. Although she was cute … and those plump lips she kept so smooth and soft … she shook her head.

"Tess, haven't you ever, you know, on yourself?"

"What?" the blonde asked, now thoroughly confused.

"Stimulated yourself," Liz clarified.

Michael could almost feel the heat of Tess' blush in the dark. It probably matched his own. Damn, but it kind of turned him on, the way Parker was talking so … openly. He had never heard a girl speak so frankly about this kind of stuff. He listened for Tess' response.

"Well," Tess said lamely, "uh … no. I mean, I guess I didn't realize you could. Don't you have to, um, wait for a guy to …" and she floundered. Liz took pity on her.

"No, you can do it yourself. And it feels really good. All you have to do," she instructed, "is use your fingers. Try rubbing your clit or something, that usually does it."

Her matter-of-fact tone helped Tess find words. "'Clit?'"

"Yeah, the clitoris, it's this little … knob thing, I don't know, but it's really sensitive."

Michael perked up at the quiet whisper of a zipper opening, tantalized by the mental image of tiny hands sliding behind denim.

"Did you find it?" he heard Liz say, and suddenly he was very aware of the blood rushing in his veins, pounding, flowing … he shook his head to clear it, and just listened.

"Um, I'm not sure. Where is it, again?" Tess was a little flustered. After everything Liz had said, she wanted to make sure she knew where to find it … later. She hadn't realized that Liz would hear her undo her zipper and, well, ask about it.

"Here, maybe I can find it … um, if you want," Liz finally sounded embarrassed. She'd really gotten into "teaching mode" there, and had just realized that she might be taking it too far.

Tess hesitated, took a deep breath, and plunged right in. "Okay, where's you're hand?" Grabbing it, she pushed it inside and down the loosened front of her pants.

Liz was amazed at how soft Tess' skin was. How incredibly, luxuriously … soft. She just wanted to explore it, find out if it was that soft all over … and then she caught herself. *Down girl! First Michael, now Tess? What is with you today?*

She followed Tess' hand obediently down her belly to the curly hair between her legs. *I never realized how soft hair could be there,* Liz thought idly. She used her index finger to push through, impressed by the smooth combination of Tess' skin and 'lubricant'.

"There, do you feel that?" she asked, as her finger pressed into a small bud of skin.

Tess gasped in shock. It felt good. Unbelievably good. Without thinking she placed her own hand next to Liz, and tried applying a little pressure herself. She was so absorbed in her exploration that it didn't register when she moaned out loud … nor did she notice how Liz had begun to pant a little in her excitement.

Michael couldn't help himself. He had to ask. "Well? What is it like?"

Tess didn't even hear him, but Liz reached over and pulled his hand over her own belly, silently inviting him to find out for himself.

So he did. He unzipped her jeans and took his time, and, carefully memorizing every move for future reference, following Liz's earlier instructions.

She *was * wet, so slick his fingers slid right between her folds without resistance. He remembered what Liz had said before, and concentrated on finding a little bump … and then he did, and felt ridiculously pleased when Liz grunted upon contact. He deliberately used a little more pressure, trying to find what she liked best.

"Circles, Michael," she gasped, showing him with her free hand. He followed her cue, and was rewarded by a sharp hiss of breath. Utterly fascinated, he listened to both Liz and Tess pant in arousal.

Liz used her hands to set a rhythm for both girls, and when she felt Tess grow rigid she sped up her own ministrations so they peaked simultaneously.

The three friends fell back on the couch, gasping heavily. After a few moments, Liz turned towards Michael, and each could feel the hot bursts of the other's breathing.

"Why," Liz managed to say, "why … are you … breathing hard too?"

"Because," he answered, just as breathlessly, "I'm so … turned on right now … I could explode."

She had to laugh, and felt her spirits rise when Tess chuckled too. She turned to face her in the dark.

"Well, maybe we should help him with that, don't you think?"

"Yeah," Tess chortled. "It seems only fair!"

And the two girls turned on Michael, Liz leaning down and Tess rising off the couch to kneel in front of him, keeping one hand on Liz to gauge distances.

Liz was careful to keep her leg still, prolonging contact as long as possible. Those gentle fingers did incredible things to the sensitive skin behind her knee before pulling away. She sighed and then turned back to the task at hand with some determination.

Michael just leaned back and held on to the back of the couch for dear life as their hands found their way back to his hard flesh and then enveloped it, covering every inch, quickly finding a rhythm and pumping gently.

He struggled to maintain some semblance of control, but couldn't restrain a shriek when he felt lips close around him and suck lightly.

"What are you doing?" he yelled, relaxing only slightly when Tess pulled back.

"Well, it gets messy, right? I don't want to get any on the couch," Tess explained penitently. "Sorry, Michael, I didn't think you'd mind. But if you don't like it -"

"No!" he argued immediately, and both girls giggled. They could hear the strain in his voice, and the evidence of just how much he enjoyed it twitched in their hands. "No, I like it," he clarified, calming down somewhat. "I just wasn't expecting it. Jesus, Tess!" he yelled again, as he felt her tongue swirl around sensitive flesh and then pull him in once more.

Feeling a little left out, Liz allowed her hands to wander. One found Tess' hair and played with it, enjoying its fine silkiness. Curious, she reached up to feel Michael's hair to compare. His was soft too, but thicker. Both were wavy, and she liked how they curled around her fingers.

"Liz?" he managed to ask, and then his hands were tangled in her own thick, straight tresses, pulling her to him. They kissed, and Liz enjoyed the way his moans resonated in her own mouth, moaning herself as his arms clutched her to him so their chests rubbed together.

God, she wanted to feel his hands on her.

They parted just long enough for Liz to pull her shirt off, and then his hand found her breast, pleasuring her through the thin material of her bra in measured, circular movements.

Suddenly he stiffened and then collapsed in her embrace, fighting to control his breath.

"Tess?" she asked, curious about what was happening. Damn, she wished she could see!

"It's not what I expected," the female alien replied. "It tastes kind of … salty, I guess. Not too yucky, I guess, but … yeah, I think salty covers it."

Liz thought about it for a second. "Huh," she said intelligently. Of course, Michael's hand had not yet relinquished her breast, and she was having trouble concentrating as he renewed his attentions. So when Tess sat back down next to her, all she could say was "I wish I …" and then she forgot what she was going to say as her body responded to the feel of Michael's thumb pressing against a painfully engorged nipple.

But Tess understood, and leaned over to take Liz mouth in another kiss, smothering her groans with her own invasion, allowing Liz access to her own mouth and the taste of Michael on her tongue.

Liz felt like she was drowning. Tess's lip gloss tasted sweet to Michael's saltiness, and the two flavours together were intoxicating, heightening the pleasure of Michael's touch. She shivered to feel the warmth of his hands counter the slight chill of cool air against her skin. Then her bra was open and off and she was shuddering violently as his mouth claimed one breast and then the other, her nipples hardening brazenly against the hot wetness of his mouth.

Tess kissed her deeper, harder, more urgently. Liz began to feel lightheaded from lack of oxygen, but couldn't bring herself to pull away, not yet.

The touch of Michael's hand between her legs sent her over the edge. She shrieked with release, and collapsed bonelessly onto Tess's lap.

The three of them just sat there panting and intertwined for some time. Michael hugged Liz's legs to him and his head rested contentedly on her belly, inexplicably soothed by the feel of her hand against his cheek and in his hair. Tess enjoyed the comforting weight of Liz's head in her lap, caressing thick, sweet-smelling hair with one hand and clasping Liz's free hand in her other.

Then Liz yawned, and Michael chuckled softly.

"Tired?" he asked.

"Yeah," she replied sleepily.

"Why don't you take a nap?" Tess offered.

Liz could feel Michael nodding against her hip. "I could use one myself," he said, and she smiled; here, in the dark, he was more relaxed than she had ever seen him, and he sounded very young and unguarded.

"Would you mind, Tess?" Liz asked. The thought crossed her mind that she would have liked to do more to - er, for - the girl, but she was too exhausted to move. Plus, she felt bad about leaving Tess to handle the dark by herself.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Tess said, touched by Liz's concern. But she felt far from scared or neglected right now. In fact, she realized, she found the thought of watching over … protecting … this human as she slept strangely appealing.

"Sweet dreams," she added softly, and all three relaxed in silence.

Then, just as Liz was about to drift off, something occurred to her, and she struggled to stay conscious a moment longer, to hold on to a thought ... *dreams*.

"Tess?" she murmured.

"Yes?" Tess answered, just as quietly.

"Couldn't you contact the others? You know, mind warp to let them know we need help?"

The sound of two hands slapping foreheads made Liz giggle weakly, as both Michael and Tess groaned at their own forgetfulness.

"Oh god!" Tess moaned. "I'm so sorry, you guys - I should have thought of that a long time ago!"

Michael just laughed, burying the sound of his chuckles against Liz's belly.

"I'll get in touch with them right now," Tess said, but Liz interrupted.

"Could you give it a few minutes? I really am tired," she said, yawning again.

"Yeah, why don't we take a nap first and then get hold of them?" Michael said. He yawned too.

"No problem," Tess said, smiling as Liz snuggled in closer.

She wasn't in any hurry to move anyway.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Liz woke up when someone shook her arm.

"Liz! Liz, wake up!"

"Five more minutes, Mom," she muttered, and turned her head to block out the light.

The light! Abruptly she was wide awake, and sat up to meet two amused gazes. Michael and Tess were standing in front of her, and the elevator was moving.

"The power's back on?" she asked, trying to get her thoughts straight. It took her a moment to process the looks directed her way. "What?"

"Uh, Liz …" Tess said meaningfully, and Michael just made a show of looking her up and down.

She looked down herself and blushed. Wordlessly she accepted her shirt and bra from Tess and held them in front of her.

"Turn around, Michael" she commanded, when he continued to study her ... attributes ... with interest. He smirked but turned to face the wall.

Liz put on her bra, and found that the material chafed still sensitive nipples.

"Do you hurt?" Tess asked. "Maybe I can help."

"No, it's okay," she answered, a little embarrassed that even now, the friction turned her on. She quickly slipped back into her shirt, trying to hide the evidence of her continued arousal.

"That's better --" she started to say, but Michael interrupted her.

"That's a matter of opinion."

Unable to help herself, she blushed as he and Tess laughed. She continued hurriedly.

"So are the others coming now?"

"I hope not, they're driving over! If any of them 'come' the way you do, that could be dangerous" Tess teased, and Liz buried her red face in her hands.

"Enough!" she cried, but the others could hear her laughing.

They joined her on the couch, and each was privately pleased that no one seemed uncomfortable.

"When did the power go back on?" she asked, as soon as she could speak clearly.

"Just a minute ago. I've already called Isabel, though, so they're on their way over anyways."

"Okay, good."

Then Michael asked, "this doesn't change anything, right? I mean, we had a little fun, but there's no reason to let this get in the way of anything else, right?"

Liz and Tess knew what he was asking. Liz shook her head. "I don't see any reason to say anything to the others. It was - an extreme circumstance, that's all."

"I agree," Tess said, to the others' immense relief.

Then the elevator came to a stop and the doors opened.

"Should we move the couch in?" Liz asked, trying to be polite, although she really didn't want to bother.

"Nah, let the others help when they get here," Tess said, and the three of them made their way to her apartment. Once inside, she got them some drinks and they sat around her table in companionable silence.

"You know," Tess started, and then stopped. She found herself drawn to the two points of hardness that Liz's thin shirt couldn't hide, and thinking that really, there was so much she hadn't had a chance to do in the dark ...

"What is it, Tess?" Liz asked.

"We're friends now, right?"

Liz grinned and after making sure Michael was nodding, reached over to squeeze Tess's hand. "I sure hope so!"

Smiling, Tess continued. "Well, then, I was thinking that sometime soon, just for fun, I should celebrate moving in with a party. A private party."

"Aren't we still having the house-warming thing tomorrow?" Michael asked, a little confused.

"Yeah," she said. "I meant … well, actually I was thinking of something a little cozier. Maybe … a slumber party."

Liz and Michael froze, and then Liz couldn't resist.

"Just as friends?" she asked mischievously.

Tess looked at them both with an innocent expression, but her eyes glinted with mirth. "Of course. What else could I possibly mean?"

And the three of them grinned in anticipation. It was good to have friends.


Continue to The Day My 'Ship Came In

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