Comfort Zone

[December 2001]

Fandom: Dark Angel
Title: Comfort Zone
PenName: Empress Vader
Paring(s): Original Cindy/Asha
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Sequel to “However Unlikely”. Set 3 weeks after the events of “However Unlikely”. Max finds herself unexpectedly jealouse of Asha’s intimate relationship with Original Cindy. Asha deals with the backlash of the boys club in the S1W when her new relationship is revealed and wonders if her relationship has value beyond the bedroom. And Logan finds himself akwardly caught in the middle of these events.
Notes: Besides the primary relationship, Asha and Original Cindy, fic has a little bit of Max/OCness. Plus a tiny bit of Asha/Loganess, with a touch of M/L. (we’re equal opportunity in the subtext).
Warning(s): FemSlash
Disclaimer: This story is a fanwork based on characters featured on the TV series Dark Angel. A television series created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee.

She lay there, nude from the waist up, feeling the warm hands on her back working magic as they massaged her sore skin. The hands moved along her sides. The lips that were the partner of these hands began to kiss along her spine. She smiled and turned to kiss the lips approaching her own.

The hands, the lips, belonged to Original Cindy. Max knew she shouldn’t be kissing Original Cindy, but she wanted too. As the full lips touched her own, she shot up in bed panting. Most of her dreams were nightmares, so for a long time she just hadn’t slept. She didn’t know why she started the practice again, but this hadn’t been a nightmare at all. It had been a disturbingly  erotic fantasy.

She ran into the bathroom and splashed cold water on her face. She sat there awhile to cool off. Things had been like this ever since Original Cindy and Asha got hot and heavy. . .and careless. She’d come home yesterday to loud moaning in Cindy’s bedroom and since Alec had ticked her off again, it was the last thing she wanted to hear. Angry, she took her Ninja and burned through the streets. Her best friend and her new girlfriend were worst than Rabbits. At least when Asha was working with Logan she was away most of the time. Now she was always underfoot. Everytime she turned around, there was Asha — usually with something attached to Original Cindy.

She went into the kitchen and unfortantly found the last thing she wanted to find. The object of her discomfort was there with a tounge down her best friends throat. The discription in her head made it sound worst than it was, but it was the only way not to think about the dream. She actually did wonder when they found time to breath. At least they were dressed — this time.

She always wanted to think of one of her snappy little catch phrases to interupt them, but she could never quite get the words together when she saw them like this. Her brain not working, she settled for the “make a loud noise” approach. She tapped her nearby messenger bike, it fell sideways and hit a table. They finally saw her standing there. Jumping apart, they giggled shyly and went back to doing whatever they had been doing before they got caught in a lip lock.

“Sorry Max,” Original Cindy said.

“Sometimes we get a little carried away,” she said flashing her ‘naughty’ smile at Cindy.

“Whatever,” Max mumbled.

“Coffee?” Asha asked handing her a cup.

Max stared at Asha hand. She could never look at it the same way again. She took the cup without a thank you. Asha and Cindy, who’s eyes could barely resist glancing at each other every other second, didn’t even notice how much they irked her. She hated them. No, she hated Asha. No, she hated that she couldn’t seem to be happy about the fact that the girl obviously wasn’t after Logan anymore.

Asha said good-bye to Original Cindy with a long kiss before she rolled off to work with Max. She stood there watching her a long time. Nothing made sense, but it all seemed right. She hadn’t felt like this since she was a teenager. She caught a ride to Gregory’s place. Harold had called her that morning, but she wouldn’t have known if she hadn’t checked her messages, because she wasn’t home. Gregory, nick-named baby Greggy, was a tech geek in the S1W. He was an experienced hacker. When she reached Gregory’s place, Harold was already there

He was tall and hairy. He didn’t use to be, you use to see his face. He had a beard now and a moustach. And he’d been wearing the same jean jacket with the USA flag on the back for as long as she knew him.

“Where have you been,” he asked sternly.

“Sorry DAD,” Asha said. “I overslept.”

She had dated Harold for all of two months. In those days, they seemed to have the same goals, maybe they still did. But as a relationship, it never really worked, they weren’t sexually compatible. It had been a mutal and easy decision to end it. She hadn’t told anyone, but Logan, about her 3 week long realtionship with a woman. But she hadn’t hid it either. Max and friends knew. That meant people at Crash proably knew. And that meant people she knew had to know about her lover. Her lover, she couldn’t get past calling her that. Not her girlfriend, not her partner, her lover. She hadn’t really avoided telling them because Cindy was a woman. Whenever there had been a relationship with someone outside the group, it usually caused issues somewhere. Logan was an accepted source, an ally, he was different.

“Who is she?” Harold asked.

“Who’s who?” Asha asked.

“The woman that turned you gay.”

She wanted to smack Harold for that, but resisted the urge. Gregory sat silently watching them.

“No one turned me gay,” Asha told him. “It’s not about that, it’s about her.”

“So it’s true.”

“Yes, her name is Cindy. She’s–”

“I know who she is, at least I know of her,” Harold snapped in interruption. “But what I don’t understand is what she’s doing with you.”

“Only what I want her too,” Asha shot back with a sly smile. “Now can we stop talking about what goes on in my bedroom and get back to business.”

Harold may have rolled his eyes, but Asha couldn’t tell.

“Gregory here, good BOY that he is, dug up some old record from that Manticore place.”

He shoved the folder in her direction.

“Logan will appreciate it.”

Asha reached for it, but he kept a grip on it eyeing her the whole time.

“What is up with you?”

“That’s a good question,” he responded. “Is Eyes Only framing us?”


“Are you helping him?”

“Why would I help anyone frame us? What is wrong with you Harold!”

“I don’t know. You’ve been acting very odd lately Miss Barlow.”

“Logan is not a threat to us, he’s a friend to us,” Asha said.

“And you?” Harold said. “Are you still a friend to us.”

“If you have to ask that,” Asha told him. “I’m ashambed of you.”

He let the folder go and Asha took it. Harold eyed her a little longer and then lef the room.

“Is it true?” the baby faced Gregory asked. “Are you…you know…a lesbian.”

There was such innocence in his blue eyes, she smiled.

“I’m involved with a woman. I don’t know what it means otherwise.”

“So you still like…guys.” Gregory asked.

He had a crush on her, she’d knew that. A few of the guys teased her about it.

Asha smiled. “I got to go, thanks for this.”

She leaned forward and kissed Gregory on the cheek. Then she left.

She made her way to Logans and handed over the info Gregory had found. It was a twenty year old Employee file. Logan was impressed with Greg’s discovery. If he could find a Manticore tech, they had another shot at curing the virus.

“I’d like to meet this friends of yours,” Logan said, all attention on his computer screen. “Great hacker.”

“Best I know of,” Asha said.

Logan played at a false “hurt” look. It was utterly adorable. She was glad she and Logan’s relationship stayed pretty much the same after the Original Cindy thing.

“Should I be insulted?”

“You’re good Logan,” she said with a smile. “But he’s better.”

“How are things…with you…otherwise?” Logan asked.

“You mean with Original Cindy?”

“Yeah, I guess,” he said seeming a bit uncomfortable.

“Does it bother you?”

“No,” Logan stated quickly. “I mean if you’re a lesbian it’s–.”

“I don’t know if that’s it,” Asha said quickly. “I keep asking myself if that’s what it is.”

“You having second thoughts?”

“No, God, it’s the best sex I’ve ever had,” she replied without thinking.

Logan was taken aback.

“I’m sorry, I should shut up,” she said.

“If you have something to say, say it.”

“It’s just, sometimes I wonder if it’s just the sex. And if so, am I being fair to her?”

They sat in silence for a few minutes.

“Is it really better than with any guy, … the sex I mean?” Logan asked.

Asha couldn’t help smiling shyly. “It’s nothing against you, we never got together that way.”

“And we never talked about this before.”

“I should really shut up,” Asha said. “It’s just that, I don’t know who else–”

“It’s okay,” Logan replied.

“We were such work alholics it was crazy.” Asha looked down at the floor. “Logan did you ever consider me. Outside working together that is. It’s not like it changes anything, it’s just a question.”

Logan looked around the room, trying to concentrate on anything but her. “Maybe,” he mumbled.

“You either did or you didn’t,” Asha replied. “I won’t hate you if you say no. And I won’t jump you if you say yes. I was just….curious.”

She stared at him awhile, but recieved no reply.

“Good luck with your search,” Asha said giving up.

She left his apartment. She didn’t know why she had asked him that. She suppose she had to know, for sure, if she had imagined a bit of chemistry between them. No one wanted to feel completly rejected. But she was quite happy with Cindy.

The Jam Pony work day was all but done by the time Asha walked in. The place was half empty, Sketchy rolled in from his last delivery. She passed Alec on his way out. they waved polietly. Original Cindy and Max stood inbetween the lockers Changing first. Max’s came down over her head first and she saw Asha.

“Your girl’s hear,” Max said as Cindy’s shirt came down on her head.

Cindy turned around, they greeted each other with smiles.

“Hey boo,” Cindy said walking up to her.

Asha thought she saw Max cringe as the familiar nickname was shared. She had to be reading it wrong though, Max didn’t want Cindy that way. She turned her attention exclusivly to Original Cindy.

Asha grabbed the front of Cindy’s shirt and pulled her close. They shared a deep kiss. Asha loved the taste of her, the smell of her, her round breast, her fluid curves, and her full lips. She found her to be completly intoxicating. But was it all physical? Was it only physical?

“Excuse me,” Max said as she squeezed past them.

They mad her sick, Max thought as she stood near the Jam Pony exit. There was a time she would have cherished Asha being with someone besides Logan. Now she wished it was anyone but her best friend. She heard a body slam against the locker. She then heard “whoa”, it was a guy’s voice. Some male employee had walked up on them. It was enough to end the make-out session.

“Don’t stop on account of me,” the young messenger said.

“Shut up fool,” Cindy yelled at hit.

She and Asha walked hand in hand towards the front door. Max silently listened to them as they approached.

“Cindy,” Asha said.

“What’s up?”

“Want to see my place?”

Cindy glanced at her and tried to contain a half grin. But it appeared anyway.

“Why we need to go to your place?”

Asha shrugged. “Just for a change.”

“Cool wit me,” Cindy replied.

They reached Max.

“Yo, Max,” Cindy said. “We gonna split, I catch you later aiight.”

“Aiight,” Max replied.

“Later,” Cindy said as she left with Asha.

“Why would I care,” Max whispered, but she did care and she didn’t know what it meant.

She immediatly went and retrieved her bike from home. No matter how many times she told herself it wasn’t jealousy, she knew it was jealousy. Since she’d known her, Cindy had had very few serious girlfriends. And the few she did have, Max had grown jealouse of in time. But then they went away and Max and Cindy were Max and Cindy again.

She knew it wasn’t her right to be jealouse or possesive. Despite her recent dreams, it wasn’t like she wanted Cindy that way. They were just thoughts, everyone had thoughts, right? And Logan wasn’t the one with her, that should have had her dancing in the streets, right? But she couldn’t have Logan either.

She doubted it would matter if she could have Logan. The problem was she couldn’t escape Asha and Cindy. The easiest way to deal with it was to not be around them, but that didn’t happen. Cindy was always precious to her. Her best friend was the most stable thing in her life. She was a source of unconditional love, she was the first person to really give her that.

There were momments where Cindy just knew– knew what she felt, knew what to say, knew when to hold her, knew when to kick her butt back out into the world, knew when she needed to escape the world for awhile. There were times she wondered why the most sucessful relationship she seemed to have in the real world was with a woman. Sure, even they had had thier disagreements, but they always made up at the end of the day.

This wasn’t the first time she’d dreamed of Original Cindy. The fantasies seem to surface when there was a girlfriend. Okay, a few times there had been no girlfriend, just the fantasy. But these days, her friendship with Original Cindy was the only thing she counted as solid. Not her bike, not Manticore, not even Zack — not anymore anyway. When she lost the illusion of heroic Zack who’s always got my back, Cindy had still been there.

Logan kept being broken away from her in some way. The virus was just the last horrible twist of fate that stopped them from being together. Her siblings slipped in and out of her fingers. She was responsible for Joshua, he was like a little kid. Cindy was the only person who was there for her for sure at the end of the day.

She had to stop thinking about it. It wouldn’t happen, it couldn’t happen, it shouldn’t happen, not between herself and Cindy. What they already had was too important.

Asha had never been big on sharing her personal space, but she could tell they were bothering Max. She had been determined to talk to Cindy when they got here, but they came in the door and headed straight to the bedroom. Well, the apartment was really only three rooms. Her living room was her bedroom and the futon was folded out.

How could she resist Original Cindy. The woman beneath her was so delicious, her first instinct was to kiss her. She had hardly thought about each momment that led to them laying undressed on the bed together. As she laid on the bed, Cindy left butterfly kisses along the inside of her thigh, so gentle, so sweet, there was such beauty and sensuality in watching her lay these kisses along her leg. And then they kissed full on the lips again. Asha kissed the inside of Cindy’s hand, her fingers, her fingertips. She began to suck gently on Cindy’s fingers as she felt the warm leg moving gently between her own legs. The stimulation making her hotter and hotter. The kissed deeply as Cindy’s fingers moved from her lips to another part of her. She moved inside her so expertly, knowing where to touch her, how to stimulate her, bringing her into heaven where she flooded with pleasure.

Why would she ever give this up? For Logan. maybe, no not for anyone else — except maybe herself. If this was just some lesbian affair, it wouldn’t be right to hold on to her. She had to know what this was, what it meant about her. Had she discovered the reason she’d never really been happy before? The real reason she threw herself into work the way she did, only falling for guys as dedicated as she was. The fact was, it had never felt like this and she couldn’t help wondering why. Maybe she should stop asking why. She rested her mind and curled up with her brown beauty as she fell into the night.

Original Cindy was the first to awake in the morning, but Asha was glad she’d stayed in bed, next to her. She like to wake up holding her. Cindy was holding Asha’s hand in her own as her eyes opened.

“You have wonderful hands Suga,” Cindy said realizing she was awake. “Have you ever played piano?”

“No,” Asha replied softly.

“Should have,” Cindy said. “Original Cindy once dated a piano player.”


“Well we kicked it for a night.”

“Did she have good hands?” Asha asked.

“Oh, yeah. Turned me out,” Cindy replied.

“Oh really,” Asha stated.

Asha ran her hand over the other woman’s sides down to her wet womanly spot. She gasped as the fingers stimulated her love button.

“Did she touch you here?” Asha asked in a whisper.

“Yes,” Cindy said softly.

“Did it feel good?” Asha asked.

She was inside of her, moving, watching her lips mutter something incoherent. She didn’t hear the door open, she didn’t hear anoyone come into the room. She could only feel Cindy’s head burried against her shoulder and her pleasant moans.

“Oh my God,” the visitor said shocked.

It broke the women’s contact way to abruptly. They began grabbing for sheets to cover themself as they turned to look at the invader.

“Logan!” Original Cindy said shocked.

Both women fighting to cover themselves up with a sheet. Logan look confused, shocked, amazed, so many things. When he remembered he was still staring at them, he covered his eyes.

“Sorry,” Logan said fleeing into the kitchen.

“He has a key?” Cindy asked in a whisper.

“Yeah, I gave it to him like a month ago,” Asha said.

Asha grabbed a nearby oversized shirt and pulled it on along with a pair of shorts. She went into the kitchen where Logan was akwardly standing by the table. She noticed Logan was keeping his back to her, still ruffled by what he had walked in on proably. She should have been embarrased, but she found herself amused.

“Drink?” she asked.

“Just give me a minute,” Logan said sliding in a chair.

“Was the sight of two women in love that exciting.”

“In love?” Logan asked rasing an eyebrow.

“I did just say that, didn’t I?” Asha said smiling to herself.

They heard the bathroom door shut in the background. Original Cindy had fed into the bathroom.

“I’m sorry,” Logan said. “I’m use to you being alone.”

“Well I’m not alone anymore,” Asha said.

“I see,” Logan said. “Wow, did I see,” he said softly to himself.

Now she really couldn’t help smiling. She was starting to wonder if Logan hadn’t walked in on them on purpose.

“So I guess you have figured it out.”

“What? If I’m gay or not,” Asha asked.

“Actually I was talking about knowing if it is more than…a…sexual thing.”

“I just said I loved her didn’t I?” Asha asked. “Got to be more than sex if I said that right?”

“You tell me.”

“Why are you here?”

“I forgot,” Logan replied.

Asha walked over to the stove and started brewing coffee. Logan sat there awhile as they heard the water running in the bathroom. Coffee finished, she gave him a cup.

“Now I remember,” Logan said. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a small box. It looked like a jewelry box. “You asked me for this a week ago. I don’t know if you still need it.”

She openned it. It was a small bugging device.

“Thanks,” Asha said putting it in the drawer.

A little less flustered, Logan got up from the table and started moving toward the door.

“The answer is yes by the way,” Logan said with a hand on the doorknob.

“Yes to what?” Asha asked confused.

“The question you asked me before. About us and what I thought. It’s only natural right…to think about it…even if it’s not meant to happen, right?”

“Right,” Asha said.

“I would have wondered about myself if the thought never crossed my mind,” Logan told her.

He left and Asha closed the door behind him smiling to herself. Original Cindy entered and noticed the victorious smile. She was wearing Asha’s robe, since she have anything to wear, besides what she had worn over there. She fixed herself a cup of coffee.

“That was weird,” Cindy said.

“Yeah,” Asha said. “We’re quickly becoming a spectators sport.”

Original Cindy laughed that little half laugh she sometimes did. “It was kind of different with Max though.”

“We got to be more careful. We really had him all messed up in the head,” Asha said.

“Did that make you happy?” Cindy asked.

Asha sighed and leaned against a chair. “Would you hate me,” Asha began reluctantly, “if I said yes?”

Original Cindy didn’t seemed to pleased with the confession. “So Ready go back to bein’ straight now that you then got your man all hot.”

“Don’t be silly,” Asha said. “I didn’t mean it like that.”

Original Cindy sat down. Asha walked up to her.

“You’re the only thing in my thoughts,” Asha told her. She kissed her briefly, softly. “You turned me out.”

Asha slid down in front of her and rested her head on Cindy’s stomach. She held her tight around the waist and closed her eyes.

“I don’t understand it,” Asha told her. “But I’m not letting go.”

Original Cindy’s gentle fingers began to comb through her hair.

“We should go out,” she said softly.

“Now?” Original Cindy asked.

“No, tonight,” Asha told her.

She continued to enjoy the delicate combing motion. These were the tender momments that made her love this relationship. It was more than sex, it was the momments before, the momments after. The feeling that each momment with her partner was savored. Perhaps she had been to quick to use the word love, it was too soon, she couldn’t say those words yet, but she wanted too.

If she couldn’t say it, she’d show it. She opened the robe and began kissing the other woman’s belly.

“What are you doing gurl?” Cindy asked.

“Just enjoy.”

“I’m going to be late for work.”

“It will be worth it,” Asha said. “I’ll send you to work with a smile.”

Original Cindy couldn’t believe how the girl made her melt. She had truly been warn out and she didn’t want to go to work, but she had a smile on her face. This wasn’t supose to happen, she wasn’t supose to fall for her. They were supose to sleep around a little bit and then it would over, done. But this was more than just Asha’s little lesbian affair, she just didn’t know what it was yet.

She wouldn’t call it love, not yet, it was too soon. They hadn’t spent long nights talking, they hadn’t shared childhood fears, they hadn’t been through bad times and somehow survived because of each other. That’s what she had with Max, but even that had only come with time. How long had she known Max before they developed all those things. She couldn’t expect it instantly. They were still in the honeymoon stage, but it seemed like Asha wanted more. More than a momment, more than an affair, more than a distraction from Logan.

Max was quiet at work, distant. Original Cindy noticed, but said nothing. She was too tired to push. The day seemed to drag on forever until lunch. At that point, she played sick and went home. Max backed her up, they always backed each other up. By the time Max got home, Original Cindy was well rested. She noticed her friend was still quiet, so there was no way she was going to try to talk to her about Asha.

Cindy took a shower and got ready to meet Asha. When she came back in the living room from doing that, she finally decided to adress Max’s foul mood.

“Hey boo,” Cindy said sitting down. “What’s hurtin’ you?”

“What do you care? Don’t you have someone to meet?” Max said.

“Max,” Original Cindy said. “Don’t even pretend it’s like that.” She went and sat beside her. “You know ain’t nobody more important to Original Cindy then her number one.”

“Isn’t your number one Asha now,” Max replied.

“You trippin’, don’t you know Original Cindy got mad love for you.”

“I don’t know anything anymore,” Max replied. “Except that I have to do this.”

She leaned over and kissed the other woman. Original Cindy couldn’t react for a minute, due mostly to the shock. Then she pulled her closer, deepened the kiss. Her mind told her to stop, that she was ruining everything they ever had. But it was like a dream come true, a willing and wanting Max in her arms. It was still wrong somewhere though, very wrong. Right and wrong all at once. Cindy ended the kiss abruptly, she had to.

“What are you doing Max?” Cindy asked?

“Kissing you,” she replied.

Original Cindy got up and walked to the other side of the room. She had to get her brain working again.

“You ain’t thinking right.”

“Was Asha thinking right when she kissed you.”

“Me and Asha don’t have history.”

“And that’s a good thing?” Max asked.

“Is she the reason you’re doing this?”

“Yes, no, I don’t know,” Max said. “All I know is that when things go wrong, I turn around and you’re still there. I mean, the most lasting relationship either of us has had is with each other. Have you ever asked yourself why?”

“Of course,” Original Cindy said. “I’ve had plenty of girlfriends Max, but there’s only been one you–One. We’re connected, no doubt about that, but we ain’t meant to be in that way.”

“Why not?”

“Cause’ it’s just fear. We both get scared that one day we’ll turn around and the one stable thing in our life is gone,” Original Cindy sighed. “But shugga, bein’ intimate, it ain’t gonna make us tighter, it’s just going to make us wonder, it’s gonna make things unstable.” Original Cindy walked back up to Max and sat beside her. “I love you Max, I think you know that.”

“Of course”

“I mean really love you, but if this ever happend, it shouldn’t happen because one of us is scared or desperate. I don’t want it to happen that way.”

They sat together in slence for a long time, both trying to set things straight in there minds.

“I don’t want to–,” Max began nervously. “to ruin things for you–with her.”

Original Cindy smiled. “It’s just the begining of something Max. Sometimes, we real intense, but it isn’t us. Nothin’ ever will be, you know that right?”

“I guess so. I just was…having these dreams…got to me I guess.”

“I know the feelin’ believe me.”

“I believe in us Max,” Cindy said.

More silence as they tried to move past the akwardness.

“You gonna have to tell Original Cindy about those dreams sometimes.”

“I don’t know if I could,” Max replied.

They looked at each other and hugged, hugged as they had a thousand times before. Everybody expected that Max was so strong, but physical strength was one thing, emotional strength was another. She had lost to much in her young life, lived with guilt that she couldn’t let go of. Max was like a little kid sometimes, she just needed a hug, to be held. And it was that vunerability that few people saw that made these momments so special.

She wasn’t thinking, just holding her when she kissed her forehead, and then her lips. It was different from the first kiss, it wasn’t a promise of more, just a momment of warmth that they both needed, completly delicate and innocent. They just needed to be close.

“I knew it,” an outside voice suddenly interrupted.

They turned and saw an angry Asha standing there, if only for a split second. She ran out the door it slamed shut behind her.

Yeah, she knew. Asha had always known that Original Cindy loved Max, but it always seemed like one of those things that would never happen. But it happened between herself and Original Cindy, so she should have known better. She couldn’t get home fast enough, but when she got there she only found despair and she didn’t want to stay. There was only one place she could think of to go, one sympathetic ear. She didn’t want to be alone right now.

Logan tried to pretend he was typing, but Max knew he was waiting for an explanation. She’d just come over, said she needed to get out the house, but she hadn’t said why. She was actually afraid of Asha coming here and telling Logan what had happened. But what could she say to explain it. She couldn’t explain away the kiss, she’d kissed Original Cindy because she wanted to. She didn’t know where it would have stopped in Asha hadn’t walked in. Was she just being selfish though?

As she stood there, silent, she heard the door open and knew before she even turned around, who was coming through the door.

“Great,” Asha said. “You’re here.”

“Excuse me?” Max said.

Asha turned toward Logan and then back toward Max.

“You just have to have everyone don’t you? Everyone’s just a minor player in the drama of your life, right?”

“What’s going on?” Logan asked.

“She’s what’s going on.” Asha said.

“It’s not important,” Max said.

“It is important. You were kissing her,” Asha said. “So do you want her now, or do you still want the guy?”

“What do I want?” Max asked. “Ask yourself what do you want? Look where you are, running back to Logan all scorned and hurt. You thinking that you’ll tell him about what you saw and–.”

“No,” Asha interrupted. “I didn’t have anybody else to talk to. It hasn’t been easy for me, falling for her. And the problems that people might have with it bothered me, but didn’t even matter, because I loved being with her at the end of the day. And I knew how she felt…about you…but everyone kept saying, Max is in love with Logan, it’s forever, it’s destiny, blah blah blah. So I was willing to put myself out there for this. And you–”

“Do you love her?” Max asked.

“I could have,” Asha answered.

“Cindy went to your apartment,” Max told her. “She went after you. I don’t know what happened, but Cindy and I aren’t like that. We never will be.”

“I don’t know if I can believe that anymore,” Asha said.

Asha turned and left Logan’s apartment. Max felt Logan’s questioning eyes on her, she didn’t have to look.

Asha came home and found Original Cindy sitting outside her door. Thier eyes met and they studied each other for awhile. No one said anything, she opened the door and they went in, locking the door behind them. Asha made some tea and the two women sat down together.

Original Cindy knew she couldn’t deny loving Max — it was a simple truth. But the simple truth had complex implications. And hearing how deeply she loved Max wouldn’t make things with Asha easier. She could tell they were both silently struggling for the right thing to say.

Asha was sitting in the same chair Original cindy had been sitting in just that morning. Had it only been this morning that they’d shared that warm momment together before she went of to work tired, but so damn happy.

“Can you let her go?” Asha finally asked, breaking the silence.

“Completly?” Original Cindy asked. “No, I never could.”

Asha noticed playful Original Cindy had been replaced by a more serious woman. What did it mean, the end or the begining?

“Do you think,” Asha continued. “that you could ever love me the way I love her.”

There was a long silence. Asha grew nervous.

“No, I can’t,” Cindy told her. “I can’t love you like I love her, but I can’t love her like I love you either. You love people differently, that’s just the way it is.”

“You sayin’ you love me?” Asha questioned.

“It could happen,” Original Cindy sighed and took the other woman’s hand in hers. “I’m sorry I upset you. But I think I needed to kiss her, I think she needed it too. You once asked me to take Max and Logan out of the picture. To put them there and let us be here, I’m now asking that of you.”

Asha looked at her a long time. Alive, she had been truly alive the last couple weeks, for the first time in a long time.

“For a minute,” Asha began. “I wondered if all this was was good sex. I don’t feel it is, not anymore, not this morning. I want us to be together.”

“Me too.”

“I’ve been dealing with some shit, mostly from this guy named Harold. I know he’s just being an ass, but you can’t help hearing it. ‘She turned you gay?’ It had me wondering, am I lesbian? I don’t know if I’m being fair to you. I don’t know the answer.”

Original Cindy was silent for a momment. “It doesn’t matter,” she finally said. “Someon I once loved told me–”

“Once loved?” Asha questioned.

“She’s dead. Another story for another time,” Orignal Cindy replied. “But anyway, she said, ‘Life would be a lot easier if evverybody was straight and everything amounted to a neat little formula. But it don’t, life’s never been easy, no matter what you dealin’ in. Maybe she isn’t as straight as an arrow, but her heart wasn’t with me’. It’s a lesson even Original Cindy forgets sometimes. A lesson Diamond taught her when she was first begining to understand herself. Sometimes life isn’t neat, especially with realtionships, in fact most of the time it’s messy. But in the end, what matters, is what’s in the heart.” Original Cindy stood up and moved right next to the sitting Asha. She looked down at her. “You’re in my heart, as long as I’m in yours, don’t shit else matter.”

“You’re in mine,” Asha said as they came together and kissed softly, briefly.

“I definatly think I could love you,” Cindy told her.

“I know I could love you,” Asha replied.

“But let’s not rush it,” Cindy said. “We still got a date tonight?”

“Yeah, I think we should get out,” Asha replied. “I got to freshen up, but you stay here, I actually want to get out the door.”

They shared another soft kiss, before Asha went off to freshen up.


“You kissed Original Cindy,’ Logan asked for the tenth time.

“Yes,” Max said. “I kissed her, so what. It was like kissing my sister alright.”

Max couldn’t tell if he was shocked, angry, or intrigued — maybe a little bit of them all. what did it matter, she couldn’t kiss him. Besides, it was completly different. Underneath it all, Logan was your adverage male, she hadn’t missed that the whole girl/girl thing intrigued him just a little.

“So you didn’t like it?” Logan asked. “Did you like it?” The whole “like a sister” comment didn’t process to well in relation to Max. She didn’t coe from your adverage family. And he knew how badly Zack had wanted to kiss his “sister”.

Max folded her arms across her chest. If she told him that she enjoyed it, that she would do it again, that she had entertained the thought of more, he wouldn’t understand.

“I can’t touch you Logan!” she yelled. “Don’t tell me you’ve never even thought of someone else, a particular someone proably in a bedroom somewhere with my best friend right now.”

“Maybe I did,” he admitted. “But it’s different.”

“Why? It was comforting to be close to someone that way. I’m afraid to breath on you wrong. When I’m away from you, I want to be with you. And when I’m near you, I’m so afraid of an accident I can’t even be comfortable. I love Cindy as much as I can love anyone, you including you and my family. She is a part of my family. Sometimes people just need comfort. Can’t you understand?”

“I understand,” Logan said. But after seeing Asha and Original Cindy and hearing about Max and Original Cindy, the image was stuck in his head. He still believed Max cared about him, but all these women running after each other made him nervouse.


The next day, Logan went on a long ride. He had finally tracked down one of the Manticore techs on the list Asha’s friend had provided him. He went alone to meet with the Doctor, he didn’t tell Max, didn’t want anymore false hope.

Asha awoke to a loud knock at the door. She could smell cooking in the kitchen. They had actually made it out the door yesterday, went out dancing (something she hadn’t done in forever), talked and came home. She didn’t feel so bad about ending up in bed at the end of the night, it seemed like a nice end to an evening.

She grabbed her favorite huge sweatshirt, which fell off her shoulders, and went to answer the door. She wasn’t surprised to find Gregory and Harold standing at the door. They didn’t know Cindy was a few feet away in the kitchen.

“Uh, this isn’t a good time,” Asha told her.

“Well when is,” Harold said bursting through the door. He then saw Cindy standing in the kitchen, wearing the robe he knew belonged to Asha. “Oh, I’m sorry I walked in on your little Dyke sleepover.”

“What the fuck did you say?” Asha said using more harsh language than was the norm.

“Well, that’s what you are, isn’t it?”

She knew Original Cindy was behind her, holding her toungue, using all her will power not to give him a good tongue lashing.

“What I do in my bedroom and who I share it with, Harold, stopped being your damn business a long time ago,” Asha told him. “If you’re asking if I’m with her, hell yeah. Whatever that makes me in your little limited mind is fine with me, but you will respect me and her and my house. So don’t go there, alright Harold?”

Harold just turned and left in a huff. Gregory was left standing outside the door looking akward and confused.

“Come in and meet my frie–my girl, Gregory,” Asha said.

Gregory walked in and followed her over to Asha.

“Gregory — Original Cindy, Original Cindy, this is my friend Gregory.”

“Hi,” he said nervously as they shook hands. “Nice to meet you.” He turned to Asha. “I’m actually here for the bug,” he said.

Asha went and got it out of the drawer. She walked with the boy to the door.

“So,” he said softly. “I mean–I’m not trying to be–but you’re gay now?”

“I’m still me, okay?” she said.

He nodded. “She’s cute,” Gregory said. “I expected some big butch body builder or something.”

“Thanks, I think,” Asha replied. “See you later.”

“Later,” Gregory said.

Gregory left. Asha closed the door and walked back into the kitchen.

“Thanks for letting me handle that,” Asha said.

“Original Cindy was testing you,” Original Cindy said. “She can’t be with a girl with no backbone.”

“So I passed?” Asha asked.

“With flying colors,” Original Cindy said pulling her close for a kiss.

“I’m going to make you see flying colors,” Asha whispered close to her ear.

“I think I’m going to be late for work again,” Cindy said as she pulled the girl close.


Leave a Reply