Title: "Into the Woods"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: AC, Zander/Faith/Skye, het, f/f slash-ish, language.
Disclaimer: Nope. Not mine.
Summary: Sometimes she just wants to lean in and lick what's different.

She wonders if she missed the memo that said redheads could start wearing pink. If they overturned that fashion faux pas just so Skye Quartermaine could toddle around the deck in her stiletto heels and her tight fuchsia skirts and cry for attention. Or maybe there was no such memo at all and she's just royally annoyed that somebody can dress like a human candy cane and still be taken seriously.

She hates to admit it, but the woman does look good. Impossibly pale and yet vibrant. She has to layer on the foundation and the blush to achieve the same effect...and she still looks like death warmed over. She tells herself that's how she likes it. A vision in black. A harbinger of doom. And she stops herself from shrugging into the red cashmere sweater that hangs at the back of her closet.

She doesn't have to compete, right?

She's not searching for a savior, for dreams. She told Zander that once. The big, *huge*, difference between her and Little Red Riding Heiress. Sure, the kid was patronizing her as he nodded along, but she made short work of that when she shoved him into the entry-way of the Cellar and forced him to his knees. He's a fast learner, an eager student...and if he sees any dreams behind her eyes, he's learned to shut up about them.

Besides...dead men tell no tales.

She likes to watch him watch her. His eyes go black to match her ensemble. He's, she thinks, her best accessory. But that's only because her favorite fuck-me boots really can't get the job done.

There's always a small smile on his face when she fights with Skye. When her hands linger too long on the other woman's soft skin and she twists to avoid a jabbing knee...avoid it...maybe intercept it. Skye is curves. She's hard angles. She could cut glass with her eyebrows, slice bone with her cheek. Sometimes she just wants to lean in and lick what's different. Listen to Little Red whimper, "What big eyes you have, Grandma" before she makes a meal of peaches and cream.

Zander knows that dream, too. He pulls his thumb across his lower lip and she knows he's tasting hot-girl-on-girl action the likes of which his insipid little wifey could never offer up. She really *would* loan him out to Skye if she could...because when she got him back, she could search his body for traces of bright lipstick and pastel threads...and accessorize accordingly. Prada on the floor...Gucci draped over a chair...auburn hair fanning across her pillow.

Oh...oh, she's not delusional enough to think that the stilettos would launch the delightful Ms. Quartermaine into her arms--no matter how sharp, how pointed, how easily caught in the Haunted Star's rugs--but it's a nice idea. It's a nice flavor bursting on her tongue that she chases with top shelf sherry and tart one-liners.

She fingers the soft cashmere. It's bright. Pretty. Feminine. Ned bought it for her last year as a teasing gift, saying she would only have to wear it for thirty seconds before he ripped it off her. She wonders what it says that the sweater has lasted longer in her possession than he did. She wonders if he bought Skye one, too, while they were playing house over the summer. Did it last thirty seconds? Thirty days?

Do dead relationships tell tales?

"Faith...?"

"Who said you could talk?"

"Are you going to stand in front of your closet all night?"

"I don't pay you to ask questions."

"You don't pay me *enough* to keep quiet."

Does Rosco whisper in the silk of her skirts, the rasp of her stockings?

No. No, he was never much for talking. He used his mouth for other things. Things she misses so much that sometimes the pain is sharp and fierce like cramps. Cramps, the miscarriage she had in the girls' bathroom at PC High when she was fifteen. My, what sharp teeth you have, Grandma.

"We're going to be late."

"I'm never late, Zander. I arrive exactly when I intend to."

She'll arrive just in time to see what's in Little Red's basket of goodies.

She doesn't have to compete, right?

She's not searching for a savior, for dreams.

She's a vision in black. A harbinger of doom.

She'll lean close. Inhale. Whisper.

*"The better to eat you with, my dear."*

--end--

December 30, 2003.



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