Title: "Slow But Deep"
Author: A. Magiluna Stormwriter
Email: stormwriter@shatterstorm.net
Rating: R
Pairings: Amanda/Tessa
Category: AU, femslash, established relationship
Date: 12 - 15 September 2005
Word Count: 1524
Series: n/a
What Has Gone Before: n/a
Summary: Amanda takes a bold step on the path of her long life.
Warnings: Another possible AU in the "To Be/Not To Be" series of AUs Duncan could have seen.
Website: ShatterStorm Productions – Doggie Duo's Fanfic
Link to: http://bdkk.shatterstorm.net/hlfic.html
Archive: ShatterStorm Productions & Highlander Lyric Wheel II only…all others ask for permission & we’ll see…

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and places are the property of Davis/Panzer, Rysher Entertainment, and Gaumont Productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with "Highlander” or any representatives of the actors of the series.

Song Disclaimer Info: Lyrics used without permission are from "The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegood," as performed by Dead Can Dance. Nothing being gained from using said lyrics other than finding another group to listen to. A link to the lyrics is found here, among other places.

Author's Notes: Written for the "Fall Holidays & Labor Day" Challenge for the Lyric Wheel Second Edition. The lyrics used for inspiration were sent to me by tarsh. Took me quite a while to work out a plot that would work with these lyrics. I really like the lyrics, but was having the hardest time coming up with something that would fit the theme and these lyrics. Hopefully this will suffice.

Author's Notes, the Second: I have wanted to write an Amanda/Tessa story for ages. Just the thought of those two lovely ladies together has been a longtime fantasy. *veg* So I struggled and thought about this one for quite a while. I just hope this does justice to the characters….

Beta: Basic beta by sparklebutch. Thank you, my friend, for helping me out..

"Slow But Deep"
by A. Magiluna Stormwriter

"Amanda!" came the shocked gasp. "What are you doing?"

I smiled and shook my head. "Relax, darling. You're going to enjoy this, trust me." The skeptical look was nothing I hadn't expected either, and I fixed my lover with an impishly pointed stare. "Tessa, darling, have I ever steered you wrong before?" And then the skepticism morphed into equally adored incredulity. "Okay, so getting arrested in Rome wasn't exactly ideal. It was a simple mistake of trying to get you closer to the sculptures in St Peter's Cathedral. I didn't realize we couldn't get that close, okay?"

She snorted in disgust. "I told you I was intrigued by Bernini's style, not that I'd wanted to see it."

She got up and began to pace at the foot of the bed. I was mesmerized by the play of muscles as she moved. Tessa had the most beautiful body I'd seen in several centuries. Built like Botticelli's Venus, with all of that long, luscious blonde hair, she was a vision of perfection. I could easily remember how the flush of arousal would start at her temples and glide along that lovely skin to her breasts, highlighting the randomly dotted pale freckles. And I suddenly longed to trace each of those paint splashes of color slowly, with fingers, with lashes, with tongue...

"Amanda? Are you even listening to me?"

Heat coloring my own cheeks at being caught, I smiled and stretched a hand toward her. "Well, I'd be lying if I said I was, wouldn't I? You've caught me, fair and square, darling." I moved across the bed to stand next to her, arms slipping around her waist to hold her close. One deep breath and I was lost in the faint jasmine scent of her favorite lotion, nuzzling at her throat happily. "Come back to bed, Tessa," I purred, fingers moving knowingly over her body.

Tessa pushed me away ineffectually, head tilting to the side to expose more of her throat for me. "Amanda, you can't solve everything with sex," she murmured, gasping suddenly as I grazed her earlobe with my teeth. She shivered slightly and wrapped her arms more tightly around me. "Well, maybe this once…"

With a saucy grin, I took possession of her lips and walked us backward toward the bed. Falling, I pulled her down on top of me, swallowing her moan of delight. I made quick work of removing her chemise and sleep shorts, fingers hungrily traveling the length of her body. Spurred on by her throaty moans and cries, I worshipped my lover for the goddess she was to me, over and over and over again until she was nothing but a quivering puddle of satiation sprawled bonelessly across the mattress.

I leaned up on one elbow to stare down at her, fingers gently combing through the damp tendrils framing her face. "Have I told you just how beautiful you are lately?" I asked in a low, husky voice.

Blush lighting her skin again, Tessa caressed my cheek with a trembling hand. "I think you overindulge me, ma chere," she replied. "But thank you."

"I'm serious, Tessa," I protested, shifting up to sit cross-legged next to her. "You're beautiful, intelligent, talented. And not just with your sculptures." I waggled my eyebrows at her with a smirk, pleased when she chuckled in response. "But seriously, darling, you are the most incredible thing that's happened to me in a long, long time."

"Amanda, really, you don't need to sweet-talk me," she protested again, pulling herself up to rest against the headboard. "I know how you feel. I can feel it every time you look at me, or touch me, or kiss me."

Flushing slightly myself, I leaned in to kiss her again, relishing the taste and feel of her surrounding me. Pulling back with a reluctant moan, I stroked her cheek again. "There's this…tradition, from when I was little. At the time of the spring planting, the eligible young men would make their intentions known to the fathers of the girls they fancied. And if the harvest was successful, the young men would have something to barter for the girls' affection, and consequently the girls' fathers would have something to help toward the dowry. I remember watching all of those boys courting the girls all those years ago, saw what they did. And I tried to do the same things with you, but on a more modern scale."

"On a more modern scale?" Tessa narrowed her eyes to study me intently. "And what does this have to do with us, Amanda?"

I reached over to pull the small box from the bottom drawer of the nightstand. "I know your parents are gone, so I've had no one I could make my intentions toward. And today is the fall equinox. And I've been working really hard for the past six months to resist some of my less upstanding habits." I could feel myself babbling, rambling. Why the hell was I so nervous? This was just Tessa… Just the one person I was willing to go straight for, give up the thieving for good. "I mean…" I trailed off for a moment, trying to get my emotions in order. "You know I'm an Immortal, you know how old I am. I've been intrigued by you since the day I jumped onto your tour boat all those years ago. I've always been comfortable in the games of love, perhaps too comfortable. But there was never really anyone who took the whole of my attention and my heart. Until you. And I fought it, too. I didn't want to be tied down, settled into a relationship. I thought that I knew it all, had seen all the signs before. I thought I'd be prepared and able to stop myself from getting entangled by my emotions. But you know what? I was stupid to fight it." I set the box in her lap.

"What's this?" she asked, curiosity making her voice quaver slightly.

"Open it," I murmured, a sudden fear surging through me.

I watched as she opened the box, pulling out each item. Mementos of the past several years together comprised the first layer. Each brought a tear or a giggle from my far too mortal lover. I wanted to have a warehouse full of these memories for her to savor, but I knew that wouldn't happen. And it would hurt me more than I could express when Tessa eventually would pass away. Shaking my head to stop that train of thought, I returned my attention to Tessa as she began to pull out the items in the second layer. Gifts of my trust, parts of my past, evidence that I was going to go straight for her. And then the final layer. A simple long flat jewelry box. Upon opening it, tears filled my Tessa's eyes. She lifted out the slender chain to stare at the ornate locket dangling from it. I'd worked long and hard with a very expensive jeweler to have that locket created to resemble the first sculpture of hers I'd seen finished.

"Amanda, this is beautiful," she breathed, reverently tracing the locket.

"Open it," I repeated. "There's more inside."

With trembling fingers, she pried the locket open to stare at the photo of us. It was the one photo we both agreed was our favorite. I swallowed as her eyes slid over to the inscription, knowing this would be the telling moment. The tears spilled down her cheeks as she finally met my eyes again.

"Is this…? Is this true, Amanda?"

"Completely," I replied huskily. "The mementos, both ours and from my history, the locket, the inscription, my wish to be with you for the rest of your life. Tessa, I love you, more than I ever thought I could love another person. You are my life. Will you be my love for life?"

She didn't answer at first. "I thought that you were the one, in the darkness my heart was won," she read from the locket. "What does it mean?"

"It means that in the darkest hours of the night, when you're fast asleep, I lay awake and watch you sleeping. I try to picture my life without you. And I can't, not easily at least. No matter how often we've disagreed on things, I've never wanted to leave you. You mean everything to me, Tessa, even more than all the jewels I can steal. I may have come to love slowly, but I do love you deeply."

She grabbed my face and branded me with a kiss like I'd never experienced before. When she finally pulled back to let me suck oxygen into my lungs, I was more in love with her than I'd expected. "I love you, too, Amanda," she murmured, brushing at the tears slipping down my own cheeks. "I would be honored to spend the rest of my life at your side."

With trembling hands, I put the locket around her neck and pulled her close again. "And I'll do everything in my power to make sure that will be for a long, long time."