I have to warn you, my native language is Danish, not English. Spelling and grammar. I'll try my best..
Disclaimer: No. sorry don't own any of them. not even Marina. sigh.
Rating: probably lesser than R
WARNING: This story deals with spoilers and rumors about season two - and Marina.
This series started as an idea of several of the L Word characters meeting Marina for the first time, but the story developed into something else.
Meeting Marina part 1: 'Awakening' and part 3 'Debt', will give a broader understanding of some of the aspects of 'Future', but it can be read and understood on its own, though.
Meeting Marina part 4
"No!" A female voice yelled before a large hand quickly covered her mouth.
"Shut the fuck up, bitch! You know there's not a fucking thing you can do about it. He wants you back and you of all people should know that, he always gets what he wants." His hand left her mouth. "No screaming. I'll make sure the other bitch gets hers if you don't cooperate, and you know what that means, don't you?"
"Why now? After all those years?" She whispered. "He must have replaced me with someone younger, more beautiful a long time ago?"
He laughed. "You made yourself available again, stupid move, babe. When you let your protection go, you should have known what the consequences would be. It's not about youth and looks anymore; it's about winning the game in the end."
She couldn't move, tied up as she was, but this time when he moved his hand closer to her mouth, she desperately tried to avoid it, or rather avoid the content of the hand.
And after he succeeded with his task, he forced something inside her mouth that made it impossible for any sounds to escape, and she swallowed against her will.
"Maybe I'll have some fun with your little bitch anyway." He mocked and laughed out loud when his victim began to scream silently, from the pain he inflicted and from a deep-rooted concern that he might just do that.
He removed the thing in her mouth and she screamed, this time with sound. "That's right, babe, make our story believable. When you're gone no one will miss you, I promise you that."
FUTURE - five years later.
An open and chatty personality, yep, that's me. Beep! Wrong answer, that's not me at all, at least not anymore.
But I live an exiting life and that's a fact. At least other people regard it that way. The truth is that I work my way around the world, find a job in a city somewhere for a months or maybe more, get every experience, every trick of the trade out of it, and then I move on.
Girlfriends? Yeah, I've had a few, most of them really wonderful women, who somehow always find a good reason to dump me. Okay, they all claimed to like me, some even to love me, but somehow I always screw up. Sometimes I don't think about what I say or how I behave and when I step on some sensitive toe one time to many, I'm out. I'm not bitter or anything. I still believe in love, but of course my current lifestyle, traveling and all, doesn't really support my hope of finding it.
But.but.but. I have a very healthy sex drive and on occasion I let it rule my brain and pick some woman up. Or they pick me up. And I would guess that the woman I have in my sight right now, wouldn't be receptive to a pick up. She's much to sophisticated for that and she looks like a woman who wants to control the way things goes. I just have to make myself a treat she can't resist - even if she's probably out of my league, anyway.
But usually I'm not letting that stop me. Normally I'm not the shy one and I normally don't consider someone to be out of my league, but this one. We couldn't be more different than a farm girl and an aristocrat would be. Okay, I'm in Europe, maybe she really IS one?
It just bugs me why she seems so familiar. I'm sure I've seen her before, but I can't seem to remember where. She looks. dark. brooding. you know the type, right? Like Xena when she was bad or Ellen Ripley when she grew her hair out in that Alien movie where she was a cloned version of the original Ripley and the drooling monster.
She looks dangerous, though not in a lethal way - like the ones I mentioned before, and she looks so sad that it intrigues me - I want to know why.
She doesn't talk to anybody and she politely decline every time someone dares to ask her to dance or offer her a drink. She just sits there in the bar, nursing her drink, watching people talk, laugh and dance, but never participating.
It doesn't surprise me when yet another person enters her - very - personal space, but her reaction does. I'm almost certain she's crying, this quintessence of a stoic woman, is hugging the newcomer like she don't ever want to let go.
I take a closer look at the person she's drowning in tears. A woman, I'm certain it's a woman, but very boyish in her demeanor. Where have I seen that face before? Oooh, yes, I know her and I can almost hear her husky voice caressing my ears, affecting me, even when I knew that it shouldn't. Oh God, it's been years, but she looks the same. And she's crying, too.
Shane looked around nervously. Was this the right place or was she on the wrong track once again? Damn, she didn't hope so. This whole trip had been a long row of disappointments and she wasn't sure she could take much more of it.
She found herself staring at the poster on the door announcing the name of the performer of the night: Gabriella Pappas. There was something about that name. it reminded of . something.
She dismissed the thought and took a deep breath before entering. And spotted the familiar figure immediately. Her heart threatened to jump out of the chest and escape, and the lump of tears in her throat made it difficult to breath.
'She's still beautiful,' was her first thought, closely followed by the second: 'She looks sad, though.'
And she did. The vibrant magnetism Shane remembered so well was still present, but somehow dulled, almost like the light had gone out inside her old friend and she had to strain her eyes to see the soul behind the beauty of dark eyes, sensual lips and a well-trained body.
Shane desperately wanted to touch her, feel for herself that her friend was still there and once again feel the connection they shared, not always acknowledged but always strong and clear.
It was a strange friendship born out of sharing a similar, yet very different background. They knew were each other came from, because they had been in a version of it themselves, maybe the circumstances had been different; the drugs, the abuse and the money came from opposite ends of being a hustling street bum or a high society bitch, but they both knew the feeling of not being free - to be practically owned and totally in the mercy of other people.
She moved towards the woman in the bar - slowly like she walked on clouds. It almost seemed unreal. A dream, dreamt many times before.
Then she reached out and caressed a shoulder, felt the heat of the naked skin on her fingertips.
And then the tears came.
And then she felt arms around her and a face, wet with tears, met her eyes and she saw something between fear, shock and . happiness.
"God, I've missed you!"
Shane wasn't sure who spoke the words, but both felt and meant them, so it didn't matter.
"This is Marina. She owns The Planet," I whisper to myself. Damn, I had heard rumors about her. Some said that she was living in a sanatorium somewhere, after trying to commit suicide; other said that she was death from the self-same suicide, but both rumors is apparently highly exaggerated.
This is way to much for my curiosity to handle and I move closer to them, as discretely as I can, though I think they are so wrapped up in each other, that they won't even hear me if I yodeled all the way.
"Man," Shane husks. "I couldn't believe it. I CAN'T believe it!"
"How did you find me?" Marina husks back.
Wow, I have a thing for voices and those two. wow.
Shane shrugged. "I know people."
Marina smiled. "Yes, you have always known people, Shane."
The light in the room dimmed further and a voice boomed over the speaker. I have forgotten about tonight's show, I mean, I'm witnessing a much more interesting real-life drama going on right here.
."Gabriella Pappas, ladies and gentleman, give her a hand." the announcer says with a thick accent.
"Hey, where you going," Shane says alarmed.
Marina touches her face gently. "I will be back."
And both of us, Shane and I, watch her very shapely backside as it moves, slowly. sensually. like cat. to the stage.
She enters it like she owns it. She looks cool, her darks eyes sweeps over the audience, she raises an eyebrow at them. They applause. Then she starts singing. And I can't believe how sexy a sad Billie Holiday song can sound, when the singer is a smoky exotic alto named Marina. no make that Gabriella. wow.
I turn around and watch Shane watch her friend. She is as surprised and mesmerized as I am. Not to mention the rest of the audience. The way they yell and howl after the first song make the hair stand straight up on my arms.
They seem to know and love her as Gabriella Pappas. This is clearly the Marina I got introduced to a couple of times, but why is she singing in this bar in Barcelona under another name?
And what about Shane? Why is she here? Where is the rest of the gang? My heart constricts a bit at the thought of seeing them again. It's been years. and a lot of things have happened to them, if one can trust the rumors - Marina is alive so.so much for the reliability of these things - and a lot of things have happened to me, too.
I will try and forget it all for now, relax a bit and enjoy the sexy voice flowing down from the stage.
Shane's friends had provided her with a lot of small, seemingly insignificant, information - clues to where to find Marina, but the information had left this part out. That Marina Ferrer, former club owner, had transformed into Gabriella Pappas, nightclub singer.
She was, for the lack of a better word, flabbergasted. Utterly, totally flabbergasted. Though, surprises to do with Marina shouldn't throw her like that. Marina was a puzzle, Shane of all people should know that, and this was yet a tiny fraction of the puzzle that Shane suspected no one had ever finished it or even come close enough to see parts of the whole picture.
And now she was sitting in a room, just above the bar, waiting - for the first time in 5 years - for Marina to serve her coffee. Life is funny that way - both in the funny-ha-ha AND the funny-strange sense of the word.
Shane chuckled and shook her head. 'Man, I lead a weird life'. She listened to Marina move around in the small kitchen. 'Okay, maybe not so much compared to her.'
"So. Marina handed her a cup filled with hot aromatic coffee.
Shane nodded and sniffed the wonderful smell with great delight. For a short while she enjoyed the feeling of the hot, aromatic beverage in her mouth and then she brought her attention back on Marina.
"Man, it's great to see you." She closed the space between them and into the arms of her long lost friend.
For a long time they just stood there, holding each other close, racing heartbeat matching racing heartbeat.
Shane's hands unconsciously began caressing the broad back, the muscled shoulders, the hair, the face. And Marina let her.
Without much thought their lips came together, hungry - almost violently. 5 years and a lot of frustration, worry and hurt. And a healthy dose of longing brought them together in explosive passion.
This was so out of character for both of them. For different reasons, though. Shane had one rule: Never fuck a friend, and she had followed that rule most of active sex life, but right now she didn't give a shit. She desperately wanted to reconnect with the deeply missed friend and right at this moment that particular desire overruled everything else.
And Marina seemed to agree.
Shane found herself in a strange place, caught in a wonderful place between intense arousal and deep devotion, and suspected that Marina felt something similar.
And the sex was fucking incredible! All the things Marina promised with the way she looked and presented herself, were delivered to the sublime.
And they fell asleep in each others arms, satiated and satisfied beyond anything Shane had experienced before.
And somehow it made her confident about what she had to say to Marina tomorrow.
"Francesca and I have a plan," Shane said, trying to ignore the half naked woman serving her breakfast in bed after their passionate night together.
Marina's eyebrow arched and she placed she tray in front of Shane.
"We have a plan that makes it possible for you to return home. to the States." Shane wasn't sure what Marina really called HOME and where it was, but she hoped West Hollywood came close.
"Shane." Marina shook her head. "You are smarter than that."
"Hear me out, please; it can happen if you want it."
Marina's eyes turned even darker. "Marina Ferrer committed suicide in a hotel room, calling out the name of woman who dumped her. I'm sure you are aware of that, Shane." She laughed with no mirth whatsoever. "It's not a place one will be able to return from."
Shane grinned. "As far as I know Marina Lombardo resurrected herself from a similar faith as Marina Ferrer."
"Marina Ferrer moved to another country where no one knew Marina Lombardo. If I return home, as you say, there will be a lot of people there to witness it and it will be very difficult to explain why I am alive and why I changed my name."
"Francesca will fix the name part," Shane said. "She knows what to do."
"Francesca." Marina sighed.
"And your death is not so much a fact as you think. It's one of many rumors about you - one of the more ridiculous ones, I might add." Shane grinned again. "And when you show up with a plausible story, it will soon be forgotten."
Marina remained silent, apparently in deep thought.
"That woman," Shane asked, "that claimed to be your mother - you know, the one who came and practically handed The Planet over to Kit - you aren't really related, are you?"
"No," Marina smiled briefly. "He arranged that for me as some sort of a last request."
"Nice gesture." Shane paused. "Your part of it, anyway. How did you escape from him, this time - or has he finally let you go?"
Shane saw something in Marina's face. She wasn't sure what it was, but it scared her.
"Died?" Shane swallowed.
'Man', Shane refused to think what she was about to. "You got lucky, then?"
Marina raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.
For the first time in years - well, since the first met - the silence between them felt uncomfortable.
Marina was uncharacteristically the one to break it. "If I follow that plan of yours, Shane, what's in it for Francesca? What is her price - for me AND for you?"
"None," Shane said.
"None?!" This time both Marina's eyebrows took a trip up her forehead.
"I think, despite everything, she really cares for you. As much as she capable of caring for someone and she really wants to help you. And no price to pay for either of us."
Marina's face clearly showed her skepticism. It made Shane laugh.
"Think about it, Marina, it's all I ask." Shane hugged her friend. "I miss you like crazy and I'm not alone in that."
This time Marina laughed. It was a bitter sound that made Shane wince. "I very much doubt that, Shane, but it is nice of you to say so."
"And besides all that, no one knows about Gabriella Pappas, so no one will wonder about the change of names."
Marina got up from the bed. "Someone knows, Shane."
Here in the airplane on the way back to the States, I have a lot of time to go over why I'm here at all.
It began and ended with Marina. and Shane.
I returned to the bar the next night. By now the staff treated me as regular and they greeted me with smiles and a free drink. I kinda liked that, the way I usually moved around didn't give me a chance to feel some sense of belonging anywhere and kind of I missed that.
But tonight I didn't visit the bar to feel like I belonged somewhere, I came for one reason and one reason only; I wanted to find out what the story behind Marina as Gabriella Pappas was.
I would bite the thing in its shapely butt, corner Marina then introduce myself and hope she would remember me, and ask her why. and how.
I didn't get that far, though.
"Hi," Shane said, right into my ear and it almost killed me right there.
"Shit, you scared me," I yelped and Shane had to stop me from tilting from the barstool.
"Sorry," she grinned roguishly, just as I remembered her, and didn't look sorry at all.
"Hmm." Yeah, yeah, as you can guess, at the time I couldn't find a better word than 'hmm'. Shane didn't have that problem, though.
"I have to ask you a favor," she said, moving even closer to me.
And then she told me a far out story about Marina's transformation to Gabriella Pappas and how important it was that I kept quiet about it.
I saw no reason to make life more difficult for Marina than it apparently already was, so I saw no problem in promising to keep my mouth shut.
Shane regarded me closely for a long time, probably trying to assess whether to trust me or not. She must have seen something in my face that convinced her, because suddenly she send me a smile that made my knees weak and the saliva in my mouth move waaay south.
"Come on, lets dance," she grabbed my hand and practically dragged me to the dance floor.
A part of me have always been attracted to her, back in the good old days, but I've been so subtle about it that I'm sure no one noticed. And if her friends or Shane herself had noticed it at the time, it would have been a catastrophe. Later on, it still would have been one - and knowing her codex about friends being more important than anything or anyone else, she wouldn't have touched me. Even when it was over, she wouldn't do that to a friend.
Yes, a Casanova with ethics, an interesting concept. I suspected that Shane was a very complex person and that had always intrigued me. Even back then when I couldn't acknowledge it for all the good reasons; my girlfriend for instance, and later on I didn't want to hurt her, even if we wasn't together anymore - and of course the thought of being one of many conquests didn't sit well with me.
And then of course; the fact that Shane wouldn't have touched me. back then.
Okay I'll stop blabbering and repeating myself and get on with why I'm on this fucking plane.
And now we were dancing and Shane flirted openly with me. I didn't trust her agenda, but I nevertheless enjoyed it immensely.
When she moved closer to me I dared to ask her: "Where's Marina."
"Taking care of some business."
"Like you?" I asked, my voice shivered a bit.
Shane looked startled for a moment and then she gave me that sexy smirk of hers, but she didn't answer.
I felt her breath against my skin and I wanted to scream.
"How is. how is.Dana . and Alice," I whimpered when I felt lips against my throat.
"Extremely happy," Shane purred.
"Are you sure this won't." A searing kiss that set everything in and on me on fire, stopped me from voicing my concern.
"It's going to be okay," Shane whispered.
So, she did what she probably does best and practically fucked my brains out after that. And the thing I feared the most happened: Feelings developed. You know, sometimes you delude yourself to think that you can keep things simple, and sometimes it blow up right in your face.
And now I'm sitting here on the plane. Shane is holding my hand and Marina looks like she's sleeping.
I don't know what's going to happen when we land. How everyone is going to react when the three of us march into The Planet or wherever we are going. I only know that I'm close to being in love and I'm scared and happy and exited and confused and nervous and thousands of other emotions that race through me the closer we get.
Lips nibble at my earlobe. "Lara," Shane whispers. "It's going to be okay."
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