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28 June 2007 @ 08:29 am
Vortex 3/9 (Heightmeyer/Sheppard/Weir) [NC-17]  
All disclaimers and fic information is in the header for part one.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Part 3

"John, do you have a lighter?" asked Kate.

"I can see fine," muttered Ronon.

"Some of us are diurnal," drawled John. "Lemme see if I can find my flashlight, Kate."

"You are a rather well-prepared police detective, John," said Teyla, amusement in her voice.

"And they thought kicking me out of the Boy Scouts was a good idea," said John. He switched on a flashlight and held it up to his face, an overwrought grimace on his face. "Boo."

Kate sighed. "Remind me again what Elizabeth sees in you?" she asked, holding back a grin.

"It's my charming personality," said John, sweeping the flashlight beam across the room. "Where are we? Aside from 'someplace old and mildewed,' that is."

"Someplace old and dusty." Kate walked toward the rough-hewn stone blocks of the wall. "It's not particularly mildewed, due to the lack of moisture trapped in here with us. I have to find the gateway, and then we can leave."

"Aren't we going to run out of oxygen soon?" asked John, sweeping the beam of the flashlight around. "I mean, Ronon and Teyla don't really need to worry, but the air here has to be kind of stale if you're using words like 'trapped.'"

Kate swept her hand along the stone wall, coughing a little as dust puffed into her face. "We're not going to run out of oxygen, John."

"We're not?" John frowned. "So, where are we? And where is our air coming from? I kind of have things like, I don't know, my future as a living human being on the line here."

"We're in a very old building, in the great hall," said Kate, moving slowly along the wall and dusting it off as she went. "The air will stay fresh. Can we just say it's magic, and leave it at that?"

"No," said John. "I'm a detective. With the police. I'm supposed to investigate things. Indulge my curiosity, Kate."

Kate paused and turned to John, smiling tightly at him. "Let me think about that for a minute. No." She turned back to the wall, sweeping off more dust, and winced as her hand hit something. "Aim the flashlight over here, please?"

He aimed the flashlight toward Kate with an explosive sigh. "You're ruining my night," said John. He shrugged as he glanced at Kate, who was staring at a wall sconce with a torch placed in it. "I thought I was going to get to kill some Wraith."

"Would've been fun," said Ronon. He shrugged. "Another time. You wanna go out hunting when we get back?"

John bared his teeth in what could conceivably be called a grin, if it hadn't been quite so bloodthirsty.

"If we get back, you mean," said Teyla.

"Teyla, Ronon, brace yourselves," said Kate, glancing over her shoulder, then back at the torch. "And please try to be quiet."

"What are you--" began Teyla.

Kate's head whipped around. "This is a place of magic," she said firmly. "And it's not particularly friendly to vampires, but if you don't draw attention to yourselves, the protections laid down here might not notice you."

"Huh?" Ronon frowned at her.

"I think she means 'shut up,'" said John. "Kate, will you just do whatever it is you're going to do already?"

Kate whispered, and torches all around the room flared to life, brightening the perimeter, but leaving flickering shadows that danced and wavered. The light didn't reach quite to the ceiling, and the center of the room was dim and gray. Ronon snarled, and Teyla's calm poise deserted her as she looked around the room warily.

"Holy shit," said John, dropping his flashlight. "Jeez, you don't skimp on the magic, do you?"

"I usually do, as a matter of fact," said Kate. "I couldn't see well enough, though, and we are stuck in the great hall with no way of getting light in otherwise."

"I was not aware that you were such a powerful witch," said Teyla. "To do all of these --"

"I don't like to draw attention to myself," said Kate. She returned to studying the wall, brushing away the dust and then trying to swipe it off her shirt. "You don't need magic to accomplish most things, after all."

"How long's it going to take you to find this gateway?" asked John. He bent down, picked up his flashlight, and thumbed the power switch before dropping it back in his pocket. "I'm feeling kinda claustrophobic in here."

"I'm not sure," said Kate, moving along the wall. She finished with one side, and turned to study the next. "It's hidden. If you can just manage to be patient--"

"Not my strong point," said John.

"Mine either," added Ronon.

Kate glanced back at Teyla with a commiserating glance. "Why us?" she asked.

"Because otherwise we would face a room engulfed in flames," said Teyla, sighing. "As well as my ex-husband."

"Hey!" exclaimed John. "I think we're a little more personable than him."

Kate chuckled. "Some choice, huh?"

Teyla smiled ruefully. "It was a difficult one," she said.

"I don't know about you, but I'm gonna have a seat," said Ronon. He nodded at the wooden table with chairs set all around it. It was near a large, empty fireplace. "I'm kinda worn out. Do me a favor, Kate, and don't start the fireplace going."

Kate whirled around her eyes wide. "Don't sit at the table!"

Ronon paused, one hand outstretched to pull a chair out. "What? It's just an old wooden table. Wood chairs, stone floor, guess which one wins?"

Teyla frowned. "Kate, is there something in particular you are concerned about?"

"No one sits in those chairs," said Kate. "Don't even touch them, Ronon. For one, you'll attract the attention of the protections on this place, and for another, that table and those chairs were moved here a very long time ago. No one touches them. Their owner is-- Theoretically coming back. Someday."

"But he's not here now," said Ronon, staring at her impatiently. "So why shouldn't I sit?"

"One of those chairs will kill anyone who isn't pure of heart," said Kate. "If you can tell me which one it is, I'd appreciate it, because no one knows any more."

"In case you missed it," said Ronon. "I'm already dead. Not gonna kill me, then, is it?"

"You can die again," said Kate. "Ronon, will you just trust me on this one? Please."

Teyla was frowning slightly, staring at Kate. "Perhaps you should listen to her, Ronon."

John shrugged. "Hey, I don't know about you, big guy, but I'm planning on paying attention to Kate."

Teyla now stared into the center of the room, and moved forward slowly, one silent step at a time.

"That's because you're sleeping with her," said Ronon.

"Do you mind?" asked John, glaring. "It's not because I'm sleeping with her; it's because she seems to know what she's talking about a whole lot more than you do, blockhead."

"No one--" started Ronon, moving toward John.

"Ronon!" Teyla's voice lashed out. "Do not. Something is watching us."

"Damn." Kate's breath hissed out in a rush. "Ronon. Teyla. Move slowly, speak softly, and very, very little."

"What's going on?" asked John.

"I believe it has to do with where we are," said Teyla, her voice lowered. "Kate, we have come very far, have we not?"

"Yes, we have," said Kate. "Why?"

"I know a woman named Charin," said Teyla. "One who tells many tales of her days as a witch, before she was moved to become a vampire."

Kate winced. "That was exactly the wrong thing to say."

Wind whipped through the hall, tearing at Teyla's clothing, as Ronon and John pushed their way through it to reach her. Kate stood at the edge of the windstorm, shouting at it in a rough-sounding language, and if it answered her, neither John nor Ronon could hear it. They wrapped their arms around Teyla, holding her in place as she struggled to stay on her feet.

"What language is that?" asked John, yelling through the wind at Kate.

She waved him to silence and kept talking, until the winds slowed down and finally died.

Teyla's eyes were wide, and her face was covered with small cuts. "We are in Avalon, are we not?" she asked, giving Ronon a firm look.

He stepped away, shrugging. "Don't know what that means. You wanna talk to me about Anansi, number of cobwebs I see here, that I'd get. Avalon's not one of my myths."

"Nor mine," said Teyla. "But the woman I spoke of before knew of this place. She spoke of it as legend."

"Wait, Avalon?" asked John. "You don't mean--"

"--the place of Arthurian legend," said Teyla, interrupting. "I did not think it could ever really exist. Certainly my--" She looked around uneasily. "Charin did not, and I consider her to be a very wise woman."

"There was a time when you thought vampires and witches were folklore," said Kate. She closed her eyes and sighed, then shoved her hair back from where it had blown into her face. "Or at least I assume there was. Avalon is real. It's the safest refuge a witch could ever find; the entrances were buried centuries ago. The gateway is the only way in or out."

"Not very safe," said Ronon. "Not with the killer tornado that went after Teyla."

"Avalon is safe because its residents didn't tolerate the Wraith, and barely tolerated vampires," said Kate, waving her hand over a section of dusty stone. "Its residents may have been gone from Avalon since before it was buried, but their protections remain. You triggered one of those, Teyla."

"You have been to Avalon before, Kate?" asked Teyla. "From the way you speak, it sounds--"

"Not for years," said Kate, turning and walking back to the the wall. "John, could you bring the flashlight closer, please? I think I need some more light. Teyla, Ronon, I think attracting as little attention to yourselves as possible is a very good idea right now."

"I wanna know how many years," murmured Ronon, leaning over to Teyla.

"I think we would not get an answer, were we to ask the question," said Teyla.

"So what language was that?" asked John, pulling the flashlight out of his coat and strolling over to Kate.

"A very old dialect," said Kate shortly.

"Of what language?" asked John.

"I need to look for the gateway," said Kate. "Later, John."

***

Atlantis had shut down with the soft light of dawn. Elizabeth stood in the doorway to her private rooms above the nightclub, surveying the dance floor and the booths through the thick glass windows overlooking the club, making certain that everything was in order. She'd spent too long here tonight, waiting for Ronon and Teyla to arrive.

With her mouth pressed into a thin line, Elizabeth pulled out her cell phone and dialed Teyla's number. No signal. Again. She dialed Ronon's number, and received the same reply. The plastic casing splintered slightly under her white-knuckled grip, only to shatter when a bright blue light flared against the wall of her bedroom, reflecting in the glass she was staring into.

"Can we never do that again?" asked Ronon, stepping through the blue pool that had somehow taken residence in Elizabeth's parlor.

"I agree," said Teyla. She sighed in relief as she stepped into Elizabeth's room and looked around.

"It wasn't that bad," said John, protesting as he walked into the room through the circle. "It was just dark."

"I beg to differ, John," said Teyla. "There was something within the shadows. It was uncomfortable."

Ronon snorted as Kate walked through the circle, whispering under her breath. "Leave it to you to come up with that kind of an understatement."

Elizabeth's voice was tight as the circle of light vanished. "What, exactly, is going on here?"

"Elizabeth." Kate smiled as she glanced at Elizabeth, only to have her expression fall into carefully neutral lines. The remnants of plastic shards in Elizabeth's hand fell softly to the floor.

"The Wraith firebombed Kate's shop," said Teyla, stepping forward. "It is my belief they wished to take her with them by force, and give the impression that she had perished in the fire."

"That doesn't explain this." Elizabeth's arm swept the room, taking in the empty space on her wall, where a particularly beautiful Titian had hung, before gesturing at her visitors. "How did you do this, Kate? Where were you? I've tried calling all of you for hours now."

"The Wraith blocked the front entrance of my shop," said Kate, her voice calm. "Then they set the shop on fire."

"You don't have another way out of your shop," said Elizabeth. "It's tactically unsound; I know I've mentioned that to you before."

Kate's eyes flickered at the empty wall, then back to Elizabeth. "I made a gateway."

"A gateway." Elizabeth crossed her arms, staring at Kate.

"I'm not feeling so hot," said Ronon abruptly.

"Nor I," said Teyla. "Elizabeth, perhaps--"

"There's bottled blood downstairs," said Elizabeth shortly. "Help yourselves."

In an instant, they were gone. "I'm feeling a little awkward here," said John, backing away. "Maybe I should--yeah. Guessing the department's gonna be mad if I don't call in, since, lucky me, I'm on a day shift for once, and that's in--" He checked his watch. "--about five minutes. Think I'll take a sick day."

Elizabeth and Kate were staring at each other, Kate's expression composed, and Elizabeth's face set and furious.

"Right," said John, backing up slowly. "I'll just check in. Let the guys know we're not dead or anything. Not explain that we've been in England all night. How's that work again?"

"You've been in England?" asked Elizabeth. "Kate, that's transcontinental. You can go from here to there and back again in one night?"

"As a matter of fact, yes, Elizabeth," said Kate calmly.

"How did you manage that? How did I not know you could manage that?" asked Elizabeth.

"I'm not building a gateway for you," said Kate.

"I wasn't asking," snapped Elizabeth.

"I know that calculating look in your eyes," said Kate, frowning slightly. "You can't use this."

"This gateway--" Elizabeth fought down a surge of anger. "It was upstairs. On the second floor of your shop, wasn't it?"

"There was no other way out," said Kate. "So, yes, it was upstairs."

"And you put one of these in my rooms?" asked Elizabeth. "Without my knowledge? So anyone who knew it was there could sneak in during the daytime."

"I was the only one who knew it was there," said Kate. "You can't get in without the right key. Do you think I would ever give that to anyone else?"

"Sometimes I wonder if I know anything about you," said Elizabeth. "Look at you! I'm furious, and you're not even reacting!"

"You want a reaction, Elizabeth?" asked Kate. She shook her head. "Be careful what you ask for."

"You hide from everything. From life, from anyone even noticing you exist, from knowledge and power," said Elizabeth, her eyes flaring. "Hell, you hide how much of who you are from me? It doesn't surprise me that you hide from your emotions as well."

"Damn it, Elizabeth!" snapped Kate. "Yes, I hide some of who I am. I hide a large portion what I can do. But don't you dare say I hide from my emotions. I'm not a creature of extremes. You are. Don't apply your standards to me."

"You're not just an herbwife," said Elizabeth, after a moment of staring at Kate thoughtfully. "I thought you were, but that was when we first met. I've never been able to figure out exactly who you are."

"I'm just me," said Kate softly. "You already know who I am, Elizabeth. That has nothing to do with what I can do that you've never seen before."

"That's not an idea I'm used to," said Elizabeth.

"Do you think you can get used to it?" asked Kate. "I'd really not rather have this conversation again."

Elizabeth glanced over at the doorway, where a cart with champagne and strawberries was sitting. "I'll think about it," she said, a smile playing around her mouth. "Have a drink with me while I do?"

Kate's smile was wry and resigned. "How could I refuse?" she asked.

"You couldn't possibly," said Elizabeth, smirking.

"I could," said Kate, sighing. "I just don't want to."

"I know," said Elizabeth, moving closer to Kate and pushing her gently down onto a chair. "Look at you, you're exhausted, aren't you?"

"I've had five hours of sleep in the past two days," said Kate. "With a Wraith invasion on my shop."

Elizabeth chuckled. "Poor baby," she said, getting the champagne before Kate saw her move. "You always need so much rest."

"Just because I'm not a vampire doesn't mean I'm fragile," said Kate, controlling a roll of her eyes.

"Don't start," said Elizabeth firmly. She smoothly twisted the cork out of the bottle and poured a flute of champagne, then held it out for Kate.

"You don't want to scream at each other again?" asked Kate, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear as she took the glass and sipped from it. "I don't blame you."

"You barely even raised your voice," said Elizabeth. She leaned against the wall, looking down at Kate. "I'm the one that screamed."

Kate chuckled. "There is that," she said. "Have some champagne. What about the strawberries?"

Elizabeth smiled. "They look delicious."

"Oh, good," said Kate. She reached over to the tray and picked out a strawberry from the bowl, then bit into it. "Mm." Kate gave a breathy little moan when she finished. "Oh, those are good."

"I wouldn't stock anything less than the best," said Elizabeth. She was leaning forward, staring at Kate.

"Is that so? I'm not surprised to hear it," said Kate, looking up at Elizabeth. She let out a frustrated breath and tugged at her shirt. "Look at you. You look absolutely perfect, and I'm covered in dust. Very, very old dust. And cobwebs. I should go home and clean up."

"You should burn those clothes," said Elizabeth. "What on Earth possessed you to wear a white blouse when you knew the Wraith were going to be after you?"

"I didn't really expect them to burn down my shop and send me careening through a gateway portal to--to England," said Kate, leaning back in the chair and ignoring Elizabeth's curious look. She reached out to the bowl and pulled out another strawberry, holding this one up to Elizabeth. "Hungry?"

"Not for berries," said Elizabeth, bending down slowly, until she was kneeling in front of Kate's chair.

"You never are," said Kate softly, staring down as Elizabeth reached out and unbuttoned her blouse.

"I'm burning these," said Elizabeth, pushing Kate's blouse down her arms. "Every scrap of clothing you're wearing, including your shoes."

"These shoes are very comfortable!" protested Kate. "Obviously, you've never worked retail."

"No, I just own the most decadent nightclub in the entire city," said Elizabeth. She reached behind Kate and unsnapped her bra, letting her mouth trail along Kate's neck before she pulled back and tossed Kate's bra on top of her shirt. "At least you wear decent lingerie. Still, I've seen you admiring my shoes before."

"I've admired them on you," said Kate, relaxing back onto the chair with a sigh. "That doesn't mean that I would enjoy wearing them."

"You would," murmured Elizabeth, unsnapping Kate's jeans and slowly lowering the zipper. Kate toed off her shoes and socks and shoved them under the chair with her feet. "We're taking a bath. You're filthy."

"No amount of water's going to be able to clean my mind," said Kate, lifting her hips and pushing down her jeans and underwear.

"I wouldn't want that," said Elizabeth, standing and stepping back. She slid out of her shoes, then leaned over and pulled her dress off in one fluid move. She was naked underneath, except for lace panties. "You'd be far too boring. I wouldn't be able to put up with you." She tossed it in the corner, pointedly away from the pile of Kate's clothing.

"I'm far too boring as it is," said Kate, her eyes traveling over Elizabeth's figure. "I run a shop that's become a tourist attraction. I wear ordinary clothing, and I like to fade into the background where no one can notice me."

"That's part of the challenge," said Elizabeth, sliding her panties down her hips and tossing them off to the side.

"I think that's the closest you've ever come to an apology," said Kate. She moved to push herself up, but felt Elizabeth's arms wrap around her, and a brief rush of wind, before they were standing in Elizabeth's bathroom, her bare feet slightly chilled by the ceramic tile.

"I don't apologize," said Elizabeth, looking curiously at the large, inset whirlpool tub, full of steaming water. "I also didn't run a bath before you arrived."

"I wonder how that happened?" asked Kate, her voice carefully bland, while her eyes gleamed.

"I can't imagine," said Elizabeth dryly, as she set Kate down. "Were the champagne and berries you too?"

"No, that wasn't me," said Kate.

"It wasn't Ronon or Teyla, that's for sure," said John, from behind them. He was slouching against the doorway, looking deceptively casual. "Nice."

Elizabeth turned and studied him. "How is it that you and Kate ended up filthy, while Ronon and Teyla are spotless? Rumpled, and smelling slightly of blood, but spotless." she asked. "You may as well strip down and get in the bathtub with us."

"Ronon and Teyla were trying to be very, very unnoticeable," said Kate, stepping into the tub. Elizabeth glanced at her curiously. "John and I got stuck doing all the exploring."

John pulled off his shirt and let it fall onto the floor. "She's gonna worm all the details out of Teyla, you know that, right?"

"I will, you know," said Elizabeth, smiling as she perched on the edge of the bathtub. "All I have to do is ask, and she'll tell me."

Kate lay back in the water, her hair spreading out around her. "Damn it," she said. "All this time trying to keep secrets, and the Wraith went and ruined it."

"If I didn't loathe them so much, I'd send a fruit basket," said Elizabeth, drawing her fingers idly through the water as John peeled off his pants behind them.

Kate rolled her eyes, sucked in a deep breath, and slowly slid underneath the water. Dimly, she heard Elizabeth splash into the water, then sputtered as Elizabeth hauled her into the air, pulling her close to devour her mouth, slide their bodies together, covered with water and scented with rose oil.

"Suddenly I don't know where to go first," said John, stepping into the tub. Elizabeth turned, her arms reaching out and wrapping around his neck, pulling closer to him as Kate stepped back, her breath coming heavily. Elizabeth nipped softly at John's lip, and he groaned, his hands coming up to tangle in her hair.

"That was easy," said Kate, sitting back down on the ledge of the bathtub and leaning back against the tiled wall. One hand slid across her stomach, settling between her thighs. John moved slowly down in the tub, leaning Elizabeth against the wall.

They were still kissing, their bodies moving together. John gasping and Elizabeth moaning, and Kate's breath hitched as she saw John push into Elizabeth. She arched and dragged her nails down John's back. As John hissed in pain, Elizabeth bared her fangs and started drinking.

Kate's fingertips stopped circling her clit, and she slid her fingers inside herself. She watched as John's eyes closed. Elizabeth's eyes were open. She stared at Kate, still drinking, as John moved faster.

Elizabeth pulled away with a growl, and shuddered against John, coming. She ground against him until he came inside her with a hoarse cry. Kate whimpered, her voice soft as she brushed her thumb over her clit, shivering as she came with Elizabeth and John staring at her.

"I see what you mean about being too quiet," said John. He was staring at Kate speculatively. "Do you ever let go?"

"Rarely," said Kate, wrapping her arms around herself as she leaned forward slightly. "This isn't letting go enough for you?"

"Not even close," said John, disentangling himself from Elizabeth. He moved towards Kate, his hands on her thighs as he slid them apart, palms skimming up. John smirked at her. Kate rolled her eyes, bemused, until John kissed his way up the inside of her thigh, the slight stubble on his cheeks scraping along her skin. "Come on, Kate, stop holding yourself back."

Kate reached out, one hand ruffling softly through John's hair. "It's not that easy," she said.

"We'll see," he said, then slid one finger along Kate's vulva, staring up into her eyes as he teased and stroked at the slickness, and Kate's breath hissed out softly. She let her hands rest on the edge of the tub, her knuckles whitening as John moved in closer, his mouth lowering down to slide against her thigh.

He started to lick at her, and Kate moaned quietly, her head lolling back against the wall. Her hips slid up as John pushed harder against her, his mouth closing around her clit and sucking hard. His hands tightened on Kate's thighs, pulling her closer to him, and her mouth opened in a soundless 'oh' as he slid his tongue inside her, grazing her labia with his teeth.

A louder moan was dragged from Kate's throat, and John groaned too as she moved against his face, her hips bucking as he swirled his tongue across her cunt, holding her tightly as she convulsed against him. Kate fell forward and caught herself on his shoulders.

John slipped out from underneath her, glancing up at Kate's face and grinning at the expression. "Good?" he asked.

Kate nodded. "Yeah," she said breathlessly.

"Not good enough, though," he said, grabbing one hand and tugging her down into the water. "Not yet."
Tags:
 
 
 
angelqueen04: Lizzie (Echoes)angelqueen04 on June 28th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
*fans self* Omg... That was deliciously hot! :D *loves*
Havoc: claire omgsqueehavocthecat on June 28th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC)
Yay! Glad you like it! *glees* Thanks!
(Deleted comment)
Havochavocthecat on June 28th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
*hugs* THANK YOU!
(Deleted comment)
Havoc: cadmanhavocthecat on June 28th, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, this whole universe is made of win. And it's good to finally post the fic!
ladyniko: Weirladyniko on June 28th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
"Not good enough, though," he said, grabbing one hand and tugging her down into the water. "Not yet."

Just..... damn..... breathless. Yeah, that's a good way to describe my reaction.

Man, I need to go take my walk, listen to some good plotting music and then, come back & do some honest to goodness writing that I haven't done at all this week. :)
Havochavocthecat on June 28th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
Just..... damn..... breathless. Yeah, that's a good way to describe my reaction.

It's always good to know when my fic works, y'know? :)

Man, I need to go take my walk, listen to some good plotting music and then, come back & do some honest to goodness writing that I haven't done at all this week. :)

And I? I owe you some betareading. I promise, I haven't forgotten; I just have three fics due within the next week and a half, and that's about all I'm focusing on right now. (Okay, fine, plus the two Kindred: the Embraced ficlets I have to post, but those have been done for ages now, and just needed a bit of editing.)

Good luck with the writing!
Falcon Horus: Girlfriendfalcon_horus on June 28th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
*in need of a very cold shower*

Ho-ot... Dang it!
Havochavocthecat on June 28th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! You know, I think this is one of the porniest pieces of fic I've written. Well, with porn and also plot.
muppetmandamuppetmanda on June 29th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC)
Guh.

I think you melted my brain... Much hotness. Yay! and poor Kate - getting teamed up on by John and Elizabeth? on second thought... lucky Kate! My love for this story continues to grow *g*
Havochavocthecat on June 29th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
If I melted your brain, then my evil goal was achieved! Bwahaha--

I mean, I'm glad you liked it. *haloes*

I saw your e-mail too late last night. I had company over. :( So for once, you were home at a decent hour, but I was unable to be there to take advantage of it!

Posting part four in, um. A few minutes, actually.