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Category: Primeval > Slash and Femslash > Femslash
Characters: Helen Cutter, Jenny Lewis
Rating: NC-17
Genres: Character Study, First Time, PWP - Plot, What Plot?
Warnings: None

Summary: Helen's life is a series of experiments.

Pairing: Helen/Jenny

Spoilers: Set post Season 2

Story Notes:
Written for MMoM and for Cedara. Thanks to Aithine for the beta.

What attracted Helen to Nick - at first - was his drive, his thirst for knowledge. It matched hers, she thought; that constant, never-ending search for answers, knowing that just one more piece to slot into the puzzle and the picture would become clear.

Only Helen's never been one for jigsaws. They're too passive for her tastes. They lack passion, and there's no spectacle. Helen's always been a fan of the big picture rather than the small, and the bigger the picture, the better.

It too her too long to figure out that Nick's more of a small picture man, putting the pieces together in the safe environment of his office or on a dig, poring over the clues left in the earth. Perhaps that was the basis of her attraction to Stephen. Poor Stephen. She'd had him pegged as a kindred spirit, someone, like her, more at home in the real jungle rather than the urban one but in the end he turned out to be just another Nick in the making. And Helen has always preferred the original to a poor copy.

If only Nick were of the same opinion.

Like any good scientist, she observes them in their natural environment, Nick and the woman who had once been Claudia but is now somebody else entirely. She wonders whether Nick sees Claudia in Jenny's features; whether he looks for familiarity in the way she walks, the way she talks or whether he's finally accepted that Claudia is lost in the mists of the past and it's time to move on. But then that's the difference between her and Nick - Nick looks for things to stay the same, for some stability in life and in life's forms but Helen... well, Helen's always been more interested in the way things can change.

Jenny Lewis fascinates her. Nick might spend his time with her desperately searching for something he recognises but Helen catalogues the things that are different. Nick clings to the past but Helen's all about the future.

Jenny's lipstick is brighter than Claudia's but her lips are thinner and there are fine lines fanning out from the corners. She never seems to show her teeth when she smiles but Helen had been right when she'd told Nick that Jenny was far more aggressive than the original. She might not show her teeth when she smiles but she's not at all shy about baring her teeth at other times.

Her voice is harder than Claudia's, with sharp ringing tones to it, and the words that spill from her lips are brisk and brusque in succession. Her eyes are harder too, and she doesn't seem to miss much.

She misses Helen, though; never seems to catch a glimpse of her when Helen is drawn back again and again to observe. She still hasn't resolved the enigma of Jenny and after a while she doesn't even care whether or not Nick is there, too. She comes to watch Jenny and Jenny alone, because Jenny's a study in contradictions as well as in differences.

Her skirts are short, tops tight - a world away from the trouser suits that Claudia used to wear. Her clothes scream of sex, all bright colours and decorative plumage whereas Claudia was all earth colours: muted browns and greens, enabling her to blend into the background. It gets Helen thinking, and about more than just Nick. Everything about Jenny gets Helen thinking, but this time Helen thinks about mating rituals and mate attraction.

Jenny doesn't seem to mate, at least not since she got rid of her surplus male baggage. She flirts outrageously but never seems to follow through. It intrigues Helen because everything else about Jenny seems larger than life, designed to attract attention. And if the reason for that isn't about sex, about status, why the dichotomy between the bright plumage and keeping people at arm's length?

She hopes that Jenny isn't stupid enough to have set her sights on Nick. That would be a great pity, if only because it would be so mundane. Claudia's disappearance, her transmutation into this enigma, was an accident, a side effect that none of them could have foreseen. Helen couldn't honestly say the same if Jenny really was stupid enough to go after Helen's husband and something happened to her.

Helen bores so easily these days - Jenny's the first thing to have posed a challenge for quite a while.

That may explain why she ups the stakes, turning observation into interaction. And after the things she's seen, the technology she's seen, slipping into Jenny's house unnoticed is easy in spite of the alarms that Jenny has set to protect her lair.

She really hopes that this isn't disappointing. It's so dull when that happens.

She doesn't have long to wait - Jenny doesn't seem to keep to much of a routine, not from what Helen's observed, but Helen is patient. In some things, at least. When it's called for.

She sits back on the bed. The location is deliberate - it's pure instinct for many animals to consider where they sleep a safe place and she likes the idea of a Jenny who is off balance. It was easy to unsettle Claudia. She suspects - hopes - that Jenny will pose more of a challenge.

When Jenny appears in the doorway she looks tired but there's no wariness in her stance, nothing that suggests she's on guard. Humans. They've forgotten what it's like to be hunted. They're too used to being the hunter that they don't remember what it's like to be prey. She sees Helen and freezes, finger still resting on the light switch, and that's one point in her favour at least. Perhaps there's hope for her yet.

"What are you doing here?"

Interestingly, Jenny doesn't make a move for her phone but simply stands there, staring, her face thunderous and maybe even a little afraid.

Helen stretches and, well, that's a new variance to add to the equation. Jenny's eyes drop, her gaze sliding over Helen's body, lingering for a split second on the flesh revealed by the undone buttons of her top. Helen's used to this kind of attention from men - it was how she ensnared Leek and, now she thinks of it, Stephen - but it's a new experience to be on the receiving end of that same interest from a woman.

Perhaps Jenny is more different from Claudia than she thought. Or - and the thought is delicious, something to savour when she's a little less distracted by the game - perhaps she isn't.

"I thought it was about time we talked, Jenny." She lets the words slip out over her lips, smooth as silk. She has to be careful - she's found that women aren't quite as easy to manipulate as men, less inclined to be led by their hormones, although given Jenny's interest in her perhaps that would be an avenue worth exploring. And exploiting.

"About?" Jenny's voice is calm but the tension in her fingers where she grips her handbag gives her away.

Helen tilts her head and smiles, showing her teeth. Jenny - to her credit - doesn't step back but Helen can almost see the fear rising from her. It's clear in the tension of her body, in the way that her eyes don't leave Helen's, watching her carefully for any sign of movement. It's heady and Helen breathes in deeply.

"Look." Jenny finally breaks the silence. "If this is about Nick..."

She leans forward, and Jenny's eyes dart towards her cleavage again, and that is very interesting. And a little flattering. "What makes you think this is about Nick?"

Jenny snorts, and it's an inelegant sound, one she can't imagine Claudia making. "As far as you're concerned, Helen, everything is about Nick."

It stings, the idea that she can be reduced to simply the interest she has in - and holds for - her husband. "This isn't about Nick, Jenny. This is about you."

Oh, that gets a reaction, Jenny's nostrils flaring as the lines around her mouth come into play. She keeps her cool, though, her chin tilting up imperiously and now - now - Helen can see the resemblance. "Is that right? What are you up to now?"

Helen pouts and lets Jenny see it, not missing the way that the other woman's eyes roll. That's new too - Claudia was better at hiding her disdain and yet Jenny is the one who's supposedly experienced in dealing with the public. "What makes you think I'm up to something?"

Jenny's bag hits her dresser with a loud thump and she takes two or three steps towards Helen. Which means she takes two or three steps away from her mobile and Helen drops the act, lets her smile show, slow and victorious. It slows Jenny's steps and she stops a few feet away, expression turning uncertain. It smoothes the lines out on her face, makes her look years younger than the painted mask she normally wears.

"You're always up to something." And Jenny's words are slow and quiet. Thoughtful. "What is it this time?"

There are several options that Helen can take but the risky one seems to be the most interesting. "Not going to call the ARC for backup?"

Now Jenny's eyes flick to the side, in direction of the dresser but she doesn't step towards it. "What do you want?" she asks again, taking another step closer that she doesn't seem aware of.

A simple 'you' might be too obvious, even though Helen's never really been one for subtle. She settles for, "You... interest me."

Another one of those snorts, and Jenny shoots back, quick as a whip, "You mean the way that I'm not your mythical Claudia Brown interests you."

There's something there, under the surface of Jenny's words. Something... resentful. Bitter hidden in bored. Oh, even more delicious.

"My mythical Claudia Brown?" Helen leans further forward, bracing her elbow on her knee and not letting her gaze drop from Jenny's. "Surely you mean Nick's?"

Oh, yes. That gets a twitch, but it's quickly hidden. "I'll ask you one more time, Helen, and then I will call for backup. What do you want?"

"You interest me," Helen repeats, emphasising the first word and this time not missing the way that Jenny's eyes widen slightly. They're subtle signs, the ones that Jenny gives off, but Helen's had many years of reading things written smaller than this. "As for what I want..." She leans back again, elbows firmly on the mattress. It's an open invitation and Jenny's eyes widen further.

"Oh, you are joking!" Jenny cocks her hip, her fear apparently forgotten in her outrage and it's amusing - far better this than a pale reflection of Claudia's sense of propriety, her mouse-like demeanour. Helen lets some of that show, along with her teeth in a hungry little smile. "Oh, my God. You're not. This is... this is... This is utterly ridiculous."

"Is it?" Helen sits back up sinuously, hard muscles, toned by the Cretaceous, the Eocene, the future, moving smoothly under her skin. She doesn't miss Jenny noticing that either. "You want to know all about Claudia Brown, all I know about what happened to change things, to result in you." Jenny licks her lips, a little tell that she probably isn't even aware of. The question is, what is it a tell for? "And I..."

Jenny's eyes drop and then rise again.

"Well, I want to know exactly how the pair of you differ."

"You..." There's the outrage again, and it's rather refreshing when compared to Nick's stoicism. "You are unbelievable."

"You're on a team that deals with prehistoric creatures every day, and you think that I'm unbelievable?"

Another snort. "I think I'd rather deal with something like that than make a deal with you."

It's an interesting turn of phrase and perhaps this might actually turn out the way that Helen thinks she now wants. It certainly suggests that Jenny is at least open to the possibility of 'a deal', even if Helen wouldn't have phrased it like that. The pragmatism isn't entirely new, but it doesn't seem to be tempered by Claudia's naivety.

"A deal." Helen rolls the words around her mouth, letting them slip out so slowly that she can almost taste them. They roll around in her head, too, before slipping into some of the little empty spaces she has in her picture of Jennifer Lewis, née Claudia Brown. "Yes. I like the sound of that." She sits up, gives Jenny a smile with her teeth flashing, and holds out her hand.

Jenny simply stares at her, eyebrows raised and mouth slightly open. She doesn't take Helen's hand, not that Helen expected her to. But she doesn't need to. Helen is good at reading things from the traces they leave behind.

She always has been.

She moves her hand to the buttons of her top, slowly sliding them through the buttonholes. She's not a tease - although she suspects that under other circumstances Jenny might be - but she does know how to get people to do what she wants, and Jenny won't be an exception. And she isn't, her eyes following every move that Helen's fingers make.

"You... you..."

Helen can be patient, but only if patience will get her what she wants, what she needs. It isn't, and it's overrated anyway.

She reaches out and grabs hold of Jenny, who has, by now, come close enough for Helen to strike. They're all so predictable. So weak and slow to see what's coming.

She has no idea what Claudia tasted like. Probably something like strawberry lip balm, something boringly prosaic and wholesome like that. Jenny tastes spicy, which is just as she expected. She suspects that there are hidden depths in Jenny, and Helen's always, always ready for some exploration.

There is one advantage to Jenny wearing short skirts; it's easy for Helen to slide her fingers up underneath it. She's wearing underwear, and that is a little disappointing. She would have expected Jenny to have been the sort to have dispensed with something like that and she has to admit that the idea of Jenny, wandering around in a short skirt with very little underneath, is a little exciting, especially when she thinks about how many times she's watched Jenny.

Jenny's tights rip easily under her fingers and Jenny lets out a little gasp into her mouth when she feels Helen's fingers stroking lightly over her skin. It's exhilarating. Not just the power - although that is a rush - but the fact that this is new. For all of the exploring that Helen has done, for all of the places she's been that have never been seen by human eyes, the only female body with which she's familiar is her own.

But then experimentation is the key.

She holds Jenny tightly, one arm wrapped around her back. She's stronger than Jenny, stronger by far, her body toned where Jenny's is soft, a little padded. But Jenny's thighs are stronger than she expects, clamping around her forearm as she pushes the fabric of Jenny's pants aside. She waits, mouth still moving slowly over Jenny's, until the tension slowly eases from Jenny's body and her legs spread.

Patience, for all that Helen would deny it, is sometimes a virtue.

Jenny is wet and slick and this time she moans into Helen's mouth as Helen's fingers slide through that wetness. Any fight has fled from her now; Helen wonders how long it's been since anyone has touched Jenny like this. Long enough to make this easier than Helen expected. Long enough for it not to take long at all for Jenny to clutch at her and shake, her body clenching hard around Helen's fingers as the orgasm rushes through her.

Helen finally eases her fingers out and brings them up to her mouth. Jenny tastes slightly different to the taste of her own juices and again, it's spicy rather than sweet. She waits for Jenny to ease down from that high, sprawled across Helen's lap, her hair and shirt in disarray and with her skirt pushed up around her waist.

There is a moment's disappointment that she hasn't managed to get Jenny stripped down and vulnerable, but there's still time. She leans in again, pushes Jenny's hair back from her face with something she believes that Jenny will take for tenderness.

"Now," she whispers into Jenny's ear, not missing the way that Jenny shudders as Helen's breath brushes across her skin. "About that deal..."

The End