(1937-11-05) Home At Last
Details for Home At Last
Summary: Audrey and Ranjali return to London after several weeks on vacation in India. It's time to have a serious talk about the future of their relationship.
Date: November 5, 1937
Related: Memories, First Night in India, Navratri Festival, Heritage

The silent apartment suddenly explodes with activity as Audrey hauls in several pieces of luggage (more than she left with), followed by a similarly burdened taxi driver. "Just put those down in the living room," she orders as she does the same with her own load. "Whew! Home at last! I've completely lost track of how long we were gone!" She is still dressed in the Indian style, though something not so revealing as to be appropriate to moving about London. "Ranji, do you need a hand?" She ushers the taxi driver to go help while she fishes money from her purse to generously tip the man.

Ranjali slips in behind the taxi driver, quietly hauling a few large bags of her own. "I'll be… ah, yes perhaps." Glancing at the taxi drver, she decides to not make an attempt at magically moving the remaining luggage and shows him where her other bags(nearly twice as many as she left with) are waiting. She is also dressed in the Indian style, with a simple saree of silk dyed in shades of blue keeping her modestly covered and a loose cloak to protect her from the drizzle. The cloak is removed as she steps away from the door so the driver has a place to put everything. "It is nice… to be home."

Audrey sweeps over to give Ranjali a warm embrace — a proper welcome home. She smiles and says quietly, "Home? Do you mean London, orrr…" But before Ranjali can answer, the taxi driver is at the door, clearing his throat. "Ah, yes. You were a great help, you lovely man. Here, for your trouble." She presses far too much money into his hands and quickly ushers him out. As she shuts the door, she whirls around, giving Ranjali a mischievous, hungry look. She reaches out her arms invitingly, moving to cross the distance. "I hate not being able to kiss you," she complains, referring to the ride over in the Muggle taxi cab.

And so Ranjali is saved from having to answer. By kissing. No complaints here! Ranjali closes what little gap remains as soon as Audrey's arms are lifted, sliding her own around the singer's waist and leaning in for a kiss almost as hungry as her lover's look. "I don't care for it, myself…" She murmurs after pulling it away, "But I do hear that anticipation is a good thing, at times?"

Audrey giggles, nodding through the kiss. She slides a hand down Ranjali's arm to intertwine their fingers, tugging her past the scattered luggage toward the sofa. "I've been meaning to talk to you about that, actually. I didn't want to bring it up in India. God, everything was so perfect in India." She practically swoons at the memory of the exotic land.

"It was… " Ranjali follows easily, though there's a decidedly worried look on her face now. "I could not have imagined anything better." Like the perfect honeymoon. "But what is it?" //Please don't say I have to leave now… //

Audrey sits down on the sofa, patting the spot beside her and draping her arm over the back. "Ranji…you are the most incredible thing that's ever happened to me. I never, in a million years, thought I could…" Could what? Has it gone that far? "That I could…be falling for a woman." She takes a deep, nervous breath. That alone was overwhelming to put into words.

Ranjali curls up as soon as she is invited to, moving in close to keep up as much contact with Audrey as possible. As she hears the possible declaration, she finds that her worry is quickly replaced by wonder. Lips parting, she reaches up to stroke her lover's hair, "I… never thought I would fall for someone like you, myself. And I am so very glad that I did. You bring such life to my world."

Audrey inhales deeply, moved at Ranjali's words. She leans into her touch, eyes sparkling. "I…I think I want this. I want to try us. I know I've said that before, but I mean it more now. I want you to know this isn't just me toying with the idea. But…my life is…complicated." She worries at her lip, watching Ranjali for reactions.

Ranjali goes completely still for a few seconds. She… she just said that, didn't she? Oh, please don't let me have imagined that! When she does move again, its to give a sort of shocked chuckle. Her eyes begin to shine with her suddenly overwhelming happiness. "You- you really…. you mean… complicated? H-how so?"

Audrey is utterly endeared by the initial response, but sobering at the question. "Firstly, I am an entertainer. The world of show business it…well, you saw for yourself backstage at the Albert Hall. It's not remotely modest, and we're all very used to taking liberties that others might find…inappropriate. But it's innocent, I assure you. I mean, don't get me wrong. There is certainly scandalous behaviour. Goodness…but it's nothing you have to worry about." Did that just come out entirely wrong? Her winces might suggest she thinks so.

Ranjali looks down at her lap to ponder this. She remembers, all too well, that moment backstage. Slowly, she draws in a calming breath and lets it out again. "Yes, yes I see. You will… still be like that, with people."

Audrey winces again. Oh dear. "It's just part of that world. Honestly, Ranjali, it's innocent. Most of the men I would be bared in front of aren't remotely interested in women, anyhow. Oh, this is sounding horrible." She reaches for Ranjali's hands. "We often have to do very fast costume changes backstage. There is simply no time for modesty, so one become accustomed to dispensing with it. Please understand. It doesn't mean I want anything from them, or that they would want it with me. It's just practicality."

SeanCee pages: Ranjali nods. "I understand." She speaks quickly, trying to reassure Audrey. But she's still having trouble looking up from her lap. "I'm sorry, I just… I should have thought of it already. Of course it makes sense, really. I shall… endeavor to be more understanding of it." She catches her lower lip between her teeth, then, hoping that she will be able to find a way to keep that promise.

Audrey scoots a bit closer to Ranjali. "Think of it like your profession. Sometimes you have to see people in some state of undress or another, right? But it's purely professional. Well…that's how it is with me. Just with more teasing and lewd humour."

Ranjali continues to nod, though there's a slight hitch in her movements when she hears 'lewd behavior.' "Yes, of course." She lifts her head finally and offers a smile, if a small one. "I'm sorry, truly. In some ways… I think I am too much like my father. I don't always react well. And I… " She looks away, sighing.

Audrey lifts a hand to Ranjali's cheek to try to coax her gaze back. "Hey…it's alright. This is just us learning about each other. Right?" She steadies herself with a weighty breath. There is more to cover, and it only gets tougher. "The second thing I wanted to mention is…I'm an entertainer in both worlds. Usually, that's not an issue, but…Muggles don't understand certain things like wizards do. They…they wouldn't understand us."

Ranjali leans into Audrey's hand, closing her eyes briefly to enjoy the touch. She nods a little, and after a moment opens her eyes, frowning in confusion. "That… that won't be a problem, not for me. My father is a muggle, remember? Its one of the reasons I don't tend to… to offer up my, ah, preferences."

Audrey breathes with a bit more ease. "I just don't want you to feel I'm ashamed of you." She scoots closer again, this time to pull Ranjali into her arms and kiss her cheek.

"Oh. Oh!" Ranjali leans forward and wraps her arms tightly around Audrey. "I see, and of course I wouldn't. Please, don't worry about that. I am used to a measure of secrecy, in many things. But… " She pulls back a little to look the singer in the eye, "There is something I should mention as well."

Audrey blinks, not having expected this to turn around on her. "Oh? What is it?" She is sure to keep her arms around Ranjali, giving reassuring rubs to her back and shoulders.

Ranjali smiles at the comforting hands, for a moment, before biting her lip once more. She glances around the apartment, linking her fingers behind Audrey's back to secure her hold, and after another long breath turns back to ask, "How, ah… do you feel about animals?"

Audrey blinks again. That's it? She lets out a sigh of relief. "I have no problem with animals." A wry smirk forms, and she lifts an eyebrow. "You…want to bring animals here?"

"Two." Ranjali replies, looking worried once more. "I… well I have a cat. She's been staying with a coworker. Along with Basil." She looks down once more, and needs another calming breath before she can add, "He's, ah… he was Thora's owl. He stayed with me… after."

Audrey softens immediately, stroking a finger through Ranjali's hair. "Of course, and you should never be parted from them." She tilts her head, full of warmth. "What I was wondering is…whether you are asking to bring them here." She gestures around to the apartment.
Ranjali has partially disconnected.

Ranjali sighs in relief and pleasure at the touch, nodding. "Well, yes, if that's alright. I, ah… I would so much like to stay. And they've been with her for so long, I would like them to be returned to me. And Anousha, she is very sweet. I think perhaps you would like her… " She smiles again, that adoring smile reserved just for Audrey, "You remind me of one another, a bit."

Audrey laughs softly, "I'm catty, am I?" She shrugs, not about to argue the point. "Ranji…does this mean you're moving in with me? To stay?" She catches her lower lip between her teeth. It's a subtle quirk, but a mark of the anticipation she feels. Every second until Ranjali answers is a short eternity.

"No!" Ranjali pulls her hands back to cup Audrey's face, shaking her head "No, no I would never say such a thing. I mean because… you can both be so regal… " Her gaze drops to her lap, then, for a moment. She's nodding, slowly, when she looks up again, "I-if… you would like that… I was hoping to."

Audrey leans in to kiss Ranjali's lips, hands cupping her face. "I would like that, and if you choose to, this will be your home. There's just one thing I have to tell you before you make that decision." Whatever it is, the worry suddenly entering her eyes doesn't bode well.

Ranjali slides her hands into Audrey's hair, and enjoys every last bit of that kiss. Its a moment before she reacts to what is said after, so happy is she to have been accepted into the singer's home. Slowly, then, her confused frown returns. "Something more?" She searches Audrey's eyes, the worry she sees causing her own to rise. "What is it?"

"It's Wolfgang," Audrey says, lowering her hands to her lap and looking down at them. "He and I…we've been…" She lifts her eyes slowly to Ranjali's, "…lovers."

If Ranjali was still earlier, now she is a statue. Even her face stills into a blank mask. The sort well-bred girls are taught in order to hide such ugly reactions as shock. She blunks once, twice, then her eyes move back down to her lap. "I see I was not wrong then." She murmurs, "But, when you say you've /been/ do you mean… a-are you still?"

Audrey rests a hand on Ranjali's knee. "I want to be with you, Ranji. I've made a lot of bad decisions in my life…and I'm not saying he was one of them, but he probably wasn't the best decision I could have made." She shakes her head. It's coming out wrong again. "I'm saying that I don't know what he wants anymore. He sent us on this wonderful romantic vacation, but then there was that song he wrote. I'm just…confused about what he expects now."

Ranjali nods, and blinks a few times, rapidly. "You don't… you don't want to be with him anymore, though?" Her voice is softer now, her difficulty to contain this new emotion rising. "H-he… have you spoken with him a-about it? I was… I was going to tell you… he seemed like he's… in love with you. And I don't… I'm not… very good at sh-sharing… when it comes to… such things… "

Audrey places her other hand in her lover's. "Ranji, I'm not asking you to share. It isn't that. I want you. Nobody has made me feel like you do since Toby…and I was a kid then. Wolfgang…he's a good man. But it was never a love affair. Not for me." She tenses up, worrying at her lip again. "But he's also a powerful man…and I really don't know what he'll do if I make him truly angry. I don't mean to frighten you. I'm just so uncertain."

Ranjali is nodding, sniffling a little and generally relaxing, now that she'd finally made her own incredibly awkward admission. As Audrey continues to explain, she once more manages to look up, her eyes wide. There is some fear there, as well as disbelief, and a whole large chunk of protective anger growing behind her eyes now. "He wouldn't dare."

Audrey wraps her arms around Ranjali. "Shhh…don't worry. I'm probably fussing over nothing. Don't forget how he helped us. He…he wants what is best for us. He would never hurt me." She's fairly certain of that…mostly.

Though she doesn't loose her fierce expression, Ranjali allows herself to be hugged without a fuss. As always. Her hands slip back around Audrey's sides and up her back, holding her tightly as she murmurs against the blonde's cheek, "No one will ever hurt you. Not ever again."

Audrey squeeze Ranjali tight, clinging hopefully. "You are so good to me. So…will you stay? Will you come live here with me?" She pulls back just enough to look Ranjali in the eyes.

Ranjali is nodding already, even before she has sat back far enough to smile at Audrey. "Yes, If you will have me. I would like it more than anything. Even if it means protecting you from overly-friendly dangerous men." Grinning, now, she offers the last bit in a teasing tone, and lifts a hand to tug gently at a loose lock of the singer's hair.

Audrey sniffles and giggles, getting emotional. "Don't judge him too quickly. It may be that he'll understand completely." She reaches a finger to touch Ranjali's lips. "But I have one condition if you're to stay here."

Ranjali's own giggling is cut short at the mention of conditions. Warily, she tilts her head and lifts her eyebrows in question. "Yes?"

Audrey gives her a cheshire grin, teasing her fingers along Ranjali's cheek and neck. "After our time in India, I've become very accustomed to sleeping beside you. As I am terribly selfish…I don't want to give that up."

"Oh!" Ranjali is smiling again instantly. "Well of course you won't have to." Giggling softly, her eyes now lit up with joy, she adds in a teasing tone, "I will, however, need a little space for my things… perhaps some room could be made in the guest… closet?"

Audrey laughs, and presses her lips to Ranjali's. It is a brief kiss, but a joyous one. "Of course. We'll make room. I know this isn't as much space as you're used to. But we'll make it work."

Ranjali chuckles, "Really, its fine. I barely use half of the space in that house. And its so… so plain." She looks around at the colorful decor, her hands seeking a way through the layers of fabric to Audrey's stomach, "Though I should keep it, I think. Perhaps… I can rent it out… "

Audrey nods, "Of course you should keep it. There's no sense giving up a beautiful home like that." She gives a happy little shake. "I'm so excited! This is going to be wonderful!" When Ranjali gets through the fabric to touch her bare skin, she lets out a soft gasp, and suddenly her lips are on her lover's. "Welcome home," she whispers.

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