Disclaimer: The characters of Dr. Janice Covington and Melinda Pappas belong exclusively to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended through the use of these characters.

Subtext Warning: Yep, that's what this is all about, so, this story illustrates a loving relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18, this type of thing is illegal in the state/country in which you live, or you are bothered by it, I suggest you read no further.

Author's Notes: This story started out serious, but quickly degenerated by the second page. I must have been in a weird mood or something. I'm also guilty of my own clichés in this one. I must have a breast thing happening at the moment too, don't ask me why…

Acknowledgments: Um, okay, I guess I have to thank 'The Cowboy Junkies' and their music, particularly from the album Lay It Down for putting me in a sufficiently morbid mood to start writing, even this farcical offering. Then, if the dead really can hear your thoughts, I have to thank Dusty Springfield for lightening my mood slightly. Tell you what, the next time you don't know what to do with yourself, try writing Xena fan fic. I also have to thank an Uzbek, archaeologist Vadim Yagodin, and his book on a burial complex. If I hadn't got that editing job, my brain would not have been sufficiently fried to seek some other form of entertainment. By the way, if anybody has any idea what the following sentence means in relation to a pottery vessel, I'd be more than willing to listen, 'the hillock is rising roughly and slowly in the coot…' The best suggestion I have received so far is that it has some relation to an elderly man's inability to achieve erection. Well, any other ideas, anyone, anyone??

Feedback: Speak to me! I'm at archaeobard@hotmail.com

Should I Stay, Or Should I Go?



The heat was oppressive in the extreme as Melinda cast a lazy eye over to where Janice was working, hacking her way through at least two feet of detestable rubble. How the small archaeologist could work herself like this was a marvel to the translator. Despite the streams of perspiration running in playful rivulets down Janice's neck, she seemed at home, content to swing the mattock several times before dropping the tool to the ground and shovelling the loosened soil and rocks into a nearby barrow.

Mel watched as Janice dumped her tool on the rocky ground, and stood briefly to roll up her sleeves, revealing strong forearms that had been browned by the sun. She seemed oblivious to the scrutiny of the translator, yet every move she made drew the woman in, teasing her and making note taking very tiresome.

Finally Janice looked up, a quizzical expression on her face.

"You haven't heard I word I've said, have you?"

Mel dragged herself from her reverie to meet Janice eyes, her blonde bangs sweat plastered to her forehead.

"What?" the word came out guiltily before she could think.

"I said how far am I taking this level?" Janice obviously repeated, leaning casually on the mattock.

"Uh, it's a one foot spit Janice." Mel said hastily, glancing down at her notes. She knew very well to what level they were going, but wanted to break away from those green depths. "Unless you find a change."

Janice nodded and hefted her mattock again. "Goddamn rubble, you'd think if they were going to destroy a building they'd do a better job." she mumbled as the tool flew in an arch to sink into the ground before her.

Mel sighed and frowned before placing her notes on the side of the trench.

"I'm getting a drink, you want one?" she asked ash she came up beside the archaeologist, staying well clear of the mattock that Janice handled as if it were a weapon.

"Yeah, scotch, no ice." Janice paused in her swing to grin wickedly at the Southerner.

Mel blushed embarrassingly and looked away from the woman.

"I meant of water Janice." Mel said softly.

"Sure, not quite the same, but it'll do." the small archaeologist said, looking down and shifting the head of the mattock absently in the loose soil she had removed.

"Hey Mel?" she called as the translator turned to go.

Melinda glanced back briefly over her shoulder and met Janice's gaze.

"You alright? You seem…distracted lately." she tried to be tactful, but tact was not necessarily a skill in Janice's repertoire.

"I'm fine, maybe just a little tired." Mel said with more confidence that she felt.

"Tired, well, that's easily fixed. To tell you the truth, I'm a little beat myself. How about we give ourselves an early mark? There's only an hour or so to go anyway." There was that tact again.

"You don’t have to do that, I'll be fine Janice."

"Nope, no arguments, I'm the boss remember." Janice tried to sound stern as she clambered out of the trench, clapped an arm around Mel's shoulder and marched her down to their tent.

"Now," Janice continued as she set Mel on her cot and sat opposite on her own, "why don’t you really tell me what's going on in that head of yours?"

Mel baulked at the question and tried to dismiss it.

"Nothing's going on, as I said, I'm just tired."

Janice nodded slowly and reached for one of her cigarillos. She lit it and puffed a few times before speaking.

"Well it's no wonder, you spend half the night awake, staring at me." she said, blowing smoke across the tent.

"I do not!" Mel shot back in a mortified voice, she could feel the colour rising on her neck.

"And that's not the only time, you spend half the day staring as well. I don’t know Mel, I must be very interesting or you must be very bored, one of the two." Janice shook her head slightly, a playful glint in her eye.

Mel opened her mouth, but was speechless.

"Do you have any idea what it's like having eyes bore into your body when your trying to get a little shut eye? It's very disconcerting." Janice crossed her legs and leaned back on one hand. "Especially when those eyes alight on such places as one's breasts Melinda."

Melinda's blush darkened and she looked anywhere but at the archaeologist.

"I…I don't know what you mean." she said finally.

"Oh bull shit Melinda, you do it all the time. What, you think I'm blind?" Janice said a little more harshly than she intended.

"No Janice, I don’t think you're blind, just mistaken." Mel tried to backtrack, but the look on Janice's face told her she wasn't doing a very good job.

"Uh-uh Mel, no mistake, you stare at me." Janice said, letting a smile ripple across her lips.

Mel frowned and rang her hands in her lap, there was no getting out of this one.

"Alright, I stare at you, is there anything so terrible about that?" she gestured wildly with her hands and sounded desperate, even to her own ears.

Janice shrugged and puffed again at her cigarillo.

"No, nothing terrible, just wondering why?" Janice said airily, winding the translator up further.

"Why?" Mel echoed.

"Yeah, I want to know why you spend half your conscious hours looking me over?"

"I do not 'look you over' as you so crudely put it, I may stare at you, but I don’t do that." Mel was on the defensive, and it was a battle she was loosing, fast.

"Well it sure as hell feels like it Melinda. How would you like it if I stared at your breasts all the time huh?" Janice asked immediately dropping her gaze to the soft curved mounds beneath Mel's shirt front.

Mel shifted uncomfortably on the cot and fought the desire to cross her arms protectively.

"Janice, don’t." she said in a small voice, clasping her hands tightly over her knees.

"Don't what?" Janice asked, her eyes wandering from one breast to the other.

"Don't look at me like that." Mel said, her breath catching in her throat.

"So it's alright for you, but when I want to ogle your breasts, I can't?" the small woman asked, taking a delicious puff on her cigarillo and ashing casually on the ground.

"You're only doing it to unsettle me." Mel breathed.

"Really? Now, why would I want to do that?" Janice asked, pushing herself forward so she could stare more intently at the Southerner.

Mel shifted again and shook her head in incomprehension.

"Maybe I like looking at your breasts, they're very nice breasts."

"I don't want you to look at them." Mel finally blurted frustratedly.

Janice flicked her gaze up to the Southerner's concerned eyes, "Then what do you want me to do to them?"

"God." Mel croaked.

"Do you want me to touch them?" Janice asked, abandoning her cigarillo to the ground and shifting onto her knees so she was eye level with Mel's chest, "Do you?" she asked again, reaching out a hand to let it hover an inch away from Mel's covered flesh.

Mel closed her eyes and wished she was anywhere else at this point. She could feel the warmth of the archaeologist's palm seeping into her flesh and her body screamed at her for her stubbornness.

"I don’t know what I want." she whispered finally, opening her eyes.

"Liar." Janice despondently dropped her hand to Mel's thigh. The Southerner jumped slightly, but held Janice's gaze.


"You, Melinda Pappas, talk in your sleep." Janice said with a grin.

"What…what do I say?" the translator managed to ask as she felt Janice hand slip up her thigh slightly.

"Oh, all manner of things, mostly to do with me."

"What type of things?"

"How you'd like to kiss me, to touch me, to ravish me in my sleep, things like that."

Melinda tried to swallow the lump in her throat, but it didn't want to go anywhere anytime soon.

"I would never-" Mel began but stopped when she realised the truth of Janice's words, she did want to do those things to the small woman.

"Sure you wouldn't, that's why I'm kneeling here with my hand on your leg, and you're sitting there as scared as hell." Janice replied calmly, savouring with a flash of victory the look that passed over Mel's eyes.

"So what are we going to do about it?" Mel asked in a shaky voice.

"Now that is something that is entirely up to you Melinda Pappas." Janice shifted her hand a little higher on Mel's thigh, if it moved any higher, well, Mel didn't want to think about the implications. "But I'll give you a choice," Janice continued, capturing Mel's gaze with her own, "I can stay, or I can go. What'll it be?"

Mel broke eye contact with the woman kneeling in from of her to stare at the blank wall of the tent. She stayed like that for several moments, just feeling the warmth of Janice's hand and the closeness of her position.

"I don't know what I'm doing." she finally admitted, still staring at the wall.

Janice smiled wryly and shook her head ever so slightly, "Oh, I think you do Melinda Pappas." Janice said, her voice slightly husky. "So tell me Mel, one word, stay or go?"

The End.

So, should Janice stay, or should she go? I think I can guess what you people are going to say though.

Until next time,


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