Life Imitates Art

Warning: Adult Content

Sara awoke slowly. Her whole body was stiff, sore. She could feel a warmth beside her. A slow smile spread across her face. She would never think of sundaes in quite the same way again. They had used two more condoms. The smile got wider. I don't think I'll ever think of sitting in Josh's lap quite the same way either, or how cold the tiles in the bathroom are. I've got to buy him a nice braided rug for in there. No reason to have to suffer. Sara looked at her lover's sleeping form. He was sprawled on his back, legs apart. Mmmmmm… I could really get used to this. I wonder if I could get him hard, a condom on him and be riding him before he fully woke up? There's still some on the nightstand, aren't there? She glanced at the clock. 3:34 p.m. She had an appointment at 5:00 p.m.!

"Shit!" Sara scrambled out of bed. "I'm going to be late!" She pulled her hair back off her face and tied it with the broken shoelace she saw on the floor. "Oh no! I can't wear those shorts or that top! What am I going to do? I don't have anything suitable! I don't have time to get home and arrive on time. I can't afford to be late!"

Josh shifted, opened his mouth a few times and went right on sleeping.

"Damn, damn, damn," Sara muttered. "What the hell am I going to do? Do I even have cameras with me?" Sara thought quickly. "Yeah, the Nikkon's in the trunk. Great! I think the portfolio's there too. I don't remember taking it out two days ago when I had that interview. I just hope the photos they're going to want to look at are in it. Now what am I going to wear? I know!" Sara headed towards the closet. "He said we're about the same size. I wonder if that means I can wear his clothes other than just the sweats."

Sara went quickly through the clothes on the hangers and pulled out a pair of black dress pants and a black and white pinstriped shirt. She took one of Josh's belts from the hooks on the back of the door then decided on a tie. "It's a good thing men's wear for women is in style right now." Sara hung everything over her arm and ran into the shower.

A record time later, Sara was cinching the belt around her waist and looked at herself critically in the mirror. She made a face. "Not bad. It's not exactly what I would have wanted to wear to the interview, but it'll have to do." She ran her fingers through her hair one last time, then rummaged around for a piece of paper and a pencil.

Sorry to have taken off without a kiss, sweetie, but I woke at 3:30 p.m. and had a job interview at 5. I needed to borrow some clothes–black pants, black and white pinstripe shirt, belt and tie. Hope you didn't need them for work. I'll be back, hopefully with good news. Love you bunches. S.

Sara put the note on the nightstand, leaning up against the clock so he'd see it. She looked at Josh for a moment, and gave in to her impulse. She dropped a quick light kiss on his lips, then dashed away out of the apartment and down to her car.

The interview was a success, which meant that for the next 2 months she had a job. Unfortunately, she would be in Vancouver for 6 of those days. She paused outside Josh's door, hoping that he didn't have to go anywhere considering she had just discovered that she had his key.

The door down the hall opened and Phil walked out. He stopped when he saw her.

"Sara," he nodded.

"Phil," Sara replied, returning his nod. "So, how have things been since grad? You been able to find a job? And how's Cindy? You still seeing her?" She fingered the keys in her hand awkwardly. What must he think of me? I never really knew if he agreed with Marty and the others and what they said about me. Not that it matters, it's just that he seems like a nice guy when those jerks aren't around. She hitched the strap of her camera bag higher on her shoulder, conscious that she was wearing Josh clothes, and wondering if Phil knew, or even suspected.

"Naw. On both accounts. How about you? Things seem to be going better for you," he smiled. "Are we going to be neighbours now? Oh, and don't let Marty freak you out. He's just blown away by, ummm, well, that… " He finally shrugged, blushing slightly.

"I'm rather blown away by it myself," Sara replied. "It was definitely the last thing I expected when I went to New York for my first show. Josh kind of followed me home." Sara's own face colored slightly. "But I don't think we're going to be neighbors. I just spent the night and accidentally left with his keys."

"I also feel I should apologize for the way I behaved in school. I mean I didn't say anything. That's the problem. But I didn't know you well enough. You seemed to push any attempts away."

He laughed. "Sorry, I'm babbling. I have three extra tickets to Carmen tonight if you and Josh want to go?"

"I'll have to ask him. Thanks. Can I have your number so we can call you and let you know? What time does it start?"

"In about 2 hours, just knock on the door. And I don't think your boyfriend would want you getting phone numbers from other guys." He grinned, a speculative look in his eyes, and went back inside his apartment.

Now what was that look for? Surely he doesn't think… No, he wouldn't. Would he? Sara shook her head as she put the key into the lock and let herself in, feeling strangely pleased about the conversation.

Josh was sitting on the couch in a pair of sweats eating peanut butter sandwiches. His hair was still tousled and he smiled when she walked in.

"How'd the interview go? By the way, the phone rang twice while you were gone, and they were both for you."

Her heart lurched as it always did when he smiled at her. "The interview went great. I got the job, and I'll be working for two months. The only problem," Sara said with a slight frown. "Is that I'm going to have to go to Vancouver for six days. Oh well." Sara sat down next to Josh, snagged one of his sandwiches and took a big bite. "So, who was it who called for me?"

"One was your mother, wanting to know if you were still here. I told about the interview and she was worried that you had went in your shorts. I told her that you had borrowed some of my stuff. The second was Twila. She'll be in town tomorrow for a lecture. She'll be busy till two, but then can spare a few hours before she has to wing back. You're to call her back."

"That's fantastic! We can go grab a coffee or lunch somewhere. If it's the sort of lecture Twila's told me about before, the food they'll serve will be awful. My doctor's appointment is in the morning, so there shouldn't be a problem." A concerned look crossed Sara's face. "I hope you didn't mind that I borrowed some of your clothes. There was no way I'd have been able to get home and to the interview in time. Actually," the frown changed to a smile. "I got some compliments. One of the costume and design people for the shoot told me I looked fantastic, had an excellent sense of style, and that he liked women who were daring with their clothes by challenging the stereotypes." Sara laughed. "I didn't have the heart to tell him the real reason for why I was wearing men's clothing. So, what do you think?"

Sara stood up, took a few steps away and turned slowly, showing off her outfit. "How do I look? Chic? Trendy? Daring?"

"Not to mention thoroughly made love to." His grin deepened and turned smug.

"Of course you'd say that. But it's been at least a couple of hours so there's no way anyone could know. Oh! Speaking of time, I saw Phil out in the hall. He has a couple of extra tickets for Carmen and he wanted to know if we'd like to join him. You know, this'd be our first outing as a couple with other people to such a formal place. Can we go?" Sara's eyes twinkled in mischief. "And if we do, can I wear the dress?"

"Carmen is one of my favorites," he nodded, "I would be proud to walk beside you in that dress. Yes indeed."

Sara smiled. "I wondered when you'd stop freaking out over my suggesting I wear it. The show's in about two hours, and I'm going to need to go home and change. Do you want to go next door and get the tickets, or should I?" Sara undid the tie she was wearing and unbuttoned the top button of her shirt. "The opera house is a bit closer to my place than yours, so maybe we could go to my place together, show Mom I'm still in one piece, change there and head out. Then a late dinner afterwards?"

"Sounds great."

The evening was a success, and much to Sara's relief, Phil and Josh started up an easy camaraderie. There were a few tense moments, but they were easily smoothed over.

Twila's visit the next day was like a reunion of long lost sisters, with bear hugs and laughter. Over a long lunch, they regaled each other with stories about what they'd seen and heard. After her comments of "it's about time" when Sara and Josh told her they had finally had sex, Twila laughed outrageously when told how vocal Sara was, and even harder when she found out who Josh's neighbors were that had pounded on the wall. Lunch ended with the couple seeing Twila off at the marina with promises to call and write more often.

Sara and Josh's life fell into a comfortable routine. They spent several nights a week together, and Sara moved some things into Josh's apartment for the times she ended up spending the night. Still, the time that Sara was dreading came closer and closer–the day she'd have to leave for Vancouver for the six days of shooting. It wasn't just being apart form Josh that bothered her, but her period was supposed to start on her fourth day there.

The night before she was supposed to leave, Sara and Josh were cuddled cozily on the sofa, watching tv. "I wish I didn't have to go to Vancouver tomorrow," Sara said wistfully during one of the commercials. "I know it's for work, and it's a fabulous opportunity for both of us, but I'd rather be here with you."

"I would rather you be here with me," Josh pulled her closer, "but you took the job. Besides, I think we can go without each other for 6 days. We went 3 months. Of course, that was before…" He nibbled on her neck.

Sara smiled and squeezed his leg. "You're incorrigible," she laughed. "Is that all you ever think about? I'm really going to miss you, and the fourth day is going to be really hard. That's when I'll know…" She put her hand on the flat of her stomach and imagined what she would look like as a pregnancy advanced. A thought struck her. Would my changing affect the baby?

"I'm still a bit scared about it. If I am, we can't have you quit one of you jobs. We'll need the money too much. My work will be easier to deal with as my hours are a lot more flexible." Sara put her head on Josh's shoulder. "If I'm not, then this time next month it's goodbye Trojan, hello greater spontaneity. Of course, if I am pregnant, it'll be sooner."

Josh leaned back. "I'm beginning to think that you might want to be pregnant." He smiled, and ran his own hand over her stomach, "You'd look great. Of course, I think you look great in anything."

"I just don't know. I think I want children. Family is very important to me. My mom was all I had until you came along. The idea of a little version of me and you is very appealing, though I don't know if I'm ready yet. Neither of us are established in our careers, and it's a huge responsibility."

She wrapped her arms around Josh's torso and hugged him. "It really doesn't make a difference. We'll work it out."

Vancouver, the second day of the shoot

Sara grinned to herself. That had gone exceptionally well. Vancouver is such a beautiful city, she thought as she walked back to the hotel. Josh and I will have to come back here sometime.

Suddenly, an armored car screamed around the corner. The driver was slumped in the driver's seat. The van out of control. Sara stared in horror as it sped towards two children playing hopscotch a few meters ahead of her.

Oh no! I have to do something! She quickly glanced around. There's no time. I have to do it now! Sara started to run, initiating the change as she moved.

The familiar pain gripped her but she met the van head on. Grabbing the front she dug her feet in and pushed back with all of her strength. She was pushed back, her feet making ruts in the pavement. As she strained, the van slowed. Her back hit solid earth, the van continued forward. She felt the front end wrap itself around her. And then it stopped.

Diamond looked behind her. A solid mound of earth rested at her back, easily topping her by a good foot. In front of her, an armored car was wrapped around her. Did I save the kids? Is the driver okay? Shit! How am I going to get out of here? Diamond tried to move a bit, to see if she were trapped here and would have to be rescued herself.

"Oh, my."

Diamond looked towards the voice. A small man about half her height and of more weight looked down at her from the top of the mound of earth. He was dressed in a uniform brown. His eyes were small and placed close together, making it seem that he was squinting at her; they were a very dark brown. His hair was also brown and was scattered sparsely around his head. His nose twitched every once in a while. When he noticed her looking at him, he blinked several times, both nose and ears twitching.

"Oh, dear. Oh, oh my."

"Umm, hello," Diamond said, thinking the man looked a lot like a mouse. "Are the children okay? Was the van stopped in time? Oh, and don't worry, sir." She moved around, checking to see if she were trapped or injured. "I'm all right. It'll take more than an armored car to hurt me." What a weird conversation to be having.

"I'm… Diamond. Could you perhaps help me out of this so I can check on the driver and anyone else who might be inside?" Wait a sec. This mound of earth wasn't here before. Where the heck did it come from?

"Oh!" The odd little man retreated from view and a second later the mound started moving, growing smaller. Diamond almost fell over when the last of it disappeared. It was all that saved her from having her head taken off by the solid beam of light that streaked past where her head was.

"What the heck was that?!" Diamond looked around from where she had fallen, trying to find the source of the attack. The kids! Are the kids safe? She looked quickly to where the children last were.

The kids were nowhere to be seen. However, a couple of car lengths away was a man dressed completely in hot pink. He was shaking his fist at Diamond.

"That is my stolen truck, villain! Unhand it this instance of feel the wrath of the Flamingo!"

Suddenly the ground under the Flamingo shifted and he was sucked underground, only his eyes and nose above ground. Then the ground mounded up and the small brown man sat among it.

"Tsk, tsk. Not good. Above grounders always yelling. Oh my." His nose was twitching uncontrollably. No one was looking at Diamond, the street was all but empty. She could hear the police sirens coming closer. The driver was unconscious but otherwise seemed unhurt.

What a photo opportunity! I've got to find some place to change. Diamond quickly ducked out of sight behind the ruins of the vehicle. She reversed the change, and felt a wave of nausea grip her. After quietly throwing up once, it passed. She carefully put her camera on the ground, then changed back.

Checking the camera, she carefully aimed through a hole in the wreckage of the van and managed to get a couple of good shots of the little man who had helped her, then of the Flamingo who was still yelling irately. Diamond then put the camera down and stepped out from behind the van again.

"Who are you, sir? I'd like to be able to thank the man who helped me stop the van and protect the children." Diamond's voice was loud enough to carry to where he was sitting, but no louder.

The little man jumped and quickly dived back into the ground. A few seconds later he peeked over the mound and blinked at her, "Oh, my. Yes. The children."

He looked towards the police cars that were screaming around the corner. Diamond glanced at them as well. When she looked back, the strange little man was gone.

"Hold it right there, police!"

Diamond looked around at the two police cars and the constables that were using them as shields.

Diamond slowly put her hands into the air, showing she carried no weapons. "Good afternoon, officers. I'm glad you're here. The man over there," she said, indicating the Flamingo still buried up to his neck, "is responsible for the robbery and theft of this armored car and the injury of the guard or guards inside. I was just about to place him under citizen's arrest when you arrived. The van was speeding out of control and almost hit two children who were playing hopscotch not 10 feet from here."

"I'm sorry about the damage to the vehicle, but it was the only way I could stop it. The damage may have been less had a little man dressed in brown not managed to make a huge mound of earth behind me to help stop me from being pushed backwards. The armored car was moving a lot faster than I anticipated and I might not have been able to stop it in time." Where did that little man go? I hope he knows where the kids are and can show the police I'm not some lunatic.

The constables looked at each other, plainly at a loss on how to handle the situation.

"Well, she is still above ground," one pointed out. Agreeing, the others holstered their weapons.

"At least this time we have someone to make a statement."

"Maybe she could help dig Flamingo out," commented the one calling in the report.

"Umm, sure. Who was the little man, anyway? Do you know?" Diamond approached where the hapless villain was buried. I hope they stay away from the truck until I can hide the camera. She looked down on Flamingo and put her hands on her hips. "Now, you're not going to try and shoot me again with that ray of yours once I get you out, are you?"

"Yeah," one of the constables nodded, "we call him The Mole. Don't know what he calls himself. No one has ever held a lengthy conversation. This is how he deals with the criminal element. Thanks for the assist, uh…"

"Diamond. We didn't talk very much, though he did say that we 'above grounders' yell far too much." Diamond smiled, thinking how true that statement was, and how it must affect the man if his abilities truly were mole-like.

Diamond quickly helped the police, reaching into the ground, grabbing Flamingo and pulling him out. The pink villain complained to less-than-sympathetic officers. After she made a brief statement, Diamond quickly exited the scene.

Sara opened the door to her hotel, still shaking her head over the whole day. Stopping in the bathroom she noticed another problem. Her cycle had started. Early.

Sara felt a pang of faint disappointment. Did I really want to be pregnant? Would I be able to deal with it, even with Josh's help? Would it even be safe for the baby, if I were to change and become Diamond often? Oh, I wish Josh were here.

The phone rang. "Hey baby, how's the shoot coming?"

"Hi, sweetie." Sara's voice had a slight wistful tone to it. "It's going great. Vancouver is so beautiful. We ought to come here some time on holiday."

"Maybe. I have some good news. I quit my jobs and moved in with Mom."

"What?!" Sara nearly tripped a she tried to sit down. "Why? You can't afford to quit! Did you win the lottery or something?"

"Nope, better," he laughed. "I was talking with the good Father and one of his parishioners showed up. He's a native artist. Well we got to talking, and he was complaining about how hard it is for the natives to get good representation. So I jumped right in with both feet. I have six native artists now and have moved 3 pieces. True, its not enough to live off of yet. But you would not believe the quality of their work. If I can get these 6 moving well, then I might just have cornered the native market. Oh, and I am learning a couple of the dialects and a bit of the history. Fantastic stuff. How about you? Anything interesting?"

"That's great that you've got that going. I know how much you've wanted to do something like this." Sara was happy that Josh was another step closer to one of his dreams. "I witnessed something fantastic today." Some of Sara's excitement of the episode with The Mole returned. "I was on the way back to the hotel and I witness two superheroes in action." Sara felt guilty about lying to Josh about what really happened as she related the events to him, but she really had no choice. "And I managed to get the Mole on film!"

"Are you crazy, Sara?! You could have been hurt!" His voice turned slightly away from the phone. "She photographed some superheroes in action. She seems fine." His voice became stronger. "You are okay, right?"

"I'm fine, sweetie. I was never really in any danger. I was behind cover when I took the photograph, and the action was over, Flamingo was buried, and the police were just moments away. I just really miss you, that's all." Sara swallowed, trying to clear the lump from her throat and speak in a calm voice. "My period started early."

There was a slight pause. "Early? I thought you said it was like clockwork? Well, I guess that puts our fears to rest." Again his voice faded. "We thought she might be pregnant. Ow. Huh. I'll tell you about later." He sounded worried as he came back. "Are you okay, Sara?"

"I think I'm fine. Just tired and lonely. I'll be home in a couple of days. I feel so silly," Sara said with a half-hearted laugh. "If I'm not feeling any better when I get back, I'll go see the doctor. So, how did Mom take the news she was almost a grandmother? I take it that she wasn't too thrilled to find out this way."

Great, Sara thought. I would have preferred she'd never found out. What am I saying? She deserved to know. I just wish it wasn't like this. I wish Josh were here to hold me. I feel like crying.

"She hit me. She's now muttering about responsibility. I'll talk to her. Love you. You sure you're okay? I could catch the next flight over."

"You don't have to come. I'll be fine." Sara teased her hair between her fingers, biting her lip. "It's only for a few more days. Tell Mom I want her to be gentle with you this time, okay?" She fought back the tears welling up in her eyes. "I love you too. I'm just really tired, that's all."

"Be more careful, okay, love? Love you, bye."

Sara scanned the busy terminal and finally spotted Josh. He stood, the only seemingly calm spot in the swirling mass of passengers. His smile widened as she walked towards him. That look came into his eyes. The look that Sara knew was only for her. That look that would come over him even in a room full of beautiful models. That look that told her that he loved her, wanted her, that she was the only thing worth looking at.

I'm home, Sara thought as she was engulfed in Josh's arms.