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Story Notes:

Written for the 'Washing' prompt at fan_flashworks . Set during the Easter holidays between “Tom Tackles the Chalet School” and “The Chalet School and Rosalie”. Established Hilda Annersley/Nell Wilson relationship.

The prompt given was washing, specifically including bathing. I read that... and my plotbunnnies jumped into the gutter and refused to leave. It's not explicit, more reliant on implications and euphemisms... and it’s the first time I’ve written anything this adult, so all comments (here, by message, whatever you prefer) will be very much appreciated! 

Hilda stirred sleepily as the bedroom door creaked. Opening her eyelids the tiniest fraction, she was surprised at how light it was. Had she overslept? Who’d drawn the blackout curtains? Where was she?

“Good morning, love,” Nell’s voice said from near the foot of the bed, and memory came flooding back to Hilda. Of course. She was in Nell’s cottage, had arrived here yesterday to spend the Easter holidays… and she wasn’t just in Nell’s cottage, but in her bed. She rolled over to look at the other woman as she came nearer, balancing a tray with two teacups on it, and smiled with delight.

“It wasn’t a dream,” she said softly, almost thinking aloud, then blushed, feeling suddenly self-conscious. “I’m sorry, that sounded silly… it’s just… I’ve wanted this for so long, I can hardly believe it’s real.”

The smile Nell gave her as she set the tray down on her bedside table was very gentle. “Quite real, I promise, but I understand what you mean - though I’m sure it’s not a dream, because I know I couldn’t possibly have dreamed it.” Sitting beside Hilda, she passed her a teacup before continuing in a more teasing tone. “See, I still managed to be up long before you, despite your keeping me up till ungodly hours!”

“I don’t recall you complaining,” Hilda replied, sipping her tea demurely, eyes twinkling.

“Touché, my dear,” Nell conceded with a laugh. Shifting closer, she kissed Hilda’s cheek and murmured in her ear, “You’ll never hear me complaining about being kept awake like that. It was wonderful - you were wonderful.”

Colour rose to Hilda’s cheeks, but she smiled. “You were wonderful too,” she whispered, snuggling up to Nell and slipping an arm around her waist. Naturally more reserved, she found it hard to talk about intimate matters as easily as Nell did, but she was overjoyed to hear that her beloved had enjoyed the previous night as much as she had. The pair drank their tea in silence, both happy simply with being able to sit there, cuddled together.

Setting her empty cup down some minutes later, Hilda said rather reluctantly, “I suppose I really should get up and have a bath, or the whole morning will be wasted.” Glancing at Nell’s still-damp curls, she added, “I hope you left me some hot water!”

“A hot bath in the morning? What would Matey say?” Nell asked, laughing.

“A good deal - but she won’t know about it,” Hilda replied. “Unless you were planning to tell her? Because I’d love to know how you’d explain being so well acquainted with my bathing habits.”

“What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over, hmm? There may be wisdom in that,” Nell replied rather absently. Almost certainly without meaning to, Hilda had given her a wonderful idea - if she’d only see it that way. “As for being intimately acquainted with your bathing habits… Perhaps I could help you?” she asked tentatively, searching for a way to phrase her suggestion that wouldn’t embarrass Hilda too much.

Hilda bit her lip, feeling suddenly downcast. Already? And Nell had promised… “I can wash myself perfectly well alone, Nell. I’m not - ”

“An invalid, I know. I wasn’t intending to treat you like one in the least, my love,” she answered slowly as she stroked her partner’s cheek, hoping Hilda would glean her meaning from that. It seemed she had, judging from her sudden faint blush. Nell marvelled at the contrast between the passion Hilda had shown the previous evening, and her shyness in speaking of such things.

Hilda’s heart skipped a beat at Nell’s words, her mind racing. Did she mean… She must, and was simply phrasing it obliquely to spare Hilda’s blushes. Or was she reading too much into it?

“I’d love your company,” she finally replied, with complete honesty. Nell had promised not to treat her like an invalid, after all, and she never broke her word. As for the rest, the best way to discover what Nell had meant was to accept.


Shrugging off her kimono, Hilda lowered herself slowly into the steaming bath, revelling in the warmth. Though she had to admit cold baths did have their benefits, notably waking one up most effectively in the morning, nothing was as soothing as hot water.

Nell watched her admiringly. Hilda was so beautiful… Recalling her plans, she began to roll up the sleeves of her dressing gown, then changed her mind and simply removed it. Ready now to begin, she perched on the edge of the bath by Hilda’s head.

“I’ll wash your hair first, shall I?” she asked, pouring shampoo into her hands.

Agreeing, Hilda soaked her hair, then sat still while Nell washed it. Her curiosity, however, had only been exacerbated by her partner undressing. Of course she wouldn’t want to get her dressing gown wet, and the sleeves might be tricky to roll up, but was that all there was to it? Stop overthinking, she lectured herself firmly. She’s trying to do something nice for you, and you’re worrying too much to enjoy it! Taking a deep breath and releasing it, she concentrated instead on the way Nell’s fingers worked through her hair and gently massaged her head.

Feeling a faint ridge on the skin of Hilda’s scalp, Nell paused. “Is that the scar from the surgery?”

“It is,” Hilda replied. “But don’t worry about it! It’s perfectly healed.”

Nell could hear clearly the slight annoyance in Hilda’s voice at being reminded yet again of the accident. Resuming her work, she said lightly, “You’re lucky, your hair covers the scar! I’ve got a lovely one on my leg; you can see it even through my stockings if you look for it.”

As she had anticipated, Hilda burst out laughing at this unexpected remark. “Oh Nell, you darling idiot,” she gasped. “What would I do without you?”

“Be extremely bored, I expect!” Nell retorted, grinning. “There, you can rinse it now.”

Obediently, Hilda submerged her hair, letting the water wash away the suds. Picking up the soap, Nell asked her to lean forwards and washed her back. With that completed, she pressed gently on Hilda’s shoulder, guiding her to lie back, her head resting on the arm Nell had placed on the edge of the bath. Bending her head, Nell brushed her lover’s lips with her own, then began to soap her shoulders with her free hand.

The last of Hilda’s doubts fled as Nell’s hand dropped to her breasts, teasing and caressing them. With a sigh of pleasure, she gave herself over to enjoying the soft touch, thrilling at the way Nell seemed to know instinctively what her body would react to. Then the soap-slicked fingers wandered lower, and Hilda stopped thinking at all.

Nell watched Hilda’s face as she worked, studying her reactions, learning what she enjoyed. The usually pale skin was flushed and rosy, the keen eyes closed, and the barely coherent murmuring as Nell found the most sensitive spots was nothing like her usual perfect sentences. Wickedly, Nell stilled her movements for a few seconds.

Hilda moaned. “Nell… please… don’t stop…”. She knew Nell was teasing her, and usually it was a point of pride not to rise to her friend’s mischievous ways, but she couldn’t help herself now. Chuckling, Nell resumed her ministrations, and soon Hilda was shuddering and crying out her name.

“Thank you, my love,” Hilda murmured softly as she became calmer. Nell leaned over and kissed her, then recommenced bathing her in earnest. Hilda lay quietly and let her work, still feeling half dazed with pleasure. She didn’t stir until Nell put the soap down; then, reluctantly rising to her feet, she stepped out of the bath and began to dry herself.

Nell, meanwhile, dried her arms and pulled on her dressing gown again, not wanting Hilda to feel obliged to reciprocate.“Well? Did I treat you like an invalid?” she asked, with the hint of a smile playing about her lips, looking over at Hilda.

Hilda shook her head as she tied her kimono, then walked over to Nell and embraced her. “Oh, Nell, that was amazing. How can I thank you?”

Nell pretended to think for a moment, then grinned wickedly. “You can cook breakfast.”

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