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Inktober Oneshots: An October Saga

Chapter Text

“Are you gonna sulk the entire time?” Chloe asked as she trotted happily along the footpath.

“Considering you forced me to go outside and exercise, yes, I am going to sulk,” Beca huffed. It was the first Sunday Beca had had off from work in months, and Chloe was eager to propose going on a hike. Beca dug her heels in as far as they would go, but her girlfriend made the cutest puppy-dog eyes at her, and she relented.

“Oh come on, it’s beautiful!” Chloe threw her arms out and spun in place. “How can you not love this? The view, the trees-”

“The bugs, the dirt, the heat, yeah, how could I not?” Beca grumbled. “Aren’t hikes a thing you do with your dogs? We don’t even have a dog!”

“You know what, if you’re gonna be insufferable the whole time, you can go sit in the car,” Chloe sighed and Beca felt a pang of guilt build in her chest. Cynicism was in Beca’s nature, and she had forgotten to turn off her pessimistic attitude when she rolled out of bed in the morning. Beca would never actually go to the car without Chloe, so she instead trailed behind the redhead as Chloe climbed along.

Beca decided that a productive use of her now quiet time with Chloe would be to collect some plants to make presses out of. Beca had been pressing flowers and plants for years now, a tradition she adopted after her mother’s death.

Beca began collecting several samples of leaves, flowers and berries and placed them in a plastic container she had brought specially for this purpose. Beca started to hum one of her new tracks to herself, and smiled when Chloe turned to look at her.

“See? This isn’t so bad,” Chloe said.

“No, I guess it isn’t,” Beca relented, a bashful smile on her face.

After another hour of hiking in relative silence, the pair reached the top of the small summit Chloe had set as their goal. They decided to eat their lunch on a bench atop the hiking trail, and before getting out her bagged lunch, Beca reached into her backpack and grabbed a handful of blueberries into her mouth. When she bit down, sour and unpleasant juice spread throughout her mouth.

“Ew, babe, where did you buy these blueberries?” Beca spat out the fruit that she hadn’t already swallowed. “They’re fucking awful.”

“I didn’t buy blueberries,” Chloe shook her head. “Beca, what did you just eat?”

“Oh shit,” Beca’s blood ran cold as the memory of picking juniper berries on the hike flooded back. “I think I ate juniper.”

*

“The good news is, you didn’t eat enough of the poisonous berries for it to cause any long-lasting harm,” the doctor said. Chloe had to practically carry Beca back down the hiking trail and into the car to drive to the hospital. “However, you’ll need to rest for a few days, and drink plenty of fluids to flush the toxins out of your system.” The doctor excused himself and Chloe sat down on the edge of the hospital bed, taking Beca’s hand in hers.

“You really will eat anything, won’t you?” Chloe chuckled.

“What can I say?” Beca smirked. “Hiking is poisonous.”

Chapter Text

It was Christmas Eve in Purgatory, and Nicole had been on high alert all day. The officer spent the morning hunched over her desk filing out mindless paperwork, her lunch break outside the Homestead with her arms crossed, eyes wandering skeptically across the grounds, watching, waiting for something to jump out at her. It was then five-thirty, and the closest thing to trouble she’d found was a gaggle of men passed out in the bar at two o’clock.

“Hey, stranger,” a voice said, a voice that Nicole would know anywhere, through the crack of her office door. “I’ve come to retrieve you.”

“Hey, come in,” Nicole pushed away the work sprawled across her desk as Waverly made a move to sit on top of it. “I’m not off till seven, remember?”

“I talked to Sheriff Nedley, and he said he was fine with you leaving now,” Waverly said with an excited smile.

“I don’t know, Waves, a lot of crazy things could happen in the next hour-and-a-half-”

“And if they do, someone else will take care of it.” Waverly tucked a strand of hair behind Nicole’s ear, her eyes scanning every inch of Nicole’s face, and reached up to smooth away the furrow of her brow. “You don’t have to carry the weight of all of Purgatory on your shoulders. Especially not during the holidays.”

“You’re right,” Nicole sighed. “Let’s get out of here.”

*

Nicole followed her girlfriend up onto the porch of the house, stopping abruptly when Waverly spun quickly on her heels to face her.

“Cover your eyes,” Waverly said before placing her hands over Nicole’s eyes. “Trust me, I won’t let you run into anything.” Waverly opened the door and slowly led her through the doorway, coming to a stop in the middle of the living room. Waverly took her hands away and watched Nicole open her eyes, which scanned the house in awe.

Christmas lights, tinsel and ornaments hung from the walls, and a huge tree covered in similar decorations with dozens of wrapped presents below. The smell of roast chicken and pumpkin wafted through the air, and Nicole smiled at the sight of Wynonna and Dolls bickering in the kitchen while Doc attempted to set the table.

“Welcome home, baby.” Waverly stood up on her tiptoes to kiss Nicole’s cheek. “Merry Christmas.”

At the dinner table, the whole gang laughed and smiled about the trials and tribulations of the past year together. Waverly watched Wynonna’s hand graze over her stomach, and eyed the still full glass of bourbon next to her empty plate. After her run-in with Mictian, Waverly knew about Wynonna’s pregnancy, but she wasn’t sure who else did, so she would say nothing about it.

“I thought Christmas would be the prime time for revenants to be on the prowl,” Nicole pondered. “And yet nothing happened all day.”

“Dolls and I got one this morning at Pussy Willows,” Wynonna offered. “Although, he wasn’t actually trying to attack us. We kind of found him by accident.”

“It’s nice, though,” Jeremy sighed and leaned back in his chair. “It feels…”

“Tranquil,” Waverly finishes for him. “Like the Homestead is at peace.”

“Why do I get the feeling we’re jinxing this?” Dolls asked and the tabled seemed to shake with laughter. “But, in all seriousness, I’m really thankful for all of you.”

“It’s not Thanksgiving, Agent,” Wynonna rolled her eyes.

“Well, I hope we can keep reveling in this tranquility tomorrow,” Nicole said.

“And next Christmas,” added Dolls.

“Let’s just go with forever, yeah?” Waverly locked eyes with Nicole, who sat across from her.

“Yeah, forever sounds good,” Nicole replied.



Chapter Text

Emily was an enigma that Stephanie couldn’t quite solve. Even after they worked together to frame Sean for the insurance fraud and domestic abuse, even after he sat rotting in a cell for crimes he did not commit, even six months after Stephanie moved into the modern mansion that she fell in love with with the woman that she fell in love with, she still didn’t understand the woman in front of her.

Stephanie wasn’t incredibly confident in her decision to move in with Emily, not at first. After the outburst Nicky had at Emily’s funeral, she wasn’t sure Miles and Nicky would get along the way living together requires. But of course, as young boys do, they bonded over similar tastes in toys and cartoons, and thus became almost seamless brothers, save for the occasional bickering session over a missing dinosaur figurine or HotWheels car.

But of course, Stephanie initially used her son as a disguise for her worries about her relationship with Emily. A woman of great power, great wealth, great style and great mystery, playing house with a mommy-vlogger? It seemed inconceivable. Stephanie had had little confidence in her knowledge of the unsolved case that was Emily Nelson, but she did feel as though she was learning more and more, growing closer and closer to her. Two weeks after Sean was imprisoned, Stephanie paid him a visit. Some said it was to clear her own conscience, to absolve her of any guilt, but that was not the reason. She had gone to ask him about Emily, and the words he said to her stuck in her mind, swirling round and round in her brain at practically every moment. “She never opened up to me, but maybe it was because she didn’t love me enough. If she loved someone, maybe she’d let them in.”

“Could you stop thinking so loud? You’re breaking my concentration,” Emily commented, punctuating her sentence with a particularly forceful throw of a dart, aimed at what was once a normal dartboard that became a dartboard with a picture of Sean’s face taped over it.

“Did you have to put Sean’s picture on top of it?” Stephanie raised an eyebrow. “What will Nicky think if he sees it?”

“He’ll think that Mommy is upset with Daddy,” Emily said nonchalantly, eyes glancing to Stephanie, who lay sprawled out on the bed surrounded by this week’s vlog scripts, “and doesn’t she have a right to be?” The look in Emily’s eyes was intoxicating, swirling with lust and confidence that teetered the line between alluring and irritating.

Emily threw her last dart, piercing through Sean’s left eye, before shedding her suit jacket and crawling overtop of Stephanie, collecting the papers into a stack and setting them on the bedside table.

“What’s on your mind, babygirl?” Emily whispered, tucking a loose strand of Stephanie’s hair behind her ear.

“I’m just… I’m not sure if what we’re doing is right,” Stephanie said quietly, as though the volume of her words would be the cause of irritation, as supposed to the weight behind them.

“Is this about the boys?” Emily asked. “Because they’ve been getting along so well-”

“It’s not about the boys.” Stephanie shakes her head.

“It’s about us, then? About me?” Emily rolled off of her lover, sensing that there would be more to this conversation than careful inquisition.

“Yes,” Stephanie said. “I feel like I don’t-”

“Please don’t say you feel like you don’t know me,” Emily said, and Stephanie swore she could hear emotion behind the words. Desperation. But it couldn’t be, could it? “If anybody on this planet knows me, it’s you.”

“There’s so much about your life, about who you are, that you won’t let me see.”

“You never asked,” Emily retorted. “I’m not keeping anything from you, Steph. Maybe I was when we first met, but not anymore.”

“What’s changed?” Stephanie asked. “Why is it different now from before? Why should I believe that you’re- that we’re different?”

“Because I wasn’t in love with you before,” Emily mumbled, barely above a whisper, as though she didn’t want anyone to hear this precious secret. “But I am now.”

Stephanie sat up in shock. It was her first time hearing the words come from Emily’s lips, and she immediately longed to hear them again, like an addictively soft and calming melody flowing through her ears, wavelengths and perfectly tuned frequencies that made her heart thrum in her chest. Emily’s hand crept up to Stephanie’s jaw, pulling them together in a soft collision of lips backed by mutual love.

“Let’s go away this weekend,” Emily said as they pulled away, taking Stephanie’s hand in hers. “We can go to the beach, take the boys, it’ll be fun.”

“I could use some travel-vlog content,” Stephanie commented. “Okay, let’s do it.”

*

Emily flew the four of them down to South Carolina on Thursday night, and booked a return flight for Monday afternoon. Stephanie wasn’t eager to take the boys out of school for two whole days, but Nicky and Miles nagging and Emily’s puppy-dog eyes convinced her to say “yes.” Stephanie splurged and bought herself a new swimsuit for the occasion, an all black skinny-strap number that she figured would draw Emily’s attention sufficiently.

“Mommy, can we go in the water?” Miles asked as they set up on the beach, which was practically deserted.

“Yeah, can we?” Nicky added. Before Stephanie could say anything on the topic of sunscreen, the two boys were running into the ocean at the nod of Emily’s head.

“They’re gonna burn up, Em,” Stephanie chastised as Emily settled back in her beach chair, wrapping long arms around Stephanie’s torso and pulling her onto her lap.

“You think too much,” Emily said, the words spoken into the pale skin of Stephanie’s neck. “We’ll get them some aloe if they burn.”

“The UV index is a 10 today!” Stephanie exclaimed, her words cut off with a giggle when she felt teeth scrape against her skin. “They’re gonna get roasted.” Emily seemed in a daze, her eyes raking over Stephanie’s body. A snap of fingers breaks Emily out of her trance.

“Okay, okay, we’ll put some on them when they get out,” Emily relented.

“I’m getting in the water, even if I might get attacked by a shark,” Stephanie stood up from Emily’s lap.

“Better be careful,” Emily commented. “With that swimsuit on, you’re gonna get eaten alive. Later, of course.”

“Well then,” Stephanie turned to join her son playing in the water. Sons. “I look forward to later.”

 

Chapter Text

It took a long time for Bridget to get over Franky. Falling in love with an inmate was never in the cards when she first took the job at Wentworth, but it happened, and she had to resign because of it. She didn’t hold it against Franky, though. If she had had more self control, less curiosity, she never would have given in to Franky’s incessant questions about her life. She could have let go, she really could have.

Until Franky got released.

When Franky showed up on her doorstep, any chance of letting her go flew out the window. Living a domestic life, cooking in the kitchen together and waking up together, was a simple pleasure to most, but Bridget clung to it for dear life. It was a beautiful thing, being with her. Someone who was so hungry and desperate to become better was fascinating for a psychologist to watch, yet inspiring for a lover. Girlfriend. Bridget didn’t know anymore.

But of course, the woman she fell in love with, the woman who was so close she could feel her, smell the scent of her perfume, slipped just out of reach, back to the one place Bridget couldn’t go.

Bridget tried to move on.

She started a new job, at a clinical psychology branch in the city, called Life Solutions. She made a few coworker friends, got back on dating apps, and even thought about getting a dog. She knew none of it would fill the void. But she could try.

Bridget made her way out of her new office, whose walls were bare and corners stacked with boxes. She ran into one of her coworkers, Jeremy, in the hall, and he offered to walk her out since he was going downstairs. They spoke briefly on the way down the elevator and bid each other goodnight, while Bridget pushed the glass door open and reached for her keys in her purse. Her eyes wandered as she began to cross the street, stopping dead in her tracks at the sight of the woman across the street.

Franky.

It’s not her, Bridget told herself. It can’t be.

“I love you,” Franky shouted from where she stood. “And I’ll be back.”

And in a moment, she was gone, sprinting into darkness.

*

Some people say that psychologists are the most screwed up people, since they deal with other people’s problems for a living and never address their own. Bridget never believed in that concept while she worked in prisons; it was easy to separate her life from those of the prisoners, seeing as they were drastically different. But as she laid in the hospital bed, a boot being strapped to her broken leg, she saw all too many similarities between her and the residents of Wentworth Correctional Centre.

“You’ll need to come back in six weeks,” the doctor said as he finished with the plaster. “I’ll evaluate the break and see if the boot can come off, but for now, crutches. If you really don’t want to use them, use a cane.” He handed her a pair and she adjusted the height, checking out and hobbling to the sidewalk out front to call a taxi. The hospital provided transportation after treatment, but Bridget decided her medical bills would be high enough without the extra payment. She hailed a taxi and gave him her address, riding in silence with nothing but her own thoughts. She had an eerie feeling that something bad would be waiting for her at home.

Bridget thanked the taxi driver and slowly trudged her way to her front door, unlocking it with difficulty and picking up the paper before wedging herself and her crutches through the doorway. She settled on the couch and took the newspaper out of its plastic bag, unfolding it and nearly having a heart attack at the headline. She wished she could say she was surprised.

Two Prisoners Make Dramatic Escape From Wentworth, Are Fugitives.

The article was complete with two black and white mugshots.

One photo showed Joan Ferguson, the sight of her making Bridget gag.

The other photo made Bridget feel monumentally worse.

Franky Doyle, 29, was previously sentenced to seven years for causing serious injury, and was released on parole. She has now been accused of the murder of Mike Pennisi, the man she once poured hot oil onto and burned, as well as the murder of Iman Farah, his girlfriend, while they were in Wentworth together.

Bridget tossed the newspaper away, unable to continue reading any more.

It was like all the air had left her lungs. Technically, Bridget knew that Franky had escaped Wentworth. There was no way she would have found her on the street last night and shouted that she’d be back if she’d been released. If Franky was free, she would’ve run to Bridget and crushed her in her arms, whispering that she was finally where she wanted to be. The thought tugged at Bridget’s heart.

She knew better than to try to find her, she knew better than to even think about her, but it was hopeless. Since the first day she saw Franky, Bridget knew it was over, that she would forever be ruined by the tornado that was Franky Doyle. Every kiss, every touch was like a verse of a spell that Franky recited, to keep Bridget at on her knees and at her beck and call. Nevertheless, there was nothing Bridget could do for a fugitive.

Was there?

*

Franky laid bleeding in the backseat of Bridget’s car as she drove, the car she wasn’t meant to be driving in the first place, given her leg. Bridget had rescued her from a gas station bathroom, where she laid phasing in and out of consciousness, skin pale and growing whiter from blood loss due to the gunshot wound in her shoulder. Bridget’s heart sat in the bottom of her chest cavity, sunken and tearing at the sight of the love of her life fighting for each breath in her rear view mirror.

She tried her best to patch Franky up with what little supplies they had in the train car, but there were things required that couldn’t be gained from the space they occupied. Bandages, antibiotics, some peace. Bridget refused to cry in front of her, even when Franky tried to deliver how much she enjoyed the time they had together. She let Franky fall asleep in her arms, and left to retrieve supplies soon after.

When Bridget returned, after a scare with the cops that clearly terrorized Franky more than she let on, the two settled into relative comfort.

“You’re beautiful,” Franky said, a rasp in her voice that wasn’t always present, but when it was, made Bridget feel weak. “You wanna know something, Gidge?” A moment passed as Bridget cleaned the blood off of Franky’s hands.

“Hmm?”

“I hated your guts the first time we met,” she confessed. “I thought you were such a nosy cow, and you were pushy.”

“Oh, you needed to be pushed,” Bridget replied, “and prodded.” Franky looked at her doe-eyed, smile woozy and twitching from the drugs.

“But by our second session…” Franky trailed off, as though waiting to be interrupted. “I just wanted to get into your pants.” Bridget couldn’t help but laugh as the green eyes in front of her crinkled at the edges due to a wide smile pushing them upward. It was funny to her, it really was, but Bridget felt the sudden urge, a pressure of sorts on her chest, to tell Franky exactly how she felt.

“You know the very first time I fell in love with you?” Bridget said. “‘Paint me a picture.’”

“‘A hot girl,’” Franky said, the smile that once graced her face now gone, slipped away into something more pensive, the crinkle of a brow, the flicker of eyes.

“‘In a hot car,’” they said in unison, remembering the moment in Bridget’s office like it was both eons ago and minutes from then.

“No matter what,” Bridget said, “we’re in this together.” She waited for the words to scare her, to sting as they came out of her throat, but the fear and pain never came.

“Okay?” she added.

Franky nodded, and their lips found one another like homing beacons, as though they were never meant to be apart for more than a moment.

And perhaps, they were never meant to be apart at all.

*

It was not until the whole thing was over that Bridget felt sober.

Both Franky’s re-imprisonment and escape created endless problems for Bridget, in very different ways.

Watching Franky be taken away from her again, she felt the pain that she imagined one would feel as they lost a child, as they lost a limb. Gut-wrenching heartbreak. There was nothing else to focus on, nothing other than Franky, in the morning, at night, while she ate, slept, breathed, Franky was there. Always watching, always waiting, always as intoxicating as a shot of the finest vodka in the morning. But still, Bridget was forced to muddle through the days, as though her heart and mind were still in her body, as though she wasn’t under a spell, bound to a body trapped behind bars.

But watching Franky nearly die was worse.

It was almost as if Bridget could feel her pain, like being close to her caused her to replicate the feeling. Watching Franky struggle to clear her own name, from murders she did not commit, while simultaneously trying to enjoy just looking at her and touching her, was a different kind of pain, equally as painful. So close, but just out of reach, like she had Franky but not quite. Bridget was drunk on that space, between her and her lover, the metaphorical miles that separated their hearts and their minds.

So when Bridget heard the click of handcuffs being unlocked; when Bridget watched Franky tear up and smile so wide she could’ve torn her face open, she finally sobered up. She was just as in love with the tattooed woman as that day in her office, when Franky painted her a picture, perfectly Franky, but she could feel that the miles between them had vanished.

Bridget watched as Franky reunited with her friends, and they talked and laughed in a flurry of movement, and she smiled, for she was in love.




Chapter Text

“Come on, I brought you all the way here and you’re not gonna go on any rides?” Delphine poked at Cosima’s side. They had finally finished inoculating all 274 clones with the cure for their common respiratory disease, and Delphine decided to bring Cosima to an amusement park as a happy ending to their stressful tour of the world. She invited Sarah, Felix and Kira to come as well, and they were all in the kids’ area of the park.

“I told you, I’m afraid of heights,” Cosima said, crossing her arms over her chest. “If you’d told me where we were going beforehand, we may have been able to prevent this.”

“I’m sorry, I thought it would be fun,” Delphine replied and Cosima felt a pang of guilt as she watched Delphine’s face fall.

“No, it’s okay, I’m just…” Cosima trailed off, eyes scanning the grotesque rollercoaster in front of them, arcing in high peaks with terrifyingly steep drops and curling over on itself in numerous loops.

“A chicken,” Kira grabbed onto Cosima’s legs as Sarah and Felix came into view. “Mommy, Auntie Cosima won’t go on the rollercoaster! She’s a chicken!” Kira began squawking like a chicken and flapping her arms while Cosima hid her face, mortified that an eight year old is mocking her in the middle of a theme park.

“If I say I’ll go, will you stop making fun of me?” Cosima bent down to ask Kira.

“She might, but I won’t,” Sarah muttered under her breath.

“Oh, shut up!” Cosima hit Sarah on the arm before turning to face Delphine again, who looked on with a smile.

“Come on, it’ll be fun!” Delphine tugged on Cosima’s sleeve, inching her towards the entrance of the ride. “If you hate it, you don’t have to go on anything else.”

“I don’t know,” Cosima said warily, unconvinced. “What about Kira? She’s not big enough.”

“I’ll stay with her,” Felix said, bending down to allow Kira to clamber onto his shoulders. “You guys go.” Delphine looked from Sarah to Cosima, then back again, blue eyes full of excitement and hope. Cosima could see the pleading in her girlfriend’s eyes, and it was enough to weigh her down.

“Okay, fine,” Cosima relented. “But if I die, I blame you .” She punctuated her words with a jab of her finger to Delphine’s chest.

“Yay! Auntie Cosima’s not a chicken!” Kira clapped from atop Felix’s shoulders.

“Wait until she gets off, she’ll be in tears,” Sarah added.

“Let’s go, before I change my mind.” The three of them made their way to the entrance to the ride, aptly named “The Nightmare,” before funneling into the train cars. Cosima pulled the bar over her lap with shaking hands, Delphine lacing their fingers together and placing a soft kiss on her forehead.

“You can squeeze my hand as hard as you want,” Delphine whispered as the ride operator listed off the safety precautions. “It’ll be fun, I promise.” The ride operator counted down from five, and when he reached one, the set of cars shot through a tunnel at dizzying speeds before shooting out into a loop. Cosima screamed at the top of her lungs, squeezing both her eyes and Delphine’s hand before loosening her grip ever-so-slightly. She opened her eyes tentatively and felt the wind whip at her dreads, a smile spreading across her face as she watched Delphine and Sarah whoop and cheer. Cosima let go of Delphine’s hand, then slowly let go of the bar with her other hand, letting both arms fly up as they dropped at practically a 90 degree angle with the ground. Cosima’s stomach twisted at the height, but it was outweighed by the feeling of weightlessness brought by the ride.

By the time they slowed to a stop, Cosima was panting with a wide grin on her face.

“Damn, Cos, thought for sure you’d throw up,” Sarah said as they got off the ride, elbowing Cosima in the arm.

“That was actually pretty fun.” Cosima caught her breath as they walked back to Felix and Kira, the latter running into Sarah’s arms with a giggle.

“So, what I’m hearing is you want to go again,” Delphine said and Cosima just smiled, leaning into her.

“You may have to give me a few minutes.”



Chapter Text

After the day Callie had, all she wanted to do was come home and become one with her couch. She had just become an attending at the newly merged Seattle Grace Mercy West, and the workload is a jarring shift from what she was used to as a resident at Seattle Grace. But, she wanted to work hard so that Chief Webber wouldn’t regret his decision to give her a job as an attending.

But despite the tiring shifts, all was right in Callie’s world. She was kicking ass at work, had a beautiful girlfriend whom she loved, and was mourning George’s death in a healthy manner.

Of course, it couldn’t stay that way.

Callie reached for her ringing phone on the counter while she waited for her popcorn to finish in the microwave, accepting the call and raising the phone to her ear.

“Hey, what’s up?”

You’re at home, right? ” Arizona said through the speaker.

“Um, yeah, why?” Callie asked. “Are you on your way?”

Yeah, I had to make a quick stop, ” Arizona said, and Callie grew nervous at her girlfriend’s tone, filled with excitement that could only mean trouble for Callie.

“What did you do?” Callie asked warily, removing her popcorn from the microwave and plopping back down on the couch.

You’re gonna love him. Be there soon. ” Arizona hummed cryptically before hanging up. Callie groaned to herself and kicked her feet up on the coffee table, letting her mind wander and eventually fixate on the episode of Planet Earth in front of her. She had dozed off and woke up with a start when the door swung open.

“Arizona?” Callie called out as she rose from the couch. “What was that phone call-” Callie was cut off when her shins collided with a moving object. Her eyes wandered down to the culprit, and she screamed at what she found.

A dog.

Arizona had brought home a dog .

“This is Tank,” Arizona said with a massive grin. “Don’t you just love him?” Arizona pointed to the French Bulldog wandering around the apartment, jowls dripping with saliva.

“You- you got a dog ?” Callie spluttered in disbelief. “Why would you- When- Ugh!” Callie’s hands flew to her hair, tangling up and tugging on the roots.

“I thought it would be nice to have a pet,” Arizona explained. “Something to look forward to when we come home.”

“I look forward to you when I get home!” Callie cried, frustration dripping from her words. “Not a drooling beast!”

“What, you don’t like dogs?” Arizona frowned.

“You do ?”

“As a matter of fact, I do,” Arizona stated, standing taller now. “He’s-” Arizona began to defend the animal before pausing. Callie listened to sounds of tearing before turning on her heel and groaning at the sight in front of her.

Tank, teeth sunken into a torn up throw pillow, surrounded by copious amounts of stuffing.

“Oh my God.” Callie let her head fall into open palms. “What are we gonna do with him? We can’t keep him, there’s no pet on the apartment lease!”

“Can’t we talk to the landlord?”

“There’s already slobber on the hardwood, Arizona,” Callie grumbled. “That was my favorite pillow, too!” Arizona’s face contorted in thought. Callie could tell her girlfriend felt differently about the dog than she did, but Arizona brought the thing home without even asking; what was she expecting?
“I’m sure I can find someone who will take him,” Arizona said after a while, voice quiet and sad.

“Hey, whoever he ends up with will take care of him better than we can.” Callie took Arizona’s hands in her’s. “We’re surgeons, babe, we don’t have time to take him for walks, or feed him at the same time every day. He’ll have a much happier life with someone whose job is more… stable.”

Arizona just nodded, before announcing that she was going to call around to see if anyone was in the market for a dog.

Callie made dinner for the both of them, the look on her girlfriend’s face when she left the living room burned into her brain. She felt guilty for crushing Arizona’s dreams that way, but she was not going to share a living space with a drooling monster. Arizona later emerged with a smile, announcing happily that she’d found an OB resident who wanted a dog and offered to let Arizona visit Tank as she wished.

“See? It all worked out, didn’t it?” Callie said as she wrapped Arizona up in her arms.

“Mm, I guess so.”



Chapter Text

“You okay, cupcake?” Carmilla asked as Laura brushed past her, stretching her arms out over her head in an exaggerated yawn. Carmilla’s eyes raked over Laura’s body, clad in sweatpants and an unidentified 5k run shirt from 2013.

“Haven’t slept since Tuesday,” Laura said, words broken by another yawn.

“It’s Friday,” Carmilla pointed out, and Laura just looked at her as if to say “yes, and?”

“I had so much work to to catch up on all the stuff I missed this semester,” Laura whined, and Carmilla thought back on the events of the semester in question. The Voice of Silas murders, Mattie’s return, Vordenberg’s anti-vamp agenda and Mattie’s death. There was only so much time for essay writing.

“You shouldn’t go so long without sleeping, it’s not healthy,” Carmilla said from her chair as Laura sat down at her designated vlogging desk.

“I am exhausted, Carm,” Laura sighed heavily, chin resting in her palms. “I really don’t need a lecture right now.”

“That’s not what I’m trying to do,” Carmilla defended. “I just… I want you to be okay, that’s all. I want you to take care of yourself, not to be reckless.”

“And I want a college degree, but we can’t always get what we want, can we?” Laura snapped, remorse quickly filling her features as she glared at Carmilla.

“You know what? Forget it.” Carmilla stood up and began to walk away. “I know my place. I won’t try to help you anymore.”

“Carm, wait,” Laura stood up quickly in pursuit of the vampire, but the sharp movement made her feel lightheaded.

“Laura?” Carmilla called to her as she crumpled to the floor. Carmilla dove after her, her super-speed an advantage, bringing her slowly down to the floor and resting Laura’s head on her knee. “It’s okay, you’re okay.” Laura’s eyes fluttered after a moment as she started to come to.

“What happened?”

“You fainted,” Carmilla spoke softly. “Now will you just let me help you instead of being so stubborn?” Laura nodded weakly, if for no other reason than that she didn’t want to make her way to her bedroom using her own energy. Carmilla lifted Laura up bridal-style and carried her to her bed with ease, setting her down gently before pulling off her shoes and lifting the covers over her.

“Why do you do it?” Laura asked quietly.

“Why do I do what?” Carmilla questioned.

“Why do you still take care of me? After everything? After we broke up and I got Mattie killed?”

“Just because we’re not together doesn’t mean I don’t still care about you,” Carmilla said tentatively. She wasn’t sure how Laura would react, but she figured there was a good chance Laura’s exhaustion would cause her to forget it all anyway. “Doesn’t mean I don’t still love you.”

“You still love me?” Laura smiled sleepily, eyelids heavy and nearly closed over brown eyes.

“I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving you.” Carmilla looked down at the floor, then at the 18th century art on the walls, then back at Laura, who was dead to the world. Carmilla headed back to the living room and curled up with her book again, drifting off to sleep with the novel still open.

The next morning, Laura waltzed chirpily through the living room and sat down at her desk, but not before calling a boisterous “good morning, Carm” from the kitchen.

Carmilla had been right.

Laura didn’t remember.

Chapter Text

When Alex heard that Piper was getting out, she tried with everything in her to be happy for her. Piper wasn’t keen on leaving prison, her home for the last fifteen months, but Alex insisted that freedom was something Piper would learn to appreciate again.

Alex prayed that Piper wouldn’t fuck it all up the way she did.

Of course, there was a little part of her that wanted her to, but it made Alex feel sick to her stomach the moment it crossed her mind.

Two weeks. Fourteen days. Three-hundred and thirty-six hours. Twenty-thousand one hundred and sixty minutes. Alex resorted to counting the days since Piper got out in a notebook, fourteen tally marks on the first page, along with letters to Piper for every day that Alex spends alone in Litchfield Max. No visitors, no contact with the outside world for another three months, until she can apply for a transfer to a minimum security prison to live out the rest of her sentence.

Once a week, Alex received mail directly to her cell. Four days after Piper was released, Alex received her first letter since arriving in Max. Addressed to her in slanted, winding script, the return address listed Piper’s name and an address Alex didn’t recognize, likely Cal’s.

Dear Alex,

I’m writing this from Cal’s trailer. Cal and Neri moved into a house with the baby. Her name is Jane, and she has these beautiful green eyes. I think you’d really like her. I saw Larry; apparently Cal told him I got out and he wanted to see me, which is weird because he barely said anything to me when we met up at a café. I asked about Polly, and they’re getting married this summer. He asked if I was still seeing you, and I told him we got married, and then he left.

It’s hard, Alex. I don’t know anyone other than Cal and my probation officer Randy. I’ve started looking around for places that are hiring, but it’s almost impossible with my record. I know it must be hard for you in there, but at least you’ve got people to talk to in there, and you know where you stand with everyone. I wish I could visit.

I can’t wait until you get out, so that we can do simple things together, like cook dinner in our kitchen and go on walks in the park. The first night out, I had a dream that we drove at night in a pickup truck to the middle of nowhere and laid in the truck bed just looking at the stars, and I woke up crying, ‘cause you’re my star, Alex. The brightest star in the sky.

I’ll see you soon. These eight months are gonna fly by.

Love,

Piper

Alex reached for that letter, to reread it, eyes watering and staining the page. Her teardrops matched the old ones from over a week ago, the day it came through. Her head shot up when she heard a knock on her cell door. Red.

“Can I speak to you?” Red said with her head swung in the gap of the door. Alex nodded and shoved the letter under her mattress before wiping her tears away. The last thing she needed from Red was a lecture.

“I know I was cruel to Piper before she was released,” Red said as she took a seat on the edge of Alex’s bunk. “I am still so, so angry with her, but my anger is not with you, and I must remember that.”

“It’s okay.” Alex stood up and leaned into the mirror on the wall, inspecting the new patch of stress acne forming on her chin. She started to touch them before-

“Don’t pick at those,” Red scolded. “It’ll only make it worse.” Alex let her hands fall to her sides but continued to stare down her reflection, hardly recognizing the woman looking back at her.

“I know what you’re feeling right now,” Red said seriously, the usual edge to her voice gone. “The woman you love is living a different life from you, and you have so few opportunities to share what you’ve both experienced. It’s the most painful experience a person in love can ever have. More than losing them.”

“I just… I wish she could at least visit,” Alex felt emotion rise in her throat, bubbling like magma and threatening to explode. “I’m glad she’s out, but there’s so much I want to do with her-”

“And you’re afraid she’ll do it all without you,” Red inferred and Alex felt the volcano in her chest erupt, a sob tearing through her throat and sending her crashing onto Red’s lap. Red ran her hands through tousled black hair as Alex cried, the weight of the past two weeks spent alone being lifted away.

“She wrote me a letter,” Alex said after several minutes. “Talked all this nonsense about stargazing in a field somewhere. It was so stupid, but I can see her face lighting up at the idea and it makes me fall apart. I know I can be a functioning person without Piper, she left me when my mother died , but for some reason this is really messing me up.”

“You are in love, Alex,” Red preached again, as if it was the meaning of life, the sole explanation for all the world’s questions.

“Yeah, but I was in love with her before,” Alex shook her head. “I loved her and she left and it hurt like hell , but I moved on. So what’s changed?”

“You can’t move on,” Red pointed out. “She is your wife, regardless of who’s behind bars. Before, she was your lover, yes, but now you are bound to her, and the reason for your pain is simply a circumstance of your lives. Piper has not done anything to make you angry. She loves you just as much as you love her, maybe more.” Alex sat up to look at Red, who engulfed Alex in her embrace. “Hold out for her. Hold onto that, her face as she thinks about the stargazing. It will get you through this circumstance of your life.” Alex wasn’t keen on labeling her incarceration as a “circumstance of life,” but she was keen on keeping Piper at the forefront of her mind, grasping onto the future instead of wallowing in the past. She would think of Piper’s smile, her laugh, the house they would have and the food they’d cook in the kitchen. She would think of the pickup truck, of the stargazing, and she would see Piper for what she truly was: the brightest star in the sky.

Chapter Text

It all happened so fast.

One minute, they were talking harmlessly, and the next, she was clutching her abdomen where a circle of bright red blood filled out her side.

Lexa ran to Clarke’s side, clutching at the wound and pressing hard, making Clarke grunt and wince. Her eyes drifted to Titus, a man she trusted and valued the opinion of, and she glared at him with the fury of a thousand burning stars, and he stared back at her, dumbfounded, as if he did not, could not , understand the reason for Lexa’s aggression.

As if he had not just shot the love of Lexa’s life.

As if he had not just declared war on the commander.

“Get me supplies,” Lexa shouted at Titus through gritted teeth as she lifted a semi-conscious Clarke into her arms, setting her down on her bed. The bullet appeared to have only grazed Clarke’s side and passed all the way through, which meant Lexa would not have to fish it out. Clarke would live.

Lexa would get to gaze into sky blue eyes for another day.

She continued to apply pressure to Clarke’s wound, which seemed to be bleeding less now, although perhaps the blood had simply saturated the fabric of Clarke’s shirt. Lexa brushed at the hair stuck to Clarke’s forehead and felt water on her own face, only realizing where it came from when she watched a droplet fall and roll down Clarke’s neck.

Tears.

She hadn’t cried since Costia. The most pain she’d ever felt.

This, Lexa decided, watching Clarke phase in and out of reality, was worse.

Titus came in abruptly with towels, scissors and some gauze, along with what appeared to be some sort of salve for the wound, and set all the items on the edge of the bed.

“I found it in her bag,” Titus said, voice monotone and closed off, true feelings locked behind gate after gate. “Probably given to her by her doctor mother.”

“That will be all.” Lexa grabbed the scissors and cut away Clarke’s shirt, applying one of the towels to the wound with newfound pressure, a groan tearing through Clarke’s lips.

“I know,” Lexa whispered. “I know it hurts, but it will help.”

“Heda, it had to be done-”

“Do not stand there and tell me it had to be done!” Lexa raised her voice beyond what was comfortable for her throat. “You are a coward, trying to kill her that way! In front of me! What would you have done if the bullet had hit me?” It made Titus pause, as if the thought had never crossed his mind. As if they weren’t standing next to each other at the time, as if he was a good shot.

“Heda-”

Gonot kom hir! ” Lexa screamed, tears falling rapidly down her face, refusing to look at the man who betrayed her. “Leave this place, leave Polis, or I will kill you myself.”

“Will she die?” Titus asked, a quiver on the third word.

“If she does,” Lexa said lowly, “I will murder you in cold blood.” Lexa did not turn to see if Titus had left, but rather placed faith in her own ability to lead, knowing that a threat from her would not be taken lightly even by Titus.

Lexa tended to Clarke’s wound, every so often scanning her face and finding more or less the same each time: half-lidded eyes, pale face, heavy breathing.

But she was alive.

Lexa wrapped the gauze all the way around Clarke’s torso, lifting her back up despite intelligible protests, but not before smearing a glob of the salve over the bullet wound. She intended to let Clarke sleep and attend to other matters, but she found herself perched at the end of the bed for hours, watching her lover toss and turn, wincing when Clarke seemed to feel pain and softening when she drifted off again. She was fairly certain that nothing would happen to Clarke in the night, and yet she watched, waited for something, anything to go wrong. It was as if Clarke was the most precious jewel, a most prized possession, one that Lexa would die without. Murphy came in and out to receive updates, and came one last time to inform her that he would be leaving with Octavia then.

When both ten years and ten seconds had passed, and the sunrise bled through the Polis tower, Clarke stirred.

“Ugh,” Clarke grumbled when she attempted to sit up, falling back on her hands. “What happened? Did I get-”

“-Shot, yes,” Lexa finished for her, approaching slowly, afraid that if she moved any faster she might scare Clarke away, sending her running. “By Titus.” Clarke’s face contorted in confusion, and Lexa had to will her hands to stay at her sides, resisting the urge to smooth over the crease between Clarke’s eyebrows.

“He wanted to help me.” Lexa found it painful to look Clarke in the eye, her gaze training on anything, everything but. “He thought that if he killed you with a gun, I would think it was Murphy.”

“But it wasn’t,” Clarke said. “Is he here?” Lexa shook her head.

“He has been exiled. I will need to find a new Flamekeeper.” Clarke shifted her weight onto one hand and reached out to touch Lexa’s face, tracing over the empty space where her seal usually sat.

“Why did you send him away?” Clarke’s eyes searched Lexa’s face as if it was a book of answers to all the universe’s questions.

“He could have killed you,” Lexa said as though it was obvious. To her, it was the simplest thing in the world.

“But he didn’t.” Lexa shied away from Clarke’s touch, emotion building in her chest.

“You did not see what I saw.” Lexa frowned, scooting away from Clarke. The distance didn’t help, it only made her chest ache more. “I watched you bleed, and groan and barely sleep. You could have died, and you are too precious to me for me to keep the man who caused your pain in my trust. Don’t you understand?” Clarke just stared at her, eyes wide and observant, directly responding to the words that fell from Lexa’s lips.

“I wasn’t going to let you die,” Lexa said quietly, her defenses down and weaknesses exposed. Clarke said nothing, and each second of silence that passed made Lexa withdraw more and more, until-

“But you meant to go back to your people before Titus wounded you, and I shall not keep you from your duties.” Lexa stood up with finality, turning to leave Clarke alone.

“Octavia and Murphy must have left,” Clarke said more so to herself than to Lexa. “I have no way to get back.”

“I will have grounders escort you,” Lexa said without turning around to face her. Clarke didn’t need to see the pain on her face as she said the words.

“You don’t want me to stay?” Lexa felt her heart jump, knowing that Clarke wouldn’t bring it up if there wasn’t a part of her that wanted to stay.

“I do.” Lexa turned to look at Clarke, who had pulled on a tank top that laid on the bed. “I want you to stay.”

“Then I will,” Clarke said simply, eyes beckoning for Lexa to come closer and closer until their lips touch, all sparks and fire behind their movements.

“So,” Clarke said after they broke apart, “I’m ‘too precious,’ huh?” Lexa’s eyes were downcast as Clarke nudged at her shoulder, cheeks heating up in embarrassment.

“Don’t let it go to your head,” Lexa scolded, knowing full well that Clarke’s ego had inflated tenfold already.

Lexa didn’t mind.

For she was alive.