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You turn me upside down (and I love it.)

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School had become something of a chore for Nico. Ever since she had decided that she would be working with her mom after college all classes that aren't relevant became exactly that, irrelevant. it was pretty dull. She would feel bad about it but her mom pretty much agrees with her and as long as she at least passes all her classes doesn't really mind. After all why waste time and effort trying to excel in a subject that will be useless to her in the future. Subjects such as English, which is why when she sat down, around five minutes ago, she promptly tuned out and hasn't heard a word her teacher has said.

 

Then the door to the classroom opens and she think she should have been listening because the prettiest girl she's ever seen walks through and all she can think is:

 

Holy. Shit.

 

This girl, Karolina, the teacher introduces, just kinda stands at the front of the room awkwardly and Nico can't help the way her eyes travel around, picking up every detail she can. First of all Karolina is tall which means that her legs go on for miles . They’re slim and smooth and fully on display due to the short skirt she's wearing and is that in line with the school dress code? If it is, it shouldn't be because oh my fucking god. Nico can almost make out a hint of thigh and she can imagine just how soft and- okay, moving on. The next thing she notices is Karolina's hands, fidgeting in front of her stomach and she's never took notice of anyone else's hand before but Karolina's look soft, somehow , and her fingers are so slender it's insane. Her nails are unpainted but well kept and for seconds it's surprising but Nico figures that it fits with this whole sweet, girl next door aura that Karolina has. She skips the chest area entirely because- because no. She can see where Karolina's collar bone pokes out slightly from underneath her shirt and- what the fuck- why is that so attractive. Her hair- her hair. It's possibly the nicest hair she's ever seen, just the way that it falls over Karolina's shoulder in these soft waves and- god it's probably so fuckin soft . It's the first time in Nico's life she been tempted to run her hands through someone's hair. And the colour is amazing, this insane blonde color that Nico thought only existed in fairy tales and photoshoots. When the light hits it just seems to fucking shimmer, like her hair itself is made of sunlight. Her face is basically perfect, pink lips that shine, cute nose but Nico can barely pay attention to them because Karolina eyes are like nothing she's ever seen before. She's infinitely glad that she chose a desk at the front of the room today because- god- Karolina’s eyes are fucking beautiful. They're this insane, intense blue that reminds her of deepest parts of the ocean, or the sky that moment between night and day where everything feels so soft and warm and the world feels so small, and she just wants to dive into them. Then Karolina turns her head a bit and for a moment, a split second, they catch the light just right and they fucking sparkle.

 

And she doesn't know what the fucks going on because she's noticed pretty girls before and she didn't really pay it any mind because it was more of a subjective acknowledgement that she was detached from but this is something else. She's drowning in this, this feeling, whatever it is, and she doesn't know if she minds or not. She's seen attractive girls before and she could acknowledge they were attractive but this is the first time she has been attracted to a girl. Even though she's kinda freaking out and her palms are sweating and she kinda feels like she's going to throw up, right now she can recognise that, that's what this is, attraction. She's really glad she isn't standing up because she sure that if she was she would've fell over as she kinda feels like she's just been punched in the gut and she can feel her hands curling into fist but it doesn't even feel like she's the one doing it and god, is that her heart because it sounds like it's going to explode. That can't be healthy. She wants to push this feeling away and rationalise it because Karolina is beautiful, like utterly stunning, and probably the prettiest person she's seen in real life, obviously anyone would be attracted to her but before she can do that Karolina’s eyes meet hers and Nico swears her heart stops for a moment and she feels like she's the only person in the room.

 

Karolina smiles and her and then, Karolina, fucking whatever her second name is, fucking winks- she fucking winks at Nico. If she wasn't sure if her heart stopped before she's sure it has now because she just fucking died and she doesn't even care because this angel, because really that's the only reason Karolina could be this attractive, just walked in and took the breath straight from her lungs. She has no idea how she's supposed to response to- to that so she's just kinda sits there like a fucking idiot. Then Karolina is grinning at her like she knows exactly what's going through her mind and- how is that so attractive. She's pretty sure that her face is so red and she's about two seconds away from spontaneously combusting if Karolina keeps looking at her like that. Thankfully her teacher saves her life by telling Karolina to finally sit down and god how long has been stood up there like an hour or something?

 

She swears when Karolina walks past her she brushes against Nico's arm and- there's no fucking way that was an accident. When she looks back her eyes meet blue and there's that grin again and her head couldn't turn back to the front of the room faster. All she can think is:

 

What the fuck just happened.

 

--

 

She's sitting in the cafeteria and she can't stop thinking about Karolina and her fucking eyes and her fucking smile and her fucking- just her. She has no idea what the fuck is going on because all Karolina had to do was look at her and smile and now she can't stop thinking about her and thinking about the next time Karolina looks at her because why hasn't that happened yet . After Karolina had, finally , sat down and Nico gave herself a few minutes for her brain to stop melting , she could finally think and she seriously had no fucking clue what happened or why it had happened. She realises that she had kinda been staring, like some creepy stalker at that, and her thoughts hadn't exactly been the most innocent but, like, the way Karolina had looked at her was completely unnerving now that her brain had actually start to function again she was scared that Karolina would get the wrong idea. Expect she wouldn't be wrong but Nico could barely admit that to herself , never mind if Karolina knew.

 

So she’s conflicted because she wants to see Karolina again so she can look at Nico in that way that makes her feel like she's going to die in the best way possible and she doesn't want to see Karolina because oh my god what if she looks at her like that or god forbid actually tries to talk to her or something and Nico actually has to say something . Because, like, what the fuck is she going to say ‘ hi I know this is the first time we've actually spoken but y’know when you winked at me? Yeah turns out you actually broke me and now I have like a massive crush on you.’

 

And, what the shitting fuck, she has a fucking crush on Karolina.

 

How the fuck did that happened. She’s known the girl for- she doesn't even know the girl! How is this a thing? She's had crushes before but mostly she actually has to talk to the person first and she actually kinda feels like she's just objectifying Karolina, which pretty much makes her feel like shit, so she just needs to limit anytime she could spend, like, talking to Karolina or listening to her speak or looking at her or being in the same room as her or just like, being aware of her presence. If she can just do all that then maybe she could just ride this crush thing out and then she can forget about it.

 

Which is why it's a massive issue for her that Karolina just walked through the cafeteria doors. Which really what are the chances of that?

 

Okay, so maybe she needs to find somewhere new to eat her lunch.

 

So, okay, Karolina is in the cafeteria, y’know getting lunch or whatever, and Nico can handle it, she's fine, and, yeah she can deal with this because Karolina’s not even that pretty- holy shit, who is she kidding. All Karolina is doing is standing around in line waiting for her lunch and Nico can't stop staring like, really she should stop staring . Seriously she's already been caught staring once and that...actually turned out pretty well for her. Maybe she should keep staring?

 

Okay, no, she just needs to pretend that Karolina isn't there. She just needs to focus on the conversation her friends are having, which, really, she should be listening to since they are, y’know, her friends .

 

“Have you seen that new girl, Karolina or something?” Chase says and for fuck’s sake she should've just kept ignoring them. She forgot how annoying they could be sometimes and if Chase doesn't shut up this second she's going to have to stab him with her fork and really if he can't tell that her glare says shut the fuck up right now or you will die then she can't be held responsible for what happens to him.

 

“Yeah, she was in my fourth peri-”

 

“She's so hot.” Chase says and he really should stop talking now because she can actually see the fork going into his neck and the image is becoming way too tempting. She could probably get away with it too, her mom has some amazing lawyers and really who doesn't want to kill Chase at least like five times a day. She's sure she could get some people to testify to that fact on her behalf. Anyway by the look on Gert's face she's going to beat Nico to it away. She really has no clue what that girl sees in him.

 

“Hey, I don't think she has anyone to sit with.” Molly says and holy shit why are these people her friends.

 

She's fucking dreading what's about to happen because she knows her friends and they’re good people and why the fuck do they have to be good people . She's halfway to offering herself, because Karolina looks a little lost, a bit unsure and a lot nervous, so she knows-

 

“Hey! Karolina!” Oh and there it is.

 

Karolina walks over, looking curious but she's smiling and, god , why does she have to smile so much. It'd really help Nico if she would just stop doing that.

 

“Hey?” Is it just her or does Karolina keep looking at her? Maybe she’s just being paranoid but she could swear Karolina keeps looking at her. It'd be great if that could just stop. That be awesome. Not only is she ninety percent sure Karolina keeps looking at her but when she does Nico swears the girl can see right into her fucking soul. Like she know exactly what's going on in her head, like she gets her and if it isn't unnerving as fuck and- well, also kinda nice because-

 

Okay. No. Focus Nico. Just pretend she's not there.

 

“Hey, since your new and all we were just wondering if you wanted to sit with us?” And really if she started planning now she could probably have killed Chase and be in Peru by the end of the month.

 

“Are you sure?” It's take everything she has not to scream but she manages to just keep her mouth shut and chew her food. What did she do to deserve this, really, does someone up there hate her or something? Yeah, so, maybe she set her sisters prom dress on fire that one time but this is a bit overkill. And of course no one at the table has a problem with Karolina sitting with them and, really? Are they idiots? Like really how can they be okay with her just sitting there being all smiley and gorgeous and perfect and- and who the fuck is elbowing her?

 

Oh, it just Alex and why is he looking at her like that? Oh apparently everyone's looking at her, even Karolina, and maybe she should say something?

 

“Yeah, sure, whatever.” And she figures it's the right thing to say because everyone stops staring at her and Karolina is smiling which maybe means it was actually the wrong thing to say and really she should've just shrugged or not said anything. Maybe it would've just gotten too awkward and Karolina would've just left. Ah, what she wouldn't give to live in that world.

 

Now she's stuck here with Karolina sat next to her and- holy shit, sat next to? Why? Why is the only open seat next to her? This really isn't fair because now she's right there and this was hard enough when Karolina was halfway across the room and- god , her eyes are so blue it's crazy and she should really, probably stop looking now. As if this situation couldn't get any worse Chase is opening his mouth to speak again, which really he should just never do that again.

 

“Karolina, I was thinking maybe we could get coffee sometime?” Oh and there it is. He's being a massive fucking idiot right off the bat. Maybe this is for the best, get his awkward attempt of asking Karolina out over and done with so she can bleach her brain and promptly forget about it. Now, really, he's just asking for it at for it at this point because and the fork is still in her hand and, really though, he's barely spoken a sentence to the girl, all it would take is for her to reach over and-

 

“Oh? Erm, like a date?” Karolina looks uncomfortable now and really she's going to have find a more painful way to kill Chase. She's heard that waterboarding is pretty bad but she's sure if she thought hard enough she could come up with something worse.

 

Really this is quite the catch twenty-two for Nico because maybe, just maybe, Chase can shove his foot so far into his own mouth that it will scare Karolina off which really, in the most logical sense, would be great for Nico, leaving her to get over this crush in peace. A larger part of her thought wants him to just shut the fuck up because Karolina actually seems really nice and sweet and she's gorgeous-

 

Okay wait she's getting off track again.

 

Where was she? Okay, right, Karolina seems really nice and sweet and she would probably be a great friend which Nico would be perfectly happy with once she got over this crush. Which she could and would do.

 

Definitely.

 

So, basically, she was content to just let this scene play out because it's a win win for Nico.

 

“Yeah, well, I was hoping it could be a date.” Chase says, grinning that boyish grin that could probably get him most of the girls in the school but, thankfully , Karolina seems completely unaffected which is a massive relief because, seriously, if Nico had had a crush on a girl that swooned over Chase Stein she didn't know what she do. She'd probably go insane and no one wants that.

 

“Well, I mean, I'm flattered but- erm, I'm not really sure how to say this so, I'm just gonna say it…” And now Karolina looks seriously nervous, kinda like she's going to throw up actually, which really isn't helping with this crush issue because Nico wants to just fold Karolina up in her arms and tell her everything is okay. Karolina's tone seems to catch everyone's attention and that just seems make it worst because Nico doesn't think she's never seen anyone so nervous but Karolina also has this determined seriousness to her that stops anyone from speaking up.

 

“Well, you're not really my type in that you're a...guy, and my type...are not?” That just has most people at the table confused, expect Gert, probably, and kinda Nico because she's thinks she knows what Karolina is trying to say but she hopes she wrong because holy shit that would be bad. Chase just looks completely lost and Molly looks uninterested and Alex looks curious and the seconds stretch out and it doesn't seem like Karolina is going to say anything else so, really, Nico's glad when Gert speaks up.

 

“You mean, you're gay, right?” Gert supplies easily and really she's a godsend in this moment, even if she's offering up Nico's worst nightmare, because she's sure that moment would have gone in forever if it weren't for Gert.

 

“Yeah, exactly, yes.” Karolina looks relieved and really Nico's happy for her because that nervous face Karolina was making was starting to make her feel sick but…

 

Fucking shitting fucking shit fuck.

 

Really, fucking really, she's gay!? Could Nico be more unlucky because now she doesn't have a completely hopeless crush on a straight girl. She has a near completely hopeless crush on a girl that so insanely out of her league thats it not even funny. Really, all that's happened is that her chance with Karolina has moved from completely out of the realm of possibility to just inside the realm of possibility and when she says just inside , she means like, only just, like skirting the border of possibility. Her chance has gone up from zero to nought point one which while not nothing isn't really anything to write home about. In fact it's such a small chance that really it's just the universe teasing her with the possibility, however infinitesimal, of something- oh god, something- happening between her and Karolina. This just solidifies her theory that someone or something, some cosmic force, just hates her, absolutely loathes her.

 

She doesn't even know if she wants this chance because she doesn't know if she’d even do something with it if she had it. This is the first time she’s had a crush on a girl but Karolina is so insanely beautiful that Nico can't quite fathom how someone could not have a crush on her. Which leads her to think this is probably just some like, girl crush or something, and it doesn't really mean anything and she wouldn't let anything happened with Karolina until she disproved that theory because she wouldn't let Karolina be some fucking experiment or something because Nico doesn't want that for her, couldn't do that to her because despite Karolina’s awkward explanation she seems pretty sure about it. Not to mention what it would mean for her if her crush on Karolina is a proper crush which is something so overwhelming she doesn't think she'll ever really want to think about it.

 

So even if something could happened with Karolina she has no idea what she would do with the opportunity and really it's just a miracle that she's been able to keep her mind working long enough and hasn't just devolved into picturing the something, oh god all the somethings and really it was only a matter of time.

 

But she should really listen because she's about eighty percent sure Karolina is speaking.

 

“Sorry, that was really awkward but it's just, I really wanted to get that out of the way and I'd really rather find out now rather than later if anyone has a problem with it.”

 

It's a hard question for Nico because in concept she's has no issues at all because, really, she's currently harbouring a planet sized crush on a girl she's known for all of four hours, but in practice, fucking shit, yeah she has a problem with it. How is she supposed to finish her senior year without dying with this situation going on. Really it's impossible, she should probably just transfer as soon as possible. She's probably going to catch fire if she spends too much time around Karolina and she would really rather save herself the excruciating pain. She really doesn't know how she would deal with Karolina looking at her like...like she's looking at her right now.

 

Why is Karolina looking at her?

 

Oh, she probably wants reassurance about the whole gay thing.

 

She's not the kind of person to launch into a big speech about being true to yourself or some other bullshit so she just gives Karolina a smile that she hopes looks sincere and warm and friendly and all that stuff. Karolina seems to get it because her smile grows impossibly wide and holy shit, did her heart just explode? How is that so attractive? It really isn't fair.

 

And it really hits her when Karolina laughs at something... someone said, and it's the most amazing sound she's heard, exactly how fucked she is.

 

--

 

This last week had been something that could only be described as hell. Karolina is integrating into the group really well which is just… fan-fucking-tastic. Nico's spent the last week being on the receiving end of Karolina’s smile and Karolina’s eyes and really it's fucking torture. The worst part is she can actually talk to Karolina perfectly fine. Which is a relief because if Nico found out that she was the type of person who turned into some bumbling idiot or a blushing mess around someone she likes she might as well just go live in a cave because that just wouldn't do and it's fucking annoying because Karolina actually talks to her. Which is actually a major issue because Karolina is sweet and kind and friendly and if Nico could just get over this stupid crush she would love to have Karolina as a friend.

 

Which is why she's currently sat in the courtyard in her free period trying desperately to actually read the textbook that's right in front of her but right now the words seem like a foreign language and it's all she can do not to think about Karolina.

 

It's get about a thousand times harder when Karolina sits down next to her.

 

“Hey Nico, mind if i join you?” Karolina asks with that perfect fuckin smile and something Nico can't get over is just how much she loves how Karolina says her name.

 

“‘course not.” She's sure Karolina asks these types of questions on purpose just to get Nico to admit that in some way she likes her. Which is stupid because, while she knows she can come off cold, Karolina has seen how she acts around the friends she's known  basically her entire life and just because she isn't exactly friendly with people doesn't mean she dislikes then. In fact if she did dislike Karolina the girl would know about it by now.

 

But now she's pretty much in the worst situation she could think of because she's fucking alone with Karolina which hasn't happened all week and, really, as she looked over at Karolina and watched the way the sunlight seemed to just caress her hair, as if the sun itself wanted nothing more than to just feel how soft it was, and the slight breeze caused it to flow like a calm river she realised just how bad a situation this was because Karolina is just fucking beautiful , almost painfully so, and Nico had kinda forgotten just how true that was, that Karolina is just so painfully gorgeous Nico feels like she could just start crying any moment now. Nico watched as Karolina lifted her hand and tucked some hair behind her ear, revealing the smooth column of her throat, and Nico just doesn't get it, doesn't understand how such a small moment, something so innocent, can have such profound effect on her. And holy shit she should stop staring.

 

Returning her eyes to her textbook was actually an herculean effort and she was tempted to just give up and just stare at Karolina with no fucks given for how weird it would make her seem. She finally managed to force eyes back to the book and- were these supposed to be words? Honestly to Nico they just looked like smudges, maybe she had a defective textbook because honestly-

 

“Your nails are really pretty.” Karolina says and suddenly she had Nico's hand in hers and what the fuck, when did that happen.

 

She can't response even if she wants to because Karolina hands are so soft and really, how the fuck is she supposed to think let alone speak with Karolina’s fingers running themselves along her’s, over her nails and back down to her palm. Karolina’s only touching her hand but just the way she's doing it, so gently, like she cares so much and god if it doesn't feel so intimate. She can't even move her hand, she doesn't want to, as if the slightest twitch might scare Karolina away and that's literally the last thing she wants because while she might not quite know what's going on right now she doesn't want it to end. Karolina just carries on caressing Nico's hand because that's the only word to describe it, really, and what the fuck? Caressing?

 

Nico could die happy right now but first she should probably say something.

 

“Um, thanks.” Oh, real articulate Nico.

 

“Mine are just plain and boring.” Karolina says, lining her nails up alongside Nico's as if to compare.

 

“They suit you.”

 

“Are you saying I'm plain and boring?” Karolina says and if she wasn't smiling still Nico would probably be worried that she was actually angry.

 

“Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying.” Nico says dryly. “You know that's not what I meant.”

 

“Hmm? What did you mean then?”

 

That question seems more loaded than it should and honestly it kinda scares the shit out of Nico. She can't exactly tell Karolina that she's such a natural beauty that of course natural looking nails suit her or that she's so effortlessly gorgeous that her not doing anything with her nails just makes sense.

 

So she just shrugs because she can't say any of that, even if she wanted to.

 

Karolina just smiles though, getting up and saying she needs to see a teacher about some assignment from her old school and Nico is finally able to breathe.

 

She really needs to try harder if she's going to get rid of this crush.

 

--

 

It only takes about a week and a half for someone to say something stupid about Karolina's sexuality to her face and Nico is kind of surprised it took this long because Karolina doesn't hide it and by now everyone knows. Nico kinda wants to smash something but maybes she overreacting because Karolina just laughs about it while she tells everyone about how a group of guys in her last class had asked her who she thought the hottest girl in school was. It confirms that not only were they fuckin idiots but also they were apparently blind because none of these guys had said Karolina which is totally-

 

Not the point Nico.

 

So while Nico would broken their faces , apparently Karolina had just laughed and said that it was a secret and to the credit of these guys they didn't pester her and just left it.

 

But this is a different issue entirely because there is someone. There's someone who Karolina thinks is the hottest person in school and holy fuck is she jealous. Which is stupid because she's still not sure exactly what her crush on Karolina means and she's been trying not to think about it. So she really shouldn't feel jealous because of course some girl must've caught Karolina’s eye and maybe it'd be a good thing if Karolina was dating someone because then she'd be unavailable and aside from the broken hand Nico would probably end up with from punching something that would be really helpful.

 

So she just stops thinking about it because Karolina doesn't seen to be making a big deal out of it and by the time she's getting her books from her lock she's almost forgotten about it but then-

 

Then someone touches her hip, so lightly that she barely notices and there's a warm breath on her ear and somehow she just knows that it's Karolina because who the fuck else. Then there's a warm voice, soft and sweet, floating in her ear and she can barely hear it over the sound of her own heart but it definitely belongs to Karolina because she wouldn't mistake that voice that's always so full of joy and kindness except now it's just sort of breathy, barely a whisper, softer than ever but still full of that warmth that makes Nico's knees weak. Her mouth must be so close to Nico ear because she swears she can almost feel the barely there brush of lips as they form words.

 

Nico is frozen as Karolina says ‘it's you by the way’ and she has no clue what the girl is on about because she has stop working. She is broken, finally, it only took two weeks and Karolina has broken her. She feels like she could float in this moment forever, just content with knowledge that Karolina lips had brushed against her ear and really she's so fucking far gone it's not even funny.

 

But then Karolina gone, a  hand trailing across her lower back to her other hip, and Nico can hear the click of her shoes as she walks away and her brain actually starts working again and it takes a moment but she manages to register Karolina's words and it takes another moment to connect the two dots together but when she does and she realises what Karolina had said she feels like all her breath leaves her lungs and she's so glad she has this vice grip on her locked because she's sure she would've fell over as her legs have turned to mush .

 

Surely...not, right?

 

There's no fucking way Karolina is actually saying she thinks Nico is the hottest girl in school. No way. It has to be a joke or something or- or she's teasing her. Yeah something like that or whatever.

 

She looks down the hallway and sees Karolina walking away and as if Karolina can sense Nico's eyes on her she looks back over her shoulder and, for the second time since they've met, she fucking winks . And holy shit Nico really can't catch a fucking break.