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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.

Chapter Text

Alex has invited them all to his for the weekend and of course that includes Karolina now and really Nico should have just said she couldn't come because she's swimming in dangerous waters here and she swears she can hear the jaws theme. Really it's only a matter of time before she's violently dragged under. Mostly though it turns out okay expect for the fact that y’know Karolina is there and she's literally all Nico can think about and she catches herself staring like fifteen times and she's pretty sure Karolina has caught her staring like four times which is fucking mortifying. The worst part is that Karolina is always smiling at her and fucking talking to her and being nice and shit and really this whole thing would be much easier if Karolina was just a bitch that looked like a goddess instead of just being a literal goddess.

 

She's currently in the kitchen because Alex sent her to get some more chips and they're on the top shelf, which is probably why he sent her, fucking asshole, so she has to drag a chair over and they're at the back of the shitting cabinet so she still has to reach slightly and she really fucking hates him right now. He's on her list now, right after Chase.

 

When she turns around to jump off the chair Karolina is stood there in the doorway, pressing her lips together to suppress her grin.

 

“Don't. Say. A. Fucking. Word.”

 

“I wasn't going to.”

 

Nico glares at her for a second longer before stepping off the chair with a huff. She's about to walk through the door and pass her when Karolina raises her arm and blocks the door. Nico looks up at her and instead of grinning like she expects Karolina is just smiling at her but there's something in her eyes- god, her eyes. She should really stop looking at them it gets her no where- that Nico can't quite place and honestly it scares the shit out of her.

 

“On a completely unrelated note, you, are so cute.” Karolina says, entirely serious, and Nico’s pretty sure her cheeks are on fire.

 

“I'm not cute .” The glare Nico is sending Karolina would have most people running but Karolina just smiles wider.

 

“Oh, but, you so are .”

 

Then Karolina just walks past her into the kitchen and Nico walks out because what the fuck else is she supposed to do. She can't hold her glare up against the fucking cheesy ass warmth racing around her chest so she has to retreat.

 

This teasing shit is gonna be the death of her.

 

--

 

It takes almost another week for someone to say something stupid- no, not stupid, absolutely idiotic and utterly abhorrent, about Karolina’s sexuality. And if it had been Karolina who had heard it she probably would've tried to shrug it off and say it didn't bother her, which was a lie, so really it was lucky, well lucky for her and seriously unlucky for him, that Karolina wasn't around and it was Nico who had heard him.

 

And, really, since the guy is such a fucking lump and has the IQ of a bag of sand it shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone when he ‘tripped’ and fell into a row of lockers. He really shouldn't be running around like that in the Hallway, especially when it's so crowded. What was a surprise thought was that he actually fell into them face first and broken his nose. Which really, was amazing. Again, not for him but for Nico.

 

While everyone was crowding him and asking if he was okay Nico casually slipped away, feeling extremely satisfied and smug, and really she probably could get away with murder. He was on the top of her list now, whoever the fuck he was. she'd have to get his name at some point, this shit wasn't over, not by a long shot, because while Karma was a really nice concept Nico didn't really believe in it so she's just going to have to employ a little bit of her own Karma. Which, really, in a way, mean that Karma does actually exist and it has manifested in the form of her. So not only did she want to torture this guy for the rest of the year, now, it was her duty, really, if you think about it. She had a duty to uphold to Karma.

 

She'd have to keep this from Karolina though, as much as she wanted to brag, she really did, she has no idea how Karolina would react to her using violence on her behalf so unfortunately, she'll just have to keep this to herself.

 

Later, she was waiting for Karolina outside the school. She had been getting a ride from her for the last couple of days after mentioning that her parents were too busy to drive her and she usually walked. It was only a twenty minute walk so really it wasn't a big deal but Karolina had insisted and, seriously, the girl was determined. All of her friends had offered at some point, since Amy had gone off to college two years ago and therefore obviously couldn't give her a ride anymore. Though when she shrugged them off they just let it go and even looked kinda relieved in the case of Chase, which, really, the feeling was mutual.

 

With Karolina thought the girl just wouldn't drop it and eventually Nico got the feeling that it would bother her way more if she said no than it would if she had to pick Nico up and drop her off everyday. Which she seriously didn't get. No way in hell she'd ever be happy about having to get up twenty minutes early to go pick a friend up.

 

She saw Karolina coming and was about to get up when the girl plopped down next to her on the step so she just settled back down and shot Karolina a curious look.

 

“So I heard this guy tripped and broke his nose.” Karolina said casually.

 

“hmm? Sounds like a fuckin idiot.”

 

“Yeah, I guess.”

 

Nico starts to get up again but this time was stopped by Karolina's hand on hers.

 

“Nico, I know it was you.”

 

Okay, so much for that not letting Karolina find out thing.

 

“How?” Nico sighed and settled back on the step.

 

“This girl in my physics class, Katie, saw you.”

 

“Well, whatever, it was worth the detention.” Seriously, it was. Even if she ends up with weeks and weeks of detention, it'll be so worth it.

 

“She's not going to tell anyone, just me. She says he deserved it.”

 

“Did she tell you what he said?”

 

Karolina paused and looked away and, fucking hell, Nico absolutely hated the look on her face. She squeezed at Karolina’s hand, still holding her own and gorgeous, sad blue eyes met hers.

 

“You shouldn't have to hear those things.”

 

Some of the life seems to come back to Karolina eyes and honestly Nico can not describe the overwhelming feeling of happiness of being the one to put that there.

 

“Yeah, I know.” Karolina says and she's smiling now. “And you, Nico, are so sweet.”

 

“What, really? No lecture on how violence is wrong and doesn't solve anything?” Nico says and she couldn't stop the grin curving at her lips.

 

“Well, violence is wrong and it doesn't solve anything but still it's the thought that counts.”

 

Before Nico even realises it Karolina leans in and presses her lips to her cheek and Nico couldn't help the way her breath caught in her throat. God, she's lame, can't even handle a peck on the cheek without turning into mush. It only lasted for half a second, really the most innocent peck, but Nico could literally feel her heart swell with- with something, something completely indescribable. She can still feel the warmth on her cheek when Karolina pulls back and their eyes meet and- god, she's so fucking gorgeous, with the sunlight on her and her perfect smile and those eyes. Nico would give anything for those eyes to be on her all the time.

 

“Thanks you, really. No one's ever done something like that for me before. You're amazing.” Karolina whispers.

 

Nico’s didn't think such simple words could sound so fucking good to her, fill her up and make her feel completely whole.

 

“It was my pleasure, really .” Nico's surprised the she can manage to even make her voice work.

 

Karolina just rolls her eyes and pulls her up off the step, keeping their hands clasped together as she pulls Nico along.

 

“I think he's paid for what he did, don't you?” Karolina asks and Nico had to hold back her laughter because ha! not in the slightest.

 

“Hmm, I dunno.”

 

“Nico, you don't have to do anything else.”

 

“Oh, I'm not going to do anything but y'know Karma might.”

 

Karolina just shakes her head, rolling her eyes again, but the grin on her face says she doesn't really mind.

 

“No violence, at the very least.”

 

“Karma will just have to get a bit creative.” Nico says and Karolina’s laugh is the most amazing sound she's ever heard.

 

--

 

The weekend comes around and Karolina insists that they all have to meet up at her house, as like a thank you or something? Which, really isn't necessary because, seriously, Nico should be the one thanking her for just being in her life. Karolina is probably the best thing to happen to her in years and she can't believe two weeks ago she was dreading Karolina sitting down at their table.

 

They've grown even closer over the few days after Nico had tripped that guy and it literally only took, like, a fucking day to completely blow up in her face. When explaining where everyone was going to sleep Karolina had insisted that it was fine for Nico to share her bed which really, will actually kill her.

 

So, basically, she had decided to walk to Karolina’s to stall for time before her sweet, sweet, execution because despite all her complaining she actually enjoyed life, though, she supposed if she was going to die a Karolina induced heart attack is probably the best way to go. Alas she did eventually reach Karolina’s and look at that she was only thirty minutes late.

 

She knocked on Karolina door and waited for her death. Only she didn't realise it'd come so soon because Karolina opened the door and she- she…

 

Fucking fuck.

 

She's wear these- these shorts . They honestly may as well not exist, which she really shouldn't be thinking right now. Her legs are just, like, right fucking there and Nico can not deal. There so slender and fucking perfect and Nico can just see the way they'd wrap around her waist as- okay, no. Moving on. She doesn't find any comfort further up because she's also got this fucking tank top on that just shows off everything and holy shit her breasts- No. Nico be strong. Ignore them. Her shoulders are fucking insane, smooth and perfect and tan and the way her hair rolls off them is like, fucking majestic. She's never been so mesmerized by fucking shoulders before. Oh and there's her face, okay, this is an area she's comfortable with, familiar, she should just focus on this. Those eyes that she fucking loves and that cute nose and those lips- those lips that are currently moving.

 

Oh shit, she's speaking.

 

“Nico?”

 

She actually has to clear her throat before she can speak which is fucking mortifying.

 

“Mm? Sorry?”

 

Karolina is just grinning at her in a way that makes Nico want the earth to just open up and swallow her whole.

 

“I said, you can take a picture if you want because it'll last longer but y’know...I don't think you'll need it.”

 

Okay, now she's dying from embarrassment. Which is way worse than dying of pure Karolina joy.

 

“Shut up.” Nico says but it has no bite to it and Karolina’s just grins wider.

 

“Don't worry, I'll send you one sometime.” Karolina says, turning and walking back into the house and- Jesus Christ, her ass.

 

“Oh, my, god.” Nico mutters to herself and she swears Karolina's laugh gets a little louder.

 

--

 

She can't remember the last time she woke up feeling so content and just...warm. She has a feeling it has something to do with the weight at her side.

 

She could die happy right now.

 

She had almost died when Chase had whistled while she made her way up the stairs and honestly she can't believe the had ever considered taking him off the list. His name was there permanently now and she would get him one day. She could probably-

 

And, why, exactly is she wasting time thinking about this?

 

Karolina is right there, so close , and it's probably the closest they've ever been and she can just look...which is probably kinda creepy so she'll give herself like, five minutes? Yeah that isn't too creepy, maybe.

 

Karolina just looks so... peaceful , so at ease and she doesn't think she's ever seen Karolina not smiling and she kinda likes it, the way she's so unburdened. The way her hair is slightly disheveled just makes her look so free, so uncaring and just.. .real . Nico doesn't think she'll be able get over just how gorgeous Karolina is, it actually blows her mind sometimes. The way Karolina’s chest rhythmically rises and falls almost lulls her back to sleep, the accompanying soft breathes sounding like music. The weight of Karolina's arm is like an anchor keeping her in this moment as if she might just float away otherwise. The way Karolina’s bare legs brush against hers sends shivers rolling up her spine and the barest hint of a sigh leaves her throat.

 

Nico takes a second to enjoy this, this moment of just pure bliss because she doesn't know if she'll ever experience it again and honestly the thought scares her and she wishes she could go back two weeks to when this crush wasn't the most intense feeling she'd ever had.

 

The only thing wrong about this moment is that she couldn't see Karolina's eyes, those eyes that could make you feel like your the only person in the room, the only person in the world, the only person that matters. So intense, yet so calming and gentle and caring. It's probably Nico's favourite thing about her, the way it makes her feel when Karolina’s eyes are on her just, so happy and content. Everyone else's eyes just seem so dull and boring in comparison and what she wouldn't give to see those eyes right now and-

 

Oh. There they are.

 

The way Karolina eyelids flutter open is probably the prettiest thing she's ever seen, so delicate and soft a motion, and Karolina’s eyes seem to meet hers instantly, making her heart pound. They look so beautiful in this moment, so soft and unfocused, yet still caring. They're lighter in the faint morning light, like a crystal blue lake, calm and serene. Peaceful.

 

“Hey.” Karolina's voice is still rough from sleep, the words coming out low and fragile.

 

“Hi.” Nico's reply comes just as soft, a whisper as if anything louder might just shatter this amazing moment.

 

There's something about this moment, so tender and intimate, that makes her gut curl painfully because it feels so real and right now it's everything Nico wants.

 

But it's not real and she and Karolina are still just friends and it's a thought that stabs at her chest painfully. She's about to claim she needs to use the bathroom as a excuse to get out when Karolina rolls away and it only takes a second for Nico to miss her.

 

“Sorry if I made you uncomfortable, with the cuddling or whatever.” The way that Karolina isn't looking at her, just staring blankly up at the ceiling, and the dull tone to her voice makes something painful twist inside of her.

 

“Karolina, it's fine.”

 

Her arm stretches out between them in some sort of offering, of what she has no clue but it doesn't really matter because she'd give Karolina anything.

 

“Really?” Her voice sounds so worried and small and Nico hates it.

 

Karolina finally looks at her now and she still looks wary and there's a pain there, behind those eyes that Nico loves, that isn't born from this moment and Nico wants nothing more than to make it vanish.

 

“Yes. Karolina, you could never make me feel uncomfortable.”

 

There's another moment's hesitation before a smile lights up Karolina's face and Nico feels that familiar swell of joy at putting it there.

 

“Okay, great.” Karolina says as she rolls back, settling again against Nico's side with a soft hum, arm over her waist. Before Nico even has a second to think because- holy fuck - that feeling of utter content floods her again and somehow this moment seems even better than when she woke up. Maybe it's because this is something Karolina is choosing to do opposed to just something that happened in her sleep but all she knows for sure is that she's can't ever remember feeling this happy.

 

“Is it weird that I find it weird that I've only known you for two weeks? It feels like so much longer.” Karolina says after a few silent moments, her voice so soft right there next to Nico ear.

 

“Yeah, but you’re weird so it suits.”

 

“Shut up or you'll be making your own breakfast.” Karolina says, poking her softly in the sides

 

“No, it's not weird.” She would feel embarrassed if Karolina’s smile wasn't making her feel so amazing.

 

Nico has no clue how this feels so comfortable, cuddling and talking with someone else, so natural with Karolina when the thought of doing this with anyone else, even her best friends who she's known for years, makes her skin crawls.

 

It's probably got something to do with that massive crush you have on her.

 

Oh, yeah, that. Wasn't she supposed to be like, keeping her distance from Karolina to help ride that out or something?

 

She's doing a fucking terrible job of it. Though right now she can't really find it in herself to give a shit.

 

--

 

She can't remember the last time she felt about anything how she feels about Karolina. The large, overwhelming feelings are terrifying but she expected those. What really caught her off guard where the little things. How she wants to talk to Karolina all the time, how excited she gets when Karolina texts her, how nervous she gets when she realises she has to reply, how fucking sad she gets when Karolina leaves, how cute it is when Karolina scrunches her nose, the way she mumbles to herself when she's really concentrating, the way she gets all twitchy and fidgety when she's nervous.

 

It's scares the fucking shit out of her.

 

It scares her because she's never liked a person like this before. Like, she can spend hours and hours with Karolina and not get sick of her because even when you take away Nico's attraction to her and her... feelings , whatever the fuck they were, Karolina is still her favourite person. Even when she had considered Alex her best friend she'd get annoyed with him eventually and they'd fight a lot but it's so different with Karolina. She's so comfortable with Karolina and feels like she could tell her anything and just completely be herself, at ease in a way she never was with anyone else, not even Amy or her dad.

 

And it's bad - so, so fucking bad- that the girl she has a crush on has so quickly become her best friend.

 

Now she has so much more to lose.

 

--

 

She's sat around in the library, trying , trying being the important term here, to study. Karolina really owes her because her grades are really gonna start to slip and it's literally all her fault.

 

Which is why she can't help the pained groan when Karolina sits down in the chair right next to her.

 

Seriously though? Why so close?

 

“Well, it's nice to see you too.” Karolina drawls.

 

“No, seriously Karolina, I can't concentrate when you're around.”

 

“Oh? Why not?” Karolina’s grinning at her now and- god she's so pretty, Nico has no idea how she keeps a straight faces.

 

“Because you're really...really…” Nico swears she can see Karolina learn forward a bit and it's hard not to laugh.

 

“Annoying.” She finishes dryly and god, the put out look on Karolina faces is so cute it nearly kills her.

 

Karolina's eyes narrow and she huffs, crossing her arms over her chest.

 

“Yeah? Well you're really mean when you're stressed.”

 

“Yep, I am, so you really don't wanna stick around.”

 

This time when Karolina turns to her Nico can see a hint of hurt behind her blue eyes and she kind of hates herself for a second but instead of finding a suitable bridge to throw herself off she just grabs Karolina's hand and pulls it over to her.

 

“Seriously though, you know i’d much rather just hang out with you but I'm really getting my ass kicked in this class.” She says seriously because she actually does need to study and Karolina really doesn't help with that.

 

It takes a moment but eventually Karolina's smile comes back, if slightly subdued.

 

“Yeah, no, I get it. Sorry, for being, like needy or whatever, you're probably getting sick of me.”

 

“Could never happened.” Nico says honestly.

 

Karolina's smile is back in full force now and Nico heart might actually burst- seriously, this can't be good for her health.

 

“Okay, I guess I'll see you later?” Karolina says and Nico nods but Karolina doesn't stand right away. Nico's about to say something when Karolina reaches out and tucks a strand of Nico’s hair behind her ear, her hand hovering there for a moment. Then she feels Karolina fingers gently trace the shell of her ear down to the lobe, stopping there and- god, maybe Karolina should stay and just do this, whatever the fuck this is.

 

“These are really cute.” Karolina says and is she talking about Nico's ears? Nico honestly has no clue until something tugs on her ear a bit and oh, her earring.

 

“Oh, um, thanks.” Her voice comes out slightly croaky because Karolina’s fingers are still on her ear and really she kinda feels like she's about pass out.

 

Karolina just smiles, getting up and leaves like nothing just happened meanwhile Nico is trying desperately to keep her heart from breaking her ribs.

 

How the fuck is she supposed to study now.

 

--

 

She sees her friends sat around a table in the courtyard and she starts making her way over. When she gets close she realises that there no seats, her eyes narrow and her irritation rises.

 

“Someone move.” She pretty much demands and, okay, so maybe she's in a bit of a shitty mood but whatever. Her last teacher had held her back for fifteen minutes to talk about her ‘not paying attention’ or whatever. Advanced European History was a stupid class anyway, she had no idea why she had took it and it'd become a major pain in her ass.

 

Her eyebrows raise challengingly when no one gets up and a few moment tick by and no fucking way she's backing down. She swears Alex is about to get up when Karolina speaks.

 

“You can sit here if you want Nico.” There something in Karolina voice that makes Nico dread looking at her.

 

Really she should've just ignored her.

 

( who's she kidding, no way could she ignore Karolina. )

 

She looks over and Karolina doesn't move to get up, just simply pats her lap and- she's not... Nico looks down at Karolina lap- fuck sake, her thighs...maybe she should just- no. No way is she sitting on Karolina’s lap. One, Nico would probably combust, which would be bad for both of them really, and two, they're in public, at school no less, and there are already some rumours about her and Karolina. She really doesn't want to stoke that fire because she just can't deal.

 

She looks back up to Karolina’s face and she has this fucking almost smug grin, like she knows Nico is going to back down, and it really isn't fair that Nico finds it so sexy. How is she supposed to be angry at Karolina when she's making her all hot and bothered with just a fucking look .

 

God, she's so fucked.

 

That look makes her almost, almost , just say fuck it and take a seat on Karolina’s lap, just to wipe that smug grin off her face but she just manages to resist. Her eyes narrow in irritation on Karolina but she just smiles wider and shrugs.

 

“The offers always open.”

 

Nico just shakes her head and turns her eyes to someone who she can easily be mad at.

 

“Chase, move.” Nico says in a way that leaves no room for argument but as per usual Chase proves that he's denser than stone and just chuckles for a moment. When he realises no one else is laughing he looks up and Nico’s glare hardens and he quickly scrambles off his seat claiming he has somewhere to be.

 

Nico sits down, satisfied, and looks up to meet Karolina's eyes and she can't help returning the smile that she's getting.

 

Then some guy that notice definitely recognises storms into the courtyard screaming about how someone had spray painted dicks all over his cars and whoever did was ‘dead meat’

 

Ooo, scary.

 

Karolina eyes cut to her straight her away and she does her best to look innocent but the look of absolute glee on her face probably doesn't help.

 

Looks like Karma is does exist.

 

--

 

They're all at Chase’s this weekend and really she should know better by now because Chase always, without fail, makes them do something stupid. This time it comes in the form of a simple question which he insists they have to answer since they all shot down his idea of playing fucking truth or dare.

 

“Okay, so, if you had to kiss someone in this room who would it be.” He asks looking far too happy with himself and all Nico can think is god are they like thirteen or something

 

“Really? That's so juvenile. Besides, I don't think anyone here really wants to kiss anyone else.” Gert says and yes, thank you . At least someone isn't being an idiot.

 

“Well, if that's true then it shouldn't be a big deal right?” Chase replies and oh way to put your foot in your mouth Gert.

 

“I...I guess.” Gert says looking annoyed at herself and Nico had to agree with her there. Not enough to go on the list but she's getting there.

 

“Great! I'll start.” Chase says.

 

Obviously he says Karolina which surprises no one and Karolina just rolls her eyes but Nico really wishes she had her fork right about now. Gert says Chase while trying to look disinterested, fooling no one except, probably, Chase himself. Molly says Alex while actually looking completely disinterested, eyes still glued to the TV. Alex just shrugs and says Nico which would have been awkward if she wasn't one hundred percent sure he was over that crush he had on her. Then everyone's eyes turn to her and...she really doesn't want to answer.

 

Obviously, the answer is Karolina but she doesn't really want Karolina to know that and she's like ninety percent sure Karolina is going to say her, purely due to process of elimination since the only real opinions are her or Gert and she's just way closer to Karolina than Gert is. On the other hand if she says Karolina and then Karolina doesn't say her it would be absolutely mortifying. Also if she said Karolina and then Karolina said her that would just be infinitely awkward. For her anyway, it probably wouldn't bother Karolina because that's just how she is.

 

God, this is impossible.

 

Then there's also the fact that, even though it sounds stupid, even to her, she really doesn't want any kiss with Karolina, however hypothetical, to be under the context of ‘had to’. It just feels wrong to imply that she would only kiss Karolina if she had to because oh my god she wants to. She wants to more than anything.

 

So she isn't going to answer. Ultimately her answer means way too much to her to waste on this stupid game.

 

“Nico?” Chase asks after she's silent a few moments.

 

“Yeah...No.” She says dryly.

 

“What?”

 

“I'm not answering.” She says, matter of fact.

 

“But, you have to!” Really he's taking this far too seriously.

 

“Oh yeah? Why's that?”

 

“Well, because you just have to.” He replies looking entirely the eleven year old he is.

 

“I wouldn't hold my breath if I was you.” She said picking up her phone and promptly trying to distract herself.

 

“Oh, fine, whatever. Karolina?”

 

“Nico.” She says as if it's completely obvious and maybe... maybe, like it's more than just a stupid game. So soft and gentle but so sure and Nico had to force herself not to react. Maybe. Thought maybe Nico is just hearing what she wants to hear.

 

She waits probably about ten seconds where no one says much before dropping her phone onto the couch with a sigh and getting up.

 

“Now if we're done being twelve year old girls I'm going to use the bathroom.” She says leaving without looking back.

 

When she makes it to the bathroom she looks into the mirror, her cheeks bright red, and takes a few deep breaths. She splashes water on her face, trying to calm her racing heart and stop her hands from shaking.

 

If what Karolina said meant anything ...well, it was way too overwhelming to even think about because her feelings still scare the shit out of her. Karolina means way too much to her and it's only been- fuck, it's only been a month, and relationships are messy and people fuck up and she can't have that happened to her and Karolina. She can't be with her for months or years or however long only for it to be torn apart. It would kill her. And not only would she have lost Karolina she'd have lost her best friend.

 

Or, Karolina could say it easily, so casually because it actually meant nothing. Which would sting like nothing else, it's hurt like fuck just imagining it and eventually she'd have to watch Karolina get a girlfriend and she's already gets so jealous and Karolina spends most of her with Nico. Maybe, eventually she'd have to watch Karolina get married. Maybe Karolina would ask her to be a bridesmaid, or maid of honour, and she'd have to watch with a smile on her face while she died a little on the inside. And how would she ever find someone better, someone more beautiful, kinder, sweeter, as perfect as Karolina.

 

This crush is turning into something way too stressful.

 

She kinda wants to cry.

Chapter Text

Her and Karolina have just gotten to school, they're a bit late so they're rushing a bit and Nico’s foot catch on a step and fuck sake , this is probably gonna hurt.

 

The next thing she knows there's a hand holding hers and a arm around her waist and Karolina’s face is so, so fucking close. It feels like it's been an eternity since she's seen those eyes when it can't have been five minutes and now they're so close and looking right at her, right into her own eyes, right into her fucking soul. She wonder if Karolina thinks about her eyes anything like Nico thinks about Karolina's. She can't do, it's impossible because Karolina’s eyes are the most beautiful thing she's ever seen and ever will see. She wishes she could commit them to memory, to store them in her mind's eye but it's never quite the same, never quite real , nothing like the real thing. She doesn't get that intoxicating rush of emotions when she's just imagining Karolina eyes, doesn't get that feeling of being the only person in the world, the only person that matters. Their never quite as blue, never quite as full of life, never quite as gentle or kind or happy. Really it's a woeful imitation, like a amateur artist trying to capture something they could never even hope to. Her mind isn't anywhere near as beautiful or gorgeous or as amazing as Karolina eyes.

 

The hand around hers is warm and soft and gentle but firm, safe . The one around her waist the same, holding her, keeping her. She can feel the softest hint of Karolina’s breath, the barest whisper, and it's the sweetest thing to ever touch her lips. And Karolina isn't smiling, her lips slightly parted, and Nico think it's one of only a handful of times. She wants to know what Karolina’s thinking, if she's thinking the same as Nico, that they're so close and if she just lean forward few inches they would-

 

“Thanks.” She forces out because her mind was going to somewhere dangerous. That seems to snap Karolina out of whatever thoughts she was having and she pulls Nico up.

 

“No problem.” Karolina smiles, that smile that Nico thinks, hopes, is just for her. That smile that's so soft and gentle that it's almost nothing, nothing like her usual bright grin.

 

Maybe Nico should trip more often.

 

--

 

They're all at a waterpark for the day, some sort of cheesy bonding day, and honestly it's the worst kind of torture.

 

One, the heat is fucking unbearable. If she isn't in water or under a umbrella she literally feels like she's going to melt. She's probably going to come out with burns no matter how much sun block she uses. If she even thinks about moving she feels like she's dying.

 

And that's not even the worst part.

 

Two, Karolina is just walking around in a fucking bikini likes its... fucking nothing. Nico doesn't know what's worse, looking or not looking. On one hand if she's looking then... she’s looking and fucking fuck. She's looking and she's basically just tempting herself with something she doesn't know she could ever have. On the other, if she's not looking then she's missing something that she might never see again. She'd probably regret it forever.

 

And Karolina looks...fucking gorgeous and sexy and every fucking positive adjective out there. Her hair wet from swimming, hanging down her back, darker than usual from the water. Droplets of water roll off her, her stomach, legs, chest, and they catch the light and make her fucking glow, shimmer in the sunlight. Her skin is golden against the sun and she looks like she was made for days like this, sculpted by angels, entirely perfect.

 

So, in the end, she's weak and ends up spending most of her morning just watching Karolina and her friends but mostly just Karolina. And it's not- it's not creepy, because it's not like she just cares about Karolina's looks and she’d still be watching her if she was in a fucking full body wetsuit.

 

Mostly they just mess around in the biggest.pool. Chase, Molly and Alex have a massive play fight with these inflatable swords that look like they were made for five year olds, with cute animals printed on them and it's honestly a hilarious sight. Karolina and Gert are off to the side hitting a beach ball they brought back and forth and they're all just laughing and having fun and Nico can't help the massive smile on her face. Sure her friends can be annoying, and she means seriously aggravating , sometimes but she honestly loves them. And people say she doesn't have a heart.

 

Eventually Karolina drags her off her sun lounger saying that she has to do something despite Nico's protest that it will fucking kill her.

 

So Karolina gets her in the pool and they swim and it's a great time despite the fact that Nico usually hates swimming. Probably has something to do with Karolina. That girl could take her to a fucking rodeo or something equally stupid and Nico would come away insisting it was the best day of her life.

 

Eventually Karolina gets it in her head that they have to at least go on one slide and of course Karolina picks the tallest fucking one she can find. It must be at least eighty feet high and Nico kinda just wants to bolt the moment she sees it. She should've known that Karolina would actually be the death of her one of these days. She doesn't get a moment to protest as Karolina drags her up the stairs, she wants to say no but then Karolina looks at her with this massive grin on her face and really she had no fuckin chance. Soon she's halfway up the stairs and they hit the back of the queue. It moves excruciatingly slow and Nico just keeps telling herself to not look down. She just kept repeating that to herself. It doesn't do much to calm her down but it does stop her from looking down.

 

Well, it does, until it doesn't that is.

 

And holy shit the ground is so far away and images of her falling to her painful, messy death scream through her head. Somehow it seems like the ground just keeps getting farther and farther away which is absolutely freaking her out. It feels like she has to forces the air down her throat and her lungs kinda hurt from the effort. She has no idea what the fuck is going on because she can't think and she can't breath and meanwhile the ground is getting even further away and it just causes her to panic more and she kinda feels like she's falling, wind whipping through her hair and across her skin, in freefall, no control over herself.

 

Then someone grabs her hand and she faintly hear someone call her name but it sounds so far away and she can't stop looking at the ground, can't even close her eyes. She's pretty sure she's around two seconds away from throwing up when two hands cup her face and, with no real force, tilts her face upwards. She was met with blue eyes and she recognises Karolina and finally stops feeling likes she's falling.

 

“Hey, just breathe, okay? You're okay.” Karolina’s voice is smooth and gentle but so, so far away and Nico feels like she can actually make sense of her words but she still can't quite get air to her lungs.

 

“Everything's okay. Just focus on me and breathe.” Karolina's hand slide from her cheeks to her neck and the movement is comforting and the touch helps reminder her that Karolina is right there, that she's real, and not a million miles away like it feels. It takes a minutes where she just focuses on breathing and Karolina but she finally feels like she isn't going to throw up.

 

“Do you want to go sit down?” Karolina asks and the sound of her voice is really kinda helping and Nico just closes her eyes and takes a few more deep breaths. Nico remembers she's been asked a question but she still doesn't quite feel like she can speak so she just shakes her head.

 

“Okay, that's fine. Just take your time. Take as long as you need. I'm not going anywhere.” Karolina says, her hands rubbing at Nico’s  shoulders comfortingly, and Nico kinda feels like could cry because Karolina is just being there for her, even though this is coming completely out of nowhere and she's just appreciates the fact that Karolina is in her life. She probably should have told Karolina about this and it's not that she feels uncomfortable talking to Karolina but she literally thought this wouldn't ever come up. It's not exactly hard to avoid heights…

 

Well, except that she absolutely fucked it on that front. She really thought she'd be able to handle this.

 

She takes a few more breaths and she finally opens her eyes and there's Karolina, just looking at her, and she's trying to smile but Nico can tell she's actually worried and it makes her heart swell to near bursting. She tries her best to smile reassuringly bit it probably comes out more of a grimace but Karolina seems slightly better for it so it was worth the effort. She blows out a long breath and feels Karolina's hands trail down her arms and take hers, squeezing, and it is honestly crazy how reassuring and comforting it is, just knowing that Karolina is there for her.

 

“You okay?” Karolina asks, all soft and warm and everything she needs right now.

 

“Yeah, yeah. I think so.” Nico manages.

 

“You sure? Wanna just go chill out for a bit?”

 

And Nico thinks about it and honestly she wants to go down this slide, not only because Karolina wants to or for fun, but she just feels frustrated with herself, frustrated that she can't manage something so simple, and kinda embarrassed because people are throwing them sideways glance, even though Karolina doesn't even seem to even notice them, and she kinda just wants to ignore that it even happened. Her serious fear of heights doesn't get in her way a lot but when it does she hates it and it always takes her back to that moment and she just needs to push past it.

 

“No. I'm fine.” It sounds like bullshit even to her but Karolina doesn't challenge her which she's immensely thankful for.

 

“Sure?”

 

“Yeah, honestly just…” She motions to their join hands and Karolina seems to understand what she means.

 

She feels like she maybe can get through this if Karolina is there.

 

“I just want to get through this. Honestly I’m just embarrassed.” She admits.

 

“Nico, you shouldn't be embarrassed.”

 

“It's such a stupid thing though and-”

 

“No, seriously, you know what a stupid thing to be scared of is?”

 

“What?” She asks looking over at Karolina and honestly looks embarrassed.

 

“I’m scared of...caterpillars.” Karolina admits and Nico kind of wants to laugh but Karolina didn't laugh at her and that thought sobers her. “And I'm going to tell you something and you can not laugh.”

 

“Okay, promise I won't laugh.” Nico says and she means it because if Karolina didn't help her out a moment ago she doesn't know what would have happened.

 

“Okay, so, one time, my dad found a caterpillar in backyard and he put it in this little box and, he's a idiot sometimes, he hid it behind his back and when he held it out to be, like he put it right next to my face because he knew it would scare me and, honest to god, I just burst into tears and I wasn't just like crying, I was hysterical, screaming and all.”

 

Karolina doesn't meet her eyes and Nico doesn't really know why she’d laugh when all she's picturing is a young Karolina running away from a little caterpillar and can't help but find it cute.

 

“Why would I laugh? How old were you?” Nico asks and Karolina only seems to get more embarrassed.

 

“Nico...its was like, two months ago.”  Karolina mutters and...oh, that's why she’d laugh. And she really she tries not to laugh but the image of Karolina screaming and crying over a caterpillar is honestly...first of all it’s still cute but now it is kinda funny, she can't help but laugh, y’know, just a little.

 

“Nico! You promised you wouldn't laugh.” Karolina says, shoving at her with their joint hands.

 

“Sorry, I tried, honestly! but caterpillars? They're just so tiny and harmless.”

 

“They freak me out okay, with the wriggling and all the legs just...ugh.”

 

“Okay, okay, sorry. Why would your dad do that if he knew it would freak you out?”

 

“I guess he thought he was being funny, though I don't think he'd knew how badly I'd react.”  Karolina doesn't look embarrassed now and she has this fond smile on her face. “I wouldn't go in the backyard so my dad cut the grass every day for the next two weeks to try and make me feel better.”

 

Nico can't help but think that the smile on Karolina's face is so amazing, so loving and happy and she just wishes that she could put a smile even close to that on Karolina's face. To makes Karolina that happy would mean everything to her and- god , when did this crush turn into something way bigger.

 

And shit that's a terrifying thought.

 

Okay just focus on...how high up you are.

 

Okay wait no. Karolina. Focus on Karolina.

 

“Your dad sounds great.”

 

“Yeah, I miss him a lot y’know. It feels like he's always away filming and stuff.” Karolina's smile is a bit sad, wistful and Nico feels like conversation is too heavy for...standing in line at a waterpark.

 

“Is there anything else your scared of?”

Nico asks after a few beats of quiet.

 

“What so you can laugh at me?”

 

“Only a little.” Nico says, grinning.

 

“No, not really but I hate horror movies.” She says and that gets Nico grinning.

 

“Well I love horror movies so we'll be watching all of them .”

 

“Seriously, no, I will die . It won't even be funny, just sad.”

 

“Aww, don't worry. I'll protect you.”

 

“If you're going to force me to watch them then you'd better.” Karolina sounds legitimately full of dread and Nico can't help but laugh.

 

And then they're at the front of the line and that acute sense of dread comes rushing back because now she has to make it back down and logically this would be the fastest way but...she should just get over with, she can do this, it's just a fucking water slide. She just saw a kid go down and he was probably like seven or something. It's one of those ones where you sit in the rubber ring and she has no idea if that makes this better or worse and she'd really just rather not think about it.

 

She's about to let go and sit down because there's no way Karolina can leave her up here alone, when Karolina starts to sit down first and Nico's about to completely freak out when Karolina pulls on their still joined hands and she's sat between Karolina's legs before she even knows it. The ring is big enough for both of them so it's not uncomfortable and honestly even if it wasn't it'd still make her feeling more comfortable.

 

If she wasn't about two seconds away from melting down she would probably be really enjoying this because Karolina’s arms are around her waist and her thighs are bracketing hers and she can feel Karolina on her back and it's all smooth, soft skin but as it is she's staring down this death trap and just trying not to panic. It's a straight shot to the bottom so can she can see the bottom which isn't really helping and she just wants it to move because it'll literally only be a few moments and she'll be on the ground again.

 

“This okay?” Karolina asks and Nico doesn't know is she's talking about the height or the position they're in but the way the words brush against her ear, quiet and gentle, soothes her and she just nods.

 

Then she feels them being pushed forward and there's a last moment of panic before they tip over the edge and they're rushing down the slide. Karolina grip tightens around her waist and Nico’s grip on the handles is vice like. She can hear Karolina screaming in her ear and wind rushes past her and after a few moments the adrenaline must take over because she actually enjoys it, the pumping of her heart and the excitement making her forget that she was ever even really scared.

 

Before she knows it they come skidding to a stop in the small pool at the end and Nico manages to push herself up on shaky legs, blood still coursing violently through her veins, and she's breathing heavy but unlike two minutes ago it just feels amazing opposed to oppressive and terrifying.

Karolina drags the ring over to where a member of staff is collecting them and then comes back and takes Nico's hand again, like its just something they do now, pulling her along, saying they should go sit down and have something to drink.

 

They sit down in the parks cafe and Karolina gets them both a lemonade because it's way too hot to be drinking coffee. Karolina is quiet when she sits down and doesn't meet Nico's eyes and she worries for about five full seconds before Karolina looks up and she looks sort of hurt but mostly just really concerned.

 

“You should've told me.”

 

“What?”

 

“If you're scared of heights you should have just said something, we could've just done something else.” She knows that Karolina is right but all she can think of is that grin Karolina gave her before they started up the stairs and how she couldn't bear to take that away.

 

“Yeah, but you-”

 

“No, Nico. You shouldn't put yourself through that just because you think it'll make me happy or something. I mean, it's not like you just got a bit scared, you really freak out and honestly it fucking terrified me.”

 

Nico can see just how much she means it and she thinks it's the first time she's heard Karolina curse, which really shows how serious she is and she swears she can see tears swimming in Karolina's amazing blue eyes, catching the light and making then fucking sparkle . How the fuck did she manage to get this beautiful, kind, perfect girl to care about her this much. She doesn't understand it but it makes her heart swell and god how could she put Karolina through something like that. In the moment Karolina seemed completely calm but Nico can see now how scared she is, like, for fuck’s sake, her hands are shaking and Nico immediately reach across the table to take them in her own.

 

“Shit, Karolina I'm sorry. I seriously thought it'd be fine and I didn't even think about- I didn't think. It's been so long since anything like that happened and I honestly thought it'd be fine.”

 

Karolina nods, a bit frantically, and squeezes her hands, as if she's just needs to know that Nico is there. Nico is amazed by just how much Karolina cares and god, if it were anyone else it'd be overwhelming and it'd completely freak her out but this is Karolina and it's just feels natural and right.

 

“What happened? When you were younger?”

 

She doesn't really like to think about it. It wasn't like traumatic or anything but she still has nightmares every now and again.

 

“Well, erm, when I was, like, ten, my dad decided it'd be a amazing idea to take me and Amy bungee jumping and honestly I was completely fine until I got up there, in the harness and shit. I didn't freak out too bad but I decided I didn't want to do it but my dad was trying to talk me into it and Amy, the bitch , fucking pushed me off.”

 

Karolina’s eyes are massive and she's get it's because now Amy is cool and they're close but when they were kids she was a massive bitch and like, just what the fuck , who does something like that.

 

“That's...really kinda messed up.” Karolina whispers, like she's can't believe what she just heard and honestly Nico still can't believe she has this story to tell.

 

“Yeah, I know. Anyway, since then I really don't do well with heights.”

 

“I can't believe Amy would do something like that.” Karolina met Amy when she came home to visit a week ago and they got on pretty well, half because Karolina can get on with anyone and half because Amy practically already knows Karolina with how much Nico talks about her, which is way more than she'd like to admit.

 

“Yeah, she's nice now and I know she feels awful about it but when she was younger she was a little shit. Anyway I got her back when I ‘accidentally’ burnt her prom dress.” Mic says, grinning, hoping to move past this tense topic.

 

Karolina chuckles a bit at that and the heavy moment passes and eventually they go back to just swimming and messing around with the rest of her friends and Nico is left with a thought that is equally as exciting as is it terrifying.

 

She could seriously fall in love with Karolina.

 

--

 

They're over at Alex's to watch some movies and Nico had just come back from getting her popcorn. She looks around for a place to sit down in the den. Alex, Gert and Chase take up the couch and Molly is lounging on a bean bag on the floor, Nico has no clue how that's comfortable. That just leaves the the loveseat that Karolina is laying on, her back against the armrest and her feet up. She walks over and nudges Karolina's legs.

 

“Move over?” She says and it actually comes out sort of a question which is weird for her but this is Karolina so.

 

Karolina just gets this mischievous grin on her face that Nico dreads because it probably means that she's going to end up embarrassed.

 

“hmm… nah, I'm comfy. You can sit here though.” Karolina says, patting the space between her legs, moving one foot onto the floor to let Nico in and Nico is pretty sure she's glowing with how red her face must be.

 

She doesn't get why Karolina is always teasing her like this, with the hottest girl in school thing and the lap thing, saying she'd kiss her, always calling her cute or touching her, her hands, her ears, her neck, arms, face, where ever. She doesn't get it. It really doesn't help with the whole crush that's not even really a crush thing.

 

What she does get is that when she looks and that smug smirk, god, so hot, she doesn't want to back down. So she just shrugs and settles down in between Karolina's legs and she's so proud of herself for how calm she acts because she pretty sure her heart is about to break her ribs. She even hooks her hand under Karolina's knee and pulls it back up onto the loveseat. She's infinitely disappointed and infinitely happy that Karolina is wearing sweatpants. Still, this feels amazing. Soft and comfy and safe and warm. Karolina’s arms snake around her waist as if they do this all the time and Nico leans back, her head resting on Karolina's chest, because if she's here she might as well be comfortable.

 

And surprisingly that's exactly what this is, comfortable. She thought she'd never be comfortable doing anything like she with anyone and god, people are even in the room but she could never be uncomfortable with Karolina.

 

She tries to focus on the movie but she's just so cosy and warm and the way Karolina is rubbing circles on her side with her thumb is lulling her to sleep. Her eyelids seriously feel heavy and she can't find a good reason she shouldn't sleep especially because the movie she's supposed to be watching is dull and she's seen it before. The way Karolina's chest rises and falls rhythmically is insanely comforting, the reminder that she's right there and if she stains her hearing she swears she can make out Karolina’s heartbeat. She just closes her eyes for a second but then she's been lightly shook and she sits up a bit, awkwardly, because she's still tangled up with Karolina. She blinks a few times as her eyes struggle to focus.

 

“Nico? The movie finished, you fell asleep.” Karolina says quietly.

 

“Oh.” Is all she can't really say and she leans back into Karolina again because the way she was half sitting up was super uncomfortable.

 

“We were gonna watch another one. Anything you wanna watch?”

 

Nico couldn't give two fucks about what movie to watch when she's burrowed into Karolina like this but she realises that everyone in the room is looking at her, and fucking Gert has this shit eating grin on her face, and she feels her face heat up. It's all she can do to shake her head no before she buries her face in Karolina's shoulder. Her friends better not speak a word of this outside this room or she'll....well, she'll probably die of embarrassment but she will seriously haunt the shit out of them.

 

“Sorry for falling asleep on you.”

 

“It's okay. I don't mind.” Karolina says, a little bit of humour in her voice, and if anyone else said that Nico wouldn't believe them but it's Karolina.

 

“Okay, great. Imma go back to sleep because I'm seriously tired.” Nico says, snuggling back into Karolina’s front, to tired and groggy and comfy to even care about being embarrassed anymore.

 

“Okay, sweet dreams.” Karolina says and Nico can't help but think they will be.

 

--

 

She's studying with Gert because if she studies with Karolina she just gets way too distracted. She's been struggling with this last bit for a while when she hears her phone buzz on the table next to her. She doesn't even look up from her work because she knows who it is and what it says and she’ll reply in a bit because if she loses focus she'll never get this problem solved. It's getting late though and she'll probably just have to give up soon anyway.

 

But then Gert has to speak up, because, of course.

 

“Aren't you gonna get that?”

 

“No, it's just Karolina.”

 

“What- what do you mean ‘It's just Karolina’? Like you ignore texts from Karolina now?” So Gert sounds mad now which, okay, she gets how that sounded but really? She'd never get this problem done so she just looks up and meet Gert's eyes.

 

“No, I'm not ignoring it. I just know what it says and I can response in a bit because if you didn't realise we're trying to study.” She says and she's a bit irritated with the accusation because as if she would ignore Karolina.

 

“Oh? Why? What's it say?” Gert asks and grabs Nico's phone, which, hello? Compete invasion of privacy. Gert’s eyes scan over the text message and Nico seriously can't be bothered to make the effort to try and get her phone back so she just waits. Gert's smile turns into something that makes Nico’s gut twist.

 

“Aww. You two are too cute.” Gert coos and Nico just grabs her phone back, rolling her eyes.

 

When she looks at her phone, as she expected, there was a text from Karolina which simply says ‘Goodnight. x’ and she can't help the smile that appears on her face. She unlocks her phone and quickly types out a message to Karolina. When she puts her phone back down Gert is still looking at her with this annoying ass smile.

 

“What?” She snaps but it doesn't deter Gert, she just smiles wider.

 

“So, do you get a message like that everyday or…?”

 

“Yeah…but doesn't she send everyone a text like that?”

 

“No. Just you.”

 

“But...why?” Nico says and even though her face is scrunched up in confusion she feels a familiar warmth spread through her chest whenever anything happens relating to Karolina. She feels kinda embarrassed at just how fuckin happy it makes her that Karolina takes the time to send her messages like that and the fact that it's only her just multiplies that by ten. Before she thought this was just Karolina being friendly but now that she knows its something more than that, something special, just between them two she feels like she could fucking glow with the happiness that floods her chest.

 

“Well...because you're her wife, obviously .”

 

“Shut up.” Nico says, rolling her eyes, but she can't help the smile on her face

Chapter Text

Karolina has invited them all to this... gala thing that her mom is hosting and honestly it sounds fucking boring but Karolina had said that these things really stress her out and that she needs them there while very obviously looking straight at Nico so...there really isn't anything she can do about it.

 

Karolina also insisted that they get ready together and really Nico gave up trying to argue with Karolina about anything. Even if she wanted to argue, which she doesn't, she could never win an argument with Karolina.

 

She expected this would be a amazing opportunity for Karolina to tease her relentlessly but to her surprise Karolina hasn't really done anything. Thought that doesn't really make her feel any better, more like it feels like it's all building to one moment and the anticipation is kinda killing her, because there no way she gets out of this without being embarrassed at least one.

 

Karolina had just gone into the bathroom to change, which Nico ix kinda is thankful for because she half expected Karolina to just change with her in the room which would have been... something. It would have been a sweet death but at the end of the day not worth it.

 

The door opens behind her and Karolina steps out in this white dress that's stylish and sophisticated and makes her look five years older than she is. It's simple and elegant and it might have looked boring on someone else but Karolina just looks so effortlessly gorgeous that she makes it work. It shows off a teasing amount of skin around the neck and the shoulders and stops just above the knee. Enough to entice but modest enough to keep the classy feeling. Her hair is in this intricate updo that adds to that classy feeling and Nico can't help but suck in a harsh breath but she's never seen Karolina like this. She looks completely sure of herself, confident in a way she never has been before and god...it's so fucking sexy.

 

“How do I look?” Karolina asks and Nico barely registers the question because holy shit , how is her brain supposed to work.

 

Nico has to clear her throat a bit before she can speak.

 

“Yea- Yeah.” Is all she can say which causes Karolina to smirk a bit

 

“That all? Just ‘Yeah’?”

 

Nico finally blink and for fuck sake, she has to clear her throat again.

 

“You looking amazing...absolutely gorgeous” Is she complimenting Karolina too much? Can friends call other friends gorgeous? Especially in the breathy, stunned way she just did?

 

Probably not but Karolina blushes, honest to god blushes and Nico thinks it's the first time that's happened or the first time she's seen it anyway and it's just so petty that she can't really find it in herself to care.

 

“Thanks.” Karolina walks over to stand in front of the mirror and Nico just kinda follows her with her eyes because my god. “Can you zip me up.” Karolina asks, meeting Nico's eyes in the mirror.

 

And what?

 

She looks down and oh god. The zipper runs all the way down Karolina's back and right now it's open all the way and... here it is . The teasing moment she's been dreading. She just knows that Karolina left it all the way open on purpose.

 

Is a phantom heart attack a real thing because if it is she's definitely having on right now. She can see the entirety on Karolina's back all the way to the small dip in the small of her back and... god, it's so sexy.  It's all smooth, toned skin and Nico just wants to run her hands across every inch of it, but that actually would be too far. She reaches up and christ, her hands are shaking. She pulls the zipper up, agonizingly slowly, because it's physically hurts to be doing it. Watching that small dip disappear is like torture and she moves her eyes upwards and she's met with Karolina's shoulder blades and... what the fuck, how can shoulder blades be this sexy. The way they creates these soft shadows against Karolina's skin is so entrancing. Eventually, after what feels like a year, the zipper is all that way up and all she's left with is there nape of Karolina's neck which...is actually really nice too like how .

 

She's blinks once, shakes herself out of her head and meets Karolina's eyes in the mirror.

 

“Oh, don't look so disappointed Nico.” She says leaning down to pick something to pick something up and when she straightens back up she meets Nico's eyes purposefully “I'm sure you'll see it again and next time you can stare all you want.” She says and Nico is pretty sure she's actually having a heart attack now. Karolina just smirks, biting her lip a bit, which is also so hot, probably at the mix of arousal, embarrassment and shock on her face, fucking winks at her and then leaves the room. Nico is left just staring at her own flushed expression in the mirror, wondering when her heart is going to stop sounding like a drum in her ears.

 

“Fucking hell.” She mutters, to herself, because, honestly, what the fuck else is she supposed to do.

 

--

 

Nico is studying outside again and, of course, Karolina takes a seat beside her. Nico can almost feel Karolina’s smile on her and she looks up and returns it with one of her own. She knows she'll barely get any more studying done this period now that she's given in and looked at Karolina but she's hasn't seen the other girl all day and she might not for the rest of the day. That's just unacceptable, if she goes a full day without seeing Karolina's eyes, her smile, hearing her voice, she'll probably go into withdrawal or something. She loves living in California. Before she didn't really feel any attachment to it but the way the sunlight makes Karolina's eyes shine and her skin golden, almost glowing, makes her thankful for every day of sun. God if she lived somewhere up north and she barely got this then she'd probably cry or something equally dramatic and over the top.

 

“Hey.” Karolina's voice is sweet, like a soft summer breeze, and it's insane just how much that one simple word soothes her.

 

“Hi.”

 

“Ugh, that stupid Gala really took it out of me. I hate them.” Karolina says rolling her shoulders and Nico can't help but follow the motion.

 

“Yeah, I could tell you were stress.”

 

“My mom tends to get a bit crazy about these things and honestly it's a bit much.”

 

Nico hesitates, the mention of Karolina's mom reminding her of something that caught her attention that night. She doesn't want to make Karolina uncomfortable but it's kinda been eating at her the past two days. She reaches over and takes Karolina's hand and blue eyes rise to meet hers.

 

“Speaking of your mom...I noticed that night she was kinda, like, throwing guys your way all night? Does she....” Nico doesn't know if she's ever heard her voice like this, so full of concern, it's weird but it's also Karolina so it's not so weird.

 

“Know I'm gay? Yeah, she knows, or...well, I've told her anyway but she's got it into her head that I just need to meet the right guy.”

 

Karolina eyes won't meet hers and the hurt in her voice actually causes Nico physical pain. It kinda scares her sometimes how much she's cares about Karolina but she knows Karolina cares about her just as much.

 

“That sucks.” Nico says because... fuck, what else can she say. She feels kinda useless right now but Karolina meets her eyes and smiles a bit and maybe just being here is something.

 

“Yeah, it was a lot worse when I was at my old school and I wasn't out and none of my friends knew. Now I have you guys and that's enough.”

 

“It shouldn't have to be.”

 

“I know.” Is all Karolina says, her smile incredibly sad. The smile of someone who's mom might never quite accept them.

 

Nico has no idea what to say because there are no words and she hopes that somehow her presence is giving Karolina some kind of comfort because that's all she can really hope for.

 

“Maybe she'll come around someday, when I have a girlfriend. My dad's way better about it anyway and he's working on her.” Karolina's smiles turns a bit more real at the thought of her dad and Nico is glad she has someone in her life that's there for her, completely.

 

She's trying to ignore that fact that she swears Karolina's eyes went to her when she said ‘girlfriend’ because she's probably just seeing things.

 

“Your dad sounds awesome. I'm glad you have someone like him.”

 

“Yeah, he is.”

 

The moment calls for quiet then and Nico is just content to sit there and be there for Karolina, if she's needed. As the seconds tick by though she notices that Karolina is looking at her, eyes narrowed, almost scrutinising. Her heart picks up and she swears her palms are sweating.

 

“What?” Nico asks when she can't take it anymore.

 

“Nothing, you just have…”

 

Karolina trails off and starts to lean forward a bit. Nico heart stops dead in her chest because she has no clue what's about to happen but she's knows what she wants to happen. Karolina moves slowly and Nico wilish she'd be a bit faster because if he heart doesn't beat in the next five seconds it might become a problem. Karolina’s hand raises up and hovers next to Nico's face, those soft fingers just centimeters away from her skin and she doesn't know when she started holding her breath but she feels like she's about to pass out.

 

“Hold still.” Karolina’s words are soft, whispered and it reminds Nico of how close she's is, how their lips are mere inches apart yet it feels like miles. It's too far. Any distance is too far.

 

Karolina bites her lip, in what Nico can only assume is concentration, and her eyelids flutter slightly and- really, that should be illegal. Her hand brushes Nico's eyelid and pulls slightly but she never breaks eye contact as she pulls her hand back.

 

“Eyelash.”

 

Karolina’s voice is small and Nico can barely hear her over the blood rushing through her ears. Karolina doesn't move back and their faces are so close and if this were anyone else but Karolina it would be uncomfortable. Nico's eyes dart down to Karolina’s lips, for just a moment, she couldn't help it, and she just hopes Karolina didn't notice but the way Karolina is staring into her eyes tells her she probably did.

 

“You have really nice eyes.” Karolina says and Nico has to blink, shocked, because that's the last thing she expected to come out of Karolina's mouth.

 

“Um, thanks. You do too.” Nico hates the way her voice shakes in this moment.

 

“I know...or, I mean, I know that you like them. When we're speaking you always look me in the eye and sometimes...I look over at you at our eyes just meet so I assume you must have been looking at them.”

 

Nico can't help but notice the way Karolina sounds flustered but at the same time it feels like she's being call out? On what, exactly, she doesn't know but she can't exactly lie.

 

“Yeah, they're, umm…” Beautiful, gorgeous, amazing, magical, ethereal, entrancing, stunning, something words can't describe. “Pretty.” The word is entirely underwhelming and doesn't do Karolina's eyes any justice but she can't find it in her to say anything else.

 

“Thanks.” Karolina says with a smile and she finally, finally , pulls back and Nico feels like she can finally breathe. Her lungs ache and her heart hurts and she feels like she just ran a marathon. Is she sweating? What the fuck.

 

“I gotta go. I'll see you later?” Karolina says, standing up.

 

Nico barely manages to mumble “Yeah” before Karolina walks away. Nico can't help but watch her until she's completely out of sight and even for a few moments after. She's so focused on Karolina she doesn't notice someone taking a seat across from her.

 

“So, why aren't you two dating.” Gert's voice scares the shit out of her and she jumps a little.

 

“What the fuck.” She says, her heart racing in an entirely different way from just a minute ago.

 

“You and Karolina. Why aren't you dating?” She repeats like Nico hadn't understood that the first time.

 

“What? Were you spying on us or something? That's creepy.”

 

“No, actually I was even here before you. It's not exactly spying when your doing shit like that in public. I was just looking is all. It's a free country.”

 

Nico just sighs and shakes her head.

 

“Whatever, what are you on about again?” If Gert gets to the point fast then she might be able to actually study.

 

“Why aren't you and Karolina dating? I mean, I don't know exactly what just happened but you two looked ready to molest each other right here at school.”

 

And... what? Nico's pretty sure that her face is about to burst into flames.

 

“What the fuck are you talking about.” Her tone is deadly, because this isn't something she wants to talk about, and anyone else would be running away right now but Gert just stares at her, unflinching.

 

“You like her. She likes you. I just don't know why your not dating.” Gert says as if it's obviously.

 

Nico pauses because she feels completely exposed and is she really this obvious?

 

“I don't like Karolina. Not like that.” Nico says and the words taste bitter on her tongue because it such a bold faced lie.

 

“Ha. Yeah sure. Okay then, if you don't like Karolina then why did you just watch her walk away.”

 

Nico feels her jaw clench.

 

“Okay...I do like her.” She forces the words out and it's hard to admit something so raw and real that she barely understands it herself. The word ‘like’ seriously doesn't do it justice but she's scared of using any other word. “But, she doesn't like me.” Nico says through gritted teeth.

 

“Oh, please. Nico, really, are you like blind? She's always touching you and when she looks at you, god, she just lights up. Sometimes when we're all hanging out together you two are just completely in your own little world. And what about when she literally said she wants to kiss you.”

 

Nico knows Gert's right on some level. Her and Karolina’s relationship quite often goes over the line of being friendly but she can't, she can not , get her hopes up because if Gert is wrong...it'll fucking crush her.

 

“She didn't say she wanted to kiss me, she said if she had to she would kiss me. And anyway she was just teasing me.” She says and Gert just gives her this dry look as if she knows it's all smoke.

 

“Yeah, because queer girls tease their female friends like that all the time.” On some level she knows that Gert is making sense but she just can't think about it.

 

“Just...don't. I really don't want to talk about this.” She hates the way that her voice is pleading but she can't help it with the way she feels like open and frayed right now.

 

“Fine, but seriously?” Gert's voice is a lot softer now, more gentle and Nico meets her eyes and see sincerity there.

 

“You two already make each other so happy. I know you Nico I can see it. I think you'd be even happier if you just...went for it. You'd make a great couple.”

 

“Or it could just blow up in our faces.” She says without even really thinking about it because that's her biggest fear, that somehow she's loses Karolina.

 

“Maybe, but isn't it worth the risk?” Gert says, as if it's just that simple.

 

All Nico can do is shrugs because honestly she has no clue and it's way too terrifying it even thing about.

 

--

 

She's laying around on her bed thinking about...Karolina, obviously, what else. She can't stop thinking about Karolina and what Gert said. Is it true that Karolina could like her? She guesses that she can see where people are coming from and she's had moments where she thought the same thing but she always pushed the idea aside because...she didn't dare hope. Sure there were rumours at school but now one of her closest friends, and one of Karolina's, was saying it too. If she looked back at her and Karolina relationship she could see it but she always just convinced herself that Karolina was just joking around or teasing her.

 

But if Karolina did ike her that opens a whole other can of worms.

 

She's never been in a relationship before and from what she can tell Karolina hasn’t either or at least she's never mentioned anything about an ex girlfriend. There ways to high a chance she'd fuck it up and if she hurt Karolina she doesn't know what she'd do with herself. If she fucked up and lost Karolina it'd kill her. Not only would she be losing her best friend but the first person she fell in love with.

 

She squeezed her eyes shut at the tears that threaten to leak out. She's never let herself think that word but there it was.

 

She loves Karolina.

 

She's in love with Karolina.

 

Holy shit .

 

It's a weird feeling, this moment. A battle between this amazingly euphoric happiness and a overwhelming, crippingling sense of dread. Now she has everything to lose and so, so much to gain. She's never felt this close to anyone and it's exciting and scary and everything in between. Outside of her immediate family, she's never cared about someone so much. It terrifies her because suddenly the thought of anything happening to Karolina literally sends cracks ricocheting through her fucking soul. She's not good at this, caring too much, being close to people, having people care too much about her. She's not really had a new person in her life in forever. All her friends she met when she was really young and too young, too innocent to care or understand that letting people too close can hurt. By the time she understood that she didn't want them gone but she still keeps herself at a bit of a distance. She supposes that she gets it from her mom. Her mom was never really openly emotional when she was growing up and she's always taken more after her mom and her dad so-

 

She's broken from her train of thought from her phone buzzing. She plucks it off her bedside table and sees that she's got a snapchat notifications. She's smile because only one person sends her snapchats, Nico doesn't use it, and she really wouldn't mind seeing her face right now.

 

Except when she opens the app Karolina’s face isn't in the photo, it's cut off at her neck. Her arm if extended forward holding the phone above her. She's laid on her bed, hair splayed out behind her shoulders and she's wearing this faded, yellow t-shirt, that's a bit too big for her and hangs a bit off one shoulder, and...and that's it. The shirt ends just at the top of Karolina's thighs and the rest is just exposed skin, smooth and tone and fucking hell. Nico feels her mouth literally dry out and her hands are shaking if she dropped her phone on her face right now it'd be mortifying and entirely...apt. She imagines running her hands up those legs, soft, silky skin underneath her fingertips and she can almost feel it. Images of her reaching the top of those legs and, just, the thought of what's at the apex of this thighs sends a shiver rolling through her body. Then another thought comes to her, what if Karolina is literally only wearing that shirt. The thought of dipping her hands just beneath and finding, just, wet heat burns itself into her mind and-

 

Fuck fuck fuck shit fucking shit shitting fucking shit.

 

It's not even that scandalous of a picture but god, it does things to her. Maybe because it's Karolina and she's fucking in love with her or maybe it because ninety nine percent of the time she's comes off as so sweet and innocent and pure and then she does something like this and, god, it fucking wrecks her brain. The attached message just said ‘night’ with a winking face.

 

That's the moment she realise the timer thing is ticking down and it's at three...two and-

 

She does it without even thinking about it. She doesn't even know how she knows how to take a screenshot on her phone but she's fucking thankful for it. Then a moment later she's so fucking embarrassed that she's pretty sure her face is on fire .

 

No one is going on her phone. Ever.

 

She's chucks her phone down on her bed, covers her face with her hands and lets out a pitiful groan.

 

She needs a cold shower or... something .

 

--

 

She's stood at her locker just kinda..staring into it. She's pretty sure there was a reason she opened it but she's kinda forgot. That picture Karolina sent her flashed through her mind for a moment and now she can’t stop thinking about it. It feels like her phone is burning a hole in her pocket just knowing it's there and that she could look at it if she wanted to. It's kinda makes her nervous and she has half a mind to just delete it but she just can't. She also can't look at it because it makes her feel...a weird mix of shame and arousal.

 

It's kinda freaking her out.

 

“Hey Nico.”

 

Nico's head snaps round so fast her neck might break. Karolina's stood right there and the image of that picture just gets about ten times stronger. She thought her face couldn’t redder but Karolina is smirking at her like she knows exactly what she's thinking about and…

 

She seriously can't deal.

 

“H-hey.” She can't believe she stammered.

 

Karolina’s smile gets wider and now Nico is sure that somehow Karolina can read her mind.

 

“How did you sleep?” Karolina ask and Nico can't actually believe Karolina is doing this to her.

 

“Fine- er, good, I guess.” God, she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to have a normal conversation with Karolina ever again.

 

Then Karolina just leans against the locker and gives her a real smile, one that isn't teasing, and she feels like she can finally relax because it's still Karolina and she's never been more comfortable with anyone else. God, Nico hasn't seen her in like two days and she almost forgot how fucking gorgeous she is.

 

“I just wanted to say hey before class so- oh, wait. I got some new perfume what do you think?”

 

Karolina leans forward, craning her neck slightly and for a second Nico has no idea what's going. Then it clicks in her mind and she leans forward a bit. She really only meant to take a small smell but she ends up, like, just, inhaling deeply which...is probably a bit creepy. But Karolina smells...well she doesn't know exactly but just, sweet and light and probably like some kind of flowers and entirely like she expected Karolina would smell. Her eyelids just kinda fall closed on their own and she can't help but hum a bit in pleasure.

 

“Nico?”

 

“Hmm? Wh-what?” Oh great and she's back to stuttering.

 

“Is it okay?”

 

“Oh, yeah, it's great, you smell...great.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

Nico expects Karolina to walk away but instead Karolina leans in slight and Nico again has no idea what the fuck is going on. Then before she can figure it out Karolina is already leaning back.

 

“You smell nice too.” And then she's gone and Nico still kinda doesn't know what happened.

 

She looks back to her open locker...why did she open this again?

 

“So, that was really gay.”

 

Okay so when is Gert going to stop just appearing out of nowhere.

 

“What?” Nico says dryly. She really doesn't want to deal with this.

 

“You and Karolina. What you just did was pretty gay.”

 

“She asked me to smell her perfume.”

 

“Oh, okay then that's not gay...except that you’re totally into each other so it is.”

 

She's about two seconds away from slamming her locker down on her head and she still doesn't even know why she opened it.

 

“Will you just drop this. I'm trying to figure it out okay.”

 

“I would except there's literally nothing to figure out, you just need to, and I can't believe you've made me say this, man up and just tell her how you feel.”

 

On some level she's knows that Gert’s right but…

 

“If you're so sure that Karolina likes me why hasn't she said anything?”

 

“Maybe because she doesn't know if your into girls?”

 

Well...that was a good point though...

 

“No, I think she knows. Otherwise why would she send me that-” Nico cuts herself off, her face flushed red.

 

“That...what?”

 

“Nothing.” Okay, now her voice is coming out all high and weird.

 

“Yeah...okay, I don't think I wanna know.” Gert says, her face twisted uncomfortably. “Just, say something to her. Please.”

 

“I'll...yeah. Okay.”

 

“Good.” Gert smiles like she's just fucking won a medal.

 

“Fucking Gert.” Nico mutters turning back to her open locker.

 

Why did she open this again?

 

Down the hall some guy pulls his locker open and it fucking explodes with glitter. The guy just stands there, shock, face covered in glitter, sparkling in the hall because slamming his locker shut and storm off down the hall.

 

Ah, sweet Karma.

 

--

 

Karolina asked her to come to this dessert place which...she doesn't really get the point off. Why would you go somewhere just to eat dessert? It doesn't really make sense to her then again she doesn't have much of a sweet tooth. It's just her and Karolina because everyone else had something else to do she's supposes.

 

This last week has been kinda awkward, even since she spoke with Gert , she has kinda been in her own head a lot. She keeps going back and forth on whether or not she should talk to Karolina. Everytime she tries to work up the nerve to saying something images flash through her head of Karolina crying, hurt, sad and it stabs at her gut painfully and her words get caught it in her throat. Then she goes back to not saying anything and she pictures everything she could have if she was with Karolina. Those images build until she's back to square one, wanting to talk to Karolina. From there it just goes round and round, endlessly. She thinks that Karolina knows something up because she keeps getting this look where her eyes are all narrowed like she's trying to figure something out and-

 

“Nico, you okay?”

 

Okay, yeah. Karolina knows something up.

 

“Yeah, I'm fine. Why?” She knows it's bullshit, Karolina knows it's bullshit but thankfully Karolina is too polite to push her.

 

“Well, you've just been a bit weird this week.”

 

She forces her eyes to meet Karolina's and god , those eyes. She doesn't really understand the pull Karolina’s eyes have on her but they make her just feel so much and it's just as terrifying as the first time she realised that.

 

“I've just had something on my mind, is all.” She says and the words are painful in her throat because holy shit she's gonna have to say something now. She's committed.

 

“Wanna talk about it?” Karolina ask and to anyone else it might sound casual but Nico can see that curiosity behind her eyes.

 

“Yeah, yes. I probably should. It's just that...er…”

 

Karolina drops her fork to her plate with her half eaten piece of chocolate cake and the small rattle of the silverware hitting the plate sounds so fucking loud and maybe it's because it's so fucking quiet inside Nico's head.

 

“I just...I don't really know what's going on...between us.”

 

There. She said something. It might not be the best something but she needs Karolina to take the lead somehow because she has no fucking idea what she's doing and she kinda feels like she could throw up.

 

“You don't know what's going on?” Karolina asks, all slow and careful.

 

“Well, yeah...people keep telling me that you like me but I just- I don't-” want to get my hopes up because if it isn't true it'd kill me.

 

“Oh.” Karolina says and she sounds kinda hurt and shit, shit, shit. Nico's already starting to panic and she's about to say something, what exactly she has no idea, when Karolina buries her face into her hands and lets out a groan.

 

“Nico!”

 

“What, what!?”

 

“Oh, my god. I'm so embarrassed. Nico, I was so obvious , how could you not know!? Pretty much everyone knows. Well except you somehow.”

 

Well, I dont-I dunno!”

 

And she really doesn't. She can't even really believe what's going on.

 

“I thought you liked me back! You should have said something.”

 

And, wait. What? Does Karolina think she doesn't like her back?

 

“You even screenshotted that photo I sent, which first, oh god kill me, and second why did you do that if you don't like me.”

 

Okay. There's been a misunderstanding somewhere and- wait. How does Karolina know she did that!

 

“How do you know I did that?” Nico didn't think she could be this embarrassed. She doesn't know if her voice will ever go back to normal.

 

“Snapchat tells you if someone screenshots something you sent.” Karolina says rolling her eyes like it should be obvious.”But that's not really the point here is it Nico. Why didn’t say anything if you didn't like me back?”

 

Nico stops panicking for a moment to just look at Karolina because she really sounds hurt now and god , her eyes are glossy from tears and- what the fuck is she doing. She should be telling Karolina how much she fucking loves her but she's just sitting here like at idiot with Karolina staring at her, near tears.

 

She shakes her head once because fucking say something.

 

“Karolina, I do like you.”

 

“Yeah, just not like I like you.” Karolina says bitterly and god , Nico heart fucking shatters.

 

“No, Karolina- Karolina.” She stress her name because- fuck- Karolina won't meet her eyes and she need to see those eyes when she says this, those eyes that she fell in love with, those beautiful blue eyes that are like a tranquil lake or that moment between night and day. She shakes Karolina's hands a bit and finally she looks up and god, she's so fucking beautiful.

 

“Karolina I do like you. I'm fucking in love with you.”

 

There. She said it. She put herself out there.

 

God she fucked that up, majorly, but she got there in the end.

 

Karolina’s faces clears, all that hurt disappearing, which thank god, and it seems that the whole world goes silent. The only sound she can hear is the sound of her own heartbeat like some kind of deafening thunder clap in her ears and it feels like her heart is going to burst out of her chest, just to be closer to Karolina. After a few, torturous, excruciatingly long seconds she feels Karolina's hands grasp her and this fucking amazing smile appears on Karolina's face, this soft smile, like the sun appearing over the horizon in the early morning, and the world starts turning again.

 

“Really?” Karolina's voice sounds so small and so full of emotion and so fucking happy and Nico can barely believe that she's the cause of it.

 

“God, Karolina. How could I not fall in love with you.”

 

Karolina”s smile grows then and it hits her eyes and makes them fucking shine and if Nico had to compare it to something it'd be like a star going supernova, a brilliant explosion of light, way too bright to look at but way too beautiful to look away from. She could live in this moment forever with Karolina smiling at her like she created everything good in the world. Karolina pulls on her hands then and they end up hugging across the table and it's kinda awkward and a bit clumsy but Nico wouldn't be anywhere else.

 

“I love you too.” Karolina whispers and god , it's feels amazing to hear that. Nico didn't think someone else's word could affect her like this, make her feel like she's going to burst from sheer happiness.

 

Then Karolina pulls back slightly and looks Nico in the eyes for a quick moment before she's leaning back in and Nico watches Karolina's eyes slide shut and hers follow a beat after. She feels Karolina's breath brush against her lips in the moment before and it's like a promise of what's to come. When Karolina's lips meet her, in the softest caress, Nico swears if she died now she'd die happy and Karolina’s lips taste sweet and feel warm against her own and are so loving. She isn't one for clichès so fireworks don't go off in her head, she doesn't see stars or hear violins. What she does feel is just happy. Pure, unbridled bliss. In that moment she feels content, whole , and she knows that it's Karolina that completes her, her other half, her soul mate.

 

The thought is so cheesy that she can't help but smile into the kiss and Karolina matches her, almost as if she's thinking something similar.

 

Nico pulls back, only a inch or two because anymore would be too far.

 

“I love you.” She says, because she's already addict to how her lips form the words and how sweet they taste on her tongue.

 

“I love you too.” She hears back and she doesn't think she'll ever get tired of how those words caress her ears or make her heart race.

 

--

 

She's sat on Karolina’s lap in the courtyard at school, all her friends around the table with them because Karolina would not shut up about it and it's not too bad anyway because she's kinda small and Karolina is kinda tall and-

 

She's not really fooling anyone, she loves it.

 

She never thought of herself as someone who'd be super affectionate in a relationship but Karolina has changed the way she looked at a lot of think. When Karolina walked into that classroom on the day they met she turned Nico's world upside down and she couldn't be happier for it . Anyway , she's allowed to be cutesy and shit with the girl she loves.

 

Their friends weren't at all surprised when they officially started dating and Nico is so fucking glad she dodged any drama because if it caused any issues with the group it'd be utterly shitty. The only people's opinions she cares about are her friends and her family. Her mom and dad had been completely fine and Amy had said she'd figured it out after she'd gotten a text about a girl named Karolina for the tenth day in a row which Nico will never hear the end off. Anyone else's opinion she doesn't really give a fuck about.

 

Chase is currently telling them about some stupid dream he had last night where they all had superpowers.

 

Idiotic.

 

“Well, me and Alex didn't have powers exactly. I had these awesome gloves and Alex was this like this hacker man. Nico had this staff that was basically magic but it was actually tech or something. Molly had super strength and Karolina like glowed or some shit and best of all Gert had a fucking dinosaur.”

 

Molly looks really excited about their imaginary powers but Nico couldn't even really focus with Karolina rubbing circles on her hip with her thumb.

 

“So? Anyone else have any weird dreams lately?” Chase asks, taking a bite out of a fry.

 

“Yeah, I had this dream where I was strapped to a chair and this guy in a red robe kept shouting ‘behind the bookcase’ at me.”

 

Everyone stared at Alex for a moment before he just shrugged as if that explained anything.

 

“Okay…” Chase drawled, then he pointed a fry at Karolina. “Karolina? You got anything?” He said, grinning.

 

Nico looked at her girlfriend- god, her girlfriend, and Karolina was blushing and looking away.

 

“Nope.” Karolina mumbled and she seems to get even redder.

 

“C’mon Karolina.”

 

“No, I really can't say.”

 

“Why not we're all friends here.”

 

Karolina eyes flicker over to Nico for a second and there's a hint on a smirk on her face and-

 

Oh no.

 

“Because...if I told you about the dream I had last night I think Nico would die of embarrassment.” Karolina's grin is entirely evil and-

 

She doesn't mean…

 

“Karolina!” Nico buries her head in Karolina's shoulder, entirely mortified, and she can hear Chase laughing his ass off and for once she doesn't have the urge to kill him, mainly because she'd have to get up off Karolina.

 

“Sorry babe. You know I love it when you blush. It's too cute.” Karolina whispers against her ear.

 

Nico can't help but think that being a little embarrassed is probably a fair price to pay for Karolina.

 

“Shut up, I'm not cute.”

 

“Okay, whatever you say.” Karolina says, grinning and god, she's so in love with this girl.

 

“Did you guys hear? Apparently some guy’s clothes got stolen from the locker room so now he's walking around is some seriously questionable shorts and a shirt that I'm pretty sure was made for a fifteen year old girl.” Gert says, taking a seat at the table.

 

“Nico…” Karolina says, loud enough only for her to head.

 

“What?”

 

“Don't you think he's had enough now?” Karolina asks, poking her teasingly in sides.

 

“Hmm, No.”

 

“Nico.”

 

“What can I say? Karma can really hold a grudge.”