She wasn't expecting a call from Yaz on Christmas morning.
Joan was planning on spending the day alone, and that was fine. Plenty of adults celebrated Christmas by themselves. She was a grown woman, whether she acted like it or not, and she could have a low-key, grown-up holiday. Oh, who was she kidding, it was killing her. She was used to celebrating with groups, big ones, and it just didn't feel the same alone. Alas, all of her friends were busy this year. She supposed she'd have to make do. As she took a sip of hot tea and popped a Jammie Dodger, she began plotting out her lonely Christmas.
Then the phone rang.
"Joan?" Yaz asked. Immediately, a big grin came onto her face. Just hearing her crush, err, best friend's voice brightened her mood.
"Happy Christmas, Yaz." Joan replied warmly, getting settled in her favorite reading chair.
"Happy Christmas, Joan." the younger woman told her, though she sounded less happy and more stressed.
"What's wrong?" the blonde inquired, holding the phone to her face with one hand and retrieving a book off her coffee table with the other.
"I might have made up a pretend partner. I know you're probably busy with your Christmas, but if you could just show up to get my family off my back, I would be so grateful." she said shyly. Joan froze. So, the girl she had been in love with for a year now wanted her to act like her girlfriend. That was fine. Definitely not something to freak out over.
"Are you still there?" her friend questioned quietly.
"Yes, I'm still here! I'd love to go, but won't your family have a problem with the fact that I'm...y'know..." the older woman began.
"Blonde?" Yaz teased, putting an amused smile on Joan's face. She hoped she could hear her rolling her eyes over the phone.
"Cheeky. I was asking if they'll mind that I'm a woman." she clarified. She knew almost everything about Yaz, but her friend rarely mentioned her family. She clearly loved them, but it seemed they were a bit clingy.
"No, not at all. They're fine with that. They'll love you, Joan. Mum always said I should date a doctor." the dark haired woman chuckled. She had two options. She could deal with her feelings and help her best friend or back down when Yaz needed her.
"Alright, text me the address. I'll be the best fake girlfriend ever!" Joan beamed, eliciting a giggle from her friend.
"Thank you, Joan. You're a lifesaver." she said with a sigh of relief.
As bizarre as this was, she got to spend the day with the woman she was in love with. Maybe this Christmas wouldn't be so bad after all.