If you must wait
Wait for them here in my arms as I shake
If you must weep
Do it right here in my bed as I sleep
Laura wouldn't tell anyone how bad that first night was. She wasn’t that bad off, and she didn’t need anyone to take care of her. It wasn’t as if Carmilla was her… anything. Carmilla wasn’t anything. Nothing but a terrible roommate. But she was my terrible roommate.
Laura slipped into Carmilla’s bed that night, and stared at her side of the room, before staring at her door, waiting for Carmilla to come in. God, what she would give for Carmilla to scold her right now.
She felt blood dripping down her cheek, and wiped it away, before realizing that it was tears she was feeling. And that was when the real tears came. For once, the girl in white didn’t visit her in her dreams. No, this time it was the girl in black.
If you must mourn my love
Mourn with the moon and the stars up above
If you must mourn , don't do it alone
The second night, once Laura had assured everyone that she was fine, and everyone had left their dorm - her dorm, she crept out to the rooftop, and was taken aback by what she saw. One of Carmilla’s blankets, a bucket filled with lukewarm water, and an unlit candle. Her unlit candle. Almost as though Carmilla had been planning a… a dance under the stars. Some sort of big grand gesture. But she made it for me.
Laura’s breath caught as she looked up, in awe of the stars, chest clenching, throat closing as she choked on sobs.
She gathered Carmilla’s blanket and hurried back to the room, only to get stopped by an upsettingly perky RA.
“Laura! What are you- Laura?”
The girl stopped, for once, and spun around, hair mussed and eyes red, tears staining her cheeks. They stared at each other in silence for what must’ve been a full minute before Laura burst into heart wrenching sobs.
Perry’s face became one of empathy, and she opened her arms, smoothing her friend’s hair and murmuring reassuring nothings.
“She’s a hero, Laura. She wanted you to be safe. She wanted you to be happy.”
“Then why, why did she go?”
If you must leave
Leave as though fire burns under your feet
If you must speak
Speak every word as though it were unique
“Those who prefer their principles over their happiness, they refuse to be happy outside of the conditions they seem to have attached to their happiness.”
Carmilla had read it a thousand times, and yet… and yet hearing it being read aloud by Laura was refreshing. Comforting. And upsetting. It shed a new light on the passage, but also confirmed an unfortunate realization.
One look at Laura’s face, coupled with her trying-to-be-funny comment told her that she didn’t understand it, not completely. Carmilla explained, “He understands that love doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.”
Like how I love you, and how you think you might love me. But you don’t, at least not how I do.
Laura’s eyes dropped from hers, studying the rest of her face as she spoke, before meeting them again, filled with empathy. “I think that’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.”
If you must die, sweetheart
Die knowing your life was my life's best part
If you must die
Remember your life
“At least we’re together?” Laura gasped, and Carmilla’s heart broke with each pathetic little whimper. She’d do anything to take Laura’s agony as her own. “I don’t wanna be doomed with anyone but you.”
The brunette nodded, trying not to let the tears fall, begging herself to stay together, begging Laura to stay together, to keep it together. And it seemed like she might, for a bit. She was doing the impossible, she was saving the world. Their world.
You are all
And then she was back in Carmilla’s lap, cracking a joke. Gasping like a fish out of water.
“I t-took a chance… that she was like us. Scared… afraid, and broken… I gave her back to herself, I-“
Carmilla shushed her.
“I set her free.”
“Oh, really, now?” Carmilla smiled, and it seemed like Laura wanted to, too. “Four gods, six millennia, and untold magic… and you save the world with a frickin’ fortune cookie.”
Laura smirked. “Well… you don’t get to call dibs on all the self sacrifice.” And then she winced, and Carmilla shifted her one last time, apologizing quietly as Laura wheezed. “On second thought, you can totally have dibs on all the self sacrifice.”
“You were supposed to stay safe. You were supposed to go back to your nice little life, Laura.”
“Yeah, yeah. But then I wouldn’t have been me.”
You are all
Carmilla shook her head as Laura closed her eyes, rocking her to make sure she stayed awake. She knew it was in vain.
“Please don’t leave me. Not after all of this.”
Laura started mumbling things, probably the worst words Carmilla could’ve ever heard. “I don’t wanna d-die. There’s… still so much I, I wanna d-do. Like… like…”
And then it was over.
If you must fight
Fight with yourself and your thoughts in the night
If you must work
Work to leave some part of you on this earth
“Laura… Laura, hey. I’m here.”
Carmilla shook her wife awake, pulling her close as she jolted herself out of what was obviously a bad dream. They sat there, Laura refusing to answer Carmilla’s questions, instead clinging to the woman and hiding her face in her neck.
“Okay, well… let’s go back to bed?”
Laura shook her head, inaudible noises coming from her mouth. Carmilla sighed.
“Laura, I think it’s time we see someone about these. They’ve only gotten worse, and it’s affecting you so much more now…”
Laura let go, and climbed out of their bed and into her closet, pulling out a sketchpad and handing it to Carmilla.
She opened it, and was immediately greeted with a somewhat disturbing image. And then some more. And then what looked like a list of… symptoms, and some more drawings, this time cartoons related to the symptoms. Anxiety was a tight blue square, depression a grey blob, etcetera.
“What’s this?” Carmilla asked.
“LaFontaine has been helping me with it. And Dr. Harris. And Kirsch has been doing the drawings… It’s an app. Or, it’ll be an app. It’s for, uh… mental health. Aimed at bad dreams. I wanted to show you when it was done-“
Laura blushed, and ran a hand through her hair, shrugging. “It’s not at full potential, but it’s-“
“Incredible. You’re incredible.”
If you must live, darling one
“Laura, we’re traveling the world on our own schedule. We really don’t need to worry about which train out we’re going to get.”
Laura pouts, but nods, sliding off her suitcase and allowing her girlfriend to reorganize.
“I was just hoping we’d get to Germany by tomorrow-“
“We will get to Germany when we get to Germany. It will still be there. I promise. Just focus on us, for tonight. Can we try that?”
Laura nodded, hands combing through her hair as she looked up. “You’re right. You’re right. I trust you. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“How come Cassie only kicks me?” Carmilla whines sleepily, pushing the toddler’s hand away from her face.
Laura laughs, putting Jude back in his crib with Joel, and marveling at the two newborns. “She gets that from you.”
Carmilla grumbles, but smiles as she makes eye contact with her wife. Laura strokes jet black hair from her daughter’s face, and kisses her forehead, before sitting up and doing the same to her wife. Carmilla smirks, closing her eyes.
“Do you ever think about how lucky we got?” Laura asks, curling around her daughter and taking her wife’s hand.
“Every damn day.”