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They Don't Know What This Feeling is Like

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She knows she should be having the time of her life. She’s scoring goal after goal, slowly making a name for herself in the Swedish football league (and the world). 

She knows she should be happy and she is most of the time. She is a top scorer playing the game she loves, she has a great boyfriend, and a family who loves her. But, it's nights like these that have her imagining what it would be like if she didn’t decide to move to a whole different country. 

The fact is Pernille Harder knows what it is like to feel lonely. She knows what it’s like to come home from a long training or game to an empty apartment. She knows what it’s like to long for love on a day to day basis from those she cares about most. Her family lives in a completely different country and so does her boyfriend so it’s no surprise that she feels this way, she just didn’t expect it would hit her so hard. 

Sure she has a few friends on the team, but none that have really become relationships she could see lasting forever, whether it be after moving on from the team or from sport in general. 

But then there’s football. Pernille loves football. When she’s not playing it she longs to be playing it. And she has given up so much for it. All the long days training haven’t been for nothing. She made her senior National Team debut for Denmark at the age of 16, scoring three goals, and she hasn’t stopped since. It’s what she was born to do, she knows it. And there’s nothing like the feeling of hearing her name on the loudspeaker, whether it’s during the starting lineup or after she scores a goal. There’s nothing like the feeling of the ball at her feet, putting on a move to pass a defender. There’s nothing like the feeling of the perfect strike on the ball, soaring past the keeper into the back of the net. There’s nothing like football. 

Pernille Harder, best women’s footballer in the world. She’s modest, but not modest enough to not admit that the best is what she’s working towards and she’s also not shy to admit that she does believe she can get there someday. And that is why she makes these sacrifices, that includes being a little lonely sometimes. 

It’s the beginning of a new season and that means new signings for Linköping. She heard that they have a few new players coming in that should be great additions to the team, hopefully helping them rise in the Damallsvenskan. There are a few girls from various positions joining the team, however Pernille is informed that there is a new young defender that is being brought in and is told that she is very promising. 

Today is the first preseason practice and Pernille is buzzing with excitement. Usually she loves going to practice because, duh football, but today is the first day everyone gets to meet the new signings and Pernille is over the moon. 

On the drive over to the field, Pernille feels grateful for another season she gets to play football. It’s easy to forget how just one second could end her dream and how fortunate it is that she has these great opportunities, especially as a woman. During the preseason, especially when your whole body aches and you can barely make it up the stairs after training, it’s easy to take for granted the little things. And yes maybe she is a little lonely at times but this is her dream and she’s damn well going to chase it. 

Emotions aside, she’s ready for the new season and can’t wait to meet the new players. She has a feeling in the back of her mind that these new players are going to be the people she has been waiting for. Maybe she’ll finally find “her people.” 

She walks into an empty locker room and it’s no surprise she’s one of the first ones in the locker room before practice, in fact the only one. She was getting antsy in her apartment so she decided to just go ahead and get to practice a few minutes earlier than they were expected to. 

She walks in the locker room and quickly changes into her training gear and then heads over to the mirror. She swiftly puts up her bright blonde hair into a pony and looks into the mirror, her sharp blue eyes staring back at her. 

“You got this Pernille.” She says seriously, alluding to the upcoming season, hoping to hype herself up. Quickly the seriousness fades and her somewhat dorky personality shines through as she winks at herself and holds up finger guns to the mirror. 

“Yeah, I’m sure you got this. I wouldn’t mess with you, finger guns and all.” Pernille suddenly hears from behind her, followed by a laugh that she finds herself wanting to hear again for some reason. She spins around and is faced with a pretty girl whose blonde hair is pulled up into a messy bun and she’s wearing a Linköpings training jacket. She seems familiar but Pernille doesn’t quite recognize her. 

“Sorry I didn’t realize anyone else was in here yet.” Pernille replies, one who doesn’t often get embarrassed, finds her face reddening. 

“Ha, I don’t mind. I like a good pep talk myself, keeps me going.” The girl offers back. “I’m Magdalena Eriksson by the way.” Ah right the prominent new young defender. That’s why she seemed so familiar. Obviously she is one of the newbies, Pernille should have known some of them would show up early. But, whatever embarrassment she felt moments before fades away as Magdalena’s friendly banter fits right in with Pernilles personality and she begins to think this might be just the beginning of their friendship. 

“Right of course. Welcome to the team!” Pernille shoots back. “I’m Pernille Harder.” 

“Nice to meet you Pernille.” Magdalena replies. “I honestly didn’t think anyone else would be here this early or else I wouldn’t have snuck up on you.” She says laughing. 

“Nah it’s okay, I was just too excited to start the season and wasn’t in the mood to sit around my apartment so I came here.” Pernille explains. “How are you liking Linköping so far?” 

“Same here! But my reasons may have been a bit different. I’m a little nervous to start, but really excited as well!” Magdalena responds. “But anyways to answer your question, I love it here! It’s a great city and I’m super pumped to explore it more! Maybe you could show me around.” 

Pernille is about to respond when a rush of girls come into the locker room, bringing a loud onset of conversations and eventual blaring music. Typical locker room behavior, oh how happy Pernille is to be back. 

“Well we better get ready.” Magdalena eventually says after a few moments of observing their teammates. “It was really nice to meet you and you gave me hope that making new friends won’t be that hard.” Pernille can’t help the smile that spreads across her face. She was right, maybe she will find her people this season. Magdalena begins to walk away, but turns around for a moment. 

“Oh and let me know if you ever need a pep talk from someone else. I’ll be glad to fill in for the mirror.” 

Pernille just laughs and shakes her head. This is going to be a great season, she thinks. 

“Well looks like you're not the only one who just got dumped.” Magda huffs out as she walks through Pernilles apartment door unannounced and plops onto the couch beside her. 

They are now several months into the season and this has become a regular occurrence. Magda will show up and walk straight into Pernilles apartment and vice versa, like best friends. And Pernille supposes they are. 

This no knock habit they have seemed to develop and their increasing comfort around each other has led to some… let’s say, interesting scenarios. For example last week both of them have accidentally walked in on each other half naked in their respective apartments. This is usually somewhat normal for two footballers as in locker rooms they often find themselves in similar situations, but these instances have been different, and Pernilles not sure she’s ready to address these new found feelings just yet, so yes let’s stick with best friends. 

After that first run-in in the locker room, Magdalena informed her that her friends call her “Magda” and ever since then they started hanging out pretty often outside of football. And soon enough they began finding reasons to be together more hours than not and have now basically been spending all of their free time together. So yeah I guess that makes them best friends. 

Pernille and her boyfriend had just broken and naturally Pernille has talked about it with Magda and this must be what she’s alluding to. 

“I didn’t get dumped,” Pernille responds matter of factly, rolling her eyes a bit. “You know we both decided it was the right thing to do and it wasn’t messy, we’re still friends.” 

“Yeah but it would help me if we were both dumped and we could go through this together.” Magda explains, a pout forming on her lips. 

Pernille and Magda were both in their respective long distance relationships for quite awhile and she knows they both have been having problems. They talk about everything and their relationships aren’t excluded. 

Pernille and her boyfriend both agreed a few weeks ago that it would be better for them both to have a clean break and remain friends. It was hard but they haven’t really been on the same page for awhile and better to do it sooner rather than later before things started to escalate. They’re now on friendly terms and she thinks he still talks to her family which is good, it’s what she wanted a nice breakup, even if that is a bit of an oxymoron. 

On the other hand, Pernille was under the impression that Magda and her girlfriend were doing great. Last time they talked about it things were taking a turn for the better, but something must have changed. 

“Ah Magda what happened?” Pernille asks concerned. “I thought things were going better.” 

“I thought they were, she didn’t.” She announces. “But I mean we haven’t been like we used to be for a long time so it’s for the best, it just sucks.” Magda pauses for a second before she continues, like she’s trying to take it all in. 

“But, I don’t want to talk about it anymore because clearly I’m over it.” She continues sarcastically. Pernille knows Magda well enough by now and knows she is hurting more than she is leading on, but for lack of better words in this moment Pernille opts to lean over and wrap her arms around Magda, giving her an embrace. Magda eventually leans in and they stay in this position for a few moments until Pernille pulls away and breaks the silence. 

“I know just what two losers like us need.” Pernille hints with a smirk. “Ice cream and a little Mario Kart always does the trick.” Because yes two grown women can still play Wii and have a damn good fun time too. 

Pernille stands up and immediately heads towards the kitchen for a tub of chocolate ice cream and two spoons. She brings the offering back to the couch and holds it out for Magda. 

It’s never a good feeling after a breakup. All miserable and lonely, even if it’s for the best. But, there’s no other person Pernille would want to be going through this with this because if this year has taught her anything she has come to find that Magda is one of her people and she’s starting to think she doesn’t ever want that to change. 

After they both devour the ice cream, Magda and Pernille begin what is bound to be a few rounds of intense rivalry. Something that Pernille has come to find out about Magda is that she is fiercely competitive. Whether it’s a game of cards, a board game, or of course football, she is extremely competitive. Pernille has been on the wrong side of her competitiveness more times than she can count and she won’t lie about the numerous “fights” they have had from even the silliest of games. 

Tonight is no different. They settle in for a few races of Mario Kart and right off the bat some intense language is being used, however all in good fun. They both spend the remaining hours of the night grins on their faces, enjoying each other’s company, ex-partners forgotten. 

And when it’s getting late and they shut off the TV, they spend hours just talking about anything and everything. They talk about their lives growing up, they talk about their favorite foods, hobbies, holiday spots, and of course they talk about football. Conversation has always come naturally between them and tonight is no different. 

When her eyes begin to feel heavy and she can feel the sleepiness begin to take over, she leans her head onto Magda’s shoulder. And she won’t lie that even on the verge of sleep she feels butterflies in her stomach as Magda pulls her in closer and brushes her hair away from her face. It’s just a friendly gesture that all friends surely do, Pernille convinces herself as she drifts off, nothing more. 

It never bothered her that Magda was gay. In fact, she never thought twice about it. She’s just like any other friend but in this case she happens to like girls. But, ever since they have both separated from their respective significant others, Pernille and Magda have gotten even closer. And now Pernille finds herself questioning everything. 

Is Magda doing this because she has a crush on her? Does she want her to have a crush on her? Does she even like girls like that? 

Everything has become so confusing and Pernille’s mind is a jumble of thoughts that she doesn’t even know where to begin to untangle. And it doesn’t help that their boundaries have become even worse, to the point where they almost don’t have any. 

But it’s easy. So easy to just be with Magda. Conversation is easy, they both make each other laugh, they talk football… lots of football and they genuinely enjoy each other’s company. 

It first started after that one day on the couch (in reality it was much sooner than that, but this is when Pernille first started to seriously question it). Sure they were close before, but now they share everything and do everything together. When they’re not together it’s because they absolutely can’t be. 

What started as a joke quickly became what made Pernille actually question their relationship and her feelings for Magda.

They haven’t really been subtle about the fact that they’ve been spending so much time together and Pernille guesses their teammates had taken notice. One day at practice one of the girls was looking for Magda and one of their teammates replied, “I don’t know, ask her girlfriend, Pernille.” 

Obviously she was joking because they didn’t know what Pernille had been questioning herself, but it is what made Pernille pay attention to all the little things. Like when Pernille hands something to Magda while cooking in the kitchen, Magda will make sure that their hands make contact ever slightly, often lingering a bit. She notices that Magda will often place her hand on the small of Pernilles back when guiding her somewhere. She starts to notice everything and there’s flashing lights going off in her head that she can’t quite ignore and shove down anymore. 

And of course there’s the occasionally bed sharing. It’s completely natural for two friends to share a bed a couple nights a week right?! 

Since they’re spending all their time together anyways they have gotten into the habit of just staying over at each other’s apartments a couple nights a week instead of going back to their own. It wasn’t something that they ever discussed it just kind of happened. There is one particular night in the last few weeks that had been different than the others. 

They were on the couch at Magda’s apartment after they cooked dinner (more truthfully after Magda cooked dinner) and were relaxing with some beer while watching a football game. Although they both can get a little intense during games (mostly Magda), Magda has religiously kept her arm on the couch behind Pernille.  

“Fucking ref that was not a penalty are you blind!” Magda screams at the TV. 

“You know maybe if you shout a little louder he’ll hear you.” Pernille shoots back, a smirk on her face. 

“Ah thank you Pernille. Next time I hear you shouting at a game I’ll give you the same advice.” Magda replies back, a smile growing on her face as well. They both start laughing at the fact that they both get maybe a little too into football. 

When the final whistle blew signaling that the game is done, Pernille rose from the couch to clear the bottles and glasses from the table. 

“Hey Pernille I can get those, it’s my apartment anyways.” Magda offers. But as Pernille turns around to respond, she trips on the rug, the glasses and bottles falling to the floor with a loud crash. Pernille braces herself for a hard fall to the floor, but instead she feels Magda’s steady hands on her waste, catching her before she falls. Magda’s hands linger on Pernilles hips for a moment before she drops them to her sides. She immediately feels the absence of Magda’s hands on her and has to fight the urge to tell her to put them back. 

“Don’t want our star forward slipping and breaking something now do we.” Magda remarks, trying to fight off a laugh. 

“Ha.” Pernille laughs. “I’m clumsy, happens more times than you think.” They both are still laughing as they continue to joke about Pernilles clumsiness while they clean up the glass and head to the bedroom. 

They both crawl into bed, Magda on the right and Pernille on the left, another one of their unspoken agreements.

It’s like any other night they sleep in the same bed. They talk for a little bit and then both let the sleep over take them. If Pernilles honest, ever since they started sleeping in the same bed she’s slept better than she ever thinks she has. Another unanswered question and confusion added to the piles upon piles of things related to their relationship.  

Except this night would be like any other night until right as she’s on the verge of falling asleep she feels an arm snake around her and pull her in. Even in her sleepy state Pernille manages to snuggle into Magda’s embrace. 

They wake like this and Pernille won’t lie, she definitely pretended to be asleep longer than she was and she’s pretty sure Magda did too. God she really needs to figure this out. Except she can’t do that when too many things keep happening. Like the Thailand trip for starters. 

Everything came to a turning point or maybe even a tipping point on their trip to Thailand. Almost like everything up to this point was leading to this moment, like it was written in the stars, meant to happen. 

It was December and that meant that all the Swedes were going to head out on holiday for winter break. This year Pernille decided to go to Thailand with her teammates Jenni, Lina and of course Magdalena.  

The trip itself was amazing. The days were spent exploring amazing cities and even more amazing natural beauties. The shops and restaurants in the city were pretty neat. The scenery was gorgeous as well. from the beautiful sandy beaches to the amazing caves and forests. And of course Magda was there as well, so of course time was well spent. 

The nights however, were a different story. Their lack of sleep was 100 percent attributed to their nightly adventures spent parting. 

After the third night of partying, Magda and Pernille were in their shared hotel room (their other two teammates sharing the adjoining room). As a result of the nightly partying, Magda’s voice was completely shot and she could barely get a word out. 

Pernille was making fun of Magda for the whole night and was still annoying her back in their hotel room. Magda, playing along with it for most of the night was getting a little tired of it. Magda tried to yell a comeback to Pernille, but nothing came out. 

“What did you say Magdaaa,” Pernille jokes, drawing out her name. “I didn’t quite catch what you said.” 

Before she knew it Magda had lept in front of her and had tackled her onto one of the beds so she was now on top of Pernille. Magda still couldn’t get a word out, but Pernille knew from the smirk on Magda’s face that she was not being too serious and knows Pernille wasn’t as well.  

Pernille thought Magda was going to tickle her or something to get her back, but before she did, her eyes seemed to soften and Pernille thinks she moved her face closer to hers ever so slightly. She wasn’t sure if it was the alcohol still in their systems (they were pretty drunk) or the lack of sleep, but all Pernille could do was stare back, hoping Magda didn’t notice the chills that surged through her body and how flushed her face had become. She really doesn’t want Magda to know the effect she has on her because she’s not sure about the extent of it herself. 

After a moment, Pernille thought she saw Magda’s eyes dart to her lips, but she’s not positive because it was only for a split second. For a moment Pernille becomes anxious from all the what if’s, but it fades as quickly as it started. Her worries didn’t matter though because in this moment it’s like nothing else existed, it was just her and Magda. She doesn’t know how long they stayed like this, idiots staring into each other’s eyes. And she doesn't remember who moved first but just as suddenly as it happened it was over and they were both back in their respective beds.  

They didn’t bother getting ready for bed, rather they both settled under the covers, facing away from each other. 

Now back in Sweden they still haven’t talked about that moment and it’s driving Pernille crazy. Things have just been like they have been before. Never crossing that line, but rather walking so close to it that one move could cause a spiral. Nevertheless it’s still driving her crazy (or rather Magda is driving her crazy). They haven’t talked about any of it actually and again, it’s. Driving. Pernille. Crazy. 

Maybe it didn’t even happen and it’s all just a figment of her imagination? 

No it can’t be. What she felt was so raw, so real, nothing like she’s ever experienced before. There’s a lot of things Pernille needs to figure out, but she’s realizing that maybe this is the real her and she just needed a moment like this to figure that out. 

Chapter Text

They walk into the cafe, shaking off the dusting of snow that has fallen onto their coats. Now leaving the cold behind, they enter into the building and Pernille is met with the warm familiar smell of coffee, hot chocolate and fresh scones. 

During one of the rare moments Pernille and Magda aren’t spending their free time together, Pernille is sitting with Fridolina at a cute little cafe they found in Linköping. 

They order their coffees and Pernille manages to carry hers to her seat without spilling (this time). 

It’s February now and they have opted to sit at a booth near the cozy looking fireplace. Magda and Pernille found this place a few months ago and instantly fell in love with it. It’s got colorful little benches and tables outside during the summer months and inside is your typical cabin like feeling. The walls are painted a light burgundy, there are plenty of little reading nook areas and a few booths and tables.

Magda and Pernille brought Fridolina here when she first moved to Linköping and now it has become their go to spot, often coming here after training or on lazy Saturday afternoons. 

Frido wasn’t one of the Swedes who joined Linköping with Magda, but she has just recently joined the team and will be playing with them this upcoming season. Although Pernille didn’t know Frido before, Magda has known Frido since they were younger and naturally introduced her and Pernille. Not soon after Pernille and Frido quickly became friends and the three of them often spend lots of time together. 

It’s nice to finally have some friends here that Pernille could see herself staying in contact with. It really makes Linköping feel like home. 

Speaking of home, Pernille has just gotten back from a trip to Denmark. It was honestly great timing because it gave her some time and space to think about everything that has happened in the last few months. 

“How was your trip home?” Frido asks Pernille. Pernille takes a sip of her coffee and nods. 

“It was good. Really great actually.” Pernille replies. “I got to spend some time with my sister and a few of my friends from back home so that was nice.” 

Pernilles debating whether or not she should elaborate. Fridos been a really good friend and Pernille is pretty sure she can trust her. On the other hand, it's one thing admitting these things in her head and another actually telling someone. After a moment of debate, she opts to steer the conversation towards Fridos way. 

“How was it here when I was gone? Did you have fun showing your family around?” Since Frido had just arrived in Linköping not soon before, her family came to visit so she could show them around. 

“Yeah it was great to see them again.” Frido replies, smiling. “I loved showing them around my new home and they seemed to like it, so that’s good!” 

They spend a few minutes catching each other up about their weeks and talking about random other things before Pernille gets the courage to talk to Fridolina about what she actually planned on talking about today. She spent a lot of time reflecting over the last week and she’s not about to throw all that work out the window because she’s too scared to face her feelings. Sexuality is a fragile and special thing, and there are a lot of cruel people out there, but at the same time when has Pernille ever cared about what everyone else thinks. It should be about how she feels. 

After conversation dies down, she sees her window and takes it. 

“Hey so Freed, um I’ve been um meaning to ask you...” Pernille begins, nervousness over taking her as her hands begin to sweat. She rubs them on her jeans quickly and looks up at Frido who is giving her a soft smile as in to say that Pernille can tell her anything. This relaxes her and she laughs at herself for being so nervous. This is Freed after all, of course she can tell her anything and she won’t judge her no matter what, she just needs to be herself. Shaking off her nerves Pernille continues and just blurts it all out in her typical Pernille fashion. 

“So I’ve been having these feelings for Magda and I guess I don’t really have anyone else to talk to about it so since you know both of us and have known Magda for awhile, I thought you’d be the best person and hopefully this doesn’t make things awkward.” She rambles before getting to the point, “Anyways, so yeah I’ve been having these really intense feelings for Magda, but the thing is I’ve never really had feelings for a girl like this, or rather knew I could. And it’s all so confusing especially because I don’t want to ruin our friendship, it means so much to me and I can’t imagine not being close with her, but at the same time I’m not sure how to stay friends with her when I have all these feelings. So basically what I’m trying to say is I’m screwed.” 

Pernille knows what she just said was basically a whole lot of rambling and Fridos silence doesn’t help. Still Frido doesn’t say anything, but instead she gets up out of her side of the booth and slides in next to Pernille. Frido then wraps her arms around Pernille and brings her into a tight hug. Pernille feels something wet on her cheek and realizes that she’s crying. But, they're not sad tears, they’re happy tears, and she lets out a laugh and a sigh of relief. Now there’s tears running down both of their faces and people in the coffee shop begin to stare, but Pernille and Frido don’t care. After they embrace for a moment, they pull apart and Frido smiles. 

“I love you both no matter what and I’m so glad you feel comfortable enough to confide in me about this, I know it must have been a hard decision.” Fridolina begins, “But, honestly if you want to know what I think, I think you should just go for it. I’ve seen you two together and even if you haven’t been together with a girl before, when it comes to how you feel I don’t think it matters.” 

Pernillle feels so relieved to hear someone else say the same things she’s been trying to tell herself. It feels like a weight has been lifted from her chest that she didn’t even know was there. 

“You think?” Pernille questions. Frido subtly rolls her eyes and lets out a small laugh. 

“Oh trust me I’ve known Magda long enough to know when she’s crushing on a girl. When I first got to Linköping I even asked her about you and of course she denied it, but I could tell. I can always tell. Besides have you seen the way that you two look at each other.” Freed says, a smirk on her face, shaking her head. “And I’m telling you, I’m not the only one who’s noticed.” 

“So sending her flowers for Valentine’s Day from an anonymous person doesn’t sound totally crazy.” Pernille asks, a smirk growing in her face. “Because I may or may not have just did that.” 

“Ha you’re such a dork Pi, but no not at all, if that anonymous person is you.” 

 “Guys,” Magda exclaims to some of their teammates in the locker room after training. “Someone sent me these beautiful flowers with a sweet note that said ‘Because you are you’ on Valentine’s Day yesterday and I have no clue who they're from.”

Fridolina exchanges a subtle look with Pernille. Pernille didn’t think that Magda would bring it up around their other friends and now she really hopes she doesn’t figure out it’s her while in front of everyone. 

“Oooh Magda’s got a secret admirer. I wonder who it is? What if it’s someone from the team?” Someone from the team coos. At that moment Pernille chokes on the water she was drinking and is sent into a coughing fit. Magda is immediately at her side asking if she’s alright. In her peripheral vision she sees some of her teammates giving her a knowing look. She ignores them and instead focuses on Magda. 

“I’m fine, I’m fine,” Pernille insists, “just went down the wrong tube, all good now.” She gives a thumbs up and lets out a few more coughs before waving Magda away, again telling her that she’s fine. Out of the corner of her eye, Pernille sees Frido trying to hold in her laughter. 

Oh my god, Pernille thinks, I am a whole mess. 

Today (of all days) Magda and Pernille are the last ones in the locker room. Frido, being the last one before them, gave Pernille a reassuring rub on the shoulder before heading out. 

“Hey Pi, I missed you last week when you were gone.” Magda says breaking the silence and Pernille feels all warm and fuzzy after hearing this. “Wanna come over to my place? We can cook dinner and maybe watch a movie or something since it’s going to be snowing all night?” 

“I’d love to, but I have been feeling kind of tired so I think I might just head back to my place.” Pernille answers after a moment, hoping Magda can't tell that she's just blatantly lied to her. 

She can see the subtle drop in Magda’s face as she turns her down. She hates that she’s the one making Magda feel this way and if she’s honest she really doesn’t know why she just doesn’t go over to Magda’s and tell her the truth, that was the plan after all. But humans are complex and they don’t always do what they know is best and so Pernille heads back to her apartment, alone, the one thing she would give anything not to be. 

On her drive back to her apartment the snow is really starting to fall as she contemplates turning around and instead heading to Magda’s apartment. But, again fear over takes her and she grips the steering wheel even harder. 

As she is unlocking her door, she feels her phone buzz in her pocket. After Pernille walks into the apartment and throws her bags on the already messy floor, she checks her phone. It’s a text from Frido. 

Hey Pi, you got this!! Go get your girl! :) 

Pernille throws her phone onto the couch. She really should respond back to Frido, she’s been such a great friend through all of this, but right now she doesn’t have the energy to even think about any of it. 

Sitting alone on the couch Pernille debates texting Frido back asking her to come over and talk. She debates calling her mom or even her sister. But, as she’s sitting there alone it suddenly dawns on her that Magda is the only one she really wants to talk to. She’s the first person she would call with good news, she’s the one she would want to celebrate with and she’s the one that she would call if she needed to talk about something important or talk about anything at all. 

It’s like suddenly the fog has faded and everything is so clear. It’s just Magda. Her best friend, her confidant, and one of the most important people in her life. Pernilles not scared of talking to Magda, she’s scared of losing her. What she is afraid of isn’t about all the things she has been questioning, none of that matters, what matters is that she can’t lose Magda and if she continues to push her away that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

Before she knows it, Pernille is jumping up off of the couch and throwing on whatever clothes she can find, tripping over everything in the process (she really needs to clean up her apartment). 

She somehow manages to get out the door in one piece and quickly drives over to Magda’s, practicing what she’s going to say on the way over. 

Hey Magda, so I kind of want to kiss you or hey Magda you plus me equals awesome 

Okay so, she definitely cannot say that second one, Magda would probably laugh in her face and send her right out the door. No, but really whatever she is going to say is going to come to her naturally when she sees Magda, just like everything else in their relationship. 

When Pernille arrives at Magda’s apartment door, she is covered in white fluffy snow from head to toe. She frantically pounds on Magda’s door, hoping she’s still awake. 

She’s standing there freezing, red rosy cheeks from the cold and snow almost blending in with her blonde hair for what feels like forever, when Magda finally opens the door. 

“Pernille?” Magda says confused and a little sleepily when she sees who the culprit of the obnoxious knocking was. “You know you don't need to knock.” 

“Hey Magda. Can I come in?” 

Chapter Text


Pernille is stunned by Magdas response. When Pernille asked if she could come in she expected Magda to cheerfully let her in, but instead she paused for a moment, looking Pernille over. By the look she had on her face, Pernile knows Magda could obviously tell that something was up. But, at the last second her face changed. She didn’t seem angry persay, rather just hurt. 

“You can’t just come here and expect me to drop everything when you clearly lied earlier about being tired just to blow me off.” Magda elaborates harshly after Pernille doesn’t say anything. With everything else going on in her head right now, it must have slipped her mind that she blatantly lied to Magda earlier. “In case you don’t remember at practice you were practically gloating about how much energy you had and also more importantly, since when aren’t you down to come over and watch a movie? Anyways, it's just a lot right now. It’s just… I need some space. Okay?” 

Her words hurt Pernille and she supposes that was the point. Pernille should have expected this, she probably would be saying the same things, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. Magda doesn’t know what’s going through her head right now, but to be fair Pernille doesn’t know what’s going through Magdas head either. 

She thought when Magda opened the door it would be this perfect moment and she would have the right words to say. Now, she’s left with nothing and all she wants to do is comfort Magda from the pain that she has caused her, hoping it might help Pernilles as well. But, Magda asked for space and she supposes that’s what she’ll give her. 

“Um, I’ll just…” Pernille points her finger toward the exit, trying to hold back her tears that will surely come later. How could she be so stupid? She surely has just made everything far more complicated. Why couldn’t she just have said how she felt weeks ago? She walks away from Magda's apartment door and the walk soon turns into a jog. She needs to get out of this building before she explodes. 

When she finally reaches the exit, she pushes open the door and is met with a refreshing blast of cold air. She looks up at the sky full of falling snow, lit only by the dim yellow street lights. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, permitting a few tears to fall from her eyes. When she feels herself relax, she opens her eyes and lets out another deep breathe that she can see in the cold. Shaking her head, she heads toward the direction of her car, preparing for yet another night crowded with thoughts that she just can’t seem to escape. Wow has she fucked everything up. 

Just as Pernille is arriving to her car, she hears the slamming of a door and a faint yell of her name, the heavy snowfall muffling the sound. 


“Pernille wait!” She hears louder this time. Once the figure has gotten closer, she realizes it’s Magda. She doesn’t look hurt anymore. She looks a little worried, but at the same time there’s a certain softness to her eyes that makes Pernille want to melt into her on the spot. 


“Hi.” Pernille manages to get out, looking up shyly at Magda. She didn’t expect Magda to talk to her again this soon. Magda usually isn’t too bad of a grudge holder, but she does take time to calm down. 

“Um so sorry I kinda freaked out at you.” Pernille looks up at her more closely this time. Magda is looking back at Pernille, her eyes apologizing along with her words. The snow is falling onto her hair in perfect flakes and Pernille thinks she has never looked more beautiful. “It’s stupid I know and its not even that big of a deal, you really didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just… there's been a lot of… you know when feelings… “ 

Magda cuts herself off and Pernilles can’t trust herself with what she thinks Magda is saying. She’s not sure about a lot but standing out in the snow feels almost too perfect of a moment and she subtly pinches her arm to make sure this isn’t a dream. Magda glances down at her lips and she thinks she's going to kiss her, until suddenly the moment is ruined when they both jump from the sound of a car horn honking in the parking lot.  


“Earth to Pernille,” Magda says, Pernille must have been spacing out.. She’s not sure how long she was standing there, but it must have been longer than a few seconds. “Hey what’s up with you? Did the cold get to you? Didn’t you hear me when I said we should go up and you can actually come in this time?”  

“Right, right sorry.” Pernille replies, hoping that will suffice the awkwardness. She's not sure how to act now, even though Magda has forgiven her, and so it’s all a bit awkward trying to dance around each other. 

“Anyways what I said before you zoned out on me, was that I was just watching a movie, but feel free to come in and join me.” She pauses for a moment, looking Pernille over, her look tells Pernille she’s confused as to why she is still not saying anything. Pernille just smiles at her. It’s just Magda there’s nothing to be worried about. It's the same with her other friends. One minute they’re fighting about something stupid and the next it’s like nothing has happened. 

“Come here, you look freezing.” Like she’s deciding that maybe it is the cold that has her acting this way. Except she’s wrong, so wrong. She doesn’t even notice the cold. All she can pay attention to right now is Magda. 

When they are back up in her apartment, Magda offers her a blanket and they curl up on the couch together. For a second Pernille forgets what she came here to do and what just happened between them and all her worries fall away. It’s just her and Magda and it feels so natural. It's just like any other night. She lets herself relax into Magda’s embrace and can feel Magda relax against her body as well. 

Magda presses play and resumes the movie she was watching, The Hunger Games. Luckily Pernille has seen the movie a few other times and is able to follow along from the middle of the movie. 

They mostly just watch the movie in comfortable silence, both probably a little emotionally drained from the apparent internal struggles they both have been dealing with. Both having read all three of the books, they occasionally comment on how the movie differs from the book, but agree that this is one of the better book to movie adaptations that has been done. To be honest, Pernille is just happy that everything seems to be back to normal between them. 

Obviously everyone’s least favorite part of the first movie (or book), is when Rue dies. Having never watched this movie with Magda before, Pernille looks over at Magda to see her reaction when Katniss is singing to Rue before placing the flowerers on her. You can always judge someone’s character by how they act when Rue dies, okay not really , but still she’s not that surprised to see that Magda is clearly saddened by this part, even having seen the movie before. It’s no surprise Magda is a softy at heart, even if she doesn’t always act like it. 

“Your not going to risk your life for me, I’m not going to let you.” 

“You would do it for me.” Pernille hears in the background right before Katniss kisses Peeta in the cave on the screen. Except she can’t really pay attention to any of this because Pernille can feel Magda’s eyes staring at her. She thinks that Magda doesn’t realize that Pernille knows she’s looking at her instead of the movie or she doesn’t care (either would be fine with Pernille, it’s just very distracting). 

When there’s a break in the action Pernilles mind begins to wander. Ever since Frido mentioned that they look at each other differently Pernille has started to pay attention to this more. And right now she can still feel Magda’s eyes looking at her, it’s like they’re burning a hole in the side of her head, and she knows this is definitely not just a friendly look. All she wants to do is lean over and kiss Magda’s lips, but that would be counterproductive. What they really need to do is talk, especially after everything that just happened. 

Maybe just one kiss, Pernille thinks. Katniss just leaned right over and kissed Peeta no problem, she can do the same. No she can’t. This isn’t a movie, it’s real life and they need to talk first and she thinks if she starts kissing Magda she won’t be able to stop. 

After that few minutes of Magda looking over at her and Pernille trying not to look back so that she’ll know she saw her, the rest of the movie passes by fairly quickly. 

Not soon after, the movie is now finished and they can’t keep dancing circles around each other. Pernille tells herself she’s going to go to the bathroom quickly, hype herself up and then come back and finally talk to Magda. 

She stands up from the comfort of the couch and turns to head toward the bathroom, but before she knows it her foot catches on the same rug yet again and she feels herself falling. At least she wasn’t carrying anything this time. 

However this time, she falls straight into Magda’s lap, her arms outstretched seemingly ready to catch Pernille. She sits there in Magda’s lap, not exactly embarrassed this has happened again (because really it’s Pernille, when isn’t she falling), but rather mad that this couldn’t have happened at a worst time. 

“I’m sorry.” Pernille whispers. She doesn’t need to whisper. It’s just the two of them, but for some reason she feels like talking loudly will make the moment disappear and she wants to stay like this if only for a minute. Her in Magda’s embrace. Just thinking of this, only this. Not needing to be worrying about her own fears or whatever else could be on her mind. “I’m just always falling around you huh?” 

“Luckily I’m always there to catch you.” Magda replies back huskily, matching Pernilles whisper. 

Their whole interaction is dorky and sounds like something out of a rom com and Pernille would laugh if not for the fact that she can feel Magda’s breath on her skin as she speaks softly in her raspy voice and it is giving her chills (which she also finds is incredibly distracting). Their faces are so close now and she can feel the heat radiating from Magda’s body, instantly warming her up from the loss of heat that the now abandoned blanket had provided. 

Neither says another word for a second or two, not wanting to disrupt whatever trance they are in. What feels like hours has passed before Pernille is brave enough to break the silence. 

“I guess you could say I’m falling for you.” She says, a hint of laughter in her voice. 

“What?” Magda says, louder this time. Pernille sees recognition on her face, like she’s hoping what she thinks Pernille is saying is true. She takes this as a sign to just go ahead and say what she’s been wanting to say all night. 

“The flowers Magda, they were from me. I’m your secret administer.” 

Pernille observes Magda as she fully comprehends what this means. She watches as Magda’s face scrunches up for a second before transforming into a grin. Wow, she is so beautiful. Even with no makeup on, her hair thrown up into a messy pony, and wearing a t-shirt and sweats, she is the most beautiful women Pernille has ever seen. Just looking at her right now, Pernille uses every ounce of restraint she has left in her body to not sternly tell Magda to kiss her this instant or if she doesn’t she’ll take matters into her own hands. 

“You?” Magda points at Pernille. She wants to come back with a sly remark, but nothing comes to her and she’s at a loss of words. 

“Yeah.” Pernille is finally able to croak out, the words getting caught in her throat. 

“I’ve kinda sorta been having these feelings for you.” Pernille says stumbling over her words, finally able to get any words out that make sense. “And it’s okay if you don’t, but I just didn’t want to tell you sooner because I was so scared it would ruin our friendship and I really can’t lose you Magda.” 

“You have no idea how long I’ve waited to hear those words.” 

It’s like her dreams are finally being answered when she feels Magda’s hands on her face, hovering there for a moment, her thumb brushing softly against her cheeks. Pernille moves her own hands to Magda’s waist right as Magda’s lips come crashing into hers. It starts soft, but as she leans into the kiss, Magda deepens it and it quickly becomes more. 

Their lips move in sync as they are desperate for more, more of each other. Magda’s hands are all over as she takes control. Pernille has now moved her hands to Magda’s face and Magda’s have moved to her waist, slipping under the hem of her shirt, just enough that it makes Pernille want more. 

After awhile, Magda softens the kiss and they both catch themselves smiling into it. Out of breath, they both reluctantly pull apart. 

“I think you should go.” 

Pernilles heart drops. Did she totally just take that the wrong way? Weren’t they just making out? For a solid amount of time too. She’s sure she wasn’t subtle with the frown on her face because as soon Magda notices, she takes Pernilles hands in hers, subconsciously rubbing her thumb against Pernilles hand. 

“No, no not like that.” Magda quickly corrects. The look on her face tells Pernille she’s a bit offended that Pernille thought she would just blow her off like that. “I meant to say that you should leave because, well this may sound a little old fashioned but I’d like to take you on a good old romantic date first.” 

“Only if you’d like.” She quickly adds. Pernille can’t help the wide grin that covers her face. This is all so natural and she can’t believe she spent all that wasted time doubting this.  

“Wow Magda your just a big old softy aren’t you.” Pernille quips back. Their normal banter returning. 

“Only for you.” Magdas face seems to redden as she says this and Pernille feels the need to flirt a little further. 

“Oh yeah I bet you say that to all the girls.” Magdas face reddens further and she gives Pernille a shy smile. Pernille leans back into the couch, proud of the way she seems to have an affect on Magda. 

“No I don’t actually.” 

“Oh umm.” Pernille says a bit flustered. All this flirting has affected her in some let’s say not so pg like ways. “Well, of course I’d love to go. I’ve sorta had a thing for you for awhile if you hadn’t noticed.” 

“Oh I’ve noticed.” She says sarcastically before giving Pernille a chaste kiss. It’s just a short kiss, only lasting a second or two, but it feels so natural like they do it everyday before starting their day or before going to bed at night. 

“Ok well you better get going before you change your mind.” Magda says. 

“What makes you say that?” Pernille replies back, digging further. 

“You’ll see if you stay.” Magda says smirking.

“But what if I do stay?” She seems to have taken Magda by surprise, even if that’s not at all what she meant. “No… I um… I didn’t mean it like that.” Pernille is now the one with a red face. “It’s just that I don’t really want to leave you yet if that makes sense. Can’t we just sit and talk like normal? With also maybe a little of this?” She says, feeling more confident now, pressing another chaste kiss to Magda’s lips. 

“Of course, I’d love that.” Magda smiles. 

Pernille concludes that her habit of falling has paid off. For once, Pernille is thankful for her clumsiness. If not for her fall and their somewhat dorky interaction this night might have gone very differently. 

They lay there on the couch together. Magdas arm curled around Pernille as Pernilles arm snakes around Magdas midsection and she leans her head against Magdas shoulder. They talk about nothing and everything. Pernille decides that she never wants this night to end and she wants to capture it in her brain so she can remember it forever. 

“Who was your first kiss?” Magda asks, looking at Pernille. Pernille laughs, knowing that Magda will definitely use this against her some day. 

“It’s so embarrassing.” Pernille doesn’t hesitate to tell the truth with Magda though. “So I was 14 and I was with this boy in the kitchen in my house. For some reason he thought it was a good idea to lean in and kiss me for the first time while my parents were in the other room. We were in the kitchen so we were sitting on chairs and when I leaned in and kissed him I sort of tipped over in the chair and fell into him.” Pernille looks over at Magda to see her reaction. No surprise she is trying to hold back her laughter. “My parents then came into the kitchen to see what all the commotion was about and found me on top of him on the kitchen floor, chairs lying on the ground beside us.” 

“Go ahead, laugh it’s funny.” Magda bursts into the most intense laughing fit after Pernille gives her permission. 

“Was the kiss even good?” Magda says through her laughter. 

“No, it was horrible. So not worth it.” Pernille replies, now laughing herself. 

“Okay, so I don’t think mine will top that.” Magda proposes, after both of their laughter has quieted down. “Technically my first kiss was when I was 14 too. It was the basic young kids date. We went to the movies and then he kissed me after the movie was done. Nothing special, nothing magical. But then, when I was 16, I kissed a girl for the first time. It was at an overnight soccer training camp in the middle of the night by the lake. Now that was magical.” 

“Well the variety in our stories tells you that I was always this clumsy. Are you sure you still want to be seen with me?” 

“Always.” Magda kisses Pernille again. She doesn’t think she’ll ever get over how good this feels, to finally be able to kiss Magda. There’s a lot of unknowns and things that they haven’t talked about yet, but right now everything is perfect and it’s like all is well in the universe. Nothing has felt more right to Pernille than this and she hopes that never changes. 

Chapter Text

They’ve talked a lot since that first night (and did a lot more than talking if Pernilles honest). Pernille wanted to make sure they talked about the fears she had (she found out she wasn’t the only one with the same fears). They also talked about what they both wanted at this point in their lives and made sure to make a point about how they have their own goals within their career. From the start, they both knew that each of them were in it for the long haul, even if they didn’t directly say it. However, there is one particular night that really makes it “official” in a way. 

It had been a week since that night in Magda's apartment and nothing had really changed between them, well except for the fact that Pernille could kiss Magda whenever she wanted. They hadn't exactly said anything to any of their teammates (besides Freed and few others), but Pernilles sure that they have noticed that something had changed (because they haven’t exactly been subtle about anything). It’s not that they don’t want them to know, both made it clear they're not ashamed to be together, but they just haven’t said anything about it. 

Not much in their relationship has changed, which is very telling within itself that this was meant to happen. They still spend time together everyday, they still talk about football, and they still share everything with each other. However slight, the changes in their relationship is what their teammates have probably picked up on. But, Pernilles not complaining because she loves the new small things she's noticed between them. 

Since they’ve started this, Magda has become extra protective in all aspects, including football. Pernille doesn’t think she’s trying to do this, it’s more of a subconscious thing (but either way, Pernille finds it endearing). Like when Pernille falls or is taken down in practice (which is like everyday) Magda makes sure to come over and check on her every time, even if she’s on the other side of the field. Also there's the constant need to be physically touching each other. Neither of them are super huge on public displays of affection, but when they are near each other, Magda needs to always be maintaining physical contact. Usually it's just a subtle touch of their hands, but occasionally it’s a hand on her back. 

Pernilles sure she has started doing little things like this too, but mostly she just notices Magdas habits. Even though they never officially said they were dating or anything like that, it definitely feels like it. So Pernille wasn't particularly surprised when they sort of had an accidental conversation about it on this particular night. 

It was a Saturday night, so Magda and Pernille were out at a bar with a few other teammates, having fun and letting loose. Pernille is the typical drunk, gets a bit loud and a little crazy (this is when her dorky dances come out in full swing). Magda, on the other hand, does get a bit loud and fun like Pernille, but she also gets very affectionate and handsy. This was their first outing since they first kissed, so they did get a few looks from their teammates, but Pernille didn’t care and she thinks Magda didn’t either. The whole night, Magdas hands were everywhere. On her back, on her hips, by her face, in her hair. 

It was fun, really fun, and it was nice that they could just be themselves. They were dancing in the middle of the bar, sweat and a faint smell of alcohol filled the air, when Magda leaned in and whispered into Pernilles ear, causing chills to fill her body. 

“Let’s get out of here.” 

“What did you say?” Pernille looks at her, the crowded bar muffling Magdas whisper. Instead of responding, Magda nods her head towards the door and takes Pernilles hand, leading her out. 

“Come on, let’s go back to my place.” Magda says when they are outside. Pernille inhales the fresh cool air, the opposite of the air inside the bar. It’s still a bit chilly out this time of the year and Pernille finds herself shivering in her jean jacket. 

“What are you up to, Magda?” Pernille smirks slightly, poking her hand playfully on Magdas stomach. She’s suddenly not cold anymore as Magda comes closer to her and puts her hand on Pernilles shoulder before slowly sliding it down her arm until she makes it to her hand and locks their fingers together. 

“What?” Magda smirks back. “I can’t ask my girlfriend to come home with me?” 

“Girlfriend, huh?” Pernille didn’t think it would affect her this much, Magda calling her, her girlfriend, rather she wants to hear her say it again and again. 

“Yeah, girlfriend.” Magda says smiling, like it needs no extra explanation. “Let’s go.” 

Magda leans over and kisses her cheek, before they walk hand in hand back to Magda's apartment. It’s a short walk from the bar, but long enough that the alcohol had begun to wear off. 

Just like Pernille wasn’t surprised to hear Magda call her girlfriend, she also wasn’t surprised that she woke up in Magdas bed the next morning and it was like everything was exactly how it was meant to be.


Since then, everything has been great, perfect actually, except one thing, but that has nothing to do with Magda. The last few practices she has been having some pain in her foot. Pernille has never really had a serious injury, but this can’t be that serious, right? Because she can still play, it just hurts a little sometimes. Okay a lot. 

It’s better when she walks, but as soon as she starts to run it burns and aches all throughout her foot. So far she has been able to play through the pain, but today during a passing drill she now felt pain. So far she’s been dealing with it on her own and telling the trainer that the pain isn’t too bad. But, that’s not really smart, this is her career after all, she thinks. 

Pernille is taken out of her thoughts only when Mageda subtly elbows her, seemingly knowing when Pernille is paying attention or not. 

“You two are disgustingly cute.” Fridolina mumbles. It’s after practice and Pernille, Magda, and Frido are sitting in the living room in Pernilles apartment when Frido looks at them and jokingly rolls her eyes. It’s not like they are doing anything particular out of the ordinary. Frido is sitting on one of the couches and Pernille and Magda are on the other one. Magda is sitting up straight while Pernille is laying sideways with her feet on top of Magdas lap, Magda lightly massaging her feet, having taken notice that her foot has been bothering her. 

They have only been “officially” dating for a couple of weeks, but Pernille can already tell she has fallen hard and fast for Magda. Once she accepted her feelings and realized that this was something truly special and she couldn’t just reject it, it was so easy to just be what they were meant to be. Its weird how after a while something that once felt weird or different, now feels so normal. 

“You’re just jealous Freed.” Magda replies with the perfect response. 

“I guess you’re right.” Frido laughs. 

“No, but honestly my foot has really been bothering me. I’m not sure what to do, I’ve never really had any big injuries before.” Pernile explains seriously. 

“Well, I’ve had plenty of injuries and from experience you should just get it checked out and fixed before any other injuries stem from the original one.” Frido matches Pernilles tone. Pernille nods appreciatively. “But, if you need something to keep your mind off of it there's that music festival next weekend if you guys want to go.” 

“Yes!” Magda exclaims. “Me and Pernille have been wanting to see one of the bands that are performing there." They spend the next while discussing the upcoming festival and plan to get tickets. Pernille decides to focus her energy on this, hoping it will take her mind off her injury. 

Pernille knows it’s bad when it starts to hurt to walk. She decides to train, but a few minutes into the training she makes a run down the sideline calling for the ball, when she feels a sharp burning pain in her foot. She goes down just as the ball is arriving at her feet. She bites down on her lip so she doesn’t scream out in pain. Magda is immediately at her side asking if she’s alright. 

“I’m…” She’s about to say she’s fine, but she’s really not. “It’s my foot. Worst pain it’s been so far.” 

“Okay, okay. You’re gonna be fine.” Magda helps her up and to the sideline with the help of the athletic trainer. “I’ll find you after practice, okay?” 

“Yeah, yeah see you later.” Pernille mages to get out through the pain. The trainer helps her inside and they head to the medical room where she gets an x-ray. 


“Looks like a stress fracture.” The doctor tells Pernille after a few minutes of waiting. “As you can probably tell by the name the fracture is caused by an intense amount of stress on the foot and is caused by overuse. From the x-ray it appears you actually have two fractures, one in the second metatarsal and the third metatarsal.” 

“Oh wow, okay.” Pernille is stunned, she wasn’t expecting it to be something this serious. She thought the doctor would just say ice and rest and that she would be good to go in a few days, but it doesn’t seem like this will be like that. “So what are the next steps.” 

“Well generally, we’d put you in a walking boot and crutches and tell you to ice and rest. But, in this case since there’s two fractures and given you’re a professional athlete, my recommendation would be surgery in a week.” 

“Here are some surgeons that I recommend to perform the surgery and let me know if you have any questions.” The doctor leaves and Pernille goes back to the trainer so she can set her up with some crutches and a brace for her foot. 

Pernille is overcome with frustration as she sits in the trainer's room. If she only had got this checked out sooner, it probably wouldn’t have been so bad. Now she’s probably out for a month and a half if she’s lucky. Pernille takes a deep breath. It’s not like this a career ending injury, she’s lucky that it’s nothing more serious than this. It’s going to be okay and she has Magda to help her through it. Everything is going to be fine. She’s deep in thought and doesn’t see that Magda has come into the room, done with practice. 

“Hey Pernille,” Magda says getting Pernilles attention, “Everything alright? What did the doctor say?” 

Pernille explains that she has two seperate stress fractures in her foot and will most likely need surgery. Pernille doesn’t even try to hide her disappointment and she can see in Magdas face that she feels Pernilles disappointment and frustration as well. Magda takes Pernille into her arms and embraces her in a reassuring hug. 

It sucks to be honest, that she’s injured and she’d much rather be playing than watching on the sidelines, but in light of the injury Pernille has been able to see Magda’s soft side. She’s been so good about the whole thing. She thinks of things they can do that will take her mind off of her injury. It ends up being stupid little competitive things like playing cards and they end up getting too much into it, but it’s nice to be able to still be competitive. Magda also makes sure that Pernille is taken care of and is constantly waiting on her which is sweet. Pernille was a little nervous about all this because they’ve only been dating for a few weeks and it is a serious thing, but Magda’s been so sweet through it all. 

Unfortunately, a few weeks later, Magda collides with her own goalkeeper during a scrimmage and is out with a bad knee contusion. 

“Well, looks like we’ll be injured losers together.” Is all Magda says to Pernille, trying to hide her frustration with being injured as well. Although Magda’s injury isn't quite as serious as Pernilles, it’s still an injury though. On the bright side, they are able to talk about how they feel and are able to completely understand each other. It brings them closer too and even though they aren’t able to play, it’s fun to just be on the sidelines with each other and talk and joke around. 

Since Pernille has moved to Sweden, her family hasn’t been able to visit as often. Because she’s injured her mom, dad, and sister decided to come up and visit her, hoping to bring her spirits up. 

Pernille and Magda haven’t really discussed telling anyone about their relationship because they didn’t really feel the need to. They just act like themselves and if people ask they tell them that yes they are dating. They both did agree however, that they were going to wait about telling their families just because they aren’t here a lot and it’s still pretty new. 

Her family hasn’t really asked about relationships or anything in a while since a little after her and her boyfriend broke up and she told them she was focusing on football, so that’s that. But, if they ask she’ll probably just tell them because there’s really no need to lie. 

“I like what you’ve done with the place.” Her mom says as they are walking into her apartment. Pernille just picked them up from the airport. 

“Thanks.” She has changed a few things since they have last visited. The walls are now an urban looking white compared to the tan color they were before and Pernille has added lots more pictures of her friends and teammates, many with Magda and Frido. She catches her sister eyeing over the many with Magda and just smiles when her sister looks over at her. 

Pernilles dad admires the apartment as well before clearing his throat. “So Pi I know the season hasn’t officially started and everything and your injured but how’s the team looking so far?” 

Typical dad always wanting to talk football, but Pernilles grateful for the question, which distracts from her sisters prying eyes. 

She nods. “It’s been good. Before I got hurt training was good, I think in general we are all starting to click as a team. I think this season we’ll be in pretty good shape and even better next season.” 

“How’s the foot feeling then?” Her mom interjects. 

“You know it could be better, but the surgery went great and it should be healed up in a few weeks.” Pernille sighs. “So now I’ve just been trying to keep up some strength in the gym while the foot heals.” 

They all talk football for a little while in the living room and analyze the other teams she'll be playing against this year with Linköping. Her dad, mom and sister all played, which makes them very supportive of her career and is nice for when Pernille wants to talk tactics or just needs small advice in general. 

After a while they move to the kitchen and they all help make dinner. Nothing fancy, just some chicken stir fry, a recipe Pernille got from Magda. Every since they first started hanging out, Magda has been teaching Pernille how to cook. Before Magda, Pernille was a terrible cook (she still maybe is terrible, just slightly better, but she can cut tomatoes the right way now!) and so Magda decided she would teach Pernille her ways. 

Pernille cuts the vegetables while her dad prepares the chicken. Her sister, Louise, and her mom are setting up the table. It’s nice all four of them here. She hasn’t got much of this since she left Denmark last year and she’s missed it. She’s very much a family person so it’s been extremely hard to be away. 

She has just finished scooping the stir fry onto the last plate when she hears the front door open. Pernille looks around. Her dad, mom, and sister are all accounted for in the room. She’s confused for a second until she hears a familiar voice. 

“Hey Pernille. You home?” She hears Magda say from the other room. She is pretty sure she told Magda that her family was coming up this weekend, maybe she forgot? This isn’t exactly how she pictured Magda meeting her family, but she's sure it will be fine. Right?! 

“Pernille?” Magda says again when Pernille doesn’t answer. She hears footsteps against the hardwood floor, the sound seeming closer after every step. She looks over and sees three confused faces looking at her when Magda appears from around the corner, smiling. “There you are.” 

Despite the smile on Magdas face, Pernille can tell she's a bit embarrassed when she stops dead in her tracks at the sight of what she’s met with in the kitchen. Yeah it's safe to say she definitely forgot that Pernille told her that her family was coming today. Magdas smile quivers for a second after being taken off guard, but barely lets it show. Magda makes eye contact with Pernille and silently tells her that she’s sorry, but says it out loud as well. 

Looking at Pernille she speaks softly. “Hey, sorry I totally forgot that your family was in town this weekend.” 

Pernille can tell Magda’s a bit uncomfortable and she’s about to go over and comfort her when she remembers who they’re in company with. Pernille can’t help but take in how cute Magda looks right now, her shy face, a bit of blush covering her cheeks and soft voice. Magda notices her staring and raises her eyebrows a bit at her before Pernille answers, remembering again that they aren’t the only ones in the room. 

She gives Magda a soft smile. “No, no it’s okay. I should have texted you this morning.” 

“Oh, no, it's my fault.” Magda says putting her hands behind her back and swinging side to side. “Hi, I’m Magdalena or most people just call me Magda.” She says followed by a nervous laugh. Pernille tries to stifle a laugh and Magda subtly shoots her a look. Magda shakes her parents hands followed by her sister’s as they introduce themselves. They know vaguely who she is, as Pernilles talked about her before, but she’ll definitely have to tease Magda later about how nervous she is. It’s endearing, really. It means she cares a lot and Pernille just wants to go over to Magda and embrace her, but she should probably talk to her family first so they aren’t ambushed. 

Magda puts her hands back at her sides, looking at Pernille for a second. “Um okay I’ll just… I’ll go now. I’ll text you later.” 

“Oh honey,” Pernilles mom says, “we were just about to eat dinner. Pernille why don’t you set another table spot and Magdalena can join us. I’d love to get to know one of your teammates.” 

Magda smiles, but looks at Pernille before answering. Pernille silently tells Magda that it’s okay with her if Magda is alright with it. Pernille is a little nervous about how all this will pan out, but it’s just her family, nothing too bad can happen. 

“Sure, I’d love to. Thanks!” Magda smiles graciously. Pernille sets out another spot at the table next to herself. They all sit and Magda pulls out Pernilles chair for her, which causes her to receive a side eye from her sister. Over dinner, her parents ask Magda the typical parent questions and Magda answers comfortably. They ask her how old she is (20), where she’s from (Stockholm), and if she has any siblings (one sister, Amanda). 

“Guys, really you don’t have to grill her.” Pernille says a bit embarrassed by her parents pressing questions and feeling a bit protective of Magda. 

“What?” Her mom exclaims. “You moved away from home early, so we never really got to do this a lot with your friends. It’s what parents do.” 

“It’s fine, really.” Magda assures her. “By the way, this is really good.” Magda says taking a bite of her stir fry. “Pernille must not have helped make this.” 

“Heeey.” Pernille fake yells dramatically, a little laugh at the end. She knows Magda is joking, but plays along. 

“She actually did, but I’m surprised she knew how to cut the vegetables.” Louise tells Magda, laughing along as well. 

“I'm not that bad at cooking.” Pernille says, now a little offended. 

“I beg to differ Pernille.” Her mother now joins in. “You never wanted to help me in the kitchen and when you did you were helpless. I ended up having to do everything over again on my own.” 

“I won’t say you guys aren't wrong, but you’re definitely over exaggerating.” Pernille huffs out. She can’t believe her girlfriend and her whole family are ganging up on her. 

“I’m not going to say anything.” Her dad holds up his hands. “But I will say I was pleasantly surprised when you offered to cook dinner and actually knew what you were doing.” 

Everyone but Pernille is laughing now. Pernille fake pouts, but ends up cracking a smile as well. “Well you can thank Magda for that.” 

“Well, I won’t take all the credit, Pernille is a fast learner, but on second thought yeah it was all my doing.” Magda jokes back and Pernilles family laughs once more. They spend the remainder of dinner talking and joking around. It’s nice, it’s normal. She’s glad that her family can get to know Magda before finding out their dating, maybe that will help with the awkwardness since they’ll already know her. 

After dinner Pernille is in the kitchen with her mom cleaning the dishes. Magda offered to help, but her mom shooed her away and said she was a guest. What her mom doesn’t know is that she is more of a guest than Magda (since Magda is here basically everyday), but that would be a lot of explaining. So now Magda is in the other room with her dad and sister and Pernille hopes they aren’t scaring her away. 

“So Magda seems like a nice girl.” Her mom pauses from drying a plate, and looks over at her. Pernilles not sure if her mind is playing with her or not but she thinks she saw a hint of a smirk. 

“Yeah she’s great. Me, her, and Fridolina, I think I’ve mentioned her before, have become really close.” Her mom just nods and they continue to wash the dishes in a comfortable silence. It’s not like she doesn’t want to tell her mom about her and Magda, it’s just she is a little nervous about actually telling them. She knows it won’t be a problem, but that doesn’t make it any less nerve racking. 

Once they have finished washing and drying the dishes, they go out to the living room and join her dad, her sister, and Magda. Pernille and her mom walk into the room to find them in a fit of laughter over some story her dad was telling from when Pernille was younger. Apparently it’s making fun of Pernille day, at least they all seem to be getting along and Magda is fitting in pretty nicely with her family. 

“What’s going on out here?” 

They look over at Pernille and Magda bursts out laughing. “I was telling them about how your always falling at practice and well everywhere else. I asked them if you were always like that.” 

“And…” her dad continues, “I told Magda the story about when you worked so hard decorating that cake for your 12th birthday and then you went to the kitchen to bring it out, only to drop it frosting side down onto the floor. And we even had to go and get a store bought one so you’d stop crying.” 

“Oh my God,” Pernilles eyes widen, “I can’t believe you told Magda that story it’s so embarrassing and you guys haven’t let me live that down since. I’m honestly still traumatized.” 

“Ha well it’s a funny story.” Louise says and Magda nods agreeing with her. When their done laughing (and making fun of Pernille), she goes over to the couch that Magda is sitting on and plops down next to her, Magda’s arm subconsciously going around the back of the couch out of habit. Pernille scooches a little closer to Magda to make room for her mom. 

“So Pernille tells us your out with an injury as well.” Her dad asks. The question directed to Magda. 

“Yeah, nothing as bad as Pernilles though, just a little bump to my knee from a collision with our keeper.” Magda smiles and turns her head to look at Pernille. She’s looking at her so softly she’s sure her family probably feels like they are intruding a private moment. “But don’t worry we are taking care of each other.” 

“Yeah I bet you are.” Her sister remarks. Pernille turns her way and is about to say something snarky but bites her tongue and instead just narrows her eyes towards Louise. Magda seems to be blushing as well before Pernilles mother offers a distraction. 

“Why don’t we play a game? We could play cards.” 

“Oh boy, I’m not sure that that’s a good idea.” Pernille replies, looking at Magda and nodding her head towards her. “This one gets quite competitive.” 

“Oh stop it.” Magda playfully hits Pernille on the arm. “I’m not that bad.” 

Pernille just laughs and rolls her eyes as she gets up to get the cards from the cupboard. It’s all really domestic. Magda and her hanging out with her family. She fits really well with them, which is a good thing because she hopes that whoever she is in a relationship with gets along with her family. It’s good. This is a good thing. 

They play cards for awhile and Pernille is not surprised Magda doesn’t hold back her competitiveness with Pernilles family. Magda and her sister even get into a little tussle, but they are laughing about it five minutes later. After a few games Magda checks her phone. 

“Hey guys I should probably get going, it’s getting late.” Pernilles family replies with collective what’s and no’s. Normally Magda would stay over here with Pernille, but tonight that’s probably not the best idea. 

“Well it was great to meet you.” Pernilles mom, dad, and sister say it unison. 

“Yes you guys too. I’m sure I’ll see you again before you leave or soon I’m sure.” 

“I’ll walk you out.” Pernille offers, avoiding her sisters eye contact. Magda nods, grabbing her jacket. They walk out and Pernille closes the apartment door. 

“I’m sorry I actually did forget they were coming today.” Magda says right as Pernille closes the door. 

“Magda. It’s okay, of course it’s okay. I wanted you to meet my family at some point and honestly it’s probably better you guys met before they know we’re dating.” Pernille comforts her while pulling her into a hug. They break apart after a moment or two, Pernille realizing it will probably be suspicious if she’s out here too long. 

“Well I’ll let you go back to your family.” Pernile would rather have Magda stay here in this moment with her, but she’s right, she should probably get going. “Thanks for dinner. And just in case you don’t know you’re pretty amazing and so is your family.” 

Pernille finds herself blushing. No matter how many times Magda tells her things like this, she feels like the luckiest girl in the world. Magda leans in and gives Pernille a soft kiss. Once Magda’s lips are on hers the whole world disappears, family on the other side of the door forgotten. 

They break apart out of breathe, the kiss lasting longer than both had expected. “Text me when you get home.” 

“Of course.” Magda says before placing one more kiss on her lips. 

When Pernille opens the door and walks back to the living room, her parents are gone and must have gone to the spare room to get ready for bed. Her sister is the only one remaining. 



“You and Magda are dating. Tell me everything.” 

Chapter Text

Pernilles not sure how Louise figured out that her and Magda are dating. It wasn’t like they were making heart eyes at each other?! (okay maybe a little). She can’t deny it now (and she doesn't want to), so she tells her everything. How they became closer after she broke up with her boyfriend and how she started feeling things she hadn’t before. She tells her how she was feeling unsure about everything and ultimately decided she couldn’t ignore how she felt anymore. She tells her when they first kissed (making sure to leave out some more detailed explanations). And she tells her about the way she feels when she’s with Magda and how she never wants to be away from her.

Louise doesn’t say much, just lets Pernille tell her all the things she felt that she couldn’t tell her sister before. But, she tells Pernille that she’s a little surprised, but that she’s happy for her. 

“You’ve seemed happier lately and as soon as I saw you with Magda, I knew.” Louise stretches her lips into a smile.

After a moment her sister continues. “So do you love her?” Pernille blushes and scrunches her face like she’s pondering a hard math question. They haven’t said it yet, but she’s sure Magda feels it too. She thought she was in love with her boyfriend and she probably was, but she feels something more than just love with Magda, something more meaningful than words can describe. She feels like she needs to invent a whole new word for how she’s feeling. It just feels too special, too meaningful, for a word that is often thrown around too much. It’s cheesy, she knows, but when you’re in love it’s hard not to think like this.

“I don’t know.” She lies, but by the look on Louis’ face she can tell.

Louis turns her body so she is looking directly at Pernille, staring her down. Not in an accusing way, more of an are you serious type of look.

“I don’t know means yes.” Her sister deadpans.

“I…” Even though it’s only been almost a month, they have both been acting like it’s going to be forever, even though Pernille might not quite believe it yet. But what she does believe is that she’s so in love with Magda. “...yeah. Yeah I guess I am.”

As soon as the words leave her mouth, her lips curl up forming a wide toothed smile. She probably looks like a complete dork with how wide her smile is, but she can’t help it, she’s in love with Magda.

Louis laughs and shakes her head, like she can’t believe how oblivious her sister is. “I think an alien in space could see how in love you guys are with how you act around each other, so imagine how obvious it is to everyone else.”

Their sister bonding continues for a few minutes, until Louis yawns and decides it’s time for her to head to bed. Pernille wishes her a goodnight and heads to her own room. Except she’s not even tired. In fact she’s buzzing with energy from her declaration of love.

Pernille busies herself by cleaning up her very messy room. She picks up a blanket that must have been thrown on the floor in a haste in the morning, throws away some old food wrappers, and picks up the piles of clothes on the floor. She picks up a blue sweatshirt off of the floor and realizes it must me Magda’s. She must have left it here the other night. Pernille brings the piece of clothing to her face and breathes in the familiar smell. Definitely Magda’s. She pulls it over her head and is comforted by the familiarity of Magda as she climbs into bed.

Pernille goes to bed feeling relaxed that she was finally able to tell her sister. They’ve always been so close and she’s glad they can finally share this. She texted Magda a heads up and like Pernille thought she’s totally supportive. Tomorrow comes a new challenge of telling her parents. She’s not super worried about telling them she’s dating Magda, bits it’s still a big step. Despite it all, Pernille believes this is exactly where she’s supposed to be. In love with her best friend.

Magda hopes that Pernilles family likes her. She often comes off as shy or reserved at first, but once she gets to know people her funny and bright personality shines through. Pernilles family made it easy so she hopes she was able to show them the real her. She wasn’t lying when she told Pernille that her family is amazing. After the initial embarrassment of intruding in their family dinner, they were all so nice and she thinks they started to get along well.

Things have been amazing so far (besides the injuries). Ever since they started to become closer friends, to the flowers, and to Pernilles admission to sending them (which Magda had a feeling she did, even before she said anything), to their now relationship, everything has been progressing and this just seemed like the next realistic step; meeting each other’s families.

Just as she was arriving home, she got a text from Pernille saying that she told her sister. Magda’s happy she told her. It’s a big step and she knows Pernilles not ashamed of being with her, but this is the first time she’s dated a girl and of course Magda is totally supportive of whatever pace she needs to go at.

She supposes she should tell her own family about their relationship. She could FaceTime them and tell them. It’s a little different than Pernilles situation, Magda’s dated girls before, but it’s still a little intimidating to tell her family about a new relationship. She’s also a little worried about how they’ll feel about her dating a teammate, but if she’s happy she thinks they will be happy for her. And she is really happy. More than happy in fact. Maybe even in love (definitely in love), but she’s still afraid to admit it because it’s scary giving your whole heart to someone. Especially when this someone makes her feel things that she hasn’t felt before. Like her heart is now tied to Pernilles forever. The immensity of it all is a bit scary. But that’s what life is about; to live, to love, to feel alive. And Pernille makes her feel all these things.

She is left with the image of a future with Pernille as she’s falling asleep. Maybe they’re married and still playing soccer on the same team, maybe they’re doing something completely different. Maybe they are living in Sweden or Denmark or literally anywhere as long as they are together. The thought of their hopeful future together probably is what drives her dreams.

She dreams of a house somewhere in the country on a lake, close to the city, but somewhat secluded. Rolling green hills in the distance and plenty of towering old trees. Their house has got the whole white picket fence thing going on and homemade tree swings hang from the overgrown willow tree in the back, overlooking the calm lake. The house is an off white color with a gorgeous red door Magda always pictured her future home would have. In the dream there are two blonde haired, blue eyed kids running in and out of the house chasing a little puppy.

And there is Pernille, looking as beautiful as ever. It’s summer and her blonde hair brings out the tan on her body. She’s wearing a yellow sundress that’s flowing in the wind. It’s perfect and as soon as Magda starts walking towards Pernille in her dream, she hears a beeping sound in the distance, getting louder by the second.

Beep. Beep.

Suddenly she wakes up to the sound of her alarm. She takes one of the pillows from the bed and groans, putting it over her face. All she wants to do is fall back asleep so she can resume the dream right where it left off.

It doesn’t work and she finds herself hoping that her future somewhat resembles this. She needs it to. Outside she may seem cool or tough, but on the inside she’s just as hopelessly in love as anyone else (and a little scared about the fact).

This feeling is enough to convince her that she’s not going to let go of Pernille anytime soon. It’s also enough to convince her to tell her that it’s time to tell her family. She figures it will be easier to tell them first without Pernille by her side.

Pernille texted her about an hour ago telling her that she told her parents this morning and that they basically said the same things as Louise. They’re happy for her and that Magda seemed to make her happy and that’s all that matters to them. Magda is relieved to be honest. She’s really only dated a few other girls in the past, but this already seems so much more real than any other time she has been in a relationship.

She thinks Pernille wanted her to go out to dinner with them tonight before her family leaves to go back to Denmark tomorrow, so now is the perfect time to give her family a call.

Magda types in her sister's contact into FaceTime on her laptop and leans back on the couch, waiting for them to pickup. She mentally tries to unwind everything that has happened between her and Pernille so she can relay it back to her family. She gets to the night when they first kissed, when they finally answer.

“Magdalena!” They collectively declare. Her mom, dad, and her sister Amanda are sitting in her parents living room. They are perched on a comfortable looking tan couch. Behind them hangs a painting that her mother has had since Magda was a little girl. It’s a painting of the river that goes through Italy, the cool looking river boats and colorful buildings catching her eye.

“Hi.” They’re smiling at her and she suddenly feels bad that she isn’t there in person. She hasn’t been home in awhile and she is starting to miss it. “How are you guys.”

“We’re good!” Her mom is the first to speak. “Amanda is getting ready for her move to London so we have been busy with that.”

“How’s your knee doing?” Her dad pops in, still not quite knowing how to correctly use FaceTime because he is looking at himself rather than the camera lens.

“It’s better. Me and Pernille have been injured together so it helps to have someone going through the same thing.” She throws in the subtle mention of Pernille hoping they catch on. Her sister seems to, at least by the eyebrow raise she gives Magda. She has told Amanda bits and pieces of thoughts and feelings she has had towards Pernille at the beginning, but she hasn’t told her much since they actually started dating and now looking back that comes off as a bit suspicious.   

“So Pernille, you, injuries, spending lots of time together…” Amanda sticks out both her hands in the universal ‘what’ position, urging Magda to explain.

“Yeah so that’s actually what I was calling about.” Magda waits for a reaction from her parents, but nothing comes. Instead they just sit there, unbothered. Hmm that’s weird. “Me and Pernille have started dating.”

She goes through some of what happened. How they were friends first and that changed to more. She ended with how happy she is and hopes they can meet her soon. Magda avoided eye contact for most of the conversation and now she finally looks up to meet her family’s eyes. They’re smiling, of course, but don’t look as surprised as she thought they would.

“Magda, honey.” Her mom soothes, not missing a beat. “We knew. I mean you’ve talked about her so much and all the pictures you send us from Linköping are with her.”

She doesn’t even know what to say. She thought they would be a little skeptical and she’d have to convince them, but now she’s left speechless. It’s starting to feel like everyone they’ve told hasn’t really been so surprised. Were they really that obvious? Even some of their teammates have told them they saw it coming, before they did.

“And yes we’d love to meet her. We were planning a trip there soon anyways, so I guess it’s good timing.” Magda’s dad joins in.

After a while of talking to her family, Magda realizes again there really wasn’t anything to worry about. She’s sure her sister will call her later asking for all the juicy details that she’s not willing to ask in front of their parents and that Magda will definitely not answer in front of them.

They wave goodbye to her before they end the FaceTime call. Her parents needing to get to the lunch they are having with some friends and her sister saying she needs to finish packing. Magda hangs up and is left alone in her quiet apartment. It’s always a weird feeling after having a call with her family. Like something’s missing. One second they are all there in the room with her and the next she’s all alone. She knows she’s not really alone but it feels like it sometimes.

She does a few chores around the house. Takes out the trash, does the dishes, and tidies up the living room. She texts Pernille saying everything went well and that her family wants to meet her properly soon. After a few minutes Pernille texts her back and invites her to dinner. She readily agrees as she smiles down at her phone, thankful that Pernille wants her to join her family.  

Pernille woke up feeling the opposite of what she did last night. Instead of calm and relaxed, she woke up jittery and anxious. She was still wearing Magda’s sweatshirt when she woke and the feeling of familiarity somewhat calmed her down, but not quite enough.

Despite her nervous feelings, she felt like it was the right time to tell her parents. It’s something too important for her to not tell them. And the fact that she’s admitted she’s hopelessly in love with Magda, but that’s a different story.

It went as well as she’d thought it would. Even though she was nervous she knew they’d be just as okay with it as Louise was. They were a little surprised like her sister, but similar to everyone else her parents told her that they saw it coming as soon as Magda walked into the kitchen.

Well, she thinks, good thing she’s a football player, not like a spy or anything because subtleties not in her playbook (well that and her clumsiness).

Nothing as changed and Pernilles grateful for that. Her family asks a few questions about specifics, but other than that things carry on as they normally would. Before her family heads back to Denmark, they are going out to dinner and it was actually her dad's idea to invite Magda with. Pernille is grateful for his offer, he was the one she was worried about, but it looks like it won’t be a problem.

Pernille puts on a casual but nice black dress with half sleeves that bring out her toned arms and applies some finishing touches to her makeup. As she is in the bathroom finishing up, she looks into her own eyes in the reflection. They’re right she does look happier. Her smiles a little wider, her eyes a little brighter, and it makes her look younger than she is. Gosh love really does change a person, doesn’t it?

She hears a buzz on the counter and looks down at her phone. Magda has texted her to tell her that’s she‘s here and is on her way up to Pernilles apartment. Pernille heads out of the bathroom, satisfied with her look, and makes her way towards the living room to let her family know that Magda is on her way up.

She smiles at her cute little dressed up family. Her dads wearing a nice pair of khakis with a dark blue shirt, her moms wearing a light pink blouse paired with black dress pants and her sister is wearing a simple red dress that suits her just right. She appreciates their effort and is thrilled that they suggested Magda come with.

Pernille sees the door open as Magda walks in, without knocking as usual. Pernilles sure her jaw drops as Magda walks in. She’s wearing a black half-sleeved jumpsuit that comes down to a ‘V’ at her neck. It should be a simple outfit, totally appropriate for a dinner with Pernilles family, but Magda makes something so simple so sexy. Pernille finds the urge to tell her family to go to dinner without them.

Her thoughts are interrupted by Magda placing her hands on Pernilles shoulders before giving her a friendly peck on the cheek. Pernille smiles and watches as Magda says hello to the rest of the gang.

The restaurant is downtown and it’s a little fancier than she anticipated, but even before they get their food, she can tell it’s going to be good. It’s dimly lit, but not too dark. There are mainly just tables of two, four and six scattered throughout the room and even when they first walk in the food smells amazing.

Dinner is great. It is spent catching her family up on everything going on, football and everything else. Magda and her family get to know each other more and it’s nice.

Well it would be better except for the fact that Pernille can’t keep her eyes off Magda. And it doesn’t help that every time Magda catches her staring, she stares right back, like she’s daring Pernille to do something. She swears every time this happens, she can feel Magda’s hand on her thigh move up ever so slightly.

“You look beautiful, as always.” Magda whispers under her breathe sometime between when they are finished with their dinner and before the check. Her voice is a bit husky and Pernille has to bite her tongue so she doesn’t do anything stupid.

“So do you.” She manages to whisper back.

Pernille somehow manages to get through dinner and they all head back to Pernilles apartment. Her parents and sister opting to head to bed right away to prepare for their early flight back to Denmark.

They don’t discuss it, but Magda ends up in Pernilles room, most likely staying the night. This is probably a very bad idea, but Pernille thinks she can control herself. Thinks being the key word.

“You know I wanted to take that outfit off of you the whole night.” Pernille doesn’t care how blunt she’s being right now. She loses all control when Magda is around and she’s given up trying to stop it.

“Then do it.”

Before she knows it Magda’s lips are on hers, her breath hot against her mouth. Their lips moving in sync, with every second wanting more. Her hands move to Magda’s face and Magda’s are wrapped up into Pernilles hair. Magda lays her onto the bed and deepens the kiss. Pernile wants her so bad right now but this definitely isn’t the time.

“Magda.” She breaths against her lips, almost inaudible as she catches her breath. Magda pulls them apart and looks softly into Pernilles eyes from above as she lightly uses her hand to brush the hair out of Pernilles face.

“I really want to do this now, but it’s probably not a good idea.”

“You’re right.” She gets up and heads to the bathroom to get ready for bed, turning around and giving Pernille one last wink before closing the door. Pernille groans and falls back onto her back against the bed. She is utterly screwed (or in other words so in love).

After Pernille gets ready for bed as well she gets back into bed where Magda now is. She readily opens her arms for Pernille to fall into. Pernille sinks into her embrace as Magda wraps her strong arms around her. Pernille feels uterally at peace and as sleep begins to take her she lets out the three words she’s been thinking about all day. Her filter forgotten in the moments before sleep.

“I love you.” She doesn’t even know if she actually said them out loud or if Magda is still awake, but she feels Magda’s arms tense and stiffen around her and she knows that she heard what she said.

But what scares her is that Magda doesn't say anything back.

Chapter Text

…Eight. Nine. Ten. 

Magda takes deep breaths in and out as she sets down the equipment and sits down on the weight room floor to recover. She’s in the gym during training, now able to do more exercises. Her and Pernille both have been recovering well and have been cleared to start doing some more intense workouts to bring their level back up. Hopefully they’ll be back training with the team next week. 

Pernilles on the other side of the gym and Magda keeps trying to make eye contact with her, but Pernille won’t meet her eye. It’s Monday now, so they haven’t really talked much since Saturday night. Sunday morning was spent helping her family get to the airport and since Pernilles family was still there, Magda left Pernilles apartment with a quick kiss and that’s it. 

She’ll admit that she was awake when Pernille said those three important words. She couldn’t help herself from freezing the very moment the words left Pernilles lips. Of course she loves Pernille, how could she not, but she’s not sure why she can’t quite say it out loud yet. Maybe it’s fear? Or maybe it’s something else? She hasn’t quite figured it all out yet. She guesses it’s her turn to be the stupid one now. 

She’s never felt this way before and it’s incredibly scary, but also feels so so good. She can’t help the fact that she thinks about Pernille every second of every day. But, she also can’t help that she’s a bit scared to admit that. 

When she’s finished with her personalized workout, she looks around the room for Pernille, hoping they can at least talk through some of this. Not talking to Pernille is one thing, but her being mad at Magda is another. The last thing she wanted to do when she pretended she was asleep, was for Pernille to think she doesn’t love her back. 

Instead of Pernille, Magda is met with three other teammates. Jennie, Lina, and Fridolina appear to be walking toward her. They must be done with their training with the team. 

“Hey Magda.” Jennie looks around the empty weight room, like she’s making sure there’s no one else around that can eavesdrop. 

“What’s up with Pernille?” Frido questions bluntly. These three are probably more of their closer friends on the team and have known about her and Pernille basically since the beginning, but Magda doesn’t really feel like explaining everything right now, especially when she doesn’t quite know herself. 

All three of them are looking at Magda skeptically. She shrugs and a scowl forms on her face. “I don’t know. Why are you asking me? Ask her.” 

It came out meaner than expected. Magda is just extra annoyed because; one she can’t be on the field just yet and two she’s mad at herself for making this more complicated. Her friends look offended and she doesn’t blame them. 

“I’m sorry, I'm sorry.” Magda waves her hands apologetically. “I’ve just had a lot on my mind lately and needed to take it out on someone.” 

“That’s okay, we understand.” Lina responds softly, like she’s scared that Magda will lash out at them again. “Well if you feel up to it we are going to go to dinner after showering and everything. So if you want to join feel free.” 

She should probably go with them. She feels bad that she lashed out at them and it would probably be a nice distraction, but at the same time she would feel bad hanging out with their friends without Pernille. And to be honest she’d rather just have a nice night with Pernille, but that’s not really an option right now. 

“You guys go ahead. I think I’m just going to head home.” They nod and again make sure she’s okay before heading to the locker room. Magda knows Pernilles hurting and if she’s honest with herself, she’s hurting too, but instead of going to Pernilles, Magda heads home. 

Is this how Pernille felt before she told Magda her feelings? She thinks on the drive home. Did she go to her own apartment feeling scared and lonely, even if all she wanted to do was see Magda. 

Why is everything so complicated? Nothing is ever really black and white like she thought it was before. There’s so many other factors that drive one decision.

When she arrives back at her apartment she unlocks the door and places the keys on the counter. The silence is the first thing she notices. Usually after practice she would be hanging out with someone from the team or Frido and Pernille would always be there too. But tonight, she’s completely alone. 

She checks her phone and notices that her sister must have tried calling her on the ride home. Great, now she’ll have to explain why she’s in a bad mood. Magda clicks on her sisters contact and leans back against the wall, waiting for her to pick up. On the third ring she finally answers. 

“Hello.” Amanda says into the phone, sounding casual. “I tried calling earlier, but you must have been busy.” 

“Nothing exciting. I was just driving home, must have missed the ring.” Magda replies, switching the phone to her other ear. 

“So I called so I can finally hear all those juicy details.” Amanda teases. Magda shifts on her feet uncomfortably and sighs. 

“I’m not really in the mood.” 

“Aww why not is Pernille there?” Amanda says, exaggerating Pernilles name. 

“No.” Magda pauses. “We had a fight. Well not a fight but more of me being stupid.” 

“What did you do now? I’m sure it’s not that bad.” Magda’s walking in circles now, trying to focus on what Amanda’s saying. 

“Um…” There’s no point in lying to her sister, she’s done with that anyways. “Well we were in bed…” 

Her sister interrupts her loudly. “Eww no I don’t want to hear about that. I take it back.” 

Magda laughs. She can always count on her sisters antics to cheer her up. “No, no not like that. We were just laying in bed and she said that she loved me and I pretended to be asleep.” 

“Magda what the hell.” Magda just groans. “Why would you do that when you obviously love her too?” 

“I know, I know. Wait how do you know that? I haven’t told you that yet.” Magda says stunned. 

“It’s so obvious.” Amanda says it slow like Magda’s a child. 

“I…” Magda doesn’t know what to say. Of course she loves Pernille, but how is she supposed to tell her that when she’s so scared. 

“Magda I know you. And I know you’re probably scared it’s going to change everything and mess everything up. But, I promise it won’t. It will make it better, so much better.” 

Magda doesn’t respond for a moment. Just taking in what her sister has to say. She’s right though, of course she’s right. “I guess that’s why you’re my big sister. Always helping me out, even when I do dumb things, especially when I do dumb things.” 

“Ha.” Amanda laughs into the phone. “Big sisters know all. But seriously Magda, whatever you do it’s going to be fine.” 

“And please come and visit me soon.” She adds. “I miss you.” 

“Of course. I miss you too big sis.” 

“Alright. I’ll talk to you later.” Magda says goodbye and hangs up the phone, feeling somewhat satisfied with their talk. Thank God for her big sister. 

However, still undecided about exactly what she’s going to do and alone again, she turns on the TV. There’s no games on tonight and the news is too boring, so she ends up turning it off right away. Heading to the kitchen, a picture catches her eye and she stops in her tracks as she picks up a photograph that lays on a table in the hallway. She turns it over in her hands as she admires the photo. It’s one of her favorite pictures of her and Pernille. She had it framed after they started dating and it has been placed here since. She’s often too busy going in and out of this hallway that she doesn’t often notice it. But today she stops to gaze at it. It’s a selfie she took of the two of them awhile before they started dating, when they were still just friends. It’s a simple picture, nothing special, but it’s the day that Magda wanted to remember. 

It was early fall, when the change in the air is prominent. The humidity was gone and the crisp fall air was beginning to settle in. It was a perfect day, the sun warm and high in the sky, a few clouds here and there. Magda was having a lazy Saturday at home when Pernille texted her. They had started to become closer friends, but still hadn’t hung out just the two of them many times. So she was a bit surprised that Pernille had texted her. But, nonetheless she liked Pernille, maybe a little more than just liked in a friend way, if she admits. 

Pernille wanted to know if she would like to have a picnic, since the day turned out to be a beautiful one. Magda agreed and she would be bringing the drinks and the fruit. 

They found a cute little spot away from the city and settled in on a grassy hill near a pond. It was perfect. They talked and talked and this was when Magda realized that she never not wanted to not be talking to Pernille. That she wanted her to be the one who she told everything and anything to. 

After a few hours past, both were a little tipsy from the wine that Magda has brought and so they both laid back on the plaid picnic blanket, waiting for the alcohol to subdue from their systems. 

Since it was early fall, the sun began to set early and the temperature began to cool. Magda pulled Pernille in without a word and snuggled her into her own arms. Instantly Magda was warmed by Pernilles close proximity. Magda snapped a picture of the two of them all snuggled up and showed Pernille. She smiled and turned on her side so she was facing Magda and Magda followed suit. Their noses were so close to touching and Magda could feel Pernilles breath on her skin. 

“Do you ever want to do something that will no doubt completely change everything.” Pernille whispered, her breath hot against Magda’s face. She said it so quietly that at first Magda’s not sure if she actually said this or if she imagined it.  

“Sometimes.” She’s not sure exactly what Pernille meant at the moment, but later it hits her. “What is that you want to do?” 

Pernille didn’t respond at first and scrunched her face a bit, like she was debating whether or not to say something. Magda remembers finding this particular habit of hers very cute. “Never mind, it’s stupid anyways.” 

Pernille decided on before she sat up and started packing up the picnic, the moment gone. 

Despite the fact that nothing special really happened, Magda loves this picture because she loves to remember this moment. Sometimes the most simplest of things are the best. She likes to think this moment was the start of the change of everything. And she smiles remembering how at peace she was this day. 

There must have been a reason that this picture caught her eye today of all days. Magda decides that Pernille is too important to her and she will do anything to not lose her, even if that means putting herself out there. 

Pernille had a good weekend, despite everything that happened towards the end. She is happy that her family could come and visit and even happier that they could spend some time with Magda as her girlfriend. 

She’s not mad at Magda per-say, but a bit embarrassed. Did she read this entire situation wrong? Is Magda not in love with her or heading in that direction? Is this all for fun for her? 

Pernille though that they were on the same page and hasn’t ruled out that they aren’t just yet, but she’s more sad about what happened. She said something really big and Magda didn’t even say anything and reacted in a somewhat negative way. 

It is weird though. Usually on nights like this Magda would be here or she would be at Magda’s. Instead she is left with just her thoughts and some leftovers she heated up in the microwave. 

Magda met her parents for goodness sakes and told her that she wanted her to meet her parents too. So why is she sitting here alone when she should be with Magda. 

It’s like the universe hears her thoughts when she hears a knock on the door. She stands up, happy for the distraction and heads in her direction of the front door. 

She opens the door and is surprised when she is met with an apologetic looking Magda. She can tell in her eyes that she’s been beating herself up. She isn’t really sure how she feels when she sees Magda. She still isn’t mad, but still as an uneasy feeling because of how she reacted. 

“Hey Pernille.” Magda comes close and embraces her into a hug before Pernille has the chance to say anything. Pernille hugs her girlfriend back tight, having missed her presence. 

“I missed you.” Magda says into her hair, not letting go of Pernille quite yet, like she’s scared that if she lets go she’ll be gone. Pernile doesn’t say anything, not out of pettiness rather just unsure of what she should or should not say. 

When Pernille still doesn’t say anything, Magda backs away guilt written on her face. “Um… I thought this would be… um maybe I should just….” 

Before Pernille can stop Magda, she turns around and is sprinting out the door. Pernille shakes her head and sighs. What’s with them and running away from their feelings (figuratively and literally). 

She quickly throws on some shoes and runs out the door after Magda. Pernille gets out the apartment buildings front door when she spots Magda fast walking out to her car. 

“Magda!” She calls out. Magda whips her head around and from the light of the street lamp Pernille can see tears in her eyes, they’re faint, but she can still see them. Why do they keep causing each other pain? All they need to do is talk to each other and all of this could be avoided.

Pernile walks closer and Magda is the first to speak. “I didn’t expect you to follow me.” 

This is basically their first fight as a couple and she’s not innocent, she knows that couples fight it’s healthy sometimes to get everything out in the open, as long as it’s civil and it helps drive conversation. But it still hurts nonetheless and it hurts a little that Magda thought she wouldn’t come after her. 

Pernille wracks her brain trying to find the right words, but Magda catches her to it. “I came here to explain myself and how I’m feeling, but then I saw your face and you just looked so sad. It hurt me that I was the one that made you feel that way and I guess I’m just a little scared of doing it again. So I just didn’t expect you to come after me.” 

“You followed me out that first night in the snow, so I just had to repay the favor. Maybe it’s our thing? Running away from our feelings quite literally.” Magda laughs at her attempt at a joke and she visually relaxes. Pernille relaxes too, but puts her serious face back on. 

“I know you heard me the other night. And you don’t have to say it back, but I was just hurt that you didn’t say anything and pretended not to hear.” Pernille goes straight to the elephant in the room, not wanting to dance around the topic anymore. Magda looks down at her shoes and rocks back and forth. 

“I’m sorry I really am. You know I…” Magda stutters, still not ready to say it. “It’s just you’ve always been the more confidant one. More confident at football and with this.” she motions with her hands to the two of them. 

“Are you scared of me?” Pernille offers and she notices that Magdas face drops in guilt at this. Magda shakes her head and steps closer to Pernille, so their faces are inches apart, noses practically touching. She takes Pernilles hands into hers and Pernille is instantly overcome with warmth. 

“You don’t scare me.” Pernille can feel Magda’s every breath as she speaks. As she says this Magda subconsciously draws circles with her thumb on the back of Pernilles hand. “Maybe I'm just a little scared about how all real this feels because what I feel is so intense. And maybe I’m scared about what other people think, but no you don’t scare me, the opposite in fact.” 

“How about when I do this though?” Pernille fake growls and show her teeth to Magda like she's a lion. Magda laughs and Pernille is so grateful she gets to hear that laugh again. After a moment, her face changes back to the seriousness it was at before. 

“So much of our life is uncertain and even our time together is uncertain, but what I’m certain about is that I love you. I love you Pernille and I’m an idiot for not saying it before because of some stupid reason out of fear.” 

Pernilles heart flutters as she comprehends what Magda just said. She has spent days agonizing over those three words and now when she finally hears them she is relieved and elated all at the same time. 

Magda is still holding onto her hands when she leans into kiss Pernille properly. They must look pretty weird standing outside kissing in the dark parking lot, but that’s the last thing on Pernilles mind. 

“Upstairs.” Pernille manages to utter in between kisses. Out of breath they quickly head up to Magda's apartment so they can resume their current activity. 

After what seems like an eternity, they finally arrive back up to Magda’s apartment and Pernille watches as she struggles to get her door unlocked. It doesn’t help that Pernille is placing kisses along her neck and her hands wandering to very distracting places. 

Magda finally gets the door open and Pernille lets out a surprised squeak when she feels herself being lifted up off the ground, followed by the slam of a door. 

Pernille wraps her legs around Magda as she continues to place kisses along her collarbone all the way to her jaw. Magda carries her to her bedroom and promptly lays her down on the bed. 

Magda places delicate kisses along her jawbone. One hand is wrapped up in Pernilles hair and the other is slowly making its way up her thigh. At last their lips connect and the kiss deepens. Their breath hot and heavy as clothes are being thrown off. Pernille helps Magda out of her shirt and runs her hands along her toned six-pack. 

“I love you.” Magda breaths out hot and heavy and Pernille decides that these are her new favorite words. 

After, they are both lying in bed wrapped up in each other. Magda can’t help the smile that creeps onto her face, she thinks it’s there permanently now. She’s facing Pernille softly kissing her cheek. 

“What are you doing?” Pernille questions, turning so she’s facing Magda properly. 

“I’m kissing every single one of the freckles on your face.” Pernille scrunches her face like she’s offended, but Magda doesn’t care and pulls her closer and places a kiss to her temple. 

“No stop. I don’t like them sometimes.” 

“Why not? I think they’re cute.” She kisses the one just near Pernilles lips. Magda really does love them. When Pernille pulls away, laughing at Magda’s antics, she just pulls her in closer again. 

“I love you.” Magda sings and Pernille puts a soft kiss on her lips. 

“I love you too.” And as Pernille says this the whole world melts away and it’s just the two of them, in love.

Chapter Text

Thump. Thump. 

Magda hears as she takes a touch and passes the ball to one of her teammates up the field. With each touch and pass she takes, she can’t help but smile when she hears the familiar soft thump on the ball. She’s missed this. 

It’s her first game back from injury and it’s Pernilles first game back as well. They’re up 3-0 at the start of the second half, so she could say it’s a good first game back. 

When there’s a break in the game Magda looks up towards the sky and relaxes as the sun warms her face. It’s spring and the perfect weather for soccer. The air just beginning to warm and the sun shining down, not a cloud in the sky. Not too cool and not too hot. Just right. She looks around the stadium briefly. There is a pretty decent crowd that turned out for the game today. She looks over and spots her family in the second row. All three with smiles on their faces. They have finally made it to Linköping for a visit and it happened to be perfectly timed with her and Pernilles first game back with the team. 

Quickly, she shifts her full attention back to the game once the ball is in play again. She can’t let herself get distracted for too long. Defenders need to be focusing and communicating the entire game, even when the ball is nowhere near them, always letting their teammates know where they need to be. 

As a defender Magda believes that they are completely underrated. They can see the whole field and as a result, are involved in every play in some way or another, always communicating (they also get blamed for far too many goals that are definitely not their fault, but that’s another story). 

“Push up.” Magda calls to the other defenders as her goalkeeper plays the ball past the half line. 

“Yeah you got her on the left.” 

“You got me back if you need.” See always communicating. Her teammate passes the ball back to Magda and she switches the field to Fridolina. 

Frido dribbles the ball a few yards zipping past a defender. Once she gets near the end line Frido crosses it to Pernille who is making a run to the edge of the eighteen. Pernille takes a touch to control the ball out of the air. Magda watches as she takes another touch to the left to fake out a defender. She smoothly shoots it with her left foot and the ball flies past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net before the defender marking her knows what has happened. The crowd roars in celebration as their teammates crowd Pernille, wishing her congratulations on her first goal back after injury. Wow is her girlfriend badass or what. 

Magda runs across the field and Pernille jumps into her arms. Pernilles legs wrap around her as Magda holds her up tightly. For a second Magda lets her head fall into Pernilles hair, it’s sweaty but she doesn’t care at the moment. It doesn’t last long because of course they are professionals on the field, but they’ll definitely be doing some more of their own celebrations when they are alone later. 

The remainder of the game isn’t as exciting, besides one moment where Magda is forced to make a slide tackle on an opponent who had a breakaway down the middle of the field. 

As the referee blows the final whistle, out of the corner of her eye, Magda sees Pernille running straight toward her. They embrace for a moment before celebrating the 4-0 win with their team. 

They all form in a huddle and the coach and training staff congratulate the team on a good win and make sure that they know that they need to be mentally prepared for the upcoming games, which may be more difficult. The team lingers for a couple minutes before heading over to the stands so they can greet friends, family, and fans. Good thing they didn’t lose this match because Magda has a little bit of a reputation for being angry after a loss, and she’ll admit that is true. But, today they got a win and Magda is over the moon. As adults, most people measure success by a high level office job or by how much money they make. But this. This is how Magda measures her success. The wins and losses. The highs and lows of the game. 

Magda finds Pernille and lightly places her hand on the small of Pernilles back, leading her over to where Magda’s family is in the stands. Magda and Pernille approach her family and are met with three smiling faces. 

“Magda!” Her mom and dad say in unison as they sandwich her into a hug. However annoying or embarrassing parents can be, there’s nothing like getting a hug from your mom and dad. She briefly hugs her sister next, before her mom interrupts. 

“Hi Pernille. It’s nice to finally get to meet you!” Magda glances over in Pernilles direction. She doesn’t look nervous, the opposite in fact. She’s pretty easy going most of the time so Magda wasn't particularly worried. And this time they were both prepared.

“Hi!” Pernille has on a wide grin herself. “You too. Magda’s told me a lot about you guys!” 

“I hope nothing embarrassing.” Her dad jokes. 

“Ha no.” Pernille laughs. “I was hoping you guys could tell me some embarrassing stories about Magda though.” 

“Oh that won’t be difficult at all. I’m sure we can come up with something.” Amanda responds wittingly and Magda lightly smacks her in the arm. 

“We’ll just go get ready quick and then meet you guys outside.” Magda points towards the locker room. As they are walking arm and arm towards the locker room Magda leans into Pernille and whispers into her ear.

“I love you. Good game back.” It comes out lower and more sexier (to be frank), than she thought it would. 

“Right back at you.” Ever since their declaration of love a few weeks ago, it’s like they haven’t been able to stop saying I love you’s. It’s like all the endings in those cheesy romantic movies where the characters suddenly make some big declaration and are suddenly glued at the hip romantics. Magda never really got how that was realistic before, but now? Now she totally understands what those people are feeling. She can’t help it Pernille turns her to mush. 

Since her parents are here they are going out to a casual dinner at a restaurant her and Pernille found. They both quickly shower and head out to meet Magda’s family. 

Magda and Pernille find them standing outside the stadium in the back. As they are walking towards them, Pernilles hand graces the outside of Magda’s hand. After the sudden loss of contact, Magda subtly grabs Pernilles hand and laces their fingers together. Pernille tips her head and smiles before Magda places a light kiss to her cheek. That’s another thing. They weren’t really too much into PDA before, and they still aren’t, but Magda finds herself wanting to always be holding Pernille hand or having some sort of contact. 

After coordinating plans, Magda and Pernille hop into Magda’s car and her family follows them to the restaurant in their car. 

Pernilles gazing out the passenger window, quieter than normal. “You okay?” 

“Yeah.” She responds with a sigh. “I just want your family to like me, that’s all.” 

“My love.” Magda laughs and by the look Pernille gives her she doesn’t find this quite as funny as Magda does. She reaches over with her other hand that’s not on the steering wheel and takes Pernilles hand in hers, rubbing reassuring circles with her thumb. “They already love you by what I’ve told them and everybody loves you anyways, you’re Pernille Harder.” 

Pernille lifts her other hand to Magda’s cheek and lightly places it there. “Thanks. You know I sort of like you.” 

“Good ‘cause I sort of like you too.” Magda gives her a smirk as she pulls into a parking space. “We’re here.” 

They found this restaurant a few weeks back. Usually Magda likes to cook at home, but date nights have often become cheat nights, so they find themselves trying new restaurants often. The first time they came to this restaurant, they instantly fell in love with its more modern style, but yet old charm. From the outside it looks like any normal restaurant, but the inside is filled with modern strung lights throughout the restaurant and sleek looking furniture, but still holds a feeling like a classic Italian restaurant does with the white and red table clothes and pictures scattered across the walls. And the food is amazing. Magda’s pretty sure she had the best chicken alfredo she’s ever had and will ever have last time her and Pernille were here. 

As they walk in, a nice looking hostess seats them and soon after a waiter comes and takes their drink orders. When they are waiting for the waiter to come back for their food orders, Magdas parents ask Pernille the typical parent questions and eventually they lead into normal conversation. It’s good, great actually. It’s going smoother than she expected because sometimes meeting each other's families is so awkward, but it’s been so easy as is everything else with Pernille has been (minus some miscommunications). Halfway through dinner Amanda gives her a look that she thinks means she approves and that sets Magda over the edge in terms of relaxedness. 

“So about those embarrassing stories.” Pernille hints as they are finishing up their dinner. 

“Oh yeah I almost forgot.” Amanda says maybe a little too happily. “What kind of embarrassing story do you want?” 

“Please nothing too embarrassing.” Magda pleads and she sees her mom glaring at Amanda as if not to say anything too bad. Thanks mom. 

“Okay, I have a good one.” Amanda slams her drink on the table, proud of the story she’s about to tell. “So it was at school, I can’t quite remember what year but anyways, I saw Magda in the hallway and she had water all over her jeans, like looks like she peed her pants water on her jeans. She wouldn’t tell me what happened and went straight to the bathroom, but I got it out of her later. Turns out she was at lunch and there was this girl she had a low-key crush on and so the girl told a joke and so since Magda was crushin’ she purposefully laughed so hard at the joke that she accidentally spit water all over her pants. She had to go the whole rest of the day looking like she peed her pants.” 

“Oh shut up Amanda.” Magda scolds her sister while she's still hysterically laughing. “It’s not even that funny.” 

“I mean it’s a little funny you have to admit.” Pernille says to Magda and when she just fake pouts, Pernille places a quick kiss to her cheek. “We all do embarrassing things. I mean you’re talking to the queen of dorky and embarrassing. Do you remember what happened before we first kissed?” 

“Ha you’re right.” Magda explains how Pernille tripped and fell into her arms and that’s how they first kissed. A little awkward telling your parents about her and her girlfriends first kiss, but what can she do, she's in love. 

“Bye. It was great to meet you all. Hopefully we’ll see you soon.” Pernille gives her farewells to Magdas family as she walks them out to their car. 

It’s been a great past few days for Pernille. She played her first game back from injury, scored a goal, is as hopelessly in love with her girlfriend as ever, and has just met her family for the first time. So yeah it’s been a great few days. 

Despite her coming off of injury Pernille can feel this is going to be a great season for the team and herself. There’s no where she’d rather be than getting to play the game that she loves (and her girlfriend being on the same team is just an added bonus). 

“What should we do tonight?” Magda interrupts her thoughts, leaning back onto the couch. Magda’s family were only able to stay a few days and it’s Saturday night and they are left with no plans.

“I know a couple of girls from the team were going to go to that new club downtown.” Pernille recalls from a text she received from Jennie earlier. It would probably be good to go out with the girls tonight, even if it’s only for a little bit. Her and Magda have been spending a lot (maybe too much) time just them and Pernille doesn’t want their friends to think they’re always blowing them off because they're dating now. 

“Yeah maybe for a little bit. It would be fun to hangout with the girls.” Magda agrees with Pernille. 

Pernille lets their friends know they are joining them tonight and they both precede to get ready for the night. Pernille slides into a black pair of jeans with holes in the knees and a light pink shirt. Magda opts for lighter loose fitting jeans and a black jacket over her green tee-shirt. They both apply a light layer of make-up and head out the door to meet their friends. 

The club isn’t too far from Magda’s apartment so her and Pernille decided to walk, in case they have too much fun. It’s nice enough outside now that it’s not too bad of a walk outside and a light jacket will do. 

When they arrive at the club, they spot Frido, Jennie, Lina, and a few of their other teammates, just arriving as well. They greet each other and then head in. It’s still early, but the club atmosphere is in full swing. There are already quite a few drunk people that Pernille had to avoid just upon entering. She squints adjusting her eyes to the bright colorful lights that light up the dance floor. She motions to her friends that they should go get a drink at the bar area which is illuminated by some dimmer white lights. 

“This place is so cool.” Jennie says. It does seem like a cool place. There's a dance floor where music is being played and plenty of people showing off their moves and the bar is also packed with other people laughing and talking. 

“Yeah seems like a fun hangout.” Lina agrees. Everyone nods as a bartender asks for their drink orders. 

After a few drinks, everyone starts to loosen up and gets into the party atmosphere. She guesses the alcohol has something to do with her teammates lack of filter. “Okay so I know you guys haven’t said anything, but you’re dating right?” 

The question is directed to Magda and Pernille from one of their teammates that they don’t often hangout with outside of football. 

“Don’t look at me!” Frido says aggressively and Lina and Jennie hold Fridos same expression. 

When Pernille doesn’t say anything and Magda doesn't either, their teammate continues. “We don’t care as long as you guys are happy, we just all want to know for the sake of the bet.” 

“The bet?” Magda says and Pernille feels her slide a little closer, almost protectively. 

“Yeah the bet.” Another teammate continues. When neither responds, she rolls her eyes and continues. “We all had a bet like a few weeks after Magda joined the team about when you guys got together.” 

Magda shoots a death stare at Frido and Pernille almost feels a little bad for her. Magda can get quite aggressive. “Again don’t look at me. I didn’t say a word I swear.” 

The first teammate joins in again, laughing this time. “Freeds telling the truth, she didn't say a word. It was just that obvious.” 

Pernille side eyes Magda and can tell that she’s fuming from the inside. She probably doesn't really care that there was a bet or anything, but she can tell that her protective tendencies are taking fold. Pernille latches her arm onto Magdas and pulls her closer. “Yes we are dating and it was right after Valentines Day. Come on Magda we are going to dance.” 

And with that Pernille drags Magda to the dance floor without another word. She hears someone shout a ‘yes I was right,’ as they disappeared into the crowd. 

When they are out on the dance floor Magda eventually speaks, a little more relaxed now. A hint of a smile now on her face. “We weren’t that obvious were we?” 

“I don’t know. But all I know is that when that bet supposedly started, I didn’t even know I liked you yet.” 

“What it wasn’t love at first sight?” Magda quips. 

“Oh stop you know what I mean.” Pernille sticks her tongue out.

She proceeds to show off her new ‘dance moves’ to Magda which Magda says are definitely not dance moves, but joins in anyways. Eventually, they just end up slow dancing in each others arms, while everyone else is jumping up and down. Pernilles head rests on Magdas shoulder and her hands are sprawled across her back. Magda has her hands on Pernilles waste, but lifts a hand to clear the hair from her face before speaking. 

“Time to go home?” It sounds so domestic and natural that Pernille can’t help the smile that breaks through. 

“Yes.” She nods. 

They leave, but not until after their friends picked on them asking them when they turn into ‘that old couple who goes home early,’ but Pernille didn’t care because she gets to go home with the prettiest girl at the club. 

When they get back to Magdas, they find themselves cuddled up on the couch. They meant to go to bed, tired from the past few days entertaining Magda’s parents, but instead laid down on the couch and started talking.

“Do you ever feel like you missed out on your childhood because of football.” Pernille looks up from where her head was resting on Magdas shoulder. Magda matches her eye contact and makes a hmm sound. 

“What made you think of that?” 

“Nothing really. I don’t know. I guess that comment about us being that old couple, not that I mind because I love this.” She smiles while alluding to their current positions. “It just made me think about the past, that’s all.” 

They talk about their childhoods and their lives growing up. She learns that Magda had two guinea pigs, Figo and Zidane. “They were cute, but they smell a lot. Stunk up my whole room for two years, even after they died. I also had a dog, Freddi, he was a cute one. My best friend.” 

“I always wanted a dog, but my dad was allergic.” Pernille explains. “So me and my sister were forced to have those other pets like fish and frogs. I can tell you they’re not as fun as you would imagine they would be as a kid.” 

“Sometimes I miss being a kid.” Magda states, matter of factly. 

“Just having fun and trying to get your parents to buy you more pets.” Pernille adds, the last part jokingly. 

“Come on. I have an idea.” Magda grabs her hand and pulls her up off of the couch. 

When Pernille realizes they are going outside she protests. “Magdaaa. It’s past midnight and it’s pouring outside.” 

Magda doesn’t say a word as she continues to lead Pernille outside. When they get out to the parking lot the rain hasn’t let up and is already beginning to soak their clothes. Pernille lets out a shiver. 

“Magda what are we doing out here?” 

“We’re having fun. Like kids.” She responds like it’s obvious. 

“Come on.” she says after Pernille hasn’t responded and proceeds to jump into puddles splattered across the parking lot. Pernille looks at her skeptically, but ultimately decides it does look kind of fun. Gosh how did she fall in love with such a dork. 

After some persistence from Magda, Pernille is having so much fun. Probably the most fun she's had in awhile. Once they have splashed around in puddles for awhile, they are now soaked from head to toe in a parking lot in the middle of the night, but Pernille doesn’t care. She lets out an audible shiver this time, she’s really cold now. Magda takes notices and wraps her arms around her and places a kiss on her cheek. The kiss is all Pernille needs to suddenly feel warmth. She melts into Magdas embrace and soon their lips locked together. It’s like a scene straight out of The Notebook, all cheesy yet romantic. 

Pernille realizes right then and there what she was subconsciously thinking about earlier with all the missing out on childhood stuff. “There may be things I’ve missed out on, but I don’t want to miss out on this.” 

Magda looks like she doesn’t quite get what Pernille is hinting at. “We should move in together. I mean only if you want to. And I know it’s fast, but I don’t want to waste anytime, life's too short.” 

“I don’t think I can handle your messiness.” Magda responds. “Kidding! Of course I want to move in with you. I wouldn’t want it any other way.” 

“I love you.” Pernile says. 

“I sure hope so.” Magda responds laughing before Pernille shuts her up with a kiss, which they both don’t fail to smile into. 

“Girlfriends and roommates it is.” 

Chapter Text

Touch. Pass. Touch. Pass. Breathe.  

Magda takes a deep breath in and out to even out her breathing as she passes the ball to the teammate to her right. She taps it a little too hard, miss judging the pass and watches as it scurries past her teammate. 

God what has gotten into her? It’s a simple passing pattern drill and she can’t even complete a pass. She huffs out in frustration as her teammate runs and gets the ball. They wave her off and say it happens when she apologies, but that doesn’t exactly make her feel any better. 

Coming back from her injury she was playing great. Making good plays, sending in good set pieces, and doing what she does best, defending. She should be at the top of her game, finally fully fit after her injury, but instead the past few weeks she has been off her game. Not necessarily playing bad, but just not like herself. She shouldn’t let it affect her game, but she can’t help but wonder if it has something to do with the way she has been feeling lately. 

Missing a pass here, making a bad decision there. It's not the end of the world, but it’s hard watching her teammates performing their best when she’s just not. It’s especially hard with Pernille. Shes been on fire lately, scoring left and right and making defenders look silly. It's not that she’s not proud of her, because she is proud, more proud than words can describe, but it’s also hard knowing that someday she might get left behind. Pernille moving on to bigger and greater things and Magda just stuck. 

The drill continues as Magda tries her best to stay focused, the sun beating down on her head, not helping the cause. She checks her watch to see how much of training they have left. Not much. 

“Bring it in everyone.” Magda hears their coach yell, not long after. She lifts the end of her shirt, wiping off the sweat that is dripping down her face, the early summer heat getting the best of her. Now that it’s summer though, they have a mid-season break coming up and her and Pernille are going to Spain together. Maybe a little break is just what she needs. 

“Great practice everyone.” Coach says as Magda and the others are jogging in. Pernille joins Magda from the other group and gives her a little shoulder bump as if to ask what’s up. Magda turns toward Pernille and just shakes her head and frowns before turning her attention back to what their coach is saying. She can feel Pernille looking at the side of her head still, but decides to ignore it. 

“Before I let you all go though, we still need to keep up our fitness levels, especially with the break coming up, so to end practice we’ll be doing 120s.” Groans filter throughout the huddle, but eventually everyone reluctantly gets on the line. 

Magda makes it her mission to end on a good note and is determined to complete her 120s the fastest. She puts all her anger into her run as she sprints the length of the field, jogging back for recovery and then doing it all over again four more times. By the end she definitely feels better, especially when she realizes she’s among the few who finished first. With the others she falls onto her back onto the grass and closes her eyes, out of breath. 

She feels a body fall beside her and opens her eyes to a curious Pernille staring back at her, eyes soft, begging for an explanation. Magda wants to talk to Pernille about the fears she has been having lately. Feeling like she’s not good enough, that she’s afraid Pernilles going to move onto bigger things and forget about her and other things along that line, but she doesn’t want to ruin the happy bubble they’ve been in lately. It’s like they’ve been in the honey moon phase for so long and Magda’s not quite ready to give that up and bring up serious things. 

“Hey you.” Pernille whispers, her eyes are so soft and Magda feels like she could melt, if not for her mood right now. “You want to talk about it?” 

Of course Pernille knows there’s something on Magda’s mind. “Not right now.” 

She turns her attention to stretching out her legs with the rest of their teammates as Pernille reluctantly follows. 

The drive home is silent. Not the kind of silence that's awkward or the type of silence when you’re mad at each other, more like the comfortable silence you have with someone when you are at the point of familiarity with a person that you know just what they need. And that’s what Pernille does. She gives Magda the silence she needs to think. 

She doesn’t know what it is. Maybe it’s fear of losing Pernille or maybe its the fears about her own career, that she’ll never be good enough. She loves being an athlete, it’s one of the most fulfilling things in her life, but sometimes it’s often lonely and isolating. 

Once they arrive home and are walking up to their apartment, Magda feels a tap at her hand as Pernille wraps their fingers together. Magda’s grateful that she has found someone that understands just how she feels. Not just as a person, but also as a football player. 

They walk into the apartment hand in hand. They moved in together a little over a month ago. Magda moved into Pernille’s apartment since she had been here longer and owned the bigger apartment. It’s been a bit of an adjustment (read: Pernille’s messiness), but overall it’s been more than perfect. Magda has never lived with anyone other than her family (other than with a roommate for away games), but she can tell you it's the best feeling in the world being able to see your favorite person before you fall asleep and that they’re also the first person you see when you wake up. 

Magda picks up Pernilles shoes that she has kicked off and places them neatly next to her own. In the past month she has learned that if she doesn’t move Pernilles shoes for her, Pernille will definitely trip over them. She doesn’t want a repeat situation of what they now have coined “the slippery yoke.”

Long story short, Pernille had discarded a pair of shoes in the middle of the entry way and left them there. When they returned from the grocery store, Pernille was carrying a bag with a carton of eggs and didn’t see her shoes from earlier on the floor and ended of tripping over them, spilling the eggs all over. Magda walked in a moment later, not paying attention and slipping on the eggs. They both ended up on the floor, food flung all over, that they ended up having to go back to the store to replace half of their food. She doesn’t know how one person can be that clumsy, but she loves her anyways. 

“Want to tell me what’s up now?” Pernille says, making herself comfortable on the couch. 

Magda looks away for a second, not wanting to meet Pernilles eyes. She knows that if she looks at her it’s all going to spill out of her mouth. She can’t help it. Pernille is her weakness, whether that’s good or bad. 

“Hey come here.” Pernille opens her arms for Magda to fall into when she sees the look on Magdas face. This time she doesn’t resist and lets herself melt into Pernilles embrace. “You know you can talk to me.” 

“I know. I know.” Magda pleads. “It’s hard ‘cause it’s not just one thing. You know?” 

Magda peaks a look at Pernilles face and sees a frown fall on her face. She seems to loosen her embrace. “It’s not… we’re good right?” 

“Yes. Yes. No we are good, it’s not about that.” Magda reassures her quickly and she feels Pernille tighten her arms again. She takes a deep breath and pauses for a moment. 

“It’s just an accumulation of things. I mean… um remember when I was scared to tell you that I loved you too. It’s just sometimes I’m still a little scared of that and scared of the immensity of it all. Like I’m so in love with you Pernille that I’ll probably just disappear into thin air if I ever lose you. And I’m scared of what other people have to say, even though I don’t want to be. I guess I’m just scared to fail. At love. At football. Like I said before you have always had more confidence than me. I know I act all tough on the outside, but that’s not always how I feel. And maybe it’s just that all these fears are showing themselves in how I have been playing. I mean you have been playing so well and I’ve just been average. And I’m beyond happy for you, but sometimes I get scared because I know someday you’re going to move on and do amazing things and might forget about me.” Magda lets out a breath, finally able to breath after letting all her feelings out. “It’s stupid and irrational. And know I shouldn’t let our relationship affect my football, but I guess I just can’t help it.” 

“Magda, baby.” Pernille says softly before placing a kiss to her temple. “First off all you know this all scares me a little too. How much I already love you, I mean. And of course at some point it is going to be headlines, but we knew that. And honestly all that doesn’t matter. What matters is how we feel. As for the football, we all have bad weeks. And football to football player, no bias, you have made a few mistakes but nothing that doesn’t happen to all of us. You just notice it more when it’s yourself.”

She pauses and places another kiss on her forehead and Magda feels herself relaxing. “As for everything else, you know how much I love you and want to keep loving you. Trust me you’re not going to be left behind. I can see how good of a leader you are and no doubt you are going to become captain someday. In fact, I know that you’ll become captain and someday move to an even better club. No matter where we both go with our careers, I know I’ll never stop loving you because Magda if you haven’t noticed I’m completely and hopelessly in love with you too. It’s probably annoying how much I love you.” 

Magda lets herself laugh, even though she feels the tears falling down her face at this point. “I love you too, more than I can even explain.” 

She probably looks like a mess right now. Take that back she definitely looks like a mess right now. Her hair is out of place from training and she has tear streaks on her face. She likes to appear tough, so she still has to convince herself that its okay to feel like this sometimes and to get these feelings out in a healthy way. 

Magda spots Pernille looking at her and when Pernille realizes Magda notices her, she takes her hand and wipes the tears from her cheek. “You’re pretty. Beautiful in fact.” 

Pernille pauses for a moment, then adds, “Just thought you should know.” 

“No I'm not. Not right now at least.” Magda waves her hand at Pernille before wiping the remaining tears from her eyes and combs her fingers self-consciously through her hair. Pernille just rolls her eyes and Magda feels her softly laugh against her. 

“How did I get so lucky?” Magda tells her. 

“How did I get so lucky?” Pernille shoots back with her signature smirk. “But really, baby you know you can talk to me about anything.” 

“I know, but we were just so happy-are so happy, and I didn’t want to ruin that.” She replies, wiping the tears from her eyes with the sleeve of her shirt. 

“I know and I love you for that, but I’m in it for the good, the bad, the everything.” 

“Me too.” Pernille kisses her lips before Magda rests her head on Pernilles shoulder. They vow to communicate better and promise that if the other is dealing with something that they talk about it together. There’s a lot Magda is still unsure about and it will take some time to work through everything she's feeling, but if there’s one thing she’s sure about it’s their love. 

“Let’s do something fun. why don’t we make a tee time and go golfing or just hit some balls at the driving range? That could help get some pent up anger out.” Pernille offers, the last bit Magda thinks is partly a joke, but it’s not a bad idea. How does Pernille always know exactly what she needs? 

“Yeah, I think that would be good.” They decide on the driving range and gather up their clubs. Magda already feels a little better after their talk, but she thinks a distraction from football will be nice. 

Pernille drives, but she doesn’t remove her hand from Magdas the whole ride and Magda can’t help but smile when she notices the fact. 

It’s a little bit crowded as it’s late afternoon and a popular time for people to be out golfing. After ten minutes, they find two spots and set down their clubs. Magda goes over to the machine and puts in the coins. She watches as the golf balls fall into the bucket and reaches down to grab it when all of them are dispensed. She brings them over to their spots and watches Pernille for a moment as she takes a few practice swings. 

Pernille eventually catches Magda staring. “You’re hot when you golf.” 

“Oh stop it.” Pernille replies, a hint of laughter in her scolding. “We both know when I hit better than you, you won’t be thinking that anymore.” 

Magda rolls her eyes. Everyone always uses her competitiveness against her. “I don’t know sometimes the whole enemies thing is a turn on.” She teases. 

“Well then, it’s on Eriksson.” Pernille quips and shakes her hips at her a bit. 

Pernille is actually quite good at golf and Magda will reluctantly admit that she’s even better than her. Pernilles first hit is curves a bit to the right, but goes decently far. Magda goes next, taking a few practice swings first. She hits it straight on, but not nearly as far as Pernilles. 

Magda clearly losing decides to mess with Pernille during one of her swings. As Pernille is lining up her club to the ball, Magda gets closer and sticks out her leg, kicking the golf ball off of the tee. 

“Magda you little shit, you can’t do that just ‘cause you’re losing.” Pernille laughs, subtly sticking up her middle finger before placing the ball back onto the tee. Magda doubles back in laughter as she watches Pernille take her swing. This golfing outing was definitely a good idea. 

After ten or so more hits, they both deem Pernille the winner (Magda not so convincingly). They still have a few more balls to hit, but swing at them more leisurely, having a bit of fun. 

“So I’m new at this.” Pernille says flirtatiously, twirling her hair, before taking a weak swing and whiffing the ball. “I might need help. I’m not really sure how to do this.” 

Magda smirks and decides to play along. This is going to be good. “For starters you’re not lining up the club right.” 

“Is this better?” Pernlle asks her. Her club is way too far back from the ball and her hands not in any of the right places. 

“Here why don’t I just show you.” Pernille nods and Magda closes the space between them. She stands right behind Pernille, her stomach to Pernilles back. Magda can feel Pernille shiver against her as she drags her hands the full length of her arm before she places her hands on top of Pernilles, moving them to the correct position on the club. 

“This is where your hands should go.” Magda whispers into Pernilles ear, and lets out a low husky laugh, enjoying how much this seems to be affecting Pernille.

“And how should I swing?” Pernille whispers back, her voice a bit shaky. 

They should do this more often, Magda thinks. She grips the club over Pernilles hands before slowly bringing the club behind them, and swinging it forward. 

A moment later, the club is forgotten and dropped to the ground, as Pernille turns around and locks her lips to Magdas. Magda is taken a bit by surprise at first, because they usually don’t do this much in public. Not that they are ashamed, just haven’t really felt the need to. But, today is a different story and Magdas attention shifts back to the kiss. 

What started off as a soft kiss, has quickly turned passionate as Pernille opens her mouth, her tongue asking for access and Magda gladly gives it. Their lips move in sink and her hands go to Pernilles hair. She can feel the heat between their bodies exemplified from the summer humidity. 

After what feels like years have passed, Magda remembers where they are and puts her hands to Pernilles shoulders, pulling away from the kiss. She looks around and thankfully there are only a few other golfers left, none seemingly like they have noticed the passionate love affair on the driving range that they just had. 

“We should do this more often.” Magda voices what she was thinking only minutes earlier. 

“Oh yes. Golfing is fun isn’t it. I really like going to the driving range.” Pernille jokes. 

“Is that supposed to be some kind of euphemism or that’s what she said joke?” Magda responds playing along. 

“Honestly no idea. I just really like making out with you.” Pernille says back. Magda gives her a good look. Her face is flushed and she has sweat falling from her hairline, but in this light her eyes are more blue than ever and contain a little mischief. 

Gosh, her girlfriend is beautiful. 

“You’re hot and I’m hot. We could go back to my place and do some more of that making out and maybe a bit more.” Magda raises her eyebrows and wiggles her shoulders, still playing along with their little game. 

“How can I? I don’t even know your name?” Pernille shoots back. 

“Of course. How rude of me. My name is Magdalena Eriksson.” 

“Pernille Harder.” Pernille says, offering out her hand. Magda takes it gently, sort of turning Pernilles hand in hers. Instead of letting it go she laces their fingers together.  

“Shall we get going then?” Magda responds, flirtation in her voice. Pernille nods and Magda places her hand on the small of Pernilles back, rubbing little circles there. She leads them back to the car and opens the door for her. 

After they are in the car Pernille reaches over and places her hand on Magdas cheek. “You should know I have a wonderful girlfriend whom I love very much, so maybe you should just take me home.” 

Magda understands the hint and smiles softly at the fact that Pernille only wants to be them. “Of course. The real thing is better than any pretend idea isn’t it?” 

“It is.” Pernille strokes her thumb against Magdas cheek. “Let’s go home.” 

Magda will never get tired of hearing Pernille say their home. What they have is better than anything else and Magda’s glad that they can just be themselves, never pretending with each other (only for fun somtimes). She loves that they are open with each other, especially now that they have agreed to always talk things through, the good and the bad. She’s so in love with Pernille and wants nothing more than for her to take her home. To their home. 

Magda leans over and kisses Pernille properly on the lips. “Yes. Let’s go home.” 

Chapter Text

“Pernille hurry up we’re going to miss our flight if you aren’t ready soon.” Pernille hears Magda shout from the other room. They are going to Barcelona for their summer break. It will definitely be a much needed break and she thinks it will be good, especially for Magda, to get away from football for a few days. The trip itself that they have planned out is going to be amazing, but they could honestly go anywhere and Pernille would be content as long as its Magda she’s spending it with. 

Pernille is in their bedroom gathering up the last few items of clothing that are sprawled out onto their bed. They decided to redo their room when Magda moved in with her since it’s their place now. They wanted to make it more them. 

The walls are painted a light grey color and the trim around the room they painted white. Magda added the rug from her bedroom, that Pernille loves, to add a pop of color. The furniture is mostly the same, other than some decorations and other decals that Magda brought over from her old apartment. 

They added a few pictures of them with each others families. There are also a few pictures of them together scattered throughout the room. Pernilles favorite picture is framed by their bed on the nightstand. The picture was taken quite recently. A few weeks ago in fact. Her, Magda, and Frido took a day trip to the beach. The water wasn’t quite warm enough to swim in yet, so instead they were sitting in the sand on a towel and Frido happened to catch Pernille leaning over on Magdas shoulder and she pulled out her phone to take a picture. It's a simple picture, but Pernille loves how they look in it. It’s so them. She's leaning against Magda, Magdas arm around her. Their hair both messy from the wind off of the water, but their smiles as bright as ever, just enjoying each other. 

Now that she thinks about it Frido really third wheels them a lot. She laughs to herself, but is interrupted by a shuffling sound and spots Magda in the doorway. 

“Hey Pernille we really need to go if we actually want to go to Barcelona.” Magda says, eyeing the clothes that still need to be packed. 

“I mean... we could just stay here in bed all vacation if you really wanted.” Magda says seductively, crawling on her knees on top do the bed, heading toward Pernilles direction. 

Pernille laughs and tries to subtly wink. “I mean we could, but I would much rather do that in Barcelona and get to explore cool places.” 

“Just making sure.” Magda winks back. “No, but we actually do need to get going if we want to make our flight.” 

“Yeah, sorry I just got a little distracted.” Pernille replies, quickly shoving a pair of shorts into her suitcase. “Okay I’m ready.” 

“Perfect, let’s get our vacation on.” Magda gently kisses her cheek and reaches for Pernilles suitcase, carrying it out to the living room next to her own. 

They make it to the airport and through security with plenty of time to spare. What was Magda so worried about? But honestly she’s so thankful for Magda because she’d be lost without her in more ways than one. 

“I’m so excited!” Magda says before stepping onto the escalator in front of Pernille. “Here, smile.” Magda says pulling out her phone and snapping a picture of Pernille on the escalator. 

“The trip hasn’t even started yet and you’re already taking pictures? You’re definitely going to need more space on your phone.” Pernille jokes. 

“Hey.” Magda exclaims playfully. “Technically vacation did start as soon as we left our apartment and if you need to know you looked cute and I wanted to remember this moment.” 

“Okay fair enough.” Pernille replies. A bit of red creeping up her cheeks. They've been dating for a few months now, but Pernille can’t help the effect Magda has on her. 

They finally get to their seats on the plane an hour later, Magda in the window seat and Pernille in the middle seat. The plane is two by three seating and Pernille is hoping they get lucky and have an empty seat next to them. Sometimes on planes you get stuck with someone who doesn’t stop talking and right now Pernille just wants to start of their vacation right, just her and Magda. 

Pernille turns to Magda saying that she thinks they will have the row all to themselves just as a mom and daughter approach them. 

“Is this 17C?” The lady asks Pernille. 

“Yes I believe so.” Pernille replies. She turns to Magda and Magda just shrugs her shoulders. 

It will be fine, Pernille thinks. The baby looks a little older, so maybe she won’t cry the whole time. 

As if the women read her mind she turns to Pernille and Magda, “She’s usually a pretty good flyer. We fly a lot.” 

“Oh I’m not worried.” Pernille lies, hoping the woman doesn’t catch on. 

“Do you both fly a lot then?” Magda asks. 

“Yes.” The woman replies, a hint of tiredness in her voice. Traveling is a lot work and Pernille can’t even imagine flying with a child. “My husband is working in Spain at the moment so we do a lot of visiting and traveling back and forth.” 

“Oh I bet that’s hard.” Pernille responds and Magda nods. 

“Yeah long distance relationships can be hard. I hope I never have to do that again.” Magda says. She looks over at Pernille and softly smiles, acknowledging that in the future they might need to have a discussion about that. But that's for another time, a future problem, that Pernille doesn’t want to think about. Right now they don’t need to worry about that. Right now it’s vacation time.

The woman just smiles sadly. “I’m Nora by the way and this is my daughter Sofia. She just turned nine months old.” 

“I’m Pernille and this is Magdalena.” Pernille tells Nora. She does a little wave to Sofia. “Hi. you’re such a little cutie, aren't you?” 

“You really are a cutie.” Magda says in her ‘talking to babies’ voice, similar to Pernilles. They talk with Nora for awhile and tell her that they are going to Barcelona for a little vacation. She gives them a few recommendations and places that her husband has taken her.  

After a while of talking, they part ways for a while and Magda turns on a movie on her IPad and hands Pernille one of her earbuds. Halfway through the movie Pernille feels a bump against her arm followed by an ‘oh no.’ She pauses the movie and removes her earbud. Her and Magda both look to their right at Nora and Sofia. 

There’s spit up everywhere. It’s all over Nora’s shirt and Sofias clothes are covered in it as well. Nora looks flustered and Pernilles not sure if she should offer to help in any way. 

Magda beats her to it. “Oh my gosh Nora. Do you need any help?” 

“Um I should be fine.” Nora replies reluctantly and Pernille can tell she is afraid to ask for help. 

“I could hold her while you get some other clothes out of your bag.” Pernille offers. “Only if you’d want me to.” 

“Sure, sure that would be great thanks.” Nora hands Sofia over to Pernille and Pernille brings her into her lap, making sure not to get spit up on her own clothes. Nora stands up so she can reach the overhead compartment and gets a new onesie for Sofia and a shirt for herself. 

“Thank you.” Nora says to Pernille as she takes her daughter back. Pernille nods as she watches Nora carefully change Sofia out of her dirty clothes. After, she watches as Nora decides what she should do. 

“We can watch her for a second if you want to go change.” Magda offers. “I mean only if you’re comfortable.” 

Nora sighs and looks like she’s weighing her options in her head, a bit stressed. “I swear I never do this. I’m a good mother. I never leave her with strangers.” 

“It’s okay if you don’t feel comfortable there's only an hour and a half left of the flight.” Pernille assures her. Nora clearly looking tense, unsure of what she should do. 

“No, no you both have been so kind, I’m just a bit stressed. Kids I tell you. They’re a lot of work, but so worth it.” Nora hands Sofia over to Pernille and thanks them both again. 

While Nora is in the airplane bathroom changing, Pernille faces Sofia toward her and Magdas faces. 

“Hi Sofia.” Magda and Pernille both coo. They play with her for a while. Tickling her little hands and feet and playing peek-a-boo, which she really enjoyed. When Magda first started playing it, Sofia laughed the loudest and most cutest laugh Pernilles ever heard (besides Magdas) and she was surprised someone so little could laugh that loud. 

Pernille eventually hands Sofia over to Magda and her heart flutters at the sight of Magda holding a baby. She knew she wanted a family, but wasn’t sure how that would work with her career. But, at this moment seeing Magda with a baby just makes her think about Magda with their own kids and she knows that's exactly what she wants in the future. 


When they finally are safely landed and back on the ground, Nora thanks them again and offers to buy them lunch. They decline and say they had fun and it made their flight interesting. 

“That baby was so cute,” Magda says to Pernille in the taxi on the way to their hotel. 

“She really was.” Pernille smiles. A thought crosses her mind and she isn’t sure if she should say it out loud, but does anyways. “I want one of those.” 

“Someday, not today.” She quickly bursts out a second later. “Obviously.” 

Magda just smiles and places a chaste kiss on her lips. “Me too.” 

It catches Pernille by surprise. They never really talked about kids or marriage for that matter. It’s still fairly early, but Pernilles sure that Magda is it for her and wouldn’t want a family with anyone else. She smiles, happy they are both on the same page though. 

“I want at least two. I couldn’t imagine growing up without a sibling.” Pernille says to Magda. 

“I think two is perfect. So they can always have a friend.” 

“We’re here.” The taxi driver tells them, looking back at them in the mirror. They pay him and then walk into their hotel hand in hand. 

“Ready for our adventure?” Magda asks her. 

“If it’s with you, I’m up for anything.” Vacation, a future, kids. Whatever it is Pernilles ready. 

It was late when they got to their hotel the night before, so the night was basically spent ordering room service and spending the rest of the evening in bed. 

Today, though, they are up and at em in the morning. All she’s seen is their hotel so far, but if that's any indication of how the rest of Barcelona is going to be, Pernille thinks it will be even more amazing. 

Since the weather is nice today they decide to head to the coast and check out a beach. The sun is shining and sparkling across the sea water when they finally arrive. 

“This is the perfect day.” Magda turns to Pernille as they are stepping out of the car. She throws the beach bag with their towels around her shoulder and Magda grabs the basket with their lunch and drinks. 

“Yes, the water looks amazing.” Pernille looks over at the beach and admires the appealing coolness of the water and can’t wait to jump in and cool off from the hot sun that's already beating down on her after only a few seconds that she’s been out of the car. 

Magda grabs Pernilles hand and leads her to a free spot on the sandy beach. Once they set their stuff down and lay out the towels, Pernille removes her shoes and digs her feet into the sand. She shuffles them around a bit, burying them in the sand, feeling the warmth spread across her feet. 

“Come on I’ll race ya.” Magda shouts, stripping off her shirt and exposing her toned abs. She slides down her shorts and Pernille follows suit. Before Pernille even has the chance to take off her shirt, Magda is sprinting down the beach towards the water. Pernille starts to run, taking off her shirt in the process and throwing it back in the direction of their things, not wanting to lose to Magda. 

Obviously Magda wins because she's a cheater and has to win everything. Pernille makes it to the water a few seconds after Magda and falls into the water, enjoying its refreshing temperature. 

“You’re such a cheater Magda. I wasn’t even ready.” Pernille whines while she takes her hands and splashes Magda with water. 

“Hey.” Magda protests, splashing Pernille back. “I didn’t cheat, maybe you’re just slow.” 

Oh no she didn’t. It’s war now. Pernille launches herself at Magda and tackles her into the water. It backfires though because Magda seems to enjoy it and it turns into more of a hug than a tackle.

They enjoy the sea a little bit more and Pernille feels completely at bay. She’s with her favorite person, her best friend, her adventure buddy. She doesn’t think this vacation could get any more perfect. 

After awhile (and some more shenanigans later) they get out of the water and dry off. Magda takes her towel and wraps it around both of them so they are embracing. Pernille leans in and kisses the top of Magdas nose playfully. After a moment, they break apart and settle down to eat their lunch. They went to a little street market before coming and picked out some fresh fruit, veggies, and some freshly baked bread. 

The fresh food is delicious and Pernille tells Magda this as they both lay back onto their towels, full and refreshed from their meal. 

Pernille closes her eyes and lets the sun warm her skin. “Sometimes I wish we lived somewhere that’s warm all the time. I love winter, but sometimes it gets old.” 

“Same.” Magda agrees, her eyes closed as she sunbathes. “Don’t laugh, but when I was little, after we went on a beach vacation, I told my parents I was going to move to somewhere warm and have a smoothie stand on the beach.” 

Pernille giggles. “That’s not a bad move.” 

They spent a few more hours at the beach and after awhile, both wiped, they decided to head back to their hotel and then to dinner. After both having showered they got dressed and headed out for a nice dinner. Pernille slipped on a flowy navy blue dress and some white flats. Magda decided on a lighter blue dress that complemented Perniles dark one. They both told each other they looked beautiful and then they were off to find a restaurant. 

Hand in hand, they strolled the streets of Barcelona for a while looking for somewhere to eat, Magda whispering things to her occasionally about what they see. And what they see is amazing. The city is astounding at night. Lights are strung between buildings and Pernille can hear faint music from several people playing in the streets. The older buildings are colorful and bring out the Spanish culture and Pernille loves it. After 20 minutes, they spot a cute looking restaurant on the corner of one of the streets and pop in to look at the menu. 

A waiter or camarero in Spanish, Pernille recently learned, seats them at one of the tables set out near the sidewalk outside. The patio area is beautiful. Lights are strung back and forth above them and the rusted red tables and chairs give it some old charm. She can also hear the musician on the other side of the street playing and singing on the guitar, which really perfects the mood. 

Magda sits down across from Pernille and they both order a drink. Some type of Spanish beer for Magda and a glass of wine for Pernille. They chat casually until their food comes. After one bite, Pernille decides this is the best food she’s ever had. 

After their meal, the musician on the corner is still playing and a small crowd has now gathered. Pernille suggests they should go over there and check him out. Magda agrees and after they pay their bill, they head that way. 

As they walk over there, Pernille can now hear the music more clearly and now notices that a few couples are dancing. It’s a song in Spanish, but it’s very pretty sounding. Pernille stands in front of Magda and Magda wraps her arms around her, warming her from the slight breeze that has just started up. They stand there swaying back and forth, enjoying the music and each other. Magda leans into Pernille and places a kiss on her cheek before resting her own cheek there. 

The song finishes up and Pernille and Magda join in clapping along with the others who are praising the singer. A few people stepping up and putting some money into his guitar case. 

The man has started strumming the beginning of another song on his guitar as a few people leave and others remain circled around him. The tune doesn’t sound familiar to Pernille at first, but a second later when she hears him begin to sing, a bit of an accent present. She realizes it's a beautiful acoustic version of Can’t Help Falling in Love. Pernille loves this song, who doesn’t, and she can’t help but think of Magda when she hears this song. 

There are quite a few more couples dancing now and as the man continues to sing, Pernille turns around in Magdas embrace while Magda continues to hold onto her waist. Pernille wraps her arms around Magdas shoulders so they are now swaying back and forth in each other’s arms. Properly slow dancing now, Pernille lays her head onto Magdas shoulder and breaths her in. She smells like home and Pernille finds herself burying her head further against Magda like she can’t get close enough. 

For I can’t help falling in love with you. The man sings beautifully and Pernille can’t help but whisper the lyrics to Magda. She even catches Magda singing along too. 

The song ends moments later, his last one. And people begin to cycle out and walk their separate ways. But, they remain this way. Slow dancing in the street. No music. No audience. Just them. 

They sway back and forth, the cool breeze picking up as the sun begins to fade away behind the buildings. But, Pernilles not cold, the opposite in fact, Magda’s body heat keeping her warm. 

They must look ridiculous out here, no music just lost in themselves, but Pernille doesn’t care what everyone else thinks, not anymore. They don’t know what this feeling is like. They don’t need to. It’s reserved just for them. 

Magda spins Pernille around and she twirls until she’s facing Magda again, who dips her before bringing Pernille back up so their faces are so close that Pernille can feel Magda’s breath hot against her lips. 

“I love you.” Magda whispers into Pernilles hair. 

“I love you too. I’m so glad it’s you I fell in love with.” Pernille leans in and kisses Magda like it’s the most natural thing in the world and maybe it is. 

If Pernille didn’t know how in love she was with Magda before, she definitely knows after last night. This has been the perfect trip and much needed break away from the reality that is their football career. 

The rest of the trip is filled with more amazing food, sites, and of course good company. Over the next few days they take in more of the culture of Spain. They visited the church of the Sagrada Família, which is a beautiful basilica and the architecture of it was just amazing. In the various restaurants the went to they also got to try many tapas. Which Pernille learned can be a bunch of different things, but all of the different variations were delicious. 

Today is their last day and they spent the morning exploring the city a bit more and have decided to rest and get a bite to eat. Magda pointed out a little cafe across the street and they decided to check it out. It turns out that it's a board game cafe and they have games set out that you can play while drinking your coffee or eating. 

“If we play a game do you think you can handle not getting too competitive?” Pernille asks Magda after they order and are taking a seat at the table near the window. 

“Pernille, really? I think I can handle a little game.” Magda shakes her head, a smile creeping onto her lips. 

“I mean I can think of at least a dozen times that hasn’t been true.” Pernille raises her eyebrows. 

“Well now we have to play something so I can prove that I can control my competitiveness.” 

“See everything is a competition.” Pernille shakes her head, laughing. “I love you for it, though.” Pernille takes Magdas hand and kisses it before Magda gets up and grabs their orders from the counter. 

As she does that, Pernille goes over to the table of games and grabs a deck of cards. “Here, we can play a nice simple game of garbage.” 

“Game on.” Magda responds. She reaches for her sandwich and takes a bite of it before taking the cards from Pernille and shuffling them. Pernille takes a bite of her own sandwich, mentally preparing herself for a fierce competition. 


“You can’t do that.” Magda shouts and without even looking up, Pernille knows that many people in the quiet cafe have turned their direction. 

“Yes I can. And here's an ace. Looks like I’ve won.” Pernille says after having gotten down to only one card and finally getting the ace that allows her to finish the game and win. 

“No. I was just about to win.” Magda pouts. “See I had this card.” 

“Magda come on it’s just a dumb card game. I really don’t understand how you get so worked up about it.” Pernille says it as a joke and is fighting back laughter as she says it, but she instantly regrets it a second later because the look on Magdas face turns more angry. Thankfully she seems to be playing it up a bit and her face goes back to normal. “Magda I was just joking, but anyways let's just forget about it and go explore some more.” 

Magda doesn’t respond and Pernille looks at her properly. She's biting her lip to keep from talking. Pernille just smiles and rolls her eyes as she realizes what Magdas doing. The silent treatment. Of course what else would she be doing. 

“Okay so I see that you’re not talking to me now.” Pernille quips. Magda just looks at her and shrugs her shoulders. 

“Well looks like I get to pick what we do then. Shopping all day it is.” Pernille barely hears it, but without doubt Magda has let out a quiet groan, but still she doesn’t say anything. “Come on, let's go.” 

Pernille rises from her chair and Magda follows suit. She leads them outside and heads towards the direction of the shops. There seems to be a store for everything. A fancy clothing store, traditional stores, food stores, football stores, and so much more. 

Pernille shops and walks through the streets as Magda follows behind her like a sad puppy that has lost its bone. She’s not mad, but she’s still giving Pernille the silent treatment. 

Magda continues to follow her around like this for a few hours as Pernille continues to shop and the bags around her arms grow. Eventually she turns around and looks at Magda. Her eyes are soft and loving and it looks like she wants to say something, but doesn’t. Pernille laughs to herself before backing up and standing in front of Magda.

“You know if you talk to me you won’t be losing some sort of game.” Pernille says and kisses Magda on the cheek. “If we are done shopping will you stop giving me the silent treatment and we can go and have some fun?” 

Magda nods. “Okay, fine, fine. I’ll stop pouting if we can please be done shopping. I don’t understand how someone can shop this long and still enjoy it.” 

“Oh Magda.” Pernille laughs. “There can never be too much shopping.” 

Since dinner time is approaching they decided to pick up some bread, meat, and drinks from a market so they can pack a picnic. Nora suggested that they walk up to Park Guell and so they decide to trust her suggestion. When they arrive, they are met with a beautiful view that overlooks the city and it’s amazing architecture. By the time they get up there, the sun low in the sky creates a perfect glow and the nice breeze is keeping it cool. They find a spot away from all the other tourists and set up their picnic. 

Pernille sets up the blanket as Magda sets the backpack down and gets out the rest of the food and drinks. 

“This is absolutely beautiful.” Pernille says to Magda as they both take a bite of their food. 

“It really is.” Magda agrees, both looking out over the view. “Sorry I was being so childish earlier.” 

Pernille turns her head towards Magda, a soft smile forming. “It’s okay. I thought it was kind of funny and you did look so cute following me around like a little puppy.” 

“I did not look like a puppy.” Magda shouts playfully, pushing Pernilles shoulder lightly. 

“Did too.” Pernille says. “Like a little lost puppy.” 

Magda rolls her eyes and faces Pernille now. “I try not to get too worked up, especially during football games, but I can’t help it.” 

“No, I think it’s good for your football.” Pernille takes another bite. “It adds something to your game that not everyone has and that’s a good thing. Especially as a defender you have to want it, want to win I mean, and getting to the ball first and everything like that.” They talk football for a bit longer. Even though it’s been only a few days without playing football or talking about it, it feels like forever and it’s good that they have each other to talk to. Whether that's about their own game or just football in general. 

As the sun begins to set, Magda slings her arm around Pernille and Pernille shifts on the blanket so she can get closer to Magda. She allows herself to relax into Magdas embrace as they watch the sun fall behind the skyline. She’s perfectly content and doesn’t want it ever not to be like this with Magda. 

“Thanks for this.” Pernille whispers against Magda. 

“Thanks for what?” Magda asks as she shifts into a more comfortable position, Pernilles head sliding onto her chest in the process. 

“I don’t know… for everything. For this trip. For loving me.” Pernille says, lifting her head from Magdas chest and looking straight into her soft eyes. 

“I wouldn’t want it any other way.” Magda replies before settling her lips onto Pernilles. And as the sun begins to fade away, the light disappearing with it, they remain there in each others arms not a care in the world.

Chapter Text

It’s the Olympics. The epitome of modern sports. And Pernille won’t be there. Of course for a footballer, it’s not as defining as the World Cup, but at this point she’s not sure she’ll make it there either (given she missed it the year before). 

She has committed her whole life to being an athlete. Given everything for her sport from countless hours of training to forfeiting lots of normal childhood things. She’s missed out on sleepovers, school dances, family events, she moved away from her home at 19 for Christ’s sake, and to fall short now is just disappointing and leaves her with a bitter taste on her tongue. 

She’s trying to be optimistic, but the reality is her federation doesn’t care enough about them and so they are left under-appreciated and underperforming. 

On the other hand, Pernille has been making a name for herself. In 2015, in just 22 games she scored 17 goals and was named forward of the year, league player of the year and Danish player of the year. Sure she’s gracious for all of these individual accomplishments and her club team has been slowly rising towards the top, but to a footballer nothing is better than performing well on a world stage. And in the end individual awards are just that, awards. She’d much rather be known as a World Champion or even an Olympic Champion in this case. 

She’s tried to show how proud she is of Magda and Frido and all her other teammates who are leaving for the Olympics in a few short weeks, and she is proud, it’s just hard watching everyone else get excited for something you aren’t a part of. It’s like when you're a kid and you hear all your friends talking about that one fun birthday party that’s happening the next weekend and you realize you didn’t get invited to it. The feeling of being left out. 

“So this Sunday is our last game before our national team players leave to join their teams before the Olympics, so let’s have a few good practices and a game to send them off.” 

Pernille listens as their coach enthusiastically sets up practice with some opening words. She squints her eyes, adjusting them to the sun as a slight breeze causes a strand of her blonde hair to stick to her face. She brushes it away with annoyance, catching Magdas eye in the process, who is now looking at her skeptically. 

The girls all nod, agreeing with their coach, and head onto the field for warmups. 

Magda takes her place at the front of one of the lines and Pernille joins beside her at the start of the next line as their teammates fill in behind them. They go through a few stretches to start the warmup off and then transition to some high knees, karaoke's, and a few other warmups like those, ending with some sprints. 

They begin training with a passing drill, their coach telling them they can choose their own partners. Pernille quickly makes eye contact with Frido before Magda can find Pernille. Usually Pernille would go straight to Magda, but she knows that if they were together today, she’d ask her about how she’s feeling and Pernille really doesn’t want to do this at practice. Football is her escape. The place where nothing else matters.

As the summer sun beats down onto the pitch, the team listens as the coach fills them on today's drill. There are two cones set up on each side and Pernille observes as he shows them the first pattern he wants them to complete within the cones and then passes it off to his assistant at the other end. They break apart and Pernille and Frido go to a set of cones at the end of the field. 

“So what’s up?” Frido asks after she completes the pattern and passes the ball off to Pernille. 

“Huh?” Pernille says a moment later after completing her pattern. 

“With you and Magda? Usually you guys both ditch me to be partners with each other.” 

“Nothing is up.” Pernille replies a little too harshly. 

“So this is about the Olympics then?” 

Pernille widens her eyes at Fridos accusation. Sure she is beyond disappointed she won’t be going, but she thought she had been masking it pretty well. Surprised by this she messes up her pass back to Frido and it flies past her. 

“Shit.” Pernille blurts out.

“You know it’s okay to feel how you feel. I’m always here to talk if you need to.” Frido assures her, a bit out of breath from running to retrieve the ball. 

Pernille just nods and they finish the drill in silence, Pernille focusing on perfecting each and every passing pattern the coach gives them. 


“Hey you ready to get out of here?” Magda runs up to Pernille after practice. The late afternoon sunlight making her gleaming hazel eyes seem lighter. How can Pernille ever tell her how she feels when she’s looking at someone as beautiful as Magda. It’s like her presence almost makes all of her bad feelings disappear. Almost being the key word. 

“Um yeah let me just grab my bag.” 

When they get back to their apartment, Pernille kicks off her shoes in the entryway and walks into the living room to throw her bag on an open spot on the floor. She makes her way into their bedroom to change and immediately hears Magda call her name. 

“What?” Pernille calls on her way back to the living room after having changed. 

“I said, could you put your bag in the closet and maybe your shoes too? Don’t want it getting too messy and you tripping on something.” Magda asks. Pernille knows the last part is meant as a joke, but she doesn’t find it funny today.

They have been together for two years now, so obviously Magda has no problem asking Pernille to pick up, as she has a habit of being messy, but today Pernille is having none of it. 

“Are you my mother?” Pernille says sassily, in a way she would in fact use with her mother when she was a child. Magda looks shocked from Pernilles tone. Her eyes scrunching and her brow furrowing. Pernille knows she’s acting childish right now, but she can’t seem to stop. 

“I’m sorry we can’t all be as perfect as you Magda.” She says after a moment, the last ‘a’ in Magdas name elongated for effect. Pernille grabs her bag and puts on her shoes. 

“Here is this better?” 

“Pernille what the hell? Can we please talk before you just leave. We promised we would talk about things like this and not just fight.” 

“I’m tired of talking. Sometimes I just don’t want to talk to you Magda. Okay?” Pernille subtly looks up from her shoes to see Magdas reaction. Magdas face falls as their eyes meet and she can see water begin to pool up in her eyes. She bites her lip to stop from reacting anymore and Pernille instantly regrets what she just said. All she wants to do is forget everything and comfort Magda, but in reality she can’t just forget everything that she’s feeling and she’s afraid that if she stays she’ll just say more things that she’ll regret. 

She opens the door and turns around one last time before stepping out. “At least tell me where you’re going?” 

“To the field.” She steps out the door and slams it without another word. 

If Pernille was anyone else she would probably head straight to the bar. Drowning her sorrows in alcohol surrounded by strangers. But, she’s an athlete and it’s the middle of the season and that would be totally unproductive. So instead she heads to a public field at one of the parks nearby. There’s a few families at the playground and another family cooking dinner on one of the grills. She gazes as them wishing she was with her own family right now. It’s hard to be away from them, especially when she’s feeling like she does right now. Even though it’s been a few years since she lived at home, it doesn’t make it any easier to be away.

It suddenly dawns on her that Magda is her family now. The one she goes to for everything. Except how can she go to her with this? She’s so incredibly proud of her, but how does she balance her own feelings about her career a with Magdas? 

She shakes her head unable to answer that question and heads out onto the pitch. She sets up a few cones and does some footwork until she gets tired of it, Magda and the Olympics still on her mind. 

Right foot. Left foot. Touch to the outside. Touch to the inside. 

Usually it helps, football, but she can’t seem to escape her never ending thoughts. 

Before she wears herself out too much she heads over to one of the goals and takes shot after shot, perfecting her form, hoping-no needing -this to help her own game so she can help her team. 

After a while she can feel her body begin to tire, but she keeps going, not wanting her thoughts to fill her head again. Her foot aches from the constant strike of the ball and she yells in frustration as she misses one shot after another. 

Angry and tired, she walks over to the goal line and sets herself up to sprint to the other end. She counts down in her head and then takes off in the other direction. After the tenth sprint, she feels her lungs giving out and her legs feel like jelly as she finally lets herself relax. She falls onto her back into the cool grass, the roughness of it scratching against her sweaty skin. The air is cooler now so she just closes her eyes, breathing in and out, as the breeze cools her down. 

This helped, but it still doesn’t change how she feels about her football career.  

She meant to go home and apologize to Magda. She meant to get into her car and drive home. She meant to tell Magda what she’s been feeling, it’s what they agreed upon those years ago when they started dating. But she didn’t. Instead she got into her car and just drove. Music blaring and windows down letting the cool night air in with it, hair a mess from the whipping of the wind. She found herself on the other side of town, where she knows no one. This wasn’t a coincidence.

When she gets where she is headed, she pulls into a parking space on the side of the street and gets out and locks her car. The street is quiet and the muffled sounds of laughter, talking and music from inside the buildings gives it an eerie feeling. Nonetheless, she heads up to the door, the neon sign lighting up the empty street. 

She walks into the building and is instantly hit with the strong smell of smoke and alcohol. The bar is dim, besides the lamps hung above the bar. She knows she won’t know anyone here, but she looks around anyways to make sure. 

Once she is sure there are no teammates or friends here, she takes a seat on a stool at the bar and orders a drink. She takes a sip of her drink as soon as the bartender gives it to her. She feels guilty as soon as the glass touches her lips, but that feeling fades soon enough as she feels the strong taste of alcohol slide down her throat, warming her body. 

She downs the drink and orders another. This time a vodka and sprite. The drinks begin to pile up on her tab, but she doesn’t care because they’re helping. Helping her forget about the Olympics. Helping her forget about her family. Helping her forget about all these thoughts in her head. Just helping her forget. 

She’s more than buzzed at this point, probably properly drunk. She orders another and the bartender gives her a questioning look, but hands her one anyways. This time she takes the glass and just sips it slowly, her eyelids beginning to drip. 

“Maybe you should slow it down there? You look like a decent girl, don’t want you causing any harm to yourself.” Pernille is startled as a voice beside her echoes a suggestion and almost falls backwards off the stool. She didn’t even realize that someone had sat down next to her. Maybe she does need to slow it down. 

Pernille turns her head to face the voice beside her. The voice came from a lady who looks nice enough, maybe 70 years old. She’s sitting by herself on the stool next to Pernille, nursing a beer. “I’m sorry I didn’t realize anyone was next to me.” 

“It’s okay, just thought I’d make sure you were alright.” 

“I’m fine.” Pernille responds, but it comes out a bit slurred. 

“Well if you were fine you wouldn’t be here drinking alone.” 

“I could ask you the same thing.” 

“You’re right, but on the other hand I’m not the one drunk off my ass right now.” The lady quips. When Pernille doesn’t say anything, the lady just laughs. “I’m Cecelia, but all my friends call me CeCe.”

“Pernille.” Pernille says back. Cece is trying to tell her something but in her drunken state Pernille isn’t paying attention. Instead she catches herself listening to the song they are playing in the bar. 

“Oh my gosh I love this song.” Pernille says as Don’t Stop Believin’ comes on over the bars speakers. It’s mostly drowned out by all the other drunk people in the bar, but she can still make out the words and begins to sing along.

“Just a small town girl. Livin’ in a lonely world.” She begins to sing. She looks over at CeCe and they both look at each other and burst out laughing. CeCe gets up and Pernille is offended for a moment because she thinks she’s leaving, but is instead taken by surprise when CeCe reaches for Pernilles hands and they both help each other up onto the bar. 

“A singer in a smoky room. A smell of wine and cheap perfume.” They both sing and point to each other. “For a smile they can share the night. It goes on and on and on and on.” 

They grab each others hands and begin to dance as the music speeds up. Pernille letting herself go as she twists and turns to the beat of the music. People begin to quiet down and someone turns up the volume. 

When the chorus hits, everyone in the bar sings along with them, shouting the lyrics. 

“Don’t stop believin’” Fills the room and Pernille brings out her best dance moves as the crowded bar cheers her on. 


“Wow I really needed that.” CeCe says after the song fades out and everyone has gone back to their conversations. 

“Me too.” Pernille says climbing down from the bar. 

“So why did you really come here?” CeCe deadpans. Pernille opens her mouth to say something, but hesitates. “Come on, I'm just some random old lady, I won’t say anything.” 

“Well, for starters I’m a footballer and my girlfriend is going to the Olympics and I’m not.” Pernille has just met this lady, but she finds herself wanting to spill out everything she has been afraid to tell anyone else. She rests her head onto her hand that’s propped up by her elbow, the crazy drunk stage passing and the just drunk phase setting in. 

She tells CeCe everything. How she’s so proud of Magda and her teammates, but she’s also disappointed that she won’t be playing. How she’s disappointed in herself for feeling this way. How she can’t talk to anyone else about this. Everything. And CeCe listens and nods along. 

When she’s finished talking CeCe looks like she’s debating on what to say. “I would tell you it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling, but you probably don’t want to hear that.” 

Pernille just nods and signals to the bartender for another drink. She excuses herself and goes to use the bathroom quickly. 

“You know when I was around your age I worked at a pretty respected company and there was this guy I was seeing who also worked at the same company.” CeCe says as Pernille sits back down and takes a sip of her drink. 

“We weren’t supposed to be dating since we worked together, but we did anyway. We were just two hopeless twenty-something kids in love.” Pernille turns to face CeCe as she pauses her story for a moment. She notices that her eyes look happier as she recounts the story. Pernille can tell that whoever it was, CeCe was really in love with him. 

“Anyways,” CeCe clears her throat, “there was an opportunity for one of us to get promoted and both of us wanted it so bad, even if we didn’t admit it to one another. For awhile we just avoided the whole thing and worked on our presentations in a sort of secret way. It took a toll on our relationship. We started lying to each other and not telling each other how we really felt. Eventually we ended up fighting about every single thing, including the promotion. We even started fighting about something as simple as what we wanted to eat for dinner. He ended up getting the job, but at that point it didn’t matter. We’d already ruined something more important, our relationship. I ended up quitting and was at a very low point in my life, but a few years later, at a new job, I got my chance and was promoted and eventually became vice president of that company.” 

Pernille doesn’t know what to say, especially in her state, but instead she just listens to CeCe like she did for her. She takes another sip of her drink and lets the alcohol once again fill her system. 

“Many years later, I ran into Frederik, the guy I was seeing at work all those years ago, at a grief group. He had lost his wife that year and I had lost my husband. I had a good marriage, I loved my husband, but if I admit it, our love was nothing compared to what I felt about Frederik. We ended up going for coffee and then to the movies another time and eventually we went to dinner. We were older and we finally had gotten our shit together. Then, when he died a few years later, I realized that the thing I regret most in my life is the time that we wasted all of those years apart when we could have been together. I realized that we were fighting over something that we thought mattered more than each other.” 

Pernille lets CeCe’s words sink in and she decides that she doesn’t want to miss out on life with Magda, if that's forever or just right now, she doesn’t want to miss any of it. Football is so important to her, but Magda is her girlfriend, the love of her life, so Pernille can suck it up and be there for her for what will surely be one of the highlights of her career. She fucking loves Magda and nothing is going to change that. 

“I know a job like that is nothing like your career, but I believe that love is still the most important thing.” 

The bell on the door rings, as someone walks in from outside, bringing in the cool air with them. Pernille turns her head in the direction of the door and sees a flash of familiar blonde hair. The woman turns her head and Pernille is correct with her assumption, it’s Magda. 

“Oh my gosh.” Pernille squeals drunkenly and CeCe turns her attention to where Pernille is looking. 

“Everyone. It’s my girlfriend.” Pernille shouts happily. Magda hears this and spots Pernille and immediately fast walks over to her.  

“Hello girlfriend. I love you.” Pernille says, trying to wrap her arms around Magda, but she doesn’t have much control over them at the moment so they just kind of flop onto Magdas shoulders. Pernille kisses Magdas lips and then sloppily places kisses all over her face until Magda stops her. 

“Hi Pernille.” Magda says softly and Pernilles confused as to why she’s not happy to see her too, until she remembers what happened earlier. 

“Magda, baby.” Pernille whispers into her ear, but it comes off as more of quiet talking than a whisper. “I’m so so sorry. I promise I’ll never hurt you again.” 

“Okay Pernille. Let’s just get you home.” 

“You must be Magda.” Cece tells Magda. “I’ve heard lots about you.” 

Magda purses her lips together into a sad, soft smile. “Thanks for calling.” 

“Wait you know each other?” Pernille blurts out interrupting, clearly she is confused. 

“No, honey.” CeCe assures her. “When you went to the bathroom your phone was blowing up with texts from a Magda and I assumed she was your girlfriend so I called her so she could come and pick you up.” 

“Oh.” Pernille says as she slumps back onto the stool, the alcohol that’s still in her system not helping her situation. “Are you still mad at me?” 

“A little, but at the moment I’m just glad you’re alright, well apart from being completely wasted.” 

“I love you, I really hope you still love me.” Pernille looks up at Magda with puppy dog eyes. 

“Yes, of course I still love you Pernille. Let’s just go home.” Magda helps her up, but CeCe pulls her aside quickly before they leave. 

“Remember, love is the most important thing.” CeCe whispers into her ear and Pernille just nods and smiles, waving goodbye to her. CeCe laughs and waves goodbye as well. 


When they get home, Magda helps Pernille change out of her dirty clothes and gets her into their bed. The alcohol is beginning to wear off and Pernille can articulate herself better now. 

“Magda I’m so sorry you had to see me like this. I wasn’t going to go there, I really did go to the field, but I just couldn’t handle my thoughts anymore.” 

“I know.” Magda sighs. “I know what this is about, but we can talk in the morning.” 

“You do?” 


“Then why didn’t you say anything.” Pernille is confused. If Magda knew why she’s been upset why didn’t she just talk to her about it. 

“Because.” Magda pauses. “I wanted you to tell me when you were ready because we agreed to talk to each other, but clearly that didn’t work out.” 

“I’m sorry.” 

“I know.” 

“I love you.” Pernille really wants her to know. 

“I know. I love you too. Now go to bed because you’re going to be hungover tomorrow and I called your dad, he’s going to be here in the morning so you need to pick him up from the airport bright and early.” 

Chapter Text

A searing pain shot through Pernilles head, the headache no doubt from her rambunctious evening the night before. She groaned before rolling over and shutting off the alarm that’s blaring through her phone. She takes her hands and rubs her fingers on her temples, hoping to help subside the pain. Pernille slowly squints open her eyes, the morning light peering behind the curtains, almost blinding. The light is blocked after a moment and Pernille is relieved. Once she notices that it's Magdas legs that are blocking the sun, she peers up at her like a puppy dog that knows it’s in trouble. 

Magda doesn’t say anything, she just hands Pernille the Advil and glass of water she was holding. Pernille sits up and takes the glass. She swallows the pills and takes a long sip of water. Magda takes the glass back and sets it on the nightstand. She walks over to the curtains and pulls them fully open, illuminating the room with the bright morning sun. Pernille squints her eyes, blinded by the bright light. Magda just laughs at Pernilles apparent discomfort and sits at the edge of the bed. 

Magda’s hair looks blonder than it already does and the light hits her eyes so that there is a sparkle present in them. “So.” 

“So.” Pernille repeats, her voice still a bit scratchy. 

“You’re dads flight is going to land soon. I told him you’d pick him up.” She’s twirling her finger around a strand of her hair, a nervous habit. It’s almost like she’s afraid that Pernille is going to be mad that she called her dad. 

“Okay.” Magda places her hand on Pernilles leg and gives her a soft smile before going back to the kitchen. The quick contact makes Pernille long for Magdas touch even more and she wants more than anything to march straight into the kitchen and wrap her arms around Magda. But instead Pernille reluctantly gets out of bed and throws on a pair of black leggings and a loose white t-shirt. 

Before she heads out the door, Pernille stops in the kitchen and grabs a thermos for coffee to go. As she heads out of the room, Pernille is surprised when Magda grabs her hand. It’s a firm grab so Pernille knows she’s not going to let go. She eventually spins around until Magda pulls her in closer. 

Pernille searches Magda’s eyes looking for any indication of how she’s feeling. Magda licks her lips and looks down at Pernilles lips back up to her eyes again before placing a soft kiss onto her lips. Pernille instantly feels more energized as if Magdas kiss cured her hangover. 

“I love you.” Pernille says after a moment. 

“I love you too. We’ll talk later okay?” 

Pernille nods and turns to leave, still holding Magdas hand so that when they let go they are both reaching for each other. 

During the car ride to the airport, Pernille thinks about everything that has happened in the last 24 hours. She thinks about the doubts she has about her career. She thinks about how proud she is of Magda. She thinks about her fears about the future. She also thinks about the immense love she feels for Magda. 

Cece told her that love is the most important thing. But what about football? For as long as she can remember, football has been the most important thing in her life. It’s hard to just change that, especially when her girlfriend is going to the Olympics and she’s not. It really shouldn’t be this complicated, yet it feels like she’s a guinea pig in an experiment trying to find its way out of a maze. 

Pernilles thoughts are put on hold as she pulls up to the pickup area at the airport. She smiles when she spots her dad. He’s wearing his favorite grey Puma hat she got him, clutching his small carry on bag. She pulls up to the side and unlocks the door. 


“Hey Pi, I’ve missed you.” He says as he gives her a side hug across the seat. He gets buckled in and Pernille takes the car out of park. 

“How are you?” Pernille asks as they head back onto the highway. 

“I’m good, but you know I’m always a little worried when my little girl isn’t doing so good.” 

Pernille rolls her eyes and that deserves her a stern look from her dad. 

“I knew you were bummed about not going to the Olympics, but I didn’t know how bad you really felt until Magda called me yesterday.” 

“Yeah.” Pernille sighs. 

“Yeah.” Her dad repeats. 

Pernille pulls up to a place that she knows has a decent breakfast a few miles away from the airport because clearly her dad just wants to jump right into this. 

After they order their drinks, her dad clears his throat. Pernille looks away, not quite able to meet his eyes. Her dad has always been her biggest supporter. Sure her whole family is into the whole football thing, they even all played, but her dad really gets her. As a player, as a person. He came to every game she had when she still played in Denmark and he always gives her the truth about her game. So it’s hard to look her biggest role model in the eye when she knows he’s disappointed in her. 

“Pernille.” Her had says, looking like a goof, moving his head around trying to meet her eyes. “Look at me. What’s up? And don’t bullshit me.” 

She looks up and bites her lower lip before speaking. “I’m so proud of Magda. Like so proud. And I love her so much, I really do. But sometimes it’s hard watching her live out her dreams that are also my dreams. I feel like I’m sitting in the backseat, when I want to be the one driving. And I feel like everyone always expects me to be this perfect person, perfect forward, perfect football player and I’m just not. I’ve fallen short and I want more out of my life, my career. And I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people recently, especially you and…” 

Her sentence is cut off as her dad interjects. “Pernille you could never disappoint me.” 


“No buts, never.” 

“Okay fine, but I’ve still disappointed a lot of people. Whether that’s with my football or my attitude lately, and I’m really trying not to let it get to me, but I just can’t help it. I really want to be there for Magda in the way that I should, but I can’t help but wonder every waking moment about the future of my career. And I know that’s dumb and selfish, but I just can’t make it stop.” 

Her dad looks at her and Pernille thinks he’s going to tell her to suck it up and move on, but instead he takes out his wallet and pulls out a few bills to put onto the table. 

“Let’s go.” He says getting up. 


“I have an idea let’s go.” 

Her dad gets into the driver's seat with some protest from Pernille, but he argues that he knows where he was going. 

A few minutes later, they arrive at the same field that Pernille came to just last night. She looks over at her dad skeptically, but he just gets out and opens the trunk where he knows she keeps extra footballs. 

“Race you to the field.” He says before taking off into a sprint, well more like a jog, he is older now. And just like that Pernille is off too, unable to pass out on a competition.

“Hey you cheater.” She calls out. 

And just like that, it's like old times. Pernille is taken back to when she was younger and it was just her and her dad, practicing extra hard so that she would be able to achieve her dream someday, being the best. 

They pass, shoot, and juggle, until eventually in turns into a competition. How could it not? Her dad is the one who she gets her competitiveness from. He taught her everything she knows. 

They are going one v one, Pernille clearly being the better player, but she doesn’t even care about that right now. She’s having fun and that’s what matters. As she throws out tricks left and right, a smile is attached to her face. 

“Okay, okay.” Her had huffs out, leaning down with his hands on his knees. “You win. I can’t play anymore.” 

“Age finally catching up to you old man?” Pernille says laughing. 

“You bet.” 

They walk over to their stuff on the side of the field and Pernille hands her dad the water as they both sit down onto the grass.  

“You feel better?” 

“Yes, actually.” Pernille says, not having realized that it feels like a weight has been lifted off of her chest. 

“See, now you know.” 

“Know what?” 

Her dad takes another sip of the water. “That all that other stuff doesn’t matter. Sure you’ll always have fears and feel like you have disappointed someone somewhere. But all of that doesn’t matter. Because what does matter is that you love what you do." He pauses.

"Pernille I know sometimes it feels like there’s an incredible amount of pressure to be the best, but sometimes you just have to remember why you do it. I see it every time you play. It’s because you love football and it makes you happy. It’s easy to lose sight of that and get caught up in all of the awards or the important games, but the thing is that all of those other things are just bonuses. I can tell that when you play happy, you play better. So if you ever lose sight of why you play, then call me and I will always be there to be your football partner.” 


“Hmm is all you have to say?” 

“No, it’s just...” Pernille pauses and shifts her legs so she’s sitting criss cross applesauce. “You make it seem so simple.” 

“That’s because it is.” 

Pernille rolls her eyes. “I’m serious Pernille. I can tell when you’re just enjoying playing football because you play better. You don’t need to think about the other stuff, it’s all white noise.” 

Pernille picks at a piece of grass before looking at her dad. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Maybe I really am just overthinking everything.” 

“Yeah, I think your wise old man is right.” 

“Ha, don’t give yourself too much credit.” Pernille says, staring off at the trees in the distance, watching them flow with the wind. 

“You want to go talk to Magda.” He says it as a statement rather than a question, knowing exactly how she feels. 

“I want to go talk to Magda.” 

Magda stepped out of the airport and instantly felt the humidity hit her skin. Summer in Brazil is such a contrast to summers in Sweden. However, even in the hot and humid weather, Magda is overjoyed to be at the Olympics. First they are playing South Africa, then the host country Brazil and finally China. 

It’s something she has dreamed about for her whole life. It’s also easier to finally be happy about participating in her first Olympics now that her and Pernille are in a good place. 

Magda could tell that Pernille wasn’t exactly being truthful about how she was feeling and so Magda had decided to call Pernilles dad, hoping that he could help her, and that was even before the whole drunk in a random bar situation.

Magda likes to act all tough on the outside, but the fact that Pernille was hurting that much really affected her. All she wanted to do was wrap Pernille up and never let her doubtful feelings invade her mind again, but the reality is that’s impossible. But the fact that they were able to talk through it makes Magda proud of their relationship. 

Magda can’t help but smile when she thinks about Pernille. It’s only been a handful of hours since she had last seen her, but she can’t help but recount their morning together before Magda had left for Brazil. 


Magda woke up to the smell of eggs, toast, and bacon. She checked her phone and saw that she had woken up an hour before her alarm, presumably excited for her journey that would start today. 

She turned over and noticed that there was just a pile of sheets in place of where Pernille should have been. Magda got up and headed to the kitchen, guessing from the smell, that’s where Pernille would be. 

She finally spots her in front of the stove in just an oversized shirt, caught up in the cooking and the song that was playing from her phone. Magda stands behind Pernille and swings her arms around the back of her shoulders, engulfing her into a hug. 

“Magda!” Pernille sounds startled. She turns around in her arms so that she is facing Magda. “You ruined the surprise. I was going to wake you up with breakfast in bed.” 

Pernilles pouting, but she looks so cute with her pajamas and her bed head that Magda kisses her pout, until Pernille smiles into the kiss. 

“That’s okay. I’m still surprised. Especially since you’re cooking.” 

“Hey.” Pernille says. “I am an excellent cook, thanks to you.” 

“Yes, thanks to me.” Magda says kissing her on the cheek. Actually she's surprised that Pernille managed not to burn anything, or trip over anything in the process, but she'll never say that to her face. “If we want to actually eat this food though we should get started because I have to leave soon.” 

They sit down and enjoy the breakfast that Pernille cooked, talking about random things, but of course about the Olympics. 

Pernille cleans up the kitchen while Magda goes back to their room to make sure she has everything packed. Magda tries to contain her excitement as she double checks her bags one more time before zipping them up. 

She hears Pernille come into the room and feels her place a kiss on her cheek. 

“You ready?” 

“So ready.” Magda smiles and Pernille gives her another kiss, this time on her lips, before embracing her. 

“I’m so proud of you. You’re going to do amazing.” 

“It was so cool and the goal was a screamer.” 

“I know I saw it.” Pernille laughs. Magda knows she’s talking a little too loud, but she can’t help how excited she is to be going on to the semi-finals. 

“God I was so nervous during the penalties though. Like so nervous. But we did it. We won!” Magda’s practically screaming with joy now. 

“I know and I’m so proud of you. I wish I could be there.” 

“Me too. I miss you so much, but hopefully we’ll be celebrating when I get back.” Magda winks and Pernille is laughing again. 

“I’ve been wearing your jersey non stop.” Pernille moves the camera so Magda can see that she is in fact wearing her jersey. “People keep asking me if I’m Swedish now.” 

“Ha, well I appreciate the support, it means a lot, especially with everything that’s happened.” 

“Of course.” 

“Hey Magda you coming?” Magda turns towards the open door and calls back, saying she’ll be out in a moment. 

“Hey those were the girls, we’re going to dinner.” Magda pauses. “But I can stay here and talk to you.” 

“No, no.” Pernille insists. “Go have fun, enjoy the Olympic Village while you can. I’ve heard it’s quite the experience.” 

“You sure?” Magda knows they are good now and Pernille has been giving her overwhelming support, but sometimes she can still see glimpses of the sad Pernille. 

“Yes, go have fun!” 

“Okay, okay.” Magda reluctantly agrees once she is certain Pernille is still her supportive self. “I’ll call you later.” 

“Sounds good. Love you.” 

“Bye. Love you.” And off she goes to enjoy what time remains at the Olympics, with Pernille, and of course football, on her mind. 

Chapter Text

Epilogue (part 1/3)

February, 2020 

“I miss you.” Pernille says through the laptop screen. She’s smiling as she says it, but Magda can tell through the pixels that she’s not as happy as she’s letting on. Magda can see it in Pernilles eyes, she’s tired of this whole long distance thing. Her smile is just as big as it always is, but it doesn’t quite go to her eyes. 

Between the World Cup last summer and their countless short trips during the season, they have gotten to see a lot of each other, a lot more than normal. Which is great, but each time they see each other it’s been harder to say goodbye. 

“Yeah, I miss you too. I know we’ll see each other in March but it just sucks.” Magda answers as she sets down her laptop onto the counter so she can cook her dinner. They do this a lot, Facetime, that is. It helps the missing each other part. Every night they try to Facetime and not just sit and talk, they do that too, but also just do normal things like cook dinner and do the dishes together through the screen. It helps. A little. But it still doesn’t help Magda miss Pernille any less. 

“I know that we’ll see each other at the Algarve Cup at the beginning of March and I was going to try to make it to London before then, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.” Pernille says between her bites of food. 

Magda turns on the stove, before turning back towards her laptop. “That’s okay, it will be here before we know it.” 

It’s hard, all this back and forth. Quick visit here, quick visit there. Magda thinks back to when they first started this arrangement almost three years ago, trying to decide if it was any easier back then. 


It was December, right after they had won the 2016 Damallsvenskan. Pernille had a great year. She was scoring goals left and right and Magda had a feeling, no she knew, that Pernille was meant for greater things. She knew that if she stayed, she wouldn’t be able to grow. She wanted Pernille to become the best player in the world, so of course she told her to go. 

They both talked about moving up to different leagues, threw ideas around about what it would be like if they had a long distance relationship. They had been together for almost three years so they knew that they were both in it for the long run, the question was would they be able to continue with the same amount of commitment if they didn’t live together? 

They decided they would be able to, when the time came, handle a long distance relationship. At least only for a little while, during the prime time of their careers. Magda just didn’t think it would sneak up on her so soon. 

Magda was curled up on the couch under a blanket when she heard the door open and close. She glanced up from the book she was reading and smiled softly as Pernille came into view. As she looked up at Pernille she could tell that it was snowing because of the small white flakes that almost blended in with Pernilles blonde hair. When Pernille had noticed Magda watching her she untangled her scarf from her neck and flashed her signature smile.

Before Magda realized what was happening, Pernille hurried over in her direction and placed her cold hands all along Magdas face.

“Pernille, what the hell!” Magda cried out as she turned her body away from Pernille, trying to cover her face with the blanket. Magda was successful closing herself off and Pernille gave up with a laugh and instead lifted the blanket over the both of them, crawling in so that she was in front of Magda. 

Pernille sighed as she wrapped her arms around Pernille, warming her up from the inside out. “I wish you could always hold me like this.” 

Magda let out a huff. “Oh, sorry miss princess do I not give you enough love.” 

Pernille turned her body so that she was facing Magda and Magda pulled her in close as Pernille rested her head against Magda’s chest. “It’s not that.”

Their gaze shifted up so that they were looking at each other and Magda noted the look in her eyes. She knows that look. “What am I missing here? Where were you today?” 

“My manager called.” Magda knew this was coming. They talked about it in depth. They even made charts, so many charts. The pros, the cons, the in betweens. “I signed a contract with Wolfsburg. Two and a half years.” 

Magda’s heart sank. They talked about this. They both emphasized how important their careers were. Their careers came first at that moment. However, Magda pushed those thoughts away. This wasn’t about her or their relationship. This was about their football. And as a teammate of Pernilles, her number one fan, and of course her girlfriend, she is beyond happy for Pernille. 

“Baby, that is awesome news! Why didn’t you tell me the moment you got home?” 

Pernille looked down for a second and Magda removed one of her arms from around Pernille. She placed her hand softly under Pernilles chin and lifted it up so she could look her in the eyes. “I felt bad I didn’t tell you about it sooner. I knew for a while and I don’t like lying to you. I was also sc… scared. This means we won’t be living together anymore, hell not even in the same country anymore.” 

Magdas lips pull up into a smile to assure Pernille that she isn’t mad. Her heart ached for the fact that Pernille was scared to tell her. Of course she was happy for her, but that doesn’t mean she also wasn’t devastated that they would be playing for different clubs. Magda bites her lip and hesitates before answering, not wanting to say the wrong thing. 

“First of all, Pi, of course it’s fine you didn’t tell me. Contracts are contracts, you’d tell me when you could and you did. And I know it’s going to be hard not living together anymore, and I’ll admit I’m a little sad, but we’ll adjust. Plus we agreed on four or five years tops of long distance and then we’ll make it work to play together again, so we have that to look forward to.” 

“Now let’s celebrate.” Magda promptly got up from the couch and grabbed a bottle of wine and two glasses from the kitchen cupboard. “My super talented and super hot girlfriend just signed with one of the best club teams in the world. I think that’s cause for some celebration” 

Magda plopped back onto the couch and was met with Pernilles soft lips. After they kissed, the smile Pernille gave her, was just what she needed to know that they would be able to get through this. 


It was hard. It is hard. Magda was lonely after Pernille had left, she didn’t tell Pernille that, but she knew because Pernille was too. There were happy moments and there were teary filled moments. But, they managed and when Magda made her move to London to play for Chelsea, Pernille was just as supportive. 

“Magda, did you hear me?” Pernille says through the laptop, which takes Magda out of her trance. 

Magda shook her head. “Sorry, no. I was thinking.” 

“I was saying how my sister said you should call soon. She said that V has been asking when he can talk to auntie Magda.” 

“Aww.” Magdas heart soars as she thinks about Pernille and her nephew. Pernille is so good with him and it makes Magda yearn for a future where they are running around with their own blond haired children. “Yeah, I’ll have to get in touch with them soon. It’s been awhile.” 

Pernille yawns as Magda glances over at the clock. It’s already 10pm, but it feels like no time has passed since they’ve been talking. It’s always like this with Pernille. Not enough time. Magda would always take more time with Pernille over anything. 

“I should probably go.” Pernille stretches her arms and yawns again. “Early morning training.” 

“Me too.” Magda replies. “I love you. Talk to you tomorrow.” 

“I love you too.” They hang up and Magda is met with the uncomfortable silence that always follows. It’s a weird feeling she can’t really describe with words. 

They agreed all those years ago that their football career came first, but now as they are getting older and have been playing for longer, their relationship has started taking priority. It’s been getting harder and harder for both of them to not be able to come home and just be with each other like other couples can do. 

Magda is pretty settled in her club as Chelsea’s captain, but she’s not totally opposed to the idea of starting over at a new club. Pernille has also thrown around the idea of coming to Chelsea. 

Whatever plans they have started to make, are all up in the air and neither of them know what exactly the future holds, but right now all Magda knows is that she just really wants to be able to play with her girlfriend again and have someone to come home too. 

As Magda falls asleep that night, she dreams of a future, her future and tries to forget the silence that fills her house. 


April, 2020 

Pernille is careful not to make any loud noises as she pulls her luggage behind her on the way to the front door of Magda’s house. Magda doesn’t know that Pernille is coming and she wants to keep it that way. 

She drops her bags on the front porch and leaves them there for now. She uses the key Magda gave her and slowly turns the knob. 

It’s quiet when she walks in, but as she makes her way further into the house she can hear Magda singing softly in Swedish. Magda doesn’t think she’s a good singer, but Pernille loves it when Magda sings to her. When Pernille posted that video of Magda singing in the car a few months ago, she thought Magda was going to kill her, but Pernille made sure to make it up to her. 

She peaks her head around the corner so she has a view of Magda in the kitchen. She looks so cute when she cooks and she loves the domestic feeling she gets when they are both cooking up a meal together in the kitchen. It’s been a while since they have lived together but that will change soon. 

Pernille takes out her phone and hits record, hoping to get this moment on video. Magda is going to kill her for videoing this, but Pernille won’t lie about that fact that a riled up Magda is kind of a turn on. 

“Boo!” Pernille jumps into the kitchen, phone in hand so that she can capture Magda’s reaction. 

Magda whips around with a high pitched scream and holds up the spatula she was using to mix whatever she is making. 

“God Pernille, you scared me half to death. I could have really hurt you.” Magda holds up her weapon.  

“Right that spatula could have really punctured my heart if I wasn’t careful.” Pernille laughs and makes her way over to Magda engulfing her into a much needed hug. She lets herself relax into the hug and is grateful that Magdas warm body heats her up from the cool spring air. 

They break away, but as soon as they do she feels Magdas familiar lips crash into hers. Their kiss is almost desperate as their lips move in sync. Pernille feels Magdas hand go to her waist and she moves hers so that it’s tangled up in Magda's hair. Heat rises to Pernilles face as she isn’t chilly anymore. 

“Mmm. I would scare you every time if I knew that I would get this kind of welcome.” Pernille says between kisses. 

“You better delete that video or you’ll be the one who’s scared.” Magda quips. 

“Is that a threat Eriksson?” 

“Maybe so.” Magda responds as she follows Pernille to the front porch to help her collect the bags she left out there. “What are you doing here? I mean of course I’m glad to see you, but I thought you weren’t coming until next week?” 

“Yeah about that…” 

Magda looks at her quizzically and Pernille looks away so that Magda can’t read her expression. To make this surprise work she needs to keep it a surprise. Magda knows her better than she knows herself sometimes, so it has been tricky to keep this a secret for so long. Magda could probably figure out her surprise just from the look on her face. 

Magda doesn’t say anything, rather just narrows her eyes like she’s studying Pernille. “Come on let’s go.” 


“Where are we going?” Magda whines from the passenger's seat. Pernille had blindfolded her, but hadn’t given her any more information on where they were headed. 

“You’ll see. Just be patient, I know you like to be in control, but for once just enjoy the ride.” That earns Pernille a playful slap on the arm but because of the blindfold it took a few tries for Magda to actually make contact with Pernille, which causes Pernille to snicker even more. 

“Okay we’re here.” Pernille jogs over to the passengers side and opens the door for Magda so she can help her out of the car. 

“Can I take my blindfold off yet?” 

“Just a second.” Pernille leads Magda up to the front of Kingsmeadow Stadium. “Okay you can take it off now.” 

Pernille watches as Magda removes the blindfold and her excited expression shifts to a very confused one. “Wh… What are we doing here?” 

Pernille just smiles as she removes her backpack from her back and opens up the bag. She takes out a blue shirt and gazes up at Magda as she watches Pernille unfolds the item in her hands. 

Pernilles' smile grows as Magda begins to jump up and down when she realizes what is happening. “No way! No way! Is this for real? You're joking right? This is a cruuuel joke Pernille.” 

“I’m not joking.” Pernille says more seriously. “It’s for real. I’ve signed all of the transfer paperwork and everything.” 

Magdas smile grows and Pernille notices that there are tears running down her face. Magda grabs the shirt from Pernilles grasp and hugs it tight to her chest. 

Pernille doesn’t realize she has tears of her own until Magda grabs a hold of her face and brushes them away with her finger. “You’re really doing this?” 

“I’m really doing this.” Pernille repeats, but is cut off by Magda’s lips crashing into hers. 

They stay like this for a while until Magda places a soft kiss to Pernilles cheek and brings her into a hug. Even though Pernille is buzzing with energy, she instantly calms when Magda wraps her up into her arms. The calm that makes her feel like she is back home in Denmark and maybe perhaps it is because Magda is her home now. Magda is her home. She likes the sound of that, she thinks. 

As they hold each other, they both are steadily crying now, but not the sad tears they shared when they both left for separate clubs, but happy tears. 

The culprit, the blue Chelsea jersey that Magda now grips tightly in her hands, with none other than the name Harder written on the back. 

Chapter Text

Epilogue (2/3)

May, 2020 

It’s a Saturday morning and they both can sleep in but Magda catches herself staring at Pernille instead of sleeping, memorizing all of her features. 

She memorizes the way Pernille’s blond hair is sprawled across the pillow, almost glimmering in the morning light. She memorizes each and every freckle that is placed ever so perfectly across Pernille’s face. She memorizes the way her eyelids seem to move as she lies still, deep in sleep. And she memorizes the feeling she has right now being able to be with the love of her life. That's the thing she holds onto the most. 

Pernille stirs after a moment and smiles when she catches Magda’s gaze. 

“Mmm good morning beautiful.” She says sleepily and groggily rubbing her eyes. 

“Good morning.” Magda replies. 

“Why don’t we make it an even better morning.” Pernille prompts once she’s more awake, while shifting her body so she can kiss Magda. 

“Let’s.” She gets out before she is met with Pernille’s lips again. 

Magda shifts her body so she is now on top of Pernille and Pernilles hands move to Magda’s hair naturally while she deepens the kiss. 

Yes, it will definitely be a good morning, Magda thinks. 


After, when they are lying in bed, Pernille is laying in Magda’s arms with her head on Magda’s chest and she is drawing small circles on Pernille’s back. Just two months ago they wouldn’t have been able to do this. Pernille would probably have been back in Germany and Magda would have been here, missing her. But, now they both play on the same team, which comes with extra perks, and without a doubt Magda can say this past month has been the best month of her life.

Magda has really never been happier and although they have been dating for six years now ( six years! ), she still feels like they are in the honeymoon stage. Sure, they fight once and awhile, all couples do, but whenever she is with Pernille (which is basically all the time), she is the same happy, giddy, 20 year old she was when they first started dating. 

It’s not even the fact that they are now living together and have the ability to see each other everyday that makes Magda so happy. It’s more about the little things. It’s the way Pernille’s nose scrunches when she smiles after she gets home and finds that Magda has made her favorite meal. It’s when they clean the dishes together and they end up making more of a mess because they were goofing around. It’s the fact that Pernille is always the last person she sees before she goes to sleep and the first person she sees when she wakes up. 

They both know that this is forever, but still Magda wants to make it "official," and soon. She smiles to herself when she thinks about Pernille becoming her wife. 

Magda turns her head towards Pernille and looks into her dreamy blue eyes, failing at concealing her smile. 

“What are you smiling about up there?” Pernille questions. 

“Nothing.” Magda says, but expands when she realizes that Pernille is still looking at her funny. “Just you. And me.” She adds with a smile. 

It feels natural with Pernille, always has been, and she hopes it will for the rest of her life. 

“We should get up.” Magda says at the same time Pernille blurts out, “We should get married.” 

Magda sits up quickly and Pernille’s face changes to a deep shade of red. When Magda notices she readjusts and pulls Pernille in rubbing her arms. “No, it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just we aren’t properly engaged. I mean…” 

“I didn’t mean right now silly.” Pernille shoots back and this time Magda is the one that turns a shade redder. “I just meant we should talk about it.” 

“Um no… I mean yeah. I… I just thought…” 

“Wait!” Pernille says all of a sudden, cutting Magda off. “Were you going to… ” 

“Just leave it alone Pernille.” Magda says affectionately.  

Magda leans down and places a kiss onto Pernilles temple before getting up out of bed. “Come on. I’ll cook you something good.” 

Magda walks out of the room and hears Pernille huff as she falls back onto the bed. Magda just smiles and rolls her eyes.


She wakes up a few Saturdays later and finds herself in an empty bed, Pernille nowhere to be found. 

It’s been a little awkward since the whole marriage situation, but it's mostly been forgotten by now. Magda believes that Pernille knows her well enough to know that Magda has a plan and so she has mostly left her alone about the whole situation (apart from some minor joking around). 

She looks around the room and she was right, Pernille isn’t here. As she sits up in bed, a putrid smell catches her attention. When she realizes it’s the smell of food burning she gets up and runs straight to the kitchen. She finds the culprit in the kitchen, surrounded by a mess and food that is smoking and beyond salvation. 

“Pernille, what is that awful smell?” Magda questions. 

“I made breakfast.” Pernille replies with a weak smile. 

“Well I am not eating whatever produced that awful smell.” Magda says in between laughs. 

They ended up throwing out whatever mess Pernille tried to make, and Pernille (very minimally) helped Magda make breakfast (the actual breakfast they’d be eating that is). 

While they are eating Pernille fills Magda in on her “big adventure” of the morning.

First, Pernille ended up pouring the egg into the pan while it was too hot and her scrambled eggs ended up becoming incredibly burnt and stuck to the pan. The pan beyond repair. She thought they might still be okay if she’d scrape off the burnt parts, but no turns out she was wrong because they tasted awful and nothing like eggs should taste like. 

Magda just throws her head into her hands and shakes her head, mumbling something inaudible. 

Pernille continues her story and tells Magda that she said to herself forget the eggs, toast and bacon will be just fine.

Then, about ten minutes later the toast was burnt and the bacon was way too over cooked. 

Pernille sighs in defeat after recounting it to Magda. Magda just smiles and shakes her head once again. 

This is who she’s going to spend the rest of her life with, Magda thinks, and it’s all the little things like this that couldn’t make her any happier. 


June 2020, 

As May turns into June, they are officially on break from the season. Pernille and Magda have headed back to Sweden to visit some friends and of course Magdas family (but at this point they have been together so long, Pernille considers them her family too). 

“Hey this isn’t the way to your house.” Pernille notices. 

“You’re right it’s not.” Magda simply says and Pernille is a little bothered by her vagueness. She would like to know what’s going on too. 

They pull up to the train station and Pernille is left wondering. Where on earth could they be going? She thought that they were going to be visiting family, that's why they came to Sweden before heading to Denmark. 

“Come on.” Magda opens Pernille's door for her and Magda takes Pernille's hand, locking their fingers. 

Magda maneuvers them around the station and when they get to what seems to be their train, Magda shuffles around her bag until she takes out two train tickets. Pernille leans over and reads them. They read Stockholm to Linköping. Why are they going to Linköping? All of their friends have moved to different clubs or different cities, why would they go back there? 

They board the train and take their seats next to each other. Most of the time Pernille knows where Magda would be going with this, but other times she doesn't even pretend to know what's going on inside that woman's head. Instead of trying to decipher what Magda has planned, she leans her head onto Magda's shoulder, and tries to enjoy the two hour train ride, watching as Stockholm vanishes into the distance. 

When they arrive, they deboard the train and step onto the platform. It still looks the same as it did almost three years later. 

Once they are outside the station, Magda leads them to a car that’s waiting in the pick-up circle. “Are you going to tell me where we are going now?” 

“Do you trust me?” Magda prompts, her eyebrows raised just a bit. 

“Yes of course.” Pernille says and that earns her a kiss on the cheek from Magda. 

“Okay, lets go.” Magda leads Pernille into the back of the black car with a hand on the small of Pernille’s back. 

Once they're situated in the car, Pernille catches Magda’s gaze and gives her a light peck on the lips. 

“I love you.” 

“I love you too.” Pernille responds meaningfully before shifting her attention to the road. Once she figures out what direction they are going she knows exactly where they are going. She spent so much time here, so of course she knows how to get there by heart. Although, she still doesn’t know why they would be going there. 

She turns to Magda hoping to get an answer, but all Magda does is shrug with her signature sly smile plastered on her face. 

They arrive and Pernille finds that she was indeed correct. Magda has brought her to their old stomping grounds. None other than their practice fields when they played at Linköping FC. 

It’s summer in Sweden, so when they get out of the car, Pernille is instantly hit with the hot sun. Despite the heat, it’s the perfect day. The familiar football field sits in front of them, the trees on the edge of the field sway slightly in the wind. The breeze catches Pernille's hair, and Magda is quick to brush it out of her face for her. 

She is looking at her so lovingly that Pernille can’t help but kiss her right there in the middle of the road. 

“Follow me.” Magda grabs her hand and opens up the gate to the field, walking them to the center circle. 

“Are you sure it’s okay that we are in here?” Pernille questions. “I wouldn’t want to get the staff mad.” 

“Don’t worry.” Magda winks. “I’ve already cleared it.” 

“Okay.” Pernile draws out the o and the a. 

Once they are out at the center of the field, a familiarity hits Pernille. This was her home for so many years and it feels just the same. This is where she had her first big break. This is where she became a better player. This is where she scored all her goals. And this is where she met Magda. 

Suddenly, the realization hits her. Magda has been acting pretty nervous today (or for the past week for that matter) and she only acts nervous when something important is coming up. Oh. OH! This is it isn’t it. 

Pernille glances at Magda and she is rocking back and forth on her toes, seemingly trying to remain calm. Magda shifts her gaze towards Pernille, trying to conceal her nerves by offering a soft smile. Pernille just smiles back and hopes she is right. 

“Pernille.” Magda says quietly and Pernille just nods acknowledging that she heard her. 

“We have been together for 6 years and I still find myself wanting to spend every day together. I know our path hasn’t always been easy or traditional, always traveling for games and living in completely different countries, but I can't imagine it happening any other way. I love you with all my heart and I will continue to love you for the rest of my life if you let me. I kept wracking my brain for the perfect time or even the perfect place to do this, and I couldn’t think of a better place than the place we first met. This was our home for so long and I kept trying to figure out why I felt so at home here more than anywhere else and I’ve finally figured out that it’s not the place, it’s you. You're my home. I love you so much and every single little thing about you and I want to keep on loving you for the rest of my life. So what I’m trying to say is, Pernille Mosegaard Harder will you marry me?” 

Magda gets down on one knee and opens the ring box. It’s the most beautiful ring that she has ever seen. Pernille isn’t typically a very emotional person, but as she looks into Magda’s eyes, she finds that there are tears steadily streaming down her face. “Yes, yes. Of course I’ll marry you Magda.” 

“I love you so much.” She says breathlessly as Magda puts the ring on her finger. Pernille looks down at her hand and is overwhelmed with happiness. She pulls Magda up from the ground and they embrace each other in a tight, happy, love filled hug. 

“I love you too.” Magda is finally able to get out. Magda places her hands on Pernilles face and kisses her hard, as if trying to explain without words how much she loves her, but there’s no need because Pernille already knows. 


June 2021 

They get married a year later. A summer wedding during the off season. It’s just a small wedding with their family and close friends. It’s perfect. 

They both cry when they see each other. Their mothers cry. It’s perfect. 

They remain in each other's arms the whole night. Never leaving each other's side. Both happier than they’ve ever been. It’s perfect. 

Chapter Text

Epilogue (3/3)

August-September 2023  

It’s been a month since the World Cup. A World Cup that Pernille played in. Her. She played in it. The World Cup. How many people get to put that on their resume. 

Every footballer dreams of the World Cup. Not many make it. Only the best. And now Pernille joins Magda in the exclusive club. 

She will never forget the cheers that filled the stadium as she scored Denmark’s first goal in the 2023 Women’s World Cup. She’s not one to be self absorbed, but the memory of the stadium chanting her name, Harder, Harder, Harder, never fails to make her smile. 

There’s something so special about playing on the world's biggest football stage with thousands of people watching. She dreamed of this since she was a little girl. And now it has come true. 

But now. Now, she finds herself chasing a new dream. One that her World Cup dream comes second to. It’s a close second, but it’s still second. 

Pernille always knew she wanted to be a mother. On her fifth birthday her parents gifted her a doll, which would instantly become her favourite toy. She had other dolls before, but this one was different. This one was one of those look alike dolls, made somewhat customized and probably more expensive than any other gift Pernille’s parents had ever given her before. This one had beautiful, long blond hair, similar to Pernille’s. She came wearing a flowery pink dress, which was soon replaced by the soccer uniform that her parents purchased. 

Pernille took that doll everywhere. She brought it along with her to her sister's soccer games. To the store. To the park. She even slept with it at night.

She would pretend to feed it food. Brush it’s teeth. You name it. She’s always had maternal instincts, even when she was five, and becoming an aunt, only solidified that. 

That’s where her and Magda are headed now. To chase their new number one dream. Kids. 

They spent weeks going over and over the sperm donations. It got to the point where Pernille joked she should just go to the pub and get knocked up by some random guy. However, Magda did not find this as funny as she did. 

They both went over the files, first knocking out any that had any preexisting conditions in the family history. Pernille did not find this fun at all. She thought at first it would be fun to go over all of these files, but what she found out is there are so many things to consider. After what felt like months, they finally narrowed it down to three potential sperm donors. There was a lawyer, a classical musician, and teacher. 

Magda voted for the lawyer because she told Pernille and quote “that she would make a great lawyer.” Pernille just laughed and went along with what Magda wanted because she really doesn’t care about the sperm donor, all she cares about is the child that will come from it. 

She will admit they are both a little bit nervous. They both want this, but that doesn’t make it any less intimidating. 

Pernille imagines a little baby that will soon be growing inside her. They both agreed that Pernille would be the one to carry their child, at least the first one. Pernille knew she wanted to carry her own baby and the timing wasn’t right for Magda. They both still play at Chelsea, but Pernille is taking this season off to have the baby. Denmark didn’t make the Olympics, but Sweden did and as captain, the timing wasn’t right for Magda. Captain. Of a World Cup and Olympic team. Pernille’s so proud of what Magda has accomplished, what they both have accomplished. 

“Hey you know you’re not the one being poked and prodded today.” Pernille playfully shuffs Magda in the parking lot. “Relax. We’re going to be fine.” 

Magda glances at her, locking their fingers together. “I know. I know. It is a little scary though, huh.” 

“It is but it will also be amazing.” Magda leans down and presses a kiss to Pernille’s forehead before they walk into the doctor's office hand in hand. 

Magda says the same thing to her each morning she wakes up. “How do you feel? Do you feel any different? Do you feel pregnant yet?” 

The doctor said to wait a couple of weeks before taking a pregnancy test. Pernille hasn’t wanted to get Magda’s hopes up (or bring them down for that matter) because the doctor said that it can take a few tries to get pregnant. “I’m good. No, I don’t feel different. And I don’t know Magda.” 

Each time she can see Magda’s face fall, and she tries not to let it show how terrible she feels. She knows Magda is just excited and being caring towards how Pernille is feeling, but the truth is Pernille doesn’t feel any different. Nor, from her extensive research online, does she have any of the symptoms of pregnancy. 

After four weeks (what the doctor recommended) Pernille reluctantly takes a test. She knows she’s not pregnant. She would know if she was pregnant. But, she does it for Magda because Pernille’s sure it’s hard for Magda not to be experiencing this the way she is. 


“You’re young. You’re healthy. We can try again. I promise I will get you guys a baby.” The doctor tells them at their next visit. The at home test Pernille took the week before was negative and the blood test she took at the doctors office only confirmed that. 

Pernille grabs Magda’s hand and takes it into her lap. “Yes. Let’s try again.” 

Pernille turns to Magda and she smiles sadly and nods her head. 

This time around Magda doesn’t ask if she feels pregnant everyday. Pernille doesn’t know if that is for her sake or Magda’s. 

Despite the circumstances they’re happy though. It’s only the second try and they are keeping their hopes up. 

And of course they still have each other and there’s always football. Pernille is still training. Their staff knows that Pernille is planning to sit out this season because of pregnancy, but they haven’t told any of their teammates that they are trying yet. 

She’ll miss football, but it’s not like she’s never going to play again. And of course the time off is worth it. For them. For their soon to be growing family. 

Sometimes when they are lying in bed, Magda places her hands to Pernilles stomach like she’s imagining their baby in there. Pernilles heart sores. Magda is going to make such a great mother. At the moment, Pernille wants nothing more than to make that happen. 

Soon, she tells herself. Soon. 

It’s the morning, about four and a half weeks after the embryos were implanted, and Pernille wakes up feeling terrible. She’s tired and nauseous and she just feels different. Something tells her that this could be it. Everything that she’s been waiting for. 

“Go to practice.” Pernille tells Magda. “I’ll be fine. It’s probably just a cold or something.” 

While Magda is at training, Pernille walks to the nearest drug store and buys a pregnancy test. When she gets back home she pees on the little stick and sets a timer on her phone. 

Why is she this nervous, she thinks, as she paces back in forth in their house. Maybe she should have waited for Magda to do this. But, at the same time she doesn’t think she can look Magda in the eyes and see her disappointed face again if the test is negative. 

Her phone beeps, disrupting her thoughts. Pernille takes a deep breath before looking down at the test that rests on the bathroom counter. Turning over the stick in her hands, Pernille finally looks at the results. Two pink lines now show up on the stick. 


“Pregnant. You’re pregnant Pernille!” The doctor says a week later, waving her test results. The blood test confirmed what she had already found out at home. “Come back in next week for an ultrasound, and bring Magda.” 

On the drive home, Pernille can hardly focus on the road. She’s practically ecstatic and can’t wait another second to tell Magda the good news. 

When she finally gets home, Pernille basically sprints up the stairs to their bedroom. She rummages around one of her drawers until she finds what she’s looking for. 

She holds it up and smiles before bringing the prized item close to her chest. After a few moments Pernille hears Magda open the front door and call her name. Pernille quickly takes the surprise and puts it into a gift bag before she sees Magda’s head pop into the room. 

“Hello beautiful.” Magda leans in and gives her a chaste kiss. “Looks like you’re feeling better.” 

“I am.” Pernille kisses her again. It’s the only thing she can think of doing instead of just blurting out the news. 

“What’s that goofy smile about?” Magda questions. “Not that I don’t love it.” 

“Here.” Pernille sticks out the bag and Magda takes it from her. As she watches Magda open the bag, Pernille remembers when she did something similar for Magda when she transferred to Chelsea. But instead of Harder on the back, the blue jersey is small and Mommy is written across the back. Eventually, the baby will have a Sweden and a Denmark one, but Pernille thought a Chelsea one will do just fine for now. 

Pernille looks sheepishly up at Magda awaiting her reaction. Magda’s smile grows up to her eyes as soon as she realizes what this means. 

“Really?” She says with tears in her eyes. “Really.” Before she can say anything else Magda scoops her up into a bear hug, before gently laying her down and kissing up and down her body, paying special attention to her belly where their baby now grows inside her. 

“I love you.” 


October 2023 

“So we’re not telling them yet?” Magda wraps her arm around Pernille and guides her into the house. 

“No I already…” Pernille pauses and Magda knows she’s caught when Pernille realizes that she is giggling. “You little shit.” 

“Sorry I’m just messing with you. Yes of course we won’t tell them yet.” 

“You heard the doctor. Usually couples don’t start telling people until a few more weeks. Just to be safe.” 

“Yeah, yeah. I know. Magda kisses Pernille’s cheek. “Okay, let’s head in.” 

They are in Denmark to celebrate both Magda’s and Pernille’s birthdays (Magda’s late and Pernille’s early), but it’s mostly just a get together for both families. Magda’s mom, dad, and sister came here from Sweden since it’s easier for them to come rather than Pernille’s sister to haul both her kids to Sweden. 

This would be the perfect time to tell their families, but it’s still a bit early and they aren’t quite ready to share the little bubble they are in just yet. And besides, Pernille is hardly showing yet, so it’s not like they will be able to tell physically. 

Magda just hopes they aren’t actually able to figure out that something is different. Even though this is just the beginning of the pregnancy, Magda already loves Pernille (and of course the life that’s growing inside her) even more than she thought she could. Her wife is just so freaking amazing and strong. 

“Hey guys.” Everyone says simultaneously as they walk in. They go around giving hugs to everyone and catching up with others they may not have seen in awhile. Magda always stays close and keeps an eye on Pernille out of habit. She thinks this is just how it will be now. Her instinct to protect their children and their mother. 

She knows that Pernille doesn’t need help with everything just yet. But Magda finds herself offering to get things for her and put away her dishes, even when Pernille shoos her off. 

And of course there’s the whole idea that there is living, breathing, life inside of Pernille. She loves to talk to Pernille’s stomach, which Pernille finds incredibly dorky, but Magda doesn’t care. She’s more in love than she thought she could ever be. 

Magda also has a habit of finding her hands drifting to Pernille’s stomach. Which is normally fine, but this causes a problem when they are trying to keep this a secret for now. 

When they end up near each other, between catching up with family and playing the nephews, Magda can’t keep her hands off of Pernille. It’s been like this a lot too. She can’t help it. The love just radiates off her. If their families notice, Magda doesn’t catch it. 

After the kids have gone to bed, all the adults situate themselves around the room, drinks in hand. 

Magda’s dad offers Pernille a drink and Magda watches as Pernille takes it and thanks him. She plopped down next to Magda with a subtle glance. 

They predicted this, but they had a plan. Pernille would keep a drink by her and when no one was looking Pernille would sneak a sip so that it would look like Pernille had been drinking (so far it hasn’t worked out). 

After a few games were played and the laughs began to die down a comfortable silence filled the room. That is until Magda’s sister spoke up. 

“So anything new that anyone has been wanting to share.” A few moments pass as everyone waits for Magda or Pernille to answer, but none comes. 

“Hey. I’m talking to you two.” Magda and Pernille didn’t even notice that everyone was looking at them, until Amanda called them out. They were in their own little world. They guiltily looked up and Pernille adjusted her position in Magda’s arms. “You two have been acting all giggly and sneaky all day.” 

“Us?” Magda finally says. 

“Nah, we are always weird like this.” Pernille laughs. 

“We all know you both are weirdos, but this, this is different.” Pernille’s sister, Louise, says catching on to where Amanda was going. 

“You know it’s getting late. Maybe we should…” Magda says glancing at Pernille hoping she’ll follow suit. 

Pernille looks like a deer in the headlights and Magda is running out of things to say. She unfortunately makes eye contact with both of their mothers. Oh boy, they definitely know. She shifts her gaze to their dads, and they look clueless, so at least they're safe with them. 

 “I’m pregnant.” Pernille blurts out and covers her mouth. 

“Sorry.” she says quietly so only Magda can hear. 

"You know we all pretty much knew." Amanda says. She glances around the room to see the men in the room shocked. "I mean all the women knew. Magda you practically couldn't keep your hands off of Pernille's stomach. What were we supposed to think?"

“Oh my gosh. A grandchild.” Their mothers exclaim at the same time, completely ignoring Amanda's comment.  

“Well…” Magda finally says. Their parents and siblings give them both a confused look. Magda turns to Pernille before answering and then turns her attention back to their families. “More like grand children .” 

“We’re having twins.” Pernille adds. “A girl and a boy.” 

“How amazing!” Pernille’s mother says. 

“I’m so happy for you both.” Magda’s mother adds and they both walk toward them to embrace them. 

“Twins?” Magda hears as she sees both of their fathers exchange worried glances. Magda just laughs. 

After dotting over Pernille for a while, their mothers get to planning an upcoming trip to London to help with the nursery and buying clothes for the babies. 

These babies aren’t even born yet and they are already being spoiled rotten. But, she couldn’t be any happier. 


June 2027

Pernille is seated in the shade, under a tree in their backyard, as she watches Magda play with their children out in summer heat. Magda is so good with them. They are chasing each other around, presumably playing tag. Pernille smiles to herself, grateful for this life that she has.  

This week is the twins 3rd birthday and Pernille doesn’t know how it’s only been three years since they have been born. She loves her and Magda’s little family so much more than she ever thought she could love anything or anyone. 

The twins, Lilly and Theo, were born a few weeks early and had to spend a little time in the nicu, but other than that Pernille had a pretty easy delivery, considering two humans came out of her, but easy is what the doctors told her. 

They are beautiful. So beautiful. They both have her blond hair. Lilly is the spitting image of Pernille and takes after her dorky personality. However, Theo has seemed to take on Magda’s fiery personality and the two of them together are like two peas in a pod.

Pernille is taken out of her thoughts when she feels a sweaty Theo jump into her lap. He’s just like his Momma and Pernille finds herself smiling and shaking her head in Magda’s direction. 

“I love, love, love you.” Pernille coos to Theo, placing kisses all over his face, causing him to wiggle in her lap. Oh how she loves her sweet boy. 

“I love, love, love you times a billion, Mommy.” Theo says excitedly back to her. She rubs his sweaty hair out of his face as she watches Lilly run up to the two of them sitting on the grass. 

“Mommy.” Lilly calls out to her. 

“What’s up my love.” Pernille takes Lilly into her arms so she can hold both of her children. 

“Momma says to come and play with us.” Lilly laughs. 

“Why are you laughing my silly goose.” 

“She also called you…” More laughs. “Lazy.” 

“Hmm.” Pernille lifts the twins off of her lap. “Mamma called me lazy huh. I guess we’ll have to get her back then?” 

Pernille takes off into a jog. She knows the twins are following her by their soft giggles behind her. 

As Pernille approaches Magda, she looks started. “Someone told me you called me lazy. So we are here for payback.” 

Magda looks confused for a moment and before she can catch on, Pernille tackles Magda to the ground, tickling her. 

“Babe, stop.” Magda managed to say between laughs. 

“This is your payback.” Pernille giggles as Lilly and Theo join her in tickling Magda. 

“Ha we got you Momma.” They both say. After a while they give up and join their Mamma on the ground. They curl up around Magda despite the summer heat. Pernille’s heart sores as she watches Magda place kisses on each of their children's foreheads as they slip in next to her. Pernille kisses Magda as well before joining her family on the ground. 

They stare up at the clouds for a while. Lilly finding what she thinks is a dinosaur and a boat. While Theo points out that he thinks the clouds look like a crab and a motorcycle. 

Pernille kisses Magda again before sitting up. “2 versus 2?” 

Lilly immediately jumps up and grabs the football that’s lying in the grass beside them. “I call being on Mamma’s team.”