Actions

Work Header

Our Darkest Moments

Chapter Text

Sterling lay on the floor as she brought her breathing back under control. She had expected to be plunged into darkness again but the seconds ticked by and the light remained on. She realised this was her chance. She was no longer immobilised in a chair and she had light. Rolling herself onto her side slightly, she used her elbow to help get herself in a sitting position. She sat still and squeezed her eyes shut as her vision swam, taking a few steadying breaths until it settled. In the back of her mind she realised she may have a concussion but that was not the priority right now. She rested her back against the wall and used her legs to push herself up so she was standing. There was a fleeting moment of relief that she was on her feet but there was still a long way to go before she was out of danger. She looked around the room, searching for anything that could be of use. The most important mission was getting her hands free.

She walked over to the bed and examined the frame. It was metal but there were no obvious sharp edges that could be used to cut the ropes that held her arms firm. Turning to the opposite wall she took in the lockers and the desk. She walked over and opened the first locker. It took her a couple of tries to get the angle right with the restricted motion of her arms. Inside were neatly folded items of clothing arranged on the shelves. Moving to the second locker, she repeated the process. Nothing but more clothes. Sterling cast a glance to the closed door, not knowing how much time she had left. She turned to the desk, letting her eyes flit over the surface. Nothing. She could feel her anxiety start to increase as she felt she was running out of time and options. Finally, she looked over to the one region of the room she had been unable to see from her previous position. It held a bookshelf with various titles scattered across it. Then she saw it. On the bottom shelf, a box that stood out from the other items. Sterling moved across to the bookshelf and dropped to her knees. She angled her body to be able to pull the box off the bottom shelf. Looking over her shoulder she identified the catch on the clasp that held the band around it and unclipped it. Feeling for the zipper next she started to work it round the edge of the case. It took longer than she wanted as the limited motion of her arms made moving the zipper a slow process. Eventually she reached the end and flipped the case open. She drew in a breath as she shuffled round on her knees to look, unconsciously holding it until her eyes fell on the contents of the case. The air rushed out of her lungs in a silent sob of relief. Sitting right on top was folding knife. Sterling twisted her body to grab the item and focused on opening it behind her back. As the blade clicked into place, she carefully slid the handle of the knife between her feet to hold it firm. Slowly and carefully she felt where the blade was and moved her wrists closer. Once the blade was positioned, she moved her arms to slide the rope against the blade. She kept her eyes on the door and strained her ears for the sound of him returning. She pulled against the rope as she kept cutting, finally the rope snapped and her arms were free.

Sterling brought her arms forward and rubbed her wrists, flexing them to ease the stiffness that had set in. She picked up the knife and kept it close. As much as she didn’t want to consider it, it may be her only way out of here. Spotting some bottled water on the shelf next to where the kit had been, she grabbed one and quickly downed the entire bottle. Not realising how dehydrated she had been until that moment. She rose from her position on the floor and crept closer to the door, the knife clenched firmly in one hand. She could feel her heart rate accelerating as she drew closer to the metal barrier separating her from whatever lay beyond. She leant forward and placed her ear against the surface, her eyes drifting closed as she listened, trying to hear any movement on the other side. When she heard nothing, she pulled back and placed her hand on the handle. She couldn’t recall hearing him lock the door but she was focused on just breathing at the time. She adjusted the grip on the knife as she pressed down on the handle.

=========================================

Five months ago

April pulled up outside the Wesley house at 6.30pm. She took a moment to check her reflection in the rear-view mirror before climbing out of the vehicle and making her way to the front door. She rang the bell and waited, unconsciously playing with the ring on her finger. She hoped that when the door opened it would be Sterling on the other side. She knew that the brunette Wesley was all too aware of their developing relationship but that didn’t mean she wanted to open herself up to a one on one encounter with Blair. There was still an undercurrent of mistrust that underpinned most of their interactions that meant April tended to keep her distance from her. As the door opened, April’s eyes fell on the sister she had hoped not to see tonight.

“Hey Blair. Is Sterling ready?”

April watched as the brunette leant against the door she had partially opened and swept her gaze across her from head to toe. “So, Stevens what are your intentions with my sister tonight?”

April quirked her eyebrow at the girl before her. “Are you really trying to give me the parent talk?”

Blair levelled her gaze at the shorter girl. “Somebody has to. Don’t think I have forgotten how this all went down last time.”

April met brown eyes dead on. “It’s different this time.”

She watched as Blair crossed her arms. “I don’t see how. You still want to keep it all a secret. And we all know how that worked out before.”

Before April had a chance to respond, a new voice sounded from the other side. “Blair!” The door was pulled fully open to reveal Sterling making the brunette who had been leaning against it stumble slightly to regain her balance. April couldn’t help the half smile that appeared on her face as she took in the sight of the blonde. “I love you but you need to stop this…this animosity with April. She’s not going anywhere so you’re going to have to get used to it.”

Blair looked between her sister and the shorter teen on the doorstep for a moment, before turning and walking away, but not before muttering over her shoulder. “We’ll see.”

April sighed as the door closed. “You still sure she doesn’t hate me?” April looked over at the blonde and took in the slight frown on her face.

“Blair is…protective. Especially after everything that happened. She doesn’t hate you so much as the thought of you hurting me.”

April let her head drop to focus on the front step. “I can’t say I don’t understand her concern.” She looked back up to meet the gaze of the blonde before her. “But things are different this time. I might not be able to come out yet but I also know what I want.” She stepped closer to Sterling and reached out to take her hand in her own, sliding her thumb over her knuckles gently. “I’m not going to walk away again.” She watched as the smile settled onto the lips of the taller girl. “You look beautiful.” She whispered as she closed the distance and placed a soft kiss on the lips of the girl before her. As she pulled back she kept a gentle grip on the hand of the other girl and led her to the vehicle.

Just as she got to the door, she felt Sterling come to a stop. “Where’s your car?”

April glanced back over her shoulder as she opened the door to the truck. “Tonight’s plans required a different vehicle. So I borrowed the truck.”

“And what are those plans?” Sterling asked as she let herself be led forwards and into the truck. As she settled into the seat, April released her hand slowly, allowing her fingers to trail along the other girl’s hand for as long as possible.

She smiled at the blonde. “Wait and see.” Before Sterling could respond, she closed the door and made her way to the driver’s side. As she started the engine, she glanced over to the girl beside her once more as she put the truck in drive. “Ready?” She was greeted by a bright smile from the blonde.

“Not yet.” April shot the blonde a questioning look before a hand came over to intertwine the fingers of the hand closest to her, resting them between the pair. “OK, now we can go.” April felt her half smile return and turned her attention back to the road and pulled the truck away from the house.

The pair settled into easy conversation as they drove. Sterling watched the scenery pass by the window, trying to get hints about where they were headed every once in a while, to no avail. Finally, the truck slowed and pulled onto the side road in front of the Starlight sign.

“The drive in? I haven’t been here in years.” Sterling’s face lit up as she took in the sign at the entrance.

April smiled back as they pulled in, bought the tickets and parked up. She flicked the radio on as they parked. “Hold on.” She hopped out of the truck and came round to the passenger side to open the door for the blonde. She held her hand out to the taller girl who took it immediately, sliding out of the truck to stand in front of the shorter girl. Their eyes met for a moment before April tugged her hand slightly leading her to the back of the truck and dropping the tail gate. “After you.” She gestured into the back, watching as Sterling climbed up before following suit. The back of the truck had been set out with a foam base, pillows and blankets. She reached behind the pillow in the corner and pulled out a cooler and a selection of snacks, setting them to one side. “I hope this is OK.” April said as she set the pillow back in place. As she turned to check the reaction of her date, she felt a hand come to rest on her neck before pulling her in. As she felt her lips meet those of the blonde, her eyes drifted closed as she let herself sink into the kiss. Pulling back slightly she questioned “Is that a yes?” Her response was the blonde pulling her closer and deepening their kiss. Reluctantly, April pulled away to open the back window of the truck to let the sound from the radio spill out into the night.

April took a moment to look at the girl settled on the pillows beside her, feeling that smile that always graced her lips when she spent time with the blonde slip onto her face. She settled herself down next to the blonde, reaching for her hand once more. As their hands met, April was surprised when Sterling shifted so that her arm was moved behind the blonde and Sterling moved to rest her head against her shoulder, her own arm draping across her waist. “Is this OK?”

Leaning over to kiss the forehead of the girl now cuddled into her side, she nodded. “More than OK. It’s perfect.” April brought her arm around to rest on Sterling’s back, tracing random patterns as the movie started.

===============================
By the time the second movie was halfway through, both girls were tucked under a blanket. The evening air brought with it a mild chill that brought about their desire for extra warmth with the added bonus of providing them with an extra element of privacy from their surroundings. Their focus had drifted from the screen to each other at some point. Their bodies now intertwined with one another. At some point, Sterling had shifted so that she was above April, her arms bracketing her and one leg slid between April’s. The feeling of the weight of the other girl pressing against her made the shorter girl feel somehow safe and grounded. Her own hands had made their way under Sterling’s top to run across the skin of her back. Their kisses had been getting progressively deeper as the movie played on. April let her hand drift down from Sterling’s back to her side. As soon as her fingers traced across the skin, the blonde jumped, her hand flying up to grip against the shorter girl’s wrist.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to take it too far.” April’s worried gaze met the eyes of the blonde.

“No. It wasn’t too far. I’m just…” The blonde trailed off without finished her sentence and focused on the screen.

“You’re just…?”

Sterling sighed. “I’m not sure I should tell you.”

“No more secrets.” April reached her hand up to cup the cheek of the other girl. “You can tell me.”

“Ticklish. I’m ticklish and you just hit one of those spots.”

April laughed before a mischievous smile settled on her face. “Oh really? So if I was to…” Her voice trailed off as she dropped her hands to Sterling’s sides and with absolute precision hit the spot once more. Sterling tried to wriggle away from the dancing fingers but found her attempts impeded as April rolled herself onto the taller girl. pinning her wrists with her free arm and trapping her legs with her own.

“April….April….Stop….Please…” Her pleas were interrupted by short bouts of laughter and gasps of air. As their eyes met, April’s hand stilled as she took in the flushed appearance on the blonde’s face. She closed the distance between them, bringing their lips together once more. Her hand slid up Sterling’s side until her thumb brushed against the side of her breast. She felt the slight change in the blonde’s breathing as she sucked in air with the contact. She broke their kiss and trailed her lips down the blonde’s neck, kissing and nipping at the skin as she went. Her lips continued their path across the soft, pale skin being careful not to leave any marks. “Is this OK?” She whispered in her ear as she kissed the skin just behind it.

“More than OK.” April couldn’t help the smile that graced her lips as she heard those words. Feeling emboldened by them, she allowed her hand to move more confidently and used her thumb to brush over her nipple, slowly tracing circles around the hardening bud. Suddenly there was the sound of engines starting up and headlights illuminated the area. She heard Sterling groan. “Guess the movie ended.”

April raised her head to rest her forehead against the blonde’s. “Yeah.” She kept her eyes closed for a moment, taking the time to get her own heart rate and breathing back in check. She felt Sterling’s lips against hers once more, a gentle kiss. Opening her eyes once more, she was met with a look she couldn’t quite place. “We should probably head back.” Seeing the other girl nod, she reluctantly untangled their bodies and offered her hand to Sterling as they climbed back down from the truck bed to the ground. As April opened the passenger door, Sterling leant over to give her another kiss in thanks for the chivalry. April closed the back of the truck and made her way back to the driver’s side and drove them home.

As they pulled up at the Wesley house, Sterling glanced over to the house before leaning over to give April a chaste kiss good night. “Night April. Text me when you get home.”

“Night Sterl.” She watched as the blonde climbed out of the truck and over to the house. Waiting until she had made it safely inside before driving home herself, a smile firmly in place across her face as the thoughts of their evening played out in her mind. If this was what taking that leap with Sterling felt like, then she decided that she would gladly continue to follow the blonde for as long as she wanted her. The risks were worth it for nights like that. As she opened the door to her house, she pulled her phone out to send her text. Her attention so focused on her phone that she didn’t register the voice until it was much closer.

“It’s past your curfew. Where have you been?”

April’s eyes snapped up to meet those of her father. “I’m sorry daddy. I was at the movies and it was late starting.” She watched as he came closer, close enough to smell the whiskey on his breath.

“Who were you with? If it was some boy then there will be consequences.”

“No. No boy. I was with Hannah B.” April hated lying about who she was with but with her dad having been drinking and his unhealthy interest in her girlfriend she wasn’t going to open that door tonight. Her father continued to stare her down but April refused to look away or give any sign of weakness to him. Eventually he turned and walked away to pick up the bottle of whiskey and refill his glass. April took the chance to make the journey to her room, closing the door soundly behind her. She rested her back against the door for a moment, cloding her eyes as she pushed the interaction from her mind. Choosing instead to focus on the previous few hours and how they had made her feel. Lifting her phone once more she typed out a quick message.

April
I’m home. I miss you already. X

Sterling
I miss you more. Thank you for an amazing evening. Xx

April was about to lower her phone when it vibrated in her hand. Bringing it back into her line of sight, she smiled as a picture of the two of them cuddled up in the back of the truck appeared on the screen. Just looking at that picture was proof enough that this was God’s master plan. After all, how could someone look that happy if it was wrong.