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i wanna wake up with you all in tangles

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“Are you sure about this, Misty?” 

Her fingers are glued to the steering wheel, squeezing and pinching to keep her body here in reality and not swept away with her thoughts. Or worries, for that matter. Beside her, Misty is scrambling through her backpack with furrowed eyebrows, producing a carton of eggs as a smirk steadily makes its way onto her lips. When she spies Cordelia’s expression, she falters.  

Well, for all of a few seconds before her resolve returns with a swift whoosh of intensity. “One hundred percent. He’s an ass.” 

Cordelia wholeheartedly agrees. But her stomach twists and pulls with a lack of nerve, and she wishes that Misty could share some of hers. Even the tiniest transfer of courage would be appreciated, because she sits frozen with fear and trepidation tugging her shoulders further and further down.  

Now with a bag of flour in her left hand, Misty settles a look on her, hard and yet soft at the same time. “Don’t you wanna do this?”  

She does. She really does .  

Her heart still stings with betrayal, throbbing every so often just to remind her that she isn’t wanted, something Hank oh so plainly believes. Or they wouldn’t be parked here outside his house, plotting a wicked idea that makes her insides gurgle with dread. Not for Hank. Fuck Hank. But the prospect of getting caught lingers around the edges of her mind, not prominent, but there. Enough to give her pause.  

Then she’s looking to Misty, feeling the anger radiating off of her friend. Should she be fizzing so violently with anger too? Because right now she’s sure she reeks of fear, embarrassingly so, and she fears the eyes of judgement.  

Misty’s pointed expression relents, pretty features melting to one of compromise. “We can go home, Delia.” She shrugs, never letting her eyes falter. There’s care in her blue orbs, that stretches out and wraps Cordelia in a shroud of comfort, so much so that her fingers begin to ease their grip on the wheel, one by one.  

She shakes her head. “I don’t wanna go back.”  

The Cajun grins widely. 

“And we did drive all this way . . .” 

Said smile spreads so wide that she’s sure Misty’s cheeks must be aching with exertion. Suddenly another carton is thrust into her hands with such force that she fumbles and almost drops them. How many things did she buy?  Misty is hastily exiting the vehicle under the cover of dark, throwing her hood up as far as it will go.  

Cordelia follows suit, feeling lost in the baggy hoodie that Misty has lent to her, but the smell of her friends lingers in the material. Another comfort, enough to bolster her courage. She quietly closes the door and creeps down the street with knees knocking nervously together.  

“You sure this is his house?” Misty is close, dizzyingly close, with hair strewn out of her hood in every direction as it fails to keep it under control. They come to crouch just outside one of the large residences, a sickly wash of familiarity flooding over her like the tide.  

She nods. “Yeah.” Then she points BMW sat unsuspecting on the driveway. “And that’s his car.”  

That’s all that Misty needs to know before she’s rushing over there in long strides, and Cordelia follows like an obedient puppy. Her nervous eyes dart back and forth to ensure that there are no witnesses, so lost in hiding their actions that she doesn’t notice when Misty comes to a halt and slams straight into her back. Strong fingers steady her, then move up to her shoulders. “You okay?” She asks sweetly, voice low and concerned.  

She peers up to Misty, feeling her fingers clutch around the egg carton as though It's her last lifeline. Nestled under her crossed arms, she hopes that she hasn’t cracked any yet, but realizes it’s the least of her concerns. She’s not here to be a wimp, she’s here to show Hank exactly what happens when he cheats on Cordelia Goode.  

“I’m great,” she says through tight teeth.  

The rage that she’s been supressing the past day begins to bubble up, ever so slowly, but this time she makes no effort to stop it. She embraces it, encourages its ascent until her chest burns with rage and aches of its own volition.  

She feels an egg placed in her fingers, Misty’s black nail polish blending in with the dark night. “After you,” she smiles, teeth flashing out between pink lips that quickly pucker in a way that leaves Cordelia staring.  

With a visibly gulp, she closes the gap between her and Hank’s car. One final glance around, just to satiate her own paranoia, and then she throws the egg. It falls against the windshield in a satisfying splat, trailing down in a gooey mess that has maybe more strength and control than her own shaky feelings. Bewitched by the scene before her, she sucks in a breath. Then, she smiles.  

It only grows tenfold as another egg trapezes past her, hitting the roof instead. Shell and yolk splatter in a pretty display of something pretty akin to justice. She turns, whiskey eyes catching cerulean, before both friends each turn to the task at hand. Eggs begin flying in a non-stop assault and bringing a symphony of bangs that free the weight from her shoulders. She experiences a freeing wash of exhilaration, of euphoria – of pure fucking glee.  

One by one the eggs meet their destination, and then Misty is tearing open a bag of flour so hurriedly that she does it with her teeth. Ignoring the drops that drift onto her clothes, she throws the entire thing over the car, shaking the paper bag with more determination than Cordelia has ever witnessed. She laughs as she does so, and then Cordelia is laughing too, drunk with giddiness. She doesn’t care that their cackling might alert to the treacherous task they’re pulling off; all she can think about is that she’s with her best friend, and this is the most fun she’s had in  months

“Well, that felt damn good.” Misty steps back, haphazardly brushing the rogue flour from her hands. It only succeeds in spreading to her clothes.  

Cordelia beams, jumpy with adrenaline, and admires their work with the uttermost pride. With a sudden spontaneity that she’s unfamiliar with, she’s shakily reaching over the bonnet.  

“What’re you doin’?”  

She turns, eyes glistening and a smirk planted firmly on her lips. “You’ll see.” Her index finger connects with the screen, dragging over the congealed mess of eggs and flour as she writes her message against the cold glass. Misty lingers near, observing with interest. Suddenly, eyes widen and Cordelia catches sight of alertness in those pupils.  

The Cajun stiffens. “Fuck, someone’s comin’.”  

Without warning, she yanks hold of Cordelia’s arm and tugs her alongside in a mad sprint back to the car. As Cordelia dares a glance back, she sees lights flooding on in the house, and registers someone hollering over the sound of her own blood pulsing like a steady drum in her ears.  

They scramble into the car together. She can’t get the key in fast enough, tyres screeching as the vehicle surges into action and away from the scene of the crime. As they’re speeding away, she grins happily at the sight of  Fuck you  written across Hank’s windshield. 

… 

“You were right.”  

Misty cocks an eyebrow, head tilting over the cushion of blonde hair she’s currently sat on. The moon highlights her features in a mix of lines and shadows, but her eyes remain as bright as ever, dilated and as blue as the most tempting of oceans. “Huh?” 

She grins, almost shyly. “That was really fun.”  

This seems to breathe another lease of life into Misty, who bustles with pride and laughs softly. It floats out against the night air with wisps of her white breath. Cordelia watches, besotted. It’s nice out here with Misty, just the two of them. Don’t get her wrong, she loves all of her other friends at High School, but there’s something about the Cajun’s presence that she feels allows her to just be herself. No games, so acting, just her and Misty.  

Then, the mood is dampened slightly.  

“I don’t know why you dated that dick.”  

She pauses, thoughtful. And maybe a little annoyed. Okay, maybe him cheating on her is something that she should have seen coming, but blissful ignorance definitely played a part in their relationship. Still, the judgement bites at her insides unpleasantly, a disapproval is unwavering in its nature. Misty is almost glaring now, eyes boring at Cordelia’s lying figure.  

The older blonde doesn’t look at her – she can’t. Is it shame? Embarrassment? Cordelia doesn’t know the answer to that; however, she does know that she has to stand by her decisions, stupid or not.  

“I don’t know, he used to be sweet.” 

Misty scoffs, rolling her eyes. “Wasn’t anythin’ sweet about him. He was playin’ you.”  

She bristles then, a wounded glare making itself known to the Cajun, who somehow manages to hold her own. “You didn’t know him like I did,” she tries, “I loved him.” Even as the words leave her mouth, she wishes she could sound more convincing.  

Next to her, Misty turns in her direction, knees knocking against Cordelia’s as they lay stretched out over the bonnet of the car. She looks apologetic, no – she’s filled with sympathy, and that irks Cordelia more than it should. 

With the long sound of a sigh being inhaled and then forced out of her lips, she shrugs. “You’ll understand when you get a boyfriend.” 

Nothing but silence is offered from Misty then and this prompts Cordelia to gaze her way, eyes locking with her friend's in a quiet quest to read her thoughts. She doesn’t succeed, only leaving herself more confused by Misty’s sudden demeanor change, especially as she curls in on herself. She ignores the terse energy she’s lay out before them, because that’s all she can do in the moment, and she looks up to the sky. Light pollution skews the sight, but she can make out some of the stars watching over them.  

As the wind glides between them, it leaves a cold clasp in its wake and she shivers involuntarily. Misty does catch this now, lips twitching with a smile. She reaches for the hoodie that Cordelia had thrown off due it being doused in flour and offers it out. “Thanks,” she smiles, easily slipping into it and patting away the white dust that clings stubbornly. “I’ll have to wash this for you.”  

“Oh, you don’t have to,” Misty starts, as usual.  

Cordelia feels her tension drift away along with that nervous energy and they’re back to being best friends again. “It’s the least I can do.” She turns her eyes away from the night sky and rolls onto her front, swinging legs up behind her. Misty’s eyes drag down her entire body then back to her face, tongue darting from pink lips for just a moment.  

She sits up, stretching toned arms over her head and sighing. “What if your mom sees it?” 

“She won’t ask about it. . .” she says. She hopes. “I can just say I dropped flour over myself in home ed.” 

“One problem.” Misty grins. “You are a terrible liar.”  

Mouth falling open, she elicits a tiny gasp. “I am not.”  

Misty erupts into giggles at the sight of it, a small shake of her head following.  

“Why am I a bad liar?” She pouts.  

“Your voice goes all nervous and you can see it in your eyes.” 

This gives her pause, scrutinizing Misty under a blank stare that grows more intrigued by the minute. “My eyes?” Under her gaze, Misty shifts. Eyes widen and squint on repeat as unknown thoughts run across her features.  

Her words are gravelly, straining against resistance in her throat. “Yeah. I dunno what it – I can just . . . tell.” She ends lamely, bowing her head.  

“So, I can’t keep any secrets from you?” Her words are innocent, but come across as something much deeper. A feeling tugs at the pit of her stomach, spreading like roots until all her insides are tangled in the tightness.  

Misty smirks. “I’m afraid not.”  

She watches her friend, not realizing how focused she is on her lips until she’s snapped back into reality with another chilling gust of wind. Despite its icy clutches, she is thankful for the interruption, suddenly feeling irritatingly hot. “How do you know I’m not keeping secrets from you already?” 

“Me?” She laughs, all pretty in her southern cadence. Cordelia swoons, and then firmly presses her lips together for fear of saying something altogether stupid, or friendship altering. “Thought I was your friend?” She teases.  

“Well, have you told me all your secrets?” 

The ease slips from her face, contrasted with wrinkles and hard lines. “I don’t have any,” she says, too seriously, too quickly.  

Any laughter dies on Cordelia’s lips. But, ever too keen to change the mood, she sighs. “I’ll tell you one thing, Misty Day.”  

There it is, that smile again. It brings a grin onto her own lips. “Go on.” 

“When I found out about Hank cheating,” she pauses, suddenly finding the cold metal of the bonnet interesting, “I guess I did feel betrayed.”  

Misty blinks, voice gentle as she asks, “but?” 

“But, I also felt kind of relieved.” 

“Oh.” 

“Hmm.” 

“Really? I thought you guys were  so  happy together.” There’s a bite in her words, and Cordelia settles it with a glare.  

Hands subconsciously rise to cross over her chest, taking hold of her arms in a hug. “Things were okay. They weren’t bad or anything, and he was always nice to me.” She feels a twist in her stomach as she starts to gather the next few words, an ongoing debate as to if she should. It’s Misty. She won’t tell anyone. “And, if I’m being completely honest, I think I was starting to have feelings for someone else.” 

Now, Misty joins her in sitting upright as Cordelia seems to hold every ounce of attention that the Cajun has. “Who?”  

You.  

She blinks, and chokes down that word. It slides painfully until it sits heavily on her lungs. Cordelia turns away, a half-smile on her lips that catches the moonlight in a way that has Misty’s gaze intensifying.  

Misty chuckles, nervously so, all the while leaning in closer. “Come on, tell me.”  

It's all so tempting, too inviting, but any semblance of courage she thinks she could summon cowers inside her. And all she can do is sigh. “It doesn’t matter.”  

Misty’s doesn’t look disappointed as she’d expected, but only locks her jaw in thought. She eyes Cordelia for a few more moments then turns to look at the town from their perch, shivering in her thoughts. When a yawn follows, Cordelia stiffly climbs off the front of the car and stretches her legs. One glance at her phone tells her that it’s later than she’d thought, and she smiles at how easily time passes with Misty there.  

Turning around, she spies Misty is standing too, hands running through her dishevelled hair as she tries to renew some energy. It doesn’t work, and on the drive home she watches the way she sits with hooded eyes, mouth falling slightly open.  

Cordelia clears her throat, forcing Misty to peer up at her, through fluttering eyelashes. 

“Yeah?”  

“Thanks.” She says, keeping her eyes on the road, because she thinks if she looks at Misty, she might want to blurt out more. “Thank you for tonight. I really needed that.”  

Misty grins, stretching long legs out and mewling like a cat. “Hmm, ‘s no problem. Anything for you, Delia.”  

That should bring a smile to her own lips, but it merely elicits a strangled noise that snags against the roof of her mouth and refuses to look any further. Misty stares, eyes questioning.  

By now, however, she’s pulling into their stop. The lights of Misty’s home call out in the distance, signalling that someone is still up, unsurprisingly. From the sounds of it, there’s a lot of foot traffic from her older siblings and Misty staying out until almost midnight is hardly shocking for the Day clan.  

Cordelia lingers, as she always does. “I could drive closer, you know.”  

“No.” Misty replies, rehearsed. “I can walk from here.” The embarrassment that flows from her is hard to miss, and it does its usual job of making Cordelia feel guilty.  

“But it’s dark.”  

“We ain’t got neighbors for a while. I’ll be fine.” She’s already slinging her bag over her shoulder and reaching for the hoodie that Cordelia has shed in the warm car. A slender hand takes hold first, refusing her.  

The older blonde smiles. “I told you, I’ll wash it.”  

She doesn’t argue, instead flashing a brilliant smile.  

“Okay,” she laughs, “night, Delia. Get home safe.”  

“You too.” Her words are serious, nervous, as though Misty’s house isn’t sitting a few minutes away. But the walk unnerves Cordelia, as she sits and watches her disappear down the dirt path, a canopy of trees on either side of her. About half way down, she turns. A small hand rises, giving Cordelia one last fleeting wave before her head is bowing, almost sadly, and she’s continuing her retreat.  

Cordelia stays there until her eyes strain against the dark. She spies light flooding out of the front door as it opens, and allows her to have a breath.  

Finally, she drives away, reflecting on her strange night. 

… 

The weekend gives her a chance to think some more, when she’s not catching up with the demanding amount of homework her senior year brings.  

And before she has time to even blink, she’s back at school on the Monday, bustling her way from math to history. She spies Misty in the hallways a couple of times, offering her a small wave and as much conversation one can get in a couple of minutes, but it’s not until lunch that she gets to see her properly.  

Being the President of the gardening club (yes, that’s a thing and something she’s actually pretty proud of), she usually spends her lunch hour in there. She waters and tends to the plants, sometimes she even talks to them. Cordelia is pretty good at convincing herself that she gets more sense out of plants than she does most people. 

Today, as well as Thursday, is one of the days that Misty helps her, too.  

She smiles at the sound of the door opening, not even having to turn around to know it’s the Cajun. “Hey,” she greets happily, lowering the watering can slowly onto the desk.  

Misty smiles in return, lowering her tattered bag to one of the chairs and showing Cordelia one of the plants she found on the way to school. It’s quickly placed in her “orphanage” - a series of wilting and battered plants that earn extra attention from the blonde.  

They chat easily and softly, with glances here and there when the other one isn’t looking. Cordelia eventually remembers the hoodie in her bag, pulling out the neatly folded item and passing it to Misty with a smile. “How’d you get it so soft?” She asks, rubbing it softly against her face and smiling with content. 

A laugh falls over her lips. “Must be the fabric conditioner Fiona buys. I can find out which one, if you want.” 

“Sure,” she shrugs, suddenly less interested. 

Cordelia spies the way she’s lowered the hoodie and a hand now idly runs over the gold cross around her neck. She places a hand on Misty’s shoulder, transporting the girl from where she’d disappeared into her thoughts. “How was church this weekend?” 

Eyes widen and she stiffens under Cordelia’s touch. For some strange reason, the question always brings a strange air about it before she relaxes into herself once more. “Oh, you know. Same ol’ stuff.” 

She nods as though she does know, but as someone who was raised with a lack of religion, she feels like she’s lost at sea without a lifeboat at the mention. Still, she tries, for Misty. “Hmm.” 

And then, expertly so, Misty is finding a way to avert the conversation in another direction, one she’s all more comfortable with. “I actually found a dyin’ bird on the way back. Tried to take it home and help it.” 

“That’s nice of you,” she smiles genuinely, appreciation for the kind soul that Misty is.  

But that sentiment isn’t shared as Misty looks blanky ahead, face devoid of, well . . . anything. 

She continues to rub her thumb over the cross, as if in some silent prayer. “My daddy shot it.” 

The color drains from Cordelia’s face, and she’s hugging Misty without even realizing she’d gone to do it. “I’m sorry, Misty.” She sees Misty blink away the shining tears that teeter in her eyes, then holds her tighter. Hands reach up to wrap around the small of her back and keep her close.  

“It's okay.” Misty mumbles sadly. “I guess it ain’t sufferin’ anymore.”  

She pulls away from the hug all too quickly, leaving Cordelia’s skin crying out for more. She resists its calls, barely, but her hands does manage to find Misty’s as the younger blonde speaks.  

“He was so angry. Made me pray for an hour after dinner.”  

Cordelia frowns, eyes narrowing. “You were only trying to help.” As Misty’s silence continues, she tries to eradicate it with a short laugh. “It’s a good thing he didn’t find out what we did on Friday then.” 

She smiles then, even if it is shyly so. “Yeah,” she dares to laugh too. Standing, she tries to busy herself with pruning some of the plants while Cordelia lingers nearby. “In the grand scheme of things, though, I guess what we did ain’t so bad.”  

“No?”  

“Nah,” she gives a soft shake of her head, “when my brother was doin’ drugs, he only had to do all the chores for a month.” 

She peers curiously at Misty, enjoying that she’s sharing a part of her life that no one gets to see.  

Misty continues, unaware of her thoughts. “And my sister almost had a baby outta wedlock, which I’m sure Daddy would have shunned her for.” She smiles then, “thank God she had the sense to get married. I’d have missed her.”  

Having no siblings, Cordelia only nods in empathy and nothing else. She doesn’t understand the idea of missing someone that way; she barely even misses when her own mother goes away for work visits. Solitude is something that she’s grown all to accustom to. She regards Misty with growing interest, wanting to know more about her siblings, about her relationship with them. Maybe she’ll let her in - maybe one day she’ll actually be able to go her house.  

She grins. “Well, it looks like you’re pretty safe then. Seems your dad is pretty forgiving.” 

She’s nodding quickly then, humming a soft tune under her breath for a moment. “Yeah, it ain’t too bad.” 

Cordelia smiles, too.  

“If he wouldn’t kick you out for drugs or prenuptial babies, surely you’re safe.” 

Until Misty says something that brings all serenity in the room crashing down around her.  

“Only thing he’d kick me out for is being a dyke.”  

The way the word falls so easily, so innocently from her lips, causes Cordelia to splutter over her reluctant response for a matter of a few seconds. Misty stares, confused. “What’s wrong?”  

“Misty,” she breathes, “that word. . .” 

“What? Dyke?”  

She winces, eyes closing. “Yes. You shouldn’t say that.”  

Her face scrunches up in bewilderment, features pinched tightly together. “Why? Are you . . .?” 

No!” she says all too quickly, hands slamming down on the counter so hard that Misty jumps. She continues to stare, waiting for an explanation for something that is clearly normal to her, and all of a sudden Cordelia realizes that maybe she doesn’t want to know about Misty’s family as much as she thought she did. “I just – that's not a very nice word, Misty.”  

She bows her head. “It isn’t?” 

Cordelia is vehemently shaking her head, finding herself inching away from Misty with a tight pain in her chest. She tries with all her might to ignore it. “You might offend someone.” 

“Gosh. . .  I didn’t realize.” Misty sighs, staring longingly at the space now between her and her friend. Her voice is quiet, barely a whisper. “That’s what my Daddy says.”  

“You don’t have to listen to everything to he says, you know.” She hates the way her voice cuts through the air, how it does nothing to slice the tension, only allow it to grow tenfold. Misty’s fingers slow around the tomato plant under her touch, brows still knitted together as guilt clouds her eyes.  

She turns to Cordelia, thoughtful. “What should I say?”  

“Girls who like girls are called lesbians,” she says softly, “not. . . that.” Her brain can’t even fathom the idea of saying it. Misty nods then, though is still doing her best impression of a sad puppy with big, blue eyes and bottom lip curling over.  

“And,” she continues, voice strong and authoritative despite its quite nature, “there is nothing wrong with being a lesbian – certainly not something to warrant kicking someone out of your home.” 

Misty is nodding once more, more hurriedly. Eyes flash up to Cordelia with intensity, thoughts burning away behind them and she looks up to her friend like she wants nothing more to believe her, but those eyes are tinged with an eternal sadness.