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i wanna wake up with you all in tangles

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They walk for what feels like eons, when in reality it can’t be more than fifteen minutes. Cordelia supposes that it stretches so long because she’s navigating unfamiliar terrain, pushing away plants and branches that cross her path while Misty’s own movements are effortless. She moves in a rehearsed manner, seeming to recognise every change in shrubbery, ever rock and pool of water that litters the ground beneath them.  

Cordelia nervously eyes the beige, cloudy water of the bayou not too far away from them. She must falter in her step, as Misty comes to halt beside her with a tilt in her head as a sharp gaze lands on her friend. She then pulls at their ( still ) combined hands, grinning. “The gators are hibernatin’ this time of year. Don’t worry.”  

“I wasn’t -” 

She cuts herself short as chocolate eyes catch the mirth behind Misty’s. “Are we almost there?” she asks, growing weary of walking and grimacing at the drying mud, now crackling in wrinkles along her skin. 

Nodding eagerly, Misty picks up the pace and she’s forced to match it on unsteady feet.  

“Should I be nervous?”  

“Nah.” Even so, Misty grows visibly anxious, a strange energy radiating from her that is contagious enough to have Cordelia’s stomach knotting. And then she’s pushing the wilting leaves of a cypress tree from their path to reveal a clearing. She holds the leaves open like a curtain for Cordelia, urging her through, and pursues after her.  

The older blonde smiles at the sight of a building albeit a small, dilapidated shack that hosts a series of boarded gaps and wonky woodwork. It’s a building nonetheless, with lights that Misty turns on and running water on the faucet outside. They scrub away the dirt with tattered wash cloths and icy water that takes her breath away.  

“What is this place?”  

Misty stills, smiling over in her direction. “I found it a few weeks after we moved here. It was a real mess – holes, weeds, even had a possum family livin’ inside.” She furiously tries to clean the dirt from her fingernails with little success, then turns to Cordelia with a blinding grin. “We shared it for a while, but I’m guessin’ they’ve found somewhere quieter. I have a bad habit of listenin’ to music too loud.” 

The older blonde chuckles at the idea of Misty and said rodents cohabitating, then left her eyes drift up at the building with interest. But it’s the surrounding swamp life that beckons her attention not long after. With the evening drawing in, the crickets and frogs begin a chorus of songs for only their ears. Cordelia sees still waters beside them, aside from the occasional bug darting across its surface and in the distance a bird takes to the sky with a hurried flapping of its wings. Misty peers up then, too, following her gaze as its shadow becomes smaller and small until it’s nothing but a dot on the horizon. “So, you just . . . moved yourself in?” she finishes with a soft, awkward laugh. 

“Yeah,” Misty admits with a shrug. “Seems a real waste for such a fine little house.”  

House.  

The older blonde looks to it again, the word echoing around her head and wondering how on earth someone could refer to it as such; the idea leaves more questions than answers, and she regards Misty under the setting sun. Orange light bathes her skin, warming the palette invitingly, and when she smiles, it’s enough to take Cordelia’s breath away.  

She turns, the rays dancing over her pale face, and observes Cordelia slowly, nervously. Cordelia just about catches the way that Misty’s eyes wander lower and lower, as though memorizing every inch of her Cordelia’s body. The scrutiny has her insides tugging and twisting like vines, cutting off any flow to her heart. But then Misty is smiling, and the tension eases. Pleasantly so. The Cajun reaches out a hand again, this time her fingers damp and scrubbed raw of mud.  

They’re cold to Cordelia’s touch, but she wraps her own fingers around regardless.  

She pulls Misty in nearer. “You want a tour?” Misty says, words low and quiet, and altogether enticing.  

Cordelia throws a glance over her shoulder, wondering how much of a tour she could give for just one room. In spite of that, she finds herself biting her lip and nodding. 

Turns out, Misty has a small garden hidden in the back that she shows off the few scattered plants. A shoddy, homemade fence marks the threshold, and the inside is filled with mismatched pots that Cordelia definitely recognizes from the gardening club. Misty tenderly touches each of the plants the way a mother would a child, talking to them chirpily and causing Cordelia to smile so much that her cheeks ache.  

Then she flutters near the tree line, dirtying her hands once more as she climbs expertly a couple of branches up and smiles into a dark hollow. “Oh, she’s started to nest!” She steadies herself on one of the thinner branches, perching like she belongs there, and leans further in. Cordelia watches on with curiosity tinging her mind, laughing and shaking her head as Misty insists she come look for herself. 

“I do not trust my tree climbing abilities.” She shouts up, though almost considers it, especially when Misty pouts. It fizzles in a matter of seconds and then she’s scaling back down the tree, jumping to the empty spot next to Cordelia. Her once clean hands now hosts greens and brown splotches from the bark, but she simply wipes them on her dress. 

“What’s up there?” 

Misty’s eyes brighten. “An owl. She’s been hangin’ around the past couple of weeks.” Her delicate smile causes a bubbling warmth in Cordelia’s heart, one that she tries to forget about with a soft hum and nod.  

“That’s pretty cool.” 

“Yeah, I’m hopin’ if she has babies I can get a look at them.”  

The idea of Misty cooing over small chicks is all too sweet, but the idea is jarred out of her mind as Misty continues to dust herself off and then glances back to the small building. “C’mon, I’ll show ya inside.”   

They begin to walk back to the shack, bodies bumping against one another every few seconds. Misty’s hand is suddenly next to hers again, pinkie nudging Cordelia’s, before it vanishes in the blink of an eye. Cordelia turns to peer up at her, hoping that the withering light helps to hide the red in her ears, and follows her inside.  

Past the creaking door, there’s a small, homely space that welcomes her with open arms. Misty drops herself to a bed that’s pushed up against the window, tugging up her legs to cross them under herself. The colorful lamp besides her plummets her features into different shades of oranges and reds, but Cordelia can make out her inviting smile. Lifting a hand, Misty pats the empty space beside her; Cordelia doesn’t need to be asked twice.  

As she lowers herself down onto the bumpy mattress, she peers around thoughtfully. The silence continues, comfortable at first, but with the clock in the corner counting down the seconds, she feels a pressure building inside of her. It shifts and pushes painfully at her insides as she fights with the need to say something. But what does she say? It’s rare that a conversation between the two doesn’t flow with ease, yet here she is, itching with doubt.  

It’s Misty who is first to break the ice, or more melt it with warmly spoken words. “What do you think?”  

Cordelia blinks, taking her gaze off the series of band posters and floral paintings that hide the holes in the walls to where Misty is staring at her intently. “Of what?” she chuckles, tucking some hair neatly behind her ear.  

There’s a delicate pause, words shy and tentative, but they push through. “Of here.” Misty elaborates. Her fingers fidget with the ties around her wrists, tugging at the material every few moments in jerky twitches. 

“It’s not what I expected,” she says, her grin allowing Misty’s nerves to seep away before her.  

“What did you expect?”  

With a short laugh, she shrugs. “Not this.” Cordelia shuffles closer, as though drawn to the warmth pulsing from Misty, and feels her expression soften even further. “You did all this yourself?” she peeks across at her through fluttering eyelashes, lips curving upwards.  

Misty nods, pride swelling into her body as she sits up that little bit straighter.  

“It’s really nice – it's very. . . you.”  

“Is that. . .” She licks her lips in thought, “that’s a good thing – right?” 

She grins, endeared at the modesty, and hums. “Yeah, it is.” Cordelia continues to study the room, wanting to learn everything that she can from its carefully chosen décor. “I didn’t realize you liked Fleetwood Mac so much.”  

“Like them?” she bounces in her seat, accent growing thicker in her enthusiasm. “I practically worship the ground they walk on! They are like, the greatest band in existence.”  

Cordelia watches in earnest joy at the way she becomes so animated, eyes so wide and brimming with unabashed excitement. Eyes squint at the many posters surrounding her, a glowing shrine to the band that Cordelia only just about recognizes. Misty follows her line of sight, a sigh of admiration and reverence escaping from her chest. “Their music just. . . just speaks to me, ya know?”  

She doesn’t, and only can shake her head with a barely contained giggle at Misty’s dreamy expression. 

Fear momentarily strikes in the core of Misty‘s features at the appearance of laughter, spreading like wildfire across her face. “Are you laughin’ at me?”  

No.” Cordelia quickly backpedals. “Misty, I’d never. I – I just think it’s really sweet.”  You’re sweet.  The last thought, ironically, catches in her throat with a bitter taste and hides there alongside her courage.  

Misty blinks, mouth forming into a pretty ‘o’ that Cordelia feels her gaze linger on. She servers the action as she realizes her mistake, turning away while heat searing under her skin. As the conversation lulls, the noise of the swamp begins to crawl inside, offering a background of white noise. The quiet resurgence of life and nature back into the room brings a tentative smile tiptoeing on Misty’s pink, puckered lips.  

She doesn’t offer a reply, but stands and pads over to a boom box in the corner. Pale fingers fiddle with the controls, and soon music joins the swamp’s serenade. Cordelia doesn’t know the song personally, but she’s willing to bet any money that it’s from a certain band.  

Spinning on her heel, Misty sighs, shoulders loosening with vanishing tension. Her eyes close slowly, jaw slackening as lips fall open; Cordelia’s transfixed eyes follow from the pointed jawline down the slender neck on show. When the Cajun finally opens her eyes once more, azure spheres have Cordelia sitting with her heart in her stomach and unable to move. “This is one of my favorites,” she confesses aloud. 

“That’s Stevie Nicks, right?” Cordelia finds her voice, even if it is strained. 

Delighted surprise bustles Misty with further excitement. “She is my idol. She is the most amazin’ person in this whole wide world.” It’s no longer admiration that glimmers in her eyes, but sheer and unconditional love.  

Cordelia only notices she’s smiling by the muscles growing weary in her cheeks.  

“She does this thing. . .” Misty continues, breathlessly despite the winds beginning to seep through the open window. She scrambles for one of the shawls hung over the corner of the floor length mirror, pausing for the briefest of moments to observe herself before turning away with a frown. Thankfully, the action is temporary, as she wraps the delicate material over thin shoulder and finds a position in the centre of the room where floorboards creak under her weight.  

She stalls, locking gazes with Cordelia who can only spectate on in interest. She had been leaning her weight against the headboard, but when she notices the trip in Misty’s demeanor, she is erect once more, unsurely debating whether to close the distance between them. As if able to sense her uncertainty, Misty offers a nervous chuckle. “Sorry.” She shakes her head at herself. “I’m just used to doin’ this alone.” 

The word sends a pitiful pang down her already tight chest, but she forces out a supportive smile. “Just pretend I’m not here.” Please don’t.   

With the shawl shrugged onto her shoulders, a newfound confidence surrounds Misty; it bathes her in a glowing light despite the evening drawing in. Misty locks gazes with Cordelia one more time, not long enough for the older blonde to decipher the glisten in her eyes, before she takes to her stage. In one sweeping movement, she lifts the ends of the shawl out, legs expertly twirling her round and around until Cordelia feels dizzy from watching. The tone muscles of her calves drawn attention, speeding Cordelia’s heartbeat up more than she cares to admit. 

Dark material and yellow hair spin in unison, a dance of contrast where they move as one, like ying and yang. She holds a surprising poise, movements elegant and rehearsed, leading Cordelia to wonder how many times she does this. How many days, nights . . . alone. But she’s not alone right now. She is with her, and she doesn’t plan on going anywhere.  

The more she spins, the broader her lips spread until there’s a toothy, unstoppable grin that accompanies laughter. Though Misty eventually stops twirling, the momentum has her moving as though drunk with giddiness and toned legs turn wobbly. She comes to a clumsy stop, then glances instantly over at Cordelia with chest heaving excitedly. “Obviously Stevie does it better than me – but I could watch her do it all day. It’s so magical, right?” 

This time, Cordelia has no hesitation in agreeing with Misty’s words. She almost asks her to carry on twirling in those dancerly motions – almost. “Yeah.” She swallows the dry lump in her throat. “It’s something.”  

Misty keeps fingers clutched onto the shawl and hovers near her boom box once more. “And she does it all the time. My dream is to see her live in concert one day. Can you imagine?” She practically goes cross eyed, head clearly filling with fantasies of occupying the same space as her idol. “Oh my, how incredible it would be.”  

Cordelia’s feels the warm touch of fondness around her heart. But it grows colder with the thought that this is a world of Misty’s she barely knew about, and that realization hits her like a ton of bricks. She blinks up at her, brows knitted together. “How come you don’t ever talk about these things at school?” 

It’s an innocent enough question at first glance, but there’s a hidden weight behind him. Why hasn’t she told her this before? It’s a selfish, fleeting thought that has Cordelia bowing her head in shame, but she waits on baited breath for the answer.  

The Cajun is turned away from her, faced to the table adorned with dog eared books and gardening tools. She stiffens, but throws a stare over her shoulder. Just from that, Cordelia can sense the shift in emotion, can see the way Misty wrinkles her forehead together. “It ain’t anyone’s business.”  

She isn’t expecting the animosity that comes hand in hand with the reply and, even though it isn’t directed her way, it has her nerves fraying on end.  

Misty’s steps are marked by the floorboards playing like rusty, squeaking piano keys, and she slows in front of the window. Through the lace canopy, Misty looks outwards with the most wistful of sighs. “I learned to stop talkin’ about that sort stuff.” She admits sadly, “people just think you’re weird when you’re not like ‘em.” 

On her feet without thought, Cordelia moves to stand by her side. “You’re not weird.” she comforts, in very the way a friend should. She inwardly reprimands herself for wishing the hand on Misty’s shoulder could be more than friendly, especially in her need of reassurance. 

“You don’t have to – " she begins.  

Insistently, Cordelia purses her lips and narrows eyes in a show of stubbornness. “You’re not! You are . . . you’re unique.” 

Misty gives her the side eyes, smiling wryly. “That’s just another word for weird.”  

“It’s better.” She speaks tenderly, eyes boring up at Misty who scrutinizes her in return with unsure features. “Way better than being like every other girl at school. So what if you like plants more than cooing over boys? Or that you don’t conform to what they think is cool?” She sees that she’s beginning to gain some success when Misty has the makings of a smirk on her mouth. “And I actually think it’s really cool that you emulate Stevie Nicks in here. No better way to show your respect, right?” Cordelia squeezes her shoulder now, anxiety stabbing at her chest as she still feels her hard muscles underneath despite her efforts.  

But Misty is smiling. Grinning, even. “You do?” 

“Yeah.” She nods, biting her lip delightfully.  

There’s a pregnant pause, where Misty now crinkles her nose like some sort of adorable mouse. “I guess it is awful borin’ to be like everyone else, huh?” 

Cordelia chuckles, fingers drifting from the shoulder to rest on Misty’s forearm. Fingertips trail the sparse and light hairs that line the skin, until Misty is shuddering under her now firm touch. “You’re definitely not boring.”  

“Guess with a name like Misty Day that’s pretty hard.” She jokes, but Cordelia hears the resentment hidden behind her words.  

“I love your name.” She says, barely giving Misty to a second to finish her words. The Cajun may seem initially surprised at the speed of the delivery, though it clearly doesn’t bother her. In fact, she appears to blossom under the sudden attention, like some rare flower that is fit for only Cordelia’s eyes.  

She admires her just as such, even with the flush tainting her skin. “Um,” she continues lamely, “it’s really nice.”  

“Thanks, Delia.” Misty smirks, then everything about her becomes altogether. . . different. And she’s whispering, but Cordelia isn’t sure why. “You’re a really good friend.” The small expanse of air between them grows stifling, thick, like when the threat of lightening lingers oh so dangerously and the arms of your hairs stand on end. Cordelia wonders if she’s about to get struck down, because her heart pumps erratically in anticipation. Misty takes hold of her hand (Cordelia winces at the definitely clammy nature of it) and doesn’t let go. Good, because she doesn’t want her to.  

She's sure she must be smiling like some fool, lost in smouldering eyes.  

Somewhere in the back of her mind, she registers the song changing, and it flips Misty like a switch. Her impossibly wide eyes thin, until there’s soft, hooded eyes in their place, and she fills the silence explaining why the band wrote the song. Cordelia can only listen, wishing she could inspiration for her own heartfelt words that lie dormant deep inside.  

With her free, idle hand, she finds herself readjusting the shawl over Misty’s sleeves. She clears her throat. “This looks nice on you.” 

“Ya think?” She pulls away now, spinning and modelling the shawl more for herself than Cordelia. Every so often, her eyes flicker to the mirror. “I always preferred the black one, but I got gator shit on it.”  

Cordelia rolls her eyes and laughs heartily now. “Course you did.” 

She twirls so much that she falls into the bed with an oof, and Cordelia follows as though connected by some invisible tug. “Don’t hurt yourself, Miss Nicks.” She teases.  

“Don’t even joke about that. I couldn’t ever hope to be as good as her.” She says seriously, only managing to endear Cordelia even further.  

“Fine, fine. But please watch where you’re going. If you get hurt, I don’t even remember where my car is to help you.”  

“I don’t plan on that happenin’” She chuckles, then seems to notice the sun waving goodbye over the horizon.  

The older blonde is the first to comment, an air of sadness washing over her. “I can’t believe it’s getting dark already. Surely we only just got here.” Her watch says otherwise, and she chooses to pointedly ignore it.  

Misty is just as discouraged by the dwindling time between them remaining. She grows quiet, contemplative, and her eyes move over the room in disenchantment. “Guess you wanna go back, huh?” 

She almost goes to agree, knowing that the walk with light guiding her way had been nothing short of treacherous for her untrained feet; the girl doesn’t even want to consider doing it in the dark. But she can’t bring herself to answer in the affirmative. She eyes Misty with a half-smile, a hopeful one that has the Cajun frowning in confusion. “It’s not that late.” She starts alongside a shrug.  

“Don’t you have homework?” 

Yes. Lots.  

“Nah.” Cordelia shakes her head in a terrible feat of appearing nonchalant.  

It works, seeing as Misty is beaming toward her, barely able to stand still from growing excitement. “You’ll stay?” she asks, as though no one has ever stayed for her before.  

“Sure.” Misty’s contagious giddiness has her heart singing loudly within the caverns of her chest. “Would be a shame to go so early.” 

There’s a barely audible gasp from Misty’s mouth, but she’s skipping over to the other side of the room and routing through a collection of music. “I’m gonna show you all my favorite songs.” 

“Why do I feel like there are lots of those?”  

She smirks coyly and bites at her lip. “Yeah . . . but you’ll like ‘em, I know it.”  

“And if I don’t?” she teases.  

Misty doesn’t even have to feign shock now. Turning sharply, she has an all too serious glower, nostrils flaring. “Then we can’t be friends.” 

Cordelia feels all the blood drain from not only her face, but every vessel in her body. “What?” 

Thankfully, a grin pushes onto Misty’s lips and the shock fizzles away from the older blonde at the sight of it. “i’m just kiddin’.” The smile shifts into something altogether more devoted. “Don’t think there’s anythin’ you could do to make me not wanna be your friend.” 

She really doesn’t want to find out if that’s true or not.  

As Misty skips ahead to another song, she doesn’t hesitate in grabbing Cordelia’s hand now, tugging her over to the bed where she sprawls herself across it. Just like how she does on the older blonde’s much larger bed. Long, lanky limbs stretch across the floral sheets, almost dominating it, and Cordelia finds herself tucked away in one corner.  

She’s all too content to observe Misty’s calm presence. The music appears to soothe her like a child being rocked to sleep. There’s not a single worry line in her face; every muscle of her body down to her pinkie finger hang in complete and utter tranquillity. At first, her eyes are closed, helping her lose herself in the moment. When Cordelia only continues to linger, debating if she’s an intruder on the bed, a piercing gaze narrows in on her.  

Under its intensity, she grows shyer, fingers tugging at the ends of her hair.  

Misty grins. “You gonna sit there like that all night?”  

“. . .what?”  

She easily holds herself up in a half sit, reaching for Cordelia’s arms and tugging her down beside her in one swift movement. It’s so fast that she doesn’t register it until she’s lay scarily close to her. This isn’t a double bed - It's barely a  single . And now Misty has twisted in the space, hair fanning out around her in a golden crest while rough fingers loiter around the older blonde’s body. “You can’t listen to Stevie like that.” Her words are more certain than she’s ever heard her, almost authoritative. 

With Misty’s face only inches away from hers, she gulps and trembles. “I can’t?” 

“You gotta relax.” She insists first, not realizing that it’s her very presence that has Cordelia so very much teetering on edge. “Listen to the music. And just . . . feel it.” Misty turns, ever so slightly, as she readjusts arms comfortably under one side.  

“Feel every word, every note.”  

“Okay.” 

“It helps if you close your eyes.”  

There’s a moment of hesitation, but she complies despite the quake in her bones. She is all too aware of the other weight on the mattress, a warmth exuded beside her that is increasingly distracting. Her lips are tightly sewn together, fingers twitching with the want to do anything but sit idly by her side.  

Beside her, Misty sings in a low hum that always manages to put her at ease. If she lets her imagination run away with itself, she could pretend that it’s like a private concert just for her, but she supposes that would be all too wishful. One song turns into another, the lyrics perfectly memorized by her friend whose voice becomes barely a whisper. Even right next to her, Cordelia has to strain to hear them.  

The room stills with the disappearance of Misty’s notes, but she doesn’t open her eyes. And there are other sounds around her, she’s sure. Strangely, Cordelia doesn’t register any of them, like when you’re underwater and the rest of the world is a blur. Her world is currently dark and quiet; the only sense she can think about is the sweet smell of Misty’s perfume wafting her way enticingly.  

Through the murky waters of her brain, Misty speaks. “Do you like this?” 

She squints an eye open as the voice jars her into back into reality. To her surprise, Misty is watching her, chin rested on one hand and a smirk dancing prettily on her lips. How long has she been doing that? As she considers it, Cordelia finds herself struggling to care. She smiles, despite the queasy tugging in her tummy at Misty’s closeness.  

Cordelia then nods. “Yeah. This song is nice.”  

Misty’s face doesn’t fall, but it definitely stumbles, only to have a strained façade of joy pushed onto there. “Right. The song.” She repeats. Cordelia frowns at her strange response, and pushes it aside before she can overanalyze.  

Catching sight of the time, she sighs. “It’s getting late.”  

And Misty is nodding too, jumping from the bed in suit with Cordelia. The two move with speed, almost nervously, like much more had happened other than laying listening to music. For a moment, and she isn’t sure why, she can barely bring herself to meet Misty’s eyes. When she does, they’re still warm and welcoming; she instantly feels guilty for her reluctance.  

“C’mon. I’ll get you back in one piece.” Misty’s eyes glisten as they step outside, catching the light of the moon in them.  

The walk is most definitely scarier in the dark, especially when roots seem intent on catching her uncertain feet at every opportunity. At one moment, she stumbles straight into Misty, flailing arms wrapping around her shoulders. “Am I gonna have to piggy back you to the car?” she half jokes, half looks as though she’s rather keen on the idea.  

Cordelia pulls away, face hot and red. “I’ll be fine.” 

Even so, she doesn’t let go of Misty’s equally strong grip, that only increases with her every slip on unstable ground. She finds herself smiling against the dark, almost willing the journey to be longer so she can, without guilt, relish the feel of Misty’s fingers interlaced with hers. Without thinking, she leans in closer, and lets her thumb move over the many bracelets that adorn Misty’s thin wrist. 

At one point, it toys with the thick material she ties around them, one that she can just about make out as a different color to yesterday in the dark. It shifts and loosens under Corderlia’s absent ministrations, and quite honestly, she doesn’t notice she’s even doing it, until the smooth skin under her thumb becomes raised, thin, raised scabs littering the area. It reminds her of grazes she’d have as a kid in the rare moments that she’d more daringly play outside and would usually end up with some sort of wound.  

And she wouldn’t think anything of it, if Misty didn’t tense up, refusing to even look in her direction. She detaches her grasp from Cordelia’s with little hesitation, but continues to walk. “Look,” she comments at the sight of headlights in the distance. “We’re almost there.”  

That is the least of Cordelia’s concerns as she pursues Misty with a deep setting frown, navigating the terrain as best she can. They’re not touching any more. Despite this, the ghost of the cuts hover over her thumb as though imprinted in them forever. She feels a prickly dryness against her throat, even the roof of her mouth as she ponders the possibilities. “How did you do that?” she eventually says.  

Misty quickens her pace. “Do what?”  

It isn’t her voice. It belongs to a stranger – cold and indifferent.  

Cordelia slows, if only to reel at the reaction, then continues to follow with unbridled speed even as Misty nears the car. When their eyes meet, hers narrow up at Misty. “Your arm.” 

No further explanation is needed, because surely Misty knows that’s there. But she pauses as if she doesn’t, the peers down to the bandana bracelet covering the small marks. “Oh? That.” She speaks, unconcerned. “Did it climbin’ a tree the other day. It’s nothin’.” 

Misty is smiling now, looking between Cordelia and the car expectantly.  

She isn’t so keen to accept the answer, yet Cordelia only finds herself being able to stare in question. The idea of probing further makes her uncomfortable, so much that her skin itches with uncertainty.  

“Honestly,” Misty continues, a hand reaching up to settle on her shoulder in a grounding squeeze. “Don’t worry.”  

But she does

Even as they get into the car once more and they complete the drive to Misty’s house on the now unlit road. Misty continues to smile and laugh without a care in the world – either she’s an amazing actress or Cordelia is completely overreacting. She prays that she is. Even as Misty talks about their shared science project, she can only nod and hum in the appropriate places.  

The conversation only lulls as they pull up outside the long drive, crickets welcoming them noisily. In the distance, Cordelia can hear the low call of some bovine creature. Misty glances across at her now, fingers on the door handle, but making no move to open it.  

“Are you okay?” she asks unsurely. 

She drops her hands from where they clutch the steering wheel. “Yeah, of course I am.” Cordelia lets out a sigh like she’s been holding her breath for the past ten minutes, and the inhale afterwards feels as though breathing for the first time. “I had a really good night, Misty. Thank you.”  

Her friend beams, face so happy that Cordeia feels her heart ache in appreciation. 

“Well, you’re welcome anytime, ya know. Was nice sharin’ the cabin with someone else. Especially you.”  

This time, a genuine smile does find its way to her lips. “That’d be nice.”  

Misty eventually opens the door, pausing to grin at her. “Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.” Lips twist into a smirk. “Don’t stay up too late doin’ your homework.” 

And she knows that Cordelia abandoned work to stay with her, leading to older blonde to smile sheepishly at getting caught out. She chuckles in a gentle manner, then ducks her head. “Can’t make any promises.”  

There’s a tangible thickness to the air,  again , but neither comment on it. In fact, Misty takes this as her moment to leave, taking the usual route to the house in the distance and, as always, Cordelia sits and waits for a sign that she’s gone inside. Even when she’s sure of though, she doesn’t set off straight away, her mind too swamped with the events of the evening to even consider driving.  

She thinks of the way Misty had been so close to her, how enchantingly she’d danced around the room, and how Cordelia definitely thinks that her crush is not going to go away any time soon.