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i wanna wake up with you all in tangles

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The first thing she’s aware of as consciousness returns her is the way her head tries with all its might to split in two. A wince rests on her features, and the tiniest of shifts sends nausea jolting through her entire body. Cordelia moans, a throaty sound that echoes around the room.  

“Well, good mornin’ to you, too.”  

She jumps at the sound of a voice, eyes flickering open to see Misty staring back at her. Blonde tresses are all ragged from her night’s sleep, but she sits half upright, wide and awake. Cordelia feels movement against her fingers, only to realize they are holding hands. When did that happen? She groans again, the newly exposed light succeeding in amplifying her headache.  

Cordelia throws her head back dramatically. Bad move. The notion of rushing to the toilet appears for a few seconds. “What time is it?” she asks in a hushed tone. 

“Almost midday.” 

Her heart leaps. “Are you serious?”  

The Cajun shakes her head ever so softly, teeth around her lower lip. She remembers the way they’d been prettily painted with red lipstick last night and ignores the fire in the pit of her stomach. Last night. Oh God. It comes back to her in flashes, unwanted. Persistent. Misty kissing someone else. Pressed against him in that tight, short dress that left nothing to the imagination.  

She begs her eyes to peer away from the Cajun, but they resist. Misty stares back at her, eyes wide and thoughtful. And they can’t seem to tear themselves away from Cordelia, either.  

“So,” Misty starts, a smile beginning to curl on the corners of her lips. “I just had breakfast with your mom.” 

The ache and weight of her hangover is nothing to the flabbergasted way she now finds herself regarding her friend. “You what now?” 

Misty is laughing in a way like she’s just seen aliens and isn’t sure whether she should believe it was actually true. Her bewilderment is shared by the older blonde, who sits herself upright and clutches a pillow to her chest for comfort. It just so happens to be the same pillow Misty had slept on last night. She subtly inhales the smell of her perfume that settles the way her nerve endings twitch.  

“Yeah.” Her eyes are hooded over, almost dazed. “I went to get you some water ‘n there she was in the kitchen. Asked me if I’d eaten yet. When I said no, she made me French toast.”  

Cordelia can feel the lines on her forehead grow thicker; her lips open, inviting in dry air that parches her throat. Next to her, Misty shakes her head softly, but she is smiling. She's enjoyed herself. “That’s her favorite.” Cordelia points out. “She has it once a month. . .” Despite the protest from her stomach, she pushes herself further up the bed with heavy legs. The headboard prods and shoves into her back like a terrible massage. “Did she talk to you?” 

She responds with a keen laugh, “for a whole hour. I used to think your mom was scary, but she ain’t said a bad word to me.” The jovial tug to her expression wavers, sadness fighting for the spotlight; Cordelia wonders if Misty’s thinking about her own mom. But the joy wins, and Misty sighs softly.  “It was actually kinda nice.”  

“Jeez, you must really be in her good books.”  

“Well, I did make sure her only daughter made it home safe with no major incidents last night.” She teases with a pretty lull to her voice. Almost sleepy – most definitely fond.  

Her fingers dig into the pillow. She can think of one major incident in particular that she desperately wants to press Misty on, but she finds pressure building at the back of her throat. Her head swoons with pain.  

When she opens unfocused eyes, Misty is staring at her with puckered lips. “How are you feelin’?”  

She offers a wry smile. “Like I drank a lot of alcohol.” 

“Ah.” She chuckles, “guess my prayers didn’t get answered.” Misty bows her head ever so slightly. “As usual.”  

Any misery that tiptoes about her words retreats in the face of concern for her friend. Her eyes haven’t once left Cordelia, and they continue to stare as Misty practically leans over her to the bedside table to where a large glass of water sits. At the sight of it, her insides cry out for hydration, but she’s too preoccupied thinking that Misty’s lean torso is awfully close to hers; her hair even tickles over Cordelia’s trembling fingers.  

She holds her breath, cheeks bulging out with the slight puff. Misty must mistake it for the threat of puke, seeing as she reels back a little.  

Sheepish and pink faced, she shakes her head. “I’m not going to throw up again, I promise.”  

“Please don’t. I already had to empty that bucket this morning.”  

Cordelia blinks, not having remembered waking up to vomit. When her friend spies the uncertainty, she gives the faintest of smiles, shadowed by worry lines that sit atop her normally smooth skin. “You were pretty out of it,” she says, “you just kept apologizing to me for getting puke in my hair.”  

She cringes, so hard and fast that it physically pains her. Great, as if the past twenty four hours couldn’t be any worse, she’s now gone and embarrassed herself even further. Her lips part to speak, though Misty beats her to it. “You don’t need to say sorry again.” She rolls her eyes, “I have three nephews and two nieces. You think I haven’t had sick and shit on me before?” 

Her nonchalant nature eases Cordelia to sink slightly down in the bed. Misty’s smile dares to grow; she tilts herself forward with the glass nestled between her ringed fingers. She stretches them out for her fragile friend, who reaches in relief. “Thanks,” she breaths. As soon as the glass hits her lips, she begins to gulp greedily.  

The water hits her stomach in a refreshing way, starting to quench the void that the alcohol has left in her. It’s not until she’s almost downed the glass that she realizes Misty is still holding onto it. Onto her, should she say. Fingers curl around Cordelia’s, light and firm at the same time. And she’s watching her with a great potency behind those eyes.  

Cordelia almost coughs the water back up.  

It’s forcibly swallowed just in time, and she lowers the glass to her lap. Misty’s fingers follow the path of migration. They rest there, too. Comfortable and still, unbeknownst in the way they are drawn to the older blonde.  

When she looks down at them, she experiences the sharp stab of betrayal as she pictures them holding onto that guy. “Some party, hmm?”  

Misty pokes an eyebrow up, her lip jerking with the want to smile. “It was somethin’, that’s for sure.” Then the smile does come, instilled with a strong sense of pride. “You slapped Madison.”  

She blanches at the memory, that having been the least of her concerns. “I did.” 

“After all the lectures I get from you about not rising to her comments.” She’s teasing again, eyes shimmering despite the fact that she’s clearly exhausted.  

“I don’t lecture you.” Cordelia scoffs, drawing her legs nearer when they begin to cramp in her position. She nudges Misty’s knee by accident. Misty shifts, too, but nearer.  

Her shoulders judder as she breathes in a long sigh, then decides on a smirk. “She had it comin’.” Brows knit into one furrowed line. “Why are we even friends with her? She’s such a bitch.”  

“For Zoe’s sake.” She grumbles. “But I’m beginning to think even that’s not worth it.”  

There’s another moment of pause, of musing. Misty seems to be all too pensive these days. Cordelia finds herself dying to crawl inside of that mind and drink up every little thought, good or bad. “Yeah.” She says, all those thoughts condensed into the dejected word. “She just seems to hate me more than everyone else.”  

“She doesn’t hate – " 

“Then why does she take every opportunity to make me feel like shit?”  

Cordelia bites her lip. How can she deny that Madison oh so intentionally belittles the girl for nothing more than her own entertainment? She heaves in a breath, running a hand over her aching head. “You know, they say that means someone is jealous of you.” It’s an attempt of satire, with a coy pull of her mouth.  

Unfortunately, it has the opposite attempt. Misty’s crestfallen expression stares back at her, a poignant stab to her chest. “What on earth could she be jealous of?”  

The words wind her, which doesn’t help when she’s already in a vulnerable state. “Don’t say things like that, Misty.” She whispers out. 

“Why not?” Her jaw lines tenses. “It’s true, ain’t it?” 

She squeezes back the hands that have been sat atop hers for the past few minutes. “Just because she has more material things than you, doesn’t mean that she’s a better person.”  

Misty is glancing down, eyes trailing the lines on the bed sheets like they hold the answers to all the questions she so desperately seeks. It summons Cordelia closer, shoving the glass to the side, out of her way, and shuffling upwards. Her stomach lurches, but she defiantly ignores its cries.  

“Is this what you were crying about last night?” She frowns. “Madison?” 

In front of her, the Cajun flinches at the soft accusation. “No.” She insists with haste. “I wouldn’t cry over – when did you see me cryin’?” 

Unease rushes over her skin, forcing it to itch and burn. “On the balcony. . . I think. I went out and you were there. . . you – you looked like you had been.”  

“Well, I hadn’t.” Those piercing blue eyes are adamant, wilful, and panicked.  

Cordelia slumps. “Oh.” She offers a smile in apology. “I just thought. . .” 

One shoulder slopes as she shrugs stiffly. “It’s okay. You were pretty drunk.”  

Not that drunk. Confusion clouds her mind. If it didn’t happen, then why can she so vividly see the tear tracks that had stained Misty’s skin in her memories? Cordelia hums out a noise, then reclines back against the headboard and pushes down the bile in her throat.  

The Cajun hurries to shift the strange air that orbits then, moving so she’s lay next to Cordelia on the thinner pillow to her side of the bed. Seeing as the other one is cradled in the older blonde’s arms. Her voice is quiet, soft as a cloud. “How did it feel to slap Madison?” 

Cordelia’s face splits into a grin. “Really fucking good.”  

Her laughter is joined by Misty’s, a melodic chorus that sets her tummy alight.  

She twists in her direction, moving so that she’s lay out too and staring solely at the pretty Cajun on her bed. “I think you were my favorite person ever when you did that.”  

That’s enough to have the flickers of fire inside of her ignited further in love, blazing unashamedly through her heartfelt gaze. She might still be drunk, still lacking a filter, because she can’t control what comes out of her mouth next. “You are always my favorite person.” It’s a clear cut confession, leaving her crawling on dangerously thin ice as she waits for Misty’s response.  

Misty lets the words trickle toward her slowly, extending Cordelia’s baited breath, before her stare stills. Cordelia prepares herself for the rejection. The armor around her heart thickens for once, not prepared to be broken again.  

And she continues to stare, transfixed, and completely caught off guard.  

“You’re still a little drunk.” Misty decides (teases) as if that’s the only reason why Cordelia could so starkly put herself out there.  

The Cajun then chuckles, biting her lip. Cordelia moves her eyes away and turns to the ceiling. As her gaze is taken from Misty, she only hears the shuffle of her movement. Then the weight of a head on her shoulder and a body flush to hers. Her heart sighs with a flutter, melting when Misty remains. No distance this time. She smiles to herself.  

Misty’s words seem to vibrate against her, lulling her neck downwards until she’s peering at her friend. “I don’t think I want to go for another party for a while.”  

“No. Me either.”  

“Next time,” Misty asks, “can we just go to my cabin instead? Or stay here?” Her warm breath tickles Cordelia’s neck, sending a shock down her unsuspecting spine. Misty continues in a resolute voice. “Just us two, no Madison, no one else, no guys.” Though her chocolate gaze is hidden behind her eyelids, Cordelia can feel Misty’s penetrative stare. “Just us.” She repeats. 

The no guys echoes in her head in a dance of victory, and she thwarts it instantly. It’s just a reminder of what happened. 

She turns, smirking and whispering out. “I promise not to puke next time.” 

Misty’s chuckles are so close, muffled slightly as she leans into Cordelia’s shoulder. “It ain’t your fault you’re a lightweight.” 

Cordelia may feel rotten from her hangover, heartbroken from the events that have transpired, but the devoted way that Misty speaks the words makes her feel like she’s floating on a cloud. So relaxed, her head rolls once more. Gravity beckons it until her forehead makes contact with soft blonde hair. “If you call me a lightweight one more time. . .” she jokes.  

“What are you gonna do about it?”  

Her insides curl deliciously at the purr in her voice. How does she have such a hold on her? Sometimes, she wishes she wasn’t so powerless against the Cajun’s intricate cadence.  

Today, she allows it to bring her that swell of affection, only knowing soon that the high will stop. The pain will come. And she’ll do it all over again. She’s addicted to it.  

With the endearment in that moment, her own playfulness appears from its dormant sleep and sets its sights on Misty. No more words follow, but she does grip tightly around the corner of the pillow in her hold, then in a movement way too fast for someone in her condition, she aims it in Misty’s direction. Cordelia’s eyes open just in time to see the Cajun yelp, not able to dive out of the way in time.  

The pillow hits her chin, forcing eyes wider and pushing pretty giggles from her. She sits herself straight, yanking the offending pillow away and gazing at Cordelia in that unruly way that makes her breathless. She braces herself for the impact of Misty’s response, but it never comes. The wildness in her eyes fades out and takes with it her playful smirk.  

Misty relents to her own conscience, tossing the pillow to the side and then snuggling up to Cordelia’s side again. “You know, if you weren’t hungover, I so would have beat you.”  

“No way.” She grins gently, even if she certainly does know it to be true.  

Next to her, Misty’s presence is all too comforting. “I would have.” She says slowly, eyes meeting Cordelia’s. 

She’s shaking her head when she feels a pinkie finger brushing up against hers. “Jeez, why are your hands always so cold, Misty?” Without asking permission, she has both of the rough hands between hers, rubbing the skin hurriedly to encourage blood flow and warm them.  

Misty watches the entire time with pink cheeks and unsaid words hanging on her plump lips. 

When she stops, she doesn’t let go of Misty’s hands. Misty doesn’t take them away, either. 

At this point, exhaustion holds her ransom. She doesn’t remember a time when she’s ever been this tired before other than when she had a really bad case of the flu just before her twelfth birthday. Her eyes close against their will, head rolling further before it finds something solid. Misty, maybe. She's not too sure.  

One of those now warm fingers touches just above her hairline. “Are you sure you feel alright?”  

“I’ll be fine.” She mumbles. “I just need sleep.”  

Comfortable silence wraps around them.  

But she does force one eye open, insides jerking as she realizes just how close she is to the Cajun. “You don’t have anywhere to be today, do you?” A half smile follows.  

“Nah.” Misty is shaking her head, pressing lips together as though to control them from doing something else. “I can stay here. Make sure you don’t die ‘n all that.”  

The headache is beginning to return, this time with a vengeance. “I’d appreciate that.” 

Her stomach somersaults with purpose now that they’re completely still again, and she starts checking that the bucket is still nearby, just in case.  

A lasting sigh follows. “You have to make sure I never drink this much again.” She insists, groaning. In her sleepy state, she continues the ramble. “You know when you wake up and instantly regret everything?” 

She's not looking at Misty, so she doesn't see the way that the words cut through her, all too relatable. The Cajun grimaces, whispering in exhaustion. “Yeah. . .” 

“It sucks.”  

“Get some sleep.” Misty orders, like a mother with a child, and her eyes sparkling sadly. “In a few hours, you'll feel better. You'll forget all about it.” 

Upset clutches her voice like she’s trying to convince herself of the very same thing. 

… 

She spends the rest of the day feeling sorry for herself in every way possible. Curled up in bed and ignoring each single bit of school work that she knows is calling out to her. 

It's easy, with Misty pressed up next to her, occasionally joining the older blonde in her impromptu naps. Other times, she sits with her eyes glued to the TV screen. In all the time she's known her, it's the calmest she's ever seen Misty. Other than the bouncing of her feet at the intense parts of the shows.  

She smiles to herself, indulging in it. True to Misty’s word, sleep chases away her discomfort. And water and dry toast ease the nausea. If only she could forget as easily.  

Misty stretches out beside her, lengthy limbs on view. In the movement, her arm comes down over Cordelia’s head and shoulder, resting around her. She stiffens despite the quiver in her tummy. “Hmm.” The Cajun's eyes are half open. “It's almost eight. . . I should probably go soon. I ain't done any runnin' today.” 

She nods, head still on her shoulder and arm laid across Misty’s midriff from where limbs had wandered and neither had the heart to move . “Just tell me when and I'll take you.” A yawn catches at the end of her words.  

“’Kay.” 

Even so, they sit like that for at least another thirty minutes, holding onto the other in the cosy moment just for them.  

Misty interrupts with some of those pressing thoughts. “Hey, Cordelia?” 

“Yeah?” 

Conflict pushes her lips about, makes her eyes shimmer. “Was I really bein’ weird with you?” 

Her head spins, but not from anything alcohol related this time. “What?” She frowns, leaning back just enough so she can absorb all of Misty's expression. 

“You said that I was too scared to touch you. . . That ain’t true. I don’t think of you no different since you told me that you like girls.”  

She squeezes her hand, holding in a sigh. “I think the alcohol was making me a little paranoid.” She says. You can’t use that as an excuse

“Oh, yeah – sure.”  

Cordelia rests her head on Misty’s shoulder again, at home in that position.  

The Cajun continues her thoughts aloud. “Just, I know how hard it is with stuff like that.” 

Her face tightens in curiosity. “You do?” 

“Hmmm huh. I read all these horror stories about people coming out before. About the families shunning them, their friends leaving. All that stuff.” She speaks in a steady tone for the most part, but one small crack gives her away. “Did you know that in the 60's they were still electrocution’ people's brains ‘cause they had gay thoughts?” 

Cordelia makes a strangled noise. “Well, thank god I was born thirty years after that.” 

“Yeah.” The arm around her seems to have moved in, cradling her nearer. “Could you even imagine?” 

“Times are different now, Misty. They're better.” Cordelia certainly hadn't been expecting the seriousness of this conversation. Her brain struggles to keep up with it. She tries her best, though. “Most people have realized that it's just love.” She shrugs. “Regardless of gender.” 

Misty goes awfully quiet again, but her fidgeting increases. She stills her by running fingers soothingly up her arm. If she looked into Misty's eyes as she does this, she thinks maybe it'd be that bit too intimate, so she doesn’t.  

“I wish everyone thought that.” Misty confesses gravely, just as Cordelia's fingers reach the point where the scars are covered on Misty’s wrist. They feel less angry; she faintly smiles at that.  

“Maybe one day.”  

“You should be allowed to love whoever you want,” she affirms, that severity returning. This draws the older blonde's gaze, finding Misty’s with ease. But there is no simplicity behind her withering eyes; there's a whole lot of something in each sky blue speckle that sits in her irises.  

Only, her hidden message seems to get lost in translation, for Cordelia fights against her lingering headache and her preoccupation with the night earlier keeps her from hoping to see something that she knows couldn’t ever be there.  

She nods, then smiles. And she tries not to notice how Misty deflates a little. 

... 

If Cordelia spends the whole weekend trying to force that wretched image out of her mind, school remains insistent that it be shoved right back in. 

Monday brings with it the usual excitement of seeing friends again, and after the events of the party, the others seem to gather around Misty like a swarm of flies. 

Only, she can’t do enough to bat them away. 

“I told you, it just kinda happened. . .” She sounds annoyed, unwilling.  

Cordelia hovers from where she's searching through books in the library. Queenie had at least had the kindness to wait until she'd left their table before beginning to quiz Misty. Still, she isn’t exactly quiet, and the blonde is merely a few feet away by the closest bookcase. 

She lingers, straining her ears and ignoring the clench in her gut.  

“Was he a good kisser?” Coco pushes with starry eyes. 

Misty hesitates, perturbance giving way to a falter in her expression. “Um, I guess so?”  

“But,” Queenie continues, starved for information. “How does he rate, compared to everyone else you've kissed?” 

“Fine.” She drawls in boredom. 

Coco reaches out for her. “You’re killing me, Misty! Give me the juice.”  

“I. . . We just kissed. What else is there to it?” 

She receives a chorus of exasperation, even if she doesn’t understand why. Cordelia continues to feign interest in the titles of the books as she tiptoes nearer to them again.  

What else is there? ” Coco gives a dramatic heave. “You’re supposed to feel that fire, that burning. You’re supposed to want to stay locked in their arms forever.”  

For a brief second, Misty's eyes flicker, landing on Cordelia. Who pretends to be deep in the middle of reading. The moment is all too quick and then her eyes are impatiently focusing on Coco. “You've been watchin' too many movies.” 

“Have not.” 

Misty shakes her head. “People don’t feel things like that about guys in real life.” She insists. “A kiss is just a kiss.” Her tongue moves to sit nervously between her lips. “Right?” 

Blank stares meet her confused one.  

Right?”  

Zoe clears her throat. “Well, when I was dating Charlie, I felt like sometimes everything just kind of stopped when we were kissing.” Her voice is quiet, the memory maybe a little too fresh. Mallory places a hand on her shoulder, smiling sadly. 

But Misty’s shares no sadness as the words offer her only bewilderment. Especially when the other girls begin to share their stories of kisses, all brimming with fondness of the act. The Cajun stares at her book before her like it's personally wronged her. “I thought people just made all that stuff up.” 

“No,” Coco laughs, “why would you think that? You know, the first time I held a boy's hand, I thought my heart was going to explode and – hey Misty, are you okay?”  

Cordelia does lift her gaze now, spying as Misty seems to wear the pale cloak of trouble and nausea. She forces a smile to her lips. “Yeah. Just fine.” 

Though she seems unsure, her dying need to speak forces Coco back into conversation. “And the first kiss I ever had was at Camp. . .” 

Her story continues, excited and detail oriented, sharing profound stories of just how magical her kisses had been.  

Cordelia notes that Misty seems to shrink the longer it goes on. 

… 

“Can I ask you something, Cordelia?” 

“Of course.” She says without looking up. Her eyes are too busy searching for small mites in the succulents.  

A pause. “It's about guys.” 

Cordelia stills at the strained way she asks, that being enough to urge her attention solely on Misty. “Guys?” She repeats just to be sure. Panic sets in as she realizes exactly where this conversation is going, and she doesn’t want to do it, not at all. But it looks like she has no damn choice.  

She slowly lowers herself to the stool and regards Misty. The Cajun has been miserably drawing line after line in her sketchbook and now it's nothing more than a convoluted black mass that stares back at them. “Kissin’ them, more specifically,” she fights back her grimace. 

“Is this about what happened at the party?” 

Misty's face drops from a great height. “Y – you saw that?” 

Tears demand the use of her eyes. Don’t you dare, don’t you dare.  

“Uh, yeah.”  

“I thought you didn’t know.” She whispers, in false hopelessness. 

“Come on, Misty.” Her crinkled and sad smile sits stubbornly on her lips. “It's the talk of the school this morning.” 

Misty at least looks ashamed at the attention. She thought that would make her feel better, but it doesn’t. In fact, it clutches at her heartstrings even more powerfully.  

The Cajun can’t seem to settle on an emotion, moving from that shame to ire, to just a simple sorrow that flutters about her features like a bird in the sky. It's becoming all too at home on there, nesting away, and Cordelia would give anything to stop it.  

She purses her lips. “So, what did you want to ask me?”  

The reminder of her motives makes her tense slightly, contemplative. It is begrudgingly pushed through the barrier of her lips.  

“What was it like when you kissed Hank?” 

“Hank?” She says the name in distaste.  

Misty nods delicately.  

The idea of having to recall any memories with her ex boyfriend makes her skin crawl but she does it for her friend. She combs every inch of her brain, pulling out the ones needed. “It was nice. Most of the time.” 

“Nice?” Misty pushes, forehead wrinkled.  

“Yes.” She flushes with embarrassment, like a young schoolgirl rather than someone who's almost graduating high school. “I like kissing.” Cordelia cringes at how lame it all sounds, especially in front of her crush.  

“Does. . .” She starts with piercing eyes. “Does it always feel good? Like, every time?” Her voice rises an octave.  

Cordelia hesitates, trying to recall. As much as she'd despised Hank by the end of the relationship, she can’t quite think where the intimate act had ever failed to make her feel something

When she tells Misty that, she slumps in a downcast manner.  

She inches nearer, wrapping an arm around her shoulder. “Why does it matter anyway?” It's a gentle push to get the information that she's been dying to know about all weekend.  

“It's dumb.” Misty decides in irritation. 

“You know I won’t judge anything that you tell me.” She insists with an encouraging smile.  

Misty stares; her fingers tap erratically onto the thick drawing pad.  

Cordelia takes hold of that frenzied hand and entwines her own with it, even if Misty's fingers are smudged with graphite.  

“Misty.” That draws her wavering gaze back toward the older blonde.  

She bites her lip. “I think there's somethin’ wrong with me.” 

“Wrong?” She echoes, horrified at the very suggestion. 

There’s a dutiful nod in return, emphatically and sure. Cordelia laughs, past the point of nervous now. “Why would you think that?” 

“Because I – I ain’t right.” 

Her perplexed expression pushes Misty into her reluctant explanation. “When I kissed him, at the party, I just. . .I didn’t feel anythin’.” Doubt continues to saddle her words. “And I thought that was normal. I - " 

“You thought it was normal not to feel anything when you kiss someone?” She asks, just to make sure that her ears have heard Misty right. Ever since she was a kid, she's known that feelings are a rather strong precursor to kissing, and all relationships.  

Misty mistakes her perplex for judgement, and bristles on instinct. “My parents never kissed.” She frowns, “everythin’ I ever learned about that sort of stuff was from TV. That, and watchin' my siblings bring random people home.” She shrugs with disinterest. “The stuff I saw on TV, all those feelin's that the girls would have. . . I ain’t ever looked at a guy and felt that.” Her face is all crinkled up in thought. “I assumed it was like that for everyone, that people just get married and have kids, and don’t really feel those TV emotions.” 

Tears begins to swirl in her eyes, calling out to Cordelia for comfort.  

She gives a harsh laugh. “And I know how dumb that is, but TV shows have spaceships and talking animals, an’ a whole bunch of stuff that don’t exist. Why should I have thought any different about the fireworks?” 

“Fireworks?” 

Misty’s eyes soften in observation of her. She chews on that lips again. “Yeah. When a guy and a girl finally kiss, they say it feels like fireworks goin' off inside of ‘em.” She shrugs again, a growing sense of disenchantment about it. “I thought that was just made up stuff, like the tooth fairy or somethin’. 

She gives a sorrowful smile, both endeared and heart reaching out for her friend. She’s led a different life to Cordelia, one filled with more strife than she can ever imagine.  

A long exhale tugs at Misty’s strength before she looks down. “But from the sounds of it, everyone else has felt that, ‘cept for me. And now I’m beginnin’ to think there’s somethin' the matter with me.”  

“Hey,” she reacts within seconds, moving so fast that the stool beneath her scrapes out of her way. Hands hold either sides of Misty's face, giving her no choice but to stare into her loving gaze. “There is nothing wrong with you, Misty. Don’t you ever think that.” 

“But - " 

“I've never felt it either.” She confesses. 

Misty blinks away the tears, lips pouted from her sadness. The older blonde finds herself enraptured at the sight of them. “Really?” she says, like she almost believes she's sane again. 

Cordelia nods. “Really. I’ve kissed guys, and I’ve enjoyed it, but I’ve never felt that way about one.” She clears her throat and allows just a few nerves to hijack her voice. “So, don’t think you’re alone.” 

But clearly she does, because her face is crumpling again in Cordelia’s hold. “I didn’t even enjoy it.” She says oh so quietly, a secret for just the two of them. “It was like I wasn’t even in my body, and it was just happening. I just let it happen. . .” 

She pauses now, lost. She certainly doesn’t know what to say to that.  

At her retreating touch and silence, Misty figures it out with ease. “See?” She says darkly. “That ain't right. You think so too." 

“I don’t think that.” She replies intently. 

But maybe she does, just a little. Or a lot. And like Misty had said at the party, she's no fool. Her eyes are shrewd, catching every flicker on Cordelia’s face as she scrambles to think of anything to satiate her upset.  

She comes up shorthanded. 

Fingers come up to meet Cordelia’s, then shift to her head as if it’s the cause of all her troubles. “I’m just so confused, Delia.” 

“About that guy?”  

Her face is pale, eyes hollow. “About everythin’.” 

“What do you mean?” she asks, too vague for Misty to give her the specifics. Even so, she has a feeling, one of those gut ones that refuses to budge. Because she can’t ignore the signs, not for any longer. Air makes its way into her lungs, shuddering all the way down her throat. What if Madison is right? She can’t actually believe she's thinking that. 

But what if? 

The second more tears fall from Misty, she’s got her in her embrace, held firmly against her chest. She can feel those tears beginning to pool on her sweater, sticking to her like those thoughts leech into her mind.  

Those thoughts that tell her they think that Misty is gay, too.  

And that the Cajun hates herself for it.