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the little things

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It's the subtle things that make Fatin's heart flutter in her chest the most. The less obvious things.

 

Sure they were constantly hanging all over each other, but it was the little touches that somehow made Fatin feel more than the hand holding, than the cuddling, than even the mostly innocent kisses they'd both randomly pepper over each other's skin when they felt bold enough.

 

No, it wasn't all that. It was the way Leah would always bump her knee against her leg when she sat down next to her. All the times fingers grazed her thigh when Leah doubled over with laughter. When nose would tickle her ear any time she whispered things for only Fatin to hear.

 

It was the unintentional touches that set her skin ablaze, shivers down her spine, and butterflies in her stomach. The moments that felt so innocuous yet purposeful.

 

She tries not to read into it. The situation surrounding them creating an environment where stability is needed to survive. It's easy to chalk up their constant proximity to just needing something tangible. To feel grounded. But she still notices how different things are.

 

Leah isn't this close to any of the other girls. Fatin isn't either, not even with Dot. Maybe it's because they knew each other back home. Their connection stronger due to the initial proximity of being from the same place. She knows there's more to it though. (At least on her end.)

 

It's like they're dancing. Tradition, i.e. the circumstances pulling them together. And the music, her affection, guiding their every step. Fatin remembers making the first move. A simple hug, which carried more weight than the gravity of their situation. It was an apology, some comfort, and an invitation all at once. The rhythm slow and quiet, until the beat dropped the moment Leah ran into the ocean.

 

After that, the pull got stronger. The two of them gravitating towards each other with full force. Nights spent wrapped up and around each other's bodies. Days spent with intertwined fingers guiding each other through the long hours. The need to physically feel the others presence became as necessary as the air they breathe or the water they drink.

 

The kisses were new. Tender packages of meanings that silently spoke volumes. A kiss to the temple: I'm here. To the hand: thank you. To the cheek: we're good. A shoulder: I'm so glad you're here. A language never said aloud.

 

All instances felt significant yet incredibly mundane. Because it felt natural.

But those little things. Those felt different. Raw.

 

"This is nice." Fatin whispers one night, just the two of them laying back, looking at the stars.

 

Nice. That word, so simple. So inconsequential. A lecture from her past about how trivial and overused the descriptor is comes to mind, learned in a class she shared with none other than the girl lying next to her. It wasn't enough to describe the way she felt, how much Leah's proximity meant.

 

"I mean, I think it's really cool how close we've become since we got here." She stifles a bitter laugh, cool??

 

Leah's laugh is much lighter, and warm. It radiates from her and Fatin feels her body flush.

 

"It is pretty amusing." Leah props herself up, head on her hand, body hanging over Fatin. "I'm pretty sure Rachel and Dot had bet on how long it would take before we killed each other." She pokes Fatin's shoulder, a jolt sent coursing through Fatin’s system, before nuzzling her head there, laying back down.

 

"I would have won obviously." Fatin jokes, as if in an alternate timeline, she would have strangled Leah before that initial touch sent her down a never-ending path that led straight to Leah's heart.

 

Leah snorts, "yea right, as if you could ever live without me." And it's Ike she sees right through her. Her words cutting directly to the core of what Fatin feels, the desperate need for Leah's presence. A beat of silence passes before a single kiss is placed to her shoulder: I'm so glad you're here.

 

"Leah?" She hesitates. The name hangs between them, a question unasked and unanswered.

 

Leah's foot rolls over between Fatin's legs, a little touch.

 

"I don't want this to end."

 

It's quiet. A whisper so low, even with Leah's head being so close, the girl is lucky to hear. "Why would it?"

 

Fatin breathes a deep shaky breath. She gently squeezes Leah with the arm wrapped around the girl's frame. Grounding herself. "I want more."

 

It's an incomplete confession. Her lack of words unusual. She hopes it's enough.

 

Wordlessly, Leah shifts. She places a kiss to Fatin's temple, to her cheek, and then to her lips.

 

I'm here, we're good, so do I.