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Ship: Sterling/April. April and Blair are battling for votes to be prom queen and Sterling must choose a side or find some genius way to help them both. Post canon :)

“Your girlfriend is a real bi—”

“Be nice!” Sterling chides. “Besides, she’s not my girlfriend.”

“Tell that to your neck. It looks like you’ve been mauled.” Sterling slaps a hand over it, horrified, as Blair flops onto her bed. “I hate to do this to you but you’re either with me or against me. Which is it gonna be?”

“What’re you talking about?”

Blair springs up in outrage. “Prom queen! Duh.”

Sterling sits up. “You’re running? I thought it was a joke.”

“Well, it was,” Blair admits, “but then I found out April was running and now I’m avenging your broken heart!”

The blonde smiles tentatively. “Aww, thanks but—“

“Okay, I lied,” Blair blurts. “I just want the crown, but beating April would be a cool bonus.”

“Yeah, that makes sense.”

“So?”

“I’m staying out of it.”

“You can’t do that!” Blair huffs.

Sterling ignores her and continues texting. Someone’s got to answer for the hickey.

//

There’s a lot of defamation in the following weeks. So many “embarrassing” pictures all over the school’s hallways and old “life-ruining” stories churning the rumor mill. Sterling honestly finds all of them cute.

That’s why she keeps providing them.

//

“How do I look?”

“Ravage-able.”

April cuts Sterling a stern look. Behave. But her eyes are inviting and she doesn’t complain when Sterling hugs her from behind.

“Is your sister ready to lose?”

Sterling just kisses her ear.

//

They’re all squished in a diner’s booth, mascara running down April’s face and a mound of shredded napkins in front of Blair.

“I can’t believe fucking Horny Lorna won,” April hisses.

Sterling steals one of Ezekiel’s fries. “Y’all were too focused on each other. It was an easy win.”

Blair slams her palm on the table. “We should’ve Carrie-d her.”

Hannah tilts her head. “Carried her where?”

 

 

 

Summertime before senior year. Sterling has a job as a lifeguard at the country club pool. April frequently uses the pool.

“What are you doing here?”

April doesn’t even look up from where she’s rubbing sunscreen over herself, her biceps glistening in the sun. “What does it look like? I’m trying to swim.”

“Why here though?”

“Because I’m a member here and I like how fluffy the towels are.”

Sterling gapes. “But I work here.”

April gives her a once-over, wrinkling her nose at Sterling’s red boardshorts— because the skimpy women’s shorts burn her legs when she sits on her chair— and fixes her with an unimpressed look. “I’ve noticed.”

“Just… don’t drown because I won’t save you.”

“Liar.”

//

“Mom made me bring you lunch.”

“Thanks.”

“Is that April?”

“Yup.”

“Dude, stop staring.”

“Huh?”

“I’m pretty sure that kid’s drowning.”

“Cool.”

“I’ll give it a week until you’re fired.”

//

“I’ll race you.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re a good— great swimmer and I want to know I’m that good too so that nobody dies on my watch. So… race me?”

“This isn’t Baywatch, no one’s going to drown because you can only accomplish competency.”

“How do you know about Baywatch?”

April’s cheeks pinken beyond her sun-gifted rosiness. Sterling grins, lazy and impish.

“Pamela Anderson in her prime, right?”

//

April wins and Sterling doesn’t even pretend to be upset, not when the winner’s smug smirk fires her up more than the actual race did. Her arms are tired and her legs are starting to numb, but the water’s fresh as it laps against her shoulders and the day feels free in the way it only can during the summer.

“Do you want to get some yogurt? I know a place.”

April sighs heavily, grabbing at the gutter to hide her smile in her arm. “Might as well.”

//

“Is this a date?”

“Do you want it to be?”

April bites her spoon, unnecessarily seductive.

“Yes.”

 

 

 

College AU. Sterling travels to debate tournament at April’s school, expects her to be there but she’s on the swim team and has a meet that day. Sterling sneaks over to the pool after her debates to watch her compete.

Sterling knows nothing about swimming competitively except her girlfriend looks absolutely gorgeous as she glides through the water, tanned shoulder blades moving methodically like shark fins in the ocean.

(Not the sexiest metaphor but the most accurate.)

Apparently, April’s participating in the 500-yards race, which Sterling embarrassingly found out about after she got up and whooped at the end of two laps. So she sits and waits and watches as her girlfriend swims and turns and swims and turns.

Sterling takes a quick snack break and when she comes back to the bleachers, everyone’s on their feet and she stuffs her chocolate into her pocket so she can cup her hands around her mouth and cheer on April.

Her girlfriend hits the wall at almost the exact same time as a girl two lanes down. It takes a few minutes to declare the winner, but when they do, April’s coaches lift her arms up like she’s Rocky Balboa and Sterling’s trying to cheer, take pictures, and clap all at once. She almost drops her debate trophy.

//

They’re standing by the team’s designated section, a towel thrown over April’s shoulders and her cap still on her head.

“Did you see my win?”

Sterling grins and rolls her eyes, endeared. “Very impressive.”

“It’s all about stamina.”

Sterling finds herself undeniably wet too.

April steps closer, a hand falling on Sterling’s waist teasingly. “What time do you leave?”

“Our bus broke down or something. We’re here until tomorrow.”

“Hotel room?”

“King. Bed.”

April’s smirk shifts into an impressed smile. “How’d you manage that?”

Sterling’s fingers slide under the strap of her girlfriend’s swimsuit, her warm fingers cooling on April’s wet skin. “I used my… oraltory prowess,” she says, wiggling her eyebrows.

April laughs, tucking her face in her girlfriend’s neck. “You’re an idiot.”

 

 

 

How Debbie got Sterling from Dana

You find out you’re pregnant the day after your first anniversary. You lose one of the twins four months into the pregnancy. Dana calls you a week later to tell you she’s late. Three months late. Like an idiot, you ask late to what? Like an asshole, she responds what do ya think, dumbass?

The first thing you do is call your dad. You’ve always been a daddy’s girl and he’s always had an answer. But it’s your mom who picks up and the words are curt and awkward and full of bitter love. The message is clear: family first.

Your sweet husband is talking about nursery colors when you tell him. He stops chewing, slowly, as he thinks of what to say.

“That’s good, isn’t it? For her?”

Your look shuts him up very quickly.

//

You start planning for two again. Two cribs, double the wardrobe (neutral colors until you find out the sex…es), a stroller for twins.

You place a hand over your round stomach, thinking of the child you lost and wondering how close your future kids will be.

Whether one of them will turn out to be a mama’s girl.

//

Dana holds the baby and you almost think she won’t let her go. She’s crying and the baby’s crying and you think you should be crying but all you think of is that her crib hasn’t arrived yet and the baby is small enough she’ll slot right in next to Blair.

You step closer to the bed. “What are you going to name her?”

Dana strokes the baby’s wispy hair. “Sterling,” she croaks.

It’s a progressive enough name you eye her warily.

“Sterling Culpepper,” you test.

Dana’s sobs reverberate around your head for days, weeks, months later.

“Wesley,” she cries. “She’s gonna be a Wesley.”