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Late Night

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Your hands are starting to stick to the wheel by the time you park the RV in the spot you’d seen four hours ago. It’s exactly as perfect as you’d thought it’d be. Easy to pull into, easy to pull out of, shielded from the freeway by trees, off an invisible road no one takes anymore, tucked into the corner right outside of anyone’s private property, and with a lovely view of a nearby lake. But, of course, you’re the only one who could enjoy the view in the dark, and you saw it long before you got here. You’re still getting a hang of judging distance, and this was just about three hours farther from your last rest stop than you anticipated.

“Sorry,” you say, for probably the twentieth time. You finally slip your sore butt out of the driver’s seat and stretch your arms. “There’s a nice view, but–”

“Perfect for tomorrow,” Neptune cuts in. She glances up from her phone, a firm chill in her eyes that scares away any further apologies. It’s not mean though, it’s...really kind, actually. Like, an ‘I love you, stop saying sorry, you don’t need to justify around me’ sort of thing. She’s good at saying things with her eyes. One of the things you love about her.

“It’s okay,” Jupiter adds. She smiles, and then she yawns, and then her expression turns similarly apologetic. “Uh, it’s kinda late? Should we get some sleep now?” Your girlfriends are sitting on opposite sides of the RV – probably to give Neptune some extra space, she needs that sometimes – but there’s a hand idly playing with Neptune’s hair, and another not quite holding her hand, but close, a gentle little proximity.

“You know you could have passed out earlier, if you were tired,” Neptune says, with a little teasing smirk.

“If I did, then I wouldn’t be able to sleep for real,” she protests. “I hate being the only person awake.” And she furrows her brow, almost wincing, one hand twisting around her wrist. Where a hairband ‘should’ be.

You plop down next to Jupiter and wrap your arms around her shoulders, your head gently resting against hers. You don’t even think about it, you don’t need to anymore. That sort of touch comes easy to you now, with her, with Neptune. “You wouldn’t be,” you say. “I’d stay up all night with you, if you needed.”

“I don’t wanna ask that,” she says. And she leans into the embrace, just a little, but you can see the tension still bubbling in her.

“Jupe,” you say, and adjust to take her hand in yours, squeezing it tight. “You can touch me, if you like. You don’t have to hold yourself back around us, remember?”

“Okay,” Jupiter mumbles. And she does. A hundred brushes from a hundred fingers, careful, hesitant. Like any touch might shatter you against her somehow, might make you pull away. And when you don't, she lays a palm against your cheek – you can’t help the little sigh that leaves you, the way you relax ever so slightly into her; not that you’d even want to. She has that way of unwinding you, pulling out something so utterly simple about a touch. Nothing more, nothing less, and what it is is unparalleled. Something like a masterpiece in the way she holds you.

Neptune’s expression tenses, almost sours. You know that look. There’s something she has to say, a word stuck in her throat. “Jupiter,” she says, finally, quiet but it resonates in your bones. The way she talks when she wants her heartbeat to pulse through your teeth, echo across your ribs. When she wants you to feel every iota of truth. “I love you, more than...fucking breathing, more than like, anything. You and Venus both. And if you asked me to jump out of a tree for you, I wouldn’t.”

Jupiter blinks, tilting her head against you, brow furrowed. “Okay?” she says.

“Cause that’s just the way I am,” Neptune continues. “I know what I’m okay with, and what I’m not okay with, cause I know my own limits and what’ll hurt me and what I can handle.” She smirks, in that loving little way she does. “If you asked me to stay up with you, I would. It’s not hard, babe. That’s like, the tiniest inconvenience I can think of. I’m already half an insomniac anyway, what’s an extra few hours?”

“We could always sleep in, too?” you add. “If we end up staying up. We’re making our own schedule, right?”

“Damn right.” She chuckles, deep and dark as the sea, and every bit as wonderful. “So, Jupiter. Do you wanna stay up with us?”

Jupiter doesn’t say anything for a time. She turns her head, burying it in your neck as if trying to hide it from your sight – it wouldn’t work, but you hold back your eyes just in case, turn them away for her sake. “Sorry,” she mumbles against you, “I think I’m just tired. I’d get grumpy if we stayed up much longer.” There’s something she’s not saying there, a doubt or a nervousness, but you won’t pry. It’s not the right time to dig into that, not when you’re all tired. And you send a look towards Neptune that you hope she catches.

Whether she does or not, she sighs, takes a breath and leans over to plug her phone in. “Yeah. Bedtime.”

You nudge Jupiter, ever so slightly. “Do you wanna sleep here? I can’t get up when you’ve got me like this.”

“I’ve got you,” she replies, and you can hear the smile in her voice. “Trapped myself a devil.” And she hugs you tighter. “Not ever ever gonna let her go.”

You giggle. “Oh noooo,” you lilt. “Neptune, help, I’ve been captured.”

“Nuh uh.” She smirks across the RV at you. “This one’s all you.”

“Boo,” you pout. “If I pass out here, then there’s no room for you.”

“I’ll live,” she replies.

Okay, time to break out the big guns. “And you can’t carry us to bed.”

She blinks at you. Opens her mouth. Closes it again. Grins with her eyes. “You,” she says, standing up, “are fucking dangerous, Venus. Fuck I love you.” And she scoots over, prying you and Jupiter apart. “Alright. Bedtime, you sapphic disaster.”

Jupiter gives a momentary sound of protest that blends perfectly into a mild shriek as Neptune hefts her into her arms, bridal-style. “Oh okay this is happening now,” she says between airy giggles, grabbing onto her girlfriend with what looks like five different hands.

“Yep,” Neptune says, just a little bit strained as she carries Jupiter past the black curtain into your shared bedroom.

Wow,” Jupiter says, and then she yelps when Neptune drops her unceremoniously onto the bed. You can hear her complaining half-heartedly, but you can’t make out the words from your spot, and you can’t read their lips very well in the dark. Neptune rests her hands on the bed, leans forward and kisses her. You can see that clearly.

A dozen hands are on her, canting through her hair and across her arms, and she shakes them off with a laugh. “Later,” she says, or something to that effect. And something further that makes Jupiter giggle. Then, she slips back through the curtain. Not even a word, just crosses over to you.

“Oh,” you say, before she reaches out, “one thing.” You spring to your feet and press your lips against hers. “There. For my hero.”

She rolls her eyes and scoops you off your feet in one smooth motion – you manage to keep yourself from making too much of a sound, but your breath still catches in your lungs, leaving you feeling absolutely breathless. “What a hero,” she deadpans, “saving you from cuddling your girlfriend.”

“Yeah,” you mumble back, and you are definitely blushing, and very thankful you’re the only one who can see it. A hand manifests on the nearby wall, feeling around for the light switch, then flipping it off the moment Neptune passes through the curtain again. “Don’t drop me?”

“Nope,” Neptune says, and dumps you onto the bed. This time, you make a sound, like an old mattress wheezing out dust. Your light dapples across the ceiling as you roll over, and you make sure she can see your glare. But she just chuckles, ruffles your hair, and crawls into bed.

Jupiter’s already under the covers, staring at the both of you. Neptune settles on her left side, and you settle on her right. There’s a peacefulness to that routine, to always knowing where each other are. You start to close your eyes, letting the light dim. You press up against Jupiter, your arms around her, brushing against Neptune as you do. You can hear her breathing, feel her warmth. Her hands are idle now, pulling the covers up around you all, brushing your hair out of your face, adjusting the pillows. She touches your back, your cheek, your arm, your lips. And each one is wonderful. You leave two eyes open, your favorite eyes, the ones that are always trained on each of them. Eventually, sleep will drag them closed, and you’ll slip off together with your lovers. Right now, you’re awake. Right now, you feel like you’re already dreaming. And if you are, you don’t ever want to wake up from this. Because this? This is everything.