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Plant yourself into my heart

Chapter Text

This lockdown is going on forever. Sterling doesn’t think it’s ever going to end.
After the full family secret revelations Sterling finally got on her feet again.
She talked and cried.
She yelled at her parents until her voice stopped working.
She hid in her room until Blair dragged her outside.
Until she slowly but surely started being a functioning human being again.

She started talking to Blair again, joining her in her room. Sitting on the bed together and talking about bounty hunting and senior year and getting kidnapped and star signs and making their own definition of twins.

She went outside on her own sometimes. Well not completely alone. She went outside to take Chloe for a walk. At first she kept her head down but she started to greet the people she passed. She had polite conversations with her neighbors and started feeling ready to go back to school.

Her first day back at school was horrible. It got so bad that she cried before her first period during Fellowship when Ellen (because April stepped down as Fellowship Leader) was talking about the meaning of family. Then in Spanish the topic for their conversations was family and during her English class they discussed the theme of family in books. Safe to say Sterling cried a lot and by lunchtime she felt so numb and exhausted that when Ellen asked her if she was okay she just shook her head and got sent home.

The second day back was already so much better. And then the third and fourth and every day after became easier. She got back with her Fellowship friends and they studied together and laughed together. She went to the mall with her friends. She went to some (supervised) parties and even had a couple of sleepovers.

In her Forensics team she got a lot better too. In fact she got so much better that she won almost every debate and shocked everyone (mostly April, but Sterling wasn’t thinking about April or paying her any attention. No way.) Basically Sterling entirely submerged herself in schoolwork and school friends and school related activities.

She didn’t stop working on herself and on her family though. She went to therapy twice a week. Once by herself and once with some member of her family. Sometimes they would all have to come in. In the first few sessions it was mostly Sterling and Debbie or Sterling and Blair. But later Anderson would join Sterling. And Sterling was so mad but also so scared. She was scared of being afraid of her own mother. She was scared of losing everyone around her and scared of losing herself.
In her fear of losing herself Sterling also figured out she didn’t really know who she was yet.
She knew she liked boys and girls (and decidedly not April).
She knew she loved being a twin.
She knew she loved bounty hunting.
But what else?
Did she believe in God because she believed in God or because her parents did?
What was she actually really passionate about?

Just when Sterling was accepting that these were just things she would have to figure out the lockdown started. Sterling couldn’t hide herself away in school anymore.
She couldn’t find enough things to keep busy.
Couldn’t find the things to get her mind off of herself.

That’s when the gardening started.
It started with just a suggestion from her therapist when Sterling told her she was losing motivation to do anything. Which led to Sterling asking her parents for a part of the garden to be her spot. Which led to them agreeing because Sterling finally asked for something so of course they would give her that.

So now, two months into lockdown, Sterling has a garden to attend to. A garden with a mix of flowers and herbs and fruits and vegetables. She tried to plant foods she would actually use, so now she’s not only into gardening but as a side effect also into cooking.

And surprisingly Sterling really, really likes gardening. It’s the one and only time of the day when she likes being alone. Her mind is on her plants and only her plants. She digs and plants and waters. She researches and writes lists and keeps track of her plants. She cares a little (a lot) more about those plants than she likes to admit. Eyes stupidly watering when she sees her first red strawberry or when her family tastes the first salad she made with her own lettuce.

One night when Sterling is spiraling deep into the gardening side of the internet she sobs when she finds out she planted her tomatoes in the wrong month.

But most of the time when she’s gardening she’s fine.
Outside of gardening though… Well let’s just say that the friendships she thought she had weren’t really strong enough to endure a ongoing lockdown. And Sterling really is a people person.
So she’s going a little bit crazy. She cries over the smallest things. She laughs over the most ridiculous things. Gets mad over Blair needing a second alone. Gets mad over Blair wanting to spend time with her.
The other day she made a fruit pie with her self grown fruits and Anderson told her he wasn’t really a fruit pie kind of guy. And Sterling lost it. She yelled at him and cried and then took the Volt to have an angry drive (passing April’s house, but not on purpose of course. Sterling didn’t even think about April anymore.)

Sometimes Sterling felt so crazy that she used her fake account to look at April’s Instagram account. April didn’t really post a lot, but she did use her stories. A picture of her cat. A video of April diving into her pool (and no Sterling didn’t rewatch that one). A reposted textpost about a book she apparently read.
Sterling wasn’t like, stalking April. It’s just that her self control left her sometimes when it was late and she missed people. It wasn’t about April per se. Just about keeping up with someone and April just happened to still have the most interesting life. (it’s not about April, it’s not about April. It’s not about April.)

This night is one of those nights. At 2 am she logs onto her Instagram and searches for April’s account. There’s actually a new post and a few new stories. She likes the post, cause she’s polite and no one knows it’s her anyways. There’s a picture of April’s cat again and it’s really cute so Sterling sends a heart eyes emoji.
Then she goes back to her homepage, where she doesn’t follow any other mutuals. But she sees a picture of Hannah B. with her mom. And then a picture from Blair.

Oh no.

Oh heck no.

She just liked a picture and sent a message to a girl she hadn’t talked to (or thought about) in months. With her regular account.


Chapter Text

If there was one thing in the world April was incapable of it was doing nothing. And with this pandemic at full force, all of her extra curriculars gone and having to stay home all day, April is getting restless.


She’s getting way too much time to think. So April made a plan to overthink as least as possible.

  1. Post a picture at least once a day, keep the reputation going.
  2. Listen to as much music as possible (don’t get stuck on one song, don’t listen to Slow Burn.)
  3. Walk.


So April has taken up walking. Not in the fun hiking-to-see-beautiful-places kind of walking. More of a walking-to-run-away-from-your-emotions kind of walking. The second she steps out of her front door her mind goes blank and she starts speed walking the streets, headphones in, head down. She doesn’t really know where she goes most times and also doesn’t really care. (She definitely doesn’t notice that she walks past the Wesley house every time).

All this walking of course wouldn’t be a necessity if her home life was just okay. April really doesn’t ask for much. Just okay. It doesn’t have to be perfect or good. Not even fine. She just wants to be okay. She doesn’t want to be scared of her dad. Doesn’t want to run away to escape his yelling. She doesn’t want to feel guilty about leaving her mom with this man. She also wants to just have a conversation with her mom, preferably one not about her dad.


God, all April wants is to be okay for one second.


But not everyone can be lucky in this life (not everyone can be as lucky as Sterling). So April takes pictures of her cat. Takes selfies in the golden hour. She takes pictures of flowers and sunsets and happy families in the park.

She does feel a little guilty and creepy about that last one, so those never see the light of Instagram. When she posts and her friends text her to yell about missing her, a little shadow of a smile comes over her face. When she reaches 50 likes in 10 minutes she feels a flicker of the pride she felt when she got an A+ on a test.

When she sees the faceless, nameless, anonymous account liking her post and commenting emojis on her stories April likes to think she made a secret friend. Even though she knows that’s ridiculous. It’s probably a creepy old man or her dad stalking her (oh god, her dad is a creepy man).


Her dad.

Her dad who hit a sex worker.

Her dad who starts drinking at 11 am.

Her dad who yells at her mom, as if she’s his slave.

Her dad who threatens his daughter is she doesn’t keep up the reputation.

Her dad who calls her Padawan.

Her dad who used to hug her and tell her everything would be okay.

Her dad who hasn’t told her “I love you” in about 8 years (“you’re too old for that now Padawan. You should only say those things if you mean them.”)


So who can blame her if she gets a little antsy? Who can blame the butterflies in her stomach when she sees that Sterling liked her post and watched her story and commented on her story? Who can blame her if she wants to be a little reckless for once in her goddamn life?

She likes Sterling’s message.

Even sends something back.



So I see you’re stalking me nowadays?


She doesn’t get a response for a while and almost regrets her decision. Maybe she was being to hard on this girl. Something had happened to her, that much was clear. No one just seemed to know exactly what it was. Sterling wasn’t in school for days after the lock-in. And when she came back she looked like a shell of the person she used to be, she looked shattered. Like someone ripped out her heart and didn’t care to replace it or stitch her back up.

For about one second April thought it was her fault before she dismissed that. Sterling might feel deeply and April might (pretend to) think highly of herself, but it was impossible that this had anything to do with April.

So she just watched in silence as Sterling slowly grew back into herself. Scars healing, eyes shining and smiling wide again.


She felt sad that she would never be the one to make Sterling smile like that again.


April’s thoughts were interrupted by the buzzing of her phone.



Yeah well, I’ve got to do something to keep entertained in these fun times. Sorry not sorry.



I’m entertaining?



If you think sunsets and cats are entertaining you should see all the books I’ve been reading.



I mean I’m not against some book recommendations, so sure.



Okay I don’t know if you’re serious but here’s a list of must reads:

  • Radio Silence from Alice Oseman
  • Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine from Gail Honeyman
  • The Chaos Walking series from Patrick Ness
  • Heartstopper comics from Alice Oseman (beware: very queer, so read at own risk. You can also find this online)



 Oh wow! Those seem great I’ll definitely pick those up if I have a minute to spare.



What do you mean if? Aren’t you locked in your house with nothing to do 24/7?



I kinda got into gardening, so I keep busy with that and also I have therapy twice a week and on a therapy day I need the rest of the day to recover. Which means lying in my dark room alone.



Probably crying.



Oh. Are you okay?



That’s stupid question of course you aren’t.





April just didn’t know what to think. At first she was just imagining Sterling wanting a little adventure too. But now she thinks there’s a little more then just a pandemic bugging Sterling. Was it the same thing that kept her from school and turned her into a different person for a while? Why did she tell April that in their first conversation in months? What’s going on?


But underneath her worry April felt something else.

Sterling is gardening.

Wearing a tank top, digging in the mud.

Getting sweaty, skin sun-kissed and damp.

Probably caring more about her plants than any person should.


Was it getting hot in her room?


April doesn’t realize her smile or that it’s the happiest she felt in a while.


She does realize that Sterling doesn't respond for the rest of the day.

Chapter Text

Oh. Are you okay?

That’s stupid question of course you aren’t.


All Sterling can do is stare at the messages. She feels paralyzed. What started out as an innocent enough conversation, quickly turned into something way more personal than Sterling was ready for. Even though she technically initiated this herself. Even though she would love to just talk about this with someone who isn’t directly involved or who pushes her to analyze every thought she has.

But not April. Not April who broke her heart and whose heart she broke. Not April whose heart she knows she’s gonna have to break some more. She can’t build up anything with April if it just means it’s going to get torn down again. So she doesn’t respond.


Instead she researches the best things to plant in July (Not thinking about how April’s birthday is in July). She goes on a walk with Blair and Chloe.

“You’re acting weird.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well first all morning you’ve been smiling at your phone and now you’re just… pretending it doesn’t exist.”

“I don’t really want to talk about it.”

Blair’s face falls a bit. Sterling feels guilty but sometimes she just can’t do it, can’t talk, can’t look at her sister (cousin). And she wants to be there for Blair too. She knows this is a hard time for both of them and Sterling is kind of stealing the spotlight, but she just can’t do it (I can’t do it, I can’t do it, I can’t do it).

Apparently Blair can’t do it today either, because she presses on when she definitely knows better by now.


“I thought we were talking again? What happened to no secrets?”


“No, I’m getting sick of you deciding when we talk or what we talk about! Why does everything always have to be about you?”

Sterling tries to keep the tears in, Blair deserves this. She’s right.

I’m done with acting like you’re a sick puppy! I’m done with you acting as if you’re the only one whose life changed.” And with that Blair storms away, Chloe happily running after her.


And God Blair is so right that Sterling doesn’t move. Why does everything always have to be about Sterling? She’s the worst sister, an even worse daughter and certainly a bad friend. Someone yells something to a kid and Sterling snaps out of her thoughts. She looks around her and starts walking.

She just keeps walking until she sees April. April is wearing her headphones and she’s got her head down. And she looks like she’s in a hurry or maybe like she’s running away from her thoughts like Sterling. They both keep walking. April doesn’t notice Sterling and Sterling doesn’t mind (she didn’t secretly wish April would look up and smile at her, no.)


Once Sterling has calmed down enough to go home she has made a plan. Apologize to Blair. Text April.
Step one is harder than expected.

“Go away, I don’t want to talk to you.” Blair shouts through the door.

“Blair, please? I want to apologize.”

“Go ahead, I don’t need to see your face for that.”

Sterling sighs and sits against the Blair’s door in their bathroom.

“Okay, I’m sorry for not talking to you. It’s just hard and I know I was making progress, but sometimes I just can’t do it and you need to understand and respect that.”


It stays quiet for a while on the other side of the door.


“Wait that was it?”

“What do you mean?”

“That was your apology? You say sorry for something I’m not mad about and then tell me I need to do something? That’s a really shitty apology Sterl.”

“Hey! At least I’m apologizing. You’re not doing anything except be grumpy!”

“God Sterl just leave me alone.”

Sterling huffs, rolls her eyes and returns to her own room. There she grabs her phone and opens April’s messages again.


Want to go for a picknick?

 The answer comes quickly.

Sure, tomorrow in the park? I’ll get the things.

Okay, I could do it too! What time?

No I’m doing it. I’ll see you at the main entrance at one.

Okay, see you tomorrow April.


At 12.50 Sterling arrives at the park, usually she would wait a couple more minutes, scared of seeming overly eager. But this is April. Right-on-time-is-too-late-April. So she doesn’t really feel bad.

Unsurprisingly April is already waiting for her. Sterling waves enthusiastically which makes April laugh a little. A warmth creeps up her neck.

April starts walking up to her and Sterling really tries not to notice the way her hair looks the same it did at the arcade. They walk in a unexpected comfortable silence for a little until April talks.


“So no therapy today?”

(God she was so mean to Blair. She really needs to fix this).

“Well no, tomorrow’s therapy day.”

(Maybe her therapist will know what to do).

“Hmm okay, are you nervous about it?”

“Also no. I’ve been going for a while so like, she knows everything about me. So I guess I trust her with my life now.” She goes for joking, but April doesn’t laugh.

(What if Blair never forgives her?)

“Oh, eh- that, that’s great Sterl.”


All of a sudden Sterling realizes her mistakes.

“She can’t talk to anyone about anything I say. Not to my pa- eh not to family not to anyone in the entire world. No one will find out. I promise.”

(No one will know her birthday is not the same one as Blair’s, no one will know they’re not even sisters).

Her shoulders relax but April still acts different than she used to. Sterling just can’t really figure out what it is yet.

“So I maybe bought all the books you told me about?”


They talk and talk and talk. It’s all just so easy and Sterling can’t bring herself to talk about the thing that will break April’s heart again. They don’t talk about personal things. Sterling doesn’t tell her about her family and April doesn’t talk about her family.

Instead they talk about pets and books and music until April’s phone dings and it’s time to go home. They walk to the park entrance together (Sterling doesn’t want to grab April’s hand, doesn’t walk closer just so that their hands brush).


“This was fun, thank you Sterling.”

“You’re very welcome. And if you want to we can do this again sometime.”

April just smiles at her and looks at her a little longer than she normally would (Sterling doesn’t want to kiss April, she doesn’t want to hug her or take her home).

Then April turns around to walk away.


“Bye Sterl.”


The words don’t hurt like they did last time Sterling heard them. They make a smile spread across her face.


(but now she has to go home and face Blair and she doesn’t know how to fix any of this).

Chapter Text

Sure she basically begged their (her) parents to go to therapy. But she thought she would see a hot therapist with glasses and tattoos. A therapist who listens to her problems and then gives her solutions for said problems.

She didn’t really count on a woman that could’ve been her mom. A woman who definitely listens, but also interrupts her to ask her hard questions to make her look deeper than she likes. A woman who makes her feel like her soul is wide open and makes her tough girl demeanor shatter. A woman who doesn’t give her solutions but looks at her until she comes up with a solution herself. But to be fair she does have glasses and a butterfly tattoo on her wrist, so she got 50% of what she wanted.
And it’s hard, it’s so hard. It feels like everything is just getting worse instead of better. All the feelings of sadness and anger and hurt bursting at the seams.

There’s also Sterling of course. Their therapist told her she needs to let Sterling go a little bit. Sterling isn’t her responsibility and Blair is allowed to have feelings too (Not her responsibility, allowed to feel things) (not her sister). Not only is Blair allowed to have feelings but she is also learning to let her feelings be known to the masses (her family) which is harder than it seems. Blair wishes she could say it wasn’t because of Sterling, but unfortunately it really kind of is (Okay and a little bit from repressing her feelings for a while).

So yes everything about this therapy situation is hard and she can’t even talk about it with her favorite person, because her favorite person is being a selfish asshole right now.

After their fight in the park Blair goes home, tries to run up to her room but gets stopped by their (her) dad. For a second she tries to pretend she’s fine, but a soft hand of her shoulder and a look in his eyes make her break down in his arms. He wraps her in his arms and she sobs into his shirt. When she can talk again she asks “what is it never get’s better?

“What if what never gets better Blairsy?”

Tears well up in Blair’s eyes again “what if I never feel happy again and I lose Sterling and nothing will ever be normal again?”

“Oh Blair… Listen to me okay? You know the saying ‘it gets worse before it gets better’? You’re coping and grieving and processing so of course all the feelings are going to be there. And you and Sterling will get through this, she loves you so much Blair. And no nothing will ever be as it was before. But we’ll make our new normal, we’ll get new traditions you girls will keep growing and we will all learn how to deal with any of this. That’s what life is about, you take change and you adapt.”

Blair hugs him a little tighter  

“I never knew you were so smart dad.”

“Well that’s what life does to ya! Hey how about you go blast some music and unwind a little before dinner? And if you wanna talk some more just let me know.”


After a very tense dinner, shitty apology and a sleepless night Blair decides to the therapist’s assignment. She said that yes, Blair does need to try to see the positives of the day and yes, she shouldn’t talk herself down so much, but she also need to acknowledge those hard parts. So she told Blair (and probably Sterling too) to write letters to all the parts of herself and her life that she doesn’t like. What those parts of herself do to make her feel the way she does, why she doesn’t like them. The parts of her life that suck and are hard to think about, write to them like it’s a strongly worded complaint. And forgive them. Forgive the things for happening. Forgive the parts of herself for existing and maybe she’ll actually start to feel a little bit of that forgiveness.

The entire day she doesn’t leave her room. Their (her) parents put food in front of her door. They ask her is she’s okay. But they don’t push, something they’ve been getting better at. Blair tells them she’s having a hard day and would like to be alone, something that she’s been getting better at. She writes and she writes until her wrist aches and her fingers are blue and her pen is empty.


Dear depression,


You suck. I hate you with everything I’ve got. I hate that I can’t even feel that I hate you. I hate that you make me feel numb and I hate that you make me want to sleep all day long. I hate that I need to listen to screamo music or break my own heart or hurt my family just to feel anything. I hope you die but unfortunately I only really feel like I want to die.

You make me feel so safe in my room, under my covers. You make me feel like the best time to be alive is when I’m asleep. You kidnapped me and now I can’t find myself anymore.

And I miss myself, so much. I miss being passionate and loving. I miss being energetic and upbeat.

Please, please, please just leave me alone and let me be myself again.

I forgive you for being in my life right now. I know this is a hard time you’re a good wake up call for me to actually work on myself.

I forgive you for being in my life. I did some things because of you I’m not very proud of, but also some things that are really cool.

I forgive you, you’re a part of me. We can live together and even though I’ll be working to get rid of you, maybe until then we can try to be friends?

I wish you all the best (but leave me alone),





Dear mom,


Why did you have to lie to us? How could kick Sterling out of the house for having sex with someone she loves if you couldn’t even tell us the truth about her? Why did you deny when we confronted you? Why did you have to act weird and secretive? And most of all. Why, why, why did you raise us as twins? Why not just sisters? Do you know how much harder it is to go from two halves of a whole to nothing than from just sisters to nothing? You stole my other half and I really don’t know how to deal with that. Why did you raise us to be honest and brave and independent if you couldn’t handle us being all those things?

Why did you raise us to be an us if we’re not? Why did you raise me to always talk for me and Sterling when she’s not my twin and I’m just gonna lose her? I don’t understand and I’m so angry. All I see when I look at you is Dana and Sterling turning out like her and leaving me and us. All I see when I look at you is that nothing will ever be the same and I can never trust you again because you lied for so long.

But I’ll forgive you for lying. I understand that this secret was a part of your life you really hate talking about. I also have things I’d rather not talk about.

I forgive you for kicking Sterling out that one time, because I know you only want the best for us.

I forgive you for raising us the way you did, because I know because of that we can get through this.

I forgive you for pretending Sterling is my twin, because I love her more than anyone ever.

I love you,



Blair cries a lot and she writes a lot more letters, letters to her anger, to Dana, to her dad, to her therapist. When all the letters are done she only has the hardest one left.


Dear Sterling…

Chapter Text

Dear Sterling,

5 months ago I told you I was surprised I didn’t absorb you in the womb. 10 months ago you told me you’d give me your heart if mine didn’t work anymore. 2 years ago I told you that we don’t need any friends as long as we have each other. 4 years ago you swore I’d be your best friend forever. 5 years ago I told you if anyone would ever break your heart again I’d hurt them. And now it seems like I’m the one breaking your heart.

You’re my soulmate. You’re my other half. You’re my life and my breath and my heartbeat. You’re my happiness and my light. And now the worst thing ever happened and I can’t even talk to you about it. I’m broken and my heart stopped beating and it hurts to breathe and it’s not your fault but you’re not there for me and that IS your fault. I want to be there for you, but I need someone too. I don’t want to be mad at you, but I am. I’m so angry at you for shutting me out. I’m angry that you act like this is my fault too. I’m mad because you’re not my sister anymore and suddenly you seem to hate me.

And I can’t have you hate me because if you hate me, that means that everyone hates me. I have no one Sterling. I only had you.

Mom likes you more, that makes sense now. She chose you. She didn’t choose me, she had no choice. Dad likes you more, you don’t ask so many questions.

April has always liked you more, I’m not even worth acknowledging.

Luke has always liked you more, he just tolerated me for you.

Ellen likes you more, the sweet, innocent girl.

Maybe the worst one is that I like you more.

I love how you just walk up to people you want to talk too.

I love the way you think.

I love the way you’re always optimistic.

I love how you always have a plan and dive in head first.

I love how you always follow your heart.

I love how you have everything I don’t have.

And it hurts.


The words are like a punch in her gut. Or maybe more like a knife through her heart. Whatever metaphor it is, the point is the words hurt her so bad. Sterling is reading the letter in her therapist’s office, too scared to be alone when reading the words from her- from Blair. She takes a deep breath trying to keep the tears in.


Okay now comes the part where I forgive you.
Sterling. I forgive you for not being there for me in a hard time.
And I forgive you for not being able to look me in the eyes and call me your sister.
I forgive you for shutting me out.

  But please, please let me back in.

  Love always,




Now there’s really no use holding back the tears. She cries for herself and for Blair. For their loss and their pain. She talks with her therapist for the remaining time and feels simultaneously heavy and light when she leaves the office.

When Sterling steps outside she checks her phone before going back home.

I’m sorry for freaking out about the thing with your therapist yesterday. Hope today went okay. Let me know if I can do something.

It’s alright, I understand. Thank you though, it went fine. But maybe some distractions would be nice?

Sterling knows what she’s doing is wrong. She knows she needs to tell April first, she can’t just go build something up just to break it down again. But she also desperately needs someone in her corner.

At home, Sterling knocks at Blair’s door.

“Come in.”

“I read your letter and Also I have a better apology and also I have an apology for my last one because I realize that wasn’t an apology at all and I just-”

“Breathe Sterl, if you don’t breathe you don’t get to apologize at all.”

Sterling takes a deep breath and sits down on the bed next to Blair.

“First of all, I’m very sorry for what I said the other day. It’s not fair of me to put my pain on you and to not understand the situation you’re in. I shouldn’t have said any of that. And I’m sorry for my first apology and again for not understanding your side of things.

Blair, I read your letter and God it hurt me so much. I love you more than the world, and I keep thinking you already know that but I think you might have forgotten because of me. I love you Blair, you’re my sister and my twin and we will forever be that way. I know that I haven’t made it easy on you and I’m so sorry for that and I really want to be there for you too. I just don’t really know how to do that yet, but maybe you can tell me what you need? I can’t promise I won’t screw up again but I can promise you to try my hardest to just be us again.”

About halfway through her speech, her emotions caught her voice and watered her eyes and by the end she’s full on crying. Blair isn’t in a much better state and they cling to each other and hold each other like they hadn’t done in so long.

“God I missed you.” Blair’s shaky voice whispers.

“Yeah I really missed you too.” Sterling manages to get out.