“Hi, my name is Denali and I’ll be your server tonight. What can I get you?”
Your number, Rosé wanted to say when she laid eyes on the brunette that stood in front of their table, wearing a cute little red and white striped uniform. Rosé was pretty sure she was the cutest girl she’d ever seen in her life, and she didn’t think it was the alcohol that she’d consumed before, during, or after their show that night that made it so. Her brown eyes were rich and deep enough to get lost in, and the dimples that appeared in her cheeks when she smiled at them were enough to take Rosé’s breath away.
Rosé stared at her for way too long, not realizing that Jan and Lagoona had already ordered their food until Denali cleared her throat and one of them kicked her under the table.
“For you?” Denali asked, smiling again, showing off the dimples, and Rosé might have gone weak in the knees if she weren’t already sitting down.
“Oh, um, can I get a burger and fries, please.” She smiled back at the waitress, who nodded and wrote down her order before she turned to head off behind the counter and put their orders in.
“What the fuck was that?” Jan asked once Denali was out of earshot.
“What?” Rosé asked, feigning ignorance.
“What?” Lagoona mocked. “I thought you were gonna start drooling, bitch.”
“You’re soooo not funny,” Rosé replied, singing instead of speaking, and the other two girls started laughing.
“She must be new,” Jan said, looking around to find the waitress that Rosé was absolutely enamored with. “That was clearly the first time you saw her with how embarrassing you were.”
“Shut up!” Rosé groaned, but she knew that they would only get worse.
Jan and Lagoona were her best friends, roommates, and bandmates in Stephanie’s Child. They’d been coming to this diner for months, every Friday and Saturday night after their regular gigs at the bar around the corner. And Jan was right. If Denali had been working any other night they’d been there, Rosé definitely would’ve noticed.
Rosé couldn’t take her eyes off the brunette as she walked around to different tables, watching her hands move as she wrote down orders on her notepad, admiring her legs in the short skirt of her uniform, and feeling warm inside every time she smiled and flashed those adorable dimples.
Denali came back with their food after about twenty minutes, her smile as bright as ever and Rosé had to try really hard not to stare at her creepily. She shot her a smile back as she set the food down on the table in front of them and made sure to thank her profusely before she left.
Rosé looked down at her food, ready to tear into it, starving all of a sudden when the smell of it hit her. But it definitely wasn’t what she ordered. She looked over at the rest of the food on the table, wondering if it had gotten mixed up somehow.
“Did you order a burger?” Rosé asked Lagoona when she saw one sitting in front of her.
“No, I did not. Is this yours?”
“I think. What did you get, Jan?”
“Not this.” She pushed the plate away from her with a disgusted look on her face.
“Yeah, that’s mine,” Lagoona said, sliding the plate in front of her and digging in.
“Here, Jan,” Rosé handed Jan her food before grabbing her burger and taking a huge bite.
“How is everything?” Denali asked as she returned to their table, but her smile was strained this time around and she looked almost terrified.
“Well,” Lagoona started, but Rosé interrupted her before she could say anything.
“It’s great!” Rosé said overenthusiastically, putting on a huge grin. “Thank you so much!”
“Great! I’m so glad. It’s my first day so I’m really nervous and the people at the last table were really rude just because I forgot to bring them some ketchup,” she babbled and it made her even more endearing. “Oh, oops. I probably shouldn’t be telling you all that,” she chuckled nervously, looking around like she was afraid someone would overhear her.
“Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone,” Rosé said, winking at her.
Denali smiled shyly at her, her eyes shining, and it was clearly more genuine than the one she sported when she arrived at their table. “Let me know if I can get you anything else,” she said, speaking directly to Rosé, before turning away and disappearing into the kitchen.
“What the hell was that?” Jan asked once she was gone, clearly judging Rosé. “Everything is not great. She gave us the wrong food.”
“Technically it’s the right food,” Rosé argued, gesturing to the food in question. “She just gave it to the wrong person.”
“Whatever. You just want to fuck her,” Lagoona muttered, and Rosé choked on the french fry she was eating.
“I do not!” she protested. She just thought she was cute, that was all. And she wanted to see her smile again. It wasn’t anything more than that. No matter what Lagoona said.
They finished their food and talked about how their show went that night, discussing setlist changes for the next night and the weekend after that and a new song they’d been working on.
Denali came to clear their plates away, refill their cups, and drop their bills off. Rosé made sure to smile at her each time she came over to the table, feeling like a giddy teenager whenever Denali smiled back.
As they got up to leave, Rosé dropped a twenty on the table, trying to be discreet and not let her bandmates see. She didn’t need to provide them with any more fuel to make fun of her. But discretion was not one of her strong suits.
“Rosé, did you just leave a twenty dollar bill on the table?” Lagoona asked as she held open the door for the others.
“Nope,” Rosé lied.
“Girl, your bill was like nine dollars. That’s a big tip. And it’s not like her service was exceptional,” Jan chimed in.
“I don’t think it was her service that Rosé liked,” Lagoona joked, causing her and Jan to start laughing as they walked toward their shared apartment.
“I hate you both.”
“Good job tonight, divas!” Jan cheered on her bandmates as they came off the stage after their gig.
“That was a fun one,” Lagoona added as they made their way back to the cramped closet-turned-dressing room.
“The crowd was great. And I am starving. You guys good with skipping drinks tonight and going straight to the diner?” Rosé asked, quickly changing her clothes and taking off her stage makeup before throwing her pink hair up into a messy bun. She was hungry, no doubt, but she was also eager to see a certain diner employee.
“Yeah, sure. I could go for some waffles right now.”
Once they were all changed and ready to go, they made their nightly walk to the diner around the corner. Jan and Lagoona were arguing about something to do with the setlist, but Rosé wasn’t paying any attention. Her thoughts were all on the waitress she’d met the night before. She couldn’t help but hope that she was working that night, too. Rosé wanted to see her dimples again when she smiled, and she wanted to see her thick thighs in that short little skirt of the uniform.
When they walked through the door, and slid into their usual booth, Rosé was happy to see the brunette pouring coffee behind the counter. She watched her as she walked to their table, looking tired and distracted. But that didn’t make her any less attractive in Rosé’s eyes.
“Hi, my name is Denali and I’ll be your server tonight. What can I get you?” she said on autopilot before actually looking at them. “Hey, you were here last night, right?” she asked as she made eye contact with Rosé and they shared a smile. Denali’s dimples were even cuter than Rosé remembered.
“So she can remember that but she can’t remember our orders?” Lagoona muttered. Rosé kind of wanted to punch her, especially when she saw the way that Denali’s smile faltered.
“I, um… remember your hair,” Denali said quietly, gesturing to Lagoona’s blue curls.
Rosé glared at Lagoona, and to her credit she did look at least a little embarrassed.
“Sorry about her,” Rosé apologized on behalf of her bandmate. “But yeah, we were here last night. We have regular gigs at Moe’s, right around the corner. Every Friday and Saturday night, and we always come here after.”
“Gigs?” Denali asked.
“We’re in a band! It’s called Stephanie’s Child,” Jan chimed in, always eager and excited to talk about how much she loved their band.
“So that explains the hair.”
“That it does,” Lagoona said as they all laughed. Rosé was sure they were a sight to see to anyone who didn’t know them, walking around with pink, purple, and blue hair.
“Are you any good?” Denali asked excitedly.
“We’re fantastic!” Jan answered, matching Denali’s excitement and then some.
“You should come see us play sometime,” Rosé said, more calmly, as she made eye contact with Denali and put on her most charming smile.
“That would be really great.” Denali smiled back at her, and Rosé got lost in her dimples once again. She would’ve been content to sit there and stare at her all night if she was being honest. But there were other people at the table, and they weren’t as patient.
They were snapped out of their moment by Lagoona clearing her throat loudly and looking pointedly at the menu in front of her.
“Oh, I’m so sorry! What can I get you to eat tonight?” Denali asked, stealing one more look at Rosé before starting to write their orders down on her little notepad. “I’ll have that out for you as soon as possible,” she said once they were finished, and she headed back toward the counter.
“Why do you have to be so fucking rude, Lagoona?” Rosé growled at her friend, throwing a crumpled up napkin at her once she was sure Denali was out of earshot.
“I’m not being rude. I’m just hungry. And the waitress actually needs to take the order so I can eat instead of annoyingly flirting with you.”
“First of all, her name is not ‘the waitress.’ It’s Denali,” Rosé pointed out. “And second of all, she wasn’t flirting. She was just being nice.”
“Nope. She was flirting,” Jan said, tuning back in to their conversation after putting her phone away. “That’s exactly what Jackie was like at the bar before she asked me out.”
“Whatever.” Rosé rolled her eyes, and they continued bickering until Denali stood before them again with drinks. She set them down on the table in front of them and glanced at Lagoona, looking a little scared, before she walked away again.
Rosé took a sip and almost spit it out. It was root beer. She hated root beer and definitely didn’t order it.
“Ugh,” Lagoona said as she took a drink from her cup. “This is definitely not what I asked for.” She glared at Rosé who was trying to avoid eye contact at all costs. She didn’t want to hear about how Denali had messed up again.
“Can I say something now?” Lagoona asked when Rosé couldn’t avoid looking at her anymore.
“I’ll do it,” Rosé volunteered, knowing that she would be way more gentle about it than Lagoona.
She grabbed the cup and headed up to the counter where Denali was standing, talking to another waitress in a matching uniform.
“Hi!” Rosé said cheerfully. “I’m so sorry. I ordered the wrong drink by mistake,” she lied. “Can I please get a Diet Coke instead?” She was sure her smile seemed crazy with how she was trying to force it, but Denali’s seemed genuine when she switched out the glasses. The one that Rosé carried back to the table was now filled correctly.
“Thanks,” Lagoona said drily when she returned to their booth.
After returning Lagoona’s drink to her, Rosé took another sip from hers, forgetting that it was root beer, and tried not to make a face. She knew that she failed when she saw Lagoona looking at her and judging her with a small shake of her head. But Rosé just couldn’t bring herself to tell Denali and make her feel bad about messing anything up again. She only wanted to see smiles on her pretty face. So she was happy when Jan started talking about something else and she could ignore Lagoona’s stares.
Denali came by later to drop off their food, and Rosé was pleased that everything seemed to be correct with their order this time. She made sure to thank her profusely, trying to make up for Lagoona’s earlier bluntness.
“Let me know if you need anything else,” Denali said once all the food was on the table, looking directly at Rosé as she spoke.
“Will do,” Rosé replied, holding eye contact until Denali had to walk away to take care of her other customers.
Rosé watched her as she worked. She watched other diners complain and watched Denali become more upset after each one. So when she came back to check on them, Rosé made sure to be extra kind, smiling at her and saying thank you more times than she ever had before in her life.
It seemed like Denali stopped by their table more often than any of the others, bringing them refills or extra napkins and double and triple checking that everything was still okay. She and Rosé shared another smile each time.
After her fifth or sixth visit, Jan turned to Rosé as soon as Denali walked away.
“Why is she being so weird?” she asked.
“What are you talking about?” Rosé asked, tearing her eyes away from Denali to make eye contact with Jan. But Lagoona was the one who answered instead.
“She’s been over here like a hundred times. Why won’t she just leave us alone to eat?”
“She’s just doing her job. And being nice. I don’t see what’s weird about that,” Rosé defended her.
“Of course you wouldn’t,” Jan said, and she and Lagoona started giggling and making fun of her and what they deemed her hopeless crush on the waitress.
Rosé did her best to ignore them, and shushed them when Denali came back to deliver their bills. She didn’t need to subject her to their annoying teasing, too.
This time, when Rosé threw down two twenties on the table as they left, she made sure Jan and Lagoona didn’t see her.
The next couple weeks were no different. Rosé, Jan, and Lagoona played their usual gigs at Moe’s and then took their usual walk to the diner around the corner. Denali became their usual waitress, and Rosé enjoyed getting to see her and talk to her, even if she was frequently messing things up.
This Friday, Rosé looked out for Denali as they walked through the door, and she was delighted by the wave she received when she saw her.
As soon as they sat down in their usual booth, Denali came over, looking as adorable as ever in her uniform.
“Hi, Denali,” Rosé greeted her, and she once again swooned at the sight of her smile and accompanying dimples.
“Hi… Um, I just realized I don’t know your name,” Denali replied sheepishly.
“Oh, I’m Rosé,” she introduced herself, mentally smacking herself for not doing it sooner. They’d talked to each other so many tims, about so many things, but somehow Rosé forgot to mention the most important thing of them all, her own name.
“Hi, Rosé,” Denali said softly, her smile growing even wider, and the way her name sounded coming from Denali’s lips more than made up for it.
“I’m Jan and this is Lagoona.” Jan interrupted their moment. “And I’ll have a Sprite and a club sandwich.”
“O-of course,” Denali said, looking away from Rosé and writing it down on her notepad. “For you, Lagoona?”
“Caesar salad and Diet Coke.”
“And what can I get for you, Rosé?” Denali asked, her voice changing slightly as she smiled at her again.
“Can I please have a lemonade, some mozzarella sticks, and um, I’ll also have a BLT.”
“Perfect. I’ll be right back with your drinks.”
“Thanks, Denali!” Rosé called after her and Denali smiled at her over her shoulder as she headed to the kitchen.
“You are so annoying. Both of you,” Lagoona said, rolling her eyes. “We’re gonna have to find a new diner to go to if you don’t knock it off.”
“Oh, shut up. What’s annoying is you two, always talking shit.”
Rosé was saved from more of Lagoona’s complaining when Denali came back to the table with their drinks.
“Thank you so much, Denali!” Lagoona said exaggeratedly. “I’m sure these drinks are going to be so tasty!”
“Um, you’re welcome,” Denali replied, clearly confused, and she walked off without another word.
“What the fuck was that?” Rosé asked Lagoona once Denali was gone while Jan snickered next to her.
“Wasn’t that so obnoxious? Because that’s what you sound like every time she’s here.”
“Fuck off!” Rosé said, flipping her off, and then flipping Jan off too for good measure as her laughter grew even louder.
They continued laughing at Rosé until Denali showed up again with a plate of onion rings. That nobody ordered.
“Um,” Jan said, looking at the plate and then looking up at Denali. Rosé stepped on her foot before she could say anything else.
“Thank you so much,” Rosé said with a smile as Denali set the plate on the table in front of them. She grabbed one and took a giant bite. Denali smiled, seeming pleased before walking away to surely mess up someone else’s order.
“How’s that taste?” Lagoona asked with her eyebrow raised after Denali left this time.
“Disgusting,” she complained, grabbing a napkin and spitting it out. She hated onions even more than she hated root beer.
“Why did you eat it, you idiot?” Jan asked, clearly judging her.
“I don’t know! I panicked! I didn’t want her to feel bad for messing things up again!”
“All she does is mess things up,” Lagoona pointed out.
“I’m sure she’s trying her best,” Rosé said, defending her once again.
“It seems like you’re trying your best to get into her pants,” Jan said, pursing her lips and raising her eyebrows at her.
“Yeah, come on, Jan,” Lagoona started and Rosé thought she was actually going to be on her side for once. But then she continued talking. “She’s wearing a skirt. Get it right,” she finished through her laughter.
Rosé crossed her arms over her chest as her friends laughed at her, and they started bickering once more, circling back to the same arguments over and over. It only stopped when Denali approached the table again. It was starting to become an annoying pattern, and Rosé wasn’t happy about it.
“How are those onion rings, Rosé?” Denali asked, dimples popping as she smiled down at her. Hearing her say her name did something to Rosé, and she couldn’t be responsible for her actions.
“Delicious!” she said, taking another big bite. She didn’t want Denali to know that anything was wrong.
It seemed to work, because Denali nodded at her and then she went on her way.
“Ugh,” Rosé practically gagged as she swallowed this time.
“Stop eating them!” Jan laughed, and Rosé pushed the plate toward her and Lagoona. They finished off the plate by the time Denali brought their food, and Rosé was relieved that nothing else seemed wrong with the food they got, even though she didn’t get her mozzarella sticks. But she wasn’t about to start complaining now.
When they got their bills, Rosé had the onion rings and the mozzarella sticks charged on hers. She didn’t let the other girls see because she didn’t want to start another argument about how she was apparently obsessed with Denali. And she didn’t let them see the extra tip she left for her either.
“Why are you in such a hurry?” Jan asked Rosé after one of their Saturday night shows. She was already changed and ready to go, standing by the door and staring at her bandmates by the time Jan had just started taking her makeup off.
“We all know why she’s in a hurry,” Lagoona answered for her, tying her hair back out of her face. “She wants to see Denali. Her crush is probably visible from outer space.”
“Whatever. I’m just not slow like you two are,” Rosé protested. There was definitely some truth to what Lagoona said, but Rosé wasn’t about to admit that to them. Not when they already had enough fuel to make fun of her.
To prove her point further, they didn’t stop teasing her about it as they finished changing or as they walked to the diner and sat in their usual booth. They didn’t stop until Denali was in front of them ready to take their order, and Rosé was at least grateful for that. She didn’t want them to start in on her too.
They put in their order without issues for once, Lagoona and Jan being friendly to Denali, and Rosé sharing her usual smile with her. And when she brought out their food and drinks, everything was correct.
“Thanks, Denali!” Rosé said as she walked away, then turned to her bandmates. “See, I told you. She’s getting better!”
No sooner had she spoken when Denali passed by their table with her hands full of plates, balancing them precariously with a hyper focused look on her face. Rosé thought she looked adorable. At least until she watched them start to fall, almost as if in slow motion, and then heard the loud crash as they hit the floor, breaking into pieces.
“Oh shit,” Rosé muttered, and she stood up without even realizing it. She was crouched on the floor next to Denali a couple seconds later, helping her pick them up.
“Rosé, you don’t have to…” Denali started, and trailed off as their hands brushed against each other’s. Rosé wondered if it felt the same for Denali, like her whole body was lighting up from the inside out, starting from the spark where they were touching. They stared into each other’s eyes, not saying a word, just sharing a moment, until they were interrupted by another waitress coming over.
“What did you do this time, Denali!?” she yelled at her as she stood over them. “I don’t understand how you can be this bad at this!” As she kept going on and on, Rosé watched Denali’s face fall as she looked up at the other waitress. When she saw the tears start pooling in her eyes she decided that she’d heard enough.
“Don’t yell at her! It was my fault,” Rosé said, interrupting the server’s tirade as she stood up and handed pieces of a broken plate to her.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, Miss,” she apologized profusely. “You don’t have to clean it up. I’ll go grab a broom.”
“Thank you so much,” she said condescendingly, flashing her a fake smile.
“You didn’t have to do that,” Denali said once she walked away.
“She didn’t have to be such a bitch to you.”
“That was nice compared to how she usually is,” Denali replied, voice barely above a whisper.
“What?” Rosé asked, pissed that someone would be that awful to Denali when she always seemed so sweet. “What’s her name? I’m gonna report her to the manager.”
“No! Don’t.” Denali grabbed her arm, stopping her before she could go to the counter. “That will just make it worse.”
“Fine. Then I’ll just put in a good word for you.”
Rosé watched as the blush bloomed over Denali’s cheeks, and it made her dimples look even cuter when she smiled at her.
“Anytime, Denali,” Rosé said, reaching out and putting a hand on her shoulder, squeezing slightly. They were so close that Rosé could practically see herself reflected in her big brown eyes. She could’ve stared into Denali’s eyes all night, but they were interrupted once again when the waitress returned with a broom.
Rosé glared at her while she helped clean it up, silently daring her to give Denali a hard time again. Rosé winked at Denali once they finished cleaning and the other waitress walked away.
“I better go check on my other tables,” Denali said after thanking Rosé again. “Are you guys all good right now?”
“Yeah, of course,” Rosé replied, touching her arm again before walking back to her booth.
“That lady was a bitch,” Lagoona said once Rosé sat down, and Jan muttered her agreement.
“Right?” Rosé agreed. She was glad that they were on her side this time, defending Denali instead of complaining about her lousy waitressing. They were also extra polite to her every time she came back to the table to check on them.
When they were ready to head out for the night, Rosé told Jan and Lagoona to go ahead, that she would meet them at home. She wanted to talk to Denali one more time, just to make sure she was okay. They nodded, leaving without making fun of her for once, and Rosé grinned as she noticed that they both left bigger tips than normal.
“Hey,” Denali said as she came over to the table, grabbing the money the other girls had left.
“Here,” Rosé said, pressing three twenties into Denali’s hand along with her bill. She let her hand linger in Denali’s for longer than necessary, just wanting to feel the other girl’s skin against hers again.
“Rosé… I can’t take this. It’s too much,” Denali said as she looked down at the money.
“You deserve it after dealing with all of that today. Plus your service was excellent!” She flashed a winning smile up at her. “And if you don’t take it right now I’m just gonna leave it on the table anyway.”
Denali smiled back at her and nodded. “Thank you, really. For everything. You’re always so nice and it always makes my night.”
“And you telling me that makes mine.” Rosé stood from the booth, ready to leave. “Goodnight, Denali.”
“See you next weekend, Rosé,” Denali called out to her as she headed out the door, and Rosé didn’t know how she was going to wait that long to see her again.
It turned out that Rosé couldn’t wait that long to see Denali again. She found herself walking back to the diner Wednesday night, hoping the waitress would be working. She wanted a chance to talk to her without Jan and Lagoona breathing down her neck.
Rosé was happy to see Denali standing behind the counter, but that changed quickly when she got closer and saw the tears on her cheeks. Rosé was standing across from her at the counter in seconds, working purely on instinct when she reached her hand out and placed it on Denali’s arm.
“Denali, what happened?” she asked softly, rubbing her thumb back and forth on her arm.
She quickly wiped her face. “Nothing.”
“Are you sure?”
“Well, is there anything I can do to cheer you up?”
“Sit with me on my break?” Denali asked.
“Do you want some pie?”
“Sure,” Rosé agreed with a soft chuckle.
Denali grabbed a slice of apple pie and two forks before coming out from behind the counter. Rosé followed her to the booth in the corner, one that was away from everyone else. She handed a fork to Rosé as they sat down, and they both dug in.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Rosé offered one more time after she swallowed a bite. She spoke softly and was content to drop it after that if Denali didn’t want to talk.
“It’s stupid,” she said with a self-deprecating laugh. “A customer yelled at me because I messed up his order.”
“Where is he?” Rosé asked, looking around, not sure why she felt such a strong desire to defend Denali.
She shook her head, though. “He left already. Said he was never coming back.”
“Good. Then you’ll never have to see that asshole again and he won’t be able to make you cry.”
“He’s not the only person that’s yelled at me,” Denali admitted before taking another bite of the pie.
“What the fuck? Why are people such dicks? I don’t know how anyone could see your smile and your dimples and want to yell at you.”
Denali smiled at her then, briefly, showing off said dimples. “It’s because I’m really bad at this.”
“Rosé,” Denali interrupted, raising an eyebrow at her. “Yes I am. And I know that you know it.”
“Okay, fine,” Rosé admitted. “You’re not the best waitress I’ve ever had.”
“I’m sure I’m the worst.”
“Then why do you keep leaving me such big tips?” she asked, tilting her head slightly as she looked at Rosé. The way she looked at her seemed like she was searching for answers to more than just that question.
Rosé could feel her cheeks heating up, sure they were bright red by now. She took another bite of pie so she had an excuse to not answer right away, but it was only a matter of time before it was gone.
“I’m just a generous tipper,” Rosé tried, but Denali shook her head.
“I don’t think that’s it.”
“Yeah,” she admitted with a sigh. “You’re right.”
“So what’s the real answer?”
“I think you know the real answer.”
“I think I do, too. But I want to hear you confirm it.” Suddenly Denali seemed a lot more confident when she was just sitting with Rosé, when she didn’t have to worry about waitressing, a job that she clearly didn’t like.
“I like you, Denali,” Rosé said, laying it all out on the table, watching for her reaction.
“I like you too, Rosé,” Denali said, rewarding Rosé’s confession with a huge smile prominently featuring her dimples. Rosé swooned over them just as she had the first time she saw them.
“You’re beautiful when you smile,” Rosé complimented her, feeling free to say it now that she knew Denali liked her too. “Your dimples are gorgeous.”
“Thanks.” Her smile grew even brighter, much to Rosé’s delight. “My break is almost over, but I get off at midnight tonight if you wanted to meet me. We could get a drink or something. Preferably somewhere far away from here. ”
Rosé laughed. “Sounds amazing. But I think I’ll just wait here for you, if that’s okay. I wanted to get some writing done anyway.” She held up her song notebook.
“Yeah, great.” Denali stood up from the booth, grabbing the empty plate and forks. “I can’t wait till midnight.” She smiled at her one more time before going back to work.
Time seemed to move quickly after that. Rosé got some writing done in the time she didn’t spend watching Denali. They smiled at each other every time they caught each other’s eye, and each smile served as a little bit more motivation for the song Rosé was working on. She didn’t realize it was about Denali at first, but it started making more sense the more she wrote.
Exactly five minutes after midnight Denali came to a stop in front of the booth Rosé was sitting in, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. She almost looked like a different person when she wasn’t in her work attire. Rosé also noticed all of her curves in her regular clothes. She could see the thickness of her thighs in the short skirt of her uniform, but she had no idea that Denali had an ass like that.
Denali caught her staring at it as they exited the diner.
“Like what you see?” she asked over her shoulder, smirking at Rosé.
“Yeah.” Rosé nodded. “I do.”
Denali giggled at her and they fell in step together, chatting about random things as they walked to a bar a couple blocks away. They ordered drinks and found a table where they could sit down to talk some more.
“So I have a question,” Rosé started.
“Okay, shoot,” Denali said, taking a sip of her drink.
“Why do you work at the diner if you’re not a good waitress? You don’t seem like you like it.”
“Ugh,” Denali groaned. “I hate it! But I have bills to pay, you know.” She shrugged.
Yeah, Rosé did know, and she nodded along. They got paid a little bit for their Stephanie’s Child gigs, but not nearly enough, so they all had other day jobs that they didn’t love either.
“Can we talk about something else, though? Literally anything else? I like to forget that place exists as soon as I walk out the door.”
Rosé chuckled and nodded again. “Tell me about something you like.”
They sat and talked for hours over a couple more drinks, getting to know each other better than they ever could at the diner. Rosé liked Denali more and more after each new thing she learned about her, and when it was closing time she didn’t want to leave the other girl.
“Can I walk you home?” Rosé asked as they exited the bar.
“Yeah, I’d like that,” Denali answered and held her hand out for Rosé to take. Their hands seemed like they fit in each other’s perfectly, and Rosé felt a warmth radiating out from where they were clasped together.
Denali didn’t live too far from the bar, which meant she didn’t live too far from where Rosé lived with Jan and Lagoona.
“This is me,” Denali said when they reached the door of her apartment, letting go of Rosé’s hand to dig through her purse for her keys. “Thanks for tonight. I’m glad you showed up at the diner when you did.”
“I wish I would’ve shown up earlier so I could’ve beat that guy’s ass that yelled at you,” Rosé said, causing Denali to giggle. “But I am glad we got to spend some more time together outside of the diner and away from everyone else.”
“We should do it again.” Denali took a step closer and grabbed Rosé’s hand again.
“Absolutely,” Rosé agreed, taking a step of her own to close the small gap that remained between them. She reached out toward Denali, cupping her face in her free hand, and she inched forward slowly until they met in the middle.
Denali’s lips were soft and smooth as they moved slowly against hers, and she tasted faintly of the drinks she’d had earlier. It was the perfect kiss to end the perfect night.
When they pulled away, Rosé felt all warm and fuzzy inside, butterflies going crazy. She couldn’t keep the smile off her face as she watched Denali fumble with her keys in the lock.
“Bye,” Denali said, giggling as she finally got her door unlocked, peering over her shoulder before she opened it.
“Bye,” Rosé repeated, walking backward so she could keep looking at Denali.
“Bye,” Denali said again, flashing one last beaming smile at her as she walked into her apartment and closed the door behind her.
Rosé walked home with a spring in her step and a grin that she just couldn’t wipe off her face as she replayed the night over and over in her mind.
Another Friday night rolled around and Rosé was obviously excited about their gig, but she was becoming just as excited about the chance to see Denali each time at the diner after. They’d been texting back and forth since exchanging numbers after drinks, and Rosé had been sticking around at the diner the last couple weeks to sit with Denali on her breaks. She was falling hard and fast for the waitress, and it was getting worse and worse the more they talked and the more time they spent together. It was kind of scary how much Rosé liked Denali, but there was something special about her that Rosé couldn’t resist even if she wanted to.
Rosé was going through her normal pre-show routine, stepping around Jan and Lagoona as she finished up her makeup, when her phone started buzzing. She glanced at it, and as soon as she saw Denali’s name flash across the screen, a pleased smile was instantly brought to her face. She grabbed her phone and stepped out of the loud bar, standing under the neon sign out front.
“Hey!” Rosé answered the phone, unable to control her excitement while talking to the brunette.
“Hi!” Denali replied, sounding just as excited, so at least Rosé wasn’t in it alone. “What are you doing right now?”
“I’m getting ready for our gig tonight. We’re about to go on. In like, twenty minutes.”
“Oh good, I didn’t miss it.”
“What?” Rosé asked, confused. She thought Denali would be at the diner for her usual shift at this time.
“Your hair looks really great like that, Rosé.”
“Denali, what?” Rosé asked, spinning around to look for Denali, wondering if she was actually there or if she was messing with her.
“Seriously, so hot,” she said, and this time Rosé could hear her through the phone and from where she stood behind her. She turned around and threw her arms around Denali immediately.
“Hi,” Rosé breathed out as she let go, hanging up the phone and putting it in her pocket.
“Hi,” Denali echoed before doing the same.
Before they could say anything else, they gravitated toward each other, closing the gap between them and pressing their lips together. Rosé wasn’t sure exactly who initiated it, but she didn’t care. Ever since they started kissing, Rosé never wanted to stop. So she took advantage of every opportunity Denali offered.
They were snapped out of it when they heard a loud whistle, remembering they were standing on the sidewalk in front of the bar, and Rosé reluctantly pulled away from Denali.
“Oh, your lipstick,” Denali giggled, rubbing her thumb around Rosé’s lips.
Rosé licked her lips, following Denali’s thumb, and she noticed how Denali’s eyes tracked her tongue’s movement. When they made eye contact, both clearly thinking the same thing, Rosé had no choice but to kiss her again.
They pulled away again after a few minutes, and Denali fixed Rosé’s lipstick once again with another giggle.
“Wait, why are you here?” Rosé asked when her brain came back online, wondering again why Denali wasn’t at work.
“To see you play, duh.”
“I mean, shouldn’t you be at the diner?”
But before Denali could answer, Rosé’s phone started buzzing again in her pocket.
“Where the fuck are you?” Lagoona hissed when she answered. “We’re about to go on!”
“I’m coming!” Rosé assured her before hanging up and turning back to Denali. “I have to go do the show, but you’re watching, right?”
Denali nodded. “Of course.”
“Good.” Rosé kissed her one more time, more careful this time to not mess up her lipstick again. “We’ll talk after, okay?”
“We better,” Denali said, flashing her a dimpled smile that Rosé mirrored before she went to find her bandmates.
Rosé was full of energy when she took the stage with Jan and Lagoona, excited for Denali to see her in her element. She sang louder, played harder, and danced around more than usual as they got through the first half of their set.
“What’s wrong with you? You’re acting like Jan,” Lagoona accused when they stepped off the stage to go on their short break.
“Hey!” Jan yelled and swatted her shoulder. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“She’s too happy,” Lagoona explained to Jan before turning back to look her over. “Who are you and what have you done with Rosé?”
“What?” Rosé asked, laughing. “I’m not allowed to be happy?”
“Not when you’re acting this weird.”
Rosé laughed again and shrugged. “I don’t know,” she lied, not wanting to tell them that it had everything to do with Denali being there in the crowd. “I’m just in a good mood. We’re putting on a great show.”
“It is pretty great,” Jan chimed in, and Rosé threw her arms around her, hugging her tight.
“See? Jan gets it!”
Lagoona just rolled her eyes at the two of them before going to get them some shots from the bar.
“Hey, do you guys care if I play a new song tonight?” Rosé asked, suddenly getting a great idea after they’d thrown back their shots.
“Ooh, a new song?” Jan asked.
“Yeah, I’ve been working on something that I just finished and I really want to play it tonight.” Normally they didn’t play anything in public until they’d all had a chance to listen to it and work on it, but Rosé needed to play it tonight, when Denali was there to hear it.
“I’m cool with it,” Jan replied easily. Rosé was never worried about her, though. She just hoped Lagoona would say yes.
“Go for it,” Lagoona agreed, and they decided that would be the first song of the second half of their set.
Rosé was nervous and excited as she stepped back onto the stage after their break. She couldn’t wait for Denali to hear the song, eager to see her reaction.
“Um, this is a new song that I just finished a couple days ago,” Rosé spoke into the mic when the cheering died down. “It’s for someone who’s really special.” She searched through the crowd until she locked eyes with Denali, sharing a private smile with her even in the packed bar. “And I really hope she likes it.”
Rosé grabbed her guitar and sat down on the stool Lagoona had brought to the stage for her. She started strumming, never taking her eyes off Denali, and every word she sang to her came straight from the heart.
The applause was deafening when she finished, but the only reaction Rosé really cared about was Denali’s. She wasn’t disappointed when she saw the breathtaking smile adorning her face, dimples just as deep and gorgeous as ever as she clapped and cheered.
They finished the gig, going back to their usual numbers, and it was one of the best shows Rosé could remember in a long time. As they came off the stage, she was even more hyped than before, and she was eager to see Denali again. She pulled out her phone, texting her to meet her in the dressing room.
where the hell is that???
ask jackie at the bar. she’ll tell u where to go
Rosé had somehow kept the details about her and Denali’s relationship to herself, not giving anything away to Jan and Lagoona. They knew they’d become friendlier, and that Rosé had been talking to her more, but they still thought it was because she had a hopeless crush. She was fine with them teasing her, but she didn’t want them to start in on Denali when she was working. She had been planning on keeping it a secret from them until she couldn’t avoid it any longer. So when Rosé pulled open the dressing room door to welcome Denali, who threw her arms around her and kissed her immediately, their faces were priceless.
“Ahhh! What is happening!?” Jan screamed through her shocked smile, practically jumping up and down in excitement.
“Your mood tonight makes so much sense now. I thought you were just singing your sappy song because of your hopeless crush. I didn’t know it was mutual,” Lagoona said with a smile of her own. “But I’m so happy for you!” she said, pulling Rosé into a hug. “For both of you.” Rosé wasn’t sure who was more surprised when she pulled Denali into a hug too.
“I’m so glad you’re here!” Rosé told Denali once they’d explained things to Jan and Lagoona and were left on their own. “You didn’t have to work tonight?” she asked, continuing their conversation from earlier.
“Nope,” Denali answered, popping the p. “Or any other night. I got fired.”
“What!? I’m so sorry.”
“I’m not. That job was awful! Although there was one good part about it.”
“Oh yeah? I wonder what that part was,” Rosé mused, grabbing Denali’s hands and pulling her in close.
“Meeting Lagoona, of course,” Denali replied, laughing out loud at her own stupid joke. But her laughter was contagious, and Rosé couldn’t help but to chuckle along with her, even if she wanted to groan as she pushed her away.
“No, but seriously,” Denali continued. “The only times I wasn’t completely stressed out or didn’t think about quitting was when you were there. And I’m so grateful that I met you.” She kissed Rosé to further prove her point.
“Mmm, me too.” Rosé said before kissing her again, never getting tired of her lips.
“And that song you just sang for me. Rosé… It was perfect.” Another gorgeous smile lit up Denali’s face and Rosé felt the butterflies fluttering around like mad in her stomach. “You’re perfect. Definitely worth getting yelled at by all those customers.”
“I’m so glad you liked it.” Rosé breathed a sigh of relief.
“I loved it.” Their lips found each other’s again, like they couldn’t stop kissing now that they’d started.
“What are you going to do now?” Rosé asked when they had finally gotten enough of each other, at least for the time being. It was hard to turn off the urge to protect Denali that she’d developed as she’d watched her and talked to her at the diner. She was glad she wouldn’t have to deal with asshole customers or coworkers anymore, but she wanted to make sure that she’d be okay.
“I got an interview to teach skating lessons at the rink downtown! Something that I used to love doing back in Alaska. So hopefully I’ll get that! And then I’ll never have to think about serving food ever again,” she said and Rosé smiled, happy that Denali would be able to do something she actually enjoyed.
“That sounds so great. I know you’ll get it.”
They exchanged a few more kisses before heading out toward the bar to join Rosé’s bandmates, who congratulated them again for pulling their heads out of their asses and getting together.
“Jackie, can we get two vodka sodas?” Rosé called to their favorite bartender, who just happened to be Jan’s girlfriend, once she and Denali settled on some stools next to Lagoona.
“I see that you found her,” Jackie said, handing them their drinks and smiling at Denali.
“I did! Thanks.” Denali smiled back at her before Jackie turned all of her attention back to Jan.
A few drinks in and they were all having a great time, enjoying themselves and each other’s company. Rosé was glad to see Denali fitting in perfectly with everyone and getting along great with Jan and Lagoona when they didn’t have to worry about her getting their orders wrong.
“Ready to head to the diner?” Jan asked after a while, turning to Rosé and Lagoona.
Rosé glanced at Denali, unsure if she wanted to go back there when she’d just gotten fired. “Do you want to go?” she asked her quietly, resting a hand on her thigh.
Denali shook her head slightly and leaned over to whisper in her ear, lips brushing against her as she spoke, “Let’s go to your place.”
“Yep, yeah. Let’s do that,” Rosé agreed immediately, nodding her head as a shiver ran down her spine, earning an adorable giggle from Denali.
“You guys go ahead. And take your time. I might be a little busy at the apartment.”
“She’ll definitely be busy,” Denali chimed in over her shoulder with a wicked grin. “So feel free to stay there all night. They’re open twenty-four hours.”
“Oh god. You two are going to be even more insufferable now that you’re together, aren’t you?” Lagoona asked with a groan while Jan practically cackled behind them.
“Looks like I’ll be staying at your place tonight, babe,” Jan informed Jackie, kissing her across the bar before standing up.
“I’ll find somewhere to go. But you’re gonna owe me!” Lagoona threatened Rosé, pointing at her as she stood up too.
“You got it,” Rosé agreed easily, watching them head out the door before turning back to Denali.
The air was crackling with the tension between the two of them as they headed toward Rosé’s apartment. It seemed like the walk took forever, and Rosé almost breathed a literal sigh of relief as they finally reached the door, and she unlocked and opened it quickly.
Rosé followed Denali through, making sure to enjoy the view while kicking the door shut behind her. Before she even had a chance to speak, to ask Denali what she wanted, the brunette was spinning around and throwing herself at her. Rosé wrapped her arms around her easily and deepened the kiss Denali initiated.
“Where’s your bedroom?” Denali asked breathlessly when their kiss ended, making her intentions very clear. Rosé chuckled and led her back, but not before kissing her one more time.
They’d only gotten together outside of the diner a grand total of three times, and all of those times were at a bar. This was their first chance to take anything further than just making out, and Rosé was eager for it.
“Nice bed you’ve got here,” Denali said before lying down and gesturing for Rosé to join her.
“And you look really great in it,” Rosé replied, looking down at her before crawling on top of her and attaching their lips again. Rosé lost track of time as they kissed each other breathless, hands roaming and legs tangling together.
“Come on,” Denali whispered against Rosé’s lips before pushing her away so she could lean up and pull her dress over her head. Once it was off, she lay back down and stared up into her eyes. There was an air of confidence about her that Rosé noticed anytime they were together outside of the diner, and it made her even more attractive.
“Wow,” Rosé breathed out, looking Denali up and down, taking in the beauty of her form. Her bare skin practically glowed with her golden tan, and her breasts were small but perky. But her thick thighs were what held Rosé’s focus. She could see the strength in them and couldn’t help but think about how amazing they felt under her hands, and how much better they would feel wrapped around her head. “You are so gorgeous.”
“Let me see you,” Denali requested, reaching a hand out to brush against the skin of Rosé’s exposed midriff. Her hand inched up further, fingers slipping under Rosé’s shirt, leaving goosebumps in their wake.
Rosé’s hand rested on top of Denali’s for a moment before she removed the garment, giving Denali more room to work with.
“Finally,” Denali sighed in reverence, her face lighting up once Rosé’s breasts were free of the bustier top she’d been wearing. Her touch was light as she trailed her fingers along the swell of her left breast, and Rosé gasped when Denali’s thumb brushed over her nipple.
“Denali,” Rosé moaned, leaning into the touch and feeling sparks going through her body.
It was like hearing her name falling from Rosé’s lips ignited something in Denali, in both of them really, and everything was taken to another level. They rid each other of the rest of their clothes quickly, and Denali pulled Rosé back down to get her lips on her again. Slow kisses were exchanged as hands roamed each other’s bodies, finding out what felt good and what felt great and what had them moaning each other’s names.
Rosé was pretty sure it was the best sex of her life.
As they lay together after, with Denali curled up in her arms, Rosé couldn’t keep the smile off her face. She knew it was way too soon to even be thinking about it, but she was pretty sure she was in love.
Chapter 7: epilogue
Rosé and Denali’s relationship had been thriving for a couple months, and Rosé’s affection for Denali was growing stronger by the day. If she thought she was in love before, she knew without a doubt that she was now. She hadn’t found the right time to say it yet, but she was just sure it would happen soon.
Especially with all of the exciting things happening and emotions running high. Denali had gotten her skating job and was loving every second of it. And Rosé, Jan, and Lagoona had just signed a contract to record and release their first EP after the right person happened to be at the show where Rosé played the song she’d written for Denali. She’d loved the song, she’d loved Stephanie’s Child, and everything had just kind of fallen into place.
So on a Saturday night they played their last gig at Moe’s, and took their last walk to the diner around the corner to eat their last after show meal. And even with three extras with them, they squeezed into their usual booth, Rosé sandwiched between Denali and Jan with Lagoona across the table from her between her new girlfriend and Jackie. Their last diner visit just wouldn’t be the same if they sat somewhere else.
“Isn’t that the lady who yelled at you that one time?” Rosé asked Denali as they watched their waitress head toward their booth to take their order.
“Which time?” Denali asked sarcastically after seeing who Rosé was talking about. “She was always so awful to me. Made working here even worse than it already was. I definitely haven’t missed her.”
“Hi, my name is Gretchen and I’ll be your server tonight. What can I get you?” she droned, before actually looking up at them. “Oh, Denali. It’s so great to see you!” she said, and Rosé could hear the insincerity dripping from her voice.
“Wish I could say the same,” Denali replied, putting on a smile just as fake as the server’s, and Rosé took great satisfaction in the way her face fell. She recovered quickly enough though, and took their orders before heading toward the kitchen.
But Rosé wasn’t about to let her off the hook that easily, not when she knew how she’d made Denali’s life a living hell for no reason. She asked her for something new almost every time the waitress came to the table, and she found a few problems with her food that she normally wouldn’t mind that she asked her to fix oh so sweetly.
“Thank you!” Rosé said, sarcastically sweet, when she dropped off their dessert. “You know, it’s too bad you didn’t learn from Denali how to be a better waitress when she was still here, then maybe we wouldn't have had so many problems tonight,” she said to the server before turning to smile and wink at her girlfriend. “Best service I’ve ever gotten.”
“Okay,” Denali said through a giggle once Gretchen had walked away with a scowl on her face. “I think you’ve defended my honor enough.” She leaned forward to give Rosé a quick peck on the lips. “Let’s just ignore her and enjoy our night. We should be celebrating you,” she insisted, dropping another sweet kiss on her lips. “We should be celebrating all of you! You’re recording an album!” She turned to Jan and Lagoona, flashing her dimpled smile at them, congratulating them for probably the hundredth time.
“I’ll cheers to that!” Lagoona exclaimed, raising up a bite of pie on her fork and holding it out in the middle of the table. Everyone at the table did the same, echoes of “to the album” ringing around the table mixed in with the joyful laughter.
Rosé ate her pie, thinking once again about how great her life was right now. All of her dreams were coming true, and the woman she loved was sitting next to her, ready to support her all the way. And Rosé thought it was as good enough time as any to let her know.
She turned to Denali, looking her over for a moment. Her eyes were bright and shining and her smile lit up her whole face as she chatted with Jan and Jackie.
“What?” Denali asked when she turned to Rosé and finally noticed her staring.
“I love you,” Rosé said simply, feeling the butterflies coming back full force as she finally confessed how she felt.
“I love you, too,” Denali said back immediately, voice steady with no hesitation at all.
Rosé kissed her again, pouring every emotion she was feeling into it. And as they pulled away, went back to eating their pies and talking to their friends, Rosé almost couldn’t believe how truly happy she was.