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I'm Manifesting

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“Shiting Christ what in god’s name do these directions even mean!” Waverly muttered to herself as she glared down and the jumbled mess of instructions in her hand. She had been wandering around the university campus for what felt like over an hour now and still, much to her frustration, she seemed to be getting absolutely no closer to her destination.

The directions she was trying, and failing, to follow had been scribbled in a very thick felt tip biro on what seemed to be some sort of bar napkin based on the flashy logo in the top left corner. The napkin in question had been folded up multiple times in order to be successfully stapled to the last postcard her sister, Wynonna had written. The writing was barely legible and mostly contained an astounding amount of very poorly drawn diagrams.  

“Why can’t Wy just use a phone like a normal person…wait, is that meant to be a freakin’ hieroglyph?” she swore under her breath as she strode into what was, according to the directions she had written down, the universities swimming pool.

She barely had a moment to look up to see what was clearly not a swimming pool, but was in fact a cafeteria when she was tackled by a tall blue flash of red hair. Before the small brunette could realise what was happening in a spiral of red and pale limbs she found herself landing softly on the ground with a shocked ‘Fudgenuggets’ from herself and a squeaked ‘crapsickle’ from the careering student.

Blinking slowly as her brain fought to catch up with exactly what happened Waverly quickly realised two things; the first was that the only thing she could see was red and the second was that her landing had been much softer than it should have been.

“Oh my god, I am so sorry! Are you okay?” a very concerned but sweet voice muffled out next to her cheek.

The breathy words against her ear jolted the girl back to her senses helping her regain the awareness of her limbs immediately becoming very aware that she had, in fact, not landed on the floor but instead on top of her strange tackler. With a squeak, she quickly pulled her arms, which had been trapped between her and the stranger's chest, free and lifted her head up from its snug position buried in the person's hair.

Blinking as she took a moment to gain her bearings after having her world quite literally turned upside down Waverly looked down into the face of her tackler. Shocked to find that the big warm brown eyes that stared back at her were quite possibly the warmest she had ever looked into to. A few more blinks and she realised that the face surrounding those deep chocolate pools she was sure was the most gorgeous one she had ever seen. To top it off the most brilliant shade of red hair haloed itself around the stranger's pale face, making her look like some sort of angel.

A breathy wow’ escaping from the lips of the stranger's lips distracted Waverly from her intense eye contact, drawing her attention to the redhead's perfect lips which had fallen slightly open in shock.

“Shit sorry I’m still on top of you” Waverly suddenly realised, feeling her face flush as she quickly pushed herself completely off the gorgeous woman in a scramble to stand herself upright. Silently chastising herself in embarrassment at how obviously she had been gazing at the gorgeous stranger's face.  

“Hey it's okay, I-I like you being on top of me” the redhead stammered adorably as she stood up. It took her a second to hear what she said, once she did she immediately started blushing all the way to the tips of her ears “wait, no, I meant I’m happy with you being on top… no, that’s not it either…I meant-“

“It’s okay, I get what you mean” Waverly interrupted the endearing babbling with a beaming smile cursing her unruly hearts frantic beating as it noticed the rapidly spreading blush on the stranger's pale face that this earnt.

“Okay” she said sheepishly one of her hands coming to rub the back of her neck nervously “are you sure you’re okay, I didn’t hurt you did I?… I’m pretty sure my brain still hasn’t caught up with how long my limbs are”

Waverly didn’t respond she only gulped loudly, her mouth suddenly dry as she looked the redhead up and down taking in the full head heights difference she had between herself and the stranger.

Not wanting to let the silence linger the woman continued nervously “…I-I mean I’m usually a Bambi on ice level of mal-coordinated mess, but normally my clumsiness only ends up doing damage to myself” she chuckled self-deprecatingly.

“uhh…are you sure you’re okay?” she asked again, looking slightly concerned at Waverly’s seeming inability to do anything other than stare blankly at her.

The concerned little wrinkle between the beautiful woman’s deep piercing eyes managed to jolt the small brunette out of her fixated perusal of the gorgeous redhead's features.

“Oh no, I’m fine really… you pretty much broke my fall” she stammered out nervously a shy smile breaking across her face as her mind flashed back to remember being on top of the stranger.

“Oh good, I’m glad you fell on me” She smiled sweetly before again her words caught up with her and her blush returned with a ferocity.

“I, no…I-I mean I’m not glad that you fell, or that you fell on me…not that I didn’t enjoy…I-I…what I’m trying to say is that I’m glad you’re not hurt” she rambled nervously, and Waverly was entirely sure the fumbling mess in front of her was the cutest thing she had ever seen.

“I get what you mean” Waverly interrupted again, smiling widely.

“Oh, umm good…sorry again for running into you” the redhead smiled shyly and she snapped her mouth shut to stop her seemingly uncontrollable rambling.

“It’s okay really, I was rushing to get somewhere so it's kinda my fault as well”

“Oh, you have someplace to be?” the redhead whispered disheartenedly.

“Sort of” Waverly lied, she most definitely had somewhere to be which she was getting close to an hour late for, but she really didn’t want to leave the outrageously attractive stranger.

“Well, uh I suppose I best let you go then?” the girl muttered distractedly as she continued to stare down at Waverly who simply nodded dumbly.

‘God she’s so pretty’ Waverly thought to herself as she looked up at the woman desperately thinking of any excuse to continue talking to her but her useless brain was unable to think of anything other than how soft her lips looked in this light.

After a good minute of just smiling softly up at the student, she reluctantly started walking away unable to stop herself from turning to give the stunned redhead a small smile and wave before walking out of the building.

With a deep sigh, she walked down the steps her foot just touched down on the pavement when she heard the door swing open behind her.

“Wait!” the redhead called out as she ran down the steps to Waverly, almost tripping over her own feet as she did. Waverly was unable to stop herself from laughing at how accurate the Bambi on ice reference seemed to be as the redhead skidding over the last step to pause in front of her, panting slightly.

“Umm can I?…do you?…uhhh…” the tall woman trailed off as she stared down at Waverly dumbly.

“Yes?” Waverly questioned with a giggle when it seemed the girl didn’t plan on continuing her sentence

“Sorry…I-I wasn’t actually sure where I was going with that sentence…I just wanted to keep talking to you” she stumbled out with a shy smile, her hand nervously twisting in front of her.

Waverly’s face broke out into a beaming smile that reached all the way to her eyes as she let out an adorable giggle, strangely empowered at the obviousness that the gorgeous stranger seemed just as keen to continue talking to her as she did.  

“Well you actually could help me try to decipher these directions…though I do have to warn you they’re pretty awful. The person I’m meant to be visiting isn’t the best at instructions” Waverly said as she playfully held the crumpled napkin aloft.

The responding grin this earnt from the redhead took Waverly’s breath away, and she finally noticed the stranger's unbelievably cute dimples.

“Hand them over, I’ll give it a go” she said with a self-assured smirk.

The smirk quickly fell as she actually started to look over the notes, spinning the napkin round a few times unable to even accurately decern if she was holding them the right way up.

“Is that a hieroglyph?” she chuckled as she flipped the napkin to a new angle.

“None of the known ones” Waverly grinned back her heart flipping at the cute concentrating pout forming on the redhead's face.

“You know ancient Egyptian?” she asked, her eyes lifting from the napkin to look at Waverly in awe.

“I actually know 3 ancient languages” Waverly responded proudly, it wasn’t often that anyone looked at her with such interest or respect when she spoke about her linguistics, it was a kind of dizzying feeling.

“Wow” The redhead's eyebrows shot up, utterly impressed with the small brunette in front of her pausing for a second before grinning and confidently whispering “Tu es mirabilis”

‘You're wonderful’ Waverly quickly translated in her head immediately feeling the blush spread across her cheeks before suddenly realising the woman hadn’t spoken in English.

“Wait, you know Latin?” she squeaked excitedly, practically swooning at the lopsided grin the redhead gave her as she nodded.

“Just a bit…long story short, I spent quite a lot of my childhood jumping between various ‘communes’ with my hippy parents and one of them held their ‘gatherings’ in Latin…so I picked up quite a bit, not that it’s ever been of any use until now” she shrugged still grinning at the excited look on the brunette face.

“Well, ego sum impressa” Waverly beamed.

They stared at each other just smiling before a door opening near them seemed to knock the pair out of their trance.

“Right sorry, directions” the redhead reminded herself dragging her eyes unwillingly from the smaller woman.

“These are…I mean I have no words for what these are…are you visiting a child?” the redhead joked as she looked completely bewildered as looked at the scrawling mess in front of her. 

Waverly let out a loud snort immediately covering her mouth flushing at how horrendously unattractive that noise was but the glazed over adoration that was still spread over the redhead's face put those worries completely out of her mind.

“They’re actually from my sister, who’s old enough to go here…but she’s not one to do things the conventional way” Waverly laughed.

“Ahh, trust me I know the type” the redhead chuckled knowingly.

“Well do you know where you’re trying to get to, not to disrespect your sisters very unique instructions but it might just be easier if I just tell you which way to go”

“Ehh not really she wrote that I could meet her outside in the quod, but that’s completely useless because this entire campus seems to be made of quods” Waverly sighed with a grin.

“Oooh” The redhead gasped as she held up the napkin pointing to what looked like a stick figure being set on fire in a small cage, gaining only a look of confusion for the small brunette.

“I think that’s your sister and the on fire boxy thing is the quod out front of the humanities building, because it’s called red square…fire for red” she explained triumphantly.

“I don’t know if I should be impressed or concerned that you can manage to figure out my sister's brain” Waverly laughed.

“Oh, you should definitely be impressed” the tall woman winked causing Waverly’s breath to hitch loudly.

Taking Waverly’s stunned silence as a bad sign the redhead quickly backtracked dropping her eyes down to the napkin which she was now nervously running through her hands.  

“’re actually pretty close…t-to the square. If you head straight through the cafeteria you actually head into the humanities building and then you just follow the signs for the main entrance and you should pop out directly into the quod”

“Awesome” Waverly grinned finally having actual instructions on how to get to her sister.

“I should actually let you go now then, don’t want you to be late” the stranger smiled softly.

“Thanks for tackling me, it was really nice of you…I mean, not the tackling part more the helping with directions…although the tackling was nice too” Waverly rambled.

“It was my pleasure” The stranger interrupted with a smile, happy to not be the one rambling this time.

“Okay I’ll be off then” Waverly chuckled nervously as she walked backwards up the stairs away from

“Bye” the redhead whispered as she gave her a small wave before she disappeared from sight as Waverly disheartenedly closed the door.



“Wynonna I am in love” Nicole exclaimed loudly as she flopped down next to her sleeping best friend.

“I swear Haught-stuff if I go back to our dorm and find I have to look after another stray cat that you’ve found I will be re-applying for a new roommate” the brunette grumbled from the couch, annoyed her mid-morning nap was being disrupted.

“It’s not another cat” Nicole chuckled “Plus you love Calamity Jane just as much as me, you just pretend you don’t…I am in love with a woman”.

“A woman?...wait you’re gay?” Wynonna yelled loudly with faux shock as she jolted up from the sofa to look the redhead dead in the eyes.

“Ha ha very funny” Nicole sighed sarcastically.

“Come on it's been so long since I even saw you look at a girl I could have forgotten” Wynonna smirked.

Nicole groaned and rolled her eyes at her best friend as she muttered that it hadn’t been that long, receiving only a very knowing disbelieving stare from the brunette. 

“Urgh fine maybe it has been a while…but anyways….I just met the most gorgeous, smart, and funny woman I’ve ever met in my entire life, she literally looked like some sort of angel…but you know without the wings and halo and stuff”

“So, like a girl” Wynonna snorted.

“No” Nicole  huffed before continuing with a dreamy sigh “like an angel”

“M’kay, whatever you say” Wynonna grinned at the redhead's glazed expression.

“oh, and she spoke Latin Wynonna, honest to god Latin…she was so unbelievably sexy” Nicole continued no longer really registering her friend's presence as her mind thought back over every wonderful thing about the gorgeous and adorable brunette from earlier.

“You and I have very different opinions on sexiness” Wynonna muttered looking over at her friend intently, she’d never seen her look so utterly besotted, or so taken with anyone before.

“Oh and god the way she smiled…honestly at one point I thought I was going to pass out my legs felt so unsteady”

“Jesus Haught you are so useless” Wynonna laughed, already knowing her best friend was too far gone.

“She was so just…so, so pretty” Nicole smiled ignoring Wynonna’s insult,

“Well did you get said woman’s number?” she asked the dopily grinning redhead.

“…or even her name” she continued at her best friends suddenly crestfallen face

“SHIT!” Nicole yelled suddenly as she shot up from her position on the sofa.

“I’m guessing that’s a no then” Wynonna grimaced at her best friend.

“Oh my god, this is the worst thing I’ve ever done!” Nicole spun around her face pinched in utter panic.

“Hmm, I think getting drunkenly married in Vegas still counts as the worst” Wynonna said playfully trying to wipe the heartbroken look off her best friend's face.

“No, this is the worst. I met the love of my life and I just let her walk away with that gorgeous smile and cute little laugh and…a-and” Nicole hurried out as she paced quickly in front of her friend before flopping down face first onto the sofa with a loud groan “oh god, why am I such an idiot, Wynonna!”

“Oh come on Haught stuff your idiocy is part of your charm” Wynonna chuckled nudging the redhead with her foot.

Nicole didn’t respond ignoring Wynonna’s nudging as she continued to groan into the sofa cushions.

“Hey, I’m sure you can find another hot chick to fawn over” Wynonna reasoned as she kicked her roommate a little harder.

Nicole lifted herself out of range of the brunette kicking to scowl at her best friend as she rolled off the sofa to lay down with a pathetic sigh on the floor.

“Nope, I’m pretty sure she was the one and now I will never see her again and my life will just be an endless sea of pain” she mumbled into the cold linoleum tile floor, content to just disappear into the ground.

“God you’re dramatic” Wynonna laughed.

“I’m not dramatic” She whined turning her face so her cheek was squished against the ground to glare at the brunette.

Suuuure you’re not” Wynonna said sarcastically before smiling down sympathetically at the puddle of heartbroken redhead sprawled beneath her.

“Come on Haughty, you can hang out with me and Waverly all day… my sister's pretty cute too so I’m sure that’ll cheer you up. As long as you remember you’re not allowed to actually try anything with her” she said down to the redhead who was looked resolved to remain on the floor until the cleaners came and had to physically remove her.

“There’s no way she could be as cute as her” Nicole sighed.

“Hey maybe you’ll even run into while you tour us around campus” Wynonna said, hoping to cheer her friend up enough to pull herself off the floor.

In a blink of an eye, the redhead was standing face to face with Wynonna. The brunette gasped and muttered a quick ‘Jesus Christ Haught’ in shock, she had never seen her friend move so fast.

“You’re right! She’s still out there!... I can still find her again!” Nicole said with the same determined glint in her eye as when she had told Wynonna she was going to be a cop even if her parents would disown her.

“That’s the spirit Haughtie, I’m sure you’ll run into her eventually” Wynonna punched the redhead comradely in the shoulder.

“No I’ve got to go find her now, she was only visiting someone so I have no idea how long she’ll be on campus for” Nicole hurried out as she started backing away from Wynonna.

“No Haught-cakes you promised to act as a tour guide for Waves, you know how shit I am at that stuff” Wynonna said as she followed the redhead who was already rushing out the building finally managing to jump in front of her midway down their halls entrance steps.

Nicole looked at her best friend already hating that she was going got have to break a promise.

“I know I said I’d do that but Wynonna, this girl…I think, I dunno have you ever just met someone and known that they meant something to you…I know it sounds stupid but I-I think we were meant to meet, like soulmates or something…and I just know I’ll regret it forever if I don’t at least try and find her” the redhead argued.

“urrghh” Wynonna groaned “Can you stop saying all that romantic shit, it's making it very hard for me to be mad at you for bailing on me” Wynonna groaned.

“I am really sorry for bailing on your sister visiting but the love of my life is possibly walking round this campus…I’ve got to go find her” Nicole reasoned as she tried to step around the brunette.

“You really want to run all around campus all day looking for this girl?” Wynonna huffed despite the amused grin she shot the redhead as she stepped to let her pass.

“Absolutely!” Nicole beamed.

“Well then who am I to try and stop you” Wynonna chuckled with a quick slap to Nicole’s backside to get her moving down the steps.

“Thank you Wynonna” Nicole smiled back at her roommate as she started running off in the direction of red square.

“No need to thank me you uselessly hopeless romantic, just go get your girl” Wynonna called out with a chuckled at the gangly redhead running across the quod.

“She’s not my girl” she quipped back over her shoulder as she swerved through a group of confused first years.

“You spew out even half of all that romantic shit you told me and I’m pretty sure she will be” Wynonna yelled back with a grin at the beaming smile this earnt from the redhead, so bright it was still visible all the way across the grass.

“Then I’ll have landed myself a real-life angel” Nicole laughed loudly as she disappeared around the corner.

“You are seriously the most useless lesbian I know Haught” she called out, but her redheaded roommate was already out of earshot.

“Hey nonna why are you yelling about lesbians?” Waverly asked curiously as she appeared at her sister's side.

The tall brunette yelped and jumped stumbling down onto the step below her.

“Jesus Christ baby girl wear a bell or something if you’re going to sneak up on people like that!” She gasped clutching her chest turning to see her very amused sister gleaming up at her.

Getting over her shock quickly she grabbed the grinning girl in her arms pulling her into a crushing hug whispering a ‘god I’ve missed you’ only loud enough for Waverly to hear.

“Hmm, I’ve missed you too” the small brunette hummed as she melted into her sister's bear hug.

“Did you find your way okay” Wynonna choked out pushing her emotions down as she separated herself from her sister.

“Well, I did get a little lost, your directions were terrible… but I finally figured them out and have been sitting at red square but when you didn’t show I decided to have a wander about to see if I could spot you. Luckily it turns out when you’re yelling in the middle of the quod about lesbians you’re quite easy to find” she chuckled.

“Oh shit, I’m so sorry I must have overslept then my Haughty distracted me” Wynonna apologised as she looked down at the watch on her wrist. The watch was still pretty new having been a present from Nicole in order to help her get better at timing…so far it had not been very effective.

“And the lesbians?” Waverly questioned with a cheeky giggle.

“Ahh that was just me talking to my idiot flatmate, she’s abandoned us on a very important mission of the heart” Wynonna laughed.

“hmm that’s too bad, but a mission of the heart sounds important” Waverly smiled.

“And anyway you’re who I’m here to see…come here” Waverly sighed happily as she pulled her sister into another hug, this one somehow tighter than their first.

“I’ve missed you” she whispered in her sister's ear.



“So now you’ve had the grand tour what do you think,” Wynonna asked her sister as she plopped down on her bed.

“Ha the grand tour Wynonna?... you literally took me to a bar off campus for 4 hours then bought me ice cream on our way back” Waverly laughed openly.

“Well, I can’t be good at everything baby girl that just wouldn’t be fair to everyone else…besides Haught-to-trot was meant to be the tour guide, not me” Wynonna grinned playfully.

“Haught-to-trot?” Waverly questioned.

“Roommate” Wynonna answered simply.

“But besides my admittedly not fantastic touring skills have you liked the look of campus?” Wynonna asked hopefully, she had made it no secret that she hoped Waverly would join her here next year once she’d graduated.

“Yeah, I actually really like the look of it. I managed to have a propoer look around while I was lost looking for you…even asked a very cute girl for help with your ridiculous directions” Waverly smiled a dreamy expression falling across her face as she remembered the utterly adorable redhead with her warm brown eyes and dimples.

“Ooooh you did, did you?... See my directions can’t have been that bad if they managed to score you a cute date” Wynonna teased playfully, despite her protective instincts immediately kicking into action and telling her to hunt this woman down to warn her of all the horrible things she’d do if she so much as even though of hurting her baby sister.  

“Your directions were still terrible…but I suppose you’re right” Waverly grinned.

“I’m guessing she must’ve been pretty hot”

“Oh my god she was so, so hot” Waverly groaned “…like the most attractive person I’ve ever seen. But she was just so sweet and funny, and she had these dimples-“

“Jeez yeah I get it baby girl, she was nice” Wynonna interrupted.

“She was way more than nice Wy, honestly I’ve never felt this way about anyone, and I only spoke to her for a few minutes” Waverly sighed.

“So, when are you taking this babe out on the town” Wynonna asked already mentally planning for the recon mission she was going to have to do to keep a constant eye on this date.  

“Well, she didn’t actually ask me out” Waverly blushed sheepishly.

“Oh come on it’s the 21st-century baby girl, you can just text her and ask her out yourself” Wynonna chuckled, before stopping at the way Waverly’s face suddenly feel in realisation.

“…You did get her number didn’t you?...or at least her name?” the tall brunette found herself asking for the second time that day.

“SHIT!” Waverly yelled loudly as she fell back onto the bed.

Before Wynonna could begin to comfort her sister she heard the front door swing open loudly.

“Well, my life is over!” Nicole yelled as she strode into the apartment. Waverly who had been muttering an endless stream of profanities into a pillow sat up in confusion at the interruption.  

“Ignore her that’s just Haught, she’s feeling dramatic today” Wynonna shrugged nonchalantly as she walked to her door to see her best friend storm past her room to flop face first into the sofa with a pathetic whimper.

“Guessing you didn’t find her?” Wynonna called out to her roommate, laughing at the sprawled mess of legs of the too tall redhead on their too small coach.

“Nope…It's official, I let the love of my life slip from my hands before I even got her name” she huffed out into the sofa cushions.

Waverly, her face now completely out from behind the pillow turned to Wynonna with a confused expression.

“Oh, I’m sure it can’t be that bad Haught” Wynonna said.

“…Haught?” She repeated when she got no response.

“Haught-pot you still in there?” Wynonna teased as she tossed the nearest object at her best friend, which just happened to be the pillow Waverly was clutching. The small ‘ouff’ from Nicole let her know she’d hit her target.

“Shush Wynonna, I’m manifesting” the redhead chastised as she half-heartedly tossed the pillow back in Wynonna’s direction, her voice muffled by the cushion her face was still slumped against.

“You’re going to manifest a girlfriend” Wynonna laughed.

“I’m not going to manifest a girlfriend. I’m going to manifest the woman I met earlier and then I will try and woo her to be my girlfriend” Nicole quipped back playfully.

“Jesus Haught, ‘woo’? I think I’m going to have to confiscate your golden girl's box sets again, you really need to start watching shows with vocabulary from this century” Wynonna said as she turned to Waverly to roll her eyes at her ridiculous roommate.

“Ha good luck with that, you’ll never find where I’ve hidden them this time…Now, hush I need absolute quiet to manifest, I gotta get every detail right. Her gorgeous hazel eyes, pretty brown hair…the breath-taking way her eyes crinkled when she smiled-”.

“Well once you’re done manifesting you can come say hi to my sister, Waverly” Wynonna said with a shit-eating smirk.

“You could have told me we had company before I bore my soul to you” Nicole squeaked as her blushing face appeared over the back of the coach. Waverly gasped as her eye locked on the redhead immediately being faced with the beautiful brown eyes and dimples that had been haunting her all day.

Oh my god it worked!” she gasped her expression suddenly falling slack when she looked behind Wynonna at the beautiful girl sitting on the bed.

“What?” Wynonna ask confused as she turned to see her sister's stunned expression.

“Umm hi” Waverly blushed shyly, too transfixed on the girl in front of her to hear her sister.

 “Hi” Nicole said breathless the grin on her face so wide it looked like her dimples were about to pop out.

“W-what’s happening?” Wynonna said as she looked between the pair who were staring dopely at one another.

“So, your name's Haught?” Waverly grinned over at the tall girl.

“Y-yeah it is, my name’s Nicole, Nicole Haught” the redhead stammered out, as she eagerly scrambled to stand up.

“Oh, oh no” Wynonna said panickedly as she saw the hearts practically spilling out of her roommate's eyes as she fell over the back of the sofa in her attempts to move towards her sister.  

“Nicole Haught… that’s a really great name” Waverly smiled slyly as she slowly stood off the bed and made her way across the room.

“No…no” Wynonna muttered as she looked frantically back and forth between her best friend and her sister, who seemed to be gravitating together like magnets.

“You like that? You should hear my phone number?” Nicole grinned widely her steps lengthening with more purpose.

“Oh no, nope, no, nuh-uh not happening” Wynonna said loudly as she slammed the door between the pair ignoring both the pathetic whine from Nicole and the annoyed glare from her sister.

“So, this person you met earlier…wouldn’t happen to be a big useless lesbian with red hair would it” Wynonna asks sarcastically spinning to face her sister.

Just as Waverly was going to answer a note slid under the door with her name written on it. Moving much faster than her sister and being closer Wynonna managed to grab the folded piece of paper first letting out a deep groan when she opened it.

‘I’m so happy my manifesting worked’.

“You’re on thin fucking ice Haught” Wynonna yelled through the door as her sister snatched the note from her hand sighing dreamily as she grinned down it.