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dancing in the moonlight (it's caught me in its spotlight)

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“We’ll finish up there for today, guys, and I’ll see you again in our next class.”

Cordelia stood with the rest of her class as the lecturer ended the class, grabbing her pen and notepad and swinging her bag over her shoulder. The room erupted into noise, people chatting to each other as they filed out of the room, an endless line of thank you’s aimed at the lecturer on the way out. She followed the rest of the students out of the lecture hall, blending in easily with the crowd. The class had run late, and she had another one straight after, but that class nearly always started late, so if she was quick she would make it in time. She broke away from the crowd once they went through the double doors and into the large corridor, picking up her pace. Looking down and unzipping her backpack, she started shoving her stuff into the bag as she walked the familiar route to the building her next class was in. Turning the corner, she collided with another person and let out a soft oof, hearing her pen fall to the floor.

“Shit, I’m sorry.”

Cordelia shook her head and bent down to pick up her pen. “My fault, I wasn’t looking where I was going.”

She reached for the pen at the same time as another hand, rings adorning every finger and chipped black polish decorating the nails. The other person got there first, and Cordelia stood back up quickly. Once she returned to her full height, she finally got a look at the person she had walked into.

Blonde curls fell messily around the girl’s face. She wore bracelets on both wrists, rope and beads catching Cordelia’s eye as she raised a ringed hand to run it through her curls. Her other hand grasped Cordelia’s pen. Smiling brightly and adjusting the backpack hanging haphazardly off one shoulder, she held it out to Cordelia.


She took the pen, her brain slow to register that the girl was telling Cordelia her name. “Cordelia,” she eventually offered in return. “Sorry again about, you know…” she gestured with her free hand vaguely.

Misty merely shrugged and spun one of her rings around her finger. “Don’t worry ‘bout it,” she said dismissively. “To be honest, I wasn’t lookin’ where I was goin’ either, so I guess we’re both at fault.

The more she spoke, the more Cordelia picked up on her accent, smooth and southern and entirely disarming. She took a proper look at her, her eyes trailing over her as subtly as she could.

God, she was pretty.

Cordelia was jolted out of her completely inappropriate thoughts about Misty’s hair looking like an angel’s halo by the other girl checking her phone and cursing under her breath.

“I gotta go,” she said, and Cordelia found herself noticing the freckles on Misty’s nose as she scrunched it. “Sorry again about your pen, Miss Cordelia.”

She had already taken off by the time Cordelia registered the nickname, but Misty looked back before she rounded the corner. “See you around, maybe,” she called back, and with a lazy wave, she disappeared into the crowd of students.

Cordelia pushed her glasses further up her nose and scribbled another note onto the page beside her. She tapped her pen against the textbook absentmindedly as she read, biting her bottom lip gently. The nice few weeks at the beginning of the semester – when nothing was due, and no one was stressed, and Cordelia spent her time in between lectures eating lunch outside with her friends or going for midday drinks and late night McFlurry’s – were long over, and there seemed to be a new assignment due every week. As things settled back into a routine, Cordelia found herself in the library more often than she was out of it, final year finally catching up to her in the form of several assignments, a presentation, and two group projects.

She dropped her pen onto the table and pushed her laptop away from her slightly. She looked up from her work for what felt like the first time in an eternity, surprised at how empty the library was compared to when she got there. Checking her phone, she was shocked to see it was already well after ten. She groaned internally and took her glasses off, fingers rubbing at tired eyes. She stretched her arms above her head and heard a crack that definitely didn’t sound good as she let her eyes wander around to look at the few remaining people left.

The university library never failed to entertain Cordelia when she took a break to observe it. Time seemed suspended in the whole building, the bright lights feigning day time no matter the late hour, the Starbuck’s downstairs open later than anyone should be consuming coffee. She heard the familiar sound of a can being opened and spotted a student taking a drink from a red bull at an hour that should be considered illegal, or at the very least strongly against medical advice. She hid a smirk at the person in front of her watching Netflix on his laptop in clear procrastination, and watched a small group whisper intensely as they flicked through the pages of a book.

Her people watching was interrupted when she started at the sight of a bag being plonked down at the table beside her, followed by a donut, an iced coffee, and earphones. Her eyes trailed upwards and she watched a familiar body fall just as heavily into the chair.


She immediately clamped her mouth shut, her surprise at seeing the blonde (who, admittedly, hadn’t left the back of her mind since their interaction a few days prior) temporarily overriding the inherent human desire not to embarrass herself.

Misty looked up in surprise at hearing her name, but her face broke into a happy smile once she saw who she was sitting beside. “Cordelia!” she exclaimed. Someone behind her hushed her angrily, and Misty immediately quietened down with a sheepish expression.

“Cordelia!” she repeated in a whisper. “Fancy seeing you here at this hour.”

Cordelia’s eyes fell to the iced coffee Misty had a firm grip of. “It’s certainly late.”

Misty followed her eyes and pulled a face. “I know, I know,” she held her hands up in surrender. “I’m ruining my body by drinking caffeine this late at night. So I’ve been told.”

“How come you’re here so late anyways?” Cordelia asked, choosing not to lecture Misty on something she had clearly been told about before.

“Oh, I have an assignment due tomorrow,” Misty answered. She opened a book on a seemingly random page and turned to her laptop. She opened up a blank word document and then proceeded to twirl her pen around with her fingers, her leg bouncing under the table.

“How much have you left to do?”

“Haven’t started it yet.”

Cordelia choked on the sip of water she had just taken. “Misty!”

Misty looked up. “What?”

“How have you not started it yet if it’s due tomorrow?” Cordelia stared at her. Even the idea of leaving something so last minute made her heart beat faster than she liked.

Misty simply shrugged, seemingly unbothered by the notion. “It’s not due til midday,” she said, as if that should have put Cordelia at ease. Cordelia looked at the time on her phone. 10:42pm. 13 hours and 18 minutes to go. She could feel her headache return with a vengeance at just the thought.

Misty, however, seemed to be taking her time in getting started. She fiddled around for a second and changed the font size on word before she slouched back in her seat and spent a considerable chunk of time picking a playlist on Spotify. Eventually, her laptop was ready and her music was lined up, and Misty promptly started doodling on a loose sheet of paper.

“Are you planning on writing anything?” Cordelia asked with a raised brow.

“What colour are your eyes?” was Misty’s only response. Cordelia blinked at her. She was very quickly learning that she and Misty had vastly different approaches to study. Nevertheless, she answered the question. “Brown.”

Misty nodded and continued her quick sketch. Throwing the pen on the table and ignoring it when it rolled off the other side, she handed Cordelia the page with a flourish. Cordelia looked down and saw her own face staring back at her, drawn and shaded completely in blank pen but somehow looking remarkably like her. “Wow,” she said quietly. “Wow, Misty, that’s- that’s really good.”

Misty smiled embarrassedly and stood to retrieve her pen. “It was only quick. You just looked pretty.”

Cordelia blushed and held the drawing tightly. “Thank you,” she mumbled almost shyly. She looked around at her own book scattered across the table and quickly packed them away. “I’m gonna go home and get some sleep, but, um-“ She grabbed Misty’s pen and the second piece of paper she had started drawing on. “Here’s my Instagram. So you can tell me how the assignment turns out.”

She stood quickly, her sudden surge of confidence fading in record time at seeing Misty’s surprised face. Her expression changed quickly, however, to a cheeky grin.

“I’ll be sure to keep you updated,” she promised.

Cordelia bit her lip and turned on her heel before she could do anything else to embarrass herself.

She failed to see Misty’s delighted smile as she walked away. has requested to follow you. wants to send you a message.  i’m bored already : (

deliagoode  I take it the essay isn’t going well then nope. do u prefer cordelia or delia?

deliagoode  Either is fine tbh. You should get back to your essay though  :((((  but I don’t wanna  ugh fine >:(  u never told me if u have a preference for ur name

deliagoode  Most people call me Delia so I guess that’s my preference

deliagoode  What happened to you working on your assignment?  oh i finished it lol  sent you a photo


Cordelia opened the photo to see Misty lying in bed with her hood up and a happy smile on her face. She felt a smile of her own growing at the sight.


deliagoode  How did you manage to do it so fast?!?  oh i have adhd so i just didn’t take my meds and that way i had loads of enerry  enry*  ENERU**  ENERGY  😐

deliagoode  I don’t think you should be doing that Misty. When’s the last time you slept?  idk like tuesday


Cordelia rolled her eyes fondly. She had only met Misty twice, but the girl was already quickly implanting herself in Cordelia’s life.


deliagoode  Jesus Misty how are you still functioning


Cordelia checked her phone again. In the background, Netflix played some documentary about elephants, though Cordelia wasn’t paying attention. It had been hours since she had texted Misty, and she still hadn’t received a reply. She had an underlying panic that she had somehow offended the girl and was being ignored as a result, even though Instagram said that she hadn’t read the message yet. She read back over their conversation – maybe she shouldn’t have questioned her not taking her ADHD meds, or asked how she was functioning. Was Misty mad at her about that? She threw her phone back on the bed and tried to focus on David Attenborough’s soothing voice. She pulled aimlessly on a thread on her blanket, resisting the urge to check her phone for the fourth time in 12 minutes.

She forgot about David Attenborough completely when she heard her phone ding.  sorry for not answering you! i fell asleep whoops


Cordelia smiled. At least Misty wasn’t mad at her. She shook away the thoughts of why she was so concerned about someone she had just met liking her. She was just glad to hear that Misty was getting some clearly well needed sleep. Another message came in before she got the chance to think of a reply.  do u maybe wanna grab some coffee now that i’m awake?

deliagoode  I think coffee is the last thing your body needs right now  i’ll order decaf ;)

Misty was already in the small diner when Cordelia got there. She waved her over to a booth near the window with a grin that Cordelia was quick to return. She slid into booth across from Misty, noting her outfit – a hoodie and sweatpants, a far cry from the lace and shawls she had been wearing the first two times they met. Her rings remained, though, and Cordelia found herself looking at her hands for longer than acceptable.

Misty scrunched her nose, noticing Cordelia’s gaze lingering on her clothes. “You’re not allowed to comment on how I look,” she said faux seriously. “I just pulled an all nighter and then passed out in the middle of the day.” She tugged at the hood of her jumper, the movement almost shy.

“You look fine,” Cordelia assured her. “Better than most college students look on a day to day basis.” That got a smile out of Misty, and Cordelia felt one appearing on her own face as well. “Plus,” she added. “I like the jumper.”

Misty looked down as if to check what she was wearing, and it wouldn’t have surprised Cordelia if Misty had just thrown a random jumper on without even looking at it. It was pale pink with a picture of the Pink Panther in the middle. “Oh, thanks. It’s old as hell, but it’s my emotional support hoodie.”

A waitress about their age appeared at the booth before Cordelia could reply, flashing Misty a bright smile. “Hey, Mist. Recovering from your all nighter?”

Misty scrunched her nose again, something Cordelia was realising she did often, somehow looking childishly cute every time. “It was horrible, Zo,” she told the girl. “Plus I think if I drink anymore coffee my heart is gonna give out, so can I just have some orange juice? Oh, and a plate of fries.”

The girl turned to Cordelia. “I’ll have the same, please.”

After the girl threw her a look, Misty sat up straighter in her seat. “Right, sorry. Delia, this is my friend Zoe. She works here, obviously. Zo, this is Cordelia.”

“It’s nice to meet you,” Zoe said to Cordelia with a warm smile. “I’ll be back in a bit with your food.”

Cordelia and Misty chatted away while they waited for their food, the conversation flowing easily. They only paused when Zoe returned, placing their fries and drinks in front of each of them. She winked at Misty as she set her plate down. “Enjoy, guys.” She turned to Cordelia with a friendly grin. “Make sure Misty takes you somewhere else after this,” she told her. “There are nicer places for a date than here.”

Misty choked on her orange juice. “No, Zo, this isn’t- we’re not on a-“

Zoe had already started walking away, ignoring Misty’s protests. Cordelia looked at Misty. She was spinning her thumb ring nervously, a light blush on her cheeks. She looked up and caught Cordelia’s eye, looking away quickly before dragging her eyes back to Cordelia.

“Sorry about that,” she said. “She- I dunno why she said that.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Cordelia told her.

Despite Cordelia’s words, the atmosphere seemed to have changed. Misty still seemed nervous, still spinning her ring around her finger as she picked at her fries.

“You don’t mind, do you?” she asked suddenly.

Cordelia looked up from her food. “Mind what?”

Misty’s eyes darted away for a second. “That I’m- that I like girls.”

Cordelia said nothing for a beat, slightly confused. She was never one to assume a person’s sexuality, but she had guessed that Misty might be gay. Misty seemed nervous about her finding out, though, and Cordelia realised she probably wasn’t helping with the pause before answering.

“Of course I don’t,” she said. She reached over the table and placed her hand over’s Misty’s, if only to stop her anxious tapping of fingers against the table. “Why would I mind?”

Misty shrugged, her fingers stilling under Cordelia’s touch. “Some people do,” she mumbled. She looked like she wanted to say more, but paused. A look came over her face that Cordelia couldn’t place, but she didn’t like the way seeing it on Misty made her feel. “My family did.”

Her quiet confession made Cordelia’s heart sink. Her own family was far from perfect, but Fiona had never cared who Cordelia dated – not that she was in any position to judge a person for who they had sex with. Still, it was nice to know that Fiona supported her. The idea of Misty’s family reacting badly made her tighten her grip on Misty’s hand. “Are you okay?” The question seemed silly to ask, but Cordelia couldn’t help wanting to wrap Misty up and shield her from everyone and everything bad in the world. She looked small all of a sudden, a far cry from the confident person she had met previously.

“I’m good, honestly,” Misty said. “We don’t really talk anymore. But I moved into a house with my friends when I came to college, so it’s better now.”

Misty seemed genuinely happy, but Cordelia’s heart still hurt after her confession. She squeezed her hand once more.

“Tell me about what you’re studying,” she said.

Misty smiled at her, the change of subject not going unnoticed.

Their hands remained joined in the centre of the table.

“Bitch, it’s a Friday night, there’s no way you’re not coming out with us.”

Cordelia pushed her glasses into her hair and looked over at Coco, using her finger to keep the page in her book. She watched her roommate root through the wardrobe, throwing random dresses onto the bed.

“Can’t I just stay in bed and watch a movie?” Cordelia asked, already knowing the answer.

Coco threw a balled up jumper at her, knocking her glasses off the top of her head. “Absolutely the fuck you cannot,” she scolded. “You’re not 90, Cords. We’re in college and we’re gonna act like it. We’re in final year, we have to make the most of it.” She paused while holding up two dresses in consideration to look over her shoulder at Cordelia. “Invite people if you want. Whatever it takes to convince you to come.”

Cordelia bit her lip. She glanced over at her phone, weighing up her options. “Fine,” she groaned finally. She reached for her phone and opened Instagram. “But I’m taking you up on the offer to invite someone.”

Coco eyed her suspiciously. “You have someone in mind?”

“Just a friend.”

Coco shrugged and started to tug her jumper over her head. “Whatever. If it’ll get you laid then even better, you can invite whoever the fuck you want.”

Cordelia threw a pillow at her retreating back. Coco dodged it with a laugh. “Your aim is weak,” she called out. “Go sort out your booty call while I shower. We’re leaving at 8.”

Cordelia looked back at her phone, her conversation with Misty already open. Her fingers hovered over the screen for a few seconds before she started typing.


deliagoode  Hey, if you’re not doing anything tonight, I’m being dragged along to a party and you should come!


She paused. Was the exclamation mark too much? She groaned. Flopping back against her pillows, she glared in the direction of the bathroom, where she could hear Coco singing along to Beyoncé. She wished she’d hurry up – Coco was so much better at this stuff than she was. Before she started overthinking too much, she felt her phone vibrate in her hand. She sat up quickly to unlock it, the phone tumbling off her bed in her rush.

“Oh, for fuck-“ she muttered as she dangled off the edge of the bed to reach the phone.

“What the ever loving shit are you doing?”

She started at the sound of Coco’s voice, banging her head off the wall. “Fuck!” She turned around to see Coco standing in the doorway wrapped in a towel, her eyebrows raised. “I didn’t hear the shower turn off.”

“I gathered,” Coco replied dryly. “You okay?”

Cordelia nodded distractedly while she unlocked her phone to read Misty’s reply.  sure, sounds good. cant have u being dragged along on ur own ;) send me the address n time, i’ll meet u there x


Cordelia stared at her phone. Was Misty one of those people who ended texts with an x no matter who it was to? Coco added countless emojis to her texts and ended them all with countless xoxo’s. Misty hadn’t added anything like that to any texts in her conversation with Cordelia, though.

“Dude, are you having a stroke?”

Cordelia’s head whipped around to see Coco hovering by her shoulder. She locked her phone quickly and slid it into her pocket. “Shut up, Co,” she shoved her lightly as she walked away. “If you’re going to force me to come to a party then you have to help me pick something to wear.”

She ignored Coco’s gleeful clap from behind her and flung open their shared wardrobe.

The floor vibrated under Cordelia’s feet as she walked into the house, music blaring and LED lights casting a red glow over the entire place. She stuck close to Coco as they navigated their way through the house. They passed a beer pong table and a group smoking on a couch before they finally reached the kitchen, and Coco made a beeline to the drink station set up on the counter. Cordelia felt her phone buzz and pulled it out to see a text from Misty telling her she had just arrived. She only just had time to shoot off a reply that she was in the kitchen when Coco returned, a drink in each hand.

“If you’re sober when we leave here, I’ll be very disappointed,” she told Cordelia over the loud music as she handed her one of the cups. She held up a finger in a gesture for Cordelia to hold on and vanished again, retuning quickly with two shot glasses. Cordelia could already feel her hangover blooming as she let the tequila slide down her throat, the burn making her shudder.

“That’s my girl!” Coco yelled. She guided Cordelia’s cup to her mouth. “Drink up, Cords. We’re getting white girl wasted tonight.”

Cordelia’s response was cut off by the feeling of a hand at the bottom of her back and warm breath by her ear.

“Found ya.”

She twirled around and came face to face with Misty. “Misty!” she exclaimed, the vodka she had drank with Coco while they got ready starting to take effect along with the shot she had just taken. Her eyes raked down Misty’s body, her mouth going dry. Misty was dressed in a pair of jeans that made her legs seem to go on forever, ending in a pair of black high top Converse, and her top had a low v-cut that showed the slightest hint of the top of her boobs. Cordelia swallowed. “You look nice,” she tried casually.

“Not compared to you,” Misty said, leaning in so she could be heard over the music. “You look great, Delia.” Cordelia could feel herself blush, both from the compliment and Misty’s proximity, her perfume invading Cordelia’s senses.


Cordelia pulled back and cleared her throat. She turned to see her friend Madison stalking towards her along with Coco, Coco clearly having drank a lot more in the few minutes since she left Cordelia.

“Hey Madison,” she greeted. Madison was a bit of a bitch, but they had been friends since high school, and Cordelia knew she was secretly soft underneath her tough. It took a long time, but she and Madison were firm friends by the time they graduated.

“And who is this?” Madison asked, her eyes giving Misty an overexaggerated once over.

“Cordelia’s booty call,” Coco provided, her speech already slurring.

Cordelia closed her eyes in mortification, sending up a quick prayer that the ground would open up and swallow her whole. She opened her eyes and caught sight of the look on Madison’s face. Knowing that look never resulted in anything good, she was quick to grab Misty’s arm and tug her away from her friends, both of whom were uncontrollably laughing at Cordelia’s expense in between tossing back more shots.

She kept hold of Misty’s hand until they were out of the kitchen and in a quieter part of the hallway. Dropping her hand, she averted her eyes awkwardly. “Shit, Misty, I’m so sorry about that. That’s just them messing with me, I swear I never called you that,” she rambled, her thoughts on overdrive. “That’s not why I invited you, if that’s what you’re thinking. God, you’re probably thinking so much worse right now-“

“Delia,” Misty interrupted softly. “Breathe.”

Cordelia took a deep inhale, letting it out slowly. “I’m sorry,” she offered again weakly.

“You good?”

Cordelia nodded. “Embarrassed, but yes.”

Misty nodded. “Why did they make that joke? Was there a reason?” She paused before continuing. “Do you like girls?”

Cordelia wasn’t entirely sure how that was what Misty had chosen to take from the incident, but she considered herself lucky that Misty hadn’t already done a runner. “Um. Yes. That’s probably why they said it.”

Misty’s eyes fluttered shut briefly and she tilted her head back. “Are you shitting me,” she whispered under her breath. Opening her eyes, she took a step closer to Cordelia.


Misty cut her off by pressing her lips against hers. Cordelia’s breath stuttered in surprise before she let her eyes slip shut, her hands coming up to tangle in Misty’s hair. She felt Misty’s tongue trace her bottom lip and she gripped her hair tighter, surely hurting, though Misty didn’t complain. Misty pulled away far too soon for Cordelia’s liking, her lips chasing Misty’s until she gave her another quick kiss. She leaned her forehead against Cordelia’s, both of them slightly breathless.

“I have liked you this entire time,” Misty confessed. “And I thought you were straight. And now you tell me that you like girls.”

Cordelia laughed, her arms coming to link around Misty’s neck. “Are you serious?”

Misty nudged Cordelia’s nose with her own. “As a heart attack.” She cupped Cordelia’s jaw, her rings cold against Cordelia’s warm face. This time, it was Cordelia who closed the gap, kissing her fully until Misty had her pressed against the wall. She came back to her sense when Misty’s mouth began to trail down her neck, making Cordelia squirm against her.

“We should-“ she cleared her throat. “We should maybe stop, what with us being in the middle of a stranger’s hallway.”

Misty let her lips linger against Cordelia’s neck briefly, her fingers flexing against her waist. “You’re right.” She took a step back but left her hands where they were. A sudden shyness seemed to settle over her, causing Corelia to smile.

“Coco’s staying at Madison’s tonight,” Cordelia offered. Misty smiled and reached for her hand.

“How convenient,” she smirked as she tugged Cordelia towards to door.

Cordelia woke suddenly, startled by the unfamiliar weight in her bed. She settled quickly when she spotted Misty beside her, her arm thrown across Cordelia’s stomach and her breath steady against Cordelia’s neck. Images of the night before flashed across her mind and she smiled happily. She entertained herself with tracing random patterns across Misty’s arm, making sure not to wake her.

That plan went out the window when the bedroom door was flung open loudly and Coco stumbled into the room. “Who left their fucking shoes in the middle of the floor, I nearly broke my fucking neck.” She looked over to Cordelia, who quickly pulled the duvet more securely over her and Misty, who had been woken by Coco’s cursing.

Coco stared at them for a few seconds before she nodded slowly, a smirk appearing on her face. “Don’t mind me,” she said airily. “I’m just gonna grab some clothes and head back to Maddy’s.” She grabbed a jumper and leggings at random and shoved them into her bag, clearly trying not to laugh. “I’ll be back in about three hours, if that’s long enough for you guys.”

“Coco,” Cordelia groaned, burying her face into Misty’s shoulder, which shook with silent laughter. She stayed there until she heard Coco yell goodbye and the door close. Misty dragged her fingers across Cordelia’s rib cage, causing her to look up.

“Hi,” she smiled softly.

“Hi,” Cordelia blushed. “Sorry about Coco. I probably should have texted her to warn her.”

“Probably,” Misty laughed. “But I would like to think your thoughts were on other stuff besides Coco last night.”

Cordelia blushed again and pressed a kiss against Misty’s lips, feeling the blonde smile against her lips. “I was definitely focused on other things,” she mumbled into the kiss. She pulled back and rolled over so she was lying across Misty, a leg and an arm sprawled across Misty’s body. One of Misty’s arms came home to wrap around her, her spare hand grabbing Cordelia’s laptop from the floor beside the bed and opening it to set up Netflix.

“Do you wanna Netflix and chill?” she asked cheekily, causing Cordelia to smack her hip lightly.

“I’ll have you know I take my David Attenborough documentaries very seriously,” she chided. “There will be no funny business until I’ve had a shower.” She paused and trailed her fingers along Misty’s stomach. “Unless you want to save on hot water and share the shower with me?”

She laughed loudly as Misty flung the covers off her body and jumped out of the bed, grabbing Cordelia’s hand and dragging her with her.

When Coco returned exactly three hours later, entering the room slowly with her eyes closed just in case, she found them both asleep with a movie playing in the background, their arms wrapped around each other so closely that Coco couldn’t tell where one person ended and the other began.