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Out of Reach

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Laura stood there for a moment just staring.

Surely, she wasn’t seeing correctly. Surely, she had blacked out at some point between Carmilla appearing and now because if she were actually coherent then that would mean Carmilla just said that she’s…

Laura blinked and her jaw dropped a little further as a quiet gasp escaped her, “What?” Then she quickly swallowed, “I mean, I can read but…what?”

Laura looked up to meet Carmilla’s eyes and searched them for clarity, but the look just made Carmilla roll her eyes tiredly although the smile still remained.

“I’m in love with you,” Carmilla said the words with certainty.

Somehow Laura still wasn’t sure. This was a complete 180 on Carmilla’s part, so forgive her if she was a little surprised by this new information.

 

This can’t be real.

“I’m in love with you,” Carmilla said again with a simplicity to her tone, like it was the easiest thing in the world to say. She took a step closer, eyes flinting between Laura’s.

Laura shook her head, eyes averting to the ground as if the truth was written in gravel. She tried wrapping her head around Carmilla’s declaration, but she was utterly dumbfounded. Hearing Carmilla say those words after all the struggling she has done for the past few days with her feelings was the last thing Laura expected.

Not that she wasn’t happy to hear them, she just wasn’t use to anyone expressing their love to her that wasn’t her dad – except there was the one time she got married when she was five but that couldn’t possibly count – or like a friend saying it platonically like I love you buddy.

Oh my God, could she mean it platonically?

No. Don’t even go there. That is not a thing, come on!

Laura nodded, you can’t be in love with someone platonically that like defeats the purpose or something.

She looked back to Carmilla who was still patiently waiting for Laura to process everything. The way Carmilla stared at her, haloed in the glow of moonlight and the one emergency light near the door, could almost pass for a dream and then suddenly Laura had another thought.

I’m dreaming! I must’ve fallen asleep watching the sunset and now this was some elaborate illusion my mind made up!

But Laura had to be certain and went on to say, “Okay so, I – I don’t think I’m hearing you correctly. Just to clarify, did you just say-“

“I did.” Carmilla interrupted with a small smile playing at her lips. She looked down at her handwriting on the whiteboard, “Shocker, I know. It took me by surprise too.”

“Wow,” Laura whispered with her eyes glued to the writing then looked back to Carmilla hesitantly, “Are you sure?”

A disbelieving grin spread across Carmilla’s face, “Am I sure?

“Yeah because I was just talking to my friends about this and it is possible that-”

Carmilla let out a frustrated huff, “Goddamnit, Laura.”

Carmilla couldn’t help herself any longer; couldn’t wait for Laura to inevitably catch up. She dropped the board and marker to the side and pulled Laura in. She took Laura’s confused little face in her hands and crashed their lips together hoping the kiss would be all the reassurance she needed.

And it was.

Laura blinked once, twice then let her eyes flutter close at the feel.

This isn’t a dream.

She’s in love with you, soak it in.  

The sudden move combined with the realization pulled another gasp from Laura but Carmilla stifled it by deepening the kiss, soft and sure.  

A moment later Carmilla pulled away just enough that Laura could feel her breath against her lips as she spoke, “I am very sure about what I feel for you.”

Laura relaxed as she saw something warmer in Carmilla’s eyes, “Just checking.”

Carmilla chucked, “Only you would have me repeating something that has been so hard for me to say a million times.”

Laura let a apologetic smile form, “I’m sorry.”

Carmilla just lifted her shoulder as her eyes dropped to Laura’s lips then back up to meet hers again, “It’s good practice. Besides, I don’t mind when it’s true. I really don’t know how this sort of thing works, but it’s all I’ve been thinking about. I just had to let you know, I – I hope that’s okay?”

Laura’s smile softened as she stared back into the eyes of someone who loved her. She felt like she was soaring above the clouds and through a rainbow, she was that happy.

“Of course it is,” She said and slid her hand to the back of Carmilla’s neck and pulled her in again, letting their lips press perfectly together.

This felt different from the first time.

The first was needy and rushed and Laura felt like she was falling but this conveyed a deeper meaning. She didn’t feel like she was being cracked open, but instead thoughtfully pieced back together just like Carmilla described earlier.

It was like her life had depended on it – hungry and gasping for air – but this was softer, gentler. Carmilla kissed her delicately as if Laura were a balloon and Carmilla were a porcupine; at the slightest touch Laura could burst and she would be gone forever. So Carmilla moved carefully, thoughtfully only applying the slightest pressure against her lips as the tip of her tongue tried to slide past them.

Everything began to click into place for Laura; like dominoes lined up and someone just flicked over the first one and now everything was falling into place, revealing an intricate design set off by the catalyst.

Carmilla was that catalyst in Laura’s intricate design.

It would’ve made Laura feel so silly that it took her this long to believe what Carmilla was saying if it weren’t for being so intoxicated by the very feel of Carmilla’s lips on hers again. It was distracting and amazing and everything she could ever want all rolled up into one.

Carmilla didn’t want to be just friends and this love wasn’t platonic. Laura wasn’t going to have to get over her feelings for the girl because Carmilla was in love with her, her, and it was an amazing thing. Laura felt a laugh begging to burst free because wow what a turn of events!

This guarded, broody girl who had been so afraid of letting anyone in that she rather go through life alone was in love with her.

How did she get so lucky?

Laura’s hands fell from Carmilla’s neck and smoothed down until she and gripped at the leather of her jacket while Carmilla’s threaded through Laura’s hair, deepening the kiss. She didn’t know who was pulling on who more, but any space between them disappeared. Their chests pressed flush, so impossibly close that Laura swore she could feel the pounding of Carmilla’s heart.

Maybe it was her own? She couldn’t tell the difference now but that didn’t matter to her. They could beat as one for all she cared.

Then Carmilla tilted her head and ran her tongue along Laura’s lip which caused a shiver to skate down Laura’s spine and her grip on Carmilla’s back to tighten. Laura parted her lips, welcoming Carmilla in, and suddenly she was breathless.

Laura thought she might actually pass out from the feel because she didn’t think she could remember how to breathe with the way Carmilla’s tongue glided against hers.

She was falling again but this time Carmilla was there with her arms wide open ready to catch her. Laura’s heart raced and everything felt foggy and as Carmilla’s grip tightened all she knew was that she wanted more, more, more-

“Hey!” Someone suddenly called out angrily, voice deep with authority.

“Fuck,” Laura shrieked under her breath and pulled away from Carmilla to face the voice.

 Carmilla was less concerned and scrunched her face in disgust at the interruption as she turned towards the noise too.

“What?” Carmilla scoffed, tone full of utter contempt.

Laura’s eyes widened in terror, slowly dragging from the man in the doorway to Carmilla, “Carm…that’s my landlord.”

Laura’s hushed tone barely made Carmilla’s suddenly defensive stance falter. Her eyes narrowed, never leaving the man’s as she whispered, “So?”

“You’re not meant to be up here, that’s what!” The landlord bit back then jutted his thumb behind him, “Leave before I call the cops.”

“That’s a little dramatic, don’t you think?” Carmilla quipped off-handedly, setting her fist on her hip.

Laura pressed her lips tight together to keep from gaping at Carmilla; what is she doing?

Instead, she gave her a light jab to the side with her elbow followed by a pointed look before calling out to the man, “We’re leaving now!”

Carmilla grumbled something undiscernible while Laura let out a flurry of apologies and quickly grabbed her whiteboard. She then reached for Carmilla and pulled her along. Carmilla, of course, dragged her feet the whole way. Maybe her aversion to authority really was a thing?  

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Dean, it won’t happen again!” Laura urged as she and Carmilla slid past him.

He just gave them both a disapprovingly look before turning back to the door and locking it properly. He grumbled beneath his breath, “Horny kids.”

Carmilla and Laura didn’t linger long after that and tore down the hallway as fast as they could.

“Oh my God, I can’t believe that happened!” Laura gasped as she continued to pull Carmilla along. She looked back at the girl who now wore a proud smirk, “What’s that face? You almost got the cops called on us.”

“I did not,” Carmilla snorted and quickened her pace so that she didn’t lag behind. She wrapped her arm around Laura’s shoulder, hugging her to her side, and whispered in her ear, “He was clearly bluffing.”

Laura nearly tripped over her own two feet at the huskiness of Carmilla’s tone, but she redirected her focus on walking properly.

“We don’t know that,” Laura sputtered out a giggle as they reached Laura’s front door. She fumbled for her keys and moved to unlock it, but when she pushed it open and began to walk through she noticed Carmilla wasn’t following.

Laura looked back and found that Carmilla suddenly looked rather uncertain.

She frowned at Carmilla’s hesitance, “What? Do you need an invitation or something?”

Carmilla’s shoulders eased before she smiled shyly at Laura’s words, “I guess I don’t.”

“Nope.” Laura grinned and reached over to pull Carmilla through the threshold until they were pressed flush together again, “We were interrupted.”  

Carmilla chuckled and let herself be brought in for another kiss. This one was quick and playful and it made Laura smile as Carmilla rested her hands on Laura’s waist, steadying herself as she blindly kicked the door behind her closed.

“You know, it usually takes a bit more effort before I let someone talk me into coming back to their place…” Carmilla mumbled against Laura’s lips, feeling the smile grow.

“Yeah, but you’re in love with me so I think I have special considerations.” Laura smirked, pulling away just enough to see the flash of delight in Carmilla’s eyes.

“Have I just shot myself in the foot by telling you that?” Carmilla asked with her brow raised challengingly, “Are you going to dangle it over my head?” Carmilla slid her hands to splay against the small of Laura’s back, tugging her just a little closer as her tone dipped lower, “Use it against me to coax me into doing whatever you want?”

Laura swallowed thickly at her tone again, but the accusation made her smile and she shook her head, “No, but I might test the theory…on occasion.”

Carmilla smiled back lovingly, “Of course you will.” Then she leaned down to capture Laura’s lips once again, reveling in the ability that she was allowed to kiss her whenever she wanted now without the fear of any repercussions.  

“Actually, now that I’m thinking of it.” Laura drawled out as she pulled away, sneaking her hands around Carmilla’s waist beneath her jacket. She licked her lips, the taste of Carmilla on the tip of her tongue, and smirked, “I think I might want to test that theory out now.”

Carmilla’s brow rose in challenge again, “Oh? What did you have in mind?”

“Ah, what is it that you once said to me?” Laura hummed, dropping her hands from Carmilla’s waist and reached for her hand, “I have to keep some secrets or else I’ll lose my air of mystery, won’t I?”

Laura smiled devilishly and pulled Carmilla to her living room without a care in the world.

/

What Laura had in mind actually ended up being rather innocent. After a night of heavy talks about feelings and love, she figured they could use a bit of a break and what better way to do that than with a family-friendly game? Laura barely had to bat an eyelash before Carmilla was settling in across from Laura at the coffee table, ready for whatever Laura wanted to play.

Laura learned very quickly that Carmilla was effortlessly great at nearly every game she had. Other than Laura’s ruined winning streak, what made the whole thing even worse was the playfully bored expression Carmilla wore the entire time.

The look fueled Laura and before she knew it, they had gone through three tries at Jenga, four games of Connect Four and currently on their tenth round of Uno.

Somehow Carmilla won every single time. It was infuriating!

Especially since Carmilla didn’t even know how to play most of the games before Laura taught her. Apparently family game nights weren’t a big thing for Carmilla growing up, which Laura should’ve guessed. She vowed that maybe once the Lockdown was lifted they could host one with Laf and Perry? The thought made Laura’s stomach do a flip, she was already finding little ways to include Carmilla in her life.

And what made it even better was that Carmilla let her. Albeit with faux-boredom, but Laura could tell by the little glint in her eye that she was at least a little happy to be included.

“Uno.” Carmilla said, pulling Laura from her thoughts.

“How is that even possible?” Laura gasped, she had at least 15 cards in her tiny hand and not a play card in sight.

Carmilla just shrugged and waited for Laura to take her turn.

Laura scanned her cards for something good, but alas she had nothing and slowly put down a yellow 3 atop the pile. She swallowed nervously, awaiting Carmilla’s move.

Carmilla eyed her card, face neutral, then dropped her last card on the pile.

“I win.” Carmilla announced coolly.

“No, why?” Laura cried out dramatically causing Carmilla to chuckle.

“Just the way the world works, cutie.” Carmilla smirked.

“Oh don’t give me that,” Laura half grumbled half giggled, “This has never happened before. Are you sure you’ve never played? You’re not apart of some underground gambling ring?”

“Nope, but it’s okay,” Carmilla told her, “We can’t all be winners.”

Laura shook her head in disbelief, fighting a grin as she gathered the cards, “One more game?”

Carmilla just sighed through a loving smile, “Fine.”

Laura made sure to shuffle really well and dealt the cards. She couldn’t loose ten times in a row, that would just be sad. So she put on her game face and held her cards close, eying Carmilla over the tops of them.

Carmilla just winked back and waved her hand towards Laura, “Ladies first.”

/

Laura didn’t win that game.

Or the one after that.

But what she did win was a kiss to the tip of her nose.

“Better luck next time, Cupcake.” Carmilla said as she hovered over the coffee table then dropped a kiss to Laura’s lips.

The look in her eyes was enough for Laura to forget her losing streak. Afterall, had she really lost if she got a kiss from Carmilla in the end? She thought not.

But there was something that had been playing at the back of her mind since inviting Carmilla in. Something Carmilla said earlier about Laura taking advantage of the fact that Carmilla was in love with her. She knew Carmilla had been teasing when she hinted at Laura at the words, but as the night wore and the number of games increased Laura found herself wondering.

Laura knew she hadn’t said the words back yet; not that she wasn’t ready or maybe she wasn’t, but she just didn’t feel like it was the right time. She didn’t want Carmilla to think she was just saying the words back because Carmilla said them first and it was the right thing to say in response, like it was expected?

Not that she would ever do something like that, but just incase. Carmilla had this awakening and Laura envied her for that and being able to recognize what those feelings meant, but Laura still felt uncertain. She was sure of her feelings for Carmilla, but she wasn’t sure yet if that amounted to love. Her talk with Laf and Perry hadn’t really offered any clarity, but it did get her thinking about what love was and what it meant to her and if she felt it for Carmilla.

She hadn’t come to a conclusion yet.

But that was okay for now, because Carmilla hadn’t made her feel pressured to figure it all out and Laura…really liked that about her.

Whenever Laura decided to tell Carmilla that she loved her too, she wanted to make sure it was the right time for her.

No hesitation or second thoughts, just the truth.

Until then, she could only be her and care for Carmilla the best way she knew how. To Laura, that meant soft words and even softer kisses until the board games were long forgotten and they laid tangled on the couch.

They had moved from the floor and settled on the couch to watch tv, but neither of them were really watching but rather exchanging lazy kisses. Laura’s eyes felt heavy now though in the late hour as Carmilla’s arms wrapped around her. She had never felt so comfortable with the slow and steady hum of Carmilla’s heart against the palm of her hand. The newfound closeness was new to them, but it really didn’t seem like it. They fit together on Laura’s small couch as if it were something they always did, the curves of their sides lining up for a perfect fit. And with the way Carmilla slowly played with the ends of Laura’s hair, twirling the strand around her finger, Laura could almost fall asleep right there.

“You should stay the night.” Laura mumbled from the crook of Carmilla’s neck.

“How forward of you, Cupcake, not even a date first?” Carmilla teased, the sound of her words vibrating against Laura’s cheek, “I’m surprised.”

Laura could just feel the smirk form in Carmilla’s words, but her voice was husky and thick with exhaustion too. It made Laura tilt her head up to see for herself. Sure enough, Carmilla’s eyes were half-lidded and a tired smirk played at her lips.

“That wasn’t even remotely what I had in mind, thank you.” Laura replied and let her fingers circle the exposed patch of skin from where Carmilla’s shirt slid up, “I just don’t like the idea of you walking home this late is all.”

“And so chivalrous too,” Carmilla quipped causing Laura to roll her eyes.

“Nevermind.”

“I’m joking.” Carmilla sighed then said, “I’ll stay if you’d like.”

“I’d like it very much,” Laura assured her and pressed a sleepy kiss to Carmilla’s jaw.

/

The nerves were apparent as Carmilla set off for the bathroom to get ready for bed. Laura was thankful that her dad had bought three of everything when packing toiletries in the last essential box like toothpaste and toothbrushes, so she was able to offer Carmilla her own.

Because I get that Carmilla loves me and everything but it would take much more than that before I went sharing my toothbrush.

That’s just gross.

Laura was meant to be taking the time to grab a change of clothes for Carmilla, because she was sure that sleeping in tight jeans wouldn’t be comfortable. But when she stepped foot into her bedroom, she realized it was actually a mess in Laura’s standards – which really meant the bed hadn’t been made and a couple articles of clothing didn’t make it into her laundry basket – and she quickly began scurrying around to tidy.

“You alright there?” Carmilla chuckled from the doorway as Laura tried shoving all her clothes into the basket. She really was behind on laundry duty.

“Uh yeah,” Laura replied enthusiastically, trying to play it off like she hadn’t been quickly trying to clean her room before Carmilla had finished.

Carmilla’s brow only arched as she crossed her arms over her chest and leaned on the door frame. Her eyes scanned the room then fell to Laura’s desk like something had caught her eye. Without a word, she walked over to it and plucked up a tattered notebook.

Laura didn’t take too much notice until she realized what Carmilla was actually holding and sprinted over.

“Is this what I think it is?” Carmilla asked, smiling mischievously as she flipped through the pages.

“No!” Laura grabbed at the notebook before Carmilla could see the amount of times Laura had scribbled her name in the headers surrounded by hearts and flowers. She threw it under her bed, never to be found again.

“It so was,” Carmilla grinned and crossed her arms over her chest again as she leaned against Laura’s desk, “Why can’t I read it? I’m dying to know what you’ve written about me.”

Laura bit her lip and walked towards the dresser where she had a stack of pajamas waiting for Carmilla, choosing to ignore her and said, “You can borrow these. There’s a t-shirt and a long sleeve and a sweater – I didn’t know if you get cold in the night so there’s options – and also some pants.”

Laura handed over the stack, their fingers brushing as Carmilla accepted it. She felt a spark, like an actual spark, but it could’ve just been from the static electricity.

Carmilla thumbed the pile and pulled the t-shirt and sweater out and handed over the rest, “These will do. Thanks.”

Laura nodded then felt the flannel of the pajama pants and called out before Carmilla had turned to leave completely, “You forgot pants.”

“Did I?” Carmilla smirked from over her shoulder.

Laura’s stomach flipped, “Uhh..”

“Kidding.” Carmilla’s smirk softened as she shrugged and turned back to swipe the pants from Laura’s hands, “I sleep better without, but if it makes you feel better I guess I can-“

“No, no.” Laura stammered and moved her hands just out of reach of Carmilla’s, “Whatever makes you comfortable is okay with me.”

“Then I’ll go without.” Carmilla grinned and sauntered back to the bathroom, hips swaying.

Laura tried to ignore the pounding in her chest that now dipped a lot lower than usual as she changed into her own pajamas. This could quite possibly be the longest night ever if Carmilla kept that up.

/

Surprisingly, they kept it rather PG – not that it was anyone’s business – and mostly spent the short time talking until Laura’s words began to slur and she had fallen asleep.

Carmilla kept her promise of keeping Laura warm and wrapped her up in her arms. It was honestly the greatest sleep Laura has had in awhile. Everything felt so effortless with Carmilla around, she fit perfectly into Laura’s life as if the spot was made just for her and it had been waiting for her to finally arrive.

She felt comfortable around Carmilla, even if Laura’s whole body buzzed at the very thought that nothing was really separating the feel of Carmilla’s legs on her except her own pants. For the most part, sleeping in the same bed as Carmilla felt like the most natural thing ever.

Carmilla was sweet and mostly stuck to her side of the bed, making sure that she didn’t cross any lines even if she teased about it. If it were up to Carmilla, she would’ve probably spent the night glued to the wall so that Laura had enough space.

Laura wasn’t going to have that though. Not after daydreaming so long about sharing a space with Carmilla, cuddling into her and falling asleep as she played with Laura’s hair. She wasn’t going to deprive herself of that now, no matter how chivalrous Carmilla tried to be. It took maybe twenty minutes of just lying there before Laura slid closer, making sure that Carmilla was okay with the lack of personal space.

When Carmilla said she didn’t mind, Laura took all the unnecessary space between them as free game and rolled right into Carmilla’s side. She settled there and let Carmilla’s heartbeat lull her to sleep happily.

/

The next morning, Laura of course forgoes class because she decided she would learn way more by just tracing over the bridge of Carmilla’s nose. Her professors wouldn’t be able to teach her about why her heart skips a few beats at every little twitch in Carmilla’s brow or why the soft sounds of her breathing were like music to her ears or why the very feel of her soft skin made Laura feel like flying.

Don’t even get her started the way her whole body seemed to melt with the way Carmilla tugged her closer in as if she was afraid she’d disappear in the night. It made Laura feel wanted in the best of ways and she couldn’t get enough.

As weird as it might sound, Laura could spend all day watching Carmilla in her slumber. There was a different expression there, a sort of peacefulness, that Carmilla didn’t usually show. Laura dragged her finger down the bridge of Carmilla’s nose again, eliciting a low hum.

“You watching me sleep, Hollis?” Carmilla murmured without opening her eyes, voice raspy.

Laura licked her lips slowly and bent down to press a pacifying kiss to the corner of Carmilla’s mouth, “Nope.”

“Liar.” She smirked and rolled to bury her face against Laura’s shoulder, her arm coming around to land over Laura’s waist.

Laura just smiled at the sleepy tone and tried to settle back down to sleep longer. Maybe they could spend all day in bed? Laura couldn’t remember the last time she did that, but as always, the early riser in her began to get restless the longer she laid next to Carmilla.

She didn’t want to wake the poor girl with her touches and reluctantly slid out of Carmilla’s arms.

“Where you going?” Carmilla pouted, brows pushed together.

The squished face she made had Laura’s heart flutter yet again. It seemed that was the only thing her heart could do now whenever she looked Carmilla’s way and she didn’t know what that meant.

Actually, she had a little bit of an idea as three little words flashed once in her mind.

The thought made her cheeks feel warm, not out of hesitance or uncertainty, but because it came so naturally.

“Keep sleeping.” Laura whispered as her heart continued to race. She smoothed her hand down Carmilla’s arm until she settled again before moving to get out of bed.

She slipped into her fuzzy booties and into a thicker sweater now that she had lost Carmilla’s warmth. She made her way to the door and paused, taking a moment to glance back in Carmilla’s direction.

Carmilla looked so peaceful with her head resting on Laura’s yellow pillow, her hand tucked under her cheek while the other laid splayed out where Laura once was. Watching made Laura’s heart swell and she couldn’t help but move back to the edge of the bed.

She carefully smoothed over Carmilla’s silky hair and bent down to press a kiss to her cheek. She lingered there for a moment as she felt the stupid little unnecessary butterflies return.

Now she didn’t think they were so stupid when she looked at Carmilla, how could she? If anything they made her smile and encourage words that continued to flash in her mind like a strobe light.

But she wouldn’t say them now, not when Carmilla wasn’t awake to hear them so she padded off to the bathroom to start her morning.

It wasn’t the moment she had been waiting for, but she could feel it coming.

While she waited in the kitchen for the kettle to boil, she flicked on the news and went to get her laptop from the coffee table. She set up at the island counter and proceeded to make her first coffee of the day, hoping to get a little work done before Carmilla woke although it was a little harder to concentrate knowing that the girl was just in the other room.

The girl that she loved.

She paused when the thought fully formed and smiled. The words had been flashing in her head all morning, but it wasn’t until now that she really understood what was happening.

Laura could feel the ache in her cheeks from smiling so hard, she just couldn’t contain herself. She felt so full of something and it was begging to burst free from her chest. She wanted to shout it out loud and dance around her kitchen just out of pure happiness.

She couldn’t wait to tell Carmilla, she even considered dragging the sleepy girl from her slumber just so she could shower her with all the love she felt. But she decided against and let Carmilla sleep. Laura was in no rush, she’d have all the time in the world to show Carmilla just how much she loved her.  

Laura settled back on her laptop and flipped through her open assignments before stopping to hover over one tab that she has been kept open in the background for weeks. She clicked into it, eyes scanning over what was essentially her and Carmilla’s story.

They had come a long way from pizza boxes and charades and the thought made Laura smile into her coffee cup, suddenly inspired to finally finish the article.

/

Carmilla didn’t stir for another hour, but when she finally did she was lured out of bed by the smell of fresh coffee and the absence of Laura.

“There you are.” Carmilla greeted huskily as she walked into the kitchen with her hair sleep-tousled and one fist rubbing at her eye, “I forgot to take my contacts out.”

“Ouch,” Laura frowned and looked up from her laptop to take in the sight of Carmilla fully. Laura almost forgot Carmilla was pants-less, but man she did not mind the view. She blinked slowly as her eyes dragged up Carmilla’s bare legs but managed to say a convincing, “Good morning.”

That paired with seeing Carmilla in just her sweater, her favorite one at that, made Laura very happy. She could totally get use to spending her mornings like this. Her eyes stayed transfixed until Carmilla was closer, her legs now out of sight beneath the countertop.

“I think you dropped something,” Carmilla smirked, causing Laura to frown questioningly as she stopped next to Laura. She touched under Laura’s chin, “Your jaw?”

“Ah, so you are this hilarious even so early in the morning.” Laura grumbled sarcastically, making Carmilla chuckle.  

“I try.” Carmilla teased and stepped around the counter to press a kiss to Laura’s cheek, “Good morning.”

The domesticity of it all made Laura nearly melt right on the spot; since when had she become such a sucker for this? She didn’t care about the answer, not when Carmilla looked to her so lovingly.

It reminded her of the three little words that began to flash again.

Was now the right time?

“Is there enough left for me?” Carmilla asked as she leaned on the counter, interrupting Laura’s thoughts with her eyes on the French press.

“Totally,” Laura paused for a moment and retrieved the cup that she had left out for Carmilla. She began pouring the contents of the French press, thankful she decided to brew another just a little bit ago so it was still hot.

“Thanks,” Carmilla smiled softly as Laura handed her the mug and took a sip.

Laura bit her lip at the sight of Carmilla drinking from her favorite Tardis mug as her stomach filled to the brim with butterflies.

Now, say it now.

“What are you working on?” Carmilla asked and settled in closer to Laura.

Laura looked up as Carmilla gestured to the laptop before taking another sip, “Oh, right. Yeah, it’s just this assignment I’ve been working on for awhile, just doing the finishing touches now.”

“Oh?” Carmilla hummed, “What is it about?”

Judging by her tone and how her eyes were already gliding along the title, Laura could tell Carmilla knew already what it was but she just loved to push her buttons.

“Well…It’s about this girl I met on a roof.” Laura answered casually as Carmilla rested her chin on Laura’s shoulder and moved her free hand to encircle her waist.

“Sounds interesting,” Carmilla said and tilted her head slightly so that her lips brushed against Laura’s ear, “Tell me more.”

Laura gulped at the shivers the tone sent but slowly turned so that she could face her fully.

Carmilla’s eyes danced playfully from Laura’s eyes to her lips then back up again like she was daring her to move.

“Well, she’s really great.” Laura continued coolly although her face felt flushed, “She reads a lot and she looks really good in leather…and also my sweater.” Her words made Carmilla smirk and Laura chuckled, “She thinks she’s really badass because she acts so cool and disaffected,” Carmilla quirked her brow in challenge, “But deep down, she’s a kind of a softie.”

“I think she would disagree with you there, Cupcake.”

Carmilla’s interjection made Laura laugh again, “I don’t think she would.”

Carmilla looked to her unamused although she continued to smile.

“Despite thinking she’s a badass – we’ll agree to disagree there – she’s actually really sweet and super kind. She helps me study and she’s always so encouraging whenever I feel overwhelmed. She’s selfless like that. She thinks she’s not so good with words, but I beg to differ.” Laura watched Carmilla soften, “I think she’s amazing at it, even if she can be a little hard on herself sometimes. She tries and that counts for something, I hope she knows that.”

“I think she does.” Carmilla muttered through a soft smile.

“Good.”

“Anything else?”

“Actually yes,” Laura smirked as she wrapped her arms around Carmilla, “I think she’s quite special and she’s so deserving of all the good things. And maybe it sounds a little cheesy, but I hope I can be a part of her life for a long time. I want to be someone that makes her happy because she deserves that too. She deserves happiness.”

“Laura..” Carmilla breathed out in awe, “You’re...”

“Awesome? I know.” Laura snickered and let Carmilla tilt her chin up for one more chaste kiss that began to deepen. Laura put her hand on Carmilla’s shoulder, “Wait, I’m not finished.”

“There’s more?” Carmilla grinned, disbelief in her tone, and pulled away just enough to see Laura smile too.

“It’s the most important part,” Laura reasoned as her eyes left Carmilla’s lips and met her gaze.

This was it. This was the moment, her moment.

Or rather, it was a bunch of little moments that had been guiding her until they finally accumulated to form this wonderful realization.  

There was no hesitation or second thoughts, just the truth.

Carmilla looked back expectantly, “Well, go on. Don’t keep a girl waiting..”

Laura rolled her eyes and pulled Carmilla in for another kiss, unable to fight the urge with the playful teasing. When she leaned back, their noses brushing, she admitted the words she had been waiting to say all morning.

“So this wonderful girl, right?” Laura said and set her eyes on Carmilla’s, “Well, I happen to be in love with her too. I think I have been for awhile now, maybe even since the first time I saw her.” Laura laughed at her own timing and shook her head, “I just – I didn’t realize it until today and now that I have, everything makes so much sense. I can’t stop thinking about it.” She paused as her voice dipped a little lower, “I love you too, Carmilla.”

Carmilla bit her lip at Laura’s words, like she was trying to keep from smiling too big but she couldn’t help it. She set down her mug and pulled Laura in closer, wrapping her arms around her shoulders. The bashful smile spilt and she leaned in for a kiss, soft and slow and full of all the things she felt for the girl.

Laura melted in the embrace, feeling her whole heart swell.

This was the very feeling she never thought she’d get to experience because of the lockdown. How could she if she were to be confined to her home? But somehow, she and Carmilla found a way. This unabashed love and pure happiness wasn’t something she ever hoped to find, at least not in isolation, but she did. Now she was completely head over heels in love with a girl she met on a roof of all places!

The thought made her laugh against Carmilla’s lips, because they did it.

 They actually did it; they beat the system, they cracked the code, they…found love in a hopeless place!

Rihanna really did know what she was talking about!

“I love you,” Laura mumbled happily again, so elated by the way the words made her feel as they left her, “Wow, that’s so satisfying to say. Is this how it feels for you too?” Laura didn’t give Carmilla a chance to answer as she pressed her lips to hers, punctuating each I love you with a kiss.  

Carmilla could only chuckle against Laura’s lips before moving to rest their foreheads together. She smiled back lovingly with eyes full of pride and adoration, “I love you too and you’re going to get such a good grade on this article.”