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Alyssa hums as she puts her final touches on her, Kaylee, and Shelby’s computational physics presentation. It’s their final project for the class, and the teacher had let them pick their groups, so naturally, they’d gravitated together. 

After their show of support for the second prom, Alyssa found a way to forgive and connect with the two girls, even acquiring the true sense of friendship that their little group lacked before. 

It helps that Shelby came out as bisexual to her last week, and Alyssa is fairly sure that Kaylee is on her way to doing the same. 

She smiles at the thought, glueing the one of the last letters onto the posterboard when her phone rings. Her eyes light up further when she recognizes the tone. Her two friends look on in confusion when she drops everything to answer. 

“Hi baby,” she says, putting the speaker to her ear and wiping her hand of glue on her jeans. 

“Hi there,” Emma replies. The gentleness in her tone makes Alyssa sit back immediately. “You busy?” 

Alyssa softens, leaning against her bed further until her head is tipped and she’s staring at the ceiling as she talks. 

Kaylee and Shelby narrow their eyes in further unsureness. They’ve never known Alyssa to just drop what she’s doing, especially not something for school. Still, she seems more relaxed than ever. 

It’s… different, to say the least. 

“I’m not busy at all,” they hear Alyssa say, even though she so clearly is. “What’s up?”

“I’m going to the bakery by school,” Emma laughs. There’s an unmistakable rhythm of a turn signal right as the words reach Alyssa’s ears. “You want anything?” 

She smiles at that. “Coffee? And a cookie?” 

“Will do, pretty lady,” the blonde answers, overly proper. “Anything else, my love?” 

“That’s all, thanks.” Alyssa blushes. “How many minutes out are you?”

“Just a few, ” Emma promises. “ And yes, I’ll drive safe. Key still under the mat?”

“Yep. Same place as always.” Brown eyes flicker around the room for the first time since she picked up the phone, and she almost laughs at the dumbfounded expressions on her friends’ faces. “Babe?” 

Emma hums for her to continue. 

“I have to finish something for this project,” Alyssa tells her. “Plus, I think I broke Kaylee and Shelby.” 

Emma chuckles. “Oh no. You better deal with that, then?” 

“I should,” the brunette answers, faking regret. “But I’ll see you in a few, okay? I love you.”

“Okay.” The grin in the other girl’s voice is evident even though she’s not on video. “I love you too. Bye!” 

“Bye,” Alyssa says quietly, hanging up before she lifts herself back into a normal seated position and looks at her friends. “What?” she laughs. 

“Who are you and what have you done with Alyssa Greene?” Kaylee deadpans first. 

Her friend grins, clearly amused and also a little confused. “I’m still not following.”

“We just mean…” Shelby starts, trying to find the right words before she thinks better of it and uses exactly what’s on her mind. “What the fuck was that?”

Alyssa’s brow furrows. “Explain?”

“The Alyssa Greene I know would let that phone go to voicemail,” Kaylee laughs incredulously. “The Alyssa Greene I know doesn’t call people baby and ask for coffee and a cookie from a bakery!” 

“The Alyssa Greene you knew was straight,” Alyssa quips, biting her lip around another smile and turning back to the glue and poster. 

“Right, but you’re soft, Alyssa!” Shelby points out teasingly. “You’re, like, grossly soft!” 

“I can’t be soft for my girlfriend?” The girl raises an eyebrow at her two friends, sticking another letter onto the top of the cardboard. 

“Of course you can,” Kaylee cuts in quickly. She smiles. “You’re just… different.”

Shelby nods in agreement. “Like… really different.”

Alyssa shrugs. “I’m just happy, now, I think,” she answers, casual but honest. 

The two pairs of eyes on her completely melt at that. 

“Aww!” both girls cry at the same time. 

Rolling her eyes, Alyssa throws some scraps of paper at them. “Shut up. You know what I mean. Up until prom, Emma and her gran were probably the only two people in this shitty town who knew me. That can be pretty suffocating.”

“Yeah,” Shelby says quietly.

“We’re sorry about that again,” Kaylee adds. 

Alyssa grins. “How many times do I have to say that it’s something we’re working on and you don’t have to apologize anymore?”

“We feel guilty!” her friends whine at the same time. 

Laughing, Alyssa goes to say something, but then, she hears footsteps coming up the stairs, already getting up and opening the door just in time to come face-to-face with Emma. 

“Hi,” she breathes, suddenly different again, gentler, more at ease. 

Kaylee and Shelby stare dubiously. 

Emma’s eyes glow with soft adoration. “Hi.” She holds out a bag and a cup. “Coffee and a cookie for you.” 

Alyssa reaches up to kiss her on the cheek. “Thank you, love.” 

“You’re welcome.” Emma grins goofily, clearly pleased with herself before she looks past her girlfriend. “Hey!” She waves before looking back at Alyssa. “Why didn’t you tell me to get them anything?”

Alyssa giggles. “Sorry. They were staring at me on the phone. It was a little unnerving.”

“It’s not our fault!” Kaylee cries. “You made Alyssa all weird and in love. We were confused!”

Emma laughs loudly. “She’s always been weird and in love,” she answers wisely. 

“Have not!” Alyssa groans. 

“Have too!” Emma disagrees, suddenly rushing forward and scooping up Alyssa around the middle into a fireman’s carry. She looks down at the two other girls, filling in the blanks a little smugly. “This is how we settle most every argument lately. I put her down when she agrees.”

As if on cue, Alyssa swats Emma with her free hand, having placed her coffee onto her desk. She’s still holding the bag with the cookie, though. 

“Put me down, Em!” she whines. “This isn’t fair!”

“Admit you’re weird and in love with me,” Emma tells her. “Admit it and I’ll put you down.”

“Currently, I’m really not,” Alyssa quips. She holds on tighter even as she protests. “You’re taller than me! It’s never a fair fight when you do this.” 

“I have to use what I’ve got,” the blonde replies without missing a beat, as if this is a conversation they’ve had a thousand times. She can’t help the way her heart flutters and her stomach turns over with joy and amusement at the sight of Kaylee and Shelby still sat on the floor, unused to this side of Alyssa that she herself knows so well. “Now, say you’re a weirdo and that you’re a weirdo that loves me.”

Emma waits for a moment, and when Alyssa doesn’t say anything, she begins to spin them around, laughing when her girlfriend shrieks with laughter and tugs on the fabric of her shirt.

“Fine! Fine!” she finally snaps playfully. “I’m a weirdo that loves you.”

Emma grins, immediately sliding her off her shoulder. “Good. I love you too.”

Alyssa rolls her eyes. “That would go a lot faster if you just asked me nicely.”

Absently, she straightens out the collar of Emma’s flannel, forcing her closer until they’re almost nose-to-nose. 

“Where’s the fun in that?” Emma flirts, breath ghosting over her girlfriend’s lips—

“My mind is so blown right now,” Kaylee mumbles, successfully breaking the moment. 

“Same,” Shelby whispers. 

“What? Never seen happy people?” Emma teases, pulling Alyssa close by the belt loops and making her giggle. 

“Never seen a happy Alyssa,” Kaylee corrects. She turns to her friend. “It looks good on you.” 

The honesty of the statement hits Alyssa right between her ribs. She’s breathless for a moment before she smiles. 

“Thanks.”