Whenever You're Cheer Me
"Crap on a crap cracker, I am so, so, sooo sorry!"
"For what?" Ophelia replied, shrugging as her hand continued to hold Roxie's car door half-open. "Maybe this hasn't been the grandest day of our times, but it's not like-"
"I didn't want our little... tryst to be revealed in that manner," I said dejectedly. "Especially not with my mother's positive spin on it."
"Not your fault. I mean, they had to find out sooner or later, and... and I guess it's best we took care of everybody in one traumatic moment." Her lips pursed for a moment before she said, "I'm sorry, too - for putting you on the spot in front of Sabrina. That was horrible of me, I- it just slipped out, I couldn't stop myself!"
I half-smiled. "Don't beat yourself up over it. Bad timing seems to be a theme with today- or my whole life. But..."
Her eyebrows arched, and the barbell through her nose caught the noonday sun. "What?"
"Are you sure you're gonna be okay?" I hurried ahead. "Ophie, I love you like a sister, and it'd kill me if-"
"Stop worrying," she sighed with a weary grin. "Residual mixed-up feelings. Or... okay, do you want blunt honesty?"
"Against my better judgment... yes?"
"Okay." She stepped away from the car door. As she debated her words carefully, I noticed Adymm and Roxie were chatting several feet away, and I felt a twinge - but why? Was I having my own residual aches over Koriander, or did I care because I cared about both of them as my very close friends? Weirdness, thy name is Libby.
Hesitation. "Nothing - you seemed really far away."
"I was," I admitted. "But go on."
"You are extremely attractive," she began with, which I did not appreciate. In fact, I took another quick glance around to make sure nobody was watching or listening. "If I were to scale you, you'd be in the twelve range. And that's on top of how much deeper, and more compassionate, and- and worldly you've become in the past couple years."
"Is that so?" I said, trying not to reflexively giggle while overcompensating for my acute discomfort (and thereby expose it). "How would you have described me before, then?"
She snorted, rolling her eyes. "A black-hearted, narrow-minded ice queen... but beautiful, regardless. Libby, I... well, it's like Willow and Xander, right? I need to be more chill and realise-"
"Oh, you did not just use a Buffy-related analogy in this situation!"
"Right... geek spasm," she said to herself, then looked back up at me. "All I'm saying is, I can have a bosom companion who's smoking hot and super fun to hang around with, and it might make me think I've got gooshy feelings for a minute, but that's all in my silly head. Good friends don't always end up as lovers."
"Yyyeah," I said slowly. "In fact, they usually don't."
"Yup." Her shoe scuffed at the black top, and her bottom lip was moving from side to side, bunching up either pale cheek alternately. Secretly, I wasn't sure she believed what she was saying, but it did make sense. "And then there's Thad, and he's- well, a royal mess, but I do love him. We were broken up when- uh, the subway, but I can't help but feel guilty over it. So... when the residuals bleed out, we'll all be back to normal, I think."
"Thank you," I breathed extra-heavily. "I'd welcome a dose of 'copacetic' for once in my existence."
"I j-just need you to understand one thing," she began nervously, staring me straight in the eyes. "If there was ever anybody that could steal me away from him... it... Goddess, it's a pain in the ass, but I need you to watch out for that a little bit, okay?"
"You mean, try not to subconsciously woo you with my feminine charms?" I snickered. "I'll do my best."
"Don't laugh," she said quietly.
"I'm not laughing at you," I reassured her, clamping my hand down on her shoulder so hard she couldn't not feel it. "Well, I guess I'm laughing at me, but... but don't worry about either of us messing things up. You're worth too much to me, and I will most certainly be making sure all our checks balance."
For my trouble, I got a long, watery gaze that sort of broke my heart and fixed it at the same time. "Thanks," she whispered, then cleared her throat and spoke in something closer to her usual tones. "Now, maybe I should go talk to TQ before he melts down and starts beating up strangers... or worse yet, sees us talking."
"Hmm... I'll bet I'm not his favourite person right now."
She laughed, and then I knew for sure that things would be right again. "On the lower half of the totem pole, I'm sure. I'll work on him for you."
"Every band needs a bassist, and a disgruntled bassist never bodes well."
"You really do need to get on that," Adymm said as he and Roxie neared the car. My muscles tensed; why? Then again, all my relationships had shifted or changed entirely in the past few days. When could I relax? "Jesus, I've never seen him look so much like a lost puppy."
"Thanks," Ophelia moaned. "That's what I needed to hear."
"So it is true, huh?" Roxie was saying, looking between the two of us with the sort of fascination you might give the hippopotami at the zoo. "I didn't wanna say anything in front of Mom and Pop, but... but you guys really did-"
"Could you not?" I said quickly. "Reliving is unwise."
"Ophelia, you dog," Adymm chided. "Trying to steal my woman right out from under me. You got brass ones!"
"I don't have any ones," she mumbled, very obviously confused by this good-natured reaction. "You're not mad?"
"Nah," he breathed. "Well, maybe if I found out before Sabrina's letter surfaced, but they happened around the same time - there was no time to confront you over one lip-lock when I could tell Libbs had bigger problems."
"Who are you, Mr Wizard?" I said. "You don't know everything. And you have some serious crow to eat from trying to break up with me on what was already the worst day of my-"
"Speaking of chowing on crow..."
Sabrina frowned as she came to a stop. Where had she been? Talking to Morgan, it looked like; the vibrant auburn locks were disappearing through a car door several dozen feet away. Her hands were in the back pockets of her jeans, and she wasn't looking directly at anyone. After a few seconds, Roxie said, "Um... what, did you want to pick one up on the way home?"
"Got enough stuck in my teeth to last a week," she said glumly. "I, uh... yeah. Ophelia, I owe you an apology in a humongous way."
"What?" Ophelia replied numbly, glancing at me briefly. Wow, did she look shocked - I probably did, too! "You... what?"
"I mean, we- I kept giving you grief over stuff that's none of my business, and- well, I'm sorry. You didn't deserve any of tha-"
It was Sabrina's turn to blink rapidly when two thin arms began squeezing the pudding out of her. A minute or two passed as they embraced, and right about the time Sabrina tried to find her voice, Ophelia whispered something in her ear that halted her from continuing. When they broke apart, two sets of eyes were being wiped clear of unnecessary moisture.
"S-see you guys back at the college house," Ophelia mumbled as she climbed into Roxie's back seat. Roxie and Adymm tried to get more out of us with piercing, inquisitive stares, but when Sabrina and I merely shrugged, they climbed inside as well.
"What did she say to you?" I asked as we headed to the Saturn.
"N-nothing," Sabrina lied. "Not important."
"Out with it, you," I demanded, bumping into her shoulder with my own. She laughed weakly.
"Fine. She said... she- if I hurt you, she'll 'fucking murder' me. Her precise phraseology."
Pursing my lips, I nodded as I opened the passenger door. "Sounds like Ophie-Dokies. Take it as a compliment."
"A death threat is a compliment?"
"It means she approves, even if the trust isn't quite there yet." As Sabrina plopped down behind the wheel, I stared down at my knees and sighed. "I... didn't want you to find out about it like this. Gah, I figured days, weeks from now, we could dip into horrible details like-"
"What's done is done, Libby. You and me are stronger than a smooch on the subway."
My eyes darted up. "We are?" But my heart was thundering so loud, and all because her hand was at my cheek. Her palms are so soft, so calming, and yet... "We are."
"You bet your sweet patootie we are," she said with a smile as she started the car, eyes never leaving mine. "And you do have one sweet patootie."
I twitched bashfully. "Breeny!"
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Roxie slept on the living room floor that night, next to where Ophelia was staking out the couch. Hey, she volunteered; I was more than glad to let her, though, and I gave her so much undying gratitude that her cheeks started growing pink (or rose-ish, since her skin is so deeply olive). Cool though she may be with the idea of girls who like girls, I think having one hug you and kiss your cheeks repeatedly amid a flurry of "thank yous" is beyond her tolerance levels just yet. She was a good sport, though; in fact, Milnot took this hilarious picture of me jumping into her lap, snapped just in time to get me grinning like a Cheshire cat... and Roxie's eyes wide as dinner plates.
We have reached a difficult part of these memoirs. In the interest of total disclosure, of giving you everything my heart can hold, I'm going to let you see as much as I can handle the world knowing about. Don't complain when you reach the end - just be glad I didn't have another fit of dire embarrassment and delete this part.
My stomach was doing a Can-Can and I was hoping my sweat glands would decide to obey me as I returned from the bathroom and laid my hand on the doorknob. Was I ready for this? I mean, as intimate and loving and beautiful as our first night together in the old high school gym had been, we were fully clothed in huge, frilly dresses, laying on hardwood floors and mostly chattering away about how long it took us to get over ourselves. Now, I was going to be alone, in a bed, with the woman (WOMAN?!) I loved more than my own life - no lights, no clothes, no interruptions. Well, I was wearing a camisole and boys' boxers, but if the mood moved us...
One more deep breath. I entered.
"Hey!" Sabrina barked when she saw me. "No cheerleaders allowed!"
"Freak," I snapped, folding my arms as my bottom bumped the door closed. "You will make an exception, or else."
Her eyebrow raised. She was already in bed; a lump formed, trying to cut off my speech. "Or else what?"
"Or else I'll have to leave."
"Good point." She flashed a cunning little grin. "Get over here, then."
As I lifted the covers gently and slid under them, a hundred thoughts started taunting me at once. What would this feel like? I'd never even gone this far with Adymm, so I had no thoughts to compare this to. What went where? Sex education never covered the mechanics of lesbianism!
Arms snaked over my scarcely-covered flesh. "Welcome to my parlour..."
"You are definitely the spider, here," I whispered irritably. What was that touching my leg? Her leg? My beleaguered brain wasn't ready! "Um, so, um, hi."
"Hey," she whispered directly into my ear. Oooh, that drove me up the wall! I could feel my body reacting (overreacting?), and my tongue flitted along my lips to distract my brain from the naughtier nerve endings. "Would you like to play a game?"
"N-no, but I don't suppose I have a choice."
"It's called, 'Guess What Sabrina Wants To Do To Libby'."
I didn't like where this was going. Or I did, but I didn't want to admit it, and I was also in the middle of losing my sanity! "O- okay, how do you play?"
"Very simple. You guess what I'm thinking about doing to you right now. If you answer wrong... I get to do it."
I smiled probably the most embarrassed smile in human history. "And if I g-get it right?"
"You get to choose," she said simply, index finger tracing lightly along my jawline. My eyes, trying to help my brain stay cool and in control, focused on the tiny wrinkles on her knuckles; some went further to one side, some to the other. "You could let me do it, or do something else to me."
"Oh, fine," she laughed. "Not ready for that kind of stuff, I know."
"And you are?!" I demanded. When she didn't answer, I frowned. "You are, though, right? Otherwise, I might have to punch you in the-"
"I'm not, either," she conceded, laying back and staring at the ceiling. Only now could I see her chest rising and falling much faster than was normal - but then I realised I was leering at her chest, and moved my gaze upward. The sparse moonlight caught in her blue eyes, and I found myself wanting to stare into them forever... "Or I would be, b-but we don't have any time to let it happen naturally, and the whole shebang feels so freaking... forced! Am I right?"
I nodded. "You are. I mean, it makes this feel so important and urgent, and yet if we do it and it's weird and awkward, we'll feel like we screwed it up."
"Start slow," she whispered. "Touch me."
"That's not slow!"
"Not touch me, touch me," she said through gritted teeth, twitching as if I'd shouted her secret across a football stadium. "Just... don't stay way over there like you're scared of me. It's not like we haven't done this before, y'know?"
"Yeah, yeah." My hand started creeping across the fitted sheet to her side. "Speaking of which... what were you thinking?"
"When you were curing me of the frozenness." Inches away; the conversation was helping distract me from the fight-or-flight response that was trying to trick me into doing something drastic. "What went through your head as you, y'know... stripped naked and rubbed your body heat into me?"
Hush fell over the room for a moment as she contemplated and I advanced on her. "A lot of things. Mostly that I was scared, and I didn't want you to- to- well, yeah, that would suck. But then..."
"Then I felt your body against mine." I had to still my own anxious breathing to catch her quiet words. "I made myself tune out all those thoughts, they were so wrong, so insane - but I knew I liked it the moment I touched you. Even though you were a Libbysickle."
"I was a Libbysickle," I giggled. "So... even then, you knew y-"
"Don't go that far. I mean, I knew it really, really weirded me out, because a tiny part of me decided it felt good, but other than that, I was as clueless as present company up until... hmm."
"Yeah..." She smiled more to herself, now. "That les-bug of yours probably started creeping up on me when you kissed me at the rave, but... but I absolutely knew for certain I had it bad when you chased me down in the rain. Everything you were saying mattered more to me than anything I'd been doing in my quote-unquote 'regular life', and it was love. Even if neither of us could call it that at the time."
My smile mirrored hers until I coughed and plunged ahead, hand continuing its onward march again. "I- I guess I just wanted to know, since I don't remember any of it. I wish I did."
"We can recreate it right now," she said sympathetically. "I mean, I wish you could remember it like I do, I always felt kinda rotten that you lost such huge gaps of- ooh..."
I'd reached her stomach; it was bare. God in Heaven, what a tingle ran down my arm! Did all other witches have that kind of electricity, or just my witch? As my hand moved upward, the queasiness came back - a part of me screamed out that I wanted to feel a flat chest, a man's chest. Though they weren't bulging, Adymm had such fine, toned pectorals. Then, a brief moment later, Sabrina sucked in her breath.
It felt wonderful. they felt wonderful - despite all Morgan's assertions that me having my own set would mean fields of boredom, she was so very, very wrong. Even if they hadn't be soft and deliciously pliable, the look of surprised ecstasy on my love's face would have been plenty.
And that was through a bra.
"Do you... d'you want me to take it off?" she managed heavily.
"No, it's okay," I said in a rush, pressing my body right up against hers and holding on for dear life. Nothing had ever been warmer, made me feel like I'd found a niche in the world where I actually fit. "No, I, no- don't move. Don't move from right here."
An arm was moving up my back, and when I felt small, sharp pains along one of my shoulderblades, I knew she didn't want me to move, either.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~~*~ END Chapter Fifteen