[Cheerless #6] CheerSoaked: A Tale Of Two Freaks

My Lover's Mailbox

The cold, smell-clogged air of the terminal seemed to drop yet further in temperature. It was impossible - he couldn't be here. Why would he be here, hanging around in an airport of all places?!

"H-Harvey?" Sabrina mouthed, eyebrows knitting. "Wh-"

"Hey, Sabrina," he said nervously, smiling his cock-eyed smile. Harvey had always been somewhat reserved around Sabrina, but there was an edge of fear to this now. It wasn't difficult to imagine where it came from. "What's up, Libby?"

"Hey," I said softly, unsure of what to expect. Even as I watched, however, my worst fears began to resonate louder and louder.

"OmiGOD!" she shouted, throwing her arms around his shoulders and squeezing so hard her feet left the floor; Harvey struggled to help them maintain balance as only a former football player could. "What in the Sam Hill are you doing here?!"

"The backstroke," he laughed, setting her back down. "Ah, Sabrina..."

"Oh, yeah," she laughed, glancing at his new-looking black laptop bag. "Guess 'missing the obvious' is a, uh, terminal illness, right?"

"Please," I moaned, looking around at the airport signs. "Did you have to go there?"

"Pun totally intended," she admitted, cheeks filling with rouge. "Sorry, guys."

"'Salright," Harvey said with a grin. He seemed much more relaxed than a moment ago; I suppose talking to her was enough to waylay his witch-related fears, and I could identify with that. "You've told worse. So, where are you guys headed?"

"Just me," I sighed dismally. It wasn't really his fault, but things were quickly going from bad to Sucksville. "Back to New York. Yay."

"That's cool," he said with a slight nod. You know, even with my newfound yearning for the female of the species, I had to admit, he hadn't grown any less hunkalicious over the years; clean-cut, same old earrings... nice leather jacket he was sporting, too. My dirty brain was cruel enough to let the phrase "Sandwich, anyone?" flash through it before Harvey spoke again. "Yeah, I'm heading out to Phoenix; Brad's going to school there."

"Oh," Sabrina sighed flatly. "Brad."

"Brad, Brad..." Nothing came to me. Did I know him? Was he one of Sabrina's exes I'd never known she had because I used to hope she'd end up in traction?

"He returned to Westbridge after you were packed off to Restrictions-R-Us," Sabrina told me. "Harvey's once-upon-a-time best friend."

"Oh, yeah," I said vaguely, remembering a small, tan-skinned boy throwing his pudding cup across the elementary school cafeteria and hitting me right in the face. The corner of my mouth turned down. "Brad."

"Okay, so he's a jerk sometimes," Harvey burst out. "But he says there's this awesome waterpark right outside of town, and... well, I just really need a good, solid escape from school for a while, and the further behind me it is, the better."

"We all needed that," Sabrina laughed, glancing over at me. My heart fluttered. Yes, it's that easy for her to do. "So, I guess your Spring Break just started?"

"Yep. Ate dinner with the folks, did some laundry... now, time to hit up some wicked waterslides!"

"Sounds good," I sighed. "Too bad I'm just going back to drudgery in the fast-paced world of the Big Apple."

"Well, we could all go," Sabrina said coyly.

"Ohhh, no," I said immediately. "I don't want to get some kind of spell-related flu, or end up in Antarctica or something."

"C'mon, you have got to have a little more faith in my magic than that!" she said grumpily.

"Oh yeah, that's right," said Harvey bemusedly. "Libby knows, now - I was really freaked out for a second there that you'd get zapped for telling her!"

"She does?" Sabrina asked, then shook her head out. "I mean, you know she does? What- how would you? We haven't spoken in like, a year, and-"

"My fault," I said in a small voice. "When we were both kind of, y'know... freaking out and trying not to kill each other, I gave him a ring for some advice. Don't be mad!"

"You called him? And he talked to you?" Then, the colour began to drain from her face, and she looked between us, obviously fending off a wave of panic. "Umm... so, what did you guys talk about?"

"Everything," I breathed.

"Yeah," said Harvey, now severely antsy; he kept rocking back on his heels. "I, uh... yeah, I remember the conversation, but it's kind of... like a... I mean, come on, Libby Chessler and Sabrina Spellman?!"

"Shhh!" Sabrina glanced around wildly. "Not so loud!"

"Hey, careful there," I laughed hollowly. "Somebody might get the idea you're ashamed of me."

"Don't be an idiot," she snapped. "You're no more ready to come out to the world than I am, I'm betting."

"Hey, it doesn't matter to me," I said softly. Truth is, I was terrified beyond belief, but I honestly felt that if the time came to deal with that as soon as tomorrow, I could handle it. For her. "God, my freaking parents already know - who could be more judgmental than them?"

"Hmm... point." Sabrina frowned, then turned back to me so suddenly I almost jumped backward. "Shiitake on a stick, Libby... Aunt Hilda, Aunt Zelda!"

My eyes flew open. "Oh. Oh no, I-"

"How do you tell your sweet several-hundred-year-old aunties that you're gay?!" she blurted frantically. "You can't do it on a Monday afternoon over coffee cake!"

"So wait until Tuesday?" Harvey joked. I appreciated it - privately - but Sabrina shot him a look fit to kill.

"Ha, ha, Kinkle," she said, face so red I felt a rush of sympathy. "Let's see you fly back home to Mom, Dad and the horde with Brad on your arm and see how funny it is then!"

"Dude," he said dismally, already-uncertain smile sliding right off. "That is just sick and wrong."

"Are we sick and wrong?!"

"No, but me and Brad would be," he said with a shiver. "Why would you do that? Please never do that to me again!" Then his horrified, thousand-yard stare shifted into a quizzical look. "But you guys really are, like, together? You got, uh... and it all worked out?"

"I'm not sure," I said airily. "I'm starting to think Sabrina might end up with Ophelia, instead."

"Oh, put a cork in it," she muttered. "You oughtta know I-"

But she stopped. She stopped because Harvey was there. It ached, a lot, to watch her be so unable to display affection freely because of stigmata and concern for what an old flame would think. What am I saying? Old flame, nothing. She still carried a torch for him, even after everything - I knew that. She had spent so much time in therapy, trying to forget about him, and all she had really accomplished was burying all of her feelings beneath a pile of positivity and empowerment. Even if she and I were meant to be together forever, a part of Sabrina would always love Harvey.

However, this would not be the end of all things. Maybe it could have been, except for one small detail: I am LIBBY CHESSLER. Surrender is never the first option.

My hand wandered up to the side of her cheek, where I took her chin between thumb and forefinger. Summoning my warmest, sincerest smile (it wasn't that hard, I was warmly, sincerely happy next to her), I said, "I do know."

One eye did flick back to Harvey for a moment, afraid that he would be offended, but she fell silent. My thumb ran along her bottom lip, and I could feel her pulse speed up beneath my index finger. Then, when she blinked slowly, as if readying herself for a kiss that may or may not come... I released her. There was no reason to push that far.

"Oh, how I hate you," she half-laughed, shaking her head as she clutched at her chest.

"Sorry," I said, smoothing out my skirt needlessly. "Caught up in the mo'."

We both turned to look at Harvey as one; his eyes were staring all over the terminal, as if trying to pretend he was paying absolutely no attention. The way he was nodding slightly to himself, as if in time to music only he could hear, gave him away.

"Earth to Harv," I giggled.

"Hmm, what?" he said animatedly. "What were you saying?"

Sabrina snorted. "Dork. Are you happy for us, or what?"

"Oh, yeah, totally!" he yelped. "I'm too afraid to disapprove!"

"I would never turn you into a toad, Kinkle. Not on purpose, anyw-"

"Not of you, of Libby!" He was squirming; good. "Your spells might have the most bizarre effects, but... I have a feeling whatever she'd do to me would be a lot more painful."

"Don't you forget it," I affirmed.

As Harvey was dazzling both of us with that smile of his, he cocked his head to one side, listening to the loudspeaker. "Oh, snap - that's me. Geez, I hate to cut this reunion short."

"Alright, alright, you're dismissed," said Sabrina bravely, though I'm sure both me and Harvey could tell she was disappointed. "Westbridge won't go up in flames while you're in the desert."

He nodded, hefting his laptop bag. "Yeah. Anyway, uh... man, I guess I didn't know how much I missed you guys."

It was like an animal trainer snapping her fingers; both of us threw our arms around his broad shoulders, clinging as if he were a life raft in the middle of the ocean. I could feel him patting me on the back hesitantly for a few moments before he cleared his throat, and we both found our way back to the floor.

"Sorry," Sabrina half-sniffed, slipping her hand into mine. "Go, hit the tidal pools."

"Postcards, maybe?" I put in.

"Yeah." He waved and jogged off toward his gate. We'd been expecting him not to turn around, but he did; at the very last moment, he glanced back to see if we were still there, and we waved. With a grin and a salute, he disappeared.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~~*~ END Chapter Seventeen

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