The planning session fell apart after that, and I ended up staying the night with Brook to keep her happy. I wasn’t sure I was helping though, it was probably hard for her to be happy and calm when the person indirectly responsible for her sadness was the one comforting her. Still, I tried my damn hardest, and she tried to keep me happy in turn. Either way, we made it into the next day, and I went home early that morning.
I met up with both Rosie and Brook on Sunday, and Rosie took a few shots of us skating. It was fun. She told me to use my powers to skate, and then not, and had me talk to her phone a little about how it worked. Not the gravity bending stuff… they didn’t really know about it anyway, and I wanted to keep it as secret as possible.
It ended up being a lot of fun, and I was at the point with my accelerated understanding of skating that I could help Brook with some of the tricks she’d been struggling with recently. It was nice to just hang out though, really. Two friends and me being silly and filming our skating. I remember one moment where I messed up an unpowered trick and when my powers kicked in to save me, putting me into a cartwheel that was followed by a bow.
I’d made Brook laugh so hard she’d needed to sit down before she fell over. It was so nice seeing her laugh like that. The way her whole face and body were involved in it. She was such a good, genuine person, and sometimes I couldn’t help but smile for knowing her. I was incredibly lucky to have a friend like her.
I’d been so mushy about her recently, but it was just nice to always have Brook. She was always there, always willing to help and I was pretty sure she always would be. I think it was the way I trusted her completely. She was probably the only person I had ever really trusted to any significant degree, until possibly Diana.
As the next week wore on, Diana took me down to the bank to open a new account, almost tearing the head off the girl we talked to when she kept trying to sell us more stuff. I had a new account though, under my new name, with my new ID and all that. It was separate from my parents and they couldn’t fuck with it. I also signed and handed in the papers that Petra had given me, but I wasn’t going to hear about that for a few weeks or more.
So it was with a lot of surprise when I got home late on Wednesday to find Petra drinking coffee on our couch. She was even wearing plain clothing. Her hair was in a high ponytail that was probably tied this morning, considering the wispy curls that had escaped everywhere.
“I just can’t wrap my mind around it!” she exclaimed, flopping back to lie on the couch.
“Can’t wrap your mind around what?” I asked, blinking at the strange sight.
Diana was sitting with crossed legs in one of the big armchairs, a small, amused smirk on her face as she watched Petra throw herself around in frustration.
“She’s currently getting very frustrated over the strange behaviour of the magic in this area,” she laughed.
“Magic?” I frowned, feeling very out of the loop.
“Yes. I am a practitioner of the art, if you hadn’t noticed, and someone has been tampering with the local ley lines in a rather… spectacular fashion. An enormous amount of power was drained from it in the last two weeks. Well, enormous in proportion to the current levels. The magic of this world is only just starting to rebuild itself,” she explained, waving her arms around.
“She’s been rolling around on that couch casting spells all day, then grumbling at the results,” Diana chuckled.
“Yes, yes, please continue to bask in my suffering,” Petra huffed, sitting up again.
Scratching my arm awkwardly, I asked, “Okay, well um, is there anything I can do to help?”
“No, no. It’s quite alright Eloise. There isn’t many practitioners of magic on this world, yet, so the chances that I know them are good, and I’ll be able to find out what is going on,” Petra said, smiling kindly. “However, I did hear that you signed the forms! I will try to get them fast tracked for you.”
“Oh, yeah. Thank you,” I smiled shyly.
There was something weird in the air, like I’d walked in on something private, and I wanted to rush back to my room and chill out there instead. I felt like… really awkward standing here.
“I’m going to go hang out in my room…” I mumbled, scampering off out of the living room.
“You have an essay due soon, remember!” Diana called after me.
“I knooow Mum!” I called back. Having your professor as your Mum was sometimes rather annoying.
The next day I left my last class feeling a little groggy. Sometimes class just sucked all the fuel out of your brain and dumped it on the ground. I was meant to be meeting Brook to go skating, but I felt so tired. I couldn’t back out though, I was wearing a cool new outfit that I hoped she’d like. I had a big green canvas jacket on, with a big hood and a really fluffy inner lining. It was like, a white girl’s comfort hoodie. I also wore a cute grey beanie and jeans too, with a tank top underneath in case I needed to cool down while we were skating.
“Hey Elsie!” someone called from behind me, and I turned around to see Eric and Oliver from my class hurrying after me.
“Hey guys,” I said tiredly.
“Whoa, class wrecked you that hard huh?” Oliver laughed, jogging up next to me with Eric in tow.
“Yeah I don’t know. Feel fuzzy,” I laughed, trying to rub the fuzziness from my eyes. Where had my glasses gone? Damn, I hadn’t needed them in ages and I hadn’t even noticed. I still rubbed my eyes like I was wearing though.
“So... we saw you on instagram. That Brook chick and that Rosie chick put some posts up. You’re fucking good at skating! Like, you look so slick when you pull anything at all,” Eric grinned down at me. Guys were tall, wow!
“Oh yeah, it’s my powers mostly,” I said bashfully, feeling a little embarrassed.
“Oh yeah! That’s right, you emerged, that’s the whole glowing thing. You were a guy too right? Like, before that emergence?” Oliver asked.
“Dude you don’t say it like that!” Eric said, punching Oliver in the shoulder. “She was always a girl, I think? Just got handed the wrong coat when she was born. Right?”
I laughed and nodded. I wasn’t too worried about their phrasing, I knew what they meant, although I figured others might be hurt by their words. Best to make sure they phrased it right, for other people.
“Well anyway, I don’t know. It’s super cool anyway, you look so sick and it’s even cooler that you skate and…” Oliver kept talking, and I raised an eyebrow at him.
“Are you hitting on me or something?” I asked with a chuckle of disbelief. “I’m definitely a lesbian, pretty sure we established that.”
“Right right, I mean… you’re hot and stuff so if you were keen… anyway! Just gonna say you should come skate with us sometime! Eric has a youtube channel and shit, we thought it would be cool to like, feature you or whatever on it,” Oliver said, going a bit red.
“Really?” I asked, feeling a smile form. “You guys skate too?”
“Yeah! Eric actually makes a living off his youtube channel!” Oliver grinned, and I turned to see Eric nodding.
“Yeah, we’re pretty good at skating, but it’s not like a competitive or an educational type thing we do. We just try and do really cool shit. Stuff that looks great on film. It’s a lot of fun,” Eric smiled. “Which is like, why it would be perfect to have you on. You look really sick when you’re skating, and if we got you in front of a proper film setup, we could make like, a skate video or something too.”
“Oh I don’t think— “I said with a nervous laugh. I wasn’t good enough for that.
“Just think about it, no pressure. You’d look awesome, and you might even catch the eye of a sponsor or something if you wanted to keep making skate videos,” Eric interrupted. “We gotta go, though. We have a shoot to get to!”
“Okay, I’ll keep it in mind,” I smiled. “You guys have fun.”
“You too, skater girl,” he grinned, rushing off.
They were such dorks. Cool, fun dorks, but that line at the end… I grinned. He probably said it to be affirming of my gender. And like, it’s what I was.
I giggled as they rushed off, dancing around slower moving groups of people and rushing around a corner. So much energy after class… maybe they stole all of mine. They put a smile on my face though. Maybe I should take them up on that? Far out, if I actually managed to make money off skating, that would be so great.
Was it okay to make money off something I was good at through my powers though? Like, I was just randomly good at it. It felt like cheating. Some people worked for years to get as good as I was and I’d just skipped all that and turned up on the scene already good. I guess I could talk to Brook about it.
Speaking of Brook, I had to meet her out near one of the gates, so I got a move on and made my way there.
When I arrived at the place, she wasn’t there yet, so I stood there awkwardly and waited. I glanced around, bored and still tired, and laid eyes on two girls who were also waiting nearby. It took awhile for me to recognise them, but they were Rosie’s old friends. The ones she’d been with when I first met her. Oh this was going to be awkward. They were the ones talking shit about Rosie and now also Brook.
I tried to keep my head down and not get noticed, but one of them saw me. Her eyes suspiciously drilled into me for a moment, and then she turned to her friend and said in a quiet tone that was still definitely meant to be heard by me, “She’s the one that professor is fucking, isn’t she? The lesbian one?”
“Yeah. She’s friends with the weirdo duo too,” the other one laughed, her volume very much loud enough for me to hear.
Weirdo duo? What? I hadn’t seen much of the little shitfight that my friends were embroiled in, but that was a bit of an odd, mean nickname for them.
“Hey you! How is Ms Monahan in bed? Do you have her moaning with your hands?” the first one asked, growing bolder as her friend threw away the pretense that I couldn’t hear them.
My brain shuddered to a stop as she asked that. Why were they attacking me? What had I done to them? I didn’t… I wasn’t… why? I was just me? Why were they hurting me?
“I… W-what?” I asked, stammering and trying to control my now racing, anxiety fuelled breathing.
“You know what we mean. Better than we do,” the second one said. “She’s probably going to get fired because of you. Shit, I used to think she was cool too.”
No, Mum wasn’t going to get fired… we’d stopped that hadn’t we? Surely we had? They wouldn’t piss off Mystrix Pallas right?
“M- Diana is still cool!” I frowned, feeling my anxiety beginning to rob me of speech. “We’re n-not together! She’s like— “
“Yeah, that’s what you have to say right? Has she dumped you yet? Or are you in love or something dumb like that?” one asked, I couldn’t tell which one anymore.
“She’s on a first name basis with her,” the other said with a fake scandalised cackle.
“Oh good catch,” the other one nodded.
Before either of them could say another word, or me for that matter, someone else spoke from the other direction. “Hey girl, how’s my hot little glowstick?”
“What?” I asked, turning in time to see Brook close the last little distance between us.
She pulled me into a hug, no… this felt different. It was more of a lover's embrace, our bodies were pressed together and her hands were on the small of my back, holding me in place. My breath caught at her closeness. Our cuddling never usually felt this intimate! Definitely not our greeting hugs.
I looked up into her big hazel-green eyes as they strangely reflected gold in the sunlight and it was all I could do to blink stupidly. What was happening right now? There was an odd look in her eyes, something like apprehension? Was she nervous? Fuck I couldn't concentrate with her pressed against me like this. She was hot and incredible and gorgeous at her worst, so she looked indescribably amazing right now.
Her hair was also glowing gold as the light shone through it from behind her, and she was wearing that tank top and bralette combo she used for skating. Shit, it drove me so crazy every time she wore it.
The girls behind me were saying something, but I had no idea what it was. I was too lost and confused by Brook.
Then she did something even crazier, and my mind went hot and mushy and blank. She kissed me. It was a flighty, tentative kiss, but I felt my body and mind light up like an exploding christmas tree. My heart went mental and my breathing stopped, and then... she started pulling away? No!
I pressed back into her, following her as she tried to escape. I wanted her so fucking badly, so I took her, kissing hard and pushing her back a little even as my arms snaked gently around her neck so I could pull her back against me. Her lips were so feather soft and wonderful on mine. They sent sparks of feeling bursting to life all through my limbs, my chest, my toes as they moved sensuously against mine. Needing to claim her in some way, I pinched her bottom lip between my own and dimly heard a whimper of need, but I couldn’t tell from which of us it came.
My hands went all in her hair. She had such nice hair, the kind of soft caress that was also a little rough. She seemed surprised by my need, the raw hunger that was causing me to shake a little, but I was surprised by it too… but then again, she was kissing me back with the same intensity.
I was lost. Lost in the heady feelings I was experiencing, dizzy from the strange tightness in my chest. All I needed was her right then. Her, and her incredible, warm lips that parted to allow a bit of tongue to flicker teasingly across the seam of my own lips.
Suddenly there were tongues and the barest hint of nipping teeth involved, and it was definitely me that moaned just then. I was melting, a puddle of sparking desire held upright by those talented, slender hands of hers that cupped the curve of my waist and dug in a little. The contact there was just as incredible, the way her fingers were ever so slightly kneading at my quivering body.
Then she pulled slightly out of the kiss, staring down at me with surprise written all over her expression. Gosh her eyes were so… so.. Words! I didn’t have any words at that moment, I was limp and dizzy and it was all I could do to nestle my head into her shoulder while I recovered from whatever the fuck had just happened.
She said something, and it was like I was hearing it from the other end of a tunnel. She asked, “You two done being assholes to my girlfriend? Or are you going to keep throwing dumb ass rumours around?”
Wait, girlfriend? I was… wow, my chest felt strange at that word. I wasn’t her girlfriend was I though? Unless she meant it like, girl friend. Her best friend who was a girl. But you didn’t kiss friends like that! Not unless you were really drunk or something. Fuck, I felt drunk right now.
We waited like that for a moment, and then I felt Brook’s breath against my ear as she whispered, “I wasn’t expecting that when I kissed you but… well they’re gone now.”
“Why?” I managed to ask, the word sounding incredibly confused.
“I don’t know I just saw them harassing you and I guess… I can be your fake girlfriend or whatever. I'd rather worry about having my heart broken than see the girl I love's life ruined,” she said earnestly, pulling me a little tighter.
“You love me,” I mumbled, getting… nervous?
“I do, unfortunately for both of us,” she sighed, letting me go reluctantly and stepping back.
I swayed in place, and she reached out to put a hand on my shoulder to steady me. Why did she leave? I felt so crazy right now, so completely out of my own mind. It felt like my brain was a marble bouncing around wildly in a pinball machine. I felt so cold, so… so strange without her hugging me!
“This is… the plan from before?” I asked finally, feeling my stomach drop out a little.
I felt crap about that, and I blinked at her and said so in a hushed whisper, “I don’t want to be your… fake girlfriend if it… it feels… I don’t want you to get hurt! I care about you so much and I just…”
“Hey, no, really… I’ll be fine. I can… I don’t know. I’ll figure it out when the time comes. Protecting you is more important,” she murmured, stepping close again so no one would hear what we were saying.
As soon as she was back within range, I clutched at the front of her tank top and knotted my fingers into it so she couldn’t step further back again.
“I don’t… I…” I said, shaking my head in a vain attempt to clear it of the fog that had taken up residence there.
“This is the best, and the fastest way to fix this whole mess. I’m willing to help if you’re up for it… I should probably have asked first but I just wanted those fucking assholes to leave you alone at the time and… I don’t know,” she sighed. “I mean, it’s not like I’m not getting anything out of this. Making out with you is… wow. Incredible.”
“Yeah it is…” I nodded dumbly, then shrugged and gave in. “Yeah… you’re right. And if you’re okay with it then I guess it’s okay. Plus you’re really really hot and fun to kiss, like you said so…”
“You liked that huh?” she asked, a nervous, teasing tone dancing through her words.
I nodded and hummed confirmation, already staring hungrily at her lips again. I wonder if I could get more from her now? Would that be okay? I really wanted more. I really needed more. Gosh I felt so… so… out of control! Where was all this coming from?
“So uh… I guess… do you want to go skating and maybe um… damn, I feel so awkward asking this, which is something, considering my track record. So uh, yeah do you want to go skate? Maybe engage in some public displays of affection? I guess?” she asked, nervously stumbling over her words. She was cute when she was nervous.
“Okay,” I nodded, giving her a big, genuine smile. “Skate and PDA?”