I couldn't believe it! I'd actually done it! Without my powers too! I had done a three sixty spin on a vert! I got like, twenty meters up in there air! Well, maybe not that high… definitely not that high, but still! Probably like one meter… but goddess, my heart was beating a thousand miles a minute and I swear it was going to explode. I stood there in the center of the vert with Eric, Oliver and all his skating friends going nuts on the sidelines for me. I felt awesome!
Inevitably, my eyes fell on Brook. She stood a little off to the side from the others, and her smile was huge. Radiant even. I liked that smile, and felt one of my own return to her. Then that smile was threatened for a moment by the internal turmoil I had been fighting since my realisation. I was in love with Brook. Almost as soon as the turmoil surfaced, her smile was there to warm me all over again.
I followed that smile to the source in a rush, laughing and giggling and maybe crying a little when I asked a very stupid question, "Did you see it!?"
Brook gave an amused, disbelieving snort, "Elsie, of course I saw it."
"And...? What did you think?" I grinned, trying to draw the praise out of her. I knew I deserved it.
She stepped up next to me with a cheeky little smile, pretending to measure my height, then the vert, "Yeah pretty decent I guess."
"Oh my goddess. You're so mean!" I whined, but her teasing just added to my happiness. This was her saying she was impressed, and maybe a little jealous.
"That lot with the cameras are going to be fawning all over you in a moment, you don't need me doing it too," she winked, reaching out absently to run a hand through my messed up hair in an attempt to fix it.
Oh… that wink, and the hand in my hair. My heart paused a beat, and when it came back it was with a thump that I felt through my entire body. How on Earth had I been so blind to these feelings? To the sense of fuzzy warmth that spread through me at her gentle, caring touch.
Before I could stop myself, the words came out, "What if I want you to fawn over me?" I asked quietly, my voice sounding so strange and small in my ears as desperate affection wove through my tone.
Brook stared at me for a moment like she was trying to figure out what language I was speaking, then gave an awkward chuckle and looked away. Her hand had stilled where it was fixing my hair and her face was flushed, like I’d just said something embarrassing for both of us.
"Ah… well… maybe," she said, and her voice sounded just as full of emotion as mine was just now.
I wanted to kiss her right here and now, the way she was looking. Her hair was doing that golden glow thing that happened when she was between me and the sun, and it looked so damn good. Fuck, now that I had actually admitted to myself that I was in love with her, she seemed to have somehow gotten even more beautiful.
I could only nod as the sight of her robbed me of speech, and in an attempt to rescue my drowning thoughts, I turned to watch the guys and their camera equipment. Eric was walking over to us with a grin on his face, and I already knew I’d be in for some more excitement.
“Alright, that’s the last of the non-powered shots we’re going to take,” he exclaimed happily. “Now it’s time for the crazy stuff!”
“Right! How many of my bails are you going to put into the video?” I asked with a grin, although my voice came out quiet and husky and I had to clear my throat.
“Only a few of your bails,” he winked, “Now we gotta drive to the new location. Give us a bit to get packed up, yeah?”
He left us there with a little wiggly finger wave and walked back to his friends, already hollering orders. I glanced sideways at Brook for a moment and found her staring up at the cloudy blue sky. Today was the friday we’d agreed to film my second video for the Eric and Oliver channel or whatever they called it, but it was also the first time we’d seen each other in almost five days.
We hadn’t kissed yet today, we hadn’t touched too much, and we hadn’t really spoken before now. I didn’t know exactly why she was reluctant to keep up the charade of our relationship. For me though, I was struggling to even look at her without all sorts of shit happening. There were blushes, I was getting tongue tied, I was getting nervous and anxious. The works, it was even difficult to breathe around her.
All because of that bloody revelation I’d had. Damn, I almost missed my ignorance, because knowing was torture. Case in point, her arm had just snaked absently around me to land on my hip, and suddenly there was sparks and explosions and chaos within my mind. I couldn’t think, all I could do was lean into her, my body moving on its own while I had my invisible meltdown.
She was just touching me, and yet… it felt like so much more. Fuck and I had acted like this before! I had felt like this before! I had been subconsciously finding every single opportunity to be held by her, to press against her, feel her calming, loving arms around me. Gosh her arms felt good holding me. I loved her.
“Are you okay?” she asked, her voice low so we wouldn’t be overheard. “You’ve been really quiet today.”
I looked up to meet her gorgeous, incredible eyes and stared desperately at her. I had no hope of speaking like this, I was so overwhelmed with emotion. Gosh she was so damn pretty. I loved the way her eyes always looked so kind, even when she was being cocky. She had compassionate eyes.
“Oh are you… like, non-verbal?” she asked in surprise, gathering me even tighter against her side.
Nodding, I thought desperately, I love you! I’m non-verbal because I love you, Brook! Agh! Fucking dumb stupid brain, why do you have to make shit so hard on me? Can’t you just cooperate for once in your god damn life?
“Oh, my little glowstick,” she murmured, giving me a tender hearted squeeze.
Damn it Brook there was no hope of telling you now! You smelled so good, sweat and deodorant, it was her smell. Gosh her smell was intoxicating, and her touch was setting me on fire. The way she claimed me as hers just now when she spoke too. It was so much, too much.
“What’s wrong? Are you okay? We can ask them to stop if you’re feeling overwhelmed,” she asked, going into the Elsie protection mode I’d known since forever, since I’d told her about my problems.
I could only grin for a moment to let her know I was okay and happy, then bury my face in her neck. Wow, the skin was so soft here, so kissable... I kissed it, then I kept kissing it. My actions earned a choked gasp from Brook that had her fingers digging into the soft skin of my hip. Oh, I liked that too.
“Elsie,” Brook moaned quietly into my ear. “Stop that.”
I leaned back to look her hard in the eyes, then shook my head. Her smile was alarmed as I dove back to her neck, kissing and even licking a little. Gosh I was so lost in my affection for her, I wouldn’t have been able to stop if I wanted to.
I did however have to stop when Eric called over to tell us that they were ready to head out, and we should hop in the back of Oliver’s car. The whole group was spread across three cars in total, because their equipment took up a lot of space, so we’d be riding in the car with just Oliver driving and Eric in the passenger seat, while Brook and I were in the back.
I let Brook go in first, mainly because I wanted to make sure that I could sit in the middle seat and then lean on her for the journey. Goddess I was practically addicted to her touch already. What was wrong with me? Oh right, I struggled with an overload of emotions as it was and I’d just realised that I was in love with my best friend.
The ride was uneventful, with Brook and the two guys talking among themselves while I leaned heavily on Brook, making sure that her arm stayed around me. She knew something was up with me now, I could see it in the way she was looking at me, and it was nice to know she was going full caring mode about it. Even if like… she was the problem, or wait, no… it was me who was the problem. Both of us were the problem.
When we arrived at our destination closer to Manhattan, we found a huge skate park that was thankfully reasonably empty of people, and the guys began to set up. I had to consciously and painfully remove myself from Brook’s immediate presence so I could look around at the place and try to figure out what I could do with it.
When they were ready, I had a few things I wanted to try, starting with some flatground stuff. I had issues with one particular trick I found, specifically the gazelle flip. It was a strange one that required me to pop the board up, spin myself in a full circle, and have the board do a lot of flipping too. I hadn’t actually known of it before today, when Oliver had excitedly nerded out while explaining it to me.
After that it was onwards to all sorts of other tricks that I had either never attempted or never even heard of. As far as skate knowledge was, I was still a novice after all. I enjoyed the Ollie Impossible a lot, because it was a relatively simple one for my powers to take hold of and understand, even if it was reasonably tricky to do from a non-emerged perspective.
Then it was on to the bowl, which was great fun. My powers were showing themselves to be absolutely strange and ridiculous over and over with every random trick I did, until we were making them up for fun. At one point I launched myself up off a vert and threw my board as high as I could into the air, only for it to once more be under my feet when it needed to be. My gravity powers hadn’t been used either, just my normal falling over powers making sure that I threw the board in just the right way.
I loved every moment of it, but we had to pack up and head back eventually. Still, we got so much footage, the guys were thinking about splitting it up into two parts, my unpowered skating and my powered skating. It would be fun! I was pretty up front on camera about how I was only an average skater normally, and that my powers were mostly something for fun. I had no illusions about there being people out there who were far more skilled than me.
What I didn’t love, was the growing unease I felt from Brook. She wasn’t liking my overly affectionate new way of acting. She wasn’t enjoying the way I kept finding myself drawn towards her, unable to stop myself as I struggled with my newfound desire to be with her.
As we rode back to White Plains, the guys offered to give us rides back to our respective houses. It had me worried about not getting to say goodbye to Brook in relative privacy. A privacy where I could tell her about how I felt... but at the same time, I knew she would be relieved. It hurt to know that she was suffering for my company and flirtatiousness. After the neck kissing thing, I’d tried to tone it down today but… it was so hard to keep my hands off her.
When we neared her apartment, I pulled her into an awkward goodbye hug. I already knew I was going to miss her tenfold compared to how much I had previously. Sure enough as soon as she left my arms I felt worse. Stepping out of the car, she gave us all a wave goodbye… but she avoided my eyes, giving me a simple, “Bye.”
I felt my heart take that like a blow as I watched her walking towards her front door. Goddess how I wanted to make her happy. I wanted to rush out and follow her back into her home so badly, tell her how much I cared. Tell her just how stupid I was… but anxiety won out. It rooted me to the chair and didn’t let me up.
The guys tried to talk to me on the ride back to my place too, and it was all I could do to pretend nothing was wrong. I didn’t hear a word they said.
When I got out of the car and inside my home, I barely made it to my bed before the tears hit me. They rolled from my eyes in gasping bursts, my pillow slowly beginning to get more and more soaked with them. I wanted to tell her so badly how I felt! I wanted to, I really wanted to! But I couldn’t! I couldn’t get the words out, my gut was so full of anxiety for what might go wrong.
I curled into a ball on the bed, whimpering as tears rolled down my cheeks and my chest slowly broke apart under the strain of everything. How was I supposed to tell her how I felt around my own sheer mind encompassing terror? What if she was angry at me for having taken this long to realise it? What if she said that she wasn’t interested in a relationship, that her love for me had been too poisoned by so much time pining for me?
What if I lost her entirely over this? Shit… I felt like I was losing her already.
I was so stupid! I was so stupid! Goddess, why was I like this? Why was I such a fucking failure at being a normal human? I was trans, I was a lesbian, I couldn’t speak when I was stressed out. Hell, sometimes I got so overwhelmed by everything that I just stopped working and turned into… well, this. I was a mess.
Except… I wasn’t.
Some part of me rebelled, shouting itself hoarse in an attempt to pull my spiralling and depressed thoughts back from the abyss. So what if I couldn’t say anything? So what if words didn’t physically come out of my mouth? I could... I’d find a way around that. I had to!
Yeah… shit, I knew I could do it! My new, amazing Mum believed in me, she supported me in so many things, she thought I was worth something in this world. So did the guys, Eric and Oliver practically thought I was shitting gold right now, the way the views on their videos of me were exploding! Even Maddy had thought I was worth overcoming her own mistakes and anxiety to come and talk to me, to walk into the face of hostility and admit wrong like that. She’d thought I was worth trying to repair our busted friendship.
Then… there was Brook. She’d always believed in me. Ever single damn step of the way she’d been in my corner in some way, trying to help me in whatever misguided way she could, trying to boost my confidence. Holding me when I was upset, feeding me when I couldn’t find the will to lift spoon to mouth.
Brook was worth facing my anxiety, she was worth fighting through all the bullshit that was my broken mind. I could do it for her, for the chance to be hers. To look into her eyes and see her realise that I did in fact love her back. I needed her to know, whatever the outcome. I loved her so fucking much.
I wobbled my way off the bed and into the shower to wash off the day of skating, then back to my room. I put on my favourite pleated black miniskirt, feeling my confidence grow as the fabric settled. My rainbow thigh high socks went on over my legs, because if I was going to her place to confess gay, I needed to be wearing gay. In a little act of daring, I put on the shirt and waistcoat from my failed date, rather than your typical blouse or whatever.
There, my outfit was a little chaotic, but hey, I felt chaotic right now. My mind was a mess of gay pining mixed with desperate hope and boiling anxiety. Of course, no amount of clothing could beat that anxiety unfortunately, it was up to me to do that.
With the outfit ready, I grabbed my new dark purple handbag and stuffed an extra pair of underwear into it just in case. I didn’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t like things had remained dry down there around Brook even when I’d been an oblivious idiot.
Now I just had to step out of the door. Just… leave the house on my mission. Please feet, move for me? They did, after some coaxing, and I left, sending a quick text to Mum so she knew where I was going and what I was doing. She’d worry otherwise, and when your literal superhero mum got worried, things that weren’t meant to be frozen got ice blocked.
The ride over on the bus was excruciating. Every second was a battle against doubts and fears. The words “what if” began to take on all sorts of warped meanings as they were repeated in my head like the beat of some sadistic song.
Once I was off the bus, my legs wobbled with every step towards her door, and when I finally arrived, I had to lean against it for a few moments just to make myself calm down enough to knock. When I finally managed to pop my knuckles against it a few times, it was answered by the nice roommate. I couldn’t even remember his name right then, but I knew he was the nice one because he let me in without a fuss.
Onwards! I pushed and urged my way through to her bedroom door… and knocked.