We collectively tumbled through the door at some hour in the early morning. I didn’t know when, and I didn’t care in the slightest. I was in that weird state where you’re still drunk, but there’s a level of higher thinking that’s sprung loose from the drink and is operating in a semi-sober state.
Except, in my case, that part of me was very much still drunk. Drunk on Dawn. She was all I could think about. The way her hand was so sure and warm on my waist, holding up my stupid frail body. I couldn’t stop thinking about the way my head would dip to the side and rest on her shoulder for a second or two, only for me to yank it back up in some vain attempt to maintain the whole “friends” thing.
At least Mum and Dad were probably out cold, considering how tired they’d been today, so thankfully we didn’t see them. I’d like to explain this whole situation to them later and very much sober.
Taylor was looking and sounding pretty exhausted as she quietly corralled the two of us into my room, muttering a goodnight and a tired smile, then closing the door and disappearing. She was a damn good sister.
“There’s only one bed,” Dawn frowned, looking so heartrendingly innocent that I had to wobble over to where she was standing and hug her again. No idea what that was going to achieve, but that’s what I needed to do at the time.
“Um, I can find somewhere else, I guess,” I mumbled, my face smooshed haphazardly into her shoulder. She had nice shoulders outside the game, just like inside. Very face smooshable. Smoosh receptors.
“Nah we… um, we slept in the same bed when we were kids right?” she laughed half heartedly.
“Cool, sounds good,” I smiled, finding myself more than done with entertaining the idea of not sleeping in the same bed as her. We’d been doing it the last week in Cora anyway. Gosh, we hadn’t even fucked that whole time. Only the once after respawning. We’d practiced!
“Ugh, dresses are fun when you’re trying to look hot for a girl, but how the hell are you meant to get out of them once you’re done with it?” I complained, blindly flailing around behind my back trying to reach the zipper.
“I think the idea is someone else does it,” Dawn said with an embarrassed laugh, moving over to unzip me. I was very bendy, but not that bendy. Yet. That could be fixed also. Dawn paused halfway down with the zip however and said in a breathless voice, “Wait… who were you trying to look hot for?”
I looked over my shoulder and raised one, very, exceedingly sarcastic eyebrow. I didn’t even speak. I just stared. Like, seriously Dawn? Come on.
“O-oh… right,” she laughed, her face going an awesome beetroot colour.
“Yeah,” I said, turning back and rolling my eyes where she couldn’t see them. Drunk Dawn turned out to be oblivious Dawn. How the tables had turned.
Once I was unzipped, I dropped the dress unceremoniously to the floor and stepped out of it, forgetting that this particular dress didn’t have much room for a bra, and I hadn’t worn one. At least my back was to her, not that it mattered. Her lips, tongue and fingers had already been all over me before anyway. Gosh I wished she’d do it again. Maybe not now while we were both drunk, but maybe later.
Either way, I got a choked gasp from behind me as I walked over to my old dresser in only my underwear and rifled through it until I found an old T-shirt. Boom! Perfect sleeping clothes. I slipped it on and then turned back to Dawn, offering her a second one.
“Here, I can’t imagine you want to sleep in your party clothes,” I smiled, then swayed a little as the drink reminded me that I should lay down.
“Alright, but turn your back,” she grinned, clearly not expecting me to, but I did as she asked.
I wriggled under the covers and kept my head under until she was slipping in next to me. I could feel her body heat even without any physical contact, and I swear it was calling to me. Although, Dawn had been calling to me since she almost stabbed me when I spawned, so that wasn’t a surprise. Gah, why was I so… fuck. I was fucked. Not in a sex way, but in a, “My heart isn’t mine anymore” sort of way.
I stretched out lengthwise on the bed, sort of like a cat, but instead of the grunt I’d gotten used to all my life, a little purring squeak came out. I stopped in surprise and blinked, looking over at Dawn to see if she’d heard. She had. Oh dear. She was grinning.
“That is not the sort of noise I would have thought you’d make,” she giggled, her hand moving out of its own accord to mess my hair a little.
Only, the hand didn’t leave, and I found myself going cross eyed looking at it. Not that I wanted it to leave, but if it was going to stay it needed to do the thing with the scritches. The one with the swirly scratching on my scalp. Now! Now damn it! No! Come back! She’d taken her hand away!
I growled and reached over, taking her arm in both of my hands and dragging it back. “No leaving. You put your hand there, now deal with the consequences!” I grumbled.
“So needy,” she laughed, but she did as I demanded, starting slow and gentle, and I sighed as it released tension throughout my body. Damn I loved this. It felt so—
I woke to the feeling of long hair tickling my nose and a blaring alarm. I groaned, fumbling for my phone on the bedside table, only for the alarm to continue when I slapped at it. Damn, it wasn’t my phone going off. It must be Dawn’s.
We were all tangled up, our limbs trying to imitate a sailor’s knot or something, and her head was nestled under my chin. Her hair was everywhere, and I wasn’t able to resist the temptation to reach up and run my fingers through it. Gosh her hair was soft. It almost felt softer than it did in Cora. Maybe it was because out here she could wash it and care for it properly? Either way, my heart felt full and I pulled her tighter against me. If we were already cuddling, did it really matter too much if I cuddled a little more?
“Whuuuu— “ Dawn grumbled, then let out a warm sigh, her breath tickling my neck.
“You’re so cute,” I giggled softly, kissing the top of her head. I was totally stepping over some lines right now.
“Grrr… no you,” she huffed petulantly, giving my neck a lazy return kiss.
Oh that was nice. Suddenly I was very awake, breathless excitement washing away the fog of sleep from my mind. She’d just kissed me! Sure, it was on my neck, so it wasn’t like, a proper kiss, but the neck is even more intimate! Wow! Now I was horny too. Although, I had a feeling that was going to be status quo when Dawn was around. I guess we were skipping a few steps in the take things slow department!
“I think we have college to go to,” I said, hating every word that came out of my mouth.
The grumpy girl who was snuggled against me shook her head and burrowed deeper, her leg shifting up to brush against the apex of my thighs. I let out a gasp, trying to stifle it and failing. Now there were all sorts of delicious feelings and sensations running through me, pooling in a warm mess just above where she’d brushed me.
“Dawn…” I pleaded breathlessly, digging my nails into her scalp.
“Hmmmm?” she asked, sitting up to look at me, her thigh shifting and drawing another gasp from me as the friction of the movement sent wonderous tingles through my body.
“Your leg,” I breathed, my face no doubt flushed and my eyes a little wild with the lovely sensations thrumming through me.
She looked down, her eyebrows shooting up as she realised what she was doing.
“Sorry,” she chuckled sheepishly, taking her leg away and settling on her side next to me. No! No no no no! She was meant to do it more! Damn it woman, take me!
“Well we didn’t do very well with the whole, ‘start over’ thing didn’t we? It hasn’t even been a day yet!” I grumbled, looking up into those warm, dark eyes of hers and feeling my breath catch. My, she was gorgeous.
“You’re too adorable to resist completely, and you look the same out here, apart from the hair, which I think actually looks pretty great like that,” she smiled affectionately, reaching over and brushing a hand through my short, wild hair.
“Should I get it cut like this in the game too? For you?” I asked, giving her a wink.
“Um… for me?” she asked, biting her lip, her eyes flicking away to look anywhere but my grinning face. “U-um, we should get ready though. We have class and your parents live kinda far away from college.”
I smiled at her diversion, but said nothing, instead giving a long stretch, moaning in guilty pleasure as all the muscles in my body stretched out. Oh that felt good. Wow, I was even out of breath. I loved a good stretch, it felt incredible.
When there was a suspicious silence from beside me, I looked back over to find Dawn’s face on fire. Not literally, but her eyes were on my legs and she was very, very red. Oh… had that been a bit sexual? It probably had, now that I thought about the noise I’d just made.
“Okay.. I need… uh, clothing. Damn,” Dawn muttered, getting up off the bed. “I bet we don’t even have time for a shower. Ugh.”
I felt an evil smile grow over my face and I tried my best to cover it, instead rolling out of bed and doing my best to sway my hips as I walked to my dresser. I could feel her eyes on me the whole way.
“I have some old clothes we can wear. That same flannel and stuff I used to wear, and a lot of hoodies,” I told her, bending over just a smidgen further than was necessary.
Taking two different flannel shirts out of a drawer, I smiled as I chose a blue one for myself and a red one for her, then quickly looked over my shoulder. Bam! Got her! She’d been staring at my ass, and she knew I’d caught her too. That blush spread further. Oh, this was so, so very fun. I grabbed some random T-shirts to go with it all and tossed them at her.
Once we were dressed, I was in a pair of shorts that Taylor had bought me, plus a random T-shirt and the blue flannel for a jacket. Dawn was wearing a similar outfit, but with her jeans and the red flannel instead. It was disgusting how much we matched right now.
I grabbed my phone and put it in the pocket of my “jacket” and opened the door for Dawn to go through. We didn’t have time for a shower, but maybe for breakfast.
When we arrived in the kitchen, Mum was there, and she did a double take when Dawn walked in behind me.
“My, look who it is! Dawn Bridges! Where did you come from? And wow, your hair!” she smiled happily, glancing up from the pancakes she was making. Oh my fucking god pancakes. Taylor had totally warned our parents. Mum didn’t normally cook breakfast on a weekday.
“Hey Mrs Heaton! Uh... yeah I kinda followed your girls home after the party last night,” Dawn grinned sheepishly.
“I can see that,” Mum said, eyeing Dawn with a raised eyebrow and a glance in my direction.
“Oh! Nothing like that! It was just— “ Dawn blurted, before a voice from the speaker in the ceiling above us interrupted her.
“Yeah. Nothing like that at all hmmm?” May laughed. “Your antics within Cora say very differently. You said some especially interesting things in the last death dream we had together!”
“May, come on now! It’s rude to tease like that,” Mum chastised her, shaking the spatula at the ceiling.
A distant, echoing giggle came from above and then the speaker was silent.
“Who was that?” Dawn asked, her eyes wide with concern.
“That is a very long story…” I grinned, and dove into the tale.
I told the story of May and I in much greater detail than previously as we ate breakfast, and Taylor joined us at some point. Dawn was mostly silent, seeming to be a bit shy and embarrassed about being here, but I sat next to her and tried to keep her feeling happy with a few affectionate touches here and there. I loved the way she smiled just a little when my hand brushed her arm. We weren’t technically dating or anything, but I cared deeply about her and wanted that smile to stay on her face. I wanted to keep it there for as long as I could.
We couldn’t stay too long to chat however, and so we were out the door and rushing for the train within half an hour. There was a good chance we’d be late, but how late depended on us making the next train.
“I can’t believe you made friends with the Cora psych AI who happens to be both sentient and a sixteen year old girl,” Dawn said incredulously as we rushed through the apartment hab that my parents lived in.
We reached the station and rushed through. My reply had to wait until we’d made it into the train.
“Yeah, things have been very wild and fast paced,” I agreed rushing onto the train and holding the door for her.
“Seems like it. Just three and a bit weeks ago and you were in a deteriorating hetero relationship. Now look at you,” she grinned, her hand hovering for a moment as we took our seats like she wanted to touch me, but she didn’t.
“Yeah. I’m feeling pretty incredible about it too,” I grinned, then turned to her with an inquisitive expression. “I’m curious about your situation though. You mentioned in Cora that you’re only out to your best friend, which I guess was me? Your parents seemed cool when we were growing up, so how come you’re not… like, you know, out to them?”
Dawn deflated with a sigh as I brought the topic up and this time she did touch me, her long slender fingers wrapping around my forearm like she needed the contact for support.
“You’re the best friend I talked about, yeah. As for my parents… they aren’t as great as they seemed back then. I figured out pretty fast as middle and high school dragged on that they were… the opposite of great. They’ve gotten worse too. They don’t give a shit about anything other than their corporate lifestyles. Making money for shareholders, exploiting whoever they can to make that money, and gossiping about the other people in their sphere of suits and snobbery,” she said, her face showing increasing distress as she continued.
“I once brought up the topic of LGBT rights around them, just probing to see what the potential reaction would be when I came out,” she gulped. I briefly considered cutting her off just to stop that worried expression that was taking over her face, but she barrelled on. “Anyway, it didn’t go well. They started off paying lip service to being supportive, but that almost degraded before they took another breath. They quickly started down a rant about how the war cut off a ‘hugely lucrative market’ —the American Republic— and how we shouldn’t have compromised the market for ‘petty identity politics’.”
I winced, putting an arm around her in an attempt to comfort her. I can definitely see why she was in the closet now. Especially if she was getting support from her parents in any way.
“That’s so rough. I’m here for you now though, you know that right? Even disregarding my um… feelings for you, I still want you to be happy and I’ll do my useless best to protect you,” I said fiercely, feeling my heart swell some more as I looked into those big brown eyes of hers.
She put her arms around my neck in response, cuddling close despite being in public and murmured, “Thank you.”
The rest of the train ride passed in comfortable silence, and I was struggling to contain my heart and the smile on my face in equal measure. My heart going down in flames for her. I really hoped we could be together officially one day, instead of dancing around it. It was probably weird of me, but I wanted her to be mine and mine alone, and vice versa. I wanted her to point to me and say, “My girlfriend. That’s her. Mine.”
My heart fluttered and stuttered in my chest just thinking about that image. Oh damn.
We arrived at the college with, amazingly, time to spare, and so we were able to walk a bit more casually towards class. I noticed a tree along the way and how its trunk would be perfect to lean on while Dawn pressed me into it and kissed me. Damn I was extra one-track-mindy today. Nothing but Dawn going on in this gorgeous noggin.
Of course, our bliss had to be rudely interrupted.
“Oh my god! You’re the demon girl!” a guy who’d been walking past exclaimed.
He was a little weedy looking, and he was currently staring at me in awe as I walked towards class with Dawn beside me, close but not quite touching.
“The… demon girl?” I asked, pausing and flicking a glance at Dawn.
“The one from Cora! The one everyone is calling the ‘Mysterious Demon Girl Tami’,” he said excitedly. “Wow! You’re so cool! I loved that thing with the cannons on that fox battle castle thing! You were like a real lightning bolt!”
“U-um… thanks,” I smiled uncomfortably. How the hell did I deal with this situation?
“Why don’t you stream though? You’d make so much money! The forums love you!” he asked, moving closer.
Oh no… personal space, please, please dude, go away!
“Uh, I want to keep my time in Cora private… plus I get up to a lot of personal stuff that I’d rather not show to the whole world,” I mumbled, my hand going out almost accidentally to grasp Dawn’s.
She didn’t say anything as I did so, our fingers interlacing like they were meant to be that way, and I felt myself calm a little as I recentered.
“Oh… oh! Is this that elemental girl that’s always with you?” he asked, looking to Dawn now.
Suddenly I was all hackles and teeth. She didn’t need this attention. Aurora the Faervol was a known lesbian, we’d been caught being intimate on a few streams now, and if she was outed this way I’d burn the whole city to the ground.
“No, she’s just my friend. Please leave us alone now, sorry, but we have class to get to,” I said coldly, pulling Dawn towards class by her hand before reluctantly dropping it. I wanted to keep holding her hand, but I wouldn’t do that if it meant compromising her safety.
“I’m so sorry,” I said earnestly, glancing sideways at her. “I should have thought about what would happen a bit more before I took on this look for myself.”
“No,” she said gently but forcefully, running the back of a finger down my arm with a smile. “You needed to be the girl you always were inside, and you shouldn’t have to compromise that for anyone or anything. If it means I’m outed to the world and my parents, then whatever. Fuck them.”
Oh my heart. Oh my newly reshaped, fluttering heart. This woman was amazing. How I was going to pretend I wasn’t falling madly in love with her was well beyond me. People were going to be able to tell for sure.
If you wish to talk about the story with me or other fans on a more personal basis, you can join the Valyn Storyverse Discord, a server I run along with my girlfriend dedicated to Transgender stories!