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underneath the mistletoe

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”Okay, what else do we need?” Katya asked and leaned against Trixie in an effort to get a look at their too long shopping list. And maybe also just to lean against Trixie.

Trixie held the list up, one manicured finger running it down the list. “Uh, milk, honey, eggs, flour. Oh and could we maybe also some of those Christmas cookies in the red and gold bag I like?”

“Sure. I’ll get the flour, honey and cookies, you get the milk and eggs?” Katya suggested.

“Sounds good,” Trixie agreed, and started pushing the shopping cart towards the dairy isle.

Katya was in the process of trying to find the honey she knew Trixie preferred when a familiar voice called out, “Katya!”

“Fuck,” she muttered under her breath before she turned towards her boss. She liked her boss well enough, she was kind and flexible and funny and actually cared about her employees. The thing was, Katya had unfortunately decided that she was not interested in attending this year’s Christmas party. She had made this decision for two reasons. One: she would rather spend her Saturday at home with Trixie and their cat and watch some stupid Netflix comedy special. Two: she might have told her colleagues she had a girlfriend after their many failed attempts at setting her up with any LGBT woman they knew. Only problem was, she did not have a girlfriend.

“Kasha, hi, hello, good day.” Katya sent her a winning smile she hoped would cover up for her nerves.

“Katya, gosh, it’s so good to see you! I thought you were away visiting your girlfriend’s sister?” Kasha sent her a curious smile. Katya kept her beaming one on though it rapidly turned faker and faker. She hoped Kasha didn’t notice.

“Uh, I was supposed to, but she caught the, uh, flu so we stayed home.”

“Oh no, that’s too bad,” Kasha said with a slight shake of her head.

“Yep,” Katya agreed, popping the p and anxious to get the conversation over with.

Kasha’s face suddenly lit up. “Does that mean you can come to the Christmas party tonight? Oh that’d be wonderful Katya, everyone’s so bummed out you couldn’t make it.”

“Uh.” Katya blinked a few times. Maybe it was because of the guilt, maybe it was because she couldn’t think of a proper lie in the moment, but Katya heard herself, although a little reluctantly, say, “I suppose so, yes.”

“Oh wonderful! Please bring your girlfriend too, if you can. Everyone else is bringing their partner and we all want to meet her.”

Katya truly was about to make up a really good excuse for her imaginary girlfriend when Trixie rounded the corner. “I got you some of that yogurt you like to eat after yoga, it’s on sale,” Trixie announced before noticing that Katya was in conversation with someone else. “Oh, sorry I interrupted.”

“That’s okay, Trix. This is Kasha.” Katya made a gesture towards her, and Kasha’s smile instantly brightened.

“Oh, Katya’s boss!” Trixie said and stuck out her hand for Kasha to shake.

“Yes, indeed. I’m assuming you’re the girlfriend?” Kasha questioned, shaking Trixie’s hand.

“Uhm,” Trixie stammered and sent Katya a confused look. Katya wanted to tell Trixie that she had made up a girlfriend through a look, or possibly mindreading, but both were quite impossible, so she just made her eyes bigger and hoped Trixie could sense some of her desperation. Perhaps she could, or perhaps she was just Trixie, but she said, “Yes?” though it was more of a question than a statement.

“It’s great to finally meet you! You two look very cute together.”

“Thanks,” Katya said, blushing a little and wanting desperately not to.

“Well, I better get going. I’ll see you both tonight?” Kasha asked, slowly walking away, eyes still trained on the two of them.

“I guess you will,” Trixie said, and Katya could hear she was seconds from breaking out into laughter. As soon as Kasha was around the corner, she did.

“Oh my God,” she repeated over and over, one hand clutched over her heart.

“Shut up,” Katya muttered, embarrassed.

“Please tell me you have not made up a fake girlfriend.”

“I had to make the blind dating stop somehow! It seemed sensible in the moment alright?” Katya crossed her arms defensively across her chest, but that only made Trixie laugh even more.

“Oh wow,” Trixie muttered and shook her head.

“You’re not allowed to bully me.”

“Oh honey, I’m allowed to do whatever I want today, because I’m being your pretend-girlfriend to save your ass from further embarrassment.” Trixie screeched another laugh and gave the shopping cart a small push. “Let’s go pay for this, honey-bunny.”

“I really, really hate you,” Katya declared, but the tips of her ears were burning red and she sounded affectionate despite her best intentions not to, so she wouldn’t have convinced anyone of this.

 

Katya – 3:34 pm

Vi I’ve fucked up so bad

 

Violet – 3:34 pm

Do you need help burying a body?

 

Katya – 3:34 pm

Not that bad

 

Violet – 3:35 pm

Guess I’ll put the shovel back in the shed

 

Katya – 3:35 pm

You don’t have a shed or a shovel you liar

 

Violet – 3:35 pm

Shut up I was ready to commit a crime for you bitch. What have you done?

 

Katya – 3:36 pm

I might have told all my colleagues I have a girlfriend and Trix and I just ran into Kasha in the supermarket and Kasha assumed Trixie was my girlfriend and now we have to go to the annual Christmas Party pretending to be a couple

 

Violet – 3:36 pm

Well fuck

 

Violet – 3:37 pm

Can’t you just pretend to be sick?

 

Katya – 3:37 pm

I literally ran into her less than thirty minutes ago, she’ll know it’s a lie

 

Violet – 3:37 pm

Maybe… fuck I don’t know

 

Katya – 3:38 pm

I think it’s a very real possibility my heart will literally jump out of my chest if I have to be couplely with her

 

Violet – 3:38 pm

You haven’t considered telling her? You’ve been into her since college Kat

 

Katya – 3:38 pm

No I can’t, it’ll ruin everything

 

Katya – 3:38 pm

I’d have to find a new place to live and I’d lose my best friend

 

Violet – 3:39 pm

I don’t think so

 

Katya – 3:39 pm

Okay, maybe I wouldn’t lose her, but I’d need some time to recover from the embarrassment and I couldn’t possibly keep on living with her

 

Violet – 3:40 pm

Only if it’s not reciprocated though

 

Katya – 3:40 pm

Which I don’t think it is no matter how often you insist it is

 

Violet – 3:40 pm

Fine, have fun dying then. Promise I’ll say at least a few nice-ish words at your funeral

 

Katya – 3:40 pm

Wow you’re such a good friend

 

Violet – 3:41 pm

I know

 

“Will this do?” Trixie asked as she stepped into Katya’s room, arms spread open to give Katya a better look of what she was wearing. “I know it’s a Christmas party, but I refuse to wear red or green. I thought white would do?”

Katya blinked at her a few times, utterly speechless. Trixie was beautiful. That was something Katya had known since she had first met her, lounging on one of two beds in their freshman college dorm. Katya had considered asking for a new roommate, simply because she wasn’t sure how it was expected of her to handle sharing a room with someone as beautiful as the woman before her for an entire year. Now it seemed Trixie had taken beautiful to a whole new level, and Katya couldn’t think of any words that’d accurately describe just how incredible she looked.

“I – yes – wow. You look perfect.”

Trixie’s cheeks turned slightly pink and she cast her eyes downwards. “Thanks. How far along are you?”

“I should be ready in ten minutes or something.” Katya said, and looked back at her reflection.

“Okay.” Katya could see Trixie lift her head slightly out of the corner of her eye and could feel it the moment her gaze was back on Katya. “We should probably make some sort of game plan or agreement or something, just so we’re on the same page about tonight,” Trixie suggested.

“That’s probably a good idea,” Katya agreed with a quick glance in Trixie’s direction.

“What have you told them about your girlfriend?”

“Uh, not a lot. I’ve tried to keep it very vague. That we met in college, that she has a sister who lives in San Diego, that we both like shitty romcoms. Uhm, that’s she really pretty and that I like her a lot. Yeah, I’ve kind of told them to fuck off whenever anyone’s tried prying about it. So not a lot. I never even told them a name, which I think is quite impressive, actually.” Katya leaned in closer to the mirror and used her index finger to wipe away the dots of mascara that had ended up beneath her eye instead of on her lashes.

“Well, that shouldn’t be too hard to remember since I have a sister who lives in San Diego and we met in college. When did we get together?”

“Uh, like seven months ago, I think? No eight. Wait, fuck, I need to check when I last let them set me up.” Katya grabbed her phone from her bed and scrolled through her messages until she found the conversation she’d been looking for. “Eight months.”

“Eight months it is,” Trixie said. “And how did we get together?”

Katya pulled her shirt over her head and hoped it’d buy her a few seconds to think of something that hopefully wouldn’t sound like something she had been giving a lot of thought to. Because, if she was honest, she had been imagining all kinds of scenarios that ended with Trixie and Katya in a happy and loving and everlasting relationship and she always felt bad afterwards, like she had intruded on Trixie’s privacy and made her play an involuntary part in Katya’s fantasy life. Still, she couldn’t help it. And it didn’t hurt anyone.

“I don’t know,” she ended up saying, because she couldn’t say anything else, really.

“Maybe I got jealous because of all the dates you went on and finally confessed my feelings?” Trixie suggested after a few moments of silence between them.

Katya knew it was just pretend, that they were just making the lie plausible, but she could still feel the way her heart started beating faster at the thought of Trixie finally confessing her feelings for Katya.

“Okay, yes, sure, sounds good,” Katya agreed and pulled her pants down and stepped out of them, leaving them messily on her floor, then went through her dresser in search of a pair of tights.

“Okay. Do you think there’s anything else we need to cover?” Trixie asked.

Katya was quiet, pretending to be consumed by her task at hand. The one thing that had not left her mind for the last hour was physical displays of affection, because it was one thing that she and Trixie maybe sometimes snuggled up a bit when watching a movie or that Katya stood a bit closer to her than was necessary when they were on an overcrowded bus, but it was something entirely different when all of these touches suddenly had other motives. It also didn’t help that Katya knew Trixie generally didn’t appreciate that much physical affection, at least not in public. At least that had been the case when she had been with Pearl. Katya could count on one hand how often she had seen the two of them kiss when they were still together. It was a blessing when she thought about it, really.

Katya thought it’d probably be best to just talk about it and get it out of the way, just so they wouldn’t end up in an awkward situation later with Katya crossing Trixie’s boundaries and Trixie being uncomfortable but not confronting Katya about until a month from now. “Uhm, maybe something, like, uh, how physical we are? You know, affectionate and so on. I know you’re not very big on the being physically affectionate in public thing.” Katya very decidedly focused only on keeping her balance and putting on her tights at the same time, not daring looking directly at Trixie.

“I mean, I don’t mind. Not if it’s you,” Trixie said, voice quiet.

Katya’s palm got sweatier than usual at that and she wasn’t really sure what to do with herself now that Trixie had basically given her, specifically, permission to do whatever she wanted to tonight.

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Good.”

 

Half an hour later the two of them found themselves outside Katya’s office building.

“We should probably…” Katya started, but trailed off, not sure how to finish the sentence and instead just extended her hand towards Trixie, who took at and intertwined her fingers with Katya’s, making Katya’s stomach do somersaults.

Katya worked in a rather small department, so she didn’t know most of the people attending the Christmas party. As soon as they stepped inside and all Katya could see was unfamiliar faces she regretted agreeing to come. She should just have followed Violet’s advice and pretended to be sick, even if it would have been the most unbelievable lie she’d ever told.

“Take a deep breath Kat, it’ll be fine,” Trixie mumbled and then tugged on her hand starting to push through the small groups of people gathered around in smaller and bigger circles.

“Oh my God, Katya!” was called out, and Katya looked to her right and smiled when she saw Adore waving at her, one of her big, almost manic smiles all over her face. Relieved, Katya made her way towards Adore, feeling her heartbeat slow down and beat at a steadier pace again.

When Katya and Trixie reached her, Katya found that she was completely ignored, Adore instead starring openly at Trixie, her grin growing wider even though that should have been impossible.

“You’re actually real!” Adore exclaimed and reached out to touch Trixie’s shoulder. “For a moment some of us thought she’d made you up, just because we were annoying her with all the blind dates.”

Trixie choked back a laugh and ended up having a coughing fit. Katya patted her gently on the back, feeling just a little embarrassed.

“Uh, no, she’s definitely real and not at all made up, us you can see,” Katya said and gestured towards the still coughing Trixie.

“It’s just cause you were always so vague with the details. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t flaunt it in our faces that you have such a hot girlfriend.”

Katya thought it’d probably be appropriate to say something about her being a private person, but that was a major lie, because Katya had a tendency to share absolutely everything about herself with mostly anyone and especially strangers. It was a bad habit and had more than once scared potential friends or girlfriends away. Trixie on the other hand, she was more private, Katya knew. She liked to keep her professional life and her private life separate so maybe that’d be the perfect excuse. She wasn’t very keen on just using Trixie as an excuse, so she tried to rack her brain for a different option, but came up empty. She looked at Trixie with a hopeful smile.

“I asked her to keep it vague,” Trixie said casually.

“Why?” Adore asked, looking overtly confused. “You also happen to have a very hot girlfriend.”

“Oh tell me about it. Why do you think I’ve taken up sword fighting? For the fun of it?” Trixie gave a shake of her head. “I didn’t have a choice in the matter, I needed some way to effectively ward off all her suiters,” Trixie finished, making Katya wheeze and Adore laugh and got away with not elaborating on why she apparently had asked Katya to keep their relationship mostly private. It was such a very Trixie thing to be able to do – to make a joke and make everyone forget they even asked a question to begin with.

It was probably for the best though. If they gave too many details it’d be harder to keep track of their lies and make it easier for them to slip up and then Katya would really be the laughing stock of her department and would probably have to find a new job. And she really didn’t want to find a new job, because she enjoyed this one and she liked her colleagues and she didn’t mind the work and the pay was decent and it would overall just be a lot of work.

Bianca, who Katya had met exactly twice (once at last year’s Christmas party, once when she had gone along to after work drinks on a Friday and Adore had gotten so drunk they’d had to call her), came up to them and snaked an arm around Adore’s waist in the process.

“Babe!” Adore exclaimed and grinned. “This is Katya, you remember Katya, right? And this is her girlfriend, uhm… wait I don’t think I caught your name.”

“Trixie,” Trixie offered with a smile.

Adore’s eyes grew in size and her mouth hang comically open. “No way,” she muttered then looked around frantically before yelling out “Tatianna!” so loudly that she gained probably everyone’s attention.

Tatianna appeared next to Adore in seconds. “What?” She asked.

“Trixie,” Adore said and gestured towards Trixie, “is Katya’s girlfriend.”

Tatianna was quiet for a few moments and then some sort of realization must have hit her, because she burst out, “Wait, Trixie Trixie?”

Adore nodded. “Yeah girl, I think so.”

“You’re fucking with me.” Tatianna looked highly amused, like she couldn’t really believe her luck.

“No I swear dude!”

“That’s insane,” Tatianna told Adore, looking intensely at Trixie.

“Listen, whatever Katya has told you about me, it’s not true. I can tell you that with at least 65 percent certainty,” Trixie said with a grin.

“Well, she’s certainly told us a lot about her roommate Trixie who is apparently her girlfriend Trixie,” Tatianna said with a pointed look at Katya. Katya just shrugged and smile sheepishly. “Why didn’t you tell us they were the same person? We literally all thought you were in love with her and that’s why none of the blind dates ever worked out.”

This time, it was Katya’s turn to burst into a coughing fit. “What?” She spluttered. Trixie considerately stroked her up and down the back.

“Dude, like the way you talk about her, makes it sound like she’s hung the stars and shit. We were afraid your girlfriend would be jealous, but since she’s the girlfriend…” Adore shrugged.

Katya tried to look at Trixie without it being too obvious, wanting to see her reacting and dreading it at the same time. All she could see was a pink tint she knew wasn’t from her blush coloring her cheeks. It could be worse, she decided. She just hoped Trixie wasn’t too embarrassed. That she wouldn’t figure out how madly in love Katya was with her.

“Uhm, well Trix doesn’t have any reason to be jealous,” Katya offered, not sure what else to say.

“Clearly not,” Tatianna deadpanned with a raised brow.

“So what happened?” Adore asked, curious as ever. “You two just fucked one day or what?” 

Katya saw as Trixie’s eyes doubled in size and felt herself blush beet red.

“Oh my God,” she muttered, exasperated, right as Trixie exclaimed, “No!” shaking her head vigorously.

“That’s a perfectly valid way to get together,” Bianca uttered in her raspy voice.

“Yes, but we’re romantics Maureen. Or I am, at least,” Trixie said.

“How did you woo her then?” Bianca asked, one brow raised.

“With my winning personality, an almost homecooked meal, about a dozen roses and a lot of jealousy.” Trixie said all of this without missing a beat and almost convinced even Katya that this had in fact happened.

“Jealousy?” Tatianna questioned, looking between Trixie and Katya.

“I wasn’t exactly a fan of all the blind dates all of y’all sent Kat out on,” Trixie admitted, and it sounded almost too sincere. Katya had forgotten how good of a liar Trixie could be when the situation warranted it.

“Oh right. Makes sense. Sorry ‘bout that,” Adore said sheepishly.

“Don’t be. Otherwise I’d never gotten over myself and actually confessed my feelings.”

It was all becoming a little too much for Katya to handle. A little too much like how she imagined her perfect life and she needed to be alone, just for a few moments, and collect her thoughts. Collect herself, too, probably.

“I’m gonna get a drink, do you want anything?” Katya asked, eyes on Trixie.

“Wine, maybe? If they have it?”

“I’ll find some.”

“Thanks honey,” Trixie said, a sweet smile on her lips.

Katya tried to discreetly wipe her hands off on her dress, but she kept sweating with Trixie’s smile and that godforsaken honey whirling around in her head. Katya was so, so fucked.

 

“Are the two of you spending Christmas together?” Kasha asked once they all had gotten to the point of pushing the food around their plates instead of eating it because they really might explode if they ate another bite.

“Yeah. We’ve spent Christmas together the last few years, actually. As friends, though. It’s the first time it’s just the two of us,” Trixie replied, placing her hand on top of Katya’s restless one, keeping it still. “And the first one where we’re, uh, together.”

That much was true. Trixie had come out in a fit of anger on Christmas Eve their third year of college and without knowing the intimate details of it all, Katya knew her parents hadn’t taken it very well and Trixie had packed her bags and driven half-way across the country and turned up on Katya’s parent’s door step two days later. She spent the rest of her Christmas break there and it was already decided that she would spend Christmas with them again next year before they went back to school. This year, Katya’s parents had gotten the idea that it’d be the holiday of their life if they spent Christmas on a cruise, so they had booked two tickets and were to take off in a few days, leaving Katya and Trixie behind. Katya didn’t mind too much. Sure, she would miss her parents and it would be the first time she would spend Christmas without them, but she still couldn’t help being excited at the prospect of spending the holidays alone with Trixie. It felt more intimate, fuller of possibilities that seemed unthinkable in Katya’s small childhood bedroom.

Katya realized she had zoned completely out of the conversation when both Trixie, Kasha and Kasha’s husband who Katya only knew as Mr. Kasha Davis were all looking at her expectantly.

“Sorry, what?” She asked. She should probably have been embarrassed. She used to be, but had long ago accepted that this was a flaw she could not fix and that it wouldn’t get her anywhere in life to let it continue to let it bug her.

“I asked why you aren’t celebrating with some of your extended family now that Trixie said your parents are away,” Kasha asked with a patient smile.

“Oh, uh, I don’t know. I mean it would be pretty expensive and I’ve never really been close to my aunts or anything, so I’d rather just spend it with Trixie.”

“That’s sweet,” Kasha said as Trixie gave Katya’s hand a small squeeze. When Katya looked at her she was beaming at her in such a way that it made Katya’s stomach drop and a smile spread across her own face. “Any big plans for the Christmas days?”

“I think we’ll just hang around in our pajamas and watch shitty Christmas movies and then cook together and get wine drunk,” Trixie said. They had discussed it a few days ago and Katya had been relieved when she found out her and Trixie had exactly the same ambitions for this year’s Christmas Eve.

“Jeez that sounds amazing. Sweetheart, do you think we could get away with that?” Kasha asked, turning to her husband, who laughed.

“I think the girls would be quite disappointed,” he told her and pressed a kiss to her temple when Kasha sighed defeatedly.

“You should really appreciate the freedom you have now. God I miss being wine drunk and not caring that much about Christmas,” Kasha told them resignedly. “If you’re gonna get kids, that is. I don’t suppose you’ve had that talk yet, you’ve only been dating, what half a year?”

“Eight months,” Trixie supplied helpfully.

“Same same. Too early for the kids talk.”

Katya nodded, but silently thought that if she and Trixie actually had been together, they probably wouldn’t ever get kids because Trixie generally speaking was not a very big fan of them and Katya had never felt the need to get her own. She supposed she wouldn’t mind, and she knew she would love them wholeheartedly if she ever got them, but she was sure she could live a happy and fulfilled life without them.

The topics of their conversation changed and Katya stopped focusing on it and started focusing on the small circles Trixie was drawing around Katya’s knuckles with her thumb. She told herself that she’d better enjoy it and commit it to memory, because this was probably a onetime thing. So she did.

 

Katya had barely lit her cigarette when Tatianna appeared in the doorway.

“So. Trixie’s nice.”

“She is,” Katya agreed and held out her pack of cigarettes to Tatianna, who took one despite not smoking regularly. When Tatianna put it between her lips Katya already had her lighter lit and watched as Tatianna took a deep breath, holding the smoke in for one, two, three seconds before blowing it out of the corner of her mouth in a steady stream.

“Why didn’t you tell us Trixie is your girlfriend? And no bullshit.”

Katya shrugged and took a long drag, hoping it would buy her at least a few seconds to gather her thoughts, and think of a lie that wasn’t unbelievable.

“I don’t know. I think… I think I was afraid it would ruin our relationship if I told people about it. And I’ve wanted it for so long I didn’t want to risk it.” Katya stared out at the street, eyes not focusing and only seeing red and white blurs of cars driving by.

“So we were right?” Tatianna asked, a smug look on her face.

Katya scrunched her brows together in confusion. “Right about what?”

“Right that the blind dates didn’t work out because you were in love with Trixie.”

“Oh. Yeah. But I’ve been so since college, I just don’t think, uh, didn’t think it was reciprocated.”

“Really?” Tatianna asked, looking at Katya with disbelief. Katya just shrugged. “Girl, anyone with eyes can see how gone you two are for each other. Like, it’s almost a little disgusting.”

Katya tried to keep her face blank and voice steady and to keep out the overwhelming sadness when she remembered that they weren’t actually in love when she said, “Yeah. It was just difficult, and I was afraid it would ruin our friendship. She is like the most important person in my life. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have her.”

Tatianna nodded, apparently understanding what Katya was on about. “I’m happy it worked out in your favor Katya.”

“Me too,” Katya said and took a final drag of her cigarette even though she had already reached the filter. It tasted disgusting but it worked well enough as a distraction. Katya lit a second cigarette with her old one before throwing it on the ground and stomping on it with the heel of her boot with just a little too much vigor.

“I’m going back inside,” Tatianna declared once her cigarette reached the same end as Katya’s had.

“I’ll finish this and then I’ll join you,” Katya said and watched as the door closed behind Tatianna.

Katya smoked two more cigarettes back to back and only stopped because she only had one left in her pack and she knew she would need it later.

                                                 

Katya was resting her head against Trixie’s shoulder, both arms around her middle, hands resting flat against her shoulder blades. They were swaying to the slow Christmassy tunes the band were playing. They had started out giving it their all on the dancefloor, but the music had slowed down and they hadn’t left it, so Katya had tentatively put her hands on Trixie’s hips. Trixie had just smiled and intertwined her own fingers around Katya’s neck.

She knew they were just pretending, that it wasn’t real, that they weren’t actually a couple in love even though it felt exactly like that. Katya also knew the chances of this ever happening again were slim to none, so she closed her eyes and enveloped herself into the lie as well. She let herself believe, just for a moment, that this was as real as the beats of her heart she could feel against her ribcage just a little too often.

They danced like that for a long time. And Katya might be deceiving herself even further, but she thought she could hear the irregular beats of Trixie’s heart matching her own and it made hope blossom in the pits of her stomach and she felt so stupid for letting it.

“Yo, Katya and Trixie!” Adore called, effectively pulling Katya out of her daydreaming. “Look up.” Reluctantly Katya moved her head from Trixie’s shoulder to see what Adore was referring to. A mistletoe was hanging eerily still above them and Katya thought that she should really, really just should have taken Violet’s goddamned advice and stayed at home pretending to be sick. She also thought that she really, really wanted to kiss Trixie.

“We don’t have to – “ Katya started, but Trixie interrupted her before she had a chance to finish her sentence.

“I don’t mind. I mean it’d probably be best if we, uh, you know.” One side of Trixie’s mouth pulled upwards for just a second. “Just to make sure they won’t be suspicious.”

Katya felt herself swallow and then nodded. “Yeah. We can’t have that.”

“Okay,” Trixie said and Katya saw as her eyes, just for a second or two, landed on Katya’s mouth making Katya’s heart try really hard to jump out of her chest.

“Cool,” Katya said, because her brain wasn’t functioning properly. Only when Trixie leaned in did Katya realize that she was about to kiss Trixie and oh God she had really not prepared herself for that and she wasn’t sure if she could deal with the fact that this kiss was more a performance than anything else and then Trixie’s lips were on hers and she didn’t think about anything at all. It wasn’t a deep kiss or a very long kiss but Katya could literally feel her fingertips buzzing and then Trixie was retrieving again and Katya wanted so badly to pull her back towards herself and keep kissing her forever, but she didn’t. For a few moments Katya just stared at Trixie dumbstruck and then reality hit her. She had just kissed Trixie. And okay, it might not have been a long kiss, but it had been longer than it had needed to and Katya felt hyperaware of everything Trixie and unaware of everything else.

Trixie’s face looked a little funny, maybe a little sad, and Katya just knew that she was regretting this already. Fuck, she should never have let Trixie come along. Why was she so stupid? How could she manage to always fuck up all the best parts of her life?

“Katya I – “ Trixie started, but Katya couldn’t bear to hear whatever Trixie was about to say so she mumbled something about getting some air and peeing, which didn’t make much sense at all, and then she fled.

 

She was barely out the door when she hit dial. It rang two times before Violet picked up, and Katya didn’t even give Violet time to say hi before she was rambling.

“Oh my God Vi I’ve fucked up, I’ve fucked up! Everything was going fine and I was obviously enjoying myself because I’ve wanted to be with Trixie since forever and this was almost that, but we kissed and it felt so real and I can’t – I can’t – how am I supposed to ever look at her again and not remember what it feels like to kiss her? How am I supposed to go home with her tonight and say goodnight and go to separate bedrooms? Violet I can’t – I don’t know – I just… I’ve fucked it all up.” Katya had started crying but she couldn’t remember when and she could feel her breathing become too rapid and it felt like she was expanding and closing in on herself all at once and she wanted to tear the skin off of her body. She knew she was two seconds from having a full-blown panic attack, but she couldn’t very well stop it now because she wasn’t in any state of mind to do so. Maybe Trixie could have helped, she had before, but she had never, indirectly, been the cause of one so it would probably just make it worse.

“Hey, Katya, take a breath,” Violet said, her voice sounding much gentler than Katya could ever remember hearing it. Katya took a shaky one. “Good, now do it again.” She did it a few more times per Violet’s instructions and calmed down, just a little. “Okay, so you say you kissed? Why?”

“Mistletoe,” was all Katya said.

“Ah.” Violet was quiet for a few seconds. “Well what did you say afterwards?”

“Nothing I just ran away! I wasn’t about to tell Trixie I’ve been in love with her for six years.”

“You’re in love with me?” Sounded behind Katya and she could feel her heart drop. She squeezed her eyes shut, just for a second, before turning around standing face to face with Trixie.

“Trixie,” she started, quietly, letting her hand drop, and not she sure how to finish the sentence. She wasn’t sure, because she couldn’t lie, not this time. Because the truth was obvious, and she was tired of hiding her feelings anyway. She also couldn’t lie because this was Trixie and she deserved better than that. Because there was a difference between lying and not telling the truth.

“I’m serious Katya. Are you in love with me? Because I’m so, so in love with you.”

Katya searched Trixie’s face to find the lie, but all she found was vulnerability and earnest eyes.

“Yes,” Katya finally whispered and with that one word it felt like she had ripped her heart from her chest and held it out to Trixie as an offering, like she had given it to her for her to do with it what she wanted. In a sense, she supposed she had.

Relief flooded over Trixie’s face. That was when Katya realized that Trixie must have meant it, truly meant it.

Katya still asked, “Are you sure?” because she needed to be sure, because she needed to hear Trixie say yes.

“I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”

Katya let out a shaky breath. “Can I kiss you? For real, this time.” Katya looked at Trixie and instead of answering, Trixie closed the distance between them and Katya melted into the kiss right away. She grabbed onto Trixie both to make sure this was real and to get something solid to hold on to, because it would be too much otherwise.

Katya had lost count of how often she had imagined kissing Trixie and despite that, this, the real thing, was so much better.

“Wow,” she breathed when the two of them broke apart.

Trixie sent her a lopsided grin. “I know, right?”

Katya grinned. “Do you have any idea how long I’ve wanted to do that? It was driving me insane.”

“I’m guessing six years if your conversation with who I assume was Violet is anything to go by.”

“You do know it’s not nice to eavesdrop, right?”

“Oh, I know. I’ve never pretended to be nice though.”

Katya laughed and hit Trixie a few times for good measure. She kept one hand on her arm, simply because she wanted to and because now she could.

“I’ve been in love with you for some time, too, though,” Trixie confessed, earnestly and with a soft smile. Katya felt and electric current run through her entire body.

“You have?”

“Yes. Obviously. Why do you think Pearl and I broke up?”

“I don’t know, I just felt very guilty for being happy about it,” Katya admitted.

Trixie took the hand Katya was resting on Trixie’s arm and intertwined their fingers. “We broke up because I was in love with you, so we wouldn’t have worked out anyway. No reason to feel guilty.”

Katya sent Trixie a small, grateful smile as an answer, which Trixie returned. Katya’s small smile turned in to a softer one the longer she looked at Trixie.

“Trixie?” Katya asked, voice gentle.

“Yes?”

“Will you be my girlfriend? My real girlfriend and not my pretend girlfriend?”

Trixie laughed, eyes crinkling slightly. “Yes,” she said, and leaned forward, pressing her lips against Katya’s. “I also cannot wait to tell Shea about the pretend girlfriend thing. She is gonna lose her shit.”

Katya widened her eyes and she started vigorously shaking her head. “Trixie, no. She will never let me hear the end of it.”

“Which is exactly why I’m gonna tell her.”

“You! You are evil, I tell you. Evil!”

Trixie snorted. “You’re just throwing the compliments at me tonight, huh?”

Katya made an exasperated noise. “You’re impossible to please.”

“I think you will find that it’s not actually that hard. Especially not for you,” Trixie said, with a low voice and the audacity to look cocky.

Katya lifted both eyebrows and was almost ashamed of how easily Trixie had turned her on. “Do you want to find out?” She asked, voice matching Trixie’s.

“I haven’t had sex for a year and I’ve been eyeing our cacti these last few months so that’s definitive yes.”

Katya wheezed. “I can’t believe I’m in love with you. If you call an Uber I’ll get our coats and say the quickest goodbye known to human kind?”

“Sounds good.”