Work Header

But Never Doubt I Love

Work Text:

Thine Evermore

"Doubt thou the stars are fire/Doubt that the sun doth move/Doubt truth be a liar/But never doubt I love." Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2

Every time, every time, Mikayla thinks about Shay, Shay's always intertwined with that Mackenzie.

Mackenzie was the reason why Shay had to plot to prove herself as true van Buren, Mackenzie was the reason why Shay became her own heroine of her own story (sort of.) Shay had been disgraced, ruined by Mackenzie, and Mikayla can't help but think about how pathetic it was. For them both, actually.

Try as they might, both girls would never be free from one another.

Shay would always be called 'Gay van Buren,' by everyone because of Mackenzie. Mackenzie would always be considered the 'Queen Bee' by everyone because of Shay. People didn't need lovers, but Mikayla knew people needed enemies, or, at least, equals.

Katelynn agrees (well, after in her own 'I'm-a-gnome' babble.) Even for a girl who likes to eat roly polies - ewww - and everything that wasn't meant to be eaten, Katelynn sometimes hits the nail on the head when she remarked to both girls about 'how they argued like Mommy and Daddy.' Mikayla looked at their flustered faces, and starts reading books - The Price of Salt and Orlando made her heart wriggle a bit - and understands

Ever since Shay started to stay up late to do whatever pining girls did, Mr. McNeely calmly informed Mom about her behaviour and the fact she might not pass the year. Mom decided to thrust the responsibility of Shay's education on Mikayla, and Mikayla had enough of how those blue eyes went dull every second passes. So Mikayla called the person Shay needed. 

("The fuck do you want, you cock-sucking midget?" "Listen, Mackenzie, I don't like you, you don't like me, but I don't want to look up from the Communist Manifesto and see my sister looking like she butt-chugged cocaine." "What the fuck are you babbling about?" "I want you to help Shay with English-" "Hahaha! Fuck, no-" "Oh, it'd be a real, real shame if people found out what you did on the beach."  "When is she free?")

The first time Mackenzie - with Katelynn in tow 'for personal reasons' - steps inside the van Buren home, Mom nearly throws a fit before devouring her wine bottle and collapsing against the table. It would've been fine if Mom hadn't had a nightmare about ninjas flying inside her house and singing Christian hymns and threw herself off the table, knocking Mikayla down with her. 

"Jesus Christ, Shay, is your mom always such a trainwreck?" Mackenzie asked.

Shay rolled her eyes but can't resist the urge to snap back as she pushes Mom off of Mikayla. "Get off my dick; go suck your grandpa's old, rickety dick or something." 

"I wish I could, if it means I got away from you." Mikayla pushes herself off the ground, rubbing the dirt - God, Mom forgot to clean again - off her dress. "But your sister asked me to help you." 

Mikayla nearly froze under Shay's glare, a glare that could've sent the Sacred Band of Thebes running with their tails tucked between their legs. "Uh... Hey..."

"Don't be such a bitch to your sister." gloats Mackenzie. "It's not her fault I'm better than you in English."

"Oh, save it, bitch. Get out and get some vagasil for the parasite-ridden hole you call a vagina." 

"Now see here, you knock-off, whoring Hannah Montana, I will slice you in half if you-" 

Mom snores loudly. "Girls, girls, stop fighting about Brad Pitt. He's only here to do some missionary." Mikayla frowns; was Mom serious about being a Christian? But that thought left her mind when Shay and Mackenzie move in closer, their noses nearly brushing up. 

Katelynn, oblivious to the tension, waddles over to Mom, and attempts to put the shiny broach- Mom received that after dating some rich, English guy, who was later arrested for taking his boss' two daughters as hostages and shooting three cops - in her mouth, and nobody notices it until Katelynn suddenly bowls over with a strangled scream. 

Mikayla screams out; "Oh my God! Katelynn, she's choking!" 

Mackenzie jumps away from Shay, and only Mikayla notices the turbulent look on Shay's face after Mackenzie moves away, which only confirms her hypothesis. 

"Oh my God, Katelynn, what the fuck did you eat?" Mackenzie leans over her with panic written all over her face. Katelynn only groans in pain and spits out blood, but Mackenzie doesn't care!

"Do the Heimlich Maneuver!" advised Shay, and Mackenzie, in the midst of her panic, screams out, "I don't know. God, why the fuck did I start a blackmailing ring instead of heading to those first-aid classes?"

Shay doesn't even need to be told to help Katelynn, even though she's her arch-enemy's sister. Shay pulls Katelynn up, pressing her back against Katelynn's, and gave a few blows against her back. After pressing both fists against her chest - or whatever Shay did; sometimes her memory fails her - Katelynn coughs the broach up, leaving a line of blood trickling on her chin and shirt, and passes out cold in Shay's arm. 

Mikayla tells them both that she already called the ambulance - Shay screams at her to cancel it; they weren't ready to be in debt - and the event turns hazy after they head inside a car and drive off to a hospital. 

Shay manages to muster up some courage to place herself next to Mackenzie, whose eyes are glazed over, chewing her nails. "Want some coffee?"

Mackenzie turns her, her face a ghostly mask of horror. She doesn't stop trembling. Her eyes flit over Shay's appearance, and Shay braces herself for the hatred, for the vitriol that sets her on fire, that Shay craves (it's the only form of attention Mackenzie ever gave her; attention laced with poison.)

"Starbucks?" Mackenzie breathes and her eyes narrow on the sticker-order. "Huh, you know my favourite coffee?"

Shay shrugs. "Back when I used to be Head Cheerleader-" The memory stings her, like a never-ending scorpion- "you usually forced me to get some Starbucks, remember? And you gave me shit when I got the orders wrong." 

Mackenzie's eyes went through some sort of transformation, like she's seeing a kaleidoscope. "Oh." She sounds oddly touched. "Yes, oh, thanks." 

Shay gives her the coffee and Mackenzie drinks it with shaking hands. As Shay sips her own coffee, she tries to pull her eyes away from how pretty Mackenzie looks when she's at peace, her throat bobbing in a way that suddenly made Shay want to pray to God. 

"You know, for a two-timing, ugly-butt, fuck-smelling bitch-jockey..." Mackenzie lets out a shuddering breath. 

"You better?" 

"Nope." Mackenzie lets out a torrent of insults, and Shay only caught words like 'cock-monster, taint-socket,' and has to suppress a grin. But Shay's heart does a somersault when Mackenzie finishes off her sentence with "-you're not that bad." 

"Better?" Shay asks when Mackenzie lets out a ragged gasp, red-faced and panting.

"Yes." Mackenzie takes a swig from her coffee. "Thanks for the coffee, though. Surprised it's not poisoned." 

"Nah, I'd never do that. Poison's a pussy way that only Medieval peasants do; I'd put ex-lax in your coffee and watch you shit until you die." 

"Why am I not surprised?" 

They laugh, and the moment's all too short when time passes.

Shay's left wanting, and, suddenly, she realises why all those incel-poets wrote those long-ass paragraphs about women and how beautiful they seemed, even if they hold a blood-covered knife in her hand. 

As time passes, Mikayla and Katelynn - after stopping with Go Fish when Katelynn tries to eat the card deck - leave their room and poke their head in the room. Shay and Mackenzie are seated across from one another, strikingly close for enemies; Shay's lying horizontally against her plush, pink bed with gold-covered pillows, squinting her eyes at the Hamlet copy, as Mackenzie's strewn over Shay's vanity chair, drawling on about the symbolism behind Ophelia's flowers. 

"What the fuck's rue?"

"It's, like, a knock-off lotus with less flair." Shay nods. 

"So it's a symbol of abortion and adultery? Damn." Shay goes silent before saying, "I know what kind of bouquet to get you, then."

Mackenzie hurls one of Shay's slipper at her. But that doesn't stop Shay's laughter, and it doesn't stop Mackenzie from smiling. Of course they bicker about who's the worst at missionary, and Mikayla covers Katelynn's ears. 

They leave during the argument, and they can only talk once the argument's simmered down a bit - and they go back to dissing Shakespeare's long paragraphs and admiring how romantic the quotes were -, and Mikayla pulls out her real plan. 

"Listen, Katelynn, you stupid gremlin-"

"Gnome." bubbled Katelynn, surprisingly happy as if she hadn't died. Mikayla wished she had such ignorance before realising that meant she had to be seven, which made her crinkle her nose in disgust.

"Okay." Mikayla breathes in deeply. "You're a gnome, and you know what gnomes do best, right?" 

"Eat everything until God strikes us down!"

"No!" Mikayla slams her fist down, and nearly winces. But she blinks the tears away, and snarls at her - but Katelynn only tries to chew at the wood. "Napoleon battle tactics! For fuck's sake, Katelynn, stop being such a out-of-control shart-knob! Listen!"

"For fuck's sake, Katelynn, stop being such a out-of-control shart-knob!" Katelynn repeats, and it takes the bribery of Mikayla's smelly markers to make her stop.

Katelynn stares with wide eyes and she starts to drool. 

"You want this?" Mikayla wiggles for emphasis. Mikayla's read the 48 Laws Of Power, and she knows that the best way to sway an enemy was to find a common goal, or a common reward.

Katelynn nods, not even licking the drool off her lips. 

"You can get this...for your heart's desire," says Mikayla, "if you co-operate with the plan." 

Katelynn's fingers twitch. "Deal." 

Meanwhile, Shay and Mackenzie are throwing themselves at each other, intent on hitting each other until the other broke. 

After a few lessons, Shay's ready to give up and shave her head like Britney Spears and put on those shit-coloured robes and live like a nun in the mountains like some kind of nature-obsessed hippies when they realise racism is real. Mackenzie has a good bone inside her, but she uses all the other bones to deliver a mean blow to her enemies, and Shay wishes she wanted someone else. 

:I can't believe I have to be here."

"Neither can I. Mikayla wants me to 'save face.' Apparently Cameron's not that impressive anymore." 

"Really? Can't she fuck her professors or something?" Mackenzie cocks her brow. 

Shay wonders why she's sharing secrets with her enemy but Mackenzie rises and stretches herself out, like a cat, and Shay can't breathe anymore. And the problem's worse when her cheerleading shirt rides up, revealing a slice of that sun-kissed skin. 

"Dunno." Shay looks away. "Apparently, gay professors are a thing." With that last remark, Shay steals a sly glance to gauge Mackenzie's reaction. Some sick, masochistic part of her wishes that Mackenzie calls them slurs, so that there's a chance Shay might smack herself until she wakes up from this madness. 

But Mackenzie shrugs. "True." And that's it. 

"Now, let's get back to Hamlet and Horatio." 

"Ughh.." Shay groans and turns around so that she wouldn't have to look at her anymore. She swears that once she's lying on her back, pressed against the comfortable duvet, with her shirt lifting up a bit that her skin prickles at the cold air, Mackenzie seems to look at her intently. But Mackenzie snaps her gaze away quickly after that and Shay wonders if she's gone mad. 

"Can't we, just, like, say they're obviously gay for each other?"

Mackenzie pauses. "...You might have a point." 

"I've never heard friends call one another 'sweet prince.' Don't you think there's, like, some kind of sub-message?"

"Subtext?" Shay rolls her eyes.

"Yeah, whatever." Mackenzie checks her phone. "Apparently, it could be some kind of gay slang so that people could pick up on it. And Shakespeare's... bi?"

"Well, damn, looks like shit's gay." Shay waits for Mackenzie's homophobia.

Mackenzie has an odd tone in her voice when she turns towards Shay. Her eyes shine with a strange light. "Well... Shay... Do you have a problem with LGBT?"

Shay recoils. "What-? No! Why would I? It's not my business, and, besides, if people like something that's not harmful, it's fine." 

Mackenzie nods and she looks strangely disappointed. 

Shay just sighs when the lesson drags on too much. "Can't you just give me your notes?" 

Mackenzie freezes for a bit before sneering. "Like hell! If I give you my notes, you'll just fuck off and ace your tests with my notes. You need to understand this."

Shay enjoys the golden warmth in her chest but she smirks mockingly. "Aww... Do you care about me?"

Mackenzie rolls her eyes and says nothing. Shay's a bit disappointed, and the silence between them is thickening. Just as everything seems to be light-hearted, golden-kissed, a sword falls in front of them, and they're further away than ever before. 

Even during the awkward moment, Shay's in awe of how perfectly Mackenzie's black hair cascades - after being released from her ponytail - and how perfect her sun-kissed, square-jawed face, peering from her night-sky curtain, seems. Even in the silence, Mackenzie, just reading whatever the fuck she's reading on her phone, she's just... breathing, and something rolls off of her in red-and-gold waves that reminds Shay of the sunset's beauty, and Shay's robbed of her breath when she's suddenly aware of how just how ruined Shay is, just how tempting Mackenzie and her long, milky legs are. 

What did that Vita say? "“I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way." Was this what yearning meant? Going breathless at a simple glance of their eyes, and wanting to keep on saying their name in your heart? Fuck, fuck, Shay's getting weak and she doesn't want this to stop. 


Shay's phone vibrates in her hands and she prepares herself for whatever bullshit Mikayla's going to throw at her.

"Hey, Mikayla." Despite how annoyed she sounds, Shay's grateful to be distracted from the mess that's her heart. 

"Heyy... Shay... Um..." Mikayla breathes in. "Do you, um,... Would you be mad if I said I convinced Katelynn and I that we head to the Barnes and Noble and get a copy of the Bell Jar but on our way there, we got attacked by raccoons because Katelynn wanted to steal their trash, and we got lost on the way?" 

"What?" Shay suddenly sits upright. "Are you guys lost? Did Katelynn get rabies?"

Mackenzie snaps to attention. "What?"

"No, no, she wasn't attacked, really. The raccoons tore a chunk of her dress off and she got knocked unconscious. I dragged her away on time." 


"Shay, what the fuck?" Mackenzie snarls. "Has my sister been attacked?"

"Is that Mackenzie on the line?" Mikayla asks, suddenly hopeful.

"Uh, yeah." Mackenzie lunges for her phone and Shay thanks her speed that she managed to evade it. 

"Tell Mackenzie to come- We're near..." 

Mackenzie lunges again, and, this time, Shay's not fast enough to dodge those expert hands. But, as Mackenzie's on top of her, Shay still presses the phone against her ear, and tries to intently listen, even as Mackenzie's hands, tough and elegant, lead her thoughts elsewhere. 

"-near.." Shay doesn't hear the word. "-Follow Bridget!"

The line ends.

Shay turns around and starts at how close they were. Their lips almost brushed, a fact that sent her heart racing. But Mackenzie doesn't budge and she asks Shay what the fuck's going on, and Shay tries to answer levelheadedly, even as Mackenzie's warm breath did something. 

"Dunno. They only said follow Bridget." 

"Bridget? The pizza worker?" Mackenzie furrows her brow. 

"I guess." 

Shay turns away when her heart clenches at the way Mackenzie looks at her. She wished Mackenzie felt the same erratic heartbeat that Shay has whenever Mackenzie breathes in her direction. 

They remain frozen like that, and, when Shay can't bear it anymore, she tries to push Mackenzie over. When Mackenzie gets off, Shay pretends she doesn't notice the way Mackenzie seems wounded, the way her eyes want something, something that could be her

It wasn't that hard to find Bridget. Mackenzie asked a homeless person where Bridget was, and got a dull look.But when Mackenzie specified Bridget as the half-dead pizzeria employee with red hair, and the homeless person pointed at the central park. 

They didn't waste time at all; they took off running, and didn't stop until they saw a messy head of red hair... Was that a bird's feather in her hair? And, not in the quirky Native American appropriation way, but in the 'I-fought-a-bird-and-I-emerged-a-victor.' 

Shay's theory was correct; Bridget sat on the blood-covered, feathery bench, holding a delicious-smelling piece of bread in her hands with a triumphant grin. Her face and arms were covered in bloody scratched, and locks of her hair fell out. 

Before Shay even asked a question, she gagged. Mackenzie pinched her nose shut. 

"What the-" Mackenzie gags. "Bridget, did you fucking fight a pigeon or something?"

"Close; I fought an eagle. The thrill of victory is always better than cocaine." Mackenzie and Shay exchanged looks. 

Bridget continued. "Anyway, your sisters are safe. They told me to lead me to that weird shack there." 

Shay felt an instinctual rush of fear when she saw the haunted shack. It was in the middle of the towering trees and thorny bushes, and it was older than Overland Park itself. Apparently, rumour was that a man, Billy Smith, escaped an asylum and killed a bunch of people to make a 'mansion of bones' out of it, and since he was so charming and delightful, people welcomed him with open arms and never questioned him when he invited a bunch of people over. Until they never returned, that is; the people of Overland Park banded together and ransacked his place. During the ransacking, a boy, Ryan Everforst, killed him, and they elected him as the first mythical mayor.

The whole thing was bullshit... but the shack looked like a place where a serial killer would hide out at after killing virgins. A blood-red roof falling apart, a towering door with a golden doorknob that was shaped like a growling demon, a dirty, run-down shape that threatened to swallow them whole.

"Really?" Mackenzie asked. "We don't believe that. Looks like a place where a serial killer would hide out at after killing virgins." 

Shay turned around. "Exactly what I thought."

"Relax." Bridget rolled her eyes. "I don't kill virgins, only people that annoy me."

"What?" They chorused.

"Nothing." Bridget stood up as she chewed on her bread. "Follow me." 

They never moved. Bridget sighed and turned around. 

"Your sisters paid me thirty dollars," said Bridget, "So I have thirty reasons not to." 

"Thirty?" Shay sighed. "Please don't tell me they used the credit card."

"No, they found it in the trash. And a duffel full of money, too." 

"Thank God."

Within moments, they wove through the thickets of branches and bushes, and they stood in front of the shack. 

After an anti-climatic moment where Mackenzie twisted the door knob and the door fell apart, Bridget urged them to go inside, and, strangely enough, they did. Everything was dark, utterly so. Then the door slammed shut behind them, and they both heard the sound of the door locking.

Within seconds, both girls realised their mistakes, and lunged for the doorknob, attempting to open it up. 

"Damn it, Bridget!" screamed Mackenzie as she pulled at the doorknob. "Open this the fuck up!" 

"Can't." Bridget talked as she chewed. 

"This is serious!" Shay banged against the wall. Why the fuck weren't there windows?  "Our sisters are lost and they could be in danger-!"

"They aren't." Bridget sighed. "They paid me well enough to keep all you guys safe."


"Seriously, are you guys that dumb? Your sisters paid me to trick you guys so that you guys could 'work it out.' Or something." Bridget finished her bread. "Fuck, now I gotta actually buy bread." 

"Oh, fuck off!" Mackenzie kicked the door - but the wood didn't budge. 

"With pleasure." And with that, Bridget left. 

They were left in the dark. 

"What now?" asked Shay. 

"The fuck I know. What the fuck did our sisters want?"

"To resolve some tension, apparently." 

"Well.... I'm still mad at you for what you did back in France."

"Oh my God..." Shay rolled her eyes. "You know what? I'm also mad at you for what you did back in France, too!" 

"Oh, yeah, it wasn't worth putting ex-lax in our drinks!"

"Well, it wasn't worth making fun of me!" 

"You know what, you're the biggest bitch I ever met! Ever since you ate my lunchables-"

"I apologised! You always take it so far-!"

"Oh yeah?!" 

Shay didn't know what happened next, except the band inside her snapping - and she flew in the air, intent on going for the jugular. The anger didn't make sense; it didn't make sense to why her world glowed so red, but it didn't make sense that she liked someone like Mackenzie and how weak she felt underneath those dark eyes- and-

and they fought, they tumbled, and they slammed against the walls. their anger and hatred bubbled up from their skin like a cauldron a witch used to make a murder-potion, and this is what it felt like, a magical liquid that wanted to kill the other or themselves, nobody fucking knew, all they knew was that they're fighting, they're revealing their true selves, screaming and scratching and everything in between, and then, then, when their emotions were finally let out, when Shay screamed everything out in incoherent words and Mackenzie responded in kind, they slammed one another against the wall -

The lights went on, and the darkness vanished. 

"What kind of sick joke is this?" Shay blushed at the implication. 

Someone decided to have a sick sense of humour; someone set up a strange picnic scene with the cliche picnic tablecloth and a food basket with shit like cheese and wine. What made it strange was the fact the perpetrator lit up candles all around the place. When Shay got her hands on her sister, she was going to strangle her. 

"Could ask the same thing. Fuck this shit." But Mackenzie didn't leave; she headed towards the tablecloth, plopped herself down, and grabbed the wine bottle and wine glasses. "You want some?" 

Shay smiled, and nodded. Something inside her was glowing; it made her feel like a child when her hair finally grew back, and Mackenzie passed her in the hall, and quipped; "Somebody's getting arrogant about their beautiful hair," and Shay paused to ask, "You think my hair's beautiful?" and Mackenzie turned red and snapped, "Don't get too arrogant," and they both had to go to their class and left together, attached at the hip. 

""You know, Mackenzie," said Shay when she finished her first glass and her whole body burned, burned with some emotion that made the world woozy and made Mackenzie prettier, "You're not that bad." 

"Neither are you." slurred Mackenzie back as she wrapped her arm around Shay's shoulder, and her world was set on fire. "You're a bitch and my enemy but the best one I ever had." 

Soon enough, they were doubled over, red with laughter, screaming with tears. 

"-ate the roly poly?" laughed Shay. "Really? And she called your vagina 'a bread oven for yeast infections?'"

"I know right? Fucking Rachel Tice!" 

"Fucking Rachel Tice!" Shay poured them both glasses. Once the conversation ended, they both sat in silence, close to one another. 

Unprompted, Mackenzie looked up and said, in a quiet, quiet voice, "You know, Shay, I'm... I'mmmm sorryyy."

Shay doesn't triumph in this moment; the moment sets her on fire and she starts to feel like Heaven, Heaven in the way her mother, sober and mad, described it. "I'm sorryyy, too, Mackenziee."

"Was this their plan? We forgive each other?" Mackenzie asks earnestly. 

"No, not it." Shay knew, she knew deep inside her heart, and the truth stared at her in the face, with the face of beauty and perfection like Mackenzie'sl "Welll... I think I might know."

Fuck it. If she said this and Mackenzie laughed in her face, they could laugh it off and shit. Shay closed her eyes and took in a deep breath, and... and... and said, "Mackenzie, do you hate liars?" 

Mackenzie blinked and shrugged. "I mean, I do - but only when people are lying to me." 

"So you want to know the truth when it's about you?" JUST FUCKING SAY IT!

"Yeah, sure, I guess." 

"Fuck it. Imma use my Shakespeare knowledge. Don't interrupt." Shay took in a deep breath. ""Doubt thou the stars are fire/Doubt that the sun doth move/Doubt truth be a liar/But never doubt I love. Thine evermore, most dear lady/whilst this machine is to him."

Mackenzie slowly blinked as the cogs in her mind whirred. "Are you-?" 

"Yes, yes, yes, I understand Hamlet now and I know that Hamlet used this in a love letter. Mackenzie, you're the worst fucking person I've ever met and you're my enemy and you dragged me down to Hell with you, and you burn me, and I know gladly that if this is what Hell's offering me, I'll gladly follow after you for more." 

Her face burned and her heart raced. Silence. Her mind went into overdrive; ugliness and insecurity reared its ugly head to whisper at her, fear and desperation urged her to leave.


She didn't want to hear that name; it sounds to beautiful on Mackenzie's sly, silver tongue, and Shay wants nothing more than to hear that voice and wants nothing more than to wake up and see that face with those glistening, obsidian eyes. 

Shay chugs the rest of the wine and attempts to stand up. "I think I need to go. This shit is..."

Mackenzie watches as Shay's legs wobble and buckle underneath her, and Mackenzie starts to mumble out incoherent words. But Shay's still burning with emotions, and she wants nothing more than to go. 

"I'm going, don't worry!" Shay exclaims as she tries to push herself up.

"Shayyy...staayy!" Mackenzie moves forwards - and her hands grabs onto Shay's leg. Her skin prickles underneath that hand, and static burns on her skin. 

Shay turns around, her breath caught in her chest. "Are ya serieus?"

"You gotta stay - I want you to." Mackenzie looks into her eyes, and pulls onto her leg. Next thing she knew, Mackenzie knocks her down and Shay finds herself on the ground, face-to-face with Mackenzie, so, so, so close to Mackenzie's face. 

Shay's heart roars and roars and threatened to split her rib cage in half. "Mackenzie... Do you...?"

Mackenzie sighs. "Sweet mother, I cannot weave/slender Aphrodite has overcome me/with a longing for a girl." 

"What do you-? Are you quoting Sappho?" Shay swears the world's tilting around her, swears the world's closing in on them. When Mackenzie grabs her and their faces near, and their lips finally, finally press up against one another, the world explodes and fireworks fly off, and they're together, together in the sense of poets whisper about, in the sense that puts the stained glass of houses of god to shame. 

After what seemed like a long breath-holding eternity, they pulled away, a small line of saliva between them. And the world was only them, them and each other. 

"Yes, yes. I would not wish any companion in the world but you."

"The Tempest?" Shay laughed - and she laughs even more when Mackenzie leans in. 

They kissed again, and they did more than that, and they created a flame into being after they're kissing. 

Mikayla smiles as she presses her ear against the door. Giving the woman thirty dollars to do all this was worth it. After all, Mikayla found that the duffel bag has two hundred dollars more. 

Katelynn prods her gently, her face glowing golden. "Smelly markers?"

Mikayla sighs and brandishes her the smelly markers, and Katelynn does accept it, but she fastens her eyes onto the scenes as she sniffs the smelly markers. "You think they're gonna be official?"

Mikayla shrugs. "Dunno. They're weird."

"But fun." Katelynn attempts to shove one in her mouth, but Mikayla leads her away with a truffel, which Katelynn devoured it in one go. 

"Yeah, true." Mikayla sighs before checking what she was reading, the Communist Manifesto. When they get busy, Mikayla immediately pulls away and pulls Katelynn with her, nearly screaming, "Cooties." 

On the way home, Katelynn nearly chokes on her smelly marker, and Mikayla goes into overdrive mode to make sure her sister's enemy's/girlfriend's sister doesn't die.  

Only Brittnay and Cameron are surprised, angry even. But Cameron softens at the true love idea - cooing that she wished her fifty-nine year old boyfriend would do that - and Brittnay only sighs and says she'd understand if Mackenzie came back and asked her to kill Shay if it goes wrong. 

Trisha and Matthew congratulated them before making out. Deandra shrugged and continued eating her monster-combo meal, and the rest of the football team chanted "State! State! State!" after Than reminds them of the championship coming up. 

Telling their parents had been easier, considering most of them - namely Ms van Buren and Mr Zales - were in on it. And their siblings just looked at them smugly (Katelynn went back to eating, Mikayla finished the Communist Manifesto.)

But it was a rumour at school. Until it wasn't. Until Shay and Mackenzie partnered up for an English project and were secretly exchanging flirty, vitriolic notes, and Mr. McNeely yelled at them and started to read it before stopping at the explicit part. And, for those who refused to believe, well, they were in for a shock when Shay attacks Rachel Tice for 'insulting her girlfriend when she's just a roly-poly-eating bitch-cunt monster' (the only words understood) and Mackenzie pulls her off and called her babe. 

"So now you're a van Buren, huh?" asks Shay over an extravagant dinner with champagne bottles. 

"I guess so. I could never imagine this." Mackenzie laughed. "Though I can't complain." 

"I hope you can forgive me for putting ex-lax in your energy drink." Shay has to laugh at Mackenzie's face when she remembers the French incident. 

"I hope you can forgive me for showing everyone that clip of you drunk and whatever." Shay shrugs. 

"Well... I think... It's clear, then." Shay shrugged. "As you from crimes would pardoned be/Let your indulgence set me free."

Mackenzie laughed for the sake of laughing and Shay laughed because it seemed fun to laugh at nothing, and they started to kiss and forgiveness and love bloomed between them like spring has come again; the rest was silence and the Angels sang them to rest.