Their hands clasped as they stared up at the stars above them.
“We need to go back home,” she muttered to Allison, turning to face her. She didn’t move her head, glaring at the sky. This had been the only time they’d ever tried to interact with one another, and Vanya didn’t think that she should spoil that. Sealing her lips shut, she tried to figure out if she could pick out any of the constellations, but she was pretty sure that anybody who was able to see anything within them was just lying about it. Curious, Vanya asked, “Why did you sneak out with me?”
“You’ve never actually snuck out before, for one thing.”
“Sure I have, we used to sneak out all the time, when we were super young.” Back before Five had left. She hadn’t left the lights on tonight, worried that Allison would change her mind if she saw her doing her nightly ritual. Though she’d never explicitly said it, she was sure the girl thought it was pathetic.
Allison rolled her eyes. “Doesn’t count. We’re sixteen, now, and this is a right of passage. Other girls sneak out when they’re sixteen.”
She always had wanted to be like other girls, like normal girls. Vanya sometimes wanted to point out that normal, that ordinary wasn’t really something that anybody wanted. That would be unfair, though, because Vanya did understand the appeal, of wishing for a life that wasn’t like the one they were subjected to. Earlier today, she’d seen Allison wiping grave dirt against the pleats of her skirt, that tears had streaked down when she’d ripped her mask off her eyes before running to the restroom to shower. When she’d gone to Vanya’s room tonight, her eyes had been red as she announced they were sneaking out.
“Don’t they normally sneak out to make out with boys and stuff?” Vanya asked, mainly because she wanted to test how much she could contradict Allison before she told her that she wasn’t allowed to spend time with her anymore. It was best not to get her hopes up, she was pretty sure.
“Did you just use the phrase, make out?”
“What’s wrong with make out?” She could feel her lips curling into a sheepish grin, both embarrassed and feeling… more comfortable than she ever had with Allison, like she could tease her a bit. “Isn’t that what other girls say?”
Allison giggled, and Vanya could feel her heart skip a beat when she rolled over on top of her, looking almost like when she’d be in training, practicing disarming skills while Vanya watched them all from the banister on the staircase near their training room. It didn’t feel like the way she’d hover over Diego or Klaus or Five or Ben, though, and Vanya’s stomach dropped. She’d only ever seen her give this facial expression to Luther, she was pretty sure. When her elbows rested on either side of Vanya’s shoulders, she asked, eyes playful, “Who said that you can only sneak out with boys to ‘make out’?”
Vanya gulped, feeling her cheeks turn pink. She’d only kissed two people before, and both times it had been very chaste, feeling nothing like—
Well, she and Allison weren’t kissing, were they?
“I just assumed that you would only want to sneak out with a boy.”
“Well, that’s what you get for assuming something, huh?”
They both stared at each other in bewildered silence before Allison giggled again, starting to crawl off of her before Vanya shocked them both by setting her hand on her cheek.
“Do you want me to kiss you?” Vanya asked her, delicately thumbing at her cheek, wondering if it was just her imagination that she could feel the dried up tears. She pressed her forehead to Allison’s, heart pounding. It had never felt like this, though she imagined it wouldn’t have with the other two people she’d kissed, considering she’d only been 13 both times, that both of the people she’d kissed were long gone.
As if in a trance, Allison nodded.
“Is that why you snuck out with me, then?”
Blushing, she nodded again. Vanya pressed her mouth to the other girl’s, arms wrapping around her and nearly gasping at the way her stomach fluttered.
“I thought you liked Luther,” she said as she pulled away.
“A person can like more than one person, can’t they?”
“Can we stay out here for a bit, V? Please?”
“Sure.” They both leaned back, holding hands again, but it didn’t feel like before. Vanya had wondered if Allison had wanted to be her friend. Then again, couldn’t she be friends with her, even if they apparently kissed now? “Allison, do you think…”
She blushed, looking away.
“What is it, Vanya?”
“Do you think that we could ever be friends?”
Allison raised her brows. “You’d want that? Do you even like me?”
“You’re…” Vanya searched for the right words. “I think I could, if I didn’t think you hated me.”
“I don’t hate you, Vanya.” She turned around. “Sometimes I get a little jealous after missions, and I did today… He made me bury someone, Vanya.” Her eyes filled with tears, and Vanya realized she’d never seen her so vulnerable before. “I don’t want to be here anymore.”
“You think you’re going to run away?” That sounded about right. Right after she’d kissed her, Allison would try to run away. Maybe Vanya was just not the kind of person people stuck around for, though that sentiment was a little unfair to Ben, she supposed.
A small smile lit up Allison’s face. “Would you miss me?”
“Yeah, Allison, I’d probably miss you if you ran away,” Vanya said quietly, feeling her face somehow heat up even more than it already had been when she added the next bit. “You knew that, though.”
“I really didn’t.” Her voice was soft, sincere. “But I’d miss you too.”
“Yeah.” She touched her cheek. “I’m sorry I haven’t always been… approachable.” That was one way to put it. “You don’t hate me, do you, Vanya?”
“No, Allison, I don’t hate you.”
“I’ll make you a deal.” She started tugging at the strands of hair that had fallen out of Vanya’s ponytail, having pulled it up hastily in hopes of it not getting in the way when they’d escaped the house. “If I ever run away, I’ll tell you beforehand, and you can decide if you want to go with me.”
It was a better offer than she’d ever gotten from anybody else. Still. “Are you only asking because you don’t think Luther would go with you?”
Allison didn’t glower at her or act mad in any way. She just looked pained. “I just don’t want to be alone, Vanya.”
“I don’t want to be alone, either,” Vanya confessed. When she kissed her again, she hoped that she wouldn’t get abandoned again.