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Love Songs Ain't For Us

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Confused at the start 
But it's all making sense 
You're not yet a lover 
But you're more than a friend 
There are some things you know 
But things you can't understand 
Oh, babe won't you kiss me all night 
While the storm is raging outside 

 

I said I don’t want to talk about it.” 

“Kel...” 

“There’s nothing to talk about Linds, I got a red. I got a red and my team lost, okay? I just want to get in my bed.” Kelley hated snapping at Lindsey, she didn’t really mean for it to come out the way it did. But Kelley was angry. She had basically the Triple Crown of bad games. Having her goal called back for some stupid reason, the yellow, and then finally the red. She didn’t know how to not be competitive, how not to give 300% all the time. The first challenge she knew she went in hard, maybe a little too hard, but she’d gotten the ball. Alex had laughed off the second challenge and told Kelley she owed her a drink for it, but there was nothing malicious about any of it. Kelley had gotten plenty of yellows before, maybe not as many Lindsey, but getting a red? She hadn’t done that in a long time. So, yeah, she was angry, but she wasn’t angry at Lindsey. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to snap.” 

“S’okay.” Lindsey replied softly, almost inaudible over the phone.  

“No, it’s not. I’ve lost games before; I should be able to handle myself better.” 

“You wouldn’t be you if that was true.” Lindsey giggled. 

“Rude.” 

“You can talk to me about it, Kel. It’s kind of what I'm here for.” 

This thing between them was still very new. Whatever it was, Kelley couldn’t quite come up with a name for it. Friends that kiss sometimes? Okay, a lot of times. Lovers? God no, what an awful term. But certainly not girlfriends. Not yet anyways. Besides, they hadn’t really done much to earn any kind of label, not that Kelley believed in labels. All that mattered was that Lindsey brought her comfort in a way she’d never felt before. She’d never been in a relationship where someone wanted to take care of her. Kelley had always been the caretaker, even among her friends, always the one who made sure everyone around her was happy and the one who tended to everyone else’s needs before her own. 

But she didn’t have to do that so much with Lindsey. Lindsey, who was strong, secure in herself, and unwilling to let anyone shoulder her burdens. Lindsey who sent a beautiful bouquet of all Kelley’s favorite flowers last Tuesday, just because. Lindsey who was just as fiery and competitive on the field as Kelley, but much more willing to back down off it to let Kelley get her way (sometimes). 

So, there might not be a word for what they were, for what they had, but that seemed to make it all the more special.  

“You have your own game, why are you on the phone with me right now?” The Thorns should have taken the field by now for their game against the Reign and Kelley wasn’t about to be the reason Lindsey’s head wasn’t in the game. 

“I’m going, told Mark I needed to use the restroom. Had to check in on you because otherwise you’d be stewing about this all night.” 

“I do not stew. And you don’t have to check up on me.” Kelley countered and Lindsey barked out a laugh.  

“Okay, sure. Are you going to watch?” 

“As long as Sonny doesn’t start snoring and the rookies next door don’t get another noise complaint.” 

To Lindsey, who was learning how to read Kelley better and better each day, that was an "of course I’ll be watching” wrapped in so many more words. She knew that Kelley would be glued to the TV, only looking down at her phone to send a string of texts for Lindsey to see after the game. She also knew that sometimes words were hard for Kelley, who so often showed her love with actions, sometimes grand gestures like surprise birthday parties for teammates and staff or flying out to see her family unannounced. But other times, she showed it with small things that not everyone noticed. Like when she offered to massage Lindsey’s foot after their last national team game, where she got stepped on so many times that some blood seeped into her sock. Kelley was always more invested in Lindsey’s recovery than Lindsey was. It must have been because of her own injury concerns mixed with her worries about how often Lindsey threw her body around in games. Or like the last time Lindsey came to Washington, under the guise of helping Sonny move and not long after Kelley had moved in herself, she found a basket on the bathroom counter filled with all the products she used at home. Kelley snuck up behind her that night, wrapping her small arms around Lindsey's waist. “In case you ever forget something.” She’d whispered into the taller woman’s shoulder, unable to reach her neck. So, really, Lindsey never needed to ask the question, the answer was always the same. 

“Alright, well I’ve got to go, okay?” 

“M’kay.” Kelley sighed. “But babe?” Lindsey didn’t think she’d ever get tired of hearing that word fall off Kelley’s lips. She remembered the first time it happened, well the first time there wasn’t a joke behind it. Kelley had changed her flight from the Netherlands after camp to come to Denver, before making her Washington debut, to be with Lindsey while she was still sick. At first, Lindsey had been pissed that she had broken quarantine, but she would never have the willpower to actually make her leave. Kelley cleaned her apartment from top to bottom, going through multiple bottles of bleach while Lindsey watched her from the couch. The last night she was there, Lindsey wanted to kiss her so bad and told the brunette as much. Kelley pressed her lips to the blonde’s hairline before softly saying, “next time, okay babe?” And the next time they saw each other, just before January camp and in the airport bathroom of all places, they shared their first kiss. 

“Yeah?”  

“Score me a golazo.” 

Lindsey could hear Kelley’s smile through the phone. “You got it.” 

When Lindsey did score off that free kick, Kelley nearly screamed. She stopped herself, looking over at Sonnett who was curled up under the blankets and breathing deeply. She could tell that the smaller blonde had been conflicted about watching her old team, still hurt by the way she was pushed aside for a new, shinier toy even though she wanted to support her best friend. That night, she took her melatonin and passed out. She would blame it on not playing a full 90 since She Believes, and Kelley would let her. She grabbed her phone off the nightstand and began typing away. 

In the 17th minute?? You’re crazy 

Crazy good, obviously  

At least one of us gets to keep our free kick goal  

Man, we could’ve been matching  

Speaking of matching  

Kelley sent a photo of herself in the bed, showing off the Thorns hoodie she’d successfully snuck out of Lindsey’s suitcase at camp. It dwarfed her, but it still smelled like Lindsey, like the coconut soap she loved so much.  

You had such a great game babe  

Proud of you  

I miss you so much  

Lindsey read through the messages as she changed. Each one brought a smile to her face for a different reason. She dialed Kelley’s number as she walked to her car in the stadium parking lot. 

“Hi.” Kelley answered, her voice thick with sleep. 

“Shit! I keep forgetting you’re on the east coast now. I’m sorry Kel, go back to bed. I’ll call you in the morning.” 

“No, Linds, stay. Talk to me.” The brunette’s tired, whiny voice struck Lindsey right in the heart. As if she could ever deny Kelley anything, even when they were 3000 miles apart. 

“The goal was pretty nice, huh?” 

“Someone’s a little cocky.” Kelley chuckled. 

“I miss you, Kel.” Lindsey blurted out, veering off the light subject matter. “So much.” 

“I miss you too, baby. More than you know.” 

Because she honestly wasn’t sure it was possible to miss someone as much as Kelley missed Lindsey. For so long, Kelley had wondered if her choices had resigned her to a life of loneliness. Every relationship ended the same way. “You never make time for me” or “The distance is too much” or “If you really loved me, you’d get yourself traded here”. All the awards, all the accolades felt hollow without someone to share them with. Of course, she had her family, and she had friends like Alex and Sonnett, but it wasn’t the same. 

And if she was being honest with herself, which she wasn’t always, missing someone that much scared the hell out of Kelley. She had never been someone who relied on other people. Sure, she liked attention, but she didn’t need it. 

Enter Lindsey Horan. Lindsey Horan who showed up to national team camp at 18 years old and already a more balanced professional than Kelley would ever be. She preened under Lindsey’s attention, finding herself looking for reasons to hang out with the younger girls. It took them a long time, much too long now that Kelley looked back at it, but that time only made their bond stronger. Not that she should really complain, because while unconsciously seeking out Lindsey’s attention, her relationship with Sonnett grew stronger every day and that was something Kelley was so grateful for. 

And Lindsey didn’t have any expectations of Kelley, never demanded anything of her. They both led incredibly busy lives but always found a way to make time for one another. Sometimes they were together, but other times it was over the phone, miles apart.  

“Come to Portland. There’s a week before we go to Houston, and you can’t play in the next game.” Kelley’s nostrils flared a little at the reminder of her suspension. 

“Linds, I can’t...” 

“Why not?” Now Lindsey was being the whiny one. 

“Can we FaceTime?” Kelley slid out from under her covers and closed herself in the hotel bathroom without waiting for Lindsey's response. When the blonde’s face appeared on the screen, wet hair slung over one shoulder and tired, green eyes staring back, Kelley couldn’t help but smile, sitting on the tile and resting against the lip of the bathtub. “Hi.”   

 “Please come?” Lindsey responded before Kelley’s sleepy charm deterred the conversation. 

“Linds... I need to be there with my team. Everyone already thinks I don’t give a shit about club play, and I need to prove to them that’s not true.” There was another reason for Kelley to stick around too but she was sure Lindsey wouldn’t want to hear it. “And... Sonnett needs me here. Or there, I guess, you know what I mean. She thinks that goal was her fault, and you know how she gets. I need to keep her spirits up or she’ll crumble against Midge next week.” 

Lindsey blinked her eyes slowly, processing the words so she wouldn’t snap. She and Sonnett had their own relationship, one which had been strained for a while as Emily dealt with her trade, but they were finally back to the way they were before, now that she was out of Orlando and finally seemed happy.  

Kelley’s relationship with Sonnett was different though. They were so alike it was frightening sometimes. Over the years they’d developed into each other’s support system. Kelley when she got injured, Sonnett when she got traded. They both swore up and down that they’d never hooked up before, that they loved each other like sisters, but Lindsey was still hesitant to believe them. She hated feeling jealous of her best friend, but Sonnett had chosen Washington to be closer to her own girlfriend, so why couldn’t she help keep Sonny's spirits up? Lindsey hated herself sometimes for wondering if the two Georgians had conspired on these trades to be closer to each other. Because now, the two most important people in Lindsey’s life were on the other side of the country, seemingly having the time of their lives without her. 

It was extra hard because people didn’t know. Well, Lindsey was pretty positive Sonny knew by now, they weren’t exactly great at hiding it sometimes, but she didn’t say anything if she did. Either that or she wasn’t as observant as Lindsey gave her credit for. Like last month at camp when she walked into the bathroom at dinner and found Lindsey’s hands in Kelley’s back pockets and Kelley’s face craning up and into Lindsey’s neck. Sonny didn’t say anything, just kind of rolled her eyes as she walked into a stall. 

Rose, on the other hand, definitely knew something. It was obvious by the way she refused to leave the room unless one of them left as well. She made sure to comment on Lindsey’s plate at dinner, which nearly mirrored Kelley’s, piled high with greens and just a few shreds of chicken because the nutrition staff said they had to have a protein. 

“Since when did you start eating like a rabbit too?” She quirked one eye at Lindsey before turning her head to see Kelley, who was walking to her table, with the exact same meal on her plate. 

“I’ve always liked salad.” Lindsey replied defensively as Rose walked away. 

Then there was the time Rose insisted on switching rooms with Lindsey for the evening, leaving her alone with Kelley, and decided to pop in every half hour claiming she forgot something. It was like she was standing outside the door all night, just waiting to catch them. As soon as Kelley cuddled up to Lindsey on the bed, the sound of the key card in the door would cause them to spring apart, landing Kelley on the floor one time. The second Lindsey’s lips ghosted over the back of Kelley's neck while she brushed her teeth, that same sound would cause Kelley to choke on her toothpaste. 

A lot of the time, sneaking around was hot, but sometimes Lindsey thought about how nice it would be to hold Kelley’s hand on the sidewalk or gush and show off the Valentine’s Day gift Kelley had given her (a gold bracelet with diamonds to match Kelley's own). One day they would be there, one day they would make that decision together and hold on to each other no matter what happened next. 

“She’s a big girl, Kel. What if we’d lost and I needed my spirits lifted?” 

It was another question Lindsey didn’t actually need the answer to, but she wanted to make Kelley feel a little guilty for a moment. If she really needed her, Kelley would be at Lindsey's side in minutes without question. 

“Linds… don’t be like that.” 

“Meet me in Houston then, after your game.” 

“What about the championship? Then I can stay at your place for a couple days and we can celebrate.” Kelley countered and Lindsey’s eyes lit up just a bit. 

“Like celebrate... or celebrate?” The blonde waggled her eyebrows suggestively. 

The hadn’t had sex yet. This thing between them, whatever you want to call it, had resulted in quite a few heavy make-out sessions, but at night, Lindsey would pull Kelley in until her front met Kelley’s back, sliding one hand under the tee shirt Kelley borrowed and rested it against her abs, and that was it. That was all they needed. The closeness helped settle Kelley’s mind, quelling her fears, and it gave Lindsey an opportunity to be the protector, the one that could shield them from the bad stuff.  

Kelley had had a lot of sex in her life, in high school, in college and after, not really thinking much of it, but Lindsey had only been with one person her whole adult life. So, as much as Kelley hated him and wanted Lindsey to be able to experience the things that he never gave her, she also wanted to respect her boundaries while she worked through the (multiple) break ups and again when Lindsey began to come to terms with having feelings for a woman. So, like the true southern gentleman she was, Kelley tried her best to woo Lindsey without falling into bed together. Lindsey would have to be the one to initiate that, and Kelley had made it clear that she was more than willing to wait, something she had never done in a relationship before this one. It seemed like that day might be on the horizon for them, and Kelley couldn’t wait to give Lindsey everything she’d missed out on in all those years with him.   

“Worry about winning the game first, doofus! Besides, you still have Houston.”  

“Yeah, but we’re already through.” Kelley quirked an eyebrow at Lindsey’s flippancy. As much as Lindsey would play it off like their game against Houston wasn’t important, Kelley knew that she wouldn’t give anything less than 100% for 90+ minutes. They were cut from the same cloth in that way. Lindsey’s giddiness at the potential of seeing Kelley so soon had overtaken her uber competitive mindset for a moment. 

“I doubt Kristie or Rachel will care about that.” 

“What do I get if I score?” 

Kelley exaggerated a yawn before answering. “You’ll just have to wait to find out.” 

“Boo... you’re no fun.” Lindsey pouted. 

“How dare you lie like that; I am the most fun! Sounds like grumpypants needs to get herself to bed.” 

Kelley was still resting against the lip of the bathtub in the hotel room while Lindsey climbed in her bed, the FaceTime screen jostling for a moment, only for Lindsey’s dimples to appear again, tucked into her navy-blue bedding. 

“Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?” Kelley asked, in awe of this woman looking back through the screen. Her Lindsey.  

Not today.” Lindsey giggled softly. 

“Well, you should hear it every day. The most beautiful woman in the whole, wide world.” 

Lindsey’s cheeks were tinged with pink as she sunk lower into her blankets. “’Night, Keppy.” 

“’Night, Lindy. Sweet dreams.” Kelley said, ending the call before the words she wanted to say spilled out. I love you.  

She quietly snuck back into her hotel bed, making sure not to wake Sonnett. But suddenly, her raspy voice was coming from under the covers. “You guys are gross, be quieter next time.” 

Chapter Text

Caught in the moment 
Midnight in the room 
My breath and heart 
Got taken by you 

Lindsey didn’t call after the Houston game, though Kelley didn’t really expect her to. She knew that in Lindsey’s mind, a draw was just as bad as a loss. She also knew that Lindsey was in her hotel room re-watching every second of the game film, making notes of the things she’d done wrong. Any foot out of place or mistimed pass would be documented and replayed over and over again in the blonde’s brain until she got back on the field to fix it.  

One of Lindsey’s faults was her pension for fixating on things, becoming a bit obsessive, if you will. Sometimes, it would work out in Kelley’s favor, like when she was fixated on finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe to bring to her mother’s annual cookie exchange, naming Kelley her official taste tester. Kelley didn’t have the heart to remind Lindsey of her slight veganism, eating cookie after cookie, even when they were burnt to a crisp or missing important ingredients like sugar or one time, without chocolate chips. No one had ever accused Lindsey of being a good chef, but no one could ever say she didn’t try.  

Other times, it became somewhat detrimental to their relationship. Like when Lindsey was fixated on Kelley’s friendship with Sonny. She knew Lindsey wasn’t a naturally jealous person, but the clear annoyance she displayed whenever Kelley couldn’t commit to plans because of doing something with Sonny, or whenever Kelley invited Sonny along on what was supposed to be a moment for alone time, hung over them like a dark cloud sometimes. She accused Kelley on more than one occasion of being more into Emily than into Lindsey, of getting traded to Washington so that she and Sonny could be together. And of course, within 10 minutes, she’d apologize profusely and beg Kelley to forgive her, which she always would. Kelley knew that Lindsey was sometimes insecure about the relationships in her life and didn’t always know how to express her feelings, which could lead to her lashing out if she sensed any kind of danger. Lindsey would rather break up with Kelley before Kelley had the chance to break up with her, as if that might save her from being hurt. Not that there was anything to break up. Because they weren’t girlfriends. Not yet anyways. 

“It’s only you, Linds. Only you, I promise.” Kelley would reminder her, cupping the blonde’s chin in her small hands, forcing Lindsey to make eye contact before wiping away angry tears and planting a sweet kiss on her lips. 

So, when Lindsey didn’t call or respond to the string of texts Kelley sent, she wasn’t worried. But that didn’t stop her from continuing to pester Lindsey in hopes of getting her to give in. Maybe she just wanted attention, so sue her. 

I know you’re there

And I know you saw all my texts

Baby you played so well, you were everywhere

It only took about twenty minutes before Lindsey gave in. When Kelley saw the contact picture come up on her phone, she couldn’t help but smile as she plopped down onto the couch. It was from January camp this year, one of the last nights, when they sprawled out on the golf course with Alex and baby Charlie. Lindsey had snapped a quick selfie of the two of them, laid on their backs, mid-laugh because Alex said something inappropriate around the baby, who was starting to babble, and Charlie had repeated it back to her. 

“What do you want, Kel?” Lindsey’s voice was tired and a bit depressive, which shot right through Kelley’s heart. 

“I want you to be proud of yourself.” 

“Why? It’s not like I got on the scoresheet.” 

Kelley sighed. Lindsey had been playing the best soccer of her life before everything shut down in 2020. She was free of Jill and, for the first time in a really long time, she had a coach that she was excited to play for. And then everything closed down and nothing would ever be the same after that. 

Kelley also knew she wouldn’t ever admit to anyone (other than Sonnett maybe), but the World Cup was rough for Lindsey. Not rough in the same way that Carli described as the “worst time of her life”, but it had clearly been hard to wrap her brain around losing her starting spot for most of the tournament. And Kelley hated to think about it, but she knew that if she hadn’t gotten hit in the head, Lindsey probably would’ve been that last sub in the final. Lindsey must have known it too but showed Kelley enough grace not to talk about it.  

So, when Lindsey was down on herself for not getting on the scoresheet, that wasn’t just about her competitive drive to score goals. It was about proving to herself and her coaches that she could be counted on, that she was the person they should want in a difficult situation. 

“And you know that’s not the only measure of success in a game. Linds, you probably ran more than anyone else on that field, I want to see the stats later. That game would have looked totally different if you weren’t there and locked in.” 

“But... “ 

“Nope. The only butt we’re talking about is yours, and how good it looks in those white shorts.” Lindsey snorted on the other end of the line, which was Kelley’s real intent, to get her smiling.  

“Are you still coming before the championship? I need my cheering section.” 

This time Kelley snorted. “Um, I think you’ll have about a thousand people in your cheering section, don’t worry.” 

“But they’re not all there just for me. I want to look up in the stands and see you, maybe even wearing my number.” Lindsey hinted. 

“If people see me in the stands with your number on my back, they might think we’re together or something.” 

“Would that really be so bad, Kel? If they knew you were there for me?” 

“Maybe I’ll snag a Becky jersey just to throw them of the scent.” Kelley giggled, purposefully avoiding Lindsey's question. 

Because maybe she was worried about the reaction if she showed to Providence Park wearing the number 10 on her back. If she was waiting in the tunnel to wrap Lindsey in the tightest hug possible, win or lose. If she kissed her where everyone could see.  

Because Kelley had done that before, declared her love on the biggest stage. And it backfired spectacularly. In the weeks and months following the World Cup, Kelley’s ex was bombarded with attention, both good and bad, and in the end, she couldn’t handle it. Or didn’t want to handle it. She said she thought she knew what she was getting into, but that she couldn’t deal with what it had become, especially since Kelley was gone half the time and couldn’t weather it with her. 

So, they went their separate ways. Though, Kelley didn’t tell anyone for the longest time, still holding out hope that things might turn out differently. Finally, Sonnett cornered her while they were out together for brunch back in Atlanta after Christmas, and she let it all out. How Kelley wished she could have protected her better, how she should have been around more, how she had started talking to her agent about a trade because she couldn’t keep living in the same city for fear of accidentally running into her. Kelley’s problems kind of got put on the back burner for a while though while everyone dealt with the aftermath of Sonnett’s trade. During that time, Kelley found herself playing caretaker to her two favorite blondes, best friends who never thought they’d be separated. 

Looking back to when she finally told Lindsey, at camp for She Believes 2020, the way she pulled Kelley close and pressed a kiss into her hairline was probably the first moment they shared that was less than strictly platonic. No words were needed, just the comforting embrace. When Lindsey scored that goal against Japan, Kelley realized just how much she wanted to always be the first person to celebrate her, always be the first person to hug her. And then she had to go months without that embrace, settling for daily FaceTime calls in between each of their calls with Sonnett. Sometimes, they be on the phone for upwards of six hours, just pretending that they were physically together. Kelley would set her phone or her laptop on the counter while she tried out a new recipe, listening to Lindsey babble about this, that, and the other. They would watch Netflix shows together a lot, and once Lindsey finally gave in to the Harry Potter books, they would read to one another at night. Kelley even had the box set of books shipped to Lindsey's apartment.

If they hadn’t been so hyper-focused on each other, they might have noticed their feelings a lot sooner. But that was okay, at least in Kelley’s mind. Looking back, they may have moved at an agonizingly slow pace, but it brought them closer than she ever imagined possible. 

Then the Challenge Cup came, and Lindsey was in her city, just out of arm’s reach for so long. Kelley watched all the games the Thorns played from the stands, even when it was sweltering hot and when she should've been gearing up for her own games. Her heart got lodged in her throat when Lindsey went down during the North Carolina game, only subsiding when she was pulled off the field. But then she was escorted back to the training room, not the bench, and Kelley’s stomach was in her feet. Lindsey gave her a weak thumbs up when she came back out, limping just a little which, to the untrained eye, could have been mistaken for the typical, on-the-field swagger in her step. 

They didn’t even get a real goodbye. After Kelley’s team was eliminated, they weren’t allowed back inside the training facility until the tournament was over and the other teams had left. She watched the Thorns last game from her couch at home, but only to catch those glimpses of Lindsey, sometimes smiling and cheering, but other times, with her brows furrowed as she studied the game from the stands. Lindsey FaceTimed her from the airport, wanting to talk to Kelley more than she wanted to sit with her teammates. 

Then there was that damn podcast earlier this year. The one that filled Kelley with so much rage that she was surprised she hadn’t blacked out and driven to Seattle, baseball bat in hand. She had known Lindsey was going on Cari’s show, that after being asked about 12 times, she finally accepted. But Kelley hadn’t known the extent of the interview beforehand. To discover that he had approached her that summer, expected Lindsey to apologize? Kelley could’ve strangled him, would’ve strangled him. The sound of Lindsey’s voice breaking with tears was something she would never, ever forget as long as she lived. Kelley had nearly bucked team protocols, ready to fly out to Portland that very minute, but Lindsey talked her down. 

“I’m okay.” She said, speaking softly to try and calm Kelley. “I promise, Kel. You don’t have to worry about me.” 

“I always worry about you. You almost burned my place down last time trying to make pasta. Pasta, Linds.” 

“Whatever. Gas stoves are way harder.” Lindsey rolled her eyes and smiled through the video screen. 

So, when Lindsey off handedly asked her if being public would be a big deal, Kelley felt like her heart was being squeezed in her chest. Because she couldn’t lose Lindsey, losing Lindsey might destroy her. 

“Kel?” Lindsey’s deep voice drew her out of her head. “Where’d you go?” 

Unwilling to bring Lindsey back down with the weight of her fears, Kelley tried to ease the tension the best way she knew how, she bantered. “Just thinking about Becky’s face if I did that.” 

“Oh.” Was all Lindsey said, quiet and somewhat weak, which Kelley hated because Lindsey Horan was anything but weak.  

“Would you want that? Me wearing your jersey, I mean.” 

She swore she could hear Lindsey’s smile and her soft blush from more than 1000 miles away. “Yeah, I would. I would love that.” 

“Well, you better find me one then, okay?” Kelley replied sweetly. “I can’t wait to see you, Linds. Now put the game film away and get some rest.” 

“How did you...?” 

“You’re getting predictable, Horan.” Kelley snickered before hanging up the phone. 

*** 

Lindsey was so exhausted that by the time she got back to her apartment, she was ready to collapse. It had been raining, because what else does the weather do in Portland, and at this hour, she’d had to park on the street and get soaked while running to her building. She slumped against the wall of the elevator, waiting for the little ding that alerted her that it had reached her floor. Her eyelids were heavy, and her feet dragged on the carpet in the hallway. As much as she missed him, she was very happy Ferguson was staying with the dog sitter until the morning. She put the key in the door, dumping her bags as soon as she made it over the threshold, ready to flop down face first on her bed and pass out. 

At first, the lights being on startled her. She could have sworn she remembered to cut them off when she left for the airport a few days ago, but maybe not. It wouldn’t be the first time. But then, as she actually stepped into the apartment, she was knocked back by the smell of something warm and absolutely heavenly. Someone was in her kitchen. 

“Hello?” She called out cautiously. What kind of robber sticks around to cook dinner? 

She turned the corner and was once again stopped dead in her tracks. There, standing at the stove and stirring a pot of something, was Kelley. Hair piled on top of her head, showing off Lindsey’s last name across the shoulders of the hoodie she was wearing. It was so big on her that the athletic shorts she was wearing were barely visible. She wore thick socks on her small feet and was swaying to a beat in her head. Lindsey couldn’t think of a time she’d seen Kelley look more peaceful, more comfortable, more at home, than she did right now, floating around Lindsey's apartment like it was her own. It took her breath away. 

“Well don’t just stand there. You know it’s rude to stare.” Kelley spoke, a wide smile written on her face, apparently aware of Lindsey watching her. “Come help me!” 

Lindsey took three big steps, and, in an instant, she pulled Kelley away from the burner, wrapping the smaller woman in her arms. She wasted no time, their lips meeting for the first time in a long time.  

“Hi.” Kelley breathed, that smile somehow even wider as she pulled away from the kiss, her arms wrapped around Lindsey’s neck. 

“What are you doing here? I thought you were getting in tomorrow. I was supposed to pick you up!” Sometimes Lindsey forgot just how small Kelley was, but now, she was stretching on her tippy toes. Lindsey lifted her onto the counter and bracketed Kelley’s thighs with her arms, going back in for another kiss before she could answer. “Wait, how did you get in here?” 

“A magician never reveals her secrets.” A mischievous grin played across Kelley’s face.

“Well, should I be worried that my place is susceptible to break-ins?” 

“Only if they have a key.” Kelley giggled, confusing Lindsey. It must have been clear in her expression because Kelley plowed on. “Sonny still had her key to this place, she said you gave it to her for emergencies.” Lindsey nodded. “I wanted to surprise you.” 

“Mission accomplished, Miss Kelley.” Lindsey laughed as the brunette swatted her shoulder. 

“I hate that nickname.” 

“So, burglar, what’s for dinner?”  

Kelley hopped off the counter and went back to the pot on the stove. “Stuffed pepper soup with some chicken. But don’t worry, I didn’t use too many hot peppers since you’re a baby about spicy food.” She teased. 

Lindsey didn’t respond, choosing instead to rest her hands on Kelley’s hips, still swaying to a beat only she could hear, and tucking her chin in the spot where Kelley’s neck met her collarbone, leaving featherlight kisses while the brunette continued to stir. 

Cradling the bowl, Lindsey laid out on the couch, resting her feet in Kelley’s lap, the only person who didn’t mind it. In fact, once she’d finished her own meal, Kelley took Lindsey’s feet in her hands and massaged them gently. The plane ride hadn’t been the best for her sore muscles, so when Kelley worked her way to Lindsey’s calves, she couldn’t help but let a little moan escape her lips, her head falling back onto the armrest.  

And, well, how was Kelley supposed to let that go? The small brunette shifted on the couch until she was all but straddling Lindsey. Kelley took the bowl of soup away and placed it on the coffee table next to her own. From there she leaned down, capturing Lindsey’s mouth with her own. It had been too long since they’d been able to do this, and she didn’t want to go another second without feeling Lindsey’s body on hers.  

Lindsey’s hands came around Kelley’s back, fingertips sliding up under the hoodie she was wearing, Lindsey’s hoodie, feeling Kelley’s warm skin under her touch and hearing the noises she made as Lindsey’s hands moved all around. They only broke apart to breathe and from there, Kelley began an assault on the blonde’s neck, careful not to leave a mark. Not yet. She thought to herself. She was still on top of Lindsey when she wedged a small but muscular thigh between the younger woman’s legs, flexing against her. Lindsey’s breath caught at the feeling of Kelley rocking into her a little and she couldn’t help but push back with her own hips. Kelley nipped at Lindsey’s earlobe, whispering her ear, running her fingers through thick, blonde hair. 

“I missed you so much, baby. Your lips, your thighs, your neck, I missed all of it.” 

Lindsey nearly choked after hearing those words. She pulled Kelley back and slammed their lips together. Kelley’s hands moved lower, skimming along the hem of Lindsey's leggings. Suddenly, Lindsey felt like she couldn’t breathe, and not in a good way. 

“Kel...” Lindsey gasped, but it spurred Kelley on, her fingers slipping under Lindsey’s waistband. “Kelley...” She tried again, reaching for her small hand, and Kelley pulled back abruptly. 

“Shit! Shit, Linds, I'm sorry, I got carried away. Are you okay?” Kelley’s eyes were wide with fear, fear that she’d fucked it up for good this time. 

Lindsey cupped Kelley’s face in her hand, rubbing her thumb across her cheek, trying to reassure the older woman that she hadn’t done anything wrong. “Fine, just a little caught off guard, that’s all.” She pulled Kelley back in for a sweet kiss. 

She knew Kelley had said she’d wait, but this thing they were doing had been going on for quite a while now. Lindsey wasn’t sure what her hold-up was, to be quite honest. Even though she said she would wait, Lindsey couldn’t imagine Kelley being okay with this much longer. Why would you want to stay with someone you couldn’t be with physically? Kelley could have any woman in the world, so why would she stay when Lindsey’s head was so clearly messed up? 

Her therapist said that she was associating sex with him, who basically treated her like a blow-up doll for years, a warm body, there to serve his needs. That after a while, she basically checked out anytime he put his hands on her. And with Kelley, Lindsey was so acutely aware of what was going on and how her body was reacting, that she got overwhelmed and backed out.  

“Let’s just go to bed, okay?” Kelley said softly, sitting up and leading them back to the bedroom. Lindsey got a little thrill knowing that the older girl knew the path on her own now. Their fingers intertwined and Lindsey pulled Kelley back to her in the hallway, kissing her again. Lindsey lowered her hands until they were cupping Kelley's perfect ass, lifting her. Kelley wrapped her legs around Lindsey’s waist and her arms around the tall blonde’s neck. The new angle allowed Kelley to deepen the kiss, her fingers playing with the baby hairs at the base of Lindsey’s scalp. Pulling away, Kelley laughed softly, resting her forehead against Lindsey's. “What was that for?” 

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I can’t...” Lindsey couldn’t quite get the words out, but she was sure Kelley understood. 

“Shhh.” The brunette cooed, dropping a kiss to the tip of Lindsey’s nose. “I don’t care. It’ll happen, and when it does, we’ll make up for all the lost time, okay? I promise.” Kelley winked. 

In the bed, Kelley tucked herself into Lindsey’s side, slipping her hand just barely under her shirt to feel Lindsey’s warm skin and tangled their legs together. Lindsey buried her nose in Kelley's hair, taking her in before leaving a kiss on her hairline. She wondered what might happen if she said it out loud, if she gave in to the thoughts in her head. I love you.

*** 

Kelley couldn’t breathe. Watching the championship game from the suite was ten times more stressful than it would have been if she was watching from the field or the bench. When Lindsey’s free kick slammed into the post, she nearly had a heart attack. She wasn’t made for sitting still, it wasn’t in her nature, so she paced in front of the window, much to the annoyance of the few other spectators in the room. At the halftime whistle, she managed to make eye contact with Lindsey, who gave her a small smile before disappearing into the tunnel.  

If she’d thought the first half was nerve wracking, the second half nearly drove Kelley insane. Midge was playing so well and when Carli buried that header, Kelley wished she could run out onto the field and join the attack. 

Penalty kicks. Her heart couldn’t take it anymore. She hurtled down the steps until she reached the ground floor, stepping out onto the sidelines of the pitch. She made sure to tuck herself into a corner, pulling the brim of her baseball cap low, hiding from any prying eyes that might wonder why she was there or how she got onto the field.  

As the first players stepped up, Kelley began to worry the hem of her top, the #10, white Thorns jersey Lindsey had given her. First it was Sinc, who made hers, naturally. Then Kling’s shot rocketed off the crossbar and rattled Kelley’s insides. And then it was Lindsey. Lindsey who almost never took PKs. Kelley didn’t think she could handle it if Lindsey missed, she’d have to leave. Maybe wait in the car or walk back to the apartment or something. 

But, of course, Lindsey buried her shot and Kelley felt like she could breathe a little easier. Then came Rocky, Crystal, and Becky, who all stepped up and made their shots. When AD made that monster save, Kelley knew the game was won. She knew it even before little Morgan Weaver walked to the spot. When the ball rolled into the net, the energy was palpable, the crowd was going absolutely bonkers, and the team had all ran onto the field to celebrate. 

She watched Lindsey tackle her teammate to the ground, the sheer joy written across her face could have melted Kelley into a puddle right then and there. She stayed in her little hiding place for a while, just watching, until the team was finally being ushered off the pitch. Lindsey locked eyes with her and sprinted toward the tunnel, toward Kelley. She swept the brunette up and off her feet and spun them around. Kelley’s legs were wrapped around Lindsey's torso as she buried her face in the blonde’s sweaty neck. 

“You did it, baby!” 

Lindsey didn’t think about what she was going to before she did it, capturing Kelley’s lips with her own. They weren’t out in the middle of everything, but they weren’t exactly hiding either, plenty of people could've seen if they knew where to look. Sophia and Kelli wolf whistled as they ran by, causing Lindsey to break the kiss and Kelley to show them her middle finger. If they weren’t so wrapped up in one another, the two women might have noticed how no one was surprised to see them together. 

“Should I have done that?” Lindsey asked, knowing that it didn’t really matter, because the deed had been done. She set Kelley back on the ground, trying not to look into those hazel eyes, knowing that her own were wide with panic. 

“Hey.” Kelley said softly, reaching up to cup Lindsey’s cheeks, forcing the eye contact. “Everything’s okay. I like that you just can’t control yourself around me!” The brunette giggled, bringing a tentative smile to Lindsey’s face. “Go celebrate with your team! I’ll wait for you.” Kelley pushed her toward the locker rooms, smacking her on the butt for good measure. 

Becky followed behind Lindsey and muttered something under her breath that made Kelley laugh. 

“About damn time.” 

*** 

Lindsey emerged from the locker room, half stumbling, and spotted Kelley leaned back against the car. She looked so effortlessly cool, running a hand through her hair as she scrolled through something on her phone. 

“Hey, pretty lady! How you doin’?” Lindsey tried to come off slick, but her words were a little slurred.  

Kelley laughed as she took Lindsey into her arms. “Are you drunk?” 

“Um... no!” The blonde said, stepping back and feigning shock. “I would never. Plus, I only had like four seltzers. Or six. Or maybe—” 

“Seltzer?!” Kelley asked, incredulous. “Lindsey Michelle Horan, are you telling me you just won a tournament, sponsored by a beer company, and chose to drink seltzer?” Lindsey nodded sheepishly and Kelley rolled her eyes. “Well, let me see the hardware!” She gestured to the medal around Lindsey’s neck, hooking her index finger around the ribbon and pulling Lindsey flush against her again. 

“Thank you for coming.” Lindsey said softly, almost too softly for Kelley to hear. “For being here.” Being here for me.

Kelley tilted her head up and kissed her. “I’ll always be here for you, no matter what.” She whispered against Lindsey’s lips. 

“Can we... Kel, can we do this for real?” Lindsey asked, covering her mouth with her hand as though the words slipped out without her permission. 

The brunette pulled Lindsey’s hand away and kissed her again. “Are you asking me to be your girlfriend?” Lindsey nodded, a little shy, and Kelley flung her arms around her neck, kissing her deeply.  

“So that’s a yes, then?” 

 

@kelleyohara: look at my little champion!

     @lindseyhoran10: so nice to meet a fan

     @emilysonnett: jersey chasin’ miss kelley 

     @lavellerose: I KNEW IT 

 

Chapter Text

You know love songs ain't for us
Nothing could explain 'bout the way it hurts so much
But at the same time it's
Perfect nights, it's open doors
It's feeling safe, it's being sure

Maybe coming out to the world wasn’t the best idea. They had both been public with previous relationships, so they thought they knew the extent of the craziness that could come from being so open. They were wrong. Fans clogged their social media accounts with both positive and negative comments. News outlets were calling them every day, asking for comments and interviews. Not to mention the relentless teasing from their teammates, though that one should have been expected.  

Lindsey had spent a lot of time and energy not being public with him, much to his dislike. She should have known then how it would end. He was never invited out with her friends, even when they would show up with their significant others. Her teammates never asked about him and changed the subject if he ever came up. Sonny was the only person she ever felt safe enough to talk about him with. She knew Sonny didn’t like him, but she did a better job than most at pretending she did. Well, until that game in Utah.  

Sonny never yelled; she was much too gentle for that. But that night, after they got back to the hotel, Sonny unleashed this tidal wave of anger and hurt. She yelled, she cried, and she threw her phone at Lindsey’s head. When she saw the things he had said about her best friend, Lindsey wanted to throw up. She broke up with him (again) and told him never to come back. But that didn’t stop the onslaught of attention she and Sonny got after that game. She never wanted to go through something like that ever again.  

Kelley had been around the spotlight a lot longer than Lindsey; she knew the coping strategies and how to block out the noise. She knew that this pressure would only last until the next story dropped. She joked with Lindsey about “accidentally” letting it slip that Tobin and Christen were actually married. 

“They would forget about us completely.” Kelley laughed. 

“Yeah.” Lindsey smiled weakly. 

“Hey.” Kelley wished she could reach through the screen and give her girlfriend a hug. “It’s going to be okay; I promise.” 

Lindsey sighed. “I just wish you were here.” 

“I know, baby. Just a few more days. Then you’re stuck with me for quite a while.”  

“If I make the roster. I’ve been playing like shit.” 

“Okay, enough of that. Lindsey, you’ve been asked to play out of position, and you’ve been doing amazing. It’s only temporary.” 

“Is that what they told you in 2016?” 

Now that was a low blow. Sure, it had been years now, but Kelley still felt a little angry that she had been pushed out of the front line, and then out of the midfield, relegated all the way to the defense. She embraced the change because that was the kind of competitor she was, but that didn’t mean it didn’t sting when she saw how many goals her teammates scored. She knew she was a good defender, but that didn’t stop her from wondering if she could have been a great forward. Lindsey knew she had those feelings, expressed them under the cover of night and tucked into the taller woman’s side. Lindsey had been there, had watched Kelley struggle, even though they weren’t close back then, she knew. 

“That’s not fair.” 

“Why not? How do you know that my days playing forward aren’t over just like yours?” 

“Because he would be an idiot to stick you back there forever.” 

“That’s not a real answer!” Lindsey raised her voice, turning away from the screen.  

Lindsey had been on edge about being tasked with taking on Julie’s spot for a while now, and Kelley knew it had nothing to do with her actual skill. Lindsey had been in a tough place mentally when she lost her starting job to Sam during the World Cup. She figured with a new coach that might change, but it didn’t, and she was still fighting every day for minutes. With the Olympics looming, Kelley knew that Lindsey was having an internal crisis about her position on the team. That compounded with the anxiety she felt about the public nature of their young relationship was on its way to driving her insane. 

“Linds, I can’t predict the future. God knows, I wish I could, but I do know that you are an amazing player, maybe even the best player, and that you are going to have one hell of an Olympic tournament, okay?” 

“You don’t know that.” 

Kelley wished more than anything that she could go back in time and rescue Lindsey from Paris, from that place that left her struggling for years. Kelley prayed every night, asking Him to take away Lindsey’s pain, to help her see how special she is, to give her peace. Because Lindsey deserved peace. After a lifetime of being told she wasn’t good enough simply because she didn’t fit someone else’s conventional idea of beauty, being told that her strength was a hinderance rather than her greatest asset, she deserved at least that much. Sure, it had been years since she played for that man, but the mindset he drilled into her still flared up every once in a while. Lindsey did a good job of masking her worries and insecurities most of the time, but now, while she was home alone on a rainy night, thousands of miles away from all her people, Lindsey couldn’t hide.  

“Yes, I do. Whether it’s as the six or at center forward or wherever he puts you, you’re going to be great. There’s not a position you can’t handle.” Kelley hadn’t intended for it to sound dirty, but she smiled wryly, waiting for Lindsey to turn around and look at her. If nothing else, Kelley’s jokes would bring her back. 

“You’re not funny.” Lindsey deadpanned. 

“Excuse you? I’m very funny. Probably the funniest person you know.” 

“That’s Sonny but good try!” The blonde giggled softly and it warmed Kelley’s heart. 

*** 

When Lindsey smacked that volley against Mexico, Kelley used every bit of strength in her body not to kiss her girlfriend in the middle of the field. The goal she had been waiting to hit, the one she practiced over and over again, every day at practice, the one she was so proud of. Her uninhibited joy was enough for Kelley, seeing Lindsey so happy would always be enough. 

That night, she begged Rose to spend the night with Alex. Once they got to Tokyo, they had to be completely locked in, which meant no time for girlfriends. These were their last moments of peace before one of the most stressful times in their lives. It took some groveling and the promise to plant a pair of Skechers in Lindsey’s bag, but Rose agreed, and Kelley skipped off to Lindsey’s room. 

The blonde was sprawled out on her bed and dropped her phone on her face when Kelley swung open the door, backpack slung over her shoulder. The older woman had to choke back her surprise at seeing Lindsey lounging in just her sports bra and a pair of too short shorts. 

“Hot damn, baby!” 

“Curfew is in, like, ten minutes.” Lindsey rolled her eyes.

“I know.” 

“Shouldn’t you be in your room?” 

“I am.” Kelley grinned, dropping her bag and launching herself onto the bed. “Want to have a sleepover?” 

Lindsey didn’t say anything, she just grabbed the back of Kelley’s neck and pulled her in for a kiss. Kelley lowered herself so that she was lying on top of her girlfriend, their bodies as close as possible. Lindsey threaded her fingers into Kelley’s hair as the brunette kissed her harder into the mattress, hands running up and down her side. Hearing Lindsey moan softly caused Kelley to pull back, eliciting a whine. 

“Are you okay?”  

“More than okay.” Lindsey chuckled; eyes still closed. “I’m ready, Kel.” 

“You sure?” Kelley was trying her hardest not to let her body get the better of her, trying not to jump Lindsey’s bones unless that was what she really wanted.  

“So sure, baby.” Lindsey replied dreamily as her hands ran up under Kelley’s shirt, tugging at it until the brunette lifted it off. “Mhmm... so beautiful, Kel. Love your freckles.” Lindsey pulled them back together, lips on Kelley’s neck.  

She wasn’t expecting Lindsey to be this bold, to take charge a little, and it turned her on. Wedging a thigh between Lindsey’s insanely muscular legs, she flexed to give her girlfriend something to work against. Kelley ran her fingertips over Lindsey’s shoulders while she kissed and touched every place she could reach. Her lips and teeth nipped at the skin covering Lindsey's ribcage, making the taller girl hum with pleasure beneath her.   

Kelley reached behind herself and unclasped her own bra, letting the straps fall down her shoulders. Lindsey took the cue and pulled it off, her hands covering Kelley’s breasts as she kissed her neck again. Kelley hooked her fingers on Lindsey’s bra, gliding it up and over, her heaving chest left bare. Kelley pulled away to toss the bra across the room, where it landed on the desk chair. 

“Touch me, please baby.” Lindsey whimpered after the third or fourth time Kelley’s hands went just slightly beneath the waistband of her underwear. Her hand finally slid down, dipping all the way inside her. The pressure from Kelley’s palm against her was enough to make Lindsey moan, it had been so long since someone has touched her like that. “Fuck, Kel.”  

Kelley tried her best to draw out Lindsey’s pleasure, she deserved to be taken care of, but the sounds the blonde was making any time Kelley did anything, was making it hard to concentrate. 

“Oh... oh fuck, Kel! Oh my god!” Lindsey bit at her own hand, not wanting to endure teasing from all their teammates in the morning. Sam was next door and would probably die of secondhand embarrassment if she heard them. But then, Kelley’s tongue was on her and there was no chance of being quiet. “Shit! Oh... yes, baby! Fuck... fuck yes!” Lindsey had never come like that in her life, not even close. With Kelley’s mouth on her and her fingers inside, Lindsey would have collapsed if she wasn’t already on the bed.  

“How are you feeling?” Kelley kissed her way back up to Lindsey’s lips, letting the younger woman taste herself.  

“You really have to ask?” Lindsey giggled breathlessly. “Can’t believe I’ve been missing out on doing that with you for so long!” She kissed Kelley again, deeper, flipping them over. 

“Linds... you don’t have to...” Kelley breathed, her body betraying her as Lindsey kissed down between her breasts, one of her hands dipping underneath Kelley’s underwear. 

“Want to.” The blonde replied, nipping at Kelley’s perfect abs. “You’ll tell me if I’m not doing right though, won’t you?” 

“Doubt that’ll happen, don’t worry.”  

Kelley whined when Lindsey sat up. “Promise me, Kel.” Lindsey tried to mask her fear with a somewhat authoritarian tone. Kelley saw through it, though she pretended not to. 

“I promise, baby.”   

Lindsey pulled her hand back and licked the finger she had dipped into Kelley before pulling down her underwear and running her fingers down Kelley’s thighs. “Gorgeous.” 

Kelley turned pink while Lindsey looks her up and down, memorizing her naked form. “Can you just—” 

“I’m appreciating,” Lindsey said, playful smile across her face. 

“Trust me, you’ll get to appreciate this for a while,” Kelley said. “Right now, I just need to—” 

She doesn’t get the chance to finish her sentence because she let out a moan when Lindsey entered her with two fingers suddenly. “What was that?”  

God, where did that confidence come from? Kelley thought. Sexy as hell.  

“Nothing,” Kelley gasped. “Keep… keep going.”  

It doesn’t take long for Kelley to shake and tighten around Lindsey’s fingers, her eyes squeezed shut. As she was coming back down, Kelley pulled Lindsey up to kiss her. “Holy shit, Linds. Don't take this the wrong way, but I wasn’t expecting your first time doing that to go so well.” 

“Yeah?” Lindsey asked, pride in her voice.  

“Hell yeah, baby!” Kelley cuddled in next to her, pulling up the comforter and tangling their legs together.  

*** 

Lindsey fiddled with the straps of her bag while they waited to board the plane. She didn’t hate flying, but she sure didn’t love it. She knew it was dumb, she’d been flying on planes her whole life, but she still felt nervous every time. Maybe it was because of the length of the flight, maybe the longest she’d ever been on, or maybe it was the fact that no matter how many times she got on one, her brain automatically supplied the irrational fear that a giant metal object shouldn’t be able to hurtle through the air effortlessly, but she was nervous. She forced herself to drop the straps, only to start spinning the bracelet Kelley had made her instead. The it was made of beads in all Lindsey’s favorite colors and included letter beads that spelled out THG (The Great Horan). 

“I wanted to make it ‘LH heart KO’ but too many cameras will be on us, and you know how crazy some of these fans can get.” She had told Lindsey when she slipped it onto her wrist.  

Lindsey looked up at the sound of footsteps approaching in the airport and couldn’t help but giggle. Kelley was striding toward her with a cup of coffee in each hand. Along with her mask, she was sporting a pilot’s hat and sunglasses, completely obscuring her face.  

“Excuse me, sir? I was wondering if you’d seen my friend? Her name is Kelley. She’s about yay-high and bears some resemblance to a squirrel.” 

“It’s me, silly!” Kelley played along. “Here, something to hold so you can stop fidgeting.” She handed the blonde one of the cups. 

“I don’t know if coffee is the best for me before getting on—” 

“It’s decaf, don’t worry. And sickly sweet, just the way you like it.” Even with her face mostly covered, Lindsey could see the way Kelley’s nose wrinkled.  

They boarded the plane and Lindsey settled down into the, thankfully, comfortable seat. Kelley and Sonny were splitting custody of her for the flight, and Kelley had won the first half. She pulled a blanket out of her bag and curled up next to Lindsey, pressing a soft kiss to her lips. Having Kelley’s arm tucked securely around her waist helped Lindsey settle, feel safe. She squeezed her eyes shut on the take-off, gripping Kelley’s hand tight.  

“You’re okay, Linds. Promise.” Kelley cooed, rubbing circles with her thumb under Lindsey’s atrocious, yellow, team-issued shirt. 

Once they were in the sky, Kelley let Lindsey subject her to hours of Grey’s Anatomy until she fell asleep with Kelley tucked into her side.  

When the plane touched down, Kelley linked their fingers, pressing a kiss to the back of her hand.  

“Alright, let’s go get my baby a gold medal!”