006. Soft

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El sinks underneath the water, pinching her nose. Her feet hardly reach the lake's soil-rich bottom. She keeps her eyes shut, for the couple of seconds she's underwater, before coming back up and gasping.

"Wooo! You did it!" Max bellows out, splashing nearby and laughing out when El frowns and aggressively shakes the water out of long, curly bangs. Learning to swim has been hard, but Max's encouragement helps.

It took too long for them to be friends. El still feels sorry for being hostile and angry with her.

Max's light orange hair cascades around her bare shoulders. Max is… a good person. She's willing to be encouraging with her, teaching El how to float on her back and jump off the rocks, and to be gentle.

El blinks, happening to gaze down to a teeny red-and-black bug swimming towards her.

She shifts a hand, pushing underwater to keep it away.

"El, no! Don't hurt it!" Max yells out, hurrying over and scooping up the frantic, wriggling insect. "It's a ladybug," she explains, letting it crawl on her forefinger. "They're good luck."

"I wasn't going to hurt it," El says defensively, furrowing her eyebrows.

"Here—" Max gestures out to the ladybug on her thumb-pad. "Make a wish and blow. But not too hard."

She's not sure what Max means, but El does as she's told, concentrating and then faintly pushes air between her lips. The ladybug rustles its wings open, taking flight into the air.

Max grins so brightly it's dizzying.

"… What happens?"

"Your wish comes true," Max tells her, smugly. She then looks away, embarrassed by her own childish statement. "At least, that's how it's supposed to work. Mine never came true anyway."

El considers this with solemn, silent focus, bobbing up to her chin in the afternoon sun-warmed lake.

I want Max to get a new skateboard. I broke it yesterday.

I want Max to kiss me.

Maybe it's one wish too many. Either wish would be good, she thinks.

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Stranger Things isn't mine. I'LL BE HAPPY IF I CAN JUST GET EL AND MAX BEING BESTIES IN SEASON 3. MORE FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS! LESS JEALOUSY! I hope you guys enjoyed the new fic and any thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated! :) Femslash February is being LOVELY this year!