TITLE: Sweet and twenty.

AUTHOR: freelance spice

FANDOM: She's the Man

RATING: PG

PAIRING: Olivia/Viola

SUMMARY: Friends fight. But what if you're fighting because you just don't know that you both agree?

NOTES: This goes hand in hand with Fate, Show Thy Force. The title's from that one wacky play Twelfth Night by that English guy W. Shakespeare.

"Vi, wait."

"No, I get it."

"You don't."

"What, now you're telling me what I do and don't get?"

"It's… I…"

"Yeah. I get it."

Conflict was the norm, lately. Before that came distance.

After the big game, Viola returned to life at Cornwall, making appearances for the home games at Illyria, where she and Duke flirted across the sidelines, until the Halloween dance, when Orsino was no longer a name the female Hastings twin jotted on notebook covers.

That led into a state of confusion, with Viola's cross-dressing relapse and Olivia's unexpected reaction to the faux Sebastian that she didn't even realize she'd been missing, which led to a barrage of internal questions about what exactly transpired over those first two weeks of school and a series of revelations as to why making out with one's boyfriend was not nearly as enticing as it ought to be.

It was the answers to Olivia's self-inquiries that ultimately fueled the current tension between herself and Viola.

Point A: Viola was Sebastian. Point B: Sebastian wasn't Viola. This, in any other time or place, would be pure midsummer madness designed to drive lovers crazy. Letting (actual) Sebastian go was easy, as things always were with him. He was a nice guy who understood things more than a teenage male probably should and any girl would be lucky to have him. But the guy Olivia pined for was actually a girl, and liking a girl was certainly more straightforward and easily understood than that kind of relationship drama that often surfaced at Illyria Prep.

While it was less obscure, the difficulty in same-sex attraction is fear of the kind of rejection that may lead to more permanent distance. Not that Viola would be ever freaked out by the "gay" thing, since Paul was one of her best friends, but you can never be too careful.

So, instead, it was Olivia who became more and more unavailable every time Viola wanted to hang out.

"You wanna see a movie this weekend?" Viola bounced the soccer ball off Olivia's dorm room wall.

"Oh… uh, maybe. It's just that Maria's brother works Saturdays and he still has that creepy crush on me."

"We could rent something." Bounce. "Zombie marathon?"

"You know I didn't sleep after Land of the Dead."

Bounce. "Okay…"

"I… I need to work on my project anyway."

"Fine, yeah." Bounce. "Whatever."

"Can you not do that?"

Bounce. "What?" Bounce.

"THAT."

"Oh. Sorry."

"It's okay."

"I'm gonna go."

"Vi, wait."

"No, I get it."

"You don't."

"What, now you're telling me what I do and don't get?"

"It's… I…"

"Yeah. I get it."

"You do?"

"Yeah. This is over."

"It is?"

Olivia's stomach rolled into itself, in an effort to implode. This was exactly why she hadn't told Viola about the feelings that insisted on welling up every time they were around each other. She'd hoped for the best, but figured it wasn't worth it.

But she hadn't counted on losing Viola's friendship.

"You obviously don't want to be friends, so let's just call it. Time of death… three oh four."

"You think I don't want to be friends?"

"You've blown me off consistently for days now. A week, actually."

In her struggle to maintain her own emotions, Olivia hadn't considered Viola's motives in trips to darkened movie theaters (lack of light boosts courage in hand holding and other possibilities) or the desire to watch scary movies (frightened girls often end up jumping into each other's arms).

"I just have other stuff to do."

"Sure. Yeah."

It would take about seven seconds for Viola to get off the bed, walk to the door, and leave. Olivia took half a second to make her decision, two more to take the deepest breath of her life, and three to land herself in front of the doorway.

Initiative. She'd taken it with Sebastian when she'd recited his own lyrics and kissed him. But there was no time for words. Besides, Viola wasn't the song-writing twin.

Kisses are rarely ever perfect. Some are too wet, some too dry. Maybe the other person doesn't use enough tongue or they're trying damn hard to lick your spleen. Perfection probably wouldn't describe the technical aspects of the Olivia's ostensibly awkward actions, but courage almost always allows for leeway in technicalities.

BOUNCE. Bouncebouncebounce. The ball rolled under the desk, unattended while Viola's hands fluttered outward to either side of her body, then settled on Olivia's hips.

They finally broke apart, breath rapid from forgetting to breathe.

"See? I was right. You don't want to be friends."

Olivia's lips responded with a smirk, then moved in for another attempt at perfection.