Hell, Heaven, Earth and back again. If Raven had to describe her vacation to anyone (and she would have to), that's how she would describe it. And when asked to elaborate, she'd point to the permanent grin affixed to her face and let them fill in their own blanks. It was already Thursday afternoon when the young psychic woke up. Chelsea's long, red curls were spilling over the side of the bed as she slept facing Raven. Across the expanse of the king sized bed they shared, Raven and Chelsea had cuddled up in the middle. There was this serene look spread across Chelsea's features. Her rosy cheeks were a little warm. Raven could guess what Chelsea was dreaming about without peeking. She left the smallest, lightest kisses across her lover's exposed shoulder before sliding out of bed.
When her feet hit the floor, it felt completely different to be alive to Raven. She felt as if the weight of the world was suddenly lifted from her shoulders. Everything she touched felt so much more real than it ever had before. From the carpet under her feet to the bathroom light switch and the terry cloth of her towel, it was if someone uncapped her senses and they were radiating from her body and touching things she was nowhere near.
She couldn't help it. She climbed back into bed next to Chelsea who was still fast asleep. Propping herself up on her elbow, she laid sideways just watching her sleep. She was completely fascinated by the way she viewed Chelsea right then and there. The sunlight was pouring into her bedroom, and the hilighlights in her long, wispy red curls caused her hair to resemble molten lava cascading over the side of the bed. Her skin absorbed the golden hues and let them tint her creamy complexion. Laying there, she looked like her whole body was ablaze. It was the most incredible thing that Raven had ever seen. She truly felt that this was Chelsea's most perfect moment, and she was there to witness it.
Finally snapping out of her trance, she pushed herself out of bed and walked into the bathroom. She scanned her iPod for a few seconds before setting it down in the dock. She had been on a Common kick, and loaded her player with his albums, but there was one song in particular that she wanted to hear. As the melody drifted through the bathroom, Raven climbed into the shower. The water was cool against her skin as she relaxed her tensed muscles in the shower. All the events of the past week had melted from her body and made their way down the drain, never to return again.
Though the water was cool, she felt a certain warmth press against her back. Raven closed her eyes and welcomed the sweet sensation of the warmth spreading across her skin. From behind her, two light hands traveled up her sides and settled beneath her own arms. The hands traveled upwards brushing her shoulder blades and settled on her shoulders. Chelsea pressed her body closer into Raven's as the girl leaned her head back against her lover's shoulder.
"That's a nice way to wake up." Raven cooed.
Chelsea, who was gripping Raven's shoulders from behind, only smiled softly. A sliver of cool metal pressed into Raven's collar bone, but it didn't bother her much. The two girls spent a few moments in silence just enjoying the feeling of being close to each other.
When Raven finally turned around to face the red head, she noticed that Chelsea had not taken her clothes off. She started to laugh before she saw that her best friend now lover was staring into her eyes with intensity.
"Yes." Was all Chelsea whispered. She rose from her deep, peaceful slumber when she heard Raven turn the water on the shower. There was something different about her, though. Her left hand, which was resting on her pillow, was now reflecting an odd light. She rolled onto her back and raised her left hand high in the air. Her eyes widened in shock, and then settled into an unspeakable bliss. She turned her hand a couple of times to see if it was really real. Yea, there was definitely something different about her hand. There was something there that wasn't before. She didn't want to waste time stepping out of her own clothes. She bee-lined for the bathroom door. She had to be close to Raven immediately.
Now she was standing in the shower fully dressed with her hand still on Raven's shoulder. She could only look at her lover. There was still a great deal of shock and inarticulate awe speeding through her mind. Like a pendulum, it pushed itself as far as it could go before rocking her back to reality.
The music was still pumping through the speakers when she held up her left hand, bringing it to Raven's full attention. "Yes". Was all Chelsea could say again.
One word was all Raven needed to hear to set her heart on fire. "Yes?"
"Yes!" Chelsea's voice got a little louder. There was nothing menacing about her tone, though. Her voice was filled with overwhelming excitement.
The ring on the red head's finger fit perfectly. Raven glanced down at it. Taking Chelsea's hand into her own, the hazel eyed girl could only smile. "It looks nice on you." She smirked.
"It couldn't suit me better." Chelsea's eyes were starting to well up with tears. "This was sooner than I expected, but I couldn't imagine it happening any other way."
"Oh so you expected it!" Raven was amused.
"Well…" Chelsea laughed. "Every girl dreams of this day."
"And fifteen years is long enough to dream of this day, don't you think?" The psychic pulled Chelsea closer.
"You helped me to discover me
I just want you to put trust in me
I kinda laugh when you cuss at me.
The aftermath is you touchin me."
As the song wound down to the last verse, Raven placed her hand against Chelsea's face. She couldn't imagine prolonging their wait any longer. There was a time and a place for everything. In this time and in this place, Chelsea and Raven knew exactly what they both wanted. There was a message in this song that Raven intended to convey to her love of so very long.
"It's destiny that we connected, girl.
You and I we can affect the world.
I'm tired of the fast lane…"
"I want you to have my last name." Instead of music from the speakers, it was Raven who spoke the final line. The music and the shower's noise faded into the background as Chelsea's ears could only register Raven's voice.
The declaration prompted the tears to finally fall from her eyes. For a split second, Chelsea thought she was still dreaming. Had one day made all the difference? No, it was years in the making. This wasn't a spontaneous moment, this was Raven's pre-meditated intention. It didn't matter if they were standing in the shower, a forest, a beach or sitting in midtown tunnel traffic. They were always in their own world.
She had already answered Raven's question, but she felt she had to say it again. "Yes! A million times yes!" Chelsea threw her arms around Raven's neck, pulling her into a sensual kiss.
Raven broke the kiss for only a moment. "You know, showering is a lot easier without all your clothes on, Chels." There was mischief in her eyes.
"Oh yea!" The girl started to unbutton her top. Raven placed her hands over Chelsea's.
"I'll do it for you." The darker girl insisted.
They took the longest shower of their lives that day. When they finally emerged from the bathroom, they were tired enough to go back to sleep, but they knew this would be the last full day they'd have on the island before they had to take off the next day.
When they joined the rest of the family in the kitchen, Victor's jaw hit the ground. "FINALLY! I thought you two would never wake up!" His mock-surprise was obvious. "You two sure partied hard last night. It's almost three o'clock!" He tapped his watch.
The two spoke simultaneously, but not the same. They only looked at each other and burst out laughing.
Raven stepped forward. "So what's the plan for today, guys? One huge family Baxter family outing before we fly back?" She put special emphasis on "Baxter" while nudging Chelsea in the side. The girl blushed a vivid shade of red and giggled.
This wasn't lost on Tonya who noticed that the two girls were closer than ever - if that were even possible. She looked thoughtful, eyeing the two girls up and down. She half hoped that there would be no visible proof of their "long day/night" on them. Instead, she found something a little more obvious.
"Hey you two. Let's spend a couple of hours shopping and leave these two boys to do some father/son bonding." Came Tonya's request. "I saw a really beautiful jewelry store back by the docks. I wanted to see if they had anything nice to bring back for my mom."
Raven's eyes narrowed. Then she caught on. She glanced at Chelsea who was still on cloud nine and then glanced at her mother who was awaiting her answer. "Sounds good to me." Raven shrugged it off. "Let me just get my bag. Chels?"
Chelsea turned on her heel and followed Raven into the bedroom.
"My mom knows, you know." Raven slung her bag over her shoulder and glanced at Chelsea who was doing the same.
Chelsea paused. "Really? Is that why we're going out with her now?" The girl looked a little worried.
"Yea, but don't sweat it. I think everything's going to be just fine." Raven kissed Chelsea before walking out of the bedroom.
In the marketplace, Tonya poked around. She looked really uninterested in the baubles and knick-knacks that were sitting on the tables. She breezed through the racks briefly before turning her attention to Chelsea who wasn't standing beside Raven for the first time all day.
"See anything interesting, Mrs. B?" Chelsea's eyes were scanning a rack of shell necklaces.
"Just a ring." Tonya's voice was monotone.
"Oh really? Where?" Chelsea looked up with genuine curiosity.
Tonya took Chelsea's hand in her own and held it up for her to see her own ring finger. "This one."
"Oh well…" Chelsea hesitated "This one isn't for sale. There's a counter with lots of nice rings over there." She pointed with her free hand.
"Oh Chelsea." Tonya laughed. "I'm more concerned about this ring." She gave it a good look. "It's incredible."
"You think so?" Raven appeared behind her mother.
The three ladies decided to sit at a café and talk instead of obstructing traffic in the market place.
Tonya was the first to begin. "I'm happy for you two. I really am. But I have to ask. Isn't this moving a little too fast?"
Raven and Chelsea looked at each other before the psychic chuckled. "Chill, mom. It's a promise ring. Though…" Raven placed her hand under her chin. "I suppose it's almost the same as proposing. Well for us, anyway."
"We're gonna take it day by day, Mrs. B." Chelsea added.
A sigh of relief escaped Tonya's lungs. "Well that's good! So how are you two handling this huge step?"
"It's a dream come true." Chelsea joked.
"Good one, Chels!" Raven laughed.
The ladies made their way back to the house to reconnect with Victor and Cory who had spent the afternoon fishing. The family resolved to clean up and have dinner in the back yard. Victor could take a million vacations, but he was his happiest when he could cook a huge meal. The family wasn't about to protest at all. They set the table in the back and prepared for their huge meal.
Away in the distance, Raven and Chelsea stood side by side at the end of the massive cliff. As the sun dipped into the horizon, they tilted their heads back to let the warm breeze blow over them. Chelsea affixed her eyes to the horizon before turning to Raven.
"That is one promise I intend to spend the rest of my life making sure you keep, Rae."
Raven gasped. It was exactly her vision, and she knew what was coming next.
Chelsea turned and leaned in to kiss Raven. As the girl leaned in to meet her lover they were cut short by Tonya clearing her throat.
"Dinner is served, you two. Save the dessert for later." She smiled and turned to join her husband and son at the table.
"Well that's no surprise. At least when we get back to New York there won't be so much interruption." Raven mumbled.
Chelsea responded by lacing her fingers in Raven's and leading her back to the table. "Well how about we look for a place of our own and there won't be any interruptions at all."
"Girl, I like the way you think!" Raven smiled bright.
The connections we make to the people we know are often short-lived and fleeting. And while some come and go, there are those who cannot be replaced, removed or forgotten. In a world where billions of people cohabitate, the possibilities for love and the potential for forever is a gamble. While people travel the world looking for the one, some of us only have to look as far as down the road. Some of us, perhaps, should simply peer into our own dreams for they are inspired by the heart, and the heart knows what the heart wants.
As Chelsea and Raven bid the family good night, they gazed into each other's eyes lovingly and returned to their bedroom where they both knew they would no longer need dreams to speak the truth. They were blessed enough to be living it in one another.
A/N: My first TSR fic is DONE! Woo hoo! I hope you enjoyed reading it! I just want to thank LaughLoveLive for everything. Whether it was a vote of confidence, a stroke of the ego or inspiration, you were there from the beginning, and I couldn't have done this without you!
Thanks for reading!