***Warnings: This is femmeslashy. If girls kissing girls offends you, you probably aren't going to be particularly amused by this fluff. Ff.net being in a bad mood, both chapters of this fluff are currently posted in one rather overlong file here – sorry about that.
Credits: The title is from a lovely review on ff.net for my first SVH ficlet :) This is also for all the people who requested I do Lila/Jessica - popular couple, apparently. As always, the love of my life read, encouraged, beta'd, changed my life… ::adoring smile:: And the Wakefield Twins & Co belong to Francine Pascall, although they should be confiscated as punishment for "Sweet Valley Senior Year." ***
CHAPTER ONE: GOSSIP
Jessica Wakefield held her shoulder-length blonde hair bunched up behind her head in one hand, sucking in her cheeks and pouting as she critically examined her reflection from all angles. "Do you think I'm wearing too much blush?"
Lila glanced up from her magazine. "Depends if you're going for the 80s-retro tramp look. Otherwise, yes."
Jessica sighed, and picked up a makeup removal pad, removing some of the dusty pink from her cheekbones. Much as she hated to admit it, Lila's taste on clothes and makeup could usually be trusted. She reached for an eyeliner.
"Jessica, I haven't used that yet, and it cost more money than you earn allowance in a month. Put it down." Lila had the disconcerting ability to see what someone was doing without ever looking in their direction. That was one reason why she was such a mistress of gossip – that, boredom, and a ruthless steak as wide as the desert.
"But Li-la… You know girls with brown eyes and hair shouldn't wear blue eyeliner anyway…"
"Oh, forget it," Lila sighed, flipping the page over. "I can afford it. Knock yourself out."
Jessica beamed and began to carefully smudge smoky blue around her aqua eyes. Lila was obviously in one of her sulky moods, but Jessica was used to her temperamental best friend. And it was nice to have free access to Lila's collection of cosmetics, which was vaster – and classier – than Jessica's own. Still, it struck her as ironic that two of the most sought-after girls in Sweet Valley High were spending a Saturday night trying on makeup and reading fashion magazines rather than hitting the town. She sighed deeply.
"What's wrong now?" Lila sighed impatiently. She didn't sound particularly sympathetic, Jessica thought, pouting. After all, the unstated reason Jessica was sleeping over was that Lila's father was on another one of his business trips, and Lila hated spending every night alone with the servants. "Get a speck of mascara under your eye?"
"*Where?*" Jessica anxiously checked, then realised Lila was being sarcastic. "I mean, no." Jessica sighed. "I just think we've come to a serious shortage of eligible boys again. Not one boy asked me out this week I could be bothered with. I'm so sick of them all." The lack of fresh boys was a constant problem in Sweet Valley, as far as the best friends were concerned.
"You're telling me," Lila shrugged. "I'd hoped if your sister left for Switzerland, Jeffrey French would have come back on the market, but unfortunately we're still stuck with her."
"That's not funny." Jessica glared at Lila's reflection. No one was allowed to insult her twin but herself.
"It wasn't really meant to be funny." There was another long silence, then Lila put up her magazine. "I'm bored, let's go to bed."
"Sounds like an invitation…" Jessica grinned. "Not very romantically expressed, though."
"In your dreams."
The girls were quiet as Jessica wiped off her face, then settled next to each other in Lila's huge canopy bed. Lila's face was still set in a bad-tempered pout, her full lips petulant, and Jessica was feeling more and more hard done by. As Lila reached up to switch off the lamp, the blonde burst out, "She might as well have gone to Switzerland! I never see her anymore. She's out with Enid Rollins again tonight. You'd think she'd spare some time with own twin instead of that dork."
Lila paused with her hand on the light switch. "She's been spending a lot of time with Enid lately, hasn't she?" she asked casually. Her intense brown eyes watched Jessica carefully, judging her reaction.
"You're telling me. Honestly, I don't know what she sees in Eeeny. And they've been worse than ever lately. They're more like Siamese twins than best friends. I mean, we're best friends, and I don't have to live in your pocket, do I?"
Lila switched off the lamp. "Apparently not," she muttered. "G'night."
"Night." They snuggled down under the covers next to each other.
There was a long silence, and then Jessica burst out again, "I mean, she doesn't even go on dates alone anymore! She's always doubling with Jeffrey and Tom McKay. And did you see them last night?" she demanded, outraged, turning to Lila in the darkness. "You'd have difficulty telling who was with who."
"Apparently you did," Lila mumbled.
Lila sighed, and sat up. "Jessica, have you ever considered whether you're jealous of Enid for a reason?"
"I'm not jealous of that nerd! Just because Liz would prefer to spend time with the school loser instead of her very own twin sister…" It was too dark to be sure, but Lila was sure Jessica's eyes were filled with self-pitying tears. That spurred her on, somehow. She'd always been a little jealous of Jessica's devotion to her twin. Of course, Jessica exploited Elizabeth's martyr complex at every opportunity, but that didn't stop her putting Elizabeth ahead of her best friend far too often, in Lila's considered opinion.
"Think about it," she said slowly. "When was the last time you saw Elizabeth and Jeffrey together without both Tom and Enid around? And Enid's not exactly Tom's type," she added meaningfully.
"What do you mean?' Jessica sniffed.
"I mean, he usually goes for blonds," Lila smirked.
"You think Tom has a crush on Liz?" Jessica began to consider whether her sister would benefit socially more from dating a star of the soccer team like Jeffrey or a star tennis player like Tom. Maybe she could date Jeffrey in winter, and Tom in summer. It always seemed a waste to Jessica that jocks were only good for one season, as it were.
Lila took a deep breath, wondering if she was going to regret what she was about to say. Of course, it was none of her business. But then, when had that ever stopped her? "I was thinking more that he had a crush on Jeffrey."
Jessica's eyes became wide, tragic pools in the darkness. "Oh no! Poor Liz! How will she cope?"
"I think Liz is otherwise occupied," Lila said meaningfully.
Jessica stared at her in stunned silence for a moment, and then began to giggle. "Oh, Lila, you're too much. I mean, I think I'd know if my sister was a dyke. She and Todd were like Romeo and Juliet or something, only they didn't kill themselves," she added, proud of her knowledge of great literature. Jessica rather fancied herself as a Shakespearean actor, although everyday deception was more in her line. "And Enid is too goody-goody for that. I mean, she's the straightest girl I know."
"In all ways but one…" Lila smirked.
Jessica shook her head, still laughing. "Enid has never stepped out of line in her life."
"Jess, she has a police record."
Jessica hesitated. She knew about Enid's period of drug and alcohol abuse, of course – she'd used it to her own advantage to get Enid out of the way more than once. But it was actually hard to reconcile Elizabeth's boring best friend with all those old rumours, even though they were true. "Her parents were splitting up, and she went a little haywire, that's all. Liz told me all about it. Believe me, she's nauseatingly repentant now."
Lila shrugged. "Maybe… but you know, I heard rumours that she and George Warren used to… share girls, when they were together."
"Ew! Lila, what was she, fourteen?"
"It's just what I heard. And she worships the ground Elizabeth walks on, anyone can see that."
"Ew! Lila, just shut up, will you? Maybe Enid's a dyke, she certainly dresses like one, but Liz isn't like that. She's just a little… intellectual."
"If you say so. Go to sleep, Jessica."
"'Kay." Lila counted under her breath to twenty. "She does worship Liz, doesn't she?" Lila didn't reply. "My sister a lesbian – and with Eeny Rollins! My life is over," she moaned.
Lila almost made it to sleep this time. But eventually Jessica, annoyed at Lila failing to give proper compassion, doubled the volume of her pathetic sobbing until Lila could no longer even pretend to sleep.
"What – the – hell – is - wrong – NOW?"
"No one ever loved me the way Enid loves Elizabeth," Jessica wailed.
"Oh, good grief."
Jessica continued valiantly on, despite Lila's deplorable lack of sympathy. "I'm just basically unlovable," she wept.
"Jessica…" Despite herself, Lila found herself offering comfort. "Every cute boy in school wants to go out with you – and has," she added nastily.
"But they only want to go out with me because I'm the most beautiful and popular and charming and sexy and vivacious girl in school," Jessica explained tearfully, pretending she didn't know Lila was rolling her eyes. "They don't *really* love me."
"A.J. loved you."
"Not really," Jessica said bitterly. The thought of her first and only real boyfriend still stung. "He thought I was like Elizabeth, you know, and then he couldn't cope with the real me."
"Who could blame him?"
"Lila!" Jessica pouted. She heaved a sigh. "I'm almost jealous of Liz, you know. Although if she wanted a girlfriend, I think she could have found someone better than Enid. Eeew, sick."
Lila turned onto her side to face her. Their faces were very close, on the pillows next to each other. "Haven't you ever thought about it yourself?" she asked quietly. Her voice was less certain than her usual bored, arrogant tones.
"No. I mean, I know there's a shortage of cute boys around, but I'm not that desperate."
"Oh. Of course." Lila rolled onto her back again, to lie staring at the ceiling.
"Lila, have you? Ever thought about it, I mean."
"Sometimes." The whisper was so soft Jessica barely caught it.
"Li!" she squealed. "That is just so cool!"
"So cool?" Lila turned back to her. "I thought you said it was eeew?" She mocked Jessica's voice.
"We were talking about Eeny Rollins with my sister! It's different with a high-class babe like you."
"Thanks," Lila said drily.
"No, really" Jessica smiled happily. "This is just so – wild. I mean, I think you should consider taking some sexy girl to the next school dance and making out on the dance floor. You'd make a sensation."
"I certainly would." Lila didn't sound too happy. "Look, I'm sorry I told you. I really don't want to talk about it – or for you to spread it around school, understand?"
"Come on, don't be like that. I mean, all the top Hollywood stars flirt with galpals and bisexuality. It's totally trendy. You could be like Sweet Valley High's Angelina Jolie."
"Thank you, but marrying Billy Bob has never been one of my ambitions."
"I guess not," Jessica giggled. "You look a bit like her, though," she added thoughtfully. "Hey, Lila?"
"When you said you thought about it… Who do you think about it with?" She waited. "Lila?" Still no answer. "Li-la…"
Jessica reached up and switched on the lamp on her own side of the bed. Lila's face was awash with colour.
CHAPTER TWO : Possibilities
How exactly *does* your average - well, dazzling beautiful and incredibly popular - sixteen year old cope with the sudden knowledge that her best friend thinks about her in… that way? Especially when she's still reeling from the revelation that her identical twin has been carrying on with her own best friend… and, come to think of it, that two of the cutest boys at school were apparently dating each other too. Jessica, for once in her drama queen life, was genuinely floundering.
Her instincts were to pass it off with a smart comment and a laugh. That was what Lila would do, she was sure, if there positions were reversed. But Lila's face was red and miserable with embarrassment, and there was something suspiciously like tears in the corners of those usually hard brown eyes. Lila dropped her lashes quickly under her friend's gaze, but Jessica was sure she'd seen correctly.
For a moment, Jessica genuinely wished she had a little of her twin's famous sensitivity. Elizabeth always knew how to carry off emotionally dangerous situations without crushing anyone's feelings or making a fool of herself. Of course, she had apparently carried off *this* situation by saying 'yes please'… No, Jessica wasn't going to think like that. Well, obviously she was already thinking like that, but she wouldn't be human if she could hear that kind of declaration in those kind of circumstances without at least wondering what her sister saw in the whole sapphic thing. She couldn't help wondering what it would be like, to be kissed by a girl or to taste the tanned skin where the lace of her neckline met her shadowed cleavage… right? Right. Perfectly natural thoughts under the circumstances. It didn't mean she was actually going to do any of that.
Her immediate problem was her closest friend's out of character distress. Something had to be done to cheer her up. Not that she cared, of course, but Lila was really a drag when she was depressed.
She wondered if a nice sisterly hug would help - not that Lila was a particularly huggable person anyway, she was too prickly, but for some reason taking her in her arms seemed a tempting option right now. Jessica reluctantly decided that, under the circumstances, she might give the wrong impression. She was suddenly acutely aware that they were lying in the same bed, and that both her satin shortie pyjamas and Lila's low-cut white lace nightdress were kind of on the revealing side. That hadn't seemed to matter much before, but in the grip of this new awareness…
She decided to compromise between kindness and distance. "Wow, Lila, I always knew I was irresistible," she said with false brightness.
Lila shrugged. "I'd argue with you, but it's kind of hard to right now. I'm sorry."
Jessica was taken aback. Lila never apologised for anything. Lila would ask Jessica's love interests out, insult her clothes, lie, scheme, blackmail and manipulate, and then take forgiveness for granted. Jessica always gave it… eventually. After all, they were two of a kind, and they had always understood each other perfectly. Until now, perhaps…
"I never realised," she said helplessly.
"I can't help it, okay? I know we fight all the time, and you're a hideous flirt, and you always try to steal my boyfriends-" Jessica opened her mouth to protest, but Lila rushed on, "but - you're the only person who ever really cared about me."
"Li, that's not -" Jessica paused, as she realised that the girl was probably speaking the truth. Everyone knew that millionaire George Fowler couldn't be bothered even living in the same house as his daughter most of the time, and when he was around, that his idea of fathering was to deposit money in Lila's credit card account. As for Lila's mother, she had run off to France, leaving her little girl behind, and Jessica knew she hadn't written for years. After all, wasn't the reason Jessica was spending the night at her best friend's house less the shortage of eligible dates, as the knowledge that Lila was secretly lonely?
"You're one of the most popular girls in school," she said slowly. But even as she said it, she knew it didn't mean much. Sure, Lila always had plenty of cash to splash around, was a beautiful and high-status date, and her house was perfect for sorority meetings and parties. She was the ultimate social butterfly. But Jessica also was aware that most of their 'friends,' even those in Pi Beta Alpha, secretly thought of Lila as an arrogant, untrustworthy snob.
//Oh, no,/// she thought, suddenly distracted. //Do they think of me the same way? Or just as a blonde bimbo?//
Lila cut into Jessica's automatically self-turning thoughts by bursting into tears. "I kind of hoped that Liz was - if she and Enid could - that you would -"
"Oh, Lila, no… Please don't cry…" Jessica said, distressed. It was disconcerting, seeing cool untouchable Lila, of all people, so vulnerable. It was like watching Elizabeth cry, and knowing she was the cause of her tears. No matter how many times that happened, and incapable as Jessica was of not taking advantage of her too compliant twin, she hated actually making her cry. And now she'd done the same to Lila, without even meaning to.
Acting on instinct, she did what she would have done if it had really been Elizabeth sobbing next to her. She gave in to the urge to comfort, reached out and gathered her friend into her arms. Lila felt nice, she realised, almost weightless and yielding, as if made for snuggling up to. The bare skin just above their breasts pressed together in twinned triangles of warmth.
"Jess..." And then, without either of them seeming to move, their lips were pressed together. And that was surprisingly nice, too… Jessica found herself dizzily thinking that Lila's investments in expensive moisturising lip glosses had really paid off. She had never felt such silky lips. And no inept teenage attempts at shaving marred the smoothness of the cheek under the hand she raised to caress Lila's face. It was unlike everything she was used to, and sweeter, somehow.
Possibly because she was being kissed by a girl. Or possibly because she was kissing her best friend, who, Jessica realised in a moment of desire-fogged insight, was possibly the only person she had ever kissed without secret thoughts of how impressed her friends would be. And no one had ever kissed her so tenderly and longingly, one kiss flowing seamlessly into the next, Lila's lips gently caressing and feeding on hers as if she was the most delicate and precious thing in the universe.
And she had never, in her life, been as wet and aching as at this moment.
"Wow," Jessica said breathlessly, when the kiss at last ended. She sought for something appropriately complimentary to say. "No wonder you're so popular."
Lila flashed her familiar dynamite smile at her, but her eyes were liquid behind the pose of self-satisfaction. "Being devastatingly beautiful, charming and wealthy isn't enough?"
Jessica glared at her. "Shut up and kiss me again, you stuck up snob." She pulled her closer.
The kiss was different this time, perhaps because the initial step had been taken. Now both were aware that Jessica was willing to kiss another girl. Well, not any other girl, perhaps, but Lila, certainly… Their lips pulled at each other, parting, the kisses becoming longer and wetter and more urgent until Jessica's tongue finally slipped into Lila's mouth.
She had deepened the kiss without thinking, drunk on the heat of Lila's mouth, and there was a moment of panic, her mind screeching at her to think what the heel she was doing. But before she could pull back, Lila was sucking deeply and lusciously on her tongue. Jessica felt herself rolled onto her back and her best friend's weight pressing their breasts hard together as Lila's kisses became more frantic, and she moaned into the kiss without thinking, fear dissolved into desire as she clutched her best friend closer.
She couldn't breathe when the kiss was released, Lila stroking blonde hair back from her flushed face. "Jess, are you sure about this?'
Jessica began to say of course she was sure, this wasn't the first time she'd made out, thank you very much, although possibly not with a girl, when it suddenly occurred to her that this was not exactly kissing goodnight or the doorstep or making out at Miller's Point. She and Lila were in *bed* together, for goodness' sake… Panic rose in her heart, and with it, another thought.
She tried to catch her breath. "Lila, do you think Enid and Elizabeth have gone all the way?"
Lila stopped looking aroused and tender for a moment, and shot daggers at her. "What has what those two nerds do got to do with anything?"
Jessica pouted. "Do you?" she insisted.
Lila shrugged. She was obviously put out by the conversation, but it was against her nature to admit to not holding any particular piece of gossip. "I think so. Enid's certainly had that special glow lately, although that might just be because she's had a chance to feel up her goddess," she added spitefully. She slid off Jessica, and looked inclined to go back into the sulks, but Jessica was sure she knew how to deal with that.
"I can't believe Elizabeth might have lost her virginity before me!" she wailed.
"Jessica Wakefield, I can't *believe*you," Lila snapped, sitting up and folding her arms. "At a moment like this..."
"But we're twins, we're supposed to do everything together," the more mentally imbalanced half of the Wakefield clones sobbed.
Lila still looked furious, but unwilling amusement was beginning to quirk the corner of her mouth. "Not this, surely," she drawled, running a finger up the curve of one of Jessica's breasts. "And I don't share *anything* with Enid Rollins, so don't even think about proposing a foursome."
Jessica's breath hissed in her throat for a moment at as Lila's finger crushed her nipple through her satin top, but she stuck to her whining theme. "And Liz is supposed to be so virtuous, I can't believe she'd do this and not even tell me. What kind of a sister *is* she?"
"Honey, you're absolutely unbelievable. " Lila pinched one of Jessica's nipples, rather viciously. Jessica gasped as stars went off behind her eyes. "You're a twisted brat, you know that?"
"Yeah, I know" Jessica said, as soon as the stars faded a little. She grinned lazily up at the other girl. "So, I was thinking… I can't let Liz one-up me, right?"
Lila's cross pout was fading into a sly smile. "Right."
"So…" Jessica fought down her nervousness. "So, I think you should make love to me right now, Li. It's your duty as a best friend."
Lila leaned down over Jessica's beautiful face, admiring the way her cerulean eyes sparkled with mischief. "Well, as a Fowler, I always try to do my duty."
"Oh, yeah, you're such an ang – mmph," Jessica finished, as she found Lila's tongue in her mouth.
A long and breathless kiss later, Jessica found a warm mouth on her ear, lips and tongue and breath and just the hint of teeth combining to make her squirm and gasp in Lila's arms. "Sensitive… there…"
"I know," Lila whispered against her ear, flicking a tongue lightly.
There was a pause without coherent speech, then Jessica heard her own voice asking, "Are you as scared as I am?"
There was a long silence. "Yeah," Lila muttered eventually. Jessica knew that if her friend's face had not been pressed against her throat where their eyes couldn't meet, Lila would never have admitted fear to her. She felt a rush of gratitude towards her for acknowledging so much. "But I want to do this anyway, don't you?"
Jessica let her hand wander down the back of the other girl's nightdress, feeling the heat of her skin through the soft fabric, lingering at last on a beautifully toned buttock. Lila had the best figure generous genetics and an equally generous allowance to spend on health spas could afford her. "Yes," she said, softly, not admitting she had little idea of what she was agreeing too. The lurid pornographic images that were all she knew of women together flickered through her mind, but she somehow couldn't fit them to herself and elegant, vulnerable Lila, here in this familiar bed.. But she wanted – something… So much she was aching deep inside.
"It's okay, " Lila said eventually. "We'll just kiss – and see what happens."
Jessica agreed gladly, claiming Lila's sweet addictive mouth again. This, she was pretty sure, she could do indefinitely… Until the end of time, she decided dizzily, as Lila's tongue slipped against hers once more.
And in the end it was the simplest thing in the world. She wasn't even conscious of moving her hands before they were learning the shape of Lila's breasts under her nightgown, their soft heaviness and the hard peaks, and the way Lila groaned into her mouth when she copied the other girl's earlier action and pinched and twisted. All the rules and careful limits Jessica had always set on boys she was dating seemed to belong to another reality, no longer relevant in this honeyed universe of drugging kisses and the deep musky scent of femininity that filled her senses. This was her best friend, there was nothing to be afraid of. When Lila's hand slipped inside her pyjama shorts, Jessica parted her legs further without thought, and the sharp burning intensity as Lila caressed her *there* made her cry out and slide her hand under Lila's nightie, needing to share some of this beauty.
The girls didn't stop kissing as their fingers worked, almost as if they were afraid to lose the feeling of pouring into each other through their mouths. Jessica felt, with dizzied wonder, herself melt into Lila, becoming one person in this delicious, dizzying sharing of pleasure. When Lila shook hard against her, thighs pressing together on Jessica's hand, she registered the other girl's climax with a sense of awe, before she was swept up in it herself, desperately feeding in Lila's mouth as they came.
Afterwards, still holding Lila tightly around the waist with one hand and tracing with wonder the unconscious tears on her pretty face, Jessica sought desperately for something, anything to say which would convey the sense of beauty and awe she felt.
"Lila, will you go to school dance with me next week?"
Lila laughed through her tears, her lip curling. Jessica tried to resist the urge to catch the lip between her teeth and bite, then wondered why she was bothering to resist. It was some moments later when Lila eventually said, "You're not serious, are you? That's disgustingly tacky. We'll ruin our reputations."
The more Jessica thought about it, the more she liked the idea. "Just think – we'll be the centre of attention. Two of the three most gorgeous girls in the school – no one will be able to keep their eyes off us." And it will mean any confession of my sister's comes as a distinct anticlimax, she thought , but wasn't quite tactless enough to say aloud. "Especially if you lend me that new red dress of yours," she added artfully.
Lila was accustomed enough to her friend's manipulations to ignore the question of the dress. "We'll be kicked out of Pi Beta Alpha" she said doubtfully, but there was a gleam in her brown eyes.
"I don't think the President and the Vice-President *can* be kicked out," Jessica smiled. "Who knows, we may start a trend. After all, anything we do is automatically the height of fashion, right?" She imagined Amy converting to girl chasing with all of the aggression she usually devoted to boy chasing, and tried to repress her giggles. After all, the pretty cheerleader *had* been a bit of a tomboy back when they were children…
Lila was smirking herself. "I think Jean and Sandra may have already caught on. I mean, there has to be *some* reason why someone as cute and stylish as Jean is inseparable from a drip like Sandy. Maybe she's really talented with her mouth."
Jessica laughed, and then shivered at the thought of exploring the whole concept of talented mouths with Lila, although she was also aware of an icy pang of jealousy at Lila calling another girl cute. She hugged her possessively.
Lila, surprisingly enough, hugged back. "We'll go together, then. I really do like you so much, Jess," she said huskily. She let an affectionate kiss linger on Jessica's cheek.
Jessica's jealousy melted. It was hardly a declaration of eternal love, but it would do for now. After all, she always rushed headlong into that with boys, and it never worked out for long. Jessica was poignantly aware that she wanted this to work out, very much. "I really like you too, Li," she said softly.
They cuddled up to sleep together. Jessica snuggled against Lila's bosom, half-shy and half delighted at being able to do so, and listened to her heartbeat as she let drowsy thoughts float through her head. There was so much more she could explore with Lila, but they could take it slowly, and enjoy it. They trusted each other, even if no one else did. Well, she didn't trust Lila not to, for example, frame her for shoplifting or steal her place in a beauty pageant, but she did trust her not to break her heart.
And they would make a sensation together, that was for sure. She sleepily wondered if Elizabeth was going to take Enid to the dance. Both the golden twins… that would rock Sweet Valley…
She let her lips curve in a self-satisfied smile. Maybe Liz would be taking a girl to the dance, but Jessica would be the one with a princess on her arm.
She drifted off into sleep, utterly content.