"Graham." You sweep the back of your hand over her cheek, allowing the tips of your fingers to gently trace the dip beneath her eye. Her eyelids flutter for a moment, on the brink of consciousness, but she doesn't wake up, not yet, and in a moment she is soft and unaware again. You like watching Graham sleep, because even though she's allowed you to see the most vulnerable side of her, she still acts as if she has to carry this heavy shield on her shoulders all the time. And even though it's been over a month since you helped her escape True Directions, she's still not comfortable.
You're not comfortable, either.
Well, sure, you're comfortable in Lloyd and Larry's house. You're grateful that they've allowed you and Graham to stay here because you don't have anywhere else to go. Your parents, while trying to still be loving parents, are still uneasy about you moving back in. They've promised to try and come to terms with your homosexuality, but you can't bring yourself to bring Graham there, parents are already having a hard enough time as it is. You couldn't do that to them. You have to give them time. Space. You need to be away from them and they need to figure out where they are with all of this.
You wish it wasn't such a big deal. You wish sexuality was regarded like skin color or hair color or the size of your nose but it's not. It's this huge production, this huge thing that everyone has to comment on or make a show about. You don't get it. Before this, before you knew, before Graham, you shudder to think that you had thought the same thing. That gays were these vile little demons that frolicked around, these little perverted creatures that were nothing but dysfunctional sexual heathens. You even understand why people think those things because it's just - it's just so different and people don't want to adjust to change, especially the kind of change that involves two men trying to have sex. Society doesn't want to accept that, society wants everyone to be the same and to be natural or normal or whatever they can come up with and you hate it. It's weird seeing it from this angle, watching the world in the shoes of a lesbian. You feel like a victim. It hurts.
Graham swears over and over that she's made the right choice. She knows she has because she loves you and you don't doubt that. But she still cries nearly every night for the father that will never accept her, and the most you can do is press your lips to her cheek and cradle her and tell her it will be all right. You hate seeing her like that because she's the strong one, she's the one who raises her fists without a second thought and she appears to be so unbreakable, but you know now that she's anything but. Just as you need her to protect you, she needs you just as much, if not more. So you tell her that it will be okay and everything will work out.
You shouldn't be saying that, though, because what do you know? How do you know it's all going to work out? You don't, you just feel like you should be reassuring her. Your life - and Graham's, because they are one now - has a completely unmapped road ahead of it. Lloyd and Larry have promised that both you and Graham are going to finish high school just like everyone else and that you'll both have the opportunities that everyone else has.
Still. It's hard not having your parents 100% backing you up. It's like trying to take flight without any wings and there's the ground, coming up at a million miles an hour to meet your face.
You blink hard, trying to push these nagging thoughts away. It shouldn't matter. You don't want it to matter, but it does. Nothing is certain anymore. Nothing feels permanent.
Well. Except Graham.
This thought brings a smile to your face regardless of your insecurities, and you roll closer to the taller, sleeping brunette and touch her cheek again. It's smooth and warm beneath your hand and you think that maybe it will be okay even if you don't know it, because you have Graham. Graham is everything you could ever ask for, anything you could ever need. You think maybe if you just have Graham, if that's all you ever had to call yours, then you would be okay, one way or the other. She understands without trying and everything she says, even if it's wrong, sounds perfect when it leaves her mouth and she never judges and she always listens and she holds you and kisses you and makes you feel things your ex-boyfriends never even got close to producing and you don't understand how people could ever disapprove of this. Of love.
"I love you," you tell her, pressing your lips to her warm forehead and you think she's sleeping until you feel arms wrapping around your middle, pulling you closer.
"I love you, too," she mumbles into your neck before she's soft and sleeping again.
As long as I have you, the rest will fall into place.
AN: I don't own But I'm A Cheerleader, but I would like to own Graham. Hot damn. See what I did there? 3