It's not that she likes tons of girls. She's not even so sure she'd go as far as to call herself a lesbian. Or bi, even. She isn't a big fan of labels. They make her uncomfortable. She gets labeled enough anyways.

Female. Non-white. Asian. Asian-American.

She specifically doesn't fill out those optional questions about race and ethnicity on standardized forms. She wishes they weren't there at all.

Instead, she has a personal identity. A list of important things she defines herself by.

Musician. Open-minded. Creative. Hard-working. Good friend.

Good friend most of all because she's never commented, not once, on the frequency with which Tea ignores what's right in front of her and takes home random after random just to get bored and send them away.

(Boring isn't her. She wouldn't be boring at all.)

.

.

They get along so well. Tea's one of her best friends. It's one of the reasons she thinks they'd work (and she's thought about it a lot).

They walk to the bus together every day where they meet up with Abbud (and, okay, she suggested it to begin with, but Tea readily agreed and those few minutes alone together before they meet up with Abbud are just heavenly).

.

.

Tea tells her things she doesn't tell the others.

Unfortunately, it's mostly stuff she'd rather not know. Which supposedly straight girl dating a particularly popular basketball player she bagged last night. The fact that there was lots of tasty lickin' involved with the girl she met at the club the night before and ditched all of them for. That one girl lacked so much finesse in touching her that she eventually had to put her own hand over hers and rub just to get the right friction to get a little satisfaction.

(Okay, that last one might have made her smirk, if only because she has no doubt she'd find the right place and make Tea scream in all the best ways as she squirmed beneath her.)

.

.

Michelle might know. It's a little worrying, but she hasn't said anything. She just gets a smug look every once in a while when she sees them together.

A raised eyebrow as they walk up together, Tea's arm thrown casually around her back, meeting everyone for lunch, that makes her decide she needs to say something about it. (In private, of course. She's not an idiot.)

.

.

"Hey, Daze, whoever you like is up to you." Michelle holds up her hands and shrugs, but she's wearing this highly amused grin that's a little infuriating.

"I don't-"

"I said it doesn't matter. There are times when a little loving has seemed awfully appealing to me, too," Michelle cuts her off.

"Yeah, well that's because you're dating the biggest fucking asshole in the world," she mutters bitterly without thinking about it.

Michelle's smile fades then. "Leave Tony out of this, okay? I was trying to be a good friend. You like Tea, then like Tea. I don't care. I won't tell anyone." She walks away without another word.

(She might have to cross 'good friend' off her list.)

.

.

She apologizes at the next available opportunity, which happens to be at some house party Chris heard about. Michelle's face relaxes, and then she nods towards a far wall where Tea's already got some girl pinned in a heavy make out session.

"Your girl's got a way with the ladies," Michelle murmurs sympathetically.

She looks away. It's bad enough hearing about these things. She doesn't need to watch. "Yeah. Tell me about it."

"Maybe if you told her, she'd have a way with you," Michelle suggests.

She's considered it before. Telling her, that is. She doesn't want to just be another hook up, though. She could be more. She should be more.

.

.

Tea predictably ditches the girl as soon as she's had her fill which is before the party even ends.

Daisy ends up going home with her, but she doesn't sleep as she lies in Tea's bed, staring at the Audrey Hepburn poster, extremely aware that Tea's simply clad in an oversized T-shirt and her beautiful, bare legs (dancers legs) are brushing against her own.

By the time Tea stirs several hours later, she's made up her mind.

.

.

Tea grins lazily at her. "Morning, Daze."

She turns onto her side, propping herself up on her elbow and putting her head in her hand as she looks down at her friend, examining the graceful curves, the soft lined of her neck.

Tea chuckles and it's the most incredible sound in the world. Better than a smooth jazz trumpet line. Better than the most exquisitely crafted concerto. It's a little scratchy and it's light and it never, ever fails to send shivers down her spine and curl her toes.

"See something you like?" Tea asks, teasing, clearly.

She's not going to pretend she doesn't anymore. Instead, she says, "You hook up with all of these girls, and I'm sitting here thinking, 'What will it take for you to notice me?'"

Tea's eyes widen in surprise (big beautiful brown eyes). "What?"

"What will it take for you to notice me, Tea? I'm right here. Right in front of you. All the time and you've never looked twice. Not like you look at other girls."

"You're my best friend. I didn't think- If I did I thought it'd weird you out, I mean-"

"Well, I'm sick of not being noticed, and I'm sick of seeing you hook up with nobody after nobody," she cuts Tea off. She gets out of bed and pulls on her jeans from the night before.

Tea says nothing, just watches her with wide, confused eyes.

She pauses at the door. "You know what's funny? Your whole family thinks I'm a lesbian. But you couldn't even entertain the possibility that I might like a single, solitary girl. That I might like you."

She leaves before Tea has a chance to respond.

.

.

She avoids her as best she can for the next two weeks. She doesn't show up at her house to walk to the bus together. In fact she gets her stupid cousins to drive her for a few days, just so she doesn't have to take the same bus as her, until they piss her off so much that she just ends up taking an earlier bus and roaming around the halls for twenty minutes before anyone else she actually might want to see even shows up.

Michelle notices and Daisy answers her questioning eyebrow with, "I told her."

Michelle puts a comforting arm around her and has a sympathetic expression, but has enough sense not to apologize (because somehow that would just make things worse).

Michelle acts as a bit of a buffer for a while (when she's not busy sucking face with Tony, at least), and Daisy's thankful that Tea wasn't her only friend, even if she was her closest one.

.

.

Michelle drags her to some other house party despite her protests (because the last one ended so fucking well for her), and she's put a red plastic cup filled to the top with jungle juice in her hand, which is at least taking the edge off her nerves.

Chris is being entertaining, too, cracking joke after joke as he gets increasingly higher, and being the kind of charming combined with adorable that sometimes makes Daisy wish that he was the friend she had a massive crush on.

It's these distractions that mean that she doesn't notice when Tea and Abbud walk in. It's Chris's latest story (clearly a lie because there's no way that Meredith Leoni has even slept with him, let alone had a threesome with him and some other chick) that has her so involved that she's unaware that Tea's even anywhere near her until she's tapping her on the shoulder.

She spins around, and suddenly her heart's in her throat and her mouth's gone dry. They haven't spoken directly in two weeks. They've only seen each other in class, and Daisy's avoided looking directly at her. Confronted with her face to face, makeup on, dressed to a T in a sparkling top that reveals just enough but not too much and tight black skinny jeans (of course with her converse to complete the outfit because she wears those regardless), she remembers just how stunning Tea truly is.

"So," Tea says with a sly smile, eyes dragging up and down her body. She pauses for a second, biting her lower lip in a way that makes something deep inside of Daisy ache. "I've noticed you around. Been watching you for a while now, actually. I was wondering if maybe you wanted to dance."

"Tay, what're you doing?" she asks. She doesn't want to be toyed with and she's not going to get her hopes up over nothing.

Tea rolls her eyes, and in a split second, she's cupping the back of her neck and pulling her into a kiss (lips soft as silk and oh-so-sweet).

She doesn't hear the cheers from Chris and Abbud. She doesn't hear the wolf-whistle and the laugh from Tony. She doesn't hear the gasp of surprise from Stan or the "At last!" from Michelle.

She's much too wrapped up in the taste of Tea's tongue in her mouth, the feel of Tea's body pressed flush with hers, the sensation of Tea's fingers tracing down the side of her face.

When Tea finally breaks away, she's left gasping for breath.

"So about that dance?" Tea says with a grin.

Her body hums as she lets Tea lead her to an empty space in the living room and they start moving together, bodies curving perfectly into each other.

She's aware that she's already wet, just from the one kiss, let alone at the prospect of where the night might lead now.

She still wouldn't say she's a lesbian, or bi, but she might have to add 'head over heels for Tea' to her personal identity list. It probably should have been there already.