disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Lauren. this game is all your fault.
notes: Jamie is Celia & the player character's son.
notes2: Kate is my bb.

Title: once, only once
summary: Three crushes she never should have had. — Kate.

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(rock)

They move in to Forget-Me-Not Valley when she's all of six years old. Kate is trouble even then, knees scraped and dirt smudged across her cheeks with a tear in her blue dress. She is not pretty or proper—certainly nothing like what her mother would like in a daughter, certainly nothing like the girl up the road, certainly nothing like a lady.

She meets Rock accidentally after stumbling out of the house, furious at her mother. She is steaming. She is so angry that she can't even see straight.

She stomps out of the house, and she sort of crashes into him.

She doesn't look up right away, too busy dusting off her skirt and spouting off words that she's only ever heard her father whisper. She doesn't even know what shit means, but Kate likes the way it rolls off her tongue, the softness of the sh and the sharpness of t.

Large hands set her upright, and Kate blinks up into dark eyes and blonde hair.

Oh.

Her face goes up in flame.

"Are you alright?" he asks.

She manages to nod, and scampers away before he can say anything else. He sort of shrugs before he goes on his way, like it hadn't meant anything at all—he was just being nice, probably, she thinks.

Kate follows him around for three days.

He doesn't even notice.

She thinks he is a gargantuan idiot, and decides that boys are icky anyway.

(lumina)

Kate's second crush doesn't happen until she's exactly a day older than eleven.

It's the summer festival, and for some unfathomable reason they're holding a dinner at Romana's villa.

For an even more unfathomable reason, her mother has forced her into an ugly purple skirt. Kate absolutely hates it. It's too hot, and too muggy, and she can't hit Hugh and Jamie over the head if she can't catch them.

It is infuriating.

She sulks the whole way there.

Her mother's jaw clenches behind her lips, and she feels vindicated. Anything that makes her mother angry is something good, she thinks, utterly delighted. Her father knocks, tired in the bones; but then, Kate thinks that her father is always tired in the bones.

The door is opened by a smiling Romana, and the family (but only barely) slip inside.

Just in time for the music to start.

Lumina's fingers dance across the ivory keys. They are grace incarnate, and though Kate has always always hated Lumina because Lumina is everything she is not and everything she wants to be, she cannot help but stare.

Her gaze is riveted on the older girl for the rest of the performance.

She could not look away if she tried.

At the end of the performance, Lumina smiles at her out of the corner of her mouth. Kate turns a dull sort of red.

She does not speak to Lumina for a year.

(hugh)

Isn't this a little late? Kate thinks, sarcastic and biting and sixteen.

Hugh is all done up in crimson and white, snickering with Jamie about something or other that Kate is pretty sure she never wants to know about.

(Ugh. Boys.)

But, see, the thing is—Hugh is like a cross between a brother and a best friend. He brings her soup when she's sick and helps her catch butterflies while Jamie reads and the three of them—well, they're the holy trinity. Two boys and a girl who is almost a boy, even if she doesn't dress like it.

And Hugh is cute.

So is Jamie, but it's not quite the same.

Really, she does not like this.

"Alive in there?" Hugh asks.

"You're ugly," Kate tells him succinctly. She folds her hands in her lap and sticks her nose up in the air.

Hugh laughs and laughs, and for some reason she is so mad that she could just—

He pats her head.

Kate punches him in the face.

"Jerk," she mutters under her breath.

He topples still laughing with blood running from his nose, and she stomps away, determined not to care. Jamie shouts once, but Kate ignores him, too. She doesn't have time for this.

She stomps all the way home, and slams the door behind her.

fin.