...Is your life missing a Bering & Wells college AU fic without any real plot? Cuz, I mean, I got you covered. (Call this coming in fashionably late for AU Week, if you like.)
"Are we just going to sit around all night?" Myka calls, leaning precariously out the window of Pete's not-so-gently used pick up truck.
"Don't blow a gasket, Mykes!" She can see Pete rolling his eyes from here. "We'll be there in a minute."
Myka huffs, pulling herself back into the car without hitting her head too hard on the roof. (Which is pretty incredible, she thinks, seeing as this vehicle was probably designed for Snow White's dwarves.)
It's bad enough Pete invited his friend Giorgio to join them on their expedition – oh, no. Oh, no. If Pete is trying to set her up on a date with his wrestling buddies again, so help her Myka will toss him off a cliff. (Pete, not Giorgio. Giorgio's nice. Overly fanatic about sports, and prone to literally drooling whenever a pretty girl walks by, but nice.)
Finally, finally, Pete saunters over, completely ignoring Myka's heated glare. Giorgio follows close behind, nodding a hello at Myka, which she returns warily. It doesn't seem as though he's about to hit on her, but she can never tell with Pete's friends. Pete and Giorgio climb in and get settled.
"Can't believe I'm doing this," Giorgio grumbles, pulling moodily at his seat belt.
Myka just shakes her head. She understands some people might not consider studying at South Dakota's biggest and best library a great way to spend a Saturday night, but she is certainly not of that school of thought. Myka leans against her seat, congratulating herself on choosing to sit in the back. There's an incredible amount of legroom back here, and she appreciates being able to stretch out. Pete turns the engine and Myka bounces excitedly, disregarding Giorgio's odd look. She been meaning to go to Central Library since freshman year, but it's a long drive and her coursework doubled when she switched from pre-med to pre-law.
It doesn't matter now; she can capitalize on her best friend's stress to visit Central at long last. (Finals have to be good for something, she reasons.) The key turns in the ignition and –
"Wait!" someone calls and Myka groans. So close.
"What," she mumbles to herself, letting her head loll to the side. "Did I ever do to deserve this?"
"Pete Lattimer, so glad I caught you." Myka jerks forward at hearing the voice, still as cultured and smoky as it was the day she bumped into Myka at orientation. The seat belt catches Myka across the shoulder and she falls back with a wince.
"H.G.!" Myka doesn't realize she's spoken out loud until three surprised faces turn to face her at once. Myka flushes under the scrutiny, more when H.G. recognizes her.
"Myka!" H.G. smiles, blinding in the half-light of street lamps and dormitories. "How long has it been since we last saw each other?" Thankfully, she doesn't seem to hear Myka's stammered attempts at a response. "Come out here," she continues. "Tell me how you're doing." Reluctantly, Myka gets out of the car, holding the door in front of her as a shield until the last possible minute – she probably should have worn something heavier than a sweatshirt.
"I'm fine," Myka replies weakly, raising her hand in an approximation of a wave. "Going to go study for the Constitutional Law final." It's not a class they share; H.G.'s courses focus on engineering and business, but she nods anyway, frowning sympathetically. Myka blows on her hands, trying to warm up. "It shouldn't be too hard," she adds.
"That's good to hear." H.G. slips her hands into her pockets which, coupled with her smile, is an oddly charming gesture. "We must arrange a meeting soon, I haven't seen you for ages."
It genuinely sounds like an invitation and Myka smiles as she shivers, to think of this incredibly popular, incredibly smart girl ever lacking enough for friends that she would want Myka's company.
"Would you like my coat?" H.G. asks suddenly, and Myka snaps out of her daze.
"What?" Myka watches in alarm as H.G. makes to unzip her jacket. "No! No, that's okay." Myka covers H.G.'s hands with her own.
H.G. hisses out a breath at Myka's touch. "You're so cold!"
"No, it – it's December, H.G., I'm supposed to be cold, don't –"
"Well, of course you're going to be cold if you insist on wearing sweatshirts when it's below freezing – "
"I grew up in Colorado!"
The girl next to H.G., (who she's completely ignored until now, Myka realizes with a guilty start), clears her throat pointedly, and they fall silent. The blonde isn't someone Myka recognizes, though she has the poise and painted-on clothing that suggests she is way higher on the social hierarchy than Myka.
"Right," Pete draws out the word, eyeing Myka with a look she doesn't like at all. She redoes the small portion of H.G.'s coat that managed to get unzipped and stares pointedly at H.G.'s hands until she puts them back in her pockets, huffing. "Did you ladies need a ride?" He aims a ridiculous smirk at them, and the blonde titters.
"We're going to Central Library, Jess." Giorgio leans out of the passenger seat, in a tone that suggests he still can't believe it. Jess, Myka assumes, is the blonde.
"Central?" H.G. tilts her head. "That's even on the way to Evelyn's party."
"Oh, my God, perfect!" Jess chirps. She turns to Pete, almost tripping on her stilettos. "Can we come with?"
"Well," Pete drawls, and Myka just barely keeps from rolling her eyes. She doesn't know why Pete pretends he's seriously thinking about it, they all know he just wants them to pout and bat their eyes like Pete isn't going to say yes eventually.
"Darling," H.G. purrs, and Myka ignores the sharp pull in her belly, tries not to imagine how much stronger it would be if the look and the voice were aimed at her. "Would you mind too terribly?"
"Oh, God," Myka mutters, shoving at Pete, hoping to dislodge the stars in his eyes. "Don't swoon on me."
Pete, after a thorough mock discussion with Giorgio, grandly opens the passenger door for them. Jess immediately clambers into the front seat, practically onto Giorgio's lap.
Myka watches bemusedly as the blonde giggles and preens and Giorgio spreads his hands authoritatively all over her body. For one horrible moment, Myka thinks H.G. is going to make like Jess and get into the front seat with Pete and Giorgio. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, of course. (Unless they got into a car accident and all four of them died, leaving Myka to explain why to campus security...Mrs. Frederic has this way of looking at someone that makes the blood run cold.)
Yes, all things considered, Myka is pleased when H.G. climbs in next to her in the backseat. She almost sits on Constitutional Law: The Machinery of Government, but lifts the book out of the way in the nick of time, managing the move look elegant.
She doesn't put on her seat belt, Myka notices.
H.G.'s eyes trace over the title in the dim light, gracefully settling deeper into her seat. She drums a beat on her knee as she angles herself towards Myka.
"If it's any comfort, I'm certain you'll ace your exam," she says finally.
Myka blinks, pleased. "Thank you," she replies, tugging at the book. H.G. holds it tighter and smiles mischievously, enjoying Myka's flustered irritation. Then Pete's rusty pick-up lurches violently as the engine rumbles to life and H.G.'s grip loosens enough for Myka to pull the textbook free of her grasp.
H.G. doesn't seem to mind too much, laughing as she takes advantage of the momentum to get pulled towards Myka. "Hello," she whispers, breath fanning warmly on Myka's face.
"Are you drunk already?" Myka asks, biting back a smile at the slightly glazed look to H.G.'s eyes. She can't help the way her voice lowers to a whisper, or the way she leans into H.G. a little.
"Of course not," H.G. says dismissively, as if Myka can't taste the floral wine smell on her breath. "Just a little," she admits under Myka's wrinkled nose.
Why? Myka wants to ask, almost does before Helena turns her head suddenly, laughing heartily at something Jess said in the front seat – she and Myka are not friends, she is reminded when Jess grins back. She leans back into her seat, offers Helena a tight smile when their eyes meet. It quickly becomes less forced when H.G. keeps eye contact, and reaches to squeeze Myka's knee with a warmth she wasn't expecting.
H.G.'s really pretty, Myka thinks. She knew this before, of course and she relearns it every morning H.G. walks into their Comparative Lit. class – but this is a different kind of pretty, softer and more accessible. Myka shifts uncomfortably, trying to not to stare at her, but it's hard when H.G. is right there and so graceful when she's just sitting and trying to sneak Myka's notebook onto her lap.
"Hey!" Myka protests, pulling it back.
"What'd you say, Mykes?" Pete asks, catching her eye in the rear-view mirror.
"Nothing," she says, narrowing her eyes at H.G., who gives her the best who, me? look she's seen since Pete's little sister's rabbit chewed up the spine of a book Myka had loaned him. Myka struggles to smother her laughter, wondering absently if the alcohol H.G. has drunk is affecting her as well. "You're not sneaky," she informs.
H.G. pouts, and it's the most ridiculously dramatic thing Myka's seen in her life. She can't stop the giggles this time, and H.G. joins in, nudging Myka's shoulder playfully.
She becomes aware of Pete calling her name.
"What?" Myka asks, tearing her eyes away from H.G.'s amused smirk. She rolls her eyes at the way Pete dramatically clutches his heart, bemoaning the lack of support his best friend shows him, not listening to anything he says.
"You'd make a terrible boyfriend," Pete sniffs.
"I would not!" she exclaims, affronted at the very idea. Everyone chuckles and Myka half-jokingly sulks back into her seat, refusing to look up when Pete begs her forgiveness with promises of ice cream. "I don't eat sugar."
"But I thought you enjoyed those Twizzlers things," H.G. interjects and Myka's neck almost snaps with how quickly she lifts her head.
"How do you know that?"
H.G. shrugs, eyes glinting in the light from a passing Super 8 Motel. "I have my ways."
Jess, Pete and Giorgio aren't paying attention to them anymore and that's the only reason Myka allows H.G. to scoot so close to her.
"I see you sneak them in class, some days." H.G. reveals as she tucks a curl behind Myka's ear. "I do wish you'd tell me when you haven't had the time for breakfast."
Myka's pretty sure H.G. says something after that too, but she can barely even hear the roar of the engine over the blood rushing to her head; H.G.'s melodious voice has no chance of making it into her ears. Her fingers hit a tangle in Myka's hair and she feels the prickly heat of an especially strong blush burn her cheeks. God, and she'd only brushed a half hour ago.
H.G.'s hair looks like it would be silky smooth, like satin or the glossy pages of Manhattan Medical. Myka really wants to run her fingers through it to check this hypothesis.
"I stop by a bakery every morning," H.G.'s voice filters back in. "It'd be no trouble to pick up something for you as well." Her fingers still comb through Myka's hair, scratching with dull nails when she reaches the back of Myka's neck.
"Oh, no – I. I couldn't ask you to do that." Myka sighs, eyes falling shut as she leans into H.G.'s touch. "Don't worry so much."
"Don't worry about the kind soul who helped me do my Calculus homework in time to get the extra credit I so desperately needed?"
You're way too hard on yourself, Myka thinks. "You had other things to worry about," is what she says, opening her eyes in time to see H.G.'s crinkle at the corners. "Of course I helped."
H.G. hums, cupping the back of Myka's neck for a split second before she pulls her hand away completely. Myka swallows nervously and they sit in silence, apart from the quiet giggling coming from the front seat. She leans back against her seat, adjusting her seat belt for lack of anything else to do.
There's a tunnel up ahead, and Myka squints in preparation. Pete whoops when they enter the dimly-lit passage, as he always does. It's a game, with him. Sometimes (not when he's driving, Myka will punch him if he tries) he holds his breath until they emerge onto the other side.
"Myka." The whisper is soft at her ear and when she turns, it is to find Helena looking back at her, heart-poundingly close.
"Yeah?" she asks, and something makes her clutch the edges of her seat for support. H.G. looks different than she did a second ago, focused but nervous, which makes about as much sense as Pete and his fondness for banana mayonnaise sandwiches.
"I just wanted to say," H.G.'s fingers are cool on her chin. "that I hope you'll permit me this transgression."
But Myka doesn't get the chance to ask anything like what transgression because the next thing she knows, those cool fingers turn Myka ever so slightly to the right and these warm lips press against Myka's own, soft and cautious.
And Myka doesn't know if she should close her eyes and tilt her head like they do in the movies or shove her away and yell, like they also do in the movies. She doesn't know what to do with her hands, or with the rest of her body, which is seemingly frozen anyway.
What she does know is that H.G. is pulling away, that they aren't halfway through this tunnel, and H.G. smells really good and no one can see them anyway, so what's the harm, right?
H.G. makes a little sound when Myka pulls her close and it vibrates against Myka's lips like wonder and surprise and other confusing feelings. Her hand on the back of H.G.'s head becomes a little less tentative, a little more possessive. Myka has just enough thinking capacity left to fumble with her seat belt before H.G. surges into her, pushing her back and climbing almost on top of her, and Myka decides she quite enjoys the feeling of being pressed into the seat like this. The wool of H.G.'s jacket is rough under Myka's restless hands and H.G. squirms closer, pressing herself against Myka as much as she can without actually being in her lap, and her fingers catch in Myka's hair again but this time the tugging feels good – really, really good – and H.G. swallows Myka's quiet moan, smirking into her mouth.
Suddenly H.G. pulls away and Myka is left groping thin air and squinting in the relative brightness of the road. The car slows to a stop, and she's vaguely aware that Pete says something.
"Are we here, then?" H.G. asks, and Myka blushes bright red at how breathy her voice sounds – she caused that. She made that happen. And then Myka can only stare blindly at the floor as she processes the influx of emotion that realization brings.
H.G. moves, her leg brushing against Myka's in a way that is probably totally accidental but Myka's breath hitches in her throat and H.G. hears. For a second the look in her eyes is hot and bright and it makes Myka think H.G. is about to launch across the car and kiss her again, in front of all these people.
(The thought exhilarates her and terrifies her in equal measure.)
Jessica's voice breaks the spell and H.G. prolongs opening the door, letting her leg drag along Myka's for as long as she possibly can. Myka knows she's doing it on purpose but her body reacts anyway and she holds herself tense and still so that she doesn't do anything stupid. (Like lean over and hold H.G. in place so Myka can explore her mouth better, much better.)
Myka squeezes her eyes gratefully as cold air gusts into the car. When she opens them again, both girls are outside: Jessica laughs at something Giorgio is shouting while H.G. looks straight at her. Then – slowly, deliberately – she unzips her coat. Myka stares, open-mouthed and surely looking like an idiot, as H.G. fans herself with an insouciant smirk, lips red and cheeks flushed – and Myka did that. Myka.
"Shut the door before you catch a cold or something," Pete calls suddenly, and she jerks. "You're as red as a tomato back there!"
So. I really don't have a plan for this AU, I just needed to write it so the idea would leave me alone. But I can imagine vague scenarios...so this might be continued?