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Partner(But Not Like That!)

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i.

You meet Meulin on the first day. She’s totally hype, but not because she’s gonna become straight. No no, apparently this stuff won’t work since she “loves efurryone!” You’re not sure what that means exactly, but you’re pretty sure it means she doesn’t care what our gender is. If she digs you, she dig you.

You’re bunkmates and partners.

“But not like that!” the counselor laughs, “No, not like that.”

You’re supposed to watch each other, make sure neither do anything that would be “inappropriate” or “counterproductive”. The whole camp is counterproductive, to be honest. You mean, who puts a bunch of hormone ridden teenage girls in a camp together, especially when you know they like other girls? Fail.

 

ii.

Her dad is a pastor. You asked if he was the reason she got sent here and she laughs.

“Papa’s a total liberal! He would nefurr send one of his kids to a place like this! Heck, he’d purrobs straight up try and shut this place down. Mama too!”

Her dad is a leader of a super progressive church, which has apparently been making waves lately. It’s that information when you want to high five yourself in the face. Duh. The Vantas-Leijon church leader who had been staging peaceful-occasionally-turned-violent protests around the country. Because of a recent protest that went violent, Meulin and her two brothers and sister were all separated into different foster home. Meulin’s sent her here.

She asks about you.

“Me?” you ask, giving your best grin, “My step-dad caught me with a chick. He’s a Super Republican.”

Ew.”

 

iii.

Sometimes she bumped you and would smile. It was a sneaky cat-that-got-the-cream kind that made your stomach seize and heart flutter. You would grin right back and raise an eyebrow, quietly asking her to elaborate.

Instead, she just keeps smiling and goes back to work, washing dishes. Sometimes you keep staring, other times,  one of the counselors chimes in and you have to go back to drying.

The last time one of you guys were caught staring and smiling at each other, you got a demerit and hand to peel potatoes. Which is a totally lame chore, since potatoes are nasty when they aren't cooked. So, staring was a shitty idea.

But you keep smiling.

 

iv.

“Meu,” you say leaning over her a bit.

She giggles, head tilted up, mouth stretched into a wide grin with lots of teeth, “Tula."

Her hands are on your chest(above your boobs, thankfully, cus otherwise, things would be getting way hotter and way heavier, way quicker) and you’re dangerously leaning down, ready to get yourself in trouble. In bad trouble, at this camp. Not just you either.

"Meulin," you murmur, "Not so much a...a rad idea to do this..."

"Not so much a rad idea not to," she whispers before pushing herself up and breaking the gap.

 

v.

You’re both silent as the footsteps pass the door. You’re practically hyperventilating and feel the tears at the back of your eyes and even the usually hyped Meulin doesn’t look that good. Pretty scared to be honest.

Her dark hands are closed around your forearms, gripping you tightly, forehead creased, not breathing. She’d probably have taken your hands, but they’re both pushed against your mouth, pushing any noise that might escape back in your mouth.

Seconds pass and the footsteps fade, but your both stay that way for nearly half an hour. Finally, she loosens her grip, whispers and apology, and let’s go completely. Looking up at you(she's so short), she wraps her arms around you and buries her head in your chest, nudging your arms out of the way. Eventually, your arms fall to her sides and your cheek falls to her curls.

You don’t let go until the lunch bell rings.



i.

Your family's lawyer comes to get you.

"But, what about Tula?" you ask, feeling yourself become less and less excited to leave the place made to hate yourself.

The lawyer looks at you strangely,  "Who?"

"Latula Pyrope. My..." you stop, giggle, and grin before looking up at her, "My girlfurriend! Could you pawsibly knew her?"

A silent beat. She's pale.

"What in the name of law and justice is my daughter doing in a spot of Hell like this?"