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So Obviously Desperate (So Desperately Obvious)

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"Let me get this straight, you're dealing with your problem by letting your problem take you to the land of free flowing alcohol for a week?"

Tiffany narrows her eyes at Sooyoung, doesn't like the implicating tone she's using. "It's spring break, we do this every year."

Sooyoung raises an eyebrow at her. "Right," she says with a hint of amusement, "I'm sure this year will be just like any other year."

"Screw you," Tiffany chokes out and drags her luggage with her out the door.

"You'll have to buy me dinner first."


*


Tiffany doesn't mean to let herself be cornered into the spring break trip, it just kind of happens.

Between cramming for exams and having little attention span for anything else, when Jessica approaches her with plans for their break, Tiffany ends up mindlessly agreeing to whatever as quickly as possible just to get back to memorizing the debate notes she doesn't even remember taking in the first place.

That and Jessica was seriously all up in her space. That's something she really didn't need, not then or ever.

"Remember, we've got the red eye flight right after your final exam!"

"Yeah, sure." Tiffany murmurs at her and hates how Jessica feels the need to literally crowd inches away from her face.

If it were any other girl, Tiffany wouldn't be complaining.

But, it's Jessica, because nothing in Tiffany's life ever seems to go in her favor. And now Tiffany has a Jessica problem that she has more issues with than she'd like to admit, so she swallows the lump in her throat and ignores the way Jessica's face falls as she half pushes her out of her room.

She's terrible at dealing with her problems, so sue her.

(Or maybe don't, she's still a couple dozen lectures away from mastering the Socratic method. Maybe wait until she passes her debate class first, she'll probably have it in the bag by then.)


*


Flying is terrible in and of itself. It's not that Tiffany has a fear of flying, she just hates dealing with the headache associated with it—the rush to get to the airport in time, going through security, having to sit through a red eye flight.

They're not cheap because it's the prime time to fly, they're cheap because it sucks and no one wants to be on a flying metal death trap when you could be sleeping.

Tiffany had expected Jessica to talk her ear off about what they'd be doing in Vegas but instead she's forced to let her shoulder be used as a pillow while Jessica slumbers away.

It's far from the worst thing that could happen but Tiffany's stomach still turns on itself.


*


They arrive in Las Vegas in one piece.

Tiffany's not so sure they'll be leaving the same way.


*


"I'm dying. I'm dead," Jessica groans into Tiffany's ear, body pressed limply against her in an unfamiliar room.

Well, it wouldn't be spring break if at least one them didn't wake up needing a new liver.


*


They drift in and out of sleep through the morning, silence broken intermittently only by the sounds of Jessica's lamenting.

"I'm going to throw up," she says for the fourth time in as many hours. Jessica breaths come in deep, shallow heaves against Tiffany's neck. She doesn't make a move to get to the bathroom, just stays put behind Tiffany, arm slung loosely around her waist.

Tiffany considers pushing Jessica off the bed. If she throws up, it should at least not be on her.

Instead, the all too familiar lurching of her own stomach forces her to stumble out of bed and blindly make her way to the bathroom.

Someone didn't close the blinds last night. Vision blurry, head pounding, and too hungover to be mobile; she trips over their luggage and finally arrives at the toilet only to dry heave. Between feeling like dying and struggling to empty an already empty stomach, Tiffany tries to remember whose twisted idea it was to get trashed on the very first night.

Jessica, probably.


*


"Right, so, whatever we did last night, let's not do again. Ever." Jessica sounds like she's speaking more to her own reflection than to Tiffany.

Tiffany, who is still on the bathroom floor next to the toilet just in case. An hour of dry heaving tells her two things: water might help right now and dry heaving is the worst.

Once the nausea passes, Tiffany hoists herself up and sits on the edge of the tub. The sound of clinking against porcelain bounces off the tiles. Now, in the aftermath of the haze, she feels it. The band around her ring finger. The very gold band that was definitely not there last night.

Tiffany really hopes she drunkenly robbed someone the night before.


*


She didn't.


*


"We got married," Jessica says flatly, like it was just another day for them.

"We can get it annulled," she replies quickly, heart pounding and mouth dry. She wills the marriage certificate in her hand to burst into flames.

Jessica's a lot calmer than she would have expected. She's not sure she should have been expecting anything at all, this isn't the type of problem anyone outside of a low budget comedy has.

"Obviously," Jessica finally says and falls back against the bed laughing. "God, I can't believe we got married. This is a terrible honeymoon, I should divorce you on that alone."


*


Tiffany sends a text to her sister, asks her to quietly look into getting annulment papers drawn up. A quick, confused reply tells her this isn't something she's going to be able to not explain.

A second incoming text from her seconds later simply says, "Congrats!"


*


Hotel staff swings by with a complimentary brunch cart. "For the happy new couple," they say.

Tiffany's about to object when Jessica pulls her back by the arm. She thanks the staff and lets them be on their way.

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," she tells her and goes straight for the mimosas.

Because clearly what they need now is more alcohol.


*


After a few mimosas, things do start to look upward. It's funny, even. Yeah, they got married. It's not that big a deal, Tiffany's just doing something she's only thought about for who knows how long and soon it's going to be like it never happened. Just another amusing story Jessica would later tell people at bars to try and get them to buy her drinks.

So, maybe it's not actually all that funny. It's actually kind of sad.


*


"I can't believe you didn't get me a better ring. A bigger ring, with a shiny diamond."

Tiffany stops playing with the strawberries on her plate and looks at Jessica from her side of the bed. (She wants to ask Jessica why she booked a room with only one bed, but thinks better of it.) "You're making it seem like I was the one who asked you to marry me." She tries not to look at Jessica challengingly, knows she'd only lose. She loses every time.

"Duh," Jessica says with ease and leaves it at that.

For a moment everything is still. Tiffany can feel the way her breaths come in reluctantly, like her own body is trying to tell her to stop. Jessica just stares back at her. Never one to back down, Tiffany ends up looking away first anyway.

She does a lot of things she says she'd never do when it comes to Jessica.


*


They try to enjoy the rest of their spring break. Jessica is nothing if not persistent.

Neither of them take the rings off. Jessica wants to take advantage of all the free newlywed gifts and Tiffany goes along with it because she hates herself, obviously.

That and she lacks any kind of self-control.

Jessica runs a hand through her hair, skin glistening in the sunlight. It's hot out, too hot. Tiffany both loves and hates that Jessica made them come to a desert. She can literally count the beads of sweat running down Jessica's throat and disappearing beyond the dip of her v-neck.

"We should go to The Grand, Sunny taught me how to count cards," Jessica says with the smile she reserves for bad ideas and intertwines their fingers as they weave through the crowd.

Dizzy and lightheaded, Tiffany blows the hair away from her eyes. It's just the heat getting to her and absolutely nothing else.

"Sure, let's get ourselves locked in a shady back room and possibly beat up."

Jessica shrugs and leads them towards the casino. "They only do that to guys. I think."


*


They don't get taken to a back room, and they don't get beat up.

But they do get asked to leave and not return.


*


"I mean, you're already married, so you might as well...," Sooyoung texts her days later.

Tiffany has nothing to say to that, texts back a picture of herself looking displeased instead and wonders if this is what she's going to be like in court when she passes the bar.

Who knows, it might even help her win cases, she can look very displeased when she wants to.


*


"So who takes whose name?" Jessica asks offhandedly, feet swinging as she channel surfed.

Halfway through the trip and the heat finally gets to Jessica. ("This state shouldn't even exist," she had said in annoyance, hair matted to her face.) So now they're lounging in their hotel room, taking it easy and ordering all kinds of room service.

"You definitely can't take mine," Jessica says, wrinkling her nose.

"Why not?" Tiffany asks, mildly offended.

"Because our families would refer to you as Jung Miyoung. How terrible."

"You're the worst." Tiffany laughs and grabs a pillow to smack Jessica in the face. "You'll have to take my name then."

Jessica catches her wrists and Tiffany loses balance, stumbles on top of Jessica. Her fingers, warm and soft, slide down Tiffany's arm until she's burning from the touch and has to look away. Jessica lightly cups her face and Tiffany flinches.

"Yeah," Jessica murmurs, looking up at Tiffany through the curtain of hair that's surrounding them. "Guess I'll have to."

A knock on the door pulls Tiffany from her freeze and she scrambles to get off Jessica. Legs heavy and her body burning in every possible way, Tiffany tries not to dwell on what the look on Jessica's face means.

"Room service," says a voice in the hallway.

Tiffany doesn't want to think too deeply into what anything could ever mean when it comes to them. She's a coward and she knows it. Before Jessica can get the chance to say anything, Tiffany forces herself to turn around and walk towards the door.

She walks past the hotel employee with the cart full of desserts they would've ended up feeding each other.

She keeps walking until the pit of her stomach stops feeling like it's in a free fall.


*


(A long time ago, a long, long, time ago, Tiffany managed to delude herself into thinking she could handle this. Even before she could put a name to it, she told herself it was something she could do—ignoring it, letting it sit until it eventually went away on its own.

Sooyoung figured it out around the same time she did, maybe even before, and tried to warn Tiffany in her own ways.

The first time Sooyoung brought it up, Tiffany panicked. The next few times Sooyoung slipped it into conversation, Tiffany brushed it off like it wasn't a big deal. All the times after that, they laughed about it—Tiffany desperately and Sooyoung pityingly. By then Tiffany had let herself get in too deep and all she could do at that point was try to find the funny side.

Like how Tiffany lost all forms of common sense when it came to Jessica. Or how Jessica had the worst taste in company. Hilarious, really.

The funniest part was Tiffany thinking she could dig a hole and label it love, all the while hoping Jessica would fall into it as easily as she did.)


*


Turns out the joke is on Tiffany, and it's not even all that funny.


*


Jessica's asleep by the time Tiffany finds the courage to go back to their room. Tucked under the sheets with her back facing the door, Jessica's body language screams, "You messed up."

But the slice of cake sitting on the desk by Tiffany's side of the bed makes her think the situation might not be all bad.


*


It's the last day of their trip when it happens, the part where everything implodes.

Tiffany occupies herself with packing her things and shifting clothes around to make room for all the gifts she bought. She's in the middle of jamming shot glasses inside her shoes when Jessica steps out of the shower, towel wrapped around herself and hair dripping.

"Check out time is at eleven," Tiffany says, voice scratchy and eyes lingering too long for it to be safe. She wills herself to look away and tries to concentrate on her luggage.

Jessica steps in front of her, mouth twisted into a frown. "You're not wearing your ring," she says softly, accusingly.

"We're not really married," Tiffany reminds her. She clenches her fists, pulse thumping in her ears loud enough to drown out the sound of her panicked breaths. "Jessica," she says, voice as steady as possible.

Jessica's hand slides down her arm, past her wrist and takes hold of her naked ring finger. She's standing so close now that all Tiffany can smell is her shampoo.

"Jessica," Tiffany repeats gruffly, feeling like she's choking on her words.

This time when Jessica cups her face, Tiffany doesn't flinch, just stiffens and bites the inside of her cheek. She tries to keep her eyes on Jessica, face set with the kind of indifference that tells her Jessica's made up her mind. The closer Jessica's face gets the blurrier Tiffany's vision became, and then she couldn't see anything at all besides the reds of her own eyelids.

Jessica kisses the way she goes about anything else in her life: slowly and deliberately.

Tiffany angles herself into Jessica, fingers twisting into her wet hair as Jessica's hand move to cup the back of her neck.

"What if—what if I wanted to," Jessica pants, pulling back just far enough to keep their noses touching. "Be married to you, I mean."

"Shut up," Tiffany murmurs and pushes Jessica back against the bed. Jessica's indignant squeak gets lost in her mouth as she settles between her legs. She can feel the lazy smile form on Jessica's lips as they kiss and it makes her press closer, makes her want to melt into her.

Tiffany runs her hands over her shoulders and down her arms. The feeling of bare skin causes her to pull back with a slight gasp, suddenly remembering Jessica's only wearing a towel. Jessica just smirks up at her and tugs Tiffany's shirt over her head.

She supposes it's only fair that they level the playing field.


*


The annulment papers get finalized when they return to campus, no thanks to her nosy sister.

Tiffany keeps the ring, naturally. She doesn't wear it, she's not crazy, but she does store it with her other trinkets—partly out of sentimentality and partly as a reminder to never go back to Vegas.

She'd probably go back with Jessica, though. She wouldn't mind being not married happily ever after to Jessica again.