“Have you ever done it before?” Claire asks.
Emma’s sitting with her back to the bed, flipping through the channels on Claire’s tiny, cast-off from the 90s, T.V.
She looks at Claire from the corner of her eye, hoping beyond hope that her neighbor didn’t just turn this—harmless, innocent, completely homework based sleep over—into every single teenage movie cliché by asking her whether or not she’s had sex yet. Claire isn’t saying anything, just flipping through the novel in front of her and swinging her crossed ankles in the air like she asked a perfectly normal question.
Emma’s tries not to think about how normal it really is. That her weird hang up about sex is probably the more abnormal of the two. She turns her head to get a better look at Claire, more than a little nervous. Claire looks up, blue eyes the color of the sky mid storm, and somehow Emma’s muted the T.V. It’s the eyes she thinks. Her body always did the strangest things without consulting her under the influence of those eyes.
Claire snaps her gum the in the silence.
“It?” She squeaks out.
“You know the thing with your fingers.” Claire’s expression is perfectly serious. Even though she must be talking about masturbation.
Emma leans away. The heat from her face can probably fog up Claire’s windows, she’s blushing so bad.
Claire sits up and grabs her arm. There’s sudden understanding in her gaze and it twists her lips into a smirk and Emma hates herself just a little for finding completely irresistible. Maybe it’s more like a lot than a little. This crush is getting more and more annoying and terrifying the older they get.
She pulls Emma’s arm over the edge of the bed. Emma falls forward easily. She’s already resigned to the gravitational forces that make her unable to resist Claire. She’s on her knees now looking up into those blue eyes and if she had any ounce of common sense, the teasing curve of her eyelids would be enough to make her instantly wary. Instead her body is filled with pin pricks of excitement at their proximity. Masochism is a Winchester trait, she tells herself. She’s her father’s daughter after all.
“Close your eyes,” Claire demands.
Emma closes her eyes so tightly she can feel it in her cheeks. Swirly, residual light dances behind the darkness of her lids. In front of her, Claire leans even closer. Emma can feel the puff of her breath against her lips. It’s all she can do not to tremble.
Slowly, Claire starts to trail a finger up the inside of her arm. She starts with just a brush along Emma’s wrist. Her touch is so soft and light that it makes all the hair on Emma’s body stand on end. She can practically feel Claire’s smile touch her cheek and if this is some elaborate game of gay chicken Emma knows that she’s going to lose. Surely, there is only so much of this she can take before breaking down and doing something stupid.
“Tell me when you think I’ve reached the crease of your elbow.”
Emma furrows her brow and concentrates on the tingling feeling traveling up her arm. It feels like she’s being lit up from within, Claire’s touch a single trail of fire underneath her skin. When the sensation reaches her elbow she gasps softly, “There.”
“Alright,” Claire stops moving her fingers. “Open your eyes.”
When Emma looks down Claire’s finger is a couple of inches below where her forearm meets the rest of her arm. Claire is looking at her, waggling her eyebrows, as if to say ‘isn’t that neat?’ Normally, Emma would find that expression disarming. But she’s itchy and aggravated. It suddenly hits her that Claire tricked her into some sort of sensory game.
“Are you serious, right now?” She asks. And even though she knows she’s being ridiculous she feels a little used. A lot dirty.
She pushes Claire away and stands up. Her eyes sting a little in their sockets. She lucky she’s all of sixteen and has had a lot of experience crushing back tears with the sheer force of her will. Still, she can feel that single drop of Winchester pride eek its way out of the corner of her left eye. Trying not to look directly at Claire, she moves towards the door. It’d be ten times worse if Claire saw her cry over a harmless joke, she tells herself.
It’s really not Claire’s fault she’s let herself get so carried away by this affection.
“Emma,” Claire doesn’t raise her voice but Emma feels it like a shout in the stifling quiet of her room.
She ignores it as she fumbles with the door knob. A great rush of air leaves her and she’s crushed to the door by Claire’s weight. Her pale arms are on either side of Emma’s head and Claire’s chin is hooked over her shoulder. She doesn’t know how she does it but Claire always feels like she’s taller than her, dwarfing Emma with her stature and her presence. Emma feels like that now. Like the single line of heat that’s Claire is completely surrounding her. She’s not quite strong enough for this.
“Emma,” Claire repeats.
Emma sags forward, a doll with her strings cut at the sound of that voice. “Claire.” She mock whispers, her own voice is far hoarser than she would like.
“Are you mad at me?”
“Then why are you crying, Emma?”
She shakes her head. She’s not really crying. Claire is totally overreacting. After all Emma’s not Uncle Sam—she knows when a single tear can say more than a whole mess of waterworks. She gives in to the urge to tremble. It’s not fair, Claire’s whole body is pressed along her back and she’s so weak to it, so incredibly sensitive to the touch and feeling of the girl behind her, when Claire’s not even phased by any of this. Emma swallows and breathes. The rise and fall of her chest presses her further into Claire’s softness. “It’s stupid,” She murmurs, still hesitant.
The muffled snort against her hair is sign enough that Claire won’t accept that as an answer.
Thudding her head against the white wood of the door, she tenses all over again. “I thought you were going to kiss me,” she mumbles as fast as she can. It’s not quite the truth. She hoped Claire would kiss her. She wanted Claire to kiss her. But she would never, ever presume that Claire would actually kiss her, and the realization of all of her negative thoughts made true was more disappointing than she could ever say.
“Do you want me to kiss you?” Claire’s tone is a little off. Her body pushes Emma’s up against the door a little harder.
Anger resurfaces quickly. Emma turns to look at Claire sharply. She so incredibly tired of being played with that she can’t even be bothered to brood over Claire’s question properly.
Mouth open and eyes narrowed, she’s not prepared for Claire to slant her lips over hers. Claire’s eyes are closed tightly. It occurs to her that they’re closed as tightly as her own were earlier. Claire’s body is trembling. Emma realizes that she wasn’t the only one leaning on the door for support. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Her hands are emulating fall leaves. Fluttering and shaking as she turns to grab Claire’s hair in her greedy fists. Claire’s tongue trails against her lips, dips into the open gap between her teeth, and the trail of fire it leaves behind is so much stronger than the burn of her finger from earlier. Their bodies fit together perfectly. Their heights match up perfectly. Claire’s slotted snugly between her legs, and her bottom lip is between her lips, and her tongue is tracing patterns on the roof of Emma’s mouth. It’s all so perfect, Emma feels overflowing. There’s a supernova in her throat and an ocean in her stomach.
Claire separates from her with a wet pop. There’s spit, probably Emma’s, on her lip and it should be so gross but Emma can’t help but find it super hot. Against her cheek is the odd press of Claire’s gum, also not as gross as it should be. She’s giddy and smiling from kissing her best friend, during a sleep over. She’s such a damn teenage cliché it’s embarrassing.
Her eyes are dark and promising, the blue so blue that Emma wouldn’t be able to describe it if she tried. Claire smiles sweetly; her eyes knowing, and asks again, “Do you want me to kiss you?”
The answer has always and will always be, of course. Of course she wants Claire to kiss her. To kiss and be kissed by Claire forever would be… would be… better than warm apple pie on a crisp fall evening.
She really is her father’s daughter.