Grace’s leg burned a trail of heat along Franky’s as they sat pressed up against each other in Franky’s narrow bed. The movie Grace had selected for their ‘Girls Night’ was actually quite good, but for at least half an hour Franky hadn’t been able to follow it at all. Physical human contact, or really any sort of human contact, was not something that Franky had much experience with and having Grace so close to her for so long was beginning to overwhelm her.
From the way her heart was beating, and the way her lips kept twitching, threatening to curve up into a smile, Franky suspected that it was a good sort of feeling overwhelmed, but it still had her feeling a bit out of it.
The movie had played on, but Franky had stopped marvelling at the acting and cinematography on the screen and had become awed by the soft little sounds that escaped Grace during the dramatic moments, and by the smoothness of Grace’s skin, and by the way the bright red lipstick she was wearing seemed to highlight her perfect cheekbones. She was awed by the feel of Grace’s leg and arm pressed up against her, and by the way Grace would excitedly reach over and grasp her hand, squeezing it with excitement when something intense was about to happen on screen.
As Franky thought about how much she enjoyed the feeling of Grace’s hand grasping hers, she felt the other girls fingers skim over the back of her hand again, and then Grace was slipping her fingers between Franky’s, lacing their hands together.
“You don’t like the movie, do you?” Grace whispered sadly.
“What? No. I like it. I really like it. It’s great. Really intense. Really... dramatic,” Franky rambled awkwardly, desperate to erase the sadness from Grace’s voice. The truth was that she had actually really been enjoying the movie when she had been able to focus on it.
“We don’t have to watch it,” Grace said softly after a moment, apparently having come to the conclusion that Franky did protest too much.
“I wasn’t lying. Honest. I really do like it. I’d like to continue it,” Franky breathed out, forcing herself to speak at a normal pace this time and not give into the panic that had been rising in waves inside of her since she had gotten the call from Grace suggesting that they hang out that night. “I just got lost in thought for minute, that’s all.”
“Okay,” Grace murmured, seemingly appeased by Franky’s last response. “I just didn’t want for you to be bored.”
The sounds from the movie enveloped the bedroom a few seconds later, and Franky tried not to shift uncomfortably as Grace’s exquisitely dark eyes traced her features, studying her so intensely that her gaze felt like a touch. Panic began to rise in Franky once again as she wondered what Grace saw as she looked at her, and when the other girl’s fingers lifted to tentatively brush against her freckled cheek, Franky practically jumped out of her skin.
“It’s okay,” Grace said firmly, cupping Franky’s cheek with her hand, holding her palm against Franky’s skin securely. “It’s okay, I promise,” Grace whispered when Franky remained tense and wild-eyed next to her. “You’re okay,” Grace continued as she leaned towards Franky, the last syllable falling from her lips just before she pressed her mouth against Franky’s cheek.
Franky’s eyes widened as she felt Grace’s lips on her skin and her heart seized powerfully in her chest. Grace’s thumb stroked her cheek gently removing the smudge her lipstick at left, but the touch sent a stream of tingling heat through Franky’s body. Her limbs felt weak and she was afraid that she was trembling. Grace was so close to her that when Franky breathed in she could smell the other girls perfume and her head began to swim. She felt terrifyingly out of control, overwhelmed, and more than a little idiotic, but despite all of that she didn’t want the moment to end.
“I’m sorry,” Franky whispered a minute later when she had calmed down.
“There’s nothing to be sorry for,” Grace replied gently, stroking Franky’s cheek gently once more before her red lips curved up into a fetching smile. “You look really pretty when you’re having angst.”
Franky’s studied Grace’s sweetly smiling face for a moment, and then a deep blush touched her fair skin. Her lips twitched uncertainly and she angled her head away from Grace before lifting her hand up to comb her fingers self-consciously through her short-hair as she murmured, “No I don’t.”
“You do,” Grace insisted earnestly. “Yours is a face to be studied,” Grace declared, brushing Franky’s dark hair off of her forehead before she trailed her fingers down Franky’s cheek. “It is a face that never bores.”
Franky’s blush deepened and she struggled to pull her head out of Grace’s hands without really being forceful with the other girl. She felt so anxious she wanted to crawl out of her own skin, but she didn’t want to offend Grace and risk chasing her away. As much as she wanted to curl into a ball and drape a blanket over her head to escape Grace’s touches and Grace’s looks, she was also grateful to have someone look at her with affection instead of loathing and touch her kindly instead of with hate.
“Because it’s so weird,” Franky muttered staring down at her lap.
“Because it has character,” Grace said softly but firmly. “I think you’re lovely. I think you’re lovely and that you should listen to me instead of a bunch of wankers from Oxford,” Grace continued, knowing that the torment Franky had suffered at the hands of her former schoolmates – a few current ones – had pretty much decimated her self-confidence. “You have the type of beauty people write poems about. Trust me. I read a lot of poetry,” Grace smiled as she trailed her fingers along the contours of Franky’s beautifully tragic face.
Franky looked over at Grace when the other girl finished speaking, but she didn’t say anything. She didn’t have much experience being complimented and she wasn’t sure how to respond. She didn’t really believe Grace, she had looked at herself enough in the mirror and been forced to look at enough pictures of herself to know that she wasn’t pretty, or lovely, or any of the words Grace had just used. Grace was beautiful. Grace was fucking majestic. Grace was pretty in the way that could make someone cry if they looked at her for too long because something so lovely had to have been divine. Next to Grace, Franky was convinced that she looked double ugly, but she could tell that Grace believed the words she had spoken. Grace thought she was beautiful, and for a second, for a brief moment as Grace looked at her, Franky felt beautiful and it was kind of fucking amazing.
Before she was really aware of what she was doing, a smile had stretched across Franky’s face and Grace’s lips curved up until she was smiling brightly back at Franky.
Grace leaned forward and placed another sweet kiss on Franky’s cheek and Franky’s eyes closed in an attempt to sear the memory of Grace’s lips on her into her brain. It was perhaps the most exquisite thing Franky had ever felt, and she never wanted to forget it. She wanted to keep the memory of that kiss and this night in her mind forever, because she knew that things would not always be this perfect, this bright, this lovely, and that she would need memories like these to see her through the rough patches.
After Grace pulled away from her cheek, she shifted slightly on the mattress so that she could rest her head on Franky’s shoulder, and then snuggled up against her. Franky lay completely still for a few minutes, simply basking in the feel of Grace snuggled against her, and then she finally rested her head back against her headboard and tried not to smile.
She might have been a cunt-less, dyke-like, nobody, stutter-fucker, spacko, lame-o, shit-headed, wanker magnet, Oliver Twisted, thimble-titted, loner, loser, fugly bastard ... but, as Grace reached out for her hand and entwined their fingers once again, for the first time in longer than she could remember, Franky was happy. Grace had blown into her life like a summer wind, warming the cold within, and Franky smiled as she realized that the possibility of tomorrow excited her.