When Alicia eventually returns to the hotel room she and Paige are currently staying in, she’s exhausted. She never thought that pretending to be someone she isn’t could be more tiring than actually wrestling a match, but today proved that wrong. It takes her three tries to get the key card working and it only adds to how fed up she feels.
Paige is on the bed with the TV droning on in the background, not under the covers yet, and when she pulls her attention from it to see Alicia, her eyes light up. Alicia’s smile in response to that is weak – she can’t manage much more right now – but when Paige bounds over towards the door to wrap her arms tight around her girlfriend, it’s impossible for Alicia to resist letting it overcome her.
“Finally,” Paige says against Alicia’s neck, pressing a light kiss to the skin before she pulls away. They’re just standing there looking at each other for a moment, but then, Paige’s voice softer now: “I’ve missed you.”
“What, you can’t handle a couple of hours without me?” Alicia teases, and Paige pouts at her. “I’ve missed you, too.”
“I still can’t believe you’re doing this for me.” They both know it would be a lot easier to go about this in a different way, to have the two of them openly against the Bellas rather than sneaking around like this. “I’m sorry it means you have to hang out with those two all the time.”
Alicia frowns a little at that. Nikki and Brie aren’t as bad as Paige seems to think they are: they make Alicia feel more like a friend than just an ally, make her feel genuinely welcome when they very well could have just shut her out. She really wishes it didn’t have to be like this, that this stuff could just all stay in the ring instead of spilling out from between the ropes.
She just doesn’t like it when the twins talk about Paige, is all. Doesn’t like the things they say about her, doesn’t like the fact that she’s expected to laugh along with it. Sure, that’s when Alicia’s at her most useful as a spy because it gives her an excuse to actually ask about what they plan to do – but it still really hurts.
“It’s – it’s OK,” she tells Paige. “Anything for you, yeah?”
Paige nods, promising Alicia the just the same with the look in her eyes alone.
“Yeah.” She leans in for a kiss, frowning when she pulls back and gets a good look at Alicia. “You look exhausted!”
Alicia shrugs. “I am. Gonna take a bath and then try to catch some sleep.”
She’s about to make her way towards the bathroom, but Paige takes the lead, cocking her head towards the bed when Alicia tries to follow.
“Go lie down while I get it ready for you, then,” she says. “I was gonna run you one earlier, but I didn’t know when you’d be back. Didn’t want it getting cold.”
“Aw.” Alicia kicks her shoes off and makes herself comfortable. “You’re the sweetest.”
Paige gives her best winning smile, doing a twirl before she heads off to the bathroom.
“I try,” she says. “Maybe I’ll even join you in there.”
“I’d like that a lot,” Alicia calls after her, taking one of the smaller cushions on the bed and hugging it to her chest as she leans back against the pillows.
She might be tired, and she might not get to be with her girlfriend as much as she’d like, but the time the two of them do get to spend together makes everything Alicia’s doing for Paige worth it.