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Old Habits

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“Hey, what ever happened to that headdress?”

They’re cuddled up on the couch together when Milla drops the question, Leia with her head resting in Milla’s lap as Milla runs her fingers through Leia’s matted hat-hair. Leia left her newsboy cap on the coffee table just a few minutes ago, and now she averts her gaze from it so as to blink up into Milla’s gaze, into those gorgeous red eyes that now glint with a curious light.

“Hmm?” Leia hums in question, and Milla cracks a small smile.

“The headdress you liked to wear when we first met. The one with the flowers?”

“Oh, that old thing,” Leia recalls. “Well, when I moved to Trigleph, I figured, best to dress for success in Elympios, right? So I left all my old Rieze Maxian clothes back in Leronde with my parents. Why do you ask?”

“No reason in particular.” Milla shrugs. “I suppose I was just feeling…nostalgic. Nothing wrong with your hats, of course, but I find myself missing that headdress somewhat.” She fiddles with Leia’s bangs, and Leia’s heart jumps just a tad in her chest when Milla then trails her hand down to her chin, gently thumbing Leia’s lips. “And there’s something I wanted to figure out regarding it.”

“That so?” Leia murmurs, but a low grunt of affirmation is all the response she gets.

The subject is dropped there, pleasant silence overtaking them again up until the delivery of fried chicken that Leia ordered for dinner arrives at the door. But the seeds have been sown, and Leia’s memory of the conversation lingers in the back of her mind as she sees Milla off to the spirit realm some days later, as she stops by Leronde to visit her parents the next week, as she spends a whole afternoon digging through the lodge’s storage space until she finally finds that one box of her old clothes.

When Milla descends to the human realm again two months later, Leia greets her wearing an accessory from her fifteen-year-old life that part of her can’t help feeling she’s outgrown. Putting on the headdress was almost like stepping back into the shoes of that lanky, unsure, awkward teenager, the girl who took one look at the golden goddess riding piggyback on Jude and unknowingly sealed her own fate right then and there.

Leia first fell in love with Milla Maxwell a whole decade ago, but then, Milla just has a knack for making you fall all over again. Because when the Lord of Spirits is summoned back to earth in a rush of light, Leia definitely feels fifteen again as she giddily rushes up and yanks Milla into a hug.

“Welcome back!” Leia giggles into the crook of Milla’s neck.

“Great to be back.” Milla’s chest vibrates as she laughs along, patting Leia on the head, her fingers trailing over the hairband. “I see you’ve found the headdress.”

“Yeah.” Leia pulls back and flashes a smile. “You like it?”

Milla doesn’t so much answer as she does hum amusedly and lean in, her face inching closer. Leia closes her eyes in full anticipation of the touch of Milla’s lips on hers—but then hands grasp both of the braided strings hanging from her headdress, and Leia’s head, attached to the headband, abruptly lurches forward. The result is a cry of surprise clumsily stifled against Milla’s mouth, and though at first Leia’s shock is paramount, it  instantly dissipates once Milla teases her tongue along Leia’s lips, causing fireworks to burst behind her eyelids.

Leia relaxes and lets herself melt into the kiss, pliant and perfectly responsive up until Milla eventually pulls away. Her mind still in something of a haze, Leia can only stare in open-mouthed bewilderment as her girlfriend licks her lips and smirks.

“Hmm, it really does get in the way,” Milla remarks, her chin in her palm. “Those dangling strands are all too easy to use as makeshift reins.”

…Oh wait a damn minute—!

That’s what you wanted to figure out?!” Leia cries, pouting as she frantically tries to smooth down her now probably mussed up hair.

“Well, not just that.” Milla snatches up both of Leia’s wrists, removing them from atop her head, and stares in appraisal. “I’d almost forgotten how you looked wearing it. Thankfully, you’re still just as cute as I remember.”

Leia flushes hard, and wrenches one of her hands out from Milla’s grip to lightly smack her on the shoulder. “Ugh, you’re such a smooth-talking sneak.”

Milla chuckles, releasing Leia’s other hand to curl both her arms around Leia’s waist. “Are you complaining?”

Milla tilts her head as she tucks Leia in close, and once Leia locks eyes with those twinkling red ones, she doesn’t have it in her to protest. She can only whine slightly as Milla’s face hovers a mere half-inch away, her grin contagious, the warmth of her breath washing tantalizingly over Leia’s lips.

“…No,” Leia concedes, closing the distance herself until she’s murmuring it against Milla’s mouth. “Not at all.”