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A Wicked Match

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Mal stared at the screen of her phone, just a little shocked by what she saw. Or, well, maybe shock wasn't the right word. She always felt... something between her and Evie. There was jealousy for most of her life, but it was quick to fall apart when Mal had actually met and traveled with her. Then came denial, over what Mal wasn't ever sure.

Maybe it was denial that kept her from figuring out the feeling, but staring down at the twinkling, 'IT'S A MATCH!' made it clear that she couldn't deny it any longer. Her tiny photo- that Evie has taken for her, Mal recalled- sat next to Evie's own little portrait.

"No way," she mumbled, unable to tear her eyes away from it. She knew there was no way it was a joke on Evie's part; the hours Mal had sat leaning against her friend had shown her she only swiped right on the people she was truly interested in.

In addition to that, Evie was the one who'd gotten Mal a phone. She had purchased it with her own cash, added her own number in the contacts before handing it over, and had not-so-subtly suggested a dating app to Mal. And when Mal had protested, Evie let it drop. Of course, the idea of checking the app out after that nagged at the back of Mal's mind until she finally downloaded it and gave it a try.

Suddenly, a loud ringing cut through her thoughts and her head snapped up, watching as students and teacher alike trickled from the classroom. She hastily put away her notebook- doodles of apples and dragons scattered throughout- and left the room. Her mind was abuzz with the tiny but significant piece of information the app had provided.

A small, somewhat giddy smile found its way onto her face, and she headed to her next class, where she just so happened to sit next to Evie. Stuffing her phone away in a pocket when she entered the room, her gaze instantly locked onto Evie. Said girl was digging through her bag, and Mal couldn't see her phone in sight at all.

That made her both nervous and relieved as she plopped down next to her.

"Oh, hey, M!" Evie greeted, looking up at her through eyelashes as blue as the rest of her hair.

"Hey, E. Lose something?" she asked, gesturing down to the bag.

Evie looked down and back at Mal. "Nah, just looking for my phone. I dropped it in here earlier, but it kinda blends in with all my other stuff."

"Maybe just check after class?" Mal suggested, masking the disappointment she felt at her own words.

Evie considered this and looked at the clock. Seeing they only had a minute left before class started, she sighed and let her bag droop to the ground. "Yeah, I'll find it then. You eating lunch with us today?"

Shrugging, Mal leaned back in her chair. "I guess, I don't really have lunch plans anymore." She shrugged again, but froze when Evie's hand fell on her shoulder.

"I'm sorry about what happened with Ben, Mal," she whispered, eyes soft and voice sincere.

Mal smiled in return. "It's okay. We're still friends. It just... wasn't working out right then. He's got kingly duties that keep him away all the time, and I've got chemistry homework." When Evie didn't look convinced, Mal too her hand and squeezed it. "I really am okay, E."

"Good. I don't want you to ever look that heartbroken again." She gave a return squeeze before pulling her hand away. "Now, I was thinking we could maybe set up a little hang out later, with just us and Jay and Carlos. We can watch some movies, play games, mess with their printer. You know, do whatever we want, like we used to."

"That sounds pretty nice, yeah. Better text them, though, otherwise the AKs will wanna join in."

Evie nodded. "Good call. We'll text 'em after. I'll ask Carlos, you ask Jay?"

"Sounds like a plan to me."

They exchanged a quick fist bump just as the teacher came in and called for the class's attention. Mal's phone burned in her pocket, and she could hardly pay attention in class with the person of her dreams right there next to her. She was caught staring more than once, but Evie only gave a knowing smile in return each time.

When class ended, Evie pulled her phone right from her bag, and told Mal she'd meet her in the cafeteria.

It was only when she sat down at their lunch table that Mal realized how quickly Evie had found her phone- without even looking down at her bag.