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in the deepest ocean

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The first time Franky Doyle and Bridget Westfall meet, Franky’s got electrodes attached to her scalp as she’s being filmed watching heterosexual porn.

It’s not a moment she’s proud of, but she’s a struggling law student and needs the cash. The boring porn is part of a research experiment conducted by some of the psychology postgrads, and Franky wasn’t entirely aware of the extent of the study until she arrived at the lab earlier today. Her housemate Allie found out about it from a flyer on the back of one of the uni toilets and signed her up as a joke; The joke being that Franky is now being subjected to way more penises than she’d ever prefer to see in her life.

This may be paying her more than a fortnight’s wages in one afternoon, but as the short blonde girl in the lab coat informs her they’ll now ‘play a few scenes of traditional lesbian porn,’ and the screen subsequently flashes some really terrible fingering-with-fake-nails, Franky wonders if it’s worth it.

Franky doesn’t really remember Bridget, on account of trying not to vom on her computer screen, but Bridget remembers Franky.

The first time Franky Doyle remembers meeting Bridget Westfall, the latter is, to put it mildly, trashed.

Franky curses to herself as she fumbles and stubs her toe on an old wooden bar stool. She grabs the brown leather jacket that presumably belongs to the semi-passed out blonde chick, currently lying on the god-knows-how-old plastic red couch in the back corner of the bar. It’s four in the morning and their security team has just finished herding the last few stragglers out onto Smith St. It’s a Thursday night, and Franky’s exhausted from being at uni all day on top of her eight hour shift, but she can’t leave until she knows this girl is home safe.

Their bar has a great safety policy and always takes care of its patrons, but beyond that, Franky feels… personally responsible. She’s been flirting with the familiar-looking chick every time she filled her glass up with a red cab sauv (seriously, who the fuck drinks red wine at a bar anyway?). But now, Franky’s wondering if maybe she shouldn’t have served her that last drink. Though, to be fair, the girl was holding her own at the time, so Franky had no reason to think she’d end up passing out under the bar’s neon ‘Down Under’ sign twenty minutes later.

“This it?” Franky calls, returning from the cloak room, leather jacket in hand.

“Ooh, yes, thanks!” The drunk blonde grabs the jacket with a grin, and gracefully drapes it over herself before snuggling into the cushion and closing her eyes. “‘Night.”

Franky’s lips twitch with amusement and she reaches out to gently shake a bare, freckled shoulder before the girl can actually fall asleep. “Hey, I know we joke that this place is like home, but you’re not actually home.”

“Mmm, what?” The murmured words are slurred and barely audible,and Franky squats down and gives her shoulder another push. She’s got nice, smooth skin and Franky wishes the circumstances were different because she’d quite like to kiss it.

“You’re still at Down Under,” Franky informs her, smiling as a pair of bright blue eyes snap wide open.

Fuck. Seriously?”

“Yah-huh. I’m Franky, by the way. You never told me your name before you demanded I find your jacket.”

“Bridget… god. I’m sorry, I’m not usually this drunk,” Bridget groans, pulling her jacket over her face.

“I’ve seen worse.” Franky shrugs reassuringly.

“Really?” Bridget asks, peeking out from under the jacket, and fuck she’s cute.

“Ohh yeah, one time—”

Franky, hurry up. I wanna go home!” Franky’s best friend Boomer loudly announces as she stacks a chair onto a nearby table.

Boomer’s not gay, but she’s tall and plays footy so she likes working at Down Under because she makes heaps in tips.

“Alright!” Franky shouts back to her before turning back to Bridget. “Sorry Bridget, I’ve gotta get you out of here.”

“Mm, please do,” Bridget smiles.

Franky licks her lips, enjoying the way Bridget is somehow still elegant despite being incredibly pissed.

“So did your friend go home?” Franky asks, pushing away her dirty thoughts.

“Vera? Oh… yeah. Yeah, I think so?” Bridget frowns. “She said she was gonna leave me alone so I’d finally hit on the hot bartender with the tats from my…”

Franky stifles a laugh when Bridget’s eyes suddenly go wide again.

Wait. That’s you. But… where are your tats now?”

“It’s called a jumper, Bridget. Have ya heard of ‘em?” Franky teases, pointing at her clothed arms. It’s late April so it’s starting to get cold overnight, and Franky would rather not catch a cold this close to the end of semester.

“Perhaps,” Bridget replies, her hooded gaze dropping to Franky’s lips.

“Okay.” Franky swallows. “Well, why don’t you give me your phone so I can organise you an uber home?”

“Sounds good,” Bridget agrees with an adorable nod.

Bridget promptly reaches down her top to pull her phone out of her bra and hand it to Franky, and it takes Franky a moment to recover from that glimpse at her cleavage. Within a few minutes Franky’s ordered Bridget’s car, sharing the ride status with herself so she can make sure Bridget gets home safe. Normally Franky would invite Bridget back to their house to sleep on the couch, but unfortunately their mates Allie and Kaz are crashing in the living room for the semester to save on rent. Actually, now that Franky thinks about it, she and Allie became friends in this exact same way — a drunk Allie spending the night on their ratty couch and spewing all over her roommate Bea’s brand fuckin’ new red blanket. Franky smirks at the memory until Bridget suddenly gasps.

“Oh shit,” she hisses, clutching at her boobs.

“What?” Franky‘s eyebrows crease.

“I’ve lost my phone.”

“You’re a fuckin’ mess, Bridget,” Franky laughs, holding up the phone with its hot pink case. “It’s right here.”

“Ohh god,” Bridget groans, looking away from Franky towards the rest of the empty bar. “I am a mess.”

“Yeah but you’re a hot mess,” Franky winks. “C’mon, your uber is two minutes away.”

Somehow Franky gets Bridget out of the bar and into the back of the blue Holden, grinning happily as she watches the car drive off, and feels her own phone buzz with a notification that Bridget Westfall is taking an uber.

The share house Franky lives in is run down and in much need of renovation, but it’s right in the heart of Brunswick, and Franky swears every other house on the street is inhabited by queer couples; that is to say that it’s Franky’s goddamn dream location and she doesn’t want to move even if she could, in theory, live somewhere with working hot water. She adores her roommates too, and isn’t keen on thinking about what’ll happen when they’ve all graduated and got themselves proper adult jobs. Franky doesn’t have any actual family to rely on, and she needs the support and comfort she gets from the girls way fuckin’ more than she’ll ever admit to them.

What she doesn’t need, however, is the constant teasing and prying into her love life.

“C’mon, Franks, you said you’d moved on from Erica… why haven’t you texted her yet?” Bea ribs as she sketches Franky for one of her uni assignments.

“’Cause I don’t wanna be a fuckin’ weirdo,” Franky grumbles, crossing her arms and then immediately uncrossing them when Bea growls at her.

“She was off her face, Red, she’s not gonna remember me.”

“Aw, love, I’m sure she remembers you,” Liz adds as she walks into the lounge room carrying some green shit smoothie for each of them.

It’s been over a week since Franky helped Bridget home, and she’d secretly hoped that the girl would’ve sent her a text by now or… something. Bridget hadn’t come to ‘Down Under’ that Thursday either.

God, Franky hates how much she’s thinking about this chick. Girls always chase her, not the other fucking way around.

“Thanks,” Franky says, eagerly taking the smoothie and hoping that the drink will make Bea stop bugging her about Bridget.

It doesn’t.

“What’s Bridget’s surname? You said you reckon you’ve seen her before, maybe you’ve hooked up in the past?” Bea asks as Liz disappears out of the room to deliver smoothies to Boomer and Doreen who are both cramming for an upcoming mid-semester test.

Franky grimaces, eyes and nose coming together for half a second before deliberately wiggling in her chair to throw off Bea’s drawing. “I don’t forget a fuck.”

Stop moving,” Bea hisses.

“I’ll stop if you piss off,” Franky replies petulantly.


“Let’s talk about Allie,” Franky says, sly grin traveling up to the corners of her mouth, as she arranges herself back into the far-too-ladylike pose Bea wants her in.

“Shut up,” Bea hisses, immediately blushing and tearing her eyes away from her drawing pad.

“I could’ve sworn the couch was empty last night… where on Earth could she have been sleeping?” Franky sing-songs, sticking her tongue out to the side.

“Dor!” Bea shouts out suddenly. “I wanna draw you instead.”

Whoever is in charge of the university subject timetable is a god damn demon in Franky’s opinion. It’s 8am on a Monday and she’s suffering through a two hour Trusts lecture, which is a subject she doesn’t particularly care for. It’s all about money and the kind of shit that she’s never experienced in her foster-care childhood. She’s worked damn hard to get into this course, and works two jobs in amongst her full study load, but all the lecturer’s current talk of discretionary trusts is boring as hell and irrelevant for her career plans, anyway. She’s going into criminal law, not the kind of law that helps keep a silver spoon in a trust fund baby’s mouth.

Suffice to say, when she gets an email notification, she happily clicks on it.


Subject: Follow-up appointment for the EEG study

Franky’s eyes widen as she suddenly realises where she’s met Bridget before.

That weird ass porn study! She can’t help but laugh, and ignores the multitude of dirty looks her classmates shoot in her direction. Her friend and sometimes hook-up, Jodie, elbows her to pay attention, but Franky’s much happier revisiting her somewhat-hazy memories of meeting Bridget.

Maybe that’s why Bridget didn’t text her. She’s seen Franky watching porn, for fuck’s sake. Hell, Bridget was the one showing Franky the porn.

The email is generic and not at all personalised, and simply requests that Franky come into the neuro lab for her one-month-later appointment sometime this week. Franky doesn’t particularly want to relive the vanilla moves and forced moans, but she does want to see Bridget again.

So Bridget’s a psych postgrad. Figures, she smirks to herself. Suppressing the urge to Facebook stalk, Franky instead composes a flirty email.

How’s Thursday 4pm? Then maybe I’ll see you Down Under that night? ;)

Franky never receives an email response from Bridget, but she turns up to the lab on Thursday regardless.

She makes sure to wear a short sleeved t-shirt that shows off the vibrant ink on her arm, since she knows Bridget is apparently a tat girl, and strolls into the Redmond Barry building. Being one of the uni’s older buildings it’s not very well signed, but Franky has an excellent memory and sense of direction, so she easily retraces last month’s steps to the Wentworth Laboratory. It’s on level twelve, and as the elevator creaks up she has visions of plummeting to her death. What a way to go-- dying while trying to get a root. She spots Bridget standing at one of the computer benches, and fuck, she looks cute with her hair pulled into a loose pony and a ridiculous white lab coat over her clothes, that is clearly at least two sizes too big for her.

“Damn. The leather jacket look is probably my favourite, but I dig the sexy scientist too,” Franky says as she saunters up next to Bridget, toothy grin and raised eyebrows in place.

“Franky,” Bridget’s voice comes out in a rushed whisper, and now that Franky is closer, she can see the faintest outline of flushed pink running against her cheeks.

Bridget’s gaze shifts downward as she runs a hand through her ponytail. “Uh, hi.”

“You know, if you wanted a third date you could have just texted.” Franky winks.

Bridget glances away from Franky for a moment, seemingly composing herself. When her stare returns to Franky a second later, there is a subtle crease in the corner of her eyes, and the left side of her mouth tilts up just slightly. “I wasn’t sure you’d want to relive the horrors of this lab once you knew who I was.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty traumatic being here to tell ya the truth,” Franky jokes, leaning forwards into Bridget’s space. “Think I might need some extra special care from Dr. Westfall.”

Now that Bridget’s sober and seems to be open to Franky’s flirtations, Franky’s going to take every opportunity she gets.

“I’m not a doctor,” Bridget replies, clearly amused.

“Damn. There goes that fantasy,” Franky sighs, glancing around the lab. Students are scattered around the room working at computer benches, the walls are lined with textbooks, and there’s a table housing what looks to be a bunch of brains stewing in glass jars. The place is run down compared to the brand new, shiny Law buildings Franky inhabits, and with its wall of anatomy and old wooden desks, it’s downright creepy.

She turns her attention back to Bridget. “So where do you want me?”

“Pardon?” Bridget’s head snaps back up towards Franky’s face.

Franky grins. Bridget was totally checking her out. She tilts her head to the side and pokes her tongue out cheekily. “Where do you want me? For the follow-up interview…”

“Oh, right. We’ll, uh, go into Room C.” Bridget gestures towards a door at the far end of the lab.

Franky follows her into the small clinic room, grinning when Bridget twists the blind on the window shut.

Unfortunately though, half an hour later and Franky’s made no more progress getting into Bridget’s pants. Bridget’s snapped into professional mode and is working through her clipboard of questions diligently. Thank fuck it’s nothing too in depth like the questions about porn and sex that Franky had to answer for Dr Ferguson at her first appointment. Mostly Bridget just wants Franky’s feedback on the research.

Leaning back into her chair while Bridget scribbles down her latest answer, Franky takes the time to survey her. She’s got her hair tied back in a low, neat ponytail, with a few loose strands tucked behind her ears. Under her lab coat she’s wearing a nice peach silk top and black pants. Bridget must be a few years older, or at least wealthier, because Franky and her friends do not dress like that for uni. Franky’s standard outfit is jeans and a t-shirt, and she does most of her shopping at kmart and the op shops along Sydney Rd. Franky’s focus is drawn down from Bridget’s chest to her hands. Her fingernails are nicely filed and painted a pretty shade of light pink, which reminds Franky to fix up her chipped black polish before her shift tonight.

“Okay…” Bridget flips over to the last page. “And do you think that porn has the ability to change your own sexuality?”

Franky scoffs at that question, because duh, no fuckin’ way in hell.

“Do you?” Franky asks, raising an eyebrow.

From what she gathers, this is a group research project for the postgrads, and they all had input on the questions. She really should’ve paid more attention before signing the consent form last month, but the four digit payment was all too appealing.

“I need you to answer it, Franky,” Bridget says firmly, looking up from her papers.

“Yeah, well you’re a dyke too. Our answer’s the same,” Franky challenges. She’s aware that she is being harsh, but this question is stupid.

Bridget blinks, but doesn’t break under Franky’s intense gaze. “And what’s your answer?”

“God, you’re hard to crack aren’t ya?” Franky clicks her tongue against the roof of her mouth, and lifts her right leg up to rest her ankle over her left thigh, jiggling her leg a few times. “My answer is no, porn doesn’t change you. It might open your eyes to things but, like, I knew I liked eating pussy way before I ever laid eyes on lesbian porn.”

Bridget bites her bottom lip before looking back at the clipboard to write that down. Franky grins, stretching back in her chair and covering a yawn. She looks around, tempted to go and lie on the reclining hospital bed in the middle of the room. Despite being subjected to the porn in it last month, Franky remembers it being a comfortable piece of furniture. She’s bored now, and could go for a nap.

“How many more questions, Gidget?”

“Bridget,” Bridget corrects, narrowing her eyes briefly at Franky. “Last one… do you have any other feedback for us? We’re going to do another trial in a few months and want to refine the process.”

Franky crosses her arms lazily, biting her lower lip in thought. “Hmm… choose some more realistic lesbian porn? This one girl had nails that’d cut you up,” Franky frowns, shaking her head to the side. Then, smirking, she takes a breath. “Maybe you could film some stuff specifically for the experiment… there’s a bed right there,” she tosses her head back once, motioning towards the piece of furniture.

“Oh my god.” Bridget laughs, shaking her head, “I’m not writing that down.”

“Suit yourself.” Franky shrugs. “I’m sure Dr. Ferguson would be interested. She seems kinky.”

Jesus, Franky. She’s my supervisor,” Bridget hisses with wide eyes.

Franky raises an eyebrow. “What, you afraid she can hear us?” Franky suddenly remembers the cameras from her first session. “Is this being recorded too?”

“No, I just don’t particularly want that image floating around in my mind.”

“Fair enough… so, did you come up with this project yourself?” Franky inquires, taking a chance to initiate something outside the realm of… regulated porn research. Not that it’s not interesting, but it hasn’t exactly been getting her anywhere.

“Yes, they encourage us to do something unique for our Master’s Thesis,” Bridget explains. “This is what I chose.”

“You know, I normally hate shrinks but you’re pretty cool.” Franky winks, and gestures around the clinic room. “Lesbian porn research? That’s hot.”

“Why do you hate psychologists?” Bridget frowns, ignoring the rest of Franky’s statement.

“Nuh, enough about me,” Franky shakes her head, absolutely not keen on teetering along any ‘let’s talk about your past’ territory. “Would rather talk about you and your little drunken escapades.”

“Please don’t make me relive that night,” Bridget groans.

“You made me relive this,” Franky retorts, gesturing to Bridget’s clipboard.


“Seriously, did ya get home safe? I mean, I know you did, but—”

“Yeah, I did.” Bridget smiles, reaching up to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “Thank you, by the way.”

“No worries.” Franky returns the smile. “Will you come to Down Under tonight?”

“I can’t… I’ve gotta write up all these interviews,” Bridget sighs.

“That’s too bad, you’re missin’ out,” Franky shrugs, clicking her tongue to hide her disappointment under a layer of cockiness.

“Do you work any other nights?” Bridget asks, and Franky feels something akin to a hopeful somersault inside of her chest.

“Nah. The bar’s only ‘Down Under’ on Thursdays.” Franky wrinkles her nose. As if she’d bartend there when it wasn’t a lesbian night. “I bartend at Glitter on Friday nights though, if you’re into that…”

Glitter is another weekly queer party, with much more of a rave-type vibe than Down Under. Franky has a love-hate relationship with her job at Glitter. She doesn’t take hard drugs or even drink much, and she kind of hates the music, but she loves its free-spirited energy and drag shows. Plus, the warehouse is within walking distance from her house.

“I can’t say I am. My music taste is much more—” A knock on the door interrupts Bridget’s train of thought. “Shit,” she hisses before calling out. “Almost done!”

Franky raises her eyebrows. “You kicking me out?”

“My classmates need the room.” Bridget explains, glancing at her watch. “And I actually need to get to class.”

“Ugh, you have class this late?”

“Unfortunately. It’s “Mental Health Issues Over Time” and I’ll tell you, having a 5pm lecture is certainly making me crazier every week,” Bridget jokes as she stands up from her chair.

Franky laughs and stands too, taking note again of the height different between them. Bridget is… tiny. She sure as fuck doesn’t carry herself as such though, and Franky wants to know more about this spunky little powerhouse.

“No wonder you got smashed two weeks ago, ya need a break.”

“I thought we weren’t talking about that,” Bridget murmurs, her voice lower, deeper than before.

A sudden, fast jolt shoots through Franky’s abdomen. God, she’s sexy.

“Well what do you want to talk about, then?” Franky drops her voice an octave and points her gaze to Bridget’s lips.

She exhales slowly and takes an instinctive step closer towards Bridget. The energy has shifted, and the air seems thicker. And she knows Bridget feels it.

“Franky, I can’t…” Bridget protests, her voice a near whisper. Contradicting her words, she takes a step toward Franky.

Franky draws her right hand up, her touch featherlight as she cups Bridget’s jaw. Jesus, she wants her. She wants what she’s been thinking about for the last fortnight.

But she will not take it. Not until she’s sure that…

“I know—” Franky’s voice is gentle, her thumb swiping along a soft, suddenly flushed cheek.

There’s another, louder knock on the door, and Bridget springs back, looking up at Franky in alarm as the door opens.

“Oh, hey Bridget,” a tall boy with a New Zealand accent says, his eyes shifting between Franky and Bridget. “Sorry, we really need to set up before our session…”

“No worries, Will,” Bridget’s voice is even and professional again. “We’ve just finished.”

Franky wishes they’d finished.

She follows Bridget back out into the disappointingly busy lab. They’ve lost their privacy and Franky definitely doesn’t think Bridget would be receptive to a kiss now. She shoves her hands in her pockets and watches as Bridget closes her clipboard and puts it inside a black briefcase. It’s all very adult-looking compared to Franky’s own overflowing backpack, which she’s currently got Liz looking after back in the Law Library.

“Sorry, I really do have to run,” Bridget apologises before Franky can come up with something cheeky to break the silence.

What the fuck is wrong with her? Franky rarely finds herself at a loss for words.

“You know the way out, right?” Bridget’s hand gestures smoothly through the air towards the door at the front of the room.

“I, yeah,” Franky nods.

“Great.” Bridget smiles. “I’ll see you around.”

Watching dumbly as Bridget heads for the exit, shedding her lab coat and undoing her hair from its ponytail along the way, Franky can’t help but feel as if there are a million fucking butterflies seizing up in her stomach.

Fuckin’ fantastic.

Chapter Text

‘Around’ turns out to be the coffee cart opposite the Redmond Barry building, and, subsequently, Franky’s new favourite place to grab a latte despite it being at least a ten minute walk from the law buildings. It’s Tuesday, and Franky has spent the past four days debating whether or not to text Bridget. Eventually, she decided on orchestrating an ‘unexpected’ in-person meeting (jesus). She doesn’t know what time Bridget’s classes start today, but she assumed it would be early since most science subjects have morning lectures.

It’s possible she assumed incorrectly. Franky came to campus today at the ungodly hour of seven thirty despite not having a lecture of her own until nine, and Bridget still hasn’t shown up. Franky pushes away thoughts of her warm bed, focusing instead on the girl she’s trying to pick up. She’s bought two coffees already to justify hovering in the area; Bridget better be worth the dent in her monthly budget.

Franky scrunches her face, chewing her lip, before deciding to order one more coffee even though she knows it’ll make her hyper; she goes up to the barista a final time and finagles a free coffee since it’s her birthday tomorrow.

The barista winks at her, and Franky internally groans, wondering if it looks like she’s trying — and clearly failing — to pick her up. She gives the barista a proper look; she’s a heavily-tattooed girl called Lucy by her name tag, and Franky realises she’s seen her at Glitter a lot. She’s not Franky’s type, and seems to obliterate herself with drugs every weekend, but maybe if Franky’s attempts to meet Bridget fall through, she could at least get her number.

Franky huffs, rubbing her palms roughly over her eyes. When she opens them, she narrows her vision, not sure if her eyes are playing a damn trick on her. Maybe she isn’t wasting her time after all.

Franky leans her right elbow casually against the cart, waiting for Bridget to finish ordering her nonfat vanilla latte.

“Hey Gidget.”

“Oh! Hi,” Bridget smiles, blinking a few times, and looking way too perky for this hour. “I didn’t know you got your coffee here…”

“Yeah, had one before our meeting last week and it’s way better than the cafés near the law building,” Franky lies. (There are only, oh, twenty other cafes dotted around campus.) “How was your weekend?”

“Pretty boring. I’ve got an an MST tomorrow and an essay due this Friday,” Bridget offers pulling a face. “Yours?”

“Yeah, about the same. I have three essays due.”

“Yuck.” Bridget wrinkles her nose.

Franky thinks that might be the most adorable expression she’s ever seen.

“I hate essays. Thank god I’ve got placement today, I prefer to learn hands on,” Bridget adds.

Franky juts her chin forward. “Oh do ya? I prefer to learn hands on too,” she winks.

“Oh my god,” Bridget groans, ducking her head and shaking her left hand. “I didn’t mean—”

“I did.” Franky bites her lower lip and wags her eyebrows once over.

“You are—”

“Come out for a drink with me on Friday?” Franky presses on. “We can celebrate submitting our essays.”

“Don’t you have work?” Bridget frowns, swinging her black briefcase from side to side.

“Not til ten that night.” Franky wonders if she’s about to be rejected. Has she misread Bridget’s friendliness as flirting? She’s rarely off about these things, but…

She hears Lucy call out “Franky!” but she ignores the gruff voice over the cart to focus on Bridget. Her heartbeat has suddenly picked up speed tenfold.

“Oh… great. Well, I’d love to,” Bridget smiles.

“Awesome,” Franky responds immediately, unable to contain the wide grin that spreads across her face.

Lucy shouts out her name again and Franky hesitates before muttering a “for fuck’s sake” under her breath. She hastily retrieves her latte, returning to Bridget as if she were afraid the woman was going to evaporate into thin air.

“Will you be on campus on Friday? We could go to Kings?” Franky suggests before taking a sip from her paper cup.

“Yeah, sounds perfect,” Bridget nods. “Is seven okay?”

“Yep,” Franky nods. “I should get to class… see ya then, yeah? You’ve got my number.”

Franky gives Bridget a wink and quickly hurries off down the paved walkway. She makes the trip down to the Law buildings autonomously, her mind racing with thoughts of Bridget. By the time she arrives in her lecture theatre she’s not entirely sure how she got there. She’s also ten minutes late and has to awkwardly shuffle into the back row and reluctantly sit next to Kim; She and Kim slept together on orientation camp last year but Kimmie, of course, likes to pretend it never happened. Franky doesn’t give a shit about Kim’s internalised homophobia, but that doesn’t mean she’s keen on spending an hour avoiding fake small talk and the obvious stares.

But right now? Even Kim can’t dampen her mood.

The week passes in a blur of assignments, low-key birthday celebrations — dinner at the pub with her friends — and coffee. Franky thinks she’s only had six hours sleep in the last three days, and wishes she’d called in sick for her shift at Down Under last night. Currently, though, she’s buzzing at the thought of her impending date.

Franky shuffles her papers and zips her bag shut. “Owe ya heaps, Lizzie.”

“Have fun tonight,” Liz smiles as Franky hands over her overstuffed black backpack.

“I have work at ten,” Franky sighs.

They’re in the Law Library and it’s six forty. Franky submitted her last essay an hour ago and has been napping in a booth opposite Liz since then. In addition to being roommates, Liz is a third year law student and something of a guardian angel slash mentor slash big sister to Franky.

“The bathroom stalls at Kings are pretty big,” Liz jokes.

“Oh my god!” Franky hisses beneath an open grin.

It’s not like she’s one to hide her sex life from her friends, on the contrary. But there’s something about Bridget that makes Franky want to keep this… private. That, and she doesn’t really want to know about where Liz has gotten her rockers off with all of the historically bad men she’s dated.

“I’m just saying,” Liz grins.

“I’m ignoring you,” Franky replies dryly. She then flashes Liz a grin, leans in to kiss her forehead, and mumbles a thanks before heading for the library exit. It’s darker than expected outside, Franky’s still not adapted to the clocks changing a few weeks ago, and she doesn’t put her headphones in even though campus security is practically perched on every fuckin’ corner. On her brief walk to the pub, which is situated on a side street just off the main campus, Franky sends Bridget a text.

See u soon!

Franky arrives at Kings five minutes early and the place is crawling with uni students taking advantage of happy hour. Thankfully Boomer is on the bar tonight and Franky quickly seeks out her friend to get a beer and a glass of cab sauv for Bridget. Boomer hands over the drinks with a knowing grin, but it’s too noisy for her to say much. Carrying the drinks away from the bar, and away from her best friend, Franky scans the crowd for Bridget. She doesn’t see her, and her phone hasn’t vibrated, so she makes a loop around the pub looking for a good place to sit.

The place often clears out a little once happy hour ends at seven, and by chance a group is getting up from one of the half circle booths as Franky approaches. She slides in right after them and then pulls out her phone to check her messages. There’s nothing from Bridget but she’s not worried; Bridget doesn’t strike her as someone who stands up her dates. She sends her another text.

Myself and your wine are waiting in the middle booth.

She scrolls through Instagram for a few minutes, absentmindedly liking her friends’ posts and leaving emoji comments. She hasn’t posted to her own account lately; the last picture is from early April when they all drove to Kaz’s parents’ beach house for the week-long Easter uni break. When she gets bored of scrolling she switches to Snapchat to catch up on everyone’s assessment-related stories. She’s laughing at Bea’s video of Allie snorting a line of ground coffee, timestamped 4:03AM, when someone slides into the booth to her left.

“Hey! Sorry I’m late!” Bridget says, sounding out of breath.

Franky looks up at her and feels winded. Bridget’s blonde hair is flowing messily over her shoulders, she’s wearing that sexy brown leather jacket again, this time over a Divinyls t-shirt, and she appears relaxed enough to somehow be glowing. Franky’s mouth goes dry and she thinks about her own sleep-deprived appearance and day-old eyeliner that she really should’ve touched up on the way here. At least she’s shed her own jacket and is wearing a black scooped singlet that shows off an ample amount of cleavage and her flaming dice tattoo, which she usually keeps covered up.

“Nah, no worries,” Franky locks her phone and shoves it in her pocket.

“Ooh, thank you for this. I saw your message but I was driving,” Bridget says as she picks up her wine glass.

“You drove? I thought you lived near campus?” Franky asks, like she doesn’t know Bridget’s exact Drummond St, Carlton address on account of the uber three weeks ago.

“I do, but, cheers—” Bridget pauses to clink their glasses together. “I thought I might go and visit my parents this weekend so I’ll drive down later tonight.”

“Where do your parents live?” Franky asks curiously after taking a swig of her beer and twisting around in the booth to face Bridget.

“They’re in Brighton.”

“Ooh, fancy.” Franky tilts her head to the side, wondering what that means in terms of Bridget’s upbringing. “You see ‘em a lot?”

“Nah. There’s a reason I live near campus,” Bridget replies conspiratorially, taking another sip of her dark wine.

Franky watches her swallow and licks her own lips. “You live with your friend Vera, right?”

“Yeah. We were roommates in college together last year, but we quickly realised we’re too old for college so we got a place in Carlton instead,” Bridget explains, gesturing with her wine glass held casually in her right hand.

“How old are you?” Franky asks in amusement. Bridget doesn’t look any older than Franky but she certainly has a sense of… composure that Franky does not.

“I’m twenty-six… you?” Bridget asks, smoothing her hands over her jean-clad thighs.

“Just turned twenty-three,” Franky replies.

“Oh, when was your birthday?” Bridget asks, taking a sip of her wine, and Franky tries not to stare at her lips.

“On Wednesday,” Franky says, taking another mouthful of beer.

“Mm!” Bridget makes an excited noise and raises her eyebrows, pausing to swallow her wine. “Happy birthday! Did you have a party?”

“Nah, had too much work,” Franky explains, pulling a face. “Essays, ya know.”

“Oh yeah,” Bridget says with a nod. “I can’t wait to be done with uni.”

“Me too,” Franky says. She’s so keen to get an actual job and start making a difference. “Wait, so what’d you study before your Masters? Does Psychology usually take that many years?”

“No, I, um,” Bridget shifts on the seat, lifting her left leg over her right, and her foot gently bumps against Franky’s shin. “It’s a long story but I took a gap year after high school to travel… and then when I was doing Arts I fell for this French international student and ended up following her to France for… well, three years in the end.”

“Damn, Gidget,” Franky murmurs, her eyebrows raising at that story. “Pretty romantic.”

“I… yeah.” Bridget looks up from her wine glass with a soft smile. “I guess it was. Anyway, that fell apart and I finally came back to Melbourne to continue my studies.”

“Do you speak French?” Franky asks, not wanting to dwell too much on ex-girlfriends on what is essentially their first date.

“Oui,” Bridget wags her eyebrows over the rim of her wine glass and fuck if Franky doesn’t spontaneously combust right there.

Beside her Bridget coughs back a chuckle into her wine glass, and Franky takes a moment to take another swig of beer and observe her. She’s just as gorgeous as she was three weeks ago, if not more so, with friendly blue eyes and a cheeky smile, and she soon demonstrates her ability to flirt just as unabashedly as Franky.

“Merci,” Bridget says once she’s composed herself. She takes a languid mouthful of her wine, tilting her head back and sending a million fantasies of licking her elongated neck straight into Franky’s brain. “Et toi? Do you speak any other languages?”

“Define speak,” Franky says, opening her mouth and blatantly curling her tongue inwards.

Bridget chuckles deeply, her laugh an inviting rumble. “I’ll take that as a no then…”

“Don’t you remember from my interviews for your study?” Franky ribs her with a seemingly permanent grin stuck on her face.

“No, I, ah, don’t watch the recordings that closely,” Bridget glances away from Franky.

“Ah, but you do watch the recordings…” Franky quips, leaning in closer to her date, her eyes sparkling. “How do I look on screen? Badass, right? I bet my tats look good.”

Bridget is silent for a moment and Franky wonders if she’s broken her with her exceptional seduction. Her focus falls to Bridget’s lips, currently coated in a perfect layer of dark nude lipstick, and thinks about how simple it would be to close the distance between them.

“So you’re a second year in the JD program, right?” Bridget eventually asks, leaning back into the booth and putting some space between them.

Franky drums her fingers on the table to relieve the energy building up inside her and scrutinises her date. Just like in the clinic room last week, Bridget seems to retreat whenever Franky gets close enough to kiss her. It’s at odds with Bridget’s banter and focused eye contact, but then Franky supposes most people aren’t as forward as she herself is. They are only on their first drinks, after all.

“Mmhmm. Gonna be a shit hot lawyer one day.”

“Hmmm.” Bridget holds up an index finger. “Explain to me where ‘shit hot’ ranks on the lawyer scale?”

“Like an Elle Woods out of ten,” Franky explains. “But gayer.”

Bridget bursts into laughter. “I love that.”

Time disappears and before they know it they’re each on their third drinks, sharing a bowl of hot chips that Boomer brought over on the house. Booms really is a legend of a best friend, and Franky just wishes she’d quit Kings to work at Glitter on Fridays too. She’s really not looking forward to her shift tonight; she’s gonna need to drink a Red Bull or ten to make it through until the warehouse closes at six AM. Jesus, what she would give to go home with Bridget tonight and curl up in bed by midnight after a round — or three — of hot sex.

“You double dipped!” Bridget exclaims as Franky shoves another sauce-covered chip in her mouth.

“What are you gonna do about it?” Franky challenges, her eyes glinting, as she leans into Bridget’s space.

“I guess I’ll have to triple dip, hmm?”

Ooh, that’s ballsy,” Franky drawls, dropping her voice.

She’s silent as she watches Bridget wiggle her fingers over the bowl and carefully select a long chip. Bridget looks up at Franky through her long lashes as she dips the fry into the tomato sauce and brings it up to her rose-colored lips.

Franky wishes she were that damn chip. She can hardly breathe, she’s so fucking transfixed. Everything this woman does is attractive, and Franky feels like she’s drowning in her, just barely keeping her own head above water. Bridget’s just swallowed her second bite when Franky reaches forward and grabs her wrist, unable to take it anymore. Bridget pauses, raising her eyebrows at Franky in mock question.

“That’s mine,” Bridget asserts.

“I don’t want the chip.” Franky keeps her eyes locked on Bridget’s, stroking her thumb over the soft skin on the inside of Bridget’s wrist. She inches closer, stopping just a handful of centimeters from Bridget’s face to make it clear what she’s after.

Bridget’s eyes soften to mirror Franky’s lust as neither of them breaks their stare.

“Good,” Bridget answers simply. “Because it’s mine.”

Still practically eye-fucking Franky, Bridget lowers her lips to take the last third of the chip into her mouth, and then licks her pointer finger and thumb, letting the latter rest in between her teeth for a second. Franky’s hand goes slack around Bridget’s wrist as she watches Bridget’s tongue dart out to collect the leftover salt on her fingers.

Franky’s thrumming with desire, blood and heart pumping so loudly that she can barely hear, barely think, and it’s clear that Bridget is enjoying herself and the obvious effects of her ministrations, at the very least.

Tired of cutting their tension with goddamn pointless words, Franky runs her thumb along Bridget’s inner wrist again, pushing over tendons and delicate skin to feel Bridget’s pulse; It’s thudding rapidly, an excited beat that reaffirms Franky’s own desires.

Oh, fuck it.

Unable to resist any longer, Franky reaches with her left hand️ to cup the back of Bridget’s head and gently brings their lips together.

“Mmm,” Bridget immediately sighs.

Her left hand breaks free of Franky’s loosened grip and soon finds its way to the nape of Franky’s neck, gripping firmly, increasing the urgency. Franky happily follows Bridget’s lead and opens her mouth just a bit wider, deepening the kiss.

God this feels… good. Bridget is electricity, and Franky is damn near going to short-circuit.

It’s a fucking cliché, but she really does think time is standing still around them. As Bridget sucks her lower lip into her mouth, Franky slides her hand down Bridget’s spine to settle on her lower back, her mind racing with possibilities. Pushing Bridget down onto the soft seat, pulling her jacket off, sliding her shirt up…

A loud crash of glass clamoring near the kitchen door registers somewhere deep in Franky’s mind, reminding her where they are.

She reluctantly breaks the kiss to keep herself in check and opens her eyes to find Bridget staring at her, darker hues of blue surrounding dilated pupils.

“Fuck,” Bridget mutters, a grin spreading across her wet lips, as she leans her left elbow on the table, propping her head up with her hand. “You’re too good at that.”

“Says you,” Franky retorts, sliding her hand around from Bridget’s lower back to her hip underneath her leather jacket.

Bridget exhales sharply and shifts her hips into Franky’s hand, her body bending languidly under Franky’s touch.

This is why I couldn’t kiss you in the lab,” Bridget softly shakes her head, reaching for her near-empty glass to take a long swill of her wine.

“I think I need to have another follow-up appointment.” Franky runs the pad of her thumb along Bridget’s hip, letting a devilish smile settle upon her features.

“You want me to ask you more questions about hetero porn?” Bridget asks, her eyebrows creasing in amusement.

“Ugh, mood killer, Gidget.” Franky pinches Bridget’s hip playfully.

Bridget squeaks and darts away from Franky, cheeky laughter spilling from her lips. Her shoulder hits the back of the curved booth and she slumps against it, watching Franky, full smile spreading without abandon across her face. She’s definitely one of those people who gets playful after a few drinks.

“What’s with the Gidget nickname?” Bridget asks after a moment.

Franky purses her lips, trying to remember why or how she started calling Bridget that. She pulls a confused face and shrugs. “It suits you.”

Bridget cocks her head to the side, seeming to contemplate the nickname. “It’s cute. I need a nickname for you, but I can’t really shorten Franky… is Franky your full name?”

“Nah, but I hate my full name.” Franky reaches for her pint and downs the last sip in a show of nonchalance.

“Sometimes I hate ‘Bridget,’” Bridget offers, and Franky likes that she doesn’t pry. “It’s… too old-fashioned and boring.” She sighs, turning to look out at the crowded pub pensively before looking back at Franky, her lip twitching. “Maybe that’s why I’m rebelling against my parents and researching lesbian porn.”

Franky laughs and almost drops her empty glass as she places it down on the table. Warmth fills her insides, and it’s decidedly not just from the alcohol; she snags a chip and leans her left shoulder against the booth to mirror Bridget’s position.

“Tell me more about the project,” Franky says, before popping the chip in her mouth and resting her right hand on Bridget’s knee.

“You sure you want to know?”

There is a twinkle in the corner of Bridget’s eye, and Jesus, Franky didn’t think her chest could constrict any more than it already has.

“Yeah, course.” Franky squeezes her knee. “Tell me about it.”

Half an hour later Franky’s brain is full of new psychology facts and her hands are full of Bridget’s ass. They’ve stepped outside, and she’s got Bridget pressed up against the brick wall of the pub — tongue caressing the inside of her mouth and fingers tucked into the back pockets of Bridget’s jeans. Bridget’s hands roam through Franky’s hair as she steadies herself against the wall, relaxing her knees to let Franky shove her thigh between her legs. Franky pulls away briefly to correct her balance before leaning down and hungrily reconnecting their lips.

Bridget tastes like mentos — pointedly given to them by Boomer after she interrupted a makeout session while clearing their table — and red wine. Red wine usually isn’t Franky’s drink of choice, but she loves the way it tastes on Bridget’s tongue. Franky gives Bridget’s ass another squeeze, recalling how, earlier in the night, she teased her endlessly about doing something called booty boot camp. Franky is more of a grungy gym girl herself, but she’s starting to take back every bad word she’s ever said about the class. She’s desperate to get Bridget into her bed, and her need swells with every second that their bodies are pressed together.

Bridget has just slid her left hand around from the nape of Franky’s neck to cup her throat, sending shivers down Franky’s spine, when Franky’s phone obnoxiously starts to ring in her back pocket.


“Aw,” Franky groans and rests her head on Bridget’s shoulder as she takes out her phone to stop the alarm. “I gotta get to work.”

“Yeah… and I should go drive to my parents,” Bridget huffs, sliding a hand through her loose hair.

Franky smiles into Bridget’s leather jacket before pulling back to look down at her gorgeous date. There are no street lights nearby, but Franky’s eyes have long since adjusted to the dark, and she can easily make out the warring lust mixed with annoyance in Bridget’s eyes.

“It’ll be good for you, yeah? At least they want to see you,” Franky offers, trying to cheer Bridget up about spending time with her parents. From what Bridget’s told her, Franky gathers they’re not terrible, but they seem to be quite overbearing and conservative.

“Yeah, but they’ll ask me when I’m getting a boyfriend…” Bridget groans, leaning her head back against the bricks. She briefly brushes her fingertips along the kite necklace that rests at the hollow of Franky’s neck, before letting her hand drop down to Franky’s waist, fingers bunching into the cheap cotton of Franky’s black singlet.

“Ugh, fuck,” Franky sympathizes, before instinctively rocking her hips into Bridget’s. “You could tell ‘em you’re dating a Frank.”

“Am I?” Bridget asks flippantly.


Dating?” Bridget stresses the word, tilting her head from side to side as she peers up at Franky.

“This is a date…” Franky mocks, tugging on the hem of Bridget’s jacket.

“This is a first date,” Bridget counters.

“Oh.” Franky’s stomach feels like it’s plummeted straight out of her fuckin’ ass. All signs pointed to Bridget reciprocating her feelings… she never really considered being turned down. “I, um—”

“I’m kidding, baby.” Bridget smiles, relaxing her body, leaning in as she wraps her arms around Franky’s neck. “We can be dating, if you want.”

Franky has half a mind to jab Bridget in the stomach for the fall her gut just took, but instead she leans in closer to speak against Bridget’s lips. “That would imply another date in the future.”

“It does indeed… are you free next… hmm, Wednesday night?” Bridget asks, her lips tickling Franky’s.

“I am.” Franky’s voice comes out throaty and hushed, nearly a whisper.

“They’re doing that beanbag cinema thing up near Union House that night… wanna—”

Franky tackles Bridget’s lips in a kiss before she can finish her sentence. She allows herself five seconds and a nip at Bridget’s bottom lip before she pulls away.

“Wednesday,” Franky murmurs, aware that she probably sounds like a dazed lunatic. “Got it.”

“You sure about that?” Bridget laughs, reaching for her car keys from her jacket pocket. “Want me to text you a confirmation?”

“Ya know I’m not actually convinced you know how to text… should I expect an email instead?”

Eight hours later Franky emerges from Glitter warehouse, exhausted and seriously contemplating just collapsing on the nature strip. She’s technically still got half an hour left in her shift, but her boss is a fuckin’ peach and let her leave after one look at the bags under her eyes. Sliding her earbuds in, she hits shuffle on the current playlist that she usually runs to, needing something to keep her awake on the kilometre walk home. Normally she’d have napped before her shift, but for obvious reasons, she opted to forgo the extra sleep last night. The thought of her cute-as-fucking-hell date puts an abnormally large on her face as she turns onto the shared pedestrian-bike path that runs parallel to the Upfield train line.

As if summoned by Franky’s embarrassingly sappy thoughts, her phone buzzes in her back pocket.

Thanks for the fun night! I hope work wasn’t too awful. See you Wednesday night. ;)

Franky has to double check the time. It’s 5:41AM. Is Bridget insane? Never one to spend hours debating over the ‘best’ text to send, Franky types a response which, in hindsight, isn’t the most romantic.

Thanks babe u too. Also, why are u awake???? U fruit loop.

By the time Bridget replies, Franky is only metres from her front door and fishing her keys from her bag. She’s counting down the sixty-three footsteps from the front gate to her bed and cannot be held accountable for the audible groan that escapes her mouth when she reads Bridget’s answer.


What brain cells Franky has left have suddenly short-circuited on the idea of Bridget naked and twisting herself into a million different positions on her bed.

Franky shakes her head, exhaling a rushed breath as she forces her body out of its sudden catatonic state, and shoves her key in the door. She trudges into the house, toes off her boots in the hall and pads upstairs to her room. Collapsing face first onto her bed with a content sigh, she grabs her mobile out of her pocket and types a reply one-handed.

Yay, bendy.

Chapter Text

Franky’s in the middle of a dream about drag queens doing yoga when she wakes up to the feeling of movement on her mattress; before she can react, she’s being squashed under a bear hug.

“Wake up lazy,” Boomer sing-songs in Franky’s ear.

“I’m sleeping, Booms,” Franky groans, squeezing her eyes shut. “I didn’t have a nap yesterday.”

“Yeah ‘cos you were too busy tongue fucking in public,” Boomer teases, shaking Franky slightly.

“Go away,” Franky whines, trying to wriggle out of her best friend’s vice-like grip.

What she would give to be able to afford her own place.

Boomer is a foot taller and twenty kilos heavier, and Franky’s uncaffeinated so it’s a lost cause. She huffs and resigns herself to nearly suffocating under Boomer’s embrace.

“Nuh. It’s 2pm and you told me on Wednesday to make sure you finish your report on the boat people or somethin’,” Boomer reasons, sounding all too smug.

“Don’t call them boat people,” Franky mutters.

“Right. The asylum seekers,” Boomer corrects. “So chop chop, Franks. There’s a boxing class at 5pm with our names on it.”

“I hate you,” Franky groans.

Actually, she doesn’t hate Booms; she hates her past self for making so many commitments for a god damn Saturday.

Boomer laughs and finally climbs off of Franky. “Also I wanna know more about this Bridget Eastfall chick!”

“Westfall…” Franky groggily pushes herself upright. “Did you unlock my phone while I was sleeping again?” Franky shrieks, chucking her pillow at Boomer.

“It wasn’t me this time!” Boomer shouts as she flees Franky’s bedroom.

Franky collapses back onto her mattress and shakes her head. There’s no fuckin’ privacy in this house. It’s not like she and Bridget need to keep anything secret, but it’s…new and Franky isn’t exactly fond of dissecting romantic prospects with a fucking investigative team the same way her friends are.

She huffs to herself as she hears Boomer calling her name down the hall, and throws her blankets off her body.

For fuck’s sake.

Turns out Bridget isn’t averse to texting at all. In fact, she’s pretty fucking skilled at sending messages that keep a fire simmering low inside of Franky’s stomach.

Look, a Franky shell.

Bridget accompanies her text with a photo of a hermit crab seashell adorned with tattoo-like lines. It’s noon on Sunday and Bridget has informed her she’s hiding from her parents at Brighton Beach.

In response, Franky sends her a crab and a crown emoji.

She’d love to daydream about Bridget but she’s got her head in her Property Law textbooks and is revising her last few lectures so she can relax in the evening. Her housemates are planning on watching Atomic Blonde, and no fuckin’ way is she missing out. Against her studious intentions, her mind starts to wander with thoughts of Bridget dressed up like a badass spy and putting her yoga skills to use. She pictures the scene playing out on a beach, blonde waves bouncing against golden, sun-kissed skin.There is a dull, definitive throb beneath her abdomen brewing and fuck, it’d be so easy to shut her uni books and slide her hand into her tracky pants.

Chewing on her bottom lip, the features of her face scrunching together, Franky groans and decides on finishing her work. She silences and throws her phone onto her bed behind her with a huff, before uncapping her yellow highlighter to continue making notes. She swivels in her cheap Kmart office chair as she works, longing for the day when she can splurge on a nicer one that matches her desk. The desk in question is a sturdy wooden antique one that her friends bought her and redecorated upon her getting into Law. She’s been living with Liz, Boomer, and Doreen since her third year of Arts, and in typical Liz fashion, she wasn’t going to let Franky become a lawyer by studying on the floor.

As a part-time Arts student now hoping to get into Architecture, Boomer has a great talent for spotting beautiful designs; The desk is intricately carved maple and has been re-painted white, and Doreen — in her typical future-teacher fashion — guided Bea to decorate the drawers with some of her family’s Dreamtime. It’s the best present Franky’s ever received.

Most of her other furniture and appliances are either from Kmart, Gumtree, or a Hard Rubbish collection. She’d love to justify buying nicer things, but having little in the way of a financial safety net makes frugality a necessity, and she’s not about to take her friends’ handouts. The bedroom fan she found on a street curb works perfectly well, thank you very much. She wants to be able to buy a house one day; who fuckin’ cares if her bedroom is a stylistic mishmash for the time being.

Two hours of Property revision and trying-not-to-think-about-Bridget later, Franky migrates from her desk to her bed and happily unlocks her phone to two unread messages from Bridget.

The first is a heart eyes emoji and the second is much more interesting.

Fucking hell. Went for a swim. Too cold. Abort.

Franky grins. It was timestamped an hour ago and she wonders what Bridget is up to now. It’s a sunny Autumn day outside, but still about ten degrees too cold to enjoy swimming at the beach. She types her response with her tongue between her teeth.

Bit nippy?

Barely a minute passes before Bridget responds, and the contents of her text stir up Franky’s simmering arousal.

You know it. ;)

“Fuck,” Franky breathes.

Bridget hasn’t worn anything too revealing around Franky so she hasn’t really had a good look at Bridget’s tits, but she has a vivid imagination. Lazily tucking her left hand into the waistband of her tracksuit pants, Franky briefly debates what to write. Bridget’s texts are getting flirtier, but it’s too soon to send anything explicit. Come to think of it, she hasn’t really dated anyone since the summer holidays, and while she wouldn’t think twice about sexting with a one night stand, she’s more… careful, where Bridget is concerned. More aware.

Biting her lip, Franky types her response.

Still waiting on that bikini photo, Gidge.

Bridget doesn’t reply right away, and in the meantime Franky inches her hand further into her trackies, tracing her fingertips over the swell of her navel. She’s still feeling the lingering effects of their hot makeout sessions on Friday night and Franky thinks she owes herself some relief. She gets up to lock her bedroom door, switch the lights off, and close the blinds, before padding back over to her bed.

She’s always prefered to get off in the dark. It’s easier that way, to block out the memories from the scars adorning her stomach.

Ditching her hoodie, t-shirt, bra, and trackies, she collapses onto her mattress.

There’s still no response from Bridget, but that doesn’t matter. Franky has imaginary Bridget to think about now.

If she didn’t have to work at Glitter she could’ve brought Bridget back here on Friday. Could’ve had Bridget sprawled out beneath her, lips on her neck and fingers memorizing the outline of her bare ass. Franky slides her hands over her own breasts, cupping them the way Bridget might, enjoying the visual of them spilling out of Bridget’s smaller hands. Her cunt throbs in her undies, and her breathing is already ragged. She edges her right hand over her abs, wishing she could do the same to Bridget. Bridget, with her smooth, gorgeous skin, that wickedly cute grin on her face and her hair loose like it was on Friday. Franky would kiss her way down Bridget’s stomach, nip at the points of her hip bones, peel her undies down to lick her clit.

“Mmm,” Franky sighs, pinching a nipple with her left hand while running the fingers of her right hand over her vulva.

Like her vision of Bridget, Franky’s dripping wet already, and desperate for more.

Franky’s a foreplay girl. She loves teasing her partners, loves making them beg. She’d like to bite Bridget’s nipples, suck on her skin long enough, hard enough, to leave a trail of hickies; she’d soothe every bite with a gentle, attentive, swipe of her tongue. She slowly starts circling her own clit with gentle pressure, thinking about what Bridget would be into… what she would want. Franky wants to pin her to the bed and roughly finger fuck her just as much as she wants to be gentle and generous with her mouth. She wants it all.

Yoga. Bridget does yoga. This fact dimly penetrates Franky’s foggy mind as she spreads her legs further apart and speeds up the long strokes on her clit. Fuck. Bridget would look beyond sexy in one of those twisted yoga poses. Franky drags her left hand over her breasts, alternatively groping them and wishing again that Bridget were here to do it for her. She wants Bridget so fucking bad, she’s writhing against her own hands and the throbbing, the ache, is almost too much.

Franky’s phone vibrates beside her and she fumbles for it, thanking fingerprint technology because she’s too far gone to properly type in her passcode.

The photo from Bridget that appears on the screen sucks the remaining air from her lungs.

“Holy fuck,” Franky gasps losing all coherent thoughts when she registers the implications of the teasing photo.

It’s taken from above, capturing the edge of Bridget’s right hip, clad in black bikini bottoms on a towel; beside her on the sand is her matching bikini top. Which means Bridget is lying on the beach topless. Bridget is lying on her back on a public beach topless.

Franky can’t even begin to process this information.

She was already close, and Bridget’s picture sends her arousal skyrocketing. A few more strokes of her clit is all it takes to tip herself over the edge, moaning softly as her orgasm crashes over her. This is long overdue, and she doesn’t stop her movements until the last wave of her climax has given way to euphoric relaxation.

“Fuck me,” she gasps to herself as she pulls her hand from her cunt and reaches over to her bedside table to grab a tissue. She never took her undies off, just pushed them down, and now they’re completely soaked.

Fuck. If this is what the thought of Bridget does to her, the real thing might just kill her.

Still catching her breath, Franky rolls onto her side and unlocks her phone again to further inspect Bridget’s picture. It’s so fucking sexy, she doesn’t even know what to say. Bridget’s got a few dark freckles near her bikini line on her hip, and her creamy skin looks tantalising against her deep green towel. Deciding to reply with honesty, Franky types back.

Holy shit.

In Monday morning’s 8am lecture of death, Franky is utterly distracted by Bridget. Though they only sent each other a few more flirty messages — Bridget had to drive back to Carlton, and Franky thought it best not to bombard her like a cat in fucking heat — she’s been unable to take her mind off the beautiful, witty, smart, extremely hot girl she almost can’t believe she’s dating. Wednesday feels an eon away, and she doesn’t know how she’s meant to get any uni work done when Bridget Westfall is planted firmly into every crevice of her mind.

There’s still half an hour to go until class is finished, and Franky’s bored and contemplating giving herself a stick and poke tattoo with her black biro just for something to do, when her phone buzzes atop her tiny writing desk. She’s sitting towards the back of the room so she doubts their lecturer will see her breaking his no-mobile-phones policy, but she still makes sure to hide it behind her laptop. She can’t help the totally conspicuous grin when she sees what Bridget has written. If her lecturer saw her face he’d know her mind was far from the monotonous material spewing from his mouth.

So I’m at placement today and I can take an hour for lunch whenever… It’s near Carlton Gardens. Any chance you’re free?

Franky practically bounces in her seat, fingers flying as she replies.

Yes! I can pick up some sushi? I’m free 11-1pm.

She’s meant to be studying with her friends Jodie and Lindsay, presently seated to her left, but she’s sure they’ll understand if she ditches them for a hot date.

Franky is standing near the giant three-tiered fountain in Carlton Gardens, backpack slung from her left arm, hands carrying a large plastic container of assorted cut sushi. She’s killing time watching a newlywed couple get their wedding photos taken in front of the historic mermaid-decorated fountain and googling the vikings exhibit she saw advertised when she walked past the Melbourne Museum. The sky is a beautiful soft blue, and Franky appreciates the hot sun that counteracts the chilly May air; Melbourne has a habit of clinging to its last dregs of warmth. Behind her the sound of high heels clicking on concrete gets louder, and a moment later Bridget calls out her name.

“Hey,” Bridget smiles as Franky turns around.

She almost double-takes.

Bridget’s wearing a dark blue blazer over a scooped white silk shirt, tailored black pants, and very high heeled black boots. Her hair is pulled back into a neat ponytail at the base of her neck, and her makeup is impeccable. She exudes professionalism and it’s ten times hotter than anything Franky’s mind has previously drawn.

“Shit, Gidge, look at you,” Franky says, then loudly wolf-whistles. “Damn.”

“Oh god,” Bridget laughs, shaking her head in embarrassment, as she comes to a stop in front of Franky.

“You look hot,” Franky continues, crowding into Bridget and slipping her right hand under Bridget’s open blazer to grip her hip.

“Thanks,” Bridget whispers, looking up at Franky, her cheeks tinged a slight pink.

Thanks to Bridget’s heels their height difference is minimised, and Franky wastes no time dipping her head down to kiss Bridget. It’s a quick, soft press of their lips but it still manages to send a rapid shiver down Franky’s spine. Bridget’s hands brush against Franky’s stomach before bunching the hem of Franky’s t-shirt between her fingers.

Jesus. She’s about five seconds away from telling Bridget to just rip the damn the thing off. But she’s not quite sure how much the damn bridal party, currently gawking at them twenty metres away, would appreciate the move.

Franky shakes her head slightly, pressing her eyes together for a millisecond, before she squeezes Bridget’s hip and steps back. “Shall we?”

“Mm,” Bridget nods and takes a breath before falling into step beside Franky. “I’m glad you could come.”

“Me too,” Franky admits, glancing away from Bridget. She swipes the back of her hand against her lips in attempt to calm the muscles around her mouth, that have somehow lodged themselves in a permanent upward position. They turn down the path away from the grandiose Royal Exhibition Buildings and head for the grassy lawns of Carlton Gardens, where people are dotted about eating and relaxing.

“Those buildings give me nightmares.”

“Why?” Bridget laughs.

“Exams,” Franky says, shuddering at the thought of her upcoming June exams. Two thousand university students sitting varying three hour exams at 8am in the morning is a hellish experience. The grandiose Royal Exhibition Buildings are chilly in Winter, every sound echoes, there’s always someone sobbing in the bathrooms, and your mind always wanders to the possibility of your bag being stolen from the huge storage containers they make you keep your stuff in. Franky was reading about 'liminal spaces’ on the internet a few weeks ago, and the REB definitely comes to mind as one such location.

“Touché,” Bridget acknowledges. “I’m so glad I don’t have any this semester.”

“Oh! Lucky duck!” Franky clicks her tongue against the roof of her open mouth.

“Mhmm,” Bridget teases. “So how’s your morning been? You have an 8am lecture on Mondays, right?”

“Yeah.” Warmth bubbles through Franky’s chest at the fact that Bridget remembered something so mundane. “Trusts law. It’s the worst.”

Bridget pulls a sympathetic face. “Well, if it makes you feel any better, I had a patient spew on my shoes today.”

“Ew.” Franky wrinkles her nose, looking down at Bridget’s boots.

“Don’t worry, I cleaned them…” Bridget says hurriedly.

“Babe, I’m a bartender.” Franky nudges Bridget’s shoulder with her elbow. “A little vomit doesn’t scare me.”

“I think I’m just paranoid that they smell now,” Bridget groans.

“Nah. You smell great,” Franky winks.

Bridget does actually smell really nice. Like something fruity and light, with a hint of musk, maybe. It must be perfume.

Franky’s never owned perfume herself; she just never bothered with it after growing up thinking that all of it smelled like her mum’s — cheap chemicals and cigarette ash.

“Thanks.” Bridget bashfully smiles and shakes her head, a few golden strands coming loose from her ponytail in the process.

Franky’s so busy committing Bridget’s every move to memory, she walks them right fucking past the empty bench she was aiming for.

“Did you want to sit there?” Bridget gestures with her hand over her shoulder.

“What — oh.” Franky stops abruptly, spinning to face the park bench. “Uh, yeah.”

If Bridget notices her awkwardness, she doesn’t comment. They sit down next to each other and Franky shrugs her backpack off onto the ground and swivels to her right to face Bridget, setting the sushi container down on the bench between them.

“I wasn’t sure so I got so I got a mix of chicken, spicy tuna, salmon, and crab.” Franky opens the plastic container and dispenses the chopsticks, napkins and soy sauce between them. “Basically every kind of sushi you could — oh fuck, you’re not vegetarian are ya?”

“No, I’m not,” Bridget says quickly, her lips twitching as she deftly opens her chopsticks and reaches for a piece of salmon sushi.

”Phew,” Franky sighs, snapping apart her chopsticks.

She chooses a salmon roll for herself, dipping it into her little pot of soy sauce. When she finally bites into her sushi, she practically moans as the combination of fish and salt hits her tongue. She bought it from this legendary hole-in-the-wall place on Grattan St, tucked away between the many Italian restaurants and cheap uni joints that surround the university’s large campus. In order to stick to her budget, Franky packs her own lunch most days, but she’ll always make an exception for this delicacy — especially on a date with Bridget.

“Fuck me I love this sushi,” Franky groans, swallowing her first mouthful.

Bridget lifts her eyebrows and after a moment she tilts her head in agreement. “Mmm. It is good.

“Yeah. So much better than the lunch I packed.” Franky nods, thinking of the dismal salad she scraped together this morning that is now stashed in the Law Common Room fridge.

“What’d you pack?” Bridget hovers her chopsticks over the sushi indecisively, her brows creasing in thought as if she’s mulling over the answer to a tough exam question.

“Ah, just a shitty salad. I was gonna make a veggie frittata but Doreen and Boomer forgot— Franky pauses to accentuate the word with a show of air quotes — “to go to the supermarket.”

“Oh no!” Bridget laughs, finally selecting a chicken roll. “Vera is one of those people who actually likes going to the supermarket so I never have that problem… not that I can cook very well anyway.”

“Not a wiz in the kitchen, Gidge?”

“Definitely not.” Bridget shakes her head. “I can make stir fries and pasta… if I attempt anything else I usually set off the smoke alarm.”

Franky laughs. “I’ll have to cook for ya some time.”

“I’d like that,” Bridget says, wiggling her eyebrows.

Franky can't control the tug at the corners of her mouth as she reaches for a tuna sushi. Cooking with Gidge after a long day at uni, the aromas of garlic and lemon and whatever the hell else wafting through the apartment… that’s a scenario that she thinks she can definitely get behind. Which, is odd, when Franky considers her own track record; She doesn’t exactly do domestic.

Franky chews her sushi slowly, savouring the flavours, daydreaming of pressing Bridget up against the kitchen counter as chicken simmers on the stove.

They eat in content silence for a few minutes before Franky notices Bridget eyeing the sushi in her chopsticks, her lips quirked to the side.

“Mine,” Franky exclaims, holding the crab roll nestled in her chopsticks close to her chest. “There are still… three more crab ones with your name on them.”

“Nah, I was just thinking about your crab emoji text,” Bridget says, gesturing at Franky’s sushi.

Franky’s lips curve up into a smile. “Pretty cute, hey?” she teases, jutting her chin forward.

“Very,” Bridget smiles, pointing at Franky with her chopsticks.

“The Franky shell was cute too…” Franky admits, before sticking her tongue against the inside of her cheek, eyes focusing on the food in front of her.

Franky tries to push down the feelings of… unsettlement that simmer low in her gut. She isn’t so good at exposing herself without a mask of bravado in front of her.

Bridget, to her credit, again does not inquire about the moment’s shift in Franky.

“It’s so pretty, isn’t it? I’ve got it in my bathroom now,” Bridget tells her, and Franky swears her heart skips a beat.

“So how was the beach?” Franky asks, dropping the pitch of her voice. She needs to keep the conversation flirty… light, before it delves into a place she isn’t quite sure she’s ready to go.

“Mmm,” Bridget hums noncommittally, glancing away from Franky to look out at the yellow-leaf covered park. “I enjoyed it aside from the freezing water.”

Franky licks her lips, thinking about how she enjoyed it as well.

“I’m sure you did.” Franky leans closer, noticing a slight hitch in Bridget’s breathing.

“Oh yes.” Bridget turns back to face Franky. She’s still holding her chopsticks up in the air, seeming to have forgotten about them. “I brought one of my textbooks down with me. It was a very productive afternoon.”

Raising her right eyebrow, Franky watches as Bridget’s mouth and nose twitch like she’s suppressing the urge to laugh. They both know what Bridget did on the beach, and it most definitely wasn’t studying. Bridget’s nude lipstick-coated lips start to curve into a smile as Franky stares at them, and god, she wants to kiss her. Upping the ante, Franky bites down on her bottom lip and drags it between her teeth tantalisingly slowly until it pops out.

“I had a very productive afternoon too,” she says throatily, cocking her head as she rolls her shoulders back to push out her chest. She feels triumphant when Bridget’s eyes jitter with lust and her attention is drawn down Franky’s body.

Franky’s wearing her standard university outfit: comfy black skinny jeans, boots, a plaid shirt and black corduroy jacket. It’s not anything particularly sexy, but she’s not blind and she knows she looks good in it. She watches as Bridget’s eyes linger on her boobs for a moment before suddenly jolting and looking back up at Franky with wide eyes. She’s frozen, chopsticks-clasping hand still suspended over the sushi.

“Like what you see?” Franky tilts her head to the right and winks at Bridget.

Bridget takes time to respond, her darker-than-normal eyes dancing over Franky’s face. She swallows and part her lips in a shaky exhale before replying, “Yes.”

Wagging her eyebrows, Franky slants closer to Bridget until their lips are almost touching and they can just about feel each other’s shallow breathing. She brings her left hand around to the side of Bridget’s neck and kisses her, finally, Bridget’s pulse tactilely racing under her fingertips. Fuck, she loves that feeling, the physical proof of Bridget’s desires. Trying desperately not to drop her chopsticks as her thoughts turn sexual, she probes her tongue out against Bridget’s soft lips. Unfortunately, Bridget has other ideas.

“Mmm… sushi, in danger,” Bridget murmurs, pushing at Franky’s shoulders.

Franky sits back in a daze, disappointed at the loss of Bridget’s mouth on hers. Bridget laughs lightly and Franky looks up to see Bridget’s eyes on her. At least Franky isn’t alone in her lusty haze; Bridget is smoothing out her shirt with her left hand and taking a deep breath.

“Right. Sushi,” Franky murmurs.

She supposes they should eat their lunch before things… get out of hand. Remembering the chopsticks in her right hand, she shuffles back on the bench and reaches for a piece of chicken sushi. Opposite her, Bridget does the same and their chopsticks click together, making them laugh. Franky smiles at the sound. Bridget makes her feel a kind of ease that she isn’t quite accustomed to.

“After you,” Bridget says in a mock formal tone.

“Why thank you,” Franky replies with a wide grin.

Their conversation turns to uni subjects and their workloads for the upcoming week. Bridget only has two lectures a week, and has placement on alternating Mondays, and every Tuesday and Wednesday. Franky’s somewhat jealous. Her six two-hour lectures a week and million hours of assigned readings can get dry; she’s much more of a hands-on learner. Every Wednesday she works in the International Criminal Justice Clinic as an elective subject, and it’s her favourite subject by far. She’s doing complex, interesting research into new fields of law, and is actively helping to shape the papers that the clinic will publish. She’d love to be there more than just once a week, so that the difference she makes could be more profound.

Franky lets Bridget talk; once she gets started rambling about her workdays at the psychology clinic, she doesn’t seem to stop. Franky doesn’t mind. She wants to know all about Bridget’s life. Plus, watching Bridget eat is somewhat entertaining and also, apparently, very sexy. She’ll pause with sushi held to her lips so she can finish a sentence, and interrupt her thoughts to sigh at the taste.

“Last piece,” Bridget says, interrupting her own story about getting lost in the Royal Melbourne Hospital on her first day of her previous placement.

“You want it?” Franky asks, noting that it’s a crab one. She has been trying to eat only half of each type of sushi, but she’s got a definite weakness for crab and she hopes Bridget declines.

“You can have it… for a price,” Bridget marks her words with a flourish of her chopsticks.

“And what’s that?” Franky asks, shifting around on the bench so she’s leaning her right arm along its back, and lifts her right foot up to rest against her left knee.

“You’ll see,” Bridget says with a lilted voice.

“Oooh, sounds ominous,” Franky jokes.

Bridget shifts closer to her, smiling softly.

“You’ll like it.”

“Will I?” Franky cocks her eyebrows.

“Yes,” Bridget confirms, voice heady to Franky’s ears.

“Okay,” Franky grins. She takes the last piece of sushi into her mouth slowly, making sure to savour it. She chews while grinning at Bridget, who is suddenly staring up at her with a wanton look in her eyes, almost like she wants to eat Franky herself. When she finishes and swallows, Franky raises her eyebrows at Bridget in challenge. “So ya gonna tell me what this price is?”

“This,” Bridget breathes.

Before Franky can react, Bridget’s got her left hand on the back of Franky’s head, tangled in her hair, pulling her in for a searing kiss. Chuckling happily against Bridget’s lips, Franky happily raises her own hands to Bridget’s shoulders to steady herself as she feels Bridget’s tongue against her lips. Franky eagerly opens her mouth, an excited rush shooting through her abdomen. Kissing Bridget is akin to the warmth and delicious burn of tequila down trickling down your throat, and much like tequila shots, Franky doesn’t want just one.

Franky’s chopsticks clatter to the ground as she slides her hands down to Bridget’s waist, edging them underneath her blazer to settle on top of soft silk. How she wishes they weren’t in a park right now so they could take things further, but she’s not about to complain. After a few minutes they pull apart to do the dumb dopey grin-and-giggle thing that Franky swore only happens in movies, but which is actively happening to her right now without her control.

“Oh, my lipstick…” Bridget cants forward and swipes at Franky’s lips with the pad of her thumb.

A shiver runs through Franky at Bridget’s touch and she’s struggling to regain her breath. She notices Bridget’s shirt has gaped away from her chest, and she’s able to see a hint of cleavage peeking out of a white lace bra. Fuck.

“Fixed it,” Bridget says, withdrawing her hand, and Franky snaps back up to her face. “Is mine a mess?”

Bridget doesn’t seem to have noticed Franky perving down her top like a useless lesbian.

“Oh… nah, I think it’s all gone,” Franky scans Bridget’s lips. “Too much lip-smacking, I guess,” she winks.

Bridget laughs and relaxes her body, lifting her left arm up onto the back of the bench and pointing at Franky with the chopsticks she’s still holding in her right hand. “No such thing.”

Hearty laughter bubbles out of Franky and she puts her hand down on top of Bridget’s, brushing her thumb over smooth skin. “I like how you think.”

With the confirmation that Bridget is not at all opposed to future make-out sessions, Franky happily intersperses the rest of their conversation with light kisses. She’s dated chicks in the past who weren’t into PDA for various reasons, and it’s nice to be with someone on the same wavelength. If she likes someone, she wants to show them. And if she wants something, she’ll take any chance to get it.

By the time Franky leaves the gardens to trek back to campus, she’s so stupidly happy even a whole day of Trusts Law wouldn’t be able to ruin her mood.

Chapter Text

Wednesday night can’t come fast enough. So much so that Franky is a whole twenty minutes early for their seven o’clock date. She’s not exactly a punctual person by nature, and she’s working to fix that considering the rigidity of the law profession, but this is excessive. She feels so goddamn uncharacteristically sappy and the weird thing is... she doesn’t even want to fight it.. Bridget is fun and easy to talk to, and Franky wants to talk to her. Possibly too much. Boomer had to confiscate her phone last night when she was ignoring their backyard workout in favour of texting Bridget.

She goes over to lean against one of the currently unused bike-racks on the west side of North Court, away from the crowd of students forming for the movie. She’s not a huge fan of crowds; she finds their stuffiness and slowness infuriating. They don’t provide easy escape routes, either. Her latent irrationalities aren’t helped by the hundreds of beanbags jammed into the courtyard and the overwhelming amount of noise coming from the North-Court-overlooking balcony of the bar in Union House.

She pulls out her phone to distract herself.

At six-fifty, when she’s just played the word jingoism for 69 points against Liz in Words with Friends and is smirking at the score, she hears her name being called.

“Hey, you,” Bridget smiles. “I almost didn’t recognise you.”

Franky raises her eyebrows before remembering that it’s Wednesday; since she’s been working in the International Criminal Justice Clinic all day, she’s slightly more dressed up than normal, in black pants and a blazer over a white button-up shirt. Her hair’s up in a high, neat ponytail, and she’s not wearing any eyeliner.

“Yeah, you get Professional Franky tonight,” Franky quips, shoving her phone into her pocket to free up her hands.

“I see,” Bridget smiles, closing the distance between them and looping her arms around Franky’s neck. “And does the honourable Franky Doyle have any objections to reviewing the minutes from our last meeting?”

“Well I was gonna wait until the movie, but if you insist…” Franky grins, mockingly rolling her eyes.

Placing her hands on Bridget’s firm butt she pulls her closer as their lips join. Bridget tastes like peppermint and it occurs to Franky that she had leftover pasta for lunch and probably tastes like Parmesan and garlic. Bridget doesn’t seem to care, however, as she takes the reigns of the kiss, alternating the pressure and depth of her lips and tongue.

“Mmm,” Bridget hums as she pulls away from Franky’s lips, fingers dancing along the nape of Franky’s neck, making goosebumps form. “I’ve been wanting to do that all day.”

Bridget’s honesty is fucking refreshing after one too many experiences with her usual brand of manipulators and liars. Franky herself may not be great at opening up, but she’s not one to purposefully mislead anyone. Her most recent relationship with her ex-girlfriend Erica, an older Law student, was fraught with failed promises and advanced level mind games. Historically, she’s never been keen on, or any good at, serious relationships, but she knows enough to want something grounded and mature.  She’s definitely not interested in sneaking around with a girl who has a serious boyfriend and feels like taking a dip in the vagina pool. Even the fleeting thought of Erica makes her frustrated, so she pushes the memories away to focus on the amazing woman in her arms.

“Oh yeah?” Franky grins, pressing Bridget for more. She enjoys knowing how much Bridget is affected by her. “Were you thinking about me at placement?”

“Perhaps,” Bridget demures, her eyes sparkling as she looks up at Franky.

“Did ya get any work done?” Franky teases, squeezing Bridget’s ass and rocking her hips against Bridget’s.

Bridget rolls her eyes and withdraws her arms from Franky’s neck. “You’re not that distracting.” She gives Franky a light shove on the shoulder before reaching for Franky’s left hand.

“Are you sure about that?” Franky teases, happily letting Bridget take her hand and lead them over to the entrance of the fenced off section of North Court. “Bet I can distract you during this movie.”


“And who really needs to see… what are we seeing?” She hadn’t bothered to check, the allure of cuddling up to Bridget the only incentive she needed. Hell, she’d even watch The Notebook for fuck’s sake, if it meant she got to make out with Bridget.

“Wonder Woman,” Bridget replies, turning her head towards Franky and quirking an eyebrow.

“Oh, shit!” Franky exclaims.“I love that film.”

“I’ve never seen it,” Bridget admits as they join the line to get their tickets checked.

What? Gidget, this is a Top Tier Dyke Film,” Franky says loudly, ignoring the glances from the group of private-school-looking boys in front of them.

“Oh my god,” Bridget laughs, bringing her left hand up to cover her mouth. “I thought it has a male love interest?”

“Yeah, but the Amazons are all lesbians,” Franky explains, smiling as she thinks about the incredibly muscled legion of warriors, placing her hands back on Bridget’s hips. “Fuck, they’re hot.”

“Ooh, well don’t try and distract me,” Bridget smiles as Franky’s thumbs creep up under her silk shirt to rub circles against her soft skin.

“You can multitask,” Franky begins, letting a sleazy grin spread across her face. “Your eyes can be on the screen, and your legs—”

She’s interrupted by a loud throat clearing from the blushing Student Society girl collecting tickets. Bridget laughs and gives Franky a pointed look before untangling herself and stepping forward to hand over the tickets. Bridget’s hand lingers on Franky’s shoulder throughout and the gentle pressure takes Franky’s breath away.

Once inside, they walk around to the trestle tables covered with snacks and drinks; Franky doesn’t understand the students who have time to run the Student Societies, though she supposes it’s mostly undergrads. Franky unfortunately spent her Arts degree working three jobs instead of two, so she’d have a decent amount of savings to survive Law school. It’s not like she’s got any family who can help out, unlike half the dickheads in her course.

Bridget insists on paying for their snacks despite also paying for the tickets and Franky has to force away the idea that she owes Bridget now. She bought the sushi on Monday, right? Why shouldn’t Bridget be able to pay for this date?

Franky shakes her head, trying to focus on the moment and not listen the ghosts of her mother’s parenting. She’s usually good at keeping herself decently positive, but when she’s at the best uni in the country, a place she honestly never expected to get into, it’s hard not to compare her life now to the life she once had — the life she could so easily return to.

It’d only take one mistake…

“Franky?” Bridget asks gently as she holds out two cans of Jim Beam premixed whiskey and coke.


“I asked if you were ready to go find somewhere to sit?” Bridget creases her eyebrows as she looks up at Franky.

“Oh, yeah,” Franky nods, taking the drinks and scanning the area. The courtyard is filling up quickly, despite the film not starting for another half hour. “Where do you wanna sit?”

“Hmm.” Bridget pauses, her lips quirking upwards. “Up the back?”

Franky winks suggestively. “So you do want me to distract you.”

“I never said that,” Bridget quips, walking off ahead of Franky into the mass of beanbags, weaving her way carefully through them as she carries a bag of popcorn, two choc tops, and two more cans of alcohol.

Bridget always manages to effortlessly walk with the sexiest sway of her hips, especially when she’s in heels, and tonight is no different. She’s in these fucking tight black pants that look practically painted on, and a zipped up cropped white jacket, and Franky doesn’t understand how her patients don’t bust a nut just looking at her. Bridget’s current placement is in a youth psychology clinic, and Franky swears she must be turning young girls gay just by looking at her. As it is, Franky’s thoughts are firmly back on Bridget’s pert ass, happily enjoying the view while walking beyond her.

They decide upon a pair of bean bags tucked in the back left corner of the fence, situated perfectly near an outdoor speaker and behind a large group of already-drunk students who have bunched their bean bags together, which gives Bridget and Franky ample space. Franky regards them with an amused head shake; uni students really will use any flimsy excuse to get wasted after class. How she wishes she could be so carefree, but she’s got no time for hangovers during semester when she has a high GPA to maintain.

“You’re quiet tonight,” Bridget comments, and Franky turns to her left to find Bridget observing her again.

“Am I?” Franky asks, watching Bridget’s gaze soften, and scrambles for an excuse. “Sorry. Probably just tired… I’m working on this big report for the Justice Clinic.”

“Ooh, that sounds fascinating. Tell me about it?” Bridget asks while removing her choc top from its plastic.

Franky explains her report on asylum seekers while they get themselves settled, pushing their beanbags close together and making quick work of their choc tops. Bridget asks a myriad of questions about Franky’s research, even providing some psychological insights Franky hadn’t thought of. Naturally they end up ranting about the government and especially the latest increase in student tuition. Bridget’s in the middle of telling a story about questioning the Minister for Education on ABC’s Q&A — Franky is so going to dig up that episode online later — when the large projector screen comes to life.

“You have to continue that story later,” Franky says, glancing at the screen as the opening credits of Wonder Woman begin to play. “Now prepare to have your mind blown.”

Bridget laughs at Franky’s theatrics, and Franky leans in to give her a quick, ice-cream-cold peck, before settling back into her own beanbag. She wishes they just had one big bean bag to share, but she supposes the student society isn’t trying to promote public indecency, though there are clearly a few couples around them eager to give them a run for their money.

It’s certainly tempting, with the darkness and the fence right behind them, to make a move on Bridget, but Franky reigns her impulses in.

That is, until midway through the movie, when it focuses on the cute-but-disappointingly-heterosexual relationship between Diana and the American dude. To Franky’s left, Bridget is tipping her head back to swallow the last mouthful of her second Jim Beam. Franky’s mouth goes dry at the sight of Bridget’s delicate neck stretched out before her, and she can’t resist turning, leaning over onto her beanbag to face Bridget.

“Franky,” Bridget murmurs, lowering the can and licking a droplet from her upper lip.

Bridget,” Franky retorts, shuffling forward still and inching her face closer to Bridget’s .

“What are you doing?” Bridget asks, her voice coated in gravel, as she twists in her beanbag to face Franky.

Franky reaches over with her right hand to pluck the empty can out of Bridget’s hand and drops it down onto the ground near her feet; Bridget’s hand stays in place midair and Franky grabs it, bringing Bridget’s slender fingers to her lips. She grins, watching as Bridget’s jaw drops open with a gasp as Franky sucks on the tips of her index and middle fingers. They taste like buttery popcorn, and Franky hums in delight.

“Fuck,” Bridget whimpers, curling her fingers against Franky’s bottom lip, before abruptly rising from her beanbag to pull Franky down on top of her in a delicious kiss.

Franky lands half on top of Bridget, their chests pressed together, full makeout finally ensuing. Franky’s hands tangle in Bridget’s hair as she finally climbs properly onto Bridget’s beanbag, legs either side of her gorgeous date. Bridget groans low and muffled into Franky’s mouth, her hands dancing up and down Franky’s spine. Franky stifles a gasp and arches her back under Bridget’s touch. She’s way too turned on, pressed up against Bridget like this, and she pulls back to put some space between them, holding herself up above Bridget on both hands.

Of course, all that does is give Bridget the perfect angle to peek down Franky’s top. And Bridget makes no effort to disguise where she’s looking. It’s fucking hot.

“Is that a tattoo?” Bridget asks, transfixed on the flaming dice, though Franky supposes it’s too dark for her to properly see what it is.

Franky grins, tilting herself forward to pepper kisses along Bridget’s jaw to her left ear, angling herself so that Bridget doesn’t lose her view as she whispers, “Mmhmm. I’ll show it to you another time.”

Yes, please,” Bridget whispers, dragging her hands up into Franky’s hair and most definitely ruining her ponytail.

Franky doesn’t have a response to Bridget’s encouraging enthusiasm — she’s too busy stifling a moan at the idea of actually being naked with the beautiful woman beneath her. Her cunt throbs in her tailored pants, and she briefly wonders if she should’ve changed into cheaper clothes since Bridget’s hands down her back are making quick work of creasing her shirt. She nips at Bridget’s ear lobe, teeth clinking against an expensive stud, and Bridget hisses, her chest shuddering upwards seeking more. Franky’s happy to oblige; her arms are shaking from keeping herself up, and she quickly shifts her weight down onto her left elbow so her right hand is free to explore.

Bridget’s chest rises and falls quickly as Franky drags her hand over her white jacket, finding the zip and tugging it down as quietly as possible. Thankfully there’s a loud orchestral score coming from the speakers, and it hides the telling noises they’re both producing. Slipping her fingers inside Bridget’s jacket, Franky seeks out her left breast, groaning as she palms atop the rounded, tender skin. Oh what she would fucking give to rip off the offending layers between Bridget’s tit and her hand.

Fuck,” Bridget murmurs, little more than a breath of noise.

Her hands still in the center of Franky’s back as Franky squeezes her boob, the pad of her thumb pressing lightly against the outline of Bridget’s hardened nipple. When Bridget regains an ounce of control, she pulls Franky’s head back to hers for another fierce kiss. Their kisses are sloppy now, wrought with heavy breathing as they writhe against each other, wanting more. Franky’s doing her best to be quiet and not take this any further than over-the-clothes groping, but Bridget is a delicious temptation, and Franky wants to taste… more.

She could. They’re tucked into a fence corner, and the rowdy group in front of them has been steadily drinking for the entire film… They wouldn’t even have to get fully undressed. Bridget has been more than responsive so far, too, and she’s the one aggressively shoving her tongue down Franky’s throat right now.

The allure is too great and Franky slides her hand down slowly from Bridget’s breasts to her abdomen, creeping towards the buttons at the top of her pants. Bridget’s stomach dips under her touch and her breath audibly hitches. Franky dances her fingers from side to side, bunching up the thin silk shirt on her quest to find equally silky skin.

“Franky, we can’t,” Bridget murmurs, tearing her lips away.

“I know,” Franky sighs, bringing her hand back up to cup Bridget’s jaw.

Bridget swallows under her fingers and Franky shudders, wanting to feel every movement Bridget’s body makes against hers. Alas, they’re on a beanbag surrounded by their fellow students, and now that Franky’s halted her actions, she knows that she really does want to see Bridget when she gets her off for the first time.

She grins and gives Bridget one more gentle kiss before pulling back and resettling on the beanbag next to her, slinging her left arm around Bridget’s shoulder.

“Thank you,” Bridget sighs, shuffling closer and cuddling up next to Franky for the remainder of the film.

Later, when they’re saying goodbye back over near the bike stand, a knot forms in the center of Franky’s stomach; she tries to push it down, chastising herself for already missing Bridget.

“When can I see you again?” Franky asks as she places kisses along Bridget’s neck, her hands firmly on Bridget’s ass.

She blocks the niggling voice in her mind, the one that tells her she’s being stupid, that she’s worthless, and desperate. The voice isn’t entirely wrong though. She’s being too hopeful. She should know better than to open her heart this fast when all it ever gets is burned and left for dust.

Bridget’s quick response settles her churning stomach.

“Saturday night? Vera’s going away with her boyfriend,” Bridget murmurs, fingers toying with the end of Franky’s ponytail.

Franky grins at the implications, enjoying the heady thrum in her groin. “Perfect.” She emphasises with another kiss. ”We can continue your dyke film education.”

“I look forward to it,” Bridget smiles, giving Franky’s hair a little tug.

Wait. Vera has a boyfriend? I thought she was gay?” Franky asks, lifting her head.

“Vera is… probably bi, but she won’t admit it,” Bridget says, dropping her hands to Franky’s arms and rubbing them gently.

“She and my friend Bea should swap notes,” Franky laughs.

“Oh! She’s the one with the thing with the girl sleeping on your couch, right?”

“Right,” Franky nods. “I’ll introduce ya sometime.”

The sentence slips out before she can censor herself, and immediately she panics. Is it too soon to be saying that sort of thing? Though they were basically dry humping on the beanbags earlier, this is only their third date.

“Yeah, I wanna see this overcrowded house of yours,” Bridget replies with a smile that makes Franky’s insides melt.

Come Saturday afternoon, Franky is is trying to chill the fuck out about her impending date, but every other occupant of her overcrowded house has an opinion about it. She’s in the bathroom applying her usual BB cream, eyeliner, and lip balm combo, and nobody will get out of her goddamn space. For the millionth time, she curses the lack of a lock on the upstairs bathroom door.

Liz thinks she shouldn’t wear too much eyeliner, while Doreen reckons she needs to play hard to get — heteros, seriously — and Boomer thinks she should wear her hair down, not up. No, No, and defs not, since she’ll just have to tie her hair back later when she goes down on Bridget. And fuck, she can’t wait for that.

“Get your tits out,” Allie needles, appearing behind Boomer in the doorway holding up a tight gold-sequinned scooped top that Franky wouldn't be seen dead in.

“No thanks,” Franky replies curtly while fixing her dark grey eyeshadow. She’s got on a clean pair of black jeans and a red plaid shirt, she’s not about to dress in something ridiculous when she knows Bridget doesn’t give a fuck about that. At least she’s put on her nicest bra and undies, a navy blue skimpy skin cotton set that Allie once coerced her into buying when there was a David Jones sale.

“Guys, just leave her alone, hey?” Bea says, squeezing her way inside the room to get to her own things.

Franky, Bea, and Boomer share the upstairs bathroom while Doreen, Liz, Allie, and Kaz share the downstairs one. It’s all a bit of a mess right now, but Allie and Kaz will probably be moving out over the Winter holidays, and while that means they’ll all go back to paying their regular amounts of rent, Franky reckons the peace and quiet will be nice. She loves them to bits but the terrible twosome as Franky and Boomer secretly call them can be quite… high maintenance to live with. They’re both studying Social Work and they like to implement their learnings upon everyone.

“Thank you!” Franky exclaims, gesturing grandly at Bea. “Someone in this house has a brain.”

“We’re just tryin’ to help ya get laid, Franks,” Boomer says indignantly.

Franky huffs. Her best friend always takes things to heart, and she doesn’t want to start her date angry from a tiff with her mates. “I know. But I don’t really need any help,” she grins, wagging her eyebrows for emphasis. “I am getting laid. You guys should focus on getting ready.”

“Yeah! Hurry the fuck up!” Kaz shouts from downstairs. “Our jelly shots are ready!”

The rest of the group are going to a paint party tonight, which means they’re all putting on white, tight clothes, and will probably make out with multiple strangers while dousing themselves in sticky, neon paint. Absolutely nothing about that scenario appeals to Franky, especially not the fact that they’ll have to chuck out their ruined clothes at the end of the night. Allie’s procured them some pills as well, but Franky has it on good authority that Liz is remaining sober — third year Law assignments for the win — and will make sure they’re all safe.

“Ooh, jelly shots!”

The bathroom clears out quickly, save for Bea who is fixing her own hair in the mirror next to Franky as she puts the finishing touches on her makeup. Bea’s sighing and keeps putting her hair up then down then back up again, and Franky takes a deep breath to try and stop it from getting on her nerves. She’s a little pent up, if she’s honest with herself, excited and anxious in turns when she thinks about Bridget, so the slightest intrusion on her space by her housemates is too much to deal with.

She knows everything’s going to be fine, if their movie date and their flirty texts are any indication, but she can’t help but feel jittery. Something about what she’s got with Bridget feels more real and serious than any of her other previous relationships. Her eyes drop to her stomach in the mirror, currently covered, but she knows what’s underneath, and she doesn’t know how Bridget will react. She’s tried covering her scars with a cherry blossom tattoo, but the pretty ink is just a bandaid over the crater of her fucked up childhood.

Franky exhales sharply and shakes her head, trying to clear her thoughts. It will be fine. Bridget isn’t a shallow person… It will be fine.

Deeming herself ready to go, Franky packs her things up into her makeup bag and shoves it into the cupboard under the sink, and turns her attentions to Bea.

“What’s up, Red?” Franky asks as Bea pulls her hair out of a ponytail for the third time.

“I…” Bea huffs and glances at the open door behind Franky, shuffling on her feet before moving abruptly to shut it.

Franky glances up at the ceiling, hoping Bea isn’t about to have some kind of breakdown. No one’s due for their period for at least another week, and though she’s still running early for her date, Franky doesn’t have the time to talk Bea through whatever Allie-related problem she’s pretending she doesn’t have.

“You’re a lesbian,” Bea starts once the door is shut.

“No shit, Sherlock,” Franky deadpans, crossing her arms and leaning back against the sink.

Franky,” Bea hisses, her voice laced with the kiwi accent that only creeps through when she’s pissed off.

“Alright, alright.” Franky holds her hands up, palms out. “I’m listening.”

“So… does my hair look better up or down? What do… girls… find hotter?” Bea mumbles.

“You mean… what does Allie find hotter?”

“Fuck off—”

“Red, c’mon. I know you like ‘er.” Franky shoves her hands in her pockets to keep herself from gesturing in frustration. Bea has a habit of making simple situations unnecessarily complicated, but she knows that right now Bea can’t listen to reason. She sighs. “Look. It’s really not a big deal, but I reckon tie your hair up. That way you can dance without it getting sweaty, and if you guys end up making out then your neck is free…”

“Right,” Bea nods, pursing her lips and glancing down at her hands. She flicks the hairtie on her wrist and looks back up at Franky. “And… uh… how do lesbians like to kiss?”

Jesus, want me to demonstrate?” Franky exclaims at Bea’s hopelessness, then softens when she sees Bea defensively grip her elbows with her hands. “Just kiss her like you’d kiss anyone. A little tongue, bite her lip, hands in her hair, on her ass, that kinda thing. Let her lead you if you’re so worried.”

“But what if—”

“Dude, stop worrying. She likes you… and frankly I can’t believe you guys haven’t hooked up yet. She’s been living here two months.” Franky grins and reaches out to poke Bea’s shoulder. “Useless, absolutely useless.”

“Oh get fucked,” Bea laughs, swatting Franky’s hand away.

“I intend to!” Franky retorts with a lascivious lick of her lips as she heads for the bathroom door, Bea’s laughter all the reassurance she needs to know her friend isn’t going to let her insecurities rule her evening.

Not that she’ll admit it to Allie, but she ends up taking her fashion advice on board and swaps her red plaid for a tight, dark green tank top that hugs her curves and shows off her tattoos. Franky pulls her warm fleece-lined black coat over the top and makes sure she’s got her keys, phone, headphones and wallet before creeping out of the house past her pre-drinking friends.

She’s on the number 19 tram towards the city, scrolling through her Facebook feed, shiny bottle of chardonnay in hand when she gets a text from Bea.

Thank youuuuu x100000 for putting up with my shit. Love you! Have fun. Xxx

She types back an equally sappy response, hits send, and then shoots a message to Bridget as well, letting her know she’s on her way. They had settled on 8pm since Franky wanted to eat dinner with her housemates, and honestly this is better ‘cause they’ll be able to cuddle up on Bridget’s couch with wine and a movie from the get go. She smiles to herself and rests her forehead against the glass of the tram window, drumming her fingers along the bottle, relaxing into the steady rumble of the old vehicle as it speeds away from Brunswick down Royal Parade.

Chapter Text

After an easy walk cutting through campus and navigating to Bridget’s place without consulting her phone’s map, Franky finds herself outside a cute little white terraced house on Drummond St, tucked behind trees, the way all of them are. It’s somewhat strange finally putting a visual to the address she’s known for a month now. She steps up onto the porch and swings the old iron doorknob with a grin, taking pleasure in knocking it against the thick wooden door. She loves old shit like this— would love to live in a house with history one day.

“Franky, hey,” Bridget greets, opening the door and sounding somewhat out of breath. “Come in… sorry for the mess… I got sidetracked.”

Franky raises an eyebrow teasingly and steps inside, quickly taking in the colourfully-decorated, plant-filled living room. It doesn’t look messy to Franky, though she supposes her sharehouse is messier than most, and she’s been spending all her spare time studying in her room and not doing nearly enough laundry. In her defence, they only have two weeks of classes left and her first exam is in twenty-three days on June 4th, the first fuckin’ day of the exam period.

“Cute place,” Franky assesses.

“Thanks,” Bridget says, shutting the door, and Franky turns away from the cute decor to take a proper look at Bridget.

Bridget’s hair is in a messy bun and she’s wearing blue jeans with a dark red silk cami top that reveals toned arms, and clings to her chest, and— fuck. She’s not wearing a bra. Franky’s mind screeches to a halt and she tries not to stare, though judging by the smirk on Bridget’s lips she thinks she’s been caught out. Franky grins and closes the distance between them, cursing the bottle of wine she’s still holding, because she can only grasp Bridget’s firm ass with one hand. Bridget sighs against her lips and wraps her arms around Franky’s neck, content to kiss Franky for a minute or so before pulling back.

“You look hot,” Franky murmurs, her eyes shamelessly raking over Bridget’s body.

“Mmm, so do you,” Bridget replies, withdrawing her arms and letting her fingertips drag down Franky’s neck and shoulders, making her shiver. Relaxed in her own space, with no one else around them, Bridget seems friskier than usual. Franky’s not complaining; she loves a girl who can hold her own against her brazen flirting.

Hooking a finger through one of Franky’s unused belt-loops, Bridget tugs on it and tilts her head back towards the rest of the house. “Let’s open that wine.”

Franky swallows, untangling her arms from around Bridget and letting her lips settle into a grin as Bridget lightly tugs her belt loop, guiding her further inside the house. Franky’s usually the one taking the lead, but it’s honestly fucking sexy that Bridget seems to be taking over tonight. She exhales slowly, reminding herself that it’s not good date etiquette to jump someone’s bones within a minute of being in their house, and glances around at the open plan living room and kitchen.

Being an old terraced house, the floorboards squeak under their footsteps, and they have to navigate around the couch to get to the kitchen. It’s a long, skinny house, with the living room, dining table, and kitchen all laid out in linear succession after another. The skinny wooden staircase which must lead to the bedrooms comes down in the back left corner of the kitchen, and they’ve got custom shelving built underneath it, which is where Bridget collects two wine glasses. Franky puts the bottle on the shiny black wooden table and shrugs off her jacket, taking her surroundings in again. Her eyes land on the white door at the back right corner of the house, which she assumes must lead to a yard. She briefly wonders how much money Bridget shells out a week for this place, before jutting her hip against the table, trying to figure out what mess Bridget was apologising for earlier. The place is neat, and despite being chock-full of furniture, it still feels open and inviting.

“What did you get sidetracked with?” Franky asks, turning her attention back to Bridget as she walks over with the glasses.

“Oh, I was researching for one of my final essays and I found a new article on the efficacy of group therapy for geriatric depression, which isn’t even close to my research topic, but it was enthralling,” Bridget explains as Franky unscrews the wine and pours them each a glass; her bartending skills paired nicely with the pressing need to keep her hands busy.

“It was enthralling, was it?” Franky teases, handing Bridget her glass and clinking them before taking a sip.

She bought a bottle that they sell at Down Under, so she hopes it’s decent, but she’s certainly no wine connoisseur. She quite likes the taste, but aside from during some occasional law-related events, like her summer internship, she and her friends are much more likely to go for beers, pre-mixed drinks, and sneaky flasks filled with cheap spirits.

“Shut up,” Bridget laughs, taking another mouthful. “Mmm. This is good.”

“You like it? I’ve only ever bought goon before,” Franky admits.

Bridget wrinkles her nose. “Eugh. The last time I had goon I munted all over my dad’s backseat when he picked me up from the party. Never again.”

Franky laughs, her eyebrows raised high as she tries to picture that. It’s not hard considering the state she saw Bridget in at Down Under, but even then, Bridget wasn’t spewing her guts out.

“The last time I had goon we were playing Goon of Fortune in the backyard during our annual O Week party,” Franky explains, thinking back to the hot summer day in February. She’d been moping about thinking of her ex, Erica, and had ended up having some rather terrible drunken sex with Jodie, which they no longer talk about. “Booms got so trashed she tried to swing from the clothesline herself and ended up breaking it…”

“Oh, god,” Bridget giggles, taking another sip of her wine before widening her eyes. “Shit, I’m a bad host. Are you hungry? I know you ate, but—”

“Nah, I’m good,” Franky says, grabbing her arm before she can turn towards the kitchen. She is hungry, but not for food, and she strokes her thumb over Bridget’s bicep as her mind clouds with thoughts of what she might be eating soon.

“Ok… let me know. I’ve got snacks for the movie,” Bridget says, her arm twitching under Franky’s touch.

“Great,” Franky grins, squeezing Bridget’s arm and pulling her closer, wanting to up the ante. She takes a mouthful of the sweet wine, watching Bridget’s eyes drop to her lips, and licks them after she swallows. “Do you wanna watch the movie now?”

Bridget blinks dumbly, like she hasn’t quite registered Franky’s question, and Franky grins, lifting her left eyebrow a little.

“Yeah… sure,” Bridget nods, sounding dazed.

Franky happily pokes her tongue out between her teeth before releasing her grasp on Bridget’s arm and squeezing past her, heading back towards the dark blue couch. They’re going to watch Imagine Me and You, which Bridget somehow hasn’t seen before — she claims to prefer dramas and documentaries, fuckin’ weirdo — and while Franky would prefer to stay eyefucking and flirting, she thinks the sooner they get the movie watching out of the way, the sooner she’ll be in Bridget’s bed. She kicks her shoes off and relaxes onto the couch, stretching her right arm out along the back so Bridget can settle in beside her once she’s got the movie started.

Only a half an hour into the film and Franky’s really not paying attention, no matter how cute Lena Headey may be. She knows she should wait for the end of the film, but fuck Bridget is pressed up against her, head resting against Franky’s shoulder and she’s got to be able to feel the rapid rise and fall of Franky’s chest. Bridget also seems to be losing interest in the tv, her left hand is lazily drawing circles along Franky’s thigh and sending little ripples of pleasure to Franky’s cunt.

All Franky’s thinking about is how she wants to kiss her way down Bridget’s neck, and keep kissing down until she can peel her silk top off and lick her chest. For a flimsy, loose top, it’s surprisingly not slipped down at all, but as Franky tilts her head to take another look at Bridget’s cleavage, she realises her nipples have hardened. She hears a hitch in Bridget’s breathing and a moment later, Bridget’s looking up at her, lips parted in an unintentionally seductive way.

Franky can’t hold back any longer. She moves quickly, kissing Bridget hot and hard and climbs over to straddle her. Her hands lightly grip Bridget’s jaw, keeping her steady as Franky devours her mouth.

“Fuck,” Bridget gasps, hands settling on Franky’s hips, short fingernails sliding under cotton and digging into Franky’s skin.

“Mmm,” Franky sighs, rotating her hips as she settles above Bridget, sliding her hands slowly down over Bridget’s smooth shoulders, thumbing the thin straps of her cami.

All the moments leading up to this one, jesus, she had just wanted to take Bridget, constantly in a state overcome by an impulsive rush of desire. But now that she’s actually here, kissing Bridget, she feels much more in control; Her cunt is throbbing in her jeans but it’ll have to wait— her focus right now is all Bridget.

“Franky,” Bridget groans, her hands sliding around to Franky’s ass, and Franky gasps under her touch.

“Gidge,” Franky murmurs, breaking their kiss and dipping her head to trail her lips down Bridget’s neck, smiling when Bridget trembles as she kisses a spot underneath her left ear. Just as Franky suspected based on Bridget’s reactions Wednesday night, it’s a particularly sensitive part of her neck. Franky sucks lightly on it, being careful not to give Bridget any visible hickeys.

Grasping the thin straps of Bridget’s cami between her index fingers and thumbs, Franky follows them down to the top hem of the thin shirt, then slowly splays her hands and grasps Bridget’s covered breasts. They feel so goddamn good against her palms, soft and just big enough to squeeze, Bridget’s peaked nipples poking firmly against her touch.

“Oh, fuck,” Bridget groans, arching her back, and Franky sucks in a breath, loving how responsive Bridget is.

She sits back, giving Bridget a smile as she reaches to lift the silk top up. Bridget bites her lip, holding her arms up so Franky can pull the sensual garment away and reveal an even better sight.

“Shit,” Franky hisses, shuffling back further so she can dip her head and give Bridget’s bare breasts the attention of her mouth. “You’re so fucking sexy.”

“Thanks,” Bridget gasps, pinkish hue creeping across her chest, as she throws her head back against the couch and laces her fingers around the back of Franky’s neck.

Franky peppers kisses in rapid succession along Bridget’s pert breasts, inching in towards her nipples but pulling away at the last moment to scrape her teeth against the undersides of her soft mounds. Bridget’s breathing is becoming increasingly shallow, and when Franky finally sucks her left nipple into her mouth, she whimpers and practically sends Franky orgasming on the spot.

“Mmm,” Franky groans, releasing her grasp on Bridget’s flushed tits and sliding her hands south, reaching denim as she moves her mouth to lick Bridget’s right breast.

Being upright proves difficult for undoing Bridget’s jeans, and Franky reluctantly detaches herself for a few seconds so she can push Bridget down to lie along the length of the couch, then climbs back on top with a grin.

“Better?” Bridget asks, wiggling her hips and looking up at her through dilated, darker-than-usual eyes.

“Oh yeah,” Franky nods, dipping her head to resume lavishing attention on Bridget’s tits when Bridget’s hand shoots out to stop her.

“Wait… I wanna take your top off,” Bridget breathes.

Franky grins at the desperation in Bridget’s tone but she shakes her head. “Later.”

Looking down at Bridget’s sprawled out, topless body, Franky feels yet another jolt of pleasure to her cunt. Fucking hell, Bridget is hot, her stomach toned and her skin smooth and dotted intermittently with dark freckles. She’s got a mole on the rise of her left breast and it’s all too much to fuckin’ process. Franky’s gonna need hours, days, to learn Bridget’s body entirely.

She makes quick work of getting the blue jeans off, suddenly desperate to get her mouth on Bridget’s cunt. Her pulse quickens as she reveals Bridget’s white lace undies, and Franky moves her mouth straight to Bridget’s inner thighs.

“Fuck,” Bridget groans, hips bucking up against Franky’s mouth.

Franky chuckles, happily settling herself in between Bridget’s legs, now able to fully smell her heady arousal. She nips the delicate skin that joins Bridget’s thighs to her pelvis, chin brushing against lace. Franky dances her hands back up to Bridget’s breasts, thumbing her small nipples as she licks slowly towards Bridget’s cunt. It’s almost damn near impossible to resist the temptation to shove the flimsy material to the side and dive straight in.

But Franky forces herself to take a breath, determined to take her time; Bridget fucking deserves that, and the payoff will be that much sweeter. Franky directs her kisses to Bridget’s toned thighs, and Bridget writhes beneath her as she swirls her tongue around soft skin, slowly edging closer to her lace-covered pussy. Bridget’s groans are growing more impatient and Franky smirks to herself, finally reaching to peel down Bridget’s undies to reveal her glistening cunt, framed by a small strip of dark blonde hair and looking absolutely tempting.

“Franky,” Bridget gasps, bucking her hips upward as Franky sits up to quickly pull the undies down her legs and toss them over her shoulder.

All clothing now removed, Franky surveys Bridget’s naked body, beautiful and stretched out beneath her.

“Gorgeous,” she murmurs, settling herself back down on her stomach, thanking the long couch, as she licks her way from Bridget’s right thigh up to her cunt.

Franky grins, pausing for a moment to make Bridget squirm, before finally swiping her tongue along Bridget’s slit, enjoying the gasp and the shudder she receives in turn. God, she tastes so fucking good. Franky splays her hands across both of Bridget’s thighs, holding them apart to focus on tongueing Bridget’s labia and exposed, swollen clit. Every time the point of her tongue flicks against the hardened bud, Bridget’s breath hitches in her throat, and Franky can’t get enough.

“Jesus, fuck,” Bridget says, her hands finding Franky’s head and pushing on it gently. “More.”

“Mmm,” Franky hums, loving Bridget’s demands.

She happily drags the short nails of her right hand up towards Bridget’s center, feeling her own arousal thrumming between her legs. She gives Bridget’s delicious cunt a few long swipes of her tongue, pressing into Bridget’s slick folds, before following with her index finger. Bridget groans as Franky’s finger slides easily inside, and Franky quickly adds a second digit, curling them towards her along Bridget’s hot, slippery walls.

“Yes,” Bridget gasps, wiggling her hips and tightening her grip on Franky’s ponytail.

“Like that?” Franky murmurs, continuing to curl her fingers inside Bridget’s dripping cunt and flicking her tongue against her clit. Bridget tastes fucking delicious.

“Mmhmm,” Bridget squeaks as Franky thrusts her fingers more forcefully inside her.

The little noises she’s making are beyond anything Franky could have imagined, and by their frequency, Franky gathers Bridget is close. She’s not particularly loud but she’s clearly losing control as Franky increases the speed of her fingers and tongue.

Bridget is dripping wet, her arousal now spread all around Franky’s mouth and hands, and Franky realizes that she would happily drown in Bridget.

Franky feels as though every one of her senses is magnified, on fire. Her own body is throbbing— every time she hears a loud slick in the air when she thrusts her fingers back inside Bridget, or slurp as she licks Bridget’s soaked pussy, or a whimpered groan above her head. Every time she tastes another bead of Bridget’s arousal that leaks out onto her tongue. Every time she feels a slight twitch or pulse inside of Bridget’s cunt.

It’s all too fucking much.

With a shudder and a loud moan, Bridget’s thighs clamp down around Franky’s neck and the hands in Franky’s hair grasp more firmly. Franky grins, sucking harshly on Bridget’s clit and enjoying the way her hips buck up. Bridget’s positively writhing now, exhaling hard and fast as Franky drives her two fingers deep inside her pulsing cunt.

Needing to feel more of Bridget’s body rocking beneath her touch, Franky reaches her left hand back up to squeeze Bridget’s right breast, grinning when Bridget arches her back and pushes her chest out against her hand.

Yes, yes, yes,” Bridget gasps, her hips bucking. “Fuck, Franky.”

The sound of Bridget moaning her name on the verge of an orgasm is the hottest thing Franky’s ever heard. Taking Bridget’s noises as an indication to keep doing exactly what she’s doing, Franky just squeezes, sucks, and thrusts until Bridget’s shuddering like crazy beneath her.

With a drawn out, breathy moan Bridget grinds her slippery centre down onto Franky’s mouth and fingers, her own fingers digging into Franky’s shoulders in ecstasy. Her thighs clench around Franky’s shoulders as she arches up off the couch, her cunt pulsing around Franky’s fingers.

Franky slows her movements, letting Bridget ride out the waves of her orgasm. She happily watches Bridget’s writhing, sweaty body as she comes, wanting to burn the memory into her mind forever. Holy fuck. It’s too much to put into words, and Franky’s undies are a thousand times more soaked right now, she thinks her brain might actually short-circuit.

“Mmm, fuck,” Bridget groans, eventually flopping back onto the couch with a sigh, her arms sprawled out behind her head.

“Good?” Franky asks, withdrawing herself from Bridget’s cunt and rising up to press a wet kiss to Bridget’s left hip bone.

“Oh, yeah,” Bridget giggles, smiling happily as Franky kisses her way up her torso, scattering kisses along her glistening skin. Franky hovers above her, enjoying the relaxed glow and wide smile on Bridget’s face. After a moment, Bridget murmurs, “Come here,” and tugs Franky down for a kiss.

Bridget eagerly slips her tongue between Franky’s lips, and it’s fucking sexy to think that she’s tasting herself as they make out, slowly at first, then with growing hunger. Bridget hums, and Franky feels her fingers starting to roam her shoulders, sending shivers down her spine. Bridget loops her legs around Franky’s hips and Franky grins, nipping at her bottom lip and rocking her jean-clad groin down against Bridget’s naked, wet pussy.

“Mmm, your turn,” Bridget mumbles, tearing her mouth away from Franky’s to place gentle, messy kisses along Franky’s neck.

Franky shudders, tired arms giving out, and collapses on top of Bridget; her breasts squish between them, aching to be touched. Bridget’s tongue finds its way to Franky’s shoulder, and the huff of annoyance that escapes her lips as she comes into contact with the fabric of Franky’s tank top instead of skin sends ripples of pleasure down Franky’s neck. Her hands scrabble insistently around Franky to pull the tight cotton fabric up, exposing Franky’s abdomen to the air. Her fingers brush against Franky’s left hip, up along her waist over the numb areas of her scars.

“Wait,” Franky gasps, screwing her eyes shut against the influx of memories threatening to invade her mind.

She wants this. She needs this. It doesn’t matter that they’re out in the open, exposed, illuminated too brightly by the tv and the pink-hued lamp in the corner. It’s Bridget. She’s caring, and understanding, and she’s probably seen worse… She won’t, surely—

Franky,” Bridget whispers, left hand suddenly cupping Franky’s cheek and gently pushing her head back, putting some distance between them.

Franky’s eyes snap open to see Bridget scanning her face with creased brows, right hand withdrawing from her waist to resettle on her left shoulder.

“Sorry…” Franky exhales the breath she didn’t realise she was holding. “I—”

“It’s okay,” Bridget smiles, her gaze softening. “We can stop, if you want.”

“No, I just…” Franky takes a deep breath, glancing out around the room. Focusing on the song coming from the movie, the colourful furniture, the solid feel of Bridget beneath her, and not on the decrepit, cold house that haunts her when she least wants it to. She’s not there anymore, she’s safe. This is safe.

Bridget waits patiently beneath her, her thumbs lightly stroking Franky’s skin, and fuck, now Franky’s chest feels tight for a whole host of other reasons.

“Can we go to your room?” Franky asks eventually, hating the quiet tremor in her voice when she speaks.

“Yeah, of course,” Bridget smiles. “Whatever you want.”

Franky can’t help the smile that breaks across her face at Bridget’s reassurance. It’s been a while since Franky’s slept with someone outside of random hook-ups, where she can skirt the problem of baring her skin by fucking in the dark, and checking out as soon as it’s over, never having to deal with names, or questions.. She’s certainly never experienced this level of trust and openness from anyone else before. Feeling uncomfortable with the sudden intensity of the situation, Franky quickly dips her head to kiss Bridget before standing up and flashing a grin, eyeing Bridget’s still stretched-out body.

“You should just be naked all the time, Gidge,” she quips.

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Bridget laughs, staying put for a moment and wiggling her eyebrows before standing up languidly and grabbing Franky’s hand. “Come on.”

Bridget leads Franky through her house, still sans clothing and making no effort to cover up; god, her confidence is such a turn on. As they walk up the U-shaped stairs, Franky checks out Bridget’s ass, feeling her temporarily-reduced arousal come back in a rush. At the top of the stairs, Bridget pushes open the first door on the left, revealing her bedroom. It’s dimly lit by a handful of candles and fairy lights wrapped around the metal bed frame against the left wall.

The sweet smell of passionfruit wafts over Franky as she takes in the space. In front of her, along the right wall there’s a shoe rack full of heeled boots next to a white minimalist desk tucked into the far right corner. On the wall opposite the door, lime green curtains are closed over a window, and to Franky’s left it looks like there’s a long, large wardrobe. More importantly, there’s a smiling, naked Bridget turning to face her in front of a double bed.

“Fuck, you’re hot,” Franky murmurs, her focus honing in on Bridget once again as  her cunt throbs in her jeans.

“So are you,” Bridget says, reaching her arms up and looping them around Franky’s neck. “So fucking hot…”

Franky’s hands fall to Bridget’s hips and she bites her lip as they meet each other’s dilated eyes. She sucks in a breath, knowing she needs to just go for it and push past her fears. Fall over the cliff, Bridget will catch her.

“Touch me,” Franky says breathlessly. She dips her head to kiss Bridget again, sliding her hands around to Bridget’s ass. She needs to keep her hands and mind busy, so that she doesn’t think too hard.

“Mmm,” Bridget sighs, dragging her hands down from Franky’s neck to her shoulders, edging slowly down over her chest.

Bridget’s hands cup Franky’s breasts through her tight top and bra, and Franky instinctively arches her chest into them, wanting more. She exhales against Bridget’s lips, feeling more and more comfortable and aroused as the minutes go by. Sighing in pleasure as Bridget’s hands grasp her breasts with increasing pressure, Franky’s need for Bridget skyrockets.

Deciding to start with her jeans, since her legs don’t bother her, Franky withdraws her hands from Bridget’s ass to undo the button and unzip her fly. Bridget quickly drops her hands to Franky’s hips to help her push the denim down her legs. Franky bends over and finally rids herself of her jeans, kicking them behind her along the polished wooden floor.

“I love your legs,” Bridget murmurs as Franky straightens up, skimming her hands over Franky’s bare thighs and up to her blue silk-covered cunt.

“Yeah?” Franky replies, trying not to buckle at the knees under the light brush of Bridget’s hand over her mound.

“Oh yeah,” Bridget growls, sliding her hands around to the backs of Franky’s thighs, squeezing her just under her ass, then roaming higher. “And your bum.”

“Mmm,” Franky sighs, placing her hands on Bridget’s hips and ducking her head to nibble on Bridget’s neck.

The throb in her groin becomes more and more insistent with every grasp of Bridget’s hands on her ass, every skim of her fingers over her clothed pussy, every dip of her fingertips beneath her undies. Bridget’s movements are becoming faster, firmer. Both breathing heavily now, Bridget shifts forward to pull Franky flush against her, kissing her way up Franky’s neck. Her hands slide under the sides of Franky’s skimpy undies, thumbs hooking into the waistband.

“Can I take these off?” Bridget asks, her breath tickling Franky’s ear.

“Yeah,” Franky says softly, heart fluttering in her chest as Bridget’s thoughtfulness.

Bridget lets out a happy hum and kisses back down to the neckline of Franky’s green tank top, before dropping to her knees as she peels Franky’s undies down. Franky bites her lip and closes her eyes, feeling exposed, but then Bridget’s hands return to her hips, rubbing in calming circles. She focuses on the soft touch, reminding herself that it’ll be fine, she just needs to trust Bridget.

A moment later and Bridget presses a kiss to Franky’s outer lips, making her groan as pleasure travels through her core. Franky’s eyes snap open and she looks down, her breath catching at the base of her throat. Bridget’s mouth is on her naked cunt and she’s looking up at Franky with hungry, lust-filled eyes.

“Holy fuck,” Franky groans, carding her hands through Bridget’s hair, now barely held in its bun.

“You taste good,” Bridget says against her, lips brushing Franky’s aching clit.

Franky can barely process that fucking sexy statement before Bridget is lapping at her cunt, dragging her tongue in long swipes between her labia and up over her clit. It’s the hottest thing Franky’s ever seen, and she moans loudly as each touch makes her arousal increase tenfold. She doesn’t know how much longer she’ll be able to stand upright at this rate, but the sight of Bridget eating her out on her knees is definitely something she wants to prolong. Bridget’s hands roam her ass and legs, her mouth now gently sucking on her clit.

“Fuck, yes,” Franky gasps, tugging on Bridget’s hair, completely overwhelmed by the intensity of pleasure.

“Mmm,” Bridget hums, her eyes crinkling as she smiles up at Franky.

“I…” Franky loses her train of thought as Bridget sucks particularly strongly on her clit. It feels so fucking good, and watching Bridget is so fucking hot, but it’s somehow not enough. Franky wants to be naked, pressed up against Bridget, underneath Bridget.

She tugs on Bridget’s shoulders, and Bridget raises an eyebrow up at her, tongue pressed out against her clit, before realising what Franky wants and standing up. Her hands remain on Franky’s hips, fingertips digging in gently, and the lower half of her face glistens with Franky’s arousal as she gazes at her.

“Tell me what you want, baby,” Bridget murmurs.

Bridget’s self-assuredness is such a turn on, Franky can’t help but kiss her fiercely in lieu of replying. With Bridget’s mouth comfortingly back against hers, Franky reaches for Bridget’s hands and guides them to the hem of her tank top. Bridget’s fingers slowly creep underneath, pausing after a few inches, and Franky’s abs rise and fall under her touch. She exhales shakily into their kiss, then breaks apart to pull on her top, lifting it off as fast as she can.

A single beat of anxiety courses through Franky as she watches Bridget’s face carefully, but it dissipates almost immediately when there are no signs of disgust, or pity, or anything of the sort. Instead Bridget’s hands trail up Franky’s sides to grasp her breasts in the soft skimpy blue bra she’s wearing. Franky shudders under the touch, desperate to have her breasts played with.

“Fucking hell, you’re sexy,” Bridget groans.

A laugh escapes Franky and she wraps her arms around to grab Bridget’s ass, squeezing firmly. “Thanks,” she says, smile plastered on her face. She knows she’s got a good body, but to hear Bridget say she’s sexy even with all her imperfections on display is… well, she feels lighter.

“Fuck, your breasts are… wow,” Bridget murmurs, dipping her head to kiss her way down Franky’s neck, ripples of pleasure spreading down Franky’s chest.

Franky’s nipples are hard peaks in her soft cotton bra, and she’s thankful for its deep plunge, because while it doesn’t offer the most support, it gives Bridget excellent access to her cleavage.

“Oh, yes,” Franky groans, tangling her hands in Bridget’s hair as Bridget’s mouth licks and nips all over the valley of her breasts, while her hands squeeze and thumb her nipples over the thin fabric.

“Mmm,” Bridget moans, nipping at Franky’s left breast, right on top of the edge of her tattoo peeking out. “Can I take this off?”

“Mmhmm,” Franky hums, closing her eyes as every touch of Bridget’s lips and tongue send her closer towards orgasm.

Bridget makes quick work of the back clasp, and practically tears the straps from Franky’s shoulders in a hurry to get her topless. With her left hand she soon grasps Franky’s right breast and envelops the swollen nipple with her mouth, swirling her tongue around it while her right hand traces the tattoo on Franky’s left breast. Franky groans as she feels the ache in her cunt grow, and she thinks there’s arousal dripping down her thigh.

“Dice on fire… hot,” Bridget murmurs before switching to give her attention to Franky’s left breast.

“Fuck,” Franky moans, suddenly feeling dizzy. She’s so, so close that it’ll probably only take a few minutes for her to come once Bridget touches her clit again. “Bed,” she husks.

“Spin,” Bridget directs, dropping her hands to Franky’s hips as she helps turn them around.

Franky’s legs hit the bed and with a gentle push from Bridget she falls backwards. A moment later she’s lying on her back, Bridget crawling on top of her and eagerly kissing her breasts, right hand roaming Franky’s side and down to her clit. It’s like she’s a fucking mind-reader, touching Franky’s clit in small, circular movements, her mouth lavishing Franky’s breasts with licks and sucks.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Franky gasps, tangling her hands in Bridget’s hair as arousal shoots through her.

“Like that?” Bridget asks, her lips moving against Franky’s left nipple.

“Mmhmm.” Franky can't do more than moan in the affirmative because Bridget’s fingers are driving her crazy. She’s overloaded with pleasure, and any moment now she’s going to explode. She tangles her hands in Bridget’s hair, grinding her hips down against Bridget’s hand, gasping when Bridget speeds up her movements.

Franky closes her eyes, letting the wet sounds of Bridget stroking her clit and sucking on her breasts wash over her as she gets closer and closer to the edge. She feels so fucking incredible, and it only takes a few more seconds for her orgasm to ripple through her, pulses of pleasure taking over her body. She moans softly, too overcome to do anything but shudder and relax into the mattress.

“Yes, baby,” Bridget murmurs, her fingers still slowly circling Franky’s clit and prolonging her orgasm.

“Fuck,” Franky gasps, the word little more than an exhale.

Her mind is so taken over by lust, that even after her orgasm subsides and she’s left in its delicious afterglow, she’s unable to move. When she does eventually regain focus, Bridget is hovering over her with a smile on her face, and Franky happily pulls her down for a kiss.

“Mmm,” Franky sighs against Bridget’s lips, enjoying the feel of Bridget’s warm body pressed against hers. “Thank you.”

“Thank you,” Bridget replies, breaking their kiss so she can shift to cuddle up against Franky’s left side, wrapping her left arm over Franky’s stomach.

Franky tenses up for a moment but then exhales, reminding herself that Bridget clearly doesn’t care about her scars. She’s not particularly experienced at post-sex cuddling, but god this is nice. She lies there contently for a few minutes, listening to Bridget breathe and smiling to herself at how good this all feels. Bridget makes it so easy to relax and forget about everything else but her, and she’s fucking hot and skilled too, Franky feels like she’s hit the jackpot.

Reluctant to leave Bridget’s warm embrace, but knowing her time is up, Franky slowly extracts herself and stands up. On the bed behind her, Bridget is like some beautiful goddess straight out of a movie, glowing under the soft fairy lights. She locates her bra and top first, thankfully, and is bending down to pick them up when Bridget makes a sleepy noise and sits up.

“Do you want something comfier?”

“What?” Franky asks, standing up to face her and momentarily getting distracted by the sight of Bridget naked with messy sex hair.

“I’ve got some old softball t shirts that should fit you,” Bridget continues.

Franky frowns, holding her bra and top in front of her. “Nah, it’s ok,” she murmurs as she looks around the room. “Where did my jeans go?”

“Jeans?” Bridget’s brows crease together and her lips purse for a moment in confusion, then, she clarifies, “Baby, you can sleep over.”

“Oh,” Franky pauses, having never actually considered that option.

“If you want to,” Bridget adds quickly, running her left hand through her hair.

“Yes, yeah… I do,” Franky says, a smile creeping onto her face.

“Great.” Bridget smiles.

“So… softball t shirts, hey?” Franky raises an eyebrow. “You’re such a dyke.”

Bridget laughs deeply, climbing off the bed and going over to her wardrobe to rummage through her t shirts. Franky takes the opportunity to check out her toned bum — she can’t get enough — and take a deep breath. She needs her stupid lingering nerves to piss the fuck off.

“Here ya go. One dykey softball t shirt.” Bridget winks, stepping across the room towards Franky with a dark t shirt held outstretched. “I’m gonna go to the bathroom.”

Franky takes the t shirt with a smile, and then grabs Bridget’s arm before she can walk past her. She leans down and gives her a gentle kiss before letting go. “Thanks.”

Bridget bites her lip and gives Franky possibly the cutest smile in the world, her nose crinkling, before striding out of the room. Franky pulls the t shirt over her head and then takes the time to check out more of Bridget’s room. The shoe rack on the wall opposite the end of her bed is overflowing, and to its left the modern desk in the corner is piled high with textbooks. There’s a cork board above the desk filled with photos, ticket stubs, and the like.

In the far left corner of the room, on the left side of the bed, there are two small red candles flickering brightly. Franky squeezes past the curtains and walks over to inhale the passion fruit scent wafting out of the candles. As she’s bent over she notices a paperback copy of Persuasion by Jane Austen, with a rainbow bookmark tucked between its well-worn pages. Franky smiles to herself, filing the information into her mental Bridget folder.

Hearing the sound of the toilet flushing down the hall, Franky walks back around to the end of the bed to make it less obvious that she was snooping. She regards the world map dotted with heart-shaped thumb tacks on the wall above the shoe rack, listening to the quiet sound of the bathroom sink running. There must be hearts pressed into at least a dozen countries and Franky bites her lip. She’d love to travel overseas but she can’t afford it. She vaguely remembers going to Bali or somewhere as a kid when her dad was still around— got her hair braided and everything, and her mum dressed her in a frilly pink kids bikini. Of course, that was before she started burning her with cigarettes.

“Ooh, that looks good,” Bridget says, reappearing in the doorway.

“What?” Franky asks, her mind still stuck in the past until the sight of Bridget, now dressed in a cute singlet and boy shorts, jolts her back to reality in the best way.

“My shirt,” Bridget elaborates, gesturing at the garment.

“Oh, yeah. Thanks,” Franky smiles, looking down at it. “Wouldn’t this be too big on you?”

“I may have bought it hoping I’d grow taller…” Bridget admits.

A bark of laughter escapes Franky and she steps towards Bridget, tugging on the hem of her singlet to pull them flush together.

“Nuh, Gidget. You’re perfect,” Franky smiles, dipping her head for a kiss before asking, “Where’s the bathroom?”

“It’s the next door down the hall,” Bridget says. “Don’t stub your toe on the washing machine.”

“Okay,” Franky says, an amused smile crossing her face.

“Also, did we wanna finish the movie on my laptop? It’s not too late,” Bridget asks. “Or we could—”

“Yeah, sounds good,” Franky says, peeling away from Bridget to go find the bathroom.

Twenty minutes later and Franky’s eyes drift shut, her body succumbing to sleep as Lena Headey explains the meaning of lilies, and Bridget’s chest steadily rises and falls beneath her head.

Chapter Text

When Franky wakes in the morning it’s to darkness and the warm press of Bridget’s left arm across her hip. An unbridled smile spreads across her face, and she rolls onto her left side to face Bridget, currently sleeping on her right side with her arm draped across Franky. There isn’t enough light creeping between the thick curtains to make out her features, but Franky imagines she looks content.

Franky’s phone is downstairs so she has no idea of the actual time, but she’s not one for sleeping in. Years of foster family hopping and then busting her butt at uni has taught her to grab sleep whenever possible, but also not to waste time on it. Right now, she’d love to sleep some more cuddled up to Bridget, but she knows that won’t happen. And from the looks of it, it doesn’t seem likely that Bridget will rouse any time soon, and she doesn’t want to be a creep just watching her sleep.

After shucking on her undies and jeans, Franky pads down the creaky stairs to the kitchen. It’s a little chilly, but after confirming the time as 8:30am, she sets about searching the pantry and fridge. The sky is gradually changing from pink hues to light blues through the kitchen windows, and it’s the perfect morning to lose herself in cooking. By the time Bridget is calling out her name and walking downstairs, Franky’s made them poached eggs, smashed avocado and feta, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, kale, and bacon.

“Holy shit,” Bridget says, her mouth agape, stopping in her tracks at the bottom of the stairs.

“Morning.” Franky grins, turning around from the stove to face her.

Good morning,” Bridget laughs, a matching grin on her face as she saunters over.

“I have greasy hands,” Franky says, but Bridget slides her own hands onto Franky’s hips before she can truly protest.

“I don’t mind,” Bridget hums, standing up on tiptoes to kiss Franky. “That smells amazing.”

“I wasn’t sure what ya liked so I made a bit of everything,” Franky explains, greasy hands hovering above Bridget’s ass. She feels too bad to ruin a cute pair of undies just for one grope.

“I’ll eat anything you make,” Bridget says, eyes twinkling in the soft morning light.

“Oooh, really? That sounds like a challenge,” Franky jokes.

“Maybe it is,” Bridget murmurs, brushing her thumbs over Franky’s clothed hip bones. “What’s the most out-there thing you’ve ever cooked?”

“Well I’m frying some haggis right now,” Franky quips, smiling as Bridget’s nose wrinkles, and glances back over her shoulder. “It’s ready… go sit your cute butt down.”

“Alright…” Bridget dutifully slinks over to the dining table. “You know, I wouldn’t put buying haggis past Vera. She’s been on a health kick lately.”

“I did notice the kombucha and activated almonds.” Franky turns back to the frying pan, her lips twitching as she teases, “I take it the Monster drinks aren’t Vera’s?”

“God,” Bridget groans. “They’re my weakness when I’m studying.”

“Oh yeah?” Franky asks as she  tosses a few slices of bacon and tomato on their plates, and carries their breakfast to the table. “You an all-nighter kind of gal?”

Bridget holds her gaze for a moment, her eyes dancing at Franky’s double-entendre. “Sometimes, yes…” Her focus drops to the plate in front of her. “Mmm, baby, this looks amazing.”

“Dig in,” Franky smiles, feeling her chest warm with happiness as she drops onto the chair opposite Bridget and tucks into her breakfast.

They spend their morning flirting over breakfast, then flirting on the couch, then fucking on the couch, then flirting some more as Bridget drives Franky home. They very nearly end up fucking in Bridget’s car, but a tap on the windscreen from Boomer startles them apart.

“Good date, eh?” Boomer grins as Franky sheepishly gets out of the car, conspicuously dressed in yesterday’s clothes.

“Yep,” Franky nods, unable to lace together a snarky comeback quick enough; her brain is buffering and she knows she’s smiling too damn hard as she waves at Bridget through the window.

She’s so fucked.

Bridget drives off and Franky bites her lip, wishing it were already next Saturday. They’ve both unfortunately got too much homework to do to spend time together before then, with their second to last week of semester about to start. Bridget went out of her way to drive her home so they could prolong their time together.

“Franky, hey—” Boomer waves her hand in Franky’s face, laughing deeply. “Earth to Franky. Fuck, you’re so gone, hey aren't ‘cha?”

“Fuck off,” Franky laughs, slapping Boomer’s arm.

“I said Bea and I are gonna go for a run ‘round Princes Park. You wanna come?”

It’s only then that Franky notices Boomer’s wearing workout clothes. Franky should probably join them seeing as she hasn’t exercised since… fuck, not since Tuesday, because she’s been flat out with uni, her jobs, and two fantastic dates with Bridget. On top of that, she also needs to do some Administrative Law revision, and write her weekly column for the Criminal Justice Clinic’s blog.

“A run? Didn’t Allie get you all pingers last night?” Franky raises an eyebrow, having expected to return home to an extremely somber, sleepy household.

“Oh, yeah, nuh… Bea wasn’t gonna do it so then Allie didn’t so none of us did…” Boomer explains with a knowing smirk.

At the same moment Bea rushes out their front gate, tying her long red curls up into a ponytail

“Hey, Franky!” Bea smiles. “Fun night?”

“Mmhmm,” Franky confirms, smile slipping back onto her face.

“So, you comin’?” Boomer prods, shifting into a calf stretch.

“Uh…” Franky pauses to consider her options. It would be nice to spend some time with her neglected best friends. “Yeah. Gimme five mins.”

Franky fishes her keys from her pocket and dashes inside up to her room. She swaps her day-old clothes for a pair of comfy-but-ugly teal exercise pants, a black sports bra, and a white freebie t shirt from a 2016 fun run. She ducks into the bathroom to brush her teeth, pee, gulp down a few mouthfuls of water, and grab a hair tie before hurrying back outside. Boomer and Bea are stretching on the footpath, and it occurs to Franky she may be the least fit on this jog — she hasn’t run in weeks, whereas Boomer is mid-footy season and training like a mad man. She would have had a game this morning, and Franky doesn’t know how Boomer isn’t exhausted.

“Yay, Franky!” Boomer exclaims, then promptly loses her balance from her hamstring stretch.

“Watch it,” Franky laughs, shooting out an arm to steady her.

“Thanks,” Boomer says with a bashful smile. “Sorry, know I’m gettin’ hyper but I missed ya last night.”

“Aww, Booms. Was it a fun night?” Franky asks, throwing her arm around Boomer’s shoulders.

“Oh, yeah. It was a ripper.” Boomer laughs deeply, gesturing at Bea with a nod. “Bea had fun.”

“Shut up,” Bea rolls her eyes, putting her leg down and turning away from them to face the street. “Are we gonna go for this run or just stand here all day?”

“Oooh, Red. Fill me in!” Franky grins, ignoring Bea’s mock annoyance.

“I’m jogging!” Bea announces before taking off ahead of them.

Franky raises her eyebrows at Boomer and they set off after Bea, feet pounding the slightly uneven footpath. Clearly something happened with Allie, and Bea is way too embarrassed to talk about it. Franky smiles to herself, settling into a slow jog behind Bea as they run towards Sydney Rd. Brunswick requires a certain level of attention; there are overgrown trees, bumpy pavement, and pedestrians galore. At least they’re only a few minutes from Princes Park, and they navigate the southern end of Sydney Rd with familiar ease. When they stop at the lights outside their favourite local sports pub, Franky takes her chance to continue pestering Bea.

“So, Red, ya gonna tell me what happened?”

“Nothing happened,” Bea asserts — albeit unconvincingly — as she crosses her arms over her chest.

Boomer coughs back a laugh behind them, and Franky’s grin widens.

“Uh-huh. Booms, what did Bea get up to last night?” Franky asks, tongue peeking between her lips, as she tilts her head back towards Boomer and challengingly raises her eyebrows at Bea.

“Well, she and—”

“Ok, fine! Allie and I kissed,” Bea says in a rush before hurrying ahead of them again as the pedestrian lights go green.

“Details, please!” Franky shouts as she and Boomer chase Bea across the road.

There’s not much traffic so they J-walk across the next set of lights, and then break into a jog as they reach the park’s 3km loop. Franky jogs on Bea’s left while Boomer speeds up to run just ahead of them, setting a relatively fast pace. Boomer leads them clockwise around the running track, past groups of picnickers relaxing by the pond at the Northern end of the park, and the sound of lawn bowlers playing on their club lawns.

It’s a beautiful day; the sunlight’s warmth is amplified against the knowledge that winter is fast approaching.  knowing winter is fast approaching. The forecast is calling for a cold snap to sweep the state on Wednesday, and Franky’s mind fills with visions of cuddling up with Bridget to stay warm. Bridget could wrap her arms from behind around Franky’s middle, freeing up her lips to kiss Franky’s shoulders, and hands to tease her breasts, nipples no doubt affected by the frigid temperatures…

Franky shakes her head, ponytail whipping her neck. Much as she’d like to lose herself in daydreams of naked Bridget in lieu of music as she jogs, she isn’t about to stop asking for dirt from Bea.

“Red, I asked for details!” Franky exclaims, nudging Bea with her elbow.

“There are no details,” Bea eventually replies, sounding all too suspicious.

“Mmhmm,” Franky says, starting to pant from the exertion. “Absolutely none, huh?”

“Nope,” Bea says curtly.

“Allie touched Bea’s tits,” Boomer interjects over her shoulder.

Boomer!” Bea shrieks, reaching out to poke Boomer in the back.

A happy guffaw escapes Franky, attracting the attention of a nearby group of picnickers.

“Fuck yes, Red!” she exclaims, slapping Bea’s arm with the back of her hand. “How was it?”

“It was…” Bea takes a breath, and for a moment all they hear is their feet pounding the sandy track. “Amazing,” she finally admits sheepishly.

“Ah! I’m proud of ya,” Franky gasps.

She is. She’s been trying to get Bea to hook up with Allie since the summer. Their attraction is obvious, and on the few occasions where Allie would go home with another girl after going to Down Under, Bea would be noticeably irritable. It’s taken months of encouragement and teasing alike to even get Bea to be honest about her feelings for Allie, and Franky is relieved that they’ve come to fruition.

“Thanks,” Bea replies, voice just as breathless.

“Hurry up!” Boomer calls from where she’s gained distance on them. “Bea can tell ya where her hands were later!”

Boomer,” Bea groans in sync with Franky’s “Ooooh!”

All of Bea’s worrying in the bathroom the previous night appears to have been for nothing by the way she and Allie are eating each other’s faces on the couch. Franky’s taken her books down to their outdoor table, sick of being cramped in her room, and every time she looks back inside through the glass door, all she sees is an entangled Bea and Allie.

It’s been going on for over an hour now, ever since Bea came downstairs from her post-jog shower and was immediately eye-fucked by Allie. Franky isn’t about to bother them, though. If Bridget was here they’d be all over each other, too, but unfortunately Franky’s drowning in Administrative Law, instead of something… else.

“Ergh, get a load of those two,” Boomer says, plonking down opposite Franky with her uni textbooks.

“I know,” Franky says without looking up.

No, look!” Boomer insists.

Reluctantly turning to observe the couple, Franky does a double take. Bea is now straddling Allie, probably kissing her neck, and Allie’s hands are palming her ass.

“Ooh, shit!” Franky laughs. “Didja tell ‘em to get a room?”

“Nah, but I took a picture,” Boomer grins.

Oh. Happy Birthday Bea,” Franky winks, thinking of the good Facebook roasting they’ll be able to do in January; it wouldn’t even be worse than what the gang dished out to her the other week anyway. Briefly she wonders if Boomer took a picture of her and Bridget in Bridget’s car earlier.

“Right?” Boomer chuckles and then immediately groans as she cracks opens her textbook.. “I hate exams.”

“Does anyone like them?” Franky retorts, mindlessly highlighting a key point in the casebook she’s reading.

“Yeah, but, ya know I’m no good at ‘em. I’m not smart like you.”

“Nah, Booms, you’re smart. You’re at Melbourne!” Franky reaches across to nudge Boomer’s shoulder.

“But I only get Ps, not H1s,” Boomer frowns.

“Hey, ‘Ps get degrees!’” Franky says encouragingly.

“I guess…” Boomer sighs.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Franky marks her place in her textbook before snapping it shut, turning her attention to her best friend.

A while back, she and Boomer met at the gym when Franky was in her first year of undergrad, and at the time Boomer was taking a gap year after high school to work and save up money. Her parents think ‘University is for wankers’ — so despite Boomer actually achieving a good ATAR, largely due to her favourite teacher Ms Stephens, Boomer wasn’t so sure about uni. It took Franky, Bea, and all their friends’ convincing for her to enroll in an Arts degree part time, but she still gets hung up on her father’s disparaging remarks.

“I just dunno anymore, Franks. I’ve still got another year and what if I don’t get into a Masters of Architecture? Then what am I gonna do? You and Liz will be hotshot lawyers, Dor will be an awesome teacher, Bea will have an art gallery in Paris, Kaz and Allie—”

“Kaz and Allie will be awesome social workers and you will be a badass architecture student slash bartender,” Franky says with what she hopes is an encouraging smile.

“More like bartender slash Arts student for her seventh year…” Boomer mumbles.

Franky frowns, tapping her highlighter against her book. “Booms, c’mon. You’re not gonna fail anything. What subject are you studying for right now?” Franky tugs one of Boomer’s textbooks over towards her.

“Design Principles,” Boomer groans. “It’s like… I know what I wanna do but then putting into official words and shit is hard. Can’t I just tell ‘em what I wanna do and have it happen?”

“I know. But it’s like learning to… play footy, hey? You gotta know the rules as well as how to actually pass the ball… and you’re the best at footy… That’s a shit analogy, but you get me, right?”

“Yeah…” Boomer nods, smiling weakly at Franky.

“Knuckle down with me, then we can watch whatever reality shit you want tonight,” Franky offers. “Just not—”

“Married at First Sight!” Boomer exclaims with a cheeky grin.

Not that,” Franky groans.

“Aw, please, Franks. I know you hate it ‘cause it’s heteronormal, but gay marriage is legal now so it’s not a double standard no more… right?” Boomer trails off as Franky’s face remains blank.

“Do you see any lgbt couples on that show?” Franky asks, raising an eyebrow. She doesn’t really give a shit about what dumb people wanna do on television, but like most queer Aussies, it stings to see straight people marrying each other for a reality show — a fucking game — while just six months ago marriage was totally off the cards for her life.

“No…” Boomer pouts. “Fine, we can watch Rupaul.”

“That’s more like it.”

By the time Thursday rolls around, Franky thinks she might explode from how badly she misses Bridget, and how much she wants to see her again. Fuck, she’s got it so bad, but at least it seems she’s not alone in that; when she turns her phone back on at 3pm after her two hour Trusts lecture finishes, she’s got eight imessages.

Three are cute updates about Bridget’s day, two are selfies of Bridget being “bored” and “still bored” in the lab, two are memes, and one is Bridget straight up admitting to thinking about what Franky is wearing.

I bet you look hot today.

Franky doesn’t quite know how to respond to the influx of messages so she ‘hearts’ every message and then replies.

You fishing for nudes, Gidge?

The response is almost immediate.

Maybe. ;)

Franky bites her lip at the thought of sending, and hopefully receiving, sexy pics from Bridget. She makes her way down the steps of the aisle and out of the lecture theatre, then finds a wall to lean against while dropping her backpack to the ground in favour of texting. Her classmates mill around her but she pays them no mind as she shoots off a quick response.

Quid pro quo?

“Franky, you coming to the library?” Jodie asks, interrupting her fantasies of Bridget nudes.

“Yeah, be there in a minute,” she replies offhandedly as Bridget’s reply comes through.

I’d rather the real thing…

The knowledge that Bridget is thinking about sex right now is almost too much to handle, and Franky swears her knees actually go weak. Bridget: 1, gym: 0. Franky slides down to the ground, all thoughts of going to the library now banished from her mind in favour of the memory of Bridget’s creamy skin.

I wish it was Saturday.

Franky quickly types her response, an ache growing between her thighs. The little grey bubble pops up straight away and another text comes through barely ten seconds later.

It may interest you to know that my house is only a 15 minute walk from the Law buildings… and I have perfect attendance so I can afford to skip my 5pm lecture today…

Franky’s eyebrows nearly shoot off of her head. She contemplates the study she needs to do for all of two seconds before typing back.

Meet u there?

She’s already heading for the escalators and ignoring Jodie’s shouts when her phone buzzes in her hand.

I’ll be waiting ;)

Bridget wasn’t lying because Franky doesn’t even get to use the fun brass knocker when the door flies open and a pair of arms wrap around her neck.

“Mmm,” Bridget hums with a grin on her face.

Franky echoes the sentiment, then dips her head to kiss Bridget hello. It quickly turns heated as Bridget slips her tongue into Franky’s mouth, and Franky’s desire skyrockets. Her cunt has been throbbing the entire walk to Bridget’s house, and it only took her eleven minutes—  she may as well have damn near sprinted the whole way here. She slides her hands down to grip Bridget’s butt and instinctively rocks their bodies together.

Franky breaks into a grin mid-kiss; Bridget tastes like peppermint and she can’t get enough.

“You taste good,” Franky murmurs against Bridget’s mouth, fingers squeezing Bridget’s firm ass again.

“Fuck,” Bridget groans, slipping her right hand down from around Franky’s neck to palm her left breast. “I need you.”

Franky moans deeply as another thrum of arousal runs through her. She presses her chest out, grinning when Bridget takes her cue and squeezes her breast. Driven by the need for more she dips her head to kiss the left side of Bridget’s neck and brings her hands around to undo Bridget’s black too-fancy-for-uni pants.

Bridget wiggles her hips, pressing up against Franky as she runs her fingertips along the nape of Franky’s neck.

“Inside,” Bridget gasps.

Franky blinks, having completely forgotten their position on the front porch. With her hands grasping Bridget’s hips, Franky guides them inside the house and kicks the door shut behind them. In quick succession, she spins them and presses Bridget’s back against the door, slides her backpack and jacket to the floor, and then resumes pushing Bridget’s pants down.

“Fuck, Franky,” Bridget moans, tilting her head back against the wood and jutting her hips forward, her hands seemingly frozen on Franky’s nape and breast.

She’s not wearing shoes and Franky easily tugs the black pants down her legs, exposing sexy bare legs and black lace undies. A moment later, her blue silk shirt is gone too and Franky is dipping her head to kiss the valley between her matching-lace-bra-clad breasts. Franky’s undies are soaked and her hands quickly slide to Bridget’s to confirm she’s equally aroused.

“Been thinking about me?” She murmurs, nipping at Bridget’s collarbone.

“All day,” Bridget gasps, grinding her hips towards Franky’s hand. Franky loves how honest she is — she never denies anything, never plays games.

“Fuck, you’re turning me on so bad, Gidge,” Franky groans, sliding her right hand down Bridget’s undies to explore her slippery folds — Bridget clearly doesn’t want too much foreplay today and Franky is happy to oblige. She finds Bridget’s clit and flicks her middle finger over it from side to side, vividly remembering Bridget enjoying that on Sunday morning.

“Oh god,” Bridget whimpers, and then seems to remember her hands, moving for the first time in a minute to go for the zipper of Franky’s jeans.

“Mm— let me just—” Franky stills her hand against Bridget’s mound while toeing off her boots, then helps Bridget tug her jeans down with her left hand, leaving her t-shirt and underwear on. She then rushes to remove Bridget’s bra so her left hand can play with Bridget’s breasts, her right hand still cupping her swollen cunt.

A moment later Bridget’s right hand is sliding down Franky’s own striped cotton undies, and Franky shudders under her touch. Franky slips two fingers up inside hot, slick walls as she sucks on the soft skin under Bridget’s earlobe. A sigh escapes Bridget’s lips as her fingers circle Franky’s clit and her teeth nip at her jaw.

Franky’s mind is completely clouded with desire, her only thoughts are of Bridget and how she feels and how she makes her feel. She lazily licks and sucks on Bridget’s neck, enjoying the feel of Bridget’s left hand sliding up into her hair, messing up her ponytail. They touch each other’s cunts with matching urgency, riding the same wave of momentum towards their climaxes.

Bridget is gasping quietly against her and grinding her hips down to meet the curls of Franky’s fingers inside her slippery cunt. Her own fingers circle Franky’s clit in perfect little concentric movements, fucking Franky exactly how she prefers to be touched. Franky can’t believe this is only the third time they’ve had sex, they’re so in tune with each other’s needs. Pleasure is building inside her, her groin is throbbing under Bridget’s touch, and she’s only going to last maximum a few more minutes.

“Mmm, yes, yes, yes,” Bridget whispers, left hand tugging slightly on Franky’s hair. She’s close too; Franky knows her cues, and increases the speed of her thrusts inside her wet heat accordingly.

“Yes, Gidge,” Franky murmurs, nibbling on her pulse point and pinching her right nipple as she continues toying with Bridget’s dripping pussy. The black lace of Bridget’s undies pulls against her knuckles with every movement, and Franky thinks it might be rubbing her skin raw, but it’s worth it for Bridget.

Bridget, who is now moaning and shuddering against Franky as her orgasm rushes through her. She arches back against the door, trapped firmly against it by Franky, and her cunt is pulsing around Franky’s fingers in the most mesmerising way.

“Fucking hell,” Bridget gasps, shuddering against Franky, and moving her left hand to Franky’s shoulder to steady herself, fingers digging into her t-shirt.

“Yeah,” Franky replies, sounding a bit dazed; she’ll honestly never get over the sight and feel of an orgasmic Bridget.

“Fuck,” Bridget repeats, leaning forward to kiss Franky’s neck, and then a moment later her right hand resumes moving against Franky’s clit. “Your turn.”

Franky lets out a strangled moan and bucks her hips forward, pressing herself firmly against Bridget and the door. Wet lips find her neck and nimble fingers swirl around her pulsing, aching clit. Her arousal crashes back over her under Bridget’s touch. She exhales shakily, her eyes shutting as she braces herself against the door.

“How’s that? Anything you need?” Bridget asks, her breath tickling Franky’s ear, making her shudder.

The fact that Bridget checks in with her every time makes Franky’s stomach flutter. She shakes her head, another moan escaping her lips as Bridget continues stroking her clit, her body so damn close to the edge. A few more coaxing strokes tip her over and she moans, forehead falling onto Bridget’s shoulder as her orgasm rushes through her in a tremendous wave.

“That’s it, baby,” Bridget murmurs, lips brushing against Franky’s jaw, and fingers slowing on her clit.

“Mmm,” Franky sighs, trembling against Bridget’s nearly-naked body.

Bridget withdraws her hand from Franky’s undies and rests it on her hip, leaving a sticky line on the exposed skin peeking out under Franky’s t-shirt. She makes a content humming noise against Franky’s jaw and presses a kiss to it, making Franky shiver and smile alike. Bridget always makes her feel at ease, she so easily relaxes in her presence.

“Baby,” Bridget begins after a while. “Shall we… uh… move to the couch?”

Franky lifts her head from Bridget’s shoulder and raises her eyebrows. “You want round two already, Gidge?”

“No,” Bridget laughs, tickling Franky’s exposed hip. “I just thought it’d be more comfortable.”

“Ah!” Franky nearly shrieks and slaps at Bridget’s hands on her goosebump-covered skin, but her reaction is half for show.. There’s something intimate about being tickled, and Franky can’t remember the last time someone grabbed her like this and she felt… at ease.

“Yeah, I know what you mean by comfortable,” she winks.

Bridget’s fingers continue their dance along Franky’s hip bones. “I didn’t mean that—”

“You’re insatiable, Gidget!” Franky continues, volume increasing like she’s proclaiming it to the world.

Bridget stares at Franky for a moment, clearly searching for a retort and coming up empty. Eventually she huffs and moves her hands just a few centimeters up, playfully squeezing the indents of Franky’s waist.

Franky’s abs are starting to hurt from all the laughing and she darts away from Bridget’s reach, heading for the couch.

“You know, I only just noticed that tattoo on your left calf,” Bridget calls after her, and Franky spins around to find her still leaning against the door in her undies with her hip popped and her right hand positioned in thought on her jaw.

“Really?” Franky raises her eyebrows in disbelief, walking backwards towards the couch.

“Yeah… is that really… a…” Bridget pushes off the door and strides towards Franky.

“Dyke on a bike?” Franky nods as Bridget gains ground on her.

Ooh…” Bridget makes an exaggerated growling noise and backs Franky up against the armrest of the couch. “That’s hot.”

“You like it?” Franky asks, searching Bridget’s eyes for confirmation.

“I like all your tattoos,” Bridget says, grabbing Franky’s upper right arm and lower left, simultaneously stroking the other topless woman and the nautical star adorning Franky’s skin.

Her touch turns all of Franky’s fears to dust.

“I’ll tell you about… the others sometime,” Franky murmurs, thinking of the flowers currently hidden under her top.

“No pressure,” Bridget murmurs, rubbing her hands along Franky’s arms and shoulders. “No pressure at all, baby.”

Franky nods. She wants to say ‘thank you’; she desperately wants to tell this woman how much that means, but the words get caught at the base of her throat, and all she can do is swallow them.

Needing to shake the somber mood, she suddenly spins them around and pushes Bridget down onto the couch.

“Ah!” Bridget shrieks as she hits the cushions.

“Payback for the tickling,” Franky grins, climbing on top of her and leaning down close.

“I deserved that,” Bridget giggles below Franky, hands cupping Franky’s jaw and pulling her in for a gentle kiss.

“Maybe I should return the favour. Are you ticklish?” Franky asks with a wink, holding herself up on her hands. She realizes she was in this exact position the first night they slept together, but it seems… different this time. Her confidence has returned, the nerves all but gone. She feels like herself.

Has she ever felt this much herself?

If Bridget answered her question, Franky didn’t hear her, but following Bridget’s gaze now… she’s blatantly staring down the v-neck of Franky’s gaping t-shirt. Fuck, her unabashed desire is a huge turn on.

“Ya sure you don’t want round two?” Franky teases, rocking her weight from side to side.

“Mmm,” Bridget sighs, tearing her eyes from Franky’s cleavage. “I really haven’t been able to stop thinking about you all day.”

“Well,” Franky pauses, unsure how to deal with the knowledge that she’s all Bridget can think about. “Here I am,” Franky replies, leaning down to kiss Bridget’s neck, quickly finding the spot that makes Bridget sigh. “Happy to go again.”

“Oh fuck,” Bridget groans, looping her hands around Franky’s neck.

Bridget’s cunt is still wet from earlier, and she shivers the moment Franky’s fingers brush over her soft folds. She goes slow this time, spreading Bridget’s arousal all over her labia and inner thighs, peeling her undies down slightly and listening to Bridget’s breathing change. Bridget’s hands tug on Franky’s ponytail and she lifts her head in question.

With her golden hair spread out on the couch beneath her, Bridget looks like an angel or a goddess or... something. Franky wishes so goddamn much that she were better with words because a thousand metaphors wouldn’t adequately describe the sight beneath her.

“Kiss me,” Bridget requests.

“Mmm,” Franky hums and happily meets Bridget’s lips again, warmth spreading through her chest as Bridget moans and strokes the back of Franky’s neck.

They’re too distracted to hear the front door opening behind them but a loud shriek startles them apart.

Fucking hell!”

“Vera!” Bridget exclaims, looking at Franky with wide eyes and mouthing, “Fuck.”

Franky glances back over her shoulder and sees a girl wearing what looks like a school uniform — Vera — covering her eyes with her hand. Fuck, indeed. This isn’t how Franky planned on meeting Bridget’s best friend. Her ass in the air and Bridget moaning beneath her. At least she’s not naked, for fuck’s sake.

“Hey Vera!” Franky calls out cheekily, trying to diffuse the silent awkwardness as she and Bridget scramble to sit up.

“We’re not naked!” Bridget adds in a song-song tone.

Franky raises her eyebrows at Bridget, eyeing her very-much-naked breasts and Bridget hurries to cover them with her hands and hide behind Franky.

“I’m going upstairs! You have one minute!” Vera says, her voice sounding scarily monotone as she hurries past them, hand still covering her eyes.

“Well, you heard her. We have one minute,” Franky says, jokingly reaching for the waistband of Bridget’s undies.

“Franky!” Bridget laughs, slapping her hand away and leaning forward to bury her face in Franky’s chest as giggles wrack her body. “Oh god.”

“Good thing she didn’t get home ten minutes ago,” Franky says, thinking about how much more awkward that would have been.

“Jesus. I’m sorry…” Bridget leans back, running a hand along her forehead. “I had no idea she’d be home. She’s usually in the library—”

“It’s fine, babe,” Franky assures.

“Yeah?” Bridget exhales in relief. “We should get dressed, Vera will be back soon.”

“Wait… she wasn’t joking?” Franky asks, rubbing her slightly-sticky fingers against her bare thighs, disappointed that she won’t be making Bridget orgasm again.

“She’s really not the joking type,” Bridget says delicately.

“Huh,” Franky comments, pushing herself off the couch to go find her jeans over by the front door.

Sure enough, Bridget is doing up her pants while Franky helps button up her shirt when Vera announces herself from the stairs. Franky regards her as she approaches; she has a timid air about her, and an old-fashioned style of clothing which is at odds with the way Bridget describes her in stories about her life.

“Sorry... about, um…” Vera says sheepishly.

“No, I’m sorry. I wasn’t expecting you to come home…” Bridget says, stepping forward and slipping her right hand into Franky’s left to tug her along.

“I left some books here…” Vera trails off, eyes darting between Bridget and Franky.

“Oh, uh, Franky, this is Vera. Vera, Franky…” Bridget says, gesturing between them with her left hand.

“Nice to meet you properly.” Vera smiles and holds out her right hand. Franky panics — she hasn’t had time to wash her hands. Also, who the fuck shakes hands?

“You too,” Franky says quickly. “Uh… you probably don’t wanna shake my hand right now.”

“No, I do— oh,” Vera says, retracting her hand immediately and pursing her lips together.

There’s a growing tension in the air and Franky doesn’t know how to diffuse it. Luckily, she doesn’t have to.

“All right,” Bridget says in a long drawn out tone which means, Franky is learning, that she’s about to make a decision. “We’re going upstairs.”

“Right. Good,” Vera nods, still seeming a little grossed out. “I’ll… be studying down here.”

“Enjoy!” Franky can’t help but quip as she lets herself be pulled upstairs.

Once safety in Bridget’s room, Franky leads them over to the bed with a knowing grin on her face. “Where was I?”

Chapter Text

Franky dreams of dragons, of riding on the back of one and laying waste to kingdoms, but never destroying the great Westfall farm. She and her dragon fly around, giving it a wide berth, and settle on a large haystack to sleep. The haystack is warm and soft, and Franky sleeps better than she ever has in her life.

When the haystack morphs into an actual bed, and the dragon’s breath turns into Bridget’s gentle exhales against her left bicep, Franky has two thoughts. First, that she needs to watch less Game of Thrones, and second that she has work tonight.

“Fuck, what time is it?” Franky hisses, jolting upright.

She can’t afford to be late for her shift at Down Under, and it feels like she’s been asleep for hours in the darkness of Bridget’s room. Her curtains are thicker than Franky’s and it’s like fuckin’ eternal night in here when the lights are off and no candles are lit. Bridget’s favourite passionfruit candle sadly met its demise on Sunday — commemorated with a text to Franky and a slew of accompanying crying emojis — but its scent lingers in the room. Franky bought her a replacement, though it’s still sitting in its shopping bag in her own bedroom, as she’s unsure if it’s too early for... gift-giving.. Especially expensive gifts. Would Bridget think it’s too much? Upon investigation, the candle was a limited edition one and as such it was double what Franky would normally spend. However the proceeds are going to a queer charity, and Bridget is worth more than any dollar amount.

It’s the last Thursday of the semester, and like last week, Bridget skipped her evening lecture to spend time with Franky. Unlike last week, the sex they’ve had today has been slower and somewhat subdued. Franky’s got PMS cramps and a headache she hasn’t been able to get rid of all week. Bridget’s convinced it’s the stress of her impending exams manifesting as physical pain, and all but ordered her to nap. Franky’s not complaining.

“Don’t worry, baby. I set an alarm for 6:30… go back to sleep,” Bridget murmurs, reaching out for Franky’s shoulder to pull her back down.

Smiling at Bridget’s thoughtfulness and pragmatism, Franky happily snuggles into her arms, enjoying the soft press of naked chest against her back.

She’s barely revisited the world of dragons when a loud ascending melody rouses her from sleep. Beside her Bridget is groaning and fighting the sheets to reach her phone on the bedside table. Franky rolls onto her back and laughs at the muttered swear words leaving Bridget’s mouth.

“I don’t wanna get up,” Bridget groans, rolling back towards Franky and ending up half on top of her, throwing her arm across Franky’s waist and pressing her face into Franky’s left shoulder.

“Ya don’t have to, lucky duck,” Franky says as she wiggles around to hug Bridget’s warm body against her own.

“Mmm,” Bridget hums happily. “I wish you could stay.”

“Me too,” Franky murmurs, trailing her fingers lazily over Bridget’s back.

“I’m gonna call your boss and tell her you can’t come in tonight because you’re needed as my pillow,” Bridget declares, snuggling into Franky’s breasts.

A bark of laughter escapes Franky and she wishes she could see Bridget’s face, knowing there must be a satisfied smile on it. She roams her hands over Bridget’s smooth upper back, familiarising herself. The pads of her fingers brush over the small raised mole on her left shoulder, and Franky knows if she kisses Bridget two inches closer to her neck that she’ll be rewarded with a shiver.

“What’s the hourly rate for being Bridget’s pillow?”

“Sixty-nine dollars,” Bridget replies, her voice sounding groggier by the moment, and Franky’s more than happy to let her doze off again.

“Sign me up,” Franky drawls, wiggling her chest teasingly and running her hands through the ends of Bridget’s hair.

“The papers are on my desk,” Bridget murmurs.

“Are they?” Franky asks, voice laced with amusement.

“Mmhmm, with the ducks.”

Bridget’s not making much sense, and Franky is struck with the six-week-old-memory of Bridget drunkenly falling asleep on the Down Under couch. She was as cute then as she is now, and Franky’s only more enamoured by the minute.

“What ducks?”

“Lucky ducks,” Bridget explains with a happy sigh as she snuggles further into Franky’s breasts.

Franky can’t help the smile that spreads across her face. She desperately wishes she could linger in bed with a sleepy Bridget for the rest of the night, but unfortunately she doesn’t have that luxury.

“Yeah, lucky ducks,” Franky replies before taking a deep breath and reluctantly making a start on getting out of bed.

She gently shifts Bridget to the side and wriggles out from underneath her, smiling as Bridget makes a soft grumbling noise. Franky does her best to replace herself with a pillow without disturbing the quiet, and barely resists dropping a kiss on Bridget’s bare shoulder. Once she’s out of the bed she tiptoes around the room, attempting to find her discarded clothes in the dark.

After a few minutes she’s managed to locate her jeans and bra, but sadly no undies or t-shirt. She’s probably also woken up the entire street from the old floorboards squeaking as she walks back and forth over them.

“Shit,” Franky curses under her breath as she stubs her right big toe against what she thinks is Bridget’s desk.

“Franky? You alright?” Bridget murmurs from the bed.

“Yeah, sorry… just looking for my clothes. Go back to sleep,” Franky replies quietly, still sweeping the floor with her foot.

“Turn the light on,” Bridget says, her voice sounding more awake than before.

“Nah— fuck!” Franky hisses as she knocks into Bridget’s shoe rack and sends a few boots tumbling to the floor.

“Baby,” Bridget says through laughter, and Franky’s glad she’s not annoyed at the destruction of her room. “Turn the light on.”

“Alright,” Franky replies hesitantly and shuffled over towards the door, grappling for the switch. “Close your eyes.”

“On it.”

Light floods the room and Franky squints, giving her eyes a few seconds to adjust before she turns to scan the room for her clothes. Her t-shirt turns up on top of the desk chair and her undies are underneath Bridget’s own discarded clothes. Franky stands with the garments held triumphantly in her hands and her eyes shift to Bridget lying in bed with a pillow over her face.

Franky laughs. “What are you doing?”

“Blocking the light!” Bridget replies, her voice muffled.

Franky smiles to herself as she shimmies into her crumpled jeans, watching as Bridget lies motionless under her pillow. She’s so fucking infatuated with everything Bridget does, it’s ridiculous.

Once dressed with her hair in a ponytail, Franky takes her backpack from where she left it on the left side of the bed — her side — and fishes out her phone. She’s got an hour-old text from Boomer asking if she wants to grab dinner together before their shift, which she sheepishly declines.

The walk to Smith St will only take thirty minutes tops from here, and her shift isn’t until eight, but she’s not keen on leaving Bridget yet. She wants them to spend as much time as possible together before she has to knuckle down for exams. Bridget, however, seems keen on sleeping and Franky doesn’t begrudge her that as it gives her time to peruse Bridget’s bedroom. She’s been here four times now but hasn’t truly explored all of its knick knacks and intricacies.

She’s curious to learn as much about Bridget as she possibly can, and Liz always says you can find out a lot about someone through their bedroom. If that’s true, then Franky gathers that she’s dating an organised, extremely gay, intelligent, caring person. It’s nothing that she doesn’t already know, but she enjoys looking closely at the drunkenly snapped polaroids pinned above the desk, the multiple novels with bookmarked ears squashed below textbooks, the cross hiding under the shoe rack, the expensive watch not currently ticking.

Franky treads lightly on the squeaky floorboards as she makes her way around the room, smiling at how Bridget everything is. She’s changed her sheets since Saturday, replacing plain white with lime green to match the curtains, and Franky likes how colourful it all is. In the light, Franky realises Bridget’s wardrobe is navy blue — not black — and its two sets of doors have gold floral knobs. Struck with the idea that something salacious might lie inside the wardrobe, Franky hurries over and pulls the first two doors open. Unfortunately, they also squeak.

“What are you doing?” Bridget mumbles, looking up bleary-eyed from her bed.

“Looking for dirt,” Franky replies sheepishly, suddenly wondering if it’s okay for her to be poking around.

Bridget’s chuckle reassures her. “I keep my porn stash under the bed.”

“Like I want to see more of your straight porn,” Franky teases as she surveys the colour-coordinated clothes on their hangers.

“You know that was for uni,” Bridget says, sounding indignant.

“Ooh, so what do you normally— Gidge, is this a closet just for jackets?

Teasing Bridget about the porn study can wait. Her wardrobe is much more interesting.

“Jackets are essential for completing an outfit,” Bridget comments, sitting up on her bed, hair fluffy from sleep and falling just above her perky breasts

Franky cocks an eyebrow and tugs on the sleeves of two tan leather jackets. “I swear this is the same jacket twice.”

“One has functional pockets,” Bridget murmurs, crossing her arms.

Franky flashes her a grin and spends a moment ogling her gorgeous, squashed breasts, before moving to the set of drawers below the hanging jackets.

Oooh, Gidge. Undies drawer!” Franky exclaims, trying not to get too distracted at the thought of Bridget wearing any of the skimpy… lace… strappy… sheer…

“So when do I get to see your undies drawer?” Bridget asks, breaking through Franky’s fantasies.

Franky chews her bottom lip as she aimlessly thumbs a black leather cuff.

It’s not that she’s actively avoiding bringing Bridget back to her house, it’s just that she lives with a ridiculous number of nosy, noisy people, and Bridget only lives with Vera, who prefers to make herself scarce. Come to think of it, Franky hasn’t actually seen Bridget’s housemate since she walked in on the two of them last Thursday. Vera was once again staying at her boyfriend’s house on the weekend, which suited Franky fine because it meant she was able to cook dinner for Bridget and then ravish her on the kitchen table in peace.

“That depends… are you ready for Bonds with a side of unmade sheets and coffee cups strewn everywhere?” Franky quips.

With exams rapidly approaching, her bedroom has reached what Bea and Kaz — their two resident clean-freaks — like to call a ‘critical mess.’ Franky’s normally a very tidy person, a habit born from living in one foster home after another; she grew accustomed to needing to pick up and go at a moment’s notice, to say the least. But the end of semester means she has no time to waste. Her life is currently divided into study, work, exercise, eating, sleeping, and Bridget. The last one is by far her favourite.

This is their seventh date, not that Franky’s keeping track, and she really should introduce Bridget to her friends. It’s just not the best timing with everyone stressed over assignments and tests, and Franky somewhat selfishly wants to keep their relationship private a little longer. She quite likes this blissful bubble that they’ve created.

She isn’t naive enough to ignore the inevitable fate of bubbles, though. In the end, they always pop.

“I reckon I can handle that,” Bridget says, and as Franky opens the next set of wardrobe doors she hears the sounds of Bridget getting out of bed.

“Gidge, I think you need to go to Jackets Anonymous,” Franky quips, turning towards Bridget with her tongue between her teeth as she grins. There are a few more jackets hanging in this cupboard, along with dresses and skirts.

“Fuck off,” Bridget laughs, standing beside Franky and regarding her clothes. She reaches out to lovingly stroke the arm of a checked blue jacket and Franky’s cheeks stretch uncontrollably wide. Bridget is too damn cute.

Leaving Franky to her sappy thoughts, Bridget steps around her to go grab her dressing gown from the hook on the back of her door.

Franky browses the wardrobe for another minute before shutting it with a sigh. “Mission failure.”

“What are you hoping to find?” Bridget giggles, slipping on the fluffy pale blue robe. It’s not exactly the type of dressing gown Franky fantasised about Bridget wearing, but it looks perfect on her.

“Not this many jackets…”

Bridget snorts and ties the robe around her waist.

“I was hoping I’d find something along the lines of… ropes, handcuffs, blindfolds…” Franky continues, wiggling her eyebrows at Bridget. “Maybe a giant strap on.”

“Try the bathroom,” Bridget suggests.

“Ooh!” Franky squeezes past Bridget and opens the bedroom door, heading directly for the bathroom next door.

Bridget follows behind her as she searches the lemon-scented room. Franky takes care to step around the washing machine — she stubbed her toe on it on Saturday — and opens the bathroom cupboards in curiosity. If Bridget does actually keep sex toys in here, and if Franky finds one, she thinks she might combust. They haven’t used any toys yet, but Franky would be lying if she said she hadn’t fantasised about fucking Bridget with a strap-on.

“Check the last cupboard,” Bridget adds in a sing-song tone.

Following Bridget’s instructions, Franky looks over at the last cupboard, but is instead distracted by a little potted succulent sitting on the bathroom counter, and the object nestled beside it.

A Franky shell.

Franky clearly needs to pay more attention. She’s been here four times and hasn’t noticed the shell until now. She remembers that day vividly — the flirty texts, the thoughtfulness, the way her heart fluttered every time she thought about Bridget. Her heart still flutters because of Bridget. Full of butterflies, Franky spins to face Bridget, promptly tugging her in for a gentle kiss.

Bridget giggles against Franky’s lips, and when they part, she’s staring up with curious flickering blue eyes.

“Nice shell,” Franky says, aiming for a casual tone but her voice comes out thicker than expected.

Bridget’s eyes widen knowingly and she wraps her arms around Franky’s neck. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Franky whispers, unable to take her eyes off Bridget. She would say more, but her tongue suddenly feels like it’s made of lead.

“I couldn’t get you off my mind that day,” Bridget confesses, gently stroking the nape of Franky’s neck.


Franky’s heart thuds in her ears, and her body screams with dizziness. She doesn’t know how to process the all-consuming desires — for Bridget, to take care of Bridget, to make her happy, to protect her. She’s never had this before. She feels things, and wants things she’s not actually sure she’s capable of. The strength of her emotions is overwhelming and scary, and Franky’s not sure how to talk about it. She buries her hands in Bridget’s fluffy robe and hopes Bridget can steady her.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about our date the night before… the way you kissed me in the booth… I was cactus,” Bridget says, her voice breathless.

“Really?” Franky asks, trying to keep her tone light. She wants to joke and tease Bridget the way she normally would, but her mind feels sluggish and weighed down with a storm of unfamiliar thoughts.

Bridget’s steady gaze is inviting and warm; a blue beacon guiding Franky through the fog.

“Really,” Bridget smiles, fingers comfortingly tickling Franky’s neck, making goosebumps break out along the tender skin. “I wish I’d asked you out sooner.”

“I thought I asked you out? At the coffee cart?” Franky asks, wondering if she’s remembering wrong. She’s barely been processing anything Bridget has been saying, and internally kicks herself for sounding like a dipshit.

“You did.” Bridget turns her head to the left and Franky swears a blush is crossing her cheeks. “But I had… already thought about it that day we first met.”

“Is that right?” Franky grins, lapsing into easy teasing, her mind running with possibilities. “So you were thinking about fucking me while I watched those pornos?”

“I mean… I thought you were hot, but I didn’t — I wasn’t…” Bridget explains while rigidly staring at something in the bathroom behind Franky.

Franky licks her lips and reaches up to gently cup Bridget’s jaw and turn her face back towards her. “You’re such a shit liar, Gidge.”

“Franky,” Bridget exhales the name like a warning and an invitation at the same time.

“Is that why you were at Down Under?” Franky asks as she slides her thumb slowly along Bridget’s jaw and up towards her lips. “Trying to get in my pants?”

Bridget hasn’t gone since that night six weeks ago, and Franky’s starting to wonder if she even likes the bar. They’re essentially girlfriends now — though Franky’s unsure how to broach that conversation — and it would be kind of nice if Bridget would go for a drink and a dance once in a while. If, however, Bridget was only at Down Under because she liked Franky…

No,” Bridget says, abruptly halting Franky’s racing mind. “Seeing you was a coincidence.”

“And yet you didn’t ask me out,” Franky teases, dragging her thumb gently over Bridget’s bottom lip. She doesn’t remember that night beyond the pertinent details, but she vividly recalls the subsequent weeks where she wished she’d asked Bridget out.

“Why do you think I ended up so drunk?” Bridget whispers, her lips moving under Franky’s touch.

“Huh.” Franky’s never seen Bridget be anything less than confident so this admission throws her. Idly she brushes her thumb over Bridget’s top lip, her gaze darting over Bridget’s face; blue eyes wider than usual.

“Every girl in the bar was hitting on you, I didn’t think you’d go for me… so I kept chickening out,” Bridget explains in a gravelly tone, her own gaze focused on Franky’s lips. “That’s why Vera left, so I’d have no excuse…”

“Damn, and to think I didn’t make a move because you were too drunk,” Franky admits, playfully tapping Bridget’s lips.

Bridget raises her eyebrows and a chuckle escapes her lips as she tugs playfully on Franky’s ponytail. “Well, it’s all worked out in the end.”

“Yeah,” Franky grins and finally replaces her thumb with her mouth.

A hundred beautiful cliches can’t describe the way it feels to kiss Bridget, and the strong pull in Franky’s chest truthfully scares her shitless. She hones in on the eager press of Bridget’s lips, and the fingers now gripping her neck, rather than the things she wishes she could say.

Bea describes Allie as her seahorse, and while part of Franky is mildly concerned about her friends’ U-hauling, she also finds it pretty adorable. She wishes that she herself was capable of that level of openness and commitment. She still hasn’t told Bridget about her scars despite having had multiple opportunities to, and she hates that she’s holding back. There’s so much about herself that Franky wants to tell Bridget, but it’s hard to share without slipping back into who she used to be. And what if Bridget doesn’t like that version of herself? The version that she knows simmers just below the surface.

Before her thoughts can turn too dark, Franky lifts a giggling Bridget up onto the washing machine and makes quick work of the fluffy robe’s belt. Better to distract herself with the sexy girl before her than to mull on her past.

“Mmm, Franky,” Bridget exhales, digging perfectly manicured nails into Franky’s neck and spreading her legs apart.

“Reckon I need to warm my tongue up before I make small talk all night, hey?” Franky quips as she pulls Bridget’s gown open and slips her hands to Bridget’s slim waist. She bites her lip as Bridget’s gorgeous, perky breasts are exposed, her nipples hardening in the chilly bathroom air.

“I’m in full support of you warming your tongue up, baby,” Bridget says, smiling cheekily and placing her hands behind her, arching her back.

Franky misses the gentle touch on her neck, but the sight of Bridget’s chest pushed out towards her is ridiculously arousing.

“Fuck, you’re beautiful,” she murmurs, sliding her hands up over Bridget’s ribs, feeling them rise and fall beneath her touch.

“Thanks,” Bridget murmurs, shuddering under Franky’s touch.

Franky grins and dances her hands up and over Bridget’s breasts, nipples poking into her palms. She feels Bridget’s legs lock around the backs of her thighs, and notes how the washing machine puts Bridget higher up for once. Perfect, that makes eating her out easier.

“Gidge,” Franky begins casually while palming soft, tantalising breasts. “What’s your opinion on str—”

“Jesus Christ!” a voice snaps from the hallway.


“Oh fuck!” Bridget shrieks, scrambling to pull her gown back on and batting away Franky’s hands.

Franky steps in front of Bridget to give her some privacy and opens her mouth to apologise when Vera snaps.

“Don’t you have any manners?” Vera says condescendingly.

“What?” Franky’s eyebrows shoot towards the ceiling and she crosses her arms defensively.

“No, I didn’t think so,” Vera continues, her voice haughty and climbing in pitch.

Franky clenches her jaw and swallows to fight the familiar lump that always forms in her throat when she’s criticised.

Vera—” Bridget says sharply and Franky hears her feet land on the floor, and in a moment she’s standing on Franky’s left.

“No,” Vera says. “This is the second time I’ve caught you two being indecent—”

“Oh, you saw a tit, whoop-de-do!” Franky rolls her eyes, knowing she should’ve expected this conservatism based on Bridget’s stories. Her own friends would laugh it off and tease them, hell, Franky caught Bea and Allie in the bathroom earlier in the week. Vera is way too uptight with an apparently large stick stuck up her arse, and Franky can’t stand it.

“I should never have encouraged Bridget to go out with you,” Vera says, folding her arms.

“What the fuck?” Bridget hisses, and Franky’s glad she shares her sentiments.

“Bridget, she’s not good for you.”

Vera’s words cut through Franky like a serrated knife and she feels her eyes start to sting. She clenches her jaw, her breath coming heavy as she tries to hide how badly this is affecting her.

“Get off your high horse, Miss Abandons-Her-Drunk-Friend-In-A-Bar,” Franky snarls, pulling a face and swinging her right arm out in front of her.

“I didn't abandon...” Vera sputters and folds her arms. “You put her in an Uber alone where any man could have taken advantage!”

“Vera,” Bridget says warningly. “Why don’t we all take—”

“I just knew you’d be a bad influence” Vera says, shaking her head.

“What the fuck?” Franky exclaims, taking a step forward, envisioning giving Vera a nice bitch slap, if she’s being honest. Bridget’s hand latches onto her arm, and it’s only her touch that stops Franky from venturing any further. “Why the fuck am I—”

“I’ve heard all the stories about you.”

The ominous sentence makes Franky’s rapidly-beating heart plummet to the ground, and thunder rushes through her ears.

“Vera, what the fuck are you talking about?” Bridget asks, her voice sounding thick like she’s on the verge of tears.

Vera turns to Bridget and replies like Franky’s not in the room. “Franky broke up an engagement, and she’s been arrested.”

“What?” Bridget gasps, her fingers digging into Franky’s arm.

Years of shame and anger bubble up inside Franky and she tugs out of Bridget’s grasp, taking two more steps forward to loom over Vera.

“Fuck you,” Franky snarls. “You’re just some sad, insecure, repressed girl, believing dumb gossip because your own life is boring and your boyfriend can’t find your clit.” Before her, Vera’s bottom lip wobbles and Franky grins viciously, enjoying herself. Vera doesn’t get to speak to her like that and get away with it. “And who can blame him? You wear your hair so tight it’s probably sucked up your vagina along with your sense of humour.”

Franky,” Bridget hisses, and the red cloud that’s taken over Franky’s vision fades away at the disappointment in her voice.

“Fuck,” Franky mumbles, tears once again clouding her eyes as she realises she’s only proved Vera’s point.

Vera clamps a hand over her mouth to stifle a sob and her eyes are glassy with tears. Franky swallows, wishing she could die right now. Vera’s fucking right. She is a bad influence. She’s a terrible person and only hurts everyone around her, and now she’s broken Bridget’s annoying best friend.

“Right,” Bridget takes a deep breath, stepping between them. “This is—”

“Nah, I’m done,” Franky shakes her head, turning her focus towards Bridget who is staring at her with pursed lips. The sight of it makes her heart plummet further and she quickly starts for the hallway, pushing past Bridget. She’s shown her true colours and now she’s clearly not wanted. “Bye, Gidge.”

She blinks away tears as she rushes into Bridget’s bedroom to grab her backpack, and then pounds down the stairs. Behind her there’s the sound of frantic whispers, and by the time she’s reached the ground floor, she hears hurried feet on the stairs. Franky doesn’t dare turn around as she heads towards the front door, desperate to escape the mess she’s made.

“Franky!” Bridget exclaims.

“Don’t,” she chokes, shaking her head and wishing the front door was closer.

Franky, wait!” Bridget says, her voice rising in desperation. Her hand once again catches Franky’s arm, and Franky whirls around to face her. Bridget’s eyes are watery as she looks up at Franky with furrowed brows. “Please don’t go… we can talk—”

“Talking achieves jack shit,” Franky says, wishing she’d never spoken to Vera. She should have taken the insults in silence.

“C’mon baby, don’t—”

“Nuh.” Franky shakes her head, wiping furiously at her own traitorous eyes. She pushes Bridget’s hand off her arm and turns towards the door, unable to bear looking at the hurt she’s etched across every single one of Bridget’s features. “Sorry, Gidget.”

“Okay… okay,” Bridget mumbles, and fuck it sounds like she’s crying.

“Sorry,” Franky offers again, wishing there was more she could say but she’s so ashamed of her behaviour, she doesn’t know how Bridget can even stand to look at her.

She shoulders her backpack and quickly closes the distance to the door as she yanks it open. She shuts the creaky wooden door behind her as fast as she can without slamming it, turning quickly before running across the front garden path.

Chapter Text

Franky’s never really had much interest in science fiction — beyond the fact that the genre often includes half naked chicks — probably due to her own life having enough morbid horrors in it, but she thinks she finally understands zombies. She feels numb. Like she’s floating through the world. Barely alive.

She survives her Down Under shift by drinking tequila shots and Red Bull under the bar, and passes out in Boomer’s car on the drive home. She keeps her phone switched off. She can’t bear facing any disappointed texts from Bridget.

Friday unfolds in much the same way. She goes to her last two classes of the semester, and throws herself into her books. She may have fucked up her burgeoning relationship, she’s not about to ruin her career. If her friends notice her sullen state, they don’t comment, though it’s more likely they’re all just preoccupied with freaking out about exams. Jodie has a panic attack in the Law Library, so Franky and Lindsay spend most of the afternoon trying to calm her down, only succeeding by taking her out for fried chicken. Franky then smashes out her final blog for the Justice Clinic while eating dinner, and downs a double shot espresso on her way to her shift at Glitter.

She pours drinks with all her usual skill but none of her usual charm. Her thoughts are about Bridget, and how Bridget usually sends her a cute bedtime text. It doesn’t help when a short, toothy brunette wearing little more than underwear, shoes, and boxing gloves — tonight’s theme is sports — leans over the bar. She says her name is Ruby and points to the Sharpie-scribbled number above her cleavage, and all that Franky can do is think about the switched-off phone in her bag.

She should text Bridget, it’s been more than twenty-four hours now, but she has no idea what to say. Your best friend’s right. I did all that. I’m a terrible person. It’s better if she lets go of the fantasy that she could ever be happy and normal with Gidge before she gets too swept up in it. Bridget deserves someone as equally amazing as her, someone who doesn’t trash her friends or hide things from her.

It’s three weeks to the day since their first date at Kings, and Franky feels tears well up in her eyes at the memory. Everything was perfect then, and Franky kicks herself for getting lost in the dream of a happy relationship. She’ll never forget the sight of Bridget’s tears in the wake of her ripping Vera apart, and she’ll never forgive herself for hurting Bridget that way. She’s naive for imagining their happiness could last any longer than it did. Her screw up was inevitable. It’s what she does.

The warehouse always turns stuffy and hot when filled with hundreds of sweaty bodies, and it’s getting particularly suffocating. There’s a heavy weight on Franky’s chest, like she’s wearing metal clothes. As she turns to get a UDL from the fridge for a twink dressed as a cheerleader, she stumbles into her manager, Imogen, and black spots cloud her vision.

Imogen grabs her shoulder and frowns at her, her face lit up like an angel by the LED strips lining the roof. “You right, Franky?”

“Yeah,” Franky says, her voice barely more than a breath.

“Shit— go get some air,” Imogen says, her face rapidly fading to black.

“Fuck,” Franky mutters, swaying on her feet. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be— Sky, take Franky outside—”

“Nah.” Franky shakes her head and pushes Sky and Imogen’s hands away. Sky is a particularly annoying coworker who’s only fun to smoke weed with, and Franky would prefer to pass out than be subjected to being sober and alone with Sky looking after her.

She stumbles down the staff corridor, past the cold storage room and the cloak room, and somehow successfully shoulders open the exit door to the back lane behind the warehouse. They’ve got empty crates piled up as seats for smoke breaks, and Franky collapses across three of them, the world spinning into darkness around her.

She inhales sharply and chilly air floods her lungs. Her vision is black, bar a few random specks of light from the street light she knows resides at the lane entrance not far to her left, but she’s still conscious.

The muffled doof, doof, doof of the club serves as a reminder she’s still alive.

Franky lies on the crates, drumming her fingers against the plastic in time to the music, trying not to think about how much of a terrible person she is. This dizziness must be punishment for her atrocities. The universe trying to correct itself by taking her out.

“Franky!” Imogen’s voice cuts through Franky’s thoughts, and a moment later she appears above Franky.

“I’m fine,” Franky replies despite the fact that Imogen is spinning as she peers down at her.

“You’re a fuckin’ idiot is what you are,” Imogen shakes her head. “I’m taking you home.”

“Nah— I’m good—”

“No protesting, get up,” Imogen says while tugging on Franky’s feet. “My car’s just back there, you’ll be home in two minutes.”

Imogen is somehow both the best and the worst boss at the same time. Going home to her bed does sound appealing right now, but Franky’s not exactly happy to lose half a shift, and she hates being seen like this. She begrudgingly sits herself upright, aware that Imogen won’t take no for an answer.

“Come on— this way!” A familiar voice calls out from the end of the lane, followed by a whined, “Babe let’s just go home—”

No fuckin’ way.

A drunk, intertwined Bea and Allie stumble into Franky’s line of sight. Imogen releases a long-suffering sigh and turns around to the drunk pair behind them, placing a hand on Franky’s shoulder. She longs to shrug it off, but doesn’t want to seem unthankful.

“Are you girls ok?” Imogen asks, gesturing at the ‘staff only’ sign above the side door to the warehouse. Glitter runs a relaxed ship when it comes to sex and drugs inside the property, but when it comes to public space visible from the street, they have strict rules. Franky knows— she once tried to fuck Erica out here on her break and almost got fired.

“Yep, yeah, we’re good,” Allie says with wide eyes. “Ripper party tonight, Imogen, really—”

“Franky!” Bea exclaims the moment she lifts her face from Allie’s neck.

“Hey guys,” Franky says, forcing a smile on her face. She forgot they were here tonight — she served them jägerbombs at midnight and hasn’t seen them since. Evidently Allie’s smuggled in some of Boomer’s home brew in her basketball costume.

“You ok?” Bea asks, swaying on her feet and eyeing the hand on Franky’s shoulder.

“Yeah, I’m—”

“She’s a bit unwell. I’m taking her home,” Imogen says.

“Oh shit! Franks!” Allie exclaims and stumbles forward towards Franky, crouching at her feet. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothin’,” Franky huffs, wrinkling up her nose and crossing her arms.

“Alright,” Bea announces, pausing and holding up a finger like she’s about to make some kind of decree, but she’s still swaying on her feet and never finishes her sentence.

The hand on Franky’s shoulder squeezes gently before Imogen speaks, “Alright. I’m gonna get Franky home… You two have fun, but—”

“Wait! You’re taking Franky home?” Allie blinks and cranes her neck back to look up at Imogen, falling back on her ass in the process. “Can you take us home too?”

Imogen makes a questioning noise, no doubt eyeing the now-giggling Allie with confusion.

“They’re my housemates,” Franky explains.

“Oh… sure,” Imogen replies belatedly.

Franky stifles a laugh and pushes herself to her feet — already feeling better at the expense of her manager.

“I love you, Franky’s boss!” Allie exclaims.

At 10:31am on a chilly Saturday morning, Franky runs ten kilometres and promptly vomits in front of the Carlton Football Club function centre. Though being a ‘pies fan, she counts ruining her rival team’s lawn as a win.

Small victories.

It’s not until mid-Saturday afternoon that Franky dares switch her phone on. She’s outside, wrapped up in trackies and a thick blanket, cigarette between her lips as she holds down the power button. It’s cold enough that her fingers have started going numb — of course winter has seemingly come early, and a gloomy drizzle has conquered the skies.

Her phone’s screen flickers twice before properly illuminating the familiar black and white logo, as though it feels as terrible as Franky. She’s got a pounding headache, and a churning stomach courtesy of her deliberating. She takes another puff of her cigarette, feeling the smoke warm her cold chest. She really shouldn’t be smoking — it’s a disgusting habit she’s trying to kick — but it’s the only thing keeping her steady.

She inhales again, drumming her fingers against her phone impatiently. It must be mocking her, punishment for avoiding the consequences of her actions.

Half a cigarette later her phone blinks to her lock screen, a photo of herself, Bea, and Boomer after completing this year’s city 2 pier. She’s been considering changing it to a selfie of herself and Bridget from one of their dates at Bridget’s house, and now she’s glad she didn’t. It had seemed too much at the time, and clearly she was just preempting her own fuck-up.

Sure enough, mid-inhale, the notifications start pouring in.

1 missed call: Thursday 6:49pm

Thursday, 6:54pm: Franky, please talk to me? Call me back? Xx

Thursday, 9:30pm: I know you’re at work but please call me back? Xx

Thursday, 11:07pm: Franky… please. Xx

1 missed call: Friday. 12:08am

Friday, 12:10am: I feel like a crazy person. Sorry. Please talk to me when you’re ready.

A lump forms in Franky’s throat as she scrolls through the messages. The last two make her eyes sting and her chest ache.

Friday, 11:30pm: Baby pls don’t cut me out

Saturday, 2:57am: I miss u

Franky inhales suddenly, assaulted with the idea of Bridget upset in the middle of the night. The late timestamp and lack of punctuation betrays her, and Franky’s self-loathing grows. She’s not good for Bridget, but even in trying to protect Bridget from herself she’s caused more damage.

“Fuck,” Franky hisses, taking a slow drag on her cigarette and brushing away the tears dripping from her eyes.

She wishes she could take back the last forty-eight hours. If only she hadn’t snapped at Vera and torn her to pieces, if only she hadn’t run off, if only she’d been born a good person. Bridget’s an idiot for wanting her; she deserves someone a million times better than Franky.

“Oi, Franks, can I bum a dart?” Boomer interrupts, sticking her head through the quarter-open back door.

“Oh, yeah…” Franky ducks her head, frantically rummaging in her pocket for her pack of cigarettes.

“I thought you weren’t smoking?” Boomer asks as she flops down in a chair opposite Franky.

Franky holds out a cigarette and wrinkles up her nose. “I needed it.”

“Exam stress, hey?” Boomer says sympathetically, taking the cigarette and lifting it to her lips to light it.

Franky finds herself nodding quickly and wiping her eyes. She doesn’t have the energy to explain how she’s ruined everything as usual, and Boomer’s mention of exams has her mind turning to the large stack of textbooks currently being neglected on her desk. She’s managed a few hours of half-arsed study today, and really needs to put her head down and smash out some case summaries and example problems.

“I better hit the books again,” she mutters, standing up from the table.

“Aw, okay,” Boomer gives her a sympathetic smile. “I’ll bring ya some Monte Carlos later.”

“You’re the best,” Franky replies, giving Boomer her best impression of a smile.

As much as Franky misses Bridget, and wants to cave in and text her back, she hides her phone under her mattress and attempts to focus on her studies. Unfortunately, such attempts aren’t going well. Her eyes are glazing over from her Trusts notes, and she’s pretty sure she’s re-read the same sentence at least five times.

Damn it, Gidget.

She put her phone on airplane mode and put it under her pillow, but she can’t stop glancing over at her desk. All she can think about is Bridget’s smile, her warm hugs, her gentle fingers. If it were possible to reverse the damage she caused, Franky would do it in a heartbeat, but she can’t possibly give in to Bridget’s pleading texts. Bridget doesn’t have the full picture, the truth. She doesn’t know Franky is made of bombs, each one set with a different date, ready to explode.

Franky stretches her arms above her head and blows a raspberry as her vision blurs. The queasy feeling in her gut isn’t going away any time soon, and Bridget at least deserves a response of some kind. Franky doesn’t have the words to make up for what she did wrong, but she can at least give Bridget the decency of a reply.

Sitting on her bed, she retrieves her phone to start typing a response. It would be so easy to say I miss you too, please forgive me, but she’s got a destructive orbit and she owes it to Bridget to force her away.

But she selfishly doesn’t want to break up with her either.

Franky groans and turns her phone off again, wishing she knew how to fix things.

“Go Booms!” Franky shouts, gesturing over the rail with her beer and sending froth sloshing onto the grass.

It’s barely ten in the morning on Sunday, but Bea and Liz forced everyone out of the house to come watch Boomer’s footy game. Apparently they’re all becoming antisocial and spending too much time in their bedrooms — something Franky thinks is justified considering it’s swotvac and her first exam is in eight days. ‘A bit of family bonding,’ Bea had called it while pulling Franky’s doona off her at a horrible chilly eight o’clock this morning.

“Family bonding my arse,” Franky mutters to herself as Bea shrieks beside her, Allie’s hands in a suspicious position under Bea’s warm puffer coat. In the face of her own singledom, their perfect happiness is no longer endearing.

“Allie, hands where I can see them!” Kaz groans from the other side of the couple.

Franky laughs, sharing a grimace with Kaz before tipping her head back and skulling the rest of her beer. She’s going to need a lot more alcohol to make it through the next hour, so she promptly returns to the refreshments table. It’s the third quarter and Boomer’s team is four goals up, so as much as Franky loves watching her best friend be an awesome ruckman, there’s no real competition left, and the lovestruck couple to her left are nauseatingly annoying.

“Maxxy, another!” Franky exclaims as she approaches the rickety trestle table bearing the blessed booze getting her through this morning. She dumps her old bottle in the recycling tub and holds out her rainbow stubbie holder for the next one. Franky doesn’t tend to buy too much rainbow shit, and refuses to adopt the new all-pink lesbian flag out of colour principle, but she’ll never say no to the freebies given out at Midsumma every year.

Behind the table, Maxine shakes her head and reaches for another local beer from the esky. Maxine is one of Boomer’s teammates and a regular at Franky, Bea and Bomer’s gym. She’d normally be on the field but a pre-season injury has relegated her to team snacks manager and Franky’s current favourite person.

“Don’t make yourself sick,” Maxine sing-songs as she slides over the cool stubbie.

“Yes mum,” Franky retorts, sticking her tongue out as she leans against the table and searches her pockets for coins.

“Is everything okay?” Maxine asks, and Franky stifles a groan. Maxxy is a fantastic listener and has been on the receiving end of many of Franky’s uni rants in the gym, but a heart-to-heart is the last thing Franky wants right now.

“Peachy,” she quips, finally finding the right coins and dropping them into the ice cream container on the front of the table. She swipes her beer and quickly turns back towards the oval, deliberately ignoring the concerned question on Maxxy’s lips.

“There you are,” Liz smiles as Franky slips back into their group, this time positioning herself between Liz and Kaz so there’s a buffer between herself and the now making-out couple. “Have you seen Dors?”

“Nuh,” Franky says as she twists the top off her beer and happily takes a swig.

“Isn’t Nash’s team playing next?” Kaz asks.

Franky tunes out the dull conversation around her and steadily sips on her stubbie, enjoying the growing buzz it’s giving her. She’s been drinking since they arrived at eight-thirty and it seems like the alcohol is finally starting to hit. She has no idea what’s going on in the game anymore but she doesn’t care, everything feels great for the first time in days.

When the air horn sounds for the end of the third quarter, the score shows Boomer’s team is another seven points ahead, and Franky lets out a proud whoop as Boomer jogs past them.

“Woo, Booms!” Franky giggles, hanging onto the rail as her sense of balance disappears.

“Is she drunk?” Kaz not-so-quietly whispers to Liz.

“I dunno… How many beers has she had?” Liz replies.

Franky narrows her eyes and spins around to face Liz, clinging to the rail as that suddenly makes everything wobble. “I’m not drunk. I’ve only had four… five beers.”

And, like a brooding film character, she had more rum than coffee in her morning French press, but she’s not about to mention that.

“In two hours?” Kaz exclaims rather loudly from behind Franky.

“Yes, Karen, in two hours,” Franky grumbles, ignoring Liz’s concerned eyes.

“Love, are—”

Before Liz can finish her sentence, Franky darts around her and strides off towards the grandstand behind them. She can’t stand being around her judgemental friends anymore, and it’s already more fun without their nagging. She’ll watch the rest of the game from a seat, with her beer to keep her company. A smile crosses her lips and she takes a swig of her beer as she walks as best she can towards the old, wooden grandstand with its peeling paint.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t make it to her destination.


Out of nowhere, one of Bea’s hands wraps around Franky’s forearm and the other pilfers the drink right out of Franky’s hand.

“Hey!” Franky grumbles as Bea tugs her off-course.

“Come on, we’re going to my car,” Bea says in a no-nonsense tone.

“Nuh. I wanna watch the game,” Franky pouts, digging her boots into the grass and trying to hold her ground. Bea, annoyingly, is stronger. Damn all the workouts Franky has skipped lately in favour of study or Bridget. Bridget, whose body against Franky’s was always a much more fun way of working up a sweat than the gym.

“Too bad,” Bea says through gritted teeth.

Franky huffs and stumbles along next to Bea as she leads them out of the sports ground and into the carpark. It’s all a blur and she has to focus all her energy on putting one foot after another with the speed Bea is walking them. Only once they’re at Bea’s old much-loved Subaru, does Bea relax and gently push Franky into the backseat. She flops back into the soft cushion, exhaling as the world slows down around her. She’s reaching for her seatbelt, resigned to being driven home, when the other back door opens and Bea gets into the car beside her.

“Why are you back here?” Franky frowns. “Who’s driving?”

“No one, Franks. I just wanna talk,” Bea says softly.

“Uhh, nuh,” Franky shakes her head and reaches for the door handle, but the familiar click of the lock sounds before she can open it. She groans and closes her eyes, wishing she could shut off her ears too. She doesn’t need Bea’s pity, and she certainly doesn’t need Bea finding out how awful she is. Her friends are great, and they know about her past, but they don’t know about the monster simmering below the surface.

“C’mon, Franky. You never drink like this… what’s wrong?” Bea says, gently placing a hand on Franky’s knee.

“Nothing…” Franky mutters, trying to block out the influx of thoughts of Bridget. Unfortunately closing her eyes doesn’t close her memories.

Bea hums and rubs circles over Franky’s jean-clad knee before speaking softly. “You know we’re all here to help you with whatever it is.”

Franky squeezes her eyes shut harder, but a tear leaks out anyway. She's drunk and drunk is shit at holding back. "I fucked things up with Bridget."

Franky hears the sound of Bea sliding over the car seat and a moment later she’s enveloped in gentle arms. She cracks her eyes open, briefly glimpsing red curls, then squeezes them shut again to pretend like there aren’t hot tears leaking down her cheeks.

“Yeah. Doing what I do best.”

“What happened?” Bea asks softly, rubbing circles along Franky’s upper back now.

Franky hates being needy because she’s the least-deserving person ever, but she never wants to leave this hug. Except, maybe, for Bridget’s arms. Though she’s unlikely to ever feel them around her again.


She startles, realising she didn’t reply. Why the fuck did she think drinking was a good idea? She can’t stop being a soppy bastard.

“Got in a fight,” Franky mumbles into Bea’s shoulder.

“With Bridget?”

“With her housemate. And then…”

Franky trails off. Here and now is a drunk blur, but the memory of Bridget’s face as Franky pushed her away and ran isn’t.

Bea waits. Patient. Expectant.

“I fucked up,” Franky groans.

“Have you spoken to Bridget since then?”

“Nuh… Didn’t know what to say.” Her voice comes out as more of a squeak, followed by a hiccup from the beer foaming in her stomach.

“Gimme your phone,” Bea says, holding out a hand.

She scrolls through Franky’s messages for a few minutes and Franky holds her breath, waiting for the moment Bea kicks her out of the car for being such an asshole.

“Oh Franky, you idiot. Call her.”

Whether it’s nerves or a hangover from all the drinks hitting her, Franky’s not sure. All she knows is her stomach won’t stop churning. Bridget, in a display of her virtue, agreed to come over and talk. Franky’s still not convinced she deserves this chance, but Bea cleared everyone out of the house and essentially ordered Franky to apologise to Bridget.

She mindlessly plays a cooking game on her phone while listening for the door. Bridget is a prompt person, and sure enough, just before one there’s a gentle knock on the wood.

Franky rushes to the door, desire to see Bridget overriding her nerves. She pulls open the door and her breath is knocked away.

“Hey,” she says, barely more than a whisper as she gazes upon Bridget’s beautiful face.

Bridget’s not wearing any makeup and her hair is up in a messy bun. Coupled with an oversized grey jumper and jeans, and a hint of gloss on her lips, she looks incredibly cute. Her lips are pursed, but her eyes are soft, and Franky clings to her gaze.

“Hey,” Bridget says, her voice clipped.

“Uh… come in.” Franky moves aside, fighting the urge to hug Bridget. She doesn’t deserve it, and she doesn’t know how Bridget will react.

Bridget steps around her in the narrow hallway and the physical distance she keeps between them is like a punch to Franky’s gut. The worst part is Franky has no one to blame but herself.

“You want anything to drink?” Franky asks, shutting the door and trailing Bridget down the hall.

“No thanks,” Bridget replies, glancing around the remarkably quiet house as she enters the sprawling living room. “So this is your place.”

“Yeah.” Franky glances around the living room, an uncoordinated mess of everyone’s furniture plus the belongings of their two extra guests.

“It’s homey…”

Franky watches her glance from three of Bea’s paintings hanging behind the much-loved couch to Kaz’s colourful quilt draped over her mattress, to the coffee table piled with textbooks, to Boomer’s football trophies proudly displayed next to the telly. A soft smile spreads over Bridget’s smile even in the face of the eclectic collection, and Franky doesn’t think Bridget is putting on any false pretences either.

“It’s a mishmash, I know. You’re just too fuckin’ polite,” Franky says, aiming for her usual teasing, but her voice comes out stilted.

Bridget turns to face Franky with eyes that pierce right through her. “So where are your things?”

Franky blinks, glancing around the room. “Umm..”

Come to think of it, she doesn’t keep any of her belongings outside her lockable room. It’s probably a hang-up from having her shit stolen repeatedly growing up.

“Can I see your room?” Bridget asks, expression still difficult to read.

Franky hesitates, wondering why on earth Bridget would give up her exits that easily. Doesn’t she want to stay in the open, poised to bolt at the opportune moment?

“Yeah,” she exhales, turning to lead them upstairs. Anything is better than awkwardly hovering in the overstuffed lounge room.

When Franky envisaged bringing Bridget home for the first time, she pictured them rushing up to her room in a giddy, desire-filled flurry. She didn’t imagine the silence, the uncertainty, the strained connection. And in all her daydreaming, she never quite figured out how she’d explain her past to Bridget. She pushes open her creaky bedroom door, glad that she thought to shove all her dirty clothes and other mess under her bed before Bridget arrived.

“Oh, your desk is lovely,” Bridget says, immediately walking past Franky towards the desk in the corner directly opposite Franky’s bedroom door.

A whiff of Bridget’s fruity, musky perfume hits Franky as she passes, and Franky aches to have Bridget in her arms again.

“Where did you get this?” Bridget asks, bending down to inspect the colourful Aboriginal dot art decorating the drawers. “Is it custom?”

“My friends made it for me,” Franky replies, smiling at the memory. “It’s Dor’s Dreamtime, but Bea painted it.”

“Wow,” Bridget says breathlessly.

Bridget admires the desk for a few more moments before turning to survey the rest of the room with a slow clockwise gaze. It isn’t as stylish or as cohesive as Bridget’s room, but it does the job. To the right of Franky’s desk, she’s lucky to have a large window overlooking their backyard. Various knickknacks are strewn along the sill, below which she’s got Kmart shelves chock full of uni notes and her beloved collection of secondhand novels. Beside that, in the far corner, her weights and other workout things are in a pile next to her small, wobbly round bedside table.

Her unmade double bed is tucked against the wall opposite the window, with an overflowing clothing rack at the end blocking the view from the door. It wasn’t intentional; it was simply the only way all her stuff would fit in the somewhat-cramped room, but it does add a nice bit of privacy when Franky brings girls back. At this rate, she won’t ever need its privacy with Bridget, and she swallows against the heavy lump in her throat. This moment could have been so different if only she was a functional, non-fuck up of a person.

“Nice paintings,” Bridget comments, breaking into Franky’s darkening thoughts. “Did Bea do those too?”


The two paintings are watercolours of the sunrise and sunset at Fairhaven Beach on one of their group’s many getaways to Kaz’s family beach house. Franky feels lucky to have such a creative friend, because there’s no way she’d ever be able to afford nice artwork otherwise.

“She’s very talented,” Bridget says, turning back to Franky. There’s a wistful smile on her face which drops as their eyes meet, and Franky feels uncertain again.

She’s no closer to figuring out how to explain everything to Bridget, but she needs to give it a shot. She gestures at her bed and Bridget gets the hint, sitting down silently, expectantly. Franky sighs and sits beside Bridget, knowing any apology will fall flat without context, but context will make Bridget run for the hills.

“Uh… how are you?” Franky starts, toying with the hem of her jumper. This would be easier if Bridget would just yell at her for being a bitch. Franky can take yelling. She deserves it.

“I’ve been better,” Bridget replies, folding her arms. She sits on the bed with her legs elegantly folded to the side, feet dangling over the edge and boots discarded on the floorboards beneath her. She’s at once relaxed and ready to flee. More than anything, Franky hates being the cause of Bridget’s sadness.

“I… I’m sorry, Bridget,” Franky murmurs, her chest aching with guilt. “I fucked up… I hurt you, and I hurt Vera… and I—”

“Franky…” Bridget holds her left hand out towards Franky while she runs her right hand along her forehead. “I… I don’t care about what you said to Vera. She was being a bitch.” Bridget drops her hands into her lap. “I do care that you took off on me like that.”

“I know,” Franky says, watching as Bridget glances everywhere but at her. She looks smaller than normal, traces of the hurt from Thursday night creeping across her guarded expression.

“You didn’t contact me for three days… I don’t… you can’t do that to me.”

“I know.”

“Do you?” Bridget asks sharply, her brows raising and her eyes darting back to meet Franky’s. They’re steely now. Challenging.

Franky swallows, bracing for the impact, the end.

Her vision goes cloudy and she clenches her jaw, willing herself not to cry when she only brought this upon herself. She has no right to be upset when she’s the bad guy here. She forces herself to continue meeting Bridget’s eyes and confront the pain she’s caused. Bridget regards her for a moment, the air between them thick and pulsing with hurt.

“I really like you,” Bridget continues, clearing her throat. “I just… Please.” her voice cracks and the sound of it slams right through Franky’s chest. “Baby, please talk to me. I can’t handle being… I want you to trust me.”

“I do trust you,” Franky mumbles reflexively, wiping her eyes on her sleeve. It’s not a lie. She trusts Bridget more than anyone, and that’s why she feels so terrible about treating her like this. Through the cloud of self-loathing, however, Franky realises Bridget isn’t ending their relationship. The glimmer of hope spurs her on, and she runs her hands along her soft winter doona bunched up around them, wishing she was touching Bridget instead.

She’s got a long way to go to fix this mess, but she wants to try. Despite multiple reasons to, Bridget’s not abandoning her and Franky owes it to Bridget to give her the same decency. She realises, now, that she’s been letting old excuses and insecurities rule her. She needs to push through her shit and tell Bridget the truth.

“I’m…” She exhales through shaky lips, bile rising in her throat as she sorts through her memories. “I’m not good at this.”

“This isn’t a test, Franky,” Bridget murmurs, wiping at her own watery eyes. “I know you’ve experienced things in your past — and I don’t want to pressure you to tell me. I just… I was worried sick.” Her voice rises with every word. “You were upset when you left and then it was like you dropped off the face of the planet.”

“I know… I’m sorry,” Franky says, her stomach churning so hard she wonders if Bridget can hear it.

Bridget runs her left hand through her hair, messing up her bun somewhat. She gives Franky a small smile but still seems tense. Franky doesn’t blame her; she realises now how awful Bridget must have felt.

“My dad left when I was ten,” Franky offers, shaking her head at the irony. “Probably got that from him.”

“Franky…” Bridget exhales, her hands twitching in her lap as she softens. “We don’t have to talk about it right now—”

“I want to.”

The words slip out of Franky’s mouth before she can think about them. Her eyes widen and she almost startles at the realisation that it’s true. She does want to tell Bridget.

Her friends have found out about her parents in bits and pieces over the years; mostly through late night D&Ms, drunk meltdowns, and overhearing government phone calls. Franky’s Centrelink applications are always a fucking shitshow requiring Liz and Bea’s help and many, many vodka shots. It might be cathartic to tell Bridget the raw truth in its entirety without an alcoholic facade.

Bridget smiles softly, her still-misty eyes crinkling at the corners.

Fuck, Franky’s missed that smile. Its reappearance makes her feel… safe. Which isn’t easy when her childhood is at the forefront of her mind. That’s not to say that her heart isn’t currently beating ridiculously fast, and that she doesn’t feel exposed, but Bridget’s presence beside her is a comforting feeling.

“Gidge?” Franky mumbles, digging her fingers into her thick dark blue doona, instinctively tugging it around her.


“I just… wanna hold ya,” Franky admits, needing the tactile connection to reassure her anxious heart. “If you want.”

“Oh. Yes.” Bridget nods instantly, and Franky’s chest flutters.

Franky hesitates, still feeling awful for everything she’s done, and she hasn’t yet explained herself to Bridget so she doesn’t exactly deserve comfort. Before she can fret any longer, Bridget’s arms are wrapping around her.

“Mmm…” Franky smiles, melting against Bridget, and turning her face into warm skin. “Missed you.”

“I missed you too,” Bridget sighs, her hands creeping up Franky’s back as they press together. “Wanna lie down?”

Instinct makes Franky want to shove Bridget away, denying herself comfort in order to avoid looking weak. But she’s already started showing her true self, and if she’s to truly bare herself, she needs to be honest.

“Yeah,” she says, her voice coming out squeaky.

They separate briefly in order to lie down, and it’s somewhat ridiculous how much she misses Bridget’s touch. They settle facing each other on the pillows, and thankfully Bridget is quick to sling her arm over Franky’s hip and slide her hand under Franky’s jumper. It’s like she’s a mind reader.

Franky exhales forcefully, trying to centre herself before telling Bridget the truth.

“Baby, take your time,” Bridget says.

Bridget follows her words by moving her thumb in circles and sending warmth up Franky's spine. It’s reassuring and refreshing to have someone be so patient and caring even after her recent fuck up. A small smile creeps over Franky’s face as she arches her back into Bridget’s touch, trying to relax.

Minutes pass. Franky tries to only think about the softness of Bridget’s fingertips and the depths of her smile.

“I used to hate bedtime,” Franky says eventually. “I spent years waiting at the window for my dad to come back.”

Anger surges through her veins with the admission, and she tries not to succumb its screaming temptation.

She used to idolise her dad — he was like a superhero with his plumbing tools and Ute. She remembers helping him fix the sink in the shitty rental they lived in when money got tight. He also used to take her into the bush on surprise camping trips instead of going to school. Later, she learnt it was because her mum was on a bender and her dad had been laid off from yet another job, but as a child he was the best father a girl could ask for.

“I haven’t heard from him since he left… but I… I don’t know if I want to anymore. I can’t trust myself around him.”

Franky’s heart pounds in her chest as she drags from it her darkest thoughts.

Bridget’s eyebrows crease, but she doesn’t say anything. Franky swallows, unsure if she’s already scaring Bridget away. The hand stroking her back allays those fears somewhat, but Franky can’t shake her insecurities.

“For ages I thought he’d come back and rescue me… When I realised he wasn’t coming back I started to plot revenge — I used to hope he’d return because I wanted to smash his face in,” Franky hisses, her vision blurring with angry, disgusted tears and she hastily wipes them away with an unsteady hand. “I don't want to be like that… that violent person anymore, but—”

“You’re not,” Bridget says, still staring with compassionate eyes.

“I wish I believed that,” Franky says hesitantly. “‘Cause when I think of dad I still want to hurt him.”

Around them, the air is cold and suffocating. There’s a constricting lump in Franky’s throat and she’s fighting against darkness to meet Bridget’s eyes.

“‘Cause he left me… he left me with mum.” Franky’s voice cracks as she chokes out the words. “And my mum… she was an addict… and she… she… she blamed me. Said it was my fault he left. She’d get pinned and she’d… she hit me and burned me with cigarettes.”

Bridget gasps and her gentle face quickly crumples, her hand freezing on Franky’s back. “Oh god…”

Franky clenches her jaw, desperately clinging to her waning control.

“I was with her for five years before social services took me.” Franky races to get the rest out as her chest feels tighter than ever. “Then I was bounced around shitty foster homes and public housing. I… I got into some shit. I’ve been in a lot of fights, I’ve been arrested, I used to deal drugs…” she pauses, watching as Bridget frowns again. Her stomach plummets. “I know I’m a bad person.”

“What?” Bridget blinks. “No you’re not.”

“I am,” Franky insists. “I’ve been trying to convince myself I’m not, but I am. Underneath it all, I’m an awful person. I hurt you, I hurt Vera, last year I had an affair with Erica—”

“Shh, stop,” Bridget says as she cups Franky’s cheek, her palm soft and soothing against Franky’s skin. Franky’s breath hitches under her touch and the world slows in its spinning. “Franky, listen to me. You’re a good person.”

With probing blue eyes, Bridget tucks Franky’s hair behind her ear, smoothing out the mess. Tears roll down both their cheeks and Franky wipes hers away, shaking her head. Bridget is delusional. Hasn’t she been listening to her confession?

Before Franky can form a protest, Bridget presses her thumb to Franky’s lips.

“You are good. You’re kind, and generous, and you work so hard…” Bridget strokes Franky’s cheek with her fingertips, curling them up and down with the gentlest of touches.

“You’re wrong,” Franky says as hot, guilty tears continue to drip down her cheeks. She wants so hard to agree, to relax against Bridget’s calming hand and ignore her past, but she can’t simply wash away a lifetime of bad behaviour.

“I’m not,” Bridget shakes her head, wiping quickly at her own tears and then dropping her hands to grab Franky’s own limp ones. “Remember that night at Down Under?”

“Yeah.” How could Franky ever forget? Her lips twitch upwards as she recalls Bridget’s cute, intoxicated self sprawled over the couch.

“I was off my face and you made sure I got home safe,” Bridget says, blue eyes shining brightly. “I didn’t even really know you then… but now I do. And I know you as the most wonderful, caring, amazing person. You’ve brought me lunch, made me breakfast, sent me cute texts every day… You’re so thoughtful.” As Bridget speaks she brushes her fingers over Franky’s hands, and the soothing touches help make Franky’s body feel like it belongs to her again. “I wish you could see yourself the way I do.”

Franky’s heart thuds in her chest and her eyes fill with tears again at the overwhelmingly kind words flowing from Bridget’s mouth.

“What your mum did to you… that’s… beyond awful,” Bridget’s face crumples up with sadness and a moment later she flings her arms around Franky, her voice wavering. “Oh, baby… You didn’t deserve any of that.”

It’s not the first time Franky’s heard those words, but for the first time in her life, she believes them.