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Cady/Janis Prompts

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“Janis where are you taking me?” An hour ago Janis gave Cady a blindfold and told her to get in the car. Sixty minutes later the two were still driving and Janis hadn’t told Cady where they were going yet even though the girl has asked multiple times.

“I’m going to murder you.” Janis dead pans.

“Sixty minutes ago I would’ve thought you were kidding, now I’m not so sure. Just tell me.” Cady whines.

Janis laughs at her girlfriend’s impatience. “It’s a surprise. Just wait a little while longer.” Cady huffs and crosses her arms, fed up with not being able to see.

The girl’s finally arrive at their destination, Janis’ heart is close to pounding out of her chest. She’s sure Cady will like the surprise but part of her still worries that this surprise will be horrible and Cady will laugh at her.

“Okay, babe, you can take off the blindfold.” Janis reaches over the seat and helps Cady remove the layer of cloth. She studies her girlfriend’s reaction. At first Cady shows no emotion and Janis’ heart drops to the pit of her stomach.

“Are we at the zoo?” Cady turns her head to look at Janis.

“Uh, yeah, but we can totally leave if you don’t want to be here or whatever.” Janis offers the girl a way out.

“This is going to be the best day ever!” Cady exclaims and leaps out of the car. “Can we go see the lions?” Janis has a smile that reaches her eyes. She nods. “And then the rhinos?” Janis nods again as she tries to catch up to Cady who is now 20 feet in front of her and screaming as she heads towards the entrance.

“Caddy, wait.” Janis calls after the girl. “It’s 9 am calm down, I think you’re scaring the children with your excitement.” She laughs.

Cady turns around and runs back towards Janis. Once she reaches the girl she wraps her in a bone crushing hug, but Janis didn’t mind. “Thank you so much, babe, I can’t wait to show you all of the different animals.”

Janis follows the girl into the zoo. While she’s looking forward to seeing the animals look of pure joy on her girlfriend’s face when they finally get to the lion exhibit is easily one of the seven wonders of the world.

“I told you this, but back in Kenya I was alone a lot.” Cady began to explain as they stood outside of the lion enclosure. “And my mom and dad were always working. So I ended up talking to the lions a lot. I know it sounds dumb but lions are actually very sociable and I didn’t have anyone else to really talk to so the animals there were kind of my best friends.” The girl concluded.

“They seem like they’d be good listeners. Once you get past the big scary teeth that could rip out all of your intestines.” Janis jokes.

“Lions are sweet, they would never hurt you. Except that one time when I was telling this one about some boy troubles I was having and he tried to bite me.”

“I would probably have the same reaction if you talked to me about your boy troubles.” This earns Janis a playful shove from the other girl.

“Did you know that lions sleep up to 20 hours a day?”

“That sounds like me.” The two girls laugh and wander to the next exhibit.

The next stop was the African Elephant area. “When I lived in Kenya we’d study elephants all the time. When I was younger they were my favorite animals.”

“Why is that?”

“They can weigh up to 6.5 tons and get 10 feet tall. They are the world’s largest land mammal and could possibly be at the top of the food chain just based on size, but they don’t exist to hurt other creatures. Instead they roam around, eat some grass and just chill. It’s a powerful statement if you think about it.” Janis stares at her girlfriend in awe. She’s never heard Cady speak this passionately about something before.

“You miss it don’t you?” Janis asks as the two of them stare out into the makeshift savannah landscape.

“I try not to think about it.” Cady smiles sadly. “I love it here, I do, but a part of me wishes that I could combine the two worlds somehow.” Janis waits for Cady to continue, knowing she has more she wants to say. “It was easier there. I didn’t have to try has hard to be me. And the scenery is absolutely beautiful, Janis, you can see the sunset for miles. At one point it feels like the sun is melting into the ground you’re standing on.”

“Maybe you and I can go back there one day and you can show me.” Cady’s face lights up when Janis says that.

“In that case, you still have so much to learn about the animals and Kenya in general.” Cady perks up and starts to run towards the next section of the zoo. “Come on, babe, the rhinos are next!” Cady gestures for Janis to follow her.

The rest of the day is spent walking around to the different animals and Cady telling Janis various facts. A lot of the time Cady would spend talking about her experiences with them when she lived in Kenya. Part way through the day they stopped to get some food at the ridiculously overpriced cafeteria but Janis figured it was worth it because they were both starving and they had chicken nuggets shaped as the different animals in the zoo, which Cady of course got and definitely didn’t play with her food. They spent the next half of the day inside, because the heat was getting to them, watching nature documentaries. Janis almost fell asleep in a couple of them but whenever she was just about to doze off Cady would excitedly hit her on the arm because something interesting happened on screen.

Finally, the day came to an end and the zoo closed. When they got to the car Cady fell asleep instantly as she tired herself out from all of the running around she did. The copious amount of sugar she had a few hours ago also wore the girl down. Janis began the drive home and looked at her girlfriend sleeping. This trip to the zoo was easily in the top three days of her life. Seeing her girlfriend this excited and full of joy made Janis realize just how much she loves Cady. She was really looking forward to that trip to Kenya they would take one day, wanting to see what the actual placed looked like and how happy it would make Cady.

Chapter Text

The past 24 hours were a blur to Cady. This morning she got on a plane in New York City headed for San Francisco. Her boss sent her on a last minute meeting with some possible investors. Cady understood that as researchers they needed funding and that things unfortunately cost money but what she didn’t understand is why he had to send her and why the trip had to be less than a day. She actually had a guess as to why she was coming back the same day. Her boss is extremely cheap and didn’t want to spend any money on a hotel room for her. Which she understood, considering how little funding they had left.

So after a five hour flight, that she got up for at 5am, Cady arrived in San Francisco at 9am. From there she got shuffled from meeting to meeting. The first meeting went horribly. Cady spilled coffee on herself two minutes into presenting their research and giving her “please give us money, we’re desperate” spiel. She didn’t know what else to do so Cady powered through the meeting and pretended that the five men in front of her couldn’t see her bra showing through her shirt. Once that meeting was done Cady called her boss and told him what happened. Luckily he liked Cady and he was an overall relaxed boss so he just laughed at what happened and told Cady she shouldn’t drink anything during the next meeting.

Cady didn’t have time to get a new shirt so she put on the sweatshirt that she brought with her for the plane, hoping that the investors figured she was just a quirky scientist who worked best in comfortable clothes. This meeting went much better than the first one. All of the fancy men in suits and ties seemed to be fully invested in her presentation. At the end of the meeting she shook all of their hands and the guy that appeared to be the head huncho who made the decisions told Cady he would be in touch soon.

The final meeting took way too long in Cady’s opinion. She barely had anything to eat that day so all she could think about during the presentation were the chocolate chip muffins she saw in the hallway. The meeting somehow lasted three hours. Cady didn’t know how people besides herself and her boss could ask so many questions about their research. The time was now 8:30pm and Cady’s flight left in an hour. The girl rushed to the airport and prayed that she would get there in time. Cady made it to her gate just as boarding began. She took out the muffin she stole from the meeting and began to eat it, her first food all day. The muffin was dry and had virtually no taste but it was food and Cady was grateful for that much.

The boarding process took forever as always. People stopped in the middle of the aisle and would just stand there being ignorant that there were people behind them who wanted to sit down. Finally Cady got to her seat after what felt like years. There was a young woman who looked to be the same age as her already seated in the aisle she had long dark hair and was wearing a jacket covered with various small sketches painted on it along with combat boots. “I like your jacket.” Cady says once she gets seated. The girl looked up from the books she was reading and smiled at Cady. She’d be lying if she didn’t think the girl was attractive.

“Thanks, I painted it myself.” The stranger replies.
“Woah, that’s so cool. You’re talented. I’m Cady by the way.” Cady awkwardly reaches her hand for the other girl to shake. Cady would say that it was the sleep deprivation that was making her act so odd and definitely not the butterflies in her stomach.

“I’m Janis. Nice shirt by the way.” Janis smirks as she looks at the very obvious and revealing coffee stain from earlier.

“Ugh! I am never drinking coffee again. You would not believe the day I have had.” Cady exclaims, too tired to worry about covering up.

“Please do tell.”

Cady launches into recapping everything that had happened that day. “And yeah, that’s why you can completely see my bra right now and I don’t have enough energy to care.”

“You should get some sleep.” Janis suggest, Cady’s tiredness beginning to show.

“Mhm I think I will, can you wake me before we land? I always have this fear that I’ll sleep through the landing and they’ll just leave me here and then when I wake up the zombie apocalypse will have started and I’ll die because the airports would have been a place that so many people went to and I have no weapons or food.” Cady’s tangent finally ended.

Janis chuckles softly, a sound that Cady thinks is cute. “You’re something else Caddy.”

“Thanks, but it’s Cady.”

“Oh I know, but I’m gonna call you Caddy, it sounds cuter.” Cady smiles at the nickname.

“Imma go to bed now, night night.” She sleepily slurs out as her eyes close and she drifts off.

It took less than five minutes of Cady being asleep for her head to make its way onto Janis’ shoulder. The girl froze at first, unsure of what to do. She then saw how comfortable the sleeping girl looked and after the way she described her day she figured the girl needed some rest. The airplane was freezing and the warmth of Cady’s body against hers was also greatly appreciated. Janis spent most of the flight in and out of sleeping, reading her book, and staring at the girl next to her. Not in a creepy way, but in a she looks adorable and kind of hot way, although now that Janis thinks about it, it sounds pretty creepy. Cady meanwhile spent most of her flight asleep and unconsciously inching more of her body onto Janis. The girl was now resting her head on the girl’s right boob/arm, something Janis didn’t bother preventing.

The pilot comes over the intercom and lets everyone know that they’ll be landing in a few minutes. Janis decides it’s time to wake the sleeping girl up and lightly taps her on the shoulder. “Caddy, it’s time to wake up. We’re going to land soon.” Cady slowly opens her eyes and attempts to wipe the grogginess away. “Morning sunshine.”

“Mornin’” Cady’s voice is heavy with sleep and much raspier than normal. “Thanks for waking me, sorry I slept on you but you’re a really comfy pillow.” This causes a light pink shade to make its way onto Janis’ cheeks. “You could’ve pushed me off.”

“You looked really comfortable, I didn’t want to wake you.” Janis says as she packs her things. “Plus, it didn’t hurt that you’re hot.”

Cady snort laughs at the compliment. “Yeah, a hot mess. I’m starting to think I was sitting next to a crazy person if you thought that this,” Cady motions to her entire being, “is hot.”

“To each their own.” Janis says as she walks off the plane, followed close behind by Cady.

The two walk to baggage claim together. Neither say much of anything but they silently enjoy the others presence. Once there they get to talking more about their personal lives such as where they’re originally from, what their jobs are, their favorite foods. Twenty minutes later Janis’ bag comes out and they start walking towards the exit. “Wait, what about your bag.” Janis realizes that Cady walks away from baggage claim empty handed.

“Oh, I didn’t have any bags.”

“So you waited twenty extra minutes for no reason?” Janis is shocked that someone would unnecessarily wait at baggage claim when they could be on their way home to a nice comfortable bed.

“I wouldn’t say for no reason. A pretty girl called me hot, I kinda had to stay.” Janis smiles and the two walk towards the taxi stand together holding hands. Cady made note to thank her boss for sending her on this trip.

Chapter Text

Janis sat on her bed with makeup running down her face and tissues scattered around her. An hour ago her and Damian passed by Cady’s house and she felt her whole world collapse. Seeing Cady with all of her new friends having a great time hurt Janis more than she expected. For the past few weeks Janis noticed the girl distancing herself more and more from the “art freaks”. Janis didn’t know what she was hoping for once they took away Regina’s power but it definitely wasn’t for Cady to take her place. Her life felt like a broken record at this point. Everytime she got close to a friend they would do something that made her feel worthless and like a piece of shit. She should know by now not to care about anyone and to just shut her heart down. She should’ve learned her lesson with Regina.

But she thought Cady was different. Cady was kind and made her laugh. When they would hang out the girl made her feel like she was the only person that mattered. But apparently that was all in her head, another part of Cady’s scheme to get to the top. That’s all she really was to people, a way to get ahead. Janis cried some more at the fact she fell for this shit again. From now on she’ll keep all people far away from her heart.

Janis’ wallowing is paused by her phone repeatedly going off. She knows it’s Cady. After they left Cady’s house she told Damian to just leave her alone knowing that he would comply. Janis picks up her phone and sees Cady’s name on all of the notifications. It’s a mix between texts, all of which convey some form of apology, and missed calls. This makes Janis cry some more. Seeing Cady’s name on her phone used to bring her so much joy. Janis remembers when they would stay up all night texting each other stupid memes. Sometimes this turned into a deep conversation, sometimes about life and what they wanted to do after school. Other times they talked about stupid stuff like if they had to be a potato what type of potato product they’d want to be. Cady said she wanted to be french fries, because everyone loves french fries, to which Janis pointed out that she would die almost instantly. Janis said she would want to be a baked potato because those always have the most interesting toppings and because they’re her favorite type of potato.

Janis’ phone rang again. Seeing pure red she answered it. “Fuck off, dude!”

“Janis, please don’t hang up. I didn’t mean it.” Cady pleads.

“Didn’t mean what part? You didn’t mean to become a bitch who only cares about herself? Or you didn’t mean to pretend to be friends with me?” Janis spat.

“Neither!” Cady knows how stubborn Janis can be. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“I’m fine, dude.” Janis chokes out, trying to keep her emotions in check. It was bullshit that a person could make you feel this worthless, like you never even mattered to them. “Really, it’s fine, I knew our friendship was too good to last. Just don’t go around school calling me some homophobic slur, you’re better than that. At least I thought you were.” Janis finishes as she hangs up.

-

The alcohol in Cady’s system finally began fighting back. The bathroom had been her solace for the past 20 minutes, Cady throwing up the only thing in her system, burning liquid. Cool bathroom tiles calmed her down slightly and the floor became a tempting place to sleep but she knew she would regret that decision in the morning. Cady climbed her way off of the floor, relying heavily on the porcelain of the toilet to not fall over. She stumbled to the sink to wash her face off. When she looked up into the mirror her heart dropped. She didn’t recognize the girl staring back at her. Everything she knew to be fundamental truths about herself had vanished. She was no longer the Cady she wanted to be. The makeup, the dress, the hair, the bitchy attitude, none of that was her. As she looked at her reflection it felt like she belonged to other people. When she came here she learned quickly what was right and wrong. How there were certain ways she should behaved or she would face exile from the students. Those were the people who controlled her now. She used to be herself. Right now she wasn’t sure who she was.

She made her way into bed and the call she had with Janis earlier entered her mind. Thinking about what she did to her best friend made her feel nauseous again and it took everything in her to not go running back to the bathroom. Janis deserved so much more than the person Cady became. Her thoughts shifted to why she did the horrible things with the plastics. Cady told herself it was because that was the type of girl Aaron liked. She desperately needed his attention and being Regina would get her that. Nope, no more lying to herself. Cady knew the real reason she ran towards Aaron and the plastics. It’s because they weren’t Janis. They were the furthest thing from the girl that was constantly on her mind and Cady desperately needed to stop thinking about that girl. She shouldn’t be thinking about her that much, especially the way she was. She should be thinking about about the hot guys on the soccer team like that, and at times she did, but it always came back to Janis and the look she had on her face whenever she would paint.

Cady decided that she was done being that fake version of herself she saw in the mirror. She knew it wouldn’t happen over night and the fear she held within herself about who she was wouldn’t just go away, but she was going to take the baby steps. Steps such as telling Janis on Monday before school because she could at least try to be herself in front of her closest friend.

Sunday came and Cady got an uncomfortable powerpoint lecture from her parents about underage drinking which included slides filled with statistics and images Cady would never like to see again. Along with how disappointed they were in her for her actions. She apologized profusely to them and told them it wouldn’t happen again, at least the party at her house aspect. They grounded her for a few weeks, which was a punishment she knew she deserved.

It’s now Monday and Cady took a long time trying to pick out an outfit, unsure of how she should dress now that she’s done being a fake plastic and also wanting to try to impress Janis. She finally settled on a mix of clothes she had from Kenya and ones she bought at the mall. As she made her way through the school looking for Janis she got various waves and “nice party” comments from people she didn’t even recognize. After an extensive search and not much time left before the bell rang for first block, Cady finally found the girl she had been searching for in the art room, a place she should have looked first.

“Janis, can we talk.” Cady said before Janis could see her.

“Nope, I’m good, but thanks.” Janis said as she began to pack up her art gear.

“Please.” Cady said, dangerously close to the girl.

Everything in Janis told her to say no and ignore the girl for the rest of her high school career because Cady would just hurt her all over again. But another part of her reminded her that Cady wasn’t Regina, at least at one point. “Fine, but you do the talking. I don’t think you’ll like the things I have to say.”

“I messed up on so many levels and I will forever be sorry. But I am so sorry for the things I said to you and how I hurt you. Please know that I value your friendship more than anything else in the world.” Cady paused hoping Janis would say something but the girl stayed silent, focusing her attention on the paints she had to clean up. “And I realized that because I was scared and confused about who I was, I became something else, someone I didn’t even recognize. Janis, you are the last person who ever deserves to be hurt. I admire you for so much. You’re unafraid to be yourself. And emotionally vulnerable with Damian and me, even though you’ve been hurt so much in the past you should be closed off, please don’t close yourself off because of me. And your talent when it comes to art is stunning. Everything about you is fascinating and beautiful. It’s because of all of these things that I started to fall for you and I’m so sorry I couldn’t be comfortable with my sexuality the way you and Damian are and it hurt you. I’m trying to accept that part of me, it’s hard, but I figured you deserved to know.” Cady concludes terrified to meet the other girl’s eyes as tears begin to form in her eyes.

She knows that Janis stopped putting the paint supplies away because there’s no movement in the room. Suddenly, Cady feels a finger under her chin and lift up her face so now her eyes meet Janis’. She’s trying to read the girl’s expression but nothing shows. “You started to fall for me?” Janis asks, her voice quiet after a few moments of silence passed, her brain slow to process exactly what Cady said. The girl in front of her nods in response. “I think I started to fall for you too.” Janis admits.

Cady’s heart skips a beat at the confession. “What do we do?”

“We can work through everything together and you can get to know yourself a little more.” Janis suggests as she grabs Cady’s hand and intertwines their fingers. “Is this okay?” She asks making sure the girl is comfortable and she’s not forcing her into anything.

“Definitely.” Cady smiles back as the two walk to homeroom together unsure of where exactly they go from here but glad to be heading in that direction.

Chapter Text

Cady’s favorite time of day was fourth block. She was a teacher’s aide to Ms. Norbury which meant that she just had to make a few copies at the beginning of class and then she was free to do whatever she wanted. That whatever she wanted was always visiting Janis in her art class. By now Cady is practically an honorary student and Janis’ teacher expects her to come in each day and on days she can’t Mr. Halifax would ask Janis where her guest was.

It was nice to have a place to go and relax. Cady understood why Janis loves art so much. The room was extremely calming. There were student paintings pieced throughout the room all of them telling their own story. Plus there was no real structure to the class. Today when Cady got to Janis’ class there was another girl talking to Janis. The girl is taller than Janis with thick curly hair. Cady hasn’t seen this girl before but feels a slight tinge of anger when she saw Janis laugh at something the girl says.

“Heya, Jan.” Cady says when she reaches where Janis has her canvas set up.

“Hey, Caddy.” Janis smiles with no idea of the irritation that is bubbling in the other girl. “This is Jaime. She just moved here from Toronto.” Now that she’s closer Cady gets a better look at Jaime. The girl towers over her and she’s wearing a tattered black sweatshirt with various flowers painted across it in different colors. She also has on black jeans and combat boots that match her sweatshirt.

“Nice to meet you, Caddy.” Jaime reaches her hand out to shake Cady’s.

“It’s Cady.” She corrects and firmly shakes the girl’s hand.

Janis picks up a paint brush and begins to work on her project. “I was thinking you, me, and Damian, could take Jaime under our wing like we did with you and show her around North Shore.” There’s a smile on Janis’ face that forms an aching pit in the bottom of Cady’s stomach, she’s never seen Janis smile at a girl like that before, at least not a girl that wasn’t Cady. Her first thought was that Janis is replacing her with this new girl. Cady knows it’s irrational but the idea sticks in the back of her head.

“Yeah, that would be fantastic!” Cady fakes excitement.

The rest of the period is spent differently from how Cady and Janis always spend that period. The two normally work in silence on their various homework/projects, Cady distracting Janis with questions but Janis always answers them. This time however, Cady sits silently to the side working on her linear algebra homework while Jaime and Janis talk about some art concept that Cady doesn’t understand. Everytime Janis turns to talk to Cady Jaime jumps in with another question. Cady doesn’t even get any of her homework done because she’s listening to the endless conversation taking place next to her. By the end of the period she decides that she hates Jaime with every fiber of her being. Something about the transfer student rubs her the wrong way (it’s definitely not how she’s flirty with Janis). Luckily, that block is now over and Cady and Janis can head home, one of the many benefits of being a senior is having partial schedules. Cady thanks whatever power above that rules over them that Jaime is a junior and has to stay for two more classes.

Janis and Cady drive down the street to Dave’s Dinner, a place where they’ve probably eaten at least half of all their meals in the past two years. They’ve been there so much they have an unofficially assigned booth and every person who works there knows their order. If either of them needs to get out of the house late at night this is the one place in town they go to escape for a bit.

They currently sit at their booth waiting for their food to be brought. “So, what did you think about Jaime?” Cady asks wanting to gauge Janis’ feelings about the new girl.

“She’s great and really talented with art. It’ll be nice to have someone who I can bounce ideas off of. Plus, I would kill for her clothes.”

“She was wearing all black.” Cady says trying not to roll her eyes into the next dimension.

“Exactly.”

Their food arrives shortly after and Cady uses eating her waffle as an excuse to ignore Janis and think about the new girl. Janis didn’t seem to notice that anything was off with the girl sitting across from her and ate her burger in complete oblivion. To be fair, it’s not that Janis is oblivious to all things, just most things when it comes to pretty girls.

Cady’s not yet processed jealousy got pushed to the side when the two picked up the conversation they had on the phone last night about peanut butter M&Ms and it completely disappeared when Janis said she would buy Cady a family size bag.

The next morning Cady begrudgingly woke up to her alarm and got ready for the day, putting little thought into the jeans and shirt she put on. The school day was trudging along like any other, one class after another. Cady got back a test in her English 12 class which she miraculously got an A on. When her teacher handed her the paper with a small smile on his face Cady couldn’t help but let out a small gasp when she saw the grade. English was and will never be her best subject. But recently, Janis had been helping her the past few weeks as they read The Tempest. The two spent most afternoons in Cady’s room dissecting every single one of Shakespeare’s wonderfully confusing lines. Her classes now done for the day Cady made her way to the art room, practically skipping in excitement to show Janis how she did on her test.

Cady made her way down the elongated hallway with students art hanging on the wall that led to the art room. She smiled at the various art work, some amazing, others beautiful just for the effort that the student put in. Janis’ art was always somewhere on the walls and Cady took extra time to appreciate those pieces. She then makes her way into the classroom and says a small hello to Mr. Halifax. Janis sits at her normal table, once again, Jaime sits next to the girl and a small knot forms in Cady’s chest but she ignores it and puts on a smile that she hopes doesn’t show the punch in the gut she just received.

“Heya.” Cady places her bag on the ground and looks at what Janis is painting. “Ooh, that looks pretty, what’s the assignment?”

“Mr. Halif-”

“Pretty doesn’t even begin to describe the talent in this piece. We’re doing expressionism this week, you can tell by how the color is the main focus and not the subject itself. Jan is really good at the emotional emphasis in her art. Even standing over here I can feel the hurt and betrayal you put into the piece.” Jaime jumps in. The nickname doesn’t go unnoticed by Cady.

“Thanks.” Janis gives the girl an awkward half-hearted smile, not knowing how to react to a compliment like that.

The girls go back to their individual paintings and Cady remembers the test she couldn’t wait to show Janis. “Janis, you wouldn’t believe what I got today.”

“A dog?”

“No.”

“Two dogs?”

“No.” Janis goes to guess again but Cady cuts her off. “Don’t you dare guess three dogs Janis Sarkisian because now I just want three dogs.”

Janis smiles at the girl sitting on the table. “That’s what you get for making me guess, Caddy.”

Cady rolls her eyes Janis’ playful tone. “Whatever. But I got an A on my english test!” She says excitedly and holds the test up for Janis to see.

“Caddy-”

“Hey, Jan, can you help me with this color mixture? I wanna get the right shade of blue to convey longing with a hint of desire.” Jaime cuts in again and Cady gives her a death glare, silently pleading for Janis to not help the girl. Unfortunately, Janis gets up and starts to aide Jaime with her paints. As she swirls the blue and black paints together Janis scrunches her nose as she always does when she concentrates. Cady feels her heart flutter for a split second before she sees the way that Jaime is looking at the girl helping her. It’s the same look that Damian always teases Cady for having. The ‘you’re an amazing person and I feel so lucky that you’re in my life’ look.

Cady slips out of the classroom with her bag in tow. She couldn’t stay there any longer. Not with the way Jaime was looking at Janis, her Janis. No, not her Janis. The jealousy once again rising in her. That’s what made this so ridiculous. Cady had no right to feel the way she did. She knows that the crush she has on Janis is more than a simple high school crush; but she hasn’t acted on it because it could ruin their friendship, she couldn’t risk that again. So any feelings she has towards the girl have to get suppressed. But right now, seeing the way Janis reacts to Jaime makes everything hurt and all Cady wants to do is lay in bed and cry.

As she reaches the front steps of the high school, Cady hears someone calling out her name. She turns around and sees Janis standing just outside of the school doors running towards her. “Caddy, where are you going?” Janis questions as she finally catches up to the girl.

“Home.” Cady says with a final tone.

“Why? I was thinking you, me, and Jaime could go to Dave’s later.” Cady lets out a not so subtle scoff. “You love Dave’s.” Janis adds thinking that Cady had something against the restaurant in question.

“Yeah, I love it because that’s our place to go. We don’t even go there with Damian and now suddenly you want to invite Jaime? God, I get she’s hot but calm down.” A rush of anger overwhelms Cady, there was no stopping it now.

“Dude, what the hell? I’m just trying to be nice.” Janis fires back in response to the harshness of Cady’s voice.

“Well it seems like you’re being a little more than nice and I think Jaime’s just fine with that.” Cady turns away and heads to her car struggling to keep her emotions in check.

“Caddy, wait.” Janis calls after her.

“Have fun mixing your paints together or whatever.” Cady yells back before getting in her car and driving off.

It was a stupid fight. Cady knows that. But she was jealous and hurt and those two things make for screaming matches in the parking lot of your high school. It’s now Saturday, three days since Cady’s blow up at Janis. The two hadn’t talked at all in those three days. Cady made sure to arrive to school before Janis and hide in Ms. Norbury’s classroom. She also made sure to leave right after she was done helping Ms. Norbury with her lesson plans for the next class. There had also been radio silence for the past three days. It was killing Cady. There would be times when she was laying in bed, looking up at her ceiling, and want nothing more than to send a simple text to Janis. But she couldn’t. Cady wasn’t even avoiding Janis because she’s mad at the girl. She’s avoiding her because Cady hates herself for letting her jealousy get the best of her. Janis can talk to whoever she wants. Even if that whoever is a really pretty girl who is exactly Janis’ type that also loves art.

Cady got up from her bed and decided to go for a walk. She often went for walks around her neighborhood when everything got to be a bit much. On the walks the world around her would disappear and it would just be Cady and the ground in front of her. The walk she is currently taking has no destination or at least that’s what Cady thought but 20 minutes later she’s standing a block away from Janis’ house unsure if she should turn around. Cady probably stands at the corner of the street for too long trying to decide what to do. Eventually she takes a deep breath and continues the walk, this time her destination Janis’ front door.

The bell rings and Cady can hear someone coming down the stairs. The door swings open and there stands Janis, slightly shocked that Cady is standing at her front door. Cady’s brain short circuits for a second. The possibility of Janis answering the door didn’t even cross her mind. She was almost certain that her dad would answer and tell Cady that Janis wasn’t home, even though it was probably a lie, and Cady would walk away not having to say a thing to the girl. But here she was, standing in the door frame, waiting for Cady to say something. “Earth to Caddy.” Janis waves her hand in front of the girl’s face.

“Oh sorry, what’s up.”

“I don’t know, you rang my doorbell.”

Cady’s brain catches up to what’s happening. “Oh, yeah, right! Can we, uh, talk?” Cady motions for Janis to join her on the small porch.

Janis reluctantly joins her and sits next to Cady on the front steps. Neither girl says anything for a moment, both unsure of where to begin. “I’m sorry.” Cady starts. “You didn’t deserve me yelling at you.”

“Yeah, why’d you do that?” That question has been circling in Janis’ mind for the past three days. She couldn’t figure out what she did wrong.

“I don’t know.” Cady lies. Janis gives her a knowing look and waits for her to tell the truth. “Okay, fine. I do know but it’s stupid.”

“No, it’s not.” Janis doesn’t hesitate to respond.

“It hurt seeing the way you were with Jaime.” Janis has a perplexed look on her face. “She was all over you and you were giving her attention. It felt like I was getting pushed to the side, losing you to her.”

Dead air fall between the two as the sit shoulder to shoulder on Janis’ front porch. “You were so jealous.” Janis laughs out.

“I was not!” Cady playfully nudges the girl with her shoulder. “Okay maybe I was.”

“Caddy, you will always be my best friend, Jaime has nothing on you.”

“Yeah, but she loves art as much as you do. She actually understands it where I just smile and nod along. Plus she’s really attractive.” Cady brushes off.

“Is she? You’ve barely mentioned it.” Janis say sarcastically. “But even if she loves art the same way I do I wouldn’t want to replace you with her. Cady, you just said all you do is smile and nod along. That’s even better than knowing about it because you try. You ask me questions about my art and always come to my art shows. You don’t even like art that much but you still go to all of these things. I love you for that, you’ll never be replaced as my best friend, silly.”

“What if I want to be more than your best friend?” Cady let’s out completely overwhelmed by what Janis just said to her.

“What?” Janis is taken aback about what Cady just said, unsure if she heard her correctly.

“What if I wasn’t jealous as a best friend, but as someone who maybe sort of wants to date you?” Cady stumbles on some of the words as butterflies erupt over every part of her body; her mind in complete shock she was actually saying the things that were coming out of her mouth.

A smile graces Janis’ face. “Then I would say we’re both fucking idiots because I maybe sort of want to date you too.” As soon as these words leave Janis’ mouth Cady leans forward and connects their lips. The kiss is sweet and soft, everything that Cady imagined it would be - not that she spent countless nights thinking about what it would be like to kiss Janis. One the kiss breaks Janis speaks up. “Are you sure you don’t want to kiss Jaime? Because you’ve mentioned multiple times how attractive she is.”

Cady answers the girl by leaning in and kissing her again. The two spend the rest of the evening laying in Janis’ bed alternating between kissing and cuddling, often doing both at the same time. Cady thought about how she was looking forward to visiting Janis in art class on Monday, especially now that she could walk in and be the one making Jaime jealous.

Chapter Text

Whoever was Cady’s soulmate was starting to be a real pain in the ass. Almost everyday for the past three weeks a new mark appeared on Cady’s body. When she was first introduced to the way soulmates work in the world Cady couldn’t wait to get her first mark. Of course she didn’t want her soulmate to get injured too badly but she did really want to know if she had a soulmate out there. Luckily (maybe unluckily), Cady’s first mark came when she was four. She woke up and there was a mark covering her entire left hand. She excitedly ran out of the tent to find her parents and tell them. They were just as thrilled for her but reminded her to be careful and to not purposefully mark her soulmate. The next day the joy Cady felt went away. The kids in her daycare group in Kenya weren’t as happy for her. For the next four days they constantly made fun of her for the red mark covering her entire hand. They joked about how Cady was contaminated with cooties because there was a boy out there who liked her or was stupid for getting hurt. Cady always hated that because she knew her soulmate didn’t do these on purpose, they just needed to be slightly more careful, maybe wear a protective suit. The jokes didn’t hurt too bad because Cady was just happy that there would be someone, someday who loved her. Cady meanwhile, tried to give her soulmate as few marks as possible, she didn’t want them to suffer the teasing that she got.

Overtime other kids began to get marks of their own. Small things such as scraps on the knee and lines that were clearly papercuts. The coolest one so far was Rachel Lowell. Rachel was another girl whose parents worked with Cady’s at the research facility. One day Rachel showed up with a long mark on her stomach. Cady stared at it in amazement as Rachel told her it was from something called apendidthis and extremely rare (Cady learned years later that it was appendicitis and a lot of people had similar marks). But no one has the marks that Cady has, or the number. There was no pattern to the marks. She had some covering virtually her whole body, luckily the color of the marks faded slightly with time so some were not as noticable.

The nerves in Cady’s stomach got ramped up to an eleven as she thought about what the first day of school held for her. One week ago she and her parents moved to a suburb outside of Illinois from Kenya. At first Cady was more than excited to go to a real school and learn the ways of high school. But then she realized she would probably be an outcast all over again. If the kids in Kenya were any indication, she was going to be made fun of incessantly for all of the marks on her body.

Cady’s first day of school outfit was a long sleeve shirt with jeans. She put as much makeup on as possible in order to cover the marks on her face. The second she stepped outside she began to melt in the hot August weather of Illinois, but it was worth it if it meant she finally got to fit in. Cady walked into North Shore and felt everyone’s eyes on her. She could feel each pair tracing over her body, looking for a sign of who she was. Cady tried to ignore them and go about her day but by second period she was fed up with the gawking. She turns to the girl next to her in English, “Um, why are they all staring at me? Did I sit in gum or something?”

The girl has dark hair with blonde on the ends. She laughs, “No, they’re just trying to see if you’re marked.”

“Oh.” Cady forgot about that for the first part of the day, dread overcoming her. She tugs the ends of her sleeves over her palms, trying to cover more of herself.

“It’s not a bad thing, Caddy.”

“It’s Cady, but how’d you know my name?”

“I heard Mr. Duvall introduce you earlier. I’m Janis by the way.” Cady gives the girl a small smile, grateful that someone was actually talking to her and not just staring.

“I’ve been here for like three hours and you’re the first person to actually talk to me.”

“Yeah, these idiots are all obsessed with the idea of soulmates. If you have marks you’re popular, the more the better in the eyes of high schoolers.” Janis explains.

“Really?” Cady’s shocked at the way things work here. “Where I’m from you got made fun of if you had marks.”

“Is that why you’re hiding?” Janis prys.

Cady unconsciously pulls her sleeves a little tighter. “Uh, yeah. I guess so.” Her eyes scan around the room. “I just wanted to fit in.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone your secret.” Janis reassures Cady. Their teacher sits at his desk, letting the kids socialize during their first day, knowing it would happen no matter what. “The concept of marking is stupid anyway. How the hell does the universe know who we’re meant to be with? It’s a ridiculous outdated system that forces us to be something.”

“You don’t believe in soulmates?”

“I didn’t say that.” Janis pauses and thinks carefully about what she’s about to say. “I just don’t know if I have one.” The final sentence is a mere whisper compared to the mini rant she just went on.

“What do you mean?” Cady is intrigued about why the attractive girl sitting in front of her doesn’t think she has a soulmate.

“I’m sixteen and I don’t have any marks. Either my soulmate is punishing me for something or I just don’t have one.”

“Maybe he’s just really careful with everything he does. I know I always try not to give them any marks.” Cady rationalizes.

“I think I’d rather have no soulmate than a soulmate that’s a guy.” Janis remarks causing Cady to laugh. “Besides all the guys I know purposefully give marks as some stupid toxic masculinity bullshit.”

“Yeah, it definitely has to be a girl.” The two laugh and continue to talk until the bell rings.

Cady spends the next week getting to know Janis more each time they’re in English. Their teacher barely cares about the class since he got tenure last year, so they spend most of it talking about various aspects of their lives. The two start hanging out at lunch and even outside of school through many movie nights spent with Janis’ friend Damian. As time went on and Cady spent more time with Janis and Damian she became more comfortable with who she is and what she looks like. Soon enough Cady began to wear the clothes she actually liked instead of ones to cover up her skin. People still stared at her but she knew Janis gave them a death look every time.

The three of them now lay on the couch in Janis’ basement after an evening of movie watching. Janis rests her head in Damian’s lap as she drapes her legs over Cady’s body. Cady traces the patterns on Janis’ leggings as she talks about what’s on her mind. “I know you guys don’t like talking about soulmates but I’ve concluded that mine’s a dumbass.” She says with finality.

Janis let’s out a snort laugh. “What makes you come to that conclusion Dr. Heron?”

“Maybe they’re just super clumsy. Not everyone can be as careful as you, Caddy.” Damian offers.

“What kind of idiot gets hurt this much.” Cady gestures to her entire body. “My first mark was my entire hand when I was four. What could they have possibly done to their entire hand at that age?”

“Maybe your soulmate was already a 30-year-old man.” Damian quips.

Janis starts dying of laughter at the thought. Meanwhile, Cady grabs a pillow and hits both of her friends with it. “I’m going to ignore that.” Cady thinks some more and then continues. “And then what about last week when I got a mark on my big toe every single day. How can they keep stubbing that toe?” Janis slowly sits up, taking in what Cady’s saying. “And then earlier today I’m pretty sure they touched a stove again.”

“It was toast.” Janis corrects.

“Does it really matter? What kind of idiot hurts themself with toast?” Cady asks.

Janis and Damian share a knowing look. Janis grabs Cady’s face and lifts up her chin and examines the skin.

“Janis, what the hell are you doing?” Cady mutters out, her mouth being shut by Janis.

“Oh my god.” Janis lets go of Cady’s face and sits in shock.

“What?” Cady remains clueless to everything that’s going on.

“She has the mark from when I stabbed myself with a pencil in 7th grade.” Janis tells Damian who sits with a similar shocked expression.

“You stabbed yourself with a pencil?”

“Caddy, that doesn’t matter right now.” Damian dismisses.

“Then will either of you tell me what’s going on?”

Janis snaps out of her shock and turns back to Cady. “I’m sorry.” This leaves Cady with an even more confused look on her face right before Janis raises her right hand and slaps Cady across the face.

“Ow!” Cady yells after the impact. “What the fuck, Janis?” She holds her face in her hands for a few seconds, the sting lingering. Cady finally lifts her head, “uh, Janis, why do you have a red mark on your face?”

“And she called me the idiot.” Janis comments to Damian.

“Janis, you hurt yourself so much you gave poor Caddy so many marks over her body. You’re both idiots.”

“Wait…” Cady begins to process what the two are saying. “So...Janis...mark...me…”

“Way to go, Janis, you broke her.”

“I did not. Just give her a minute to catch up.”

“We’re soulmates?” Cady finally gets the words out.

“Well, there’s only one way to find out.” Janis raises up her hand again in preparation to hit Cady.
Cady grabs the girl’s forearm. “Janis Sarkisian, don’t you dare slap me again.”

“Boo, you take all the fun out of it.” Janis pouts. “What do we do now?”

“Well, I’m putting you in a safety suit so you don’t keep marking me when you do stupid stuff. Like somehow hurting yourself on toast.” Cady says seriously.

“That’s a good idea. To be fair, the toast was really hot and I was really hungry.” Janis smiles at Cady and leans further into the girl. After today Cady starts to appreciate every single mark on her body because they all came from Janis, even though most were from stupid things the girl did.