Becky’s prancing a little when she walks back into the Hunters’ Moon, swaying her head to the music that has only just reached her ears and trying not to focus on her hand shaking.
So yeah, she played it cool in front of her brother so he could get a hot date. Emphasis on hot because Isabelle’s charms had an effect on more than just the younger Lewis sibling.
But it is Halloween, a game Rebecca Lewis has played for 22 years, and one that never loses the perfect slightly spooky aspect. Except this year, spooky turned to kind of really scary, because demons are now definitely real.
Apparently monsters are more scary in real life than YA, even when the vampires are nicer and also your brother.
So the chill vibe she went for in front of her baby brother was almost as much for herself as it was for him. Not that it’s all a front. Simon is still her sweet little sib (despite insisting he’s changed, and he has, he’s still him. Still kind and unsure and caring and awkward), and Maia is still really badass and attractive even after Becky’s learned she can grow serious gray locks and maul someone to death.
(It’s actually really hot, but can you really blame her gay thoughts after seeing Maia do that gorgeous eye glow thingy and flipping a shaker at the bar like a pro?)
In other words, despite the fear that is definitely coursing through her blood stream, especially after that nearly up close and personal encounter, Becky is fine.
There are better things to focus on, like the fact that everyone in the ‘Shadowworld’ (she still guffaws over the name. It’s so… cliche and dorky) is amongst the most attractive people she’s ever seen. It is quite honestly Beckyphobic that fairies exist and they look like that and she hasn’t found out until today.
A blonde fairy winks at her. Wait, no. She swings around. It was to the much more attractive person behind her. Understandable. She still swooned.
Cute as everyone is though, they’re kind of… mean. Not overly so, just--
She might be a little salty, not salty, upset, that Maia had rolled her eyes like that when she caught Becky checking her out.
Which, yeah, Becky guesses she was being a little blatant but still, that felt kind of awful.
Becky turns back around, ready to head back to the bar and maybe get that Uber like she told Simon.
Except she bumps, almost crashes, straight (gay) into another person. “Oh!” she exclaims, glad she isn’t holding a drink to spill on the poor stranger. “I’m so sorry, I wasn’t--” she stops. Oh. “It’s you. I’ll just,” she moves to walk around her brother’s ex. “Go.”
Maia raises a brow. “What?” Her eyes narrow. “No, you’re fine, sorry I startled you.” She’s actually looking really bewildered, as if she can’t for the life of her understand why Becky’s so eager to get out of her hair, as if she didn’t obviously roll her eyes annoyed at Becky’s flirting.
But then some kind of realization must dawn, because Maia’s eyebrows raise again, both of them this time, and her lips form an ‘O’. She nods to herself. “Simon must have told you about the break up.”
This time, Becky’s brows shoot up in surprise. “What? No! I mean, yeah, but he said it was mutual and it’s fine, none of my business, that’s got nothing to do with--” she pauses, losing her train of thought. Her forehead creases. “What?”
Maia shakes her head slowly, looking bemused but also a little amused. She snorts and says slowly (not bashfully, Becky notices. Maia’s so unapologetic, and it’s more slow for Becky’s benefit, to try and clear up the confusion between them), “I thought you were avoiding me because Simon told you I broke up with him.”
Becky feels a surprised grin come to her face at that, and she shakes her head a bit as she responds. “Wait you broke up with him? He said it was mutual!” She thinks it over in her head, then says more to herself. “I knew there was something fishy about him letting someone like you go.”
Maia’s face is blank except for the clearly entertained tick at the very corner of her mouth. “Someone like me?” she says.
Becky flushes. She opens her mouth to reply, but a babbly, wordless stutter pops out instead.
Maia grins further. “What’s someone like me like, exactly?”
Becky weakly rolls her eyes even as her face slowly becomes as red as her lipstick. “Funny, determined, unabashed, hot, and apparently really teasing even though she’s already made it clear she’s uninterested.” The words are rushed out, getting more and more purposeful as she goes on, and by the end of it she feels a little angry. At herself, for being an embarrassment, and at Maia, because why is she flirting now after that clear rejection at the bar?
Maia pauses. “Uninterested? Me?” She shakes her head incredulously. “You were the one making eyes at Jordan from across the bar for the better portion of an hour!”
Becky’s taken aback. “Who’s Jordan? Because unless she has an afro, used to date my brother, and works the bar while looking like--” She gestures wildly up and down at Maia, with both hands. Any other day she’d be humiliated but she’s already lost all her dignity in this conversation, might as well make things stupendously clear. “-- that,” Becky inhales deeply, wildly, sucking air into her lungs. “I was looking at--”
Maia surges forward in the middle of Becky’s sentence and lips are on hers, hands cupping her cheeks and sliding into her hair. Becky makes a shocked noise and Maia licks past it, dancing with Becky’s lips and tongue because they’ve caught up before her mind has. And soon, Becky is setting hands against Maia’s waist and hip, pulling her to press up against the folds of her dumb (magnificent) vampire costume as they tilt their heads to deepen it.
Eventually, Maia chances a bite at Becky’s bottom lip and she whines, pulling Maia’s lips away forcefully by the grip she has in her hair (when did her hands move up there?) so she can suck air and the scent of Maia Roberts into her lungs.
They both breathe deeply, Becky looking up dazed under lashes to grin at the fact that Maia looks absolutely chagrined that they’ve stopped kissing. Her triumph promptly disappears as Maia meets her eyes, flashing her own in mystic green before biting her lip on a smile.
That’s just unfair.
Becky’s a mundane. Maia’s been a mundane before. She should know that Becky doesn’t have any eye tricks to make Maia weak like she’s just rendered her.
So instead, out of frustration (and a simmering need to kiss her again), Becky rushes forward and places a quick, messy kiss on Maia’s lips. Then another, for good measure. Three more didn’t hurt.
She pulls back, holding Maia’s head in place before they get too eager again. Maia tries to lean forward and Becky grips tighter, glaring as if to say ‘No’. Maia just grins cheekily, sticking out her tongue a bit, and Becky has to resist the urge to groan.
“What I was trying to say,” Becky says eventually, voice coming out a little too high and a little too ragged. “Is that I was looking at you.”
Maia seems a touch shocked (for what reason Becky has no clue) and a lot happy when her brain catches up enough to process what Becky is saying, before she nods innocently. “You know, I think I got that.”
“Oh really?” Becky says, teasing back. “What gave it away? The gross lipstick that’s now smeared all over yours? My hands pulling your hair? Or the fact that we spent the last forty years making out?”
Maia tilts her head back (exposing the long lines of her neck. She’s absolutely gorgeous, and Becky really, really wants to kiss that spot under her jaw. She wonders where she got those scars from. Another wolf? She wonders if Maia will tell her one day) and pretends to think for a moment. She purses her lips and comes back, stepping closer and letting her arms settle around Becky’s neck, across her shoulders. “I think it’s more your reaction every time I do this.”
“I swear to God Maia Roberts, if you do the eye thing again--”
She does the eye thing again.
Becky whines, dropping her head down on Maia’s elbow and listens on a flushed grin as Maia laughs loud and pleased. Becky glares at her. A thought comes to mind and she pokes Maia.
“Why were you so upset when you thought I was staring at ‘Jordan’ or whoever?”
Maia quirks a lip, a storm coming into her eyes. Becky doesn’t like it. Not at all. She likes the fierce green, the unapologetic pride, the belief in being herself that was always present in endless brown because there was no other option. Maia sighs. “He’s my ex. We didn’t have a happy relationship. His fault, not mine.”
She doesn’t elaborate on that but Becky nods. She doesn’t need to. Becky’s brow furrows. “Wait, why is he here tonight? Do you want to get out?”
Maia laughs slightly, not a fully happy laugh, but a laugh nonetheless. “No, no, it’s fine. He’s here because he got hurt and there was no one here to take care of him but me.”
Becky squints. “It’s not really my place to say but you shouldn’t have to do that.”
“You’re right,” Maia grins. “On both parts, that it’s not your place to say, and that I shouldn’t.” She nods to herself. “I’ve been recovering and I’ll be okay. I’m still getting rid of him as soon as he’s healthy though. Plus,” she pauses. When she speaks again, it’s a lot more real, a lot more raw in a way Becky’s sure she doesn’t speak like often.
“You’re a mundane,” she says. “And I’ve learned long ago to not be ashamed of myself, the mundane parts or the demon parts or the werewolf whole. I know I’m attractive.” It doesn’t sound pompous, it sounds truthful. Becky realizes that it is. “It’s not often though, that I allow mundanes to see it, for obvious reasons, and it’s less often that they ask to see it. Not for a costume, not out of fear, not out of some gross fetish--” Becky wrinkles her nose at that, and Maia chuckles softly. “But ‘cause they’re curious. Innocently curious, and not judging or seeing it too much as something special . Just because it’s new.” She stops again, grinning and looking deep into Becky’s eyes, her own flashing for a second. Her grin grows on Becky’s gasp. “And then them reacting like they think it’s hot. Not as something different and unattainable, but just the same as they would some human flirting trick. It felt…” she doesn’t finish that sentence smiling to herself. She shakes her head a little, rolling her eyes. “And then I thought I saw you checking out that.” Maia looks back at someone and Becky follows her eyes. There’s a man sitting at the bar with a flannel. Becky wrinkles her nose. What a disgrace to the gays.
When Maia laughs out loud, Becky realizes she’s said that last part out loud. She’s about to apologize, take it back, but Maia’s snorting, inelegant cackles falling from her lips as she almost keels over, mirth filled eyes looking into Becky’s for seconds before squeezing shut over a new peel of laughter again.
Soon Becky’s joined her in laughing, and they’re a wound up, hugging pile of shaking snorts and obnoxious giggles.
When they’ve finally recovered, still full of shaky breaths and smiles so wide, Becky shrugs. “I think he looks healthy enough.”
Maia quirks a brow, as if to agree. They stare at each other for a few seconds, happy to remain in their bubble.
“Wanna reblock his number and get out of here to pig out on ice cream while burning a crude drawing of his ugly face?”
Maia grins widely. “God, I forgot how utterly morbid and pathetic mundane break up routines are.”
Becky punches her. “Shut up! They’re effective.”
“Never said they weren’t,” Maia allows, and gosh, Becky loves the way her lips shape around words. Her kiss bitten, smeared with Becky’s lipstick, swollen lips that Becky just spent--
Maia smoothes her hands down Becky’s front and looks into her eyes. “I’m long past that stage, thankfully, and I know full in my heart that he’s a piece of flaming shit even without me lighting him on fire. And I,” she says, eyes tearing away to look at her own fingers tap dancing along Becky’s shoulder. The gesture is so cute. “Would rather stay away from pieces of flaming shit. Just feels like the lung-safe, hygienic thing to do.”
Becky hums. “You’re a very wise woman, Maia Roberts. Doesn’t mean we still can’t pig out on ice cream. Ooh, and Halloween candy.” She grins.
Maia rolls her eyes on a bright, widening smile. “Point taken, Rebecca.” Becky pretends she doesn’t melt at the use of her name in Maia’s pretty voice. Something about Maia’s smirk tells her she isn’t very successful. “I’ll get one of my coworkers to take over, and we can do whatever it is you wish to succeed in by getting me out of work.”
Becky painfully ignores the dig with an eyeroll and leans over to smack a kiss against Maia’s cheek. Two, one low and close to her jaw, one high and underneath her lashes. When she pulls back, Maia’s blinking rapidly. She eventually nods once, to herself, and yells over her shoulder. “Joan! You’re closing up tonight, I’m getting out!”
“Fuck off, Joan!” She turns back to Becky, seriousness strewn across her features. “We’re leaving now.”
“You know,” Becky says, even as she’s being dragged out of the bar by the hand. “I got this weird feeling that you were teasing me for being eager earlier, which feels kind of hypocritical with the current situation--”
“I swear to God, Lewis if you don’t shut up--” she freezes suddenly, jolting around, something like pain shooting across behind her eyes.
Becky recognizes what that looks like. Quietly, she rubs against Maia’s hand, not pressuring, but providing some ground on the dark New York street. “We don’t have to do this tonight,” she says. “Or at all.”
“No, no,” Maia responds, shaking her head in resignation. “It’s not that, you’re fine, I’m just--” she pauses, sighs. She looks up again, meeting Becky’s eyes like she’s done so many times tonight, always sincere in some way or another because it’s part of the way she is. “I do want to spend tonight with you. If you’re okay with that. And I do want to… kiss you, and other stuff, if you still want to.”
Becky laughs softly. “I do.”
Maia laughs. “Yes, then yes. Definitely. But I need to hold off on the kissing ‘and other stuff’ tonight. Save it for later. Get to know you as a friend first.”
Becky recognizes it for what it is; a request, not a question. One that if she doesn’t take, she won’t be seeing much of Maia again. She is more than happy to agree with Maia’s terms. She takes her other hand and wraps it around their clasped fingers and palms, stroking gently. “Okay. Lead the way then, Maia.” She doesn’t say ‘Roberts’. She has a feeling her brother probably called her that a few times. But ‘Maia’. Hundreds of people have likely called her ‘Maia’, so Becky knows it’s safe as much as it can be special, because those hundreds of people will most certainly have referred to her differently than Becky is right now.
They’re walking along the streets, slowly, quiet between them, peaceful and accepting and into each other as much as they’ve resolved to do nothing tonight.
Becky suddenly stops, her hand pulling on Maia’s.
Maia turns back, humming question.
“We’re still going to have ice cream tonight, right? And halloween candy?”
Maia laughs out loud, pulling her close and wrapping her in a hug. She almost goes for a kiss, they both know it, but Becky is glad she stops herself. It wouldn’t do either of them any good to rush when they’ve set their boundaries for tonight.
“Yes,” Becky feels, word pressing into her shoulder. She sets her arms around Maia, hugging her back, before pulling away. “Then what’re we waiting for? We have ice cream to get to!”
Maia slaps her. “You’re the one who stopped us, dumbass!”
Becky laughs, pulling on her hand. “Well, you’re the one who needs to lead the way to your house, dumbass .”
Maia rolls her eyes. “Dork.”
Halloween in the ‘Shadowworld’... It’s not bad.