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The Pizza Girl

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Kelley O'Hara thought women's soccer was boring. Actually, Kelley O'Hara thought soccer, in general, was boring. She would much rather be watching the Women's College World Series tournament then the dumb bullshit soccer rerun her dad had playing on the T.V.

It didn't help that she knew that Stanford was playing Alabama at the moment. She had the stats pulled up on her phone and between every pizza she popped out of the oven, she would check on how her future team was playing. She tried to not look at the T.V. that had the stupid soccer game but it was hard when it was perched in her direct line of vision from the kitchen. Her best friend, Hope, who her dad had also hired to work in the kitchen at their family pizzeria, was watching the game on the T.V. with intense infatuation, which made Kelley even more annoyed.

"Why are you even watching that you've probably already seen it," Kelley mumbled, tossing a large pizza dough in the air and catching it, placing it on a peel.

"Oh, shut up. Don't be salty. Your dad knows that soccer is the superior sport," Hope smirked, grabbing the peel from Kelley, loading the dough with marinara, cheese, and pepperoni. Kelley glared at her best friend.

The kitchen at Danger Dan's Pizzeria in Seattle, Washington, was open so anyone walking in could see the two girls' heads bobbing around the kitchen. If one where to watch close enough they would be able to figure out that the two girls had a pattern with how they made pizzas. Kelley was always the one stretching the dough and cutting it into perfectly shaped circles while Hope topped the pizzas and put them into the gigantic oven. Sometimes, when Hope wanted to be mean she would make Kelley take out the pizzas from the oven--which usually ended with Kelley adding another scar to her already fucked up arm because the other girl was too short to reach into the oven without being burned.

The two girls worked most lunch shifts in the summertime because they both had practice in the evening. Both girls had incredible sports careers ahead of them, Hope was going to the University of Washington to play soccer and Kelley was going to Stanford to play softball. Hence, the argument over which was the better sport. They had both just graduated from high school and were both in the process of packing up their rooms to leave for college. Hope was much further along then Kelley, though, even though the girl was only moving across town instead of to another state. Kelley's dad, Dan, usually would supervise them when they were in the kitchen because the two had a reputation of causing trouble when they were alone together but today he was cooped up in his office in the back of the restaurant doing payroll. Which meant that it was only Hope, Kelley, and the lunchtime server, Karen, managing the restaurant.

The restaurant was moderately busy for lunchtime. Most of the customers were eating the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet/salad bar that the restaurant offered during lunch weekdays, which meant that Karen wasn't doing much. She was an older woman that Kelley suspected had done some shady shit in her past. Her dad said that she was a school friend of her uncle and a friend of the family, but the woman didn't seem all there in the head and would commonly ask Kelley weird questions about where she got her weed and other drugs. Kelley didn't do any drugs because she was terrified she would get caught and her scholarship would be revoked but nevertheless the woman's odd questions persisted. It had gotten so bad that Kelley had even printed out an article about senior substance abuse and passive-aggressively placed it on the counter of the restaurant one day before Karen started her shift. She later found the article crumbled up in a trash can, but the questions stopped so Kelley took it as a win.

Hope thought Karen was a hoot. She, constantly, badgered the older woman about her poor spelling on tickets she sent to the kitchen. On particularly slow days, when Kelley's dad was doing business work in his office, Hope would even throw pieces of scrap dough at Karen, playing a game where she'd get fifty points if she hit Karen's head, one hundred for an ass hit, and twenty if she hit any other part of her body. Kelley didn't participate.

Today, since it was moderately busy, Hope was pretty focused on correctly topping the pizzas, though. Kelley was glad about that because she didn't want to get into any more trouble with her dad (she may have "accidentally" snuck out the day before, BUT it was only to get pizza rolls). Kelley, too, was pretty focused on stretching out the pizza dough, so focused, in fact, she didn't hear the ding of the bell signaling the front door opening. It wasn't until Hope gasped did Kelley look up to see a pack of female soccer players standing next to the front counter.

"Holy shit," Hope mumbled. "What?" Kelley whispered back. "That's the United States U-20 women's national soccer team," Kelley still looked a little confused, "they're kind of a big deal."

"Oh whoopee do, they play soccer they're probably wusses," Kelley muttered, still mad about the T.V. Hope rolled her eyes, "woman's soccer is not for wusses, Kel. You would know that if you ever came to any of my games."

"I went to your games!" Kelley exclaimed, throwing a ball of dough at her friend. "You went to one game and you left twenty minutes in because you were cold," Hope retorted. "Whatever, it's too cold here."

Kelley watched some of the rest of the team roll into the restaurant but they were annoying her so she stuck her head down and went back to work. However, a few minutes after the team had been seated and given plates and cups for the pizza buffet, the door dinged again. This time Kelley looked up and her breath hitched. Standing there soaked to the bone was probably the most beautiful girl Kelley had ever seen. Her long brunette hair was tied back and she had a pink headband perfectly placed on the center of her head. She was wearing a blue and red quarter-zip, just like the rest of the team, but instead of being too long like some of the other girls on the team, this girl's jacket fit perfectly to her body. The number 13 was embroidered into the jacket's left arm sleeve and on the pocket of her perfectly fitting sweats. Her cleats were bright and pink and probably would've annoyed Kelley if she wasn't having such intrusively gay thoughts. Her face was oval-shaped, with high cheekbones and a sharp jawline. Kelley even thought her nose was cute, her fucking nose.

But what really made Kelley's heart stop was when the girl's piercing blue eyes locked with her own. Kelley's hands started to tremble and she went to readjust her snapback, forgetting that she had a blob of dough in her hand. She lost control of her arm for a second which caused her to smack the sticky dough against the side of her head. The girl raised a perfectly shaped eyebrow at Kelley's dumbstruck face with a blob of dough sticking to the side of her hat. She smirked, chuckling to herself quietly as she turned to her teammates who were sat almost directly in front of where Kelley was standing.

'Kelley what the fuck," Hope exclaimed, pulling the dough off of her head. "We're supposed to cook it not wear it." Kelley couldn't respond, she was still staring at number thirteen. Hope followed her glaze and smirked, smacking Kelley's ass. Kelley yelped, "Stop being so gay, O'Hara." Kelley only glared back at the other girl, putting her head down to get back to work.

"Her name's Alex Morgan," Hope whispered mockingly into Kelley's ear, "18. Forward. America's future superstar."

"Hope? Is that you?" A voice called from the soccer table. It came from a girl with short pink hair that was sitting directly across from Alex Morgan.

"Pinoe!!" Hope exclaimed, running over to greet her friend, leaving Kelley to monitor the pizza in the oven. Hope was animatedly talking with the entire team, including Alex Morgan, which made Kelley's heart start to ache. She wanted to go over and talk to them, too. Well... she wanted to go over and talk to one of them. She was struggling to pull out a pizza from the back of the oven, her arm extended as far as it could go without burning it when a voice startled her, "Hey, can you make a vegan pizza?"

Kelley's head snapped towards the voice. Her eyes met with piercing blue ones for the second time. She forgot where she was for a second and lowered her arm, causing it to touch the six hundred and fifty-degree oven. She yelped and jumped away from the oven, holding her arm tight to her chest. "Oh! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to startle you. I just y'know," the girl rubbed the back of her neck, "I'm vegan and was wondering if there was some sort of vegan option that you could put out for the buffet?"

Kelley managed to nod, which made the other girl crack the most beautiful smile Kelley had ever seen. "Thanks so much!"

Disregarding the pizza in the oven, Kelley began to start making Alex Morgan's vegan pizza. Her dad had special vegan dough and cheese they would use if people asked for it so she used that. She assumed that the marinara sauce was vegan because it was just tomatoes. Kelley decided to put some vegetables on the pizza too, because vegans like vegetables, right? When she opened the oven to put it in, she realized that the pizza she was trying to pull out of the oven earlier had burned. She cursed herself quietly as she pulled the burnt pizza out and started to remake it. Hope was back by the time Alex Morgan's special pizza was ready. She gave Kelley a knowing look when she pulled the pizza out to cut it. Kelley shrugged because the smile on the beautiful girl's face was worth the shit that Hope was going to give her.

Sure enough, Kelley watched Alex Morgan's face light up as Karen set the pizza down next to the rest of the pizzas on the buffet. She gave Kelley a grateful look as she bit into her first slice of the pizza, then a thumbs up. Kelley gave her a shaky thumbs up in response. The soccer girls were probably at the restaurant for around an hour before they slowly one by one started to leave. Alex Morgan and the pink-haired, Pinoe were the last two players to leave. The brunette girl gave Kelley a wave as she walked through the door. That made Kelley's heart thump a little harder.

"Where is she going to school?" Kelley asked, about thirty minutes after the team had left. "Morgan?" Hope thought about it for a few minutes before realization spread across her face, "Uh... Stanford, actually."

Kelley thought she was going to pass out.

Chapter Text

Kelley thought that after her tenth time moving across states, it would get easier.

She was wrong.

She panted and wiped the beads of sweat pouring down her face as she threw down the parts to loft her bed in the middle of the floor. Since the elevators in her dorm building were currently being used by the multiple other student-athletes who were, also, moving in that day, Kelley thought it was a great idea to get some extra exercise and decided to walk up the seven flights of stairs with the heavy bed parts in her arms. She instantly regretted it.

Her dad and brother took it upon themselves to put Kelley's bed together. Kelley's mom had already begun to decorate Kelley's half of the room with weird, very white, pictured frames that said things like "live, laugh love" and "there is always a reason to smile". Kelley cringed internally at her mother's choice of decoration, especially when she compared it to her roommate's side of the room which looked like it was straight out of an aesthetic Tumblr blog (like mine, pls follow me @my-dads-a-lawyer). Kelley didn't bring her grievances up with her mother, mainly because the woman was sobbing as she hung up a framed picture that said, "today is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus".

Kelley knew her roommate was going to think she was the weirdest, most Jesus-loving, good Catholic girl by the way her mom was decorating the room. She hadn't even met or talked to the girl yet, her family seemed to be prepared and able to move her in the morning--unlike the O'Haras who had to drive all the way down from Seattle. The girl who was supposed to be Kelley's roommate dropped out last second so she got another one, a girl named Christen Press. Since the girl was moved in early like her, Kelley assumed the girl was also an athlete. By looking at the other side of the room, Kelley predicted that the girl was a soccer player (mainly because she had like three soccer balls in a tidy bin near her closet) which made her heart flutter a little because Alex Morgan was also a soccer player at Stanford.

The O'Hara crew finished helping Kelley move in surprisingly fast. They decided, after much debate, that they would go out to get Mexican food for a late lunch. After finishing their bean-filled lunch, they exchanged tearful goodbyes and Kelley was left on her own for the first time in her life. She stood there, for a few moments, trying to figure out what she was supposed to do now. She decided the best plan of action was probably to go back up to her room and drop off her leftover taco salad. She chose to hike up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, again, which she quickly regretted, again. All sweaty and panting, she opened the door to find a girl juggling a soccer ball with her feet in the middle of the room. The first thing Kelley noted was that the girl was extremely pretty. She had long, dark hair that was in a high ponytail, a slender face and clear caramel-colored skin. She was wearing a red, dry-fit, quarter-zip Stanford soccer jacket with the number twenty-three embroidered into the left breast. She had tight, ripped, sky-blue skinny jeans and white converse on. When the girl lifted her foot to the side to keep the ball in the air, Kelley noted that the soles of the shoes had the rainbow flag across them.

Kelley looked to her super Catholic, weirdly Jesus quoted side of the room and panicked. She wanted this girl to like her.

"Hi!" Kelley basically screamed, startling the other girl causing her to stop kicking the ball and turn to face Kelley, "I'm not crazy, I swear! I'm gay!"

"Well, hi there Gay, I'm Christen." The girl stuck out her hand for Kelley to shake, "Whoa, that sounded weird."

Kelley shook her hand, frantically and exclaimed, "No! I'm Kelley. I just... You probably saw my crucifixes and assumed I was crazy religious but I just wanted you to know that I'm gay too... like really gay."

"How do you know I'm gay?" Christen's eyes narrowed. Kelley motioned towards her shoes, "Rainbow flag gave it away."

Christen looked down at her the soles of her shoes, shook her head, and chuckled, "I must've accidentally traded shoes with my girlfriend. She's kind of a shoe nut."

"You... you have a girlfriend?" Kelley asked, excited to be introduced to more gays. "Yeah, she plays softball here."

Kelley's eyes widened and her mouth flew open, "I... I play that." Christen smiled, "Yeah, I could tell by your stupid metal cleats," the girl pointed to Kelley's favorite pair of cleats that seemed to have been thrown on the floor at some point during the move-in process. Kelley crossed her arms, "they're not stupid. Your bright yellow cleats are stupid."

Christen shrugged and giggled. "You're not wrong." A knock on the door interrupted them. Christen walked over and opened the door, a tall, lanky girl with brown hair and a backward snapback stood in the doorway. She had a sharp jawline and fairly muscular forearms--a dead giveaway that she was a softball player. A softball player that Kelley was extremely familiar with. "Hi, babe." Christen pecked the girl briefly on the lips. "Kelley! This is my girlfriend, Tobin. Tobin, this is my roommate, Kelley." Tobin gave Kelley an awkward little wave. "You play second base! You're THE Tobin Heath! Oh my god, I'm gonna faint," Kelley really did feel nauseous, so she plopped down in her desk chair. "I didn't know people called me THE Tobin Heath," Tobin chuckled, slinging an arm around Christen, pulling her into a swaying hug.

"Dude! You're a badass! I watched you in the World Series last year! You were batting a .454! That's incredible!" Tobin raised a questioning eyebrow, "You play fastpitch?"

"Hell yeah! I'm probably redshirting this year... But I play shortstop!" Kelley grabbed a picture off of her desk and turned it around for Tobin to see, "Washington State MVP baby." The picture was of her, with a bunch of flowers, pointing excitedly to a gold medal around her neck. You could barely see the girl's freckles through the massive amount of eyeblack plastered across her checks. Tobin nodded in approval, "Well, I'm excited to be on the team with you this year, Kelley. The other girls are great, I'll sure you'll love them."

Kelley silently fist-bumped herself in her head. She had just completed a conversation with THE Tobin Heath without being too weird. Then, there was another knock at the door. Kelley looked at Christen, confused. "It's probably just Alex. Don't worry, she's chill."

Kelley knew that there were probably thousands of people named Alex at Stanford... it probably wasn't soccer superstar Alex Morgan knocking at her door at three in the afternoon.

She was wrong.

When Christen opened the door a pair of beautiful blue eyes peered into the room. Alex Morgan in a Stanford red jacket exactly like the one Christen was wearing was almost enough to cause Kelley to vomit from nerves. Her hair was still in a high ponytail with a pink hairband placed perfectly in the center of her head.

"Hey Tobs!" Alex gave Tobin a quick hug, then turned to face Kelley, who had stopped spinning around violently in her chair, "Pizza girl?!"

"Alex Morgan?" Kelley sputtered out. Christen looked between the two girls, obviously confused. "You two know each other?"

"She made me a vegan pizza once in Seattle," Alex still looked dumbstruck, Kelley's mouth wasn't working correctly.

"Uh..." Tobin looked equally as confused, "she made you a vegan pizza in... Seattle?"

"Yeah at this Pizzaria we went too after practice one day, I think it was called--"

"Danger Dan's Pizza. It's my dad's place." Kelley finished, finally able to form words.

"Yeah, it was a pretty fucking good pizza," Alex gave Kelley a dashing smile and she lost her ability to speak, again.

"How good could it have been... it was vegan," Tobin retorted, earning a glare from Alex.

"I'm sure it was a great pizza, Kelley," Christen reassured the other girl, who continued to sit at her desk, her stomach in knots.

"Are we still going to go get food?" Alex asked and Christen nodded, grabbing her bag from off the bed. The girls were about to leave the room when Tobin turned to Kelley, "You wanna come with us, Kell?" Kell... Kelley could be Kell here. "Yeah, pizza girl. You coming?" Alex gave her another wicked smile. If it was anyone else, Kelley probably would've killed them for calling her pizza girl. But, Kelley liked the way Alex said it.

Instead of answering, Kelley just grabbed her wallet and followed them out the door. The group decided that they were going to grab some burgers from a local burger place that wasn't too far from campus--Alex made sure they had vegan options first. When they got to the restaurant, they were seated all the way in the back corner next to a window that looked out onto the parking lot. Kelley and Christen were sat next to each other, Tobin was across from Christen while Alex sat across from Kelley. Kelley's hands were sweating so bad that she felt the menu slipping from her hands. Christen and Tobin had their hand interlocked as they looked over the menu, Alex and Kelley both noticed how Tobin's thumb stroked her girlfriend's hand absentmindedly. Alex put up her menu to block the couple and made eye contact with Kelley, pretending to puke. Kelley's face heated up and she stifled a chuckle ducking her face into her menu.

"What're you two giggling about?" Christen gave them a suspicious look. Kelley giggled some more as Alex shrugged, winking at Kelley. Christen looked like she was trying to figure them out, but left it alone.

"Hi! My name is Jessica and I'll be your waitress tonight. Can I start you ladies out with some drinks?" A college-aged looking girl with a bright orange notepad asked, a gigantic smile plastered on her face.

"Can I have a water, please?" Kelley asked politely, giving the girl a small smile in return.

"I'll take a water, too," Tobin responded. "Me as well," said Christen, also flashing the waitress a charming smile.

Alex was intensely focused on the menu for a second before she lifted her head and stated, "I'll take a cup of coffee."

"Dude, what the fuck," Tobin gave Alex an incredulous look, "it's like four." Alex shrugged, "I like coffee."

"I like coffee, too!" Kelley blurted out, everyone's eyes, including the waitress, turned to her. She gave a flustered smile.

"Okay... so three waters and a coffee?" Christen nodded in confirmation and the waitress left to go get their drinks.

"So... besides making pizzas and liking coffee, what else do you like?" Alex asked, leaning closer to Kelley with her chin resting in her hands. Her bright eyes displayed her eagerness to learn about the other girl. Kelley felt her heart flutter and speed up, quickly.

"Uh... Well, I'm a Navy brat so I've lived all over the country at this point. We moved to Seattle after my dad retired and he opened up a restaurant, which is where I met you," Kelley quickly glanced at Alex who was still beaming, "I don't know what exactly I want to study... but I like science?" Christen gave a supportive smile. "I have two siblings, an older sister, and a younger brother. I'll probably be playing an infield position here on the Softball team," Tobin muttered a, "hell yeah" under her breath, "but I think I'm gonna redshirt my freshman year."

Alex gave a nod of approval, then her eyes hardened a little, "Most important question--do you like soccer." Kelley choked on her spit.

"A water for you," Jessica, the waitress, was back. She set down a glass of water in front of Kelley, "one cup of coffee," A steaming cup of black coffee was set down in front of Alex, "annnnd two more waters." Christen and Tobin were both presented with glasses full of water. "Are you guys ready to order?"

A slight look of panic crossed each of the girl's faces except for Christen who proudly stated, "Yes! I'll have the double bacon burger and like... a bunch of fries, can you do extra fries here?" Jessica nodded, "Okay cool, I want extra fries." The waitress nodded and turned her attention to Tobin--who did not know what she wanted.

"Uh... I'll have the uh..." she rapidly flipped through the menu, "Barbeque burger?" Jessica nodded and smiled. She looked expectantly at Alex, "Can I have a beet burger with the gluten-free bun?" Jessica nodded, Tobin looked disgusted. "What in the hell is a beet burger?"

Alex rolled her eyes, "It's a burger made out of beets, Tobin." Kelley agreed with Tobin but didn't say anything. Jessica ignored the older girl's comment and turned her attention to Kelley, who had been too busy listening to Alex and Tobin to figure out what she wanted to eat.

"Can I have uh..." Kelley's mind blanked for a second, "the same thing as her." Tobin looked at her like she had grown three heads, Christen look somewhat confused and Alex beamed at Kelley, "are you vegan, too?"

Not knowing what to say, Kelley nodded her head and instantly regretted it. "Awesome! I have this new vegan cookie recipe that I've been dying to make. You can be my taste tester!" Kelley cringed internally as she nodded enthusiastically.

"Vegans..." Tobin said, shaking her head.

The food came out quicker than Kelley anticipated and the beet burger was just as bad as she thought it would be. It didn't help that she could practically feel Tobin's judgment with every bite she took. However, Alex seemed to thoroughly enjoy her burger and that made Kelley have enough strength to finish hers. During the meal, Tobin asked them if they'd want to go to a party being put on by one of the football players. Kelley had never been to a big party where everyone was drinking and she really didn't want to go but she couldn't say no to Alex's pleading eyes, "Kelley, you should totally come! You could meet more of the girls!" Kelley nodded, giving Alex her best fake smile--which she thought was genuine. After paying, Christen, Alex, and Kelley went back to Kelley and Christen's room to get ready, while Tobin went back to her house, telling the younger girls she would meet back up with them around nine.

Kelley was never one to spend over twenty minutes to get ready, but she didn't want Alex to think she was a slob so she let Christen do her make-up and Alex pick out her dress--an extremely short number that Christen had let her barrow since she didn't bring anything fancy of her own. When she was all done, she looked in the mirror and gulped. She could barely recognize herself. She snapped a picture and sent it to Hope with a little caption about how much she was missing her.

"Oh my god! That's a great idea, Kell!" Alex took out her phone from her pocket and forced Christen and Kelley to huddle together as she took a selfie of them all in the bathroom of Kelley and Christen's dorm. "Kelley, what's your Instagram? I wanna tag you."

"Oh, It's uh... @kelleyohara all one thing--"

"Found you!" Kelley's phone vibrated with an Instagram notification, @alexmorgan13 has requested to follow you. Kelley quickly took a screenshot of the notification and logged onto her account, following Alex back. It wasn't long after that when Tobin showed up at the room looking like a frat boy named Chad.

"Babe... I told you to dress up a little bit." Christen shook her head, a little disappointed. Tobin pointed to her polo shirt, "it's a polo, Chris. It's fancy." Kelley giggled, Christen shot her a playful glare. The group took Tobin's car to the party, designating Christen as the designated driver since she didn't drink. Kelley also wanted to volunteer to be the sober one but the way Alex was animatedly talking to her about how fun it'll be to drink with her made her keep her thoughts to herself. Right when the wondered into the party, shots were shoved in their faces. Kelley, who was trying to be cool by telling Alex and Tobin that she was Irish and therefore could hold her liquor even though she had never drunk large amounts of alcohol, was being given all of the shots that were supposed to be going to Christen. Which meant that by an hour into the party, Kelley had already had about eight shots of hell knows what.

"Hey, dude," Christen put a hand on Kelley's back after she downed her eighth shot of the night, leaning over to whisper in her ear, "you should probably slow down."

Kelley stumbled forward at the light pressure on her back, giggling as she turned to face Christen, "I'm not even drunk." Her words felt weird in her mouth. She clenched and unclenched her jaw then gave Christen a goofy smile. "Alright, as the DD tonight I'm cutting you off." Christen snatched an unopened beer out of Kelley's hand. Frustrated about not being able to drink, Kelley started to cry. "Dude, why are you crying?" Tobin asked, having to scream over that loud music. Tobin was tipsy but not drunk, she had been wise about evenly spreading out her alcohol throughout the night. Pulling Kelley into a hesitant hug, Christen look at both Alex, who was in the same boat as Tobin, and her girlfriend, mouthing, "She's drunk" to them.

"Mmm, you smell nice," Kelley mumbled into her roommate's chest. Christen was a little freaked out by Kelley's drunken clinginess, "Thank you, Kelley. That's very nice of you to say." Kelley pulled away from the hug and stumbled over to Tobin and Alex, trying to dance with them. Alex began to grind on her and she felt like the skies and opened up and Jesus was descending to her. Tobin, who was a little soberer than Alex, tried to keep an eye on drunk Kelley, but she, also, was distractedly talking to some guy about long boarding. Kelley spotted an unopened bottle of tequila rolling around on the floor by Tobin's feet. She quickly, as quick as a drunk person could at least, surged forward, falling down on Tobin's feet, grabbing the bottle. "What the fuck?" Tobin screeched, jumping back a little. Kelley tried to give Tobin her best smile but it looked more like a lopsided smirk. Kelley cracked open the bottle and started to chug it.

"TOBIN GET THAT FROM HER," Christen screamed from about ten feet away. The older girl snatched the bottle from Kelley, but it was already about a fourth of the way gone. Kelley laughed as the tequila was taken from her, but didn't get up off the ground. Other students were starting to watch Kelley's drunken shenanigans. "Kelley you gotta get up, bro," Tobin offered her hand to help Kelley up. She just gave Tobin a high-five and started laughing like a hyena. Alex, who was standing slightly behind Tobin, said, "Hey, pizza girl, you have to get up off the floor." This time, Kelley listened, "anything for my princess," she slurred out for only Tobin to hear as she allowed her teammate to lift her up off the ground. Tobin gave Christen a look, to which Christen raised an eyebrow, slightly confused. Tobin mouth, "we'll talk later" and Christen nodded.

At this point, Kelley could hardly stand upright properly and Alex had grown bored so the group decided to call it a night. They made their way to Tobin's car, Tobin basically carrying a mumbling Kelley, "do you smell that fresh night air?" Tobin hummed in response. "Oh fuck... GRASS!" Kelley's legs gave out causing Tobin to accidentally drop her. She rolled around in the grass for a few moments before Alex fully picked her up, bridal style. Kelley was looking at Alex like she held all the stars and the moon in her eyes but she obviously couldn't tell. Christen shot Tobin a look who, in response, leaned over and whispered, "That's what I wanted to talk about."

Christen nodded, "We can talk about it tomorrow. Tonight, let's just worry about getting drunkie into bed."

Alex and Kelley sat in the back of the car when Christen drove home. Kelley was slumped sideways, her head resting against Alex's shoulder as she fought to stay awake. It was a short drive back to their dorm. Tobin decided to stay the night in their room while Alex went back to her room two floors lower than Christen and Kelley. The couple tag-teamed helping Kelley get ready for bed, which included her vomiting into the shower. When the other girl was passed out on her bed, the couple cuddled close together in Christen's twin bed.

"Should we even interfere?" Christen muttered.

"Hell yeah, we should. That little leprechaun is gonna get her girl, even if it takes me a few years to do." Tobin mumbled back, squeezing her girlfriend tight against her body.

Chapter Text

Kelley woke up the next day with a pounding headache and seven text messages from Hope.

Goalie Girl:
Kelley what the fuck


Goalie Girl:
Only one day and you're already hanging out with Alex Morgan??


Goalie Girl:
DID YOU GET DRUNK LAST NIGHT?


Goalie Girl:
Kelley


Goalie Girl:
Kelley anwser me


Goalie Girl:
You're so dumb


Goalie Girl:
When your alcoholic ass wakes up, call me.

Kelley scrambled to unlock her phone and call Hope. After three rings a familiar voice came out of the speaker, "Kelley O'Hara, explain yourself."

Kelley groaned and rubbed her eyes. The light hurt her head. "What do you mean?"

"Dude have you not seen Alex's Instagram story?? You're featured." Kelley was suddenly very awake. "What??" She put Hope on speaker as she went to her Instagram page and watched Alex's story. Sure enough, a very drunk Kelley rolling around in the grass while a tipsy Alex giggled in the back was posted for the world to see. Kelley groaned.

"You're fucked."

"You don't know that. You can't for sure tell I'm drunk in that video." Kelley was trying to convince Hope as much as she was trying to convince herself. "Kelley..." Hope sighed.

"Fine! I'm fucked! You happy?" Kelley spat out, frustrated.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. No need to get morph into Spicy Kelley. Save that for the field. Your coach might not even see it. How did you even end up going to that party?" Kelley groaned, her headache coming back full force. She explained to her friend in great detail what happened to her the day prior. Hope, for once, was quiet and listened intently to Kelley's rambling.

"Dude, you're fucked in more ways than one. You told Alex you were vegan?!" Kelley's head started to throb. She gritted her teeth and rubbed her temple, giving a noncommittal mumble in response. "You're whipped." Kelley growled, "am not."

"Whatever pizza girl."

"Don't call me that."

"What're you gonna do, pizza gir--"

Kelley hung up the phone. She grinned, imagining Hope's offended face back in her dorm at the University of Washington. She felt her phone start to vibrate again, Hope was calling her back. Kelley decided to be petty and not answer. She was glad she didn't answer, because if she did she may have missed Tobin and Christen's embarrassed faces as they walked out of Kelley and Christen's bathroom together with wet hair and matching robes. Kelley couldn't contain her laughter when she saw that their robes had C + T embroidered into the left side of the chest.

"You... you have matching robes?" Kelley managed to get out through laughs. "Yeah, laugh it up drunkie," Tobin muttered, throwing her hair up in a messy ponytail.

Kelley's cheeks flushed red as she sheepishly smiled at Tobin. She reached over and took a long sip of her water bottle that sat on her bedside.

"How long have you been in love with Alex?"

Kelley spat out the water, coughing hard. She looked at her roommate with an incredulous look. Christen smiled, cockily and gave her a little shrug.

"I'm not in love--"

"Don't even deny it, pizza girl."

"Don't call me pizza girl!" Kelley said, heated. "Why not? You let Alex call you that." Christen gave a knowing smirk.

"I'm not in love with Alex..." Kelley hesitated for a second, "I might have a small crush on her but I'm not in love with her."

Christen nodded and walked over to a calendar hanging on the wall next to the door, scribbling a wonky looking star on August 25th, the day's date, then started to flip through the months until she got to December and made a star on Christmas day. "Uh... Christen, what're you doing?" Kelley asked, hesitantly. "Yeah, babe... what are you doing?" Tobin asked a confused look on her face.

"I read in a book once that if a crush lasts more than four months, it's not a crush anymore," Kelley's eyebrows shot up when she realized what Christen was doing. Her face paled, "Uh... we are not doing this."

"Why not?" Christen turned around to face Kelley and Tobin again. "If by Christmas, your 'little crush'," Christen air quoted, 'little crush', "is still there... we'll really know if it's just a 'little crush'," more air quotes. Kelley hated air quotes at that moment.

"Fine. But Alex knows none of this," Kelley flung her covers back over her head, trying to hide from Tobin and Christen.

"What're you doing, Kell? We have a team dinner in an hour."

"WHAT?!" Kelley grabbed her phone and looked at the time. Sure enough, it was four in the afternoon, "FUCK!"

"No need for that kind of profanity in this good Christian household," Tobin turned to one of Kelley's many crucifixes and made the sign of the cross, but did it extremely wrong.

Kelley shot Tobin a death glare, "you're doing it wrong, it's up, down, left, right." Tobin redid it, this time the correct way.

Kelley flopped herself out of bed grabbing the nearest pair of pants and shirt. She went into her and Christen's shared bathroom and slide into the black sweats with "Stanford Softball" written down one side in red and pulled an old t-shirt she got from a softball tournament over her head. She looked at herself in the mirror and shrugged thinking to herself that she looked good enough for a softball dinner. When she walked back into her and Christen's room, Tobin and her roommate had already changed. Tobin was wearing an outfit very similar to hers, sweats and an old softball t-shirt. Christen, on the other hand, was wearing a fitted, ripped, jean jacket with a white shirt underneath. She had black ripped, skinny jeans and Tobin's pride shoes on her feet. When she saw Kelley walk out of the bathroom, she scoffed, "you softball girls."

A knock at the door startled Kelley. "Relax, drunkie. It's just Alex." Christen smirked as she ran her fingers down the calendar on her way to open the door. Alex sauntered in, wearing a tight leather jacket, a white shirt, blue skinny jeans, and red lipstick. Kelley felt her throat dry up and her heartbeat in her ears. Tobin heard the involuntary gasp of air that came out of Kelley and unfortunately so did Alex.

"Kelley!" Alex threw her arms around the girl's neck. Kelley's heart stopped for a few moments before she returned the gesture. She could see Tobin and Christen over Alex's shoulder. Christen had a cheeky grin on her face and Tobin was pretending to grind her hips into someone. Kelley slyly gave both of them the bird.

Alex and Christen were going to a bowling ally a few miles away with the rest of the soccer team as their first team bonding of the season. Tobin and Kelley were going to a team dinner at their coach, Jill Ellis's, house. Tobin offered to drive Kelley to the dinner, an offer Kelley gladly took considering her other option would be to walk. As she slipped into Tobin's passenger seat, Kelley felt a cold sense of fear wash over her body. What if the team didn't like her? What if they had seen the video on Alex's Instagram and already made assumptions about her? She could feel her body start to tremble a little bit. To hide her nerves from Tobin, Kelley stuck her hands between her thighs. She peaked up at Tobin to see if the older girl had noticed, but she seemed quite infatuated with driving. However, she did ask Kelley, "Hey dude, what's your favorite kind of music."

Kelley shrugged, "Country music, I guess."

So Tobin flipped on the car's radio and switched it to a country music station.

Kelley instantly felt better.

Until they got to Jill's house and the cold fear came creeping back into Kelley's body. This time, however, Kelley felt nauseous, too. Knowing what was about to happen, Kelley violently threw the car door open and vomited all over the side of the road. Tobin was quick to her side, holding her hair back until the contents of her stomach were emptied. Kelley eventually sat back against the seat, sweat covering her forehead. "Fuck, dude. I didn't know you were that hungover still." Tobin whispered to Kelley, concerned. Truth be told, this wasn't the first anxiety-induced vomit session that Kelley O'Hara had had, but she didn't want Tobin knowing that and thinking she was a weirdo, so she just shrugged., "I'm sorry." Tobin gave her a reassuring pat on the head and then lead her inside of the house. When they opened the door, they were met with the sounds of screaming and laughing. A rush of blonde hair swooped towards them and arms clung to Kelley.

"Freshie buddy!" A raspy voice screamed into her ear. Kelley flinched. She swore she felt the girl lick her.

"Sonnett get off of the other newbie." A tall, muscular girl with short hair slicked back said, her arms folded across her chest.

"Hi, I'm Abby," the tall girl said, sticking out her hand. Kelley was both intimidated and aroused.

"Kelley." They shook hands. The blonde girl who had licked her was off screaming out the lyrics to Truth Hurts by Lizzo to another blonde girl, this one much taller.

"YOU COULDA HAD A BAD BITCH, NON-COMMITTAL," they screamed, doing some crazy dance moves, "HELP YOU WITH YOUR CAREER, JUST A LITTLE."

"That's Sonnett and Mewis, they're freshies like you," Abby explained, Kelley looked up at her with wide eyes. Tobin chuckled next to her. Another blonde girl, this one with a sleeve of tattoos covering her muscular arms, came up to Tobin, giving her a big bear hug.

"Tobs! You're late."The girl said, then turned her attention to Kelley. "Oooh, fresh meat." Kelley gave her best smile but it came out more like a wince.

"This is Kelley, she's Christen's roommate. She also has a giant crush on Alex Morgan," Kelley's eyes snapped to Tobin who had a small smirk playing across her lips.

The tattooed girl chuckled at Kelley's expression. "We've all been there, my friend." A hand fell on Kelley's shoulder. "Soccer girls and softball girls just seem to have to end up together at this school." She flashed her lock screen at Kelley, it was a picture of her and an attractive, brunette girl dressed in a soccer uniform kissing after, Kelley presumed, was a soccer game.

"I'm Ash, by the way," Kelley nodded, shaking her hand, "you like surfing?" Kelley's eyes lit up, "hell yeah, I do!" Tobin's face, also, lit up at that bit of information, "you do??"

The three girls spent the rest of the time until dinner was served talking very intensely about surfing and their surfboard. They planned a surfing trip the next free weekend they had, Sonnett, somehow, also managed to weasel her way into the trip as well. Jill was serving burgers for their team dinner. When Kelley was serving up, Tobin leaned over and whispered, "what're you gonna eat, you vegan," to which Kelley pointedly took a burger and bit into it. Tobin's eyes widened, then narrowed, "I knew you were lying. Whipped." Kelley chuckled and finished filling her plate.

Kelley was forced to sit in between Mewis and Sonnett during the dinner, being the only other freshman. The two were trying to kick each other under the table but ended up hitting Kelley every time. They sat at the very end of the table by Jill, which made Kelley uncomfortable. The woman had striking eyes that seemed to drill holes into your soul. The rest of the team were chattering animatedly amongst themselves, telling stories about past teammates that Kelley had vague ideas about but not enough to join into the conversation, forcing her to engage with the two dumbs that was Sam and Emily.

"So... you're a first baseman?" Kelley asked awkwardly.

Sam grinned, smooshing more of her burger in her mouth before saying "yesh!"

"And you're... an outfielder?" Emily nodded, drawing a cow on her napkin.

"Cool." Kelley stabbed at her salad.

Abby and another girl, Alyssa Naeher, were introduced as the team captains. Kelley thought Abby was pretty cool, but Alyssa seemed intense. They then went down the table and introduced each player by name, position and year level. Kelley found it hard to keep up. The only name she remembered was Heather O'Reilly because she also had an Irish last name. Jill gave the cliche first team meeting speech, "this is the best team ever", "you all will become best friends", blah, blah, blah. Kelley found it boring. Jill, then, announced that they would be having six AM lifting workouts starting the next day. Kelley didn't find this boring, in fact, she found it despicable.

The feeling carried into the next morning when both she and Christens' alarms blared on at five in the morning. They both, almost succinctly, groaned and pulled the covers over their heads. Christen was the first out of bed, though. She changed into soccer shorts and a red Stanford soccer practice t-shirt before she shook Kelley awake. "C'mon, we both have to go to the gym," Christen grumbled, practically pulling her roommate out of bed. Kelley slowly but surely got changed and walked with Christen to the gym.

"You guys like running or something?" Kelley mumbled, Christen gave her a look.

"Girl's soccer and softball share the gym for morning weights in the fall." Kelley was suddenly very awake and six AM workouts sounded like a blast. Christen noticed this and smacked the back of Kelley's head. "Stop thirsting over my best friend in short shorts." Kelley's eyes got impossibly wider and Christen laughed.

Sadly, Jill decided that the team would be grouped up by class, so Kelley was stuck with Sonnett and Mewis--who were doing more dancing than weights.

"Emily! One more dab and I'm letting the soccer girls play their weird slow bullshit!" Abby yelled across the weight room at Sonnett who was still mid dab. The girl, who seemed to have no impulse control, couldn't help but hit it again causing Abby to scream at the girl's soccer captain to turn on her music. Unfortunately for Kelley, the song the soccer captain chose to play was Perfect by Ed Sheeran. Alex was on the treadmill that was facing toward Kelley who was at the dumbbell station. Kelley watched the girl run, to the beat of the song, her eyes fixed on the wall in front of her and behind Kelley, but if the girl thought hard enough it was almost like Alex was staring at her. And to Kelley, Alex did look perfect, just like the song said. Her heart was filled with adoration for the soccer girl, so much so that she forgot she was holding a twenty-pound dumbbell, which she promptly dropped on her foot, causing her to screech out in pain.

Everyone in the gym turned to look at her holding her foot in pain. Sonnett tried to help by removing the dumbbell but accidentally dropped it on Kelley's foot again, causing another scream.

The good news was that nothing was damaged in her foot, the bad news was that Kelley had to sit out of training that day and she would have a massive bruise on her foot the next day.

Alex walked with Kelley and Christen back to their dorm building when they were done with the workout. They planned on getting breakfast together after they had all showered and changed into clean clothes.

"Hey, you never answered my question yesterday," Alex blurted out to Kelley, who looked at the other girl, confused.

"Do you like soccer?" Kelley gulped. She hated soccer, so, so, so much.

"Yeah! I love it!" Kelley said with fake enthusiasm.

"You should come to our first game! I'll get you a ticket." Alex exclaimed cheerfully.

Christen shot Kelley a knowing look. Kelley sighed, already dreading the soccer game she hadn't gone to yet.

Chapter Text

The next two weeks before the rest of the students got to campus was extremely productive for Kelley in terms of getting to know her teammates.

She learned that Sam was actually a very serious person on the field, as was Sonny (Sonnett's nickname). Even if they weren't off the field. The team's main pitcher, Carli Lloyd, was an intense girl who seemed to mainly be focused on winning rather than building relationships, she was also Jill's favorite. Ashlyn was an amazing person and an amazing catcher. Her, Tobin, and two other sophomores, Amy and Lauren, basically took Kelley under their wings. She even got to meet Ashlyn's girlfriend, Ali, when the group went out for lunch one day. The senior players, Abby, Whitney, Shannon, and Alyssa all seemed to be fed up with everyone's shit most of the time, especially Alyssa--who everyone called uncle for some reason. The juniors were the group that Kelley hadn't really connected well with yet. She knew that there was a girl named Becky who seemed extremely intense and Carli was a Junior, too. So, to Kelley, they seemed like the most intense group.

As soon as school started, Kelley felt like someone had taken her head and shoved it into a toilet. She was drowning in school work and practice and trying to be social, especially with Christen, Tobin, and Alex. However, somehow, she was lucky enough to be stuck in three classes with Sonnett meaning she saw more of the spastic blonde than anyone else.

"Yo, Seattle," Sonny called out as she flopped into the seat next to Kelley. It was eight in the morning, Kelley was clutching onto her Thermus filled to the brim with coffee, not in the mood to talk to anyone, especially Emily. She had the standard textbook for the class out on her desk, flipped open to where she spent most of the night prior taking notes. "Whoa, you actually took notes? Ha, loser." Sonnett pulled out her textbook but hers was shiny and barely opened. "Sonny, it's eight AM, can we be quiet until classes start?" Kelley asked, a slight edge to her tone. Emily saluted her and leaned back in her seat.

Five minutes later, Sonny leaned forward again and whispered, "it's cuffing season. You got your eye on anyone?" Kelley shot Sonnett a glare, "she's talking," Kelley motioned towards the professor who was, indeed, giving a lecture. Sonnett huffed and sat back again. Kelley could barely focus the rest of the lecture because of Emily's insistent tapping and shaking of her limbs. When the two-hour lecture was over, Kelley tried to bolt out of the lecture hall and lose Sonny, but Sonnett was one step ahead of her.

"Hey, Kell, you wanna get breakfast with me?" Emily asked, grabbing Kelley's shoulder as she tried to bolt. "Uh," Kelley could think of an excuse quick enough, and her stomach was rumbling like she was at a Seahawk's game, "I guess."

"Awesome! Let's go to the AFDC," Sonnett started dragging her toward the closest dining hall to where they had class. Once they were sat, with a healthy sized breakfast out in front of them, Sonnett started blabbing.

"Bro, you know it's cuffing season, right? You got eyes on any hotties?" Sonnett smooshed almost all of her breakfast sandwich in her mouth then proceeded to talk with food still in her mouth, "there's this girl in our chem class and oh god I just wanna-"

"Wait, wait, wait," Kelley interrupted, "what in tarnation is cuffing season?"

"Oh my god, do you live under a rock? Cuffing season is when you get a girl, Kell!" Sonnett slammed her hand down on the table, "We're getting you a girl, plain and simple!"

"Uh, no thanks, Emily," Kelley's checks flushed thinking about calendars and dates. Sonnett caught on. She dropped her fork in surprise. "You, you have a crush!" Each word was progressively louder out of Sonnett's mouth.

"Shut it," Kelley growled, looking around to make sure no one was listening. "Stop talking."

"Who is it? Tobin? Christen? Ash? Sam? Jill? No? Alex? It's Alex isn't it!" Kelley kicked Sonnett under the table.

"Stop. It."

"Oh my god, you have a crush on Alex. That's priceless! Holy shi-"

Another kick to the shin shut Emily up. "Yes, I think Alex is incredibly attractive, okay?" Sonnett smirked but didn't respond, shoving the rest of the sandwich into her mouth. Kelley grumbled, going back to her bacon and eggs. When they were leaving the dining hall, Sonnett leaned over and whispered to Kelley, "we're gonna get your girl."

Kelley didn't think much of the word, "we" until she walked into practice and was immediately swarmed by Ashlyn, Sam, Lauren, and Amy all talking at her about a hundred miles per hour about Alex. Kelley felt her head spin until Tobin screamed, "ENOUGH!" and the group silenced. Kelley saw Emily hiding behind Abby and tried to run at her. Tobin grabbed her and held her back, but she did manage to grab Emily by her shirt. Sonny let out a pitiful squeak and tried to pull Kelley's hand off of her short to no avail. "Why the fuck did you tell them?" Kelley growled, Emily, shrugged, terrified of her teammate for the first time since they met, “uh... backup?" A squeaky reply left her lips. Kelley's grip got tighter on Sonnett's shirt as Tobin's grip got tighter around her waist. Kelley took a couple of deep breaths in like her therapist used to tell her to do and felt some of the anger seep out of her body. She let go of Sonnett's shirt and Tobin let go of her. "Fine, whatever. Alex's cool. I guess."

Ash, Sam, Lauren, and Amy started to talk all over themselves again, Kelley's headache coming back full blast. She began to deflect most of the questions, rather going to put on her cleats, making sure to double-knot them. It was the first practice that they were actually on the fields instead of being in the gym doing weights. "Ali told me she said she was bi, so you have a chance, dude." Ash was clearly trying to be helpful, but it made Kelley feel even worse.

"So, if I go for it and she says no... it'll be because of me. Not because she doesn't like girls. Great." Kelley mumbles out, standing up to go join the rest of the team who were grouped up around home plate waiting for Jill to start practice. An uproar of, "no" and "don't think like that!" erupted out of the small group surrounding Kelley. She kept her eyes down and continued to walk away until a strong hand pulled her back. Surprisingly, it was Sonnett who had grabbed her. It was the first time that she had seen Sonnett so serious outside of softball, her hazel eyes were hard as she glared at Kelley. "We're gonna teach you to be more confident in yourself O'Hara." Ash stood behind her, her arms crossed as she nodded her head in agreement. "You'll be irresistible by the time we're done with you." Tobin piped up from where she was standing behind Ash. "When's that soccer game, again?" Sam asked, smirking slightly.

"It's, uh. It's this Saturday." Kelley said, acting like she had to think about it when she knew it was the one thing she was looking forward to all week. Sam and Emily looked at each other for a moment, nodding in confirmation. "That's enough time," Sam said, "what're you doing after practice?"

"Uh.... nothing? Homework probably," Kelley said, slightly confused.

"Wrong, you're hanging out with the cool squad," Sam and Emily did a weird handshake that included a chest bump, Kelley sighed internally. "I'm coming, too," Ashlyn said, noticing Kelley's slightly panicked look. "Hell yeah! Ash is gonna join the cool squad," Sonnett exclaimed, doing a fist pump. Kelley felt slightly better.

Their practice lasted about two and a half hours. Kelley was grouped up with Tobin, Lauren, and Shannon. They were focused on working through middle infield plays, Kelley was happy that Jill was letting her practice at short. Shannon was the starting shortstop. She was an intensely focused player who gave Kelley a lot of feedback about how to fix her stance or work through a play a little faster, which Kelley soaked up every bit of. Tobin was the starting second basemen for the team and Lauren was a utility player that Jill liked to put anywhere she pleased which happened to be at second that day.

When practice ended, Emily, Sam, and Ash made their way over to a dining hall close to the fields. "Hey, is it okay if Ali joins us?" Ash asked Kelley nodded, her heart speeding up a bit at the thought of Ali, a soccer player who knew about her... attraction to Alex joining them. Not ten minutes later the brunette sat down next to Ash, giving her a peck on the lips. Kelley noted she was in her practice shorts and jersey, grass stains covering the patch of skin on her knees. She turned her attention to Kelley, "so... you wanna date my friend, I hear." Kelley's cheeks turned bright red, "I... uh. Alex is cool."

"She is..." Ali's eyes got harder, "and if you hurt her, I will hurt you." Kelley stopped breathing until Sam slapped her on the back and she took a deep inhale. "Don't kill her, babe," Ash chuckled, Kelley shot her a glare, shoving a forkful of salad into her mouth. "I'm not trying to kill her, I just want her to know that if she hurts Alex I will shove my foot so far up her ass that it'll rupture her spleen." Kelley started to choke on her salad like actually choke. She was making choking noises and her hands went straight up to her neck. Sonnett noticed straight away and screamed, "I KNOW CPR," grabbing Kelley's face and parting her lips, planting her mouth over Kelley's and blowing air in, making Kelley choke more. "Sonnett, you dumbass! Move!" Ashlyn exclaimed, forcing Kelley to stand up then promptly performing the Heimlich maneuver on Kelley she coughed up a ball of green lettuce. Kelley collapsed back into her seat, her head throbbing from lack of air and her face flushed from all the stares on her from other students at other tables. "Yeah, don't fuck with Alex," was all Ali said, Kelley, nodded.

"Sorry, bud, I was just trying to help," Sonny said, giving Kelley a quick side hug. Sam was giggling in her seat. "Sonnett and O'Hara made out," she managed to choke out between laughs. Kelley shot her a glare.

"ANYWAY! Back to what we were here to do in the first place. Project Kellex is officially underway. Kelley. After this week, you're going to be the hottest, most confident piece of tail in this entire place!" Ashlyn motioned around her. Sonnett nodded, "I'm going to teach you the Sonnett way of flirting, you can't go wrong."

"I can teach you how to walk with a bit more swagger in your step," Ashlyn winked.

"I'll help you fix your... uh, outfit choices," Ali said, giving Kelley a quick smile.

"I can help you make a sign for Alex at the game!" Sam peeped up.

Kelley looked at them incredulously for a moment. "Fine," she mumbled, taking a sip of her water. Sam and Sonnett fist-bumped each other while Ali and Ashlyn smirked.

***

A day later, Kelley was already regretting saying yes. Her and Sonnett were sat outside one of the buildings they had classes in on a bench, watching students walk by.

"Like I said yesterday... It is cuffing season so we might have some girls say no," Emily's eyes didn't leave a girl who was sitting by herself across from them as she spoke to Kelley. The girl had curly blonde hair that was put into two messy braids, a snapback backward on her head. Massive gay vibes, Kelley noted. "Watch and learn, Kell," Sonnett licked the tip of her thumb, smoothing down both of her eyebrows, standing up from the table and walking over to the girl sitting alone. Kelley watched, expecting the worse. However, to her surprise, Sonny was making the girl giggle and blush. She shot a quick smirk in Kelley's direction at her dumbfounded expression. A few minutes later Emily was back, a phone number on a ripped piece of paper clutch in her hand. "How... how'd you do that," Kelley's eyes were cartoonishly wide.

"Here," Sonnett pushed a notebook towards Kelley. Kelley opened it and found that she had written down meticulous notes about the do's and don'ts of flirting throughout the pages of the notebook. Kelley looked up at Emily with a questioningly look on her face. The other girl shrugged, "I grew up in Georgia. I got bored and started to write down what was actually working with the girls I was flirting with. It was either that or milk cows for fun."

"Uh, thank you... Sonny," Kelley said, carefully putting the notebook in her backpack. "No problem, O'Hara," she started to put the phone number on the piece of paper into her phone. "You're actually gonna text her?" Kelley asked, innocently. Emily shrugged a light blush on her cheeks, "It's cuffing season," Kelley rolled her eyes.

The day she spent with Ashlyn, also, happened to be extremely informative in a weird way.

"No, Kelley," Ash sighed, rubbing her temples. "Pretend you have a dick!"

"What does that even mean?!" Kelley asked, stopping mid-walk to glare at Ash. "Like this," Ashlyn walked towards Kelley, a swagger in her step that Kelley knew she could never accomplish. Kelley groaned, plopping herself down on Ashlyn's couch. "C'mon, you gotta try it again," Ashlyn was tried to pull Kelley up by the arm, but the girl went limp so all Ashlyn did was drag her limp body off the couch and across the floor. "Dude, Kelley. Stop being a little brat," Ashlyn sighed.

"I'm not good at swagger walking," Kelley spat back. Ashlyn rolled her eyes, "fine, let's try something else."

"No, I'm bad at everything!" Kelley retorted. Ashlyn gave her a look, "do you really think that?"

Kelley didn't respond, just huffed and looked away. "You're one of the best dang softball players I've ever seen, Kell."

"You're just saying that to be nice." Kelley muttered, Ashlyn shook her head, "no, and you're also one of the smartest people I've ever met." Kelley scoffed. "Not everyone gets into Standford dummy."

"Whatever," Kelley grumbled, Ashlyn tugged her arm so she was in a sitting position. "Everyday, I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and say one good thing about yourself."

"Why would I do that?" Kelley thought it sounded stupid.

"Because, slowly, that swagger walk will come to you and you'll thank me for it," Ashlyn said, Kelley looked at her like she'd grown three heads.

"That... doesn't make any sense," Kelley stated. Ashlyn shrugged, "I think it will in the future."

Kelley gave her another look but didn't give her a smartass reply.

Her day with Ali also included Christen and turned out to be a great day, which Kelley didn't expect.

She hated shopping for clothes. Mostly because in the past it meant spending a day with her mother standing around doing nothing while her mom tried on every piece of cloth in the store.

Which is probably why she gave Ali and Christen attitude in the car when they asked her if she was excited to get new, better, clothes.

"No," was her snippy reply. It caused Christen to shoot Ali a quick look and the car ride to be awkwardly silent the rest of the way to the mall. They wandered through the parking lot, Kelley dragging her feet a few feet behind them. Once they got into the first store, Kelley found herself perking up a little bit. Christen was holding up a blue jean jacket to her body and she thought it looked really cool. She was actually excited to try it on and blushed slightly at the whooping that came from her friends when she walked out in the blue jean jacket and black ripped skinny jeans--it was a far cry from her baggy sweatshirts and sweats.

They ended up going to five more different stores where Kelley tried on dozens of other, different, clothes. By the end of the day, Kelley had about ten bags filled with different outfits. As soon as they got back to Christen and Kelley's room, Ash, Tobin, Sam, Emily, and a few other softball players were invited over for a mini fashion show. Kelley meticulously went through each outfit and put it on, walking out of the bathroom to meet the approval of her teammates, Ali, and Christen. Each time her smile got a little bigger, which Christen noticed. The last outfit was a blue, button-up, short sleeve shirt, tan, khaki shorts with black converse and a black Vans snapback. It was a fan-favorite among the girl invited to the mini fashion show.

"Dang, Kell," Sonnett exclaimed, "You lookin' gay as hell. In a good way."

"Yeah, Alex won't be able to keep her eyes off of you," Sam said, fist-bumping Sonnett.

That comment made Kelley's smile get just a little bit bigger and made her cheeks turn a little bit pinker.

The day that she and Sam made a sign for Alex, it was raining out, which was weird for Kelley.

So, instead of painting outside, Sam put down a bunch of newspapers on the floor of her dorm room and her and Kelley went to town on a large poster board they bought from a local crafts store. Sonnett, who happened to be Sam's roommate--to Kelley's surprise--helped them as did the girl who's number Sonnett got a few days prior. Kelley found out her name was Kenzie and she liked science.

Sonnett turned out to be a weirdly good artist and was drawing all these intricate designs on the corners of the poster while Sam, Kenzie, and Kelley struggled to write, "GO ALEX, SCORE A GOAL TO MY HEART" in blocky bubble letters on the poster. It also didn't help that Emily and Kenzie were flirtily flicking paint at each other the entire time, some of it getting on Kelley and Sam. The final product actually turned out surprisingly pretty, the letter's colored a stark white against the dark red of the posterboard with Sonnett's designs in an orangy-red that reminded Kelley of a sunset a little bit.

A sunset that she could picture was surrounded by the blue of Alex's eyes.

She proudly showed Christen when she got back to their dorm. The other girl thought the poster turned out extremely cool, also.

And Kelley went to sleep that night dreaming of ocean blue eyes and sunsets.

Chapter Text

Tobin and Kelley got ready for the soccer game together on Saturday. Christen was gone at the field warming up with Alex and the rest of the soccer team so the two girls were alone in the dorm room. Tobin had on Christen's away jersey, which was white with red lettering, Press 23 on the back. Tobin gave Kelley a Standford Soccer sweatshirt to wear to the game. Kelley wore her new khaki shorts with the sweatshirt, with red long, Standford socks, and black converse with her Vans snapback placed perfectly on her head.

"Converse and a Vans hat?" Tobin clicked her tongue and shook her head in mock disappointment. Kelley shoved her playfully. The sweatshirt was a little big on Kelley since she didn't have a lanky, long torso like Tobin, but it still looked good. Tobin took a step back and gave Kelley a once-over quickly. She nodded in approval, grabbing Kelley's sign for Alex on her way out the door. When they got to the stadium, Kelley noted, like most women's sports games, the stadium was barely a third of the way full. A spike of anger struck her chest but it quickly went away when Tobin dragged her over to their seats. Kelley glanced over to the visiter's side of the stadium and noticed, to her surprise, that they were playing the University of Washington. Hope was looking directly at her, glaring. She made a motion to Kelley to check her phone. Kelley pulled out the device and noticed that she had about 10 messages, all from Hope asking her if she was going to the game. Kelley gave Hope a sheepish smile. Hope rolled her eyes playfully and turned her attention back to her teammate. Kelley recognized her as the girl, Pinoe, that Hope was talking to the first time she saw Alex. Before she could think about it anymore, Tobin shoved her.

"Hey, what the fuck, dude," Tobin pointed behind them, her eyes wide and her mouth agape. Kelley looked where she was pointing to find Abby sitting alone a few rows above them. "Should we... invite her down--"

"Wait," Kelley interrupted, reaching out to physically stop Tobin from walking up to where Abby sat, "why is she wearing purple and gold?" Tobin's eyes got impossibly wider. "Do... do you think she's fucking one of them?" Tobin responded, her voice a little shaky, "she must be, right?" Kelley fidgeted with the sign in her hand.

"Tobin! Pizza girl!" A voice called out, the pair turned back around and Kelley's breath hitched. Alex Morgan was standing right below them on the field, a pink headband placed perfectly on her head in a red jersey with white lettering. Her cleats were still the obnoxious pink like they were the day at the restaurant. Kelley physically couldn't stop her hand from shooting up over her head, holding up the sign for Alex to see. Alex's eyes widened, "Oh my god, you made me a sign!" Kelley opened her mouth but couldn't form words, Tobin kicked her in the shin. "Uh... I, yeah," Kelley nodded. "That's so cute!" Alex squealed, Kelley felt her heart burst.

"Alex! C'mon!" Christen called out gesturing Alex to join the huddle a few yards away. She gave Kelley and Tobin a quick smile before she jogged over to join her team. Kelley took a deep breath in, dropping the sign and holding her head in shame. "Hey, don't beat yourself up. You were... kinda adorable," Tobin said, rubbing Kelley's back comfortingly. Kelley groaned and kept her head in her hands. A sudden whoosh of air and the smell of buttery popcorn broke her out of her self pity, "Yo, Seattle. You kiss her yet?" Sonnett said, leaning over from the seat directly behind Kelley. Kelley didn't appreciate the crunching of popcorn directly in her ear. "Yeah did we miss anything?" Sam asked, leaning over from the seat behind Tobin, also munching on popcorn. Kelley growled and sat back forcefully, making them drop their popcorn bags. Sonny gasped in pain, while Sam shouted, "FIVE SECOND RULE!" and began to eat kernels of popcorn off of the ground.

"Bitch," Sonnett muttered under her breath as she began to try and salvage as much popcorn as she could. Kelley smirked to herself. "Whoa, dude... is that Abby... in Husky colors?" Sonnett exclaimed, Kelley began to nod and turn to face her when Sonnett shouted, "YO CAPTAIN, WHY ARE YOU IN PURPLE AND GOLD?!"

When Kelley turned around fully to face Abby, the older girl's face was already a starch red. She hesitantly stood up and walked down to where the group was sitting.

"Oh, uh. Hey guys," Abby said, sitting in the seat next to Sonnett, "what, uh... are you doing here." Sonnett shoved another handful of ground popcorn in her mouth before replying, "O'Hara has a massive boner for Morgan so we're helping her." Kelley swatted the bag of popcorn out of her hand a second time. Sonnett just glared at her while Sam, again, shouted, "FIVE SECOND RULE!" and began to pick the kernels off of the ground and pop them into her mouth.

"Alex Morgan?" Abby glanced over to where the team was lined up, their names being called by the announcer. "I approve."

"Why are you here?" Kelley asked in an accusatory tone, blatantly glaring at her purple jacket with a giant gold 'W' in the middle. "Oh, uh. An old friend of mine plays for the Huskies. I figured I would come out to support," She ran a nervous hand through her short hair, avoiding eye contact with Kelley, Tobin, Sam, and Emily. Tobin and Kelley glanced at each other quickly but left the subject alone. Sam was too busy eating popcorn off the ground to be aware of the conversation and Emily was too distracted by her phone to make any crude comment.

The game started and Kelley was happy to see that both Alex and Hope were starting at their respective positions. Kelley didn't understand soccer much so Tobin and Emily took to explaining to her what each position was and what they did. She figured that if she played soccer she would probably be a defender or something. Maybe a forward or midfield. A few minutes into the game the pink-haired girl, Pinoe, waved almost seductively towards Kelley. Kelley was taken back for a few moments until Tobin kicked her in the shin and nodded her head towards Abby who was as red as a baboon's ass.

Kelley covered her mouth and stifled a laugh, pretending it was a cough. Tobin couldn't look at Kelley, probably because she knew if she did, she would also break. Sonnett and Sam clearly didn't catch on, they were too busy giggling at whatever Emily was making on her phone. Later, Kelley found out later it was a crude photoshop of Alex and Kelley together in a sexual position. It was the first soccer game that Kelley was able to sit through start to end and actually want to pay attention to. Stanford ended up winning the game 2-1, so Kelley shot Hope a text that was lightheartedly making fun of her but also telling her good job. Alex made both of the goals in the game and Kelley screamed so loud both times that Sonnett was the one who had to tell her to shut up. Alex forced Kelley to come down onto the field when the game was done with her sign. Tobin took a picture of them from in the stands. It was a cute photo, you could see Alex's arm wrapped around Kelley's neck comfortably and Kelley liked that. She posted the photo on Instagram later with the caption, "13 <3". Hope commented a frowning face. Abby quickly disappeared after the game, which Kelley found weird until she and Tobin were walking toward's her car and Abby came out of the visiting locker room, her hair a mess and her shirt inside out.

"You did not," Tobin said, incredulously. "Weren't her teammates in there too??" Kelley added, her eyes wide in shock. Abby flushed and smirked, "a magician never tells their secrets." She began to walk towards her car that was in a parking spot not far from Tobin's.

"YOU'RE NOT A MAGICIAN! YOU'RE A LESBIAN!" Tobin yelled after her, Kelley cracked up laughing. "Tobin! Pizza girl!" Alex was sprinting towards them in her Stanford soccer jockey and sweats, "I forgot to ask you, want are you doing tonight?" Alex panted out.

"You could've just texted us," Tobin said, confused. "I don't have Kelley's number," Alex said, Kelley's face heated up as did Alex's. "Yeah but you have mine..." Tobin said, trailing off as her eyes widened, taking in Alex's flushed face. "I don't have Kelley's though," Alex put an emphasize on Kelley which made the girl in question's heart stop.

"Here, pizza girl, give me your phone," Alex grabbed it out of Kelley's hand before she could respond. The phone was already unlocked so Alex put her number into the phone and texted herself before Kelley took a breath. The soccer player gave Kelley a quick kiss on the check and slide the phone back into Kelley's hand before scampering off to the locker room. Kelley stood there frozen, one hand holding a phone and the other touching her check as she watched Alex runoff.

"Hello? 911? I think I witnessed a murder..." Sonnett's voice rang out beside Kelley. She didn't know when Sonnett had shown up and she didn't care. All she cared about was that the red on Alex's cheeks matched the red on her cheeks. She glanced down at her phone. The message Alex sent her read, "Come to the party at Serv's house tonight, bring the softball girls ;)"

So that's how Kelley ended up standing outside Servando Carrasco's, a popular soccer player, house around nine o'clock that night. Tobin, Emily, Emily's girl, Sam, Christen, Ash, and Ali all standing behind her as she knocked lightly on the door. Alex, surprisingly, was the one who swung the door open. She had a red solo cup in one hand but that didn't stop her from wrapping both arms around Kelley's neck with a loud squeal when she saw the girl. Kelley was faced away from her friends but if she was faced towards them she would've seen the suggestive look that all seven girls gave each other, even Kenzie who had not spent that much time with the crew.

"Come in, come in," Alex exclaimed as she let go of Kelley, motioning for the group to come into the house. As they walked into the house, Sonnett smacked Kelley's ass and when she turned around winked at her. Kelley shot the girl a glare. Sonnett rolled her eyes.

Five minutes in and Kelley was already five shots in, mostly because she was under the influence of Emily and Kenzie instead of Christen who went to the kitchen to get water. Tobin, Ash, Ali, and Sam all watched in horror as the three downed each shot that they were given. Alex was whooping, already a little too far gone to make good decisions. After downing her fifth shot, Kelley felt a bit woozy and reached out to grab Sonnett for support. Emily laughed and handed Kelley another shot, which she quickly took.

"No! You were supposed to save that!" Emily's speech was already a little bit slurred. Kelley giggled and walked towards Alex, throwing her arms around the taller girl as she felt the alcohol make her brain swirl. Strong arms pulled her off of Alex. It was Christen back from the kitchen. Her eyes were wide with shock as Kelley smirked, grabbing Christen's face in between her hands and holding her softly.

"Christen, I love you," each second Kelley's mouth felt heavier and heavier.

“We... we've been here for ten minutes Kell," Christen reached out to hold Kelley's face in between her hands as well, "how are you this drunk?"

Kelley giggled and looked at Sonnett and Kenzie who were both shotgunning a beer. Christen's eyes widened cartoonishly wide. "Well, uh. I guess they are perfect for each other, aren't they?" Kelley stuck her tongue out and licked Christen's hand, "EW!" Christen screeched, letting go of Kelley's face to wipe her hand on her jeans. Kelley gave a lopsided grin and stumbled back over to where the rest of the group was.

Even with Christen's very watchful glare, Kelley still managed to chug two beers and take a few more shots in the next few hours. At around midnight, Kelley, Sonnett, Kenzie, and Alex were sitting all on top of each over on the couch, all of them too intoxicated to think straight. Christen had forced them to stay there while she left to go to the bathroom.

"Hey, hey, Kell," Alex hiccuped. Kell's head flopped towards Alex. "You know those tables?" She slurred out. "You mean," Kelley smacked her lips, "in the courtyard?" Alex nodded her head into Kelley's shoulder, "let's go steal one."

This caught Emily's attention, who's head flopped towards Kelley and Alex, "right now?"

"Mhmm," Alex hummed, moving off of Kelley, who protested at the lost contact, started to drunkenly stumble towards the door. Kelley, Kenzie, and Sonnett all giggled to each other like they were middle school girl's telling an inside joke, then stumbled after Alex. It took them much longer than usual to get to where the picnic tables in the courtyard were. When they got there, each girl took a leg and started to carry it off-campus. They made it until they reached the parking lot outside of Kelley's dorm until blue and red flashing lights made them stop in their tracks, dropping the table.

"Excuse me," a female police officer said, "you can't take that off-campus."

In the right state of mind, Kelley would've apologized profusely and quickly taken the table back. However, to drunk Kelley, the right response to the police officer was, "Hey sexy mama," with a burp at the end. Alex saluted the officer and promptly sat down on one side of the table and vomited on the ground. Sonnett laughed at Alex vomiting until her face went pale and she also threw up. Kenzie was busy on her phone off to the side.

"Are, are you four drunk?" The officer asked, pulling out her radio and mumbling into it. Alex, Kelley, and Emily shook their heads violently, Kenzie was still on the phone. The officer went back into her car to put out a breathalyzer, but before she could do anything, Kenzie shoved her phone into her face, "here, talk to my lawyer, hoe." The blonde girl exclaimed. Sonnett, apparently, found her calling the police officer a hoe extremely attractive as she grabbed Kenzie and planted a sloppy drunken kiss on her lips. Kelley looked longingly at Alex while this was happening. She was too drunk to notice that the girl was looking back at her. The police officer and whoever Kenzie had called were having an extremely intense conversation while Emily and Kenzie made out and Kelley and Alex made heart eyes at each other. At some point, Christen and Ali--who were both sober--somehow found them. Ali pulled Kenzie and Emily apart while Christen sat in between Alex and Kelley and began lecturing them. Altogether, the police officer was on the phone for about forty-five minutes before she hung up and gave the phone back to Kenzie, "thank you, dad," the girl exclaimed happily to phone before hanging up and shoving it into her pocket.

"Here's the deal, you all won't get in trouble if you take the table back to where you found it and then go straight to bed," the officer gave all of them a hard glare, especially Ali and Christen who were obviously sober. Alex saluted, Kelley blew a kiss towards the officer, Kenzie was nibbling on Sonny's ear and Sonny gave a tight nod.

It took a lot of effort on the part of Ali and Christen, but eventually, the table was put back and all the drunk girls were put to bed. Kelley laid on her side in her dorm bed, a vomit bag next to her face, staring at Christen who was on the phone with Tobin, sat on her bed.

"Yeah, babe.... yes a table... no, they're good now... I don't know, I guess Kenzie's dad's a lawyer?... I love you too, I'll see you tomorrow," Christen hung up, sighed and laid down in her bed.

"Chris," Kelley slurred out, Christen sat up, abruptly, "you okay Kell?"

"Mhmm, how did you and Tobin meet?" Kelley's eyes flickered closed for a second before shooting open again.

"We met in high school, Kell," Chris put simply, lying back down in her bed once she knew Kelley was okay.

"Do you think you're gonna marry her?" Christen tensed a little, "I want to.... in the future, yes."

"I think... I think I'm gonna marry Alex," Kelley said, her eyes shutting for longer this time. A chuckle came from Christen's bed, "Oh, yeah?"

"Mmhmm, we'll have hamburgers and vegan pizzas. The colors would be blue like Alex's eyes and orange like the sunset. It could be a beach wedding, I think she would like that. Then, we can have twelve children named after the planets..." Kelley began to trail off and mumble by the end of her slurred, stumbled rant.

"If that happens, Kell, I'm going to tell this story at your wedding."

"Who says you'll be there?!" Kelley chuckled, Christen giggled quietly as well.

That night, Kelley couldn't remember her dreams but in the morning she felt warm and content until her hangover hit in full force.

Chapter Text

September bled into October--which went by fast for Kelley due to all the Fall ball tournaments and games that Jill had scheduled. Winter quarter started at the beginning of November and Kelley was lucky enough to share a class with Alex but unlucky enough to share all three of her classes with Sonnett and Kenzie. Kelley decided that Sonnett had managed to find the one girl at Stanford who was just as chaotic as her, if not more. Kelley's only saving grace was that Kenzie seemed to actually be prepared for class. The only class she shared with Alex was Linguistics 101 which was in a tightly cramped lecture hall. Kelley was sat in between Alex and Kenzie. Every time Alex looked at her she told her heart to shut up and her face to stop growing red.

What she didn't understand was how come sometimes, in a certain light, she couldn't talk to Alex without picturing the girl in a wedding dress standing across from her. Her hair tied up in a beautiful bun, loose strands of her brunette hair falling down into her face, which Kelley would reach out and tuck behind her ear. Her dress was stunning and simple, long lace sleeves, the skirt of the dress fanning out both behind and in front of Alex. Kelley was in a fitted all-white suit except for her bowtie which was the color of Alex's eyes. Eyes that she was getting lost it, not hearing the rambling of the Preist beside her. The smile on Alex's face, at that moment, was something that Kelley wanted to be tattooed on her forehead so she could wake up every morning and see it. Alex was so beautiful that Kelley felt tears beginning to stream down her face. She reached out to touch Alex's hands and--

"Dude why the fuck are you crying? It's just phonetics!" Sonnett's harsh whisper broke her out of her thoughts. Kelley wiped the drool from her mouth and turned her attention from Alex, who was scribbling every word the Professor was saying, to Sonnett who had leaned forward to make eye contact with Kelley. The tears that were streaming down her face in her daydream seemed to be the only real thing that Kelley had experienced in the past few minutes. She quickly wiped the tears from her eyes and went back to taking notes like she was doing before. Sonnett gave her a smirk, which meant she knew Kelley was daydreaming about Alex. Kelley's cheeks flared so redly you could actually see each individual freckle on her cheek.

When the class was over, Sonnett slapped Kelley's ass, which was her way of sympathizing with her teammate. Kenzie, not understanding the dynamic between Emily and Kelley, also slapped Kelley's ass causing a loud squeal to escape Kelley's lips. Alex turned around at the sound of Kelley's squeal with a questioning look, Kenzie responded, "we're smacking Kelley's ass." Alex's eyebrows perked, "Oh, are we now? Kelley turn around." Kelley looked at the girl confused. At her hesitation, Alex grabbed Kelley by the shoulders and forcefully turning her around and spanking her. Kelley accidentally let out a quiet moan. Emily and Kenzie both stopped in their tracks, mouths' agape. Alex either didn't hear Kelley's moan or ignored it, the only thing she did in response was lean over so her back was pressed against Kelley and whisper, "you've been a bad girl," then quickly stood up and laughed like she just told the greatest joke of all time. However, Kelley's wedding fantasy quickly turned into something else. Heat rushed through her body and she felt herself getting a little damp in an area that she shouldn't be getting damp in. It took a bit, but eventually, Kenzie and Sonnett managed to scoot a fairly unresponsive Kelley out of the building.

"It's a really pretty day out isn't it?" Alex said as she walked into the sunlight, pulling her hair out of her ponytail, and shaking her head so her hair whipped all around her. Kelley felt weak at the knees, Kenzie had to steady her subtly by grabbing her waist.

Kelley's phone buzzing in her pocket broke her out of her hazy, daydream state. She pulled out the phone to find her that it was her mom calling her, "Sorry, guys, it's my mom," Kelley excused herself, walking off to sit on a bench.

"Hello?" Kelley spoke quietly into the phone, watching her friends a few feet away from her. To her surprise, they seemed to be waiting for her to finish her phone call instead of going straight to lunch as they were planning to do. Kelley's heart warmed at the sight.

"Kelley-bean, how are you? How're your classes? How's softball? Have you done your rosary today? Did you eat today? What're you doing now?" The six questions came out of her mother's mouth the speed of a bullet. Thankfully, this was a normal thing for Karen, Kelley's mom, so she was more than ready to answer the questions.

"I'm good," aka horny, "classes are going well," especially the ones with Alex, "we won our game yesterday," but Kelley sat on the bench the entire time, "of course I did my rosary, I would never skip," lie, "I had breakfast this morning, eggs," another lie, "me and a few friends are about to go to lunch," truth.

"That's wonderful, Kell! Things are all good up here too, your father found his father's father's old golfing glove, so that was very important to him," her mom continued on a five-minute rant/gossip session with her daughter. Kelley hummed in agreement and made outraged noises when she was supposed to, but her focus was on Kenzie, Alex, and Emily. Sonnett was doing some kind of strange country dance in the middle of the sidewalk. Kenzie was clapping her hand as to cheer her on while Alex looked slightly mortified to be standing next to her. An amused smile played across Kelley's lips. She had a strange urge to jump up and go join Emily.

"Oh and dear? I have to talk to you about Thanksgiving," Kelley's mom said, causing Kelley's focus to shift back to the phone call she was having. Thanksgiving was Kelley's favorite time of year. She loved eating.

"What about it? Did you buy me a plane ticket?"

"Uh, about that. Money has been tight this year and your Father and I think it would be better if you stay in California for Thanksgiving," The warmth that had spread across Kelley's heart minutes before while watching her friends quickly disappeared. It was replaced with a pang of shock followed by the urge to cry.

"Is that okay, Kelley-bean?" No, it was no okay, "Uh, yeah. If that's what you and dad think is best," was what Kelley actually said. "Oh, thank you for being so understanding. We'll make sure you make it home for Christmas." Kelley agreed that that would be great, but her insides felt like they were eating each other. This would be the first Thanksgiving that she wouldn't be around family. Sure, Kelley had a very large, very strange family, but they were her very large, very strange family. Kelley wrapped up the conversation quickly after that, telling her mother that she had to get going, which was not a full lie. In reality, Alex, Emily, and Kenzie all probably would've waited for her to completely finish the phone conversation.

Kelley drug her feet back to her friends. Emily had stopped dancing, which Kelley was glad about. She wasn't in the mood for dancing anymore.

"How's the mama?" Sonnett asked, politely, "I can't wait to meet her if you catch my drift," she winked. Kelley, not the mood to engage in Emily's antics, rolled her eyes. Kenzie exclaimed, "did you just imply you want to fuck her mom?" Alex choked on her spit. Emily flashed her phone's lock screen at Kenzie, Kelley, and Alex. It was a crudely photoshopped picture of herself and Kelley's mom in a crude position. On any other day, Kelley would've grabbed the phone from her friend and demanded the picture be taken down. However, Kelley, again, just rolled her eyes, her gaze fixed forward while Kenzie jumped on Emily's back piggyback style and began to flirtingly try and get the phone. Alex was very aware at this point that something had shifted in Kelley's mood and made a promise to herself to ask the girl about it later when they were alone.

When they got to the dining hall, they found Ali, Ash, Tobin, and Sam all sat at a long table in the middle of the room, which had become the norm as the year drifted into November. Kelley was happy that she seemed to be finally cemented into a group. In high school, besides Hope, most of her friends were only there during school or if they needed something from her. She never felt like she was part of a solid friend group who spent all their time together. Now, she spent all of her free time, which wasn't much, with this group of girls who were slowly starting to become more like sisters... except for Alex.

"Hello, my fellow dudes," Emily exclaimed, sitting down much too close to Tobin. Kenzie sat across from her, next to Sam which left Alex and Kelley to sit across from each other, Kelley next to Emily and Alex next to Kenzie. "We found out today in Linguistics that Kelley has a spanking kink." Ashlyn had just taken in a big sip of water and ended up spitting it out all over Tobin, who was sat next to her. Grumbling and glaring at Ash, Tobin took a napkin and wiped her drenched face.

"And then, I told Kelley I wanted to fuck her mom," at this point, Sonnett was just talking to try and get out reactions out of people. Which was working, of course. Ali almost choked on the bit of sandwich that she was chewing in her mouth. Fortunately for her, Sonnett was sitting far away and couldn't perform 'CPR'. Sam just smacked her hard in the back once and she managed to cough up the food.

"You... can you explain. Starting with Kelley's kink, please," Ali managed to get out between coughs.

"Of course, m'lady," Ashlyn gave Sonnett a hard glare, "I mean... uh, m'Ali. So, we all spanked Kelley today and she moaned," Emily described very vaguely, her hand gestures enormous as she talked, even acting out a spanking motion, "then, we went outside and Kelley talked to her mom and I told her I wanted to meet her, if you catch my drift," Sonnett winked.

"Okay... so... you told Kelley's mom you wanted to 'meet'," Tobin used air quotes, "her? Or Kelley?" Sonnett scoffed, "Kelley, of course! I would never be that upfront with a MILF!"

"Plus, she's my girlfriend, so it would have to be a threesome," Kenzie spoke up, this time it was Tobin who spit out her water all over Ash. Kelley thought she was probably trying to get back at her friend, Tobin's sly smirk helped Kelley's case.

"When did you become official??" Sam peeped up, chewing on a whole cucumber. Sonnett blushed. Kelley's mood suddenly went up. Sonny blushing meant it was something that Kelley could tease her about later.

"Uh, last night actually," was all the girl said. At this point, Kenzie was also blushing, hard. "ANYWAY, back to fucking Kelley's mom--"

"No, no, no. I want more information," Kelley smirked, "was spanking involved?" Sonnett's face turned an even darker shade of red. She smacked her lips as if her mouth was dry. "I... I'm going to go get food. Kenzie you should come." Robotically and just as red, Kenzie stood up, "Yes... of course dear." The two blonde girls scampered off to the food line.

"There is definitely a story behind that," Alex smirked, "that we're gonna get out of them when they come back."

When they came back, the couple decided the best plan of action was to stuff their faces with food so that no one could understand them when they started to explain the story. However, Kelley's brother had always been a horrendous chew talker, so Kelley understood everything that they were saying and was translating to the rest of the girls. Turns out that Sonnett was the one to officially ask Kenzie to be her girlfriend while they were on a nighttime picnic and stargazing the night prior. Sonnett had made the girl a playlist of all the songs that reminded her of Kenzie and played it while she asked.

"Heh, whipped," Ashlyn fake coughed, Emily glared at her plate of lettuce, mumbling out, "It's cuffing season," as she shoved a gigantic spoonful of salad into her mouth. Kelley wanted to tease Sonnett about being whipped too, but all she could think about was how smooth Emily was. How she wished she could be like that with Alex.

"Then, we had sex," Kenzie said bluntly, Sam spat out her water on Tobin, who growled.

Kelley really wished her and Alex could be like Sonny and Kenzie.

***
Later that night, after everyone was finished with classes and practice, Kelley and the gang had decided to rent out a moderately sized, soundproof, room in the library so they could have a hangout/study session. Christen, who had had class during lunch, had also joined, which made Kelley happy. Her earlier phone call fiasco was almost completely out of her mind. Unsurprisingly, it was Christen trying to make sure everyone was getting some studying done while they were at the library. Surprisingly, it was Kenzie who was getting the most studying done. Not as much could be said about her girlfriend, who had two pencils stuck up her nose and was making walrus noises next to her.

"Chris," Tobin whined, "can you please explain this to me," she pointed at her book. Christen rolled her eyes and scooted closer to her girlfriend, falling right into her trap. Instead of explaining what her issue was, Tobin leaned forward and captured Christen's lips in a passionate kiss which left her breathless when Tobin pulled back.

"What... what was that for?" Christen asked a sly smiled spreading across her face. "I missed you," Tobin whined again. Alex made a gagging noise at Kelley who stifled a giggle by lifting her book up and covering her face.

Alex was sat directly across from Kelley at a separate table from everyone else since there was only enough room for about seven people at the bigger table in the room. They table Alex and Kelley sat at was big enough to seat four so they were fairly comfortable, their things strew across the table haphazardly--unlike the girls at the other table who had to keep their things close to themselves due to how crowded it was. Sam, being the giant she was, had the most space dedicated to her things--mainly because her wingspan was like ten feet wide.

Alex, Kelley noticed, had a tendency to tap her pencil and shake her leg while she was focusing hard on something. She, also, would sometimes swing her feet under the table and accidentally kick Kelley in the shin. Each of the three times she did it, she would look up from the book she was reading, grab Kelley's hand and would apologize, profusely. Kelley found herself scooting her foot forward a little onto Alex's side of the table. It wasn't hard for Kelley to focus on the work she needed to do but having the most beautiful person in the world sitting right in front of her made it extremely difficult. It, also, didn't help that Sonnett kept texting her pictures of her and Kelley's mom crudely photoshopped together.

"Hey, Kelley," Alex's voice was a whisper, only for her to hear. Kelley liked that, "what was up with you earlier? After your call with your mom?"

Kelley's mood suddenly dropped. Tears prickled at her eyes as she remembered, once again, that she was going to be alone for this upcoming Thanksgiving.

"Uh," Kelley's voice was shaky with emotion, "I'm not going home for Thanksgiving this year. My family doesn't have the money to fly me back to Washington." Alex looked concerned and if Kelley wasn't so upset she would probably find it endearing.

"Do you have family in California?" Alex asked, her voice still in a whisper. Though, she probably could've spoken at a normal level seeing that the other table was in a state of screaming chaos do to Sonnett trying to touch everyone with her snot pencils. Kelley shook her head, the lump in her throat preventing her from speaking. Alex abruptly pulled out her phone, obviously texting someone rapidly. While she did this, Sonnett had come over to Kelley, not reading Kelley's slumped shoulders and sad eyes, and begun to play a game of 'I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you' with her stupid snotty pencils. When Kelley didn't react with disgust, only with a sad look, Sonnett muttered out a surprised, "oh!" realizing she had just interrupted some sort of important conversation. She gave Kelley one of her signature thumbs up and back away slowly. Kelley sighed and turned back to Alex, who was still texting. Her phone dinged, signaling that whoever she was texting had responded. A large smile spread across Alex's face and she suddenly blurted out, "You're coming with me!"

Surprised, Kelley let out a squeaky, "What?"

"Sorry! I just got excited. My mom said that you can come spend Thanksgiving with us... only if you want to, though. I'm not like... kidnapping you," Alex rambled, "she always is talking about having my college friends come spend time in Diamond Bar, but it's so far away and I--"

"Yes," Kelley blurted out once the breath had returned to her, "I'd love to come... if you'll have me."

Alex smiled shyly, "guess we'll be sharing a bed for a few days."

Kelley chocked on spit, caught herself, asked herself, "what would Sonnett do?" and then proceeded to smirk, saying, "I guess so, Morgan."

Chapter Text

It was about a six-hour drive from Stanford to Diamond Bar, where Alex was from. So the girls decided to leave at around six in the morning to get there by lunch and try to beat some of the LA traffic. Christen was an early riser but Kelley wasn't and didn't wake up until Christen threw a shoe at her around five-thirty. Kelley changed and packed hurriedly and anxiously. Christen had to help her make sure she put her toothbrush and deodorant into her bag before she and Alex left. Kelley's breath was becoming rapid and her heart was beating fast. Christen, obviously, noticed her friend's anxious state and calmly stated, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Don't work yourself up into a panic attack." She carefully put a hand on Kelley's shoulder and pushed her down onto her chair, scooting her own over so they could be face to face at the same level.

"Your emotions are really pent up, you know that? It's okay to tell people about what you're feeling every once in a while, you know." Was the first thing that Christen said. All Kelley could think about was sitting in the confessional telling her priest that she thought she might have feelings for a girl and promptly being screamed at for it. So, Kelley gulped and nodded, avoiding eye contact with Christen as much as possible. Sure, the rational side of Kelley's brain knew that Christen has nothing like that priest, but her heart was screaming out danger. Christen's eyes narrowed, "We can talk about that more after the break," a hand reached out and rested on Kelley's shoulder, "Alex is your friend. She is excited to have you at her house, so her parents are probably excited to have you at their house. I've met the Morgans and they're beautiful people. You really shouldn't worry." Kelley nodded stiffly. Christen sighed and reminded, "don't forget your brush." Kelley muttered out a quite, "shit," and ran to the bathroom collecting her hairbrush and a few other toiletries she figured she would need. She dropped them into her bag just in time for a loud knock on the door caused her to jump. It was Alex. Christen let the girl into their room, Kelley turned around and thought to herself that even at six in the morning, Alex was the most beautiful human on the face of the planet. She was only wearing an old high school soccer hoodie and some sweats but Kelley's throat felt dry and butterflies erupted in her stomach.

"You ready?" Alex's voice was thick with sleep, making it obvious to Kelley that she too probably only just woke up. Kelley nodded and gave Christen one last stressed look. Her roommate just gave her a supportive thumbs up and a sympathetic smile. Kelley gulped and turned her attention to follow Alex out the door. The trip down to Alex's car was quiet, but it was a tired quiet, not an awkward one. Once they were in the car, Alex turned to Kelley, "You wanna get some coffee?"

"I thought you'd never ask," Kelley breathed out, Alex chuckled quietly. She connected her phone to the car's speakers and Say You Won't Let Go by James Arthur began to play loudly. Kelley gulped thinking that this was probably the worst song Alex could have played for her. She couldn't help but look at the other girl as she listened to the lyrics of the songs, grateful that she wasn't carrying weights and that Sonnett wasn't around to drop said weights on her foot again. Alex was humming along to the lyrics, her eyes focused intently on the road. The blue of her eyes was really brought out by the early morning light. Alex's skin was without a single blemish and Kelley started to become a little self-conscious about freckled face. Her dark hair was up in a loose bun with strands of hair falling into her face. Kelley thought that was especially cute. Kelley began to wonder what she and Alex's kids would look like. Would they have Kelley's hazel eyes or Alex's beautiful blue ones? Would they have clear skin or freckles? Would they be vegan?

"This song makes me wonder if I'll ever find my soulmate," Alex spoke up. Kelley nodded, "me too," she murmured quietly, her eyes never leaving Alex's face.

Alex pulled into a Starbucks drive-thru. She asked Kelley what she wanted to drink. Kelley, remembering that she had told Alex before that she was a vegan, cursed herself. "Uh, a cortado with... um, almond milk," Kelley responded, a little bummed that she couldn't have her regular drink order. Alex's eyes perked up, "oh, that sounds good," she stated and proceeded to order two grande cortados with almond milk. When they got the drinks, Kelley was hesitant to try hers, but when she took a drink she was pleasantly surprised. It was not another beet burger-type vegan treat. Alex, also, hummed happily when she tried the drink.

After pulling out of the Starbucks, Alex pulled into a gas station and fueled up her car while Kelley went inside and got a shit ton of vegan-friendly snacks. After their stop at the gas station, they were on their merry way to Diamond Bar, California. For most of the drive, Alex and Kelley talked about their friends, mainly Sonnett, and how stupid they are. Kelley, accidentally, fell asleep for about an hour and cursed herself when she woke up. However, Alex's baby voice wishing her a good morning made those thoughts disappear quickly. After Kelley woke up, the rest of the trip was spent in relative silence, but a comfortable silence nevertheless. When they took the exit reading, 'Diamond Bar', Kelley almost shit her pants. She was about to meet the people who created the most beautiful person on the face of the planet and she was in sweats and an old t-shirt.

Alex must've noticed her fidgeting hands because the other girl reached out and clutched one with the hand that wasn't on the steering wheel. Butterflies erupted in Kelley's stomach, but instead of freaking out internally about Alex holding her hand, Kelley's heart rate slowed down and the girl became surprisingly calm. It was the first time Kelley could remember one person being able to calm her down with a single touch.

When they pulled into the Morgan family driveway, Kelley noticed how cute the yard of the house was. One of Alex's parents obviously spent a lot of time outside gardening and decorating. The yard was filled with red, orange, and yellow flowers, fake turkey decorations, and even a few pilgrim themed gnomes. Alex noticed Kelley ogling at the yard and turned a deep red, "sorry, my mom really likes to decorate." Kelley shook her head, "no, it's amazing!" She hopped out of the car to get a better look at one of the gnomes. The Morgan family Thanksgiving already seemed to be a much bigger deal than Kelley was expecting. Her family would never go this all out for the holiday.

"If you like that, you should see the inside," Alex grabbed Kelley's hand and pulled her into the house. Kelley gasped as she entered into the residence. Turkeys were everywhere. Stuffed turkeys, toy turkeys, painting turkeys, every kind of turkey you could imagine. "My mom really likes turkeys," Alex whispered in Kelley's ear.

"AL? IS THAT YOU?" A high pitch feminine voice screeched out from what Kelley assumed was the kitchen. A woman wearing a turkey sweater rushed into the living room to greet them. She, first, grabbed Alex in a gigantic bear hug. She, then, grabbed Kelley and wrapped her in a giant hug as well. "You must be Kelley. I've heard so much about you! I heard you're also vegan so I'm making you girls some vegan mac and cheese! It'll be ready in a few. In the meantime... Alex show your friend around!"

Alex nodded and lead Kelley upstairs to what Kelley assumed was her room. She was a bit shocked when she walked in. Posters on posters were spread across the walls of the room. Some soccer players, others movies, there were even a few music posters.

"My mom would always decorate our rooms with a poster of the things we were the most obsessed with at the time. It's kinda fun to look at all my past interests. She even put a half-naked Kate Upton poster on the ceiling above my bed when I told her I was bi." Kelley looked up and sure enough, there was a half-naked Kate Upton poster on the ceiling. Kelley couldn't help but feel a little bit jealous. She wasn't out to her family yet and she knew that it wasn't going to be a kind conversation when she inevitably told them. She wished her mom had it in her to put a half-naked Kate Upton up on her ceiling.

Alex went on and showed Kelley around the upstairs of the house. Kelley noted that Alex had two sisters who seemed to be older as their rooms were pristine, clean and looked partly empty. Alex went on to explain to Kelley that her sisters were coming for dinner that night and staying the night. Their names were Jeni and Jeri, which Kelley found odd, especially because Alex's name didn't start with a J. The Morgan house had a bonus room with a projector screen T.V. hung up on the wall. Kelley was barely allowed to watch T.V. growing up and got a little over-excited seeing the giant screen. Alex noticed and chuckled a little, "you like T.V.?" Kelley just nodded, she had always wanted to watch Friends or the Office and be cool like the other kids but her parents were a little overprotective. With Kelley's extremely busy schedule and her lack of a T.V. in her dorm, college was also not the best time for T.V. watching either. "Maybe we can do that after lunch?" Alex suggested, Kelley nodded enthusiastically.

The girls raced each other down the stairs. Kelley almost faceplanted but won. An out of breath Alex giggled in her ear next to her, it sounded like angels singing to Kelley. Kelley walked into the family kitchen for the first time and choked on the spit in her mouth. Turkeys were everywhere. Magnets on the fridge, glass stickers on the windows, little glass turkeys on the counter, Mrs. Morgan even had a Turkey soap dispenser next to the sink. Two bowls with mini turkeys sat at the counter, Alex's mom was sipping a turkey mug that had tea in it. Kelley plopped down in front of the steaming bowl of vegan mac and cheese, hesitantly taking a bite. Kelley let out an audible moan, the mac and cheese was so good. A choking sound came from her right and Kelley turned bright red, realizing what she had done. Alex coughed, her face also a deep red. Mrs. Morgan's eyes were wide, she had her mug halfway up to her mouth when she froze as she watched her daughter and Kelley's faces burn a deep red. There was massive sexual tension between the two girls, so thick that even Mrs. Morgan understood what was going on. "Oh," the older woman murmured to herself, "you... you girls want a cookie?" Kelley violently nodded her head and grabbed the cookie from Alex's mom's hand stuffing it into her mouth as quickly as possible to hide her shame. Alex shook her head and shoved spoonful after spoonful of pasta into her mouth so she wouldn't have to talk.

"So, Kelley...." Mrs. Morgan began, trying to break the tension, "where are you from?" Kelley gulped down the last bite of her cookie, "All over really. I was born in Georgia and I live in Seattle now... but my dad was in the Navy so we've lived everywhere."

"So, the real question is what baseball team you root for?" Mrs. Morgan's eyes turned playful. Kelley chuckled, "I'd have to go with the Mariners because Seattle is quite a captivating city."

"Not the right answer, but I'm okay with it." Alex's mom chuckled as well. "What do your parents do?" Kelley's mood dimmed a little at the thought of her parents and not being with her family, "my dad owns a pizza restaurant after he got out of the Navy and my mom runs a wedding cake business out of the restaurant as well."

Mrs. Morgan smiled, "that's awesome." Alex gulped down her food, "that's where we met actually." Alex's mom's eyebrows furrowed, "in Seattle?" Alex nodded, "remember when I was in Seattle over the summer? We stopped at her dad's place to get some lunch and she was the one cooking pizzas." Mrs. Morgan nodded slowly, "... I see."

"She made me a vegan pizza," Alex added, glancing at Kelley and blushing quickly. Kelley thought back to that day, it was the first time her and Alex's eyes met. Kelley still had the burn on her arm from when Alex distracted her in the kitchen. Kelley ducked her head, her cheeks also heating up. Alex's mom, again, noticed the strange interactions between the two girls. She was watching Kelley specifically. She had seen the boys that Alex had brought home. They had all seemed bratty and only focused on one thing. Kelley was different. Mrs. Morgan knew the pair weren't dating yet but it was only a matter of time before they did. Kelley seemed to be so enthralled by Alex in a way that no other person had been. Mrs. Morgan understood those looks that the two gave each other. They were similar to the looks that she and Mr. Morgan exchanged in their youth. It made Alex's mom happy to see, but also it scared her. Her baby was growing up and love was beginning to blossom right before her eyes.

The conversation continued for a bit. As soon as the two girls were done eating, they bounded upstairs and Alex turned on the giant projector screen. She clicked through her Netflix account before choosing the Office. They started with the first season and got through episode six and the end of the first season before they were called down again for dinner.

"Are Jim and Pam gonna end up together?" Kelley asked Alex as they walked back down the stairs and into the kitchen. Alex smirked, "we'll just have to wait and see." Kelley glared at her quickly.

"Alex," a deep voice broke them out of their conversation. "Dad!" Alex threw her arms over her father's shoulders. Kelley wondered when the last time she and her father hugged. She bet it was when they dropped her off at Stanford but it seemed longer. Two young women lined up behind Alex's father to wait for their hugs. Kelley guessed these were Alex's sisters. They both squealed and tackled Alex when their dad pulled away from Alex. Alex laughed and wrapped her arms around them in response. Kelley missed her siblings. Her sister especially. She was the only one who knew about her being gay and she still loved her.

"You must be Kelley," Alex's dad said, a grand smile on his face, "I'm Mike and this is Pam and my two eldest daughters Jeri and Jeni." Each woman gave Kelley a little wave when Mike said their name. Alex was still next to Kelley and gave her a big smile when she gave them a shy smile back. The family sat down at the family table, Kelley sitting in between Alex and Jeri. Kelley thought out of Jeri and Jeni that Jeri looked more like Alex except with blonde hair. Dinner that night was some kind of soup and salad combo. Kelley thought it was really good. Mike asked Kelley a lot of questions about softball and school and her family. Kelley was relieved to learn that he was more of a baseball fan than a soccer fan. Kelley couldn't help but think that her own dad was the opposite, but at least Mr. Morgan would go to Alex's soccer games. Kelley's dad never would.

Kelley, also, couldn't help but notice that the Morgan family dinner was filled with laughs and conversation, very much unlike her own family who usually ate in silence as they listened to Kelley's dad shit talk all the employees at the restaurant. Mike Morgan seemed to be extremely involved with his kid's lives. Kelley's dad hadn't called her since she moved to California. Kelley knew that if she called him that he probably wouldn't pick up either. He let her mom do the making sure that Kelley was alive act.

Kelley was beginning to regret ever wishing to go back home in the first place.

After dinner, Alex, Jeri, Jeni, and Kelley went back upstairs and got about six more episodes deep into the office. Kelley thought that the Morgan sisters were extremely funny, especially when they were all together. She did feel a little left out of some of their inside jokes, but she didn't blame them for that. She was sure if she and Alex's positions were switched and Alex went to an O'Hara Thanksgiving, she would feel the same. In between two of the episodes, Alex got up to use the restroom and her sister's pounced on Kelley.

"You so have a crush on Alex," Jeri exclaimed first, Jeni chuckled, "you can't keep your eyes off of her!"

"I-" Heat flushed to Kelley's face. "No!" It's not a bad thing," Jeni interruped, "we're on team kellex here."

"Kellex?" Kelley gulped, Jeri and Jeni shared an evil grin.

"We want our sister to be happy and we like you, so we're gonna help you two get together," Jeni explained, "team kellex all the way."

"Hell yeah! Even mom wants you two together," Jeri butted in, "she told us all about the weird tension today at lunch." She wiggled her eyebrows and blew Kelley a kiss.

Kelley wanted to die. She wanted to implode in herself and never face Alex's family again. She couldn't believe her silly little crush on Alex was that easy to read for everyone else.

"Shit! She's coming. Act normal," Jeri whispered, pulling out her phone to casually look at. Jeni did the same and Kelley, who was a useless lesbian, threw a blanket over her head as if she was a five-year-old playing hide and seek.

"Uh... what's going on in here," Alex's voice rang out. A hand tugged the blanket off of Kelley's head. Kelley was faced head-on with Alex's bright blue eyes.

Fuck. Kelley thought. What would Sonnett do? WWSD...

Kelley flashed Alex a sly smile, "just waiting for you babe." Jeri's eyes almost popped out of her head. Jeni's mouth dropped open. Alex's cheeks turned a deep red, but she didn't say anything, just sat down next to Kelley and pressed play on the remote. Jeni and Jeri each gave Kelley a thumbs up and an excited smile.

Around midnight, the group of girls decided to turn in. Kelley gulped when she released that this meant she would be minutes away from sleeping in Alex's bed with... Alex. She took abnormally slow to brush her teeth. She picked out a pair of shorts and an old t-shirt out of her bag to sleep in. She changed slowly and when she finally walked into Alex's room, Alex was already in bed. Kelley pulled the covers off of the right side of the bed and quietly slipped in. For the first thirty seconds, Kelley felt giddy and a bit restless. However, she stayed perfectly still on her side of the bed. She laid on her side facing away from Alex for a good two hours before she felt tired. Right when she was feeling the tendrils of sleep pull at her eyes, Alex rolled over in the bed and wrapped her arms snuggly around Kelley. The slowed breathing pattern on her neck told Kelley that Alex was most definitely asleep but that didn't stop her heart from going berzerk.

It took Kelley two more hours to fall asleep, but she had never felt more content in her life.

Chapter Text

Sun was peeking in through the blinds in Alex's room right into Kelley's face. Kelley's eyes fluttered open and she was surprised to find Alex's arms still wrapped around her waist. Kelley sighed and melted into the touch. She could feel Alex's soft, sleeping breathes against her neck. The warmth coming from the covers and Alex's body was all Kelley had very wanted. A smile was plastered across Kelley's face as she felt herself being lolled back to sleep.

But of course, that couldn't last long.

Two pairs of running feet came sprinting into the bed and two bodies launched themselves into the bed.

"What the fuck!" Alex screamed, waking up from her deep sleep.

"Alex!!" One of the bodies screamed, "We missed you!"

Two small children were sitting on the bed. They were looking at Kelley and Alex in confusion, "wait... why do you have a girl in your bed--"

"DID YOU TWO FU--"

"Wool!" Alex covered the older child's mouth with her hand, glaring at them.

"Your name is Wool?" Kelley asked, confused.

"Yeah, like the socks," the older of the two children stated, Kelley looked to Alex, confused. She shrugged, "Kelley, these are my crackhead cousins, Wool and Kera. Wool and Kera this is my FRIEND," Alex emphasized the word friend, which made Kelley's heart drop, "from college, Kelley."

Wool and Kera smirked to each other, then hopped off the bed and ran out of the room. Alex looked guiltily at Kelley, "I'm sorry about them." Kelley shrugged, "they don't see that bad." Alex sighed and rubbed her temples, "just wait."

They spent a few more minutes in the room. Kelley checked her phone, finding she had a few messages from her mother, a few from her siblings, some from Sonnett and Hope, but none from her father. She signed, sending out quick, "Happy Thanksgiving!" texts and responding to Sonnett's question about whether or not having blue eyes meant that you could lift weights easier.

She, eventually, got up and took a shower, changing into a neat looking red turtle neck sweater and black skinny jeans that she borrowed from Christen. When she got out of the bathroom, Alex was waiting for her on the bed. The girl had her hair in two french braids that hung down nicely on her shoulders. She had a white bandana tied like a bow in her hair. Kelley felt her knees go weak for a second until she saw the terrifying turkey sweater that Alex was wearing. Alex saw her looking at her sweater and groaned.

"My mom forces us to wear these every Thanksgiving," Alex muttered, "she has turkeys with Santa hats for Christmas." Kelley stifled her laugh by shoving a fist into her mouth. Alex noticed and threw a pillow at her friend, hitting her in the face causing both of them to break out in uncontrollable laughter.

"Kera, look," a whisper came from the door. Hushed giggles followed. Kelley and Alex both stopped laughing and turned their heads sharply to look at the doorway. Alex's younger cousins squeaked out in terror and ducked out of the door. Alex's face flushed a deep red, as did Kelley's. "We should probably head downstairs," Alex murmured, Kelley nodded and followed her friend out of the room and down the stairs. As they walked, multiple screaming football fans who looked vaguely like Alex wished them a good morning. It was kind of a surprise to Kelley, her Thanksgivings were usually spent in relative silence. When they got into the kitchen, Kelley was slapped in the face with the chaotic mess the kitchen was in. Three giant turkeys were laying naked on the counter, veggie trays, cheese and meat trays, and chips with dip were all around them. There were probably about ten people in the kitchen alone and combined with however many were outside in the backyard or watching football in the living room, Kelley assumed there was probably about forty people here, which terrified her. Kelley noted that both Jeni and Jeri plus their mother had on turkey sweaters. Each of the sweaters had a different turkey activity on them. Mrs. Morgan's turkey had on an apron, Jeni's was carrying school books, Jeri's had a red solo cup, and Alex's was kicking a soccer ball. Kelley thought it was pretty cute. Her family never did anything like that. She bet that Mr. Morgan had a turkey sweater with football on it. Or maybe baseball. Kelley spotted Wool and Kera standing by the chips whispering to each other and looking at Alex and Kelley every so often. Kelley frowned.

"Kelley, Alex! Happy Thanksgiving!" Alex's mom pulled them into a big, gooey, hug. Over Mrs. Morgan's shoulder, Kelley made eye contact with Jeni who gave her a quick wink before going back to stuffing one of the turkeys. After a few seconds, Alex's mom let go of them, "help yourself to anything, Kelley. Alex, I expect you to be helping with the pies later?" Alex gave her mom a quick salute. Her mom chuckled, shaking her head and went back to helping Jeri and Jeni mess with the turkeys. Alex gave Kelley a beaming grin and took her hand, pulling her into the living room where her dad was. Kelley was right, Mr. Morgan's sweater had a turkey with a baseball bat and glove in its hand. He was sitting on the couch, transfixed on the T.V. The Seahawks were playing the 49ers and it was supposed to be a close game. There were some men and women in the room, most of them older. Alex began introducing Kelley to each person in the room, which just ended up making her head hurt. Most of them were Alex's aunts and uncles. There were a few neighbors, which Kelley found odd. She never once had a neighbor over for a family party. Mr. Morgan unglued his eyes from the T.V. for a moment, giving Kelley a bright smile and a good morning. Kelley felt her heart swell at that.

Alex then dragged her into the backyard were most of Alex's cousins were playing flag football. They were a range of ages, probably from ten to mid-twenties. Kelley counted fourteen of them altogether. Kelley was never especially close to her cousins. Her dad had severed ties with her brothers and sister before she was born so she had only met them a select number of times and each time it was awkward. Her mom's family only had a few other kids and they all lived out in Georgia so Kelley didn't really see them much either..

"Hey! Let us play!" Alex called out, interrupting their game. The oldest looking cousin, a tall boy with dark brunette hair and bright eyes, just like Alex, paused and smiled.

"Well look who's finally up!" He gave Alex a tight hug and then turned to Kelley, "You must be Kelley, Kera and Wool told me all about you." The two youngest cousins turned to each other and giggled. Alex shot them a glare, "crackheads," she whispered under her breath, shaking her head.

"Yeah, I'm Kelley. Alex and I go to Stanford together," Kelley stated, the man held out his hand, "I'm Blake, it's nice to meet you." Kelley shook his hand firmly.

"I heard you're a softball player, you think you're up for a little football?" Blake asked, a sinister gleam in his eyes as he held up the nerf football. Kelley's competitive nature took over, "you're on," she growled, cracking her knuckles. He put Alex and Kelley on different teams. Alex was on his team while Kelley was on the opposing team. Kelley found herself every outspokenly commanding her scrappy team that was made up of most of the younger cousins including Wool and Kera. Once Kelley joined their team, the younger team began to start to come back.

"Okay, Kera," Kelley made direct eye contact with her in their makeshift huddle. The team was close to winning, they only needed one more touchdown and it was the third down with a few feet to the goal line, "I want you and Wool to slip between Blake's legs. Jess, Gavin, and Kat. I want you to hold strong as the O-line, Walt... I'm going to fake throw it to you and then hand it to Wool. Evan, you just stand there and look cute. BREAK!" Kelley clapped her hands. The kids only looked a little confused as they jogged back to their positions. "Blue ninety-two, set..... HIKE!" Kelley felt the foam ball in her fingers. She looked directly at Walk and pretended to throw the ball to him. In reality, she pressed the ball hard into Kera's stomach. Wool acted like a shield as she barreled through the defensive line of the older team, knocking down Alex. Kera ran straight over the goal line and screamed loudly, slamming the ball into the ground and doing a touchdown dance which Wool and Kelley promptly joined.

"Children," Alex smiled, shaking her head. "Good game dummy," she kissed Kelley's cheek, just like she had done at the soccer game. Kelley's felt her heart speed up, but she spoke clearly, just like Sonnett would do, "right back at you loser," she added a wink for dramatic effect. Alex's face flushed.

"OHHHHHHHHHH!" Wool screamed, "KELLEY THAT WAS A BURN, LIKE BURNT TOAST."

"Good one Wool," Kera stated nudging her cousin.

Kelley crossed her arms and smirked at Alex who just laughed at her friend's silliness. Kelley suddenly felt a tug on her hand. It was Kera. "C'mon, we have to go mess with Blake!" Kelley looked at Alex with wide eyes. Alex shrugged, "I have to go help my mom with the pies, but you have fun."

Kelley looked at her friend, flabbergasted. Alex chuckled and walked inside, leaving her with the crackheads. Kelley was quickly dragged inside to help them put salt into Blake's beer. Overall, her time with the children of the corn wasn't too bad. But they did ask her a lot of questions about her relationship with Alex.

"So, are you guys dating?" Wool asked.

"No," Kelley responded, they had moved on from messing with Blake to playing chess.

"Have you kissed," Kera's eyes got wide as she looked at Kelley expectantly.

"No," Kelley moved her queen forward a few places, "your turn."

"Why were you two sharing a bed?" Kera asked, absently mindedly moving a pawn forward.

"'Cause we're friends," Kelley's cheeks started to heat up. She took out Kera's pawn with her rook.

"Then, why were you cuddling," Wool asked, moving a knight.

"'Cause we can," Kelley could feel her heartbeat in her ears as she moved her queen again.

"That's a stupid answer," Kera claimed, crossing her arms after she moved their queen.

"Well, that's my answer," Kelley said, moving her knight forward.

"Then, why do you look like you want to kiss her every time you look at her?" Wool asked, moving the queen again. Kelley stumbled over an answer, "Well, I... uh-"

"Checkmate," Kera smirked, pointing at the chest board but obviously implying something else. Kelley was shocked, she looked down at the board and sure enough, they had won. "Now, you have to answer our question."

"I don't have to do anything," Kelley stated, glaring at the two girls. Kera opened her mouth wide and started screaming, "KELLEY AND ALEX SITTING IN A TREE, K-I-S-S-I-N-G," Kelley grabbed Kera and covered her mouth with her hand, "shut up!" Kera bit Kelley's hand making her let go.

"Shut it!" Kelley growled at the two young girls, they just smirked and ran off. Kelley sighed and picked herself off the floor, wandering into the kitchen. Alex was just popping in the pies into the oven when Kelley arrived. "You have fun with the crackhead?"

"No," Kelley muttered, still rubbing her hand from where Kera bit her. Alex chuckled, "you poor baby, c'mere." Alex pulled Kelley into her chest. She wrapped her hands around Alex's body and could see Wool and Kera making kissing noises at them from their place at the chip bowl. It didn't help that Jeni and Jeri caught on quickly and began doing the same thing from where they stood behind Alex. Kelley shot each of them an individual death glare. Alex let go of her. "Dinner is almost ready, you wanna help me set up the dining room?" Kelley nodded, giving Wool, Kera, Jeni, and Jeri each another glare as they left the room.

Due to the large size of the party, there were about five different tables of about eight scattered throughout the Morgan's large, open dining room. Each table had a label for who was sitting where, Kelley was happy to find that she and Alex were next to each other at a table with Jeri, Jeni and some of the older cousins. Wool and Kera were sat far, far away at the kid's table. It took Kelley and Alex less than ten minutes to set each table, which Kelley thought was record time. When it was time for dinner, Kelley learned that the Morgan famil had an order of who went and when. The first to go where the women, oldest to youngest. Then, the men went youngest to oldest. Kelley found this a bit odd, but stuck to her place in line, right in front of Alex. She was careful to pick all vegan options to pile onto her plate, even though the turkey looked delicious. She sat down at her labeled seat and began to stuff her face with carrots. Jeni and Jeri had already sat down by the time Kelley was done plating up, along with one of Alex's other cousins, Becky.

"What'd you and Alex get up to last night?" Jeni asked, a gigantic smirk on her face. Becky, interested, set down her drink to look at Kelley. "Nothing, we just slept in a bed," Kelley rolled her eyes, even though her face was bright pink. "You and Alex are," Becky leaned closer, "fucking?"

"No! Jesus Christ," Kelley rubbed her temples, a headache quickly spreading throughout her head. "Not yet at least," Jeri stated, causing Jeni to spit water through her nose she was laughing so hard.

"Hey, guys!" Alex took her seat next to Kelley, "What's up?"

"Nothing!" Kelley said too quickly, Alex gave her a suspicious look, "alright then."

The rest of the family dinner went extremely well, Kelley had never felt so happy during a Thanksgiving. Even though she didn't have any turkey, the food was probably the best she had ever had (even though Kera and Wool were staring her down while munching on their corn). She heard story after story about baby Alex and her obsession with soccer and her twilight face, she was a team Jacob fan. The time in between dinner and dessert, Kelley spent playing Wii sports with Alex and the rest of the cousins. She found out Alex was particularly good at Wii baseball, which made her happy. "I should take you out to practice the real thing sometime," Kelley flirted, leaving Alex speechless. "When we get back, you can take me to the feilds. Then, I'll teach you how to kick a ball around," Kelley giggled and turned back to find everyone staring at them, "what're you all looking at?" The cousins turned back to the T.V. none of them saying a word, only a quick knowing smirk came from Wool.

Dessert at the Morgan family Thanksgiving, Kelley found out, was all cooked from scratch and probably the best thing Kelley had ever eaten. "You have to teach me this recipe," Kelley moaned through a bit of pie. Alex giggled, "only family knows the recipe, you have to teach me your pizza dough recipe, pizza girl." Kelley gave Alex a flirty smirk, "only family knows the pizza dough recipe, Janice."

"Janice?" Alex let out a belting laugh, "where did that come from?" Kelley smirked into her spoon, "I don't know, sometimes you talk like someone named Janice."

"Whatever.... worms," Alex giggled, Kelley gave her an incredulous look, "Worms? Seriously???" Alex let out another belting laugh, "yeah... sometimes you talk like a worm." Kelley gasped, pretending to be offended. Jeni and Jeri who were sitting across from them gave each other a look. Jeri mouthed, "two weeks," at Jeni who shook her head, "a month," she mouthed back. "Bet," Jeri stuck her hand out, Jeni shook it. The turned their attention back to Alex and Kelley who were still too enthralled with each other to notice their bet.

When people finished dessert, they slowly one by one began to leave, wishing everyone, including Kelley, a goodbye. It felt almost freeing to be back with only Alex's immediate family. Kelley helped Mrs. Morgan clean up the kitchen while Jeri and Jeni cleaned the family room and Alex and her father cleaned the dinning room.

"Did you have a good time, Kelley?" Alex's mom asked. Kelley nodded, "that was probably my favorite Thanksgiving, ever." Mrs. Morgan seemed surprised, "Really? You didn't want to be with your family?" Kelley shrugged, focusing hard on the plate she was scrubbing, "You guys are more fun." Mrs. Morgan nodded, knowing to leave the subject alone. She was glad to have Kelley's help. Unlike her daughters, Kelley seemed to take great care with how she cleaned the kitchen, making sure she was putting everything in the right places. After everything was clean, everyone made their way to separate rooms. Alex, this time even before she was asleep, wrapped her arm tightly around Kelley's waist. Kelley wasn't as panicked about it that night, it somehow felt right.

Kelley never wanted to leave the Morgan house. Over the next few days, they went and played mini-golf, went to L.A. for a day, and took Kelley out to watch a movie. Sunday was a sad day, for both Kelley and Morgan family. Neither wanted to leave the other. When Kelley and Alex were just about to walk out the door, Mrs. Morgan handed Kelley a fluffy package. Kelley had tears running down her cheeks when she opened it and found her own turkey sweater inside. Hers had a turkey holding a pizza on it.

"So next year you can officially be a part of the Morgan family," Mr. Morgan said, Kelley flew into his arms. He chuckled and hugged her back. She gave each of Alex's family members a tearful goodbye.

"You okay?" Alex side-eyed Kelley as they got into her car. Kelley was still choked up about the sweater so she just nodded her head, stroking the turkey in her lap. Eventually, she threw the sweater on, even though it was about 80 degrees out.

The road trip back to Stanford was a bit longer. Traffic was pretty bad. Kelley didn't mind though and neither did Alex, Kelley thought. They just listened to Taylor Swift and rocked out.

When Kelley came slamming in through the door of her dorm room with her turkey sweater screaming, "BYE JANICE!" down the hall, Christen, who sat terrified on her bed, managed to squeak out, "seems like you had a good time."

Kelley just threw her bag on the ground, flopping down on Christen's bed beside her.

"You have no idea."

Chapter Text

Kelley wore her turkey sweater for like a week until Christen called her out.

She changed Alex's name on her phone to Janice and she knew that Alex had changed her name to worms. It made a giddy feeling surge in her chest whenever she thought about it. The giddy feel was new, it had replaced the old starstruck feeling. Kelley figured that this was good because now, instead of being unable to speak correctly when Alex was around, all she wanted was Alex to be around so she could talk to her. Alex's mind matched her eyes, beautiful. Kelley pictured Alex's thoughts were like the waves crashing down on the sand. Her eyes the color of the waves.

Ever since Kelley had joined the Morgan family for Thanksgiving, Alex and Kelley had been inseparable. There were even a few nights that Alex had slept over in Kelley's bed. It was only a twin-sized bed so the girls had to be really close to both fit on it. One morning, when Kelley and Alex were still dead asleep, Sonny stopped by to pick up a bunch of her bowls that she had left when the group of friends were having a Harry Potter movie marathon night in Christen and Kelley's room. Christen opened the door when Sonny knocked, having been up for hours.

"Hey, where're my bowls?" Sonnett barged in, pushing right past Christen and into the room. One of the first things she spotted when she walked in was Kelley being held tightly in Alex's arms while the two girls slept, peacefully. "Oh, fuck. That's super gay," Sonnett pulled out her phone and snapped a picture of the girls. Christen sighed, handing Sonnett her bowls, "yeah, I know. At least they're not... y'know..." Christen made an awkward gesture with her hands.

"Fucking?" Sonnett supplied. Christen sighed, "Yeah... that. I'm just glad her bed is lofted."

"Why? What does that have to do with anything?" Sonny asked, confused. Christen flushed red, "You can't... do it... in a lofted bed." Sonnett shook her head, "No, you see, Kenz and I were fucking the other day in my bed and it's lofted. It was great until she fell off the bed." Christen's eyes widened comically wide, "You... I..."

"Alright, I'll see you later," Sonny exclaimed as she left the room, "we're still going to that fancy dinner place after your game, right?" All Christen could do was nod her head. Her cheeks were a bright red.

"Jesus Christ..." Christen muttered, walking into the bathroom for a pre-game shower.

***

Stanford ended up winning their game, 4-0. Alex had made two goals and Christen had made the other two. Each time Alex made a goal, Kelley stood up and screeched so loud that Sonnett was the one to pull her back down into a sitting position. Tobin, each time Christen made a goal, secretly kissed her ring finger on her left hand. The second time that she did it, Sonny grabbed her wrist and pulled it close to her face.

"HOLY SHIT," Sonny screamed, Tobin tried to tug her hand back from Sonnett to no avail. "DUDE WHAT THE FUCK, YOU'RE MARRIED??"

This caught Kelley, Ash and Sam's attention, they both turned to face Sonnett, who forcibly flashed Tobin's hand them. Sure enough, there was a diamond ring snug on Tobin's hand. Kelley dropped her bag of gummy worms in shock. Sam lost her footing and slammed her chin hard into the bleachers. Kelley gasped, reaching down and pulling Sam up. Blood was dripping down her face. "Ew!" Sonnett screeched, letting go of Tobin's hand. Kelley took two tampons out of her pocket and shoved them up Sam's nose. The tall girl squeaked in pain, but it stopped her blood from getting on her shirt. Ash was just laughing her ass off.

"YOU'RE BARRIED?" Came Sam's stuffy response. Tobin shook her head, not amused.

"No! It's a promise ring, dumbasses," Sam still looked confused, "A probise rig?" The tampons stuck up her nose were making it difficult for them to understand her.

"Yes! Like, I promise to marry you." Sonny looked at her, confused, "isn't that an engagement ring?" Tobin shook her head, obviously done with the conversation.

"No, it's like a pre-engagement ring." Tobin tried to explain, Kelley kinda got it, "why'd you get each other that?" She asked, innocently. Tobin blushed a deep shade of red.

"It was our three year anniversary last night," Sam, Ash and Sonny awwwww'd. "Cute," Kelley muttered, a flash of jealously spiking in her chest, she turned back to watch the game.

Sam shoved her lightly, "Sobeday Alex add you will be like dat." That made Kelley grin to herself, quietly.

When the game was over Kelley, Ash, Tobin, and Sam all waited for Christen, Alex and Ali to get out of the locker room. Sonny had left to go pick up Kenze before they went to the fancy restaurant. Sam had still not taken the tampons out of her nose. Kelley was pretty sure that her nose was broken. The three soccer girls didn't waste time and it wasn't long before they came bounding out of the lockerroom in prom-looking dresses.

Tobin and Ash dove to the restaurant in separate cars. Alex, Kelley, and Ali were in Ash's car while tampon-girl and Christen rode in Tobin's car. When they got to the restaurant, Tobin, Ash, Sam, and Kelley quickly changed into their 'fancy' outfits. They all brought semi-formal looking suits, like the ones teenage boys would wear to Homecoming. Sonnett's car ripped through the parking lot, zooming into the parking space next to Tobin's. Sonny stepped out of the car in a fancy blue tailored suit, a diamond wristwatch, with her hair in a tight bun. She opened the door for Kenzie, who was also wearing a fancy tailored suit, hers was green, and a diamond wristwatch.

"Hey!" Kelley shouted, crossing her arms, her jacket was much too big for her so no one could see her crazy hand movements, "the goal was to look shitty!"

Sonnett smiled as she gave her arm for Kenz to wrap her own around her elbow, "we stuntin' hunty." Kenzie blew a kiss at Kelley. "That's not fair," Tobin muttered, fixing her bowtie.

The 'fancy' restaurant was actually a Red Robins. None of them had the money to pay for anything else. Most of the suits were borrowed from other kids around the dorms and Ali, Alex, and Christen's dresses where their actual prom dresses. "Where did y'all even get those suits?" Ash muttered, patting down her slicked-back hair. Kenzie shrugged, "My dad's a lawyer." Sonny smiled, leaning down and giving her a smooch on the cheek.

The Hostess looked terrifies as the giant gaggle of gays swarmed into the restaurant. Kelley's suit was too long, Ash looked like a gay librarian, Tobin was wearing bright yellow shorts with her suit jacket and yellow bow-tie, Alex looked like a barbie doll, Ali was wearing some weird pattern on her dress that looked kinda like a book cover, Sam had two tampons sticking out of her nose, Christen looked perfect (no surprise there), and Sonny and Kenz looked like they were straight out of a Bond film.

"Uhh..." Sam turned to count everyone, "I thigk dere's dine," The young blonde hostess nodded her head violently, "nine, got it... follow me." She led them to the way back corner of the restaurant, where no one except the server would be able to see them. Kelley and Alex sat across from each other, Kelley had to take off her jacket that she was literally swimming in. The waitress they had was an older woman, probably about fifty. She wasn't paying attention as she walked up to the table, scribbling something down on her notepad. When she finally looked up, she gasped, clutching her chest. It made Alex giggle a little, causing Kelley's stomach to turn into mush.

"Uh... good evening. Can I start everyone off with something to drink?" Everyone ordered water except Alex who ordered black coffee. Ash made a snide comment but it only put a bigger smile on Alex's face. Kelley noticed that Alex's phone kept blowing up, a bunch of Snapchats from the same person. Alex groaned and flipped her phone upside down.

"Who's that?" Kelley asked, a knot forming in her throat. "It's just Serv. He wants me to go to his party tonight." Alex rolled her eyes. Kelley's heart flipped a biscuit and jealousy surged through her veins. She could feel Ash, Sonnet and Ali's stare but she didn't give them the time of day. "He's an idiot," Kelley muttered, Alex laughed and nodded, "Honestly the dumbest. I could never date him." Alex faked vomiting. Kelley's lips turned upwards in a slight grin.

The waitress came back not much longer with their water and Alex's coffee.

The rest of the dinner went great, Kelley almost ordered a hamburger until she remembered she was 'vegan'. It took the waitress almost three minutes to fully understand what Sam meant by, "the smonke and pebber burger". Tobin accidentally spilled some ketchup on her bright yellow shorts and tears welled up in her eyes. Kenz and Sonny looked like they were on the verge of jumping each other's bones the entire meal. Ash kept taking Instagram and Snapchats of poor Sam. Christen and Ali were whispering secrets to each other the entire time. Alex was really savoring her salad, her hand resting beside her plate closer to Kelley than herself. All Kelley could be was focus on resisting the urge to reach out and hold her hand.

***

Kelley was right, Sam did break her nose.

The poor girl was forced to wear a weird-looking, bird-like mask for the following few practices. Sonny kept calling her bird face, to which Sam would attempt to smack her without success.

The quarter was drawing near to an end. It was December, the air wasn't fridged, like in a Seattle winter, but it was definitely colder. Which kind of matched Kelley's attitude. Each day that passed, Kelley felt a spike of anxiety at the thought of being back with her family. She had repressed her true self for so long in her parent's control that she was afraid to lose her true personality that had barely begun to peek out. Due to the stress and anxiety that Kelley was putting herself under, sleep hadn't come easy to her. Alex had slowly stopped her frequent visits to Kelley and Christen's room because she had gotten so busy with her end of the quarter work.

Christen had noticed that her roommate was becoming slowly more and more withdrawn. The dark circles under the girl's eyes proved that she hadn't been sleeping. Worst of all, Kelley seemed to be coming down with a nasty flu or cold. The symptoms began on Wednesday and hit hard on Thursday. However, Kelley couldn't skip her classes or practice. It was dead week, there was reviewing to be done. Thursday morning she groaned and flopped out of bed, dragging her aching body to the bathroom. After a nearly thirty-minute shower where she struggled not to vomit, Kelley got out of the shower and tugged on a pair of sweats and a hoodie, grabbing her backpack. Christen stopped her before she could leave the room. "Hey, you good?" The concern that flashed over Christen's face would've been alarming to Kelley if her mind wasn't a pit of fog. "'m good." Was Kelley's slurred response. Christen let go of her shoulder and quickly grabbed her phone, shooting Alex a quick text that asked her to watch Kelley.

Kelley managed to get to her Linguistics 101 class right before the lecture started. She didn't notice Alex's worried stare as she sat down, she was too busy trying not to collapse. As soon as she sat down in her chair, Kelley slumped over and fell asleep. Kenzie and Sonnett looked over Kelley at Alex, a panicked look on both their faces. Alex shrugged, deciding it would be best to let Kelley sleep if she was sick. Alex sneakily recorded the entire lecture for Kelley when she woke up. The girl was out-out for the entire two-hour lecture. It wasn't until Alex shook her awake did she even show signs of life. All Kelley did was let out a groan, standing up and dragging herself out of the lecture hall and outside. Kenzie, Alex, and Sonny were all hot on her trail. Kelley, in a zombie-like fashion, dragged herself over to the dining hall where they usually had lunch as a group.

Like usual, everyone except Christen were sat at an eight-person table. When Alex made eye-contact with Tobin, she already knew that Kelley's health was a topic of conversation amongst the four at the table. Again, like at the lecture, Kelley slumped down in the chair next to Ash and was asleep within minutes.

"Christen said she hasn't been sleeping for a while now," Tobin kept her voice low, even though she knew Kelley wouldn't be able to hear.

"Do you think it's stress from finals?" Sonny looked extremely worried for her friend, it touched Alex's heart a little bit. Ali shook her head, "I think it's a combination of things." She wasn't subtle with her glance at Alex. Alex suddenly felt guilty. She had been a little distant from Kelley recently. She couldn't help it, really. With her classes becoming difficult. It had nothing to do with the fact that each time she looked into Kelley's puppy dog eyes she had an overwhelming urge to kiss her.

Even now, as Kelley slept away, Alex just wanted to grab her face in her hands and tell her that everything was going to be okay.

A blush bloomed over Alex's face and she glanced down at the table. Ali smirked slightly and turned her attention to Kelley, "should we just let her sleep?" Sam asked, peering at Kelley through her bird mask. Ashlyn nodded, "she needs rest and probably will only fight us if we try to move her to her bed."

So they let Kelley sleep. The conversation was a bit dull without Sonnett's jeers at Kelley and Kelley's retorts, but they managed. When they were done, Alex led Kelley back to their dorm building. They didn't talk much, Alex wasn't sure what Kelley was comprehending besides walking her daily schedule. The two teams were in the gym for weights again that day, which meant that Christen was getting changed in their room when Kelley arrived.

"Kelley, how was your day?" Christen asked, a hint of worry laced in her tone.

"Pretty good," Kelley slurred, changing her shoes to her trainers. "What'd you do?" Christen asked.

"Class," was Kelley's response. She grabbed her bag and began to trek out of the room. Christen hurried to catch up with her. Christen babbled the entire rest of the way to the gym. About her day, about her classes, about what they were learning, about everything really. When they got to the gym, Kelley plopped down next to her bag and passed out again. Christen and Sonny were hovering over her quietly, trying to figure out what to do. Jill walked in, took one look at her, and yelled, "Alright who's taking the sicky home. I don't want half my team out with the flu."

Sonnett, Christen, and Alex's hands shot up. Jill, overwhelmed, pointed at Alex, "You. Soccer girl. Take her home and make sure she doesn't come back. I'll let your coach know you won't be participating today. And soccer girl," Jill's eyes turned soft, "when she wakes up properly tell her not to come to practice until she's better."

Alex nodded, saluted, awkwardly unsaluted and apologized then grabbed her and Kelley's bags, helping the girl up and out of the gym. Surprisingly, no protest came from the girl as they trekked back to the dorm. Alex helped Kelley up and into her bed. She, also, made sure to scoot the girl over enough that she could fit in the bunk as well. Kelley, clearly exhausted, clamped onto Alex, her head resting on the other girl's chest, and fell asleep. Alex didn't realize how tired she was until that moment. She wrapped a strong arm across Kelley's back and felt herself slowly drift off to sleep.

Alex only woke up when she felt movement on her chest. Her eyes fluttered open and realized it was pitch black in the room. She could hear the soft snores coming from the other side of the room, signaling that Christen was back as well. Alex's eyes adjusted to the light and she looked down catching Kelley's eyes peering back up at her.

"Hi," Alex whispered, Kelley smiled, "hey." Alex ran a hand through the other girl's hair. It was so soft. "You haven't been taking care of yourself." Kelley's gaze shifted down. "Kelley you know you can tell me anything." Kelley suddenly clutched onto Alex tighter, silent tears streaming down her face. "Hey, hey, hey," Alex whispered, her heart breaking into a thousand tiny pieces, "pizza girl, there's no need for tears."

"They don't get me," came Kelley's choked mutter, "I don't want to go back." Alex was confused. Then, she pieced it together, "your parents?" Kelley breath hitched and tears started coming quicker, "sometimes I don't think they love me like my brother and sister." Alex's started scratching the girl's scalp, "I'm sorry, pizza girl."

Kelley slowly started to calm down as Alex continued her scratching. "My parents adore you, Kell," Alex whispered, "they're gonna come to your game in February."

A small breath hitch came from Kelley, "really?" The girl's voice was unnaturally high, clearly on the verge of tears again. Alex hummed in response, her shoulder becoming wet again, "my dad has never been to one of my games." Alex choked, anger surging through her blood. Her hand stopped for a moment, then continued.

"I'm gonna make up for that," Alex whispered, a heat behind her tone Kelley hadn't heard before, "my parents are gonna make up for that."

All Kelley could do was nod and take Alex's word for it. The last thought on Kelley's mind before she was lulled back to sleep by Alex's head rub was that she would never feel cold again as long as Alex was around.

Chapter Text

The day before Kelley's flight was scheduled to take her back to Seattle, she took Alex to the softball fields.

Most of their friends had already gone back to their houses for the winter break. They only ones who were still left besides Kelley and Alex were Kenzie, who Kelley found out also lived in Seattle, and Sonnett. The group had plans to reconvene at Alex's parent's house for New Year's Eve. Kelley was excited to go back to the Morgan's house, she really missed Alex's parents and sisters. She was not excited to see her own parents, only her siblings. Kelley honestly didn't know how she was going to spend a month without Alex.

They had picked that day because they knew that it was Sonny and Kenz's first month anniversary, so the girls would be preoccupied. Kelley had brought her softball bag and Alex had brought her soccer bag to the field. Both girls were dressed in athletic clothing, Kelley in an old t-shirt and shorts, Alex in a Stanford soccer shirt and sweats.

"Alright, the first rule of the game," Kelley began, giving Alex a cheesy smile, "always double-knot your laces." Kelley knelt and began to tie her metal cleats. Alex rolled her eyes, disregarding Kelley's 'rule' and only tying her cleats once. Kelley fake gasped, clutching her chest and falling backward, causing a poof of dirt as she hit the dirt field. Alex giggled, walking over and offering her hand for Kelley to take. Kelley quickly grabbed the hand and was pulled up... very close to Alex. The other girl was about four inches away from Kelley, looking straight into her eyes. Kelley gulped and her eyes flashed down to Alex's lips, she could've sworn that Alex was leaning in closer.

Before anything could happen, Kelley jumped back, chickening out. "You wanna hit or field first?" Kelley stuttered out. "Hit... I guess," Alex said dejectedly. Kelley gulped, a surge of heat rushing through her body as she quickly leaned over into her bag and pulled out a bat. "So in fastpitch," Kelley began, shuffling her hands on the bats until they were in the correct position, "you hold the bat with knocking knuckles aligned." Alex took a step closer and again the two were less than six inched apart, "these ones?" Alex asked in a low, almost seductive tone, brushing a finger over Kelley's middle knuckles. Kelley's mouth went dry. "Mhmm," the affirmative hum was the only noise that Kelley could make.

"Here!" Kelley exclaimed, shoving the bat into Alex's hands, "you try." Alex grinned slyly as she gripped the bat all wacky, "Miss O'Hara, I don't get it," Alex pouted, "help me." Kelley gulped and slowly moved so her front was against Alex's back. She rested her chin on Alex's shoulder and reached out to fix the girl's grip on the bat. Alex turned her head slightly so that her forehead was resting on Kelley's. This time, Kelley understood what the other girl was doing and an eruption of tingles and heat spread throughout her body. Kelley closed her eyes and was about to lean in when a loud voice screamed, "GAY!"

Kelley and Alex sprang off of each other, Kelley whipped around so hard that she fell flat on her face. Kelley growled when she heard the person's laugh.

"SONNETT!" Kelley popped up off the ground to glare at her friend who was sat on the bleachers next to the dugout. The girl cackled and waved her phone in the air, "got your location, O'Hara! You can't escape me!" Alex, who looked just as pissed as Kelley, crossed her arms and calmly asked, "Where's Kenzie?"

"Oh, she had to go pack..." The gleam in Sonnett's eyes grew bigger, "so I noticed my two great friends were alone at the fields and I decided to join." She sat back in her seat and stuffed a handful of popcorn into her mouth. Kelley grumbled to herself as she turned back to Alex, a bashful look on her face. "Sorry about her," Kelley whispered, Alex shrugged, "It's not your fault, Kelley."

The spent the next hour going over some simple softball and soccer drills, switching off being the teacher. Sonnett stayed and would yell out at them randomly, making sure that they were aware that she was there. Even though Sonnett interrupted Kelley's almost kiss with Alex, the girl had a lot of fun hanging out with Alex... it was almost as if Sonny wasn't there. When the two girls finished up, Kelley made sure to bolt after Sonnett, managing to grab her and toss her to the ground before she could getaway. Kelley was about to tear the girl a new asshole when Sonny winked, "my journal worked," Kelley looked over at Alex who was well out of earshot, stuffing her things into her bag. "It could've! If you hadn't been such an asshole!" Sonny rolled her eyes, "Trust me... this pinning is gonna do you wonders. It's kinda like when you restrict someone's orgasm and then when you finally let them orgasm it's like the best thing in the world." Kelley's jaw dropped and Sonny chuckled, "I know you're like super sexual repressed because you grew up Catholic so when you get there, come talk to me... or Ash... or Christen, probably not Tobin. She's a bottom-" Kelley slapped a hand over Sonnett's mouth, "shush! I don't want to know!" Kelley could feel the vibrations of Sonnett's laughs through her hand.

When Alex was done packing her soccer bag, the girls went to the dining hall to grab a quick lunch. They then separated, promising that they would meet up again for dinner, this time with Kenzie. Kelley went back to her room and finished her packing, more like she kinda just threw half her closet into her suitcase.

Dinner wasn't a quiet affair, to Kelley's dismay. Sonny had drunk one too many cups of coffee and was basically bouncing off the walls the entire time, to Kenzie's, and Kenzie only, amusement. It was weird for Kelley to not have Ali and Christen around to calm Sonnett down. Alex tried her best, but only really added flames to the fire. The more Kelley thought about it, the more she missed her awkward squad. Each person gave a unique and different contribution to the group and it wasn't the same when they were all gone.

"I miss everybody," Kelley muttered to Alex as they walked home huddled together. It was a windy night, Kelley and Alex had decided it was better to walk in a huddle than far apart. "Me too," Alex muttered back. Kelley could kinda hear Sonnett and Kenzie's laughs behind them, a smiled a fraction. Sonny sounded truly happy which was all Kelley could hope for.

They all went back to Sonny's room and played Cards Against Humanity until the wee hours of the night, so late that it only ended because Kenzie and Kelley had a six AM flight they needed to catch. Sonny kissed Kenzie goodbye, leaning her forehead against the smaller girl. Kelley could barely hear Sonnett whisper, "text me... it's only a few hours time difference." Sonny then turned her attention to Kelley and flung her arm over the girl's shoulder, "I'll see you in a few weeks, Seattle." Kelley chuckled, giving Sonny a quick peck on the cheek. The girl fake vomited into the floor, violently whipping her cheek. Kelley turned her attention to Alex, who had tears welling up in her eyes. The blue-eyed girl threw her arms around Kelley's neck, "call me if there're any problems," Alex muttered into Kelley's neck. A sudden realization that she was going back to her family swelled in Kelley's chest, causing her to squeeze Alex a little tighter. Alex pulled back slightly, her arms still around Kelley's neck, and leaned in to press a light kiss on Kelley's cheek. A bright blush overtook Kelley's face and she bowed her head to hide it as Alex fully stepped back. Sonnett gave Kelley a sly thumbs up as she left the dorm.

Kenzie and Kelley had a stressful time going through airport security. Kelley had to be patted down and Kenzie's toothpaste was thrown away, but somehow they made it just in time for their flight and ended up sitting next to each other. They didn't talk much on the flight to SeaTac, both falling asleep almost as soon as the flight took off. Kelley's head was resting on Kenzie's shoulder, Kenzie's head resting on Kelley's head.

When they landed, they tried to navigate around the giant airport to find where their families were. Kenzie found hers first, Kelley gave them a quick, "hello," still trying to find her parents. "Do you need a ride, honey?" Kenzie's dad, the lawyer, asked, furrowing his eyebrows. "No... I think they're on their way... thank you though." Kenzie bid Kelley a goodbye and happy holidays, making her promise that they would hang out over the break at least once.

Three hours later, Kelley's mom picked her up, giving her a bullshit story about how the car broke down. Kelley could tell by the sleep in her mother's voice that they had just forgotten about her... which was not unusual. When they got back to the O'Hara house, Kelley was happy to find that her sister and brother were both awake and excited to see her. Her dad, on the other hand, was still sleeping.

Kelley went back to the daily O'Hara routine fairly quickly. Wake up, go to mass, go to the restaurant, come back home, go to sleep. Kelley's only saving graces were Hope and Alex's constant texts. Hope was her same, mischevious self. She gave Kelley all of the soccer team drama from her school, most of which involved Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach. Kelley woke up from a text from Alex and went to sleep saying goodnight to Alex. The two had been nonstop ever since Kelley left California. It had gotten so obsessive that even Kelley's dad had noticed.

"Would you please put that goddamn phone down," He growled at her one afternoon while they sat playing cards at the kitchen counter. "Who're you texting... a boy?" Kelley's mom's eyes light up. Kelley had never spoken about boys around them. "No, it's my friend from college," Kelley said, quickly following her dad's command and put the phone down. Kelley's mom physically deflated but Erin, Kelley's sister, perked up, giving her sister a sly smirk.

Some days were better than others with the O'Hara family. Kelley's dad wasn't always angry but when he was... he was worse than when Kelley left. He never physically took out his anger on Kelley, but the screams were enough for her to sneak off and call Alex, just to hear her voice. Some nights she would sneak off and sit on the roof, watching the sunset, remembering Alex's ocean blue eyes.

Every so often, Sonnett sent her a meme of something odd and it would make Kelley's day. Christen, Tobin, and Ash also occasionally texted her. Most of the group's communication was via their Snapchat group chat which was always popping. Kelley laughed at all the lighthearted family videos the rest of the group would send in their group chat, wishing that she could send some of her own.

Everything came to a head on Christmas day, though.

It started out normal, Kelley, Erin, and Jerry were dragged to the early morning Christmas mass. Kelley hated her frilly dress. The priest's homily was boring and Kelley almost fell asleep but Jerry kicked her shin, saving her from their father's wrath. After mass, they went to the banquet room of the church and Kelley's parents conversed for over an hour with a bunch of old people Kelley was vaguely familiar with. Kelley had to answer a million questions about Stanford, her love life, and softball. When they were done, the O'Haras drove home. They opened their presents, Kelley got a new bat from her mom, some books from Erin, and a flannel from Jerry. Their dad didn't give gifts. For the rest of the day, the house was quiet. Mr. O'Hara put football on the T.V., the only thing besides soccer that they were allowed to watch. Mrs. O'Hara spent all day in the kitchen, Kelley and Erin helping her from time to time. Jerry spent half his day on the couch and the other half trying to help his mom in the kitchen without his dad noticing (to Mr. O'Hara, a man's place was not in the kitchen... unless it was at the restaurant). Kelley spent much of the time on her phone, texting Alex and the group chat, half-heartedly helping her mom with the ham.

When they all sat down for dinner that night, they looked like some kind of family out of a catalog. Kelley and Erin had on matching red and green plaid dresses with a lace collar. Mrs. O'Hara was wearing a long green dress that had little white snowflakes on it. Mr. O'Hara had on a white button-down shirt with a red bowtie. Jerry was wearing almost the same thing as his dad except his bowtie was green. Kelley couldn't help but think that if she was with Alex that everyone would have on cool turkey Christmas themed sweaters. When they went to pray, Kelley's phone dinged, causing her dad to give her a steely glare. That was her first strike. Her second was opening said text message after prays. It was a picture of the Morgan family wearing their turkey sweaters. Her final strike was promptly texting Alex back.

Kelley's dad blew a gasket. He slammed his palms on the table, rising in his seat and started to scream, "KELLEY IF YOU DON'T PUT THAT PHONE DOWN, I WILL TAKE IT AND SHOVE IT SO FAR UP YOUR ASS THAT IT'LL NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY AGAIN. STOP BEING SUCH A LITTLE SLUT AND BE APART OF THIS FUCKING FAMILY," Kelley felt something shift in her demeanor. She had never felt so brave as when she stood up, slamming her hands on the table, and yelled back, "WHY DON'T YOU STOP BEING SUCH A DEADBEAT AND ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT ONE OF US FOR ONCE INSTEAD OF ALWAYS SCREAMING?!" Kelley's dad turned a shade of purple, he marched over to Kelley and grabbed her wrist so hard that Kelley was afraid it might break, "now you listen here, you little bitch," her dad's tone turned menacing, "you will respect me. I. AM. YOUR. FATHER."

Kelley did something then that was both incredibly brave and incredibly stupid. She looked her dad straight in the eye and said, "I'm gay."

The shock of the statement was enough for Kelley's dad to drop her arm and for her to bolt upstairs. She ran into her room and jumped into her bed, covering her whole body with pillows. Uncontrollably sobs wracked her body, she was afraid for her safety, she was afraid her parents wouldn't let her got back to school, she was afraid of a lot of things. After about an hour, Kelley finally managed to calm down enough to facetime Alex. The girl picked up on the second ring. A sudden burst of, "MERRY CHRISTMAS KELLEY!" from a dozen voices on the other end of the call caused Kelley to burst into another fit of tears. "No, hey, Kelley," this it was just Alex, who sounded like she was on the move, spoke into the phone, "it's okay, what happened?" Kelley began to blabber out the story, incoherently. Alex obviously did not comprehend what the girl was saying but trying to be calm for Kelley's sake.

Erin walked into the room with a sandwich, spotting Kelley crying into the phone and quickly darted over to the bed, setting the sandwich on her nightstand and wrapping her arms around Kelley. She took the phone from her with one hand and began to explain to Alex what had happened, while still comforting Kelley. Kelley could tell if Alex was mad about it or not, her head still felt like she was underwater, but eventually, the girl seemed to walk back to the dinner table because she began to hear encouraging words come from the mouths of Alex's friends and family directed towards her.

Soon, enjoying the warmth of her older sister's hug and listening to the Morgans' family dinner, Kelley shakily reached out and grabbed the sandwich off of the nightstand, picturing that she was sitting with Alex and her family.

***

Kelley's dad refused to speak to her for the rest of her time there. Even when Kelley was about to leave with Erin to go to the airport to fly down to the Morgan house for New Years, her dad hadn't spoken a word. Kelley's mom even managed to give Kelley a kiss goodbye, though she was kinda acting as if Kelley had a disease.

Kelley honestly thought that her dad not speaking to her was the next best option after being a loving, respectful father.

She told herself not to dwell on it too much as in a few hours she and Alex would be reunited. Which would be the best feeling in the world.

Sure enough, when Alex jumped on her at LAX, Kelley felt all her fears and sadness drain away. She was the last of the group to arrive at the Morgan house, but it felt good to be tackled into a million different hugs from the people she was missing the most.

It was New Year's Day, but Alex's parents didn't want a gaggle of gay girls to be crunk and destroy something in their house, so they had bought dozens of bottles of sparkling cider instead of champagne. Kelley didn't have a problem with it, but Sonnett did.

"Damn it," Kelley heard the girl mutter under her breath as she dug through the wine cooler, "I knew I should've brought something."

"I would've taken it from you," Ali stated from her place on the couch with Ashlyn. Sonnett made a fart noise with her mouth and gave Ali the bird. Kelley giggled, a huge weight being lifted off of her chest when she realized she was back with her girls. Suddenly, a hand grabbed her wrist, luckily not the bruised one, and pulled her into a closet.

It was Christen.

"It's December 31st," the girl whispered frantically, "yeah... it's New Year's day, Christen," Kelley spoke slowly and clearly, confused by the urgency in her roommate's voice. Christen shoved her lightly, "the calendar, dumbass! Your four months are up! Project Kellex is happening, tonight."

Dread cursed through Kelley, "tonight?" she squeaked out. Christen nodded with the insanity of a madman, "perfect night for a kiss."

Suddenly the closet door swung open. It was Mrs. Morgan looking for a mop.

"Oop!" The woman jumped back, surprised that two girls were hiding in the closet.

But honestly, what did she really expect? She invited a group of gays to spend time at her house.

"Sorry girls..." Mrs. Morgan took the mop, avoiding eye contact with both girls. "Fuck!" Kelley groaned, Christen smacked her again. "Shut up! And kiss Alex tonight or I'll kill you." Kelley and Christen came out of the closet (sorry I'm done, I swear) to find Mr. Morgan questioning everyone about who was dating who.

"Wait so, you're dating," he pointed to Ash and Ali, "and you're dating," he pointed to Kenzie and Sonny, "and who are you dating?" He asked Tobin, who pointed to Christen, Mr. Morgan flipped around, "so you're dating her... which leaves..." He looked between Kelley, Alex, and Sammy, who still had the poor nose mask on. "Oh... well then," he made direct eye contact with Kelley and winked. Kelley turned bright pink.

The rest of the night was basically sugar-high induced crackhead hours. When it reached eleven, Kelley felt every nerve in her body one by one begin to tingle. She kept taking quick glances at Alex. She had gotten multiple opinions from the girls about how she should kiss Alex. Ash told her to just grab Alex by the hips and kiss her. Christen said maybe take it a bit slower with some pick-up lines first. Ali agreed with Christen but said to also include some hair caressing. Sam told her she didn't know what to do, but just not to break Alex's nose. Tobin told her that Christen had always initiated their kisses so she was also clueless. Kenz told Kelley to drink some vodka first. Sonny told her that all chicks love it when you tickle their ear when making out with them.

Kelley disregarded most of their advice.

At eleven forty-five, Kelley was getting the panicked sweats. Christen looked a bit concerned. Sonny already had popcorn that she was sharing with Kenzie and Sam. Ash was trying to pump Kelley up. Ali kept giving her thumps ups. Tobin was in the bathroom.

At eleven fifty-nine, Kelley was close to a brink of a panic attack, looking Alex dead in the eyes as the seconds ticked away.

A loud bang sounded outside, causing Kelley to squeak and look behind her. Suddenly Alex's palm rested on her cheek and Kelley to face her again. When Kelley finally looked her in the eyes, Alex pulled her forward, crashing their lips together.

"HOLY SHIT ALEX'S A TOP!" Sonnett screamed.

Kelley pulled back, "I'M NOT VEGAN! I JUST WANTED TO IMPRESS YOU AND I'M SORRY I LIED-"

"I know you, dummy," Alex laughed, wrapping her arms around Kelley's neck, pulling into another hard kiss, "You're not slick."

All Kelley could do was hum against Alex's lips, savoring the moment forever.

Sunsets and oceans waves blossoming in her head.

Chapter Text

Kelley was on top of the world.

When she went to sleep the night of New Year's Eve, Kelley had one arm wrapped around Alex's waist. Her face buried into the back of Alex's neck. She felt like she and Alex could face anything, together. She barely even noticed Sonny snuggled up against her with both her arms wrapped tightly around her waist.

They didn't have to go back to school until January seventh, which meant that they had a little over a week to screw around.

New Year's Day was an important day, they were going to the beach to go surfing. Mr. Morgan had given the girl four surfboards to use while they were at the beach. They split between three cars, Alex, Kelley, and Sam in one, Ali, Ash, and Tobin in one, and Kenzie, Sonnett, and Christen in one car.

In Alex's car, Kelley, of course, had claimed shotgun. Sam was sat in the back with her protective mask on in a t-shirt and some shorts. It wasn't really that long until they got to the beach, Alex had put on a fairly sensual playlist on, she kept making eyes at Kelley. Kelley's throat felt dry and her hands were extremely clammy. Twenty minutes into the drive and Kelley had forgotten that Sam was even in the car. Alex's hand was on her thigh and her whole body was hot. Sam suddenly burst out into sobs.

"What?? What is it?" Kelley whipped her head around, Alex's hand flew off of her thigh. "I... I... I'M SO ALONE," Sam cried, Alex gave Kelley a confused look. "What? We're here, Sam," Alex stated, "we're your friends."

Sam's sobs stopped but she continued to sniffle. "No... I... I'm ninth wheeling." Kelley gave her a confused look, "What do you mean?" Sam scoffed, crossing her arms, "every single member of our group is in a relationship with each other... I'm literally the only one who's not." Kelley's cheeks heated up thinking about the fact that she and Alex were officially a thing. She shook her head and refocused her attention on her crying friend, "Well, we'll just have to find you a girl.... or, er, boy?" Sam shrugged, "Whatever the author is feeling I guess." Alex nodded, "but for now, let's focus on having fun with everyone today." Sam whipped her tears with her sleeve, "you're right."

It was only about half an hour more until they were at the beach. Kelley excitedly grabbed one of the surfboards and bounded towards the waves. She didn't care much for her clothes as she stripped them off and threw them into the ground (Christen later picked them up). She had her wet suit underneath her t-shirt and sweats and it barely took a minute and she was riding the waves, laughing and smiling as she slipped and crashed into the waves. By the time her giggling body washed up onto the beach, Alex was stood ankle-deep in the ocean, a charming smile on her face. "Having some fun?" Alex asked, sticking her hand out for Kelley to take. Kelley took the extended hand and Alex pulled her up into a searing kiss. A loud whooping noise came from behind Alex, Kelley knew it was Sonny. When Alex pulled away, she had a giant grin spread across her face, "I'm never gonna get tired of doing that," Alex whispered to Kelley. Kelley leaned forward until their foreheads rested against each other, "Me neither," Kelley smiled.

"GAY!" Sonnett screeched, whipping Kelley with a towel. Kelley pulled back from Alex, bending down to grab a chunk of sand, and chucked it at Sonny, hitting her square in the face. Sonnett gasped and whipped the dirt from her face, but didn't get all of it. She squinted her eyes threateningly at Kelley who just laughed.

The rest of the day, Kelley spent half her time competing with Tobin and Ash over how could ride the biggest wave, some of her time trying to help Sonnett learn how to surf, and the rest of the day building a sandcastle with Alex.

It was a kind of wonky looking sandcastle. One of the towers had slid down and Sonnett had accidentally stepped on part of it, but it was something that she and Alex had made together. When they had finally finished repairing it, the sun was on its way down. Kelley mustered up the courage to ask Alex a question that had been weighing on her mind since the girl had kissed her. She gently reached out and grabbed the girl's hand, "Alex?" Alex turned her head to face Kelley. At that point, the sun cast a golden light over the other girl's face. The light brought out the blue in Alex's eyes and made her look so ungodly beautiful Kelley found herself choking on her words. Their faces were so close that Kelley could count each of her eyelashes. Alex cocked her head, like a confused puppy causing Kelley to melt even more. "Um... Alex... do you wanna go on a date?" Kelley managed to spit out. Alex looked confused for a moment and then chuckled, placing a hand on Kelley's cheek and kissing her again. Kelley got so lost in the kiss she forgot what they were talking about. Alex pulled back and rested her head on Kelley's shoulder as they looked into the sunset.

"As long as the date is with you," Alex replied cheekily. All Kelley could do was nod, feeling Alex's arm droop over her lap, watching the ocean waves crash onto the beach as the sun began to drop below the horizon causing a bloom of oranges, reds, and pinks to spread across the sky.

***

Kelley loved waking up next to Alex.

She could always tell that Alex was waking up because the girl was not exactly quiet. She would let out loud groans, stretching her arms and legs as far as they could go, almost knocking Kelley off the bed in the process. Kelley never minded though.

Sonnett, since they'd been staying at the Morgan household, had seemed to creep into the bed that Alex and Kelley were sleeping in each night. Not having any reason for it except to annoy the couple. Sonnett was also not quiet in the mornings. However, her groans were ten times louder than Alex's and she did push Kelley off the bed, multiple times. Kelley did mind that.

Much to Ali's dismay, the group had decided to take a trip over to the nearest camping grounds and spend a few days out in the wilderness. When she found out that the group planning to go camping, Ali threw a fit and locked herself in Jeri's room, where she and Ash were sleeping. Ashlyn managed to get her to come out of the room around noon, but she was still extremely pouty.

"C'mon, babe," Ash whined, "it's only a few days then we're going to hang out around LA for a day." Ali's eyes were downcasted and she had pulled her hood over her head. Christen put a hand on Ali's shoulder, "we're gonna have cell phone reception." Ali perked up a little at those words but didn't take off her hood.

The Morgan's had three tents that were meant to hold up to four people. After much debate, it was decided that Ashlyn and Ali would have a tent to themselves--mostly to try to cheer up Ali--Sam, Kenzie, and Sonny would be in a tent, and Alex, Kelley, Tobin, and Christen would squeeze into a tent. They packed sleeping bags and an air mattress for Ali. They also packed some fishing poles and Sonnett managed to grab some alcohol.

It was a forty-five-minute drive to the camping ground. Kelley slept for most of the drive. When they got to the campground, Tobin, Kelley, and Kenzie helped set up the tents. Alex and Christen were organizing the food, lots of hotdogs and smores. Ashlyn was trying to get Ali to get out of the car. Sam and Sonny had snuck off out of sight.

Kelley was basically a pro at setting up tents and they managed to build the tents in under twenty minutes, a record for her. By that point, Ashlyn had managed to get Ali out of the car and was dragging their stuff into the tent. Kelley whipped some sweat off her brow and looked over to Alex, who gave her a wink. Kelley blew her a kiss back. Tobin raced over to her car and pulled out three fishing rods, "I heard there's trout in the lake!" She shouted at Kelley and Ash. Kelley perked up and ran over, grabbing one of the poles from Tobin, "RACE YA!" She shouted, sprinting off towards the direction of the lake. Tobin and Ashlyn were hot on her heels.

Kelley won the race, no surprise seeing as she had a massive head start. Tobin had managed to grab a tackle box before taking off after Kelley so they had all the hooks, worms, and line they needed. Kelley sat down at the end of an old dock, casting out a line. The lake was peaceful. Not many other campers were there... probably because it was January. Kelley fell into a calming rhythm of casting the line out and reeling it in, watching a duck and her ducklings swim by. She thought to the future and wondered if she would have kids and if so, how many? She wanted an even number. She began to daydream about freckled blue-eyed children who played soccer and softball.

At some point, she felt a presence beside her. She knew it was Alex before she even turned to look. Alex's eyes were bright and youthful, Kelley leaned over and pecked her lips. Alex didn't say much, just leaned her head on Kelley's shoulder, watching her cast and reel. Kelley could hear Ashlyn and Ali's conversation from where they stood at the edge of the water. Ali didn't like the worms Ash was putting on the hook. Kelley glanced over her shoulder at Christen and Tobin. The couple was sat on the left side of the dock, Christen leaning into Tobin, their hands intertwined. Tobin wasn't casting a line into the water anymore, they were just watching the waves ripple.

"Kelley," Alex murmured, Kelley hummed in response, "how are you?"

Kelley was confused by the question, of course she was good, "I'm good?" It came out more like a question. Alex snuggled in closer to Kelley, her voice got quieter as she spoke again, "have you heard from your parents?'

Oh. Kelley thought. She had forgotten about her Christmas disaster being with Alex and all her friends. Kelley gulped, she felt Alex's arm snake under her arm and grip her forearm, tight. "We don't have to talk about it." Alex whispered, Kelley shook her head, "I've only heard from Erin and Jerry." Alex squeezed Kelley's arm once, comfortingly.

Ash's terrified scream broke them from their intimate moment. Kelley whipped her head around to see Sonny and Sam in ghillie suits. Sonny was dangling a snake out in front of her, running toward Ash. The older girl was screaming bloody murder, she stumbled and tumbled back into the water. Her head popped up glaring daggers at Sonny.

It turned out to be a fake snake, Kelley found out. Ashlyn, after getting out of the water, tackled Sonnett so hard Kelley could hear the breath get knocked out of her.

Kelley figured she deserved it, though.

When they got back to the camp, they found Kenzie asleep in one of the tents. No one had caught a fish so they were going to have hotdogs (and veggie dogs) for dinner. Kenzie managed to get a fire going, a good-sized fire. They all sat around the large fire pit, Sam and Sonny still in their ghillie suits, and roasted hotdogs.

After Alex was done cooking her veggie dog, she took a bit and moaned, making Kelley's face heat up. Sonnett noticed, of course, and shouted, "KELLEY YOU HORNY HOE!"

"Shut the fuck up," Kelley hissed, Alex wrapped an arm around Kelley's waist and pulled her in closer, her lips pressing on Kelley's neck lightly, "she may be a horny hoe, but she's my horny hoe."

"Oh... uh, cute?" Christen tried to be supportive, but her smile was more like a grimace. "Here, babe," Alex wiggled the veggie dog in front of Kelley's face, "try a bite."

Kelley's face was a bright red as she nibbled off a bit. It wasn't bad but she felt weird with everyone watching them.

"Ew," Ash gagged, Christen slapped her arm violently, "you and Ali used to do that."

"Kenz and I never did," Sonnett crossed her arms smugly. "Yeah, but you make out with each other in front of us all the time," Ali rolled her eyes. Kenz shrugged, "It's hot."

"They do more in front of me," Sam peeped up, everyone turned to stare at her, "it makes me feel alone." Kelley cringed. She watched as realization flashed across all of their faces. Sam was literally a ninth wheel now.

"Y'all wanna hear a story?" Sonnett asked, wiggling her eyebrows, Christen sighed. "Sure!" Kenzie exclaimed excitedly.

Sonnett stood up, her ghillie suit made her look like a bush with a face. She began to pace.

"There once was a boy," Sonnett cleared her throat, "he was gardening and he found a big toe," Alex furrowed her eyebrows, "A big toe??" Sonny rolled her eyes, "yes, a big toe. Now shut up and listen. He pulled and pulled at the big toe until it snapped and came off whatever it was stuck to. When he did this he heard something groan and runoff. He went to his mother and showed her the toe, she was proud. She told him that they could put it in the soup for dinner--"

"Sonny what the hell is this story--"

"Shut up! So they did. They ate the toe for dinner. That night when the boy was just about to fall asleep, he heard," Sonnett's voice changed obviously trying to imitate something out of a horror movie, "'Where is my to-o-o-o-e?' it groaned. The boy was terrified. He believed that the thing didn't know where he was. But again he heard, 'Where is my to-o-o-o-e?'... this time much closer. He covered his face with the pillow and tried to block out the sound. Suddenly the door burst open," Sonnett violently hopped to face Sam and shouted, "YOU'VE GOT IT!" pointing at her roommate.

Sam was so scared she fell off of the log she was sitting on. No one else was scared, though.

"Did... did you just tell us a story about... a toe?" Tobin asked.

"Yeah? What of it, Toe-bean?" Sonny stated sitting back down. Sam squeaked when she said toe.

"Jesus Christ, why are we friends," Ali muttered under her breath.

They made smores after that. Sam was looking around frantically as if to make sure no toe monsters were coming for her. Sonny, every so often, would whisper, "toe,'' into the tall girl's ear which would make her squeal and cover her face. Each time she did this, Sonnett would cackle causing Kenzie to shove her lightly telling her to play nice. Ali was slightly happier when the chocolate came out, which made Ash ten times happier. Christen was still in shock over what Sonny had just said. Tobin had chocolate in her hair.

Kelley got fed smores by Alex so she was content.

Later that night, Sonny tried to get everyone to do shots but everyone declined and instead went to bed early.

Christen, Tobin, Kelley, and Alex barely fit in their tent. They kinda looked like sardines in a can. But they didn't care. Intimacy means being close, right? They all played a few rounds of cards before sleep. Kelley lost every time. Alex won twice. Tobin and Christen each won once. When Kelley finally laid down to try to sleep, she felt drained. She was out within minutes.

Kelley woke to the sound of a screech. Kelley bolted out of the tent, Tobin, Alex, and Christen hot on her tail.

Kelley was expecting to see blood. Kelley expected to see a bear or a cougar or some type of giant mountainous creature.

What Kelley actually saw when she shined her flashlight over Sonny, Sam and Kenzie's tent was Sonny dress in a giant toe costume hovering over Sam who looked so scared that Kelley wouldn't be surprised if the girl had shit herself.

"What in the sweet lord baby Jesus is going on," Ash exclaimed, clambering out of her tent, Ali in a full silk nightgown and a sleeping mask hot on her trails.

Ali took off her sleep mask that read, 'sleeping queen' and stated, "What in the hell."

"You... you did not," Christen stammered. Sonny smiled guilty. Kenzie was the last one to climb out of her tent. She didn't seem too fazed about what was going on. Probably because she grew up with all boys.

"Wanna do shots?" Sonnett asked, peeling off the toe costume. She had put it on over her pajamas.

"It... it's three in the morning," Alex rubbed at her eyes.

"That's never stopped us before," Ash said, Ali smacked her arm, "you are not on that idiot's side, are you?"

"I guess one shot wouldn't hurt..." Kelley muttered. Alex shrugged, "I guess."

So Sonny poured them all a shot of vodka. Even Christen took a shot.

"Jesus Christ college is weird," Christen muttered to herself, a sour look on her face after the alcohol slid down her throat.

Kelley couldn't help but agree. But, she wouldn't have it any other way.

Chapter Text

For as long as Emily Sonnett could remember, she had never been truly happy.

She was born on November 25th with her sister, Emma. Out of the two of them, Emily was very clearly not the favorite. From the start, her parents would hover over Emma, cuddling her, giving her extra food and dessert, letting her sleep in their room until she was 14.

Emily couldn’t remember ever being hugged by her parents.

She never understood why her parents were so neglectful towards her. She and Emma looked like the same person. She figured that they may have resented her for being born, as she was born second. Her parents had no idea that they were even having twins and didn’t have the means to support two girls.

So Emily was pushed to the side.

And thus, she had always believed she was defective. She craved attention. She needed people who weren’t her parents to see her and laugh or roll their eyes. It proved to her that she truly existed and wasn’t some invisible person that couldn’t be heard or seen.

Her teachers noticed her impulsive, dissociative episodes. They noticed how she couldn’t sit still long enough to finish her school work, always squirming in her seat or asking to go to the bathroom every ten minutes.

Her second-grade teacher, in particular, was concerned with her behaviorally issues. So, she scheduled a parent-teacher conference.

Mr. and Mrs. Sonnett were floored that Emily was acting out in school. That was when the bruises started. They thought Emily was just being a bad kid, never once thinking that she could have a mental disorder.

As the bruises blossomed over her body, Emily became quieter. Throughout the rest of grade school, she switched from the impulsive, loud, class clown to the kid who always sat in the back corner of the class with an extra-large sweater on, always struggling to say still.

Even though their parents always pitted them against each other, Emily’s saving grace was always Emma. Her sister didn’t know about the abuse until their freshman year of high school when she walked into her parent's room and watched as her father struck Emily across the face after she got a detention for chewing gum in her Spanish class.

Emma was furious, she screamed at her father for an hour holding Emily as she shook in fear. When her mother got home, she screamed at her, too.

So the bruises stopped for a while, Emma would check every morning to make sure there weren't any new ones. Her sister tried to include Emily in all the family activities that their parents would exclude her from. Emily’s first time going to a movie theatre was when she was a Sophomore in high school.

Softball was her only other saving grace.

All her pent up anger and aggression came out during practices and games. It made her become obsessive over how she played. After a bad game, it was rare for her to come out of her room for a day or two. Emma tried to come to every game, therefore, her parents were at most of her games. It was the one thing they praised her for.

When she was offered a full scholarship to Stanford, she didn’t wait to say yes. Of course, she missed Emma every day but the girls made a commitment to speak to each other on the phone as much as they could, which was usually daily.

The first day she met Sam, she knew the girl was going to become one of her closest friends. Emily drove from Georgia to California by herself with all of her things. She struggled to carry her boxes up the stairs to the dorm, dropping a lot of them along the way to the elevator. The first time she made the trip up to her dorm, Sam and her family were already there. She dropped her boxes on the bed opposite of Sam and plopped down, throwing her head in her hands. She was overwhelmed with all the things she needed to do by herself.

“Are you okay, dear?” Mrs. Mewis asked, walking over and sitting next to Sonny, a comforting arm draping across her back.

That’s when Sonnett lost it. Sobs ripped through her body as she clutched to the older woman, never been touched so gently by an adult. She couldn’t see the way that her roommate’s mom’s eyes widened as she looked at the rest of Sam’s family watching, confused and concerned.

Sam’s mom didn’t ask why Emily was so emotional when she finally stopped crying, only asked if she needed help unloading her things, to which Sonny nodded weakly.

So the Mewis family spent a few hours unloading Emily’s car and helping the girls unpack her boxes. Sonnett was so unbelievably grateful for their kindness. When her family left, Sam never once asked about her roommate's breakdown. The girls just sat on Sam's bed for hours talking about softball, girls, and their plans for the future.

Emily Sonnett met Kelley O'Hara the next day.

As soon as Kelley walked into Coach Jill Ellis's house Sonny noticed the fear and anxiety on her face. It wasn't just any kind of fear, it was pent up fear from years of being told she wasn't good enough. Sonnett could see right through Kelley's facade because she was feeling the same way. Impulsively, Sonnett wanted to become the girl's best friend... so she licked her.

Maybe not the best plan of action but Emily Sonnett wasn't known for her ideas.

Sam made her feel safe, Kelley made her feel understood. Right away, Sonnett slowly realized that college would be much different from high school.

She met Ash, who inspired her to do bigger and better things. Tobin, who never hesitated to listen to what Sonny had to say--even if it was stupid. Ali, who's maternal energy made Sonnett crave her praise. Alex, who never hesitated to turn a stressful situation lighthearted. Christen, who kept Sonny on track with school and life.

And then she met Kenzie. The girl who made her feel loved.

At first, Sonnett was hesitant to get close to the other girl. She was smart, empathetic and could see right through her. Sonny could do casual hookups, but she had never felt so strongly about someone. Even little things the girl did was adorable to Sonny, from the way she adjusted her snapbacks to the way she scrunched her nose when she was thinking. Kenzie had the same amount of impulsive chaos that Sonnett had while being one of the most studious people at Stanford.

Kenzie was the only person, besides Emma, that knew about her past. It slipped out late one night when Sam was deep asleep, snoring as loud as a train horn. They were huddled together in Sonnett's bed, not doing anything sexual just talking. Kenzie mentioned something about how her father used to punish her by making her write essays, which was an unusual way to discipline a five-year-old. Sonnett was quite for a while, flashes of fists exploding in her brain. It took Kenzie's gentle fingers running through her hair for Sonnett to stop breathing so fast. She launched into a jumbled ramble about her childhood and never being good enough for anyone. Kenzie listened quietly to her girlfriend's strained words, never stopping her hand motion through her hair. The ten-minute monologue ended with Sonnett telling Kenzie that she understood if she wanted to break up, she didn't want Kenzie to carry her emotional baggage.

All Kenzie did was scoot closer and press a light kiss to Sonny's nose, saying, "I wanna be your coat rack. I want you to dump the biggest, dustiest, jacket on me because it'll make you feel ten times lighter."

Sonny let out a small, strained, hiccuping laugh. "I don't wanna make you do that." Kenzie shook her head, "I'm a coat rack, that's what I'm here for." Sonny was quite a moment. "But what if I put too many jackets on the coat rack and it tips?" Kenzie shook her head, "I won't, I'm a magical coat rack from Harry Potter." Sonny giggled quietly.

From that night on, Sonnett clung to Kenzie for emotional support like a baby monkey on it’s mother’s back. Any normal person may have grown tired and drained from Sonny’s mess of emotions, but Kenzie didn’t really seem to mind. She always listened intently, with a gentle hand.

And Sonnett knew that sometimes she could be a little much. She really couldn’t help it. She was so starved for attention, it didn’t matter what kind people were giving her. She always felt slightly guilty after doing certain things, like chasing Ashlyn around with a snake. The girl seemed genuinely terrified, but Sonny has an incessant need to push her buttons.

Sonnett had only two real fears in life (three if you count spiders). One was her friends would find out how much of a wreck she was. Two was she would become so annoying that they would leave her.

Then, the night before the girls got back to campus, her father called. Telling her that they would be coming to visit in the next week, without Emma.

Which is why, when the girls got back to Stanford, Sonnett started to lock herself up in her room a lot more often. Her friends noticed, of course, but opted to leave the girl alone because they thought she needed space. Kenzie and Sam were the only ones making the effort to go to Sonny, who was very clearly having a sort of mental break. She hadn’t been alone with her parents since that day, freshman year.

She grew abnormal thin with dark circles around her eyes from lack of sleep. It had grown so bad, that even Tobin noticed Sonnett’s health. Which was the reason why Kelley, Tobin, and Ashlyn decided to got to Sam and Sonny’s room after practice one day.

“You think she’ll talk to us?” Kelley whispered to Tobin who shrugged. Ash had a fierce look on her face, “She’ll talk to us,” Ash stated, “I’m not watching my friend waste away.”

So, Tobin knocked loudly on the door. It took a while, but eventual Sam peeked the door open, her eyes comically wife when she saw who all was standing outside the door.

“Where’s Sonny?” Ash asked, trying to push the door further open. Sam gulped, “This really isn’t a good time, guys.” Thumping and rustling sounded from behind her. Ash rolled her eyes and pushed the door open as far as she could, knocking Sam down. Sonnett was pacing the room behind Sam, muttering to herself as she opened drawers and scrounged through them. She didn’t even realize three of the people she was trying to avoid were standing at the doorway, watching.

She was dressed up, oddly enough. In a bright yellow sundress and a clipped bow in her hair. She looked like a Disney character a little bit. “What the hell are you doing, tinker bell?” Ash crosses her arms, confusion clearly expressed on her face. The sound of a voice other than Sam caused Sonny to whip her head around, staring at the group of girls, terror in her eyes. "No, no, no, no," Sonny rushed forward to where her friends were standing, trying to push them out of the room, "you guys can't be here." Kelley was able to stop Sonny coming at them, pinning the girl's arms to her side. "Dude, what's wrong?" Tobin asked, concerned. Sonnett looked around the room hurriedly before letting them walk further into the room, slamming the door shut. "You can't be here," Sonny muttered, tugging aggressively on her hair. Kelley felt an anxious knot begin to form in her stomach. "Hey, dude, Sonny," Tobin reached out to try and get Sonnett's hands away from her head. The girl flinched back violently, hitting her back against Sam's bed. Tobin lifted her hands up as to say, 'I'm not coming closer'. Sonnett's breathing eventually evened out and life came back into her eyes. She gulped as she looked up at her friend's concerned faces. She opened her mouth to speak, but a loud knock at the door interrupted their conversation.

Sonnett scrabbled to open the door quickly. The anxious knot in Kelley's stomach grew three sizes. A man and a woman sauntered into the room, looking surprised to see a group of people standing near Sonnett's bed. "Emily," the man's voice was cold, sending fear through Kelley's veins, "you have company." Tobin and Ashlyn had never heard anyone refer to Sonnett by her first name. Kelley saw the way that the man's voice caused Sonny to shiver, too. "Yes, sir," Sonnett murmured, "they're my friends." Hard cold grey eyes hardened as he looked across the group huddled together. The woman also looked judgingly at them. "Interesting." She muttered. "Come now, Emily," the man said as he finished his stare down of the group, "we're going to dinner," Sonny muttered, "Yes, sir," following him out of the room like a puppy with their tail between their legs. Once the Sonnett family were out of the dorm, Ashlyn finally found her voice, "Oh hell no," She stood up angrily, "who the fuck was that man?" Sam looked scared of Ashlyn a little as she shrugged her shoulders, "I think it was her parents... but she's never mentioned anything about them."

"What do you mean?" Kelley asked, confused. "She never talks about her parents, they never call..." Sam shrugged, "she moved in by herself."

"She moved in by herself?" Tobin was shocked, Sam nodded, "My family helped her unload her car." Kelley coughed awkwardly, "you're saying she drove all the way from Alabama-"

"Georgia."

"You're saying she drove all the way from Georgia by herself?" Sam shrugged, "yeah, I guess so." The girl then became extremely uncomfortable. Ashlyn picked up on it quickly, "what, spit it out." Sam gulped, "You guys can't tell anyone I told you this, okay?" All three other girls nodded and leaned in close. "She was crying the night we met. That was my first interaction with her, was watching her cry into my mom's shoulder." Kelley felt a pang of hurt in her chest at the thought of her friend crying, "Why was she crying?" Tobin asked, wringing her hands together, "I'm not sure..." Sam trailed off, a distant look in her eye, her voice got quieter and softer, "I think her dad is... not nice to her." Kelley understood what Sam was trying to say. She clenched her teeth, squeezing her hands together as she thought about her own father. "Not... nice? You mean..." Tobin trailed off, realization spreading across her face, "oh."

"That... makes sense." Ashlyn was strangely quiet. "Fuck," she muttered, pressing a fist into her thigh. "I'm a bad friend." Sam looked shook, "What? No! You're an amazing friend, Ash."

"How could I not see that? She's hurting!" Ash's temper began to flare again, Tobin placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Ash calm down." Kelley could physically see some of the tension leave Ashlyn's body. Sam, who looked the most serious that Kelley had ever seen her, pulled a chair over from her side of the room and offered it to Ash, she hesitantly sat down. She, then, pulled a chair out from Sonny's desk and plopped down in it right in front of Ash.

"Sonnett has mastered being able to hide when she's hurting. I've only ever heard her open up to Kenzie when they thought I was asleep. You, you all," She looked up at Kelley and Tobin who were standing behind Ash, "mean so much to her, I can tell by the smile on her face. When she comes back, and for the rest of this weekend and beyond, she is going to need us. She's dealing with trauma that I can't even begin to comprehend." Kelley nodded, Ash threw her head in her hands, Tobin looked away briefly, her lip quivering.

So they sat there. Kelley and Tobin sat in bean bag chairs next to Sam and Ash who were in the 'big girl chairs' as Sonny called it. Finally, around nine o'clock, the door creaked open and Sonnett walked in. She was looking down at the ground as she wandered over to her side of the room. "Hey, Sonny," Sam said carefully. The girl looked up and everyone gasped. Her left eye socket was beginning to turn purple, tears welled up in her eyes as she heard her friend's reactions, "Does it look bad?" She asked as she lightly reached up to touch it, "Don't touch it!" Ash said aggressively, making Sonnett flinch, "Fuck, I'm sorry... I'm sorry just please don't touch it." Sonny nodded her head, looking back down at the ground.

"Would... would you believe me if I told you it was a bear attack?" Sonnett's voice was rough with emotion, obviously trying to make light of the situation. "No," was Kelley's choked whispered reply.

The group became silent for a moment. "Can I hug you?" Tobin asked, softly. Sonnett could only nod as tears began to stream down her face. Tobin pulled her into a tight hug, Sonnett clutched at her tightly. "I came out," she rushed out as tears turned into sobs, "I told them about Kenzie, my dad didn't like it. They're not coming back, though." Tobin just squeezed Sonnett tighter. Kelley also felt tears in her eyes, "Sonny... I... My dad didn't react well either." Kelley stated. Sonnett pulled away from Tobin and looked at Kelley, give her a watery smile, "Our parents suck, don't they?" Kelley nodded, the tears leaking from her eyes. Sonnett wrapped her in a hug, too. "They're the worse," Kelley whispered. They pulled apart and Kelley took her hand and squeezed lightly.

"Do... do you want me to get the girlfriends?" Ashlyn asked Sonnett and Kelley both shook their heads.

"I'd rather say here with my bros right now," Sonnett breathed out. Ashlyn nodded in understanding. Sam, who had been fairly quiet most of the conversation, stood up and punched Sonny's shoulder lightly. "Looks like you're coming home with me for Spring Break," Sonnett's eyes widened, "your parents want me there after... y' know... I cried." Sam nodded, "of course they do, dude. You're my best friend."

Sonnett half laughed, half sobbed at that, giving Sam a playful punch on the arm back.

That night they slept on the hard floor, Sonnett finally felt free.

Chapter Text

Kelley felt especially close to Sonnett after her parents had come to visit.

The other girl stayed a little distant from the entire group for a few days, but, eventually, she turned back into the chaotic mess of a human that the group knew and loved.

Pestering Kelley relentlessly about what she was gonna do for her first date with Alex, which--unintentionally--caused Kelley's anxiety to be at its peak as they began the start of their softball season. She was such an anxious mess that Christen had to force her to eat daily.

Alex had been nothing but patient and kind with Kelley, which made her feel a bit worse. She didn't understand how a girl like Alex would want to kiss a girl like her. She couldn't even think of a good date idea.

It was beginning to affect her playing ability. She was overthrowing the first basemen, fucking up the easiest plays. Jill even threw her clipboard at Kelley one practice proceeding to go on a tirade about how replaceable she could be.

Kelley went straight back to her room after that practice, numb. She climbed into bed coving her entire body with the covers, ignoring Christen's pleas to tell her what was wrong. Kelley, eventually, fell asleep with her cleats on. She woke up a few hours later when a pair of strong arms wrapped around her from behind. Kelley didn't even have to turn around, she already knew who it was.

"Babe," Alex hummed into the back of Kelley's neck, "what's going on?"

Kelley took one of Alex's hands and squeezed it, a way of telling her that she couldn't talk about it. Alex didn't sigh or make a big deal about it. She just squeezed Kelley's hand back and nestled her face into the back of the other girl's neck.

For a few hours, Kelley felt at peace.

She wondered if she could ever make Alex feel like that.

When they woke up, it was Saturday morning and Christen had left two donuts for them to eat instead of going to a dining hall, which Kelley was grateful for.

There was no, real, set plan for the day. Jill, in frustration, had given the entire team the day off from practice to, "refocus". Ash decided that that meant the group would go out to lunch and then go play paintball. Kelley really wasn't feeling up to going out, especially to play paintball, but she couldn't say no to Alex's pleading eyes.

Alex and Kelley ended up having to drive Sam to the restaurant for lunch. The girl was back to moping about being the only single friend in their friend group.

"So... Sam," Kelley began hesitantly, "found any cute people lately?"

Sam huffed like a toddler who was just told no, turning to the window and staring out at the people walking by, not answering Kelley's question.

"Alright..." Kelley slowly turned to face back towards the front window. Alex gave her a quick look. Kelley shrugged.

The restaurant they went to was a small, Mom and Pop style sandwich shop with wooden tables. They were seated quickly and Kelley regretted thinking Sonnett may behave herself for a few minutes.

"Pssssssssst, Kelley," Sonnett whispered in her ear, "have you and Alex fiddled the diddle yet?" Kelley turned bright pink, turning to her friend and pinching her side, sharply.

"Shut up!" Kelley hissed. Sonny shook her head, "I'm trying to help you, dumbass." Kelley felt Sonnett slide something into her pocket, "don't worry, it's new."

Kelley reached into her pocket hesitantly, jumping when she felt something rubber touch her hand. "What the hell is this??" Kelley whispered, sharply. Sonnett smirked, "A vibrator." Kelley quickly took her hand out of her pocket, glaring at Sonny, "Dude!" Her friend shrugged, "Trust me," Sonnett leaned in, "It helps." She winked quickly at Kelley before turning back to the rest of the table.

Kelley was mortified. Never in her life had she owned such a product. She tried to keep her hands as far away from her pockets as possible which meant she kept moving them around. Alex, after about a minute, got annoyed and grabbed one of Kelley's hands which promptly stopped the movement. Their waitress arrived not too long after that. She was a young woman, blonde. She had her work shirt tied up like a crop top, showing her toned stomach, slightly. Kelley could tell she knew how to flutter her eyes seductively at the table.

"Good afternoon," she said in a sultry voice, "my name is Abby and I will be your server today." Kelley could clearly see Sam squirm in her seat. Sonny, of course, also noticed Sam's uncomfortableness and an evil smirk played out across her lips.

"Abby, you said?" Sonnett asked the young woman nodded, "I love your abs." Abby smirked, reaching down and lifting up her shirt slight, "Oh these? I just have good genetics."

Sam was sweating, a lot, clearly trying to not look at the waitress's stomach. Kelley felt bad for her but glad that Sonnett's attention had shifted off of her. The waitress proceeded to go around the table, leaning in much to close to them while she took their drink orders. Especially Sam, who even brush of the waitress's fingers over her shoulder. Sam's eyes went straight to the table, she closed her legs, tight. Sonny muttered to Kelley, "I wouldn't be surprised if she orgasmed just then." Kelley started to do the thing where you try to hide the fact that she was laughing, but it just ends up making you turn red in the face and shake, she could barely get her drink order out and it was just water. Sonny seemed pretty proud of herself.

Kelley and Alex were sat next to each other instead of across from each other which was new.

Kelley was looking through the menu, trying to figure out what she wanted to eat when Alex's hand came in contact with her knee. It was a simple, cute, gesture, but Kelley's hormones thought different. She felt heat spread through her body, especially to her no-no zone. The heat only intensified as Alex's hand traveled further up her leg and began to gently massage Kelley's thigh.

When Abby came back with her water, Kelley greedily gulped it down.

Truth be told, Kelley wanted to have sex with Alex, obviously, I mean... who wouldn't. Except for asexuals, y'all are valid. However, she had never done anything with anyone before. Her strict Catholic upbringing made it so Kelley feared anything that was sexual in nature. There had even been a few make-out sessions that Kelley had to sneakily stop because of the panic that rushed through her veins when Alex reached for her shirt. She didn't want to mention it to Alex, though. She didn't want Alex thinking less of her because of her lack of experience.

Kelley was sure the conversation around her was fascinating. Actually, she doubted that as Sonnett was the one speaking. She couldn't hear a word anyone was saying over her heartbeat. She, eventually, grabbed Alex's hand and intertwined their fingers when her horniness became almost overwhelming. Alex didn't seem to find as she started to play with Kelley's fingers.

Suddenly, Abby was back.

"Can I get your food order started?" She asked the table. Kelley panicked, she didn't know what she wanted, she was too busy being horny to focus on the menu. The rest of the table nodded, though, so she quickly rushed to find something she wouldn't hate. She ended up ordering a turkey and cheese sandwich of some sort.

"I thought you were vegan," Sam said, confused. Alex cackled, "she only said that to get into my pants."

"Oh, you two are dating?" Abby asked, a smile on her face. "Yeah, Kelley is my favorite out of these hoes," Alex stated, giving Kelley a quick kiss on the cheek. "Actually," Sonny cleared her throat, "we're all dating except for Sam. She's the forever ninth wheel."

"You're... all dating?" Abby asked, a confused look crossing over her face. "Yes, and all of our meals, except Sam, will be under one check," Sonny stated. The waitress nodded, still slightly flabbergasted as she walked away to put their order in.

"What the hell, I'm not paying for all you fools," Ash stated, crossing her arms. Sonny shook her head, "no it's a game, whoever she sets it down in front of has the biggest dick energy. Don't worry about the check, Kenzie's got us." Kenzie flashed everyone her dad's credit card, "Lawyer money."

"Except Sam... I'm sorry Sam," Christen pouted. Sonny shook her head, "No, that's a tactic. Miss Abby is gonna leave her number just watch." Christen looked hesitant but nodded.

Their food came fairly quickly, Kelley thought. And the sandwich was much better than she was anticipating. Alex got one of the vegan soup options and let Kelley dunk her sandwich into it. That made it even better. When Abby came back with the two checks, everyone watched in anticipation as she neared the table. She first put a check in front of Sam with another flirty touch.

The other check was placed in front of Christen. Sonnett made a small, disgruntled, squeezing sound. Kenzie slyly slipped Christen her dad's credit card. When the credit cards were ran, Abby came back to their table once last time.

"Um, I hope you have with whatever orgy this is." She gifted the checks to Christen and Sam, giving Sam a wink, then disappeared. Sam just stared at the checkbook for a few seconds.

"Open it dum dum!" Sonny exclaimed, Sam jumped in her seat, reaching to open the book. Inside there was a small note that read, "Abby Dahlkemper, (650)557-3345".

"Oh my god, her last name is bellpepper??" Sonnett exclaimed, snatching the check from Sam, who protested and tried to snatch it back. "Oh wait... nevermind that's boring."

"Is not!" Sam said, clutching the paper to her chest. "Wait... did she think we were in an orgy?" Ali asked, shuddering at the thought.

"Doesn't matter, I wanna play paintball!" Ash exclaimed, giving Tobin a look and then racing the other girl to her car.

"I can't believe she thought you had the biggest dick energy," Sonnett said as she turned to Christen. "I don't even know what that is." Christen rolled her eyes. "Then, you don't deserve that title," Sonny huffed.

The paintball place wasn't too far from the restaurant. Kelley really didn't want to go in, though. Alex had to basically drag her inside.

They were split up into two teams. Ali, Kelley, Alex, Christen, and Sam vs, Tobin, Kenzie, Sonnett, Ash and Tobin. Kelley thought her team was for sure gonna lose until Ali put her gun up on her shoulder and shot a can perfectly off of a stump. She decided at that point to stay behind Ali.

They made their way through the field, Ali, Alex, and Christen much more suavely than the other two. The first person of the other team they ran into was Sonnett, who was quickly taken out by one shot from Ali. The other girl yelped and swore up a storm, looking around for where Ali was hiding but couldn't find her as she had found a perfect hiding place under a log. Kelley was much more out in the open. Sonnett was able to spot her and began chasing her with her gun pointed in her direction. Kelley screamed and ran, forgetting about the vibrator in her pocket with promptly fell out in front of the rest of her team, including Alex.

It didn't help that the thing was bedazzled. When Kelley finally lost Sonnett, she had been hit about five times. She made her way back to her team, who was still hiding in roughly the same area. She smiled as she crouched next to Alex. The girl had an amused glint in her eye as she held up the purple bedazzled vibrator, "I think you lost this."

Kelley was speechless, "I... it's... it's not mine!" She managed to choke out just as Ali screamed "SNEAK ATTACK!" proceeded with a flurry of war cries from the other team.

So, instead of explaining herself, Kelley sprinted from the hard little balls of paint coming in her direction.

Kelley's team did end up winning though.

But she couldn't feel too happy about it when Alex and Christen kept making sly vibrator jokes to each other while they walked to the parking lot. She felt her face heat up with extreme embarrassment, all she wanted to do was dig a hole and bury her face into it. When her, Alex and Sam slide into the car, Kelley threw the hood of her sweatshirt over her head and pulled the strings as tight as they would go. She heard a quiet chuckle coming from Alex's place next to her. Kelley kept the hood like that the entire ride back to campus. As they got closer to campus, her embarrassment turned into insecurity and anxiety about her relationship with Alex. Kelley mentally could not understand how someone as beautiful and perfect as Alex would want to be with her. She was clumsy, insecure, and quite plain looking in her opinion. She hated her boring, brown hair. Her freckles were ugly. Her body was a bit blocky. Worst of all, she couldn't think up a perfect date for the perfect girl.

As intrusive thoughts swirled around her head, Kelley pulled the strings tighter on her sweatshirt. Alex giggled again, having no idea the dark pit Kelley was sinking into.

When they got to the dorm, Kelley booked it to her room, wanting nothing more to do than sleep. Alex didn't think much of the other girl's strange behavior, she chalked it up to being embarrassed about the vibrator. So, instead of going to Kelley to check on her, Alex gave her a little bit of space.

Alone in her room, Kelley realized it was a mistake to want to be alone. She clutched her pillow tightly as her father's words whorled around in her head.

Stupid bitch

Why can't you do anything right?

Stop fucking up!

If you weren't such a goddamn whore-

The door creaked open sending a small stream of light into the pitch-black room. Kelley, thinking it was Christen, rolled over so she was facing away from the door. The lights flickered on and the blinds were rolled up. Kelley growled quietly, not liking the light flooding into the room. A few moments later, her bed was shaking a bit as the person began to crawl up the ladder. Kelley, startled, looked over and was shocked to see Sonny crawling towards her.

"What the hell?! Get off!" Kelley tried to kick the other girl. Sonnett dodged the kick and crawled right up next to Kelley, wrapping her in a hug from the side, which Kelley did not return.

"What's wrong, dude?" The girl asked, softly. Kelley hated that Sonnett could read her so well. Kelley sighed, leaning into her best friend slightly.

"I'm useless."

"At paintball? Yes. At everything else? Wrong. You're one of the most useful people I have ever met." Sonnett said, rolling over slightly so she was lying flat on her back, staring at the ceiling. Kelley's head resting on her shoulder as she too stared at the ceiling. Kelley disagreed with Sonnett but she wasn't going to tell her that.

"I can't think of a first date with Alex," Kelley muttered. Sonny scoffed, "Is that really why you've been so moody?" Kelley rolled her eyes, shifting after from Sonny.

"Did you even look at my journal?" Sonnett asked, Kelley shrugged, "some of it."

"Number one rule about first dates, you gotta focus on the conversation and the connection. You can't focus on bringing her to the most expensive, fancy restaurant. She'll wanna fuck you even if you take her to McDonald's. You already have the first step down. I'm sorry if I've been bugging you so much about the first date, I was just trying to get a reaction out of you."

"I don't wanna fuck Alex in a McDonald'd--"

"Honestly it's not as bad as you think." Sonnett shrugged. Kelley shuddered. "Speaking of fucking... why exactly haven't you and Alex done it yet?"

Kelley turned bright pink. She began stuttering out an answer but before she could form a coherent thought, Sonnett exclaimed, "Oh my God! You're a virgin aren't you!"

Kelley covered her best friend's mouth with her hand, "Shut up! Maybe!" Sonnett's eyes were still soft though, no mischevious amusement dancing though them.

"It's okay to be a virgin, dude," Sonnett said, sincerely, "sometimes I wish I was a virgin was I met Kenzie."

"Was... was she a virgin?"

"Oh hell no."

"Oh..."

"Don't tell Tobin this... but sometimes I think she is a virgin," Sonnett whispered, Kelley chuckled, "and Sam is for sure a virgin."

Sonnett's face turned serious, again, "But honestly, though. You should tell Alex about these things. She wants to help you. I've seen the way she looks at you, she's head over heels for you. Plus, she might give you a few tips about that vibrator." Kelley groaned and smacked her best friend in the stomach, softly. She was still afraid to hurt the girl, her black eye had just disappeared.

"You're a good person, dumbass," Kelley whispered.

"That's Madam dumbass to you, Miss Kelley."

Chapter Text

Kelley felt her hands shaking as she made her way to Alex's dorm room, a bouquet of roses in her hands. She was dressed in her gayest outfit, which included Tobin's gay rainbow converses. Back in her dorm, she had made Alex and herself two personal vegan pizzas and placed them in a picnic basket along with a salad and some (vegan) chocolate-covered strawberries. Christen was guarding Kelley's treasure while she made her way to ask Alex out on their first date.

When Kelley knocked on the door she could see the way her hands shook. She gulped down her nausea as she heard footsteps coming closer to the door. Alex, in a beautiful blue sundress, opened the door. Kelley almost dropped the roses. The girl's dress was obviously brand new as Kelley had never seen it before. It made the girl's eyes pop even more against the dark contrast of her hair, which was down and curled slightly. Kelley's hands shook just a bit more. Alex smiled lovingly at Kelley, leaning over to give her a quick kiss on the lips.

'Are these for me?" Alex asked, sweetly. Kelley nodded her head violently and pushed the roses into Alex's hands with both of her hands. The other girl quickly caught onto Kelley's anxiousness and wrapped her fingers softly over the other girl's shaking ones. This action instantly calmed Kelley who suddenly felt like part of a weight had been lifted from her chest.

"I... um... wouldyouliketogoonadatewithme?" Kelley spat out in one giant huff. Alex, who was told by a little annoying birdie named Emily Sonnett that Kelley was going to ask her on a date, smiled and nodded her head, "Of course. I would love to go on a date with you, Kelley Maureen O'Hara." The rest of the weight was instantly lifted from Kelley's chest. The smaller girl smiled and maneuvered one of her hands so she could intertwine their fingers. She led Alex back up to her and Christen's room. They grabbed the basket. Kelley grabbed a few blankets and jackets then they were off. Kelley drove Alex's car to Martin's beach, which was about a forty-minute drive. It was around five in the evening when they got there, which meant they had about an hour until the sunset--Kelley's favorite thing about beaches.

Kelley was a gentlewoman and opened the car door for Alex. She then proceeded to led the girl to the sandy beach, laying down on of the big blanket she had stolen from Christen--she thought it was one Christen's mom had knitted. Alex had a gigantic grin on her face as she let Kelley help her to a sitting position. The vegan pizzas were taken out first, Alex clapped her hands excitedly, "my pizza girl," she leaned over and captured Kelley's lips in a passionate kiss.

"Pizza was the first thing that connected us," Kelley whispered when Alex had pulled back. Alex nodded and looked at her curiously. "When you walked through the doors, I thought my heart had exploded," Kelley said, picking up a piece of her pizza and taking a bite, "You made me get this scar," Kelley lifted up her short-sleeved shirt a little bit and revealed a angry looking burn on the bottom of her bicep, "and made me burn a pizza." Alex leaned over and pressed a light kiss to Kelley's scarred bicep, "I'm sorry, pizza girl," she then moved to kiss Kelley on the cheek, leaning her forehead against the girl's temple as she whispered, "when I first saw you, I thought you were the most adorable, mess of a person that I had ever seen. That first day in your dad's pizzeria I kept glancing over at you from my seat, so often that Pinoe pinched my side." Kelley blushed bright red, shoving more of the pizza in her mouth. "Really?" Her voice was squeaky, high and muffled from the bite of pizza shoved in her mouth. Alex hummed in affirmation and moved impossibly closer to Kelley, "I don't think I tell you enough how beautiful you are, Kelley O'Hara." Kelley coughed, almost choking on her pizza, Alex smiled sadly at the discomfort in Kelley's eyes.

"It makes me upset that you don't see yourself from my eyes," Alex continued, lightly tapping her fingers over Kelley's strong, freckled forearms, "I wanna show you how beautiful you are."

"What? how?" Kelley asked, confused, "Also, you're the most beautiful person on this earth, Alex, I could never compete with that." Alex chuckled quietly and shook her head, her hand resting on Kelley's thigh, moving up and up until Kelley squirmed out of her grip, "Kelley, there is no competition here, between us. We're a pair--"

"A couple?" Kelley's voice was squeaky again, Alex grinned, "If you want to be, I would love to be your girlfriend." Kelley nodded her head so fast Alex was worried she had gotten whiplash. "Alex Morgan, my girlfriend," Kelley muttered dreamily to herself, Alex giggled, kissing Kelley again, "Kelley O'Hara, my girlfriend."

The spent the next half an hour cuddled together on the blanket, exchanging kisses, stories, and (vegan) chocolate strawberries. The sun was just about to set when Alex's hand rested on Kelley's thigh again. Kelley felt a heat in her core that was not unfamiliar when Alex was around, but also a slight uneasiness. Kelley squirmed as Alex's hand inched high and higher on her thigh. "You really are beautiful, Kelley," Alex stated, again. Kelley felt slightly uncomfortable with the statement but nodded. Alex's eyes grew sad, again, just like the last time Alex had called her beautiful. Kelley decided that the best way to make Alex happy again was to lean over and kiss her again, for the umpteenth time that night.

Alex wrapped an arm around Kelley's neck and deepened the kiss. Kelley felt a flash of heat and a flash of panic surge through her body. Without warning, she felt her hands jet out and push Alex off of her. Alex looked shocked and hurt.

"I... I'm a virgin!" Kelley exclaimed, shame creeping up her body. She threw her head into her hands and turned her body slightly away from Alex. Kelley squeezed her eyes shut, willing the tears to stay inside her head. Not a second later, gentle arms wrapped around her again.

"Kelley, do you really think I care about your experience level?" Alex whispered into her girlfriend's ear. Kelley shrugged. "I really don't. I'm not going to push you to do anything, babe. We'll figure this out together, okay?" Kelley felt some of the shame slip away from her body, only a small twang left in her heart. She nodded her head quietly and turned back towards Alex, slightly. She leaned her head onto Alex's shoulder and stared out into the sun setting on the ocean. "Sorry, I'm so fucked up." Kelley murmured. Alex shook her head, "you're still cute." Kelley let out a loud laugh, pressing a kiss into Alex's shoulder. They sat there in silence for a few more minutes.

The scene of ocean waves and sunsets was reflected in the deep blue color of Alex's eyes.

And Kelley felt like she was on top of one of the waves, riding it to the shore.

But all waves crash and for Kelley, her's crashed hard.

***

Kelley groaned as she deleted another weird email from Sonnett that was a link to some lesbian sex website.

The girl had become about ten times more annoying after Kelley and Alex became official.

But Kelley didn't really mind. She and Alex were about a month into their relationship and everything was perfect. They managed to sneak off from the larger group at least once a day and find a closet to make out in. Feeling Alex's soft lips on hers was worth the closeted gay jokes that Sonnett seemed to love to make.

Since being with Alex, Kelley's grades had improved, mainly because studying was an excuse to hang out more with the other girl. They, always, sat across from each other, Alex's hand clutched tightly in Kelley's.

Softball had also been going extremely well for the shortstop. So good, in fact, Jill was letting her start at short their next game against Cal. It was more of a scrimmage than a game, but that didn't deteriorate Kelley from literally jumping into Alex's arms to tell her the news.

Plus, Alex was making Kelley feel so good and so confident in herself. Each morning there would be some kind of flower and a note outside Kelley and Christen's door. And each morning, Kelley's heart fluttered as she opened the door to find something that Alex had left her.

And each morning, Christen would roll her eyes and chuckle at Kelley's lovestruck face.

Now, Kelley was chilling in her bed, playing on her phone before she got ready for the game against Cal, which was in a few hours. Christen was out getting lunch with Tobin and Alex was at her Professor's office hours, trying to get some extra help on math homework.

Suddenly, her phone buzzed. Kelley almost dropped it when she saw it was a message from her dad. She felt her breath start to pick up. Not knowing what to do, she shoved the phone underneath her pillow and hugged it, thoughts of what her father would want to say to her whorling around in her head. She knew whatever it was, it was gonna be bad.

An hour later, Christen and Tobin walked into the room. Tobin was holding a take-out bag from the couple's favorite sushi restaurant.

"Hey, Kell," Christen called out to her friend. Kelley was still clutching the pillow tight, she didn't respond. Tobin thought it was weird that the other girl hadn't responded and proceeded to look up at Kelley's bed, finding the girl in the terror-filled state, clutching her pillow. Tobin gasped slightly causing Christen to look up at her roommate. Christen's face instantly grew concerned. "Kelley?"

Kelley could only turn her head slightly, her arms tightly wrapped around the pillow in front of her, phone tightly clutched in one of her hands. "Kell, what's wrong?" Christen asked softly. Kelley just stuck out her hand with the phone, allowing Christen to grab it.

There were about seven texts in total from Kelley's father, all of them spelled totally wrong in his drunken state. Each text was more homophobic than the last ending with the statement, "dint even thynk avut cimign hume."

Christen felt her chest tighten up with anxiety at all of the texts and they weren't even from her father. "Kell..."

"Don't tell me what they say," Kelley whispered quietly to her roommate, "I don't wanna know." Christen passed the phone to Tobin to read and nodded to her roommate, "Of course, Kell, whatever you want."

Christen, Tobin, and Kelley sat in the room in relative silence until it was time for Tobin and Kelley to make their way to the field. Christen gave Kelley one last fleeting concerned look before the girl left, fully uniformed but not so ready to play. Tobin tried to lighten the mood as they walked to the field, but it really was no use. Kelley was nauseous, her head was cloudy, her mind was everywhere but the game that she was so ready to play an hour before.

Sonnett greeted them excitedly in the dugout when they arrived, not hesitating to shove Kelley around a little in excitement. Kelley tried to play along but she wasn't the best at keeping her emotions at bay.

The warm-up seemed to go through in a bit of a haze. Kelley hadn't seemed to do too bad, though, even in her absent-minded state, as Jill didn't yell at her once. She could see Alex's supportive smile in the stands which made her think of flowers and oceans and sunsets instead of angry words, passive-aggressive texts, and straight aggression for a moment.

Her first two innings at short, Kelley was doing amazing. She hadn't fucked up once. Each throw was perfect, none of the Cal players standing a chance against her bullet-like throw.

The third inning, Kelley's mind seemed to drift back to her father's texts again. She felt herself get into ready position as Carli swung her arm back, her fingers curled along the spine of the ball, getting ready to throw a curveball. If Kelley had been paying attention at that moment, she would've moved slightly to the side so the ball would be easier to get.

Instead, Kelley didn't have any time to react as the ball came straight off the middle of the bat, straight into her head.

And the world went black.