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lift my heart down

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Evie looks as out of place on the Isle as she probably is these days, delicate fabric of her bridesmaid dress blooming around her waist like royal blue rose petals. She designed it herself, just as she did Mal’s wedding dress. Mal’s wedding dress, divine down to every snow white ruffle, elegant but not exaggerated, lace subtle and pristine.

Evie poured her blood, sweat, and tears (but mostly tears) into making it perfect. Mal wore it beautifully, all her dragon’s power veiled beneath a dove’s purity and grace. Evie watched her beam in it, watched her bubble with vim as she spoke her vows and kissed Ben’s lips. Watched her take flight as his wife, grinning from ear to ear as he twirled her across the dance floor.

The love in Mal’s eyes was so, so soft. The warmth in them could melt marshmallows, almost sickly sweet even for a romantic like Evie. And it was that look that did her in, really, even more so than the vows, or the kiss, or the sun glinting off the fresh newlyweds’ fancy rings.

She had to leave. She couldn’t stick around and watch Mal look at Ben like that all night, look at him so warmly, so beautifully, eyes so full of the love that Evie couldn’t have.

She knew this day would come. She tried to brace herself for it. Doug was a decent enough distraction for awhile, but making herself like boys wasn’t as easily accomplished as Evie once hoped it would be, locked in her mother’s derelict relic of a castle and cowering beneath her wagging finger as she lectured on the importance of seducing princes.

There wasn’t anything wrong with Doug. And there wasn’t anything wrong with Evie, either. For a long time she thought there had been, because the princes her mother prattled on and on about didn’t appeal to her in any meaningful way and it was the princesses, rather, that always caught her eye.

Evie had thought for some time she might be like Mal, who had a taste for boys and girls alike. Mal’s closest thing to love on the Isle had been these stormy on-and-off trysts of passion with Ursula’s stunning spawn, Uma, and then makeout sessions with Uma’s first mate when she felt like riling her up. But Evie wasn’t the same, simply didn’t feel the spark with boys that she felt with girls.

Sometimes, it made it worse that Mal liked girls too. If she didn’t, Evie could always blame the one-sided status of her love on an incompatible orientation. The fact that Mal could love her romantically, but doesn’t, makes Evie feel like it’s her fault, sometimes. As if she made a misstep somewhere, perhaps when she offered herself up as Mal’s substitute sister. Maybe she dreamed too much about snaking polished fingernails into affluent princes’ overstuffed pockets in her mother’s proxy rather than focusing on what was right in front of her, or pushed too far for Mal to have her fun with Ben without realizing it would turn into something serious.

She never dreamed it would turn into something serious. Once upon a time, she foolishly assumed Mal would have her fun with Ben just like she did with Uma, and Harry, and come back to Evie in the end. Now she’s wearing Ben’s ring. As Evie struts down the cracked and dirty Isle streets, Ben is probably unzipping that dove white wedding dress and preparing to plunge inside.

Evie didn’t confess when she had the chance and maybe it wouldn’t have changed anything anyway, maybe Mal would’ve never seen her in a romantic light no matter what she said or did. But Evie never took the opportunity, and so she will never know for sure. She cares too much for Mal’s happiness to press the matter now. She helped plan the proposal, after all.

It still stings though. Shards of mirror glass beneath her skin, death of a thousand unseen cuts. Evie’s always hidden her pain, covered it up beneath layers of power and rouge. Purged it in the neat, cleanly toilet bowls in the girl’s bathroom at Auradon Prep, flushed it away and rinsed her hands with fancy soap.

It’s not so much that Evie bears her pain stoically, it’s more like does her best not to let it hurt at all. Conceals it so well she can pretend it doesn’t exist. Out of sight, out of mind.

But there’s no way to even pretend that Mal didn’t just marry Ben in a ceremony so beautiful it could’ve made Evie sing like Snow White and would’ve made Mal gag and roll her eyes if it’d been literally anyone else getting married.

So tonight, she allows herself an indulgence. Tonight she returns to her roots and fills her lungs with the stench of rotten apples and withering souls. She makes her way to Ursula’s Fish and Chips and ignores the stares of its pirate inhabitants, taking a seat right at the bar.

Uma acknowledges her presence with a grunt and a curl at the corner of the mouth. She serves her customers the charred pieces on her platter, silences complaints before they can be breathed with murderous glares. Uma has never been the friendliest fish in the sea but she generally isn’t this harsh.

She’s probably having a bad day. She’s probably having a bad day for the same reasons Evie is. Evie studies her as she makes her way back around, the clench in her jaw and the cutting swiftness of her gait. Uma quickly realizes she is being watched and watches Evie watch her. Tray emptied, she sets it down and leans across the bar, narrowing her eyes.

“You’re going to get robbed, walking around here in that flashy getup.”

“Anybody who remembers me knows that would be a stupid idea.”

“Please.” Uma flaps her hand like swatting at gnats. “You’re nobody without your crew and they’re probably still partying at that picture perfect princess wedding.”

“So you did watch the wedding,” Evie chirps, candy apple cheer coating every word.

Uma pauses and Evie notes a brief waver in her eyes.

“Yeah, I watched that traitor get hitched. I doubt it’ll last, she’s gonna be bored of his goody two shoes attitude by the end of the year, tops. Unless she’s in it for his crown jewels…” Uma suggestively raises her brows.

“Don’t go there,” Evie reprimands. “Mal loves Ben for who he is and I’m only going to put up with so much of you talking smack about her before I get mad.”

Uma scoffs and stands up straighter, hand on her hip. “I’ll talk about that traitor however I want in my own restaurant.”

“Your mother’s restaurant,” Evie corrects sweetly.

“Ooh, burn,” Gil calls a few chairs down.

Uma glowers and Harry gives him a reproachful clap on the back of the head.

“What’re you doing here, Evie?” Uma asks and she doesn’t sound angry anymore, somehow. Just tired.

“I need a drink.”

“Like there wasn’t any fancy champagne at the wedding?”

Evie props her elbow on the bar and rests her chin in her palm. “Okay, so I also need to be somewhere I can feel bad for awhile.”

“What kind of bad?” Uma asks.

“Every kind,” Evie answers.

Uma bobs her head. “I’ve got just what you need.”

She drums her hands along the shelf, reaches up and gruffly seizes a bottle from the top by its neck. Evie irresistibly wonders what Uma’s hand would feel like around her own neck. Uma sets it down and grabs a dirty mug that she makes a show of spitting a big gob into it. Her pirates snicker with glee. Evie watches silently. Uma pops the cork off the bottle and pours tar black liquid into the dirty mug, over her saliva, smirks as she passes it to Evie.

“How’s that, Miss Bridesmaid?”

Evie brings the mug to her lips and swills the liquid in hearty gulps. Uma’s jaw drops. Her pirates gasp. They never expected her to take a sip, let alone chug the thing, and Evie takes some satisfaction in shocking them as she does just that. She chugs like a champ and slams the empty mug back on the bar before crudely swiping her mouth off with her hand in an unladylike display that would surely earn her a slap from her mother, if the Evil Queen had been here to witness it.

It tastes like poison, burns her throat as it slides down and burns her belly as it settles. She feels bolder with the alcohol buzzing through her skull.

“You were right,” she says. “It was just what I needed.”

“Good,” Uma says, recovering her jaw from the floor. “Then pay up, get out, and go back to your precious Auradon.”

She extends her hand, motions expectantly.

“I’ve got another idea,” Evie says.

“And what’s that?”

“How about we take that bottle and go back to Mal’s old place, just the two of us?”

Uma’s eyes widen. She drops her hand. For once, she doesn’t seem to have anything to say. She just stares at Evie, lips parted but no words slipping through. No snarky retort. No refusal, either.

“Why don’t you go?” Harry offers nonchalantly. “It’s been awhile since you’ve had a day off.”

“Yeah, and you’ve been sad all day ‘cause Mal got married,” Gil adds.

Uma throws her hands up and shakes a fist at him. “Damn it, Gil!”

“What?” he asks, blinking innocently. “Everybody knows you still l—“

Harry muffles his companion with a hand around the mouth and flashes something of a smile to Uma. “Me and him can handle the restaurant today. Go take a break.”

“How about it?” Evie asks, batting her eyelashes like she was taught to do for princes.

Uma nods and seizes the bottle by the neck again.

They leave the shop together. They take turns passing the bottle back and forth between them as Evie leads the way to their old place. She and Mal used to be roommates and sometimes when it was cold, they’d sleep together for warmth. But even then, the arrangement was platonic.

They don’t talk while they walk. They just drink. And the buzz grows stronger and all of Evie’s feelings strengthen with it, the warm ones and the carnal ones. Nostalgia punches her in the stomach when they arrive at their destination.

Evie leads Uma up to the derelict, dusty room and shuffles over to Mal’s bed, plopping down heavily. Uma stands a short length away, bottle in hand. Evie pats the spot next to her.

“Why?” Uma asks.

“I dunno,” Evie says, feeling light and muzzy. “Maybe because you understand.”

“What do you mean by that?” Uma takes a swig, eyes never leaving Evie.

“You loved her too, I think. Didn’t you?”

Uma pulls the bottle away. “Maybe. Until she abandoned me, that is.”

“She abandoned me too. Well, she didn’t, but it kind of feels like it. She’s Ben’s now. And I should be happy for her…I’m mostly happy for her. But I’m also sad and mad, and jealous. Auradon girls aren’t supposed to be sad and mad and jealous, so I had to come back to the Isle.”

Uma barks a bitter laugh and plops down next to Evie.

“If it’s any consolation, between you and Ben, I would’ve picked you any day.”

Uma passes the bottle and Evie kicks some more back.

“Even though prim and proper King Ben’s the one with crown jewels?” she teases.

Uma wrinkles her nose, shakes her head as her eyes travel down to Evie’s breasts.

“You. Any day. No contest.”

“Do you still have feelings for Mal?” Evie asks, curious, thinking about whatever Gil was about to blurt.

Uma takes another drink before she answers.

“Complicated ones,” she admits, the alcohol evidently wearing down her walls. Maybe the wedding knocked some down too. “I don’t love her anymore. Half the time, I feel like I hate her. Still didn’t like watching them tie the knot though.”

“Did you ever do it with her here?” Evie asks, poking her tongue out and playfully dancing her fingers over the lumpy, beaten mattress draped in the purple and green tatters that were possibly sheets at some point.

Uma snorts and jerks her head in a hard shake.

Evie makes sure her fingers brush Uma’s as she wraps them around the bottle. She gives it a gentle tug as she takes it back and traces the rim with her lips before she downs the last of it.

“Would you do it with me here?” she asks with the liquid courage pumping like poison through her veins.

And surely Uma must’ve seen this coming, but what Evie doesn’t see coming is Uma’s hand around her throat. Squeezing tight, almost throttling, she thrusts Evie down to the mattress. Dust clouds poof into the air as the rusty springs creak beneath her back.

She can breathe, but only just.

“Don’t pretend I’m Mal,” Uma warns darkly. “Don’t close your eyes and think of her. Don’t you dare.”

“I wouldn’t,” Evie puffs past the startlingly pleasant pressure against her throat. “I couldn’t.”

“What’s my name?”

A warm shiver runs up Evie’s spine.

“Uma.”

The sea witch releases Evie’s throat and then she’s crashing over her like a tidal wave, tearing at the tiers of her bridesmaid dress as she kisses with fervor. Evie kisses her back, kisses her sloppy, clawing up at Uma’s clothes in kind.

This isn’t how Mal would do this at all. Not with her. Evie couldn’t pretend it was Mal even if she wanted to and she definitely doesn’t want to. But maybe she does want to be closer to her and maybe this makes her feel closer because even if she never got to be with Mal herself, Uma did. She can experience a piece of Mal by proxy, lie here and kiss the same lips that Mal did, touch the same breasts that Mal did, share this side of Uma with her in the dark part of her heart that never quite left the Isle.

Evie rips the clothes from Uma’s body without restraint as the same is done to her, seams of the dress she worked weeks on popped free. Fabric she wove shredded in seconds. But Evie doesn’t care about that even a little bit.

Uma’s skin is brilliant, rich brown, smooth as sand dollars beneath her desperate hands. Uma smells like ocean spray and kisses her like a shark, teeth snagging her lips and scraping her throat. Evie shudders beneath her, breathes relief against the bounty of her breasts as her panties are yanked down.

Uma plunges two fingers inside, gasp pushed past Evie’s lips. She pumps fiercely and Evie grows slicker by the second, squelching wetly around Uma’s relentless pace. Heat floods through her, centering between her thighs.

Uma’s other hand curls around her throat again, does not squeeze but grasps, firm. Evie can feel the jagged ends of Uma’s blunt fingernails dig into her nape. Her braids fall down her shoulders in glorious turquoise tendrils that swish in the air, a hairsbreadth above tickling Evie’s skin.

Uma shifts her hand upward. Her fingers are still inside but not as deep and suddenly she’s changed the rhythm, palm grinding against Evie’s sensitive clit. Uma is rough, offhanded, and somehow it’s just what Evie needs. She presses so hard it’s on the border of torture and rapture.

No girl from Auradon could fuck like this.

Evie’s back arches off the dirty mattress and Uma’s grip on her throat tightens as the pressure of her palm suddenly disappears.

“Say my name,” she demands.

Evie’s head is spinning. Her clit pulses for the kneading of Uma’s calloused palm, her entrance drenched around Uma’s fingers, yearning them to go faster. All she can get out is a moan and the pressure against her trachea is almost viselike now.

Her air supply is not cut off. But when she draws breath it comes in harried huffs and her head feels light like cotton candy.

“You can’t cum until you say it,” Uma informs her, flashing a wicked grin.

“Uma,” Evie gasps.

Uma’s fingers go deeper and her palm practically smashes against the bud of nerves. Her grinding intensifies and Evie moans as the sensations in her sensitive flesh blaze so beautifully they’re almost unbearable. Waves of white-hot pleasure coast through her body as her nectar gushes beneath Uma’s hand.

Uma smirks and lets go of Evie’s neck. She pulls out as Evie falls slack to what was once Mal’s bed. Evie’s panting fills the air between them.

“My turn,” Uma murmurs, moving over Evie as she rises on her knees.

She settles them on either side of Evie’s head, cunt already dripping with anticipation. Evie inhales the heady scent in the air, skin tingling. The zenith of her climax gives way to relief, but she finds herself greedy for this, for Uma. To taste what Mal must have oh-so-long-ago, once upon a time, when they were both bad girls in broken castles.

Evie grips Uma’s hips as she lifts her head to taste and experimentally skims her tongue over the folds. Uma’s hand finds her hair, fingers weaving through the threads. Evie slowly laps the the wet skin like a cat savoring its cream.

Uma huffs a soft sound above her, and Evie fans her fingers over her hips as she continues. She traces the tip of her tongue over every fold, slurps into her entrance, the heat of Uma’s flesh almost humming against her lips.

Uma’s hand pulls in her hair, a nagging tug. Evie grins into her cunt and mouths up, drawing her tongue over Uma’s clit in an agonizingly slow stroke. Uma groans, a quiver rippling through her frame. She huffs out this hot noise that gets Evie’s heart going hummingbird fast.

Evie closes her lips around Uma’s needy clit and sucks eagerly. Uma throws her head back, braids dancing against the slope of her shoulders as this lovely sound flies from her teeth. Her hand jerks in Evie’s hair and the hurt is so, so good.

Her orgasm flows forth and Evie laps up every sweet drop.

Uma braces down on her hands and rolls off Evie, flops down beside her. Evie just watches her breathe for a moment, fuzzy from the climax and the alcohol. She feels hot and sticky and gross, and yet much better.

“I needed that,” she admits to Uma without abandon.

Uma nods in understanding. Her hand crawls toward Evie’s and their pinkies brush so Evie links them together like she used to with her gang, back when they were kids and always had fingers crossed behind their backs anyway. At that point, they had not learned loyalty, not to one another, anyway.

Their pinkies loosen and Uma rolls over. Evie rolls over too. They do not cuddle because they aren’t lovers and they aren’t on Auradon.

But they lie comfortably, sweaty, sticky back against sweaty, sticky back and their cravings for someone who isn’t theirs satiated for the night.