“Kristen, you would look, like, really good with eyeliner.” Fig was hanging upside down off the side of her bed, and Kristen felt her eyes widen as she looked over. Fig’s face was flushed with all the blood rushing to her head, and her cleavage was kind of right there, and Kristen ripped her gaze away to look at one of the band posters on the wall. This whole gay thing was a lot to handle, and being roommates with a very hot girl who was also in a band and was also so nice didn’t help things.
She said that she wasn’t nice, or that she was a tough nut to crack, but that wasn’t true, and it all made Kristen want to just scream. She wasn’t going to, that would be wild, and she was definitely holding herself together, but still. It was a lot.
Then she realized that Fig was still looking over at her, horns almost brushing the floor, and Kristen knew that her face was heating up. “What? I mean, uh,” she said, forcing a laugh and drumming her fingers on her knees. “I’ve never worn eyeliner, my parents said makeup was the devil’s paint and that I shouldn’t desecrate my body for anybody except Helio. I mean, they also said that I shouldn’t, uh, kiss. Ha. So, uh, yeah. I made a new god, they can’t fucking tell me what to do.” She laughed again, awkward, and was getting ready to pull a Fig and fucking book it out of the room, but then Fig was rolling over off the bed, cursing when one of her horns knocked against the floor, and Kristen felt herself being pulled back in all over again.
“Hell yeah, control your own destiny! I- Kristen, do you want a makeover?” Fig looked away, rooting around under her bed for something, and Kristen was torn between wanting her to look at her again and feeling like she wouldn’t be able to breathe if she did.
This whole having-feelings-for-a-girl-and-not-knowing-what-to-do-about-it was kind of a lot to handle.
“Ha, what? I mean, uh, if you want to give me a makeover, who am I to stop you, but, uh.” Kristen saw Fig swivel back around, holding a bag that was, frankly, obscenely huge – like, really, she didn’t know about makeup, but surely there wasn’t that much out there? – and Fig’s expression made something seize a little in her chest. She looked hopeful, and excited, because she always got so excited about things, even if Kristen didn’t get it, but she also looked like she wouldn’t press the issue of Kristen really didn’t want to. It was that, more than anything, that got her. The fact that she could have a choice, that she didn’t just have to go along with what someone told her, the fact that she could say no?
It was a weird feeling, and one that she had been getting more used to with time but she didn’t know if she would ever really get used to it, especially with Fig.
She didn’t know if she could ever get used to Fig.
“I- yeah. That’d be really great.” Fig grinned, sharp teeth and flashing slivers of skin as her clothes moved with her, and Kristen found herself pressing further back into the wall she was sitting against, because this was her friend . She was finally dealing with all the gay thoughts, and it wasn’t the first time that she’d fallen further in love with a friend – Adaine had smirked the other day, eyes flashing with magic, and Kristen had considered asking her out on the spot – but this felt different.
She was in Fig’s room, she couldn’t be so obvious about watching her, that was rude, and she didn’t want to be rude. She was fine with being rude, she was getting better at being loud and taking up space, but it was different with Fig.
She liked how things were, was the thing, and she didn’t want to do anything to ruin it.
Kristen might have wished they were different, sometimes, late at night as she thought about the girl who she was tangled up with in bed, but if she rocked the boat things would change, and everything had already changed so much already, and change was good! She loved change! But this was one of the best things that she had going for her, and she would rather everything else in the world change than lose Fig.
That probably wasn’t a healthy mindset, but Fig was sitting down in front of her, unzipping the giant bag, and Kristen had also been getting very good at shoving away things she didn’t want to think about. She’d always been good at it – see, her following Helio and thinking that she was straight for like fourteen years – but she’d practically turned it into an art form at this point.
“Do you want a full makeover? Because I could just give you some eyeliner, a little bit of mascara, and that would be fine, but I also have a ton of stuff that I can’t use anymore since my skin changed color and my horns came in.” Fig was pulling bottles and powders and brushes out of her bag, and Kristen was a cleric but this looked as much like magic as anything that she’d seen.
“Yeah, I’m...fuck it, go all in!”
“Yeah!” Kristen was smiling, and she felt her flush getting heavier as Fig dabbed some cream onto the back of her hand and held it up against Kristen’s cheek. She started talking, saying something about concealers and foundations and other things like that, and Kristen didn’t really understand most of it, but that was fine. Fig’s fingers were on her face, rubbing the makeup into her skin, and Kristen was so tense that she wouldn’t be surprised if she was shaking.
Apparently that was obvious, because Fig’s eyebrows bunched together in a way that really wasn’t fair to Kristen’s heart. “Hey, I’m not gonna hurt you. Just, like, close your eyes and relax. Get lost in the sensations, or whatever. You can just sit back, I’ve got you.”
Kristen closed her eyes, doing her best not to scrunch them shut. She was going to relax, because she trusted Fig, and this was fine. She didn’t even flinch too badly when Fig went back at it, callused fingertips brushing against her skin. It was...it was nice, actually. Every so often she would jerk at a sudden touch, but then she’d laugh, and Fig would laugh, and the feeling of makeup on her skin was kind of weird, but not necessarily in a bad way.
Time was weird, and they were both kind of quiet, and it probably hadn’t been too long but it was still a shock when Fig spoke up, voice soft but still so close. “You have a lot of freckles.”
“Huh?” Kristen opened her eyes, falling out of the stupor that she had been comfortable in, and she made a sort of choking noise when she saw how close Fig was. She was poised, brush in one hand and cake of powder in the other, and Kristen felt another weird laugh bubbling up. “Oh, freckles, yeah. I went to camp a lot, and we were always out in the sun. Closer to Helio, you know,” but her words were quieting as she spoke. She was confused about religion, about Helio and Yes! and philosophy, but for a moment she would have been happy to stay there forever, kneeling with Fig on the edge of a threadbare rug.
That was a weird thought, and definitely not one that she was going to continue, but something in her settled when they were like this, so close and quiet.
“Yeah, well, honestly? They’re really pretty.” Fig stuck her tongue out of her mouth, just a little, the way she did when she was concentrating on her bass or on casting a sick spell, and Kristen just smiled, hopelessly enamored and fine with that fact for now. ”Now, this powder will set the foundation…”
Kristen didn’t really catch much of what Fig was saying, feeling the soft brush against her skin as she watched Fig’s lips moving. “Oh, wow, that’s, uh. That’s really interesting. How do you know all of this?”
Fig glanced away, snapping the case shut before sighing. “So, back in middle school, when I was on the cheer squad, it was just one of those things, you know? Everybody did their makeup, and bought shitty Claire’s eyeshadow, and then we did makeovers for the girls who hadn’t gotten the hang of it yet. I still have- okay, you have to promise not to laugh at me for this.”
“I- okay, yeah, I won’t.” In that moment, Fig’s eyes close enough that Kristen could pick out all of the threads running through her irises, and she probably would have agreed to anything.
Fig grimaced and reached into her bag, but undercutting her movements there was a sense of energy, the exhilaration of secrets being shared. “So, I have way too much of this and it really doesn’t go with my whole look, but.” She started to pull out flat after flat of eyeshadows and lip glosses, gaudy colors in more neon and pastel shades than Kristen had previously thought existed. “It may have just been cheap stuff, but I don’t really want to get rid of it.”
“Yeah, I mean, I get that,” Kristen said, picking at her thumb. “I’ve still got a bunch of, uh, corn camp shirts? And I should probably just dump them, but I haven’t yet, because I keep seeing them and thinking about how that’s who I was for so long, and then if I throw those out who am I anymore, you know?” She laughed, soft, still nervous but barely disturbing the air between them.
Fig smiled, just one corner of her mouth lifting up. “I- yeah, I get that.”
“I really like that green, though.” Kristen was desperate to change the conversation, to deflate the awful tension that was stretching between them, so she pointed at the first color she saw, and it was kind of gaudy and terrible – who was she kidding, it was definitely gaudy and terrible – but the shocked look on Fig’s face was worth it.
“ Avocado lime? ” She sounded disgusted, but then she was laughing, pulling the palette closer and popping it open with a sharp click . “Hey, nothing against you or your decisions, but I can’t say anything for the state of your look if you make this choice.”
Kristen shrugged, squirming a bit so that she could sit a bit more comfortably. “That, and, uh…” She looked around the palette, settling on a dark blue that was nowhere near the bright green that she’d first pointed out. “This one.”
“Okay, well, however it turns out is on you,” Fig said, and that kind of thing would have usually put Kristen on alert, nervous about blame and fault and where she stood in it all, but this was Fig. Fig, who was laughing under her words, and had a cheap thing of makeup in one hand and a brush that had probably been used many times before in her other.
Kristen trusted Fig, so when she said to close her eyes, she did.
The brush was soft against her eyelid, and she could feel Fig’s breath blowing soft against her cheek, and everything was soft, and her muscles were loose and it was so nice to finally relax .
Then, because Fig apparently wanted her dead, Kristen was brought forcefully back to the present moment. “Ok, I’m gonna start doing your eyeliner, can I- hm.” Kristen opened her eyes, dazed and adjusting back to the present, and Fig smiled a little bit as she blinked. “Can I sit on your lap?”
“What?” Kristen dragged out the word, awkward and suddenly so very aware of where her shorts ended and her bare thighs were pressing into the rug below them, and how her hands were fiddling with the bottom of her shirt, and how she was pressed back up against the wall and didn’t have anywhere to run to. “Uh, sure, why not, I’m, yeah, that’s fine .”
“Are you sure? I mean-”
“Yeah, yeah, this is fine, hop on,” Kristen said, another awkward laugh undercutting her words, but Fig shrugged and clambered onto her lap.
She uncapped a gold pencil, briefly resting her hand against Kristen’s cheek, and Kristen felt herself going to a different plane of existence. She didn’t know which one it was, but there was singing that sounded a lot like screaming and things were all a lot but it was fine.
“Okay, close your eyes again,” Fig said, and instead of sounding clinical her words were so soft , and where she held Kristen felt like the only point tethering her back to reality. That, and the heavy – kind of comforting, kind of terrifying – pressure of Fig’s weight resting on her thighs.
Kristen closed her eyes, because she would have done whatever Fig said at the start of this whole thing and she definitely wasn’t going to stop listening now.
Then, Fig started humming, soft enough that Kristen didn’t even know if she was aware of it or not, and the weird feeling of having a pencil tracing along her eyelid paled in comparison to the quiet song. “That’s pretty,” Kristen said, because she apparently didn’t have any sense of self preservation and the concept of thinking before she spoke was far beyond her. “What, uh, what song is it?”
“Oh! It’s something that I’ve been working on,” Fig said, before tapping her fingers on Kristen’s temple. “Open your eyes and look up, I’m gonna do the waterline.” Kristen did, knowing that the makeup probably wasn’t covering the fact that her face was bright red very well, but whatever. Really, once she got past the stress of having a hot girl sitting on her lap, touching her face, and petting it with brushes, it was a pretty good time.
She only felt like she wanted to shout or run or laugh like she’d been Tasha’s Hideous Laughter -ed a little bit.
“Yeah, though, I’m liking how it’s going so far? It’s not really punk , and I probably won’t play it with the Sig Figs, but it’s nice.” Fig quieted, pressed her thumb under Kristen’s eye, and drew along the lower lid. Kristen felt her eyelid fluttering, even as she tried to stop it, and she felt like she was tearing up even though she wasn’t really, and it was definitely a weird sensation.
“Sorry about the-”
“Nah, it’s all good, eyes aren’t really a huge fan of liner, especially not at first. I’m gonna do your other one now though, keep looking up.” Kristen did, and her eyelid might have started fluttering frantically again, but her hands were twisting in the hem of her shirt and she was fine, really.
Everything was fine, and she definitely wasn’t still thinking about the song that Fig had been humming, or the breath that kept puffing along her cheek.
“That’s- that’s it,” Fig said, and as Kristen blinked a few times and looked at her, so close that she couldn’t really breathe, Fig swallowed.
Kristen smiled, one side of her mouth quirking up, trying to act like she was joking, like she couldn’t feel just how much this all was. “How do I look?”
“So, I still can’t condone those colors, but you’re a great canvas, so.” Fig leaned back, reaching so far that she was about to topple over, and Kristen’s hands instinctively went to her hips. There was a strip of stomach that was bared as the hem of her shirt pulled up, and Kristen’s mouth suddenly went dry.
The words “great canvas” echoed in her head, and she definitely wasn’t thinking straight – she never was, but especially not when Fig was sitting in her lap, complimenting her – and when Fig pulled herself back up, mirror in hand, Kristen’s hands tightened their grip on her hips and she leaned forward and kissed Fig.
Fig froze and Kristen pulled back immediately, so quickly that she hit her head on the wall behind her, but that wasn’t what she was focusing on.
She had kissed Fig.
Kristen dropped her face to her hands, wanting to just bury herself in her palms and never come back to the world, but she had makeup on, and Fig had put so much effort into and and she didn’t want to ruin it, so she just laughed, awkwardly, looking anywhere but Fig. “That was, uh, that was weird, ha, what’s up with that-”
Kristen was cut off – and good thing, too, because she would have kept rambling forever, probably, if she hadn’t been stopped – and Fig put her hands on Kristen’s cheeks, heedless of the foundation and blush that she was probably smudging, and then she was leaning forward and her eyes were closed and then her lips were on Kristen’s, and Kristen felt her eyes widening before she slammed them shut, and then it was a few seconds later and Fig started to pull away, because Kristen hadn’t moved, and she couldn’t let that happen.
Kristen’s hands slid up Fig’s back, holding her tighter, and she didn’t really know what she was doing but she kissed back with all the passion that she had in her, which was really a lot.
Sitting there on the floor of Fig’s bedroom, surrounded by assorted makeup supplies, Kristen felt all of her screaming nervous energy narrow and focus. She didn’t need to worry about Fig sitting on her lap, or what her hands were doing, or the fact that she was probably blushing hard enough to power the town.
For the moment, she was just kissing Fig, and that was enough.