Jimena feels her lip curling up in distaste the moment she meets the other girl, with her blue-green hair and purple lipstick clashing. She's thin and she's quiet, some sort of instrument case resting against her thigh as she stares at both her and the older woman sitting on the park bench.
It's the same women she saw in her premonition the night before, in the exact spot. The woman she definitely recognizes. She was in her dreams, soothing and soft, and when Jimena went to check out her apartment building, she was definitely there. Definitely real.
The younger girl, maybe around her age, turns to look up at her as she approaches. And there's a sudden shock that both distance and a premonition couldn't have shown her: close up, this girl is probably one of the most beautiful girls she's ever seen.
Jimena clenches her jaw unconsciously, trying to not think about her choppy dark hair, rough clothes, and the permanent etching on her face that says she's done time before the age of fourteen.
The girl's purple lips tug into a wide grin, green eyes sparkling as she nudges the older woman gently with an elbow. "You're beautiful, too," she tells Jimena, who scowls to cover a blush.
It only takes a few months before Serena and Jimena feel completely comfortable with each other. So when Jimena begins to undress in front of Serena to try on a few of her out-there tops, it's not a big deal. The gold coins fall in drips over her chest, and Jimena shimmies, letting the noise fill the room.
Serena tosses her head back, laughing harder than she has in a long time.
There's a novelty about having a friend that doesn't run screaming around the corner when they see her. Then again, Serena's pretty sure that Jimena isn't the type to scream and run away. She talks with her fists when she's scared. It makes Serena feel braver.
"Yo, don't laugh, chica," Jimena clucks, wagging her finger at Serena. Her other hand is on her hip, jutting it out. "Just because you don't have the curves to pull this off."
Jimena's come a long way too, in these last few months.
"I think that top is designed for girls a little flatter than most," Serena tells her, tossing a pillow at her friend, who dodges it easily enough. She jingles as she moves.
"Jealousy," Jimena sings, indicating her curves.
Once, Serena might have been. She twirls a bright red curl around her finger and gives her friend an appreciative glance. "I'll fill out eventually."
Jimena barely says goodbye before she's throwing the phone back on the receiver and making her way to Serena's side of town. All she needed to hear was the way Serena cried her name into the phone before she already knew where she needed to be.
She storms past Collin when he opens the door, pushing him aside roughly and ignoring his protests as she stomps her way up the stairs to Serena's room.
Her friend is sitting on the bed, hugging a pillow to her chest tightly, mascara running down her cheeks in zig-zags.
"What happened?" Jimena asks breathlessly, plopping down onto the edge of the bed and leaning in close to Serena. She's rolling up her sleeves as Serena heaves a big sigh. It's obvious now that she isn't crying anymore, and there's a twitch at the corner of her mouth like she's trying to not get angry.
"He was totally using me, that guy who asked me out," she murmurs. "I didn't mean to catch it, but he was doing it on a dare, to see if the rumors of me putting out were true." Serena's face twists into one of disgust. "Ugh, I had to brush my teeth twice."
"Give me his name and address," Jimena says seriously, calmly. Nobody fucks with her best friend and gets away with it.
But she knows that Serena is going to shake her head and tell her no. She doesn't even need supernatural powers to see the future to know that.
"He's so not worth it, Jimena. I'm just - I'm upset that anyone would do something like that, and I…"
"I hate that I found out anyway. It was a nice date, until he started kissing me." Her nose wrinkles. "Boys don't know how to kiss at all."
"Depends on the boy," Jimena mutters and tries to not think about Veto.
They're quiet for a moment before Serena lays a hand on her arm. "Hey."
"Would you kiss me? I need one good thing to happen tonight," Serena says softly. Her green eyes are on Jimena's face, steady and calm, and Jimena can't help the way her face warms up at the idea.
So, before she can talk herself out of it, she leans in and gives Serena a quick peck on the lips. It means nothing. They're friends. Friends can kiss.
Serena's thankful that she's the one with telepathy here and not anyone else of their friends, she decides while they're eating at a diner early on a Saturday. Not that she intentionally goes snooping in their minds, but thoughts escape and her power reaches for them like a starving snake.
Like how every now and then Jimena will think about kissing her again. It happened once, barely, but Serena catches those feelings of regret of what it could have been.
And a bitter taste fills her mouth, because the reason why Serena's glad that she's the telepath is because of the number of times she thinks about pushing Jimena down and kissing her. A light brush of lips against her plays over and over, as it has for the past year, but she aches for something a little more.
She looks up in time to see Jimena watching her, a worried look scrunching up her face.
Serena flashes a smile that's supposed to mean she's okay, but Jimena hesitates long enough to make her want to dig into her mind and figure out everything that makes her best friend tick.
She wonders if it's normal for girls to want to make out with their best friend.
Years slip into decades, and Jimena never ages the same way that other people age around her. Collin was the first person to comment on it, a sad smile flickering across his lips, and they both know it's because there's a wide valley between the two of them. He's human and normal and can barely touch what it means to fight against evil. And she's…
She's two people who attempt to co-exist within one body that has been touched by the goddess herself every time she sips the same tea Maggie had years ago.
She's sitting in MacArthur Park, two cups of tea in her hands, waiting as she has every afternoon for three months. That's when the premonition had begun.
Jimena looks out to the shrunken lake that used to be there, vague memories of Veto and the underworld tugging at her. It feels like a lifetime ago that she was a dumb teenager with good friends, with a different sort of purpose in this world.
And then, in the corner of her eye, she catches the body of the person she's been having her visions of. She's draped in black silk and covered with what looks like stars. Her dark hair is impossibly curled and sweeps along her waist.
She's beautiful, the same as she was when she was fourteen.
Serena was always meant to be a goddess.
Leaning forward, Jimena hands her the other cup of tea.
The dark goddess smiles and accepts the cup. "You're beautiful, too."