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It’s late, but Tobin can’t sleep. Maybe it’s still the excitement of her move or maybe it’s because she hadn’t been very active today. She always tends to be moving and exploring or doing some sort of physical activity to live her day to the fullest. But today, she’d done some more unpacking and then just had a quiet night in with Ashlyn and Ali, having dinner and watching a movie. And she’d enjoyed having a calm day, but it also hadn’t done enough to wear her out or make her feel ready to sleep.

Either way, she decides to grab her board and go explore the neighborhood a bit, even if it is late. She’s been to Manhattan beach quite a few times to visit her best friends, Ashlyn, Ali, Pinoe and Sue. But she’s never really gone out on her own and really explored it. It’s always been their home and just a place that she likes to visit to catch up with friends and get a break from her life in Jersey. She never really felt the need to go out on her own and get to know it. And since she’s been here, she’s been busy unpacking and trying to find an art studio to work out of. She’s also been feeling particularly inspired since she’s been here in this new and beautiful city, so she’s been locking herself up in the little run down warehouse she found to use as a studio and painting for hours.

But now, Manhattan Beach is her home and she wants to get to know it.

Even if it is well after midnight.

That makes it a little more exciting though, because who knows what she may come across this late. She finds that all the interesting people come out at night. Plus, this place is always so packed with people running, skating or biking that it’s really hard to be able to enjoy the beauty because it’s so chaotic. Which is one of the things she loves about this place. However, now she’s hoping for a little more calm, and she thinks she can actually see what this place has to offer and maybe find some cool places that she would have missed when it’s crowded with people.

It’s also a good time to find possible locations for her to take some photos, without all the people blocking the walls and the possible backdrops.

She’s strolling down the sidewalk of their neighborhood, headed for the pier, when she sees a figure in the distance, crouching behind some bushes. She puts her foot down on the ground, stopping herself from moving and watches with furrowed brows as the figure creeps out from behind the bushes and moves behind a car, crouching down behind it.

The person is pretty small which makes her think it may be a woman, but she’s really not sure.

She looks around the neighborhood but realizes nobody else is outside and nobody else is seeing what she’s seeing or here to do anything about it. She thinks briefly about calling the cops, but she’s not really sure what they’re up to. So far, they haven’t done anything wrong, even if they do seem a little sketchy.

And she knows that she should probably go in the opposite direction and stay away from this sketchy person. But she can’t help but keep watching, carefully taking a few steps closer, trying to get a better look at what they’re doing.

And when she gets closer, she realizes that it is in fact a woman.

She watches the woman stand up next to the car and pull something out of her leather jacket and start fiddling with the door handle of the car. It definitely seems like she’s trying to break into this car.

And again, she knows that she should go in the opposite direction or even call the cops, but for some reason she keeps walking down the sidewalk until she’s right behind the person. She knows that it’s dangerous but she also can’t just walk away from a possible crime without doing anything. Even if there isn’t much she could possibly do. “What are you doing?” She asks the woman, gripping onto her skateboard in case she needs to use it as a weapon.

The person jumps around to face her, putting a hand over her chest, clearly startled by Tobin’s voice and her presence suddenly behind her. And even if Tobin is a little startled as well, she can’t help but notice how stunning this woman is.

“Jesus, you can’t just sneak up on people like that,” the woman tells her, breathing heavily. “That’s super sketchy,” she informs her.

Tobin just frowns at her, “I’m sketchy?” She questions, almost wanting to laugh. “You’re creeping around someone’s house in the middle of the night,” she informs her. “And it looks like you’re breaking into someone’s car,” she then adds, nodding to the door and the little piece of metal that the woman has wedged in between the window and the door.

The woman just gives her an innocent grin and shrugs her shoulders, not commenting. She just turns around and continues what she’s doing, not minding Tobin’s presence, or letting it stop her.

Which confuses Tobin even more. But, she supposes she doesn’t look very threatening. “Hey, stop,” Tobin frowns, taking another step closer, trying to think of what she should do. She doesn’t want to just let someone break into a car but she also doesn’t want to put herself in more danger than she already has.

She’s not really sure what this woman is capable of. Though at first glance, she doesn’t exactly look threatening.

The woman keeps going, ignoring Tobin, and after a few seconds she pops the door unlocked and grins widely, opening up the car door. “Here, hold this,” the woman tells her, pushing the piece of metal she’d been using into Tobin’s chest.

Tobin looks down at the object in her hand with furrowed brows. She realizes that her fingerprints are now all over the evidence, which maybe was the woman’s plan all along.

Smart.

Tobin swallows hard and looks back over at the girl, watching as she digs through the glovebox looking for something. She knows that she really should leave the scene and never look back, but something is keeping her here. And maybe it’s the fact that this woman has her fingerprints now. And also, she’s not really sure what the woman would do if she tried to leave.

Again, she doesn’t know how sketchy this woman is or if she has any weapons on her.

She definitely shouldn’t have even approached her in the first place and she has no idea what she thought was going to happen. It’s not like Tobin has any weapons or the power to stop someone from breaking into a car. Tobin is just naturally curious and a lot of the time doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions. She always acts before she thinks. It’s probably going to be her downfall. She’s honestly just lucky that this woman seems so nonchalant about her being there and hasn’t threatened her.

Yet.

Which is possibly why this situation is so intriguing to Tobin. This woman doesn’t really seem like a criminal. Even if she has just broken into a car.

Tobin glances into the car and sees a wallet laying in the middle console and a bag sitting in the passenger seat that this woman could easily take. She’s not really sure what is in the bag, but honestly this person probably shouldn’t leave their things laying out in the open like this. And she knows that people shouldn’t break into cars in general, but it’s stupid to just leave your things so unprotected.

Because unfortunately, there are bad people out there.

Ashlyn and Ali had told her that the crime rate in this neighborhood is pretty much nonexistent.

Though, this may be proving them wrong.

“Ah, found it!” The woman shouts, holding up a key with a wide grin.

Tobin just furrows her brows again, “A key?” She questions as the woman closes the door again, leaving all the valuables behind. At least that’s a good sign. “Do you know this person?” Tobin asks, confused.

The woman just shrugs and takes the piece of metal back from Tobin, tucking it away in her leather jacket. She starts to head up the sidewalk to the front door and Tobin’s eyes widen and she quickly follows the woman.

Again, she’s not really sure why. But for some reason, she thinks she can maybe stop her.

“What are you doing? Is that a key to their home? You can’t go inside their house!” She whispers loudly, reaching out to grab the woman’s arm. And as soon as the woman spins around Tobin regrets her decision and lets her hand fall limply to her side, giving her a nervous look.

The woman just sighs, rolling her eyes at Tobin. “It’s my ex girlfriend,” she informs her.

Tobin’s eyes widen again, “Are you going to like...kill her or something?” Tobin asks, fearfully.

The woman starts laughing loudly at that, like it’s the funniest thing she’s ever heard.

And Tobin loves the sound, even if she is still a little terrified.

She hadn’t really been joking.

“No, I’m not going to kill her,” she assures her, still looking amused. “She stole my dog,” she tells her sadly, shaking her head. “And I’m taking her back,” she adds with confidence as she turns back around to continue up the sidewalk to the front door.

When she gets to the door, she turns around to see Tobin still watching her, a bit unsurely. And for some reason she feels the need to further explain herself.

“Look, she hates dogs. Honestly, she was super annoyed when I brought her home and she never wanted anything to do with her. She just yelled at her all the time and told her how annoying she was,” the woman says with an eye roll. “She wouldn’t even let her sleep in our bed,” she adds, like it’s the most scandalous thing to ever happen.

“So why did she take her?” Tobin asks, confused.

“To hurt me,” the woman says honestly.

It makes sense, though Tobin isn’t so sure she believes her. She doesn’t know this woman and she could be telling her anything.

“Come on,” the woman says, waving for Tobin to follow her. “It’ll be fun,” she adds with a grin.

Tobin just looks at her like she’s crazy. “Uh...no thank you,” Tobin says, shaking her head. “I’d rather not break into some stranger's house,” she tells her matter of fact. “And, I don’t think you should either,” she informs her. “I’m sure you could talk to her and-

“There’s no talking to her,” the woman cuts her off sharply, looking a bit angry, and it startles Tobin. But the woman takes in a calming breath and centers herself, smiling at Tobin once again. “If it makes you feel any better this was my home up until two days ago,” she informs her with a small shrug. “This is my key that she took from me while we were sitting in that exact car,” she adds, holding up the key that she’d stolen out of the car.

And maybe it makes it a little better. But Tobin isn’t completely convinced. A part of her already wants to trust this woman, but she could be lying and actually really is going in to kill her ex girlfriend.

She knows nothing about her.

Except that she’s absolutely stunning and apparently knows how to break into cars.

And maybe she’s a dog person.

“She’s not even home,” the woman informs her. “Come on,” she adds, before turning to unlock the front door. “You’ll be helping reunite a sweet little dog and her doting owner,” she says, sending Tobin a grin over her shoulder.

Tobin really knows that she shouldn’t follow her into the house, but here she goes again, ignoring that little voice in her head and finds herself doing just that. And if she’s right and the woman doesn’t take care of the dog, then maybe this is for the best. She’d really hate to not help out a dog in need. And maybe this woman is lying to her. But maybe, she’s telling the truth and she really just wants her dog back.

Either way, she’s in the house now.

This is definitely not the kind of excitement she was thinking her night would lead to.

—-

They walk quietly through the dark house, until the woman turns a light on in the living room. Tobin looks around and takes in the very tidy looking space around her. It looks like one of the living rooms that came straight out of an interior design magazine. And not that she knows this woman she’s followed into the house, but it doesn’t seem like it’s her style.

This woman looks a bit edgier in her black ripped jeans and leather jacket than this bright and feminine decorated room.

But Tobin also knows she shouldn’t judge a person by their looks.

She looks down at a table against the wall and notices a few picture frames lining it. She picks one up, inspecting it and sees the woman she’d broken into the house with and another woman. Their arms are wrapped around each other as they smile widely at the camera and honestly they look pretty happy.

She supposes, that maybe she hasn’t been lying. She clearly was with this woman.

That’s another good sign.

Before she can put the frame back down on the table, the woman is grabbing it from her, looking down at it with a frown.

“She’s pretty,” Tobin can’t help herself from saying, a bit awkwardly, not really knowing what else to say in this situation. The woman glares up at her and Tobin swallows hard, taking a step back. “Sorry,” Tobin apologizes, realizing it probably hadn’t been the best thing to say. Especially since they just broke up.

“She’s a bitch,” the woman spits out before throwing the picture frame on the ground, shattering it.

Tobin just bites her lip, once again not really sure what to say.

“Come on,” the woman says, stepping over the frame and guiding Tobin further into the house. They walk through the kitchen and then the woman opens up a door that turns out to be a small laundry room.

When they step inside they see the dog curled up in the corner on an old raggedy looking dog bed and Tobin feels her heart break. All that she has is the old bed and two empty bowls against the wall and Tobin wonders when the last time she actually had food or water was.

“Why would she leave her in here if she’s not here?” Tobin asks angrily.

The woman just ignores her and drops to her knees, “Danvers!” She squeals, making the dog perk up and run over to her. “Hi my baby,” she coos as the dog happily runs over to her.

The German Shepherd starts crying happily as she wiggles and jumps all over the woman, licking her face and clearly happy to see her.

Another good sign.

“Christen, are you fucking kidding me?!” They both hear, making them jump around in surprise. “Christen!” She shouts again angrily, the shouting getting closer this time.

Tobin’s eyes widen as she sees a woman with murderous eyes striding through the kitchen towards them.

“Oh fuck! We have to go!” Christen shouts, grabbing Tobin’s hand, “Danvers, come on girl!” She says, before taking off running right past the woman in the kitchen, who just about falls over from Danvers knocking into her legs.

Tobin wastes no time in asking questions, though she has a lot of them. She just runs as fast as she can, following Christen and Danvers through the house and out the front door.

“I swear to god if I ever see you or that stupid mutt again, I’m calling the cops!” The woman shouts from the front door, before angrily slamming it behind her.

They run down the sidewalk a little ways further, until they reach a run down neighborhood soccer field and Christen collapses onto the grass, laughing so hard, she’s holding her stomach. And Tobin collapses next to her, laughing as well, despite herself. And maybe it’s the adrenaline coursing through her but she thinks that’s the most fun she’s had in awhile.

Even if it could have ended badly.

But damn, she just broke into someone’s house and stole a dog!

Though it’s this woman’s dog in the first place so she’s going to say that it wasn’t really stealing. More so she was helping to reunite a poor puppy with a heartbroken woman.

“Oh my god, that was awesome,” Christen says through a fit of giggles, rolling over to face Tobin. She looks over at Danvers who is just sniffing the grass around her, clearly just happy to be out of that small space.

Tobin lets out a slow breath, calming her laughter and turns over to face Christen as well. “I thought you said she wasn’t home,” Tobin can’t help but groan, putting her hand over her face. Now that the initial rush is over, she’s feeling a bit of dread over the whole thing.

She really could have gone to jail tonight. Or gotten assaulted or murdered.

Christen just grins and shrugs her shoulders, “Because you wouldn’t have come with me if I didn’t tell you that,” she says as if it were obvious.

Tobin just raises a brow at her, “And why did you need me to come with you?” She asks curiously. She seems like she had it handled all on her own.

Christen shrugs again, “Because you’re cute,” she says matter of fact with a little wink.

Tobin grins and feels herself blushing. She sits up, turning her face away from Christen, not wanting her to see how flushed she looks. “So do you always lead girls you think are cute into danger?” Tobin asks with a smirk, turning back to Christen who is pulling a little baggie out of her jacket pocket.

Christen rolls her eyes, laughing. “I wasn’t leading you into danger,” she says with a smirk. “You’re being dramatic,” she tells her as she pulls a joint out of the bag and puts it to her lips.

Tobin looks a bit caught off guard at the gesture but she doesn’t comment on it. “Well how was I supposed to know that? All I saw was someone looking sketchy breaking into a car,” she informs her.

Christen just gives her a dazzling grin, “Well you still followed,” she reminds her, pulling a lighter out of her pocket and lighting the joint. “Do you always follow sketchy women into committing crimes?”

“Just the cute ones,” Tobin returns with a cheeky grin.

Christen rolls her eyes again but can’t help but grin. “I’m Christen by the way,” she introduces after taking a long hit, realizing they were a bit busy with breaking and entering for introductions.

“Yeah, I picked up on that after hearing your ex shouting it angrily over and over,” Tobin replies with a smirk. “I’m Tobin,” she then says with a smile, reaching out to pet Danvers, who lays down in between them.

Christen reaches out to pass the joint over to Tobin, but Tobin shakes her head. “You don’t smoke?” She asks curiously.

“Uh...well I’ve never tried it,” she says, which surprises Christen.

“Really? You seem like you’d be a smoker,” she states. “You’re all chill and stuff,” she says with a smile, taking another hit for herself. “You want to try it?” She asks, offering it over to Tobin once again. “No pressure or anything,” she assures her.

Tobin looks down at it and considers it for a moment. It’s not like she’s against weed, and she knows that it’s legal in a lot of places now, she’s just never really tried it. She knows that Ashlyn smokes sometimes, but Tobin has never felt the urge. She played sports for most of her childhood and in college and never really drank or smoked or did any of that stuff with other kids. It just never really seemed like anything she needed. She preferred to be outside or working on her art rather than partying with everyone else. However, tonight seems to be her night of breaking rules and trying new things. So why not? “Sure,” she says, grabbing it carefully out of Christen’s hand.

She brings it up to her lips and takes a hit of it, instantly feeling her throat start to itch, making her cough.

Christen just giggles at her, “Take it slow,” she tells her.

Tobin takes in a breath, trying to get the scratchy-ness out of her throat before she brings it back up to her lips, taking in another, slower inhale. It still feels a bit uncomfortable and she lets out another cough, but it doesn’t hurt quite as much as it had the first time.

She passes it back over to Christen and breathes in deeply, already starting to feel a bit more relaxed. Her head feels a bit tingly and it’s kind of weird but honestly it feels pretty good.

Maybe weed isn’t so bad.

Not that she’s probably going to become a smoker or anything.

“So you’re not going to ask what happened or why we broke up?” Christen asks curiously, figuring the woman would have a lot of questions.

Tobin just shrugs, “I’m more curious as to why you were with someone for so long that doesn’t like dogs,” she says, making Christen laugh.

“I guess that should have been a major red flag,” she nods. “Honestly, I don’t know why I was with her for so long,” she says with a small sigh. “She was kind of terrible to me,” she reveals. “But, I guess I was blinded by love.”

Tobin just nods, understanding that. “It’s easy to only want to see the good in the people we love,” she agrees. “What happened though? Why did you finally leave?”

“I knew that we weren’t happy,” she reveals. “It was just getting harder and I was just lying to myself about it all,“ she tells her. “And then I came home one afternoon and caught her in bed with another woman,” she says a bit angrily. “I honestly think that I knew deep down she had been cheating on me for awhile, it was just another thing that I was trying to ignore. And I did continue to ignore it. I forgave her and we were together for just a couple of more weeks and then I realized she was still cheating. So anyway, we came home one night and before we even got out of the car, I just told her it was over,” she explains. “I wasn’t even really expecting to do it, but I kind of just blurted it out.” She says honestly. “I don’t know. I was with her for a while and I guess it was just scary to think about leaving and being on my own again,” she shrugs. “And she wasn’t all bad,” she then says, honestly.

Tobin just nods again, “Well, I think you’ll be okay,” she tells her with a soft smile, already sensing that this woman can take care of herself. “Plus, you have this little cutie to help keep you company,” she says, squishing Danvers face and cooing at her.

Christen just grins and nods her head. “Yeah, honestly it hurt losing Danvers more than it did losing my ex,” she says with a grimace. “I don’t think I’ve been in love with her for awhile now, so I’m happy that I finally got away,” she informs her. “But anyway,” she says, not really wanting to talk about her failed relationship anymore. “Thanks for helping me get Danvers back,” she says sincerely.

Tobin just nods her head, “Well, I wasn't’ sure if you would kill me or something if I didn’t,” she says with a smirk.

Christen rolls her eyes dramatically letting out a scoff, “I’m not actually a criminal,” she informs her. “I mean, for the most part,” she then adds with a mischievous grin. “I’d never actually hurt anyone or anything like that,” she says.

“Just light breaking and entering,” Tobin jokes.

“Exactly,” Christen laughs.

“So, Danvers? That’s an interesting name,” Tobin states, “Where’s it from?” She asks curiously, never hearing it before.

Christen just furrows her brows at Tobin, “Alex Danvers from Supergirl. A total badass,” she informs her as if it were obvious.

“Supergirl huh?” Tobin questions, amused. “I wouldn’t have pegged you for a nerd,” she can’t help but tease her.

Christen gasps, looking severely offended. “You did hear the part about total badass, right? She has no superpowers and still kicks the most ass,” she informs her. “She’s a lesbian legend,” she adds with a smirk.

Tobin can’t help but laugh, shaking her head, “I’ve never seen it,” she admits, and Christen just gasps again.

“We have to change that,” she tells her, and then smiles shyly at the intention behind that statement. It would mean they’d have to hang out again and honestly she wants to but she’s not sure where Tobin stands. Or even what she thinks about her after all of this.

Tobin just grins at her as she watches Christen casually take another drag. She moves her eyes around the field and frowns, “Too bad we don’t have a soccer ball,” she comments.

Christen just furrows her brows, “You play soccer?”

“Yeah. I played through college and I even played with the youth national team for a while,” she informs her. “It’s how I met my friends that I’m staying with,” she adds. “Plus, I went to college with one of them,” she says with a smile.

Christen just hums, “Yeah, I actually played through college,” she says quietly. “My parents wanted me to go pro, but I decided it wasn’t really making me happy,” she admits. “I mean, I love the sport but it’s not what I wanted to do with my life. It became more of a negativity in my life. My happiness revolved around winning and how I performed,” she admits. “I felt so anxious and angry all the time. No matter how well I did, I didn’t feel like I did enough,” she further explains. “Sorry, I don’t know why I just told you all of that,” she says with a frown.

Tobin just gives her a soft smile, “I’ve been told that I’m easy to talk to,” she says with a cheeky grin.

Christen rolls her eyes once again and reaches over to pet Danvers, “And also very modest,” she can’t help but laugh. “Anyway,” she says, clearing her throat, “I should get Danvers home,” she tells her, standing up from the ground. “I’m guessing you live around here? Are you okay getting home?”

Tobin just nods, “Yeah just a few houses down. I actually just moved here so I’m staying with some friends until I can find a place,” she tells her. “What about you?”

“Yeah, I’m renting a small apartment a few streets over by the beach,” she says with a shrug. “It’s not great, but it’s all I could find on such short notice,” she explains to her. “But hey there’s this bar just a few blocks from here, right on the beach,” she starts to tell her “They make their own beer and it has a dog park,” she says with a grin. “I uh...I’m there pretty much every day so if you wanted to check it out or whatever,” she says with a small shrug, obviously a bit nervous to be asking this woman to hang out in a roundabout way. “You’re new to the area so I figure you need some recommendations,” she adds.

Tobin just grins at her and nods her head, “That sounds awesome. I’ll check it out,” she assures her.

“Cool,” Christen says, nonchalant. “Maybe I’ll see you there Tobin,” she adds with a smile.

“Maybe you will,” Tobin returns with a coy grin.

—-

“Morning Tobs,” Ashlyn greets, looking up from her breakfast when Tobin walks into the kitchen, still looking half asleep. “Where did you go last night?” She asks curiously. “It was late when we heard you getting back in,” she adds, raising a brow at her.

Tobin winces as she sits down at the table with them. She’d tried to be quiet coming back home so late, but the dogs had heard her and started barking and it took a minute to get them to calm down. “I couldn’t sleep so I just went to ride my board around the neighborhood,” she informs them. “I thought I might explore and see some interesting things,” she tells them.

“Yeah? See anything good?” Ali asks, getting up from the table and walking around the kitchen bar to make Tobin a plate.

Tobin can’t help but grin to herself, thinking about Christen and crazy her night ended up.

“What’s that smile? Did you meet a girl?” Ashlyn asks, reaching over to poke at Tobin’s face.

Tobin just scoffs and swats Ashlyn’s hand away, “It was the middle of the night, why would you think I’d meet a girl?”

Ashlyn can’t help but smirk, sharing a glance with Ali as she comes back over to the table, placing a plate in front of Tobin.

“Thank you,” Tobin says gratefully, suddenly realizing how hungry she actually is. Living with Ashlyn and Ali has been great, because they constantly have a house full of groceries and they’re always cooking. When Tobin lived by herself she hardly ever cooked and lived off of fast food and ramen, if she even remembered to eat.

“Now back to this woman,” Ashlyn says with a grin.

Tobin rolls her eyes once again, “There’s no girl,” she lies. Maybe there was but she’s not really sure that it is ever going to lead to anything. Even if she sees her again, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to start dating. This woman was cool and edgy and absolutely gorgeous. She’s obviously out of Tobin’s league. Tobin is just a slightly awkward struggling artist trying to get by.

There’s no way someone like Christen would be interested in her.

Either way, she doesn’t feel the need to bring it up or get Ashlyn and Ali all riled up over nothing. She has to see the woman again and see if it could lead to anything before she decides to bring her overbearing friends into it.

“Sure,” Ashlyn says, taking a sip of her coffee.

“Leave her alone,” Ali butts in, though she’s smiling knowingly. She knows there’s probably something that Tobin isn’t telling them, but she’s not as pushy as Ashlyn is.

Thank God.

Tobin doesn’t know if she could deal with the both of them ganging up on her.

“What are you guys going to do today?” Tobin asks, wanting to get the subject off of herself.

“I have some appointments at the shop,” Ashlyn informs her.

“I’ll be home most of the day but I’ve got to do some last minute prep and research over the teams playing tonight,” Ali says.

“Like you don’t already know everything there is to know about pretty much every footballer in the MLS and NWSL,” Ashlyn tells her with a knowing look and a proud smile. “You’re the best announcer the leagues could have had,” she says, leaning over to place a proud kiss on Ali’s cheek.

Ali grins at her and then shrugs her shoulders, “You know I still like to be prepared,” she says. “Tobs, you want to go to the game tonight? It’s LA Galaxy and the Portland Thorns,” she tells her. “You can have our box seat even if Ash doesn’t make it,” she adds.

Tobin’s eyes light up at the thought, “Yeah definitely,” she nods. “I’m going to try and get some work done at the studio and maybe cruise around and take some photos,” she shrugs. “But I don’t have any appointments or major plans for the day,” she adds.

“Alright, well you can ride with me if you’d like but I have to go pretty early,” Ali tells her. “If Ash isn’t done in time to make it you can just drive, if you want. It’s only about half an hour away. Not even that long sometimes, depends on the traffic,” she informs her. “But I’ll give you everything you need and I’ll leave your name with security,” she tells her.

“Sounds great,” Tobin grins.

The girls just nod and they all fall into a silence as they finish up breakfast.

And as Tobin is helping Ashlyn with the dishes, she decides to try and casually bring up going to the bar that Christen had recommended.

And yes, she’s really going in hopes to see the woman, but she also thinks that it sounds like a pretty cool place. And she’s been wanting to check out more places in the area. Now that she lives here, she wants to fully explore the local spots.

“Hey so I heard about this bar down by the beach,” she starts, grabbing their attention. “It’s like a brewery and has a dog park or something,” she says casually with a small shrug.

“Oh yeah, Re-imagine,” Ali nods, from her place at the kitchen bar, watching the two wash dishes. (She cooked, it’s only fair.)

Tobin just nods, realizing that she has no idea what the place is actually called, but she assumes that’s it. She doesn’t imagine there would be a lot of bars that are also dog parks. It’s a cool concept but she’s never actually been to one yet.

“We go there pretty often,” Ali says. “Ash does all the owners tattoo’s,” she explains. “It’s a really cool place and Logan and Storm love it,” she smiles.

“Awesome,” Tobin grins, happy that it seems to be a place they love. “I was thinking we could check it out tonight,” she says, trying not to sound too eager. “We could go after the game,” she adds with a shrug.

“I’m down,” Ashlyn says, handing the last dish over to Tobin for her to dry.

“Yeah me too,” Ali nods in agreement. “We’ll have to run home after the game and grab the pups though. They won’t be happy if they know we went without them,” she chuckles.

Tobin just grins and nods her head, “That’s fine with me,” she says, happy that her plans seem to be falling into place.

And that she may get to see Christen again.

“Oh my god Tobin, just go and talk to her,” Ashlyn groans.

They’ve been at the bar for almost an hour now and all Tobin has done is stare at a certain curly haired woman, standing next to the bar up on the back deck. They’re out in the dog park at a picnic table enjoying some beer while the dogs run around and play with the other dogs in the park.

And they’d managed to get Pinoe and Sue to come out with them as well, so she knew it was going to be a good night. However, she’s had a hard time focusing on anything that they’ve been saying because she hasn’t been able to take her eyes off of Christen. She had no idea how curly and how pretty her hair is. She’d had it tightly braided last night when they met and somehow she looks even more gorgeous than Tobin remembers.

But, Tobin pulls her gaze away from the beautiful woman standing at the end of the bar and looks over at her friends, “What, who?” She questions, shrugging her shoulders a bit awkwardly, trying to act like she has no idea what they’re talking about. Though she knows that she hasn’t exactly been subtle. She takes another sip of her beer, avoiding eye contact with them and trying not to look over at Christen again.

“You’ve been staring at her the entire time we’ve been here and not paying attention to us at all,” Pinoe says. “Just go and talk to her,” she tries to encourage her. “This is just getting sad to watch,” she adds with a smirk, and Tobin can only roll her eyes, trying not to feel embarrassed.

And Tobin knows that she should go and talk to her. It’s not like she hasn’t talked to her before. She helped her break into her ex’s home and steal a dog with her for God Sake. And it had been Christen who had sort of invited her to come here in the first place.

But she’s nervous.

The woman is even more stunning than she remembers and she doesn’t have all that adrenaline coursing through her this time around, making it easier to talk to a pretty woman.

“She’s looking over here,” Ashlyn informs her.

Tobin can only sigh loudly when all of her friends turn their heads to stare at Christen, making it very obvious that they’re looking at her. “Stop looking at her,” Tobin groans, burying her face in her hands. “God you guys are embarrassing,” she says, blushing hard. She sneaks a quick glance in Christen’s direction and sees the woman looking at her with a smile on her face.

Tobin can’t help but smile back, feeling the blush deepen on her cheeks.

God she’s so pretty.

“I can’t,” she says, shaking her head, bringing them back to the conversation at hand, and how she should go talk to her. “I mean...she’s....she’s so pretty and so cool,” she tells them, starting to sound like she’s in a bit of a daze, just thinking about the gorgeous woman.

Her friends smirk at her, but Ali manages to give her a sympathetic look, sensing how nervous she is at the thought of going over and talking to her. “Her name is Christen and she’s actually really sweet,” Ali informs her.

Not that Tobin didn’t already know that.

Except the sweet part. She’s still trying to work out if she’s a criminal or not.

“You know her?” She asks surprised, looking back at her friends.

“Yeah, she owns the bar. She’s the one that Ash does all of her tattoos,” she says, referring to their conversation this morning.

Tobin just furrows her brows “Wait she owns this place?” She asks, completely surprised. She was not expecting that and she’s surprised the woman hadn’t mentioned it when she spoke about this place. She looks back at Christen who happens to have taken off her leather jacket, revealing a sleeveless crop top underneath. Tobin can clearly see the tattoos going up and down both of her arms, making her eyes widen at the sight.

She’s never really been a person to care for tattoos—at least not on herself. But God, if it’s possible they make Christen even hotter.

“Yeah she does,” Ali says, pulling Tobin from her thoughts. “We met her here after coming a few times when it first opened and she was asking Ashlyn about tattoo artists in the area. She had just moved her at the time,” she explains. “She’s actually gotten Ash a lot of business and they’ve even done a few events here where Ashlyn sets up and offers tattoos to the customers. It’s pretty cool,” she says with a smile. “She’s all about doing different stuff like that and making this a different kind of bar atmosphere,” she tells her with a smile. “She does painting nights as well, which you’d probably be pretty into,” she tells her.

Tobin just nods, even more impressed by the woman.

And more intimidated.

“She’s looking over again,” Pinoe says with a smirk.

Tobin’s eyes widen, “Oh god, what do I do?” She questions in a panic, suddenly not sure what to do with her hands or even how to act like a normal human.

Her friends just look at her amused, shaking their heads. “You go and talk to her!” Ashlyn just about yells, almost nudging Tobin off her seat.

“No, no way,” Tobin says, shaking her head vigorously. She’d been nervous before, but the more she’s heard about the woman, the more intimidated she’s feeling. Even after their talks early this morning. Tobin had just happened to be around for her to flirt with. It doesn’t actually mean she’s into her or would choose her over all the other gorgeous women in this bar.

Plus, she owns the place so maybe she’d only invited her here to get her business.

“Since when have you had a hard time talking to girls?” Pinoe asks with a curious look.

Tobin scoffs, but can’t stop her face from flushing. “This is different,” she explains. “I mean look at her. She’s like...she’s stunning. She’s way out of my league,” Tobin informs them, shaking her head again.

“Can’t argue with you there,” Ashlyn smirks, making Ali elbow her in the side. “I’m joking,” she says, frowning at her girlfriend. “Come on Tobs. I think she’s into you too. She’s been looking over here almost as much as you’ve been looking at her,” she informs her.

All the women look over at the girl to see her staring at Tobin again, though she quickly looks away when she notices all the eyes on her.

“She’s right,” Pinoe agrees with a grin. “Just go say hi,” she tries to encourage.

Tobin rolls her eyes at her friends and then lets out a deep breath, trying to mentally prepare herself for this. “Fine, I’ll go,” she says with confidence. Though, when she realizes that means that she actually has to get up and go and talk to her, she loses a bit of that confidence and starts fiddling with her hands. “What do I even say?”

Maybe ask her if she’s broken into any more houses since she’s seen her?

“Just go and say hi. You could offer her a drink. I mean, she owns the place but it’s still a nice gesture,” Ali suggests with a shrug. “She’s just a person, Tobin,” she says, trying to comfort her. “And again, she’s like one of the sweetest people I’ve met,” she says, and Ashlyn nods her head, agreeing. “And she’s definitely into women so you at least have that advantage,” Ali assures her.

“Wait, doesn’t she have a girlfriend?” Pinoe asks, furrowing her brows, knowing that she’s heard Christen mention her and she’s pretty sure she’d seen her here a few times.

Ali just shrugs, “She did but it’s been awhile since I’ve heard her talk about her,” she says.

“Or seen her around,” Ashlyn adds.

Tobin has to stop herself from letting them know that they broke up. Because then she’d have to explain how she knows that little fact and she really doesn’t feel like getting into all of that.

“Good, she treated Christen like shit,” Pinoe says, shaking her head.

That’s also another reassurance for Tobin that Christen hadn’t been lying about anything so far.

“Worst that will happen is that she says no,” Ashlyn reminds Tobin, getting them back on track, and Tobin frowns at the thought. “But seriously, she keeps looking at you as well. I don’t think she’s going to say no,” she assures her.

“She could be looking just because Tobin is being creepy and won’t stop staring,” Pinoe can’t help but say with a laugh.

Tobin lets out a loud groan and buries her face in her hands. “You’re not funny,” she complains. “And you’re not helping,” she informs her.

“Ashlyn is right. Don’t listen to Pinoe,” Ali assures her with a comforting smile. “Just go and try. If she turns you down, we’ll buy you all the shots,” she says with a chuckle. “Or maybe at a different bar so she’s not getting our money,” she adds with a grin.

Tobin let’s out another sigh but nods her head, feeling too nervous to really laugh at Ali’s joke. Though she is thankful for their support. “Yeah, okay,” she says, before taking a deep breath in and letting it out slowly, trying to psych herself up again. “Okay, I’m going,” she decides, standing up from the table. She starts to head across the dog park up to the deck where Christen is talking to the bartender at the bar. She feels nerves fluttering around in her stomach and starts to feel the tips of her fingers tingle with anxiety. She honestly can’t remember ever being this nervous. It’s a new feeling for her. Even last night when she was breaking into a house she wasn’t this nervous.

Because damn, this is the most gorgeous woman that she’s ever seen.

And she seems way too cool to like Tobin.

When she finally gets to the steps of the deck, she catches the woman’s eye and gives her a smile.

Christen smiles back and Tobin literally feels like she’s going to pass out.

She’s so fucking pretty.

And her smile is out of this world.

Before she can take another step, she feels a strong force hit her leg and the next thing she knows she’s on the ground. “What the?” She questions, looking around, only to find Storm running around her, barking happily at her. “Seriously?” She yells at the dog, exasperated and completely humiliated, only to have Storm jump on her and start licking her face. “Why do you hate me?” She questions, and the dog just barks at her and continues licking her face, wanting some attention.

“Are you okay?” She hears a voice ask, making her look up to see Christen looking down at her, mostly with concern but a hint of amusement.

“Yeah,” Tobin grumbles, pushing Storm off of her so that she can stand up.

“Hi, cutie,” she hears Christen say, making her blush bright red. But when she looks at her, she realizes that she’s on the ground, talking to Storm.

“She’s actually a terror,” Tobin informs her, still annoyed with the dog.

“Oh, I don’t believe that,” she says in a baby voice, squeezing Storms cheeks together and smooshing her face.

Tobin can’t help but smile at how cute she is.

“Her name is Storm,” she introduces.

“Yeah, I’ve met her and Logan,” Christen nods, standing up from the ground. “I didn’t know that you knew Ash and Ali,” she says with a curious smile. “Small world,” she remarks.

“Yeah, seems so,” Tobin nods.

Christen just gives Tobin a dazzling grin, that makes her feel a little dizzy. “I was wondering when you’d finally come and talk to me,” she says with a smirk.

“Finally?” Tobin asks, feeling a bit embarrassed that it had taken so long and Christen is obviously teasing her.

“Well yeah, I’ve seen you here for awhile now and you kept looking over at me, but you wouldn’t come over,” she informs her. “I thought about coming to you a few times, but I didn’t really want to intrude since you were with all of your friends. And I wasn’t sure you wanted to talk to me anyway,” she says with a small shrug.

“Of course I wanted to talk to you,” Tobin can’t help say softly, giving the girl a smile. “You are the whole reason that I’m here,” she reveals, and then blushes, not really planning on saying that part out loud.

“Really?” Christen asks with that cute little grin again.

“Yeah,” Tobin nods, giving her a sheepish grin. “I just...I got kind of nervous,” she admits, scratching the back of her neck a bit awkwardly. “You’re kind of intimidating,” she tells her.

“Am I?” Christen questions with an amused grin. “I’m harmless,” she assures her, laughing lightly.

“You’re beautiful,” Tobin blurts out, and then blushes, looking away shyly.

Christen bites her lip, grinning at Tobin. “You’re beautiful too,” she tells her. “Actually you’re really sexy,” she adds in a low tone, stepping closer to Tobin, her eyes looking at Tobin's body up and down. She’s wearing tight black jeans and a simple white t-shirt that fits pretty tightly and Christen can see how muscular she is. She can’t help but wonder what it feels like to have those strong arms wrapped around her.

“Thank you,” Tobin manages to say, still reeling from the compliment. She’s surprised to have this effect on Christen and it’s catching her a bit off guard. She never really thought that maybe Christen was just as attracted to her as she is to Christen. But the way she’s staring at her right now, proves otherwise and it makes Tobin gulp.

“You’re welcome,” Christen nods, looking back up at Tobin’s eyes and grinning devilishly, knowing the effect that she’s having on Tobin. “Can I get you a drink?” Christen offers.

“Uh yeah...sure,” Tobin nods, following as Christen walks back up the deck and to the bar. “I uh...I was going to offer you a drink, but you beat me to it,” she tells her. Honestly, she just hadn’t been able to think clearly with this gorgeous woman staring at her the way she was.

Christen grins and walks behind the bar, reaching for a bottle of scotch, “Do you like scotch?” She questions.

“Uh...I normally just drink beer, sometimes some whiskey,” she tells her. “But I’m down for whatever,” she assures her, not wanting to be a hassle, especially since Christen is giving her a drink for free.

“Down for whatever?” Christen can’t help but smirk. “You can have whatever you’d like Tobin,” she says, leaning over the bar, getting close to Tobin.

Tobin swallows hard, looking directly into Christen’s eyes and trying not to shy away. She leans in closer, realizing she’s not as nervous as she’d thought she would be. Something about being this close to Christen just makes her feel comfortable and a little more confident than she has been. And maybe it’s also the confidence boost she’d gotten, finding out that Christen is attracted to her as well.

Her green eyes are so piercing and Tobin can’t find it in herself to look away. They’re mesmerizing, and she feels like it’s just her and Christen in the bar. “I know what I want,” she replies boldly, biting her lip.

Christen leans in even closer, but suddenly gets interrupted by someone clearing their throat. “Love ya boss, but could you take this somewhere else?”

They turn to see a woman standing next to Christen behind the bar, a hand on her hip, looking at them with raised brows.

“We’re kind of busy here,” the girl says, motioning her hands to all the customers lined up at the bar, waiting on their turn.

“Sorry, Crystal,” Christen says with an innocent grin, before turning back to Tobin, not being able to stop from smirking at her. She stands up off the bar and grabs two glasses and the bottle of scotch off the countertop and then walks out from behind it, moving around to Tobin’s side. “Let’s go sit,” she says, nodding head over to a couch out on the deck and starts to head in that direction, Tobin following behind her.

When they get situated on the couch, Christen pours them both a glass of scotch and hands one over to Tobin.

“Thanks,” Tobin says softly. She takes a sniff of it and then a small sip and grimaces as she feels it burning her throat.

Christen just giggles, amused. “It’s an acquired taste, I suppose,” she comments. “I can get you something else,” she offers.

But Tobin really doesn’t want to make her have to go back to the bar and honestly she doesn’t want to have to wait for her to come back either. “No, this is fine,” she assures her.

Christen just nods and takes a sip of her own, turning on the couch, so that she’s facing Tobin, one hand laying on the back of the couch.

“So you didn’t mention that you actually own this place,” Tobin comments, raising a brow at her.

Christen just grins behind her glass and gives her a shrug. “I guess I didn’t want to brag,” she says.

“No? Seems like a good way to pick up women,” Tobin chuckles. “I mean-...not that I think you were trying to pick me up,” Tobin says, backtracking. “I was just joking,” she adds, smiling sheepishly.

“So you don’t want me to be hitting on you or trying to pick you up?” Christen can’t help but smirk, knowing the girl is getting flustered. And maybe it’s mean to play with her like this, but honestly she finds it super adorable how fidgety she gets.

And it works because Tobin starts nervously fidgeting with her hands and Christen can see her swallow hard, “No, I mean yes...I mean-

“I’m messing with you,” Christen says, giving her a grin. She reaches over and places one of her hands softly on top of Tobin’s. “But, I’m not messing with you about hitting on you,” she then adds with a smirk. “That part is very real,” she adds, biting down on her lip, as she connects her eyes with Tobin’s.

Tobin’s eyes dart back and forth between Christen’s and she opens her mouth to respond but then closes it again, not really knowing what to say. She feels like her brain is short circuiting a little bit.

And thankfully, Christen takes pity on her and sits back, creating some space between them, a proud smirk on her face. “You’re adorable,” she grins. “And so sexy at the same time,” she says, shaking her head. “I don’t know how you do that,” she says with a grin.

Tobin just smiles back at her, “Well you should know,” she says matter of fact. “You’re just as sexy and just as adorable,” she tells her honestly, happy that she’s finding a bit of her confidence coming back. She’s not normally a fumbling mess around women, but this girl just has some sort of effect on her. Like she’s cast a spell on her and Tobin doesn’t even know how to speak when she looks at her with those piercing eyes.

But Christen scoffs, and nudges Tobin’s shoulder, “I’m not adorable,” she tells her.

“Oh right, my bad,” Tobin laughs. “You’re a badass like Alex Danvers or whatever her name is,” she says, rolling her eyes in amusement. “Speaking of, where is Danvers?” She asks, looking around the dog park.

“She’s inside,” she says, pointing her thumb behind her to the inside of the bar. “She goes back and forth, but she prefers the air conditioning,” she laughs. “And she prefers the attention from the customers over the other dogs,” she adds with a smirk. “They feed her and love on her,” she adds, grinning.

“A/C huh? Such a badass,” Tobin can’t help but joke.

Christen giggles but reaches out, nudging Tobin again, “She is,” she says firmly.

Tobin just watches Christen with a smile on her face, not being able to get over just how gorgeous she is. Especially when she’s smiling so hard like that, that she gets little crinkles by her eyes and on her forehead. Christen may not want her to say it, but she’s completely adorable.

“So you said last night that you just recently moved here?” Christen asks her curiously, taking another sip of her scotch.

Tobin pulls herself from her stupor of just staring at Christen and then nods her head. “Yeah, I moved in with Ash and Ali,” she tells her. “I just needed a change and I’ve always loved it here,” she tells her with a small shrug. “I plan on getting a place eventually but I spent most of my money on renting out an art studio,” she tells her. “I was planning on just living there, but Ash and Ali told me to stay with them because the little warehouse space I rented didn’t seem very safe,” she says with a smile. “But, apparently they have criminals in their own neighborhood too,” she can’t help but say, a cheeky grin on her face.

Christen throws her head back, rolling her eyes, “I’m not a criminal,” she says for what feels like the hundredth time. “And don’t forget, you were my accomplice,” she adds, smirking.

“I’ll just say I was held hostage,” she laughs. “I had no idea what you were capable of.”

“Want to find out what I’m capable of?” Christen asks in a low tone, leaning closer to Tobin.

Tobin swallows hard again, but finds herself leaning in close again, feeling a magnetic force, drawing her towards Christen.

But Christen pulls away with a giggle, giving Tobin a smug look. “So, where are you from?” She asks curiously.

Tobin has to take a moment to collect herself, feeling like Christen is giving her a bit of whiplash. “Jersey,” she finally responds.

Christen just lets out a humming sound, “You don’t seem like you’d be from Jersey,” she says matter of fact.

“Right, because I’m all chill and stuff?” Tobin asks with a smirk, remembering how Christen had described her last night.

Christen just laughs, “Exactly,” she nods.

“What about you? Are you from Manhattan Beach?” She asks, though she remembers Ali saying she’d just moved here when they met her. But she doesn’t want her to know they’ve been talking about her.

“No, I’m from Palos Verdes Estates,” she tells her. “I moved a few years ago,” she adds. “I needed a change as well,” she shrugs. “Though, I just moved half an hour away from home, not all the way across the country. That’s pretty impressive,” she says with a smile.

Tobin just shrugs, “I’ve always traveled a lot,” she informs her. “And I used to visit Ash and Ali a lot and I just really loved the vibe here so I decided to just move one day. Even though I didn’t have a lot of money. I knew if I didn’t just do it then I never would,” she explains to her.

“Yeah, I understand that,” Christen nods. “My parents were kind of upset when I decided that I didn’t want to play soccer anymore. And then they wanted me to be a lawyer or a doctor or something like that, that they deemed as the only way to really be successful in life,” she says with a frown. “I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew that it wasn’t anything like that,” she tells her. “Those things just seem so boring and I was tired of being so disciplined and so...I don’t know, just unhappy,” she says with a small sigh. “So I just kind of moved here to give myself enough space from them so that I could finally think for myself and finally figure out what it is that makes me happy,” she explains. “And then I met Crystal and her husband Pierre. He’s a brewer and was working out of his basement and one night we got drunk and made this whole elaborate plan to have this awesome bar with a dog park, where we’d make our own beer and do fun events,” she says with a smile. “They didn’t really think it was serious and that we were just drunk but I was,” she says confidently. “So we made it happen,” she finishes, smiling proudly. “It was a lot of work but we did it and the bar is very successful,” she grins.

Tobin can’t help but grin widely back at her, “This place is definitely awesome,” she nods. “You should be very proud,” she tells her sincerely.

Christen just gives her a soft smile, “So enough about me,” she says with an awkward laugh. “I don't know why I just keep telling you things,” she says, feeling a bit bashful. She’s never really been one to talk about such personal things with strangers. But here she is, spilling her whole life story to Tobin.

“Easy to talk to, remember?” Tobin smirks.

“Whatever,” Christen rolls her eyes, playfully. “What do you do? You said you have a studio?”

“Yeah, I’m an artist,” she tells her. “All kinds of medium, even photography,” she tells her. “Honestly, my parents were like yours. They weren’t very thrilled when I chose such an unstable career choice,” she says with a grim smile. “But it’s what made me happy so I pursued it anyway,” she shrugs. “And sometimes it’s hard and I worry about money, but I love it and I always figure it out,” she says with a smile.

“That’s awesome,” Christen grins. “We have an art night once a week, here,” she informs her. “I bring someone in and they give everyone a subject to paint and everyone just does their thing while enjoying complimentary beer as long as you pay for the class,” she informs her. “You should check it out. Though, it may be a bit amuetuer for you,” she says with a giggle.

Tobin just grins and shakes her head, “No, it sounds like a lot of fun,” she assures her.

“I’d love to see some of your work,” Christen tells her, taking another sip of her forgotten scotch.

“Yeah? Well you can definitely come by my studio sometime,” she tells her with a smile.

Christen smiles back at her, “Sounds great,” she nods.

Christen watches as Tobin takes another sip of her scotch, still grimacing at the taste. She just smiles gently, biting her lip, finding it a bit funny that she keeps drinking it even though she clearly hates it.

It just makes her think that she’s even more adorable.

Christen places her glass down on the little coffee table in front of them and scoots closer to Tobin so that she’s sitting right in front of her, facing her on the couch. She lifts one of her hands up and pushes some hair behind Tobin’s ear, noticing the anxious look in her eyes, “Do I make you nervous?” She asks softly.

Tobin swallows hard, “A little,” she admits quietly.

“Do you want me to stop?” Christen then asks, just as softly.

But Tobin shakes her head.

“Can I kiss you?” She asks, her voice barely above a whisper, looking Tobin in the eyes, waiting on any red flags.

And this time, Tobin nods.

Christen smiles gently at her, cupping Tobin’s face in her hands, before leaning in close and pressing their lips together softly.

And Tobin never believed in seeing fireworks or any of that cheesy stuff that they say you feel in movies. And maybe she’s still not actually seeing fireworks, but she feels a spark inside of her that she’s never felt when kissing anyone else in her life. It feels right and honestly, she never wants to stop kissing Christen.

And, Christen pulls away after a moment with a shy grin but Tobin pulls her back in for another, deeper kiss, needing more.

She’s pretty sure she can hear her friends cheering a few yards away. But she tunes them out and puts all of her focus on Christen.

—-

It’s an hour later and Tobin and Christen haven’t even noticed the time, too busy getting to know each other and of course sharing a few more kisses. At least as many as they can without creating a show in this busy bar.

Ashlyn, Ali and Pinoe come up to them, looking like they’re ready to leave and that’s when Tobin realizes how long she and Christen have been talking. “Hey we’re leaving?” Tobin asks with a slight frown, looking up at her friends, who have the dogs gathered up and all of their belongings.

“Yeah, it’s getting late,” Ali informs her. “Ash has an early appointment and Sue has practice,” she informs her.

Tobin glances at her watch and realizes it’s a little after midnight. “Oh right, okay,” she nods, though she really doesn’t want to leave. But she did ride here with them so she figures she doesn’t have much of a choice. She could always take a Lyft back, but she figures she should just leave now to make it easier. Christen probably has things she needs to do, considering she owns this place and she doesn’t want to hold her up any longer.

“You can stay if you want,” Christen speaks up, glancing over at Tobin. “I can give you a ride later or...whatever” she tells her, biting her lip. And the look on her face is telling Tobin that she may have other plans rather than actually taking her home.

Tobin feels her face flush and then she looks up at her friends, “Um, I think I’ll stay, if that’s okay,” she says, trying to sound casual. Though, she can feel her heart beating in her chest at the thought of possibly going home with Christen.

“Sure,” Ashlyn says, not being able to stop herself from smirking.

Tobin also doesn’t miss the excited grin on Pinoe’s face or the not so subtle thumbs up she gives her.

God, her friends are embarrassing.

“Okay, I’ll see you guys later,” Tobin says, hoping they’ll leave pretty quickly, before anything more embarrassing can be said. This is why she doesn’t tell them about girls she likes or bring them around for as long as possible.

“Or tomorrow,” Pinoe can’t help but say with an exaggerated wink, before running off so that Tobin can’t say anything to her.

Ashlyn and Ali just laugh at the look on Tobin’s face and then turn towards Christen, “Good to see you, Pressi,” Ashlyn says with a grin.

“It’s good to see you guys too,” she says back, smiling genuinely. “Sorry I haven’t come over to hi or anything,” she apologizes.

“That’s okay,” Ali tells her with a smile, waving her off.

“Yeah, you’ve been busy,” Ashlyn can’t help but smirk, looking between Christen and Tobin. “Make sure you get her home safe, Pressi,” she then tells her, still grinning. “Later, Tobs,” she waves, before grabbing Ali’s hand and dragging her inside to find Pinoe so they can leave.

Tobin closes her eyes and takes in a deep breath, trying to rein in her embarrassment. “Sorry about that,” she apologizes, shaking her head at her friends. “Don’t listen to them,” she says with a small sigh. “They just like to be annoying,” she adds, taking another sip of her scotch, needing something to busy herself with, feeling a bit anxious again.

Christen nods her head and gives Tobin a thoughtful look, “So you don’t want to come home with me?”

Tobin just about spits her scotch out.

“Oh uh...yeah, I mean that would be...that would be...cool,” she stammers, rolling her eyes at herself for how lame she’s being.

Christen just giggles and bites her lip again, in that way that drives Tobin crazy. “Cool,” Christen repeats with a smirk.

—-

“Holy shit,” Christen says breathlessly, running her fingers through her hair and over her face as she tries to calm her breathing.

Tobin just grins as she moves up Christen’s body, wiping her mouth on her arm. She hovers over her and can’t help but lean down, pressing their lips together for a deep kiss. Her lips are just too inviting. And her smell, and just everything about her is too intoxicating to stay away.

And it doesn’t take long for Tobin’s hands to start wandering again.

But Christen grabs her hand and pulls it away from herself, shaking her head. “I can’t,” she groans, still trying to catch her breath. “Fuck, I feel like I’m going to pass out,” Christen says, chuckling breathlessly.

Tobin smirks, feeling pretty pleased with herself.

“I don’t think I’ve ever come so many times in that short amount of time,” she reveals, chuckling again.

Tobin just grins even wider. “I can’t help myself,” Tobin reveals, leaning down and kissing her again. “You taste so good. I can’t get enough,” she informs her, trailing her lips down Christen’s neck.

Christen groans and wraps her arms around Tobin’s shoulders, letting her continue her assault on her neck, just trying to get her bearings back, and also the feeling in her legs.

And after a moment, she gains some strength and flips Tobin onto her back, straddling her waist. “Well maybe, I want another taste of you,” she says, leaning down and trailing kisses along Tobin’s chest and down her stomach. “I’m hungry too,” she smirks, looking up at Tobin.

Tobin laughs loudly and shakes her head, “That was terrible,” she informs her.

Christen rolls her eyes, “I was trying to be sexy,” she says with a small pout.

Tobin grins at how cute she is and nods, “You don’t even have to try baby,” she says honestly.

Christen hums, pleased with the answer, “Baby?” She asks with a smirk.

Tobin blushes and loses a bit of her confidence that she’d finally gained back. “Sorry,” she tells her, knowing it may be a little much considering they just met 24 hours ago.

“I liked it,” Christen admits, before leaning down and continuing her trail of kisses down Tobin’s body.
—-

5 years later

“Babe!” Tobin hears her wife’s voice yell from down the hallway, making her wince.

She knows that tone.

“I swear to god, if you don’t pick up your art supplies, I’m throwing them in the trash!” She shouts, emerging from the hallway and into the living room, where Tobin is sitting on the couch watching a football match on TV, Danvers curled up against her. “You have a studio, why is all of this stuff here?” She questions, clearly annoyed.

“Babe, you know I get random inspiration sometimes. I brought some of it back just in case. I didn’t want to go to the studio at 2am if I feel like I need to make any changes to anything before my show tonight,” she tries to explain to her. Though, it still doesn’t explain why it’s littering the floor in her wife’s office.

Technically it’s both of their office, but Christen uses way more than Tobin does. Christen is even Tobin’s manager, without the official title, handling most of her shows and clientele.

Tobin’s never really been organized or patient enough to deal with that part of it. She just wants to make her art and leave the rest to more capable hands. And Christen loves planning and organizing so it works out pretty perfectly.

“You woke up at 2am?” Christen asks, leaning down to pet Danvers. “Hi baby,” she coos, kissing her on the head. She then nudges the dog over so that she can squeeze herself in between Danvers and her wife. The dog huffs at her, but lays her head down on Christen’s lap, snuggling close to her.

Tobin just shrugs, “Well technically I just got out of bed after you fell asleep,” she informs her. “I couldn’t sleep and I got some inspiration,” she informs her. “I needed to make a few final touches on some pieces,” she tells her.

“And, I’m guessing you weren’t inspired to clean up after yourself,” Christen grumbles, but then sighs, trying not to be too angry with her wife. She knows that Tobin gets a bit obsessive in the final moments up until her shows and is constantly looking at her pieces and making changes. Christen thinks it’s out of anxiety, but Tobin says it’s not. She always jokes and says that Christen has enough anxiety for the both of them.

Which is funny because when they first met, Tobin was the one that was an awkward and nervous mess. Christen had been the more cool and collected between the two of them. She supposes that over time, they’ve rubbed off on each other. They were also a lot younger and honestly very different people than they are now. They’ve both grown up and changed a significant amount, though their love has only grown stronger and they’ve grown closer together.

Christen finds it pretty funny when she thinks about the young and carefree spirit she’d been when she first met Tobin. And she still tries to be carefree, but she’s also gained some respect for structure and responsibilities in her adult life.

She definitely doesn’t go around breaking into cars or homes anymore.

“It was almost 4am when I finished. I was tired,” she explains to her with a small pout, pulling Christen from her thoughts down memory lane. “Why are you so stressed out? I’m the one that has an art show tonight,” Tobin reminds her, placing a comforting arm around Christen’s shoulders and pulling her close to her.

“Yeah well, one of us has to be stressed out for you,” she says matter of fact, knowing Tobin rarely ever gets stressed out. It’s sort of infuriating, though Christen is also kind of jealous about it. Everyone sees Christen and thinks she’s so carefree and relaxed all the time, but honestly she gets pretty stressed out. She just tries not to show it. It’s something that’s always been inside of her, which is why soccer hadn’t worked out for her when she was younger. She tries to keep a positive outlook and steer clear of those negative thoughts and stresses, however they always tend to creep back up on her.

However, she knows that their bar wouldn't be as successful as it is, if she didn’t have at least some sort of need for organization and structure. She’d rebelled against it for a while after leaving her parents home, needing a more carefree lifestyle, but she’s realized that sometimes those anxieties and stresses can be helpful and not all negative.

They just motivate her now. And Tobin is here to keep her from going down the rabbit hole again, to help keep her grounded.

“Or neither of us have to be stressed out,” Tobin says gently, not wanting to upset Christen. “It’s going to go great!” She tries to tell her with enthusiasm. “And if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world,” she reminds her.

“Yeah well, your show is also at my bar,” she reminds her. “I have a lot I need to get set up and make sure the staff and everyone is ready,” she explains. “I want everything to be perfect for your show,” she adds, laying her head down on Tobin’s shoulder.

“It will be,” Tobin assures her, placing a soft kiss against her temple. “This isn’t the first show that I’ve had at the bar,” she reminds her. “We just need to make sure we put the pieces up a little higher so that the rowdy dogs don’t get to it this time,” she says with a chuckle.

Christen covers her face, letting out a groan remembering how a rambunctious dog had torn apart one of her pieces the last time. “I told you we can have a night of no dogs. I don’t know why you insist,” she says, shaking her head out of frustration.

“Because dogs are a part of your whole brand. It’s a bar and a dog park, dogs are kind of the point,” Tobin explains to her. “We can’t tell the pups that they’re unwelcome now,” she says, as if it were obvious and Christen can’t help but crack a grin. “Plus, they should be able to enjoy my art too,” she smiles.

Christen just rolls her eyes, but can’t help smile at her wife for being so sweet. “I love you,” she says softly, snuggling closer to Tobin and wrapping her arms around her waist.

“I love you too,” Tobin says and lifts Christens head up to look at her before she brings their lips together softly. “Okay, how about we have some breakfast and head to the bar to start getting everything set up?” She asks, knowing that it’s pretty early but Christen is going to want a head start on everything. It’s one of the few things that will ease her worries.

“Or...”

“Or we go now and eat there?” Tobin asks knowingly.

Christen just gives her an innocent smile.

“Okay fine,” Tobin sighs, knowing she has a long day ahead of her. “Go and get ready and I’ll clean up my art supplies,” she tells her, also knowing that Christen will feel better knowing she’s not coming home to a mess later.

“Thank you, you’re the best,” Christen says, placing a firm kiss to Tobin’s lips before getting off the couch and heading off to their bedroom.

—-

“This place looks great!” Ali grins as she and Ashlyn walk into the bar that has since been expanded into a restaurant as well, looking around at all of Tobin’s art that is hung up on the walls. They’ve moved all of the tables out of the way to make room for people to walk around and view all of it without having to maneuver a bunch of tables.

“Thank you,” Christen says softly, from where she’s standing in the middle of the room, her arms wrapped tightly around Tobin’s waist, standing next to her, Tobin’s arm around her shoulders. “But, I suppose it looks good because the art is so beautiful,” she gushes, looking proudly at her wife.

Tobin just shrugs off the compliment, not really liking to be in the spotlight, “Maybe, but you set it up, perfectly,” she says, kissing the side of Christen’s head. “This place works way better for my art than some boring gallery,” she tells her.

“You guys just compliment each other in every way,” Ali grins and Ashlyn gags herself at the overly sappy comment.

Tobin smiles and places a hand on Christen’s cheek, pulling her in for a sweet kiss, before looking back to her friends “Wait until you see out back,” she says, grabbing Christen’s hand and leading everyone out to the back deck of the bar that overlooks the dog park.

They set up a few more tables out back and covered them with table clothes and flowers as centerpieces for everyone to be able to eat the catered dinner. They also put up some tents above them with string lights hanging everywhere, making it look magical and gorgeous.

“Oh wow, this is beautiful,” Ali says, looking around in awe.

“My baby outdid herself,” Tobin grins, wrapping her arms around Christen’s waist from behind and placing a kiss on her cheek.

“Only the best for my love,” Christen smiles, squeezing Tobin’s hands that are around her stomach and letting her forehead rest against Tobin’s temple, enjoying the closeness with her wife.

“Ugh, get a room,” Ashlyn complains, though she has a little smile on her face.

“I’d love to, but this one is all business,” Tobin smirks, pointing to her wife.

“There will be plenty of time to celebrate later tonight,” Christen assures her, kissing her jaw, and then giving it a little nip.

“Hey guys!” They hear Pinoe’s voice from up on the deck as she makes her way outside with Sue. “Oh wow, this place looks gorgeous!” She says with a wide grin, making her way down to the rest of the group. “Congratulations!” She says, giving both Tobin and Christen a big hug.

“Thanks,” Tobin says softly, hugging the woman and then giving Sue an appreciative hug as well. “I’m glad you guys could make it,” she tells them, gratefully.

“Are you kidding? We wouldn’t miss it!” Sue assures her with a grin.

“Of course not. Especially not a free meal by Chef Pressi, here,” Pinoe says with a wink.

Christen just rolls her eyes, but chuckles, knowing that the woman is just joking with them. “Well, I won’t be doing much of the cooking tonight, I’ll just be overseeing everything,” she reminds her.

“Still, your kitchen and your staff, using your recipes,” she tells her. “It counts.”

“Speaking of, I should go into the kitchen and make sure everything is running smoothly,” she says, pulling herself away from Tobin. “I’ll be back,” she tells her, before kissing her softly and excusing herself from the group.

“Your wife has worked really hard on this night,” Sue smiles, turning her attention over to Tobin.

“Yeah she has,” Tobin smiles with a wistful sigh as she watches her wife walk inside.

God she’s so in love.

“She’s definitely my biggest supporter,” she says happily, turning her attention back over to the group.

“All right, before the night gets started, I say we pop open this champagne and celebrate!” Ashlyn shouts, pulling out a bottle of champagne from the gift bag she’d been holding. “Go round up some glasses and tell your wife to get her ass back out here. They can handle themselves for a few minutes,” she smiles at Tobin.

Tobin just smirks, “I’ll try and pull her away, but I make no promises,” she says, before running back inside.

—-

“Tonight has been so amazing, baby,” Tobin smiles, pulling Christen closer to her. They’re cuddled up on the same couch on the deck outside that they’d shared their first kiss 5 years ago. They’re just watching as a few party goer’s still mingle about, looking at Tobin’s work and also just having some drinks and enjoying themselves as the night starts to come to a close.

Tobin had managed to sell multiple pieces and even got a few new client possibilities.

They’d also managed to make a lot of money towards Christen’s business, taking donations at the door for the meal and also from selling so much beer and liquor, so it was a win win. And to sum it all up, tonight had definitely been a huge success for the couple.

“Yeah it has,” Christen says, letting out a relieved breath and snuggling closer to Tobin. “You’re so talented, and I love you so much,” she gushes, bringing her hand up to cup Tobin’s face.

“You’re drunk,” Tobin can’t help but laugh.

“I’m not drunk,” Christen protests. “Maybe a little tipsy,” she decides with a giggle. “You’re not drinking? It’s your night!” Christen says with enthusiasm, thinking the guest of honor should definitely have a drink in her hand.

Tobin just chuckles and shrugs her shoulders, “I know, but I was talking to some clients all night and trying to get some business contacts, I didn’t really want to be drinking,” she informs her. “I had a glass of wine with the meal earlier, though,” she tells her.

“So professional,” Christen replies with a grin, booping Tobin on the nose. “Do you want a drink now?” She asks her.

“No, that’s okay,” Tobin assures her. “I’m hoping to take you home soon,” she reveals, leaning in and kissing Christen on the neck. “We have celebrating to do,” she whispers against her skin, making chills rise on Christen’s neck.

Christen lets out a moan and pulls Tobin’s face up, pressing their lips together in a passionate kiss.

But after Tobin feels Christen’s hands start to wander, she pulls away with a grin, “Okay, baby, we are still in public,” she laughs at her over affectionate and tipsy wife. “But I’m glad you’re having such a good time. You deserve it,” she can’t help but smile. “I know that doing this stuff gets you pretty stressed out,” she says, knowingly, even if she tries to play it cool in front of everyone else. “And I really appreciate you putting so much effort into my show and making it so perfect,” she says sincerely.

“I’d do anything for you, Toby,” Christen says, laying her head on Tobin’s shoulder.

“And I’d do anything for you, Chris,” Tobin returns, resting her head on top of Christen’s.

—-

“Tobin!”

Tobin hears the panicked voices all around her, and she sees little blurs of people and a hospital waiting room around her, but it’s spinning and making her feel dizzy. She feels all the arms around her, holding her tight, trying to offer her some sort of comfort. But she doesn’t really process it. Or feel any of it.

She feels like she’s underwater and the voices are just a bunch of muffled sounds around her. She knows that they’re talking to her but she can’t make out what they’re saying.

She can see their faces and see them hugging her and reaching out for her, but she doesn’t feel it.

She just feels numb.

“Tobin?” She hears a bit more clearly this time as she feels herself being guided down into a chair. “Tobin, honey, talk to us,” she hears the voice plea, but she still doesn’t fully register it. Especially not enough to respond to it.

She can’t think properly or focus. She definitely can’t speak right now. She doesn’t even know what she’d say if she could speak. She’s still trying to wrap her mind around what just happened.

But it doesn’t seem real.

It can’t be real.

“Tobin we should get you checked out too,” she hears the voice say and partially registers someone touching her forehead, but she’s not really sure why or what they’re talking about. “You’re bleeding,” they say. But she doesn’t feel blood or pain or anything else.

She’s still just numb.

“Tobin,” another voice says, gently.

She feels gentle hands on her cheeks and sees Pinoe’s face appear directly in front of her, slightly snapping her out of her stupor. But she still can’t really register exactly what is happening or who is talking to her.

“Hey sweetie,” Pinoe’s voice says gently, her thumbs wiping away the tears on Tobin’s cheeks.

Tobin hadn’t even realized she’d been crying, but she supposes that she has. She’s starting to feel a little wetness on her cheeks.

At least it’s something. She’s starting to feel something.

“We’re here,” she registers Ashlyn’s voice saying softly next to her but she doesn’t look over at her. She still can’t move. She’s just staring across from her at Pinoe, trying to clear the fog in her brain and trying to feel something.

Trying to wake up from this nightmare.

“C-Christen...” she finally says, her voice cracking as a damn breaks, and sobs start to wrack her body.

“We know, we’re here,” Pinoe soothes, pulling Tobin into a bone crushing hug.

—-

It takes awhile for them to get Tobin to calm down. But eventually her sobs turn into silent tears as she sits next to Pinoe, her arms wrapped tightly around her, trying to give her any source of comfort that she can. But they all know that it’s not enough. They know that there isn’t anything they can do to help her right now.

All they can do is be there.

“Tobin, what happened?” Ashlyn asks after a while, resting a comforting hand on Tobin’s shoulder.

Tobin takes in a deep breath, still trying to compose herself, but she feels a new wave of tears, falling down her cheeks. But she wipes them away roughly and clears her throat, trying to stay present with them and not disappear back into her head. “I don’t...I don’t know,” she says in a shaky voice. “We were coming home and I went through the light and someone...they came out of nowhere,” she starts to cry, having a hard time speaking again. “They just ran right through the red light and-...and... I didn’t see them,” she cries.

“Shh, it’s okay,” Ali says gently, wrapping her arms around Tobin to try and calm her down before she gets too worked up again.

“They didn’t even stop,” She tells them. “They just hit us and kept going,” she says, shaking her head angrily. Maybe not even angrily, because it wouldn’t have mattered if they’d stopped. Christen would still be hurt and possibly dying.

She’s just heartbroken.

“There are camera’s on the street lights,” Ashlyn tells her. “They’re going to find whoever did this, Tobin,” she says, hoping that news will give her some sense of comfort.

“I don’t care!” she shouts, furiously wiping the tears away from her face. “I just want Chris to be okay,” she says, her body shaking as another sob rips from her throat. “They hit her side and...oh god, it was so bad,” she reveals, shaking her head. “She wouldn’t wake up and there was...oh god, there was so much blood,” she cries.

“She’s going to be okay,” Ashlyn says, though none of them know if that’s true. They’ve had Christen in the back for a couple of hours now and they haven’t heard any news. Just that they’ve taken her into surgery.

“I don’t...I don’t know what I’d do without her. I can’t lose her,” she says before burying her face in Pinoe’s chest, a fresh wave of tears, running down her cheeks.

“You’re not going to lose her,” Pinoe assures her, holding Tobin tightly.

“She’d never leave you without a fight, Tobs,” Ali says gently, rubbing her hand up and down Tobin’s arm, wanting to offer her some comfort as well.

The friends all just look at each other helplessly, not knowing what more they can do.

And there isn’t anything more that they can do.

They just have to sit. And wait. And hope they’re right.