I don't say what's on my mind quite as much as you'd like me to
And often when I'm quiet you worry I'm hiding from you
And I know I keep a lot to myself
But still you're more part of me than anybody else
So if you need me to tell you more
You're one of the few things that I'm sure of
You're one of the few things that I know already
I could build my world of
One of the few things that I'm sure of
And I want you to unravel me
(Tobin - “The Few Things” by JP Saxe and Charlotte Lawrence)
It's amazing how you
Can speak right to my heart.
Without saying a word
You can light up the dark.
Try as I may, I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing.
The smile on your face
Lets me know that you need me.
There's a truth in your eyes
Saying you'll never leave me.
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me wherever I fall.
You say it best when you say nothing at all.
(Christen - “When You Say Nothing At All” by Ronan Keating)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28th
“So, last week we talked about trying some breathing techniques before bed,” Rory said, thumbing through the notebook she wrote in during Tobin’s sessions. “Has that helped at all?”
Tobin stared at the Facetime call on her computer screen, wishing her therapist’s breathing techniques had helped. She’d tried. When she slept on her own, she’d turned off all of her lights, sat on the floor, and meditated. She’d taken five seconds of breath in and let ten seconds of breath out, but no matter how calm she felt before bed or as she fell asleep, she always woke up gasping for air and sweating from a nightmare. Even sleeping next to Christen didn’t guarantee a nightmare-free sleep anymore. She hated waking up next to Christen, completely disoriented and shaking with fear. She hated looking down at her sleeping, peaceful girlfriend and feeling like she couldn’t be normal for her. It was even worse when her nightmares woke Christen up, causing the green-eyed forward to ask Tobin a hundred questions to make sure she was okay.
“Honestly?” Tobin said, her voice low and cracking. “No. I don’t think I’ve slept more than four hours any night this week.”
“Have you been putting your phone away two hours before sleep like I suggested?” Rory asked, jotting down a note.
“Yes,” Tobin nodded. It wasn’t a lie. Even on nights when she and Christen weren’t together, she’d usually text or Facetime with Christen until Christen fell asleep. Then, she’d put her phone away and read or work on an art project for another few hours before crashing. A part of her wanted to stay up so that she’d be more likely to pass out and sleep through bad dreams. Another part of her, a more dominant part, was simply terrified of going to sleep, of making herself susceptible to scary thoughts.
“I’m sorry you’re still having trouble,” Rory hummed. She looked at Tobin with sincere eyes.
“It isn’t your fault,” Tobin shrugged. She’d grown to like Rory. She was always honest with Tobin, and she never seemed judgemental or put off by the things Tobin had to say. Her techniques for better sleep hadn’t necessarily helped, but Tobin just figured she was too messed up to find a simple fix helpful.
“I know that sometimes you stay with Christen. Do you sleep better there?” Rory asked, lifting her eyes from the notebook and focusing on Tobin.
“Probably a little better, but I feel like lately it’s been getting worse,” Tobin admitted. She hated telling Rory about her nightmares. She felt like she was seven years old again and begging her mom to let her crawl into bed and sleep between her parents. She felt like she was a child, scared to run through the dark house into the safety of her bedroom.
“Your mom and I talked yesterday during her session. She told me I could talk to you about this,” Rory clarified, wanting Tobin to know that she wouldn’t share all of her family members’ secrets without their permission, just like she wouldn’t share Tobin’s sessions with any of them. “She said you’ve been calling a lot more than usual and texting pretty late at night.”
“Yeah, my dreams are usually about the accident, about losing them,” Tobin said. “You know that, though. I just-” she sucked in a deep breath. “I wake up feeling like I can’t breathe, feeling like I need to get in touch with them. Sending a text to check on them makes me feel better, even if they can’t respond. That’s probably weird.”
“It isn’t weird,” Rory said, softly smiling at Tobin through the computer screen. “I want your opinion on getting some extra help, just to get you feeling better and into a better sleep routine.”
“What kind of extra help?” Tobin asked, her stomach tightening at whatever Rory was about to suggest.
“I would like to talk to your doctor and prescribe a low-dose anti-anxiety medication. I know it sounds scary, but the medicine will essentially help your brain enhance your GABA neurotransmitter, which helps you calm down. It’ll also make you drowsy and help you sleep through the night.”
Tobin nodded, feeling the weight of her exhaustion and all of the frustration she’d been feeling push against her chest.
“I’m going to call your general practitioner and prescribe a few months of the medication today, so you should be able to pick it up at the pharmacy tonight or tomorrow. I’d like you to take it at night before you go to bed. We can set up a meeting for next Tuesday and talk about how you’re feeling,” Rory said, trying to make everything feel normal and calm.
Tobin nodded. “Okay, I can do that.”
“If you feel better, then we can prescribe more, and if you don’t, we’ll try something else,” Rory added. “In the meantime, do you mind if we talk some about how classes and soccer are going?” Rory asked, poised to write anything down that she needed to remember.
Christen heard the whimpering first, and then she felt the tightening of Tobin’s fingers in her shirt. When she felt Tobin’s legs start to thrash and kick, Christen forced herself to wake up further, to blink the sleep from her eyes. This was a bad one tonight, the worst one in a few weeks.
Christen lifted up, placing both of her hands on either side of Tobin’s face. “Baby, hey,” Christen whispered, trying to keep her voice soothing and soft, so as to not wrench Tobin from this nightmare and make it worse.
Tobin always felt like she was underwater when she heard Christen’s voice reach into her dreams. This wasn’t a new feeling. They’d done this before. She always heard Christen’s voice first, rising up and up and up out of the nightmare until she could feel Christen’s fingers fluttering over her face. Tonight, for a moment, Tobin thought about pretending that she couldn’t hear. She hated opening her eyes and seeing how concerned Christen looked. She hated that she did that to her, that she took away some of Christen’s precious moments of sleep, that she made worry crease across her face.
“Baby, wake up for me,” Christen hummed, running her fingers across Tobin’s cheek. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the deep furrow between her brows, from the tortured look on Tobin’s face. It pulled at her heartstrings, making her want to protect Tobin from whatever it was within her own mind that plagued her. She wanted to protect Tobin, she wanted to care for her. She wanted to shoulder this burden for her, if only for a few nights, just so Tobin could get some sleep.
Tobin let her eyes flutter open slowly, her heart tensing at Christen’s face and the concern building in Christen’s beautiful eyes. She let out a long breath, her throat sore from the small, quick breaths that she’d been sucking down her throat during her nightmare.
“There she is,” Christen whispered, trying her best to smile and keep Tobin calm.
“Sorry,” Tobin choked out, her voice hoarse and thick with sleep. She wanted to pull her face away from Christen’s hands, to hide so that she wouldn’t have to see Christen’s worry. “I didn’t mean to wake you up.”
Christen shook her head, wiping her thumb across Tobin’s brow to rid it of the clamminess.
“Don’t apologize for that,” Christen replied, wishing she could take away the torment she could see in her favorite pair of brown eyes and the dark circles under Tobin’s eyes.
“I feel like I need to. This is like the third time I’ve woken you up this week,” Tobin sighed, rubbing her fingers against her eyes.
Christen could feel Tobin silently asking for space, so she scooted away, her hands falling away from Tobin’s face. She sat up, dropping her elbows to her bent knees.
“I would rather you wake me up than you go through this alone, Tobs.”
“You need sleep,” Tobin whispered.
“So do you,” Christen replied, just as quietly.
“Why should we both suffer?” Tobin countered, moving her hands to look at Christen.
“Because I-” Christen caught herself, not letting her sleep-muddled brain let those three little words slip from her lips. “-I care about you and I just want to be there for you. I want to help you.”
Tobin reached her hand toward Christen finally, grabbing onto the closest part of her she could, which happened to be her knee. She rubbed her thumb on Christen’s knee gently, trying to let Christen’s words sink in, trying to feel less guilty for waking Christen up the way she kept doing when she slept over. “I know,” Tobin sighed. “Even if you should just sleep for the both of us, otherwise Foudy’s entire front line will be lagging,” she tried to joke.
Christen reached out and tangled her fingers with Tobin’s, smiling a bit sadly. “I’m worried about you, baby. I thought Rory was helping?”
“She is. I’m feeling better,” Tobin lied. All she wanted to do was go back to sleep and get rid of the slight throbbing in her head that had started up a few days ago and hadn’t fully gone away since.
“You’re a terrible liar,” Christen replied with a small shake of her head.
Tobin sighed, smiling softly at Christen. “This week has been pretty shitty,” Tobin said. “But, Rory gave me some tips and tricks to try, and I’m working on sleeping better.” She hoped that Christen wouldn’t ask about her latest session, wouldn’t dig for any details. Tobin wasn’t even sure that she wanted to pick up the prescription at the pharmacy. She didn’t want to need it, and she definitely didn’t want Christen to worry any more than she already was.
Christen could see that there was more to that. She could see it in Tobin’s shifting eyes and in her hesitant expression. But she dropped it, neither of them in the place to get into that any more tonight.
“Want to try a tip or trick together? Like the breathing one? I know it doesn't always work, but it helped you get back to bed last time,” Christen offered, lying back down in bed and scooting closer to Tobin.
“Sure, baby,” Tobin mumbled, holding tightly to Christen’s hand. She hated that Christen had to do this with her at 3:32 in the morning. She hated that she felt like she was small and scared, like she was little again and piling blankets on her sister’s bedroom floor because her parents were out of the house. She didn’t like feeling like she needed to be taken care of. She didn’t like feeling like a burden.
Christen settled back against her pillow, letting go of Tobin’s hand in favor of lifting her arm up, waiting for Tobin to cuddle closer.
Tobin squirmed into Christen’s arms, breathing in Christen’s comforting smell and sighing into her soft, warm skin.
Christen ran her hand up and down Tobin’s back, her worry coiling tight within her chest, making any chance of falling asleep soon an impossibility. But true to her word, she did the breathing technique with Tobin, feeling Tobin sag against her as sleep overtook her quickly.
Christen stayed up for a while, just holding Tobin. It felt like she was keeping watch. Like if she stayed awake, she could fight the demons and the monsters that tormented Tobin, that kept her wonderful and kind and selfless girlfriend from sleeping peacefully. The longer she stayed up, the more her worry grew. She knew Tobin was holding back, was keeping just how bad this was from her. She just wished Tobin would let her in even more than she already had.
When Tobin woke up, Christen was still asleep. The sun was shining through a crack in the curtains, and birds were chirping just outside the window. She softly moved her arm off of Christen’s stomach and slid out of bed. Her eyes stung with exhaustion, and her head still ached softly. She looked down at Christen, deciding to pull the covers up to cover her arms, just in case she got cold.
Her heart ached when she saw the dark circles under Christen’s eyes. “You did that,” Tobin thought before she could stop herself. She took a deep breath, trying to dislodge the feeling of guilt. Logically, she knew that if the roles were reversed, she’d do the same thing for Christen, but when she looked at Christen, when she saw that she was exhausted because of Tobin’s problem, it was hard to not feel selfish.
Normally, Tobin would fix coffee for both of them and wake Christen up with kisses, but she decided not to wake her up. She decided to let her sleep as long as she possibly could, since Christen didn’t have Friday classes, and practice wasn’t until the evening. Tobin slipped on her running shoes and grabbed her wallet, deciding to run to the pharmacy and pick up the prescription that Rory had suggested she try. Seeing Christen’s exhaustion was the last straw. She was willing to try anything to keep Christen from waking up in the middle of the night, to keep her from worrying.
Tobin passed Allie with a wave and a soft grunt that sort of sounded like “Good morning,” and jogged down the street to the closest pharmacy. The air was dry and warm, the sun was shining, and Tobin had two miles to clear her mind before getting to the pharmacy. She ran down the street, her head still aching, and made a note to send a text to Christen, just in case she woke up while she was gone.
“And your father insisted we go as Heat Miser and Snow Miser, which is just ridiculous. But that’s what he wanted, so I’ll be spray painting my hair red tomorrow,” Stacy laughed into the phone.
Christen mustered a half-hearted chuckle in response. She was sitting on the back porch of the townhouse on the phone with her mom. She was going to head to the stadium soon with Tobin, but she hadn’t spoken to her mom in a few days. Their game tonight against USC was the final game of the PAC-12 regular season and as much as she tried to be excited about it, her worry for Tobin was all she had been able to focus on for two days straight.
“That’s the laugh I get?” Stacy asked, her voice laced with some concern. “What’s going on? Usually you’re the chatty one, and I’m trying to slip in a word here and there.”
“Sorry, Mom, I-” Christen hesitated. She didn’t want to tell her Mom something about Tobin that Tobin wouldn’t want shared, but it was coming from a place of concern. So, hopefully Tobin would be okay with it. “I’m just worried about Tobin.”
“Are you two arguing about something?” Stacy asked, her voice suddenly less concerned and a little harder.
“No! We’re fine, we’re great. She’s just- she hasn’t been sleeping well since her dad’s accident. It’s almost November and she’s still waking up with nightmares almost every night. I know she’s not sleeping enough and she says that she’s fine, but I don’t know, Mom. Things haven't gotten better for her since we stopped by the house last month,” Christen admitted, rubbing at her sternum to try and dislodge the knotted worry in her chest.
“Sometimes it takes people a long time to work through traumatic experiences, my sweet girl,” Stacy sighed, her heart aching for Tobin and her daughter.
“I’m not- I don’t mean that I just expected her to be okay again. I just worry that she’s struggling with this more than she’s letting on. I’m trying to be here for her, but it doesn’t feel like enough.”
“Is she talking to someone?” Stacy wondered, knowing that she needed to tread carefully. She didn’t want to ask too much or put Christen in a bad position.
“She sees a therapist once a week,” Christen replied, hoping it was okay to be sharing this with her Mom.
“Well, that’s already better than I was thinking,” Stacy hummed. “I know you won’t like this, but...you might just have to let her come to you when she wants to talk more about it. I’m not sure that’s something you can push for, not unless you think she’d react well to being questioned.”
Christen sighed, fingers running through her recently-straightened hair. Her mom was right, she didn’t like that answer. Not at all. But Tobin wouldn’t respond well to her pushing. Tobin would pull away if she did that.
“She wouldn’t. I’ll- I’ll just be patient with her. She was with me, it’s the least I can do for her now,” Christen replied, standing up from the lawn chair.
“Are you taking care of yourself?” Stacy asked, concern for her daughter outweighing her other concerns at the moment.
Christen smiled at the worry in her mom’s voice. “Yes, Mom, I’m good. We’re playing USC tonight, how could I not be?”
Stacy pressed, “You sound sleepy. Are you sleeping enough?”
Christen really hoped she was a better liar over the phone than she was in person. “I’m getting enough.”
“Don’t get upset when I say this, but you’re welcome to come home for a day or a weekend if you need some time away from the stress,” Stacy offered.
“I’m not gonna leave her,” Christen replied forcefully, walking into the house and slamming the back door a little more firmly than necessary.
“I’m not suggesting you leave her, but if you need some time apart, you’re welcome to leave campus,” Stacy replied softly, knowing she’d hit a nerve.
“We don’t need that. I’m fine and she’s hopefully fine and we’re going to figure this out.”
“All right. I’m here if you need to talk again. I’m here for both of you,” Stacy sighed.
Christen’s shoulders dropped at the sound in her mom’s voice. She hadn’t meant to snap or get defensive, her mom was just trying to help.
“We know, Mom. I’m sorry. I’ll see you tonight?” Christen asked.
“Yes, your dad and I will be there. I think Tobin’s dad might come too. I love you, sweetheart.”
“She’ll love that. I’ll wave at you guys before we start warm-ups. I love you too, Mom,” Christen replied, ending the call and leaning over the back of the couch to let out a long sigh.
Tobin knocked on Christen’s door, bouncing from foot to foot. She’d slept seventeen, blissfully uninterrupted hours, and her skin was tingling with anticipation. She’d taken the medication that Rory had prescribed, and true to her word, the little pill had made her completely drowsy. It had kept her from waking up. Even better, she couldn’t remember dreaming. There weren’t any nightmares, at least not any that she could remember. USC wasn’t going to know what hit them, and Foudy wasn’t going to yell at her to pick up her feet.
Christen opened the door with a small smile, her soccer bag slung over her shoulder.
“There she is!” Tobin said, leaning in for a quick kiss and taking Christen’s hand in her own.
Christen tried not to let Tobin’s energy throw her off, but she was a little surprised. She’d gotten used to sleepy Tobin, to quiet words and soft smiles. To the clinginess, the exhaustion. But the Tobin holding her hand and dragging her down to the truck was bouncing off the walls with energy. There was a light back in her brown eyes and Christen had no clue how it had gotten there.
“Did you drink a Red Bull or something?” Christen asked, her forehead creased in confusion.
“Ew, no,” Tobin said, opening the passenger’s side door for Christen and making a face at the idea of Red Bull.
“Huh,” Christen replied, hopping into the truck. “A Five Hour energy?”
“Try seventeen hours,” Tobin grinned, leaning into the car and kissing Christen again. She was dying to get to the field and play, but she also was dying to kiss Christen as much as possible, especially now that she wasn’t afraid she’d fall asleep in the middle of it.
Christen’s forehead creased further. She had no idea what that meant. She waited until Tobin had gotten behind the wheel before asking her about it.
“So you drank...three and a half Five Hour energy drinks?”
“I didn’t drink anything except some water. I slept,” Tobin sighed.
Christen let out a huff of surprise, turning to face Tobin. “Oh my God, really? You slept 17 hours?”
“Mhm,” Tobin said, her eyes on the road. “USC’s defense is gonna cry.”
Christen felt the knot in her chest loosen. Tobin had finally slept. However that had happened, whatever had helped Tobin sleep for that long, she was forever grateful for it.
Christen smiled over at Tobin. It had been a tough month, with the sleepless nights and the rough road schedule, and the brutal midterm week. But it suddenly felt like the clouds were parting, like they had gotten through the worst of it. She couldn’t help but sigh in relief and scoot closer to Tobin.
“After that much sleep, I’m expecting at least two goals out of you,” Christen hummed, laying her hand along the back of the bench seat, her fingers ghosting along the back of Tobin’s neck and messing with her baby hairs.
“A hat trick would be nice,” Tobin grinned, resting her hand on Christen’s leg, opting to drive one-handed.
“Save some goals for the rest of us, baby,” Christen teased.
“You know I’ll always be trying to set you up for goals,” Tobin hummed.
Christen nodded, feeling lighter than she had in weeks. “That’s because you’re the best girlfriend ever.”
“Or it just really turns me on when you score,” Tobin shrugged nonchalantly.
Christen’s brow arched at Tobin’s response. She felt a small shiver run through her and she subconsciously wet her lips. They hadn’t done much of...that recently and to say that Christen had missed the feeling of Tobin’s lips on her own, of Tobin’s hands on her, was an understatement.
“Works both ways, Tobs,” she said breathily, scratching her nails along the base of Tobin’s scalp.
“Honestly, I don’t know what I’m looking forward to most, beating USC or getting you alone afterward,” Tobin husked, squeezing Christen’s leg gently.
Christen felt her cheeks heat up. “Definitely being alone with you after,” she replied quickly.
“I might bypass the locker room shower line and shower at my house, just to get you alone sooner,” Tobin suggested, glancing at Christen.
Christen leaned forward and kissed Tobin’s temple. “You’ve got such a beautiful mind. I like the way it works. A lot.”
“You know, I could have scored two goals tonight too if you’d pass ME the ball!” Megan jeered, throwing her grass-stained soccer sock at Tobin’s face.
“Chris kept herself open,” Tobin shrugged.
“I was open, I was WIDE open. You had to do like twenty-three moves to shake your defenders and pass it to her!” Megan added, throwing her second soccer sock at Tobin.
“Twenty-three moves, really?” Tobin teased, swatting Megan’s sock to the ground before it hit her.
“It seems to be the only number you care about,” Megan grumbled, smirking to soften the blow of her words, letting Tobin know she was only teasing.
“I’ll get you a goal next game,” Tobin shrugged, her mood not deterred by Megan’s words. She still felt energized, like she could play another thirty minutes on top of the ninety she’d just played, before going home to kiss Christen.
“Who you promising goals to?” Christen asked, dropping down next to Tobin on the bench. She reached out to brush some grass off of Tobin’s forehead with a small smile.
“My new girlfriend,” Tobin deadpanned. “She gets really jealous when I pass you the ball.”
Christen looked past Tobin at Megan, a smirk on her lips. “Does Sue know about this arrangement? Because I don’t share.”
“Especially not off the soccer field,” Tobin smirked, wanting to make Megan squirm for being obnoxious.
Megan stuck out her tongue and pretended to gag. “Blegh, you two are too much right now. KELLEY! 9-1-1, RESCUE ME FROM THEM!”
Kelley slid across the locker room floor in her socks, stopping right in front of Megan.
“You rang?” Kelley said, her hands on her hips.
“You want to head out?” Tobin whispered, resting her chin on Christen’s shoulder.
Christen beamed, pressing a quick kiss to the tip of Tobin’s nose and hopping up to her feet. She barely remembered to grab her bag from her locker before pulling Tobin out of the locker room.
She’d had a fire burning beneath her skin since Tobin had assisted her first goal. Since Tobin had given her that charged look before pulling her in for a tight hug, whispering words of congratulations in her ear. It had only burned hotter the longer the game went on, the more she and Tobin worked together on the field, the more goals the two of them added to the scoreboard. And now she was ready to explode.
She kept a lid on it the entire drive back to Tobin’s townhouse, but the moment Tobin put the car in park, Christen was unbuckling her seat belt and sliding across the bench seat. She pulled Tobin in for a bruising kiss, the fire within her igniting.
Tobin struggled to unbuckle her seat belt with Christen pressed up against her, but she welcomed the challenge, especially because Christen’s tongue was in her mouth and sending heat down her body. Once she got her seatbelt unbuckled, she leaned forward to pull the lever under her chair and push her seat back slightly. She didn’t want the steering wheel brushing against her knees when she was trying to kiss Christen.
Christen welcomed the adjusted seat. She swung a leg over Tobin’s hips, leaning down to recapture her lips and burying a hand in Tobin’s sloppy bun.
Tobin gripped Christen’s hips with steady hands, completely overwhelmed by how close Christen was to her. She was consciously holding back the urge to press her body up into Christen’s.
“I missed you,” Christen hummed, ghosting her lips across Tobin’s jaw and latching them onto her pulse point.
“I missed you too,” Tobin gasped, her eyes slamming shut when Christen started sucking on her throat. Her hands slipped slightly, running down Christen’s hips and over her thighs.
Christen needed more, wanted more. She went to readjust, to sink further into Tobin’s lap and press even closer to Tobin, but she accidentally hit the steering wheel. The loud honk had her sitting up, dropping a hand to Tobin’s chest to keep herself from collapsing down onto Tobin, her cheeks flushed a bright red.
Tobin was panting, her lips swollen and her eyes dilated. She kept her hands low on Christen’s hips, her thumbs under Christen’s shirt, and pressed against the skin there.
“We should go upstairs,” Christen managed, her voice a little tight.
“Yeah,” Tobin nodded, reaching around Christen to open her door. She held onto Christen’s waist until Christen had her legs on one side of her and could slip out of the truck. Then, Tobin reached over her seat and grabbed both of their bags. She held onto Christen’s hand and walked her to the door, dying to continue what had just been interrupted.
Unfortunately, Christen insisted on showering. Separately.
“You want to shower in here? I can use Harry’s bathroom,” Tobin offered, placing a clean towel, a pair of sweatpants, and a t-shirt on the bed for Christen to use.
Christen dropped her hands to the hem of her t-shirt and pulled it off, kicking her shoes off as well. She winked, reaching to grab the towel from the bed.
“Don't keep me waiting,” she quipped, turning on her heel and going into Tobin’s bathroom.
“Jesus,” Tobin breathed out, pulling her shirt off quickly and grabbing the first set of clean clothes that she could find in her dresser. She grabbed a few toiletries from her bathroom, blushing at the smirk that Christen still wore, and hurried into Allie’s bathroom. She was trying to hurry, fully aware that Christen was a faster showerer than she was. She washed her hair and scrubbed some mud off of her knees.
It wasn’t until she was rinsing the conditioner out of her hair that she decided she needed to shave before getting out of the shower. It had been a week since she’d last shaved, and she had no idea what Christen had planned for the night. She ran her razor along her legs quickly, already hearing Christen walking around outside Allie’s room.
“Shit,” Tobin mumbled, looking down at the long stream of blood that was moving with the water down her shin.
She did a poor job with the rest of her leg before hopping out of the shower, pulling on underwear and a t-shirt. She dug under Allie’s sink in search of a band-aid but found nothing.
“Babe!” Tobin called from the bathroom, holding a square of toilet paper to her shin.
“Yeah?” Christen replied, poking her head into Allie’s bedroom, eyeing the closed bathroom door.
“Can you get me a band-aid? I can’t shave, clearly. I think there’s a box of them in a desk drawer or maybe my dresser,” Tobin asked.
“Aw poor baby, survived a brutal game against USC only to be wounded by her razor,” Christen quipped, hearing Tobin laugh from the bathroom. She went back into Tobin’s room and headed for her desk. She opened the top drawer and came up empty. She opened the next few and didn’t find any band-aids either. But then she tugged on the bottom drawer and it wouldn’t budge. Something was stuck and keeping her from opening it.
With a huff, Christen gripped the handle and yanked on the drawer with all of her strength. The drawer flew out of the desk, sending Christen onto her butt on Tobin’s floor, surrounded by everything from the drawer.
“Oh shit,” Christen grumbled, getting onto her hands and knees to pick everything up. She started throwing extra sets of headphones, a small toolbox, and a sewing kit into the drawer. She then found the box of band-aids, chuckling a bit at the fact that they weren’t the generic, store brand. They were Spongebob band-aids.
“Classic,” she hummed, opening the box to pull one out. With a band-aid tucked into the waistband of her sweats, she set out to finish picking up the rest of the stuff from the floor, only pausing when she caught sight of an orange bottle that had rolled under Tobin’s desk. With her brow furrowed, Christen leaned under the desk to grab the bottle. She stood up, eyeing the bottle full of small, blue pills, the label holding Tobin’s name. She felt her blood run cold, a pit growing in her stomach.
“What the hell? Why does she have these?” Christen wondered to herself. The date on the label read yesterday, which meant that whatever these were for, they were a recent acquisition. Her thoughts were interrupted by Tobin’s voice coming from Allie’s room.
“It’s okay if you can’t find them. I might have used them all,” Tobin said.
Christen swallowed her confusion, her worry, and put the bottle on top of Tobin’s desk.
“No, I- I found them,” Christen called out. She left the pill bottle behind, walking to Allie’s room with the Spongebob band-aid in hand.
Tobin stepped out of Allie’s bathroom, her shorts now on but her leg still bleeding. “Thanks, baby,” Tobin said, still completely happy after the successful game against USC, kisses from Christen, and a warm shower. She was also completely unaware of Christen’s change in mood.
Christen nodded, her eyes far away as she handed Tobin the band-aid.
Tobin sat on Allie’s floor to put the band-aid on. “So, are you hungry? We can order-”
“I’m good. I’ll meet you in your room,” Christen said, spinning on her heel, her thoughts still turning over in her head as she walked away. “Why does she have these? What are they for? Why didn’t she tell me? Why didn’t she tell me? Why didn’t she tell me?”
“What’s wrong?” Tobin asked, standing up from the floor and following Christen into her bedroom. She tossed her band-aid wrapper and the toilet paper into her trashcan and looked at Christen, completely confused about the change of mood. Fifteen minutes ago they’d been ready to tear each other’s clothes off, but now Christen felt a million miles away.
“I-” Christen paused, turning around to face Tobin, her arms wrapping around her middle. “What is that?”
“What is what?” Tobin asked, stepping closer to Christen, completely confused about why Christen was upset.
Christen nodded her head at Tobin’s desk, at the orange pill bottle sitting out in the open on top of it.
Tobin's blood ran cold. “Where did you get that?” she asked in a strangled voice, suddenly feeling like folding in on herself too.
“I was looking for band-aids, and I found it,” Christen replied, her eyes taking in the sudden defensiveness in Tobin’s face.
“Oh,” Tobin said, her jaw clenching slightly. She hadn’t wanted Christen to know about them. She hadn’t even wanted her parents to know about them, but she’d told them since she had to use their insurance to get it. She didn’t want people to know. She didn’t want them to look at her differently or pity her or treat her like she was about to fall apart. She especially didn’t want Christen to look at her like that.
“What is it, Tobs?” Christen repeated gently, wondering why Tobin seemed so cagey about this, why Tobin seemed ready to bolt.
Tobin could feel her breath speeding up in her chest, like she might hyperventilate if given enough time.
“It’s not important,” Tobin said, her voice low and guarded.
“It is if you were trying to hide it from me,” Christen said evenly.
“You know what it is, Chris. What else comes in an orange bottle?” Tobin sighed in exasperation. “Why do I have to tell you about that kind of stuff?”
Christen narrowed her eyes. She hadn’t expected Tobin to react like this, to pull away and distance herself with her words. They’d done so well, communicating and pushing through walls, over these last two months. She wasn’t expecting them to revert, to take five giant steps backward.
“I understand it’s medicine. But what's it for? I’m just asking to try and understand, and you’re acting like I don’t have a right to care about this.”
Tobin let out a long breath, trying to keep her heart rate as low as possible. She didn’t want to blow up in anger or fear, not at Christen, but she felt like it was bubbling out of her, out of her control.
“I just don’t understand why you have to care,” Tobin growled, squeezing her hands into fists to keep her hands from shaking.
Christen stepped back like she’d been physically hit by Tobin’s words. “Why I- wow. Well excuse me for giving a shit,” Christen replied evenly. “You know what? You’re right. I don’t have to know. This is clearly something that is none of my business.”
“Chris,” Tobin sighed, wishing she could rewind the conversation and say the right thing. She'd regretted what she'd just said immediately. She searched her brain for something she could say, but she didn't want to say the truth. She didn’t want to tell Christen that she’d failed, that she hadn’t been able to fix things on her own, that she needed medicine to function like everyone else.
“It’s fine. I’m sorry I asked,” Christen said, turning to walk into Tobin’s bathroom. She couldn’t keep standing there, wishing Tobin would explain, would let her in, and getting nothing back from her. She shut the bathroom door a little forcefully, wincing at the sound.
Tobin squeezed her eyes shut. She took a few deep breaths to relax the tightness in her chest. As much as the medication had helped her sleep the night before, Rory had warned her that she wouldn’t see results for a good bit, so the tightness in her chest and the nightmares wouldn’t fully disappear just with one pill. She hated how insecure she felt about an orange bottle. She hated that it had made her step away from the one person she promised not to do that to again.
Tobin turned toward the bathroom, walking until she got to the closed and locked door. “At least she didn’t go home,” Tobin thought to herself. She took one more steadying breath, knowing she was about to tell Christen everything.
“Chris,” Tobin said, knocking softly on the door.
Christen pressed the heels of her hands to her eyes, willing the burning behind them to recede. Tears were not needed right now, they wouldn’t help anything.
“Yeah?” she said quietly, hoping Tobin could hear her, not wanting to have to repeat herself.
“I’m sorry,” Tobin said, pressing a hand against the door and listening for any movement in the bathroom.
Christen leaned against the wall next to the door, her fingers drifting to the handle. “Do you even know what you’re apologizing for?” Christen asked.
“I’m sorry that I hid that from you,” Tobin gulped, continuing with a shaky voice. “And that I kept you from knowing what was going on with me. I’m also sorry for saying you shouldn’t care. I shouldn’t have invalidated your feelings.” Tobin rested her forehead on the door, wanting to hold Christen right now. “I know you care,” Tobin sighed, wishing she’d told Christen about her session with Rory right after she’d had it. Christen probably would have gone to the pharmacy with her and waited in that insanely long line. She would have slept over the first night to make sure everything was okay.
Christen flicked the lock and pulled the door open, her lower lip held between her teeth. She saw Tobin standing right there, a wounded look on her face, an apology in her eyes. “You never have to tell me anything you don’t want to, but please never tell me I’m not allowed to care,” Christen whispered, her arms wrapping around her middle again, her eyes holding Tobin’s.
“I’m sorry,” Tobin whispered again, reaching a hand out and brushing a finger against Christen’s folded arms. She hated the hurt she saw in Christen’s eyes. She’d never wanted to see any kind of hurt in her eyes again, although she’d known it was likely inevitable. “I-” Tobin blew out another breath of air. “I was embarrassed. I’m still embarrassed.”
“Why? That’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” Christen said quietly.
“I can’t even sleep like a normal person. I feel like I’m five years old again and scared of the dark,” Tobin sighed. “I wanted to fix me, by myself.”
Christen sighed and stepped forward, wrapping her arms around Tobin’s waist. She held Tobin tightly against her, forgetting her temporary hurt in favor of making sure Tobin was okay. She squeezed Tobin’s waist, a wobbly breath leaving her lips. She couldn’t take the dejection in Tobin’s words, the defeat.
“You don’t have to fix something that’s not broken, baby. You’re not broken. You just went through something nobody should ever have to go through,” Christen hummed, rubbing her hands in soothing circles along the small of Tobin’s back. “And you don’t have to go through the aftermath of it alone.”
Tobin buried her face in Christen’s neck, breathing in the familiar, fresh smell of Christen’s shampoo. “I didn’t want you to worry any more than you already were. I saw how exhausted I was making you. I just wanted to be my old self again...who you-” Tobin cut her sentence short.
Christen leaned back, catching Tobin’s eye to make sure Tobin heard her words. “I’m always going to worry about you. But you don’t need to try and be who you were before this summer. I’m as into this you, as I was that you. I’m here and I’m yours, but only if you’ll let me be.”
“I will let you, I-" Tobin took a deep breath and forced her eyes to remain on Christen's. "The breathing techniques weren’t working,” she admitted quietly, a sentence she should have said weeks ago.
Christen nodded, already having considered that herself, but it was nice to hear it from Tobin all the same.
“I may have been actively choosing not to sleep,” Tobin braced herself for Christen’s response. “Because I didn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to a bad dream.”
Christen leaned forward and pressed a kiss to Tobin’s forehead, the knot of worry in her chest tightening once more. But she kept quiet, knowing Tobin needed to get this out. So she just stood there with her arms around Tobin, her lips pressing soft kisses to Tobin’s forehead, and listened.
“I may have also scared my parents with the number of text messages I sent them and Jeff in the middle of the night after waking up…” Tobin trailed off, feeling a weight lift off her chest with each kiss that Christen pressed against her skin. “Rory ran out of holistic techniques...”
“So she gave you something else,” Christen hummed, supplying the answer for Tobin.
“It’s for anxiety, but it’s also supposed to help me sleep through the night,” Tobin nodded.
“It’s what helped you get 17 hours last night, isn’t it?” Christen asked, leaning back to look into Tobin’s eyes again.
“Yeah, I picked it up yesterday,” Tobin whispered.
Christen sighed, stepping back and loosening her grip on Tobin’s waist. She grabbed ahold of Tobin’s hands and pulled her over to the edge of the bed. She sat them down, never letting go of Tobin’s hands.
“Needing something to help you sleep and process your trauma doesn’t make you weak, baby,” Christen murmured, dropping her head to catch Tobin’s eye. “That orange bottle doesn’t define you. It just helps you. And there’s nothing embarrassing about that.”
“I just don’t want you to think that I’m going to fall apart or something, like I’m fragile,” Tobin admitted.
“You’re the strongest person I know. And you’re not going to fall apart, I won’t let you.”
“Thanks for not leaving,” Tobin hummed, pressing her forehead against Christen’s shoulder.
Christen let her eyes fall shut, gripping onto Tobin’s hands tightly. “I never will, Tobs. You’re stuck with me, remember?”
Tobin kissed Christen’s shoulder softly. “I really, really ruined the mood tonight,” Tobin mumbled, her lips brushing against the soft skin.
Christen let out a soft laugh. “It’s okay, this was something we clearly needed to talk about.”
“Are you kidding me? I’m annoyed with myself. You, in the car?” Tobin let out a long stream of air. “Jeez, woman.”
Christen turned her head to kiss Tobin’s hair, a smile on her lips for the first time in a little bit.
“Good thing I’m not going anywhere, so we can always go back to that whenever we want to. No rush,” Christen hummed.
“No rush?” Tobin asked, leaning back and lifting an eyebrow at Christen.
Christen smirked at the smoldering look in Tobin’s eyes. She loved how quickly they were able to swing between serious and sensual, between poignant moments and silly and sexy.
“Maybe rush a little,” Christen whispered, leaning forward to place her lips on Tobin’s, keeping her kiss soft.
Tobin kissed Christen gently, matching Christen’s pace. “Thank you for caring,” Tobin mumbled against her lips. She ran her tongue along Christen’s bottom lip.
“You don’t have to thank me for that,” Christen husked, deepening the kiss and pulling Tobin closer to her. “But thank you for letting me care,” Christen said between kisses.
“Always,” Tobin sighed, leaning back in her bed and pulling Christen with her, their lips never parting.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31st
Tobin looked in her rearview mirror and adjusted the devil horns on her head. She rolled her eyes a little at the outfit that Christen had picked out and insisted that she wear. She glanced down at her baggy red tank top. Christen had cut the sleeves off of one of Tobin’s old shirts a week ago, and Tobin was happy with how symmetrical she’d managed to get them. Her legs were bare, since the only red bottoms she already owned were a pair of Nike spandex shorts. She’d brought the devil tail with her but hadn’t wanted to clothespin it to her shorts before getting to the party if that’s what Christen chose to do. She had a pair of white Jordans on her feet, which she had refused to let anyone dye red.
When she hopped out of the truck, she carried her plastic pitchfork up the front porch steps and knocked on Christen’s door. She grinned as devilishly as she could, excited to see Christen, especially now that the night of their first real argument as a couple was over and Halloween was here with chocolate and parties and a couple’s outfit that Christen had begged Tobin to wear.
Christen snuck one last look at herself in the downstairs bathroom mirror. She tousled her loose curls and checked her make-up, nodding in approval before hurrying to the front door. She paused once she got there, looking down at her outfit, hoping it wasn’t too much. She wore a very small, white crop top, courtesy of Megan, and a tight-fitting, silver skirt, courtesy of Crystal. The angel halo she’d gotten off of the internet. The only thing she’d actually contributed to the outfit was her white Converse. She might have chosen the theme, but since it was so last minute, she’d only been able to pull it off with a lot of help.
Christen pulled open the door and immediately felt her mouth flop open. “Holy shit…”
“Woah,” Tobin mumbled, her eyes widening and dropping down to Christen’s uncovered abdomen.
“I love Halloween,” Christen whispered her eyes trailing over Tobin’s outfit and everything it didn’t cover.
“Yeah, I’m getting the appeal,” Tobin agreed, reaching out a hand for Christen’s.
Christen let Tobin pull her out of the house, a smile playing at her lips as she caught sight of the devil horns on Tobin’s head.
“I have something I have to do,” Tobin said, her face serious.
Christen’s brow furrowed as she looked down and met Tobin’s eyes. “What’s up?”
Tobin leaned in and pressed her lips to Christen’s. She wrapped one arm around Christen’s waist, her fingers immediately finding bare skin.
Christen sighed into the kiss, reaching up to cup the side of Tobin’s face.
“Now I can say that I’ve been kissed by an angel,” Tobin teased, her smile growing as Christen rolled her eyes.
“You’re such a dork,” Christen replied.
“Your dork,” Tobin said.
Christen nodded, a happy little smile on her face as she kissed Tobin once more.
Tobin practically lifted Christen down off the porch steps, her arm still holding Christen tightly around the waist. She opened the truck door and waited for Christen to get situated before kissing her and racing to the other side.
“So…” Tobin said, drumming her fingers on the steering wheel.
“Is it bad that I already want to bail on the party?” Christen asked, cringing a little as she looked over at Tobin, praying that Tobin didn’t actually want to go to the party Crystal and Megan had invited them to.
“Thank god,” Tobin sighed, leaning back into her seat.
“You don’t want to go either?” Christen laughed.
“I may have made another plan just in case you also wanted to skip the party…” Tobin said.
Christen arched a brow and looked down at their costumes. “A plan where costumes are allowed?”
“Costumes are allowed anywhere on Halloween, especially if you look like that. No one could say no to you,” Tobin said, her eyes trailing up and down Christen’s legs.
Christen blushed, letting her fingers trace along the bare skin of Tobin’s shoulder. “What’s this other plan?”
“How do you feel about Halloween movies?” Tobin asked, feeling excited about her plan.
“As long as they’re not scary, I’m in,” Christen replied.
“Great!” Tobin said, pulling out of Christen’s driveway and turning left at the stop sign. “I know we needed last night, even though I didn’t like the...I don’t even know what to call it because we didn’t really fight.”
“A slight squabble?” Christen wondered, her fingers still trailing along Tobin’s shoulder and her arm.
“Sure. I know we needed last night, to be honest and talk things through, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wish I’d handled things differently, especially since my plans for last night were a little different,” Tobin laughed slightly.
Christen blushed and leaned her head on the headrest, looking over at Tobin. “I’m guessing that’s where tonight comes in?”
“Not necessarily. I just didn’t want to go drink at a party after last night. I just want to be alone with you,” Tobin hummed. She didn’t need tonight to lead anywhere. She didn’t need to make up for yesterday’s squabble. She just wanted to be with Christen.
Christen melted. “I feel the same way, Tobs. A ‘you and me’ night is exactly what I need.”
“So, Harry told me about this, actually. Bati took her last year. He chose a really crappy movie, but she said it was still fun,” Tobin continued to ramble.
“Are we going to the movie theater?” Christen asked, wishing she'd brought a little more clothing to wear if that was the case. It was always cold in the theaters.
“Sort of,” Tobin shrugged, turning on her blinker at a red light. She glanced at Christen. “You won’t get cold. I brought a blanket.”
Christen smiled, loving how she didn’t even voice that concern, but Tobin was so attuned to her that she already knew.
“What about snacks? You can’t watch a movie without snacks,” Christen teased.
“If you turn around, there’s a shopping bag behind my seat. You can grab it and see if I chose correctly,” Tobin said, a huge smile on her face.
Christen pulled the bag out from behind Tobin’s seat, immediately digging through it. She saw bags of Sour Patch Kids, popcorn, chocolate, and Lay’s chips.
“They sell french fries there,” Tobin added, reaching out and squeezing Christen’s leg before grabbing the wheel with both hands again.
“You think of everything,” Christen hummed, completely filled to the brim with so much happiness and love she thought she might burst.
Tobin turned into the lot, rolling her window down to pay the attendant and get the radio station they’d need to tune into.
“A drive-in?” Christen asked, looking around at the large lot and the huge screen at the front of it. The sun was just now setting, casting a warm glow across the lot. It was a perfect night for a drive-in movie, and Christen was beyond excited.
“They assured me no one would try to scare us while we’re watching the movie. I called ahead to ask. Didn’t want a repeat of the haunted corn maze I experienced in seventh grade,” Tobin laughed, pulling into a spot close enough to see the screen but far enough from the few other cars in the lot to give them some privacy.
They were halfway through Hocus Pocus and they’d already finished the two bags of french fries they’d bought and a good chunk of the snacks Tobin brought for them. Tobin was in the process of pulling out every blue Sour Patch Kid and passing them to Christen, since they were her favorite flavor.
“Is my tongue blue yet?” Christen asked, turning to Tobin and sticking her tongue out.
Tobin laughed, nodding her head. “It’s very blue. Is mine green?”
Christen playfully narrowed her eyes, inspecting. “Hmmm...could be greener.”
Tobin laughed again, setting down the bag of Sour Patch Kids and glancing up at the screen. “Fun fact, Hocus Pocus used to scare me when I was little.”
“Me too, but now I love it,” Christen replied, turning away from the screen. She’d much rather look at Tobin than at the movie she could quote by heart. Especially since Tobin looked so good in red and was rocking those little devil horns still.
“The cat’s the best part,” Tobin said, grinning at Christen and the adorable halo on her head. “You make a very cute angel,” she said, the words slipping from her mouth without her permission, not that she would have held them back.
Christen smirked and slid closer to Tobin on the bench seat. She reached up and flicked her finger against one of the devil horns.
“You make a very sexy devil. Thank you for indulging me and wearing the costume.”
“Indulging you? I get to see you in that. You’re doing me the favor,” Tobin husked. She really was having trouble keeping her eyes off of Christen’s legs and abs. There was just so much skin available for her to look at.
“Oh, this old thing? You like it?” Christen teased, running her fingertips along the top of Tobin’s bare thigh, hitting the bottom of her Nike spandex, and drifting back down again.
“Mhm,” Tobin hummed, nodding her head quickly and licking her lips. “You’re going to kill me.”
Christen grinned, loving the way her body seemed to hum under Tobin’s gaze. “Angels aren’t really in the business of killing.”
“Tell that to Buffy,” Tobin teased, not even sure where to put her hands. Her brain felt cloudy with all she wanted to do and touch, like it was overwhelming to pick one place.
Christen noticed Tobin’s hands fidget at her sides and she had to bite back a smile. She decided to put Tobin out of her misery, deciding to cross the line for the both of them.
“Yeah?” Tobin asked, her eyes shifting up to Christen’s eyes.
“How invested in this movie are you?” Christen whispered, her fingers ghosting along the hem of the spandex before trailing down to Tobin’s knee.
“Not at all. I have no idea where we are. Are the witches here yet?” Tobin choked out.
“Who cares,” Christen mumbled, erasing the last bit of space between them.
Tobin wrapped an arm around Christen’s waist, her fingers pressing into the skin on Christen’s back that the crop top didn’t cover. They kissed quickly and sloppily, like they’d both been holding back until this moment.
Christen felt the kiss turn hungry, just like it had yesterday, in this very same truck. She held back a moan at the change of pace, reaching around to tug Tobin’s hair loose from her messy bun before threading her fingers through it.
Tobin pulled the halo gently off of Christen’s head, dropped it to the floor, then pushed her free hand into her curls.
Wanting to keep things even, Christen pulled the devil horns from Tobin’s head and tossed them into the back of the cab, not caring where they ended up.
“I thought you liked the devil horns,” Tobin husked, using her arm around Christen’s waist to pull Christen even closer.
“They were in the way,” Christen replied, tucking her legs beneath her so she could get as close to Tobin as their current positions allowed. She kept one hand buried in Tobin’s hair, the other toying with the waistband of the Spandex at Tobin’s hip.
“Baby, this shirt,” Tobin whined, running her fingers under the hem of the crop top.
“Yeah?” Christen hummed against Tobin’s lips.
“You look so sexy,” Tobin whispered, moving her head to kiss Christen’s neck. She moved her lips and tongue along Christen’s neck, stopping at her pulse point to suck slightly.
Heat pooled low in Christen’s stomach, making her clench her legs together. Things always built quickly between them, and tonight was no different.
“Can-” Christen tightened her fingers in Tobin’s hair, hesitating just for a moment before asking.
“What, baby?” Tobin practically panted, pulling her lips away from Christen’s neck and leaning her forehead against Christen’s shoulder.
“How alone are we in the back of this parking lot?” Christen rushed out, her cheeks flaming at the question.
Tobin lifted her head and looked across the parking lot. The closest car was more than fifty yards away. The entire parking lot was dark, except for the very front that was slightly illuminated by the screen. The truck’s cab light was now off, since they’d finished eating, so no one could see in unless they were standing right outside of the car.
“I’d say pretty alone,” Tobin replied, her voice wobbly and hoarse.
Christen wet her lips and looked into Tobin’s brown eyes, still able to make out the want within them even in the dim, darkness of the truck.
“I know you love it on me, but can you please take my shirt off?” Christen whispered, her chest rising and falling quickly as she took in ragged breaths.
Heat rushed through Tobin’s body, pooling between her legs. She didn’t hesitate, peeling the crop top off of Christen. As soon as the shirt was off and tossed onto the dashboard, Tobin leaned down and kissed Christen’s neck again, brushing her lips down Christen’s neck, to her collarbones, and back up. She opened her eyes slightly, just enough to notice that Christen was wearing the white bralette that she liked so much. She couldn’t help the groan that escaped her lips and the way her hands moved along Christen’s sides and up to the hem of the bralette.
“I thought you liked this one, I’m glad I guessed right,” Christen chuckled teasingly.
“Baby?” Tobin choked out between kisses.
“Yeah?” Christen hummed, her eyes shut as she enjoyed the waves of pleasure rolling through her thanks to the magic Tobin was working with her lips.
“Touch me, please,” Tobin husked, putting her hand on one of Christen’s and guiding her hand under her tank top to her waist.
Christen groaned, frustrated their current position offered her such little opportunity to touch Tobin like she wanted to. She blindly reached behind her with her free hand and knocked the shopping bag of food off the bench seat, clearing the space behind her. She then buried her hand in Tobin’s hair again and tugged, bringing Tobin’s lips off of her neck and up to meet her own.
As she kissed Tobin, hot and wanting and desperate, she gripped Tobin’s side, lying down on the bench seat and pulling Tobin on top of her.
Tobin put one of her hands on the seat next to Christen’s head, breaking the kiss to stare down at her. This wasn’t an image she wanted to miss. She wanted to commit it to memory. She wanted to remember the way Christen’s curls were spread across the bench seat, the way Christen’s chest heaved with each breath, the way Christen’s skin looked smooth and warm in the extremely dim lighting in the car, the way Christen’s eyes burned with desire.
“What?” Christen asked, a little self consciously. Tobin was just staring down at her, no longer touching her. She removed her hand from Tobin’s shirt and let it fall to her side, her other hand that was in Tobin’s hair now slung across the bench seat above her head.
“I just don’t want to forget how beautiful you look right now,” Tobin mumbled, moving her free hand back to Christen’s ribs, her fingers brushing against the hem of the bralette. “I don’t want to forget this moment.”
Christen blushed, a stuttering breath leaving her lips at Tobin’s light touch. “You have no idea what you do to me when you say things like that,” Christen whispered, reaching out to toy with the hem of Tobin’s tank top.
“You can take it off if you want,” Tobin said, dropping down to place a soft kiss on Christen’s lips.
“I’d rather watch you take it off,” Christen replied, a surge of confidence running through her.
Tobin smirked at Christen’s response, pushing off the bench seat and sitting up on her knees between Christen’s legs. She pulled the tank top off and tossed it onto the dashboard next to Christen’s abandoned shirt. She leaned forward again, placing both of her hands on either side of Christen’s head and smirking down at her. “Better?”
Christen nodded, not trusting her voice. She let her eyes trail down Tobin’s chest, across the gray Calvin Klein sports bra she wore, and over Tobin’s flexed abs. She reached out and placed both of her hands on Tobin’s sides, running her fingers up and down Tobin’s ribs.
“You’re so beautiful,” Christen husked. “I don’t tell you that enough.”
“You show me every day,” Tobin mumbled. Tobin tucked a strand of hair behind Christen’s ear, letting her hand trail down her neck and arm, along her ribs and over her hip bones.
“Can I show you now?” Christen asked, her eyes lifting to meet Tobin’s. Her hands ghosted up Tobin’s sides, hovering right at the elastic band of Tobin’s bra.
“Yes,” Tobin whispered, nodding her head softly.
Christen tilted her head up and kissed Tobin as she dragged her fingertips across the soft material of the bra, her touch passing right under Tobin’s breasts. She continued her featherlight touches, swirling up and around, getting dangerously close to where Tobin wanted her, but not close enough.
Tobin moaned against Christen’s mouth, squeezing her legs together at the heat that coursed through her body with Christen’s touch. All of Christen’s touches felt good, but this was different. This was torturous in the best way possible. She arched into Christen’s hands, wanting more.
“Is that okay?” Christen mumbled against Tobin’s lips, keeping her touch light even as Tobin pressed down into her.
“It feels-” Tobin whined. “It feels so good,” Tobin said, her right hand gripping Christen’s hip tightly.
Christen grinned as she kissed down from Tobin’s lips, across her jaw, and down her throat. She licked and sucked, slightly increasing the pressure behind her touch, her touch turning a bit more purposeful.
“Good, baby, I just want you to feel good,” Christen hummed, running her teeth along the side of Tobin’s neck.
Tobin’s hand slid along Christen’s side, her nails dragging slowly over Christen’s ribs. She couldn’t focus on what Christen was saying, her mind too distracted by the way Christen’s hands and tongue were moving over her body.
Christen was loving the breathy pants that escaped Tobin’s lips, the small shivers that ran through her. She knew she was torturing Tobin, she knew her touch was something but not everything, it was good but not enough. Finally, Christen took pity on Tobin and cupped her breasts fully, squeezing gently as she sucked a hickey into the side of Tobin’s throat.
The moan that left Tobin’s lips was louder than she’d ever heard before. Tobin’s hand gripped her side even tighter, her thumb rubbing softly as she pushed her chest into Christen’s hands.
“Okay?” Christen asked as she pulled back, looking up at Tobin as she ran her thumbs lightly across her hardened nipples.
“Is that a question?” Tobin huffed out a laugh.
Christen reconnected their lips, letting her hands explore previously uncharted territory, letting Tobin's moans and pants and whiny keens tell her where to focus her attention, how hard to knead. Their kisses got more and more reckless, the more Christen teased and touched. Teeth clacked, tongues flicked against each other. The temperature in the cab of the truck was increasing and it had everything to do with the wonderfully agonizing way Christen was cupping Tobin's breasts and rubbing her thumb across Tobin's hardened nipples, and dipping her fingers below the bra teasingly.
Needing air and a reprieve, Tobin pulled her lips from Christen's, her ragged breathing filling the truck. "Jesus, baby," she husked, her eyes fluttering open to meet Christen's.
Christen smirked and lightened her touch, ghosting her fingers across Tobin’s breasts and down her stomach, resting on Tobin’s hips.
Tobin gulped and let her eyes fall to that lovely white bralette. “Can- can I?” she stuttered, her cheeks flaming.
Christen arched a brow, breathing through the immediate reaction within her to scream ‘YES!’. She didn’t want Tobin to feel like she had to, like she had to do it back. She only wanted Tobin to do what she was comfortable with.
“Only if you want to, if you feel ready,” Christen whispered, tilting her head to the side as looked up at Tobin with a smile.
“Baby, I’ve been ready for a long time,” Tobin sighed. “I’ve wanted to be this close to you since-” Tobin shook her head softly, a small smile on her lips.
“When was the preseason game?” Tobin teased breathily.
Christen chuckled, squeezing Tobin’s hips. “Just do whatever you’re comfortable with, baby. Your speed.”
Tobin leaned down to connect her lips with Christen’s again, trying to steady her rapidly beating heart. Tobin inched her hand up Christen’s side, brushing over soft skin and the edge of her bralette.
God, Tobin was barely even touching her and Christen felt ready to come apart. Christen forced herself to take deep breaths, to keep her grip on Tobin’s hip and her hair light and not commanding.
Tobin moved her lips to Christen’s neck, attaching them there before running one of her fingers along the swell of Christen’s breast. She held back the groan that she could feel rising in her throat, choosing instead to move her entire hand over Christen’s breast, with no hesitation or teasing.
“Fuck,” Christen rasped out, her eyes slamming shut, her fingers tightening in Tobin’s hair.
Tobin rubbed her thumb in small circles over Christen’s hardened nipple, relishing in the way Christen’s breathing changed with her touch. She kissed down to Christen’s collar bone, swapping arms, so that her left hand could run over Christen’s other breast. With as much confidence as Tobin could muster, she kissed down until her lips were directly over the bralette, right where her thumb had been drawing circles. She stopped all movement and glanced up at Christen, waiting for a nod of approval.
“You are-” Christen stuttered, blowing out a sharp breath, arching up into Tobin’s mouth. “-so, so good at this.”
Tobin pushed her tongue against the fabric of the bralette, wishing for the first time all night they weren’t in a drive-in movie lot. She wanted to pull the bralette off, to take her time, to hear every noise that Christen could possibly make. She kissed across the top of Christen’s breasts, right where the skin peeked out of the bralette, making her way to the other nipple and kissing softly.
“Baby,” Christen whined, rolling her hips up into Tobin’s, seeking friction she shouldn’t be looking for, but friction she desperately wanted.
Tobin reached down with one hand and placed it on Christen’s hip, to hold her down.
“Sorry, sorry,” Christen whispered, understanding the message behind the touch, “the hips have a mind of their own sometimes.”
“No sorrys,” Tobin husked, lifting herself up with the hand next to Christen’s head. “The hips and I want the same thing. Trust me. I just know you wouldn’t want that here. I wouldn’t want that here. I want it to be special for us.”
Christen knew Tobin was right, her heart and her mind were in complete agreement. But the pressure and the heat building between her legs were not happy about it.
Christen took a few deep breaths to steady herself. “Yeah, you’re right. A drive-in on Halloween is not special enough.”
“I mean, anywhere would be special with you, but I’d rather not worry about being caught,” Tobin grinned.
Christen giggled, scratching at the back of Tobin’s head, her eyes dancing between Tobin’s.
“Agreed. But was...was this okay?” Christen asked, knowing she was probably asking too often and checking in too many times. But she knew Tobin had never done this before, had never gone this far, and she wanted to make sure she was comfortable.
“Oh my god,” Tobin nearly whimpered, pressing her body into Christen’s. “This was way more than okay. You’re incredible,” Tobin hummed, kissing Christen’s lips softly.
“You ain’t seen nothing yet,” Christen winked teasingly, wanting to lighten the tension in the truck, knowing they were moving back from the dangerous pull of desire, back to safer shores.
Tobin rolled her eyes, pushing her body off of Christen’s. “Very cute,” Tobin said. She hadn’t realized just how confident and cocky Christen could be when it came to physical intimacy, but she’d never complain. There was something incredibly sexy about the way Christen spoke and touched and kissed with simultaneous tenderness and confidence.
Christen sat up against the door of the passenger’s side, watching as Tobin reached for their shirts on the dashboard.
“Can I hold you while we watch the rest of the movie?” Christen asked with a smile, just wanting to be close to Tobin again, already missing her.
“Of course,” Tobin nodded. “Are you okay?” Tobin asked, looking at Christen’s eyes to make sure that everything was fine after the next step they’d taken.
“I love you, I love you, I love you,” ran through Christen’s mind as she nodded at Tobin. It was almost time, they were almost there, she could feel it. But not just yet.
“That was okay right?” Tobin asked, a fleeting negative thought passing through her mind and making her hesitate with her shirt partially on.
“Baby, that was perfect,” Christen replied, reaching out to grab ahold of one of Tobin’s hands and pull her back over to her side of the truck.
“Good to know,” Tobin mumbled, her cheeks tinged a slight red.
“I meant what I said, you are so, so good at this,” Christen cradled Tobin’s face between her hands and kissed the doubt away.
Tobin wrapped her arm around Christen’s waist, kissing her back softly before resting her head against Christen’s neck. “Whoa, when did Halloweentown start playing?” Tobin asked, her eyebrows scrunching at the movie screen.
Christen laughed, rubbing her hands across Tobin’s back. She had no idea when it had started or when Hocus Pocus had ended, but she didn’t really care.