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pulling your disguise up

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New Year’s Eve is Hero’s favourite day of the year, more than her birthday, more than Beatrice’s birthday, more than Christmas. She’s not really sure why. Something about new beginnings, starting afresh, a whole universe of possibilities unfolding in front of her.

(Beatrice likes to talk about how it’s entirely arbitrary and meaningless but Hero knows she likes it, too, even if it’s only for Hero’s own sake. They’re cousins, friends, best friends, and they support each other, no matter what.)

They’re having a quiet night in, this year. Both their parents are at some party or another so it’s just the two of them curled up on one of the sofas in the living room, watching the obligatory media countdowns of the year. They could have a sofa each, but their own space seems unimportant, unappealing, even, when they can share each other’s warmth and Beatrice can pillow her head in Hero’s lap. At one point, Hero started playing with her hair, twisting the strands around her fingers. She’s not sure exactly when.

“I’m not making resolutions this year,” Hero says, suddenly, and doesn’t need to look down to know that Beatrice is staring at her.

“There’s nothing I want to change. I’ve got you, and Claud, and everyone, and-” She shrugs, letting the plait in Beatrice’s hair unravel. “I don’t need anything else.”

Beatrice huffs. Hero knows that she still hasn’t really forgiven Claudio, and she probably never will, but that’s okay. She’s gone from being coolly civil to him to something approaching friendly, and Hero appreciates the effort, appreciates the fierce way that Beatrice cares, more than she thinks she’ll ever be able to say.

“You are already disgustingly perfect,” Beatrice says, eventually, and Hero has to laugh, twining her fingers back in Beatrice’s hair.