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There Was Only One Bed?!

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Viktoria rested one hand on her hip and sighed disdainfully as she took in her surroundings. “Is it a legal requirement for all hotels to have ugly carpets?” 

Tegan dropped his bags and collapsed to the floor with a loud thump. 

Viktoria jumped, hands instinctively moving into a defensive position at the sudden noise. 
“Ew!” She exclaimed. “Do you know how many germs are in these rooms?” 

“I don’t care, ‘cause I’m dead,” Tegan mumbled into the carpet, shrugging slightly. 

Viktoria let her arms fall and nudged him in the side with her foot a few times. 

Tegan managed to remain almost completely still. “Stop desecrating my corpse.” 

Viktoria rolled her eyes and removed her jacket, dropping it over the back of a nearby chair. “Calm down, edgelord. Now, wh– Uh.”
She narrowed her eyes and twisted her mouth to the side at the focal point of the room– one queen-sized bed, freshly done up. She frowned at it in disapproval, as if that would make it shift and change before her very eyes, but it did not. 

Tegan slowly raised his head, propping his chin up in his hands. He blinked, removed his glasses, rubbed the lenses vigorously on his shirt, then put them on again. “That is… there's one bed in here.”

“Yep.” Viktoria sighed again, then propped her bag against the wall and headed straight for it, yawning. “Well, goodnight Tegan. Sleep well and all that jazz.” 

Tegan’s cheek slipped off his hand, nearly causing him to face-plant. 
“Hey wait, aren’t you supposed to act all nice and shy and offer the bed to me, at which point I’ll insist that no, really, you should have it? And so on and so forth.” He gestured with his hands as he talked and proffered her a hopeful smile. 

Viktoria looked at him over her shoulder and cocked her head, considering. 

“Hm, nah.” She flopped facedown and exhaled in relief, then rolled over. “Look, it’s not like we’re sharing the same toothbrush or anything.” 

Tegan shuddered, lips pursing slightly. “Thanks’nt for that mental image.” 

Viktoria snorted. “Tegan! I’ve shared a bed with friends during sleepovers before, it’s not a big deal.” She tossed her shoes over the end of the bed.  “Look, if you’re that worried about me acting untoward, we can make a wall down the middle with the extra throw pillows.” 

Tegan slowly sat up and wrapped his arms around his knees. “You’re not the one I’m worried about…” 

“Then who, the tabloids? Let ‘em talk. Maybe Tyler will ask me for my autograph, on account of my becoming a mini-celebrity and all.” Viktoria joked as she folded her hands behind her head, trying to lighten the mood. 

‘Me ,’ Tegan wanted to shout, ‘ it’s me! I am the problem! Ever since we met, I’ve been dreaming of premarital hand-holding!’ 

Viktoria scooted to the edge of the bed and softened her tone. “Look, Tegan, do you want the bed?” 

Tegan rested his cheek against his knee. “Yes.” 

Viktoria threw her hands up in the air. “So do I. Now, are we building the not-so-great Wall of China, or—“ 

Tegan scrambled to his feet. “N-no, it’s okay. I— You—“ He gestured awkwardly for a few moments, then covered his face with his hands. “It’s just, uh, do you… Do you actually sleep… Um, totally and completely... You know, with no… 

Viktoria smiled and waved dismissively at him, then pulled her hair into a low bun. “Nah, I keep my undergarments on.” 

Tegan’s knees gave out. He dropped to the floor as if he had just been shot out of the sky, face frozen. 

Viktoria leaned over the edge and reached out for him, face twisted in concern. “I’m joking! Oh good job Vik, you really did kill him this time!” 

“I’m… fine…” Tegan managed to wheeze, voice pitched about an octave higher than it sounded normally. He curled up in the fetal position, eyes wide open. “Maybe I will sleep on the floor.” 

Viktoria raised her hands in surrender. “I’m done messing with you, I promise. At least for tonight.” 

Tegan lifted his arms weakly in her general direction. “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” 

Viktoria grabbed him by the wrists and, with a grunt of effort, hauled him onto the bed… but now he was straddling her. 

“Regret! Regret!” Tegan’s entire body seemed to be trying to run away in five directions at once, which ultimately ended in him flopping onto the unoccupied side of the bed almost unintentionally. “Mistakes have been made!” 

He shoved his face into the pillow, completely incapable of facing Viktoria for at least another five minutes. “...aaannd I just said all of that inner dialogue out loud, didn't I.” He slapped the pillow with a defeated tone. 

Viktoria blinked dumbly. She didn’t even have time to smirk or wink during any of that, it all happened so fast. 
“Hey. Can I touch you?”

Tegan sighed, shoulders releasing just a bit of tension. “Yeah. If you want…”

Viktoria reached over and ran her fingers through his messy hair, splayed out across the pillowcase in every which way like a fiery halo. 
“If it makes you feel any better, I don’t think that’s even the most awkward thing you’ve said to me.”

Tegan let out a muffled but still sufficiently loud groan that sounded like the cursed lovechild of a foghorn and a cow. 
“Is there any chance we could just forget that that ever happened?” 

Viktoria smiled and sat back on her heels. “Forget that what ever happened?” She asked innocently. 

Tegan shifted onto his side. “Thank you.”  He crossed his eyes and touched his nose with his tongue, attempting to break the tension. 

Viktoria grinned and reached out towards his face to straighten his glasses. “You’re adorable.”

Tegan propped his head up with a loose fist. “You flatter me.”

Viktoria threw the thick blanket back and tucked her legs underneath it, then pulled it up to her waist. 
“Is it really flattery if it’s true? Honestly, I think you’re the prettiest person I’ve ever known, and that’s saying a lot.” 

Tegan tilted his head, the corners of his mouth turning upwards. “More than Karolina?”

“I… crud.” Viktoria scrunched up her nose. “Okay fine, well, she may be prettier than you, but you’re the most beautiful.”

Tegan rested a hand in the space between the two of them and let his legs sprawl out. “There’s a distinction between the two?”

Viktoria gave a one-shouldered shrug and attempted to get comfortable. 
“Pretty is usually used as attractive, conventionally, but not much more than skin deep. Beautiful , in my book, factors in all of that plus what’s inside– uh, you know, the emotions of the heart, the capacity of the mind, the facets of a personality, the vastness of the soul…” She trailed off, taking in all of Tegan’s features under the soft yellow glow.

“Viktoria…” Tegan exhaled and leaned in.

Viktoria scooted closer, heart beating out of her chest. “Yes, Tegan?”

Tegan gave her a wry smile. “One of us will have to get up and turn the lights off.”

Viktoria looked up and clapped twice into the air. No dice.

Tegan briefly raised his eyebrows, clearly amused. “Well, you tried.”

Viktoria threw her head back. “Ugh. I’ll rock-paper-scissors with you.”

Tegan rolled his eyes but humored her anyway. “Rock, paper, scissors– shoot !”

“Hah!” Viktoria placed her open palm over Tegan’s fist and squeezed his hand.

“This game is rigged.” Tegan rolled off the bed with a groan and dragged his feet his entire way over to the light switch. 

Viktoria raised her head and squinted at him in suspicion. “Did you lose on purpose?” 

Tegan’s only response was to flip the lights, plunging the room into darkness. 

“Uh… how do I get back?”

Viktoria gestured vaguely as her eyes started to adjust. “Echolocation?”

“Do I look like Batboy to you?”

Viktoria shrugged, momentarily forgetting that he couldn’t see her. “Do you mean usually, or just right now?” 

Even though she still couldn’t see much, she could tell that Tegan was making that face at her, the one where his eyebrows bunched up in the middle and his lower lip turned out in the most subtle of cute little pouts. 

Viktoria took advantage of the darkness to quickly change out of her jeans and into some leggings as Tegan stumbled his way back. Hypothetically, she could just sleep in the oversized T-shirt she had on, but she figured she had tortured him enough for one day. 

Tegan yelled a very harsh sounding non-English word as he bumped into the bed and stubbed his toe. 
“This freaking hotel is getting a one-star review on Yalp!” 

Viktoria braced herself as an incredibly obvious idea popped into her head too little, too late. “Why didn’t you just… use your phone’s light?” 

“YOU—” Tegan lept at Viktoria and tackled her, who let out a very surprised laugh in response. 

“I did not expect that from you, of all people!” 

Tegan moved off of her and wrapped his arms around his torso. “You know what? I’m tired, it’s late, and I am totally over it.” 

Viktoria reached up and placed her palms over his cheeks. Sure enough, they were warm to the touch. 

And you assumed that I wouldn’t be able to tell you were blushing due to my impaired vision in the darkness.” 

Tegan collapsed with a defeated groan and threw the blanket over his head. “Good night , I am done.” 

Viktoria woke to a numb feeling in her arm that somehow reminded her of radio static. She slowly blinked awake. 

 Tegan had her left arm completely pinned underneath his lean (but not weightless) frame and between the mattress. 

“Coffeegan…” Viktoria murmured, poking his cheek lightly with her free hand. “Could you be a good boyfriend and move , please?” 

“You’re so warm…” Tegan whined, snuggling up closer and wrapping his noodly arms tightly around her waist. 

Viktoria flexed her trapped arm, which had gone almost painfully numb by this point. “I need to go to the bathroom really bad, and if you don’t move soon this isn’t gonna be pretty–”

“I’m up! I’m up!” Tegan flopped off of her arm and over the side of the bed with a crash, taking the blanket with him. “Oof.” 

“Rest in pieces.” Viktoria leaned over the edge of the bed. This felt very familiar to her, for some reason. “Are you o—“ 

Tegan threw an arm over his face, which was completely red at this point... along with his ears and possibly his neck and shoulders as well. 

“Just leave me here to die.” 

Victoria hopped over to the bathroom to take care of business, slapping her arm to get the feeling back in it on the way. 

Someone, who she presumed was Tegan because who else would it be, tapped out the rhythm of Shave and a Haircut on the bathroom door. Viktoria went to answer it, toothbrush in hand. 

Tegan gaped at her as she opened the door, arm still raised. 

Viktoria took a step back and gave him a bemused smile. “What is it now?” 

“I…” Tegan hesitated, the fingers of his free hand tapping absentmindedly against his leg. 

Viktoria leaned against the doorframe and crossed her arms. “I know for a fact that you’ve seen me without makeup countless times.” She motioned at him with the end of her toothbrush, then popped it in her mouth. 

Tegan motioned in the air around his head with both hands. “You look like book!Hermione.” 

Viktoria nearly choked. “Oh yeah, that.” She reached up to run a hand over her hair and smiled sheepishly. “That’s kinda what happens when you tend to toss and turn all night.” 

“Oh great.” Tegan began examining his easily markable skin. “I better not have any bruises…Tyler and Ellie will never let me hear the end of it.” 

Viktoria stood on the ends of her toes and ruffled Tegan’s hair. “ Your bedhead is adorable though.” 

“Maybe I can just wear a full-body cloak– huh?” Tegan looked up over his shoulder as Viktoria’s compliment finally registered. “I mean, you think everything about me is adorable… but thank you.” 


“Does it seem strange to you that no one has stopped and questioned the two baby-faced teenagers traveling together?”

“The two loaded baby-faced teenagers traveling together,” Tegan corrected. “Well, one, anyway.”

Viktoria smirked and slowly entwined her arm with his. “Does that make you my sugar–”

Tegan drew his mouth into a thin straight line. “ Don’t. even. say. it. ” 

Viktoria traced a finger down his chest. “How about just d–

Tegan looked straight down at her. “I swear, if you finish that sentence, I will never hack another database for you ever again. Ever .” 

Viktoria slowly raised one eyebrow. “ Ok boomer .” 
She giggled and turned on her heel in a way that eerily reminded Tegan of Ellie, skipping over to the elevator and nearly taking out a bystander on the way over with the rolling luggage she was dragging behind herself. 

‘Note to self, hide those hair ribbons…’  Tegan groaned and threw his head back as he shuffled over to the opening elevator doors at a much slower pace. 

To Viktoria’s surprise, they both managed to make it inside the death box— I mean elevator— without incident.  

Viktoria leaned her head against Tegan’s arm and closed her eyes as the doors shut with a soft chime. 

Tegan raised an eyebrow. “Is this your way of apologizing?” 

Viktoria nuzzled her face into his arm. “I didn’t sleep well last night. I get kinda loopy when I’m tired.” 

Tegan snorted and shoved his phone into his pocket. “No, really? I totally couldn’t tell.” 

Viktoria half-heartedly elbowed him in the side before closing her eyes again. 

Tegan watched the numbers displayed on the side of the doors drop and tapped his foot against the shiny floor. “Fair warning, if you actually do fall asleep, I’m not capable of carrying you out.” 

Viktoria sighed and draped her arms around his waist. “Is that your way of telling me to lay off the pasta?”

“Wh– NO!” Tegan sputtered in protest. “I would never– I was just saying because I am–”

Viktoria opened one eye and raised her head just a tad. “Did the lift just stop?”

Tegan sighed to himself and pulled his phone back out. “I really should’ve seen this one coming by now.” 

Viktoria ran the two steps it took for her to reach the doors and futilely pawed at the crack. “Oh no no I cannot die in this outfit, I hate this outfit!” 

Tegan cocked his head at her. “Then why are you wearing it?” 

She whirled to face him. “ Because they’re traveling clothes ! ” Viktoria’s scream reached a fever pitch, the subtle irony of the contrast between their respective outfits completely lost on her. 

Tegan winced and pressed his ear to his shoulder as the sound reverberated through the small space. 

Viktoria pulled on the hem of her jacket and lowered her voice. 

“Sorry. I’m wearing this because if it gets ruined en route, then I don’t have to mourn the loss of any garments I actually care about.” 

Tegan stared at her as if she had suddenly sprouted wings . “...Fashion people are weird.” 

Viktoria stuck her tongue out at him. “Whatever, Tall Nerd.” 

Tegan raised his arm and rested his elbow on top of her head. “Right back at cha, Raspberry Shortcake.” 

Viktoria frowned, but didn’t remove his arm. “At least I have cake.” 

Tegan scoffed and shifted his weight. “Really? We’re going there?” 

Viktoria nodded solemnly in faux seriousness. “Oh, we’ve been there.” 

“...yourchestisflatterthanmine.” Tegan mumbled at light speed, staring down at his shoes and wishing that he could fall through the floor. 

Viktoria grinned, then leaned over and pressed a kiss to Tegan’s shoulder. 
“Well, if we can survive this together, we can weather pretty much anything.”

Tegan lowered his voice dramatically and peered at her over the top of his glasses. “Even… Karolina’s disapproval?” 

Viktoria’s whole body seemed to deflate. “Uggghhh, don’t remind me.” She flopped to the side in one fluid movement reminiscent of a rag doll. 

“I already know I’m not good enough for you, she doesn’t have to point–“ 

Tegan grabbed her by the shoulders. 

“Hey. Don’t talk about my girlfriend like that.” He forced himself to keep eye contact, even as he was combusting inside. 

Viktoria couldn't help but smile at his sincerity. 

 “Look at us, we’re both slowly getting there.” 

She gasped dramatically as the elevator began moving again and the door slowly opened. “Freedom!” 

Tegan’s eyes widened. He reached out for her in vain. “No wait—” 

Viktoria grabbed the handle of her luggage and ran for the door, but tripped over her own bag. Tegan moved to catch her, but only succeeded in falling on top of her instead. 

Viktoria hit the ground hard. She began laughing due to the adrenaline– if she hadn’t laughed, then she would’ve probably started crying. 
“Ow, my shoulder,” she gasped out. 

Tegan rested his elbow on the ground and propped up his chin with his hand. “Well, at least the security guards are having an entertaining day.”