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miles from where you are

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Laura grabs the remote out of Carmilla’s hand about a minute in and hits pause. “You liar,” she says.

Carmilla looks at her.

“’Of course I did.’” Laura quotes at her, “’I’m a vampire.’ Except I don’t see any thumb- screwing happening. How do you even say that? That makes it sound a whole different type of wrong.”

She does not have the mental facilities necessary to reply to the screwing part of that. “Only because I couldn’t find them.”

“Baloney. You didn’t even really look. You wanted them to think about it.”

She can see the moment on Laura’s face when she almost goes to lean into Carmilla and stops herself. Still, she can’t bring herself to move any further away. She sighs, “Laura…”

“I’m not saying you’re a hero. I’m not,” she emphasizes, in response to the look Carmilla gives her. “But you aren’t as bad as you claim you are either.” She bumps her shoulder lightly against Carmilla’s, the contact as little as it could possibly be and still count as contact.

“I would have, Laura.”

“Okay,” Laura nods. “But you were exploring other options first. That counts for something. You did a good thing.” Her tone has slipped into affectionate teasing.

“You’re searching.”

Laura looks her in the eye, for a moment, very serious, “I’m not.” Then she smiles again, “You can’t even use me as an excuse for that one.”

Carmilla rolls her eyes. She lets the moment sit, though, half because of how fucking relieved she is at every second that the guilt and emptiness is gone from Laura’s face, and half because it feels like it used to, and fuck she misses it, still.

Laura goes to press play, and then pauses herself, turns back to Carmilla, her face serious again. Carmilla almost reaches for her, automatically, out of worry, thanks whatever’s out there that stills her hands. She can’t keep doing that. She can’t stop, either, though.

“I know you don’t believe me,” Laura says, very quiet and very serious, looking her in the eye again, watching so closely. “And you were right, before. Mostly. I had an impressive pair of rose colored glasses, god, about everything. I was an idiot. But you don’t see yourself clearly, either, I think. Not that I have any right to say this, but. When has that ever stopped me, right?” She shakes her head. “Anyways. I know you don’t believe me and I don’t blame you but. I see you. I do. And I haven’t – Never mind.”

She turns away again, as soon as she ends that last sentence, and presses play.

When Carmilla reaches over to take the remote back, she lets her hand rest there a moment, fingers curled just inside of Laura’s.

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