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The one about a cat stuck in a tree
By Kristina K


They are kissing, for over half an hour now, comfortably wrapped around each other on Holly's living room couch, the pizza they ordered is getting cold and the DVD they agreed on watching lays completely forgotten on the coffee table.

It's silent, without even the sounds of traffic coming in through a slightly ajar window. Just a bit of a chill, maybe, making them cuddle up closer. It's all about rustling of clothes, a slight squeak of the springs in the old couch, a lot of heavy breathing, and hands, lots of hands, everywhere. Especially Holly's because Gail is still a bit shy as to where she puts her hands, unaccustomed to curves of another woman's body even though Holly is more muscle and sinewy than curves, so she settles her hands around Holly's waist, splaying her fingers across Holly's back, and holds her closer.

"I don't know how to do this." Gail starts, breathless, when Holly finally moves on to her neck from her mouth.

Gail can feel Holly's smile on her skin, "You're doing just fine, trust me," and then she moves down to Gail's collarbone.

"No, I mean—" it's enough to make Holly stop and lift her head up to level her eyes with Gail's. "This." Gail tilts her head to the side and it takes only a moment more for Holly to hum her understanding.

"Do you want us to stop?"

"I didn't say that."

"Do you want to have a conversation," Holly's eyebrow arches up in amusement and that's how Gail knows she's going to be teased on. "How very lesbian of you—"

"All right!"

"—wanting to process things so early on."

Gail can't help it and smiles back, "That's not fair."

"What's not fair," Holly dips her head and leaves another kiss on the base of Gail's neck "is you cramping my style, just as I was about to bust out my best moves." Holly's smile is wide and bright and it makes Gail bite her lip, grab Holly's face with both of her hands and looks at her just as intensely as she did when they first kissed. She's being serious; Holly realizes and adjusts herself accordingly.

"I'm not talking about sex," Gail's voice is hoarse so she takes a moment to clear her throat. "I'm not talking about sex. Sex is easy. I can do sex. I'm good at sex. Sex is fine. I'm talking about this. Us. I'm not sure how to do us."

Holly sobers up, moves away, but stays close enough so their bodies are still connected by each other's warmth. "You did just fine so far."

"Yes, but then we just hung out, made fun of people together… Made fun of each other. With lots of alcohol and snark involved. But now there's kissing and laying on top of each other and wandery hands and— How many hands do you actually have, because it feels like more than two!" Holly opens her mouth but Gail simply continues, "Now there's this thing and we're in it together and I'm not sure I know how to go about it."

Holy thinks on it for a moment, then: "Are you enjoying yourself?"


"Is it fun?"


"Are you afraid what people will think of you when they find out about the thing?

Gail makes a disgusted face, "No." And then she remembers her mother. "Ugh. Whatever. No."

"See, I told you, you are doing fine." Holly smiles once again and moves in for another kiss, but Gail is not done.

"Aren't you afraid this is just a phase for me?"

Holly blinks, "Is it?"

"Maybe I'm just using you as a rebound, even though there's nothing to rebound off, really—"

"Are you talking about Nick?"

"Or maybe I'm just a really bad person and Traci was wrong; I deserve zero happiness. And perhaps everything I'm doing is to spite my mother, which is silly because I'm a grown woman and I do not cling onto her approval—"

Holly sighs, "I forgot, you're a cat."


"Gail, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do."

"I'm not—"

"I'm not gonna force you to label yourself, start wearing fleece—"

"I hate fleece."

"—or become a vegetarian."

"I love meat."

"I know you do."

"Or, wait. Did you mean it as a euphemism for penis?"

"No, I meant actual meat. But, as it turns out, penis, too." Gail shrugs as an agreement, but only to a certain extent. "And I like you. A lot. And I kind of feel like you like me, too, because, this entire rant of yours notwithstanding, I haven't been kissed like this in quite a long time."

"Yeah," Gail breaths out, "I know."

"So what I'm saying here is that it's okay to take it slow, it's understandable you're possibly a bit freaked out, but it's nothing to create an emergency situation over, understand?"

"Do you listen to everything I say?"

"I can't not," Holly grins, "because you're so loud and you never shut up."

"I might, if you'd stop slacking about and get back to business."

"Wow," Holly laughs, "I can't—"

Gail pulls her in, presses her lips to hers and shuts her up. After a moment she pulls away, her face back to being serious. "Please try not to break my heart?"

Gail's voice is so tiny, so vulnerable when she says it and, Holly cannot be entirely sure, it also looks like Gail's eyes are shining with tears so Holly, first silently nods her head, and then touches her forehead to Gail's and whispers, "Okay. I promise."

The End

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